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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/08/2018 in all areas

  1. 12 points
    Hi, I recently bought patches from three of the established vendors in this field: 1. Fremen - Starter Pack and free Marshal amp pack 2. MBritt - Patches 1 (32 patches, only current offering for Helix) 3. Glenn Delaune - Boutique amps volumes 1 and 2 Figured it might be useful to share a few observations. Couple of caveats: 1. I know a few people are skeptical about the value or even wisdom of paying someone else to write your presets/patches but, for me, it makes sense. I'd had the Helix for a few weeks and was struggling to get really good tones out of it. The factory presets were (to my mind) terrible. The Fender twin one is okay but most drive sounds were 'distant', mushy or washed out. I realise the Helix is not meant to create the sound of a well mic'd amp rather than an 'amp in the room' tone but even with this, I was disappointed. I was certainly spending a lot more time tweaking tones than actually playing guitar. I only have a small amount of time to play each day so, as a result, the Helix was not being used. I'd even started to look at a used Kemper to replace it! Sad times :( 2. In my previous efforts, I'd downloaded an ownhammer IR pack and found this improved things a bit but I still wasn't happy. I'd also watched and followed a lot of online tutorials about creating patches and, while I'd enjoyed tweaking, I still wasn't playing. 3. Gear. I should add that I usually use the pedal with headphones. I use either Beyerdynamic DT770s or Superlux 681s. Both are, to my mind, very good sounding cans. I've also used the 'full range' input on my Vox adio amp. It yielded very similar results to the headphones tone wise. For guitar's, I've tried instruments with humbuckers, single coils and P90s. 4. I was impressed by patches from all three vendors, what follows are just a few observations of my own, many of which will be based around personal preference. In isolation, each patches pack had some standout strengths. Glenn, Michael and Fremen clearly know what they are doing. Anyway, on to the actual review: Fremen Starter Pack and freebie Marshal amp pack: These were the first packs I tried (based on other positive reviews). I was immediately impressed with the drive tones and surprised to find the acoustic simulator in there too. Fremen's use of Snapshots is also very thorough so you get immediately useable presets (plus a nice example on how they can/should be used generally). Amp tones are based mainly around the amp models you might expect (fender for fender, marshal for marshal etc) along with careful use of drive pedals and carefully matched IRs to finish the tone off. Appropriate effects are also included and some interesting signal path routing is used too (opened my eyes as to what is possible). Blanket statement is that the tones are far more up front than the factory presets but still tend towards really well ic'd amp than 'amp in the room'. The drive tones are quite bright (strong mid/high focus) but not harsh and the higher the drive, generally the better the tone he has achieved. For me, the 'crunch' tones have a little less impact though and the clean tones are 'too clean'. Fremen's own comment is that he likes his cleans 'super clean' and he uses a few tricks to achieve this (careful use of compressors). In the starter pack at least this meant there were great drive tones and really clean cleans but a bit of a gap in between. I also found the clean tones to be a bit 'mid heavy' without any of the shine and shimmer that you get from a nice fender clean tone for example. This is personal preference thought, other people might really like this type of sound. Perhaps there are better cleans and bluesy tones in the 'big pack' but I decided to try other vendors first. Michael Britt, Helix preset pack 1: King of the Kemper, Michael Britt. Again, initial impression of these patches was really good. Similar to Fremen, the patches are based around candidate amp models with driver pedals and carefully chosen/custom(?) IRs used to get you MBritt's signature 'amp in the room' tone. Indeed, of the three sets of patches I tried, MBritts's are definitely the most 'present' and immediate which translates (especially with headphones) into a more realistic 'amp in the room' feel. In terms of organisation, the pack makes less use of snapshots and each preset seems to have a slightly different structure. This is fine, but perhaps less intuitive than Fremen's approach. A neat trick he uses on his clean tones is to use combinations of amps. For example his Fender tones use an obvious candidate Fender amp model for 'glassy tone' but then a less obvious clean amp is added in parallel to give a bit more body and focus. His ability to choose candidates for these combo presets is a big part of the value for me. All told, a really nice collection of presets. Cleans are more to my taste than Fremen's and I learned a lot from seeing how he sets up his signal paths. If you have the Fremen patches and are happy with his cleans though, maybe you could pass on this set. Glenn Delaune Boutique amps: I'll be up front, on balance these are possibly my favourite. Nice use of snapshots and well organised. Good selection of drive tones and the Volume 2 'clean pack' is just incredible for bluesy, low drive tones. Overall, a really nicely balanced tone (not too bright) and probably somewhere between MBritt and Fremen for 'room presence'. The way he constructs his patches is also quite different to t the other guys. Glenn generally uses the Amp and Cab models from the Helix (the other guys do not use the Helix cabs) and then adds an IR after that to 'tone match' to the amp he is attempting to match. He has loads of youtube videos showing the success of this approach. To my ears, it works really well. The 'feel' and response to pick attack also seems to be particularly realistic. The only downside is that the IRs are very specific to the patch and probably don't work too well elsewhere. And, aside from adjusting the amp settings (tone, gain etc) the patches are probably less use for tweaking. That said, I'm very happy with this approach. I get a well set up tone which I can play with within the limitations of a normal amp. That works for me as it gets me actually playing guitar quicker. An interesting side effect (I guess) of his approach is that he ends up using amp models that you might not expect. For example IIRC he uses the Roland Jazz model (super clean) and a drive pedal to create the Blackface amp. Disable the IR and it sounds pretty poor. With IR, fantastic. Forgive me if I have miss-remembered the specific preset here. So, all told, any of these packs would probably be helpful if you want realistic tones in a hurry. The first two might be best as 'tutorials' and MBritt really brings the amp into the room. Fremen's cleans are super clean and his higher drive tones are great fun. As I've said though, I really like Glenn's preset packs. For whatever reason, they just seem to grab me and keep me playing and his selection of clean/light drive tones are just epic. Having said that, there are presets from all packs that have made it into my 'shortlist' preset list and I'll probably get good use from all three vendors. If I had just one set, it'd be the clean pack (volume 2) from Glenn. After that, I reckon I'd be perfectly happy with any of the other packs to provide higher drive tones. So, no definitive 'best vendor' but hopefully I've highlighted a few characteristics that might help people decide if they are looking at buying. Cheers, ip
  2. 11 points
    Yeah, but I think 2.8 has a virus!!!
  3. 9 points
    Dear folks at Line 6, please update the Firehawk FX in 2019! suggestions: - improve switching, it’s lagging quite a bit sometimes... - add new effects and amps like you do with the Helix products; I’d like to see POG and HOG effects and some new boutique pedals and amps - improvements for the looper, increase of recording time would be nice to make it useful and also being able to eliminate a recording without starting playback for 2 seconds, this makes the looper useless in live situation. - overall bug fixes to add more stability to the system. I love this product and I know it can do so much more if Line 6 puts some effort in updates.... not everyone wants to buy a Helix..... i know im not alone here, just hope someone at Line 6 takes proper action! thank you for your time and I’ll be waiting for feedback!
  4. 9 points
    NOTE: This only works if you don't use the global EQ... (I did a search and didn't see anything, but if this has been discussed before I apologize) Scenario... XLR out > FOH (PA) 1/4" outs to personal FRFR Volume control is disengaged from the XLR so you can adjust your stage volume without changing the level to the FOH (PA). The XLR outputs can be set to MIC or LINE in the global settings, but they don't have a PAD which is common on most DI boxes. Even set to MIC, when the volume knob is disengaged the signal can be borderline hot. What do you do when the tech yells out "Can you PAD the DI"? GLOBAL EQ to the rescue. Turn it on Make sure the EQ options are flat (no cuts or boosts) Assign it to JUST THE XLR outputs Turn the volume down in the Global EQ to -10 or -20 (somewhere in that range will always make the tech happy) The global EQ is now acting as a variable DI PAD across all patches... exactly what I needed. NOTE: Since the Global EQ and the Volume can be assigned to different outputs independently you are not limited to just my example.
  5. 8 points
    I apologize in advance for the long post, but hopefully there's a few tidbits of info that may be useful to some members of the forum in here. We've seen a number of discussions recently regarding where to set your Helix master volume setting, the pros and cons, and the speculations. I've mentioned several times that I normally have mine set at 11 o'clock when I'm working on and normalizing the volume of my patches, and have had it there with no problems for the last 3 1/2 years. However I have had some concerns about that that particular setting that really doesn't relate to better or worse quality of tone, but revolves more around having a better setup that's more easily managed. This stems from the fact that my rig is setup to use an on stage Yamaha DXR12 as my stage speaker which I position behind me on a half height stand in a normal backline situation, and a separate XLR output that goes direct to the mixing board using an inline phantom power blocker. I've disengaged my Helix master volume from controlling my XLR outputs and have set those XLR outputs to Mic level with my 1/4" output going to the DXR12 at line level and being controlled by the Helix master volume knob. This isolates any on stage volume changes made on the Helix volume knob from impacting the XLR signal level output to the mixer. And although this has worked perfectly in a wide range of settings with different PA's or with just using the DXR12 for instrument and vocals only through a PA, it has concerned me at a couple of levels for a while that made me start considering a change in the Helix volume knob setting. As far as background info, as you may know, when you disengage the Helix volume knob from affecting an XLR or 1/4" out, the Helix defaults to sending a signal that's equivalent to having your Helix volume knob maxed out on that output line. Even sending that XLR signal out at Mic level (which is quite a bit lower than Line level), there's still a considerable difference in the signal strength that goes into the mixing board, causing it to need the gain setting on the channel to be cut down considerably due to the volume levels within my patches which are higher due to having my Helix volume set at 11 o'clock. This isn't a huge issue as it can easily be gain staged at the board to unity, but it could present problems on certain mixing boards that might not have very capable channel preamp setups on their mixer. So by raising the Helix master volume up to 3 o'clock and adjusting my internal preset volumes lower, I can minimize this major disparity between the two signals that could potentially be a problem. Although I might lose some of the overall headroom for making volume adjustments to my on stage setup, I've never had to raise my Helix volume above 12 o'clock. So setting it at 3 o'clock gives me ample room for adjustment, and actually more headroom within my patches for adjusting master and channel volumes on the various amp models. I did this adjustment on six of my presets this morning and all went quickly and very well, although there were a few things I learned in doing it that may be something people need to consider. Although it's generally held that making volume adjustments in your preset using the channel volume of the amp won't affect the overall tone of your patch, that's true except for patches that contain effects after the amp since they're receiving a much lower input signal. Most of my post amp effects tend to be EQ's, compressors, reverbs, delays, twin harmony, and an occasional chorus or phaser, but that's pretty rare. First I didn't notice any kind of quality level difference in the sound by having higher Helix volume setting once I adjusted my amp levels. What was most noticeable were the level of dynamics in picking or plucking the strings harder. Not a huge difference, but noticeable. I suspect this may be attributed to the circuitry modeled in the amps that may act as a limiter if the channel volume is very high. What was most affected was my post amp compressor which is typically the LA Compressor. With the lower amp channel volumes I noticed I needed to raise my Peak Reduction or amount of compression from my normal settings of around 5.5 to up around 6 or 6.5 and that I needed to also raise my compressed/dry mix from around 80 to up around 90. I suspect these are artifacts from the greater dynamic range I got from the amp models when I lowered the channel volumes. Other than that I can't say I ran into any problems with the reverbs/delays or EQs. I wasn't working with any patches that used the Twin Harmony, but that will be the next thing I concentrate on. In the end I was able to accomplish what I set out to accomplish with my disengaged XLR output line signal now falling in line with the rest of the normal XLR inputs from other sources which is exactly what I was after. Hopefully some of this info will be useful to others.
  6. 7 points
    Well, they don't want to say this publicly, but from what I've heard in a small number of cases it renders people sterile. What they haven't pinned down yet is if that's a bug or a feature.
  7. 7 points
    Well, now I see why DI doesn't post here as often. "Why thing no do thing nobody ever said thing do?" "Why no list of things thing no do compared to completely different thing?" "Why no fix/add thing specific to my use?" Act like because you spent $1500 you're on some special list of people who deserve to be exactly pleased all the time.
  8. 7 points
    If Facebook is my only other option, I'll remain happily in the dark.
  9. 7 points
    I'm into my second year with Helix and I still haven't stopped marveling at how good it is. Nor am I even remotely close to having explored it all, or in all likelihood, learned how to get the very best out of it yet. So I'm endlessly baffled by people griping about updates. To me, they are the gravy on the pie. Maybe it's an age thing - I'm 53, and spent decades dealing with the many shortcomings of various amps and cabs and pedals. To have that all just... go away has been a quietly but profoundly life-enhancing experience :-)
  10. 7 points
    I learned a long time ago that musicians "can be" really closed minded... that L&M employee seems to be one of them. Our L&M stores here in Winnipeg has them as well :) (BTW: L&M head office would not be happy with that employee for his reaction and closed mind) Give three players a JCM800 One will make it sound like a wall of mud The next makes it sound like a mosquito The next makes it sound glorious The thoughts from the peers (musicians in the wings)... 1&2: The guys got great gear but his tone isn't very good (user is blamed) 3: Wow that Marshall sounds great (amp is praised) Give three players a Helix (or any modeler for that matter) One will make it sound like a wall of mud The next makes it sound like a mosquito The next makes it sound glorious The thoughts from the peers (musicians in the wings)... 1: Modelers always get lost in the mix (blame the gear) 2: Modelers always sound thin and brittle (blame the gear) 3: He seems to get a good sound out of that thing (spiteful praise of the user) Amps and modelers are just tools... Ultimately (based on knowledge and ability) it is the USER that makes it sound good or bad.
  11. 7 points
    I'd like to add another "perspective" to this debate. These modelers are tools and ultimately in the right hands I believe you can get amazing results with both. At the same time in the wrong hands you can make the most powerful units sound really bad as well. I don't understand these posts from some people in here containing a long video of using just one modeler and then saying "I can't get these sounds from the Helix". No offence but chances are that you couldn't get them from the Fractal either. I believe that a big part of the learning curve in every modeler is that guitarists are now forced to learn how to tweak good guitar tones or purchase tone packs. I don't think it's a debate of "which one sounds better". If both can sound like real tube amps then there's no other comparison besides specifications and features and how they fit the specific user's needs.
  12. 7 points
  13. 6 points
    One thing regarding rolling back with the 2.8 update. Any presets or backups created with the 2.8 firmware will be incompatible with earlier firmware versions, so it really is important to remember to create a backup prior to installing the 2.8 update.
  14. 6 points
    While waiting for the firmware, I disassembled the helix, cleaned it and used the chance to give it a new colour. To anyone who wants to try this: Dont do that within your warrany and dont do that if you dont know what a screwdriver is!! It‘s not hard to do as long as you KNOW what you are Could be a nice idea for the Line6 guys. Some kind of personalization, limited editions or whatever ;-)
  15. 6 points
    I thought I'd share this since it's relevant to what we were discussing. Today Digital Igloo confirmed on the Gear Page that Helix Core is more about what bsd512 said, namely making sure they don't get SLOWER rather than ensuring they do releases faster than they did before. It's one of those improvements that DOES help us, but we'll probably never realize it. Quote and link is below: "Helix Core was feature complete shortly before NAMM. Considering it consists of a total rewrite of huge mountains of code, we've been in testing/bug squashing mode for months. From our vantage, development will be much faster because we can code for Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT, Helix Native, HX Edit, HX Effects, and HX Stomp simultaneously. From everyone else's vantage, it's not like there will be major updates every three months or something. It just means development doesn't slow to a snail's crawl (including development of platform improvements, modeling engine improvements, and new products) because we have so many SKUs to support. Team Helix is still relatively small and we want to make sure we're working as efficiently as possible. A couple of developers are already working on 2.90. No, throwing them on 2.80 would slow down its release." Digital Igloo https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/helix-2-9.2053030/page-3
  16. 6 points
    Release date and time will be June 7 at 8:09:36 pm EST. Or 7.84 days into June. Just a feeling ... and it works out with my math, because 7.84 / 2.8 = 2.8. It's meant to be! :-)
  17. 6 points
    That's life (that's life) that's what people say You're riding high in April Shot down in May But I know I'm gonna change that tune When I'm back on top, back on top in June......
  18. 6 points
    Thank you for the review and I'm so honored to be included. I enjoyed reading that and Yes Freman and Mbritt patches are Fantastic. Thank you so much for your support Sir. Glenn DeLaune Website | Youtube Channel | Facebook | Line 6 Marketplace
  19. 6 points
    Sir I’d be happy to help. Send me a note describing the situation and I am sure we can figure something out. all the best Frank Frank Ritchotte Senior Director of Operations Line 6 Inc www.line6.com O 818 575-3955 C 818 585-9767 fritchotte@line6.com
  20. 6 points
    I can’t wait to get started with it. For anyone interested, I posted an unboxing video to YT. I won’t link to it here in case that’s against the rules, but my channel link is in my profile.
  21. 6 points
    IM SO EXCITED...... Sold 2 pieces of gear today, and that means Monday morning I will be pulling the trigger on Helix Floor. Anyone for a high five?
  22. 6 points
  23. 6 points
    You do understand that demanding "proof" of something that (by definition) cannot be quantified, or otherwise measured in any definitive/ objective way, is like to trying to pick up a turd by the clean end, right? Never mind... don't answer that, we've all wasted enough time already. You'll "win" the argument by default, because what you're demanding cannot be done. It's a half-clever (yet thoroughly obnoxious) means of seeking external validation for an already fully-formed opinion. And while it makes for some festive arguments, in the end it achieves nothing and helps no one. Your Congressman would be proud.... But what the hell, I'll bite....I posted the same clips a while back in a previous iteration of this retarded discussion. So as long as we're all intent on taking yet another ride on the stupidmobile, here ya go: Listen to This Really Needs A Title by cruisinon2 #np on #SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/user-100603322/this-really-needs-a-title Listen to Here Goes Nuthin' by cruisinon2 #np on #SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/user-100603322/here-goes-nuthin-final-edit Love it, hate it... either way, it's no skin off my a$$.
  24. 6 points
    The thing is that comparing the stock presets or even default amp/cab settings of each device doesn't mean much. They might be models of the same amp model number, but they're not models of the same amp. They're not using the same IRs, the same mics, etc. In order to do a true A/B test, you need to start by comparing like for like... So, really, you'd at least want to use the same IR with the comparable amp models. In any case, if the Axe FX III inspires you more, get that. I have no desire to convince anyone what they should and shouldn't like. Guitar tone isn't a competition. These are all tools. Use what inspires you most.
  25. 6 points
    I think Mooer won't get another cent from me (I had some of their small pedals at one point)... Doing what they did with EHX and getting caught only means they're doing it for other things as well. There's too many honest companies making good products to justify supporting a company that's doing that sort of crap.
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