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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/20/2019 in all areas

  1. 10 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. 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.
  3. 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......
  4. 6 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.
  5. 6 points
    Here's how this generally goes. About 3 - 6 months after any update there is a "when's the next update" rumble on the forums. It kind of comes and goes like the tide for awhile UNTIL the "I heard there's one coming shortly" rumors. Then comes the what they should and shouldn't include along with the "this is what I heard" and "it should be coming come out......" speculation. That whole noise floor keeps rising and rising along with the "what's taking so long" posts until people start to think they can't take all of this waiting anymore. Now a couple of "I'm a beta tester and we're still testing" posts......... Then the big "an update is coming announcement". Then the "anyone heard anything about when?" and/or "what's taking so long?" posts. THEN!!!!!!..............the update finally comes. At this point the "it's been two hours where's the next update" jokes (often from yours truly) and the "great work Line 6" posts start along with the "this sucks", "why didn't they...", "well you suck if you think this sucks", "well you suck if you don't think this sucks", "are there any new factory patches?" etc. etc. posts. Finally it settles down until about 3-6 months after that. Go back to start. Did I miss anything? As far as Line 6 saying anything officially. There's no pattern really. Maybe a "one is in the pipe" post (that has happened obviously) and a semi official "we're close" post about a week or two before it finally comes out (that has not happened yet). The last official timeline given was sometime in the spring which ends in June. So no one will hear about anything until a Line 6 peep says something. Then we'll all have heard it.
  6. 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
  7. 5 points
    Sorry ,but can't help but be other than hugely impressed by the fact that you did a 5 hour gig in the hot sunshine , i'd have given up way before the Helix.:-)
  8. 5 points
    Ear fatigue is one thing... that'll happen even at low to moderate volumes if the session lasts long enough. But actual pain is something else entirely. I don't care how "uninspiring" you find sane, moderate volumes...if you're playing so loud that it actually hurts, then you are doing irreparable damage to your hearing. That damage is cumulative, and you will not get it back. How inspiring do you suppose it is to go deaf? Turn it down... And just in case this comes across as a public service announcement, I did plenty of damage to my own ears in my teens and early 20's. By the time I was 25, I started getting tinnitus. After a rather stern warning from a hearing specialist, I started wearing custom fit, flat response earplugs at every gig and show I attend. No exceptions. 20+ years later, and in a quiet enough room, I can still hear some ringing to this day. I was stupid.... you don't have to be.
  9. 5 points
    I've heard that happens... what's it like? ;)
  10. 5 points
    Apologies for the click bait title, I promise you that this is not click bait. Let me in good faith say up front that it is incredibly good, and therefore nobody ever needs to click the video. If you’re still here.... I have owned my Deluxe memory man since 2004, and I know it very well. I haven’t seen a comparison anywhere before so I decided to do one myself. If you want to hear just how accurate the model is to the real deal have a listen. I think anyone would be impressed. https://youtu.be/_ZLPTCT8zDs
  11. 4 points
    Well I have... and now that I think about it, that damned mower has never had an update of any kind. I'm outraged! Anybody got John Deere's customer service #? I'm gonna give them a piece of my mind...;)
  12. 4 points
    Line 6 said we would have 2.8 sometime this Spring. We are 1/3 of the way through Spring. There are two months left in Spring. I haven't even mowed my lawn yet this year. There is still a chance of frost. Spring isn't even half way over yet. Spring began on March 21. Spring ends on June 21. On June 22nd I might make an angry post if we don't have 2..8 yet. But for now - since it's still the beginning of Spring, the sun is starting to shine longer, and the flowers and bunnies are popping up everywhere - I am happy. Stop trying to bring us all down with your nonsense.
  13. 4 points
    My free $hit isn't here yet, and I demand ANSWERS! I have absolutely no patience, and I approve this message. (paid for by the Who Needs QC? Deliver Tomorrow Yesterday PAC)
  14. 4 points
    It may have but he really didn't go into the setup of the output with the Fractal i.e. into 4cm, into FRFR speaker, though IEMs or stage monitors. How exactly did he "match" that sound exactly? Nor was he very specific about how he got the sound. We just have to take his word for it and bow in homage to his expertise. You have to excuse me but I've been around these kind of guys since the '70s so I tend to be a bit skeptical about their broad "expert" statements and their overrating of their ability to distinguish differences due to their "golden ears" that us common folk just simply don't have. The most telling statement was when he gushed all over about the sound of a good tube amp over any modeler as if that's the sound he's presenting to the audience. When most of us know what he's presenting to the audience is a mic capture of that sound, not the tube amp sound, but he assumes we're all to stupid to understand that. And if he loses the modeled sound in the mix there's a big problem with either his skills at the board or his skills at the modeler..or both. My opinion is that since the late 90's and especially over the past few years technology leaps not only in modeling but in many other instruments and technical leaps in sound reinforcement gear have made the "magic" and value they used to provide accessible to everyday musicians, so they're desperate to prove they've still got some value to offer. Case in point, these guys absolutely despise some of the new digital mixers that have advanced features like auto feedback detection and correction, auto room acoustic measurement and EQ setting, auto gain staging, and auto conference volume management. Things that they could only do are now done automatically for anyone that can push a button. Their response is always, "it's not as good as when it's done by trained ear, even if you poor schmucks can't hear the difference".
  15. 4 points
  16. 4 points
    Here's the solution to all your amp modelling issues!!!!
  17. 4 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
  18. 4 points
    Rumor has it that the 2.8 firmware update will finally include a retractable awning.... ;)
  19. 4 points
    I sold my Helix and my wife's car and bought the 194 real stomp boxes. Now I can't afford to buy the 74 amps. I think I may have made a mistake.
  20. 3 points
    From what I am seeing in other posts this is all about getting Native properly authorized with Line6. Make sure you have a proper internet connection and a registered copy of Native tied to your account first and then deauthorize/reauthorize Native. You can do that by clicking on the gear icon or your username in the bottom left hand corner of the Native screen. Bring up the Authorize/Deauthorize dialog box and re-authorize Native.
  21. 3 points
    I'm late to the party, but here's what I think you should do. First, you're setting up a home studio, and have grand aspirations but no grand design. Dump the 2i2 and the mixer. Get an 18i20. This replaces the mixer and the 212. There are other brands, but that's what I'm familiar with, and what the following suggestions are based on. You don't need the MIDI interface either. If you need a boatload of MIDI ports, get a MIDI Solutions MIDI Hub. Don't try to mix everything thru the Katana. Why do you even need a Katana, you have a Helix! For straight guitar, any modern FRFR speaker will sound better with the Helix than the Katana. I had one. I sold it. Get some studio monitors, at least 6". Even if you run everything thru a home stereo system it's better than the Katana. With the above configuration, you can record EVERYBODY, from separate inputs, on separate tracks, including the members you haven't hired yet. EVERYBODY can have their own CUSTOM headphone mix (yes, that's EASY to set up with the 18i20). Now to the computer. You need AT LEAST a current gen i5 with 16gb memory and ssd drives. Plug the Helix and the 18i20 into the COMPUTER, NOT A HUB!!!!! If it's a desktop, use the REAR USB PORTS! The front ports are most likely a HUB! Dump Sonar, it sucks. It was my first DAW, and it pains me to say that, but Bandlab hasn't fixed it's core problems. Get Reaper. For 65 bucks it'll allow you to fully maximize ALL of the above equipment, it's very dependable and does pretty much everything any modern DAW does, and better than many much more expensive DAWs. "But it's not ProTools!" ProTools sucks. Expensively. Get Reaper. Lastly, save us all a lot of time. Don't just say "I have a car!" Tell us if it's a Prius or a Lotus. It makes a difference when we try to make suggestions. I'm cranky today. My coffee hasn't kicked in yet. I need to go chase some kids off my lawn......
  22. 3 points
    In Modeler land that's the equivalent of turning an amp on with whatever settings it is already on at a music store through a no-name cab and then wondering why it doesn't sound great, lol. I appreciate a lot of the knowledge available on the internet, but sometimes people need to admit when they're making assumptions of speaking outside of their knowledge base. The accurate thing would have been "We weren't really sure what we were doing and we only had a few minutes to do it. When we hooked it up and solo'd it we thought it sounded the same, but since it got buried in the mix with band we must have missed something."
  23. 3 points
    Most of you are familiar with Helix snapshot and stomp modes. Snapshots can store up to 64 parameters and block bypass states, and a patch can have up to 8 snapshots. This is a great way to make big patch configuration changes in the middle of a song. I use snapshots for Variax open tunings, quick acoustic guitar configuration in an otherwise electric patch, switching in a post amp Leslie, changing a patch for a different guitar, etc. Stomp switches can control up to 8 things, block states, or parameter min/max values. You can configure Helix to support 10 stomp foot switches. So why would you use stomp vs snapshots since there's some overlap in their capabilities? Snapshots' big advantage is the number of parameters they can control, and that they can set the specific values of those parameters. However stomp switches have a couple of big advantages over snapshots you might want to consider when configuring your patches. First there can be 10 stomp foot switches, but only 8 snapshot foot switches. That might not seem like much, but my patches use all 10 of those foot switches all the time. The biggest advantage of stomp foot switches though is that they can be combined. Any of the 10 foot switches can be on or off allowing you to layer sounds on top of sounds. You could for example turn on a distortion block at the start of a solo, add another distortion block or boost party way through the solo, add an octavia, and/or Uni-Vibe, all by just turning foot switches on and off. But you can do more than that. A foot switch could be used to "channel switch" and amp by changing the min to max drive, turning down the bass and presence, lowering the high-cut on the cab or IR block, etc. Then you can turn on a distortion block with the the channel switch on or off to get different distortion levels and voicings, all while having all your other effects directly available on other foot switches. You can also combine these two approaches. Switch to snapshot mode to select the desired snapshot, then switch back to stomp mode to use foot switches to control things within the snapshot. That takes some tap dancing on the Mode switch, but its something that with a little practice and good shoes isn't too difficult. Ultimately Helix provides three levels of tone configuration: patches, snapshots within a patch, and foot switches to control thing within a snapshot. You can think about this in terms of patches for songs, snapshots for sections of songs, and foot switches for changing things within the section. This highlights the simplicity and flexibility of Helix for live performance.
  24. 3 points
    You're welcome to put the "Helix Twilight Zone" theme together using the "Strange Noise" clip a sample for the backing track. - go for it! Hi arislaf, I didn't know about the ripple effect in the US Small Tweed or that it was an issue - I just loaded it up and you are correct. When it's turned up it goes crazy, although it is actually mentioned in the Helix Owner's Manual. On page 27, under the section named "Common Amp Settings" it states for Hum and Ripple - "Controls how much heater hum and AC ripple interacts with your tone. At higher settings, things get freaky." Damn right they do. These effects of ripple and hum are also noted on the helixhelp website where there is a link to an article about "The Strange Effects of AC Ripple on a Class AB Power Amp". One for the mad scientists to read I think. https://helixhelp.com/models/amps/ It appears that a lot of this stuff is already known by Line 6, I mean they even have all those extra knobs for some amps – "If an amp has a small number of knobs, then we will invent the knobs in a way that makes the most sense to us." Seems reasonable - although sometime I forget! Also, must say thanks to Jason Shimkoski who put together the helixhelp.com site - an amazing resource - sometime I forget that it's there!
  25. 3 points
    Even if you find something with tolerable latency, you couldn't pay me to rely on BT connections for live performance...way too prone to drop outs. Half the time my damn phone can't stay connected for passive music listening in the car. There are already a thousand ways to have "Spinal Tap" moments on stage without bringing it on yourself.
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