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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/27/2021 in Posts

  1. 3 points
    You mean the way that the latest Fractal product came with a Bluetooth feature that worked with a smartphone to edi-- Uh... never mind... oh yeah, it didn't... Honestly, editing from a phone is an amateur feature more than a pro feature, and Helix is pro gear.
  2. 2 points
    Yep, that’s the way l patch in my Ditto x4, or any other external looper, or FX pedal. Works a treat, because that’s the way it was designed, ease of use.
  3. 2 points
    The press and turn the knob thing has been part of snapshots pretty much since they first appeared. Definitely a great method if you are working directly on your device. Discovered this one too for HX Edit. Shortcut: In HX Edit, highlight any parameter by clicking on its value or title and hit the letter "S" once and it will be assigned to snapshots. Hit "S" a second time and it will unassign that parameter from snapshots. Handy shortcut and I find it faster than right-clicking the parameter and selecting 'Snapshot' from the bottom of the pulldown(should be at the first or second position in the pulldown IMHO). Occurs to me that if they added a Shift-Select and Ctrl-Select ability to HX Edit such that you could select multiple parameters on a block at one time, assigning them to snapshots could be done in a single keystroke.
  4. 2 points
    Fellow Helix junkies, I just got my Yamaha Fc7 pedal to work with the Helix :) I replace the 50k with the 10k. Easy to do but the hard part was finding the 10k that was the same as the 50k Yamaha used. The fc7 from Yamaha is one of the best controller/volume pedals ever made. Simple, smooth, tank, smart, links together, position adjustable. I think you can see I like them lol. And cheep on E/Bay. Here is the part number if anyone else want to give it a try. * www.futurlec.com * part # pot10kbshaftd 10k Linear taper pot with d-type shaft. $.70. & $4.00 shipping. I grabbed 4 of them. a wapping $6.80. So for $0.70 cents and a used $20 pedal you can create a awesome controller for your helix. Also the size and shape is a perfect match for the helix. One note you will want to revers the polarity so toe is 100% and heal is 0%. Meaning if you install the new pot using the same wiring as the old one it will work backwards. Not a biggie you can correct the in the helix assignment. But it is better to just revers the polarity when you put in the new pot. Thinking of adding a toe switch to it. I think it will be a very simple mode because the fc7 has a toe spring adjustment. It was done to allow the pedal to go to eleven. Kind of like an after/touch for the DX7/fd keyboard that I still have. Doesn't effect the 0 to 100. But will allow for the extra movement to toggle a standard button switch. Time will tell. All the best, stay safe, Because of all the extra practice we have been doing because of covid. Just think how awesome we all will be at our next gigs. Joey
  5. 2 points
    If you need new and more, every other year, you should buy a new 2021 smartphone with Amplitube, or BiasFX. Professional audio equipment is a different market, thanks god (and still needs cables).
  6. 1 point
    The mic distance influences volume - just like in real life.
  7. 1 point
    Did you troubleshoot in a DAW with the helix as soundcard recording input 1/2 and watching the meters there? That would effectively bypass all analog stages except input. If the L/R levels are matched there but not when going to your analog mixer something in the analog domain might be pthe problem
  8. 1 point
    As far as I'm aware the only difference as between preamp and full amp models is that the latter has wider parameter control and hence use up more DSP than the preamp.
  9. 1 point
    If the Helix can host the software and operate in full function a browser editor would be dope, IMO. Definitely no Bluetooth, though. Bluetooth is a just fine audio transmission protocol for non-critical listening, but its bad for data or HQ audio. I'd like to see something along the lines of the cloud features coming to the Quad Cortex without the requirement of the cloud. Like if you come up with something cool at a rehearsal or a sound check you could hotspot off your phone or the locations' wi fi and upload your patch to your account and pull it down somewhere else. Or full backups via cloud so if you had to replace a unit you wouldn't have to be at your computer to restore your presets and IRs.
  10. 1 point
    You might also consider the Pod Go. Not as powerful or flexible as the Stomp, but has the same amp modeling with a couple of exceptions. And cheaper.
  11. 1 point
  12. 1 point
    Connecting via Wi-Fi is a great solution and I hope it is included in the next generation. Just as long as they include Ethernet or USB connectivity as well. Not exactly analogous but I can attest that having run sound on mixing boards with Wi-Fi you want at least the option to have a hard wired connection available for when the Wi-Fi decides to drop or your tablet starts misbehaving right before a mic starts feeding back. Getting past OS and USB issues would be a big win although Wi-Fi doesn't guarantee side-stepping problems with new versions of operating systems. Soundcraft mixing boards like the "Ui24r" found an interesting way to circumvent OS issues by having their remote app run within a browser using Wi-Fi. Don't know whether or not that approach would transfer data quickly enough to serve as an editor/interface for HX devices.
  13. 1 point
    The Stomp XL is obviously the next evolution of the Helix series. However what about us Variax users? What---no Variax input on the XL?!! The 'hit' on the regular stomp on Variax was that it was too small and not powerful enough for a Variax input. I would have thought the XL would have taken care of that. Beginning to think that Line 6 is forgetting about integrating Variax into future products. Not good, its a great versatile axe that should be part of the Helix evolution.
  14. 1 point
    Being a regular occurrence, I'd open service ticket and see what they tell you. Whatever the cause, it ain't normal...
  15. 1 point
    Line 6 provided a 7C template. Look in templates folder. You need a FX loop in/out block. This is how I set it up the cables: Guitar in> Helix Send Right>Amp 1 Input(front of Amp)>Amp 1 FX Loop Send(back of Amp)>Helix Return Right>Helix Main Out>Amp 1 FX Loop Return(back of amp). Repeat same for left side. I also sent Helix XLR out to a pair of studio monitors. I set patch like this: Set line 1 and line 2 inputs blocks both to guitar in>wah pedal>distortion pedal>noise gate>FX send/receive>amp model>cab>split block to line 1a for all modulation effects (chorus, delay, etc)>split block 1a return to line 1>compressor>parametric eq>output blocks set to multiple outputs On the 7C method template I used multi-outputs with right side panned right side 100% right and left panned 100% left. I am trying to achieve the following: send wah, distortion, Amp/cab models through my Marshall DSL40 preamp. Send modulation effects through amplifier phase only. I don't want delay, chorus, tremolo, Leslie speaker type effects being boosted by the preamp. That's why the Amp has an FX loop. I am using two Marshall DSL40's. My problem is I get unequal volume levels. The right side is fine. Left side is diminished. I took my Amp to a technician and found nothing wrong. I spoke with Helix customer service no solution. I called a Helix licensed repair tech. No one could solve this issue. One Marshall is like 7 years old the other was new last year. General consensus was a difference in the FX loop dsl processing in the older Marshall Amp compared to the new amp. I resolved the problem by boosting db's on left output block. Also note that the studio monitor left volume level was so low it was useless unless I cranked the volume on the studio monitor itself, however the problem only occurs on certain Amp models. When I use Fender Amp models I do not need to correct or boost the left side. It seems to be a problem mainly on the Marshall Amp blocks. Can't even use my studio monitors because switching between patches cause huge differences in volume. My personal opionion is Helix has a problem with various Amp models they are unwilling to acknowledge or fix.
  16. 1 point
    Ooooo. Thank you for that shortcut tip. Is there a list of shortcuts somewhere? I couldn't find one in the manual. One thing I do not like about things these days is more and more products will have functions that aren't well documented at all. It seems like it takes someone to accidentally discover something.
  17. 1 point
    Well, that's helpful, but more helpful for me is finding out from a comment there that press and turn a parameter sets that parameter to snapshots! That's mostly all I really want to do anyway: when I'm in a snapshot, change the parameter and have it stick. I just need to press it down while I turn! Awesome!
  18. 1 point
    Exactly what silverhead said above.. Early reflections parameter basically sets the volume level of the very first few milliseconds of the original room (where the cab has been miced) resonance, ie how much you want it to contribute to the amp/cab final sound.. You can clearly hear its effect on the final sound if you turn off the reverb in the chain and turn up the E.R. parameter. It is not a twin reverb specific parameter, actually it is available for each amp/cab included in the device. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ All about POD HD500/X help and useful tips
  19. 1 point
    That typically refers to ‘early reflections’ and applies to a cab model. This parameter models the reflections of sound waves in the room.
  20. 1 point
    Over on TGP there's a thread in the Digital and Modeling forum about the XL. In it, DI explained that the only reason that the XL exists is to satisfy the common complaint of "not enough footswitches", and that it wouldn't have happened at all if it hadn't been a cheap fix to that specific problem. It was not intended as a "New and Improved" Stomp except for more footswitches. FEAR NOT! They still love you!
  21. 1 point
    A few things that I've found that help: Finding a good all-arounder amp model for the music you play and using snapshots and controller assignments in stomp mode to modify gain, eq, ir, and volume to help reduce the amount of effects blocks eating up DSP. Using a Pre EQ before the amp block rather than a tightening overdrive, and modifying your own IR's and loading them into your Stomp rather than post-EQ blocks in your chain. Using one effect for two things like the 3 Band Comp for EQ+Comp or a Delay with a level parameter boosted for leads with delay
  22. 1 point
    What music are you playing? Do you need many stereo effects? If you play pop/rock or metal it's kinda different approaches IMO. If you play pop/rock you can just go with an amp you like and add a distortion pedal before it and have two different gain stages. If you play metal nothing is tight enough except boost pedal+amp gain and you cannot just turn off the boost to get clean enough. Just an example of differences in genres and how to prioritize differently. I've spent countless hours managing the dsp efficiently in the stomp. We are two guitar players sometimes with just one stomp which is rather challenging
  23. 1 point
  24. 1 point
    I haven’t checked your math so can’t say whether that’s accurate. But since you’re exploring so deeply, have you calculated the difference between using a pre-amp vs. a full amp (including power amp section) block? Don’t know whether or not you need the power amp section when going straight to FOH. ... but as cruisinon2 says..... beyond a certain point (which you’re already well past) your number crunching doesn’t mean much.
  25. 1 point
    The answer to all your questions is no, with one clarification. Using a second signal path will use more DSP if you add blocks to the path. But it’s not the added path that uses DSP - it’s the added blocks.
  26. 1 point
    This. Please keep bluetooth, ipads, iphones, iclouds, and all other obsolete-next-year toys far away from professional guitar gear.
  27. 1 point
    Not sure whether this would be a real hurdle, but it occurs to me that this raises an immediate technical issue: how (without using a mic) do you capture and emulate/model the sound of the ‘real’ cab? I could be totally oversimplifying and completely misunderstanding the modeling technology Line 6 uses but it seems to me that the heart of the technology is some sort of comparison: you capture a waveform of the sound of the ‘real thing’ and then your DSP software is designed to reproduce that waveform as closely as possible. Where does the waveform of the ‘real cab’ come from for comparison purposes if you don’t use a mic to capture it? Again, maybe I just haven’t had enough coffee yet.....
  28. 1 point
    So I have a Helix and am constantly amazed with what it can do in terms of emulation of amps and effects, but my sounds don't always sound as good as they could because, probably like most amateur guitarists, I don't change my strings very often. Then it occurred to me that with all of this processing power, how come there is not a "string cleaner" emulator that could make a guitar with old strings sound like new? I'm sure that every guitarist out there would appreciate this and it would save us a fortune at the same time. Come on Line6 - sort it out! Clean our strings for us! Ernie Ball might not thank you for it but the rest of us will. :-)
  29. 1 point
    I've heard that if you switch on the Helix while pressing all the footswitches simultaneously with the expression pedal in the toe-down position a magnetic field will be generated that deoxidizes the strings. Be sure to keep the guitar within six inches of the Helix for a minimum of 2-3 days. Works best with new strings.
  30. 1 point
    Agree, and it can depend onsettings in the PowerCab, such as the DB settings for speaker models. Finding a way of monitoring this without sitting on top of the PC+ was somethign I played with this weekend. In the end I took the analog send from the PC+ and calibrated the meters on my desk so I know when they hit the red so is the PC+. Took a bit of time to adjust the input trim to and understand the bits that impacted but should be worth it. As an observation, the XLR outputs direct from the Helix are a lot hotter than the L6 link to PC+ to XLR route even when the PC+ is peaking. I found myself bumping the speaker models from -15db to -8 db, and adjusting the desk trim from 0db to +8db. I'm pretty sure the FRFR setting was considerably hotter (but can't recall right now). Other peoples observations welcome.
  31. 1 point
    Ah yeah many class D amps, if they don't have large enough heatsinks to dissipate heat caused by using more watts, can overheat if they are played at max/high power for too long, so likely that's what you're experiencing... Built-in amps in the monitors are probably overheating... I was also thinking of mentioning FRFR, but they're just different beasts; anyway, some of his points might be argued (ex; can elevate FRFR), but, design-wise, a FRFR with a 2000 watt amp (made to play loud, live; like a PA speakers) vs studio monitors; which are designed more to be tonally accurate, maximize sound quality over quantity, etc., it's more about what you want/need. Not saying studio monitors are better, many here seem to absolutely love the headrush FRFR 108 and say they sound absolutely fantastic. (haven't heard the FRFR 108 myself) https://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/headrush-frfr-108-vs-studio-monitors-please-help-me-choose.152476/ So just depends what you're after. I remember a long time ago while researching music & HT speakers, many were recommending studio monitors as opposed to audiophile speakers for music: Save $ on 'overpriced' amps & get 'pro' gear which suffers less from audiofoolery & snakeoil BS like audiophile gear tends to have; no audiophile 'pricing'. So go the pro route by going studio monitors for sound quality imho good idea. Anyway, imho, for a more music or sound quality investment; studio monitors likely the way to go. For a guitar only with possible gigging, playing with band, etc., then yeah definitely go FRFR.
  32. 1 point
    S/PDIF is Inputs 9/10 in Ableton, probably same in BG.
  33. 1 point
    Good catch, I wouldn't have spotted that one.
  34. 1 point
    I have an excellent powered speaker for use with my Pod Go, which is the Headrush FRFR108. The quality, fullness bottom end and volume is staggering. The first time I plugged in, I simply could not get my head round that this huge, huge sound was coming from such a compact unit with a mere 8" speaker. These are under £200 each and I'm so impressed that once gigging and rehearsing start again, I'm buying a second without hesitation. These can be angled in different positions on the floor as a stage monitor, or mounted for PA projection. There is a 12" version too, the Headrush FRFR112, that are a more expensive, with the same 2000w power rating but these are around double the size and weight of the FRFR108. When gigging, I put my MFX straight through the main PA so I'd only need one as a monitor for me, but I could position a second one for others in the band at a different volume level or send it to the audience if the PA was limited. Staggeringly good, I'd recommend these without hesitation for home or gigging.
  35. 1 point
    Native has hardware DSP modes. You can set it to HX Stomp mode and it won't let you use mode DSP than the actual HW allows.
  36. 1 point
    If you have a DAW and audio interface, I suggest doing a 15-day free trial of Helix Native, which contains all of the effects found in a Stomp (or LT or Floor) within a plug-in. That way you can try the modules with your bass (assuming you have a DAW and an audio interface) and see if something works for you.
  37. 1 point
    I could't find a manual for it. If you know how to program it, and it can send Toggling CCs, you should be good.
  38. 1 point
    I've looked long and hard for a forum or review comparing the actual sound of the Powercab 212+ to the 112+, haven't been able to find much, so I thought I'd share my experience. I'm a helix user, play a variety from Grohl to Gilmour to Mayer. I have an 80's American Strat and a 2012 339. I'm coming off a Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special 1x12, which I love but children have made it impossible for me to turn it on. I really like the Helix, and I like the built in Cabs but they are just missing a particular je ne sais qoi that's hard to describe, but for me it comes down to low end punch. Funny a $3k Mesa Boogie just sounds better than reference monitors or headphones. The Lonestar is a particularly low end - punch in the gut - amp, and I like that. I play in my studio and not live and perhaps that's why I don't understand why anyone these mid-range infested "speaker sims" in Powercab. In my studio they sound like crap when compared to even the free Alure IRs, let alone some of the others. Enough background. I read a lot of great things about Powercab coupled with Helix and I wanted to have a $800 speaker that could compete with my Mesa, so I bought a 112+ used to try it out. It's good. It's still a closed back 12" speaker cabinet though so it was really missing the low-end punch that I was hoping for, and was used to compared to my Mesa. Even the Lonestar modeled through the Powercab 112+ sounds good, but it leaves me wanting more... And the low-end punch is nowhere close to the real thing in straight A/B tests, even after a lot of menu diving. I also found myself wanting the Stereo routing that comes with two 112+s or a single 212+ for plugging into my board / DAW, so I was considering buying another 112+, but I was nervous that wouldn't solve this lack of low-end punch issue that I had... So, I bought a 212+ used, just to see if the bass port at the back + the two speakers would give me the missing punchy bass. I can happily report that the 212+ nails it. WAY fuller sound, WAY more low end, tight, controlled bass. I actually find myself preferring it to my Lonestar Special that I've been so reluctant to sell over all these years. AND you can pull off really good sound at low volumes (both models, but the lighter bass of the 112+ rolls off to a higher degree at lower volumes). I now have a 112+ and a Lonestar Special for sale. Way too much gear over here, but I've found my zen in the 212+, zen that I couldn't find in the 112+. Long story short - if you're wondering if there is a 'same-volume' sound difference between the 112+ vs 212+, there is - it's actually a BIG difference, IMO, particularly on the low end. I know, I know - it's a 2x12 cabinet what did you expect... I'm just trying to fill the void of missing information on this topic for the next person trying to 'forum' their way through this riddle, pre-purchase. If you have the cash, go 212+ all day long... If not, I've got your 112+ sitting here waiting for you... Cheers,
  39. 1 point
    +1 I suggest there is some editing needed in this area of the TIPS section on page 29 in the HX LT v3.0 Owners Manual. Awhile back I read a topic here where someone brought our attention to the next paragraph in this section of the last manual: Powercab Plus users can also utilize the IR and Reverb options available on the Powercab, thereby alleviating the need to add IR or Reverb blocks within their Helix LT presets! As pointed out in the thread I referred to and as a Powercab+ user...there is no REVERB in the Powercab. So, whoever wrote the copy for this part of the manual messed up 2 points and it didn't get caught by proof readers and still hasn't been corrected by Line 6. Not a big deal IMHO.
  40. 1 point
    If you're trying to do it on the main unit, go to save it like you would any preset, but before you do the final press you can twist the knob to select a different save location. This effectively copies the preset.
  41. 1 point
    Here is my setup using two Marshall Silver Jubilee's with the 7CM. Path 1 is setup for FX Loop 1 and Path 2 is setup for FX Loop 2. If you want to run your effects in stereo, make your Path 1 output PAN LEFT and your Path 2 output PAN RIGHT. This setup works great for me. Just remember that any effects before the FX Loops will be processed in mono regardless if you choose stereo effects or not. No sense wasting the DSP processing power for non-time based effects. I also assign a stomp button for each effect in both paths. In other words, If I select my Delay, it will enable/disable that effect in both paths simultaneously. This should work the same on both the Helix and the HX Effects. Hope this helps you. 4 Cable Method (4CM) Cable #1 Guitar to Helix/HX Effects Guitar In Cable #2 Helix/HX Effects FX Send Loop 1 to Amp #1 Main Input Cable #3 Amp #1 FX Send Loop to Helix/HX Effects FX Return Loop 1 Cable #4 Helix/HX Effects 1/4" Left (mono) Out to Amp #1 FX Return Loop 7 Cable Method (7CM) Cable #5 Helix/HX Effects FX Send Loop 2 to Amp #2 Main Input Cable #6 Amp #2 FX Send Loop to Helix/HX Effects FX Return Loop 2 Cable #7 Helix/HX Effects 1/4" Right Out to Amp #2 FX Return Loop
  42. 1 point
    Still haven't gotten any response from Line6. However, I've made some progress. Putting this out there for anyone else searching for assistance. The FX Loop block in your signal chain must be changed to stereo. I can't figure out how to change the FX Loop block to stereo using only the controls on the HX Effects device. I've gone through the manual and can't find instructions for this change. It's probably there, but it's hidden; I couldn't find it. I tried all sorts of combinations of button pushes and knob twisting, but never was successful using only the HX Effects device to convert the FX Loop block to stereo. Download the HX Edit application from the Line6 website. In order to get the HX Edit application to work you'll first need to update the firmware on the HX Effects unit. The manual does a good job describing this process. Once you've updated the firmware and installed the HX Edit application, changing the the FX Loop block to stereo is easy. The FX Loop block has a drop down arrow with an option to change it to stereo. Finally, I'm still having some issues with the signal routing. Right now, I can only get the 7CM to work by putting the STEREO FX Loop block at the end of the signal chain. If I place it anywhere else in the signal chain, the preamp stage from amp#2 is bypassed and signal is routed directly to the poweramp section of amp#2. I'm not sure why. This is likely due to my limitations in understanding the signal flow. 'm going to mess with this again later and see if I can get better results. If I learn something new, or get some feedback friom Line6, I'll edit this post. I guess not many folks are running a stereo setup. Finding information on these issues has been difficult. I specifically bought the HX Effects to ease the setup for my stereo rig. I had higher expectations from a documentation standpoint.
  43. 1 point
    Try the following: 1. Turn off the POD 2. Turn on the POD while holding down the Save and Edit buttons simultaneously 3. The POD's LCD screen should display Init Edit Buffer 4. Push the Output mode button 5. Turn the Select / Select Page knob one click to the right 6. Turn the Effect Tweak / Change Value knob to the left or right adjusting the contrast. Another options is: Q: How do I reflash in "safe mode"? A: Safe mode can be used when a unit cannot be reflashed using the normal reflash procedure. Hold the first of the four black soft buttons under the main LCD screen as you power on the PODxt. Then re-install the flash memory usinf Line6 Monkey. Make sure you're using a USB 2.0 port. It won't work with a USB 1.1 port. Dave www.daveshomestudio.com
  44. 1 point
    I have to say this out loud (and I'm pretty sure I'm not the first), but this whole "No you can't reset your Pod XT Live without computer" is probably the most stupid thing a manufacturer can do... Also the fact that the gear itself is great but the L6 softwares which for whatever reason come in multiple different ones when you could add every single thing to one, GOOD software, is a brain fart probably equivalent to President Trump's worst decisions.... I'm trying to make my Win7 computer to talk with my Pod XT LIve, but noooooo, the newest drivers which I have run several times don't seem to make that Line6 Monkey happy, so I could update the USB firmware (as Monkey won't find my REGISTERED gear), so I could make the flash memory update. UTTER BOLLOCKS!
  45. 1 point
    I run into the Aux In on my new Spider V 240 and it sounds great!!! I run a LiveWire dual mono 1/4" to stereo 1/8" cable and it works like a charm. I have an Alto TS210 as well and like the Spider much better. The Alto is way too boomy and bassy. The Spider sounds great and gives more of a guitar amp 'feel' to the tone. It would've been nice if they could have made it a 1/4" Aux In, but whatever. And now I can use the Spider as my backup if needed due to the stereo XLR outs. Personally, I think using the Helix in conjunction with the Spider V is one of Line 6's unintended best kept secrets!
  46. 1 point
    (Reposted from the Gear Page for easier reference) I apologize, this ended up being kind of long... Before I dive into the review proper, let me take a minute to provide some background on who I am so you can understand where I'm coming from. I have been playing guitar for about 13 years or so (gigging for about 8 years) and in that time I have been through a lot of gear in my quest for "the tone." I started with a Gibson The Paul and a Crate something or other solid state combo, eventually swapped amps for a Blues Jr, then a Vox Night Train (both of those amps I ended up modding), Orange Thunder 30, Mesa/Boogie Roadster, Orange Rockerverb 50 combo, and finally Orange Rockerverb 100. I've also got a Vox AC4 and a Fender Greta, but I am selling those... I've also been through several cabs, but the rig I have settled on is the Roadster through an Orange PPC212OB. Easily my favorite analog rig, though I will never get rid of my Rockerverb, either. I've also been through quite a few guitars - after the Gibson came a G&L Legacy, then a Deluxe Strat, Music Man Luke 3, PRS Custom 24, a guitar I built including custom pickups, and a standard Strat with a rosewood neck (to match the Luke, PRS, and custom guitar). I rock a PT-Pro pedal board and have easily at least 20 pedals to choose from, including both custom-made, modified, discontinued, and limited-edition pedals. I have also tried out several modeling solutions, from the Line 6 M-series of stompbox modelers (I actually have a very in-depth demo series on YouTube for those) to their HD500 as well as PC solutions like Amplitube, Guitar Rig, and Studio One. The point I am trying to make is that I consider myself a bit of a tone snob. I endlessly tweak the knobs on my Roadster in an attempt to get everything "just right" and routinely mark up my pedals so that I can reset the knobs after they get moved in transit. This is basically where modeling comes in for me. My dream has always been (and if you look at my posting history you can verify this) to have a rig where everything is controlled by presets. I HATE the idea that one of my amp's knobs might shift in transport. All those months of tweaking ruined! To that end, my latest endeavor was to move my pedals to a rack using a series of Source Audio products that aren't actually available yet to control the entire thing. My Source Audio pedals can store presets and the ones that can't could either be MIDI controlled (Whammy) or switched remotely. Having the pedals in a rack would keep the knobs from moving, meaning that my settings would remain consistent from one show to the next. As you might imagine, the idea of a modeler is thus very appealing to me, however I have been sorely disappointed in the past and could never quite justify shelling out for an Axe-FX (which seems to be responsible for many of my favorite pro tones). I am about to move into an apartment with my fiancee which, as you might imagine, will make it very difficult to to rock out with my Roadster. Furthermore, we will still be using my mom's house as our practice space. As I will now be nearly an hour from there, the idea of having to go all the way out there to grab my gear for a show that may be in the total opposite direction is not very appealing and I don't really have room in the apartment to just store my ridiculous rig. So this seemed like a perfect reason to revisit modeling. Enter the Helix (and I'm very sorry it took so long to get here). I actually thought, after much research (i.e. looking up opinions online) that Fractal's AX-8 would be the way to go for me, since the Axe-FX seems to be what all the cool kids are using, but on the advice on someone on this board, I figured I might as well pick up a Helix and give it a test drive while stuck on the AX-8 wait list. After all, the Helix is objectively cooler. Not only is it far easier to program on the unit, but scribble strips! I always make sure any setup I bring out live is "drunk proof," which is to say that it needs to be so easy to figure out that even when I am drunk and half asleep I can still figure out what button to push. Scribble strips are the perfect solution for that. Time to solo? Hit the solo button! Idiotically simple. So anyway, I ordered a Helix expecting it to not be great (after my experience with the HD500) but willing to give it a shot anyway. On first opening it, it is definitely very cool. I am a big technology nerd, so as you might imagine, all the screens and programmable lights really appeal to me. It's also really solidly built. Supposedly people have had issues with the footswitches on older Line 6 modelers, but I can't see that being a problem here. All the hardware is really nice. So I sat down and played through the presets, as I'm sure most people would, and came away really impressed. This was definitely not the HD500 that had so disappointed me before. So far, so good. The next step, since I had a show the next week, was to really dive in and program all the sounds I would need. This is also a really good way to truly test the capabilities of the unit, especially since I wanted to be able to do some fairly complex switching (like I said, gotta make it drunk proof). Just for reference, here is one of the more complicated presets I wanted to set up (though other songs became more complicated as I realized I was no longer limited to the capabilities of an analog rig): Intro - Rectifier with delay, reverb, and volume pedal for swells Verse/chorus - Rectifier with reverb Solo - Rectifier with volume boost, 5th up harmony, delay, and reverb Outro - Rectifier with 5th up harmony and reverb Remember, since I am making things drunk proof, that means I need to be able to do these switches with one pedal. So in our example, that meant setting up an A/B split to keep all the solo stuff on one path, but also having to set up a second harmony effect and a second delay effect because it is not possible to assign the same effect to multiple switches. Since I want harmony without delay, that means I need those to be on separate switches, but since I also want to be able to turn both on with one switch... anyway, you see how it becomes complicated. But what's the point of having a fancy modeler if you're just going to use it like a regular pedal board? Boring. Here are some thing I discovered along the way (good and bad). First, it really is amazingly simple to program, however, I got the floorboard model (all-in-one unit) and it does get a little tiring sitting on the floor hunched over trying to set everything up. I believe they are working on editor software that will help with this problem, but in the meantime, I suppose I could also just put it up on a table while working on patches. One thing that is not always straightforward, though, is renaming those scribble strips. In the manual, it says that is done in the Footswitch Assign menu, however it turns out that is only true if the thing assigned is a block's bypass function. If, say, the only things assigned to that pedal are parameters (for example, a solo boost that increases the gain and master volume), you have to go in to the Command Center, select the switch, and rename it there. Once you know it works that way, it's not terribly difficult, but I feel it would be far easier to just make it an option when you touch and hold a switch. Navigating is mostly done with the joystick, which generally works fine, but I do think a separate set of arrow buttons would have been better. It can be tricky to navigate left/right/up/down without also turning the knob. However, I think Line 6 anticipated this and seems to have set it so that if you do turn the knob while trying to navigate, the knob portion seems to deactivate so you don't accidentally alter a parameter. The last quirk, and this is a bit of an oddity, is that when you split your path, the unit decreases the the output of each path by what seems to be 3 dB. This makes sense if you are running a Y-split, i.e. running both routes at the same time, but when you switch to an A/B split with the intention of toggling between the two, your total output volume is reduced. Confusingly, the merge block shows the output as 0 dB, i.e. no change. I have found that increasing it to + 3 dB mitigates the automatic volume drop. Hopefully Line 6 will fix this behavior in a future update as it is not very obvious what is going on. Moving past the operation of the unit, let's talk about tones. The first thing you are likely to do is figure out what amp you want on the preset. For most people, I suspect the natural thing to do is to pick one of the Amp+cab settings since that puts everything conveniently on one block. However, I would caution against doing that. For one, it will help with your DSP resources to be able to move the cab to the second path. More importantly, placing effects between the amp and the cab is crucial to getting things to sound "real." When you set up a reverb, putting it after the cab gets you a big stereo delay, but it sounds tacked on. If you put it before the cab, it becomes mono, sure, but it also sounds like it's coming from the amp. It becomes part of the tone instead of an afterthought. Similarly, when working with harmonies, this allows the cab to filter out some of the harsh overtones that come from shifting up distorted notes. Speaking of cabs, I generally find the built in ones require a bit of tweaking before they start sounding more believable. When setting up my Rectifier tones, I was initially a bit disappointed. It definitely sounded like a Rectifier, but there was a lot of harsh fizziness, some extra top end that just isn't there in a real rig. What I discovered is that, for some reason, the Helix's cabs are putting out frequencies that real guitar speakers just don't. For example, a Vintage 30 starts rolling off frequencies around 14 kHz. So does an SM-57, but the model for that mic seems unnaturally bright. I found that moving the high cut for the cabs down to 14 kHz and the low cut up to about 90 Hz really made the frequency response a lot more realistic. I also brought the early reflections up to about 20% and that fixed a lot of my issues (we'll talk more about the cabs later). The amps are probably the most critical feature of this unit and I really have to commend Line 6 for those. While they may not perfectly replicate the real thing (for example, a real Rectifier has like a thousand different modes), they get really, really close. One crucial aspect where most modelers have suffered is in feel, and these amps just FEEL real. They respond exactly like I'd expect them to. The tweed model is just as nasty as the tweed mode on my Roadster. The Rectifier chugs, the tweeds growl, the Soldano wails... everything is just right. My only sort of gripe is that I don't think the tone controls respond exactly like the real ones, which is to say that one would think that I could theoretically match my real Rectifier's settings to the ones here and get the same results, but that simply isn't the case. Nitpicks aside, I really have nothing bad to say about the amps. A+ work, guys. I am a little disappointed that there isn't a Rockerverb model, though... Effects are going to be the next big thing for most users, and I think that there is overall a pretty good selection, but in some ways there is a lot of room for improvement. I have found the tape delay to be absolutely superb in every way, and that's coming from something of a delay snob - my two delays are a Way Huge Echopuss (limited edition version!) and a Source Audio Nemesis. But the tape delay is really that good. I haven't even bothered with any of the others, there's just no reason to. I am happy to say that the modulation effects are very flexible and Line 6 was kind enough to add wet/dry mix controls to pedals that don't originally have them, meaning I can dial in just the right amount of Phase 90. The harmonizer works really well and the Whammy tracks nicely, the wahs all seem wah-like (I'm not much on wahs, so I can't comment on that), and the compressors offer some really great options on both ends of the spectrum - super squish or super transparency. The problem for me is in the distortion section. Fans of overdrives and distortions will likely not be disappointed as there is a plethora of options to choose from, but there is a pretty poor selection of fuzz boxes. Yes, we have the staples like Big Muff, Fuzz Factory, Fuzz Face, and Octavia, but that's it. As a Fuzz Factory owner, I can say that the model here is definitely reminiscent of the real thing, but it isn't really the same. I don't think that will surprise anyone, as the Fuzz Factory really has to be plugged directly into a passive guitar to work properly (how are you supposed to model that kind of interaction?), but just be aware that you won't be able to control the obnoxious squealing in the same way you would with the real thing. I really hope they expand the selection down the road. The Swollen Pickle, Malekko's B:Assmaster or Plus Ultra, Keeley's Fuzz Head, even some alternate Big Muff variations would all be welcome additions. In the meantime, it does at least have some effects loops where we can route our old analog fuzzes. So here's where we get to the big question: how is it in actual use? Is it a viable replacement for my expensive analog rig? The short answer is yes, the long answer is a little more complicated. My goal with the modeler was to be able to completely replace my entire rig. Instead of hauling a 100-watt head, 2x12, and giant pedal board in flight case to every show, I want to bring just the modeler and, if necessary, a powered speaker. Imagine being able to get my entire rig in the door in one trip! To that end, I would say that the Helix, as it comes out of the box, gets me about 80% of the way there. The shortage of fuzzes is definitely a factor, but not a deal breaker as I currently only need fuzz for one song. The big issue is the cabs. As mentioned earlier, they require a fair bit of tweaking to sound more real. At my first practice with the unit, after a week of tweaking my tones in headphones, suddenly everything became majorly bass heavy through the PA speaker (a QSC K10). That's when I started bringing in the low cut, which helped, but again, something was just off. The 57 model is too bright, the V30 doesn't have the same crunchy mids the real thing does, and everything was just so boomy. Fortunately, there is a solution: IRs. I downloaded Ownhammer's free sampling (conveniently just the cab I wanted) and the difference was incredible. Suddenly my Rectifier went from pretty close to nearly exactly what I was used to hearing! Gone was the boominess, the mids restored, the harsh highs smoothed out. I bought the 1x12 and 4x10 Fender cabs, too, and now I can honestly say the Helix gets me probably 99% of the way there. With IRs, it is a legitimate full rig replacement. I could even record with this thing, and I probably will. So let me close out with a short story. My bassist is the snobbiest tone snob I know. He was a skeptic the whole way and has tried to keep me away from modelers for years. He is constantly trying to get me to "upgrade" to a 4x12. His own rig, in it's ultimate form, is a dual-amp rig with an 8x10 and a 2x15. He has more pedals on his board than I do, including one of his three or four Russian Muffs (which, to his credit, do all sound slightly different), he owns the absurdly expensive D.A.M. Ezekiel, probably 7 slightly different Stingrays, and is having Ashdown build him a custom two-channel tube amp. Last night we played our first show since I bought the Helix at a small bar with not much in the way of a PA, so I had to bring the K10. After the show, I asked the guys what they thought, and, giving it probably the highest praise he is capable of, the bassist said, "I couldn't tell the difference." So well done, Line 6. But don't stop improving it, please :) Update 12/20/2016: I have now been using the Helix as my only piece of gear (outside of the guitar - which is now a Variax, BTW) for many months and can officially say that it is the best gear investment I have made. The fuzzes still need some improving, but some of the ones added since my original review - and further experimentation with Y splits when using with bass - have yielded "good enough" results, at least for live use. Line 6 has also added the Archon, easily the best sounding amp on the Helix IMO. I am still using IRs most of the time, though more out of a lack of desire to change things than anything. I also use the Helix as my entire bass rig and have since complimented it with a G10 wireless, which I also love. It has now been 9 months with the Helix and I find more to like about it all the time. Not only that, but it instilled a new confidence in Line 6 for me, so much so that my entire guitar rig is now Line 6 - Variax + Helix - and my bass rig is all Line 6 except the bass - Stingray + G10 + Helix. It has been a bit of a gateway drug for me. What it all boils down to, for me, is this: I COULD play my PRS US Custom 24 through my Mogami Platinum cable into a PT Pro equipped with a custom Fuzz Factory 7, Royal Beaver, Whammy DT, Orbital Modulator, Dimension Reverb, and Nemesis delay, going into my Mesa/Boogie Roadster head running into my Orange PPC212OB. These are all things I have already. But I have no DESIRE to. I have no NEED to. Line 6 has provided all I need and more in one little box, and that box is the Helix.
  47. 1 point
    All models of Spider V (30/60/120/240) have a 1/8" aux input that the manual says is for straight to the power amp connections. So yes you can connect a helix to a spider v. I would recommend a dual mono (L&R) 1/4" to single 1/8" stereo Y cable, and that should sort it out. Cheers Rowbi
  48. 1 point
    The problem is that when I try to mount (or open) this Gearbox 3.72.dmg it says "Image not recognized". So like what? :O I just downloaded it from Line6:s page.
  49. 1 point
    The solution is easy and doesn't require any additional computer, you can solve it directly in you own: Step 1: Mount your dmg file double clicking on it. Step 2: Open the mounted file (as shown in 1 in the pic), then right click on the file GearBox.mpkg (as shown in 2 in the pic) Step 3: Click in the option "Show the content of the file" (or something similar in english, my computer is in polish :) ) Step 4: You will see a folder called "Contents" ( red 1 in the pic), inside it some file and among them the folder "Packages", open it, then you will see the installator files, double click on GearBox.pkg (red 2 in the pic) and voilá! you can install the program in your brand new mac. Good luck and keep playing!
  50. 1 point
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