Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


amsdenj last won the day on April 7

amsdenj had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

451 Good


About amsdenj

  • Rank
    Power User

Profile Information

  • Registered Products

Recent Profile Visitors

907 profile views
  1. amsdenj

    Chris Buck tube screamer trick in Helix?

    Whether this works or not depends a lot on the amp and cab/IR model you're using. For example, it will almost always work well with a Fender style amp, but not as well with Marshall. The reason is that Scream808, Minotaur and similar TubeScreamer inspired pedals have quite a bit of bass cut and mid boost. This works well with Fender Starts and amps because they both have quit a bit of mid scoop. Mid scoop sounds good by itself, but can get muddy and piercing as your get loud enough to cut through the mix. A mid boost on the other hand is warmer and more vocal sounding. A TubeScreamer in front of a Super Reverb adds some of that warm mid boost back. Kinky Boost doesn't have that same amount of mid hump, so it could sound better depending on the amount of mid boost in the amp model. For example, Derailed Ingrid is a pretty mid focused amp. Kinky Boost works well in front of it, but Minotaur doesn't, there's a bit too much mid boost and not enough low end anymore. Another thing Chris Buck does is use a lot of overdrive pedals, none of which is clipping that much. Different ones have slightly more or less clipping, and might have the tone set to voice the distortion different. Then he stacks these to increase the saturation. This way no particular pedal is clipping that hard, keeping the buzzy high-end odd order harmonics down, while providing a lot of flexibility with different combinations of stacking.
  2. amsdenj

    Expression pedal bug

    The EXP Toe state is not being stored in the patch. It's effectively global. I hope this bug is fixed soon as it impacts all of my patches.
  3. amsdenj

    Problem with expression pedal after 2.80 update

    I think the problem is that the EXP Toe state isn't being saved in the patch - its essentially global, and always comes up with EXP 2 selected on power up. If you use the default Wah EXP 1 and Volume EXP 2, then this will work ok. But anything else will have problems.
  4. amsdenj

    powercab 112 vs guitar amps for wet/dry wet

    Powerecab+ will be way more flexible, especially if you need different speaker/IR options and acoustic patches.
  5. amsdenj

    While waiting for the “Second Spring” to arrive...

    Cerberus bass amp from Kaussa is fantastic. I would dearly love to have S-Gear amp models in Helix.
  6. Yes, but the JTV models are pretty nice instruments without the Variax models. I really hope Line6 allows hardware upgrades of existing JTV models when Variax HX is released.
  7. amsdenj

    "smooth distortion" like Morning Glory

    Most power amps (at least those that are push-pull) will do symmetric clipping and produce odd-order overtones. Pedals that put the clipping diodes in the feedback loop, and offer asymmetric clipping options (as Teemah! does) can produce clipping with more even order overtones that can sound a bit smoother. Amp models with drive can vary depending on how many preamp stages they have and how hard you clip them. But preamp distortion is typically asymmetric and will produce more even order harmonics with moderate clipping. But the biggest difference between pedals and amp clipping is the ability to control the tone after clipping. Typically you want to cut bass before clipping to reduce mud, and cut treble after clipping to reduce fizz and ice pick. Again this is what Teemah! does and why its a good choice. But with Helix you can control pre-clipping bass with the amp’s bass control, and post clipping with an EQ, or to save a block, just use high-cut on the cab or IR model. My goto patch has a Drive footswitch that changes bass, drive, channel volume, IR high cut and switches off the compressor. By using more extreme settings you can get an great clean/overdrive tone on HX stomp without using a distortion block. Anything that saves blocks on HX Stomp is a nice plus. The reason I set all these parameters on a footswitch instead of using snapshots is that snapshots can’t be combined, footswitches can. So if I also have an overdrive pedal in the patch, I can gain stage it with the drive pedal to get 4 different tones out of two footswitches.
  8. amsdenj

    Stereo rig options for Helix

    Before getting PC+, I used two JBL EON610s for gigging. They sounded good, but never inspiring, maybe a bit scooped and harsh. I found they didn’t cut through the mix well, no matter how loud I turned them up. PC+ fixed both of these issues. I’m now getting the midrange I was missing and people are saying they can finally hear me. But I can now pair up those EON610s with PC+ to make a real nice wet-dry-wet setup. Haven’t gigged with it yet. But I might.
  9. I have found there’s some sensitive in how the battery seats in the charger and the guitar. I had a case where I thought there was a charging problem, but the issue was I didn’t get the battery seated well enough in the charger.
  10. This is the kind of response that makes me love this forum. You get people like @jerseyboy who clearly knows a lot about things we care about and is willing to share. Thank you!
  11. amsdenj

    Line 6, amp modeler philosophy, How do you tweak your tones?

    A couple of good rules of thumb: 1) Something that sounds good quiet will likely sound as good or better louder (but watch out for too much mid scoop which doesn’t scale up as well). 2) Something that sounds good through speakers will likely sound good through headphones. What’s notable about these rules is that the opposite is generally not true. Something that sounds good loud might not sound good at all turned down. Something that sounds good through headphones might sound terrible through speakers. This means set your patches through the system you’re going to use live, focusing on the FOH FRFR tone. After all that’s who your playing for right? Your audience? And set them up at the lowest stage volume level you’re likely to play. Don’t worry too much about the difference between your FRFR and IEMs. In a live setting, with some bleed from the backline, you won’t notice tone subtleties in your IEMs. I use a Powercab+ as my backline for me to feel and to provide some acoustic feedback with the guitar. This also provides stage fill in small clubs where the dancers are up close to the band and don’t get that much of the mix in the PA. I have my own IEM mix which I control live through iPhone/iPad or computer. And I set the IEM level so that I can just barely hear it. The IEMs are really just backline fill for lost frequencies and ear plugs to tame the drums. I’m really focused on preserving my already damaged ears, and enjoying playing without doing further damage. Having the IEMs too loud can really tire you out and give you a false sense of what you’re delivering to your audience.
  12. amsdenj

    PowerCab break-in

    There’s probably some breakin period, probably 2 to 10 hours. But I wouldn’t worry about it. Just use it. That will do the breakin.
  13. amsdenj

    Am I the only one...... ?

    There are a lot of factors that contribute to good tone. But I think the most significant contributors are the things that touch the air: guitar, picks, strings, pickups on one end, and speaker and cabinet on the other. A tube amp in large part sounds the way it does because of the guitar cabinet in the room turned up loud. If you turn a tube amp down and use a lot of pedal or preamp distortion to get a low volume distorted sound, it won’t be the same. You, your guitar and your audience all respond differently to something that is loud. Modeling solutions like Helix provide a lot of flexibility with cab models, mic models and IRs along with a good FRFR to produce a wide range of pretty good tones. But if you want that traditional amp in the room sound and feel, you kind of have to use an amp in the room. Helix into PA speakers can sound pretty good, but it isn’t going to sound like an amp in the room. You can do this using Helix in front of, or in the effects loop of a traditional guitar amp. But that requires still carrying around that big guitar amp you’re trying to avoid, and it looses a lot of the flexibility you get with Helix. You can’t really play acoustic guitar tones through Helix into a traditional guitar amp. You could simplify things a bit using a power amp and traditional guitar cabinet. But that’s still big, heavy and somewhat complicated. I think the solution is Powercab+. I got one a while back and love it. I get the full flexibility of a JTV-69S Variax with Helix, while getting the amp in the room sound, look and feel. Powercab doesn’t feel like a compromise, it feels like an optimization. You get a relatively small, reasonably light weight powered cabinet that’s extremely easy to setup using Line6 Link. It starts with a good guitar speaker, and then extends it with EQ processing and a good tweeter rather than starting with a PA speaker and trying to shape a guitar tone with modeling. Its really a fantastic compliment to Helix. I used a couple of JBL EON610s with my Helix for live gigs for a couple of years. They sounded fine, the setup was simple enough, and I liked having the stereo. But I never got a really satisfying thick, fat, warm tone out of them, and I constantly had problems cutting though the mix, no matter how loud I turned them up. Since switching to Powercab+, I have no problem getting the tones and feel I’ve been missing and everyone says they can finally hear what I’m playing. I suspect part of the reason is I put the Powercab on an amp stand. Getting it off the floor helps too. I think Line6 has hit it out of the park with Helix and Powercab+. With this combination, they have optimized the whole guitar signal chain into a complete ecosystem that includes one of the more critical components - the cabinet and speaker that actually deliver the sound. Now if they produced a stereo Powercab+ using 2x10”s, I’d be all in for that.
  14. Knowledge base article Helix Native Midi Operations in a DAW provides instructions on how to use MIDI messages to control block bypass and parameter values in a number of common DAWs, including Logic Pro X. The instructions for Logic Pro X don't actually make use of the new feature in Helix Native 1.60 and beyond that allows direct use of MIDI CC messages for block bypass and parameter control. This is because Logic Pro X does not send MIDI messages to audio track plugins, you have to use controller assignments that map to the Helix Native switch and knob automation parameters which are then configured as automation assignments in Helix Native. There is however a way to use this direct MIDI CC control of block bypass and parameters in Logic Pro X. What you do is use a software instrument track instead of an audio track so that the MIDI messages will be sent to the track, and you can choose which MIDI channel to get the messages from. Next you select the Instrument slot for the software instrument track, and add Helix Native. Now Helix Native isn't a tone generator, and generally won't respond to MIDI messages the same way a software instrument would, but it will respond to MIDI CC messages that are mapped to block parameters, and that's just what we want. Unfortunately, software instrument tracks don't support audio inputs, so no sound comes out of Helix Native since your guitar isn't connected to that track. But there's a work around for this - software instrument plugins include a Side Chain audio input that can be used to control the software instrument tone generator based on an analog input. If you set the Side Chain input to the audio interface input your guitar is connected to, then your guitar will be input into Helix Native. Now you have both audio inputs and MIDI messages being sent directly to Helix Native - not as an Audio FX plugin, but as a Software Instrument with an analog side chain input. There are however a couple of complications you should be aware of. First, if you have any controller assignments configured for the same MIDI device and CC messages, you won't see the MIDI messages in the software instrument track. All MIDI messages that are mapped to controller assignments are consumed by the controller, and are not sent to any software instrument track. So be careful about overlapping controller assignments and Helix Native direct MIDI CC assignments, the track won't see any of the overlapping assignments. The second complication is recording. MIDI tracks only record MIDI, not audio. So although the software instrument track with instrument set to Helix Native will provide monitor sound, this sound won't be recorded. To record you need to create an audio track for your guitar input, record that track with dry guitar, and route the output of that track to a bus which is then used as the input to the side chain. Now when you record, one track will record the audio, and the other will record the MIDI CC messages. On playback, you'll be playing the audio track through Helix Native since the track is going through the bus into the software instrument's side chain. Recorded MIDI messages will also be sent to Helix Native, essentially playing back the button presses you did when recording. This is a little complicated, but works great and is very flexible. Why is this useful? Really three reasons. First, controller assignments are pretty tricky with Logic Pro X (MainStage is much better). You might find direct mapping of MIDI CC messages to Helix Native parameters a lot simpler. Second, Helix Native only supports 16 switches and 16 knobs that can be the target of controller assignments in order to configure plugin parameter automation. That might not be enough control for complex patches. Third, it can sometimes be quite difficult to get plugin automation to record and playback properly. For some plugins, the state of the automation parameters is not known until the track gets the first MIDI message. This can for example cause a distortion block that you turned on for the first chorus to be turned on from the beginning of the track - the automation parameter didn't get initialized properly. You can easily fix this by manually adding the missing automation point, but this adds more work. Hope you Logic Pro/Helix Native users find this helpful.
  15. amsdenj

    XLR Port

    I think the purpose of the metal clip in one side and not the other is to allow Helix to detect if only the mono XLR is connected. This will automatically mix down the stereo blocks to mono on the XLR out.