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Posts posted by PeterHamm

  1. The "semi-balanced" means the humbusterâ„¢ which is this: 


    Very easy to DIY if you know how to solder.


    I have these and they work surprisingly good between my DAW (presonus, has balanced connections) and unbalanced keyboard. It would work just the same between helix and the unbalanced guitar amplifier if helix had TRS connections. Sure, you can buy a transformer-isolator and run through that your unbalanced connections but this takes one more gadget to your chain and more cables. For 4CM it is four more cables... I've got an isolator but it has only 2 channels. I might have to buy a rack unit that has 8 channels because this hum/noise -issue is present with other gear too.


    Still, IMHO, a device that connects to your DAW really SHOULD have balanced connections. If there is still a problem you could use a transformer-isolator but if you connect the USB you might still get a ground loop or other noise because the USB is never isolated. There is a USB-isolator in the markets but it only works on 1.0 speed and even if it did work on faster connections Helix might still recognize it as a hub and not work with it.


    If you buy a Helix primarily as an interface for your DAW, that's the wrong product. It CAN do that, but not as a primary function. I would consider that.


    It is a guitar processor. To have it do too many things would compromise the main things or drive the price up into the stratosphere. I think even the guys who want to have 2 or 3 musicians use it at once are going to be incredibly frustrated.

  2. I've tried 4-cable method with 3 different amps using 20' cables with zero issues or noticeable effect on tone.


    Wow, you got lucky. Back in my HD 500 and M13 days, I had different results and (especially with HD 500) had to do some futzing to make it work. What 3 amps may I ask?

  3. The lack of TRS does mean the use of semi balanced cables in 4cm has no effect though?


    What is a "semi-balanced" cable? No such thing afaik.


    And if you connect a TRS cable to a TS jack (like you have on your amp) you could, conceivably, make MORE noise...

  4. I'm also trying to make money with what I do in my studio. If I don't _need_, I'd very much appreciate, balanced connections, and they lack in helix. That's why I'm not happy.


    Here... you have something... if you were going to use Helix as a general FX processor with a lot of different signals in the studio, I can see that having those be balanced would be useful.


    But... Helix was designed, as far as I can tell, as a no-compromises guitarist tool, not necessarily a generic studio tool (heck, it doesn't have a stereo input unless you repurpose two of the send/returns or use spdif).


    I will say that if you use it as an interface in the studio, you can go back and forth to it over USB, and with the rack, you can even sync to a master clock.


    Again, it's a great guitar processor. I think when you start to make it do things it wasn't necessarily primarily designed for, you are going to make compromises, mostly because NO compromises seem to have been made (within reason) in terms of its primary function.

  5. ...I just wish the connections would be TRS so they would resist out interferences better. With the 4CM method atleast I need to have transformer isolators to get rid of noises that are not coming from my guitar...


    I am pretty sure if the send/return jacks were TRS it wouldn't make any difference, since your guitar amp does not have balanced signals in and out, does it?


    TRS servo-balanced I/O doesn't inherently solve any problems with unbalanced lines.

  6. So is there a standout amp or preset to start with?


    imho, yes. There is a standout amp.


    There's one standout amp for my Tele, one for my Atom CT, and one for my Crowdster.


    And they don't always sound so great when I plug my tele in and dial up my Atom CT patch, etc.


    And... in my experience so far... I mostly don't like the cab that is SUPPOSED to go with the amp. For instance, with a Bassman I like the Z cab better than the 4 - 10 that you're "supposed" to use with it.


    Also, imho, for the very best tones out of any modeler, you have to create your own. Honestly, I've had Helix in my posession for over a month now, and I haven't dialed up a single factory preset yet. No lie. 

  7. If you're happy with what you have and something like Helix doesn't blow your socks off, it's also possible that you have what you currently own dialed in for you so well that it just is the best thing for you. Not everybody needs to upgrade after all...


    That said, I find it hard to believe that if you dialed that in for your own usage really carefully that you wouldn't hear a very big difference.

    • Upvote 2
  8. Thanks for the info, I didn't find it before.

    But this just makes the helix a customer-level product instead of being PROFESSIONAL - atleast in my eyes.


    I disagree. It has a balanced input for a mic or what have you, it has an input designed for an electric guitar, it even has an input designed for acoustics and basses with a preamp. Then it has balanced outputs, S/PDIF and AES/EBU digital outputs... Let's not forget about those 4 loops (which other high end processors lack).


    How is it "customer-level". It is a guitar processor designed and priced for pros with all the I/O those individuals need.

  9. I think the next step should be DOWN.

    I mean, L6 has some really great solutions for guitarists in the 500 and under category.

    They also have, now, this amazing product at 3+X the price.


    What about a 700 - 900 dollar HX-inspired device for the in-between? Or an "HX x00"... like an HD 500 but with a single Helix signal path with maybe HD FX models instead of HX to maximize dsp usage.


    I could be nuts and your product research might tell you that customer doesn't exist... what do I know.

  10. I don't use dual amps, but I think I could with my workflow.

    I split path 1, use 1A for my acoustic guitar signal, directly out


    I use path 1B for the amp (but not the cab) and some gain/comp/eq things.

    Then I have GOBS of processing I use on 2A for the electric. I could add another amp on 2B but I add a couple big verbs for special FX I switch between.

    There are some ways of figuring out how to use the paths that aren't ways you'd guess. I'd look at those templates and see how that works.


    How are you monitoring? FRFR? headphones? studio monitors?

  11. I tried this once. Didn't like it and found it better and more fun to just start from scratch for the tone difference and one other huge reason.


    The new layout and workflow make it so that the ways you wanted to work in HD 500 are not the ways you want to work in Helix anyway.


    That said, I tend to start from a template for how I normally use things. So once I made a patch that really worked in my particular idiom, I just copy it to new locations and dial up new FX and amp and cab models as needed.

  12. Yeah, My HD sounds great with my DT25. I'm hoping the Art Tube MP will help with direct tones, and maybe even with amp sims. I also thought it may help some if I bypass the HD cabs and use IRs inside my daw. Lots of possibilities.

    Or just use those IRs inside Helix.


    Honestly, the cabs in Helix are WAY good enough for me, but you can load your own IRs in. I've done it with acoustic, but not electric yet.

  13. PeterHamm...I haven't experienced any distortion with it in the send/return of the helix. As I said, I make sure NOT to overdrive it using the input and output levels on the ART itself.

    ​The only coloring of the sound I'm hearing is a nice warmth that was lacking before that. The cleans are still clean, and the hi-gain amps sound nice and warm and "gooey" like melted butter. :)


    You haven't experienced "clipping" but that warmth is a tube distortion that simply sounds really good to you. The "coloring" of sound is technically a "distortion" of it. But even my cleans have some grit in them, so it's not necessarily a bad thing.


    I just hope your MP lasts better than my buddy's and mine did.

  14. I'm glad you guys loved the ART MP. I hated it. Did something like what you are all describing with my HD 500 years ago. The Tube MP ended up being something that was altering the tone in a way that I just got fatigued with. It is literally distorting your signal, and if you like that, awesome... but that's all it's doing imho. Everybody's different, and it's only 50 bucks.


    Also... me and a buddy each had one. They didn't even last a year before they broke. Ugh.

    And, for me, it worked better as a DI from the output of the HD 500 into the system than in the loop, so try it that way, too.

  15. There is a "mix" function in certain FX. There is a "mixer" for the different channels and paths possible... it is accessed a channel at a time by selecting the output block.


    Does that help?

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