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I appreciate your patience responding to a never ending flow of ideas on how the guitar amp modeler and effects world should rotate. The requirement of gain staging in the analog world has no or little necessity driven counterpart in a digital modeler like Helix. After one makes sure the signal level between modeling elements does not cause unwanted digital artifacts (excessive magnitude difference induced rounding errors), all what’s left to consider is whether a chosen input signal level to a model (selected by a preceding model’s output level) combined with the model’s parameter setting creates a desired effect. There is unprecedented freedom to exploit a model’s capability that did not exist in the analog world, simply because careful gain staging was a requirement to keep a lid in unwanted noise and distortion originating from excessive low and high signal levels. Happy to read your helpful posts when I would have given up to say anything. I sometimes wonder though if someone would have actually read the manual or just listened to his ears if nobody responded ...
Thanks for your kind words. I try to be helpful, but I think on this one the kudos go to DunedinDragon.
I try to stick to topics that have objective solutions - physical routing, MIDI and such.
On subjects like this - "How do I make it sound good?" my best advice is RTM and "twiddle the dials until it sounds good" as my best sounds have come about quite accidentally through doing just that. The parallels between modelers and the analog world really are remarkable, and most users would do well not to overthink it.
It's a toy. Have fun! And, as the great man said, "Shut up and play yer guitar!"