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dfennessey1122

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Everything posted by dfennessey1122

  1. LOL...small clarification..i am very happy with my Helix rack unit...just had my expectations set a bit too high...for the money it is truly amazing. It does take a while to grow on you though...not using a killer tube amp for guitar just feels weird...the tones i get from my tube preamps are truly awesome, and it feels right....but after a year with Helix..i am getting past that and enjoying the convenience, and the fact that i can save those preset sounds and dial them up exactly the same every time...even if this Helix unit breaks down...i can get a new one, load my presets, and have the exact same tones again....can't do that with a tube preamp...each amp, even the same models, are a little different. And then there is the tubes....each one of them is a little different too...i have my tube cocktails for each of my tube preamps really dialed in for perfection but i know i will have to do it again when it comes time to re-tube....never look forward to that.
  2. Yup....i bought the Helix thinking how much easier it would be if i start playing live again to use the Helix instead of all my other gear. I feel pretty good about the amps i have configured in the Helix...but OD/Distortion models....they still have a long way to go there....delays, modulation, and reverb are OK...could get by with it but most likely i would create a road worthy version of my pedals that i know and love....most of the high quality pedals have preset software these days and they can be dialed in to perfection. The Helix preamps i configured cover lots of different tones so i can use them in the studio with IR CAB software in my DAW, or with a nice tube stereo power amp and a couple of 1x12 CABS for a live situation. I would still most likely use individual effects pedals live with the Helix amps....the stand alone and stacked stereo effects i get from my Boss MD-500, Strymon Timeline, Eventide TimeFactor, Boss RV-500, and Eventide Space are just too diverse and sweet to give up...Of course.....lugging all that around for a few gigs might get me to loosen up about that requirement...it's been a while but i remember what a pain that was.. :)
  3. Forgot to mention that the Overloud TH3 cabs (Mesa 4x12, ENGL 4x12, Lane 2x12) sound great with the Helix amp models with various mics and mic settings.
  4. I agree that a really good pair of studio monitors (or a pair of studio monitors and a sub-bass monitor in my case) actually sound much better to me in stereo than just a guitar cab...even though the SPL is not blowing my hair back as you stated... i have already lost some hearing in my left ear from that...back in the bad old days before wireless guitar interfaces when you had to stand next to the boom stand to play and sing. In my case i had a natural tendency to turn my left ear towards my amp when i sang...of course 600 watts of combined monitor system power in my studio is enough to break something if i really wanted too....think i'll pass :) I have also found the IR cabs i use make a huge difference in the output sound and perceived SPL. I started using the Overloud TH3 cabs a couple of years ago...the best IR cabs i have tried overall for the sounds i am after...it uses a cab emulation process called ReSPIRE 2 that produces realistic sounding resonant cab fullness and SPL levels...it makes my monitors sound like cranked guitar cabs in other words but at much lower volumes...i have tried a lot of other IR's and cab emulators including Helix and none of them sound better on my system than the ones in this package...easy to use and also allows you to manage and load third party IR's if you want....the amps and effects are basically free..although some of them actually sound pretty good...the Cab emulation is the best and most unique feature of this package, great mic placement features too....it can be used stand alone on a PC or as a DAW plugin if these are options for you...i mostly play in my studio writing and recording music..not too much live playing any more...although i could be talked into it if i could play all original material...and the audience really likes it :) https://www.overloud.com/products/th3-full
  5. Thanks for the comments....oh yeah, i built all my own patches...i was worried for a while that i bought something i would end up selling after spending a lot of time on it though. But after a while, i started getting a variety of really good amp sounds in particular...just different from the preamps that i mentioned...but that's OK...i have more flavors to choose from now and I didn't buy the Mesa Triaxis i was considering before i bought this (already have enough MESA gear but loved the idea of having amp presets).....but i was driving myself crazy trying to get exact replacement amp sounds for a while...that was a mistake....I am much happier about the amp decision now...i am getting some really great amp sounds from the Helix and the preset control i wanted. The real problem turned out to be the quality of the Helix effects...that was the big surprise...I expected the effects to be a real step forward from the HD effects (i have a POD HD Pro X unit that i still use for routing my preamps through the line inputs and then the stereo effects loop...nice clean SPDIF connection from the HD POD Pro X to my DAW too... ). But my studio/boutique effects just eat the Helix effects for lunch...no comparison at all...but that's OK...truth be told, i wasn't looking to replace the effects i have...they are awesome effects and on most pro and amateur players boards for a reason...(Stymon Timeline, Eventide TimeFactor, PitchFactor, Space, Boss MD-500, RV-500, Echolution 2 Ultra Pro, Catlinbread Echorec, etc...i spent quite a bit of time and money building my effects processing boards to get to this point. I also found the overdrive and distortion pedal models on the Helix were weak...i still use my front of amp pedal board too.....it would have been nice though :) But for the $1,000 i spent on the Helix Rack (bought it used on Reverb) I am very happy with the amp sounds i get from the Helix and the preset control which i use a lot.
  6. "A modeler through a PA speaker/FRFR/Studio monitor will never sound like an amp in the room. Ever. I promise. It will sound like an amp in the next room, miked, and played through speakers in this room. If you need, want, prefer, or can hang with that, the Helix makes an amazing amount of sense. If not... get an amp, and get a room..." Peter Hamm's post on this subject is the best explanation of what to expect from the Helix that i have read. I too struggled with what to expect from the Helix (i had a Helix LT and now have a Helix Rack unit). I also have my beloved Mesa Studio Preamp, Mesa Rectifier Preamp, and an ENGL E530 preamp.....all tube preamps of course and at least 2 of them, legendary for their sound qualities,...you be the judge as to which two... :) I also wanted the amazing flexibility that the Helix offered to vary my amplified sound and have effects configured in stereo with the same presets...(i also have Eventide, Strymon, Catlinbread, Empress effects and others that are high quality). A tough act to follow for both amps and effects...my initial expectation / hope was to replace all of that with a single Helix system and live happily ever after....alas...it was not that simple. I do almost all of my studio work through JBL powered studio monitors /sub bass with IR cab plugins in my DAW system. Good start to integrate the Helix in this case....but the modeled Helix tones both for clean and overdrive amps, as well as the effects, were completely different than what i get from my rack preamps / effects. The Helix was every bit as convenient as i was hoping it would be but seemed to be a compromise in the sound quality area in comparison. I have spent quite a few months learning and tweaking the Helix and realized it is probably as good as it will get at this point....but then i read Hamm's post and developed a new perspective...i need to stop comparing the Helix to my other system and enjoy it for what it is....The Helix is a really good model of the analog world....ahhhh....so liberating! Now I love the Helix and my rack system....i use both...and enjoy both.... :) Thanks Man... Daniel
  7. Somehow problem solved.....i set up a new preset from scratch and all of a sudden the stereo effects were outputing in stereo.....i appreciate the tip. Thanks, Dan
  8. Hello Doug6String....i did not try starting a new preset from scratch....i will do that tonight when i have time in the studio again....interesting that you saw this issue yourself in the past....did you figure out why it happened? I am running my Helix outputs into a Roland Octacapture audio interface.
  9. Thanks for the reply...i tried that...i made it as simple as just one stereo delay ping pong effect.....and i get mono out......what is up?
  10. Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone else is having trouble using the 1/4" outputs or SPDIF output to get L/R stereo effects output? My stereo effects work only they output in mono in both cases. There is no stereo separation between left and right channels....not sure what i am doing wrong here. Thanks....
  11. Hello rvroberts, Thanks for the insight....i tried the Hum-X approach on isolating the grounds on all preamps as well as the LT...no difference....i know all the AC electrical wiring in my studio that my system is connected to runs off the same breaker loop...checked that yesterday....no ground loop opportunities. I have read that other people complained on the forum about how noisy the effects sends are...i have also experienced that but not the kind of radiated noise i was getting ( i did mention that this problem is radiated, not conducted)...i do not have this problem with any other gear in my studio...and i have a lot of gear in my studio....i hear what you are saying about the ground relationship...but i am not sure what else i can do about it...i tried both grounded/ground lift on the preamps and the LT....made no difference...and this is the really strange part.....just connecting the USB cable and the output cables to the Helix without powering the Helix creates this problem....very strange...perhaps it is just my Helix LT that is having a problem...i have followed all the correct grounding procedures i can think of....it's not a big deal for me to unplug the Helix when not in use and plug it in when i need it....i am just happy i found a solution to the problem. Thanks, Dan
  12. Hello everyone, I solved a big mystery today...i have a Helix LT as some of you may know from my previous posts. I also have a rack of preamps and a pedal board that i use as well as the LT depending on what sound i am after. I have been chasing this really nasty hum / signal noise problem when i was using my rack preamps in Lead CH overdrive mode in particular. I went though all kinds of hoops to check for ground noise, ground loop, bad signal / power cables, noisy pedals, patch cords, etc...this has been going on for several months...in fact, ever since i got my Helix LT...hmmmm....well, i don't turn on the LT when i use the other preamps....so i did not suspect that it was part of the problem...not to mention it is not in the guitar signal path when i use the external preamps. But the LT unit does sit next to my external pedal board.....so after exhausting everything else...i had to consider that i may have an X-File case here.... :) So i first i unplugged the USB cable on the LT....the noise level dropped significantly....then i unplugged the output cables on the LT...noise gone!! ....or at least back to normal acceptable levels. Wow! this really had me going for several months...so glad i solved this killer noise problem finally...the Helix LT is a digital noise blasting machine....so i just leave it unplugged unless i plan to use it. The funny part is that the LT does not seem to be susceptible to the noise it creates...that is the good news for those of you that don't have any other gear you are interfacing with. I am amazed that this thing passed EMC certification testing (radiated electrical emissions testing to ensure that it does not do things like this). Enjoy...Dan
  13. If you want a superb noise gate that does not alter your tone and also preserves your sustain....buy an ISP Decimator ProRack G....they are not cheap but they are the best i have used...i have one connected to my Mesa Rectifier preamp and my ENGL E530 preamp....they have 2 channels with filter tracking control that allows you to dial in just the right amount of noise filtering for your guitar pickups( really nice for single coils) and your amp....it is very impressive.....my ENGL is whisper quite....if you have ever played an ENGL amp you know that is quite a feat without affecting the tone....they are very noisy but sound awesome....this makes them perfect....same for any high gain amp. I have Fabfilter Pro G as well...mentioned in this thread for DAW systems....that is a good choice but not as good for guitar as the ISP system...it is really nice for acoustic guitar mic recording though...i have used Pro G for my classical and steel string recordings....very nice.
  14. Hello... I have found that the Helix effects loop is just too noisy for high gain amps....it is really bad if you try to use the sends to the input of an external preamp....sounds like a vacuum cleaner running in the background....i also have a Pod HD Pro X rack unit......it seems to produce a lot less noise than the helix effects loop...and you have the option of running your external preamp into the line inputs which is what i do....very little noise from the effects loop in that case....i found that surprising given the Helix is a newer design....for me i have the best of both worlds with the Helix and the Pod HD Pro X....i also like the vintage effects sounds better on the Pod HD Pro X than the Helix....can't wait for the new HX reverbs from Helix though....so it is good to have both... :)
  15. I have replied to this topic in general recently....the biggest issue between the amp models and a real amp is the headroom and dynamics that a real amp with tubes has.....when i play a helix model by itself it sounds great..(Mesa, ENGL, etc...)..but what i noticed was a big difference when i recorded my real Mesa or ENGL preamps in a mix compared to their Helix models....the real amp tones where much more alive and really came though the mix at the same volume levels where the Helix models struggled....i tried lots of boosting and EQing to compensate on the Helix models but i just couldn't get it to sound as good as my real amps...the analogy i have come up with is that the model is like a copy of real life...you don't notice the difference until you compare it to the real thing...and as i said before...if the difference doesn't bother you....then your good to go with a Helix. FYI....I don't know how many people out there have tried the TH3 cabs (not crazy about the amp models or effects) but they have some amazing out of the box cabs that blow away the Helix cab sounds and most IR's that i have heard (and i have 100's of them). Amazing mic placement and mixing capability...and the best ENGL 4x12, MESA 4x12, and Lane 2x12 cabs i have heard....really sweet....they are all i use now with my real amps and my Helix amp models. Enjoy... Dan
  16. So cruisinon2....how many actual amps / pedals do you / have you owned to compare with the sound quality of the Helix system? I stand by my original post....if you can't hear the difference....than God bless you... :)
  17. njglover...thats great.....glad that Helix is everything you hoped it would be. I was not able to get the same results for my Mesa Recto preamp and Engl pre....i like the Bogner Uber and Twin Reverb amp models the best but i can't honestly say that they really sound like those amps since i don't own them to compare...i just like em :)
  18. No problem zooey...thanks for the well wishes, and the same for you....there is a lot passion here for what works for each of us, and that's good for making music... :)
  19. njglover....you indirectly pointed out something important....tone snobs are going to struggle more with moving over to Helix completely and abandoning their amps/pedals...i am definitely in that category....i worked hard and spent a lot of $$$ to get the tones / amazing sounds i currently have with my guitars, keyboards, and studio gear....i am all for saving space and integrating at a higher level (eliminating a lot of stuff) but only if the new gear truly replaces the gear i already have meaning it performs at least as well as my current gear and hopefully much better to justify the additional investment... I feel like we are living in a "good enough" era right now where software developers crank something out that they know is buggy, we all accept it and find ways to justify living with it.....and in some cases, begin justifying why we think it is what we really want....not me man....i am old school (meaning i am over 50 years old.. :) My credo is it either works, or it doesn't....and if it doesn't, explain whats missing and what you are going to do about it, not why i should be OK with it....the world is full of slick marketing that makes this all possible....something to be wary of.... Don't get me wrong....i think the Helix is a really cool piece of gear, or i would not have bought one....i love the software interface and system control...i just think we are still years away from truly replacing all our other gear for just a Helix....unless of course the convenience outweighs the compromises...and that's cool too....which brings me to my original post...if you can't live with the compromise, then there are other ways to use the Helix that truly add value until they really get it right.....The End.
  20. Nice to see we have some reasonable people in this forum instead of just Helix Kool-aid drinkers full of hate for those that do not partake.......thanks for the serious feedback and i hope my post is helpful to you in some way....Happy New year to all!
  21. I guess some clarifications about myself and my first post would help....I have been playing for over 30 years and have built a semi-professional studio in my home....High quality preamp gear is a requirement (meaning middle of the road Fender or line 6 amps cannot be compared the way i did with my preamps....Mesa, Engl)...i am not using an amp in a room with mics....i am running my preamp outputs straight into my Helix and using IR cabs....then the output of the Helix goes to my audio capture system....i am not new to Line 6 products...i have an HD Pod Pro X I bought 4 years before Helix....i tweaked the @#$% out of it until i finally gave up and bought a Helix with new hopes...tweaked the @#$% out of the Helix (only much faster this time and they definitely sound better than the HD models but not quite good enough) until i went back to my original preamp configurations. My post was for people like me who can hear the difference between real amps / pedals and models....if that is not you...than God bless you....this is a tougher road to be on when only that perfect tone / effect will do. YES!! The IR cabs are much better than the Helix Cabs....they also sound amazing with my preamps....much better than the real speaker cab with mics (by that i mean they sound like cabs with mics in a professional studio setting) One more clarification....some of the HD pedal models are actually better than the HX models.....Stereo Delay and the Analog with Mod (Memory Man) delay models for example sound better ( more like the real pedals) than the HX models do. The HX modeIs sound good, but different....I am enjoying the fact that i can use both my Helix and HD Pod Pro X and choose sounds that are prefect for the project (assuming that one of my external pedals is not already perfect for the project). I also agree that if your sound gives you goose bumps and makes you smile when you hear it...then you have found what you are looking for.... Until the next amazing thing comes along.... :)
  22. I tried to get used to the Helix alone....at first i was thinking i could reduce equipment to make room in my studio....but when i listened to recordings i made with my amps compared to the Helix...it just didn't sound as good...my external pedals sound just the way i want them too....but like i said, the Helix effects offer a greater variety....maybe that is the issue for me....it is to easy to A/B the comparison...i think you are right in saying without that....i could probably be happy with a Helix alone......mmmmmm....in a year or so... :)
  23. Merry Christmas first of all! I just posted to the forum about this topic....i have read that lots of people feel the Helix is great as a standalone unit and you can cash in your amp / pedals....simply not true....that said you can justify removing the hassle of setting up a lot of gear for a show, but you will miss the sound you get from your amp(s) and pedals that you know and love....sorry...the amp models / pedal replacements are not nearly as good as the real thing.....especially when you are talking about dynamics and headroom...i do however really like the Helix Bogner Uber and Fender Twin amp models....great overdriven and clean sounds for variety. My cure is a hybrid approach.....first of all consider your packaging needs to make mobility less of an issue....i.e. pedal board in a road case, mobile rack for your rack mount gear, etc...in my case i don't play out much any more....i like writing music and recording in my studio / sharing my music that way.....I use a Mesa Rectifier recording preamp and an ENGL E530 preamp (both rack mount) for clean to crunch to dirty amp sounds....i run them into the return inputs on my Helix LT...i then run them through the IR cabs from Ownhammer and Redwirez...there are a huge number of great sounding cabs from both....i have about 30 goto IR cabs that i can use for almost any project...they store and load easily on the Helix as presets. I also have a Pod HD Pro X rack unit to interface all my external stereo effects with....i have a preamp switch that runs to the HD Pro X to switch my preamps with. I have a nice mobile rack that all this gear fits in and would be perfect for mobile use if the need arises. You will also want to keep all the pedals you love...in my case, TS808 reissue, Mesa Tone Burst and Wampler Ego II compressor and an Xotic EP booster ( the new Helix EP model sucks compared to the stand alone unit....i had high hopes for that one). I also have a whole pedal board full of Eventide, Digitech, and TC electronic pedals....and lets not forget the Catalinbread Echorec.....soooo sweet....and you will still need your Morley / Crybaby pedals for the sound you need....i think you are getting the point....they are dialed in to perfection and they are just that...no model will ever compete with them....the Helix does however offer new sounds to add to your soundscape to make your sound fresh and even more interesting....in my opinion that is the big reason to get a Helix as well as the preset control and workflow which i really like.....i hope this helps...have fun and bask in knowing the sounds you love are just right! Dan
  24. Well...i have played with both the Helix LT and Helix Native for a couple of months now....still lacking as stand alone products...i have found a really good way to make them sound great though...especially the LT....use the return input to interface your favorite preamp output. Then use the IR cabinet feature to select really good sounding IR cabs 2048 points of course.... I have 2 preamps...a Mesa Rectifier recording preamp, and an ENGL E530....both great sounding preamps both clean and dirty in the case of the ENGL, and awesome as a rectifier for the Mesa.....sorry but you just can't get that sound from the amp models....i really tried...they are sounding better though, that is for sure....but compared to the MESA and ENGL....not so much....i do like the Bogner Uber amp model though...it does sound really good with an external TS808 reissue pedal plugged in on the front end....the real pedal sounds so much better and is much quieter than the model of the TS808...again...i tried to use the model, just wasn't getting the job done to my liking. That said.....i guess you are wondering why bother with the Helix?....you can bring in IR cabs a lot of different ways....well, some of the effects are really cool and the workflow is really nice....i also like the Twin Reverb amp model for clean playing with IR cabs....oh i forgot to mention...the built in cabs are really lame...not sure who signed off on those....very few parameters to tweak too....the Overloud TH3 cabs and controls are much better and very comparable to the high resolution IR's, amp models, not so much.....and the Helix effects are better, at least some of them...also don't throw your HD 500X away ...i prefer some of the HD effects to the Helix equivalents like the memory man and stereo delay... Hopefully i have given you some food for thought in case you are a little underwhelmed about how to get the awesome sound with your Helix that you were looking for....you have to go a little further as it turns out, but then it will sound amazing...i love the palette of sounds i can get now and feel like nothing is lacking after years of pursuit....good luck...and looking forward to your comments. Dan
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