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Everything posted by revans

  1. revans

    Mackie thump 12

    Works great for me as a monitor on the floor beside me or as a backline amp on a tripod stand behind me, with a couple of tweaks. Floor angle: I put a short length of 2x4 lumber under the front edge to tilt it a bit higher. EQ: The Thump12 is bass-heavy with scooped mids. To get closer to a flat response on the floor, I set the EQs to drastically cut the lows, slightly boost the upper mids, and slightly cut the highs, like this: LOW at 8 o'clock, MID at 2 o'clock, FREQ at 1:30, and HIGH at 11 o'clock.
  2. Has happened a few times to me, with earlier firmware and with a Variax, but it hasn't happened often enough to troubleshoot. Luckily the last patch keeps working, but changes can't be made. I've only used my Helix a few times since firmware 2.20, so I couldn't say yet if the problem is gone. I'd like to hear if there are known issues that increase the risk of a UI freeze and if there are any workarounds.
  3. After upgrading to 2.11, resetting globals, changing the input Variax settings back to per preset, and restoring my presets, several snapshots would select a Variax model different from what was displayed in the setting. I tried several things to try to fix the problem but the only thing that worked was changing the input block to guitar, saving the preset, changing the input block back to multi, setting the desired Variax model in each snapshot, and saving the preset again. Maybe this workaround will fix your problem.
  4. I have a single Mackie Thump12. It's plenty loud enough to hear over a loud drummer. But the speaker's vertical dispersion is too narrow. I started with it upright on the floor behind me like a guitar amp, but my head was too far above the horn and all I heard was bass while the audience heard full range. With a small PA and no sound guy, I put my speaker on a tripod stand behind me so the horn is level with my ears. I swivel the speaker just enough to towards the rest of the band so they can hear enough of me. With the speaker in this position the speaker's dispersion is wide enough to be heard across a large area. I used this same positioning with a large PA but the sound guy was hearing way too much of me. So I put the speaker on it's side on the floor (with bass turned down) in front of me. The sound guy puts me through the mains and into each monitor as much as each band member wants. The only problem with the speaker on its side on the floor is that I can only hear the horn within about a two-foot window. In this position the speaker's dispersion is very narrow. When I walk away from my main position I lose have a hard time hearing myself. I get the sound guy to put me through my PA monitor and that helps. I suggest you get a powered speaker with the widest possible dispersion horizontally and vertically.
  5. I disagree. I read in a Crown PA amp manual that best practice is to have the amp either maximum volume or set a bit lower if you are sure you never want the amp's maximum power. The volume of the signal you send to the amp (from the Helix) should set the overall level. The benefit is that your power amp will have all it's power available to handle transient peaks.
  6. My single Mackie Thump12 1000W does well for guitar in loud Led Zeppelin and AC/DC songs with the other guitar player going through a 100 Watt tube amp and a 4x12 cabinet, staying just under the threshold of pain and just under clipping with the Thump12. I'm sure the tube amp would win a loudness arms race against the Thump12 if it came to that.
  7. revans

    Low temperatures

    Not sure how to keep the Helix warm, but you can keep your fingers working by heating your torso with a battery-powered heated vest. Us Canadians have it figured out! Canada wins the war on frozen fingers http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/canada-wins-the-war-on-frozen-fingers/
  8. Love gigging with my Helix and JTV, especially with snapshots. I use the up and down footswitches to select among patches five patches: acoustic, Vox, Fender, Marshall, and Mesa, each of which have matching effects. I use the top row footswitches to select four different JTV models (guitar, pickups, and tuning) along with turning on matching effects. I use the bottom row footswitches and the toe switch to switch effects on and off and to toggle between amp settings: distortion, modulation, amp gain boost, and output volume boost. The expression pedal is volume or wah. I have one powered wedge monitor in front of me, facing me, and I send one XLR out to the front-of-house mixer. Everything is mono. I also run a keyboard through the Helix to use the volume pedal and to share the monitor. I should do like Rush and put something behind me like a washing machine or a chicken roaster. I miss how different guitars each have a different look and feel, but it's a minor compromise for the simplicity, speed, and variety I get with JTV and Helix. As the next song comes up on the set list, I select a patch to choose my amp model and select a snapshot to choose my guitar model. During the song I use might turn on and off effects and boosts. Very easy and very powerful. I don't do any recording, so I have no opinion in that area.
  9. Played my first gig with Helix snapshots and Variax last Saturday night. Wow, it is so much easier and faster to switch on effects and select a Variax model using snapshots! What I used to do to get ready for the next song was: 1. Use a top row Helix footswitch to select a preset. 2. Use some combination of bottom row Helix footswitches to turn on some effects. 3. Use the Variax model knob to select a model bank. 4. Use the Variax pickup selector to select a guitar-pickup model. For alternate tunings, I use custom Variax models to select a guitar-pickup model and an alternate tuning at the same time, saving another step where I'd sometimes have to use the Variax alternate tuning knob. But I did not store a Variax model with each preset because I'd end up with 20 presets to manage. Now, with Helix snapshots, here's what I to do to get ready for the next song: 1. Use a preset up or down Helix footswitch to select a preset. 2. Use a top row Helix footswitch to select a snapshot. I only use five presets (Acoustic, Vox, Fender, Marshall, Mesa). Each preset has four snapshots which each include a different Variax model (which might include an alternate turning) along with turning on some effects. During a song I still might use the Helix bottom row footswitches to turn effects on and off, especially boost and distortion. So much quicker and easier. Now I can spend less time messing with gear and more time enjoying the music. I'm really hooked now!
  10. I'm happy with my move from HD500 to Helix, happy in every way. Great tones with default settings and easy to create multiple variations on a preset now with snapshots. I can really get into a groove and bond with Helix tones, where HD500 often felt like a compromise. And now I finally have a backup. I bring my HD500 to gigs as a backup in case the Helix breaks.
  11. I love using the new Helix snapshots with my Variax. I have the Helix footswitches set up so that the up and down switches on the left select presets. I have one preset per amp model that that I use: Acoustic (no amp), Vox, Fender, Marshall, and Mesa. I have the upper four footswitches selecting snapshots. I have one snapshot per Variax model, and it's a different four models for each preset. Each snapshot also tweaks the amp input drive settings to match the output level of the Variax model. (No effect block needed; does not use extra DSP!) Some snapshots also switch on effects. I have the lower four footswitches selecting stomps. I have different stomps for each preset, although in every preset the fourth stomp is always an output block level boost. (No effect block needed; does not use extra DSP!) Even though my preset display mode can only show four stomps, all my presets have more than four stomps. For the less frequently used stomps I switch to stomp mode to access them. Living the dream, rig.
  12. The fourth knob is above the neck pickup.
  13. When the FOH is too small, I put my single Mackie Thump12 behind me on a pole. When the FOH can handle my sound, the sound guy doesn't like my speaker behind me on a pole; it's too loud. So I put it on the floor, in front of me and to one side. I'm on one side of the stage and the back of my speaker is towards the rest of the band, so I can have it as loud as I like without complaints from the band or the sound guy.
  14. I have a JTV-69 that I use with Helix and previously with HD500. Assuming you like the guitar, one of the best things about the combination of Variax and Helix is simply that the Helix powers the Variax over the VDI cable so that you never have to think about charging the Variax battery. Overall, I like the JTV-69 and use it as my only guitar live and in rehearsal in my busiest band. (In another band I use a Lone Star Strat and a Les Paul Special tuned open-G through a Marshall tube combo, keepin' it real!) I like the ease of switching models and tunings, and the access to Tele, Strat, Les Paul, ES-335, Gretsch, Rickenbacker, acoustic, and acoustic 12-string models. I keep alternately-tuned models as custom selections so that I don't have to mess with the tuning dial, which is difficult to see and takes too long to flip through all the tunings to get to the one you want. I don't use the magnetic pickups, but I have by accident and they sound fine to me. Having no hum with the single-coil models is a dream come true! There are some things that I don't like about the JTV-69, but they aren't deal breakers for me: - The nut has the high E string slot cut a bit too close to the edge of the frets. - The neck is a bit fatter (front-to-back) than I'd like. - The Line 6 VDI cable is stiff and gets in the way, except under the hot sun. I really like the easy switching among different guitar models, but an unexpected drawback is that they all feel like the same guitar. I miss how a Les Paul feels different from a Strat, and how an acoustic feels different from an electric. I miss feeling different gauges of strings and a hard-tail versus a whammy. I've tested integrations like Helix presets selecting Variax models or tunings, and Variax knobs controlling Helix model settings, but I don't really find these necessary for how I play gigs. I used the Workbench software to create a couple of custom models approximating a Keith Richards Tele and an Eddie Van Halen Strat. It was easy to use and did the job. Audition a Variax Standard, and if it feels good, go for it! Otherwise, try the stock JTV models. If you are still not happy, you might want to get a JTV-69 and replace the neck with something that feels good to you.
  15. I was worried about not having a spare when I was using HD500. Now that I have Helix, I've kept my old HD500 as a spare. The HD500 can handle all the ins and outs that I use: Variax In, Guitar In, Keyboard In (FX return), XLR out to front-of-house PA, and 1/4-inch out to my own powered PA speaker.
  16. I've run both my HD500 and my Helix through a number of different PA speakers and all the PA speakers have all sounded different. Fortunately, the differences have mainly been in frequence response and were easy to overcome with EQ. I've come to believe that a FRFR speaker means it has a frequency response that doesn't deviate from flat more than what can be compensated for by EQ. If you get familiar enough with your teaked patches though a PA speaker you use regularly, you should be able to use other PA speakers with a bit of EQ. With an unfamiliar PA speaker and unfamiliar rooms, be prepared to spend a few minutes before sound check to tweak your EQ to make your patches sound right. I keep notes on the EQ settings I use in each situation, especially with my own PA speakers.
  17. This advice from a Crown PA amp manual: Keep the power amp volume setting as high as possible to allow the amp to respond to transient peaks; use the mixer (or Helix in our case) output volume to set the desired sound level. My powered PA speaker's volume knob has a notch at the mid point which is labelled with a U for unity. Maximum volume and anything to the right is for boosting the input signal when a mic is directly connected. With the PA speaker set at U, I use the Helix 1/4-inch output set to line level and I set the Helix volume knob around two o'clock to get a balanced mix with the rock band's un-mic'd drums. That's a good rehearsal and stage volume for me. The front-of-house mixer mic's the drums and takes an XLR output from Helix, which I have set to not be controlled by the volume knob. The Helix volume knob only controls the (1/4-inch) level coming from my own PA speaker; the front-of-house (XLR) level never changes. All my patches are balanced to have about the same level as an empty patch.
  18. I changed from HD500 to Helix using the same powered PA speaker (mono) rehearsing with a band and doing live gigs. While I wasn't unhappy with my classic rock Marshall (and Vox and Fender) tones from my carefully tweaked HD500, I would always feel better any time I played through my old Marshall tube combo. I find Helix a much more satisfying experience. My classic rock Marshall (and other) tones sound much more familiar and only minimal tweaking (like you'd do with any physical amp) is needed to get good results. I still play my old Marshall tube combo regularly, but it no longer feels any better than my Line 6 board. I also find Helix distortion and modulation effects very pleasing and musical, where HD500 effects just did the job but felt sub-standard. With HD500 I was trading tone quality for convenience. With Helix compared to real amps and effects, I feel the tone quality is just as good but it is much improved in convenience, reliability (always wondering if it's time for new tubes), flexibility, and the opportunity to choose from many high-quality amps and effects. It's a great time to be an electric guitar player!
  19. With my JTV-69 I've noticed when playing models with the high strings at the high frets the volume level is much too low as compared to doing the same thing with the magnetic pickups. This would not be an issue with the nut (see below) and I'm sure the string heights are good. My JTV-69 nut must have been cut too low as well. After five years of playing it for a couple of hours per week, I'm not sure that the first few frets should be a worn as they are. It needs re-crowning bad or maybe even new frets.
  20. Agreed. Helix is quick and easy to create great sounding presets. Models sound great with default settings. Quick and easy to adjust, even at rehearsal and live. And I keep forgetting about the pedal edit mode, which should make changes even easier. I like being able to use footswitches to control model settings. It unlocks more depth live without having multiple duplicate models with different settings. Using the footswitch mode with presets along the top row and stomps along the bottom row makes it really quick to change to a new preset and change a few common settings. And with a tap on the mode footswitch I can see all the other stomp switches. It's a really efficient use of the footswitches and scribble displays. With the HD500 I would forget what the footswitches do in each preset, with the eight-block display mode only showing the type of effect model, not the specific effect name. I put my own magnetic labels with effect names over each footswitch, but that really limits the range of effects in each preset, and I still end up with a few different effects in each preset so the labels don't always match the presets. Compared to the HD500, I have much more confidence with knowing what will happen when hitting stomp footswitches and making changes live.
  21. revans

    Outdoor Venue Glare

    Played outdoors last Saturday with sun shining directly on the Helix. Could not see the color display very well and could not see if the LED rings were on or off. The scribble strips were easier to see, especially the active preset which was inverted with a light background with dark text. The stomp displays were more difficult to tell if they were light text or shaded text on a dark background. It would be great if the stomp displays had a light background with dark text when enabled, just like the preset displays. Please vote for these ideas: Please add Noticeable difference in scribble text when engaged http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Please-add-Noticeable-difference-in-scribble-text-when-engaged/818990-23508 Helix Scribble Strips - Effects Toggle Flip Background Text http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Helix-Scribble-Strips-Effects-Toggle-Flip-Background-Text/793835-23508
  22. It's been six years since the JTV was announced in 2010. Surely today's hardware can give us some improvements in quality and features! Please vote: Completely redo/overhaul the Variax http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Completely-redo-overhaul-the-Variax/789214-23508
  23. I'm happy with a Mackie Thump12 weighing 29 pounds and costing $300. Just turn the built-in bass knob almost all the way down to get it closer to FRFR. Work well on the floor on a pole. It's plenty loud, even with a loud drummer and another guitar player's tube 100 W 4x12 cranked.
  24. Please vote for this idea: Independent pre and power amp blocks. http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Independent-pre-and-power-amp-blocks/748793-23508
  25. My own first experience using Helix at a band rehearsal was awesome! The Helix presets I dialed-in while working alone sounded great at full volume with the band. Just needed to tweak some of the boost levels at the amp model (to compensate for the weaker signals of some of my guitars) and at the output (as a solo boost). The EQ settings I had adjusted on my Mackie Thump12 to get closer to a flat response were just right. Got thumbs-up from the other band members. The real test was when I switched back to my tube amp, a Marshall JTM 60 2x12 combo with a 4x12 cabinet, for the first time I didn't feel a huge difference from the modelled amps. I have been using a POD HD500 on and off since it first came out, and I always felt so good switching back to my tube amp. I used the POD HD500 in a pop band where I play both guitar and keyboards and I used the Marshall combo+cab in a rock band where I play guitar only. I always felt better with the feel and tone of the tube amp, but now the Helix modelled amps sound just as good. I'll now be using the Helix and Mackie powered speaker for guitar and keyboard with the pop band, and I'll use the HD500 for effects only (maybe with preamp models) wired with four cables to my Marshall combo+cab. Looking forward to using Helix live on stage.
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