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Everything posted by mileskb

  1. "Are any artists ACTUALLY using the Helix?" I'm not sure if he's asking.. "famous people we've all heard of" or just "professional artists" "In short who cares? We should care about this as much as the comparison videos." In my opinion there is a big difference between a comparison video from someone you know nothing about to someone who is relying on a product to continue to put a roof over their head and food on their table. Just a recognized artist doesn't necessarily lend credibility, but there are pros whose opinion is worth taking into consideration. For nearly every purchase I make, once I've narrowed it down on my own favorite, I research to see those who are really putting the item through it's paces. Be it a car, boat, microphone, guitar, or effects unit..... It's always worth a 2nd opinion. The LAST place I look for information about a product is the seller of the product. I do always go there, but it's generally last on the list.
  2. "are any artists using the Helix?" That is a WIDE range of people. While there are some "well known" artists using Helix, it's a product geared toward cover bands and studio artists that need a plethora of sounds at their fingertips. Also as someone mentioned, most established acts already have a sound, they probably couldn't change if they wanted to. There is also a logistic issue with touring bands. They generally want to "gear" their tour in a way that they are never more than a few hours from a replacement piece from a local music store, or they only carry their pedal board and guitar, and everything else is rented or supplied via the rider. Lets remember helix was only showcased at NAMM this past January. There are still plenty of people waiting. Plenty of people who have no idea what it is/never heard of it. I know one artist of a rather legendary touring band, who has done demo stuff for Line6 as recently as last year, is still waiting for his Helix to arrive. Line6 apparently don't play favorites. If you are looking for "endorsements" scour the blogs of YouTube for Helix. While it's getting buried with demos and such now, a few months ago, you could still find hard working musicians, mostly studio guys, using a Helix. If you know anything about the people involved, this garbage endorsement from Billy Bush is all you need to know. It's also clear that neither AxFX or Kemper would work for them because of their needs for a solution for routing and switching as much as the sounds.
  3. "listening to demos online, through the very monitors I use, when they say they are straight into a recording app with no post and it is crystal clear, almost cab in room sounding, and then I use my helix through it and its the muffled tone all over again, even copying or downloading their patches." There just has to be something in your setup. Maybe in the begining it was hard to tell who was doing post production stuff, now with folks like Glenn, Scott, Chris, Fremen, when they post a demo... it should be pretty darn close to what you download from them. I assume you have the latest updates and it's been this way since day one? So.... How do things sound via Headsets? I find most presets sound fantastic in the headsets... not necessarily a good thing, but most do. Lets not rule out that if could be a faulty unit. Sometimes the simplest solution as they say....
  4. While I think their process is closer to #2, there is a "tell" that it's more than that. " a hybrid cab allows you to move the microphone from directly on the grill to up to 12 inches away (in .5 inch increments)," Specifically the .5 inch increments and the limit of 12" and the unwritten lack of offset/angle. That functionality of .5" increments rather than just whatever distance you want (which is a model elsewhere throughout the helix) indicated they sampled impulses at .5" increments. Now, digitally, they may only be changing the applicable portion of the response that changes at difference distances and making enhancements digitally to make it as "real" as possible, but this would account for the increments, and also account for the lack of angle parameter. The limit of 12" again... if it was completely a model, why would that matter? This method, and again it's just a guess, would also make having microphone angles quite a tall order. Instead of the 24 readings per mic they may have now, add another 10 (0 - 45 degrees at 5 degree increments) at each increment... (10 x 24) and we're up to 240 measurements per mic plus all the overhead to "clean it up/enhance" it in the code. I'm guessing it's WAY more complicated than this, but just based on other consistencies throughout the Helix, I'd guess they did at least 24 impulse responses per microphone ON EACH CABINET and manipulate what they need digitally to keep size down and to enhance quality. Just a guess.
  5. Sorry I'm a little late to this, but I hope this helps. This part of your original post is what caught me. First... I envy your job. I was offered a gig on a cruise ship out of Hawaii back in the 80's and I had to turn it down because I was in the Navy... I also can only imagine the work involved with trying to learn new gear in somewhat of a bubble.. So regarding above.. I will pass up on the best practices and go with "most common" practices. Generally the only thing you put in front of a combo amp (in front of the preamp) is compression/distortion and/or wah type effects. So any timebase effect like reverb, delay, chorus belongs after the pre-amp. If you understand that premise, you understand why it didn't sound great, and really shouldn't sound great. I would think SIMPLICITY is the key at this point. This is what I would do. I realize it takes longer to write it out than to actually do it, but I couldn't find less words.... So... that being said.. you mentioned you have a distortion stomp. So here you have the perfect opportunity to test tonality. You could create a preset with only a distortion block... Use the model of the one you have.. NOTHING ELSE. Do an A/B test making like the Helix is a big stomp box with one effect. You could get clever but frankly I would just use two cables. One into the Helix, then from the Helix to the amp and just manually swap the cables to your stomp. You should be able to get the helix model of the distortion to sound pretty close to just the stomp. The reason I suggest this is not just to start with a "known" but also ensure the input/pad levels and output levels of the Helix are not messing up the gain structure. As there are no level or overload indicators.. Once you get the helix with that one distortion, to sound just like your stomp... I would move forward. If you can't get the helix to sound like that one stomp... I'd stop right there. I mean it might not be identical, but I should be darn close, and maybe even better. Still might not be the sound you want, that's ok... we're looking for a starting point. Helix = your distortion stomp. If you can't get this far, there might be other issues. Now moving on.. I see no reason you can't use your combo amp as either you stage sound, or just a monitor. Granted the helix is designed to be used with an FRFR PA, but... you can just as easily still send the XLR outs to the PA and use your amp for a monitor. So the spirit of keeping things simple.. grab your headsets, on the helix find a amp/cab that is most similar to your Marshal combo and put it after the distortion block. You could always just mute the distortion block so you can see how close the model is to your combo amp. Again.. you can just move the cables to A/B. The reason for doing this again establish a baseline. Trying to get the Helix (listening in headsets) to sound like the combo amp in the room. Once you get a nice sound out of the helix that resembles your current rig.. you'll want to change the amp/cab blocks to be a pre-amp block only. You might scroll through the factory presets to find something as similar to your rig as possible and then get rid or bypass blocks that you don't need for this. But ultimately, you want to end up with a preset that has your distortion block, and a pre-amp block and nothing else. Now you have somewhat of a baseline and can plug the Helix back into the Effects Return of your combo. The helix being used as a pre-amp and the Marshal is your amp/cab. I know this seems like an odd route to take, but it should give you something to work with and an understanding of gain structure as it relates to the Helix. You might need to add an eq block after the pre-amp to reign in the helix to only outputing 150 hz to 8 Khz -ish into your Marshal amp/cab but... you should be able to figure that out. You should be able to get some pretty decent tones at this point. You can add your chorus, reverb and such, but I would refrain from adding any AMP or CAB modeling, cause you are already using an AMP and a CAB. If this sound is good enough to play or monitor is up to you. You could always add a 2nd path (there are a few options here) to split the signal so the "pre-amp" only path goes to your combo, and a full amp model goes to the PA. From here you could also maybe implement the 4 cable route... if the amp "can" sound good enough.... but there are SO MANY options in the Helix, that I would start with an attempt to mimic what you have first to ensure things like gain structure or who knows what else, isn't taking you off course before you even leave the harbor (see what I did there?) Good luck... keep us posted.
  6. Was going to go there at first, but with the recent maintenance, I thought I would check around first. ccleaner did the trick. Something was cache'd ...
  7. Can anyone else able to get to the Helix forums from a PC using Chrome ? I haven't been able to get to the Helix topic since the maintenance last night/early today. As you can see from this post, I can get here and as far as I can tell any other topic, just not the Helix topic. I have tries closing browser, clearing cache, rebooting, logging out/in, clear cookies etc.. I can get there via other devices and browsers, just not chrome, which is of course the only browser I regularly use.
  8. mileskb

    Helix vs AX8

    I find this review very useful, and maybe that's because it re-enforces what I have been saying for nearly a year now.. and that is.. They are BOTH great units. I am absolutely convinced that rather than setting both to the same settings, one could adjust one unit or the other (or both) to sound like it's counterpart by digging deep into adjusting gain and eq and working with the hum, sag, ripple, bias controls. At least close enough that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two units in a blind test. And as far as sounding or "feeling" like the real amp that is being modeled.. well the same issue is there. How old are the tubes, are there any mods, condition of the speaker, mic and placement, etc etc etc.. Either unit and I'll add the Kemper to be fair, can get whatever sound you need. But SOUND is NOT the only reason to buy one of these units. If you are just interested in "sound" than just buy or rent the amps you need. But... even at that... trust me. My one test attempting to match a restored B15 Fliptop against the Helix taught me, that I'm best off just using the Helix cause there are too many other variables involved in recording an actual amp, or worse, having to come back in another session and get it to sound the same.... it's just not worth it. But... as I said above.. it's not just about the sound. It's the routing, the interface, the control, etc.. One should decide which unit to buy really based on everything EXCEPT the tone. Pick the UNIT that fits what you need to use if for. That's the real difference between the units... You can make any of these units pretty much sound like what you need it to. JMHO... YMMV
  9. I wish someone would make an Adamas I or Adamas pre-production Slothead IR, but the ones 3 Sigma has so far are damn good.
  10. I tend to agree on principle with the OP. I would add the idea of better IR Management to the list along with more robust MIDI implementation as well. I would like to see SOMETHING for setting gain structure. Even if it's just a few LED bars somewhere on the screen somewhere or just a very thin vertical line of LEDS on the the side of the screen. Not sure if there is enough pixel resolution, there doesn't need to be much... but I doubt there is any argument against being able to accurately setup gain. I'd like to see a graphic RTA display for all EQ's. A trick that Behringer (and I assume others) do is that as example on their XR18 mixer, when you select EQ, you get the sliders, but the bottom of the screen, and actually the background, is an RTA display. This brilliant design allowis the user in the case of graphic eq, to put the centerpoint directly on a peak or valley and precisely adjust the Q and gain. Gone are the high, upper-mid w/sweep, mid, lower-mid w/sweep, bass w/sweep type limited controls.. At the very least this should be on the Global EQ screen but any other multi-band eq as well. Finally from my list, is essentially to have the equivalent of an "insert" point on every amp/cab model. A way to get a signal to the AMP section of a block, without going through the pre-amp much like the purpose of an effects insert point. This would open up sound possibilities so exponentially. The real world example happens every day where someone is using a preamp and feeding it directly to the return of a Marshall (or other) head avoiding or bybassing the preamp completely. The ability to just bypass the preamp of any preamp/amp combo block would accomplish creating this signal path. I know these are all tall orders but after seeing what's possible with snapshots... It's beginning to look like the sky is the limit.
  11. Hmm at approximate retail... no discounts... just tag price... individually.... Supro Titan 50 ($1500 x 2) = 3000 Morgan SW50 with 2x12 = 3100 '59 Les Paul Reissue = 8600 Helix = 1500 and for the extra's = 500 Well that's roughly $4000 LESS than this "rig" package, and in fact right now a used '59 LP reissue is available for under $4000 dropping the total down to $10,000 Still a hunk of change, and if you need support, there is something to be said for Sweetwater customer service especially if you are a touring pro musician... but still.... you'd think a "package" would be at least a little less than the sum of it's parts, not $4000 more for the convenience. Maybe I'm missing something..
  12. Actually, they already had the epiphany, that's why they DO mandate it. Remember, the distributor is SELLING the guitars (or whatever) TO the store... they could care less what happens to them after that, they have already been paid. The minimums are to ensure the distributors meet their quota of widgets to sell. If they didn't "mandate" stores take x-number of each price point, the stores wouldn't buy more than they could sell in a month or quarter or whatever.
  13. Could you record a clip? Let us know the stock preset. Do NOT change anything... just a plain stock preset, use the USB to record if possible. If you are hearing a bad noise with just the headsets, than their might be a problem. Especially because you mention you had the same thing before and after update to 2.01.
  14. I actually say this is 1st. The headphone out is one of the best trouble-shooting tools on the Helix. The OP stated "I Still obtain a bad noise with crunch or distortion like if you put directly a distortion pedal in a sound card. The sound is not natural." This description does not sound like something that would come out of the Helix unless you programmed it too, but it does describe a possibly faulty unit.
  15. I guess I should have been clearer... Setting is to multi certainly does allow the Aux and Guitar inputs to work simultaneously, but the AUX is run through paths too. I am looking for a way to bring one signal in on the AUX (or some other way) and straight out the output stage unprocessed... Another scenario would be... backing tracks.. I don't want to affect the backing tracks.. I just want to play along with them. I could have sworn there was a way to do this.
  16. I think in general what this discussion has brought to light is the constant tension that occurs when one mixes art and science. It's a good tension I think. It's much like a drummer who strives for "perfect time" but in reality, if it was ever achieved it would sound like crap. Even dance, house, trance whatever you want to call it... the mood is set by the percussion being ahead or behind the beat and the overall "Rhythm" fluctuates ever so slightly so much like perfect tone is just the "right" tone, perfect time is just the "right" time. Scientifically, it may be neither good nor right... but it sounds fantastic. Another aspect that is in the background in this conversation is that in last 10 years, everything about music production has been set on it's ear (excuse the pun) from DAW's to Modeling, to Impulse Response, to the quality of PA systems, and IEM, to the explosion of YouTube and smartphones. As far as the typical audience goes... they know what they like... that's about all they know.
  17. Excuse the rudimentary ask, but I seem to have gone brain dead.... For some reason, I thought there was a way to route the AUX input directly to the output for "playing along" with tracks, or is that just USB? I don't want to use ANY "path" or "blocks" to do this. What I'm trying to do, is A/B devices and effects with the Helix without using an 2nd/external mixer.
  18. The list is waaaaay longer and pretty much includes any rock album in the 90's. Santana, ZZTop, Satriani, Genesis, Blue Oyster Cult (actually used a rockman headcase on tour), etc.. The Rockman sustainer and EQ modules are the swiss army knives of many studios even today. Those diagrams are only the first half of the signal chain. The "sound" came from using a Mic on the cab with a 6 band MXR EQ on it to record or to FOH... basically. The Sustainer came about as a way to get that sound consistently.. It has compression, EQ, Distortion, and a Cab Sim built into it... for starters. "Rockman gear was designed with one thing in mind: since the final objective is to make records, or to get a correct global band sound on stage, let’s directly design guitar gear that will sound good in a mix." Check out .. or these articles.. Here is the block diagrams of the X-100 and Sustainer from the .fr site.
  19. Anyone else have any issues with the rotary dial? Yeah, it's because of the digital phone systems. Most house lines you can still use a pulse phone (rotary dial) but many digital or voip you need a converter... Oh.... what.... you mean the dial on the Helix... nevermind.
  20. What a lot of people don't realize is the gear like the Rockmodules didn't have to have "that" sound. You could actually make quite a few powerful tones but unless you went with a full rack setup, things were limited. The Rig I used the longest was an XPR with a Lexicon MPX-1 for the reverbs and delays. But there were still things that I couldn't do like bypass the compressor easily. At the time, a lot of folks didn't understand they needed to use full range, flat response, speakers too as there was/is a cab modeler in the sustainer. Here is my collections of Rockman Gear as of last year. Most is gone now. Only have the A12 amp and I still have my X-100, Bass Rockman a sustainer and eq. It also doesn't have any pictures of my full rack... they didn't have camera's on phones back then.
  21. There's actually something to this... maybe not so much FRFR vs Tube amps... but something I noticed with using the Helix with a solid-state and at least flat response speaker... Because of the way Helix does component modeling.. it's pretty hard to tell tube from solid state. This may even bleed into the whole FRFR thing... The main difference, at least the difference that causes the most audible difference between tube and solid-state is the fact that a tubes output characteristics change with volume and frequency. Heat and humidity are factors, but all things equal a tube is Dynamic whereas solid-state generally isn't. Now enter the Helix... that is designed to emulate the component inconsistencies the way tubes do (on tube amp models anyway) and does it VERY well/surprisingly well. Putting that signal into a solid-state amp where the nuances will just be amplified seems to make more sense than putting them into a tube amp where they are going to be affected. Of course... as I also found out.. makes sense does not necessarily equal sound better.... just different. It sure is nice to be able to record a "tube amp" without actually having to even own that amp... and likely no one will ever know the difference unless you tell them.
  22. So I initially reacted to the overall tone of the OP, by being just as condescending and I'm sure that wasn't helpful to the overall conversation which... is a good conversation to have I think. I see a few things that have not really been addressed with the most important being "what are you using your modeler for?" but before I go any further... there is no good, bad, better, worse, right, wrong. There just isn't. There is different, and what you prefer, and that's it. So on to the show... One thing that is overlooked in most of this conversation regarding sound is the FR part of FR. No not THAT FR, the other one. The Flat Response part. The models are designed to be played via FLAT RESPONSE speakers. Frankly I think that is more important than the whole Full Range aspect although that is a factor. Someone mentioned solid-state amps with EV12's.. yep.. not full range... but guess what... as I found out... NOT flat response. Close, not quite, especially depending on the cabinet they are in. As covered in another thread, I really like playing through these speakers, and they sounded great, but I like playing through them MORE now that I put an EQ in line (using the global eq or external) and making them FLAT. So this brings out the other topic that hasn't been hit on. What is the modeler being used for? If you are using it to record, well, the advantages and frequency response etc etc etc gained by not adding yet another microphone and cab to the mix is astonishing, but if you are playing live... this is where it gets interesting. Are you trying to reproduce a tone, or create a tone ? Or, is "tone" even really your primary concern or are you looking for acceptable tone and more concerned about the other features of the modeler? This is a HUGE factor in the purchase of the Helix. As for me I've said it many times... Kemper, AxeFX, Helix, all sound great. I want the one that's a floor unit, with a built in expression pedal, several routing options including USB, and is easy to program on the fly.... well you get the idea... and all this for as little money as possible. So back to tone.. there are so many options and opinions I decided to address one statement you made directly... and this discussion may help others.. You stated " I prefer my custom wired and loaded 4x12 for the shear real amp tone, punch, and low end, without mud and range of highs across the entire ability of the guitar." What does this mean? What is "real amp tone" or I guess what is "non real amp tone" Low end... what isn't providing low end without mud what is or insn't providing mud range of highs across the entire ability of the guitar.. (I think you mean limted to guitar, but again.. I don't under stand completely enough the premise) I guess the simple question is what are you comparing? After this is clarified it gets into the real tricky bit, and the reason many prefer modelers. Using stage volume to the audience is rarely done anymore. When I started out, we put our amps behind us and our mic in front of us. When we did a lead we stepped to the side not because it looked cool, but because that put the microphone pointing right at the stack pulling the lead into the PA just enough to sound like a lead. That practice started to fade in the 80's when people found out you could put more than the vocals (and maybe some kick and snare) into smaller PA systems. When they started making club sized PA systems that could handle everything, and even had sub-wooders... folks got a little mic crazy really. Mic'd or hard-wired (mostly keys or electronic drums) most everything. The problem with mic'ing a speaker cab is simply the weakest link. That big sound you have on stage reduced to the 4 square inches of forward facing cone that a 20 year old mic that should have been tossed out years ago... can hear. This was fine in the begining, but as guitar and bass amps started to really improve... getting that great tone out to the audience was a chore. It was either crank the stage volume which is really only appreciated by the front row, sorta... or... somehow... get the "full sound" off that cabinet out to the FOH board. Enter modeling. The ability to reproduce the sound of the whole cabinet experience as if it was properly mic'd (several mics, front and back as appropriate) and get it to the FOH board, or recording console. The Helix gives you the opportunity to do what you want, whatever that is. Wanna use a guitar cab on stage cause you like the way it feels... perfect.. send the model of that cab to FOH, cause your only other choice is to stick a mic in front of one speaker, or crank up the amp. As for the wall 'o sound you see with a lot of acts... trust me... ISO Boxes have been all the rage for at least 20 years. One additional note addressing the "what is it used for" question.. If your sound involves a certain amp and cab and some effects, I'm not sure that a modeler is really the most efficient choice. It might be... but I'm thinking an ISO Box might suit better, or at least supply your own microphone for micing. However, many cover bands need/want to sound like MANY different artists that have very unique tone. This is where the modeler shines... And frankly if you have a "sound" that you like to hear on stage, but want to have different sounding gear go out to the audience on every tune... why not? Helix has the power to do that to some extent... or split your signal between your stage rig and a Kemper to send to FOH if all you need is to send a modeled signal to the audience. Anyway... my thoughts.. YMMV... again... if anyone was offended by me earlier post... SUCK IT UP BUTTER UP !!!! no seriously.. just took offence to one of my careers being denigrated for the exact reason I have been successful.
  23. But what we really want to know is if the backing tracks sound better off a CD or Vinyl album? I apologize in advance to those who just spit their beverage over their keyboard. FWIW... because I can be a real arse when something needs to be said. We FOH guys get paid for what our EARS enable us to do with the gear provided, not the other way around. FWIW... umm additional. Tom Scholz has sold 75 million records to date on the premise that a guitar rig should be processed to be sent through an FRFR system... and he has a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering engineering as well. Plainly speaking... Line6, Kemper and AxeFX are about 35 years late to the party.. but best late than never. ( Insert Sound of Microphone Drop )
  24. I'm still using the same one... Now as I have gotten into using some 3rd party Cab IR's... I sometimes turn off the global EQ just because I like the huge bottom of some of the presets I have which is fine for playing by myself. But I usually end up turning it back on because flat they articulate so much better. I have also changed my AMP to a Crate PowerBlock so I should probably check the EQ again but honestly... it was sortofa proof of concept. What I should really do, is just put an external EQ in line. I just haven't had time. I'm guessing it would sound even better as the Helix's global EQ isn't as precise as your standard 32 band eq. The Helix is designed to be used with an FRFR system and while I have some great speakers, they aren't flat response. Sooooo I thought I would flatten them with EQ to see if anything sounded better.... and it sure did. I would guess if you have an actual FRFR system, that really is FLAT.... Global EQ is not really needed. If you're going into a house PA that is setup correctly.. again.. likely no need. I'm guessing, if you have a studio monitor setup, it would behoove one to configure the speakers for the room. That will make everything sound better.
  25. Ding Ding Ding !!!! We have a winner. I have been playing with Glenn's,. Fremen's and Scott's presets now for just a couple of days to see what all this IR hubub is about... It's about EVERYTHING !!!! Seriously... When auditioning, play with turning the IR blocks on and off. You will be amazed at the dramatic affect they have on the Presets, and even compared to the stock cabs. I don't think it's a "quality" issue with the stock cabs as they are likely designed a bit Vanilla to be able to do "everything" pretty well where as the Fremen cabs as example are optimized for the Presets they are attached too. And for the other newbies to IR's like myself (although I've used them to model room ambiance in the studio) not all IR's are used the same way. Glenn's presets use IR's for tone matching as his presets are geared toward artists classic tones as they were recorded. Scott's presets use mostly Sigma IR's now as most of his presets are geared toward genre' of music and styles. Fremen's presets seem to be geared toward getting the classic tone out of classic amps. The stock cabs are a good baseline. Great for experimenting to see what type of cab seems to go best with whatever preset you are using for whatever genre. Experimenting with Mic placement and such, can't be beat. But once you dial it in... It's amazing how much fuller it can sound when you fly in an IR cab that is similar to the stock cab but created (recorded) specifically for the configuration. And I guess that's the difference... The Helix as example "simulates" what an sm57, on axis, 6" off the speaker sounds like as opposed to an IR that was recorded with an SM57, on axis, 6" off the speaker. I came to the IR party late... but I'm hooked now.
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