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Everything posted by mileskb

  1. I agree with the rest of your post in its entirety, but to add to your list, I'd like to see a way to segratate the "amp" and if it's just an option to bypass the pre-amp of an AMP-CAB block that is fine with me. Not to dwell but for those that may have not seen the previous on this, we can have a CAB block, we can have a PRE-AMP block, we can have COMBO-AMP block that we can put whatever cab on we want via IR, but we can't just get to the amp. Regarding completeness and such.. as a software developer since the 80's (now mostly web stuff), there is NO SUCH THING as a piece of software with NO BUGS. The best you can hope for is a piece of software that no bugs have been found, and THAT is pretty rare. And of course there are compatibility issues... The software has no known bugs, but doesn't work on X version of Y device. Helix is made of Hardware, Software and Firmware (which really is just more software). It's amazing any of these units (Helix, AxFX, Kemper) are as tight as they are. One chip manufacturer changing a seemingly insignificant spec and all hell can break loose. FWIW, I too am also a fan of the "less is more" approach. While I may have over simplified the amp design process above, I love the component approach to modeling. Add in being able to apply third party IR's and I really can't think of a situation where I couldn't find/build the sound I want. I recently was working with an Ovation Thunderhead. It's a 335 style guitar that blows the ES335 off the map. I was playing it through the guitar input of my Ampeg B15N and think'n... wow... This is a pretty cool sound... if only I had a 12" speaker and it had some reverb........ I have a Helix... soooo now I have a B12N with reverb... and drive...
  2. Ahhhhh the voice of reason. Now go back in your corner and let us bicker like spoiled brats. :) Oh yeah... and thanks for all you do.
  3. The short answer... Helix is supposedly designed to use with Full Range Flat Response speakers. Using the pink noise and RTA I saw by speakers were not as flat as I thought., so using the Global EQ, I coaxed them to flat. As I am playing guitar, and this is somewhat to taste, I really don't need anything below 75hz or above 8.5 kHz. These numbers vary slightly depending on who you ask, but as the high cut and low cut are not shelves but gradual, it's a good place to start. Someone asked about RTA's... there are free apps, but they are dependant on the quality of what they are running on. I found the microphones on smartphones to not be great, but conceivably we should be able to actually use the Helix... Hmmmm Off to experiment. ( an hour or so passed ) Proof of concept. Brought up empty patch Path #1. Output from Laptop line-out to Return 1/2 Input routed to XLR outs only. (Global EQ only affects XLR and Line Outs) XLR's go to my stereo amp and speakers. Path #2. Reference Mic into Microhpone Jack (phantom on for mic) routed to USB 1/2 outputs. SAVED PRESET !!!!! (the second time) Went to started the Pink noise which per Path #1 I hear in the speakers. Found an RTA application (I'm still looking for a good one) and installed. Set the RTA to listen to the Line6 output (from the USB). With this setup I was able to make the 800-1200 hz range really flat. My initial Global EQ setting above still leaned a little toward bass at the lower end of the guitar range (800 hz) which was fine. I flattened the speakers out with the RTA and went back to my Gutiar presets and found I like a little more bottom end back in again so I just made some very minor tweaks. What I noticed is that using Global EQ, starting with my settings above, minor adjustments are much easier and much more noticeable. Bottom line... This makes for an easy self contained setup. One could argue all day if this is helpful or not, but what I will say... I now realize I can haul my 6-space loaded rack case back out to the studio and if I want to play around with RTA's and such, I just need my reference mic and a cable in my rehearsal room. My laptop is already plugged in anyway. Its the ability to do stuff like this on the fly that I really like my Helix more and more every day. I mean seriously, with just a laptop and a mic, I can use the Helix as the audio routing to set up Global EQ not only on the Helix, but when I'm setting up sound systems. Heckuvah lot less gear to lug around.
  4. Well that wasn't my intent... quite the contrary!!! Amp design is ALL about subtle differences against some basic principles. When designers go about building amps they are building for Tone (hopefully first) and then Features. We can pull "Features" out of the mix, because in general their components are not modeled. Tone is affected by lots of factors, mainly the voltages and types or filter circuits. Sometimes these changes are made by a company and they call it a new model, and sometimes by others and it's a different brand. But bottom line, if you want to sound like X or Y you have to purchase X or Y. Compliments to the Chefs. Enter Helix, and again, Compliments to those Chefs too. Because of the component level modeling we have control of some of the things that differentiate amps in the real world. Not all obviously, but a lot and we also have the ability to hook it up to many cabinets or even in many cases just use the pre-amp. I wish I knew more about the details of amp design, but the one example I can use is my Trace Elliott Velocette 12R. I love that little amp and it's not in the Helix... or is it ? It's a simple EL84 powered class A amp. Has a tone and Volume, and a brightness, No gain control. Well that sounds familiar.... So I messed with the '60 Vox AC-15 [Essex A-15] and I can get it to sound pretty much like my Trace Elliott Velocette. Close enough that if I select a 12 inch speaker with an SM57 about 1" away and put it in one channel and run the trace with an sm57 into the other channel, I'd be hard pressed to tell which is which. The Divided by 13 JRT 9/15 [Divided Duo] also came pretty close with just a little tweaking but I had gotten bored having already proved the point to myself.
  5. I was trying to be polite but.... I'm with you 100% on this. Most amps have EL84, EL34, 6L6 or KT88/6550 output tubes. Preamp tubes are 12AX7, ECC83, 7025 After option 1 and 2 are selected... the following options come into play but if the amp model doesn't have them, you can always add a block to make up for it. They either have a gain stage or don't They have tone controls or don't They have Master Volume or Don't. Some sort of Speaker Cabinet. None of the "models" have any effects.... (ironic the twin reverb doesn't have reverb... that just makes me giggle) Sooooooo .... oh nevermind. You might ask... "If there are so few combinations of components why are there so many amps out there?" That's a fair question. Simply put, they each have, at least what the designer thought, was a signature tone or other element that sets them apart. Generally accomplished by hard wiring things like Bias and Sag, and filters and such with components. But here in Helix-world we are not restricted by hard-wire design. If we want a very basic EL34 amp grab and AC30.... want it have a 4 x 12 cab... do it. Want it to have 6L6 tubes, crank the BIAS all the way up (or is it down, I forget). Hey, lets give it gain.... done... how about a mid boost... done... We have a Laney 100 !!!! Yeay!!!! Actually that's probably not accurate, I did it for effect... but it gets the idea across.
  6. I'll give the OP a pass on the Mesa Mk IIC+ because to my knowledge it's the only amp with 6L6 and EL84's in it. It also uses my favorite EV 12L speakers. However, with the Bogner... there are several versions with several channels and assorted speaker options. I'm guessing you could get pretty damn close, if not spot on with other "models" of similar specs and the right IR and from my discussion at NAMM in January with one of the reps... I think THAT is point. Because they are modeling "components" and how they interact, NOT JUST MODELING AMPS... They are shooting for the largest variety of component configurations, not a long list of amps that if you actually opened up the amps side-by-side on a bench with the covers off, you wouldn't be able to easily tell them apart. As example... They have the Bogner Shiva as "German Mahadeva." Which one did they model? I generally can tell EL84's from 6L6's but honestly.. mucking with he Bias and Sag... I have no idea which one they modeled the 80 watt EL34 powered version or the 60 watt 6L6 powered version. Additionally, they don't put all of the user interface that's on the actual amp into the models. I have TWO Ampeg B15N Portaflexes. before and after mid 70's versions. Ascetically they don't look like, and functionally they are quite different... but for the purposes of the Helix.. I can make the Helix Tuck'nGo sound like either of them. And.... they might as well say they have a B12N too, because the B15 and B12 are the same amp (exactly the same amp) with different sized speakers/cabinet. All I need to do is replace the 15" cab with a bass 12" cab and done. That is all....
  7. Ok... I obviously have too much time on my hands .... "ta ta ta take it away from me" (how many will get that reference... Speaking of references.... (rimshot)... So I took the reference mic and pointed it at my Sony MDR 7506 headsets and took some pics of the RTA with and without the Global EQ. Interesting that the Global EQ really only took away above and below the cuts. It didn't have much affect on the already fairly flat response. I confirmed by putting on the headsets and playing, that while all my favorite presets sound pretty damn good without the global EQ engaged, they seem to come alive with a little more detail when I engage it using the above settings. Frankly I would have expected that leaving the global off would have sounded better in the headsets, but that's not the case. I would have also expected the global EQ to affect the signal in the headsets a little more and possible degrade the audio... that was NOT the case. This is fun.. It's like I have a new rig and as much as I liked the old one.. the new one sounds better !!! (and it's the same one but with Global EQ turned on). I have to think that my choice of pink noise, and the audio output of the laptop line-out had some affect on the signal I was using too.. I have a signal generator somewhere that I might have to dig out. I find this stuff fascinating... almost as much as I enjoy playing. RTA of Sony MDR 7506 headsets WITHOUT global eq. RTA of Sony MDR 7506 headsets WITH global eq. My Global EQ Settings.
  8. Very VERY valid point. I setup my speakers primarily for ME. I'm not currently playing in a band but plan on putting something together soon. In the mean time, if opportunity comes up to play with some other folks I'll be using my cab to either just monitor myself. or possibly as my amp sound for rehearsals. That being said, as I just really only backed off the low end a bit and added high and low cuts... I'm guessing it's going to work just fine on most PA systems anyway when the time comes. In fact my Global EQ looks a lot like how I end up EQ'ing a lot of guitars for other people when I'm running FOH. Hmmm so maybe it's just what I like to hear. :)
  9. I guess I should have mentioned that bit about the room. Very important. I had the reference mic about 1 foot on axis about 1/2 way up the cone.. I used enough volume so the room had little play if any. If i was doing the room I would have pulled further back, but excellent point. And again, the purpose of this is just to really know what your speakers are doing to the signal, if anything. In my case, it was a few minutes well spent for the improvement. FWIW. Glenn Delaune has got a Scholz preset coming out, and its damn close. I still have my Sustainer and EQ, so I'll be doing an A/B when it comes out.
  10. Yep, ultimate getting the guitar placed "in the mix" is the goal. Generally and traditionally that's the job of the person at FOH or doing the mixing in the studio, and sometimes unfortunately being at the mercy of the those people is not a good thing. The Helix gives us more control of the situation. Especially if we are doing our own recording, we can just lay down the nearly finished track. or provide a signal to the PA that may not need to be tweaked at all. While placing instruments into the mix with EQ and compression has been around for awhile, Tom Scholz of Boston really unmasked the process in the early 80's for guitarists by providing the sound the audience will hear to the PA right from the rig and a separate sound for the stage, no microphones or other pre-amps and eq's to mess it up. While I've mostly used full range cabs over the years, they have been enhanced in one way or another for guitar, or I used Rockman gear which was already eq'd for pa speakers and certain full range cabinets.
  11. It's my old Behringer DSP 8000 workhorse and it's ECM 8000 reference microphone. They have had many updates since this unit came out and for many years (likely even today) you'll see one of the versions in just about every major sounds install somewhere in the rack. It's actually an EQ/Feedback Destroyer/Delay but also has an RTA mode that is worth its weight in gold. The reason it stood out at the time is that unlike a straight spectrum analyzer that showed the full spectrum, the Behringer looks at the frequencies that are on the EQ. so It was easy to translate... see a +4 spike at 1 kHz = reduce 1 kHz by -4 on the main EQ. Today with graphic EQ's and RTA's you can zap specific frequencies. Not that many years ago... knowing the specific frequency meant doing math-on-the-fly to adjust the eq slider "closest" to the offending frequency. The Microphone, and again there are newer ones, is just a full spectrum "flat response" microphone if you will. This has been my workhorse for setting up sound systems, but It's dated. This "experiment" was just that. The Global EQ acts on ALL presets as opposed to having to add an EQ to each preset. That being said, generally speakers don't have "spikes" (sometimes they do) and they are just bass, mid or treble heavy. You can pull a range down and then fine tune things on each preset as someone above mentioned. As example, set the Global high and low cuts as wide as you would ever want them. Then when you want to tighten up a particular preset, only add the "extra" cuts on the presets that need them if that's the case.
  12. The frequency range of guitar is about 80hz to 1200hz so you can see in the pre-EQ shot of the RTA that this cabinet is definitely "enhanced" for guitar and I initially thought that was enough. But harmonics play a big role so Flat Response is really what the Helix is looking for as in the post-EQ shot of the RTA. The Global EQ curve on the Helix looks more dramatic than it is as it's really just pulling back those frequencies that the cab is enhancing, making it overall, more balanced. P.S. Ignor the EQ that I didn't crop out of the RTA photo. It's not plugged in. RTA pre-EQ RTA post-EQ My Global EQ setting.
  13. So on a whim, and because I have easy access to a Real Time Analyzer and a reference microphone, I spent a few moments sending pink noise into the Helix and adjusting the Global EQ until the RTA showed essentially flat. I then set the low cut at 72Hz and the High Cut at 9.5 KHz and WOW !!!!!! Every patch I have now sounds soooo much better. For speakers I'm using my go to Genz Benz custom cab that's loaded with EV 12's and is ported and a QSC 100 watt solid state stereo amp. I think it's worth the few moments it takes to do this. Even if you have an FRFR system, I'm guessing it's not as "flat" as you might expect. I'll so some audio and some pictures to show what I did. Don't get me wrong, the rig sounded great before, but it sounds so much better now. So much more clarity. I wish the global EQ was more like a 5 band instead of a 3 band, but playing with the freq, q and gain of each band worked well. I don't think I increased ANY frequencies, it was all a matter of cutting, which is overall better anyway. This all came about because I got to thinking that any time I set up a PA system, the first thing is to put a reference signal through (admittedly it's sometimes just familiar music) and I adjust the EQ on the mains so that reference sounds good in the room. As the Helix is designed mainly to feed a PA, if I'm just using a speaker setup, even if it was PA speakers, or especially if it was PA (FRFR) speakers, I would set their EQ to a reference before I sent anything else. I honestly didn't think it would make a difference, but it sure did.
  14. Sony MDR-7506 Studio Headphones (just thought I would get that our of the way). The main difference between studio headsets and consumer grade headsets, and there isn't a hard line, but in general, is consumer grade headsets are designed first and foremost to make whatever is coming through them sound good. Same with speakers for that matter. Full range speakers and headsets are designed to reproduce exactly what's going into them. This is a generalization... so I'll elaborate on the details. I use my choice of headsets because they can handle the volume and handle Bass with extreme clarity. Much like my Event 20/20 studio monitors, that doesn't always translate to "sounding good" but I "hear" everything, and every nuance. I use the same headsets when I'm mixing front of house and I have to audition delays or make subtle changes to eq in the heat of battle because I can hear the nuance, and the detail. That being said... your headphones shouldn't sound fizzy. That's just wrong.
  15. Just because (or if) there was more room doesn't mean you have to use it. I'm just say'n. I'm actually surprised it hasn't come up before this. Maybe the possibility to scroll a little in the current space? My Lexicon has the ability to switch the display between Patch Numbers and Names so that would save a bunch of real estate too. Just some thoughts.
  16. Just curious if anyone in the know, really knows if there was rhyme or reason for such short preset names. I realize real estate on the Helix itself is at a premium, but with knowing there was going to be an editor, it seems the field could be longer and just truncate (or scroll as some other folks do) for the actual Helix. In reality, there's quite a bit of room on the title line still, at least 7 or 8 characters which is pretty significant. With no place for descriptions. really the name of the preset is all we have to describe the presets. Anyway... wondered if the length was some sort of limit, or they just never opened up. Interesting note. I have a ton of presets, all of Glenn's most of Scott's the stock ones... it's almost like two-foot-itus for boat owners. It seems like just two or three more characters of room would negate needing to abbreviate just about anything. Signd - Jus Curious
  17. There's the $1500 question. This is my first piece of Line6 gear. Now I could see if the tuner was just granular as a $10.00 clip-on for free App. Who would know? But that fact that at least some, like mine, have more than double the "free play" in the "tuned" spot... makes me think there is something else going on. In general these units are well designed, and the attention to detail amazing. As I mentioned before I kinda just blamed my out-of-tune-ness on me getting used to the unit... then I thought it strange it was easier to tune with my old Sabine unit... then I started seeing threads about the tuner and thought.... naw.... but then I tested it. and the test is bad enough. But compare it to other cheapo tuners and THEY win. :( By the way... I have a Moser Bich 10-String... Now THAT is something fun to try and tune with the Helix only.... NOT !!!!
  18. I don't think anyone is questioning the accuracy or precision of the tuner, just the granularity of the display. Using your scope analogy, after it's been dialed in, accuracy + precision = a well calibrated, high quality instrument... now.. instead of looking through cross-hairs put a large DOT in the middle. Now there's the issue. You can float up/down and left/right on the bullseye and assume/guess where the center is, but because of the dot you really can't see it and know for sure, so you get a tight grouping still.... but it could be tighter. In the Helix, as you approach the note, the Center LED and the >< light up a bit flat and sharp of the note. More than most other tuners. So you can get real close, but not close enough for tuning completely muted as it's designed. I have no other tuner that I can actually move the machine head on the guitar and it still read "in tune." (sorry... went on a rant there...)
  19. I had not seen that technique before, but will try it. Not real practical in a live situation or for the roadie/tech on the side of the stage. In the green room, your bedroom, the bus, all fine. In any band I've had, or been in, if you're heard tuning on stage you may get one warning, but likely not.
  20. Thanks for posting this. Our results are very similar (mine are posted above) showing roughly the same 6 cents "zone" around A 440. I know for many it doesn't seem like a big deal, and a "tuner" isn't what the Helix is all about, but for MANY people... self included... it's the "little" things that got us on board with the Helix. If I've said it once, I've said it a 1000 times.. there are LOTS of good modelers out there. It's the "non-modeling" related features that put the Helix over the top. The controller, the midi, the USB, the routing, the editing, the actual case and YES... FINALLY a unit with a decent tuner on the floor !!!! It just adds insult to injury when the average $10 tuner or FREE smartphone app is more useful. And just to be clear... I'm an old-school, old fart who plays 3-piece rock'n roll and most of my guitars have Kahler tremolo systems.. You gots ta know I'm not picky about tuning... my general line is "close enough for Rock'n Roll," but I generally have my guitar at least in tune with itself !!! and I can't do consistently with the Helix.
  21. I'm wondering if there aren't TWO issues. One is the granularity, discussed... covered.. The other is consistency. Like you I "thought" mine was fine and it was "ME" who for seem reason couldn't tune a guitar anymore... The Tuner was show "in tune" but I'd hear the warble of NOT being in tune... Then this topic came up so I plugged in my trusty crusty Sabine.... and wha-la !!!! All of a sudden I can tune my guitar. That's when I broke out the signal gen software and the Petersen and started testing. I am no beginning to wonder if some units are more granular than others. Or... maybe that I use fine tuners on my Kahle or the Grovers on my Moser which are pretty fine. And before anyone makes a comment about one not being fixed bridge... I don't have problems if I use any OTHER tuner. WHen the others say it's in tune... I can strum a chord and it sounds like a chord, not a chord with Chorus which is what happens OFTEN with the Helix tuner.
  22. That's why I avoided the word. Simply put... there's too much wiggle room on each segment of the tuner. It NEEDS to be more granular. It's likely accurate as all getout.... we just have NO WAY TO SEE THAT ACCURACY... I seriously can't believe my 15 year old Sabine is more granular than the Helix. That's just disappointing and I know that's harsh. But 1.5 Hz is a BIG spread !!! In musical terms the difference between 440 and 440.73 is about 2.87 cents sharp.. which isn't a lot and likely not audible.... unless of course the other note being played is 2.8 cents flat. While you likely can't hear the difference of two notes that are 6 cents apart when played separately, you can definitely hear the warble of two seemingly identical notes that are actually 6 cents apart. Now add playing technique, ON TOP of that, and your OUT OF TUNE !!! PERIOD. Here is an interesting wiki with a toy at the bottom to play with.
  23. There is definitely something to this. I chained my Sabine Rackmount, Peterson Stobe and the Helix together and ran a signal generated from an online tone generator. The Helix reads > A < (as in tuned to A from) 439.20Hz to 440.73Hz that's 1.53 Hz folks. That's a LOT of slop, and based on what I have read, that's way outside of the intended specs too. It's also a little inconsistent as you can see I can tune .8 down and .73 up. Interestingly my probably 15+ year old Sabine Rackmount didn't vary off of "A" from 439.7 to 440.3 which is only +/- .6 Hz 1.5 Hz is also WAY OUT OF THE RANGE OF ANY NORMAL PLAYING TECHNIQUE. I am heavy handed, and after the above results I played a bit and the only way I could get the strobe to drift sharp as much (fast) as it did at 440.73 was to really put a death-grip on the notes. I am VERY disappointed at this, and frankly up until now I had been somewhat ignoring these threads. I may have even posted some other testing I did which refuted the above... but there is no room for error here. FWIW, the difference between 440 and 440.3 I can't hear, but the difference between 440 to 440.73 is clearly audible. FWIW, I have the latest firmware.
  24. For me the length of 60 seconds is plenty... 10 would be fine... but not being able to save and load loops, or have multiple loops loaded (at least 4) so I could trigger them makes it just a useless part of the Helix for me.
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