Posts posted by neuk01642
The paid presets serve a purpose... they give you ideas of different approaches to building patches, plus the guys and gals who sell them invest a lot of time getting tones just right, plus they're really not expensive, in the big scheme of things.
however, once you get comfortable with your own approach, I find the paid presets to be something of a novelty. I still check some out every now and then, but just like your "own tone", it's hard to find someone who builds a preset that works for you out of the box. Every one that I've bought, I still had to invest a couple of hours getting the volumes balanced, adjusting this block or that block to add or subtract something that was missing or distracting to me. Once I got settled on my own approach, I can build a good preset pretty quickly that works for me.
I liken the paid presets to a buddy calling you up and saying, "Hey, I got an amp/pedalboard rig that sounds just like artist XY! you should use this tonight at your gig!"... then taking his rig, plugging it in and hoping it sounds like you imagine it would. A lot less hassle with a digital file into a Helix, but similar concept. You'd likely be tweaking knobs, and turning off certain pedals, adding a couple of your own, etc... before it worked for you in your situation.
I highly recommend buying a package or two when you find some clips that speak to you, but remember, the Helix is sensitive to which guitar is used, which outputs you use, what type of speaker/pa/frfr/headphones/DAW/etc you play into, and even the room. So don't expect to drop it in and hit the stage without a lot of tweaks.
Thank man, I hear you.
Has to be said there are already a couple that I feel like might be worth a purchase. Greg DeLune (pretty sure I'm spelling that wrong), 3Sigma, and Scott Minchk. And none are outrageous.
I honestly couldn't stop myself tweaking even if I tried. The imperative to fiddle and put my own mark on a sound is unstoppable. I have such a sense of what I want to hear in my head it's actually debilitating in terms of musical productivity, and it's one of the reasons I've benched my kemper and hope the Helix hits the spot.
Thanks again for the insight.
A modeler like Helix or AxeFX is more open-ended in one sense, and more closed in another.
With the exception of presets that come with IRs, commercial Helix presets are made with the same tools your Helix has. No Secret Sauce but their maker's vision, ears, knowledge, and experience.
Kemper profiles are a "sample" (poor choice of words) of some real-world amp that someone had in the room and profiled, presumably set up in some cool way. Unless you have that same gear, you couldn't have made them yourself, no matter how talented you are.
I don't have a shed-full of boutique amps to profile, and don't like the idea that I have to buy new tones rather than make them myself, so on that level a modeler's a better choice for me than a Kemper. I might feel differently if I played a Kemper and flat-out loved a bunch of profiles I tried. All that may be different for you.
There are an awful lot of profiles out there. If none of them float your boat, you might as well move on, and Helix is a great tool.
That's kind of where I'd got to. I love the Kemper it sounds really really good if you like exactly the same thing as the guy who profiled the amp. If you like his speaker choice, his mic choice and positioning, his choice of eq and boost... and how many times has that ever happened?? Trouble is, the minute you want to tweak, that beautifully crafted profile goes to lollipop... and I am a rabid tweaker which is what led me to the Helix.
And so far, I'm loving the fact that I can tweak to my hearts content and get the sound I have in my head.
Big test tonight when I unplug the kemper and hook up the Helix to my pedal rack and try my two Fortin boost pedals...
you can put them wherever you like..
use a separate amp and cab block
and put a delay between them!
Well that's all good then.
Play time tonight me thinks!
some commercial presets include a unique IR file but otherwise yes, there is nothing that isn't in helix, just a lot of experience, and tweaking oh and good ears hopefully! -well that doesn't all come in helix i guess Ha
Hahaha... that would be an odd thing to find lurking at the bottom of the box next to the power cable!.
Like I said, not trying to minimise the skill/work of people creating commercial presets but just wanted to get my head round what they actually were.
Cheers for the reply.
So another one for you... suspect I'm going to become tedious before too long ;oD
I've noticed that on all the presets that time based effects come after the cab block... is there any reason for this?
Obviously in a real rig these effects come after the amp but before the cab. Is there any reason this can't be emulated on Helix? The reason I ask is that I'm looking at a FoH/Backline set up where the FoH feed takes IRs and the backline doesn't, so putting a split in before the cab block. As it stands this would me the cab misses out on all the time based effects a situation that would be rectified if it's possible to move the time based stuff to after the amp but before the cab.
Let me know.
So after about 6 months of fighting with my Kemper trying to get the sound in my head out of it (and i imagine it's in there and quite happy to admit it's my lack of ability and not a fault of the Kemper), I took the plunge and picked up a Helix rack second hand.
I got to a point of contentedness within about an hour of noodling... so so far so good.
Looking around at the paid-for preset market and it got me to thinking.
Do these presets actually offer you anything that you don't already have and are merely a way to circumvent the need to tweak to get your tone. They're essentially people doing the grunt work for you?
With the Kemper, you're getting a unique file when you buy a profile (well the good ones anyway), but why would I pay for a preset which is essentially a set of parameter tweaks?
I don't want this to come across as dismissive, it's really not meant to be and I'm all for short cuts to get the tone you want so you can get to the playing music and writing part. And obviously appreciate the effort people go to to get these preset packs together.
so far, loving the Helix (although it's only been about 12 hours), and am on the cusp of flogging my profiler and buying a Fryette Powerstation to keep the Helix company ;oD
Thatâ€™s a good point on using the loop as an insert. Worth thinking about
The biggest concern I have is the input headroom. There is the 6db input pad but some pedals boost as much as 20db.
It would be nice to have an input meter.
Maybe a boost would live better in a loop.?
Yeah the Grind is 22db and the 33 is 20db of boost. but honestly the magic is in the EQ curve in the pedals. The Grind especially is sensational. I can hear the potential and it's frustrating as hell that I just can't nail the tone I'm looking for.
And a boost in the loop gives a volume increase but that's not what these are for. They're for punishing the pre amp and tightening up the bottom end and adding some rich up mid harmonics. Think 1980s, think TS808 into a cooking Dual Rectifier to stop it being a flubby mess.
I did not enjoy the factory profiles, and I never got along with profiles made by others, even ones that were purchased from studios or one my favorite producer. It's the same way you and your favorite guitarist would play the same amp with different EQ and gain settings. I'm not very good in a studio setting, but the Kemper profiles I made sounded better for me than any of the ones I tried from other people. If you can even rent or borrow an amp or two, you'd really open up the Kemper's potential. But if that's not in the cards a modeler might be the way to go.
BTW I think that is a huge complement to the Kemper doing exactly what it says it does, and doing it very accurately.
Absolutely. I think the KPA, is an amazing amazing tool and I think the feel and tones it reproduces are exceptional.
This is absolutely about the right tool for what I need it to be rather than good or bad. Ideally, I want a locker full of high end boutique high gain tube heads and a selection of 2x12 and 4x12 cabs... but I have a mid terraced house, with a massive mortgage and a wife and two kids so that simply isn't EVER going to happen. So I want something that can behave like and amp (within acknowledged limitations - I'm not naive enough to believe any of the profiler/modeller options are the same as playing the real think. I've had amps), and can do things like react when hit with a boost pedal, and react when the gain is increased... so maybe, maybe I should be looking at a modeller.
When setting up the amp before you profile, have the boost engaged and get things where you want them. Then when you actually start to profile the amp, remove the boost from the chain. The resulting profile should respond better when you use the physical boost into the Kemper.
When making a profile, you can also just profile the engaged boost pedal at the same time as the amp/cab. They recommend against it but you can do what ever you like, right? It works out ok at best I thought, but you don't have to bring the pedal with you.
If you are using distortion from the pedal, it could cause extra fizz and top end, especially through an FR/FR system (it probably causes extra fizz/top end in physical amps too but cabs don't reproduce those frequencies as well as FR/FR, so it's like it's got a natural roll off built in).
Hey again. Yeah I'm not profiling (God I wish I had the amps to profile... we probably wouldn't be having this conversation to be honest ;oD).
No I'm using purchased profiles and good quality ones as well.
And both the Fortin boosts are one knob boost pedals, they're simply pushing the front end with a specific EQ curve, no additional gain. Sorry, that wasn't clear on my original post. I meant the boost is just over half way.
Helix amp models do behave as expected when boosting them. The bottom end drops a bit, the amp models are forced into a bit more break up, and it feels more compressed (in the fantastic way it is supposed to).
I run Helix at home with two of my favorite ODs strictly as boosts (but I'm only using one of the two at a time). I use both of the with the gain on the pedal set to zero. The output is always somewhere between 80% and 100%, usually closer to 100%.
The MXR Custom Badass Modified OD works out really well with it. The Mesa Grid Slammer doesn't work as well as it does with physical amps. Using it with Helix, I have to adjust or add in a secondary gate sometimes.
Intersting. I'm wondering if I'm maybe going to be trading the KPA in on a Helix and a power amp because that's what I wanted to hear.
So I have a Kemper. Purchased after months of deliberation and back and forth between the Helix, Ax2 and KPA.
On the whole it's a pretty amazing piece of kit, but I'm running into issues with it due to the nature of what it is.
As a profiler, the rigs are a precise recording of an amp at a particular time with particular settings and they sound amazing until you want to change anything or in my case run a boost pedal into them.
The scenario is this. I have a couple of rigs and I have a Fortin Grind and Fortin 33 which I love and love what they do to an amp tone. But I'm not getting it from the Kemper as obviously when I hit the rig with a boost it's no longer the rig as was profiled and as such it looses some of it's charm and I run into all manner of issues with high end fizz and lack of definition and just generally fighting with the rigs to get the tones I want. Not running crazy gain either, a touch over half way on the amps and a touch over half way on the pedals.
So my question, how does the Helix take boost pedals in the front? I'm presuming as it's modelling rather than profiling, it's reaction to the push will be different than the Kemper.
Be good to hear anyone's experience running boost into the Helix on high gain patches (especially if you're running those boosts and a 5150 or VH4 model).
Is it different, will it handle it better or will I experience the same issues tone wise that I'm having with the Kemper?
Thanks in advance.
I was able to test it today. Yes, the Helix responds to program changes from Logic X. But prog 0, for instance, will take you to the very first program in the very first user set. You may have to make sure your user set is there, instead of the factory set.
Thanks for the insight. Really good to hear it first hand from an actual user. I might tack to foot control onto my order.
Peter thank you for letting me know. At least the functionality is there. I have an enormous learning curve ahead of me but I'm so looking forward to it!!!
I'm presuming as you have the rack and floor control you're using the helix live? How critical is the foot pedal in general? I'm in a situation where cash is pretty tight and it's coming done to a toss up between the control and an FRFR amp/powered speaker of some description and I'm torn. For the short term I'm pretty much studio bound but the intent is there so maybe I don't need either but at the moment I'm leaning towards the amp
Thanks for the info everyone. When I take delivery I may well be seeking more guidance on the midi thing.
Any good rack flight cases people can recommend?
That would be awesome. Thank you and thanks for the info on the rack.
I'm pretty sure since digitaligloo spilled the beans on another forum I'm allowed to tell you that I'm beta testing the rack/controller combo.
It's a really great setup with the foot controller. I didn't think I'd like it as much as an all-in-one unit but I think I do.
It is very lightweight so it will fit just fine in a rack screwed in with the holes in the front. The handles, however, protrude (as they often do) so SOME racks are problematic if you need to close them (I can't close my rack, am thinking about removing the handles or buying a new rack).
I might have a chance tomorrow to test the midi functionality from Logic X for you. If I can, I'll get back to you.
I am shortly to become the proud owner of a Helix rack mount (I am positively moist with anticipation and the wait until the end of January for delivery is going to kill me).
I have a couple of questions bearing in mind I'm kind of new to the whole rack mount and modelling thang.
If I get a flight case for the rack, do I need to get a shelf to sit it on or will the screw fixings in the front be sufficient to hold it up?
And the second, and probably more complicated question:
I heard in an interview with Misha Mansoor that they use ProTools to send Midi signals to their AxeFx to trigger patch changes during a song to save them having foot pedals in their very streamlined rig. Now granted that's AxeFx 2 but I was wondering can you achieve the same thing with the Helix? For instance I'm using Logic Express 9 (soon to be upgraded to Logic X) and it would be interesting if I could set Logic up to trigger patch changes (sorry Line 6 - just blown a stack of cash on the rack can't really afford the controller at the mo).
Any thoughts would be cool on both of the above points.
I'm going to go and sit on my hands and watch as many youtube vids of the Helix as I can and try not to explode with excitement... I haven't been this bad since I asked for the millennium falcon for Christmas about 30 years ago...
What effects pedals are you still keeping?
So I started out with a Kemper before switching to Helix.
So ditched all my mod/delay pedals.
So what I have Iâ€™ll not be shifting.
ThorpyFX Muffroom Cloud
Dubrek Audio Harmonik germanium Fuzz
Will soon be adding a Kingsley Page
And planning on an analog delay at some point.