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Posts posted by MikeDV1

  1. I went to try this, haven't quite made it, I went to a shorter version.  I play Helix rack into a solid state power amp into speakers.


    Always tweaking/messing to dial out harshness at high gain with various methods, along with different speakers, different eq, etc. etc.


    I went to try this and by accident went amp > high/low eq > delay.  I pulled the eq down to add the split path (on Hx Edit) and there it was!


    Ended up with amp > branch - one signal continued straight through the other went through the eq, and blended them back together before hitting the delay.


    Ended up "keeping" the "harshness on the straight signal, cutting the highs on the other one, when they blended - for me - perfect!  This was before touching the amount of each return, both at full - I changed the balance slightly, but more good, just slightly different.  I basically did the same thing Craig laid out above, with one amp model.  Going to put the dual eq (one on each path) as craig suggests and try that today, but by splitting AFTER the amp, the same model pushes the same signal and is joined together in what seems like the same way.  


    It immediately sounded so good with ANY high gain model, I had a hard time continuing to try different models because I just wanted to play.  Rolled in some clean models, but found it unnecessary, always felt very good with clean models.  I also have a Triaxis I'll switch into the mix occasionally, did the same thing replacing the amp model with the Triaxis and same good controlled results.


    Thanks Craig for leading me to a very happy accident!

  2. As rd2rk said, thousands - including me - have used digital delays and other transistor and digital effects for years.  I always thought the continued controversy about digital vs. analog had a little bit of silliness to it because of this.  The controversy wasn't so loud because there were still tube preamps and power amps to use, so the A/D D/A part was pretty much ignored by most (there were some "purists" who would make mention of it), but it still was relevant to my point above:  if something is turned into digital at some point, it's at least partially a digital signal.  Those of us who have played for years played plenty of tube amps (those were definitely most prevalent), solid state amps, and nowadays digital amps know they all have their perceived character, and some actual physics related reasons for one characteristic or another.  Saying one  "sounds better" than the other is just pissing in the wind, as far as I'm concerned.  Vibrating strings, turned into electrical impulses, moving through wires into tubes, transistors, digital devices, somehow making another thing move in some fashion to make sound waves.  Seems at the end of the day, it's still all in the fingers.  Turns out it's all an adventure for our minds.  This isn't a dig on the beautifully (and some not so beautifully) made, hand wired tube amps made with care and love.  The Mesa Road King head is still my favorite of all, and if I could afford another, I'd keep it in my basement - who could carry, set up, keep up that monster?  Not me, anyway.  I also had an Ampeg VH-150 solid state head I loved and gigged with for years that floated my boat as well.   But I can get the goods (my goods) through my Helix and a solid state power amp too.  Thanks for all the replies.

  3. Logic tells me the answer, but I'be been thinking about this lately.  Especially given all the ongoing discussion of which is "better sounding", digital vs. analog.  Every time I read one of these arguments, I rarely see this mentioned.


    If one uses the Helix with any analog unit - stomps, preamps, 4CM - once their signal goes into the Helix (or any digital unit, any place in the signal chain for that matter) and the A/D back to D/A process (if running into a power amp, for instance), there's no more "true" analog signal once it's all gone through this process.  It's been digitized, is affected by any digital changes (EQ, effects, compressors), and is no longer "actually" analog other than the total signal that's pushed into a power amp and/or powered speakers - correct?  I've done all these combinations.  I find I like some of my stomp pedals, some the preamp sounds in rack units or amps, but once it goes into the digital realm, it's all digitally controlled and affected - making the whole "which is better" argument kind of moot when combining these units.


    Crazy talk, or just something already considered but unsaid - duh!

  4. I thought it was exactly the opposite - channel volume affected the tone rather than the master - exactly why I chose the master.  Will see if I can find where I read that, and also try adjust both on the Helix to contrast/compare.


    Edit:  found it - I remembered wrong; thanks for the post!  Will go back into my favorites and make adjustments with that CORRECT knowledge in mind.   Given that, I may even add a couple more models to my favorites list.

  5. Took the time today with my Helix rack - went to each amp dry - not preamp or with speaker sim - left whatever drive setting was there and put everything else at 5, except presence which I set at zero.  Tried to balance volume on all of them - I tried to set channel volume at 5, and used master volume where possible to get everything at roughly an equal volume.  That required some variations (some with master at 5, some at 8 or 9).  Some also required the channel volume to be bumped a touch as well.  Saved most of the amp models after adjustment  to my favorites and will set up some various effects to try each of them out.  Each one still had a taste of what it was supposed to be, but in a flat condition; what I would do first if I had the actual amp.  Probably start with various compressors, before and after for the next phase. 


    The factory setting always had too much treble for my taste, and going through the stock amp presets I could see why.  Some of the amps, by their nature, are pretty bright.  But even with those, a lot of the presence and treble were up pretty high.  I go into a power amp/speaker cab, so I rarely use cab sims or IRs.  As I methodically go down the line, I'll probably start to mix in the cabs, mostly for use into a DAW or direct to a PA. 

  6. I put my Triaxis in a Send/Return loop and do a 4CM setup.  Then, I do everything with it.  Mostly - guitar -Helix - pre items (wah, compressor, pedals -real ones in loops and virtual - chorus, etc.) -Triaxis OR amp sim - time and other effects - out to power amp/speakers.  Experimented with other stuff - virtual cabs, USB out, XLR out, it all works awesome with far too much to choose from.  BUT, you get your entire Triaxis to shape that basic preamp tone, and all of the rest however you want it.  Other ways possible (like Helix only as fx), but this is my favorite.  


    Helix rig.jpg

  7. I've got a couple of different expression pedals, Rocktron Hex and a Mission SP1-R.  I can't get them to work reliably with my Helix rack, plugged into the foot controller or into the back of the unit.  I've tried different cables (both mono and stereo type) with crappy results.  About two-thirds of the way down, the pedal gets to 100% then reverses and goes to about 60% as I push it all the way down.  On my 1,000 year old Lexicon MPX1 G2, both work perfectly - you can calibrate the pedal on that device.  The mission also has a foot switch, and that doesn't work on the Helix unless I pull the jack about a third of the way out, and then it will change values - if I press it twice for each change.  This also works correctly on the Lexicon.


    I think I've ruled out the pedals - they work as expected on the Lexicon - and the cables - I've switched and replaced them back and forth a bunch of times.


    What's the deal?  Does my Helix have a problem or...?  I've been hoping with each update there would be a calibration choice, but not to be.  I've reversed polarity, tried all the jacks on the foot controller and on the back with no good outcome.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Helix folks - anyone?  I've got a friend with a Behringer FCB1010 I'm going to try to use, but that's pretty much through the MIDI route, and I expect (?) that will work well - but my hopes have been dashed so far with my other pedals.  Seems a real downgrade if I have to use the Behringer vs. the dedicated Helix controller - no feedback, no scribble strips.

  8. If you're brand new to modeling, then you haven't found out there are two rules:  number one - there is no perfect, definitive setup for everyone.  FRFR, power amp/speakers, return of your favorite amp - combo or head and speakers, headphones, amps with/without IR's, multiple amps - the combinations are literally endless.  If you keep looking though here you'll find that some folks that swear that one setup must never be used or that another setup must always be used - and vice versa with exactly the same components.  You see this at all of the forums for each of the various modelers.  Your chosen combination of physical and virtual combinations, and listening to them in the manner you have, will become what you swear by.  If you pick one of the resident expert user's advice and create a setup - there's literally a 1 in 1000 (or more) chance that it will attain your goal - without adding or subtracting something else to get your sound.  So, get the stomp if it fits your budget and looks like it will work for you, and set it up, and start the fun journey.  First setup might work perfectly (probably not), but don't rule out immediately what seems like it's for you.  By all means, try what folks suggest and swear by, but YMMV.  It's all opinion based - and here's yet another one. If you're worried about the coloration of "real" EL34 vs. EL84, you won't really tell much difference at low volumes.  True, some amps have a distinctive sound at lower volumes, but that's not the personality of the power tubes being slammed, it's the combination of components by the manufacturer.  Power amp tube personalities become significant at live performance volumes. Yes, the use of IR's can help get you there (or away from there), but there are tons of EQ, compressor, and preamp/amp combinations in the Helix world, and that is just the start of how they interact with other components (speaker choices, DAW inputs, etc.).  I guess I forgot to mention rule number two - if how you have it setup doesn't quite get there for you, refer to rule number one.

    • Thanks 1
  9. Thanks for the replies.  Reading (ALWAYS best to do first), then experimenting.  Video was helpful, but I went at it just a bit  differently.

    The number of foot switches is limited to a total of ten (set in preferences; for me, two delays, two verbs, etc. etc.), so I didn't want to take up any to control the amp - my original quest.  In the video, you assigned MIDI controls to a particular foot switch.  I'm assuming (not sure, you didn't address it), those foot switches are now dedicated to those MIDI commands, unavailable for other uses without at least that MIDI command being triggered.  You made it so they weren't displayed, but -again, assuming - they're now dedicated to at the very least, a MIDI command.  Let me know if I'm wrong about that part.  I got a little bit confused wondering why you assigned them to foot switches.  I'm susceptible to confusion sometimes...


    I took DI's comment literally, and it worked perfectly.

    Snapshot 1.  Went to the Command Center, chose the little lighting bolt only, then set my MIDI command to change to program 4 on the MIDI channel of my Triaxis.  Changed to:

    Snapshot 2.  Repeat, set MIDI command to now change to program 18 on my Triaxis.


    When I choose the patch, it comes up with the last Snapshot I left it at (for this case, number 1), and the Triaxis goes to preset 4.

    When I change to Snapshot 2, Triaxis goes to preset 18 - no other changes, because I didn't program any.

    Works perfect, no foot switches assigned to effects required, only the ones assigned to Snapshots, which are only visible when I hit the Mode switch.  

    I can now add more changes to each snapshot if I want other adjustments.  I can set up other snapshots to make different changes without changing channels on the Triaxis.

    So:  patch 25 comes up - simple delay on, Snapshot 1, preset 4 on the Triaxis.

    I hit the mode switch, the bottom row remains my fx stomps for various fx, the top row has 5 Snapshots (chosen in preferences}.

    I hit Snapshot two, Triaxis changes to preset 18, crunchy - no other changes.  If I want, I can hit a footswitch on the bottom row to engage the reverb (for instance) without hitting the mode button.

    Or, I can hit the mode button, go back to all ten switches are available for assigned effects only.

    And so on.  Haven't done it yet, but I can now re-name those from "Snapshot" to "Triaxis Clean", etc.

    Awesome!  A bunch of ciphering and planning, but now super easy to control, complex combinations available, and a relatively simple layout to use.


  10. Re-reading the manual, but thought I'd ask too:  Use Triaxis with the Helix rack.  I would like to be able to change channels of the Triaxis via MIDI - got the concept and usual functions, no problem there.


    Is it possible to change snapshots, send a MIDI message, without assigning that message to a footswitch or expression pedal?  That would be that snapshot's only function - change the channel on the Triaxis - nothing else in the patch changes, no switches or expression pedals involved.  I want to do this b/c all of my stomp buttons are in use and I don't want to add another MIDI controller just for the Triaxis..


    Default snapshot one - Triaxis on preset one.  Hit SNAPSHOT TWO (after hitting MODE change button to STOMP/SNAPSHOT), Triaxis goes to preset two.  Hit SNAPSHOT ONE and it goes back to Triaxis preset one.


    Possible to do this without assigning a button to the MIDI message?


    Edit - reading the manual - definitely possible, but for my confusion about how to assign a MIDI change in the control center without assigning it to a footswitch.  Either it's sightly confusing in the manual, or I'm just slightly confused...

  11. I use a variety of pedals in a loop, changing them on a whim.  They sound great, and never have a problem.  Never tried them in front of the Helix.  Since I do have those pedals, I haven't tried to reproduce them with the Helix models.    EWS Brute Drive, Kollmanation, MI Audio Super Crunch Drive, Xotic BB Preamp - some that aren't in there that have their own personalties, but I think with some of the existing models, and some EQ I could get pretty close.

  12. Observation of the pro FOH guy - comparing two things in a way that aren't exactly the same is no real comparison at all.  Mic for tube amp vs. direct Axe vs. DI use vs. inability to mix or EQ for a particular purpose - WTF?  So, yes they will all be different, and some will be "better" - lack of  bees for a particular model, etc.


    Next - to each his/her own.  Some might think the swarm of bees is how that Marshall should sound and like it.  Yep, hundreds of people asking how to EQ, route, model, etc.  No forum specifically for the Mashall JCM800 - except for the different tubes used, when should they be replaced with what brand, cap replacement, addition/subtraction of MV, fx loops, etc....well, I guess it's the same as well...turns out there is a forum for that stuff.


    Been drifting slowly away from tubes for years, discovered it was more a psychological thing for me personally.  I would love a multi-amp, Marshall/Mesa/Bogner/Fender stage setup controlled by a tech sitting in a cockpit that resembles the space shuttle, while I lean back and wank 164th notes, drawing crowds of people to my brilliance.  Does it sound better than my current Helix setup?  No definition for "better" available, so can't say because all of the possible contexts and output configurations are different - but I have tried something similar, been through dozens of different tube/digital/hybrid setups.  I know either rig sounds better than me if Andy Timmons would be using either one .  Unlike Andy (maybe even he can't do this), I've got no tech, no access to use and continually mix and match all that gear, and no professional muscle to cart and setup/tear down all that stuff.  If I did?  Maybe I'd want the semi full of gear, maybe not...I really don't think so.


    Funny little story - talking to a local player at a bar, really skillful guy, get's a variety of great sounds on stage with his 3-piece band - ZZ Top to Stevie Ray to Mettalica.  Plays a floor Boss unit into the front of a gorgeous old Fender combo.  Told me he dislikes the modelers because they never sound quite right to him - while he pushes a digital signal into a clean tube amp, nowhere near loud enough to push the tubes into showing their personality.  We're all a little nutty is the final answer, to each our own little nutty selves.  Helix rocks, but so does...well, some of the other stuff (this is the Line 6 forum, not the Marshall Amp Forum).  I likes me some Helix, along with some other gear.  It's (or I'm) a tool, so there you go.

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  13. Thanks, that's what I do now.  My question is regarding setting the Helix up to all wet, and combining it with the dry preamp signal - basically the  method of a refrigerator rack, with multiple pieces, blending the dry and wet to taste, not having the preamp signal be changed from analog to digital.  The dry signal is changed from analog to digital when it's introduced into the Helix.  I notice on the rack unit, there is a GUITAR THRU OUT on the rear that is described to provide the direct signal from the guitar input on the front panel.  Going to take a look at that.  Like what I get as is, just wondering after reading about what some folks do with their rack setups.  The idea is to keep your preamp signal untouched, for those that care greatly about that.  Could sound good, but takes away lots of routing and control possibilities where the Helix is stellar. 

  14. Anyone use the Helix as an effects only with an amp and run it parallel somehow - either through the amp's parallel fx loop, or through a mixer of some kind?  Just wondering - I use a preamp in the Helix loop, and not that concerned about the A/D conversion.  Of course, that pretty much eliminates any modeling and use of IR's.

  15. Seems like you're set right on the Helix side.  I think Garage band is Logic's little brother.  I use Logic, and there are multiple places to lose the signal from various input sources.  I'm betting that Garage Band is similar.  Very inefficiently, I relearn this every time I have to do it, rather than commit the signal flow to memory - so I can offer  couple of suggestions - are you getting signal on the channel but no output sound or nothing at all, are your channels armed for recording, are they routed to the proper output and is that output turned up -  those are the first ones I'd check from memory and have to hunt for the rest.  So - for you, try to trace the signal flow once it leaves the Helix.  If you do, I bet you'll find something turned down, routed unexpectedly, or just there for some seemingly random reason.  Sometimes default levels or settings are not what you expect, or you changed them at some time for another reason and forgot.  Talking from my experience here too.

  16. Put those favored pedals into the insert loops of the Helix.  I have a variety of them that I switch around when I want a specific pedal.  Currently a Kollmanator is in there, sounds awesome with a variety of models, and with my Triaxis, which is also in one of the loops for a 4CM.

  17. Seems we can make them work, somehow.  And true, compatibility for all is probably not easily obtained.  There are quirks with most of the MIDI controllers.  Personal issue - I have an EB Jr. volume pedal, IN/OUT/Tuner 1/4" connections.  I plug a TRS on one end/TS x 2 on the other end into the Helix controller (I've got the rack setup) - obviously the TRS goes into the EXP 1 (or 2 or 3) on the controller.  If I plug both TS into the pedal, it's crazy time, a huge variety of responses on the controlled block (Volume).  OK, remove one (I forget which one), and the pedal works - almost.  Push the heel down, and it will go to about 5-20% and kind of fluctuates, until you smash on the pedal, then it will go to 0.  Seems like a pedal/pot problem.  Plug that same pedal/TRS into the back of the Helix rack itself, and it works perfectly - 0-100%, no fluctutation, rock steady - kind of rules out the problem in the expression pedal.  Crap, another cable.  Next, got an older Mission SP-1 pedal, works backwards.  Reverse polarity inside the Helix, no change.  Change the specific parameter from 0-100 to 100-0, then it works - but can't do that universally.  Try one of my Rocktron Hex pedals, and there's no number that is overlooked as you rock the pedal back and forth - totally unusable.  These types of quirks are on most MIDI controller, but the Helix seems to have a number of them, and for my application, have one of the worst on the foot controller.  I haven't tried the Rocktron or Mission directly into the rack unit, but kind of disappointed that one of the big advantages of the rack/controller unit (only a single cable) now requires more cabling.  


    Just guessing, 'cuz I'm not that educated about the tech aspect - but it seems returning to some more software controls - along with polarity, calibration, maybe type compatibility, maybe a control over where the pedal moves to relative to the amount it controls the software (like a competitior does it) - something other than it just stares at you malfunctioning, and the one software control available does nothing.  Considering paying attention to exactly which pot works with the Helix and putting them into my Hex Pedals.  But - more hassle, more expense, and at this point not confident it would work through my foot controller unit.  I know there are issues reported in the floor unit, but my rack/controller unit has this added bug as described above with my EB pedal.  I did see one post that gave pretty detailed instructions how to modify a Mission pedal, and may give that a try.  But, isn't that what this idea scale thing is about - suggestions for improvement?

  18. Make it more compatible to 3rd-party expression pedals.  Funny cables, DIY mods to existing cables or pedals, setting parameters backwards make it a hassle to use easily available external expression pedals with Helix rack controller.

  19. Very cool, feels good to figure one out.  I'm not sure it's a bug.  As I said, Logic uses extensive and complicated MIDI activities.  Whatever it was sending to the Helix was something that made it act cray cray - competing or multiple commands.  I've done lots of MIDI stuff with the Helix and a 1st generation Liquid Foot Pro MIDI foot controller, and it's always been tight.  As you said, some insight from the Line 6 folks would be good.

    • Like 1
  20. I've got the rack unit, and Logic X.  Plan to do some recording, so your post caught my eye.


    Unless there is some kind of problem with any of the components - seems when you arm to record, Logic is sending a MIDI message back to the Helix.  Since it's flashing the tuner, it should be CC#68 in there somewhere - the reserved number for the tuner on the Helix.  Since I'm not sure how to disarm outgoing MIDI messages on Logic (I'm sure it's buried in there somewhere), I think the first thing I would try is to turn off the Helix ability to receive MIDI messages via USB (Global Setting - MIDI over USB).  If that solves the problem - depending upon your needs, maybe you want other MIDI messages from Logic to Helix - I would then do the research into turning off, or controlling MIDI messages from Logic.


    Just a first thought, please post what you discover so I'll know what to do when/if it occurs for me.


    Edit:  I did some investigation - Logic has deep/wide MIDI activities going on, far more than I had thought.  I think initially shutting off Helix receiving them will tell the initial story.  Finding out the specific culprit in Logic - good luck with all that!

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