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  1. Zooey, so you mean you put a an eq or/and a preamp before the fx loop block and then another preamp after the block? This is really interesting but kind of confusing to communicate in a forum. It would be so awesome if people shared pictures of there preset displays.
  2. Thanks, I'll try this. My attitude might be a little sour but I'll stay optimistic about it and keep trying.
  3. Hey you guys thanks again for this insight. I feel I'm definitely getting closer to locking down an approach that produces reliable and consistent results. The drummer/band leader is a great musician with drum machine-like time and contemporary sounding feels/grooves. His approach is to get the dance floor filled with people and keeping it raging by extending tunes with open solo sections. This means all night every night I get to do a substantial amount of soloing and improvising like I would on many gigs back home. This is why I need a lead tone that sounds and responds like an analog setup or tube amp. Again when I'm using the Tube Sceamer stomp box I feels at the very least like I'm playing an average piece of gear thats usable. When I use the Helix Screamer distortion block It sounds like the ships emergency alarm just went off. If you all think a FRFR speaker to FOH will give me what I'm looking for I could order one or maybe find a store in one of the major cities to buy one. I've been thinking about this option and my pianist keeps emphasizing that I'd be doing myself a big disservice by trying to go cheap buy a cheap PA or FRFR speaker. I'm pretty interested in this Alto TS210 ($299). THis is a FRFR? Do you play with it in a group setting? If anyone could offer info about good brand or model options for a PA or FRFR I could definitely use the insight. Thanks
  4. Last night after the band played and the club cleared out I went and setup the 4 cable method to give it a try. I didn't want to actually do the gig with 4CM until I was familiar with it, so I haven't tried it with the band yet but I heard how it generally sounded. I noticed when I ran the time based effects (reverb, delay) into the fx loop they sounded more clear and pure which was good. It still seemed like the distortions were the same, when I go to the low register of the guitar I get this ridiculous 'farty', rumbling, non dynamic sound. The distortions do sound decent in the mid range of the guitar neck, but its important to point out that everything sounds alright when I'm playing alone but with the full band its a totally different story. Rd2rk said I should run the distortions before the effects loop, sending them straight to the marshals preamp, as far as I understand this is what I had been doing before and it won't change my main problem, that being the sound of the harsh and 'boxy' sounding Helix distortion blocks. What I've been doing with the band for the past few nights is setting up my Helix with 2 cables and using a 3rd cable to run my Ibanez Tube Screamer stomp box in front of the Helix. I just use the Helix for reverbs, delays, modulation effects and wah, when I need distortions to play a solo I kick on the Tube Sceamer stomp box and everything feels and sounds normal again and I can play happily. So I'm attributing my problem to the nature of the Helix distortions. Maybe it's just the way the Helix sounds through the front of a guitar amp (again this is a cheap lollipop marshal combo) and it would be great through a PA or flat response speaker. But It seems really weird to me that this is such an expensive and prestigious piece of gear and when I'm presented with a totally normal scenario, a stage with a guitar amp, it's basically 90% unusable to me. The ship is in Europe right now and I'm going to give it another month of experimenting, but I might try to find a music store somewhere in Spain or France to buy my Helix used and I'll then buy or order an analog pedal setup because I'm going to be on this ship for most of this winter into the spring and I want to have a really reliable setup so I can focus the majority of my attention on musical things. I'm still really interested in hearing some insights so if anyone can tell me what they think, or if I'm clearly not understanding something please let me know. Again I am pretty much a gear noob because I've just been an vintage archtop obsessed jazz player for most of my life.
  5. Hey rd2rk thanks big time, this is really helpful and well laid out. I had a feeling the 4 cable method was my next move and your explanation clarified it well. I think I'll chime in maybe tomorrow or the next day and describe how it went -Best
  6. I'm a guitarist currently using the Helix for a top 40 cover band gig on a cruise ship. I bought the Helix because I thought its stylistic versatility and relatively small size would make it ideal for the kinds of music I have to play as well as traveling. I've been a mainly a jazz guitarist for most of my life playing archtops through tube amps with little to no effects. For this reason I have little experience with multi effects boards of this kind or any digital amp modeling. The majority of the playing I do on the cruise ship is in a dance lounge playing through a cheap marshal combo amp. I started playing here a month ago I quickly learned that I could not use any amp model blocks while plugging in to the front of the marshal amp because the sound was excruciatingly bright, harsh and unusable. If I plug the Helix into the effects loop in the back of the amp I can use amp models and they sound better, but after a month of trial I know my clean tone for rhythm guitar sounds better if I just rung straight though the helix with no amp models at all and get my sound from the marshal amp. So what I've been doing is plugging the helix directly into the front of the amp and using the helix only for reverb, delay, chorus, wah and other modulations ect. This is working pretty well for my clean rhythm tones and ambient effects. I'm still feeling kind of bad that I spent so much on this pedal and I'm only using it for a delay and reverb. The real problem is that i've still not been able to produce a reliable lead distortion sound for soloing and playing rhythm distortion parts. All of the distortion and overdrive blocks in the helix sound and feel terrible when plugging the helix into the front of the marshal amp. They become boomy, fuzzy and mushy sounding when I hit the E or A string and they also generally have this hard, stiff and sluggish response that make it impossible to play fluidly. I'm getting pretty frustrated and discouraged because I've been spending a lot of time every day over the past month tinkering with the helix and reading forums about how to optimize it. I now realize it's common knowledge that the Helix was not designed for use playing live straight into to guitar combo amps so its my fault for not researching more before I bought it. I'm feeling like I should have just spent the same amount of money on a pedal board with stomp boxes. I really want to get back to spending my free time practicing and studying bebop, harmony and musical things rather than spending hours a day trying to get a basic distortion sound to feel good. So I would be really grateful to anyone who could give me their thoughts on how to get a good distortion sound from my helix playing through a marshal combo amp on stage. Thanks and I hoping to hear from someone.
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