Hi everybody, long time listener, first time caller. I've been a multi-effects fan for sometime now and made the switch from my Boss GT-100 to the Helix after lurking here a while and checking out all the great resources and reviews on YouTube. I love the sounds on the Helix and all the options it offers an Edge/Rabin/Lifeson-y type like myself, but the major selling point was the community. I feel like I can make some good sounds, especially for my original stuff, but when it comes to the sounds of my heroes, or a deeper understanding of what the pedals are doing, how they interact, etc., the forums here became a really attractive bonus to be able to communicate with and learn from others and improve my sound. Which brings me to the topic at hand. There are a lot of good patches around the web for Rush, some never get shared, some are close but use other gear, and I wanted to see if I could make a patch that is designed to be as close as I could get in the Helix to Alex Lifeson's Exit Stage Left rig. I've looked into his effects before, but the Helix finally gives me the capability to really go for it. I was able to find someone on another forum who built a physical near-identical pedalboard, gearpage link below, and based the path around that. In my version, I have UK Wah 846 - Red Squeeze - Gain Block - Top Secret OD - 70's Chorus - Volume Pedal - Transistor Tape - Courtesan Flange - Ducked Delay - Plate Reverb as the effects chain. Some of those were placeholders, as I was unsure of what would get closest - 846 Wah for King, Gain Block for Micro Amp, Plate Reverb for DynaVerb. Some were educated guesses based on what I know he used around that time and further into the 80's - 70's Chorus, Ducked Delay/TC-2290 in place of the Timeline, Top Secret OD closest to Dist+. There are some, though, I'm entirely unsure of. I know he used an Electric Mistress/Courtesan Flange but am having trouble with the sound, and he mentioned in interviews around the time that he was unhappy with the Space Echo, and preferred an EchoPlex, so I put the Tape Echo in the chain there, but haven't really done much with it yet, as I suppose as I don't know exactly how and when he was using it. Digging further, I went to the tourbooks, linked below as well, and there he doesn't mention a wah in the Moving Pictures tourbook, but for Signals he uses a CryBaby. No mention of a reverb unit in either book, although I feel good about figuring that out to taste. The MP book backs up that the Roland Echo unit was there, along with an Advanced Audio Digital Delay, but by Signals he has moved to multiple delay units, two Yamaha E1010s, two Lofts, and the AA. I guess the TC-2290s come a little later in the Power Windows era (my favorite album and tones), but I still feel like they are a good option here. Thoughts? Amp wise, this is really where I can admit my inexperience with this much modelling capability comes in to play. On the Moving Pictures / ESL tours, he was running this rig into two Marshall 4140 Club and Country amps and two HiWatt 100s with the 4x12 cabs. For Signals, I think it was all the Marshall 2x12s. I've heard that the Club and Country sounds more like a Fender Twin, so my idea was to run this rig into a Brit Plexi Brt Preamp, for a Marshall character, then into some Fender Twin-esque combination. I've tried preamp - twin amp - twin cab, preamp - twin amp plus cab, marshall amp - twin cab, and it sounds okay sometimes, but I mostly have issues getting the volume out the chain and amps. Currently, I've ended with the Marshall preamp into a Fender Twin amp + cab, then into a WhoWatt cab, and the plan going forward is to split the signal into the top being the marshall/fender, and the bottom being the WhoWatt head and cab, if possible.
So, the question is: where do I go from here? Am I onto something? Will this work? Ditch the preamp idea? What works in place of the MicroAmp? Have I missed some research? Do you have any advice, comments, constructive criticism? I'm hoping to find some Rush fans on here, some technical wizards, or anyone interested to help me figure out how to make this sound better, help me troubleshoot, help me learn and improve my tone matching and patch building skills. I really want this to be truly great and to really work well, not just for myself, but for anyone interested. I haven't uploaded the patch to custom tone, as it is a work in progress, and I wasn't permitted to attach it, but I am happy to provide screen grabs, attach it when I can, or anything else needed. Sorry for such a long first post, but I'm happy to be here and I'm looking forward to contributing when and what I can to the forum! https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/alex-lifeson-moving-pictures-era-type-tone.1304556/ http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/rush/tourbook-movingpictures.php http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/rush/tourbook-signals.php