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Everything posted by Kilrahi

  1. I am not sure what just happened here. To clarify, what exactly was the original poster asking WAY back in October? Somehow this one was missed - but if I understand him right, well, yes you can attach additional pedals to the HX Effects loop. The question gets kind of muddy at the end, and then DEEJSONUMAHLI does his debut post saying . . . something. If that was a request, I don't think anyone can actually give you their FX loop. You should at least say, "please" for the odds to be high.
  2. Good questions. The gold standard for a modeling device is either direct into a venue's PA or a flat response speaker system such as Line 6's own Powercab series ( Essentially, those let your modeler become the complete tonal machine with your speaker being where that sound is output exactly as the modeler intended (or if not exactly, with as little coloration as possible). In order of greatness, modeling options are: 1. PA or FRFR (i.e. full range/flat response) 2. Amp with an effects loop. 3. Amp without effects loop. The problems with 2 and 3 are that, while all rules can be broken in some scenarios, GENERALLY you don't want to stack amps upon amps, and you generally don't want time based effects prior to distortion and amp processing. Modeling software, particularly Line 6, does some GREAT amps - but if you have option 2 or 3 you're left out in the cold using them because the existing amp is already there, and you'd be stacking the modeled amp upon that one. So, most people using 2 or 3 would want to leave the modeled amp on the Firehawk turned off. With option 2, by using a four cable method (guitar in to Firehawk through pre amp effects such as compressor and distortion >>>> out of Firehawk out into amp >>> out amp effects loop into Firehawk in >>>> through Firehawk post amp effects like delay and reverb >>> out Firehawk and back in to effects loop of amp >>>> out amp's cab to your ears) your modeler can still take full advantage of pre and post amp effects. With option number three your modeler is largely stuck just doing pre amp effects, such as compressor and distortion, which is a lot more limiting and you're not getting near as much bang for your buck. Sometimes you can rig some pretty cool purely wet stuff (i.e. guitar + effects added) going from your modeler into the amp's auxiliary in for playing along to music, but that can take a ton of fine tuning and is far from perfect. Your mileage and enjoyment on that may vary. Unfortunately, amps with effects loops seem to be drying up as more and more amps go for being modelers of their own to some extent and don't see a need to attach one. This is tragically even the case with Line 6's own Spider series which, as awesome as it is, even the most expensive models do not have an effects loop. It's for this reason that my advice to you would be that if you are even remotely interested in buying the Firehawk, if you choose to buy anything to go along with it steer clear of an amp with or without an effects loop and instead purchase a solid FRFR speaker system you can be happy with (Headrush makes the most affordably and solidly decent one that I'm aware of, though my ears give a slight preference to the Powercab). That way you get all the juice possible from your modeler, and if by chance you fall in love and wish to dive in even deeper with some Helix model in the future, you already have future proofed yourself with the FRFR system and you won't need to buy something else yet again. Edit: On a final note, the other HUGE advantage to an FRFR speaker is it's just stupidly easy. You connect your guitar into the Firehawk, and a cord out from the Firehawk into the FRFR speaker. Done, and with only two cords.
  3. You're correct that if you are using the HX Effects then you would need an amp model active (unless you're doing an acoustic guitar) on the Spider V. Honestly, the HX Effects seems a bit limiting with the Spider V because without an effects loop, you're basically stuck using the HX Effects for only pre amp effects. Not horrible, but rather limiting. Of course, as I think some mentioned, you can do some pretty wonky crazy things by doing a purely wet signal from the HX Effects into the auxiliary in of the Spider V. I've tried some funky crap like that with smaller amps that didn't have an effects loop and it can actually work surprisingly well, but usually you have to spend more time getting the balance to be JUST right since it was intended more for a music player playback where you controlled the volume and balance with the attached player.
  4. Well, and this may be something you already did, but when diagnosing something sometimes it's best to start with the basics to make sure we're on the same page. The Firehawk can only control the Variax if the Variax is connected by a VDI cable through the Firehawk's VDI input. Otherwise it's just like plugging a regular guitar into it, and the Firehawk won't detect anything special. The link to the cable you need is below and the input connection in the back of the Firehawk is below that. If you've already done those two things, we'll have to go from there.
  5. I purchased a 20 watt Red Edition Spider V for my son, and it arrived yesterday and I dinked around with it for a while. The thing was friggin' $130 bucks and yet I would have killed for the possibilities it has when I was his age. When you attach the app to it it's practically a modeling board, or a baby Firehawk 1500. I immediately did what you did above. Turned everything as flat as possible and hooked my HX Stomp up to it. I thought it sounded bloody brilliant, and for the price . . . geez it makes me want to buy one for myself (I have a Firehawk 1500, and it's awesome, but it's also a beast to move around so if I can keep it for special occasions and just jam out on an amp like this so much the better). At the very least I'm going to borrow his whenever he's not using it. I'm still in shock the Spider series seems to always get ragged on in message board or Facebook groups because so far I think it's amazing.
  6. Are you connecting your Variax to the Firehawk with a VDI cable or a traditional 1/4' TS cable?
  7. It looks like a pretty well thought out setup. I'm curious, what's the thinking with keeping the poly tuner over using the Stomp's inbuilt tuner? Do you find polyphonic tuning is a lot easier/faster to use live (I've never tried it)?
  8. I have been hunting for this and finally found it. This is another well known Helix user that I turned to when I first got my Variax. I didn't have a Helix, but I tried to mimic it as close as I could with the Firehawk and felt like it got good results. Then when I got my Stomp I was able to mimic what he did because similar to Phil, he's a less is more guy, and I tend to agree: One thing, where I don't have a full blown Helix I was never able to utilize much of the last portion of his video despite how useful it looked - but you can use it so that should be helpful too. It's awesome how with the push of a switch you can swap out Variax guitar models.
  9. Thanks for sharing this Phil, and it's an excellent example of what I was trying to explain. The above recording has nothing on it at all - and yet listening to it, if I had never been told it was a Variax, I would have assumed it was a regular acoustic. However, if myself, and I bet the original poster adamwhisner, had been playing it ourselves, we would have had nagging voices in our head saying, "This doesn't sound right, I need to tweak this . . " That's because the player experience does not sound or feel at all like what a real acoustic guitar player experience is like - but the audience has no clue. As long as you care more about what the audience experiences than yourself, the Variax will be exactly what you want.
  10. Okay, now here's some more tips that I recommend considering and checking out, and then later on I hope to put one of my core presets that I use for the Stomp (again, largely ripped off from Line 6's acoustic Stomp presets) that I really like that won't be any trouble for your Helix. Okay, so here's my core tips, in order of importance: 1. IT ALREADY SOUNDS BETTER THAN YOU THINK. This is a core rule with the Variax and it is one that I still find myself, someone who obsesses far too much about perfection, reminding myself of even to this day. You see, the thing about the Variax is that it does not emulate the feeling of a performer playing an acoustic - it emulates the sound a listener hears listening to an acoustic. It emulates what a guitar sounds like if you record it with a microphone. If you have played traditional acoustic guitar for years then you've fallen in love and come to trust that experience. You don't just hear the sound that others hear, but you feel the guitar vibrating against you a certain way, and you hear it a bit different than everyone else - there's even a smell of your guitar if you notice, and a way that it responds in your hand - and ALL of that is gone. In its place, you do hear something - you hear the sound of an electric guitar being strummed and how THAT feels, and it's a very different experience - and to be honest it feels wrong. That doesn't mean it sounds wrong to everyone else though. Especially if you mess around with other tunings on top of that with your Variax - it can be really disconcerting, but I've tested it time and time again with people, recordings, etc., and you have to come to trust yourself that the fact is the sound output is pretty dang convincing. Unfortunately the playing experience for you will never be the same, and you'll have to learn to live with that. It's for this reason that as much as I love playing the Variax and as often as I use it for acoustic, I will still always return time and time again to a real acoustic because I adore the player experience of a traditional acoustic, even if the audience doesn't seem to care about the difference much if at all. 2. Check out some of the experts first. Peter Hamm is a regular poster here, and I think he really knows what he's talking about. I watched his videos right from the beginning. His are how to make an acoustic sound great through a Helix - but see my point number 1 above. You see, the way to make a Variax acoustic sound great through a Helix and a regular electric acoustic are actually the same thing: 3. Sometimes it's nice just to be lazy with a Variax. I know you are after mixing your Variax, Helix, and FRFR speaker, and it will work great, but often I just plug my Variax into my Stomp, and my Stomp into my favorite acoustic amp - and let the amp do most of the hard labor to get the Variax to the perfection I want it. Then I let the Stomp (or in your case the Helix) do the effects. This is my fave acoustic amp. Even better, sometimes it opens up ideas for your powercab oddly enough. It's not something you'll likely want to do right now, but someday in the future you may find yourself wanting to do a lazy way too. There's a larger 120 version out there too, but it outputs great sound for a medium sized room, and makes the Variax sing pretty sweet. Plus it's on a crazy good sale right now: 4. Finally, in terms of a Helix preset, - you can see largely what Peter did above. I tend to keep it even simpler though some of that is that I have fewer block choices. I'll share more on this when I can actually look at my Stomp's setting. Hopefully the above is enough to get you started though.
  11. Okay, so I'm away from my own setup at the moment so I can't reference it. I need to stress, every single thing I've ever done I ripped off wholesale from other people's ideas. It works though. If other people already figured it out no need to reinvent the wheel. Back when I was first trying to figure out the Variax, the first place I went was Line 6's own tips which was on their blog that sadly seems to be inactive now. Check this out:
  12. 1. Yeah . . . I miss the VDI input too. I get it . . . doesn't mean I don't miss it. It'd be nice if there was some sort of portable VDI adapter Varaix adopters could buy to at least give you some of that functionality (maybe not the power option, but perhaps snap it into the guitar, connect a phone to it, change tunings and guitar models on the fly through an app, etc.). Dunno what type of market there is for that, but I'd buy it. 2. Yeah I agree. It's hard to cram anymore on that thing though, but some of those top buttons protrude and can be pushed down. Might be useful to change something so that pushing one of them in changed modes. To me that's the only limitation, because I like have a dual stomp and snapshot mode going on with an attached footswitch, but then there's no easy way to change to a new preset. Yeah, put it up on ideascale and I'd vote it.
  13. The recommendations above are probably the best choices if you have the patience to wait for them. I bought the Boss FS-6 because I wasn't feeling particularly patient that day and all the local music stores had one. It's price wasn't absurd either at about $60. Things I like about it, it's not the smallest pedal, but it still has a decently small footprint, and it runs for a pretty solid while on a 9 volt battery and it feels pretty sturdy. What I don't like about it is Boss always seems to put crappy bottoms on all their pedals making it a nightmare to attach it to a pedal board. Something to consider though:|ClickCP
  14. I really do have some tips here, but it's been too busy of a day for me to reply in detail. If no one beats me to it, I hope to reply tomorrow.
  15. It's kind of an instinctual reaction for me at this point, but if I remember right you press the "action" and "page" button simultaneously. Not quite as easy as tapping a button, but it works in most applications.
  16. Yes you can. In the global settings you can choose to have the FS3 run as a regular stomp option instead of the tap/tuner option.
  17. I agree. I bought the Stomp hoping to be satisfied with it, and I'm more blown away by it than I expected. My only complaint is it's given me Helix longing syndrome which I'd never really felt before. I'm always amazed at the players who can use the full range of the Helix. They're out there - heck, a lot of them are on this board. I can watch their youtube stuff over and over again hoping to glean something of their skills as I do. It's pretty amazing. Realistically though, it's just far more complicated than I ever get, and the Stomp totally hits the mark 99% of the time. Some of my favorite tones of all time were done by a simple amp and some reverb - this thing nails every single one of those. Most of my faves, and the personal stuff I like to do, never go much beyond a compressor, distortion pedal, amp, delay, and reverb. A phaser here and there - and the Stomp has endless permutations on that. My only gripe with the Stomp is I truly think they need a way to have FX send blocks not count towards your six, and I do miss the Variax possibilities with the Helix (which is why I keep having Helix longing syndrome now that I know what the Stomp can, and can not, do). Plus my wife has slept better since I could move to a headphone setup, and our house is less often a mess of cables going everywhere.
  18. Thanks for the feedback. This is something I keep debating getting into mostly because I love the Stomp and there's a desire to squeeze every last drop out of it. At the same time though, I find that it's original design is actually pretty well thought out. So much so that I find myself asking what I would truly need the Midi for. The big obvious takeaways are that you can make the largely worthless looper suddenly pretty flexible (as I understand it, with the midi you can have it be a multi button looper instead of the dopey single button) and to switch presets faster. Currently I attach a dual footswitch to the Stomp and set the footswitch to control snapshots. I then put core stomp buttons on the FS1 and FS2, leaving the FS3 for tuning and delay timing. Then I can do drastic changes with the dual footswitch, but subtle changes with the FS1 and FS2. It works great! Switching presets though is still a lollipop. Come to think of it maybe I should do the FS4 and FS5 for core stomp boxes and use FS1, FS2, and FS3 for snapshots because then I can change presets. Of course then I lose the tap tuner/delay easy access but that's used a lot less often . . . Hmmmm . . . back to dreaming of a midi controller.
  19. Yeah, it's absolutely true that the HX Effects is a wonderful choice if effects are primarily what you're after. However, both are expensive devices, and I assume the fact that you're considering a Helix indicates it's already in the budget. One thing that would suck is to blow $600 bucks on a HX Effects and suddenly realize you're longing for a Helix. The Helix does it all - the HX Effects does a little less than half of what the Helix does (fewer effects at once, fewer routing possibilities, no amps, less purpose for IRs). Core things to consider that give a full Helix an advantage: 1. The Helix can do whatever the HX Effects can do effects wise. It can also do MORE effects wise, with more routing options, etc. 2. The Helix is also a wonderful late night bedroom practice session set, which the HX Effects is not. Your son wouldn't need to even whip out the big ole amp, he could simply plug a pair of headphones into the Helix and experiment with all kinds of amps and effects, potentially even finding other amps he'd like in the future. 3. FRFR speakers aren't THAT expensive anymore, and so one year from now he may love the Helix's amp choices so much (as discovered playing over headphones) that he'd love a FRFR speaker that following year to take full advantage of the Helix. This won't happen with an HX Effects. The HX Effects is a wonderful effects machine, but I would only strongly recommend it to someone who is absolutely married to their trusty tube amps AND married to an existing pedal board. It doesn't sound like your son is necessarily married to only using the Boogie for the rest of his life, and he clearly doesn't already have a pedal board he is hoping to integrate it into, and for that reason I'd recommend a Helix.
  20. The answer is both. It runs best simply because of what an FRFR cabinet is (essentially it allows it to sound like whatever is put into it - which allows the modeler to sound the closest to what it's modeling). With that said though, I 100% recommend that you're better off buying a Helix over 6 (and likely to grow) separate effects pedals. The Helix does a fantastic job of effects, and that has nothing to do with an FRFR. It will do the effects as well or better with a Mesa Boogie IV as a singularly effects pedal will with the same Mesa Boogie, or any other amp. The FRFR equation has more to do with the amp/cab modeling choices, which in this case you don't need, but in later years he may find useful. Who knows, maybe next year he'll get a FRFR cabinet. The point is in the long run, you'll get WAY more bang for your buck, and future proof him far more, getting a Helix.
  21. I'm not saying it will fix the issue, but I always recommend updating to the most recent update, which is currently 2.71. Then it can be further diagnosed from there.
  22. I adore my Variax. I seriously don't get the people who complain about the sound. In my experience, the people who rag on that aspect have usually never heard them. The unwashed heathens I play to seem to love how it sounds. Now, complaints about reliability are something else. It's a complicated instrument to be sure, but I have to say my Variax had some issues and Line 6 totally took care of me.
  23. Create two paths and move the split Y block all the way left. Set Balance A to L100 and balance B to R100. Route the mixer block to Path B (Send L/R). This should allow you to process two instruments, or two discrete outputs, simultaneously.
  24. I have no idea why you wouldn't, OTHER than I had no idea that you could. After you mentioned this I went back and checked the manual and yeah . . . it looks like you can. So awesome. Problem solved. Thanks for pointing that out! Complicated device . . . more to learn I imagine . . .
  25. Hopefully you can get the sounds you want out of it. I wish I could be more helpful, but in my experience all gear needs extensive tweaking and testing before you debut it, and each outlet usually needs some fine tuning. I do want to thank you though. The image of a bee farting in a bottle is a new sound description that I won't ever be able to forget.
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