This post is probably for the ones that are new to Helix (unless you are like me). The reason why I post this is to share my renewed friendship with the Helix. When I got the Helix, some 1,5 years ago, my interest in "new gear" was by far gone. I bought it because it seemed to fit my needs. My main focus and enjoyment is now playing the guitar, not messing around with technology. Still, I now know most of the features of the Helix (floor). The first thing I did was to make a patch with the WhoWatt 100 - a "super-patch" that had everything I needed. It sounded so good that I ended it there (for a while). I had no urge to look further. Every day I could pick up my guitar and have great sound. But I did not understand what I missed out on...
For some reason, I decided to give all the amp-, microphone- and cabinet models a try. This is how I built a patch for each amp-model: Gain - Amp - Cabinet - Cali Q Graphic - Low and High Cut - Room reverb - Volume. (So far I've not touched the equalizers - I put them there to have them when building new patches.)
My main goal was to find the cabinets and the microphones that fitted the amps to my ear. (Most of the time, because of my taste, I chose the 4x12 XXL V30, and a few ones had the 4x12 Cali V30. Most of the times I ended up with 7 Dynamic microphone for the clean amps, and some times the 160 Ribbon. 160 Ribbon I also used for the more gainy amps, so also the 87 Condencer. (A very few amps needed another cabinet/microphone.) I went through them all (cabs and microphones) for each amp. Then I played around with the amps (without the equalizer-blocks that I've mentioned) to make them sound as good as possible by themselves. (The only thing I used was the low cut on the cabinet.) Then I truly discovered the glory of the Helix!!! One thing was to discover how the "Master-volume" could affect the sound of the amp in conjunction with the "Drive". (Be aware that "Channel volume" don't affect the tone AT ALL. ONLY the volume. I've seen quite some videos where guitarists use it to "enhance" the sound.) Another thing I discovered (especially in some clean amps) was how "ripple" and "hum" made the sound more rich and complex (more overtones - and I assure you, I'm not a hi-fi freak :-). I've still not started to deeply explore the sag and bias, but I for sure know that I get different sound and feel by playing around with these parameters.
After exploring the amp by it self, I added boost to see how the amp reacted. One of the amps that I for sure thought I'd never use came to its glory with boost. That was The Soupro. I made a crunch-tone with much boost in front of the amp, and it sounds like heaven!
I made a patch in the Helix (as mentioned abowe) for each amp-model. First I set the level (in Cubase), with ONLY the amp engaged, to -6dB with the "Channel volume". If the Channel volume could not deliver enough gain, I used the "Output level". Then I turned on the cab and adjusted the patch to -6dB with the "Level" in the cab. The reason why I did so was because I will soon buy a PowerCab, and that all my patches stays at the same level (PowerCab in mind). (Yes, I know that a driven amp sounds louder than a clean one.) These patches will also be a nice starting point when building a new patch.
My experience after this is that the amp models in Helix sonds GREAT!!! And I have gained some good insight in "knowing my instruments" (my Helix amps). Fiddeling around with the basics in Helix made me understand what a KILLER INSTRUMENT the Helix really are!!! I might be wrong, because I've never tried it, but I think a Kemper can't give the "true" amp-tweeking-feeling that I got playing around with the Helix.
Line 6, you have really made a h*** of a job!
(I'm sorry about my poor English, but hopefully it is understandable.)