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craiganderton last won the day on May 22

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  1. One more thing...when I was gigging on guitar with DJs and electronic bands in Europe at the turn of the century, because I wasn't singing, I could be in front of the PA. Not only could I hear the guitar perfectly because I was going directly into the PA, I could hear it in relation to all the other instruments. I'd like to think this helped me contribute to a better overall mix. The guy running FOH just left me alone, nothing needed to be done because I knew EXACTLY what the audience was hearing. It was what I wanted to hear, too :) It's all good...the right answer depends on the question that's being asked! If you're playing with a hard rock act at a festival, for 4,000 Germans whacked out on ecstasy, or at a local club with a rock band, I think the question and corresponding answer differ.
  2. Did a festival gig once going through a Bose L1. Amp in a room, or FRFR? I dunno, but what was really cool was with that column speaker, I could place the guitar parallel to the speakers and get awesome feedback :) It felt like I had more physical interaction with that amp than I'd had for a long time with an actual guitar amp. But to be fair, it also had a bass bin that was blasting air, like an amp. Frankly, if only guitar amps existed, I'd play through guitar amps. If only Helix and FRFR existed, they I'd play through that. Maybe I'm just not that much of a "feel" guy. I played through guitar amps throughout my high school and college years but when I went pro, I went direct through keyboard amps and never looked back. Because I straddled the world of studio/live, it was the perfect solution because it worked for both. So, when modelers came out and would let me take that to the next level, I was already primed. This isn't to say that the feel of a guitar in a room isn't cool. But bringing the sound of the studio to the stage can be pretty darn cool, too...just in a different way. I've experienced both, and I truly believe it's a matter of personal preference.
  3. I hear ya. FWIW, I ditched guitar amps completely in 1968 (to be fair, tubes had really cratered in quality anyway) and switched to keyboard amps. They were the best you could in terms for FRFR at the time. My stage setup was two 100W RMI amps. Amazingly enough, they could even fill arenas. My goal was to get the sound I wanted before hitting an input jack. As a result, the sound was the same whether playing live or in the studio. That made life a lot easier, especially when I started gigging with DJs in Europe in the 2000s - I could just patch right into the PA system, and all I needed was an AdrenaLinn, POD, and Vocoder (fed by drums). I could fit it all in a carry-on bag for a transatlantic flight. Does it sound like an amp in a room? To me, no. To the audience, yes. And they're the ones buying the tickets :)
  4. Perhaps there's a fundamental issue - FRFR is designed for a flat response, cabs are designed for a NOT flat response. Cabs have a variety of anomalies and boosts/cuts. The engineers who design FRFRs have total control over the electronic circuits that drive the speakers. They do everything they can to remove any anomalies, in order to obtain a flat response. It might be that you're missing the "warts" in FRFR. Sure, the Helix emulates cabs, but if you're talking about physical wood vibrating in an acoustic space, software can't do that - even if you feed it with an impulse of physical wood vibrating in an acoustic space.
  5. It's worth noting that it was never easy to get a great guitar sound, even with physical amps in a big studio. Room sound, mic choice, mic placement, parts of the cab that vibrated, the effects that were added during the mix, even issues like different speakers in a cab sounding different all complicated matters. So, it's not surprising that dialing in a sound you love on an amp sim is a little complicated. But the good news: You can save it as a preset!!! :)
  6. Thanks for the props! I'm about halfway through the 1.3 update. A couple fine points, though: Updates aren't necessarily just about new firmware. For example, this time around I did a deep dive into the 3-parameter distortions, and how the Tone parameter affects the sound. It was surprisingly revealing in terms of choosing which distortions would be the best candidates for particular presets. The "point" updates are free (like software going from 2.0 to 2.1), but if it an eBook goes to a new edition with substantial changes (like software going from version 2.0 to version 3.0), owners of existing editions get the new one for half off. FWIW I don't see that happening with the Helix book any time soon, though. Line 6's steady flow of incremental updates works well with the "point" update approach.
  7. Like most of the other here, I agree that the majority of the sound is in the cab, amp, and mic. For me, after that comes EQ (before the amp, after the cab, or both) for shaping the sound further. Here's a brief excerpt from my Helix book you might find useful. It's the procedure I use when getting to know the new amps and cabs that Line 6 drops into our laps from time to time :) Dealing with Option Overload Helix offers so many options, it’s easy to be tempted into thinking you’re just a few tweaks away from getting an even better sound. But avoid becoming too distracted. Given Helix’s sheer number of amps, miking options, cabinets, effects, and more, the possible combinations are at least in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. This is especially true because as you try different cab and virtual miking options, the results may not be consistent—a perfect mic choice for one amp might not be the best choice for a different amp. If you’re prone to option overload, try the following steps to narrow down your choices. This procedure is just one possible strategy: 1. Pick an Amp+Cab that sounds close to what you want. 2. Try out different cabs, and choose the one that sounds best. 3. Next, try different Mics, then choose your favorite. 4. Edit the cab’s Distance and Position (and with Legacy Cabs, Early Reflections) for the best sound. 5. Now, run through the amp options to see if one sounds better. Avoid the temptation to experiment further—if you have a good sound, start playing! Although musicians have specific opinions about sound and tone, the average listener does not. People want to hear music…so give the people what they want. They’re interested in the notes you play, whether they enhance the song, and if the tone is pleasing. P.S. You didn't mention if you're doing front panel editing, or editing with HX Edit. If you're tweaking via the front panel, you'll find HX Edit makes life infinitely easier!
  8. The Elmsley is fantastic IMHO, and I fall into the "I like the Grammatico" camp. The update went 100% smoothly here, but to be fair, I followed the documentation :) I guess it's time to start in on the next eBook update!
  9. In theory, there's a MIDI command that will reset a pattern IIRC. You can also reset patterns by tapping the tempo switch, but then the tightness of the sync depends on you, not a MIDI command. I think I'll look into this further, as well as with respect to Helix Native.
  10. I'd consider getting something else if I ran out of possibilities with the Helix, but that hasn't happened yet and probably won't. It's deep enough to keep me interested, and friendly enough to keep using it.
  11. Perhaps he can have someone in the US buy it, update it if needed, and then ship it wherever he's stationed.
  12. The challenge is always how to make advanced technology transparent to the user. When playing the prototypes of effects that had the "listen to me" footswitch, all the guitar player knew was that the effect seemed more responsive. All the heavy lifting happened under the hood. It would be possible to make what went into creating that responsiveness user-accessible, but that would lead to a daunting collection of parameters, and require that people knew what to do with the parameters. I don't think that's what most players want. I think one reason the multiband pack was successful was because people could just load a preset. Tweaking all the parameters in four bands takes forever.
  13. I would love to see sidechaining implemented in Helix for envelope control over selected parameters. But I think it might be difficult to implement. Line 6 would have to decide which parameters in an effect should tie to the envelope follower, and each parameter would need three controls (amplitude, offset, and polarity) to tailor the response to the envelope. Many people already have a hard enough time figuring out what the parameters do. In a related concept, several decades ago I designed a "Pluck Detector" circuit. It generated a trigger every time there was a rapid upward transient. It (nerd alert) used a floating threshold, so it didn't matter if the transient happened in the middle of a sustaining chord or started from nothing. The pluck detector then went through an integrator to smooth out the triggers into a control voltage. The control wasn't based on amplitude, like an envelope follower. Its purpose was to control parameters based on the intensity of your playing. I used it mostly for delay, so that playing faster pulled back a bit on the delay mix to keep the delay from stepping on the notes. As I played slower, the delays would be allowed to come back in more frequently. I also designed a set of pedals for a startup company that, uh, never started up LOL with a "listen to me" momentary footswitch. The pedals tracked dynamics, plucks, and envelopes, and used that data to create subtle differences in the sound that reflected your playing. For example, chorus modulation could be influenced by your playing so it followed what you did instead of just doing the "whoosh-whoosh-whoosh" from an LFO. Unfortunately companies aren't interested in this kind of stuff because, well, most guitarists aren't interested in it. So I just end up implementing these kinds of things for myself. The Helix multiband presets pack was an exception - it made it out into the world because I was pretty sure a lot of people would like multiband processing. v3.50 is letting me take that concept to another level, so there will be more presets in the future as I get time to tweak them. It took me a year to to the multiband preset pack.
  14. In addition to the excellent tips referenced in the previous posts, make sure the USB cables you try aren't power-only cables used for charging, not data transfer. That's bit me a couple times.
  15. You can think of the Helix multiband compression as a three-band graphic EQ where you can choose the frequency ranges for each band. The parametric is more about boost and cut rather than amplifying or attenuating a range of frequencies. I use the MG compressor a lot to create 3-band crossovers for multiband presets, without necessarily using any compression. If you have my Helix eBook, the Favorites folder in the Free Files section has presets for high/mid/low crossovers using the MB Compressor. I did an article about using multiband compressors for equalization. It's not specifically about the Helix MB compressor, but the principles are the same. It might give you some ideas on how to extend the MB Comp for other applications. Fun stuff!
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