Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by craiganderton

  1. You're correct that a de-esser uses compression to clamp down on the highs. It's basically dynamic equalization. However, most commercial de-essers use a notch filter, to zero in on the offending frequency. Clamping down on the entire high end could (but not necessarily!) cause the audio to sound dull. With Helix, using a parametric stage set to a notch that's tuned to the ess frequency may be more effective. The problem is you lose those frequencies regardless of whether or not there's an ess sound, but the frequencies above it remain intact, which may be good enough. In the studio, I use Helix Native quite a bit as a vocal processor. It has "guitar" functionality that other vocal processors don't have.
  2. At least with a reverse delay, you can have delayed sound only. The mental gymnastics required to play 1 bar earlier what you want to hear 1 bar later isn't easy, but it's not too horrible if there aren't a lot of chord changes.
  3. Totally agree, after I got Helix I sold my Mutron. I'll have to try your post-cab idea, I haven't done that but it sounds promising. Another option is split early in the chain to a path with compressor and octave divider. For Wes Montgomery-type jazz octaves, delay the dry sound by about 20 ms to emulate hitting the higher string later than the lower string.
  4. Don't forget about IRs. Also, the equalizer modules are quite flexible. I use quite a few cabinets that were fashioned out of multiple stages of EQ. They won't emulate a physical cabinet exactly, but you can tailor the response any way you want.
  5. Unfortunately, the problem with all reverse effects is that they can't go into the future and find out how a note is going to decay, so the reversed sound will always be delayed. AFAIK it pretty much requires a non-real-time process to get it right. However...if you end up doing it with in the studio with a DAW in non-real-time, here's a hint. Make a premix, reverse it, and play along with that. Then when the guitar is reversed, it at least follows along with the song.
  6. Thanks very much for the props on the eBook, but I couldn't have written it if I hadn't "committed" to the Helix back in 2015. That book is the result of 7 years of familiarity, coupled with the (superb!) updates that have extended what Helix does. I expect there will be more updates that extend its "new product" lifetime further, but frankly, I can get pretty much any sound I want now. I just wish it had a four-way crossover module... BTW because the book is a download, it comes with over 200 presets. The intention was to give users a shortcut to playing with the new features, but any time there's a new update, it's worth treating Helix like a new product. Several "workarounds" I did in the past for my presets were no longer necessary when an update appeared. Helix may not be "perfect," but neiither am I, so we make a good team :)
  7. It depends if you want an exact duplicate of a 12-string, or something that sounds very much like a 12-string, and can substitute for parts using a 12-string. (I can't help but wonder if it was physically possible to bump the 1st and 2nd strings up an octave, whether physical 12-strings would do that!). There are two main ways to help the authenticity. One is a delay on the "octave" strings, because with a physical 12-string, there's a slight delay between hitting the main string and its associated octave string. The other is an EQ to pull back some highs so that the octave-higher 1st and 2nd strings aren't quite so bright. The following excerpt from my Helix eBook describes one of the presets included with the book. It's intended to create an electric 12-string sound, not an acoustic one. The obvious downside is that it uses up all the blocks, but I hope this helps. This preset is optimized for the bridge pickup, but other pickup positions work too. The sound is more like one guitar than layered guitars, because the second EQ (Low/High Shelf) doesn’t emphasize the highs as much. Also, to give a 12-string’s characteristic shimmer, the Dual Delay toward the output adds subtle modulation. However, the crucial difference is the Simple Delay that precedes the Poly Capo. With a physical 12-string, there’s a slight delay (around 20-25 ms) between hitting the main string and its associated octave string. The Simple Delay emulates this effect, which your ears identify as part of a 12-string’s characteristic sound. For live performance, only some blocks are suitable for footswitching. All the blocks before the Mixer are essential parts of the 12-string sound. The only processors to which I’d add footswitches are the post-Mixer Delay, the Reverb, and perhaps a footswitch for one (or both) compressors so you can call up a more or less compressed sound.
  8. I've discovered over the years that eating one's hat is best complemented by a good Cabernet Sauvignon :) All I could really do to replicate your setup was to test whether "That means THIS EQ IS NOT AFFECTING THOSE FREQUENCIES." There are a lot of variables in your setup and I don't know what they are. If I get the time I'll take a pink noise generator, blast it into an interface direct and look at the spectrum, then blast it through a bypassed Helix and see what happens. I suspect the frequency responses will be the same.
  9. This got me curious because I've done a lot of spectral analysis with Helix (some would say a disturbing amount, LOL), and never noticed these kinds of anomalies. So I double-checked, just in case. The top image is pink noise going through the high shelf at 2.2 kHz, with maximum cut. The lower image is of the hi/low cut at 5 kHz with maximum cut. It looks like they're doing what they're supposed to be doing - cutting high frequencies when you set them to cut high frequencies. I don't know how Logic's EQ matching works, but here's a wild guess...if there's EQ involved, they're probably not using phase linear filters, so there could be phase shifts that alter the response when summed. Higher frequencies would be more susceptible to phase issues. But let me emphasize this is 100% a guess. All I can vouch for is that pink noise and spectrum analyzers are designed specifically to show frequency response, and what they show is what I would expect to see.
  10. IMHO if all you need to do is transpose, Poly Capo is the best option. The reason for the multiple options is to be able to choose the right algorithm for the right functionality. Although you can do some pretty amazing things with bass slides :) Have fun!
  11. Here's an excerpt from Chapter 4 on "Poly Block Techniques" from my Helix book: The poly processor has four different personalities: Poly Pitch. When enabled, the pitch slides from the non-transposed pitch (i.e., the effect’s bypassed state) to a transposed pitch you specify. You can edit the slide’s duration, as well as a separate time to slide back to the non-transposed pitch after bypassing the Poly Pitch. (The sliding is like a synthesizer’s polyphonic glide or portamento.) My favorite application is steel guitar-like bending effects. Poly Wham. Use this for pedal-controlled pitch shifts. If your guitar doesn’t have a vibrato tailpiece…now it does. Poly Capo. For simply transposing your guitar, polyphonic capo is the best choice. 12-String. This gives a 12-string guitar’s personality, although I prefer to make my own 12-string presets based on the Poly Capo. Here's some more info specifically about Poly Pitch: This effect can give pseudo-steel guitar effects, by sliding from one pitch to another over a specified period of time, and then sliding back down again. Poly Pitch is also useful in situations with out-of-tune instruments. Poly Pitch doesn’t do anything unless you enable or bypass it. When enabled, the pitch slides up based on the Interval parameter (fig. 4.5). For example, if Interval is +12 and you enable the effect, the pitch changes to an octave higher. It’s like hitting a chord on a steel guitar, and then moving the bar up an octave. The slide’s duration depends on the Shift Time parameter (0.0 to 8.00 seconds). So, a 500 ms setting would take half a second to transpose from the original pitch to the new one.
  12. How often does it fail to stay connected, and does it happen out of nowhere in the middle of being used, or only when coming out of sleep or during power-on? If the power saving function is on for the USB port that Helix uses, that could have something to do with it.
  13. The name "legacy effects" seems kind of dismissive, but there are some pretty cool ones in there. I'm curious what your go-to legacy effects are, and which are your favorites.
  14. I do a LOT of parallel processing with bass, so that the fundamental tone always remains. Then something else gets layered with it, like filter or distortion. Well...it's not quite that simple, at least not with Helix Floor. From the Helix book: In addition to a fixed impedance, an Auto Impedance mode causes Amps and effects to emulate the input impedance of their physical counterparts. Auto Impedance mode has two options under Global Preferences: • With First Block, your guitar sees the first effect’s modeled impedance. In other words, if the first effect is a fuzz with a 10k input impedance, the sound will be the same as if you’d chosen 10k as the input impedance. If the first effect has a 230k input impedance, the sound will be the same as if you’d chosen 230k as the input impedance. • With First Enabled, the input impedance is the chain’s first enabled effect. For example, suppose the first effect has a 1M input impedance and the second effect has a 10k input impedance. With this option, if the first effect is enabled, your guitar will see a 1M impedance. If it’s bypassed but the second effect is enabled, your guitar will see the 10k input impedance. • With line-level signals, impedance isn’t very important. A typical input impedance would be 10k to 70k. • A fine point with First Block is that Line 6 assumes effects do not use true bypass. So, if the first effect is 10k, even when bypassed your guitar will sound like it’s feeding a 10k input impedance. You may not always want the dulling a fuzz produces, especially if you’re feeding an effect where you want a brighter sound. In that case, choose First Enabled. Good question! I have no idea. Maybe they're emulating bass amps with awesome power supplies and no transformers?
  15. I can't figure out how to send a private message with this forum, so...send an email to the official support email for all my books, craig.tech.center@gmail.com. Tell me how you want to be credited, and where to send the link. I remember the title, but I have no idea what it said specifically, or where it appeared...after a few thousand articles, the details get blurry! Glad you liked it, though.
  16. That's great info! If you don't mind, I'll include your findings in version 1.2 of the Helix book, with appropriate credit of course. This also makes me think I need to cover Legacy effects in general, since the first two versions concentrated on the non-legacy effects. I also like your idea of the routing symbols, that makes a lot of sense.
  17. They were probably referring to what happens if the audio in the left and right channels is the same. Summing the left and right channels when they differ, which should be the case with stereo reverb, does not produce the same end result. Tech talk for those who want to put on their lab coats: Summing the left and right channels to mono is what produces the "mid" in mid-side processing. The sides are still present, but the mid is boosted somewhat compared to the sides. However with the sides, the mid cancels completely.
  18. In addition to theElevators' creative suggestions, yet another use is enhancing dynamics - e.g, essentially the same sound for both, but when you play harder, it brings in more brightness (kind of like the way an acoustic guitar sounds brighter when you hit the strings harder).
  19. Just to confuse matters further (puts on lab coat, turns on calculator)... To get more sustain, I keep my pickups further away from the strings than most players. This also gives a lower peak-to-average signal level ratio, so I can get more average level into subsequent devices, like the Helix. I did some tests on pickup placement vs. output and sustain, and found that moving pickups from 2 mm to 4 mm away from the strings brought the peak levels down by 8 dB. I didn't think to measure the average level, which likely wouldn't have been so dramatic a difference. Still, I was surprised that 2 mm could change peak levels that much. Anyway, the point is that if you change the distance from your pickups to the strings, you may need to re-visit the input pad vs. no input pad settings. With my pickups placed as they are, I get similar results to the pad being in, but without the pad being in.
  20. That is true. However, I'm expecting ther will be another eBook update before the next "official" Helix update (depending on how soon that happens). I want to include information about the Looper and also get more into the MIDI control aspects. Neither are covered in the current edition, which focuses on effects, applications, and amp parameters. If you have any suggestions for what you'd like to see in future editions, please contact me at the dedicated email given in the book. Quite a bit of the material included in version 1.1 was based on reader feedback (like showing the frequency response curves for the various mics). One reader from France even gave me a tip on how to make topics easier to find in the PDF contents sidebar, which was a great suggestion. It really does make a difference when you want to find a topic fast. Of course I can't guarantee I'll implement all requests, but I can guarantee they will be read, and carefully considered. Thank you!
  21. Yes, and this is further complicated by mics having different responses. Stilil, there are general regions that apply to most voices (like upper midrange relating to intelligibility). Helix's EQs are versatile enough to hit most, if not all, of the frequencies you want to boost or cut.
  22. You can get primitive feedback effects, even at low levels, by touching the guitar's headstock to your amp's cab. Mostly it works best on lower frequencies, and it can be awkward to hold the guitar in such a way to make this happen, but it works. On gigs where my guitar was going direct into the PA so there wasn't an actual amp for doing feedback, touching the PA speakers with the headstock worked great. A more evolved option is a studio-only plug-in, but Blue Cat Audio's AcouFiend is very cool. Here's a link to a short solo that uses it - the base guitar sound is (of course!) the Helix, AcouFiend is adding the feedback layer. It really does sound like feedback, but more importantly, it "feels" somewhat similar to the way real feedback develops when playing live. There's a review of it here, but you can also check out a free trial version. Hope this helps.
  23. I have two favorite "alternate wah" approaches: Parallel a parametric EQ with an out-of-phase path. Then, everything cancels except for the peak created by the parametric, which is the type of curve most wahs have. You can vary the parametric's Q and frequency range to emulate the response of just about any wah pedal, then add distortion to taste. Sweep three hi-Q bandpass filters simultaneously. The filters are in parallel with an out-of-phase path, for the same reasons given above. They're offset so that if one is at (for example) 500 Hz, the others are at 1.5 kHz and 3 kHz. They maintain the same frequency relationship to each other as you move the pedal. (This is the basis for the pseudo-talk box preset in The Big Book of Helix Tips and Tricks - if you have the eBook, it's on page 198, and the "Talk Box.hlx" preset is in the Free Files folder.)
  24. Check out this article I wrote about recording vocals at home. It covers a lot of topics other than EQ, but scroll down to section (5), which covers EQ specifically. This article is shorter, and focuses how to make a vocal channel strip with EQ and compression. The examples are based on the PreSonus Fat Channel, but the settings translate to the Helix processors...3 dB of boost is 3 dB of boost, no matter what company made the filter :) FWIW I think the Helix processors are underrated for applications other than guitar. You can get some great effects for vocals, keyboards, and drums. Helix Native gets a lot of use with my computer's DAW for audio other than guitars. For voice, probably the biggest limitation compared to dedicated vocal processors is that the latter specialize in creating convincing harmonies.
  25. FWIW I use several microphones with my audio interface, and the SM58 had to be turned up the most. I got a Cloudlifter CL-1 for a ribbon mic, but tried it out with the SM58 and it makes a big difference with that as well. The CL-1 is a phantom-powered FET preamp with 25 dB of gain, and also reduces loading with dynamic mics. However, if you can get enough gain out of the Helix, the CL-1 probably overkill because it costs $150.
  • Create New...