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Everything posted by craiganderton

  1. Wow, you certainly are a helpful bunch of people. It might be worth including some of this info in the FAQ at the beginning.
  2. I'm seeing quotes of around $27/book with the current format and page count, using inexpensive paper, least expensive binding, and standard ink. But the cost adds up fast when you include shipping from the publishing house to Sweetwater, shipping from Sweetwater to the customer, the cost of inventory and tracking a separate edition of the book, and at least a nominal profit. With print, there's still the question of how to get presets to the readers, how to handle the free updates, and there have been a couple books where I did free hotfixes a couple weeks after the release. Future versions are only going to have more pages and presets :) However, the eBook is compatible with tablets and Kindle, so that might be a solution for those who want the advantages of a PDF and the "sort of" look and feel of a book. I'd never say "never," but a traditional print book seems pretty impractical at this point. Maybe if the book sold in the thousands there would be sufficient economies of scale, but I doubt the Helix book is going to make the New York Times best-seller list anytime soon. Hmmm...maybe there's some way to turn it into a romance novel... :)
  3. As a long-time author, I understand the appeal of being able to hold something in your hand that's not electronic! :) As mentioned, you can have it printed out. However, note that part of the package is over 300 presets, and the only way to make those available was as a download. Another consideration is that it's not economically feasible to print and ship a 450+ page book with so many 4-color illustrations for $19.95. Certainly, it would not be possible to offer free updates, and I think that's important when a product continues to evolve. I wouldn't want people to buy the book and then two months later there's a Helix update, so they feel they wasted their money. That's an ongoing problem with technology-oriented books, so this is my attempt to solve that problem. Hopefully it's a good enough solution for most people. However, you're not the first person who's wanted a printed version. If there's enough demand, I'll check whether there are any viable custom publishing options for small quantities. In any case, I definitely appreciate the feedback!
  4. Maybe you the Helix input impedance is set too low?
  5. If you'll be working in the studio, Helix Native is totally amazing. Don't overlook how great it can sound on other instruments (bass, vocals, drums, orchestral). Also, you're not limited by hardware if you want to make insane presets that suck the blood out of your CPU. With guitar, I use Helix Native primarily for multiband distortion presets. I haven't found any other amp sim that can do what Helix does. I also have Helix floor for live use, so being able to transfer sounds between the two is fantastic. FWIW I'm very familiar with the Tascam 2x2, I used to have the 4x4 until I needed more inputs. I think those were highly underrated interfaces. I ran a bunch of tests, and the specs (frequency response, IM distortion, crosstalk, etc.) were excellent. 32 samples is fine, but if you can run it at 96 kHz, you'll reduce latency because the audio goes through the sample buffer twice as fast.
  6. Don't overlook Helix Native. If your computer is fast enough, you can record using the plug-in and monitor it in (well, almost) real time. On mixdown, I may replace some Helix blocks with other plugins. But the reverse is also true - Helix Native is a fantastic plugin for much more than guitar. Taking a vocal FX chain and substituting a Helix Native delay can be a thing of beauty.
  7. When I want a super in-your-face sound, I often emulate a cab using EQ. Then you essentially have a cab that's NOT in a room, and no mic placement that can sometimes sound "boxy." Then if you want to place the amp in a soundstage, you can add a time-based processor like delay or reverb, or a convolution reverb. Cubase's Frequency 2 EQ is a great EQ that has more than enough stages to create cool cab sounds. Here's a link with images of four cab EQ curves I created with Studio One's EQ, but a curve is a curve - they translate to Frequency 2 well. Bear in mind that even slight EQ differences can make a big difference in the sound. That can sometimes make it more of a challenge to dial in the sound you want, but it also means you can really get into detailed customization. If you have The Big Book of Helix Tips & Tricks, Chapter 6 has a section on how to create EQ-based cabs. Also, the Free Files folder has 35 .hlx presets for EQ-based cab sounds. Some of the multiband amp presets also include EQ-based cabs.
  8. Try turning enabling the input pad, or turning down the amp's drive, and see if that helps.
  9. craiganderton


    Apple makes a USB-C to USB adapter. I've had good luck with Apple adapters in the past, so this might be worth a shot. You may even be able to take your Helix and MacBook Pro to an Apple store, and if they have the adapter in stock, try it to see if it works. FWIW I needed to go from a Thunderbolt 3 port on my computer to a peripheral with TB2. I was told it likely would not work unless I bought the $100+ Startec adapter, but the Apple adapter worked just fine and was less than half the price. Good luck!
  10. I use the Helix Vox amps quite a bit. I don't have a bunch of Vox amps to compare, but I remember hearing that Vox typically had variations among different production runs. I also remember talking to someone at Line 6 way back when the Helix was first introduced and asked about how they did the modeling. I forget who it was, but he specifically said they had to track down a lot of AC30 amps to find one that sounded "right." Which of course begs the question, if there are that many differences, which one sounds "right"? :)
  11. Just to eliminate a possible variable, bring your unit in to Long & McQuade and try using a different HX Effects' power supply.
  12. Factory presets give an overview of what kind of sounds are possible. But they rarely can fit into a specific musical context of your own. I generally find you don't need too many effects to make a good sound, and less is often more. There's a way to split the difference. I've created a bunch of presets that work well with the kind of music I plan. They're like the "body" of a patch, and then I can "accessorize" them for specific applications. For example, if there's an amp, cab, and compressor that work well with a Fender Telecaster, I'll save that as a preset. Then I can customize the preset as needed with reverb, chorus, distortion, etc. I also made a lot of multiband presets because it takes a long time to create them from scratch. Having presets saves a lot of time.
  13. Parallel, discrete signal chains are part of Helix's DNA. HX Stomp can do two totally independent parallel chains (split the input, then pan the output mixer so one channel is full right, the other full left). Helix Floor and Rack can do 4 parallel, independent chains. I've even figured out how to do 4, 6, and 8-channel surround with Helix floor. (There's info on how to do this in the latest version of my Helix eBook, although I don't think most users are interested in using it for surround.) The simulated bass sound application you mention works really well for me. I recommend adding two EQs before the Poly block to help keep the higher notes from reaching it. I use a 10-band graphic EQ as the first EQ to cut out everything except the low notes, followed by a parametric EQ that boosts the low note levels. As a result, you hear only the guitar’s lower strings play an octave lower. I also follow the Pitch block with a compressor to help bring up the sustain, which makes the low frequencies sound more like a bass. It's a cool effect if you're a solo performer, and want a pseudo-bass line behind your playing.
  14. You can't get a duplicate, but you can get the same kind of vibe. A major problem is that a physical 12-string doesn't create an octave higher sound for the top two strings, but using the Poly Capo will create octave-higher sounds for all strings. This is why some EQ after the Poly Capo can help bring down the brightness a bit, while retaining the frequencies of the physical 1st and 2nd strings. As to where to find the presets I mentioned, they're not factory presets. They come with the download for the eBook mentioned in a previous post. Unfortunately I've used up my available memory allocation for attachments, so I can't attach any more presets here. Sorry!
  15. Note that for hands-on control, you can assign the knobs from Komplete Kontrol to Helix Native parameters.
  16. Moderators - I suspect the last two posts are spammers testing the ease of spamming the site. You might want to check into this and if needed, delete their accounts :)
  17. I've encountered a lot of digital gear where they could have used an analog engineer on the design team.
  18. It's good practice with any gear to allow for the free flow of air around it. For example, with rack gear, it's common to leave a space between rack gear that generates a lot of heat.
  19. Aside from Silverhead's helpful advice, note that many of the presets are designed to show specific techniques mentioned in the book, while others are intended as presets you can use live or in the studio. I think HX Edit is ideal for doing what you want. Back up a setlist and use it as a test bed. Drag a preset into HX Edit and play through it. If you like it, save it to a preset slot. Otherwise, move on to the next preset and try that out. After deciding which presets you want to keep, store them in a folder on your computer. Then, bring them into setlists for specific situations (e.g., 4-string bass setlist, 5-string bass setlist, cover band gigs setlist, etc.) as appropriate. Chapter 10 has 31 presets designed specifically for bass, so start there. However, I'd recommend testing out some of the guitar-oriented presets, as many of them are adaptable for bass by substituting different amps or effects. For example, Chapter 7 on Combi-Band processing is useful with bass because of how you can process the midrange separately from the bass and highs. I hope this helps! I would very much appreciate your comments on which presets you find most useful with bass, because I expect to expand the number of bass presets in version 1.4 when it comes out. I'd also be interested in what kind of bass presets you'd like to see in the future. To avoid taking up bandwidth here, please post your comments in the official Helix book support forum. Thanks!
  20. Sorry, the forum size limits won't let me post any more uploads. But hey, the eBook that includes the graphs is only $19.95. With 459 pages and over 300 presets/files, you might find some other useful stuff in there :)
  21. Also make sure the cable isn't a power-only cable, liked the kind designed exclusively for chargers, but also includes the data lines.
  22. There are some rules of thumb: Moving a mic closer to the speaker increases the amount of bass. Moving it further away reduces bass, but also affects midrange. The precise midrange effect depends on the distance. Moving the mic horizontally across the speaker reduces brightness as the mic gets further away from the center. The main effect of mic angle seems to relate to phase. It think it may be less important with bass than with guitar, possibly because bass has longer wavelengths due to the lower frequencies.
  23. I did a frequency response analysis for the Helix mics and cabs in The Big Book of Helix Tips and Tricks. Unfortunately, I've used up my allocation for image attachments in this forum, so I can't include any of the frequency response graphs. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, but hopefully the following descriptions included with the graphs will be helpful to you. (Helix is a great processor for bass - one of my favorite presets uses a pedal to do pitch slides. The sound is almost like a synth bass. Fun stuff!) v3.50 Bass Cabs Mics How these mics respond depends on how close they are to the speaker, because this influences the bass-boosting proximity effect. The Brute was the standard cab chosen for these measurements, so the various mic responses are influenced by the cab’s response. 40 Dynamic Although the PR 40 is often used with bass, it’s a versatile microphone that’s used in many recording scenarios. The presence lift in the upper midrange makes the PR 40 popular for vocals, as well as miking acoustic sources that need a solid bass response. 52 Dynamic The Shure Beta 52A is designed specifically for kick and bass. For emphasizing bass with a sharp attack, Shure recommends placing the mic 1" from the speaker, on-axis with the speaker cone’s center. Placing the mic further back (but still on-axis) softens the attack and reduces the bass. The 52’s frequency response resembles Shure’s quoted Beta 52A response with the mic placed about 2 ft. away from the speaker. 88 Dynamic The response curve looks like what Beyerdynamic quotes for placing the mic about 4 inches away from the speaker. Closer settings increase the proximity effect, hence the bass response. The even, extended high-frequency response is another distinguishing characteristic. D6 Dynamic This is another mic that’s clearly biased toward its intended application of miking kick drums and bass amps. The significant low-frequency boost gives a sense of fullness. The high-frequency boost provides articulation from high-frequency pick and string noises. Furthermore, the scooped mids reduce the potential for boominess and mud. This is a specialized mic that does what it’s supposed to do. Bass Cabs 1x12 Epicenter This final group of cabs is for bass, so a horn usually adds upper midrange emphasis. Without this, the bass would have a hard time sounding defined in a mix. The peak in this cab is more subtle than most, and the response is smooth. 1x15 Ampeg B-15 The B-15 has a reputation for a deep, full bass sound with plenty of articulation. This curve shows why: there’s a significant bass peak, midrange scoop to make room for other instruments, and a broad peak centered around 3 kHz. 2x15 Brute From the midrange on down, the response is relatively flat. This is likely due to the unusual, individually tuned, multi-port system. The upper-midrange peak is from the horn, which contributes the high frequencies needed to emphasize “string zing” and articulation. 4x10 Garden This splits the difference somewhat between the previous two bass cabs. The Garden has more of a scoop than the Brute, and a slightly reduced low end compared to the B-15. 4x10 Ampeg Pro 4x10 cabs tend to have more similarities than differences, and 4x10 Ampeg Pro and 4x10 Garden are no exception. However, the Ampeg Pro has a narrower upper-midrange peak, and a peak at 10 kHz for more “air.” 8x10 SVT AV This is the only Helix bass cab whose physical counterpart doesn’t include a horn. As a result, this one’s all about the bass, with a midrange scoop and a peak around 4 kHz.
  24. I really enjoyed everything you wrote...except this. Best thing I ever did for myself was getting this set of IEMs with built-in ambiance mics. They're expen$ive, but to have "high-fidelity earplugs with a volume control" is nirvana for my ears. I even wear the IEMs to concerts and movie theaters where the sound is too loud. Full disclosure: I endorse these IEMs but am not compensated for doing so. I just believe strongly that musicians should protect their hearing. Sorry for the detour, back to why Helix is so effing wonderful!
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