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JimGordon

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  1. JimGordon

    Amp and FOH

    I use the Helix straight into the low input a HR DeVille 4x10; I've swapped the preamp tubes to lower gain (12ay7/12at7) to deal with the twitchy volume pot, and it works pretty damn well at giving the best of both worlds- "real amp punch" and the ability to get a ton of different amp sounds out what would otherwise be a vanilla amp. The lower gain preamp tubes might help you match the FOH patch sound and the on-stage amp sound better, as there will be less added gain and noise on the amp end. Gotta say, the one drawback for me to the Hot Rod is the weight, but on the other hand, it just sounds so legit as a platform for Helix that I'm willing to compromise. Maybe the "vanilla-ness" of the Hot Rod series is what makes it good translating the modeling without as much coloration?
  2. I know.......I didn't see the OP's new topic until I was done with my rant......
  3. With all due respect, that's just a somewhat silly blanket statement. I've gotten very good results running the Helix into the front of my Fender Hot Rod, WITH full amp models. In fact, when I first got the Helix, some guy there on the sales floor tried to also claim I "didn't want" the full Helix if I had a real amp because it would sound "wrong". He insisted on not letting me play through a "real amp", instead forcing me to play through the Powercab (because he didn't want to haul a real tube amp over, probably!). Sounded like a muffled dull washcloth to my ears with the presets present, but despite that, I took a chance that it would sound good through a good, CLEAN tube amp. And it did....although it took a while to figure out how to build patches. To answer SJTurbo's question, an HX FX has NO amp models in it. So you wouldn't be able to get the "Litigator sound"; that sound is based around the amp modelling of tone stacks, gain, modelled power stage distortion, and so forth. HOWEVER......major, major caveat, and I mean major. If you do run it straight into an amp, how it sounds will vary greatly on the channel you use, the frequency response and range of the amplifier, how well it takes inputs without "nasty clipping", and of course, the speaker/cab. While sending a Helix straight into an amp drive channel with some gain might have its uses, generally it will sound.....well....nasty. Your amp is a Music Man RD50, which has a tube power section, but a solid state pre-amp. The solid-state preamp *might* clip unpleasantly. I remember my old, crappy solid state amp had a habit of clipping in a bad way with too much signal. I recently swapped the tubes on my amp's preamp section for lower gain tubes, and run it into the low input jack, so the signal will not clip harshly or suddenly. Now the Music Man hybrid amps like yours do have a good rep for a clean tone. I'd suggest you think about getting the Helix from a place with a good return policy. That way, you can try it out, and see if it works with your amp straight in to your satisfaction. You may find that it is adequate at least, and from there, maybe start looking at investing in a cheap, clean tube amp, a Powercab, or perhaps one of those small portable power amps.
  4. I'm not sure what the "wah wah wah" sound you're talking about it. Have you tried putting the 12 string effect first or close to first in the chain? Are you putting it through an amp model as well (a Fender Twin model works surprisingly well for a clean 12 string sound). While it's true that a real 12 string will inevitably sound better than an effect like this, for what it's worth, it's close enough for my tastes. Oddly enough, I'm having more issues with the acoustic effect, in that it's really easy to clip the low strings in many of my patches (especially if I use a JC120 model). I've used a compressor, which has helped with the clipping in a number of cases, but adds too much sustain and compression to get the best acoustic sound. I still like having it in the Helix nonetheless, as it's still sort of adequate in the absence of a real electric-acoustic.
  5. Paul, sorry I didn't get back to you earlier- I just uploaded it to CustomTone (my first one!). It's for Rage For Order/Mindcrime era Queensryche, so it's not the SLO sound from Empire.
  6. If you're looking for that early Van Halen sound, you should be able to get that from cranking the bias (in addition to diming all the gain/master/tone controls) and screwing around with sag and biasX options (I *think* increasing the sag a good deal, as well as the BiasX, will reproduce the weird effect that using a variac to lower voltage would have on the power amp section), in addition to sticking the Echoplex model in front of the amp model (I forgot the exact name) with the level cranked and delay repeats set to zero. The Exotic Boost is also supposed to basically recreate the Echoplex preamp boost, if you want to go that route. Also, weirdly enough, the Soldano crunch model with gain set between 4 and 7 with an EQ set in front of it as a bandwidth boost gives a surprisingly good 70s juiced Marshall sound, complete with the "kerraannngggggg" sound that people say is missing from the Marshall models. I used it for a KISS patch that's not necessarily meant to be a 1 to 1 match with the album sound, but more of an idealized "what if" version of that sound.
  7. As stated above, there is definitely no "one size fits all" answer here. My Helix goes right into the front of a Fender HR Deville, low input, clean, with the preamp tubes being 12AY7/12AT7 to reduce the gain/tame the volume curve and the amp EQ set fairly neutral, so the output is going through a real guitar combo cab, which will naturally tame high frequencies that might stick out on an FRFR, Powercab or DAW setup. This setup seems to be contrary to the approach a lot of people favor, so the fact that I dial in a healthy dose of presence into a lot of the amps might not work for a lot of people not using a normal guitar cab. One thing I have noticed is that some amp models, but not others, have a strange curve to the presence, where it's fine for 75-80% of the dial sweep, but things suddenly get really weird, spitty and thin in that last top part. You can see this in the Cartographer, for example- I was trying to dial out a really raspy, spitty, thin sound in one patch, and couldn't figure out why I couldn't, until I cut the presence down, which restored the body and normality. On the other hand, the Mark IV seems to do very well with presence set high, perhaps due to the fact that the amp has a lot of bass and mids, and where the tone stack is located compared to other amps. Another thing is that I think the gain settings also affect how weird and buzzy the presence control acts. Last night I was screwing around with my 80s Queensryche patch, which uses a JCM800 with the drive set under 5. I noticed that the presence was cranked up pretty high (almost all the way), yet it didn't have that spitty fizz going on; I think it's because the gain is set relatively low. I think this interactivity is one thing I like about the Helix modeling. My prior multi-effects was a Digitech RP-1000. At the time, I was impressed by how good it sounded compared to what I had expected from digital modeling. However, the parameters were so limited (no sag/bias controls, and all amps only had 3 EQ controls, gain and volume), and in retrospect, it really felt like their modeling system basically was a poor man's Kemper. In other words, they modeled a sound based on a single amp setting, and all the parameters did was take away or add EQ and a fixed gain curve from that one point, instead of modeling how the various controls and parameters interact with each other. While the Helix is not in the tier of in depth component/parameter tweaking of an Axe-FX, it does a nice job of splitting the difference, and providing the most important controls and parameters to make a difference.
  8. While I think the expression pedal in the LT may be built slightly differently than in the normal Helix, my non-LT Helix was making creaking noises after a certain point. I ended up loosening the hex screw on the side (but not too much, or it might fall out and be a real something or other to get back in properly). Then I took a slide rule, put some silicone grease on it, and worked it in around the screws/washers to give it some lubrication. Then I tightened the hex nut back up, but only just enough that the pedal will stay in place wherever you leave it.
  9. Thanks- I couldn't find any videos specific to the 12 string on Jason's channel, but I found a section tucked away near the end of one of his more general videos. He seems to indicate that it is an EQ, as opposed to a frequency-specific balance control. I was surprised how well this effect works; given that 12 strings have separate tunings for the top 2 strings, I was dubious about an effect that could do this without using some kind of hex-pickup that processes individual strings. Basically, this free upgrade is a substitute for paying thousands of dollars for a Gibson Custom Shop EDS doubleneck, or at the very least, a Rickenbacker. While I'm sure "the real thing" is discernably more organic sounding, it's "good enough" as far as I'm concerned for my needs now.
  10. Bump, in case anyone has any input as to these parameters.
  11. The Tone Sovereign (aka King of Tone) is probably the best of the traditional amp in a box pedals you'll find on the Helix. I'm not sure which other models fit this description, except maybe for the Legacy Drive, which is kind of an actual preamp in a box. I'd actually suggest trying some "not quite that clean" low gain amps, or even mid gain ones. The JC120 is a solid state model, so it won't interact with pedals in as good of a way as one of the tube ones- it's much more suited to sounds where you want the sound as clean as possible, or are going for an Police/Discipline-era King Crimson type sound. Try the Fender Deluxe, Lone Star, or Mesa Mark VI Rhythm 2 amp models. Surprisingly, the Soldano Crunch Channel also works well in situations where you want the pedal to shoulder a lot of, but not all, the burden of distortion. AC 30 models are also great for blending with overdrives and whatnot, but have a very distinct character that dominates over the pedal sound.
  12. I'm hoping for poly versions of the legacy guitar synth effects. That would be the bomb. Also, more amp models are always welcome. Now that we finally have a Diezel model, maybe we could dive into some of the well known "boutique" amp families like the Rivera and VH4/Fryette ones, as well as the still missing Fender Super Reverb or old Laney models. Of course, that all depends on what amplifiers the team has access to...... While there are far fewer amp models this time around than I was hoping for, overall this has been a surprisingly significant update, for those of us who didn't want to have to spend additional money on the Song Remains the Same SG doubleneck, an acoustic-electric, or a 7 string guitar.
  13. The 12 string effect is pretty awesome, but I'm not entirely sure what the bass and treble parameters do. Are these straight up EQ controls, or are they for adjusting the balance and prominence of the effect (the virtual "2nd string") on the "bass strings" and "treble strings" (i.e. the bottom and top 3 strings respectively)?
  14. Question: My existing user presets never went through a rebuild after the firmware upgrade. Since then, I've saved a couple backups and setlist exports to my computer under the new firmware version of HX Edit. If I load the backup made under 3.0 on to my Helix, do you think any of these issues will occur?
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