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  1. I remember being seventeen in 1989 and playing my first ever gig with an Ibanez Metal Charger pedal. After, a guy came up and lectured me that I needed to use Boss pedals if I wanted a decent tone! Back then in Ireland, it was either Boss or cheap budget stuff, we couldn't get MXR and the like. So it's always stuck with me that Boss is the baseline for gig quality pedals, even though that guy was full of poop. Skip forward some years, and my first modeller was a Boss GX-700, and listening back to my recordings from that time, the tones still stand up. It was a fantastic unit, and a real bargain at around £400 in the mid-to-late nineties. I got many years of use out of that processor. Most recently, I needed a compact multi fx for fly gigs, and I had my eye on the Boss MS-3. I waited to see what Line6 had to offer at NAMM, and while the HXFX seems to be a great piece of gear, the form factor of the MS-3 suits my purposes better. It does everything I need it to do, can run off a battery pack, sounds very decent, and it sits nicely on my Pedaltrain Nano+. On the downside, the user interface illustrates just how good a job Line6 did on theirs. It's not difficult to use, per se, but it's not a Helix. I've been working with the MS-3 for the last two weeks and it's a very good piece of kit for its intended task. To cut a long story short, Boss excel at making decent reliable gear at the right price, good tools for the jobs at hand. This is where I think the GT-1000 falls down; it tries to take on the Helix at a similar price point to the LT, but if you're going to take the Helix head on, you'll need to blow it out of the water. Which, clearly, Boss haven't done. If they'd been able to price it lower, aiming at the guitarist who's making the step from bedroom to stage, then it could have been seen as a cheaper alternative to the Helix and might have been a hit. As it stands, priced to compete with the Helix? Well, it doesn't.
  2. I have my Helix floor set up this way too, and yes, it disables the Mac's own volume control. You can set the overall level on the Helix itself; on the Floor version, you can set speaker and headphone volume independently, which was one of my reasons for choosing that over the LT. For YouTube, iTunes, etc, you can set the volume on the app or website as needed.
  3. The Marshall Plexi is my core tone, and I've had no real problems getting what I want from the Helix. Plexis and JCMs are bright sounding amps to begin with, so I'd say try to work with that rather than against it. You don't mention whether you're using internal cab sims or not, but in general, a cab with Greenback G25s is going to yield the warmest tone. Also, the mic used will have a huge impact. The R121 is pretty warm sounding, for dynamics I like the 421, and condensers, the U67. The SM57 is a bright, raspy sounding mic, so I'd avoid that. Also, try adding some early reflections, and moving the mic further away from the cab. If using IRs, then the same principles apply. With a Strat, assuming your bridge pup is wired to a tone control, try knocking the tone back about 20-25% from full on. Hope that helps.
  4. Just to add to the headphones debate - I didn't get on with my Helix through headphones until I got a good high impedance pair. The Helix's headphone out is VERY hot, and can easily drive even good quality low impedance headphones into unpleasant fizzy distortion.
  5. The Rode NT1 jnysen mentioned above is a really good all round mic. I use mine for all sorts, including recording acoustic instruments. In fact, I keep mine plugged in and on all the time, even for Skype calls and such. I occasionally have to do down-the-line interviews for my day job - radio, podcasts, even occasional TV - and it's great for that. And yes, a decent dynamic mic is also useful to have around. Correction: Mine's actually an NT1A, which is a more modern sounding mic, where the NT1 has a more vintage character.
  6. The Plexi Trem Brt is the only amp I've messed with so far, but it might be the best vintage Marshall sim I've ever heard. It's got all the drive and balls you'd want, but there's a lovely chime to it as well that's very AC/DC. Add in the Kinky Boost for a not-far-off approximation of the Schaffer wireless used on Back in Black. Oddly, I did the backup to HX Edit, but didn't do a restore, but everything's there anyway, including my IRs. Should I do a restore anyway, or leave well enough alone?
  7. I had a pair of Sennheiser HD280 64k headphones and it felt like the Helix was driving them too hard, making everything sound harsh in the mids. I got a pair of Sennheiser HD600s at 300k and they are much, much better. Tonally, they're smooth in the high end with a nice, but not overpowering, low end. Overall, fairly neutral sounding, and they're close enough to my JBL lsr305 monitors that I don't have to compensate when moving between them. Hope that helps.
  8. If sticking with stock cabs, I'd go with the Plexi Bright set to taste (it pays to work with the deeper parameters like Bias X), gain set around 5.0, running into the Greenback 25 cab, with a duplicate cab on a parallel path. For one cab use something like the 121 ribbon, and the 67 Cond for the other. Add a generous dose of early reflection to both, and experiment with distance. Finally, a high/low cut eq block to tame the high end - I set my hi-cut to 8.0khz. A little bit of subtle room reverb helps to warm things up too.
  9. Oh, I'm well aware I can do it on the hardware. I have read the manual. It just seems odd - and the very definition of an oversight - for the editor not to behave in the way that's expected of every other piece of desktop software. As it happens, I've found a better option that was kind of staring me in the face. Because these are tweaked versions of my existing presets, I don't necessarily want to save them back to the hardware and clutter up the setlists with tones that were for one-off takes. I can actually right click and export to an .hlx file instead, meaning I've got the tone stored if I ever need to revisit the recording, but I don't have to use up hardware preset slots.
  10. I mean, seriously. I've tweaked a tone in the editor for use on a recording. It's only a few steps removed from one of my presets, a bit more gain, an additional echo, and I wanted to save it for future reference. But I can't. I can only overwrite the original, which I want to keep untouched. This seems such an egregious oversight. I really hope it gets fixed in the next update.
  11. I wish Line 6 would model the fan used on this so it can blow my hair like that. Not that I have the hair for it these days, but it'd be nice to have the option.
  12. I'd love a Dallas Rangemaster model. It's a glaring omission, seeing as it was fairly ubiquitous in the late 60s to early 70s. Having said that, I've managed to approximate one with the KWB distortion. Settings as follows: Drive: 3, Push Diode: Germanium, Pull Diode: None, Bass: +1db, Treble: +7db, Level: 8.9 (or to taste), Asymm: 4. I've not A/B'd that with a real treble booster, so I'd be interested to learn how close it is.
  13. I'd buy a Helix Mini. I've posted about this before, but almost all of my gigs are fly-ins, and I need to be able to carry my pedal board along with my hand luggage, and the regular Helix is just too bulky. I currently use a Pedaltrain Nano+ with the bare essentials on it; if Line 6 could make something that size, including a mini expression pedal, I'd get my wallet out right now.
  14. I don't know that the kinds of gigs we do, and the companies they hire from, could be expected to provide a Helix. I'm grateful to show up and find a usable guitar amp, to be honest. Using Helix Native on my MacBook would be a more viable option, but I would then need a controller and a decent audio out, so I'm back to bulk again. The compact pedal board I have is doing fine, and I don't have to do a lot of tap dancing to switch things in and out.
  15. I don't gig very often, but when I do, it usually involves air travel. It's always hired/borrowed backline, and we rarely know what we're going to get, or what kind of FOH sound there'll be. I use a small pedal board for these gigs, based around a Pedaltrain Nano+, with its own case. I also have to carry a bag for clothes, and my guitar goes in the hold. While my Helix would be great on stage for these gigs, it's just too bulky to travel with. So what I'd really like is an ultra compact version of the Helix, around the size of my little travel board. It wouldn't have a display like the current Helixes, but would instead rely on a computer connection for programming etc, and maybe scribble strips on a single row of switches - say, a bank up/down pair with four for patches/scenes, plus a mini expression treadle, about the size of the Dunlop mini wah. Oh, and a chargeable lithium battery would be ideal (my current pedal board runs off one, and it's great). I don't know if the technology would ever fit in such a small form factor, but it wouldn't need half the I/O options of the existing units. There probably wouldn't be sufficient demand for such a device to make it worth L6's while developing it, but I can live in hope, can't I?
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