*Disclaimer* I have severe ADHD so I jump around a lot. Dont read if you need linear thinking LOL. I am going to crosspost this over at TGP.
So had my first band rehearsal last night with the Helix LT. I am going to try and give it more time but I was definitely disappointed at how it sounded and felt playing with the band. I felt disconnected and when I tried several different high gain patches that I created it was yuck central. Half way through I had to plug into my analog board into a tube head and cab to get back to feeling normal.
Now granted this was not with my main squeeze band it was a side project (Black Sabbath tribute) that I am involved in which involves much more volume than my main band so there's that.. I havent tried it with the working band yet.
If you dont know, I have owned many modeling devices and have had some great results with most of them. I love the sound of the FX on the Helix LT and I love the JTM-45 brt model but other than that I am struggling badly to find other models I can dig and unfortunately I can't just use the JTM-45 brt model all night. When I try adding say the OCD pedal to get there it's insanely noisy and if I put another noise gate in line it just kills the dynamics with the threshold set to where it quiets things down. Couple that with the fact that I found out my chosen tube head has a parallel FX loop and wont take the Helix no matter what I do and it's frustrating. No 4cm for me.
I'd hate to have something like this force me to give up but I have tried every single high gain model including the Archon to no avail. No matter what cab or IR I choose they all sound honky and very "modeled".. I know right? Who'd a thunk a modeler would sound modeled? What I mean is the JTM-45 does not sound modeled, it sounds and feels like I am playing through a great amp!
I am getting burnt out on tweaking this and that only to end up throwing my hands up.
Sure there are a ton of resources for me to hit up for help with it but that's also frustrating because there are so many and I dont know what the problem is exactly so it's hard to describe to people. I have already hit up a few "experts" and read tons of paragraphs of this and that about global settings and eq's and mic choices and placements etc etc. I've downloaded a crap load of patches from custom tone and I think a lot of them are geared towards recording because most sound like crap to me. My high gain patches sounded great to me until I struck those first notes with a live band then it sounded thin and harsh and that's when I could hear the honkiness and "modeling'. Tried to remedy this on the fly with global eq to no avail. I got swallowed up bad.
Would love to hear from someone who can point me in the right direction for the high gain stuff.
Here's what I am using most of the time.. Schecter C-1 Hybrid with EMG 57/66 active pups, EV ELX 112P active FRFR set to flat mode. Also tried my ZLX 115P's..
Here's what I won't do.. buy different FRFR solution. it's gonna work with what I have or go back.
Here's some of the stuff I have already done. Made sure input was set to 10k (this is the quietest setting), fudged around with global eq cutting this and that, boosting this and that. Tried both 1/4" and XLR out. Tried fudging around with EQ on mixer and tried going direct to FRFR. Tried one output to mixer and one output direct to monitor, tried just to mixer then just to monitor.
Most things you can think of I have probably already tried with the amps and cabs themselves. Reducing gain, amp eq's and presence, cabs, mics, mic and cab settings etc etc..
So you may say "bobpick you said you love the JTM-45 brt model and the FX, why can't you be happy with that?" Well ya see I bought this with the full intention of it being a "be all end all" rig for me. I understand it's not the holy grail tone-wise but that's not my end game. My end game is to walk into a gig with just a couple guitars and the Helix LT, plug it into FOH and feel good across the board with EVERY need I have. If I can't get fully there I may as well use my pedalboard and amp..