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Posts posted by xmacvicar

  1. True, but Helix came out way before Native. Not arguing with you, just saying! You could cite the existence of all the routing options as proof it wasn't just meant to be a recording device - I get that. I just feel like L6 ( or any company doing this digital stuff ) has as their biggest hurdle, having people learn how to create great tones for their environment. I just mean that in the sheer number of posts that exist about this - people struggling with getting a grip on it. I think thats why this is their biggest challenge - not pushing out new amp models, etc. I feel like there was not alot of education about this - I get thats not really Line 6's responsibility, but I wish there were more resources about what makes a good polished guitar signal without having to read through 3 years of forum posts. But...I am figuring it out!


    Of course we are core users of the platform, we understand what it can do. 


    I love the helix; as someone who grew up on traditional guitar amps and had every single combo possible between 1997 and 2017, I would say Helix has made me a 10x better guitar player than I ever was previously - I am more in tune with what makes a better guitar signal and I'm thinking about things like EQ and high/low cuts, and fitting into mixes and shaping my tone in a way I never even knew existed before. Before it was "PLUG INTO THIS AMP, CRANK IT, OMG THE TONES MAN". However, to add to this - I do feel like amazing tone is at the tip of my tongue but I often have a hard time getting it out. I think thats because I haven't used Helix in a true permanent application (ie - a real band). Going between Studio Monitors and FRFR speakers, and headphones, the tones are elusive because they are just different in every environment; it kind of makes it hard to 'nail down'. But I know they are in there....



  2. Recently I went through a bit of a 'what should I play helix' through issue where I was torn up on switching to Studio Monitors vs. my L6 L3Ms, etc.....Long story short, I am keeping my L3Ms but I did get to experiment with some decent studio monitors. I have been playing electric since '96 and have been in bands here and there over the years - some gigging experience with a few bands (some on guitar, some on drums) but right now I am not actively playing with a band nor have I ever integrated a digital modeller into a live band playing situation.


    When I tested some recording and using the studio monitors for audio referencing, it kind of became crystal clear; the stock presets which sound like lollipop through my L3M's at 'gig volume' fit almost perfectly in a recording mix with almost no adjustments! The Brit 2204 sounded like the real deal, not the swarm of usual bees, etc. I had this eureka moment - THIS IS WHAT IT WAS DESIGNED FOR. Honestly, I see this more so now as this brilliant little device whose main attraction and purpose is to fit into a recording mix, with ease, at any time and with little adjustment. I do also believe that none of this easily translates into a 'replacement for a traditional guitar amp' situation. Just hear me out.....


    Don't get me wrong. I love the Helix. I am not dogging on it. But I think there are inherent challenges considering this as a device used to 'replace' a traditional amp. This thought is supported by the SHEER number of forum posts here, and on gearpage, which are constantly about 'how to level presets' or 'how do I make it sound like a real amp' or 'how do you get this thing to not sound buzzy" or "how can I get it to sound and feel like an amp in the room or (insert any other wealth of similar forum posts). I think at its heart, it is main purpose is NOT for this scenario and thats why we see alot of hesitation, or confusion about how it is adopted as a more 'traditional' rig (instead of a recording interface). To me, Line 6's greatest challenge in their product offering here is not providing more amps, or more fx or whatever, but educating guitarists on where this fits into their life. By design, I see it excel as a recording device. Making those presets sounds good, or real, or proper, at volume (and as the inevitable replacement of traditional guitar amps over time) is the greatest challenge.


    Dont' flame me. haha.



    • Like 1

  3. So I rented a 6.5 inch monitor pair. I tested all day. In conclusion I am going to keep my l3m speakers and just adjust my patches for the lowest volume I can get away with. 


    I can definitely see a great place for having studio monitors but they're just not for me right now given the speakers I already have. 

  4. 46 minutes ago, codamedia said:

    I don't see it mentioned here (at a glance) but do we know what amp models are being used? 

    He already has great gear, so if there is "ear pain" maybe it in the way the Helix is setup? Sometimes simple changes to "cabinets" and "mics" can make a world of difference. 


    @xmacvicar   can you share a patch, or an audio sample of your patch? Also - out of curiosity what part of Canada are you located? 


    Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia


    are playing mostly high-gain amps in the Helix with the odd Low gain Marshall here and there

    • Like 1

  5. Just now, cruisinon2 said:

    No matter what speakers you pick, how big they are, or where you put them, the process is always exactly the same:


    1) Pick a sane volume. 

    2) EQ until you're happy with the way it sounds. 

    3) If you deviate significantly (in either direction) from the aforementioned volume, repeat #2.


    So much depends on the listening environment, and one's personal definition of what sounds "good", that it makes these discussions mostly fruitless. My "special sauce" won't necessarily work for anybody else. Just do it...turn knobs until you don't need to turn them anymore. Everyone knows when they're done....


    Ya I think given this...going down to studio monitors isn't really the answer then. I should just make do with what I have and try to EQ and fix things at low volumes.

  6. What are the tangible sound/tone differences of these 2 scenarios:


    1. Running the stereo L3Ms at very low volumes ( to prevent ear fatigue and loudness )

    2. Running a stereo pair of studio monitors such as Yamaha HS7's at a decent volume?


    Will the studio monitors produce a better sound than the L3Ms turned down?

  7. 2 minutes ago, JLondon said:

    I've got the Helix Floor with two L3s and an L2.  I use L2 to carry around as an onstage monitor and the L3s I use as overkill studio monitors for my tiny playroom/studio -absolutely Love em'.  That said, like yourself, I didn't feel like I could ever get the sound I wanted "at LOW volumes".  Not, that is, until I got a Powercab Plus (PC+).  I've not yet experienced personally what the PC+ sounds like with live play yet, but it sure cured my dilemma for at-home/low-vol play.  Once I figured out my personal set-up preferences, I absolutely cannot tell that I'm not playing through one of my traditional tube amp/cab/pedalboard setups.  That said (again), I'm satisfied that your personal playing style would be a very important factor.  I have the greatest respect for metal/djent/etc players but know absolutely nothing about how that should sound coming out of my own speakers.  But as a TX Blues and Gilmour style fan, I'm one happy camper.  Can't wait to pair the PC+ with the L3s for an authentic WDW setup.


    Ya the existence of the PC+ is really throwing me for a loop - I keep going back to "money on a pair of Yamaha HS7's" could buy a powercab...but I can see myself just cranking that too loud as well ha

  8. 1 minute ago, BBD_123 said:

    You've got two L3Ms and you don't play live?! :-)


    Well, at least you have the live rig covered. So spend some money on studio monitors, with Rocco's caveats in mind. Don't bugger your hearing up.

    Ha...yeah.... well, when I got my Helix, I found a set of L3Ms on Kijiji (local used website here in Canada) for the craziest price so I just jumped on them because 'frfr' - didn't really know much about it at the time and they seemed like a premium option for a FRFR speaker at a great price....so it might be overkill for my basement setup.

    • Like 1

  9. 1 minute ago, Rocco_Crocco said:

    Those Yamahas will sound great, but you can't really compare them to a Powercab. The Yamaha's are really designed for low volume listening, and the Powercab is more akin to the big pair of speakers you already have.


    Before you spend money on studio monitors, I would do some research as to what studio monitors actually do, and what they excel at. You also should determine what size you need (8" may be too big depending on where you will be putting them and how much space you have. You will need some kind of stand or at least isolation foam for them if you plan on using them at your computer desk like most of us do.


    Ya, makes sense. I think I want to buy something that gives me the most options - for example, if I bought a powercab, it would translate into a live band scenario, whereas the studio monitors never will. Mind you, I don't play in a band right now - but I do want to buy something that will work for both 'at home' and out live/in a band situation if it comes to be. 


    I mean really, at the end of the day, my L3M's could be that exact thing - but I really just can't play them at low volumes as the sound is pretty rubbish and makes me 'regret going digital' at times. I know thats just a fact of playing this stuff at low volumes...so ultimately, I don't want to cause hearing damage and if I going with a nice set of studio monitors will give me a great sound at a lower volume I will seriously consider them.

  10. 15 minutes ago, BBD_123 said:



    Well, they are monster speakers designed to push out serious volume. They will hurt your ears when driven at even a modest fraction of their designed range. Please, try some studio monitors before you do irreversible damage to your hearing.


    Ok thanks. 


    Given this...I was eyeing a pair of Yamaha 8 inch studio monitors (https://www.long-mcquade.com/20981/Pro-Audio---Recording/Studio-Monitors/Yamaha/8-inch-Powered-Studio-Reference-Monitor.htm) a pair of these is almost on par with the power cab....which may be more practical of a purchase?

  11. 14 minutes ago, Rocco_Crocco said:

    Have not had this issue. Real amps sound uninspiring at low volume, too. I practice through studio monitors sitting a couple feet away at low volume and it sounds great. The L3Ms need to move air to sound good. Maybe you need small monitors.


    Cool I will look into smaller ones. Why would the L3ms be any different, or need to be loud to sound good? I ask out of naïveté! 

  12. One thing I noticed after switching to digital and using FRFR's (L3m stereo pair) is that to get a nice full guitar tone, I have to crank the helix and as a result, I get alot of ear fatigue and pain. 


    Anyone else notice this?


    Yes, I could play at lower volumes, but to be honest, I find it just doesn't sound great at low volumes and the tone is 'uninspiring'. I always want to get it louder to get a more full bodied tone.

  13. 1 hour ago, cruisinon2 said:


    There was an epic argument over this just recently. As is always the case, nobody can predict what will sound "better" to your ears. Nevertheless, stay tuned for others to chime in with engineering gibberish about signal quality, bit depth, and my personal favorite: "dithering noise". They'll swear that the master volume must be kept wide open at all times, lest all sorts of deplorable signal degradation occur. 


    The truth is that it's exceedingly unlikely that you'd be able to tell the difference, unless you're one of those guys who claims to be able to stand on their front porch in Boston and hear a mouse fart in Detroit. 


    Then there's the matter of practicality. If you really want to be reaching behind/ underneath your monitors every time you want to adjust your volume, then by all means red-line Helix's master knob. Otherwise,  leave it somewhere around noon so you've got some headroom if you need it, and set your monitor volume accordingly. 


    I was torn by this as well but I would much rather just turn my Helix volume knob then have to reach back on two stereo monitors to make adjustments

  14. 1 minute ago, zolko60 said:

    But please consider that 12dB of digital headroom is ok with overdiven sounds. To have the same percieived "clean" sound level your headroom is about all gone.


    thanks so much for your reply I'm learning so much about all of this which is not even related to the tones and stuff! more so about his practical application with signal levels. 


    however I don't understand this comment can you elaborate? I am just measuring everything to be -12 DB on a loud strum  I was curious about how clean tones factor into this....


  15. 3 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

    It all depends on how you're measuring the signal level.  Measuring it in a DAW through the USB doesn't directly correspond with the output level from the 1/4" or XLR outputs that are controlled by the Helix master volume knob (if enabled) which determines the signals being sent to your on stage output device and to the mixing board.  However, a consistent signal level is a consistent signal level which is all that ultimately matters.


    The intention here would be that I send the full signal to the front of house that is not affected by the big volume knob which is the same as the USB signal as it is also not affected by the large volume knob so Im thinking it is an effective way to measure the volume level consistently

    • Upvote 1

  16. In almost every single one of my presets when I measure their levels on my DAW (Logic Pro X) I can barely reach -12 DB with my channel volumes in avg around channel volume 8.0


    Based on this should I assume that my Helix is fine at this level or should I be altering the output level of my patches to get it at a higher volume like -6db?




  17. 1 minute ago, rd2rk said:

    I'm not using the same guitar he's using.

    I have no idea how he recorded those examples.

    You and I are beyond doubt using different playback systems.

    All that said, and taking into account the effect of listening to ANYTHING on YouTube, I set up the simple signal chain as in the video and cycled through some of the amps he used, and they sound just fine. REAL GOOD in fact. Some sound BETTER than the clips!

    So, my takeaway is that you guys are expecting to hear something WAY different than me, and I've had my Helix Floor for over 2 years.

    Maybe it's time for Craigslist? You can try AXE, Headrush, BOSS and Kemper.

    Tell you what though - my bet is that they will NOT sound like the YouTube sound clips!

    They'll sound like YOU, playing YOUR guitar through YOUR playback system. For better or worse

    I have no desire to sell mine. Was just sympathizing with OP as I feel what he is feeling. 

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