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Posts posted by aleclee

  1. Just got my HX this week and have been going back through my IR stash, auditioning them on the new device.  My favorites are the 

    • Tonic IRs: I'm particularly fond of the Bogner cabs in this set
    • Taylor CE: If you try these, you might decide that an acoustic sim block isn't such an urgent need

    Here are some other sets I have.  I don't like 'em as much as the Tonic ones but YMMV.

    Anyone else have IRs they'd like to share?

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  2. I'm curious what FRFR setups have gotten closest to the amp in the room feeling?


    IME, that's as much a function of the preset (particularly cab sim) as it is of the FRFR system.  FRFR is, by definition, not supposed to add anything to the input signal. If a FRFR system has some secret sauce that turns an "in the control room" sound into "in the room" sound, it's not really "flat response".

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  3. I've played though a lot of digital gear over the years, logging many more hours on modelers than on tube amps.  Over the years, i've owned

    • Digitech RP-1
    • AX-2 212
    • Pod XTL
    • VG-99
    • Boss GP-10
    • AxeFx Ultra
    • AxeFx II
    • Zoom G5
    • Atomic Amplifire

    Got my Helix Floor yesterday and now have enough time to start to form a few thoughts.

    1. For the love of all that is good, we need a clipping indicator! Even better than a clipping indicator (IdeaScale link) would be signal metering (IdeaScale link).  Diving straight into preset creation, using normalized IRs, I found myself (apparently) clipping something either in the modeling engine or in the output stage.  After wondering why my presets sounded like crap, it finally occurred to me to check levels using my DAW.  Once I got that sorted out, things sounded much better.
    2. The lack of clipping indicator/metering probably stands out even more in contrast with the slick UI in general.  I'm still figuring some things out but editing and assigning bypass foot switches is pretty intuitive.  It's only a hair less simple than the mythical Head Rush that I demoed at NAMM...but HX has the advantage of being a product that's available this decade.  
    3. Count me among those who think that a lot of modelers have a "signature sound".  In a blind test, I'm pretty sure I could distinguish between my Helix, Roland/Boss, Atomic, and Zoom devices.  Each has a different thing going on in the high end. Trying to figure out how I feel about the HX signature.  It's definitely different from the Atomic/Fractal toys I've been playing with in recent history and I'm not sure if it's something I can dial out.
    4.  I've never owned a modeler where I loved the factory cab sims.  The streak continues.  Not to say that they're bad but tend to be much more "present" than I prefer. Given the amount of discussion around sound of miked cab vs "in the room", I was kind of surprised by how they tended to sound more "in the room" than "in the control room". ;)
    5. I like Helix App.  I'm not a big fan of the skeuomorphism in most other apps.  Trying to turn knobs with a mouse is a losing proposition. I have some issues with the app's sliders but they're so much better than knobs.


  4. Mainly in lieu of a cab block.  I'm not a huge fan of most of the built-in cab models of the devices I've owned so I tend to go with 3rd party Its to find something more to my taste.


    I also will use IR's for simulating acoustic instruments (or enhancing piezo tones).  I've long wanted to find IR's for other instruments such as sax but haven't looked very hard to find / synthesize one.

  5. I have no experience with StageSource but I've used both the CLR and QSC K8 playing in bands where the other guitarist used a tube amp.  I much prefer the sound of the CLR though the portability of the QSC is a definite advantage.


    I just about destroyed the monitor trying to get enough volume to hear myself over the other guitarist, but since he had his amp plus the monitors, the overall volume from him was much greater.

    Frankly, that sounds more like an issue with your band's stage volume than one with FRFR.  Hope you're at least using hearing protection.

  6. Not quite apples to apples comparing perception of in-box latency to delay caused by time of flight through the air.  In the latter case, there are acoustic cues that your brain can use to help compensate.  That's why you can be 20 feet from a speaker and play just fine but if you introduce 20ms of latency playing through headphones, things don't feel right.

  7. Funny.  IMO, the magic of tube amps lives in the power section, probably in the output transformer.  I'd be more interested in a silicon front end with tubes at the back end than a tube preamp with a solid state power amp.

  8. The Helix manual?


    Yeah.  Page 7.

    S/PDIF IN/OUT Digitally connect Helix to your studio equipment via S/PDIF (75-ohm RCA) cables. 


    Page 21 also indicates it can be selected as an input.

  9. It's an interesting idea.  If only the Helices had digital inputs it could be done in combination with MIDI. Alas,they only have digital outputs. 


    Isn't the SPDIF connector capable of both input and output?

  10. I went digital back in 2009 and have been running FRFR pretty consistently since then, mainly through (one or two) QSC K8's and more recently through an Atomic CLR.


    Things I like about FRFR:

    • Consistency: As was noted above, not all FRFR systems are created equal but once you get dialed in, it's not a big deal for the sound man to compensate.  That applies to both monitoring as well as FOH.  Besides, variance in FRFR from place to place probably isn't gonna be as great as night to night variations in mic placement.
    • Portability: My K8's weigh 26 lbs apiece.  The CLR is about 43 lbs.  Either one beats the hell out of schlepping a 2x12.
    • Volume scalability: Fletcher-Munson is a cruel mistress but most FRFR's are gonna sound pretty much the same from ~80dB on up.  Most guitar speakers have a volume sweet spot and don't sound as good when played louder or quieter than that.
    • Coverage: Good FRFR doesn't have the "icepick cone of death" that you find in front of a typical guitar cab. Great FRFR has a spread more like a floodlight, giving you a wide swath of consistent sound. I like being able to move around on stage without losing myself because I've moved out of the audible zone directly in front of the cab.
    • Flexibility: Using IR's instead of speakers to shape your tone lets you go from a chimey Jensen sound to a focused V30 sound.  Acoustic and synth generally sound better through a full-range rig than through a guitar speaker, too.


    Things that aren't so great about FRFR:

    • Lack of visceral experience: Nothing like feeling your pant legs flapping in front of a raging guitar cab.
    • "In the room": Not a huge deal to me but there's something nice about the presence of a guitar cab in the room as opposed to close-miked.
    • "Karaoke stage": Sparse stages are becoming more common but it can look like something's missing when you don't have amps/cabs on stage.


    For me, those benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.  YMMV.

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