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  1. Hello. First time poster and new Helix Floor user. I’m using the Helix to replace a pedalboard, running straight into the front end of a Mesa Boogie Mark5 35 (that I love). I tried running into the effects return, but I like the front end better. The main reason i bought the Helix was my band plays a variety of rock and bluesy stuff, about half originals, and I like getting a lot of ’stunt tones’. Like I’ll use a reverse delay on 2 songs, tremolo on 2 songs, wah on 2 songs, POG… you get the idea. Lots of extra physical pedals just to get a few special tones for one or two songs. I’m blown away by the Helix and all the possibilities, especially the editing software, which I think is fantastic. The pedal emulations are varied in quality as to be expected. I’ve gotten some nice rock lead tones with the Valve Driver and a couple of others. So I’m plowing through our song lists and been programming for quite a few hours. OK, here come the eyerolls and I understand. “Transparent” “smooth” distortion. Yeah, I know. I don’t know how else to describe it. My main tone is a JHS Morning Glory (and previously a Marshall Bluesbreaker) into a clean, warm tube amp. Even though I don’t care for him, think John Mayer. I don’t like Tube Screamers or the variations I’ve tried. They’re way too colored and midrangey for my taste. The sound I like is almost clean and you can work it with your guitar tone and volume to get different shades of smooth grit. This is the main tone I use 70-80% of the night. With the gain dialed back on the pedal there’s almost no change with the pedal on or off. Unfortunately after hours of approaching it in different ways I cannot get even close to that vibe with the Helix. I’ve tried 2 pedals in parallel dialed back, clean/parallel mix, comp>OD etc and haven’t had any luck at all. I realize I could simply hook up my Morning Glory into the loop but geez, I just spent $1600 to carry in one pedal board and go. The idea of a pedal off to the side, cables, a power supply - it defeats much of the reason for buying the thing. I know the Helix is deep with possibilities so I welcome your ideas of anything I’ve overlooked or didn’t know you could do. I’ve also tried the amp and amp+cab models instead of pedals, but the ones I tried are extremely colored sounding - the opposite of transparent, but there are so many, maybe I’ve just missed the magic one. My Kemper is like that - just a few magic profiles in an ocean of them. Also considered using channel 2 of my Mesa but it doesn’t really get there either, even after some tube swapping. It’s too gainy. Speaking of gainy, I do like the Hedgehog OD in the Helix but even at zero it’s like the gain is already halfway up. I wish they had dialed that one back a bit. I tried dropping volume before it but the tone kind of died. Thanks in advance for your ideas. Here’s a video of my band and the kind of sound I’m talking about: youtube link
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