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Helix cab vs third party IR Cabs?

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I'm looking for this.

Please post some demos because IR cabs are the real deal to make things sound authentic!

Helix's cabs are IRs. They start out as 2048-point IRs and are then optimized to sound the same but use way less DSP horsepower.

 

Third-party and user IRs aren't necessarily better in an empirical sense, but they certainly give you a wider variety of cab+mic tones.

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Regarding the cabs and mics....

Can any of the mics be used with any cab?  Unlike the hd500 where some mics can only be used with the bass cabs.

 

Also in my experience with the hd 500 when switching mics on the same cab, not only did it totally change the sound but also the volume levels.  Do you know if when switching between mics is it more of a different character you hear or is like the 500?

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Regarding the cabs and mics....

Can any of the mics be used with any cab?  Unlike the hd500 where some mics can only be used with the bass cabs.

 

Also in my experience with the hd 500 when switching mics on the same cab, not only did it totally change the sound but also the volume levels.  Do you know if when switching between mics is it more of a different character you hear or is like the 500?

 

Any mic can be used on any cab.

 

Not sure what you mean about more of a different character. The volume levels between the different cab and mic combos are relatively consistent, as far as I've noticed. A volume compensation would be necessary for sure when changing the mic distance from 1" to 10", 10" being obviously quieter.

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I guess I am thinking in terms of say Amplitube or other similar programs, where you might change the mic on a specific cab, but it doesn't sound like you changed the entire setup.  For instance in the HD500 if you are using the Brit75 cab with the 87mic then switch to the 409.  There is a huge volume difference which makes it sound like a totally different setup.  Maybe its just the volume boost that is doing it.  But to me it doesn't sound like its the same cab.

 

I guess my point or question is, I'm hoping the Helix is not like this.

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Ah, ok, I think I get it now. No, I haven't noticed Helix behave like this when changing mics. Everything stays pretty much even as far as volumes. The volume does change a bit when changing the mic distance, but there is a conveniently placed level control right there when editing the cab/mic parameters.

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As someone who sharpened his recording in the mid 80s when most was still done analog I would expect some volume change and definitely character changes, when changing microphones. Some digital programs tend to overblow this. I think what happens is personal preference of the person creating the model enters in. For instance in the older sm57 and sm58 are identical except on has the ball windscreen/pop filter. I have heard programs make them sound completely different which just is not correct. Every mic has a sensitivity rating and pickup pattern. When combined it can cause some slight volume changes when switching mikes itch very similar characteristics. A huge variance is probably over blown unless switching from something like a ribbon to a dynamic mic. I need to dive in and see how line 6 tackles the microphones.

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Ah, ok, I think I get it now. No, I haven't noticed Helix behave like this when changing mics. Everything stays pretty much even as far as volumes. The volume does change a bit when changing the mic distance, but there is a conveniently placed level control right there when editing the cab/mic parameters.

Perfect! The distance volume change definitely makes sense.  

 

 

so, using directly the HX cab+mic IRs did you notice the same thing?

I have all of the new amp models for the HD500, but I guess I haven't paid attention to the new cabs.  In fact did they do any new cabs(other than bass)? I was thinking it was just amp models.

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That's right, I forgot about those. I will mess around with them and see how they respond. I'm pretty stoked about the the Helix, but I got to say I've spent the last 4 years dialing in the 500, and have got some really great tones.

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I've tried the various Helix cabs and a bunch of IR's including some Ownhammers and I have to say the Helix cabs hold their own.  Nice range of choices and it's a lot easier to load a cab and make adjustments to mic type and placement along with the other parameters than trying to test a hundred similar IR's.  If you've ever tried it you know what I mean...

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I've tried the various Helix cabs and a bunch of IR's including some Ownhammers and I have to say the Helix cabs hold their own.  Nice range of choices and it's a lot easier to load a cab and make adjustments to mic type and placement along with the other parameters than trying to test a hundred similar IR's.  If you've ever tried it you know what I mean...

 

Every time I want to try a third party IR, I keep forgetting that I have to audition them first using a DAW to find out which ones I want to put on Helix. Trying to audition IRs with just Helix alone would be painstaking. But I'm really glad the feature is there because I'll eventually come across that one or two or three that is just awesome sounding.

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Every time I want to try a third party IR, I keep forgetting that I have to audition them first using a DAW to find out which ones I want to put on Helix. Trying to audition IRs with just Helix alone would be painstaking. But I'm really glad the feature is there because I'll eventually come across that one or two or three that is just awesome sounding.

 

 

On the contrary, I think it's quite easy and faster than on the DAW.  Here's what I've been doing to audition IRs, CABs and dirt boxes: 

 

1) Using the Helix app (runs smoothly on my Mac), just drag 2 or 10 or 20 IR files into the Helix window.   BOOM, they're on your Helix...takes about 3 seconds to drag'n'drop, process and upload 10 IRs. 

2) Select or rebuild a preset that has a separate cab block.  Once it sounds good, bypass the cab block

3) Add a looper block to your favorite preset, BEFORE the CAB block.  (hint - the action button is useful for moving blocks around really quickly if you need to make room)

4) Start the looper and play

5) While looping your phrase, go to the IR block and spin knob #1 - instant cab selection.   

 

I've used a similar process above to match the Cali preamp to my Mark V's Extreme mode (tone and level), to set unity gain across (real) amp channels inserted into the Helix via 4CM, and to get a nice balance between modeled distortion and overdrives.   I've gotta say, the looper is an amazing tool. 

 

Alternatively, I imagine that an even quicker way to audition IRs is to use pedal-edit mode on the IR selection instead of a looper.... 

 

Hope this helps!

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On the contrary, I think it's quite easy and faster than on the DAW.  Here's what I've been doing to audition IRs, CABs and dirt boxes: 

 

...

 

5) While looping your phrase, go to the IR block and spin knob #1 - instant cab selection.

 

You can also increment/decrement through IRs from Pedal Edit mode. That's actually a lot of fun, and you can play guitar while doing it.

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I agree the helix cabs I've used  really sound good. I did put an ownhammer IR in a parallel path with the helix cab and to me it does provide more clarity to the tone. I am loving the sounds I am getting out of the helix. I could very well be satisfied with just the helix cab, but the IR option is just icing on the cake for me.

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I like to ask again.. anyone compare third party IR vs Helix Cab?

 

... forget about Pod HD...

Sorry man, didn't mean to hijack...am interested in the helix vs. IR too.

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You can also increment/decrement through IRs from Pedal Edit mode. That's actually a lot of fun, and you can play guitar while doing it.

I said that too! :)

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Try the rosen digital IRs if you haven't... I prefer them to the others I've tried, i.e., TAF, Ownhammer or Redwirez

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I agree the helix cabs I've used really sound good. I did put an ownhammer IR in a parallel path with the helix cab and to me it does provide more clarity to the tone. I am loving the sounds I am getting out of the helix. I could very well be satisfied with just the helix cab, but the IR option is just icing on the cake for me.

I hate to say it, but I have to agree. The Ownhammers for me are killer. I got the Studio Mix Collection and I've got everything I need. If the patch sounds great with the Line 6 cabs, it will sound amazing with the equivalent Ownhammer cab.

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Try the rosen digital IRs if you haven't... I prefer them to the others I've tried, i.e., TAF, Ownhammer or Redwirez

Can you specify what you liked more about the Rosen IR's? I tried the free IR's from Ownhammer, TAF, and Redwirez and decided that the Ownhammers were by far the best for me. The TAF and Redwirez are geared more toward recording while the Ownhammers sound great for live work. Which category do the Rosen's fall under?

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Impulse responses depend lot depends on the selection of the speaker and cabinet to capture, the technique and gear used to do the capture, and the ear of the person doing the capturing. For example, S-Gear comes with a number of carefully chosen Redwirez IRs. In a recent update, Mike Scuffham created a few of his own IRs, some using similar speaker models to what was available from Redwirez. I think Mike has an amazing ear for guitar and it shows in these speaker models. 

 

To me, its hard to tell sometimes which IR model is "better", in many cases they're just different. You can waste a lot of time trying to pick the best one, only of find the next time you try you'll get a different result. Here's some guidelines to consider:

  1. Use only 16 bit, 48 kHz IRs for Helix (don't depend on Helix to convert them)
  2. Pick a small set of speaker IRs to audition based on what's typically used in the amp your using, for your style of music, and your guitar (single or double coil pickups make a big difference). I started with Robben Ford and Matt Schofield's live rigs because I love the tone they get. 
  3. Get the speaker choice right first, or at least a very small set, using a Neumann U87, CapEdge and 2" for a relatively neutral, uncolored mic. Then zero in on the mic and mic position
    1. For the very small set of chosen speakers, pick a small set of mics: an SM57, Neumann U87, and Royer R121 will sound quite different, the other choices can be pretty subtle. 
    2. For each mic, pick a small set of mic positions, CapEdge being the most typical
    3. For each mic position, pick a small set of distances from the cabinet: from say 0" to 4" with 2" a good starting point
  4. Import the IRs into Helix using some unused or expendable IR index slots
  5. Audition in a typical live setting. What works well at low volumes by yourself might not work at all in a gig situation, a lot depends on volume level, feel and how the speaker fits in the mix.
  6. Audition by using pedal edit mode to increment and decrement the IR block while playing. Try a range of songs, pickup combinations, effects, etc. Get a feeling for the whole, not just one specific thing.
  7. Keep notes on each IR, how it sounded, how it felt, whether it was muddy, fizzy, scooped, articulate, etc. so you can remember how they compared. Use a table in Evernote to capture your notes
  8. If you still can't decide which IR to use, try this simple selection process:
    1. Select an IR
    2. Compare it with each other IR until you find one you like better
    3. Replace the first IR with that IR and repeat the process until there are no IRs that sound better. You now have your favorite - but possibly only for that situation.

Getting the right IR can have a big effect on tone and feel, perhaps nearly as important as the guitar. But much of the variability between IR models will be lost in the mix, and imperceptible to your audience. So don't worry too much if you can't decide which one you like best, probably may choices are good and are just different. And don't worry too much if you keep changing the IR in your goto patch, its likely the change will be subtle.

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I like some of the Redwires and the Ownhamers and some of the other free ones I acquired on the net but the one I like best is One I made with a mix of a bunch of free ones and one a guy made from a kemper cab with the iRmix2 program hooked up to my DAW and using the looper wile mixing IR's until I got several nice ones... also I did just drag and drop in the helix app to test before that. 

 

I think the Line  6 ones are very nice too and the options of the stereo cabs to set up with two different cabs is like mixing IR's also.

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Impulse responses depend lot depends on the selection of the speaker and cabinet to capture, the technique and gear used to do the capture, and the ear of the person doing the capturing. For example, S-Gear comes with a number of carefully chosen Redwirez IRs. In a recent update, Mike Scuffham created a few of his own IRs, some using similar speaker models to what was available from Redwirez. I think Mike has an amazing ear for guitar and it shows in these speaker models. 

 

To me, its hard to tell sometimes which IR model is "better", in many cases they're just different. You can waste a lot of time trying to pick the best one, only of find the next time you try you'll get a different result. Here's some guidelines to consider:

  1. Use only 16 bit, 48 kHz IRs for Helix (don't depend on Helix to convert them)
  2. Pick a small set of speaker IRs to audition based on what's typically used in the amp your using, for your style of music, and your guitar (single or double coil pickups make a big difference). I started with Robben Ford and Matt Schofield's live rigs because I love the tone they get. 
  3. Get the speaker choice right first, or at least a very small set, using a Neumann U87, CapEdge and 2" for a relatively neutral, uncolored mic. Then zero in on the mic and mic position
    1. For the very small set of chosen speakers, pick a small set of mics: an SM57, Neumann U87, and Royer R121 will sound quite different, the other choices can be pretty subtle. 
    2. For each mic, pick a small set of mic positions, CapEdge being the most typical
    3. For each mic position, pick a small set of distances from the cabinet: from say 0" to 4" with 2" a good starting point
  4. Import the IRs into Helix using some unused or expendable IR index slots
  5. Audition in a typical live setting. What works well at low volumes by yourself might not work at all in a gig situation, a lot depends on volume level, feel and how the speaker fits in the mix.
  6. Audition by using pedal edit mode to increment and decrement the IR block while playing. Try a range of songs, pickup combinations, effects, etc. Get a feeling for the whole, not just one specific thing.
  7. Keep notes on each IR, how it sounded, how it felt, whether it was muddy, fizzy, scooped, articulate, etc. so you can remember how they compared. Use a table in Evernote to capture your notes
  8. If you still can't decide which IR to use, try this simple selection process:
    1. Select an IR
    2. Compare it with each other IR until you find one you like better
    3. Replace the first IR with that IR and repeat the process until there are no IRs that sound better. You now have your favorite - but possibly only for that situation.

Getting the right IR can have a big effect on tone and feel, perhaps nearly as important as the guitar. But much of the variability between IR models will be lost in the mix, and imperceptible to your audience. So don't worry too much if you can't decide which one you like best, probably may choices are good and are just different. And don't worry too much if you keep changing the IR in your goto patch, its likely the change will be subtle.

 

Awesome information and help here.  Thank you!

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Impulse responses depend lot depends on the selection of the speaker and cabinet to capture, the technique and gear used to do the capture, and the ear of the person doing the capturing. For example, S-Gear comes with a number of carefully chosen Redwirez IRs. In a recent update, Mike Scuffham created a few of his own IRs, some using similar speaker models to what was available from Redwirez. I think Mike has an amazing ear for guitar and it shows in these speaker models. 

 

To me, its hard to tell sometimes which IR model is "better", in many cases they're just different. You can waste a lot of time trying to pick the best one, only of find the next time you try you'll get a different result. Here's some guidelines to consider:

  1. Use only 16 bit, 48 kHz IRs for Helix (don't depend on Helix to convert them)
  2. Pick a small set of speaker IRs to audition based on what's typically used in the amp your using, for your style of music, and your guitar (single or double coil pickups make a big difference). I started with Robben Ford and Matt Schofield's live rigs because I love the tone they get. 
  3. Get the speaker choice right first, or at least a very small set, using a Neumann U87, CapEdge and 2" for a relatively neutral, uncolored mic. Then zero in on the mic and mic position
    1. For the very small set of chosen speakers, pick a small set of mics: an SM57, Neumann U87, and Royer R121 will sound quite different, the other choices can be pretty subtle. 
    2. For each mic, pick a small set of mic positions, CapEdge being the most typical
    3. For each mic position, pick a small set of distances from the cabinet: from say 0" to 4" with 2" a good starting point
  4. Import the IRs into Helix using some unused or expendable IR index slots
  5. Audition in a typical live setting. What works well at low volumes by yourself might not work at all in a gig situation, a lot depends on volume level, feel and how the speaker fits in the mix.
  6. Audition by using pedal edit mode to increment and decrement the IR block while playing. Try a range of songs, pickup combinations, effects, etc. Get a feeling for the whole, not just one specific thing.
  7. Keep notes on each IR, how it sounded, how it felt, whether it was muddy, fizzy, scooped, articulate, etc. so you can remember how they compared. Use a table in Evernote to capture your notes
  8. If you still can't decide which IR to use, try this simple selection process:
    1. Select an IR
    2. Compare it with each other IR until you find one you like better
    3. Replace the first IR with that IR and repeat the process until there are no IRs that sound better. You now have your favorite - but possibly only for that situation.

Getting the right IR can have a big effect on tone and feel, perhaps nearly as important as the guitar. But much of the variability between IR models will be lost in the mix, and imperceptible to your audience. So don't worry too much if you can't decide which one you like best, probably may choices are good and are just different. And don't worry too much if you keep changing the IR in your goto patch, its likely the change will be subtle.

  1. Use only 16 bit, 48 kHz IRs for Helix (don't depend on Helix to convert them)

If thats true why does every third party IR developer i know of use 24bit or even 32bit?

It is very hard to find a 16 bit IR

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  1. Use only 16 bit, 48 kHz IRs for Helix (don't depend on Helix to convert them)

If thats true why does every third party IR developer i know of use 24bit or even 32bit?

It is very hard to find a 16 bit IR

 

 

Our libraries of the "pro IR series" include also 16bit/48kHz samples rate (wave file format) - extra for Helix Users in mind ... 

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Having a really good experience with the Helix thus far. Haven't tried any 3rd-party IRs just yet; one thing I did notice about all the Helix Cabs is that there's no option for Mic placement apart from 'Distance', which according to the manual is simply the 'distance between the mic and the speaker grille'. Even the X3L had an option for off-axis - are we likely to see an update with mic placement options on Helix?

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Having a really good experience with the Helix thus far. Haven't tried any 3rd-party IRs just yet; one thing I did notice about all the Helix Cabs is that there's no option for Mic placement apart from 'Distance', which according to the manual is simply the 'distance between the mic and the speaker grille'. Even the X3L had an option for off-axis - are we likely to see an update with mic placement options on Helix?

a few days ago, i posted this point to ideascale here:

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Helix-Please-add-Microfone-angle-to-cab-parameters/817573-23508

;)

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Thanks Michael. Will check that out.. I know the edit parameters on the Cab block do not include a 'placement' control, but would be great to have a Cab available that was modeled with the mic off-axis, then with it on the cone/cap-edge etc.. That would then fit nicely into the existing parameters (with mic distance and so on). E.g. '4X12 Greenback Cone' '4X12 Greenback CapEdge'..

 

I'm sure the good folks at Line6 already have all these ideas.

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well - i don't think that line6 will be able to implement/add "seemless" microphone angles / center distances, as a infinite numbers of IRs would be necessary to do this. I can't imagine that there is enough place in the Helix for it ;)

Perhaps we get some day an angle of 25° and 45° off axis with the possibility to blend between 0, 25 and 45. This would'nt be the same as really miking all possible positions, but would give enormous variations of whar we get today.

I did'nt often mice a cab but when i did, i never had the idea to do it on axis just in front of the speaker, as most cabs in my opinion  does'nt sound the best way there. And this shurely don't  sound like we're used in real life if we don't use cabs as headpones ;)

So i wonder a little bit if, and in case, why line6 modeled just this mic position?

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The Ownhammer Marshall IRs lifted my Helix from -yeah to -OMG! May the best spent 15$ ever.

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well - i don't think that line6 will be able to implement/add "seemless" microphone angles / center distances, as a infinite numbers of IRs would be necessary to do this. I can't imagine that there is enough place in the Helix for it ;)

Perhaps we get some day an angle of 25° and 45° off axis with the possibility to blend between 0, 25 and 45. This would'nt be the same as really miking all possible positions, but would give enormous variations of whar we get today.

I did'nt often mice a cab but when i did, i never had the idea to do it on axis just in front of the speaker, as most cabs in my opinion  does'nt sound the best way there. And this shurely don't  sound like we're used in real life if we don't use cabs as headpones ;)

So i wonder a little bit if, and in case, why line6 modeled just this mic position?

 

Maybe just adding a few more 57 Dynamic (SM57) mic types at angles could cover many needs

 

  • 57 Dynamic (already exists)
  • 57 Dynamic 25°
  • 57 Dynamic 45°
  • 57 Dynamic Double (one mic at at 0° and one at 45°)

AT4 has a "Double Dynamic 57" mic type (pic attached) and I use it all of the time, even in the AT4 IR's I make.  Rarely do I use the single D57 anymore.

 

Also, I would be nice for Line 6 to go ahead and make more positions and options even if there isn't room on Helix, and allow us to choose which ones get loaded, like impulses.  There are mics on there that I never use that I would happily remove for more angles and positions on the ones that I do use.

post-1189006-0-40941200-1462368479_thumb.jpg

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The Ownhammer Marshall IRs lifted my Helix from -yeah to -OMG! May the best spent 15$ ever.

Which ones?

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Ownhammer are the best out there.

Ever tried one of our Cab-Packs? :rolleyes:

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Ever tried one of our Cab-Packs? :rolleyes:

 

I have.  I really enjoy, and have purchased, the Orange pack.

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