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Question about pre and power amp models...?

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Does the Helix offer selectable Power Amp models?

 

So the four-cable method assumably allows us to use various preamp models on the Helix to drive a real tube amp power section.

 

Using another couple cables, can we select power amp models on the Helix and drive them using a real tube preamp?

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Does the Helix offer selectable Power Amp models?

 

So the four-cable method assumably allows us to use various preamp models on the Helix to drive a real tube amp power section.

 

Using another couple cables can one switch power amp models on the Helix and drive them using a real tube preamp?

Full amp models have the power amp section modeled...pre-amp only models do not.

 

The 4cm is really only worth the extra connections if you want the option of using your amp's pre-amp for your basic tone, and just want to use Helix (or any other unit for that matter) for FX. It also allows you to place FX either before or after the pre-amp. But if you only intend to slave the amp for power, the 4cm is not really necessary, unless you just really enjoy connecting cables. Just run straight into the amp's FX return, and have at it.

 

Somebody's bound to disagree, but that's how I see it.

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Full amp models have the power amp section modeled...pre-amp only models do not.

 

The 4cm is really only worth the extra connections if you want the option of using your amp's pre-amp for your basic tone, and just want to use Helix (or any other unit for that matter) for FX. It also allows you to place FX either before or after the pre-amp. But if you only intend to slave the amp for power, the 4cm is not really necessary, unless you just really enjoy connecting cables. Just run straight into the amp's FX return, and have at it.

 

Somebody's bound to disagree, but that's how I see it.

 

Yep, pretty much nailed it.  4-cable method lets you do both but requires all those extra cables.  I think it sounds amazing straight into the fx return.

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thanks!  Is there a way to turn the preamp of a full amp model on the Helix off while keeping the power section on, or some kind of effects loop within the model?

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thanks! Is there a way to turn the preamp of a full amp model on the Helix off while keeping the power section on, or some kind of effects loop within the model?

Don't think you can isolate the models of the power amp sections...not sure why you'd want to anyway. It's not like it could be used to drive a cabinet...

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One of the reasons for separate preamp and power amp blocks is to allow mixing and matching them.  There are several suggestions on ideascale for this feature:

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Independent-pre-and-power-amp-blocks/748793-23508 

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/HELIX-Allow-the-power-amp-to-be-used-as-a-separate-block/727260-23508

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/DT-power-amp-model/776899-23508

 

Check them out and vote them up if you'd like to see this feature.

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If you have a DT 50 or DT 25 amp you can already mix and match preamp to power amp with the Helix. :)

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One of the reasons for separate preamp and power amp blocks is to allow mixing and matching them.  There are several suggestions on ideascale for this feature:

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Independent-pre-and-power-amp-blocks/748793-23508 

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/HELIX-Allow-the-power-amp-to-be-used-as-a-separate-block/727260-23508

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/DT-power-amp-model/776899-23508

 

Check them out and vote them up if you'd like to see this feature.

 

Wish I could but I don't have an eligible work email address to register with the site to access those links, unless I'm missing something.

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If you have a DT 50 or DT 25 amp you can already mix and match preamp to power amp with the Helix. :)

 

I am quite interested in doing exactly that with my DT25 once my Helix arrives.. I had some ideas early on before the specifics of how Helix works were out; not sure any of them hold water at the moment. I just feel there will be some really cool way to feed Helix preamp models through DT power amp topology, and then back through Helix cab / room models. Just not certain *how*... But it's there I can feel it!

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Colonel Forbin, I never thought of that concept. But it sure does sound good the "old" way: Helix to DT 50 amp to real guitar cab. :)

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Yeah, I primarily use my DT without the HD these days! I think you could do Helix preamp 1/4" or L6link to the DT. Then use DTedit/MIDI to set up a "no preamp" channel on the DT, so it's topology only. Then I guess there are various options here. Use the fx loop from the DT to get that signal back to helix and run it through a cab only IR (no mic or room) then to some post amp model Helix FX. Then back to the DT return. And I suppose you could do a parallel path to the IR with a full Helix cab + mic and go to a FRFR speaker with that signal. Or take the XLR from the DT to get back to Helix. Not sure.

 

I think the cab model is two different things remember. The cab model that the DT puts through it's speaker is different from the cab+mic model that gets sent to it's XLR out. That second process needs to happen only in Helix after DT. The first cab process should go to the DT, or at least, to emulate what it currently does anyhow.

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Ok, some one try this:

 

Helix > L6link > DTamp (with no preamp selected using DTedit) > DT fx send > Helix > Helix cab only IR (no mic model) > Helix post amp model FX > DT fx return > DT XLR out > Helix > Helix cab + mic model > FRFR speaker or PA or recording

 

No clue how that will work, if it will work, or whether it's even worth it. But, that should add the actual transformer tapped power topology tone to your direct out signal. Then using the cab or IR in Helix, you create the final cab emulation in the Helix rather than using the DT HD cab and mic models.

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If by some minor miracle that results in something usable, the next step (until a possible future firmware update) is to control the DT topology using MIDI commands sent by Helix. Topology III is way louder than the others, for example. You could also tell it to change A/B to A, pentode, triode. There is also a power amp boost in the MIDI editable options that is not part of the digital preamp selection. It is a large volume jump though,not subtle enough for a clean boost, but being able to toggle it on or off via Helix MIDI should be doable.

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I'll try your idea tonight or tomorrow night.  Should work.  L6 Link and a MIDI cable works really well.  Don't even need DT Edit; Helix takes care of bypassing the preamp, selecting topology and toggling reverb on/off.

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Exactly, Helix can do all the stuff DtEdit does, which is crucial to bypassing the HD DT amp models, cab model and mic models!

 

The Bogner topologies are really cool, I have my DT set up in standalone with the Plexi bright on all eight channels, but with variations of cab, topo and power configurations.

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In layman's terms could you please tell me what you guys are doing with DT amps?

 

All kinds of things.  There are several different ways to run them:

  • Use Helix as an FX only unit and run right into the front of the DT
  • Use the 4-cable method so you have the option of using Helix FX into the DT preamp and amp or Helix FX and preamp into the DT power amp.
  • L6 Link along with a MIDI cable which lets you do about anything you'd like with the Helix/DT combination

It's really fun exploring the different options.

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Hey Colonel...I know a way you could do it with the DT Amp and really get the topology.

 

First you need an attenuator that connects between the amp speaker output and the cabinet. The one I have is the Riviera Rock Crusher: 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RockCrusher

 

First use DT Edit to go into the DT50 and turn off all the preamps, cabs, and microphone models in the DT50.
Then come out of one of the Helix effect loops and into the guitar input on the DT50 (putting the loop after the amp model on the Helix).
Now come out of the signal line out of the Riviera Rock Crusher back into the effects loop return of the Helix. Then just place the cab model or cab IR after the loop and you've got your real tube tone and topology right there in your signal chain of the Helix. :)

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I also just realized that L6link might not work as the send to the DT from Helix, unless you can tell Helix to only send certain audio paths to the L6link output. My best guess is L6link *should* eventually offer Helix the level of routing you get with an M20d. L6link supports 6 mono channels on the M20d. Main left, main right, and four monitor sends. In theory, that should open the door for future firmware to allow L6link from Helix to DT and from DT to L2 or L3. In that case, sending different signals to each.

 

For now, I think this will entail the use of 1/4" cables. Side note, the DT has that transformer tapped cab sim output. I wonder what comes out that XLR when you have disabled the DT cab and mic sim?

 

"Curious, very curious"

 

:)

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I did some research into the DT and am excited for you guys to try out all that stuff.  Please do so and follow up about it!

 

Are the Helix preamp models powerful enough to send a real power amp into overdrive when plugged into the effects loop?

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I did this last night. And YES! The sound I am getting out of the Helix to the P.A. is the best I've ever heard. No "fizz", tons of tube warmth, and it sounds like it's coming out of a guitar cabinet in the mains!

Hey Colonel...I know a way you could do it with the DT Amp and really get the topology.

First you need an attenuator that connects between the amp speaker output and the cabinet. The one I have is the Riviera Rock Crusher:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RockCrusher

First use DT Edit to go into the DT50 and turn off all the preamps, cabs, and microphone models in the DT50.
Then come out of one of the Helix effect loops and into the guitar input on the DT50 (putting the loop after the amp model on the Helix).
Now come out of the signal line out of the Riviera Rock Crusher back into the effects loop return of the Helix. Then just place the cab model or cab IR after the loop and you've got your real tube tone and topology right there in your signal chain of the Helix. :)

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I did this last night. And YES! The sound I am getting out of the Helix to the P.A. is the best I've ever heard. No "fizz", tons of tube warmth, and it sounds like it's coming out of a guitar cabinet in the mains!

 

Sweet!! Cracking the Helix-DT seal.. It's gonna be sweet what people can do with this pair. The DT is a unique amp; in that, you can separate the power amp settings from the preamp. Since the preamp is digital and can be deactivated, it opens up some very, very cool options.

 

I am loving my DT25 with pedals in front of it, and in the fx loop - sounds great! And those power / topology settings are crucial to the 'feel'.. What you described, how it feels when you hear it.. It's beyond just a simple yes/no logic circuit in your brain, it has to tap into those deeper realms. Like transparent aluminum!! ;)

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I also picked up an ART Tube MP pedal sized tube preamp. I'm going to try running it in the effect loop and see how it sounds. Hopefully that will get the tube mojo in there as well for gigs where I can't drag in my DT amp and cab.

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Ok, some one try this:

 

Helix > L6link > DTamp (with no preamp selected using DTedit) > DT fx send > Helix > Helix cab only IR (no mic model) > Helix post amp model FX > DT fx return > DT XLR out > Helix > Helix cab + mic model > FRFR speaker or PA or recording

 

No clue how that will work, if it will work, or whether it's even worth it. But, that should add the actual transformer tapped power topology tone to your direct out signal. Then using the cab or IR in Helix, you create the final cab emulation in the Helix rather than using the DT HD cab and mic models.

 

I'm trying to make this work.  The cabling is crazy.  It doesn't seem possible to turn off the mic model for any of the Helix cabs (which probably makes sense).  I'll try with a mic model and keep setting this patch up.

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So I set it all up and it does work.  I'm getting sound out of the DT and into Reaper via USB.  The two sound the same so I'm not sure how Helix and the DT are interacting.  It sounds good though.

 

Path 1 ended up looking like Guitar -> Return 1 -> Helix Cab w/mic -> Chorus -> Delay -> Reverb -> Output block set to Send 3/4

 

Path 2 Input = Mic -> Helix Cab w/mic -> Output block set to USB 1/2

 

Cabling looks like:

  • Helix -> DT via L6 Link
  • DT FX Send -> Helix Return 1
  • Helix Send 3 -> DT FX Return
  • DT XLR Out -> Helix Mic In
  • Helix -> PC via USB

I used DT Edit to set up the DT in advance.

 

Edit:  I think it does open up some possibilities.  If I change the cab model on path 2 or add in an FX, the sound changes in Reaper but doesn't affect the DT.

I saved the preset so, when you get your Helix, I can send it to you to experiment with.

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What I am hoping, is for Helix to eventually have something resembling the L6Link capability of the M20d mixer, which can route six different mono audio signals to six different speakers / l6link devices.

 

It would be so cool to send a link chain to DT amp and L2/L3 speaker(s). Or even to just be able to specify a certain part of the signal path to go to the L6Link, in order to split out what the DT gets! On the right track, thanks for doing this test, way cool!! :)

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Well...I just tried it with the ART MP real tube preamp pedal. The thing is just $49  http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TubeMP

 

Very simply just created a send/return effects loop.   Instead of going to the DT amp....I went in and out of the ART MP right before the cab model in the Helix signal chain.

BOOM! Instant tube magic! It sounds freakin' GREAT.
This is a very inexpensive way to make your Helix come to "life" with tube tone.

The basic patch is: Amp model->Send/Return->Cab->Helix Out
And of course you add in your effects to it.
Just that little cheapass pedal preamp REALLY gives the Helix that tube "coloration" that all digital equipment is missing.

And the cabling is simple. Just plug into Helix. 2 short 1/4" cables for send/return. And then whatever output from Helix you are using.

Trust me on this...you will be VERY happy.

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Well...I just tried it with the ART MP real tube preamp pedal. The thing is just $49 http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TubeMP

 

Very simply just created a send/return effects loop. Instead of going to the DT amp....I went in and out of the ART MP right before the cab model in the Helix signal chain.

 

BOOM! Instant tube magic! It sounds freakin' GREAT.

This is a very inexpensive way to make your Helix come to "life" with tube tone.

 

The basic patch is: Amp model->Send/Return->Cab->Helix Out

And of course you add in your effects to it.

Just that little cheapass pedal preamp REALLY gives the Helix that tube "coloration" that all digital equipment is missing.

 

And the cabling is simple. Just plug into Helix. 2 short 1/4" cables for send/return. And then whatever output from Helix you are using.

 

Trust me on this...you will be VERY happy.

I'm wondering why this gizmo didn't become a "thing" with the PODs. Seems like it might have won over some of the "modelers will never sound as good as my tube rig" purists.

 

And for anybody who really wants one, Amazon has them even cheaper...$39.99.

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I had never thought of it before because my Pod HD500 always sounded great with my DT50 amp providing the tube juice. But this is a really easy way to get that tube sound coming straight out of the helix without the amp required. :)

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Helix cab only IR (no mic model)

 

Not sure how one could create such an IR... An IR measured without a mic is like a photograph taken without a camera.

 

(Reminds me of the old story about how John Lennon saw them recording bass with a DI, and wanted to record his vocals like that...)

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Well...I just tried it with the ART MP real tube preamp pedal. The thing is just $49 http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TubeMP

 

Very simply just created a send/return effects loop. Instead of going to the DT amp....I went in and out of the ART MP right before the cab model in the Helix signal chain.

BOOM! Instant tube magic! It sounds freakin' GREAT.

This is a very inexpensive way to make your Helix come to "life" with tube tone.

The basic patch is: Amp model->Send/Return->Cab->Helix Out

And of course you add in your effects to it.

Just that little cheapass pedal preamp REALLY gives the Helix that tube "coloration" that all digital equipment is missing.

And the cabling is simple. Just plug into Helix. 2 short 1/4" cables for send/return. And then whatever output from Helix you are using.

Trust me on this...you will be VERY happy.

Do you find this pre-amp to be noisy? I was reading a bunch of reviews in various places, and that seems to be the #1 complaint....

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I'm thinking that the reviews you are seeing are probably comparing it's "noise" to other high-end super expensive vocal preamps in a pristine studio environment.
But the way I'm running ​it in as described...no, it's not noisy at all. As I said, it really makes a HUGE difference and just sounds great.
It's too bad that Line 6 didn't install a tube preamp in the Helix itself like some of the preamp multi-effects units from the 1990's did.

That little tube preamp changed the Helix from sounding like a good modeler into sounding like warm hot butter running down my guitar neck. lol

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I use to own a cheap 40 watt pignose tube amp just to give my other modelers that treatment glad to know this can work to help that out. I was planning on getting an eventide h9 to solve the spillover problems and this may help enhance the sound as well for just $50 its worth a try to see what you get out of it in terms of tonal variety. To me the tube sound is really about the power amp section tubes and that is why I am thinking of getting an L6 tube amp if they can enhance how the helix works with that they may have me sold on using them as well. Doesn't Bogner have something to do with these amps?

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I'm thinking that the reviews you are seeing are probably comparing it's "noise" to other high-end super expensive vocal preamps in a pristine studio environment.

But the way I'm running ​it in as described...no, it's not noisy at all. As I said, it really makes a HUGE difference and just sounds great.

It's too bad that Line 6 didn't install a tube preamp in the Helix itself like some of the preamp multi-effects units from the 1990's did.

 

That little tube preamp changed the Helix from sounding like a good modeler into sounding like warm hot butter running down my guitar neck. lol

Cool, thanks. I gambled and grabbed one from Amazon for $40/free shipping. I've blown 40 bucks on stuff a whole lot dumber than this, so I figure it's worth the risk. ;)

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I put it in an effects loop right before the speaker IR that I'm using. And I made sure not to overdrive it and got the volume level so that it's the same if I bypass it.

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@robbieb61: would you mind to give it a try on the HD500x? guitar -> fxloop -> ART MP -> HD fullamp with resonator at zero -> FRFR

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I sold my HD500. But I don't see any reason it wouldn't work. I never tried it because I always used my DT 50 amp with my HD500.

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I've definitely noticed a huge change in my tone dropping the helix in the middle of my board. Seems even when I have no blocks selected my signal is a choked compared to just running straight into my amps. Yes still using my amps, just didn't want to spend more $ to have stage good volume. Wondering if this preamp pedal would help get back the tone?

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