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Bass and two guitars with Helix?


danevans1
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Hi,

    This should be a simple question and I apologise if it is already hidden in other posts.

 

The Helix seems to have a lot of functionality but I've not seen this one answered in a straight forward way.

 

Can I plug a bass and two guitars (three instruments) into it and have three different signal paths? We wouldn't need massive amounts of 'modules' (or whatever they are called) in each path so I'm not too worried about processing power.

 

If I can do this then I'll sell 90% of the stuff I own and buy one today (if I can find somewhere in the uk that actually have them).

 

This would be very useful for practicing and a lot of live situations.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Dan

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Yep, you could do it. You can actually have up to 4 independent stereo paths through the Helix, so having three paths with mono inputs is a piece of cake. Will you actually be using all three instruments simultaneously?

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That's the idea. I've been using an XT Live for a few years and use it for recording both guitars and bass. I also use it live and despite peoples misgivings about it; it has worked flawlessly and I often (actually pretty much always) get comments from other guitarists about how good my sound is. I often put a 6505 on stage and plug the pedal into the effects return. This seems to confuse the whingy purists that spend more time and effort on tone and sweep picking than writing a good song or having fun.

 

Ideally I'd like to be able to tour in one car with the drum kit (When are line 6 going to start building drummers) a guitar each, the Helix and two active monitors that can be used as backup/stage monitoring. :)

 

Practicing and recording would be even more simple as we could just plug into it and the PA.

 

More time for music and less time messing around.

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If each path requires its own amp, you're sure not going to get a lot of extra stuff on two of the paths. One of the three paths would be able to handle a considerable amount.

 

You could share one amp between two of the inputs, which would allow for more effects, for a possible solution.

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Yes, it's possible, although there are a few disadvantages:

 

- You'll have a single point of failure for all three stringed instruments.

- It would be hard for multiple instrumentalists to switch on/off their effects without (literally) stepping on each others' toes.

- Editing individual people's tones becomes inconvenient, because they're all saved in one patch together.

- Unless your setup is fairly light on effects and amp sims, you'll have to carefully budget your DSP resources.

 

To clarify, there are four potential paths: 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B. 1A and 1B share one processor, and 2A and 2B share the other. There's a limited amount of DSP resources per processor, and some effects (like EQ) use up less than other more "expensive" effects (like amp+cab sims, pitch shifts, and distortion).

 

If all you're using for effects is an amp sim, some reverb and delay, and maybe a distortion pedal, you'll probably be OK.

 

 

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If all you're using for effects is an amp sim, some reverb and delay, and maybe a distortion pedal, you'll probably be OK.

 

Probably not. I tried adding two pv panama amps+cabs in paths 1A and 1B. When you add one reverb, that's pretty much it, except for a volume, gain, or pan block.

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Probably not. I tried adding two pv panama amps+cabs in paths 1A and 1B. When you add one reverb, that's pretty much it, except for a volume, gain, or pan block.

Yeah I wish there was more DSP power.  This kind of alarms me for future firmware updates.  Definitely no ultra high res IRs.

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Probably not. I tried adding two pv panama amps+cabs in paths 1A and 1B. When you add one reverb, that's pretty much it, except for a volume, gain, or pan block.

 

 

Yeah I wish there was more DSP power.  This kind of alarms me for future firmware updates.  Definitely no ultra high res IRs.

 

 

No, it works fine. You just need to spread the load, with one amp on path 1(A or B ) and another amp on path 2(A or B ), rather than trying to put two amps on one (1A and 1B).

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But the original poster wants three independent paths for three instruments. So assuming three amps are needed, two of them must be on one processor, which basically kills the entire setup, unless three amps would not be needed, or one amp can be shared among the two guitars.

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Yeah I wish there was more DSP power.  This kind of alarms me for future firmware updates.  Definitely no ultra high res IRs.

 

Well, the Helix and the Fractal AX8 are using the same chips, and the AX8 can run one of Fractal's ultra high res IRs. So I don't see why the Helix couldn't do something equivalent if Line 6 wanted to go down that road. I imagine that it would be the sort of thing where you'd effectively be using one chip only for amp and cab modeling and the other for effects, which is what you're always limited to on the AX8, btw. The Helix at least gives you the flexibility to allocate resources however you see fit.

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But the original poster wants three independent paths for three instruments. So assuming three amps are needed, two of them must be on one processor, which basically kills the entire setup, unless three amps would not be needed, or one amp can be shared among the two guitars.

 

It's two guitars and a bass - so that's why I was assuming that, if it's a fairly traditional rock sound, it should be practical not to use an amp simulator at all on the bass.

 

Add some EQ, maybe some compression, and the bassist already has a fancier sound than they would if they were plugging in direct through a DI box as many bassists do.

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It's two guitars and a bass - so that's why I was assuming that, if it's a fairly traditional rock sound, it should be practical not to use an amp simulator at all on the bass.

 

Add some EQ, maybe some compression, and the bassist already has a fancier sound than they would if they were plugging in direct through a DI box as many bassists do.

 

It this is the case, it certainly opens up a lot more possibilities. That's what so great about Helix.

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Well, the Helix and the Fractal AX8 are using the same chips, and the AX8 can run one of Fractal's ultra high res IRs. So I don't see why the Helix couldn't do something equivalent if Line 6 wanted to go down that road. I imagine that it would be the sort of thing where you'd effectively be using one chip only for amp and cab modeling and the other for effects, which is what you're always limited to on the AX8, btw. The Helix at least gives you the flexibility to allocate resources however you see fit.

I don't see how since I can't run one amp with two IRs using the 2048 sample.

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I don't see how since I can't run one amp with two IRs using the 2048 sample.

 

Well, according to Fractal, "UltraRes technology achieves the resolution of long IRs (up to 170ms) without added CPU burden or storage requirements." So, Fractal is doing something with its proprietary format to make it so their ultra res files don't increase the DSP load. I have no idea what they do, but it's probably some sort of optimization that gets rid of unnecessary information in the IR. It's probably something similar to the optimization Line 6 does for its cabs.

 

Also, you can run one amp with two 2048 files on the Helix - you just need to put one of the IR files in a path served by a different processor.

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I've made a patch with a built-in cab and an IR, plus lots of other stuff, all in one path. Two IRs might be a problem, but instead of doing that, why not mix the 2 IRs outside of Helix, and make it 1 IR, if the intention is to mix them on Helix anyway?

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The day I got my helix I reamped a logic session with the helix.

 

Path 1 = Guitar - >Minotaur - > Divided - > Delay - > Verb

 

Path 2a = Bass - > LA Comp - > Cali -> 8x10

 

Path 2b = Guitar2 - > Minotaur - > Fender Clean - > Verb

 

I think there were a few other things going on but they were bypassed. Helix was running as audio interface too. 

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3 guys rehearsing through one piece of gear? Ugh. Yes, you can do it... but SHOULD you... that is another question.

 

If that was the MAIN reason for getting a Helix, you're better off with 3 500-dollar pieces of gear bought used and an old mixer...

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