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Overdrive/distortion tones not sounding good at all

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Last year I think I was the worst critic of the Line 6 Helix.I too, couldn't get a warm tone. I blamed Line6 for a terrible product. Through a mishap at the local music store I Recently ended up  renting a Helix LT. When I got it home I uploaded the latest firmware upgrade. Un-be-known to me, the previous renter had left the unit in a user mode without any patches. I thought he wiped everything out so I began making my own. To my surprise I got a usable tone. Then I thought about the last experience I had  which was very bad. I soon realized that what I was running the helix through then was a fender tube amp, but this time i was running through a Boss Katana 50 on a clean channel. The Katana is solid state and somewhat Full Range. So I tried all the things the guys tried to tell me last year and it worked remarkably well. That Being said, the first thing you need to do is to set your cabinet low cut and hi limits to 80-120HZ for lows, and high cut off around 4KHZ. Then I would add a similar High/ Low Cut EQ at the end of the signal chain. Also be mindful of the gain levels you use with your amp model you choose. If your going to put overdrive/distortion ahead of or behind the amp model - less amp gain is more in many cases with the use of OD/DIST effects. So to get a nice overdrive lower the gain to get a warm overdrive breakup or rythmn gain from the amp model first,. That is, unless the amp model is going to carry all of the OD/DIST. I also would get a hold of presets like fremens best picks or the like to see what they are doing but I noticed that they are almost always insisting on the us of FRFR monitors. .An FRFR monitor like the Headrush 112 is an affordable option. I run two with my AX8 and will likewise use the same for the helix. I use AX8 live, but with my latest experience I am going to use the HELIX at my next opportunity. I dont see any issue using it live under the present circumstances. I have been able , finally, to get low-med- and high gain overdrive without the harshness. OH, before I forget, use a 10 band EQ and totally drop out anything above 8KHZ to avoid digital noise and make use of noise gates where needed.

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4 hours ago, ddmilne said:

Then I thought about the last experience I had  which was very bad. I soon realized that what I was running the helix through then was a fender tube amp, but this time i was running through a Boss Katana 50 on a clean channel. The Katana is solid state and somewhat Full Range. So I tried all the things the guys tried to tell me last year and it worked remarkably well.

 

And now you can hear what the Helix unit is doing more clearly and get it working right for you. Talking about low and high cuts, a Parametric EQ block at the end of the chain is a great way of setting the low and high cuts. There's a view that it can sound better than making the cuts in the cab block. YMMV,, but I switched from cab block EQ cuts to the PEQ and it's worked for me, so you might want to give it a try next time you're in the mood for some tone-tinkering :-)

 

 

 

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PSA

The clean channel on the boss katana is not a flat response..it mimics some general purpose guitar amp clean channel ...not fenderesque, not voxish, not marshally but most definitely not a flat response...

the katana aux in is best, or fx return, or the acoustic amp..which to me seems mostly flat.. and gives the benefit of adding a global, albeit coarse eq

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