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capdoogie

Biggest things I have learned!

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1). Use low and high cut, for me it's mostly low cut anywhere between 100 to 220. Sometimes on some presets I use a high cut of 5. The helix seems bass heavy and by just trying to get the flub or to much bass out by dialing down at the amp sometimes doesn't sound good, but cab low cut does or as another poster said maybe even at the global eq end. 2). Xlr outs are a little noisy depending on the FOH board you are going thru. Make sure phantom power is off at board. I run a phantom blocker from my xlr out, if I run my routing that way. Line out of xlr out is more noisy then mic out. I run mic out for my xlr. You may find something different. 3). 1/4 outs thru direct box seems to solve all the noise problems. If xlr out is noisiy, I then run 1/4 out to di box to front of house, I run out of the thru 1st di box to second di box then subtle vol then to wedge for my monitor. Yeah I no its a lot of work. But it's the helix quirks. 4). Squeaky vol pedal. The helix's came not lubed well. I took the bottom off and relubed all bolts and plastic bushings and hex bolt. Perfect smooth action and no SQUEAK! 5) Just tweak, did I say just tweak, I hear on this forum guys/gals not liking preset tones or other tones. I like them all, just go in isolate amp/cabs and fx's and tweak. Most preset stuff is over mixed. 6) Global reset, make sure you copy or keep a folder of the stuff you like or it will be wiped out. I know I lost my stuff once. I was told, soon we won't have to do this anymore on future FW updates? 7). This helix was designed for frfr. If you run thru a guitar cab mic,d thru to FOH your tone will be way off. I put my wedge up on a pole when tweaking tones to simulate suspended FOH speakers. This way I get really close. 8). This is for you to fill in your tips and tricks.

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Here are a few I have posted elsewhere but have found helpful:

  • If you are using the noise gate on the input block set the threshold parameter to as high a number as you can and still have the noise reduced. This helps to avoid cutting off the end of your notes.
  • For most scenarios set the "Guitar In Impedance" under the Global Setting's "Ins/Outs" parameter to "Auto".
  • Choose the 'Line' or 'Instrument' setting that is correct for your monitoring scenario or just select the better sounding setting under the Global Setting's "Ins/Outs" section "1/4 Outputs" & "XLR Outputs" parameters.
  • When you use more complex routing scenarios make sure you pan or set the level of the signal properly in the merge/mixer blocks depending on your routing scenario.
  • Be aware that many(most?) of the FX have a "Mix" parameter that has the direct and effected signal levels roughly even at 50%. This means that unless you are using a wet/dry routing scheme you may hear the highest level of effect at the 50% setting (not 100%).
  • I find that generally keeping the large physical "Volume" knob up to 3/4 or more usually results in a better sound. Providing the patch isn't so hot it is overdriving whatever amplification you plug into.
  • Set the Global Setting's "Footswitches" section "Exp Pedal Position" parameter to "Global" if you prefer to control your volume with the expression pedal globally rather than have it set differently per preset.
  • As Capdoogie said, high and low EQ cuts somewhere in your signal chain are critical to remove flubiness and icepick shrillness. Let your ears be your guide.
  • It may not matter in the future but I copy any factory presets I want to tweak to one of the "User" lists to modify. Then save, save, save your user modified presets with the Helix App, individually and as a "Setlist". That way I have the original factory preset to refer back to and I don't have to worry about future updates to the factory presets overwriting my tweaks. I can always restore my tweaked factory presets or the ones I designed from scratch to a "User" list.
  • Design your presets wherever possible with the equipment (guitar(s), amplification) you will be using. This one is kind of obvious but otherwise it can be disconcerting when you show up at practice or at a gig with a different guitar or going through a different PA and all your presets sound "off". You may be able to adjust your Global EQ at the practice/gig to help with this.
  • I use the logarithmic ("Log") setting on the volume pedal to produce more musical swells.
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Regarding low and hi cut, generally cut bass before distortion and cut treble after distortion. This reduces the mud created by distorted low frequencies that overwhelm the mids and highs. Cutting highs after distortion reduces the ice-pick/fizz.

 

Use gain staging with the amp's Drive control plus one or two distortion pedals to progressively increase the bass and treble cut as the gain increases. Some pedals like the ProCo Rat and Timmy do this automatically. My Drive switch changes the Studio Preamp low and hi cut parameters and changes the Drive level to to go from a clean to a slightly overdriven tone that's derived from the amp without pedals.

 

Set your tones using the neck pickup on your guitar, then back off the bridge pickup tone a bit to adjust for that pickup's extra brightness.

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Assign the output block to the exp pedal and set it heel 0db and toe 6db for a lot of solo boosting option

If you use the same drive on multiple patches remember if you edit in one you can copy that block and paste it to many patches

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I throw a gain module on as the last block before the last output.  That way at a gig if there are volume issues switching from preset to preset I can easily cut or boost without affecting the tone.  While there is a volume control in the output block, I've found sometimes even having it cranked all the way is still too soft.  So this gives additional flexibility.

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1). Use low and high cut, for me it's mostly low cut anywhere between 100 to 220. Sometimes on some presets I use a high cut of 5. The helix seems bass heavy and by just trying to get the flub or to much bass out by dialing down at the amp sometimes doesn't sound good, but cab low cut does or as another poster said maybe even at the global eq end. 2). Xlr outs are a little noisy depending on the FOH board you are going thru. Make sure phantom power is off at board. I run a phantom blocker from my xlr out, if I run my routing that way. Line out of xlr out is more noisy then mic out. I run mic out for my xlr. You may find something different. 3). 1/4 outs thru direct box seems to solve all the noise problems. If xlr out is noisiy, I then run 1/4 out to di box to front of house, I run out of the thru 1st di box to second di box then subtle vol then to wedge for my monitor. Yeah I no its a lot of work. But it's the helix quirks. 4). Squeaky vol pedal. The helix's came not lubed well. I took the bottom off and relubed all bolts and plastic bushings and hex bolt. Perfect smooth action and no SQUEAK! 5) Just tweak, did I say just tweak, I hear on this forum guys/gals not liking preset tones or other tones. I like them all, just go in isolate amp/cabs and fx's and tweak. Most preset stuff is over mixed. 6) Global reset, make sure you copy or keep a folder of the stuff you like or it will be wiped out. I know I lost my stuff once. I was told, soon we won't have to do this anymore on future FW updates? 7). This helix was designed for frfr. If you run thru a guitar cab mic,d thru to FOH your tone will be way off. I put my wedge up on a pole when tweaking tones to simulate suspended FOH speakers. This way I get really close. 8). This is for you to fill in your tips and tricks.

I disagree on many of these points.

1) I don't do any cutting/eq. I leave that to the sound engineer, so I can have a full range in my in-ear monitors....because I like it:)

2) XLR are just fine to me.

3) yeah...a lot of work.

4) That sucks. Mine is fine.

5) Agree. Tweak til you're happy. Obvious:)

6) Happened to me too. Make sure to update the updater, BEFORE doing a backup and updating the FW. Then it's fine.

7) Was it? Not to my understanding. It's designed just as much for straight into the FOH, 4CM or just direct into the poweramp of you head. Not just frfr.

 

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Most monitor wedges are pretty full range to be fair (mine are L2s but even he ubiquitous Wharfdales have a decent tweeter and driver)

To Kensington on point one. I plugged the Helix straight in with not cuts and it sounded utterly hellish at volume

Fizzy high end and boomy overbearing bass. Fine at bedroom volumes but real big Smile EQ. I have to cut masses off the top and bottom to even make it out once the drummer and bassist are going

Maybe that's a symptom of me designing patches at too quiet a. Volume.

Plus I trust most sound engineers as far as I can chuck em. There are a couple of good ones on our circuit . The rest don't have a feckin clue

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Most monitor wedges are pretty full range to be fair (mine are L2s but even he ubiquitous Wharfdales have a decent tweeter and driver)

To Kensington on point one. I plugged the Helix straight in with not cuts and it sounded utterly hellish at volume

Fizzy high end and boomy overbearing bass. Fine at bedroom volumes but real big Smile EQ. I have to cut masses off the top and bottom to even make it out once the drummer and bassist are going

Maybe that's a symptom of me designing patches at too quiet a. Volume.

Plus I trust most sound engineers as far as I can chuck em. There are a couple of good ones on our circuit . The rest don't have a feckin clue

Right, with a bad sound engineer it might make sense.

I do about 100 gigs per year, mainly with one guy, sometimes a replacement engineer, but they're all top notch.

I think of it as a real amp. Whether it's in the studio or live, the sound guy puts on one or two mices, and starts cutting where needed.

Live, when I use my ultimate ears monitors and have flawless hifi sound in my ears, I like it to be full range. What the sound guy does to the sound at the foh is his thing.

But that's just how I prefer it. My point is, saying as a rule no. 1(!) that you should remove everything under 100hz and over 5kHz, is kinda silly. Use your ears, and listen to the feedback from a good sound guy;)

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Old thread resurrection. Having just purchased a Helix I'd agree about the bass heavy bit - I'd been using Bias FX and VG99 (separately) before that - it's like the loudness button is permanently on. Shifting mic placement helps but obviously rounds out the whole sound - is the mic on or off axis?

 

All the amp models have a irritating bass flub (like somethings clipping in the chain) irrespective of whether it's Ibanez or Vigier via 1/4" or JTV 69 via VDI (which also has a big difference in levels between modelled and pick up sounds). I can't find any level meters to check the signal level in the chain (spoilt with my old VG99 - you could check anywhere in either chain). I have the input pad on.

 

Running 2.54 firmware and only monitoring on AKG K550 at mo.

 

I'd say at the moment I'm a bit luke warm with it...that said it's probably just a question of bedding in period, took a long while to get where I wanted with VG99 that's for sure. Looking forward to getting in a loud space to crank and play

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On 4/23/2018 at 3:20 PM, smashmashup said:

Old thread resurrection. Having just purchased a Helix I'd agree about the bass heavy bit - I'd been using Bias FX and VG99 (separately) before that - it's like the loudness button is permanently on. Shifting mic placement helps but obviously rounds out the whole sound - is the mic on or off axis?

 

All the amp models have a irritating bass flub (like somethings clipping in the chain) irrespective of whether it's Ibanez or Vigier via 1/4" or JTV 69 via VDI (which also has a big difference in levels between modelled and pick up sounds). I can't find any level meters to check the signal level in the chain (spoilt with my old VG99 - you could check anywhere in either chain). I have the input pad on.

 

Running 2.54 firmware and only monitoring on AKG K550 at mo.

 

I'd say at the moment I'm a bit luke warm with it...that said it's probably just a question of bedding in period, took a long while to get where I wanted with VG99 that's for sure. Looking forward to getting in a loud space to crank and play

I think the flubby bass may have something to do with the cab too? A little bit of flub is normal, and depending on your cab, what little there is will be filtered out. However I still pre-EQ most patches to get it tighter.

 

About the level meter thing, I use a free plugin on my DAW, but wish it was conveniently on the unit as well. Considering the duration that a session can stretch to, would be nice to have an easy reliable meter instead of fatigued ears.

 

Another tip: the built in tuner is not accurate at the higher frequencies! I didn't believe the posts about tuner inaccuracy until I tried to do a quick intonation adjustment on my guitar.

 

Someone can verify? Simply tune the high E string to pitch, then compare it to the 12fr harmonic (or fretted note on a correctly intonated guitar). My ears tell me it's in tune with the open E, but Helix says that it's flat.

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2 hours ago, Meiannatee said:

Another tip: the built in tuner is not accurate at the higher frequencies! I didn't believe the posts about tuner inaccuracy until I tried to do a quick intonation adjustment on my guitar.

 

Someone can verify? Simply tune the high E string to pitch, then compare it to the 12fr harmonic (or fretted note on a correctly intonated guitar). My ears tell me it's in tune with the open E, but Helix says that it's flat.

 

I would trust the accuracy of Helix's tuner before I trusted intonation to be perfect...

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Here are my founds:

 

1) I made my metal preset (for 8 string guitar) sound better with frequency split block and using a bass cabinet for low frequencies.

2) If you don't like the hiss on higher frequencies, do not cut it, only lower the 10-15khz range by some db-s.

3) Snapshots can contain different (amp & effect) value settings as well. 

4) Never max out the mix of your reverbs.

5) Think about your signal path, how your effects are going to affect the next one and so on.

 

Half a year ago I switched from Axe II and I am happier than before with my sound.

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21 hours ago, phil_m said:

 

I would trust the accuracy of Helix's tuner before I trusted intonation to be perfect...

You can compare it with another tuner. Or just tune the high E to pitch with the Helix and then see how it reports the 12th fret harmonic as horribly sharp even though it should be more or less a perfect octave from the unfretted note.

 

Being the fool that I am, I was intonating my high E string and wondering why it kept showing that it's sharp even though my ears tell me that it's flat. I kept setting the saddle further back and still couldn't right. Only when it was as far back as possible did I get suspicious and checked with another tuner.

 

Lesson learnt: trust your ears!

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