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I imagine at least some of you use more than one guitar with Helix, which you'd like to treat differently. How are you handling that?

 

The only options I thought of are:

- Separate setlists for each one.

- An EQ block at the start of all your presets, designed to match or tailor one of them to something similar to or appropriately compatible with the other, which you footswitch on or off as needed. Not great for fast preset changes, probably not practical for many people.

- An external hardware EQ pedal doing the same thing.

 

What are folks doing about this?

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Helix has been playing well with all of my electric guitars (14 of them at the moment) and both of my bass guitars.  The only thing I've tweaked at all is to turn on the pad, in the global settings, for the guitars with hot or active pickups.

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I like to create seperate patches for each guitar.  They are all very similar in build but tailored to the particular sound of that guitar.  Also let's me mix and match amps and try different effects with each  :D

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Each patch I make is customized for 1 specific guitar, and usually for 1 or 2 mic positions on the guitar. 

 

I tend to use a Bank for a specific guitar:

For instance :

Bank A <> Ibanez xxx

Bank B <> Fender yyy

 

And inside each Bank, each preset is sort of tweaked for 1 mic position or 2

For instance ;

Patch 006 =  "Metal Lead (5)"   where 5 is the bridge humbucker

Patch 007 =  "Jazz Rythm (1)"   where 1 is the neck humbucker

Patch 008 = "Rock Rythm (2,5)" where 2 is... split position 2 etc etc

 

Only trouble there are only 5 user banks avaiable If I remember well, so If you have tons of guitars you may have to split banks between guitars. 

(In all cases I try to avoid having to use the up and down buttons in the banks to reach a specific preset.)

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Yeah, use separate preset for each guitar if they are really disparate. Put a gain and EQ block at the front of the path to tweak. Then you can just replicate presets accordingly.

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I've only recently gotten a second guitar that I actually still play, while my main one was in the shop, and I built a separate bank for it in Amplitube, because Main guitar is hotter and brighter than New one. Many new-guitar patches started out as a copy of the best version of something from my main-guitar banks. Problem is that I've now tweaked some things in the new-guitar bank that I'd like to apply to the main-guitar counterpart.

 

But dang, they still haven't implemented Preset Merge functionality. (The files are XML, so I could merge them myself with any of the text-based diff tools I have, but yuck.)

 

So far, I've only been using my main guitar w Helix, trying to stay focused on Helix itself, but I really want the perspective of how both of them sound, and definitely want to use both in general.

 

We'll see, thanks for the experiences.

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I do change the input impedance for my SSS vs HH guitars and do not rely on AUTO.

 

Also, I place two blocks in every patch. A compressor up front and a parametric EQ at the end. I set the compressor to goose up my single coils a little and the EQ  can do a lot, using controller assignments to create two different EQ flavors. With this, my patches have pretty much the flexibility to work with most guitars 

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I agree the Helix does seem to be fairly forgiving regarding using multiple guitars with the same preset but I currently customize each preset to a specific guitar, you can use different setlists for each guitar as well. In the ideal scenario I suppose you would have a "Guitar 1", "Guitar 2", "Guitar 3", etc. choice in the menu. Each one could potentially be a different set of global options and a different global EQ.  This would provide max ease and flexibility when switching between guitars but a setlist per guitar works fairly well for now (unless of course you have 14 guitars  ;) ) although it requires some duplication of effort -- copying and tweaking the same presets to multiple setlists,  uses up more preset slots(although there are so many this is generally not an issue), and is not as simple and user friendly as just being able to switch to the global options and global EQ for an alternate guitar would be.

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My two work guitars are a super strat and a semi hollow. They're world's apart, and need completely different approaches. I don't put them in separate banks, because I sometimes need to switch rapidly from one to the other on gigs.

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Taking the concept of a global EQ further, really I think there should be an independent set of input and output blocks that can be selected independently of presets. Maybe an EQ is good enough. I realize this affects the DSP budget but creating separate presets for different guitars seems impossible to maintain. Input block might vary per guitar, output block depending on where you are playing or into what system.

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I used to have separate patches for my Les Paul and Strat guitars, the output is too different between the two to use the same patches. My solution is that I now use a Variax guitar.

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Taking the concept of a global EQ further, really I think there should be an independent set of input and output blocks that can be selected independently of presets. Maybe an EQ is good enough. I realize this affects the DSP budget but creating separate presets for different guitars seems impossible to maintain. Input block might vary per guitar, output block depending on where you are playing or into what system.

 

I play a lot of lightly overdriven rhythm... my Tele and my PRS produce completely different tone.  I'd love to see even something as simple as how the Line6 wireless units handle it -- just a toggle to adjust basic input gain to level things out.  I don't want to compress or deal with EQs, just want to be able to swap guitars in a pinch and not have total level failure.  Anyone found a way to handle that without making dual patches for every guitar?  Or is the solution just to have a couple settings in global EQ and toggle them when needed?

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I don't have this issue personally. And it seems like since this is an amp sim, you would approach it the same way you would if you had one amp and two guitars. i.e. I'm assuming you'd be moving the knobs when you switched guitars. So if that's the case, I would use snapshots and name the snapshot the guitar you use. So you could use the same setup up and with the press of a button, have the parameters change for each guitar. And if you make any changes in a snapshot and saved it, you would only save those settings that that one guitar likes. The one pain in the *** (and it's a big one) is you have to take the time to assign EVERY parameter to snapshots. That often takes alot of time. I wish Line 6 would allow group assignments. So if you have a 10 band EQ, you could click one button and every parameter in that effect would be assigned to whatever you have selected, in this case, snapshots. Does that make sense? I'm sorry I'm tired.

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Isn't the fact that all guitars are different the excuse we use to have so many?

 

I'm not really getting the desire to make different guitars sound the same.

 

Craig

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Isn't the fact that all guitars are different the excuse we use to have so many?

I'm not really getting the desire to make different guitars sound the same.

Craig

Agreed. I use a Strat Deluxe, Les Paul and JTV-69S at most gigs, and I use them all into the same patch. Its the differences in these guitars I'm looking for to provide a different tonal texture to the songs for the audience. I don't want the Helix patches to make them sound closer to the same, that would defeat the purpose of using different guitars.

 

My issue is finding time between songs to be able to switch guitars. We like to keep the dancers on the floor. As a result, that JTV-69S is getting a lot of playing time.

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I have 5 different guitars I commonly use when performing live.  A Les Paul, a Strat, a Tele, a Gretsch hollow body, and a Takamine acoustic.  The main purpose for using these various guitars is to be able to accurately address the various tonal differences in different music styles which really rely on certain types of guitars which you really can't accomplish just through modeling.  For example, certain styles of rock really depend on the Les Paul sound, and the same would be true for the Strat or even the Tele.  Beyond that only a Tele can really give you the modern country twang sound and certain types of popular blues, punk or funk really relies heavily on single coil Strats or Teles for the most part.  Likewise getting a clean, full jazz sound, or rockabilly as well as a full finger-picked Chet Atkins sound demands a Gretsch for authenticity.

 

That being the case I've found it easier to simply have individual patches per song, with a given song patch targeted at a specific guitar.  For me this works out very well as our shows are all pre-determined, but it might not work out as well for bar gigs.  I do have a general set of patches I use if I go to a jam night or need to fill in for someone, but they follow the same general structure of genre driven guitar styles for the most part.  The problem is that can become pretty confusing if you try to get too detailed such as a Joe Walsh rock sound versus a Brian May rock sound, so I've found I have to accept some trade-offs otherwise it gets overwhelming.

 

I've considered a Variax as an answer to some of this from time to time, but I'm concerned about having a single neck setup with a single type of action since I use various finger and pick techniques such as chicken pickin' and full Chet Atkins or James Taylor style finger picking.  One of these days when I get some time I really need to get my hands on one and see how well it might work for me.  It would probably simplify my life.

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Isn't the fact that all guitars are different the excuse we use to have so many?

 

I'm not really getting the desire to make different guitars sound the same.

 

Craig

 

I don't think he was saying he wanted them to sound the same, (and since I know him, I KNOW he doesn't want that)... I think he was asking how people deal with setting up presets for different guitars.  I mean, you're right, I have different guitars precisely BECAUSE they sound different,  But it's a very good question to ask how people approach creating presets for using different guitars, how do they organize their presets, and DO they use the same preset for different guitars?

 

Like, how do you create an LP preset vs a Strat preset vs a Hollow Body preset, etc.

Do you use different guitars with the same preset?

If so, how do you deal with changes in volume between guitars?

How do you organize your presets? (some have already answered their ideas)

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1. Like, how do you create an LP preset vs a Strat preset vs a Hollow Body preset, etc.

2, Do you use different guitars with the same preset?

3. If so, how do you deal with changes in volume between guitars?

4. How do you organize your presets? (some have already answered their ideas)

 

 

1. I do make different presets for my Tele vs. my dual-humbucker LP-style guitar.

2. I often use the "wrong preset" and sometimes it works very well.

3. Most guitarists don't seem to be aware of a very handy device that is built-in to almost every single electric guitar ever made. There's actually a volume control ON THE GUITAR... Wow. Wacky. for the record, I create my patches with that control at about 8 (where I think it sounds best), so I can go a little either way on any patch.

4. First character in each preset has a one-letter code telling me which of my guitars it was written for. It's especially helpful to me, because I go two-voice all the time, and the piezo pickups in my guitars all sound a little different.

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1. I do make different presets for my Tele vs. my dual-humbucker LP-style guitar.

2. I often use the "wrong preset" and sometimes it works very well.

3. Most guitarists don't seem to be aware of a very handy device that is built-in to almost every single electric guitar ever made. There's actually a volume control ON THE GUITAR... Wow. Wacky. for the record, I create my patches with that control at about 8 (where I think it sounds best), so I can go a little either way on any patch.

4. First character in each preset has a one-letter code telling me which of my guitars it was written for. It's especially helpful to me, because I go two-voice all the time, and the piezo pickups in my guitars all sound a little different.

 

What is this you say???

 

Although, I have to admit, I was playing along in the next song the other day and wondering why the preset was so quiet, was there suddenly something wrong with my speaker? No, the volume looks about set right, hmm... Till I realized my guitar volume was at about 2.5 cause I'd gone clean on the previous song :huh: :rolleyes:

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What is this you say???

 

Although, I have to admit, I was playing along in the next song the other day and wondering why the preset was so quiet, was there suddenly something wrong with my speaker? No, the volume looks about set right, hmm... Till I realized my guitar volume was at about 2.5 cause I'd gone clean on the previous song :huh: :rolleyes:

 

 

I spent YEARS just thinking that the guitar has to always sound best full up on volume and tone before I saw the light.

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I play a lot of lightly overdriven rhythm... my Tele and my PRS produce completely different tone.  I'd love to see even something as simple as how the Line6 wireless units handle it -- just a toggle to adjust basic input gain to level things out.  I don't want to compress or deal with EQs, just want to be able to swap guitars in a pinch and not have total level failure.  Anyone found a way to handle that without making dual patches for every guitar?  Or is the solution just to have a couple settings in global EQ and toggle them when needed?

Before I had my Helix, I would change guitars on my pedalboard/tube amp rig. I just switched guitars and played. I now play through Helix only and I do the same thing. I switch guitars when needed and just play. At the end of the song if I feel it necessary to change presets for my backup guitar, then I switch. 99% of the time, it doesn't matter. Yes I do have some presets that are specific for a particular guitar, but I can still play other guitars with them. 

 

If you #1 is a PRS and switching to a Tele #2 kills your performance in the event of an emergency, then I would suggest getting a backup guitar more similar to your #1. If you are changing guitars mid song, you have some dead time in there anyway to make the physical switch, so you could easily switch presets if you thought necessary. 

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I play a lot of lightly overdriven rhythm... my Tele and my PRS produce completely different tone.  I'd love to see even something as simple as how the Line6 wireless units handle it -- just a toggle to adjust basic input gain to level things out.  I don't want to compress or deal with EQs, just want to be able to swap guitars in a pinch and not have total level failure.  Anyone found a way to handle that without making dual patches for every guitar?  Or is the solution just to have a couple settings in global EQ and toggle them when needed?

In this particular case, the best way is a simple gain block somewhere in the patch set to whatever gain you need to boost the quieter guitar.  It's a nice clean gain, no coloring that I've noticed (other than fetchin munchin, er Fletcher Munsen).  Or you might want a snapshot setup so you can change the input impedance if you're into that....

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