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Does anyone else find the Reverbs in Helix really disappointing?

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Does anybody else find the reverbs really quite disappointing on Helix? I used to use a strymon flint and an eventide H9 on my old pedalboard but sold the H9 to fund the helix and the verbs were so so much better. I'm sure plenty of people will say they are fine, which they are if all you are using them for is just adding a bit of space to the sound but when set higher in the mix or longer for ambient sounds they are really quite poor.


 


The spring reverbs especially sound absolutely terrible to me especially with a high mix. Instead of sounding 'classically springy' like great fender amps with that authentic 'drip' at a high mix it basically sounds like a muffled laser beam, plus I can't really hear much difference at all between the 2 spring models. I've tried adjusting all the high/low cuts etc to make it sound better. No "drip" at all, just a muffled "zzzzzap". Hopeless for songs like John mayer's 'slow dancing in a burning room' or brad paisley's 'working on a tan' for example.


 


Likewise the hall and plate reverbs just sounds pretty flat and dull to me. The hall reverb on the flint and the h9 were so rich in detail and 3d in depth. I know I could use an external verb pedal into the helix but that defeats the object of an all in one for me. I'd need a decent power supply plus a pedalboard to accomodate them etc.


 


From what I've read they just ported the verbs over from the HD series. It's pretty disappointing if that is true, that they didn't take the time to do new ones to make the most of Helix' capabilities. I really hope they plan to release some upgraded verbs in the future. For me this is the one area that has been a let down in an otherwise amazing unit.


 


Despite the disappointment with the verbs I have no regrets about selling my whole pedalboard to get the Helix.I absolutely love it in every way except the reverbs.


 


The delays are great. I'd love to see more including a model of the carbon copy with it's full 600ms of delay since the helix bucket brigade one tops out at 300ms. Also the overdrive and fuzz pedals are the best i've ever heard from a modeller and to be honest the first digital overdrives that i've ever been happy to use.


 


Don't take this post as a whinge. The Helix is amazing and a dream come true in usability, sound and routing options. It's just a shame to not bother with the verbs when the rest is SOOOOOO great!


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I'd say the HD (M-series, actually) reverbs sound a little dated and shallow which is not surprising given that 1) they are now almost 10 years old and 2) reverbs are one of the most complex and DSP power-demanding effects. I'm expecting that new HX models will be added to Helix sooner or later but that might be a while. On the other hand I don't need Helix reverbs for studio work (plenty of good reverb VSTs out there) and for live use they are ok, probably won't ruin your sound/performance if used carefully. Unless you're in a shoegaze band, that is ;)

 

Having said all this I'm curious whether I would have found the reverbs sounding dated if I hadn't known they were ported from M-series/POD HD :) Hopefully, we'll see when HX reverbs arrive how much better these can be...

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They don't seem like the best reverbs ever, but they're workable.

 

I would suspect they'll release some HX reverbs sometime. They probably were running out of time when they first released Helix, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of the results of that. I'm sure they would have put HX reverbs in there to begin with if it was completely up to them.

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I don't think they are bad - but then again they don't make me go "wow" like some of the other effects do.

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We'll, it's not exactly my Big Sky but the verbs a nice enough I find. Hoping L6 will give them some attention when the smoke clears on more pressing fixes/issues.

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Tweaking the parameters helps.  But I stay with tile, room, and '63 spring as my norms. 

 

And I am reading that Line 6 is working to improve everything on this unit based upon the human resource factor versus time.  This is due to the fact they really do read the Ideascale submissions and compile the responses to proceed with the best ones based  upon programming ability (hardware capability x programming reality).  I can't imagine the meetings that go on trying to put all the identical ideas together then track if a user voted on several so they can parse out and identify the true individual single votes for the request.

 

Dennis

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They are not bad to me, but Im not privy to or interested in 500+ dollar reverb units atm. I bought a guitar processor (Helix) that has reverb effects, not a reverb unit that has a guitar effects. That said, Im sure there are enough sends and returns to send to another H9 if its thats important to you. 

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Are the great? Are they bad? Who knows. Opinions and all. Remember, the SM57 is not the greatest mic on the face of the planet but you can make a million dollar record with nothing other than a bag full of them.

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Are the great? Are they bad? Who knows. Opinions and all. Remember, the SM57 is not the greatest mic on the face of the planet but you can make a million dollar record with nothing other than a bag full of them.

So true!

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Frankly yes, noticed that right away. Low density, quite audible, no doubt a compromise for lower CPU usage, which all told was probably the right thing to do.

 

For perspective, no million-dollar hardware here, but a couple of decent old hardware units, and more directly comparable, a slew of inexpensive verb plugins that kick a**.

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the million dollar question is...

 

If line6 pushes this with more frequent updates like fractal does for its customers. so far they have fallen flat with this.. imo

 

i find staying around 30% mix with the reverbs works best.

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the million dollar question is...

 

If line6 pushes this with more frequent updates like fractal does for its customers. so far they have fallen flat with this.. imo

 

i find staying around 30% mix with the reverbs works best.

 

I guess everybody got your point. You want more updates.

You don't have to post this into every thread. It doesn't  speed things up, I assume...

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the million dollar question is...

 

If line6 pushes this with more frequent updates like fractal does for its customers. so far they have fallen flat with this.. imo

 

i find staying around 30% mix with the reverbs works best.

 

So the NINE updates in way less than a year so far isn't enough...?

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So the NINE updates in way less than a year so far isn't enough...?

Let me guess what comes ;) ...

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 maybe your one of those that settles and that's fine.... 9 updates ..lol

 

 i will post whatever i need to post   I could really care less what someone thinks.If that was the case forums would be a waste of time.

 

 last time i checked,  it was me that paid for the unit so unless your willing to send me 1500 bucks?

 

at least im posting about making something better.

 

most forums have product minions, (fractal, kemper and line6 to name a few ) that just can't help it.

 

They jump up and down when someone suggest something could be changed. I could care less what name is on the product only concerned that it sounds great. 

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So, there it is, one update per month isn't enough for you. Okay, if that's your metric for quality, maybe you should simply go with the product that has the greatest frequency of firmware updates. (I kid, I kid... but...)

When I see loads and loads of updates, I have to wonder what they got wrong that they have to keep putting them out, or why didn't they finish the one before so that they don't have to make me constantly stop what I'm doing and update.

That's the other way of looking at it. I don't want updates until they are finished and compelling, and I don't want to have to change the way I do things very often. The sheer quantity of updates won't determine usability or sound quality or any of that.

 

at least im posting about making something better...

 

What would be the difference between adding 5 new amps and 7 new FX and 3 new compelling features in the next year... in 6 updates total... vs. the same additions in 12 (my guess is they'll be closer to 12)? Answer? nothing. I think you're only posting about how company A should adopt company B's business model in this regard. It has nothing, as far as I can tell, to do with making it better.

If Cliff starts releasing fewer updates, but adds the same number of compelling new features in a given period, I doubt many of his users will just jump ship and go with Kemper if they start increasing the number of updates.

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Again the same (tiring) discussion...

 

There is no direct correlation between quality and update frequency!

 

Buy something that updates every two hours and be happy with it :angry: .

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Since the Helix does IR's, is there anything stopping us from using IR reverbs? That seems like a simple solution. I just got my Helix and have not had the time to try it, maybe someone here can give it a shot.

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Since the Helix does IR's, is there anything stopping us from using IR reverbs? That seems like a simple solution. I just got my Helix and have not had the time to try it, maybe someone here can give it a shot.

 

IR Reverbs are really long files. Much longer than the IR loading Helix does (1024 or 2048 samples), so no. Not verbs.

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Since the Helix does IR's, is there anything stopping us from using IR reverbs? That seems like a simple solution. I just got my Helix and have not had the time to try it, maybe someone here can give it a shot.

This does not work with reverb IRs. Those files are far to big.

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Since the Helix does IR's, is there anything stopping us from using IR reverbs? That seems like a simple solution. I just got my Helix and have not had the time to try it, maybe someone here can give it a shot.

 

Convolution reverbs take a ton more processing power than a cab IR. The Helix can load cab IRs with 2048 samples... A high quality convolution reverb is up over 65000 samples. The reason is the decay of the signal. If you think about a how a guitar cab resonates, not a lot happens after the first burst of sound. Wood really isn't all that resonant in the sense that it doesn't continue vibrating once the initial signal stops. Reverbs, though need to ring out a lot longer for them to sound natural.

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Does anybody else find the reverbs really quite disappointing on Helix? I used to use a strymon flint and an eventide H9 on my old pedalboard but sold the H9 to fund the helix and the verbs were so so much better.

Yep, the reverbs (and 8 of the ten wahs) were taken from M-series/HD—everything else was built from scratch in HX. To be honest, we just ran out of time, and the only alternative would've been to have waited longer before release. Then no one here would be talking about Helix, because it'd still be top secret.

 

We'd love to develop new HX reverbs for Helix; they're on our (gargantuan) to-do list. In the meantime, I've been connecting my Lexicon PCM 91 ($1999 for one reverb block) into FX Loops 3 and 4. Love that box.

 

I'm not sure exactly what chip is in the H9; Strymons typically dedicate an entire SHARC to one effect only, but I'm not sure how its speed compares to one of Helix's two 21469 450MHz SHARCs.

 

Personally, I get a lot of mileage out of Helix's reverbs, but I've also owned an M9 for many years.

 

They jump up and down when someone suggest something could be changed.

Not really. If someone posts something akin to "WHY does Line 6 do [X]?"... we'll simply answer why. If there are technical limitations, we'll explain them. If there are serious design considerations, we'll discuss them. If a request isn't in line with reality, we'll explain the reality (regardless of someone's acceptance of said reality). If we like a request, we'll post a link to IdeaScale.

 

There are plenty of companies with dedicated, milquetoast PR reps who spew disingenuous platitudes left and right. With Line 6, users have the opportunity to communicate with (and sometimes complain directly to) the very people who design and develop Helix. We're just passionate gear heads who love designing gear; "Hey DI, mind explaining how [X] works?" goes a lot farther than "LOL FAIL."

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Zero problems with the reverbs... whenever I have needed one I have found one that works just fine.

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Just to say it, the Amplitube verbs are worse, and I love AT in general. I've found a workaround that works decently well for me providing you don't want pretty short decay.

 

But overall, it's not what you notice most when you're listening to or playing AT, or Helix.

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There is no direct correlation between quality and update frequency!

 

If you say so guess it must be true then. Do you think they freq update and quality goes down? every axe update gives me a better overall unit and i expect same from L6. maybe they will maybe they won't time will tell. always room for improving

 

including the reverbs.

 

I guess line 6 should shut down the forum so customers cannot express whats needed to make the product better.

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@DI

That is good to hear the Helix at some point will be getting HX reverbs.I can make do until then. :-)

Are HX wahs also planned?

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[...] Do you think they freq update and quality goes down? every axe update gives me a better overall unit and i expect same from L6. maybe they will maybe they won't time will tell. always room for improving

 

including the reverbs.

 

I guess line 6 should shut down the forum so customers cannot express whats needed to make the product better.

 

...seems you're all butt sore over something, maybe the amp switching problem is heavy on your stomach...

I think the folks here (including DI by L6) try to explain, that 'more' does not always and automatically mean better.

DI wrote that they'd "love to develop new HX reverbs for Helix; they're on our (gargantuan) to-do list". Good things are worth waiting for, I believe.

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@Digital_Igloo Thank you very much for your honest answer. I really genuinely appreciate not simply being fobbed off about it.

 

The Helix is a great unit. It's a shame there wasn't time to sort the reverbs in time for release as it's an important feature for my style of music, but if it's on the agenda for the future I'll patiently look forward to it. I'm in it for the long haul with Helix and am loving the new amps and fx added already. Nice to have an honest answer and know that the intention is to improve them. If we could get polyphonic pitch shifting as well i'll be a happy chappy!

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Try placing spring in front of amp instead of after. I've found that it gives a better representation...I had same thoughts about it awhile back and this blew me away when I tried it.

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I guess line 6 should shut down the forum so customers cannot express whats needed to make the product better.

 

 

They can, for some folks. Keep pushing lol....

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Haven't tried this in Helix, but the Amplitude verb enhancement workaround I sometimes use is to put two in series. The first one can be thought of as a pre-diffuser, adds density by multiplying the reflections in play.

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I'm really curious what people are playing that make the Helix reverbs less than stellar?   This is a guitar effects unit, and I know of no guitar amp that has any reverb that comes close to what the Helix can do.   There are reverbs out there that cost thousands of dollars, and sound like it... but they are generally used for vocals and frankly kinda sound like crap if used on a guitar.   At least that has been my experience.  I also don't think in 30+ years I've ever had a reverb for a particular instrument turned up more than 20% into the mix.... usually closer to 10%.   Some springs are nicer than others, but they all sound like springs if they are in the mix much more than 15%.    I guess it's all subjective.   I kinda like the reverbs.

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I'm really curious what people are playing that make the Helix reverbs less than stellar?   This is a guitar effects unit, and I know of no guitar amp that has any reverb that comes close to what the Helix can do.   There are reverbs out there that cost thousands of dollars, and sound like it... but they are generally used for vocals and frankly kinda sound like crap if used on a guitar.   At least that has been my experience.  I also don't think in 30+ years I've ever had a reverb for a particular instrument turned up more than 20% into the mix.... usually closer to 10%.   Some springs are nicer than others, but they all sound like springs if they are in the mix much more than 15%.    I guess it's all subjective.   I kinda like the reverbs.

 

I use the reverbs mostly for just a touch of added dimension. Things are just too dry otherwise. I use them similarly to you for the amount to mix in for lead parts, but I tend toward the hall or chamber. The plate is nice too. They're fine for stuff like that.

 

For the heavier, ambient type of stuff where you're starting to use the particle or octo combined with other reverbs and effects, that's where it becomes a little bit more difficult to achieve the results you're looking for. Whether that's because of Helix's reverbs or because that type of sound is just difficult in the first place, I don't know. Probably a combination. But I just don't get the same wow factor from the reverbs as I do when I listen to the delays.

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I'm OK with the reverb. I mean they aren't the best in the world but they work just fine. I use subtle effects most of the time anyway and in my chains they seem to work fine.

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From the replies it seems that reverbs are fine in the scenarios where you don't hear them :)
 

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I think the reverbs can sound very stunning even with higher mix levels. Do they perform the same as a dedicated processor, maybe not, but I think they're very nice still. In fact, even before I owned the Helix I had bought and sold the Strymon Blue Sky twice. Both times I ended up selling it because I didn't think there was enough of difference between the reverbs on it and the M9/M13. That's not saying there's no differences. Obviously there are. But I just find that in the vast majority of music, those are never heard, not even in a recording. Unless you're playing in a band like Hammock or Explosions in the Sky, you'll probably find that the less reverb you use in a recording, the better.

 

Not saying I wouldn't like HX reverbs. Just saying that I don't find the current HD ones to be all that terrible.

 

Have you all heard these clips?

 

https://soundcloud.com/ben-adrian-100161112/beautydozer

 

https://soundcloud.com/ben-adrian-100161112/relief-helix-demo

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From the replies it seems that reverbs are fine in the scenarios where you don't hear them :)

 

I know you mean that as a joke, but I think there's a lot of truth there. It's not a trite statement to me. And I'm speaking about reverb in general, not just Helix reverbs.

 

For me the best reverb is the type that your ear hears in a natural setting, like a room or hall, or... (Hence the FX names). It's best when it sounds so natural that you don't really notice it. It's not that there's no reverb present, but that the level/mix is such that you don't hear it as a unique FX. You would certainly notice its absence, but mostly you only notice its presence when it's too much.

 

I think it's like a good event planner, or soundman. It's a basic behind-the-scenes thing. If they do a great job you don't even know they're there. It's only their mistakes or lack of planning/setup that get noticed.

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And if you're playing live in a room with reverb, don't add hall or room reverb to get your sound bigger. It just mushes it up.

I only ever use special FX verb live, mostly particle and octo, with a high mix.

I like the particle verb in Helix better than HD 500, but I admit, I think I liked the Octo in HD 500 a little better. but just a little.

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Its probably an interesting balance between hardware resources and the cost (in processing bandwith) to see how far effects\amp\cab modelling can be pushed vs impacting the ability to run multiple effects\cabs\amps at the same time.  Things like reverbs can take a lot of processing power to really excel i think, and maybe you get to the point of diminishing returns.  I think the reverbs are ok, id like them to be better, but don't hate them by any stretch, it think they can easily suck the tone a bit more than id expect, which could have something to do with their lack of transparency... but now im getting into things i know nothing about ;-) - it would be great if things like this could be scallable, so we could choose the quality against hardware\resource usage, so you could have a relatively simple patch with very lush, intensive reberbs (or say using the Helix as effect only in a 4cm setup) or you could have lower quality so you can have more complex patches. 

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I like the particle verb in Helix better than HD 500, but I admit, I think I liked the Octo in HD 500 a little better. but just a little.

 

Interesting. Same here with regards to the octo. I'm not quite sure why. It seems like the one in the HD is "pre-tweaked" to provide a more natural and defined voicing. I find myself adding EQs and other stuff before and after Helix's version (on it's own path) to even get close to the same distinctness as the HD.

 

One thing I wish they would make the same as the HD, at least for the octo, is the mix control. In other words, for a mix greater than 50% don't start decreasing the dry signal relative to the wet (hmm, perhaps a global option? new ideascale entry coming I think). Which basically means if you want to toggle the effect with high mixes, you have to use it in it's own path, or it starts to become a nightmare trying to adjust level parameters. Plus the granularity is cut in half when the mix is a wet/dry balance.

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