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jshoenfelt

Helix gig without backup?

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I am on the fence about selling my HD500, it is still a good unit, but the Helix is amazing.  Anyone gig one without a backup?  Thanks in advance.

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Do you drive without a spare tire?

 

I don't care what kind of rig you've got, gigging without SOMETHING as a backup will eventually bite you in the a$$. Everything craps out sooner or later...and it's amazing how often it happens 5 minutes before showtime, especially with units this complicated. I once had a power amp start to smoke and nearly catch fire at soundcheck, MIDI controllers either mysteriously cease to function at all, or at least 1 or 2 foot switches stop responding mid-set...that's happened more than once over the years.

 

What can you expect to get for the your 500X anyway, $200 maybe? Not worth it, imho...

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First time out with the Helix I took my old gear as well, however all went well so now I don't do that. Of course it's a good idea to have some backup for emergencies so I do take a spare power amp and an FX pedal that should let me scrape through a gig if something blows up.

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When I was still running tube amps, I always brought a complete spare set of power tubes and several spare preamp tubes to every gig. However, a lot of that was because I got the tubes either free or cheap, so the cost of having them along was minimal. Never used a single one, and even if I needed to... it's not like I can unscrew the back panel and replace it in the middle of a set.

 

Now that I have the Helix, I do not bring a backup. I am a little paranoid that I may run into a problem one day, but I can't really afford to have a backup Helix at this point in my life, nor do I play enough gigs to justify one. I think if I was playing paying gigs every weekend (like, GOOD paying gigs) then I would want a backup, but right now music is not a source of income, so it's just not that critical. In your case, since you already have a backup, might as well bring it.

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I haven't been bringing a spare.  For what I do, though, if my gear fails the rest of the band will pick up the pieces and I can keep singing!

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War story re Yamaha (Line 6's parent company) gear, not claiming it applies here. This isn't a hand-me-down tale someone heard somewhere and passed on to me, I saw it happen myself.

 

I once did a gig where the AC power sagged so badly that the lights and display on our QX1 hardware sequencer literally went off, and it kept playing, without a hiccup.

 

That there is robust design and implementation, much respect.

 

However, everything that can go wrong eventually will, so have a backup.

 

I have no idea what I'll do personally. This is my first modeler, so I can't bring my old one, and I'm not psyched on buying (and even more, learning) some known-inferior unit just for this. I really don't want to lug the amp I got Helix to avoid carrying, and don't like so much any more anyway after such great software and hardware alternatives, especially not to even play it, but just for backup. Everything Mr Glover said about an actual Helix backup unit (the only pro solution, except maybe glideman's AX8...) applies to me as well (plus the fact that I couldn't really afford the one I already bought).

 

So. Hope real hard, I guess?

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The Helix is an amazing piece of gear.  Still, I am hanging on to my HD500.  It may come in handy and I still love the integration with the ST50.

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War story re Yamaha (Line 6's parent company) gear, not claiming it applies here. This isn't a hand-me-down tale someone heard somewhere and passed on to me, I saw it happen myself.

 

I once did a gig where the AC power sagged so badly that the lights and display on our QX1 hardware sequencer literally went off, and it kept playing, without a hiccup.

 

That there is robust design and implementation, much respect.

 

However, everything that can go wrong eventually will, so have a backup.

 

I have no idea what I'll do personally. This is my first modeler, so I can't bring my old one, and I'm not psyched on buying (and even more, learning) some known-inferior unit just for this. I really don't want to lug the amp I got Helix to avoid carrying, and don't like so much any more anyway after such great software and hardware alternatives, especially not to even play it, but just for backup. Everything Mr Glover said about an actual Helix backup unit (the only pro solution, except maybe glideman's AX8...) applies to me as well (plus the fact that I couldn't really afford the one I already bought).

 

So. Hope real hard, I guess?

 

Moral of that story? ALWAYS hook up through a quality surge protector/power conditioner. I fully expect a lot of bars to have really crappy power. We played at a church once and the stage had ONE outlet to hook the bass amp, two tube amps, three pedal boards, AND the PA into. Needless to say, some of the pedals ended up not working that gig. I'm kind of amazed that everything else still worked.

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I played without a backup Friday but the other guitarist carries an extra amp  :lol:  (and to be honest, I wasn't that far from home)

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We played at a church once and the stage had ONE outlet to hook the bass amp, two tube amps, three pedal boards, AND the PA into. Needless to say, some of the pedals ended up not working that gig. I'm kind of amazed that everything else still worked.

That's how we play every rehearsal for over 25 years now. Needles to say, that there are 6 crappy power strips, to provide the outlets for PA, 3 amps, floorboards and disco-lights + 2 radiators.

 

Never lost a fuse or had troubles. So maybe you had been cautioned by some higher force at church ;)

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Backup? No. not any more. Don't feel like it matters. If everything went totally south at my church Gig with Helix I'd probably just plug in an acoustic guitar direct and change the way I do things.

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What can you expect to get for the your 500X anyway, $200 maybe? Not worth it, imho...

I got $400 for mine, with the model packs, but I have to agree that if I were gigging, I'd have kept it as a backup.

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Always nice in whatever scenario to have a plan B versus the horrendous anxiety of being 20 mins before showtime and still fiddling about with an unexpected fault, even if you get things running the general adrenaline and blood pressure spike will drain you for actually enjoying the experience. Good point, the resale value probably not worth the insurance policy.

 

I reduced my backup to three four mini form factor pedals, a TC HOF (reverb), TC Flashback (delay), TC Polytune Mini (tuning) and SL Drive (overdrive or distortion). Every set we do I make sure I can at least replicate the songs to some extent with some combination of those four. All four plus patch chords plus small powersupply all fit in an expression pedals box. Every lb and square inch matter when you are lugging stuff back and forth so works for me. Luckily not needed to even go go that battle box yet.

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I agree it's a good idea to have a backup plan of some kind - depends what you can get away with to survive the gig.

Always good to have a few spare cables, a spare guitar etc etc..

 

Yeah in an ideal world I'd just have another Helix. :)

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I never play a gig without a backup, that is why I always carry some sort of redundant gear that I can get a sound I can live with in the event of equipment failure. It also explains why I took up tap, beat-boxing, interpretive dance, and can mime in five different languages. :D

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Ever since my Vetta crapped out on me an hour from home at a gig, I have always had a backup for any rig. I picked up a Randall RG13 that I throw in the truck now. It has enough power to push a cab plus a direct out. Decent tones to get through a gig in a pinch. Of course I have never needed a backup since that bad Vetta day. Just like I have never used the emergency generator in my garage. Better safe than sorry, though. I worry more about a drunk chick spilling a fruity drink on my Helix than it ever dying unexpectedly.

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My Backup 'rig' is all in one tote bag. It has a black POD HD Desktop Bean, It's corresponding Power Supply unit,  FBV MkII Express footpedal, Extra Ethernet cable, and Extra 1/4" Guitar cable. There's a bank programmed with 4 tones. Clean, Dirty, Clean Boost, Dirty Boost. That will get me through the set until I can resolve the main issue. Oh, it came in handy when a bass player forgot his bass guitar. I programmed a tone an octave down, while he played on a backup 6-string guitar, and it saved the gig for all of us!

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I'm a player and a sound man, with some bands I'm both simultaneously.  I wouldn't even remotely think of going to a gig without a backup of every essential piece of gear I have with me.  Especially in today's environment where, at the core, just about everything is a computer, and you're one power problem (or software hiccup) away from not booting.  The Helix is a computer, digital mixers are a computer, etc.  I have a back-up plan right down to the MP3 player I used to play tunes between sets.

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That's how we play every rehearsal for over 25 years now. Needles to say, that there are 6 crappy power strips, to provide the outlets for PA, 3 amps, floorboards and disco-lights + 2 radiators.

 

Never lost a fuse or had troubles. So maybe you had been cautioned by some higher force at church ;)

 

Wouldn't surprise me, but I think it's more likely that it's because we were running a 100-watt tube amp, a 60-watt tube amp, a 1200-watt bass amp, and probably about 30 pedals between us. I believe the two powered speakers and powered subs were also running off of that. I have tripped a fuse at the house running less. The other reason for good power strips, though, is that a lot of clubs just don't have high quality power. It might be less dependable, the wiring might be older, might be more prone to surges or noise. Always a good idea to protect your gear.

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Tech21 RK5 in my gig bag to back up my KPA,and Helix, but I've never had to use it. And spare strings, extra guitar, and enough cables, and batteries for the wireless stuff.

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Been using modeling pedals for over 10 years (this is my second Line 6) for gigging.... never needed a backup... worst thing I've had happen is having to reboot pedal mid show.

 

Now excuse me whilst I seek out the world's largest piece of wood to knock on.

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