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Anyone Else Underwhelmed?

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how is that possible???

 

those guys dissatisfied with modelers MUST quit

 

go for real deal... but I warn you: YOU MUST BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WITH THE TUBES

 

it's NOT only the tube-amp, but the TUBES

 

if you cannot get real good tubes you'll sound poor

 

and try to learn how to set up by yourself until you are SATISFIED with the bias configuration

 

also get real cables

 

also get amazing cabinets/speakers

 

also get real guitars

 

also get great pickups

 

also get a professional guitar set up

 

also get great stomps

 

also improove your music training

 

then share some samples with us

 

 

I'm not sure what it is but there's something in the digital world that does NOT work with some musicians; that's OK

 

I love both

 

extremely extreme

 

I love my analog pedals, my real amps, my real speakers, the real world of a cab full cranked breaking my ears and tearing down the walls, but since this tiny bitchy Helix box just came into my hands I could NOT avoid to make a great ORGY with my real divices and mix it so perfectly with this digital voice

 

I also warn you:

 

both worlds are VERY complex

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I had a similar experience at first. Just about all of the presets sucked for me... totally gave the impression that this was not a pedal for a player like me, but rather geared for the heavy rocker to metal type players. Me, I want fat, clean tones and pristine effects. These were rare amidst the presets. I went through them all and found 7 or so that intrigued me. Follow the advice of others, and move on to making your own presets.

 

Unlike others, I don't really use the amps much. I focus primarily on the effects. I have gotten some pretty killer tones out of the helix even without amps, and I have been playing a ton lately which is a strong indicator that I am loving it, though I still have not made up my mind on keeping it.

 

I think maybe you and I both expected tone heaven for the money, and maybe tone heaven is forever doomed to exist only in our imagination. Truth is, there are a lot of amazing tones to be found in this unit though. Abandon the presets and start digging. There is gold for sure!

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I'm happy with the Helix, both as a modeller and as a MIDI control centre for other gear. Now if they'd just add MIDI clock handling it'd be even better !!
 

Mike

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I was pretty upset that my update to 2.0 failed, it eventually worked trying loads of different USB ports, but I've never had a problem like that with any piece of kit (H9, Tc electronic etc). I think there is a problem somewhere in the driver as it can disconnect randomly as well.

 

BUT, as for sound, I'm blown away with it. Through my new HD600s (another £200 in the money pit !) it's exceptional, and I'm not easily thrilled. Yes, the pitch shifting could be better, and I've been spoiled by BigSky reverbs, but this thing is absolutely brilliant. Love it, well done Line6. Can't believe modelling has come so far.

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After about two weeks, I'll weigh in - I'm struggling with getting good (a.k.a. non-harsh) sound out of a powered monitor. I have a Carvin PM12A - sounds very harsh on the high end, and the low end seems to distort in a harsh way.

 

It sounds better, but not great, through my headphones. I spent hours playing around with it yesterday and got a few good sounding presets - but when I click in any distortion it just goes into the harsh realm.

 

I've heard some very good recordings of it, so it must be me not setting something up correctly. Kinda sucks, it's why I bailed on the HD - always sounded very harsh to me.

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I've owned and used the Axe-FX II XL+, AX-8, Kemper, and Helix (in addition to quality tube amps).  

 

I've done exhausting side-by-side comparisons between these units.

They're all excellent/capable products capable of producing good (or poor) sounds.

 

When dealing with any of these devices, the first thing you need to do is plug them into a FRFR speaker and tweak/audition with it.

You don't want to tweak in headphones or crap speakers... (this is a common mistake)

 

If the OP made this judgement based on time playing a Helix at a friend's place or at a store... that's not a good way to judge gear (IMO).

You need to get the device setup with your guitar/s and the rest of your gear.

You need to spend the time to learn the details about Helix.

It's no different than a novice buying a full studio's worth of gear (in one fell swoop)... then wondering why his first attempts at recordings don't sound like records.

Having the gear is but the first step.  Learning how to best use it is an acquired skill.

 

The more time I spend with Helix, the better the results.

I'm in no way disappointed.  The recent 2.0 firmware took an already good product to the next level.

Helix makes recording guitar/bass a breeze... and has really simplified my live setup.

For what it is/does, I think the price of Helix is very reasonable.

I'll go so far as to say Helix is one of the best musical purchases I've made.

 

 

1000+ with you man!! Nothing to add except :-) :-)

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If you're recording with Helix, the very first thing I'd do is turn off the Global EQ.

That's more applicable to live use, where you're trying to compensate for the way PA/monitor speakers are coloring the sound.

 

  • Start with a totally empty preset.
  • Add an Amp/Cab model.  Choose one that suits the style of music you play.
  • I like to use a high-pass filter prior to the amp... then use an EQ post amp to put some "thump" back.  This tightens up the bottom end.
  • Add a reverb block... and tweak it to where it sound good
  • If you don't like the sound, try changing the cab or the mic.  This has a huge effect

Now, spend some time playing your guitar and tweaking the various amp settings.

If you'd just bought a Marshall JVM-410 head, you'd have to go thru this same process.

Tweak the various parameters until you like the sound.

 

FWIW, When I bought a JVM-410 head, the first couple of days I thought about returning it.

It didn't instantly "wow" me.

After several days of dialing in the amp settings (to work with my guitars/cab), the JVM sounded much better.    :)

 

Just adding to the above, the LA Studio Compressor was the game-changer for me.  On anything clean/low-to-mid gain I have found the LA Studio Compressor AFTER the amp/cab to be "the secret sauce"  I usually run the Emphasis +/- 2 (the higher the number the less emphasis bass notes have on triggering the compressor}  then sweet spot the Peak/Reduction for the feel I'm looking for.  I usually run it in limit mode.  For an SRV sound with the big clean blooming low end, I'll move the emphasis up closer to 5, so that those big single open low E notes don't get squashed.  Clean Deluxe: Emphasis 1.7 Peak/Reduction 5.6 or so.  Lower Peak# more dynamics, Higher number more "squish."  Level knob in there handy as well.    If there is other compression in the chain (either via compressor or OD/Amp compression)  it's less crucial  I'll typically reduce the Peak/Reduction and just leave it in place as an overall limiter.

 

Live the sound guys LOVE it.  You tell them in advance that you have a limiter on the patch and they can prob remove any compression from the channel to start.  

My 2 cents,

 

Texasdave

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Just adding to the above, the LA Studio Compressor was the game-changer for me.  On anything clean/low-to-mid gain I have found the LA Studio Compressor AFTER the amp/cab to be "the secret sauce"  I usually run the Emphasis +/- 2 (the higher the number the less emphasis bass notes have on triggering the compressor}  then sweet spot the Peak/Reduction for the feel I'm looking for.  I usually run it in limit mode.  For an SRV sound with the big clean blooming low end, I'll move the emphasis up closer to 5, so that those big single open low E notes don't get squashed.  Clean Deluxe: Emphasis 1.7 Peak/Reduction 5.6 or so.  Lower Peak# more dynamics, Higher number more "squish."  Level knob in there handy as well.    If there is other compression in the chain (either via compressor or OD/Amp compression)  it's less crucial  I'll typically reduce the Peak/Reduction and just leave it in place as an overall limiter.

 

Live the sound guys LOVE it.  You tell them in advance that you have a limiter on the patch and they can prob remove any compression from the channel to start.  

My 2 cents,

 

Texasdave

didn't occur to me to put the compressor after the amp/cab

 

Not sure it'll help with the harsh sound I get through my powered monitor, but I will try it. It can be downright shrill on the high end and overly distorted on the low end. That disappoints me...otherwise it's a very cool product

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didn't occur to me to put the compressor after the amp/cab

 

Not sure it'll help with the harsh sound I get through my powered monitor, but I will try it. It can be downright shrill on the high end and overly distorted on the low end. That disappoints me...otherwise it's a very cool product

 

Have you tried other FRFR speakers, or have you always used the Carvins? The type of FRFR speaker really can make or break the way a modeler sounds. I have some cheap powered floor monitors and when I compare those to my L2t's or my studio monitors, it's night and day.

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Jezus some of the responses on here are pathetic. There is absolutely no way someone can not like this product eh?  :rolleyes:

More than enough post-purchase-rationalization to go around apparently.

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Jezus some of the responses on here are pathetic. There is absolutely no way someone can not like this product eh? :rolleyes:

More than enough post-purchase-rationalization to go around apparently.

It's usually balanced nicely by passive-aggressive trolling...in the end, all is quiet on the western front. 😆ðŸ‘ðŸ‘

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After about two weeks, I'll weigh in - I'm struggling with getting good (a.k.a. non-harsh) sound out of a powered monitor. I have a Carvin PM12A - sounds very harsh on the high end, and the low end seems to distort in a harsh way.

 

It sounds better, but not great, through my headphones. I spent hours playing around with it yesterday and got a few good sounding presets - but when I click in any distortion it just goes into the harsh realm.

 

I've heard some very good recordings of it, so it must be me not setting something up correctly. Kinda sucks, it's why I bailed on the HD - always sounded very harsh to me.

Well i guess you have heard all those amazing tones in videos that is floating around on internet so if you can get those tones they have managed to dial in i bet you know where the problem is..

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Jezus some of the responses on here are pathetic. There is absolutely no way someone can not like this product eh?  :rolleyes:

More than enough post-purchase-rationalization to go around apparently.

Of course they can not like it!!

I had the same experience i almost wanted to send it back the next day

But since i had one month of trying before i must return it i gave a shot so i read everything i can in here and at TGP from people who have had it a long time And then i tryed to learn everything about how to dial in good tones and it isnt easy but you shure can get good tone from Helix..

 

But the sonic print might not suite everyone i dont like how the Boss GT sounds and there is so many that love that unit but i just dont like it..

I guess if i really gave it a shot and try to learn how to dial in good sound on it i might like it..

 

I still not completely satisfied with Helix but since it is a young product i hope it will continue to improve..

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Jezus some of the responses on here are pathetic. There is absolutely no way someone can not like this product eh?  :rolleyes:

More than enough post-purchase-rationalization to go around apparently.

 

I suspect there's always a certain amount of that when people buy new equipment whether it's the Helix or any other piece of gear.  But ultimately the only thing that really matters is, has it made a difference in your performance, practice, or recording in a way that can be objectively measured.  Otherwise it's purely subjective like every other piece of gear out there.

 

As for myself it's cut my time in developing patches at least in half.  The better clarity and articulation has reduced at least 8 db off of our stage volume, which has helped significantly with  our ability to hear vocals.  Those are clearly objective accomplishments that make it worth the change.

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Have you tried other FRFR speakers, or have you always used the Carvins? The type of FRFR speaker really can make or break the way a modeler sounds. I have some cheap powered floor monitors and when I compare those to my L2t's or my studio monitors, it's night and day.

 

Thats the thing but until everyone experiences it themselves it won't ever make any real sense to them as to the tonal differences. In other words and as far as FRFR powered monitors (and guitar preamps) goes in most cases, you get what you pay for.

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didn't occur to me to put the compressor after the amp/cab

 

 

I read once where Keeley suggests to try the compressor after the amp/cab. I didnt think to do that either till then, but have come to like it there on some patches.

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Well i guess you have heard all those amazing tones in videos that is floating around on internet so if you can get those tones they have managed to dial in i bet you know where the problem is..

Are you saying it's me, the Carvin, or something else...?

 

I tried a QSC in the store, but honestly, until I get it home and really try it out I'm not sure how good it is.

 

So, all the wise guy replies aside...what do you guys recommend to amplify Helix for use in a band situation?

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If you're wanting a warmer FRFR, the Friedman ASM-12 is a little more warm and amp like than some others out there.

 

Personally, I use my coaxial 15" Seismic Audio powered monitors more than my Friedman now. Love having the bass and treble controls on the back.

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If you're wanting a warmer FRFR, the Friedman ASM-12 is a little more warm and amp like than some others out there.

 

Personally, I use my coaxial 15" Seismic Audio powered monitors more than my Friedman now. Love having the bass and treble controls on the back.

I'm really wondering if it's just a configuration issue and I can maybe get it sounding right with the Carvin. It even sounds a bit harsh with the headphones.

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Headphones are definitely more bright for me with my studio phones.

 

Some people use regular style eq's, some use high cut/low cut... I've played mine through a lot of different monitors and have been able to leave global eq alone/off for my Seismic's and the PA, and the Friedman. I only use it if I have to plug into someone else's PA and monitors.

 

My PA is all JBL SR class cabinets with QSC PLX series amps.

 

I used to have Carvin amps and PA and you should definitely be able to get decent sound through them.

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.... I have a Carvin PM12A ......

 

I notice that the specs on this speakers state "Frequency Response: 50 Hz - 18 kHz (-10DB)". A couple of things about that:

- I believe true Full Range speakers are 20Hz - 20kHz 2which I think is the full range of human hearing. I have no idea whether this difference is significant or discernible to the human ear.

- I don't know if the -10DB is the expected signal level at all of the speaker's input connections, XLR / 1/4" / RCA. Try different combinations of Helix output signal level (Line / Mic) and different jacks to see if you can get an improvement.

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Silverhead is right about the 50-18khz not quite being the typical 20Hz-20khz that many full-range speakers have but this range should be more than adequate for use with guitar. It sounds to me like you just need to filter the lows and highs with your Carvin until you are happy with the sound. If it is sounding boomy/muddy on the low end and brittle on the high end just start with a high-pass filter at 85hz(you may go as high as 150hz) and a low-pass filter at 8khz (you may go as low as 4khz) and then modify to taste. If it is still too muddy raise the high-pass filter setting, if it is too brittle then lower the low-pass setting. If you lose too many highs or lows than do the opposite and back those settings off a bit. You can set these limits with an EQ block, the Global EQ, or on the cab block's settings. I mention the 150hz and 4khz as what I consider to be floor and ceiling points  where you have either already, or are about to, severely impact the frequency range, I would reserve cuts at or beyond those limits for "specialty sounds". 

 

Make sure you have the line/mic setting correct on your Helix outputs to the Carvin and the large "Volume" knob up to at least half way, turn down the Carvin volume if you have to. Once you have your lows and highs sounding the way you like you can use a parametric EQ block or the Global EQ to get rid of anything that still offends although I find I rarely have to resort to additional EQ after the high and low limits are dialed in to my liking. It is however always possible that the Carvin has a bump in its frequency response somewhere other than the low and high end that is not pleasing to you, if so, use the parametric EQ to dial it out. Also, don't be afraid to dial the bass way down on the amp models, a lot of them sound better to me with the bass closer to 3.5 than 5.0 (at least on my full-range speakers); also keep an eye on the amp's Presence setting and don't hesitate to take it down to 0 if required. I think it is the rare piece of equipment that cannot be dialed in to sound great with some patience, some take a little bit more effort than others. I don't think the Carvin will be any exception.

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Silverhead is right about the 50-18khz not quite being the typical 20Hz-20khz that many full-range speakers have but this range should be more than adequate for use with guitar. It sounds to me like you just need to filter the lows and highs with your Carvin until you are happy with the sound. If it is sounding boomy/muddy on the low end and brittle on the high end just start with a high-pass filter at 85hz(you may go as high as 150hz) and a low-pass filter at 8khz (you may go as low as 4khz) and then modify to taste. If it is still too muddy raise the high-pass filter setting, if it is too brittle then lower the low-pass setting. If you lose too many highs or lows than do the opposite and back those settings off a bit. You can set these limits with an EQ block, the Global EQ, or on the cab block's settings. I mention the 150hz and 4khz as what I consider to be floor and ceiling points  where you have either already, or are about to, severely impact the frequency range, I would reserve cuts at or beyond those limits for "specialty sounds". 

 

Make sure you have the line/mic setting correct on your Helix outputs to the Carvin and the large "Volume" knob up to at least half way, turn down the Carvin volume if you have to. Once you have your lows and highs sounding the way you like you can use a parametric EQ block or the Global EQ to get rid of anything that still offends although I find I rarely have to resort to additional EQ after the high and low limits are dialed in to my liking. It is however always possible that the Carvin has a bump in its frequency response somewhere other than the low and high end that is not pleasing to you, if so, use the parametric EQ to dial it out. Also, don't be afraid to dial the bass way down on the amp models, a lot of them sound better to me with the bass closer to 3.5 than 5.0 (at least on my full-range speakers); also keep an eye on the amp's Presence setting and don't hesitate to take it down to 0 if required. I think it is the rare piece of equipment that cannot be dialed in to sound great with some patience, some take a little bit more effort than others. I don't think the Carvin will be any exception.

Hey, thanks for the detailed response. You would think, after playing guitar for a long time, I'd know more about this stuff, but I've always been a guitar into amp guy, with an occasional pedal for OD or delay...that's it...so much of this is new to me.

 

One question, should the Helix outputs be set to line or mic? I assumed line, but am I wrong about that?

 

thx...! 

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Hey, thanks for the detailed response. You would think, after playing guitar for a long time, I'd know more about this stuff, but I've always been a guitar into amp guy, with an occasional pedal for OD or delay...that's it...so much of this is new to me.

 

One question, should the Helix outputs be set to line or mic? I assumed line, but am I wrong about that?

 

thx...! 

 

The "line" (+4db) setting is generally what you want to use going directly into a powered speaker or FRFR although your powered speakers or FRFR may have a switch or knob for either choice.  The "mic" (-10db) setting can work well into for instance a PA mixer. The line setting is much hotter than the mic setting.

 

The Carvin PM12A can take either mic or line but I would not be surprised if the line setting sounds better, let your ears be the judge and keep the large "Volume" dial cranked up anywhere from half-way to full out with your Carvin turned down to whatever volume doesn't bring the local constabulary.  

 

There are different opinions out there and I suppose the L6 engineers know best but I find that I get a more manageable sound more to my liking when I run the "Channel Volume" on the amp somewhere in the 5.5-8.5 range although it will depend on what else is happening in your preset and what sound you are going for. At first I always had the "Channel Volume" cranked closer to 9 or 10 and I was finding it hard to reign in the volume and finding the tone a bit harsher. I try to get my level up elsewhere now and turn the Channel Volume down a bit. I tend to use an expression pedal with the volume block quite a bit (set the "Curve" parameter to "Logarithmic" for a smoother more musical sweep).

 

Btw, I often find the low-pass filter set anywhere around 5khz-7khz to be adequate for my tastes, again, depending on the preset, particularly if your system tends to be on the "bright" side. All a matter of personal taste but once you get the harshness and boominess dialed out you can work on putting back in what you like. The "Sag" parameter in particular on the amp settings can have a big impact on the sound and the feel of the amps.  Scroll down to the bottom of this link for a very helpful description of the amp parameters and how they impact the sound -- http://helixhelp.com/pmwiki.php?n=Main.Amps

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Are you saying it's me, the Carvin, or something else...?

 

I tried a QSC in the store, but honestly, until I get it home and really try it out I'm not sure how good it is.

 

So, all the wise guy replies aside...what do you guys recommend to amplify Helix for use in a band situation?

I say if you like those tones that they managed to dial in in those videos that is floating around internet you should also be able to dial in those tones  sometimes it requires using third party IR,s from companys like Ownhammer, 3Sigma, Rosen Digital. Redwirez, Kaltenhallen CabIReu etc etc most of them have free cabs to dl but in many cases those videos have payed IR in there presets.

But there is tons of freeware out there so try those and be amazed what difference it makes.

You may not get the exact same tone as in those videos but very close.

 

Also have you done all those global settings?

Have you gate the input?

LP HP filter out cabs?

Change cabs and mics?

Third party IR?

Global EQ

Use EQ and Comp block at the end of signal chain?

 

Its alot of tweaking to get those tones you can also change sag hum bla bla in amps..

 

If you have heard other people getting good sound out of Helix you should also be able to get good sound out of it..

Oh always build your own presets from scratch..

It takes time so read how other have done their presets and learn from that.

If you cannot get a good tone after that Helix may not be for you..

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gosh, i've just loaded an amp/cab combo and a reverb before and been in love with the sound .. Keep it simple sometimes ;)

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I wouldn't say I was underwhelmed but I did return my Helix after two and a half weeks because it (running firmware v1.12) was incapable of doing what I require of it without the snapshots feature in order to avoid running into the 8 assignments limitation and the preset change dropout.

With no way of predicting how long such a thing might take to show up in firmware I wasn't willing to run the risk of losing a few hundred quid to the second hand market as my previous experience of relying on firmware updates that are "coming soon, honest" tells me this is always bad practice as a customer.

Otherwise it was a pretty excellent unit. The audio interface is the new bar for devices like this, the modelling is generally excellent, the level of tonal customization is fantastic, the number of available effects is excellent and the quality matches the price, the hardware quality is fantastic with a solid structural build that I'm pretty sure would last a lifetime although I was constantly paranoid about dropping something or knocking something over onto that massive (and very lovely) LCD which was obviously not well protected at all given that a normal pressure touchscreen poke with a finger upsets the display. I had the impression that dropping even something as low mass as my phone or a zippo on it might remove it from the game, never mind a mic stand or mic or accidentally whipped connector on a cable during a show.
I cannot stress enough how good the audio interface is though. Even with the preset change dropouts and limited control assignments, this is an excellent if not the ultimate studio recording tool for a guitarist. Simple re-amping. Multichannel recording. An excellent mic preamp which +48 available.
OMG AN IEC CONNECTOR THANK THE SWEET BABY JESUS.
There are a LOT of great things that make the Helix significantly better that all but one or two solutions with which, on balance of features and execution, it is likely on par with but at a better price point.

Functional downsides I might mention, not including the actual reason I returned it, would be perhaps too small a number of bass amp and cab emulations provided and that you have to effectively waste a large amount of available DSP in order to create a signal path to send a separate cab emulated signal to XLR for FOH whilst sending a non-emulated signal to a guitar cab on stage. These are things that were not showstoppers but certainly were downsides to the product and are apparently going to be addressed in firmware (again, always skeptical of this "it's coming soon guys, we promise" patter from companies).
 

Currently I'm in a horrible limbo of indecision as to whether to purchase it again.

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You would think, after playing guitar for a long time, I'd know more about this stuff, but I've always been a guitar into amp guy, with an occasional pedal for OD or delay...that's it...so much of this is new to me.

 

Ah ha, enlightenment!

 

This could possibly explain why you were unfamiliar with the compressor after the cab technique, what TexasDave calls his "secret sauce".

 

Example: In a recording studio situation a guitar player is generally stuck in an acoustically treated room, along with all his stomp boxes, amp and cab, which are mic'ed up by an audio engineer. The captured sound is feed into a mixing desk where it probably has to pass through a noise gate, maybe a compressor/limiter and a whole bunch of variable eq on the input channel. The subsequent signal can then be processed by various other bit of analogue or digital jiggery pokery; tape delay, chorus, flanging, reverb etc. This modified guitar sound can then further treated prior to "mastering" where who know what else may be done to it to achieve that final "sheen" on your recording. That's why you can add any of the Helix effects blocks after the cab. Your signal doesn't end there - it finishes when it hits your ears - you decide what it sounds like!

 

As the man said, "You can't polish a turd - but you can roll it in glitter!"

 

Experiment.

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Coming from the Fractal camp Im underwhelmed with the high gain amp sims.

But Im choosing to stick with the Helix for a few other good reasons.  The fx to me sound better than my AFX2, the interface is better than my AFX2 and the routing capabilities are so far superior its crazy.

 

As far as the high gain stuff goes, we're at V2 of the firmware.   If I think back to where Fractal were at V2 of the first AFX  and this gives me great hope for where the Helix will end up.  

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Currently I'm in a horrible limbo of indecision as to whether to purchase it again.

 

If you find yourself preoccupied with these thoughts often, you probably have your answer.

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Also have you done all those global settings? Some

Have you gate the input? No, not yet

LP HP filter out cabs? Yes, extensively tweaked these

Change cabs and mics? Yes, both...down to a couple of mics I like so far

Third party IR? No, not yet

Global EQ - Yes, it helped some.

Use EQ and Comp block at the end of signal chain? Yes, EQ only so far, added comp last night but ran out of time...

 

Its alot of tweaking to get those tones you can also change sag hum bla bla in amps..I was fooling around with some of those parameters last night but decided to leave that for later, to really fine tune things, maybe won't matter, dunno....yet

 

I was able to get a decent sounding preset last night, through headphones only - I wasn't able to turn the Carvin on as it was too late when I got to it. Tonight I'll turn it on and see how it sounds.

 

The biggest change came from the high/low cut and EQ. It seems I need to adjust everything in the signal chain to some degree. 

 

That said, I am sticking with OD, Delay, Amp, Cab until I get that simple chain sounding right when amplified through the Carvin or at least my Rockit 5's. 

 

It may be that the Carvin won't get me where I want to be and I need something a bit better - Once I get a few presets that I like through headphones and my Rockits, I'm going to take the helix to a local shop and plug it into QSC and Yamaha's...just to see how it sounds. Then I'll decide.

 

The post cab processing piece is definitely an enlightenment for me. 

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Just adding to the above, the LA Studio Compressor was the game-changer for me.  On anything clean/low-to-mid gain I have found the LA Studio Compressor AFTER the amp/cab to be "the secret sauce"  I usually run the Emphasis +/- 2 (the higher the number the less emphasis bass notes have on triggering the compressor}  then sweet spot the Peak/Reduction for the feel I'm looking for.  I usually run it in limit mode.  For an SRV sound with the big clean blooming low end, I'll move the emphasis up closer to 5, so that those big single open low E notes don't get squashed.  Clean Deluxe: Emphasis 1.7 Peak/Reduction 5.6 or so.  Lower Peak# more dynamics, Higher number more "squish."  Level knob in there handy as well.    If there is other compression in the chain (either via compressor or OD/Amp compression)  it's less crucial  I'll typically reduce the Peak/Reduction and just leave it in place as an overall limiter.

 

Live the sound guys LOVE it.  You tell them in advance that you have a limiter on the patch and they can prob remove any compression from the channel to start.  

My 2 cents,

 

Texasdave

 

Some great tips, thanks. I like the idea of the compressor after the cab as perhaps a limiter, I will have to give this a try. Overall I prefer my compression before the cab and as a matter of fact as early in the signal chain as possible. I usually place it right after any pitch shifter, wah, touch-wah, vibe, or phaser type effects and before the amp/cab. My other mod effects - chorus, delays, reverbs and such go after the amp/cab.

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Are you saying it's me, the Carvin, or something else...?

 

I tried a QSC in the store, but honestly, until I get it home and really try it out I'm not sure how good it is.

 

So, all the wise guy replies aside...what do you guys recommend to amplify Helix for use in a band situation?

 

I think you really need to try the L2 you have the option of the L6 link and also plugging in directly with XLR's to give you an idea more of what you will get out of a PA they sound really good to me I know they're a little more pricey but you are paying for a much more quality product in my opinion

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Jezus some of the responses on here are pathetic. There is absolutely no way someone can not like this product eh?  :rolleyes:

More than enough post-purchase-rationalization to go around apparently.

When the 2.0 firmware came out I was actually thinking about you and some other fellows that Had a problem with the time between the presets and was wondering if the snapshot idea has helped you or not or do you need 9 or 10 snapshots and Helix only has 8 LOL...

 

Really I'm not trying to be mean I just feel like nothing was going to satisfy you, I know you were saying you switched between different sounds in your songs 5, 6 or seven times the song, just curious to know.

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Thanks for all of the (mostly) encouraging replies, gentlemen. I apologize for the what appeared to be trollish nature of the OP. I didn't realize it would generate such a huge response.

I understand that complicated things like the Helix take a while to get familiar with. I'm have no problem stating that my own user incompetence is a possible cause for my initial dissatisfaction with the unit.

I've had PODs in the past and even the HD didn't seem to be as temperamental as the Helix. I managed to squeeze some decent tones from it (molchmon.bandcamp.com) and expected the Helix to just totally blow it away immediately. Perhaps time is all that is needed here - I'm willing to dig if I know I'll find gold. Based on these replies, it sounds like there definitely is some to be found. And also based on the enthusiasm towards the Helix seen here and elsewhere, it's possible that you are right now reading a post written by technologically stupid person. That being said, here's the (fairly simple) rig run down:

Fender Strat HSS Shawbucker (or SSS) or an active pick up Carvin DC200---

Line6 Helix Rack 2.0 from both rear XLR outputs---

Into both XLR inputs of a Focusrite 2i2---

From Focusrite 2i2 via USB into a Windows 7 i7 Cubase 8 PC 32GB RAM---

M Audio Bx5 powered monitors---

Human ear canal.

I set the Helix's global EQ according to some recommendations from this forum and adjusted the outputs according to the pdf manual.

Thanks for the replies,

MolchMon

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/21274-part-3-in-the-series-on-the-helix-now-uploaded/

 

Watch his video do exactly what he does and you will be pleasantly surprise how good that these presets sound and they are so very simple,

 

And definitely has other suggested use your BX fives directly from your helix to get an idea of how it really sounds I do think that you will be pleased with the help of the settings after the video these sound good with a couple different guitars even won I won at Six Flags that was a very cheesy Strat version

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Some great tips, thanks. I like the idea of the compressor after the cab as perhaps a limiter, I will have to give this a try. Overall I prefer my compression before the cab and as a matter of fact as early in the signal chain as possible. I usually place it right after any pitch shifter, wah, touch-wah, vibe, or phaser type effects and before the amp/cab. My other mod effects - chorus, delays, reverbs and such go after the amp/cab.

 

 

Start with just an amp model and that LA Studio compressor and you'll probably see the logic behind it in about 30 seconds.  Transparent and tasty.  It doesn't mean you won't still have use for the one early in your chain as well.

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http://line6.com/support/topic/21274-part-3-in-the-series-on-the-helix-now-uploaded/

 

Watch his video do exactly what he does and you will be pleasantly surprise how good that these presets sound and they are so very simple,

 

And definitely has other suggested use your BX fives directly from your helix to get an idea of how it really sounds I do think that you will be pleased with the help of the settings after the video these sound good with a couple different guitars even won I won at Six Flags that was a very cheesy Strat version

 

I haven't watched those yet but definitely going to.  I just hit that link and randomly jumped forward to around 4mins, and he was talking about taking away some of those higher frequencies that wind up harsh (even painful) through a PA.  I'm definitely in that camp.  Thanks for mentioning those.

 

Texasdave

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Start with just an amp model and that LA Studio compressor and you'll probably see the logic behind it in about 30 seconds.  Transparent and tasty.  It doesn't mean you won't still have use for the one early in your chain as well.

 

Hi Texas Dave,

 

Regarding your "special sauce" trick - here's a link that may be informative for you or anyone else who may be interested in this compressor after amp stuff.

Check this link:

http://www.barryrudolph.com/pages/compdirectory.html

That's the audio engineer's notes on compressors!

Essentially what you have with the model of the Universal Audio  LA 2A is a "classic tube leveling amp". Transparent and tasty - yep - It's the "mutts nutts!".

 

There are a couple of other studio compressor classes and all have their purpose and particular uses - eg: I am a long time (big) fan of Drawmer DSL 424 units which were regarded as an industry standard compressor/noise gate unit.

 

Enjoy!

  • Upvote 1

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When the 2.0 firmware came out I was actually thinking about you and some other fellows that Had a problem with the time between the presets and was wondering if the snapshot idea has helped you or not or do you need 9 or 10 snapshots and Helix only has 8 LOL...

 

Really I'm not trying to be mean I just feel like nothing was going to satisfy you, I know you were saying you switched between different sounds in your songs 5, 6 or seven times the song, just curious to know.

 

 

You're overblowing my statements into "ridiculous demands", that doesn't exactly help create a constructive discussion. I stated exactly what would satisfy me: about half the latency would be acceptable. Still not super awesome but fine considering the other advantages that Helix brings over the alternatives.

 

I sent my Helix back (I wasn't kidding, it was unworkable :( ) so I can't test the snapshots at the moment. That said: I use 3, maybe 4 different sounds in many songs, so keeping that within one preset feels very limited (since DSP runs out quick when you want to use multiple amps). I don't think snapshots would fix my problem because it still assumes that everything can be built in a preset and doesn't expand the available DSP (obviously).

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So, last night I was able to try out the many suggestions here - I have been using just my headphones and was able to finally start getting some good tones and saved a few presets. I turned on my Carvin and honestly, they didn't sound too bad. I was very surprised. I did a ton of tweaking to get good sound through the headphones and I'm not sure I've settled in on anything just yet, but it's starting to feel like I'll be able to really get some good use out of the Helix.

 

The real key has been experimenting with and using high/low cuts and EQ's. I don't have it right quite yet, but I cranked one of my presets pretty loud and I could definitely use it live.

 

I'm staying pretty basic right now...Deluxe Reverb (Normal), Tube Screamer, LA Comp, and delay. Working the EQ in the chain in different places. Ran out of time again so still more to do.

 

I managed to get a usable "Shakedown Street" tone with the Envelope Filter - tho' it seemed tinny and harsh sounding at first until I made some adjustments. 

 

I need a killer smokey sort of blues tone - that's my next objective.

 

Feeling better about it all now - also switched to my Tele with a ballsy set of Kleins (Broadcaster bridge, Nocaster neck) - I found the putting the guitar input in PAD mode helped a lot with that Broadcaster. 

 

So far I don't love the delays or the Timmy, and some of the fuzz are a bit buzzy for my tastes. Gettin' there

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