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uelef

How to reproduce the sounds in Line6 YouTube videos?

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There are a lot of promotional videos from Line6, and they all sound much better than any preset I created with my new Helix.

 

Jack Thammarat e. g. shows how to create a lead tone for Helix:

 

I reproduced everything like shown in this video, I also used an Fender Stratocaster – but my patch sounds not as good as in the video. Much less brilliant and not as much like an tube amp in this video.

 

Well, Jack Thammarat wrote he recorded the sound directly via USB … I can't believe it. Are there any tricks to get my guitar and Helix sound better? Preamps? Post production? Other things?

 

Has anyone any suggestions?

 

Ulf

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Could be the Powered Monitor/amp & Cab you are playing thru. They all sound different and you usually get what you pay for. Could be any extra equipment used in making the video (if any). And don't forget the most important thing, that every little thing does matter, and that tone also comes from the fingers and touch. Its not Helix because I can get the tones too (not taking anything away from this guy in the video, he is a good player) in this video playing thru my Strat>Helix>mixer>Apollo Interface>Mackie 824 powered monitors (or the Firehawk 1500). 

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I note from the freeze frame above in that video that his Strat-style guitar (not a Fender it appears) is loaded with some type of Seymour Duncan pickups - not sure what you have in your instrument, but that can make an immense difference right there.

 

 

EDIT - in fact, it seems a mystery what he's got in the bridge position, as it's never shown in this video at least. Could be a full sized humbucker, which - as above - impacts on the results a lot.

 

It's a decent sound; sometimes an ok or decent sound can be made to sound amazing by way of the playing mannerisms applied to it.

This person has great sound in the hands, I'd say.

 

And did I miss something - did he tweak out the amp and cab parameters off-camera?

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I would bet there is a humbucker in the bridge position.

But you should still get in the ballpark with your Strat bridge ( back the tone off a bit if you got tone on your bridge p/u)

So what are you listening through? If it's a guitar amp then that's the problem. These things need to be heard through something more full range. If it's headphones or a stereo, you probably need to set your global EQ. If it sounds really fizzy, that will be your problem. Guitar speakers roll off at say 6K. Try that. If you have too much bass, roll off the bass ( you almost certainly will have too much if you didn't set global EQ.

If you are using a guitar amp, it's going to change the sound a lot. Hopefully you have an effects send and return. Plug into the return. That way you avoid the guitar amp's preamp killing your sound. Global EQ is probably not going to be needed. You are using guitar speakers. Unfortunately they won't be the ones he is simulating in the cab simulation. And you won't proably want to use that amp model anyhow because you don't want a speaker sim if you are using a guitar speaker box. Not got my Helix on at the moment, but if it's there use the Cali preamp into you return. You will have to adjust for your rig no matter what. Use your ears. Adjust EQ and gain so you start with a reasonable match to the straight amp. The rest should be fine if your starting point is similar.

Don't plug straight into the front of a guitar amp. Totally pointless.

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Guitar pickups make a huge difference as has been said above. 
Pick attack (or finger attack in the case of those who don't use picks) also affects the tone. And of course the other variables such as type of guitar, the wood in the guitar, the scale length of the neck, the correlation of the stars and the moon...heh-heh

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There are a lot of promotional videos from Line6, and they all sound much better than any preset I created with my new Helix.

 

Jack Thammarat e. g. shows how to create a lead tone for Helix:

https://youtu.be/Qr68gvAC9V8

 

I reproduced everything like shown in this video, I also used an Fender Stratocaster – but my patch sounds not as good as in the video. Much less brilliant and not as much like an tube amp in this video.

 

Well, Jack Thammarat wrote he recorded the sound directly via USB … I can't believe it. Are there any tricks to get my guitar and Helix sound better? Preamps? Post production? Other things?

 

Has anyone any suggestions?

 

Ulf

Advertising is...well, it's advertising. Just because I go out and buy the same bike Valentino Rossi has, doesn't mean I can ride the way he does. This is no different. And as others have noted, there's a list of variables a mile long. Your rig ain't his, and vice versa. In fact, the Helix is probably the only thing you two have in common. You could download the exact patch he used, and you've got my personal guarantee that it will not sound identical in your hands. It's impossible. Plus, there's no telling how much additional processing/EQ/other "special sauce" was applied to that track before it was loosed on unsuspecting YouTubers...even if the claim is "no other processing", I remain skeptical.

 

Experimenting with the options that Helix has available is the only way too find tones that work for you...

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Yamaha Super R'n ROLLER guitar is MIJ, if you do a google search you don't find any that are HSS or have Seymour Duncan pick ups he also dose the little vi-bro whammy bar trick that can only be done with a floating bridge so that said it has been modified and could have a humbucker installed.

 

Most of those MIJ guitars from the 80,s and 90's were real top quality builds, I have a couple Fernandes guitars that are MIJ and are better quality than most big brand guitars I have ever seen or played.

 

I think the preset sounds pretty good too... I will try to replicate it as well to see how it sounds. 

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Most of those MIJ guitars from the 80,s and 90's were real top quality builds, I have a couple Fernandes guitars that are MIJ and are better quality than most big brand guitars I have ever seen or played.

 

+1 on the Fernandez. Back in my music store jockey days, we carried those. Everybody grabbed at least one. Wholesale price wasn't much more than $200 or maybe $250, if I recall. Great guitars for the money.

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here is the same guitar... just as you all suspected it is HSS

 

 

 

Seymour Duncan STK-S4n neck, SSL-6 mid, JB/Custom hybrid bridge

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This is the reason I'm very skeptical of patches people share or are selling.  There are sooooo many variables involved in getting the sound you want.  Not just the guitar, but the pickups, and of course technique...and then you have the output mechanism..speakers, headsets, traditional amp...etc.  And that doesn't even cover the settings were on globals in input impedence.

 

No matter what you're going to have to learn to adjust your Helix to match your rig and your setup.  There's no way around that.

 

No doubt there are some things you can learn from videos like this, but ultimately you have to experiment on your own to get the sound.  May as well get started...

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Also, surprisingly even uploading to YouTube has an affect on the sound.  So the only real test is record with USB, upload to YouTube and playback on same system with the above video.

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This is the reason I'm very skeptical of patches people share or are selling. There are sooooo many variables involved in getting the sound you want. Not just the guitar, but the pickups, and of course technique...and then you have the output mechanism..speakers, headsets, traditional amp...etc. And that doesn't even cover the settings were on globals in input impedence.

 

No matter what you're going to have to learn to adjust your Helix to match your rig and your setup. There's no way around that.

 

No doubt there are some things you can learn from videos like this, but ultimately you have to experiment on your own to get the sound. May as well get started...

Yup. There is no downloadable, push-button "tonal nirvana"...don't care how fancy these boxes get.

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+1 on the Fernandez. Back in my music store jockey days, we carried those. Everybody grabbed at least one. Wholesale price wasn't much more than $200 or maybe $250, if I recall. Great guitars for the money.

The strat copy with 2 humbuckers and a Floyd Rose was $199.00 in 1992 still plays awesomely.

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it also doesn't hurt that this guy is an awesome player.... I watched a few or his videos.

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Ok, guys, I used the patch of Jack Thammarat with other guitars – especially with Seymour Duncan humbuckers. You're right, the sound is more similar to the one in the video of Jack Thammarat. But still his patch sounds more like an tube amp.

I listened to the YouTube video on the same studio monitors that I am using for my Helix. So that might not explain the differences. Jack Thammarat wrote that he recorded his guitar directly over USB - that's the way I am working, too.

 

But what I was asking you: Do you have any tips & tricks, how you can make helix sound better? What I am missing is a sound that is more familiar to a tube amp – like in many videos. That's what my patches until now are missing.

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What exactly does "more like a tube amp" mean to you?  That's kind of a subjective thing.

 

If you mean what some people term as "warmth" you can try adjusting the sag, bias, or biax x options on the amp.  But generally speaking I can't say any of the amp models in the Helix I've run across are lacking in that regard.  It's possible that what you are hearing in terms of differences between a recorded signal and a live signal is a slight amount of natural compression that occurs in many cases from the playback of the signal.

 

Other than that, I'm stumped by what you're referring to.

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Helix, and other guitar processors, model the sound of a mic'd amp. It's what the audio engineer hears in the control room of a recording studio, or what the audience hears after the guitarist's on-stage amp is mic'd and pumped through a PA system. This sound is slightly different from what the guitarist hears coming out of his physical tube amp, either in the recording room or on stage.

 

The sound you hear direct from an amp's speaker cabinet is not the sound you hear from a PA system or from studio monitors. Perhaps this is what you think you are missing.

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I listened to the YouTube video on the same studio monitors that I am using for my Helix. So that might not explain the differences. Jack Thammarat wrote that he recorded his guitar directly over USB - that's the way I am working, too.

 

You're missing the point. Listening to the video through the same monitors your Helix is running through is irrelevant. You could run them both through the sound system at Madison Square Garden, or God's personal headphones (Beats, right? ;) ) and it still won't matter because you don't have his guitar, fingers, or the monitors he was listening through when he created the patch.

 

Matching one setting after another on Helix, when everything else in the equation is different, will never get you any closer to his tone, there are simply too many variables. You have to work with what you've got. Experimentation is the ONLY way too get there. Try different combinations of amp models, cabs, and mics...not necessarily the same ones he claims to use in the video. You may find it easier to get that tone with another combination.

 

And, as has been said above, if you're looking for the "amp in a room" sound that you're probably used to from traditional guitar amps, then modeling may not be for you. The whole point is to emulate what you'd hear on a recording, or sitting in a studio control room: amp + speaker cabinet + mic...NOT what you hear sitting 3 feet from a tube amp. It's a different "philosophy", and requires a different approach to tone shaping. There's an adjustment period for everybody.

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What is it that isn't sounding right to you?  Is it too bright, too boomy, not warm enough, too piercing, lacking response, etc?  I struggled at first when I picked up the Helix.  I didn't think it sounded much better than my HD500 and didn't think it was worth the extra.  Fast forward to today and I haven't turned on my real amps (Mesa Roadster, Orange Rockerverb MKII 100, Fender Blues Deville) in over 4 months.  The Helix sounds so good now.  I sort of forgot all the tweaking I had to do with the HD500 to get it working with my PA and Monitors.  The biggest thing for me on the Helix was using Low and High pass filters on the guitar cabs - Cut the low at 80Hz and cut the High at 6kHz.  Normal guitar speakers operate in that range and when using good monitors or FRFR speakers it might not sound real with the extra frequencies coming through.  I also had to pull the 3.2khz range down a bit in the global EQ since my PA speakers have a pretty pronounced hump right there that made the thing sound pretty bad.  Now with the filters and EQ it sounds and responds just like my real amps and I prefer playing it now.  It takes time you may need to adjust EQ more depending on your pickups.  Also, play with the input impedence and pad settings.  You may find you like a lower impedence setting or like it better with the the pad on even if you aren't using the active pickups.  I myself like the Pad on.  I also set my impedence to 230 ohm.  Too me anything else was too bright and brittle sounding.  

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I feel your pain on this topic, for me the biggest change in getting the tone I was looking for was using parallel IR blocks and setting the low cut and high cut on them. I play it through a Firehawk1500 and the amp sound is there for me. I can download another preset that sounds good on YouTube and through my setup it is terrible to me. Best advice I can give is decide on how you will play most of the time and concentrate on making that sound the way you want it to. Global EQ and the Low/Hi cut adjustments are a good place to look at. Don't give up, it's there and waiting for you to find what works for you!

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Yamaha Super R'n ROLLER guitar is MIJ, if you do a google search you don't find any that are HSS or have Seymour Duncan pick ups he also dose the little vi-bro whammy bar trick that can only be done with a floating bridge so that said it has been modified and could have a humbucker installed.

 

Most of those MIJ guitars from the 80,s and 90's were real top quality builds, I have a couple Fernandes guitars that are MIJ and are better quality than most big brand guitars I have ever seen or played.

 

I think the preset sounds pretty good too... I will try to replicate it as well to see how it sounds.

 

  

+1 on the Fernandez. Back in my music store jockey days, we carried those. Everybody grabbed at least one. Wholesale price wasn't much more than $200 or maybe $250, if I recall. Great guitars for the money.

Another surprised Fernandes user here also, I picked up a used one for the sustainer in it and I'm blown away by the quality and tones it gets. I have guitars that cost 10 times what this one did and it holds its own against them!

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I want to give this guy a big award for saying what should be at the start of everything you read about the Helix.  That's why I asked if it sounded too fizzy.  Do what he said, and then listen - I personally do the bass rolloff at 100Hz - I like a bit brighter sound with more cut and hat getting lost in the Hamond in the band - but that's a great starting point for personal tweaking.  

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Thanks for all your feedback and suggestions. It helped me to go on tweaking. And now two days later I am more than before convinced that it was no mistake to buy the Helix. I found it helpful to change low and high cut on IRs.

 

What I am astonished about is that playing with different guitars and pickups causes much more differences on sounds than on other devices (my old POD HD500X) and software (e. g. Bias FX). In the end you have to create patches for different guitars and pickups.

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Yup. You will also find a big difference in how the tone responds to changes in the guitar's volume knob, pick attack, and other playing dynamics. Helix behaves much more like a real tube amp in these respects.

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What I am astonished about is that playing with different guitars and pickups causes much more differences on sounds than on other devices (my old POD HD500X) and software (e. g. Bias FX). In the end you have to create patches for different guitars and pickups.

Oh yes, it will always. If you just think about the component differences alone between say a Fender Strat, and a Gibson Les Paul, there should be differences in the sound (if the guitar processor is worth its own salt so to speak).

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If you use multiple guitars during your performances you'll likely find that you need different presets for them.  This is one of the reasons I use a preset for every song we play, because I know which guitar I'll be using on that song.

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Ok, guys, I used the patch of Jack Thammarat with other guitars – especially with Seymour Duncan humbuckers. You're right, the sound is more similar to the one in the video of Jack Thammarat. But still his patch sounds more like an tube amp.

I listened to the YouTube video on the same studio monitors that I am using for my Helix. So that might not explain the differences. Jack Thammarat wrote that he recorded his guitar directly over USB - that's the way I am working, too.

 

But what I was asking you: Do you have any tips & tricks, how you can make helix sound better? What I am missing is a sound that is more familiar to a tube amp – like in many videos. That's what my patches until now are missing.

There is a thread on here (on the Helix Forum) somewhere the guys were talking about using an "ART Tube Pre" in the FX Loop and were very pleased with the results and it was giving them a "real tube " sound, subjective as that may be.... (I am happy with what I am getting from the Helix now)

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There is a thread on here (on the Helix Forum) somewhere the guys were talking about using an "ART Tube Pre" in the FX Loop and were very pleased with the results and it was giving them a "real tube " sound, subjective as that may be.... (I am happy with what I am getting from the Helix now)

I bought one of those. I've gambled $40 on dumber things. But in the end, I think it's more of a security blanket than anything else...the effect is very subtle, if there's any at all. And I find that if you put it anywhere but first thing in the chain, it provides nothing but way over the top compression...not exactly what I was looking for. And unless I deliberately drive the thing, I can hear only the slightest difference if I toggle it on and off, when playing unaccompanied. But in a mix, blindfolded with someone switching it on or off, don't know if I'd be able to hear any difference at all...and I'm as picky about my sound as the next nutty guitar player.

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I bought one of those. I've gambled $40 on dumber things. But in the end, I think it's more of a security blanket than anything else...the effect is very subtle, if there's any at all. And I find that if you put it anywhere but first thing in the chain, it provides nothing but way over the top compression...not exactly what I was looking for. And unless I deliberately drive the thing, I can hear only the slightest difference if I toggle it on and off, when playing unaccompanied. But in a mix, blindfolded with someone switching it on or off, don't know if I'd be able to hear any difference at all...and I'm as picky about my sound as the next nutty guitar player.

 

Yeah, I'm with you on the ART Tube Pre.  We use one on an electronic drum kit which has an underpowered pre-amp, and it does roll off some of the edges a bit to "warm" things up, but not enough that anyone would ever notice.  It does address the underpowered pre-amp in the drum brain, but I wouldn't own one for any other reason.

 

Sometimes I think we can "convince" ourselves it's different just because we know it's there.  Our mind can work crazy like that sometimes.

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Sometimes I think we can "convince" ourselves it's different just because we know it's there. Our mind can work crazy like that sometimes.

Especially with things as subjective as "tone". Not to mention that one's perception can change from day to day...for any number of reasons. If I'm not playing particularly well for whatever reason, it's unlikely that I'll think my tone is "awesome"...some days guy got it, some days you don't.

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I am puzzled by a lot of things about this discussion.

1.) I do not find this guy all that much of a great player by any means. He flubs several attempts at chords and does a basic volume swell using the knob which is not the Helix. I believe it is a single coil but that does not matter a lot.

2.) The sound really, really is not very good and having been a modeler user and getting a Helix myself later this week, if it this is suppose to be a great tone I will be sending it back.

3.) There are a million options and things you can do on the Helix to improve tones and quality, none are in use here.

4.) The medium upon which the sound is being recorded and transferred is everything, I can listen to a hundred videos on YT and maybe two or three will actually sound good. Check out what Mike Hermans uses of Prymaxe & PGS he gets great tones no matter the effect. The sound medium of YT leaves more than a lot to be desired the overall compressive nature and bandwidth is hard to make anything sound good,

5.) A modeler such as the Helix has a million variables as to outputs and what you run it into, Everything indeed makes a difference, this sales hype fallacy that of you use what some else uses you will sound just like them is more than a little untrue. 

AT any rate the Helix shows great promise and potential as a modeler, I will begin working on it later this week to see what it can do. Despite being a POG hater for some time I spent a lot of time learning how to create better patches on it using everything capable to improve it, it had dire shortcomings and issues that ended up being a game killer for me. I am promised the Helix is a different animal from the ground up, with all the issues of the POD fixed and much better modeling technique and IR capability. 

I would like to leave some with the caveat truth in The #6 point:

6.) An accomplished player can make reasonably good tones and sounds out of the worst piece of crap while a hack neophyte player can make the best gear sound not worth the money. Judging gear by most videos is at best a flawed premise from every issue from the player, the gear and the transferring medium. You could have the same exact gear this chap used to record and upload even his PC and still with a few minor settings changes sound totally different before we discuss ones hands and abilities.

From what I have done and used from several modeler units this is a terrible tone and if this is what you want to duplicate seems it really is the most basic of default selections except for the delay adjust he does. There is so much better to be had from the Helix which experienced users have matched it to the Fractal level after understanding HOW TO USE IT. This is not a plug and play idiot unit and was never meant to be so. You have to read the manual, understand it and look for tips and tutorials from all sources to glean ideas and techniques. There was a cat who called himself "meamBobbo" on the HD POD site and he made that unit sing like you did not know it was capable until such a Helix genius comes along with an updated user manual like he wrote. We have to experiment and try ideas. Seriously just turning on an amp model and a basic cab is just no way to judge this unit or presume you are even at stage 1 of its possible tone ability.

It is more so all what you run the Helix into and how you have it set up that in itself is half the struggle. Modelers just do not need guitar amps at all, and unless you truly get into the element of stereo full range or a true power amp rig you will never hear what this puppy can do. 

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