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Stevie573

Is the helix any good for bass guitar

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Hi all,

I am wondering if someone can help me out, I am currently using a mixture of zoom b3, roland v bass and gr-55 but I have been so impressed with what I have seen of the helix for guitarists I am wondering if its worth investing as a bass player or are the bass aspects just a token gesture.

I can't seem to find much information for the bass elements of the helix and I haven't had the time yet to find somewhere to demo the unit or finances to take the plunge.

Thanks in advance

Steve

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I've read nothing but positive comments about using Helix for bass.  I know that the band Garbage are using it for bass and guitars.  I'm a novice bass player but I've tried it and it sounds stellar to me through my PA speakers.  

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I think it's great for bass. I've recorded a number of songs where I've used the Helix for bass, and I've been happy with the results. I've also let one of my good friends who's a bass player play through it, and he loved it.

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Thank you so much guys, out of interest are you using it mostly for amp modelling? Also are there enough suitable effects

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Helix works great for bass (live or recording).

I particularly like the Cali 400 Ch1 model.

 

Helix provides flexible signal routing, so you can tailor the EFX for bass.

ie:  Put an effect on a separate path... and using high-pass filters to keep it from affecting the low end.

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No complaints here using Helix for bass guitar and recording. Favorite amp is the SVT Bright and favorite cab is the 4x10 Rhino.

 

For a list of the amps, cabs, and effects, check out the Helix manual which lists these things and their real world counterparts.

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I use the Helix for guitar in one band and bass in another. And in both cases, I only bring a real amp and cab if I absolutely have to. I use it for everything except fuzz. For bass, I run a compressor, fuzz (through FX loop), chorus, reverb, and two amp choices. Most of the time I run through Cali ch 1, which sounds to me nearly identical to the 400+ I owned (until I got tired of carrying it and realized it was pointless now), and that goes into the 2x15 cab model. When I want a little extra grit, I put the preamp from the SVT model in front of that. Sounds amazing. If I do need to run a real amp (like this weekend at a con), I disable the cab model and run into the FX loop of a solid state amp (Markbass SD800 into a 1x15 cab).

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A wide range of things can work well for bass from direct input, Tech 21 Sansamp, Bass PODXT, Helix and, oh a good bass amp. I find that bass doesn't benefit as much from the contribution of certain effects or speakers (or speaker models). These tend to make low end become indistinct and muddy, creating more challenges with other instruments that might be competing for the same sonic space. Bass can benefit a lot from a good pickup choice and position, good wound strings to provide some high frequency content and definition, finding the sweet spot for picking, etc. as much or more than amp and cab models. I've struggled over the years to get a good bass tone when tracking. I've come to realize that a Tech 21 Sansamp is often a simple and very effective choice. The rest is in the player's hands. Bass strings are big and create wide range of frequency content, more than a guitar. Letting that come through can often produce pretty good result.

 

That said, I do have a number of bass and combination bass and electric guitar patches I use for rehearsal that I quite like. But I probably wouldn't track that in a recording session.

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Thank you so much guys all this information is so helpful.

The plan is to replace all the other units I have, which has I'm getting tired of carrying around, with the helix and looking at the amp modelling list I know I will be absolutely over the moon with.

Quick question about the effects, what are the octave and synth effects like?

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The only thing I have to add is that I recorded the Helix B15 Portaflex and an actual B15 Portaflex, and the helix recording sounded more like the Portaflex, than the actual recording of the Portaflex..   I know it sounds silly to say that, but recording the actual portaflex I had to deal with distances, the room, the exact mic placement, the pre-amp used, etc etc etc..   They Helix....  ummm  I plugged in the Bass, selected the Portaflex preset, and hit record.

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Thank you so much guys all this information is so helpful.

The plan is to replace all the other units I have, which has I'm getting tired of carrying around, with the helix and looking at the amp modelling list I know I will be absolutely over the moon with.

Quick question about the effects, what are the octave and synth effects like?

 

Meh. Octave down doesn't work so great, it seems to pick up too much of the upper harmonic content, so it sounds... odd. Better if distorted, but not ideal. The synth seems geared toward guitar and doesn't track that great with bass, plus the initial hit has way too much upper harmonic content, kinda painful to my ears.

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If you have a Mooger Fooger or external Envelope-Filter type pedal, you can use those with Helix's sends/returns.

I don't think Octave down is too useful with bass.  Octave up... to simulate playing "tutti" with a guitar player would probably be more practical.

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I use a Markbass Super Synth in a send/return block. That pretty much rounds it out for me.

 

I recently discovered splitting the signal in to 3 and mixing back together:

 

1)DI straight bass signal into studio pre

2)DI post amp/pre cab

3)Post mic'd cab

 

I'll post my current Cali Bass prest let up when I get back in front of Helix and a computer.

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It has the Mutron III emulation as well as another really good envelope filter/touch-wah effect for those Bootsy funk sounds.

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I know this is probably going to sound like a silly question but what is the likelihood of line6 supporting things like a bass octave for the helix in the future

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