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Feeling less and less enthused about helix.

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Have had the unit since release and I'm really starting to question, just how good this unit really is, or if in fact mine has been fault all along. I find that for every high gain tone I am always forever trying to cut out that wet blanket or muffled tone. I have cut freqs, boosted freqs, EQs in front, behind, both of amp and cab blocks. The only amp I have found "workable" for a high gain tone is the uberschall model. Everything else has this low mid muffle that cant be cut, or extreme low end that can be dialed out, to the point where I completely dialed out the bass on the amp block and it was still booming. 

 

This is through all methods, power amp to Orange PPC212, to Yamaha HS8 monitors and Audio Technica ATH-R70x monitors, so no part of me is considering that it is the medium which I am playing through.

The kicker for me is listening to demos online, through the very monitors I use, when they say they are straight into a recording app with no post and it is crystal clear, almost cab in room sounding, and then I use my helix through it and its the muffled tone all over again, even copying or downloading their patches. Now I get that a different guitar and tuning will have a big impact, but you should be ale to dial the majority of that out with some minor eq on the amp block.

 

If I don't use the uberschall model, the tone is either extreme fizz, or for instance using the marshall models, extreme flub broken sounding low end and so so much of that low end, wet blanket and some fizz, its almost sound that you would expect listening to a battery powered audio device that is dying. Pretty much every high gain amp model sounds like a fuzz pedal on roids, is a fight to remove copious low end, remove the wet blanket and get a clear sound that would cut. None of my amp models have sounded like the demos of that block that I have watched, the marshalls especially....

 

For high gain my typical configuration is TS9, uber, 10 band, noise gate, then into a dual cab setup, both mandarin 4x12 blocks and if I use anything but a 421 and 112 or 57 mic is like trying to listen with a wah slightly cocked. I cut around the 80-100, anything above and it is so so thin sounding. Any other cab and we are back to trying to dial out even more muffled tone...

If I use third party IR's I may as well throw pillows on both of my ears. For example, in Olas demo, before the IR both demos sounded kind of flat, and then with his IR it was clear and it cut very well. I downloaded his patches and IR to see if I had the same results. My tone I had was more muffled using the exact same monitors I used to listen to his demo, at the same volume, and then when I used his IR it was EVEN WORSE, more muffled again!

For my global EQ I have a huge cut around 350hz, -8db, if I don't the wet blanket is ever worse. If I go any more then the sound gets thinner and thinner....

Guitars I am using through it are;

Ibanez SZ4020FM, Duncan SD, Drop D

Ibanez SZ2020FM, Duncan Distortion C#

Ibanez SZ2020EX, Duncan Distortion Drop B

Ibanez MMM1, Duncan Distortion C#

PRS P22, Stock 53/10s Drop D

PRS SE245, Duncan JB, Drop D

 

Now none of these guitars had any issues with clarity in the past before helix and given the nature of the high end in these pickups they should all cut, the only pickups I should have a huge issue with are the 53/10s....

 

Basically the only way I can get any decent tone is to smash volume out of this thing, anything that is normal bedroom level is flat and muffled, even though its the same volume I am listening to the demos on youtube at while smashing my head on my desk asking why cant I get even close....

 

Is it likely that my helix has been faulty all along, that some audio chip has shat the bed and is just killing the tone? It cant be this impossible to dial a good tone and to remove so so much low end and wet blanket....

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That's scary... I can use my helix or my Kemper into my live and studio setups and get equally good tones out of both. The 2204 mod amp is unreal for me.

 

I've even got a few presets for going into a tube power amp into a guitar cab for those moments when I want to gig with the mega amp in the room feel.

 

I'd seriously try to contact Line 6 customer service and see what you can get out if it with them on the phone or something.

 

Like I said, I've got a Kemper to compare side by side (and I had Axe 2 and AX8 that I got rid of after side by side with Helix). I'm not a fan boy by any shape or form.

 

Good luck!

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I would check to see if you have the global EQ engaged with an unflattering setting, check your input impedance settings, check that your output level suits your current listening setup (line or instrument ). It might even be worth backing up your presets and doing a reset to factory settings.

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I would also check and make sure any wah is off.  Ran into this one time, tone was jsut continually getting sucked out of the guitar, was driving me nuts for an entire gig.  Wah pedal was on.

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If you run a high-passfilter right before the Amp Block (~80-100Hz)... and it's still muddy on the low end, there's an issue somewhere.

That should tighten up the bottom end of any of the amp models.

 

As was mentioned, I'd save your presets, do a full factory restore, then check the input impedance settings.

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"listening to demos online, through the very monitors I use, when they say they are straight into a recording app with no post and it is crystal clear, almost cab in room sounding, and then I use my helix through it and its the muffled tone all over again, even copying or downloading their patches."

 

There just has to be something in your setup.  Maybe in the begining it was hard to tell who was doing post production stuff, now with folks like Glenn, Scott, Chris, Fremen, when they post a demo...   it should be pretty darn close to what you download from them.

 

I assume you have the latest updates and it's been this way since day one?  So....   How do things sound via Headsets?  I find most presets sound fantastic in the headsets... not necessarily a good thing, but most do.   Lets not rule out that if could be a faulty unit.  Sometimes the simplest solution as they say....

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Well something's obviously amiss...I'd have to go along with a factory reset as a first step. If it sounds as close to a wet fart as described, then you've got nothing to lose.

 

The only other thing I'd add is with regard to demo videos...claims of "no post-processing" notwithstanding, I will be forever skeptical. Particularly if the presenter of the video is trying to sell you something....

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Sounds like a faulty unit or as mentioned a global EQ setting. It stays as it is set. Easy to overlook.

But sounds like a unit fault in that you have numerous guitars and I

presume they all suffer the same muffled tone.

 

If you could demo a Helix locally that might confirm your issue for you.

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I'm with everyone else here in thinking you should start over and just reset to factory defaults.  That should clear up any weird stuff in terms of input and output.

 

After that, start with just a basic signal chain with just an amp+cab block (leave all the default settings) and output it through your HS8 monitors.  Don't add anything before or after in the signal chain and maybe cycle through a few different basic amp+cab combos.  Leave all the default settings in place and see what happens.  If it's still really bad I'd contact Line 6 support because I think that pretty much indicates some issue with your Helix.

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Agree that this is way not normal. Gut level, I'd say it's more likely there's something funky about your signal chain than that you Helix is bent, but alsmo anything's possible. What's kind of not is that Helix is just like this, it's not.

 

What exactly do you mean by this (emphasis mine):

 

This is through all methods, power amp to Orange PPC212, to Yamaha HS8 monitors and Audio Technica ATH-R70x monitors, so no part of me is considering that it is the medium which I am playing through.

Have you tried listening to headphones plugged straight into your Helix? Or is that part of what you meant you did?

 

What's the "power amp" in that chain? Are you going into a guitar amp before routing to Helix? After? I guess the real question is, what's your full signal chain?

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Try turning the volume down on the helix, to like between 10 and noon. You may be sending too hot and signal out of the helix.

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Is the guitar pad off in Helix Global Settings>Ins/Outs?  Guitar Input Z (impedance) set to Auto on you patch input blocks?

 

I do not use Global EQ (off).

 

Personally, for high gain amps (Ubersonic, Cali Rectifier, Brit 2203, Angel Meteor, Fatality, Panama, etc.) I like to use dual Helix Uber V30 cabs with 112 + 421 Dynamic mics.  Distance 2.5" and Early Reflections at 30% on both mics.

 

I also put a parametric eq after the cab (not an original concept, used on a few stock Helix patches as well as some 3rd party patches)

  • Low Freq: 120 Hz
  • Low Q: 4.2
  • Low Gain: +7.3 dB
  • Mid Freq: 750 Hz
  • Mid Q: -4.2
  • Mid Gain: -2.4 dB
  • High Freq: 8.0 kHz
  • High Q: 3.8
  • High Gain: -2.0 dB
  • No high cut, low cut
  • Level: 0 dB

 

Note that I went through an A-B comparison and match effort of a few of my favorite V30 412 IR's to come up with those HX Cabs and Parametric EQ settings.  This Helix cabs + parametric eq setup works for all high gain amps for me. 

 

 

I do not use Global EQ (off).  I do not use distortion pedal blocks as they thin out the sound to me.  I prefer Helix amp distortion.

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Have had the unit since release and I'm really starting to question, just how good this unit really is, or if in fact mine has been fault all along. I find that for every high gain tone I am always forever trying to cut out that wet blanket or muffled tone. I have cut freqs, boosted freqs, EQs in front, behind, both of amp and cab blocks. The only amp I have found "workable" for a high gain tone is the uberschall model. Everything else has this low mid muffle that cant be cut, or extreme low end that can be dialed out, to the point where I completely dialed out the bass on the amp block and it was still booming. 

 

This is through all methods, power amp to Orange PPC212, to Yamaha HS8 monitors and Audio Technica ATH-R70x monitors, so no part of me is considering that it is the medium which I am playing through.

The kicker for me is listening to demos online, through the very monitors I use, when they say they are straight into a recording app with no post and it is crystal clear, almost cab in room sounding, and then I use my helix through it and its the muffled tone all over again, even copying or downloading their patches. Now I get that a different guitar and tuning will have a big impact, but you should be ale to dial the majority of that out with some minor eq on the amp block.

 

If I don't use the uberschall model, the tone is either extreme fizz, or for instance using the marshall models, extreme flub broken sounding low end and so so much of that low end, wet blanket and some fizz, its almost sound that you would expect listening to a battery powered audio device that is dying. Pretty much every high gain amp model sounds like a fuzz pedal on roids, is a fight to remove copious low end, remove the wet blanket and get a clear sound that would cut. None of my amp models have sounded like the demos of that block that I have watched, the marshalls especially....

 

For high gain my typical configuration is TS9, uber, 10 band, noise gate, then into a dual cab setup, both mandarin 4x12 blocks and if I use anything but a 421 and 112 or 57 mic is like trying to listen with a wah slightly cocked. I cut around the 80-100, anything above and it is so so thin sounding. Any other cab and we are back to trying to dial out even more muffled tone...

If I use third party IR's I may as well throw pillows on both of my ears. For example, in Olas demo, before the IR both demos sounded kind of flat, and then with his IR it was clear and it cut very well. I downloaded his patches and IR to see if I had the same results. My tone I had was more muffled using the exact same monitors I used to listen to his demo, at the same volume, and then when I used his IR it was EVEN WORSE, more muffled again!

For my global EQ I have a huge cut around 350hz, -8db, if I don't the wet blanket is ever worse. If I go any more then the sound gets thinner and thinner....

 

Guitars I am using through it are;

Ibanez SZ4020FM, Duncan SD, Drop D

Ibanez SZ2020FM, Duncan Distortion C#

Ibanez SZ2020EX, Duncan Distortion Drop B

Ibanez MMM1, Duncan Distortion C#

PRS P22, Stock 53/10s Drop D

PRS SE245, Duncan JB, Drop D

 

Now none of these guitars had any issues with clarity in the past before helix and given the nature of the high end in these pickups they should all cut, the only pickups I should have a huge issue with are the 53/10s....

 

Basically the only way I can get any decent tone is to smash volume out of this thing, anything that is normal bedroom level is flat and muffled, even though its the same volume I am listening to the demos on youtube at while smashing my head on my desk asking why cant I get even close....

 

Is it likely that my helix has been faulty all along, that some audio chip has shat the bed and is just killing the tone? It cant be this impossible to dial a good tone and to remove so so much low end and wet blanket....

Before you even think about a reset you better have all of your IRs in alphabetical order or you are losing all of your presets with IRs.

 

Lets try something...a simple riff. Take my settings, load them into your Helix, play the riff, double track it,  helix volume at 12:30...Leave both track faders set to 0db, pans 84L 84R, try to mix your track as close to -12 as possible without any processing at all (your master fader all the way up-about +10db) and compare it to mine here.

 

Here are my settings (just import and load the file) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/26654830/UC/AC30%20Heavy.hlx

 

Heres the riff ...Tempo is 105   https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/26654830/UC/hx1.wav

 

Anyone else wants to give it a go feel free. Just to compare how these particular setting might sound from unit to unit...... sure there are other variables, but playing the same riff with the same mix settings, we should be able to get a pretty good idea.

 

I realize this isnt a world class sound :) Im on dell destops at the moment and i just punched buttons up for a reasonably tame low end since the OP expressed specific interest in this area. Could be cool to compare a few though.

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It is established that you have a major problem and lots of good advice. I would do the following in order:

 

1. Check that Wah is not engaged. Check cords you are using to go from Helix to amp. Try new ones. If using XLR make sure they are balanced cables.

2. Turn off Global EQ

1. Back up your IR's and export your bundle to save everything.

2. Update to latest firmware 2.01 and make sure you do the last step of rebuilding your presets.

3. Try different factory presets to see if problem is gone. If it is, load your bundle and IR's and go. If not you have a bad unit.

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Newness wears off on anything at some point. I still like the Helix and I am waiting for the next upgrade to see what direction they take it, if it becomes more POD like with more cheese effects I am off the wagon. Thought occurred to me that one has to reset the globals when updating that might be some sense of the problem, or I would reload the software and reset the globals again per instruction update sheet.

Personally I use BBE units on all my rigs including the Helix and its phase correction circuit lifts the blanket off the tones for me.

Just a note EQ is an infinite thing for everyone. I noticed the one guy above boosts at 750hz when that is the fav Mesa notch frequency point on high gain.

 

I have moments with the Helix where I get upset at the cost but I manage to find some things I can use and like and I started farming out to other effects especially front end drives and my high gain pedals I like with clean amps. I have a GSP1101 rig which is brand new, I thought to sell it but I was not going to give it away so when it did not sell I decided to try using it with the Helix.

 

There are some models in that unit I just love that nothing else gets close to like the Clean Tube 2101 model which is the best sounding clean (Fender somewhat but much better) tube clean tone ever. Not even the Helix models get that tone. I had been using the Mic Studio Tube Preamp trick (impedance to line set at 10.0 and gain at 4.0 which is clean but adds a nice tube-ish enhancement) in front of my amps set clean and I replaced that with the GSP 1101 clean tube model and man what a difference. The 1101 also lets you run the amp using cab on direct which sounds great unlike the Helix which sounds terrible without the IR or the Preamps which are too thin.The whole IR thing on the Helix drives me batty at times all this fuss to get the sound of low tech low efficient speakers and these mic filter matrix things which completely alter the sound, why bother to have a great sounding amp when the, mic, cab or speaker IR just changes it completely? 

 

The 1101 also has some extremely good acoustic guitar simulator models that the Helix does not have. Anyway, I thought two modelers would be too much but the integration ability gave me a host of new options and more effects if I need them. I find artful use of external stuff and creative routing breathed new life in the Helix for me. I hope the next update does two things that I feel are grossly lacking: HX Reverb models, for god sakes model Strymon. Polyphonic tracking on the crappy Whammy model, pitch and octave models. Why on earth use state of the art modeling to mimic crappy cheese pedals? If you were going to model a Whammy you picked the early glitchmaster unit instead of the new [polyphonic Whammy V version with detune tuning ability?? That makes any sense to anyone but someone who likes the crappy POD M effects? Reminds me of someone playing chords in an older Whammy with it glitching all over the place from bad tracking thinking that is a part of the tone...

This POD thing which L6 seems to not be able to get away from with copies of old tech pedals is such a waste of space in the Helix, I am just not using any of that crap I will just farm out to better pedals. So I have had to learn what I like about it and use it. The advantage it does have is all the loops and routing ability so I make use of it. 

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So many awesome responses.

I'm going to try the factory reset first and see how I go from there, that's just the one where you hold two particular buttons down and it resets yeah?

 

As regards to wah, I dont have any wah effects in my chain, all the wah models do my head in, until they release an auto on wah with the expression pedal and model a bad horsie 2 then I will never have one in the chain.

The power amp I have been using is a Marshall VS120, and before that was the power section of a Randall RD100H, up loud I will say that it sounds pretty good, but given this is a modeler and meant to emulate all those things about cranked tubes at reasonable listening volumes I shouldn't have to push the speakers to breakup to get a good tone out of any of the listening mediums.

 

Reg global EQ, if I dont have that on with the huge scoop on the 350hz band then there's really no point even trying to play.

 

If I knew of one locally in a store I would be all over trying it out, but given its line6 and the price point in Australia I dare say its one of those things where the stores don't want it in stock unless you want it.

 

Ill let you all know how the reset goes later on, havn't had the heart to touch the unit since I posted this the other night.

 

Thanks guys!

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I am actually having the opposite problem.  I have been loving this unit for months and now all of a sudden I can't get a usable clean tone out of it.  All of a sudden it is very, very brittle and fizzy.  It is like the cab sim is off and it is running direct into a mixer.  Or, like somehow part of the dry signal is clippig and running in a parallel flow.  I don't have the global EQ on, I have the low cut at 90 and high cut at 6.5 on the cab models.  I have even started fresh with new patches with just and amp/cab block and nothing else and it is still bad.  It is all high end fizz and low end but no warmth, no overtones or usable midrange. The only way i can warm it up is to turn the impedance to around 32K but then it just sounds like less fizz and high a dull high end.  I have tried on all my normal listening environments - headphones, studio monitors, PA and they all have the same obnoxious fizz to it.  The vox amps are particularly bad and it is even worse if I try any of my guitars with Seymour Duncan JB pickups.  It isn't just one guitar since my tele, which is already bright but it is now take your head off bright, my strat is a bit better than the tele but still bad, my 2 PRS and 2 Les Pauls are so bad that the neck pickups sound like really bright bridge pickups with zero warmth now.  The humbucker equipped guitars really bring in the fizz. I've had this unit since Feb and have loved it but the last 2 days I want to throw it in the driveway and drive over it.  I was messing with a patch the other night and was playing with the bias, hum, ripple, biasx settings and had set the hum to 0, bias high, biasx low, ripple low, and lowered the sag - just experimenting with tones.  It is now like it applied that to everything on the unit even though that isn't the case.  I am going to try a reset as well but this is very frustrating.  It would've sucked to show up at a gig, turn on the unit and have tones this bad....  I had to fire up the Orange Rockerverb tonight so I could practice with good tones again - until I got told to turn it down the kids were going to bed.. :(

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I am actually having the opposite problem.  I have been loving this unit for months and now all of a sudden I can't get a usable clean tone out of it.  All of a sudden it is very, very brittle and fizzy.  It is like the cab sim is off and it is running direct into a mixer.  Or, like somehow part of the dry signal is clippig and running in a parallel flow.  I don't have the global EQ on, I have the low cut at 90 and high cut at 6.5 on the cab models.  I have even started fresh with new patches with just and amp/cab block and nothing else and it is still bad.  It is all high end fizz and low end but no warmth, no overtones or usable midrange. The only way i can warm it up is to turn the impedance to around 32K but then it just sounds like less fizz and high a dull high end.  I have tried on all my normal listening environments - headphones, studio monitors, PA and they all have the same obnoxious fizz to it.  The vox amps are particularly bad and it is even worse if I try any of my guitars with Seymour Duncan JB pickups.  It isn't just one guitar since my tele, which is already bright but it is now take your head off bright, my strat is a bit better than the tele but still bad, my 2 PRS and 2 Les Pauls are so bad that the neck pickups sound like really bright bridge pickups with zero warmth now.  The humbucker equipped guitars really bring in the fizz. I've had this unit since Feb and have loved it but the last 2 days I want to throw it in the driveway and drive over it.  I was messing with a patch the other night and was playing with the bias, hum, ripple, biasx settings and had set the hum to 0, bias high, biasx low, ripple low, and lowered the sag - just experimenting with tones.  It is now like it applied that to everything on the unit even though that isn't the case.  I am going to try a reset as well but this is very frustrating.  It would've sucked to show up at a gig, turn on the unit and have tones this bad....  I had to fire up the Orange Rockerverb tonight so I could practice with good tones again - until I got told to turn it down the kids were going to bed.. :(

Can you post a picture of a preset that you're having trouble with?

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Strabes - It wasn't just with one preset.  it was with everything including building new patches.  Last night after this post I went ahead and re-flashed the bios again, reset all the factory defaults and reloaded my presets.  Things seem to be better again.  I don't know what happened or what changed to make the unit get in that state where it was all shrill and fizzy but re-flashing and resetting corrected the problem and it is sounding good again (assuming you do the high and low pass filter on the cabs). Hopefully it doens't get in that state again.  Line 6 should default to a low and high pass filter on all the built in cabs since they sound pretty nasty on FRFR systems without the cuts.

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 I had been using the Mic Studio Tube Preamp trick (impedance to line set at 10.0 and gain at 4.0 which is clean but adds a nice tube-ish enhancement) in front of my amps set clean and I replaced that with the GSP 1101 clean tube model and man what a difference. 

Im not sure if id call it a "trick" or not. Any of the pre's will do this. Just keep the elements down that add distortion (if thats what a person wants) and boost those that add volume. Even using a pre model as a distortion pedal works often works well. Some of my best Helix sounds were built by stacking two pres. Though, it can make tweaking feel endless at times.

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Feeling less and less enthused

 

 

 

Age does that eventually to all of us...

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< I can't get a usable clean tone out of it.> 

 

One tip -  Try the Fremen patches.    I've been surprised how much i can get on with them considering i'm primarily a clean jazzy person not HM or High Gain. 

 

​Tonight - after spending a bit of time converting most of the Fremen into snapshots  i've spent some time with the Fremen clean presets jamming to jazz blues backing tracks and loving it. 

 

What i really like is how he seems to have balanced the volume and tone ACROSS the six strings.  

 

​As a part resort try them . 

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Strabes - It wasn't just with one preset.  it was with everything including building new patches.  Last night after this post I went ahead and re-flashed the bios again, reset all the factory defaults and reloaded my presets.  Things seem to be better again.  I don't know what happened or what changed to make the unit get in that state where it was all shrill and fizzy but re-flashing and resetting corrected the problem and it is sounding good again (assuming you do the high and low pass filter on the cabs). Hopefully it doens't get in that state again.  Line 6 should default to a low and high pass filter on all the built in cabs since they sound pretty nasty on FRFR systems without the cuts.

 

Glad to hear your system is back. This is a great reminder to me of why it is such a good idea to keep your preset and IR backups current and take note of your global settings. You never know when something might get corrupted or if you just accidentally set something incorrectly. At some level this is a computer and i always want to be able to roll back to the last point where things were working properly.

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Line 6 should default to a low and high pass filter on all the built in cabs since they sound pretty nasty on FRFR systems without the cuts.

 

See I don't quite understand this because the cabs were intended for "FRFR= Full Range Flat Response" speakers were they not?

I agree that sometimes cuts may indeed be needed, but the cabs included in Helix should have been already tweaked for the most part by Line-6.

And so all things being equal, the only thing that could change this "nasty sound" is the reference monitor differences themselves. 

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Not all FRFRs are FRFR. Some require more EQ than others, especially those created for PA or monitor use having horns. Also there's a wide range of tastes on how to mic an amp and how to EQ the resulting tracks when recording. A lot of this depends on the song, instrument, pick, player style, room and production. A little high and low cut on an IR or cab model provides a really simple way to deal with some of these variables without using up another block, or having to deal with more complex EQ. Generally its better to cut than boost, so the impulse responses and cabinet models may be captured a little bright to make them more flexible. Not sure if this is the case, but it makes some sense.

 

I haven't followed this whole thread. But if you're getting a "nasty sound" from Helix there's probably a few places to look:

 

  1. Start with the source - the guitar. Is there a buzz someplace on the bridge, behind the nut, a bad tone cap, dirty volume pot, microphonic pickups, microphonic cable? Try a different guitar and cable.
  2. If this is all good, move to the destination - the speaker. Is there a bad speaker in the FRFR (damaged speakers can work a long time and make lots of buzzing noises)? Is there a problem with your power amp? Speaker cables OK?
  3. Make sure by trying headphones, if the nasty sound is still there, and not coming from your guitar, then its in Helix
  4. Start with the input. Are you using the guitar input? Is the impedance high or auto? Is the jack making a good connection? Are you overdriving the input? Digital clipping will never sound good. Try the input pad.
  5. If the input is ok and the pad doesn't fix it, then its in the patch. Start with a very simple patch using a Fender Twin and nothing else. Make sure the inputs and outputs are set properly and there's no gain boost anywhere. Turning the amp block off and on should be about the same overall level - unity gain through Helix input and output. 
  6. If this is still bad, make sure you're not clipping the input of the amp Helix is connected to. Although if this is the problem, it wouldn't show up in headphones unless you're using headphones that don't work well with Helix. There's lots of threads covering this.

 

If all this checks out and you still have the problem, then I suspect there's an issue with your Helix. Your issue may be uncommon, but it's perhaps not unique. There are lots of things that can cause issues in such a complex signal chain.

 

Here's an experience I had to provide additional perspective. I was testing the Helix mic input to see if mine was one of the instances that had issues with the mic pres. I plugged in a Rode NT5 that I leave on a stand for recording acoustic guitar. Sure enough I get a brief amount of crackling and then no sound. I unplug the NT5, turn off phantom power and plug in a Beta58. No sound. I must have one of the bad units/ So I box it up and send it back to Line6 for repair. They get it and send me an note saying there's nothing wrong with the unit. What gives?! Line6 sends it back with no repair.

 

I get the Helix back, do the same test, sure enough, no sound. But this time I rebooted Helix and tried again in reverse order, the Beta58 first. And it worked fine. Plug in the NT5 and the sound buzzes a bit then dies. Reboot again and try a different condenser mic, and it works fine. 

 

Turns out there's something about that particular NT5, or maybe all NT5's that the Helix mic input doesn't like. 

 

Wow knows, maybe you've found some similar unique combination that has issues.

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I bought Line 6 HELIX more for the edition applications and cristal clear tones 'cuz I'm more a clean channel guitar player and fx tone freak, which I consider the PERFECT unit to do that. On the other hand, YES, I think HELIX is not working for high gain tunes at all; that's why I still use PODxt models and try to combine it with Helix.(or my real deal rig: real amps such as Randalls). I'm very close to get the money to buy a Fractal unit, then I will be UNSTOPPABLE. Imagine having Hitler and Cesar in your tone rig!!!

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Ok, so I did a factory reset and reloaded the latest software and my presets. I think, and it could just be in my head, that through a cab it may have sounded a little better, as for monitors and headphones its still that muffled tone so the fight continues. At this stage I've disengaged global EQ and trying more and more EQ options. To me though, having to potentially run an EQ before the amp, an OD, and EQ after the amp, low hi cut on the cab, an EQ after the cab and a low hi cut before the output just seems like too much trouble for what should be a unit of endless great tones. The whole idea was to be able to plug in ring up an od and an amp and go, not the case by a long shot....

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... I'm very close to get the money to buy a Fractal unit, then I will be UNSTOPPABLE. Imagine having Hitler and Cesar in your tone rig!!!

 

-1000 "Hitler in your tone rig", wtf? No thank you! Think you need to read up on your history. Very gnarly and negative reference there. I don't want Pol Pot or Stalin in my rig either.  :angry:

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 Very gnarly and negative reference there. I don't want Pol Pot or Stalin in my rig either.  :angry:

I'm terribly SORRY if I hurted your feelings, you are absolutely right, not a good analogy, please help me to say it better: "imagine I'll have HE-MAN and LION-O" instead of those villians mentioned above. 

 

But we have to admit Helix NEEDS a serious high gain tone and I really would like to have an original Line6 invention instead of modeling any existing amp or brand.

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...just seems like too much trouble for what should be a unit of endless great tones. The whole idea was to be able to plug in ring up an od and an amp and go, not the case by a long shot....

welcome aboard, professional gear requires much more work and tweaking; it demands more experience and guess what??? you may need more stuf before n' after your HELIX

 

there's no such a single music divice enough to get what you wanna hear

 

be patient, you are in front of one of the most outstanding technology, when you get at this level there's no plug n' play simplicity anymore

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I'm terribly SORRY if I hurted your feelings, you are absolutely right, not a good analogy, please help me to say it better: "imagine I'll have HE-MAN and LION-O" instead of those villians mentioned above. 

 

But we have to admit Helix NEEDS a serious high gain tone and I really would like to have an original Line6 invention instead of modeling any existing amp or brand.

 

Cool! I appreciate your subsequent post. Moving on, I don't think any offence was intended.

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Did a couple of really scrappy short recordings, bit of an out of time tol riff and just some odd palm mutes and chords to give an idea of the tone im talking about, nothing special by any means. I wish I knew how to just re amp, but reaper is one hell of a confusing beast to me at the moment. Recorded on the factory presets with no adjustments, last one will be of my own Uber model setting.

 

Recorded on what is one of my brightest guitars, Ibanez SZ4020FM, JB in the bridge, Drop D 10-52.

https://soundcloud.com/brad-butler-22/factory-cali

https://soundcloud.com/brad-butler-22/factory-2204

https://soundcloud.com/brad-butler-22/factory-uber

https://soundcloud.com/brad-butler-22/demo-uber

 

This is the closest ive come to being happy with a tone from the unit...
https://soundcloud.com/brad-butler-22/sz4020-the-patient-riff

 

Is there a way I can attach my preset into here so someone could look at it???

 

What I forgot to get was a quick demo of the factory AC30 which just sounds like a wet bass fart with a weird octave effect on it....

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welcome aboard, professional gear requires much more work and tweaking; it demands more experience and guess what??? you may need more stuf before n' after your HELIX

 

there's no such a single music divice enough to get what you wanna hear

 

be patient, you are in front of one of the most outstanding technology, when you get at this level there's no plug n' play simplicity anymore

Agree if OP belives that any famouse guitar player just hook up the gear he have (sorry his guitar tech hook up the gear) and just play he is way wrong.

It take them months sometimes even years and some player constantly changing their tone also as they "buy" oops is getting new gear for fee i mean

And they also have hours of soundchecks in every venue they play not like i have 30 min max often less that that.

 

But the fine thing about being a real pro is that most of the work you dont do yourself they can come in to the venue a couple of ours before the show and just check everything is ok to their ears.

 

And their tech constrantly have dialogue with them about how they wants to sound and the tech also does all wiring soldering and preset making etc some simple tweaks is done by the guitarist themself..

Not to mention the tech also does all tuning of the guitars they change strings does all setups etc etc.

 

No pro that have complicated sounds as far as i know just buy a gear and just hook it up and start playing..

 

Not even Angus Youngs sound who is supposed to be a very simple sound to dial in is simple.

It is months well even years of tweaking to get his sounds right and he doesnt even use effects and he have a tech that is constantly working on his tone to get it right.

So OP go figure they dont buy a piece of gear hook it up and play out of the box!!

If you want to do that i say start playing punk music instead of metal

And b.t.w downtuned metal and using 7-8 string guitars is way harder to get right soundwise than using 6 string guitars with regular A-440 tuning.

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I bought Line 6 HELIX more for the edition applications and cristal clear tones 'cuz I'm more a clean channel guitar player and fx tone freak, which I consider the PERFECT unit to do that. On the other hand, YES, I think HELIX is not working for high gain tunes at all; that's why I still use PODxt models and try to combine it with Helix.(or my real deal rig: real amps such as Randalls). I'm very close to get the money to buy a Fractal unit, then I will be UNSTOPPABLE. Imagine having Hitler and Cesar in your tone rig!!!

Wow cool so buying a Fractal is gonna make you unstoppable?

Is it gonna make you a better player?

I wonder how people got their tones and their playing skills before Fractal released Axe FX?

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Thanks for reading. The idea of showing enthusiasm for acquiring gear is the same as getting different guitars. Accoustics: nylon, steel and parlor boxes. Eléctrics: fender, gib, ibz, variax. So having more options is an individual call. You may be tolly satisfied with your gear n' licks you play. I need to go further and helix is definately not enough and before I do the production in my music creation process there are more important elements than a single piece of gear that I work with more attention. Please don't missundertand my strange sense of humor. I'm just trying to say that after several discussions it's been said that fractal has better high gain tones than Helix. And I insist, I bought it for the clean stuff I use. Then, I need Axe FX so I can be completed in my personal digital needs. Trust me, I'm more a musician than a gear collector. Actually, I'm a classical guitar player, composer, arranger, I Write music for orchestra and also I really enjoy this modern technology that has helped me to develope my music skills.

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Agree if OP belives that any famouse guitar player just hook up the gear he have (sorry his guitar tech hook up the gear) and just play he is way wrong.

It take them months sometimes even years and some player constantly changing their tone also as they "buy" oops is getting new gear for fee i mean

And they also have hours of soundchecks in every venue they play not like i have 30 min max often less that that.

 

But the fine thing about being a real pro is that most of the work you dont do yourself they can come in to the venue a couple of ours before the show and just check everything is ok to their ears.

 

And their tech constrantly have dialogue with them about how they wants to sound and the tech also does all wiring soldering and preset making etc some simple tweaks is done by the guitarist themself..

Not to mention the tech also does all tuning of the guitars they change strings does all setups etc etc.

 

No pro that have complicated sounds as far as i know just buy a gear and just hook it up and start playing..

 

Not even Angus Youngs sound who is supposed to be a very simple sound to dial in is simple.

It is months well even years of tweaking to get his sounds right and he doesnt even use effects and he have a tech that is constantly working on his tone to get it right.

So OP go figure they dont buy a piece of gear hook it up and play out of the box!!

If you want to do that i say start playing punk music instead of metal

And b.t.w downtuned metal and using 7-8 string guitars is way harder to get right soundwise than using 6 string guitars with regular A-440 tuning.

 

Ahhh ok, not using 7-8 string guitars, as I posted the majority of my guitars are E standard/Drop D, among other weird stuff you posted there but thanks for your helpful input I guess?

However if you watched all the demos leading up to release, all the hype, it was in fact marketed as something that yes you could indeed plug in turn on and dial up a great tone.

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How are you getting the signal to your monitors? Direct or through a computer? 

 

The demos of stock presets don't sound too different from what I would expect. But the compensation in EQ in the later demos sounds like it's overcompensating for your listening environment. The demos did sound quiet. I'm not sure what setting you have the volume. Could be an element. Possibly not. And I'm not even sure about the listening environment part.

 

However, I dislike the Orange models for exactly the reason you're here. I imagine the cab blocks are a large portion of the culprit. I'd recommend staying away from them. 

 

I don't really want to type out a huge wall here, but (EDIT: here I go apparently) my recommendation is to look at the internal routing like an actual tube situation. (Also, before I continue, I want to point out that I strongly disagree with your statement that minor EQ can compensate for a muddy guitar/pickup. Sound starts there. Pots, pickups, material. Huge impact.) I rarely go to these high gain amp models for my high gain tones. I'm a bit of a different player, but look back at some of the great high gain pioneers. Also, you might think you need more gain than you really do, but that's a different conversation and I don't want to seem like I'm patronizing you. 

 

I am personally getting very good higher gain results with more classic amps. I think it might benefit you to explore that realm for multiple reasons. One, it'll simplify some of the structure. Going with an amp that "doesn't have" a master volume simplifies the gain sounds. Knowing the difference between preamp and power amp distortion is a good lesson. It can really guide you to how you want to push your amp. 

 

But I want to take one step back with that in mind. Going back to a more classic amp, get a good clean tone. One that sparkles in the way you want. Lush, but not boomy. Then start to push the amp from there. I'm not a huge fan of TS style pedals, but they play their place in tone shaping. They cut some lows and really notch out your tone. I'd recommend a Centaur for a flatter type of drive to push the tone toward what you want. Then pushing the drive on your "masterless" model to continue. An alternative to the drive on the amp could be as simple as a clean boost (EDIT: Clean boost could be as simple as a flat EQ with up to 12db of gain across the board. Or +6 to the mid section and +12 to the highs on the Simple EQ) to slam the front end of the amp. You'll get some nice play with the harmonics going on. 

 

I also suggest (if I haven't already. It appears I'm writing exactly as much as I didn't want to.) from there to start playing with the mics and their placement. Start with just one cab. One mic. It'll isolate the variables in the rig and you can grow from there. You'll be better for it. At least it's good for me, anyway. 

 

It really helps to have some good tube amp experience to guide you through. It really informs you on what kind of beast you're dealing with. For instance, I don't particularly care for Rectifiers for their muddiness indeed. So that's already one step toward what your problem is. I experienced muddiness with most of the high gain models. 5150 might be closer to the bite you're looking for. I am personally having a lot of success with the Bassman. I visit other amps like the AC30 (fawn or not, one of the most capable amps of all time) from time to time, but I keep going back. Then again, I go between rock/metal to blues/jazz, so it's a nice little setup for me. 

 

Just recently though, I've changed the stock cab with the mic six or so inches away and some early reflection to a blackback with an 84 condenser up close. I wasn't liking some low end flub that was happening, so I tightened it up in a 412. This is all to say that there are options. And it's not all necessarily EQ. There are so many characteristics to explore that EQ just won't solve. 

 

In conclusion, I'd say take a look at your pickups (I'm not particularly familiar with yours). And take a look at how you're feeding your signal to your monitors. I imagine it's going through your computer somehow. Could be your interface. Maybe there's some knob turned on your digital "console." If it's not a matter of a dark guitar or a monitoring signal path snafu, take a look at how you're creating your tone. EQ should be a last resort. If you can master edge of breakup tone, you can easily step into the high gain world from there with all the bite and nuance you've ever desired. That's what edge of breakup is all about. 

 

 

 

Now that my dissertation is done, I've been inspired to go mess with the Helix. This thing is really great. I've learned even more because of it. Mostly about cabs and mics, and how they react in a space. It really is a guitar studio in a box. 

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-1000 "Hitler in your tone rig", wtf? No thank you! Think you need to read up on your history. Very gnarly and negative reference there. I don't want Pol Pot or Stalin in my rig either. :angry:

What about Ghengis Khan, Idi Amin, King Edward I, Tomás de Torquemada? ;)

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What about Ghengis Khan, Idi Amin, King Edward I, Tomás de Torquemada? ;)

 

Nope not them either, when we say the band was "killin' it" tonight we do not mean it literally.  ;)

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