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Should I return the Helix or ....?

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Today, I have to decide whether I return my Line 6 helix or keep it and keep tweaking.

I've satisfied with the clean sounds I'm getting out of the helix but am not quite convinced about the hi-gain stuff. Below is a sample of the sound I've been able to get out the helix. What do you think is missing?

 

https://soundcloud.com/baron-toria/helix-tone-test

 

My other consideration would be the Fractal AX8 of course which has the following pros (based on what I've heard/ read online):

1. Better sounds (amps, cabs and effects) - sounds also seem more organic!
2. Regular firmware updates and improvements to (digital) models
3. Better presets


But, this would be significantly more expensive for me as I'd have to invest in an expression pedal and an audio interface.

The pros I see in favor of the helix are:
1. Works as a USB audio interface
2. Built in expression pedal
3. Dynamic DSP and no limitation on how many instances of a particular block can be used (I believe the AX8 can support only one instance of each effect/ amp block)
4. Routing options (not 100% sure I'd use all these though!)
5. Easier to repair/ service (if the need should arise).
6. Better support than previous Line 6 products, including free updates with new amps etc.

 

What do you guys think? Keep the helix or return it?

 

P.S. Excuse the poor playing...I'm a bit rusty.. :)

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Ugh. Organic. (I get it, really I do...who wants antibiotics or pesticides in their musical equipment?)

 

Better this, better that. Easier to fix...because?

 

You might not realize it yet, but you've clearly already made your decision. Happy Fractaling. Let us all know when you're promoted to Cardinal in the Church of Cliff. ;)

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Ugh. Organic. (I get it, really I do...i don't want antibiotics or pesticides in my musical equipment either)

 

Better this, better that. Easier to fix...because?

 

You might not realize it yet, but you've clearly already made your decision. Happy Fractaling. Let us all know when you're promoted to Cardinal in the Church of Cliff. ;)

 

 Umm...to be clear...I have never used anything from Fractal before...my opinions on their stuff are based entirely on what I've read and heard online...

 

However, there was a big gap (for line 6) where Fractal took over the market for modelers and has continued improving their algorithms.

 

Now, I basically need to know if the Helix can actually get me where the Hi-gain tones I want (think Gojira, Periphery etc.) or not...

 

Looking for ways to improve my tone (as per the clip) and get there...or not...

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the Helix, as a device is 10x what the AX8 is as far as overall features. AX8 has more amp models, about 30% very redundant. 

Have you tried using external/aftermarket IR's with the amps in the Helix? For a lot of people, thats what makes the "organic" difference with the fractal stuff. Personally, the built-in helix cabs are more than usable and super adjustable.

But honestly, the Helix has no problem, grinding, thrashing, djenting, or dooming at any given time.

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Based on the sample, I don't really hear all that much wrong with the tone other than being a bit raw. Maybe turn the hi-cut filter on the cab or IR down some. The delay between the speakers interferes somewhat with the clarity. Not sure if you're using the DAW or an FX block in Helix to achieve the stereo separation. I'll use a dual pitch block for this type of sound, rather than the DAW.

 

The main there here, though, is how would this tone sound in a mix? It's hard to judge this stuff with no context.

 

Also, keep in mind that just because the AX8 has more models than Helix, doesn't necessarily mean a better result in terms of tone. I'm sure it would be quite easy to get crappy tones on the AX8, as well as on Helix.

 

Amps matter, but not nearly as much as the cab and mic or IR selection.

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However, there was a big gap (for line 6) where Fractal took over the market for modelers and has continued improving their algorithms.

 

And this was decided by what means? Executive order, Royal decree, or asking a Ouija board?

 

Again, you've decided..."Fractal better", and that's fine. If you haven't been able to get what you want from this unit, and today's the deadline to decide, having someone (or a dozen someones) promise "yep, it can do it, no worries" doesn't help you. Time's up...

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Not all IRs are the same as I've recently discovered.  I stayed away from IRs for quite a while because I didn't see any real significant difference, until I tried the Ownhammers and had access to a much wider range of mic and mic'ing techniques that were used for capture.  This is consistent with my experience in studios where multiple mics are used to produce the more realistic acoustic presence and sound of live cabinets.

 

I'd suggest, if you haven't done so already, get your hands on the free Mesa IR package from Ownhammer and try out several of the various mic mixes.  I suspect you'll find the difference you're looking for.

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First off if you are going to go Fractal, get the flagship unit not the lesser unit or you will regret not pushing the money a little more. If I could have made payments on a Fractal I would have gone that way but not the smaller unit. The Helix is in place at its cost level just as it is at least 3x better than a f reakin' POD so to is the Fractal another step up. 

Honestly, if I were to have the choices I made all over again, the times I opted to dump my pedals for the latest greatest multi unit I would opt for something like the Blu Amp and just use pedals. Digital effects just do not have the same feel, sound, organic, meatloaf, wolf howl, that analog does. Maybe never will. 

I have the same issues with amp modeling, never happy, never satisfied. if you are just after convenience and small, easy setup haul and rig then you cannot care that much about tone anyway. I am not a POD person nor would I ever care to use the Helix as a stand alone do everything unit. I like pedals and top shelf pedals are of a quality no multi unit is ever going to really match or out perform. Let's face it are they really going to copy mimic a Strymon quality delay or reverb in one of these units, I doubt if they can. Would probably eat up all the DSP just doing that. 

 

The Engl is your best bet for high gain on the models, artful tweaking is the name of the game in the Helix. Personally, I would just as soon use a great sounding clean amp and use a pedal high gain. But you can get the Engl to render a pretty damn good amp high gain of which I am picky over. 

 

Little tricks you pick up or hear. like using the MIC Studio Tube Preamp model set to 4.0 gain, 10.0 line impedance, in front of and/or in back of various amps helps add a little tube sound to the digital without distortion or clipping. When running a high gain amp one keeps the amp distortion backed off a little and use an OD to increase the amp gain. I've played through and had amps that were not worth a crap and at times we are too hard measured against amp modelers but the true test of a modeler is not the clean or high gain but the mid level of gain just to breakup where the true test of a model does or does not cut it. Few models can render a good sound in that range. 

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A bit of low pass and maybe tuning your guitar would be a great start.

 

I advise you to go and listen to isolated guitar tracks of your favourite records. Listen to them via the same source you will monitor your helix.

 

How does your tone compare?

 

I think people need to get a bit of perspective. They need to learn how to reference sound.

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A bit of low pass and maybe tuning your guitar would be a great start.

 

I advise you to go and listen to isolated guitar tracks of your favourite records. Listen to them via the same source you will monitor your helix.

 

How does your tone compare?

 

I think people need to get a bit of perspective. They need to learn how to reference sound.

 

Tuning? Really?

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I think people need to get a bit of perspective. They need to learn how to reference sound.

Nope. Give me magic, give it to me right now, and for free. That's the world we're living in.

 

And let's face it...there is a contingent who simply don't WANT to like modelers. For those who approach the whole concept with the pre-conceived notion that nothing will ever live up to their favorite amp or pedal, disappointment is inevitable. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. All the perspective in the world won't help.

 

And here's the best part....everyone might wanna take a seat. NOBODY'S RIGHT! It's all 100% subjective. There's nothing to measure or quantify. And no one preference is any more valid than another. You like it, or you don't. Don't like it? Move on...sooner or later you'll find something that works for you. Unless you're a complete malcontent, in which case you'll go to your grave miserable, and with sub-par tone. ;)

 

Use whatever gear blows your hair back. And for the love of all that is decent and holy, everybody stop asking other people if X, Y, or Z will fulfill your wildest guitar tone aspirations. It's an unanswerable question, and no one has the slightest idea, but YOU. Might as well be soliciting someone to pick you a new favorite color.

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Tuning? Really?

 

So the bit you responded to was the part about tuning. Good luck being unhappy with the next modeller you buy.

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Nope. Give me magic, give it to me right now, and for free. That's the world we're living in.

 

And let's face it...there is a contingent who simply don't WANT to like modelers. For those who approach the whole concept with the pre-conceived notion that nothing will ever live up to their favorite amp or pedal, disappointment is inevitable. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. All the perspective in the world won't help.

 

And here's the best part....everyone might wanna take a seat. NOBODY'S RIGHT! It's all 100% subjective. There's nothing to measure or quantify. And no one preference is any more valid than another. You like it, or you don't. Don't like it? Move on...sooner or later you'll find something that works for you. Unless you're a complete malcontent, in which case you'll go to your grave miserable, and with sub-par tone. ;)

 

Use whatever gear blows your hair back. And for the love of all that is decent and holy, everybody stop asking other people if X, Y, or Z will fulfill your wildest guitar tone aspirations. It's an unanswerable question, and no one has the slightest idea, but YOU. Might as well be soliciting someone to pick you a new favorite color.

 

Yes exactly. The whole Line6 vs Fractal vs Kemper triangle is tedious.

 

I offered advice to help him gauge his tone and he whined about the part which was least pertinent.

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The sample is not all that bad really.

A little tweaking, for my tastes trim some of the higher shrill end and and some bass punch. I hear no real tuning issue myself. If a person is not playing guitar at a basic pro level where you have your intonation properly set then one does not need high end gear.

Suggestions: 

I would put a MIC Studio Tube PreAmp 4.0 gain, 10.0 on "line" impedance in front of the amp and a Cali (Mesa V) after it. Boost the 80Hz cut at 750Hz adjust high end to taste the classic V is never a bad thing on high gain. Mesa V curve notch at 750Hz, but do not overtly adjust in either direction. Since most speakers start roll off at 5KHz you can trim back the cab settings to roll off around there, nothing less than 5K for my tastes, You can set your Global EQ which I keep mine pretty flat low end roll off below 50Hz, High end about 12K. Adjust that Cali until you get the low end punch and depth, notching at 750Hz helps to remove some of the not so great low mids (which is why Mesa chose 750).

IRs are a matter of taste, if I could find one I actually liked I would not be so leery of buying some. It's not that the cab hybrids in the Helix are bad, I can get some good tones out of them but it is all mic and settings to be sure. I really like the Coles Ribbon 4038 myself, maybe not everyone's cup of tea but I like the warmth and high end cut it adds. 

 

Something I suggest and I way say this not in regard to having a trimmed down easy haul rig, which tone is my goal. I 'd set up anything to improve my tone to where it just made you want to play, which brings me to my constant rack units I am never without. My BBE Sonic Maximizers, These are phase correction units which nothing else. no matter what nit claims otherwise, are duly tested, analyzed and work.

Set knobs around 12:00 no more, this is not an "effect". The unit will boost slightly at 50Hzand 5KHz so adjust the process knobs accordingly, the phase time lag correction (see BBE specs) occurs at any setting of the knobs.

Truly makes a world of difference to the punch clarity and dynamics of the tone. Really does sound similar to removing a blanket off your speakers. I first learned of using a BBE on guitar from Dave Mustaine. They work, I have 3 units in various models in my rack, XLR and 1/4 std, not used on the same feeds but for different chains, (never stack the unit or run one side into the other). They are to be placed as close as possible, nothing after them to the power amp section of whatever you are using. I use a power amp and I run the Helix XLR outs into the BBE then into the power amp. The only time you will notice the BBE is when it is off or not in line, the overall enhancement just improves the frequency issues inherent in all speakers due to physics. I cannot tell when mine are on as I am so used to the sound but if not there, man, something is not right. 

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T

 

The sample is not all that bad really.

A little tweaking, for my tastes trim some of the higher shrill end and and some bass punch. I hear no real tuning issue myself. If a person is not playing guitar at a basic pro level where you have your intonation properly set then one does not need high end gear.

Suggestions: 

I would put a MIC Studio Tube PreAmp 4.0 gain, 10.0 on "line" impedance in front of the amp and a Cali (Mesa V) after it. Boost the 80Hz cut at 750Hz adjust high end to taste the classic V is never a bad thing on high gain. Mesa V curve notch at 750Hz, but do not overtly adjust in either direction. Since most speakers start roll off at 5KHz you can trim back the cab settings to roll off around there, nothing less than 5K for my tastes, You can set your Global EQ which I keep mine pretty flat low end roll off below 50Hz, High end about 12K. Adjust that Cali until you get the low end punch and depth, notching at 750Hz helps to remove some of the not so great low mids (which is why Mesa chose 750).

IRs are a matter of taste, if I could find one I actually liked I would not be so leery of buying some. It's not that the cab hybrids in the Helix are bad, I can get some good tones out of them but it is all mic and settings to be sure. I really like the Coles Ribbon 4038 myself, maybe not everyone's cup of tea but I like the warmth and high end cut it adds. 

 

Something I suggest and I way say this not in regard to having a trimmed down easy haul rig, which tone is my goal. I 'd set up anything to improve my tone to where it just made you want to play, which brings me to my constant rack units I am never without. My BBE Sonic Maximizers, These are phase correction units which nothing else. no matter what nit claims otherwise, are duly tested, analyzed and work.

Set knobs around 12:00 no more, this is not an "effect". The unit will boost slightly at 50Hzand 5KHz so adjust the process knobs accordingly, the phase time lag correction (see BBE specs) occurs at any setting of the knobs.

Truly makes a world of difference to the punch clarity and dynamics of the tone. Really does sound similar to removing a blanket off your speakers. I first learned of using a BBE on guitar from Dave Mustaine. They work, I have 3 units in various models in my rack, XLR and 1/4 std, not used on the same feeds but for different chains, (never stack the unit or run one side into the other). They are to be placed as close as possible, nothing after them to the power amp section of whatever you are using. I use a power amp and I run the Helix XLR outs into the BBE then into the power amp. The only time you will notice the BBE is when it is off or not in line, the overall enhancement just improves the frequency issues inherent in all speakers due to physics. I cannot tell when mine are on as I am so used to the sound but if not there, man, something is not right. 

Thanks...will try this..

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I would go kemper instead if i decided to switch

If i could i choosed an AXE FX (Not AX8) but thats more than double the price and i need to buy their pedalboard and expression pedal aswell add alot more money.

Kemper has equally good metal tone as Fractal (well in Olas blindtest it did sound almost as bad as Helix but the profile he did with the maxon was better)

I guess a little tweak on the Kemper could make it sound equally as good as AX8 in that test..

With helix it needs alot of more tweaking and adding EQ,s and filters to get a closer tone than the others and still it would have that Line6 fizz character to it.

 

Bias head was impressive as he didnt even used the IR he used in Helix and AX8..

 

I really hope Line 6 fix those high gain issues soon i dont care about more amps at this moment i hope instead they fix the ones who is already there or work at coding new amps and fix the ones that is already there at the same time..

 

When i took a look at Fractals firmware release note i saw this.

 

"Tweaked the gain in many amp models to compensate for new modeling and make more accurate"

"Greatly improved cathode follower modeling. The cathode follower modeling now varies the amount of distortion in addition to compression. This results in a more dynamic attack, improved feel and more “punch†and “thunk†(since this also creates low frequency energy into the power amp)."

"Completely reworked 65 Bassguy model. This amp has a very peculiar feedback circuit that was not fully modeled before. The feedback is now fully modeled yielding the unique voice of this legendary amp. For best results it is recommended to reset the model by selecting another model and then reselecting the desired model."

 

And of course it was alot of added this and that amp

 

We can only hope Line 6 coders work in similar manners

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This post could have gone in any one of many threads here...

 

The comments about isolated tracks are extremely relevant. It seems many of the Helix users, pretend users, and general haters have not actually experienced the sound of an amp and cabinet, miced up and monitored in another room through near fields.

 

While I see no value in "shootouts" or in trying to compare which product is "Better" given that all the flagship products are capable of professional quality sounds, I did watch the youtube clip comparing the cabs in the helix and the AX8.  Now, given the amount of ranting out there that the fractal cabs are so superior I was amazed to hear how dull and lifeless they sounded.   The helix sounds represented pretty sell what you here in a studio before you start processing the mix...a bit bright and harsh when isolated - and strangle OK in the mix. The AX8 cabs sounded like they had a blanket over them.  Not at all what the actual raw miced sound would have been.  they sounded much more like the tones that bedroom players set up for jamming alone rather than tones a professional seeks to cut through a live mix.

Now, this isnt a commentary on quality...both products can be EQ'd and both can sound great - its just not what many people had been saying.

In a similar vein, the habits of metal fans to cut mids heavily are in direct opposition to my experience in crafting fat strong guitar sounds...i actually often boost between 600Hz and 1200 Hz .   Whatever works for you I guess.

I actually wonder if some companies pay people to post weirdly negative stuff on websites and fora to undermine their competitors...???

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...

 

"Tweaked the gain in many amp models to compensate for new modeling and make more accurate"

"Greatly improved cathode follower modeling. The cathode follower modeling now varies the amount of distortion in addition to compression. This results in a more dynamic attack, improved feel and more “punch†and “thunk†(since this also creates low frequency energy into the power amp)."

"Completely reworked 65 Bassguy model. This amp has a very peculiar feedback circuit that was not fully modeled before. The feedback is now fully modeled yielding the unique voice of this legendary amp. For best results it is recommended to reset the model by selecting another model and then reselecting the desired model."

 

And of course it was alot of added this and that amp

 

We can only hope Line 6 coders work in similar manners

 

I am totally satisfied with my choice of the Helix and don't want to find myself embroiled in yet another MFX comparison but I have to admit the level of specificity on those modeling changes would give me a warm and fuzzy if I saw them in a Helix firmware notes description.  Clearly Cliff is either paying close attention to detail and doing some very precise modeling or he is really good at marketing.

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I thought the first sample was fizzy.  The second one you just did sounded kind of muffled. 

Neither one is what I THINK you are going for (obviously or you wouldn't make this post). 

My thinking on your question is that you may be having a tough time putting together a good sound on the Helix. I KNOW the sound is there. But you just haven't gotten it yet. 

I'm thinking that maybe you should try some other people's patches that are in that genre of music you're into. Then you can tweak those out a bit to sound the way you want. Doing that might give you a better feel for tweaking the Helix as well. 

Anyway, good luck to you on finding that sound you are wanting. I do think the Helix is more than capable of doing what you want. :)
Check out this page: https://www.glenndelaune.com/patch%20downloads.htm and listen to some of the samples there....might be one there that could set you on the path. :)

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Well I'll play.   I'd like to hear a clip of what you think is "good tone."  Personally I didn't think the clip posted was all that good tone wise, and if that was the best I could get from my Helix I'd consider moving on as well.   Although I'm not sure I'd "move on" to a unit that uses the same DSP...  that doesn't' seem wise.

 

In any case...  as the sound is out of context, it's best to have a reference of a sound you'd like to sound like.   

 

FWIW, the sound clip posted sounded like what my first attempts sounded like when I wasn't using a AMP or Cab blocks, just the effects and no IR.  

 

Nice riffs by the way...

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Well I'll play.   I'd like to hear a clip of what you think is "good tone."  Personally I didn't think the clip posted was all that good tone wise, and if that was the best I could get from my Helix I'd consider moving on as well.   Although I'm not sure I'd "move on" to a unit that uses the same DSP...  that doesn't' seem wise.

 

In any case...  as the sound is out of context, it's best to have a reference of a sound you'd like to sound like.   

 

FWIW, the sound clip posted sounded like what my first attempts sounded like when I wasn't using a AMP or Cab blocks, just the effects and no IR.  

 

Nice riffs by the way...

Thanks for the compliment !

 

The general feeling now is that it's much easier to get a good tone out of the AX8.

 

The second clip was in fact made with Ola Englund's preset from the blind comparison series (MKiiC emulation).

 

The tone I'm looking for is something along the lines of Periphery, Monuments (I know John Browne demoed the Helix, but it isn't his main sound source), Gojira, etc.

 

Here's what I consider a good example:

 

A few hours left to decide!

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Well I'll play.   I'd like to hear a clip of what you think is "good tone."  Personally I didn't think the clip posted was all that good tone wise, and if that was the best I could get from my Helix I'd consider moving on as well.   Although I'm not sure I'd "move on" to a unit that uses the same DSP...  that doesn't' seem wise.

 

 

Exactly!!!  It's hard to gauge what he's after without some reference.

 

What surprises me in all of this discussion is there's been no mention (unless I missed it) of what amp model, cab/IR, and mic(s) he's using.  If you start with the wrong stuff you're never going to get where you want to be.  The term "tweaking" means to do some precise and relatively isolated changes to an already good foundation of tone.  If you're trying to change the sound to something dramatically different then you may have started off with the wrong foundation blocks.

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The answer is: you suck and you have no ears

 

 

The guys at Line 6 must just pull their hair out at these threads

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It's kind of hard to gauge which of the presets being demo'd are the one's you want to emulate, but I assume the preset starting somewhere around the 1:26 mark tends to be the closest to what your demos were.

 

Unfortunately I don't see anywhere in the demo where he's exposing what base amp he's using, but somewhere around the 2 minute mark he starts toggling the Tube Screamer off which exposes the raw sound of the amp.  To my ear it sounds a bit like an Orange, but without knowing what the cab and mic parameters are, it's hard to tell.

 

Whatever it is, I'd suggest using that part of the clip in which he's basically using the amp and cab by themselves to find the best amp, cab, and mic setup that comes closest to that sound just using the default settings.  Once you're close you can tweak the EQ/cab/mic to refine it.  From there you can add the Tube Screamer and adjust it along the lines of what's displayed in the video.  It looks like he was using it to add some tight low end to the sound.  I wouldn't bother with any other effects until you get the base sound pretty close.

 

Bear in mind there may be some differences due to the guitar and pickups he was using.

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Exactly!!!  It's hard to gauge what he's after without some reference.

 

What surprises me in all of this discussion is there's been no mention (unless I missed it) of what amp model, cab/IR, and mic(s) he's using.  If you start with the wrong stuff you're never going to get where you want to be.  The term "tweaking" means to do some precise and relatively isolated changes to an already good foundation of tone.  If you're trying to change the sound to something dramatically different then you may have started off with the wrong foundation blocks.

Amp for 1st tone - PV Panama, with 3 Sigma MESA oversized IR.

 

2nd Tone - I believe it's a mark 4, used as a preamp and Ola's custom IR.

 

Btw, Just for kicks - took the Helix test today:

post-1849089-0-28868600-1476789596_thumb.png

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...or he is really good at marketing.

DING! DING! DING!

 

What else could be said? "Here's the new firmware. It kinda sucks, but I was hung over most of last month, so suck it."?

 

Of course it sounds impressive...it's supposed to. Plenty of the vague, if not outright meaningless terms like "chunk" and "thunk" that get used to describe guitar tones, sprinkled with just enough techno-babble to make it sound as if it was born from a black-budget defense project at Lockheed/Martin Skunkworks. That'll be $3500 please, but you'll have to wait for your "invitation"...

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Jecriminy, the animosity. OP just sat in quandary a lot of gearheads (of which I'm a card carrying member) face. In reality aaronbrito you aren't going to get an abundance of objectivity on the Helix forum when asking if you should return the unit for the competitors (undoubtedly the inverse responses if you posed a similar question on the Fractal forums). Above all else, people telling you 'yes, buy the Axe it sounds way better' does nothing to comfort the warm fuzzy feeling that what they spent their money on is the best choice. 

 

For me, the helix works great. I'm really happy with the sound, the interface and the additional bells and whistles (primarily the audio interface via USB, there's just no way that direct digital into a DAW isn't the path of least resistance for recording). My concerns about the unit are the same ones I'd have for any single entity solution with very high quality components, the concerns of parts failing when the warranty expires.Only way around that is stompboxes which has it's own flaws.

I will say that I watched a few of those side-by-side demos between the Axe FX and Helix that were recently put together and in most of them the Axe did sound noticeably better. But as a lot of people pointed out, EQ and IRs can resolve that, and truth be known I've never switched the Helix on and not loved the sound so that's all that matters.

 

Honestly though, and this is more from the perspective of all the gear, guitar and otherwise, I've ever bought. If you are on the fence at this stage I think you already know the answer to your question, return it. The gear I make a connection with I never ever consider selling or being without and it's a very personal thing. As I've said before, Helix, Axe, Kemper, NASA solution wont make a bad player sound good or a good player sound bad.

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Like many here, I have owned the Axe FX II and now the Helix. I owned it for a little over two years. In that time I extensively gigged and recorded with it. Trust me when I say, you are not going to find much, or maybe even anything for that matter, with the AX8 that you cannot get with a Helix tone-wise. Maybe option overload! Been there. As for functionality, Helix wins there everyday of the week. I am by no means a Line 6 fanboy either. Just wanted to offer my experience with both units.

 

With any modeler it takes time to get use to dialing it in the way you hear it in your head. Sometimes it takes a little thinking outside of the box. Even with the Fractal stuff, if you comb the forums, there are plenty of threads where people talk about how disappointed they were with the unit when first getting it. Good luck!

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If you can't get good tones from the helix you won't be able to get them from any modeler. I have a hard time believing you got a perfect score on the helix challenge but can't figure out what's wrong with the tones you posted. 

 

First clip was a lot better than the second but try using an EQ to shelve off some of the high end fizz that's coming through with that much distortion. You can also try using one of the stock 4x12 cabs and changing the mics. Some mics sound a lot more fizzy and some have a lot better bass response, or will help shelve off some of that harsh fizziness. 

 

For more meat you can try boosting 200-300hz. 

 

Also we can help you more effectively if you post an example of the tone you're going for. 

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If you can't get good tones from the helix you won't be able to get them from any modeler. I have a hard time believing you got a perfect score on the helix challenge but can't figure out what's wrong with the tones you posted. 

 

First clip was a lot better than the second but try using an EQ to shelve off some of the high end fizz that's coming through with that much distortion. You can also try using one of the stock 4x12 cabs and changing the mics. Some mics sound a lot more fizzy and some have a lot better bass response, or will help shelve off some of that harsh fizziness. 

 

For more meat you can try boosting 200-300hz. 

 

Also we can help you more effectively if you post an example of the tone you're going for. 

 

Actually since he was using the 3Sigma Mesa IR he could probably fix a lot of what you're talking about with a different mic and a different placement more toward the outside of the speaker cone.  He was also using the PV Panama amp, which a little bit of gain goes a long way on that one....

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Actually since he was using the 3Sigma Mesa IR he could probably fix a lot of what you're talking about with a different mic and a different placement more toward the outside of the speaker cone.  He was also using the PV Panama amp, which a little bit of gain goes a long way on that one....

 

Agreed

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Thanks for the compliment !

 

The general feeling now is that it's much easier to get a good tone out of the AX8.

 

The second clip was in fact made with Ola Englund's preset from the blind comparison series (MKiiC emulation).

 

The tone I'm looking for is something along the lines of Periphery, Monuments (I know John Browne demoed the Helix, but it isn't his main sound source), Gojira, etc.

 

Here's what I consider a good example:

 

A few hours left to decide!

 

Well if you're actually interested in getting those sounds with the Helix, I'd contact Scott at theHelixChannel or Fremen.  (Just search around for either of them).  

 

Additionally there is going to be a huge difference in the clips because one is compressed on YouTube and the other SoundCloud,  I'm not as good at tweaking sounds as others, but nothing in that clip sounds out of reach for the Helix, especially with the right IR's.  

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Hmmm....Most people recommend keeping the Helix and working on it...

 

For me, tweaking is taking away a lot of time which I don't really have...

 

I have horrid fizz (the bad kind) coming out of my hi-gain patches.

 

Here's a typical signal chain:

1. 808 OD

2. Amp - PV panama

3. Noise gate

4. IR - 3 Sigma Mesa OS 4x12 V30 (SM57 mic normally).

5. EQ

 

What's wrong?

 

Btw...Potential buyer lined up...

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Hmmm....Most people recommend keeping the Helix and working on it...
 
For me, tweaking is taking away a lot of time which I don't really have...
 
I have horrid fizz (the bad kind) coming out of my hi-gain patches.
 
Here's a typical signal chain:
1. 808 OD
2. Amp - PV panama
3. Noise gate
4. IR - 3 Sigma Mesa OS 4x12 V30 (SM57 mic normally).
5. EQ
 
What's wrong?
 
Btw...Potential buyer lined up...

 

 

A few things to try:

 

Rather than have the drive really high on the 808, if you do, keep it low and increase the level instead to drive the amp harder.

Keep the drive on the amp fairly low, max of around 40, lower if possible.

Don't go nuts with the master volume on the amp, too high and things can get pretty ugly, undefined, and possibly contribute to any unwanted fizz.

Use the hi-cut on the IR block to a point where it becomes more pleasing.

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So you've gone from the alleged last opportunity to return it, with presumably a full return or minimal restocking fee, to now having a buyer lined up. Im calling bs, just saying.

 

But if you don't have time to tweak, just download free presets or buy presets from the people who did have the desire to build them laboriously. Problem solved.

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Hmmm....Most people recommend keeping the Helix and working on it...
 
For me, tweaking is taking away a lot of time which I don't really have...
 
I have horrid fizz (the bad kind) coming out of my hi-gain patches.
 
Here's a typical signal chain:
1. 808 OD
2. Amp - PV panama
3. Noise gate
4. IR - 3 Sigma Mesa OS 4x12 V30 (SM57 mic normally).
5. EQ
 
What's wrong?
 
Btw...Potential buyer lined up...

 

 

I'm not sure what you mean my "mic normally", but I'm still of the opinion based on what I heard of your demo that the mic should be placed further out on the speaker to get away from the harshness.  Probably some hi-cut might be appropriate around the 6-8000 hz range.  My experience with 3 Sigma is they don't give you a lot of flexibility in mic type and placement.  If you want to have a few more options in that regard, try downloading the free Mesa 4x12 IR from OwnHammer and see if you can't find a good mic and placement mix that will alleviate a bunch of tweaking of EQ and such.

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If you're looking for that kind of sound, put the input gate around -77 db and 100 ms

 

Then have a tubescreamer with level between 7-10, gain between 0-1, and tone between 2.5-6.5

Then get our your PV Panama with the gain around 6-7, bass between 3-6, mids around 4-7, highs around 5-6, presence and resonance to taste, I usually have them both around 5-6. Channel volume up (7-9), master volume down (3-6), and put the bias around 3.5 and sag around 0-1.5, but that's personal taste.

 

They should get you damn close.

Also, i highly recommend OwnHammer's IRs. I have the Heavy Hitters pack, and the IRs I use 90% of the time is the Mesa "V30+H30" cab, and I use MDRN-01,-02, or -03 most of the time. The MDRN mix is miced with an sm57 and an md421.

 

And if you want the really percussive quick mutes like periphery, Mark Holcomb uses a hard gate in front of the amp. Experiment with the open and close times.

 

If you follow this patch, you should be golden.

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For me, tweaking is taking away a lot of time which I don't really have...
 
 

 

Buy Fremen's patch bundle and be done with it.

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