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Why are there no mono reverbs on the Helix?


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There are currently no mono reverbs on the Helix. Maybe this has been answered before but I am not sure I understand why this is the case. I would think reverbs might be one of the more DSP hungry effects on the Helix and the stereo versions of effects tend to use more DSP than the mono versions. I run a mono signal path and I could probably gain back a bit of valuable DSP with a mono reverb. Is this due to the fact that the reverbs were ported over from the HD500X? Are we going to be seeing any mono reverbs in the future?

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There are currently no mono reverbs on the Helix. Maybe this has been answered before but I am not sure I understand why this is the case. I would think reverbs might be one of the more DSP hungry effects on the Helix and the stereo versions of effects tend to use more DSP than the mono versions. I run a mono signal path and I could probably gain back a bit of valuable DSP with a mono reverb. Is this due to the fact that the reverbs were ported over from the HD500X? Are we going to be seeing any mono reverbs in the future?

 

My guess they went for stereo because in the "real world" natural reverb is actually a stereo effect, possibly even better to be described as 3D. Although, I can see the idea behind having mono versions of the reverbs available. I read somewhere that early EVH recordings had his guitar signals panned to one side and mono reverb on the other - but, I don't know if that's true, I never bothered to check!

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I think the answer is basically what they've told us - the reverbs in the Helix were ported over from the HD, and all of the HD reverbs are stereo. I don't think making mono versions of the reverbs is as easy as simply deleting one side. I think it would essentially mean writing new mono algorithms for each model and making it sure still sounds the way it should. They probably just didn't think it was worth the investment of time and resources to do it.

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I think the answer is basically what they've told us - the reverbs in the Helix were ported over from the HD, and all of the HD reverbs are stereo. I don't think making mono versions of the reverbs is as easy as simply deleting one side. I think it would essentially mean writing new mono algorithms for each model and making it sure still sounds the way it should. They probably just didn't think it was worth the investment of time and resources to do it.

 

Thanks for the response phil_m. That sounds correct about the decision not to expend the resources on developing mono reverb models that would perhaps require total redesign. Wouldn't that rationale extend to any of the other effect models though? Mono models have been developed elsewhere not only because a stereo model for that effect was not required or not ideal but from what I can see in some cases to preserve precious DSP. Why not extend this to reverbs as well? Not only are there models like 'Spring' reverbs from mono amps whose original character should perhaps be preserved but additionally they are not necessarily used in stereo configurations. There are probably many users like myself who run primarily mono signal paths straight to the PA and would prefer to preserve extra DSP by not using any stereo effects as they will be summed anyway. I think at some point some 'lean and mean' mono reverbs would be a nice alternative to have for DSP greedy presets but as always I understand the need to develop with an eye towards the biggest bang for the buck.

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Thanks for the response phil_m. That sounds correct about the decision not to expend the resources on developing mono reverb models that would perhaps require total redesign. Wouldn't that rationale extend to any of the other effect models though? Mono models have been developed elsewhere not only because a stereo model for that effect was not required or not ideal but from what I can see in some cases to preserve precious DSP. Why not extend this to reverbs as well? Not only are there models like 'Spring' reverbs from mono amps whose original character should perhaps be preserved but additionally they are not necessarily used in stereo configurations. There are probably many users like myself who run primarily mono signal paths straight to the PA and would prefer to preserve extra DSP by not using any stereo effects as they will be summed anyway. I think at some point some 'lean and mean' mono reverbs would be a nice alternative to have for DSP greedy presets but as always I understand the need to develop with an eye towards the biggest bang for the buck.

 

 

In total agreement with this.

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Thanks for the response phil_m. That sounds correct about the decision not to expend the resources on developing mono reverb models that would perhaps require total redesign. Wouldn't that rationale extend to any of the other effect models though? Mono models have been developed elsewhere not only because a stereo model for that effect was not required or not ideal but from what I can see in some cases to preserve precious DSP. Why not extend this to reverbs as well? Not only are there models like 'Spring' reverbs from mono amps whose original character should perhaps be preserved but additionally they are not necessarily used in stereo configurations. There are probably many users like myself who run primarily mono signal paths straight to the PA and would prefer to preserve extra DSP by not using any stereo effects as they will be summed anyway. I think at some point some 'lean and mean' mono reverbs would be a nice alternative to have for DSP greedy presets but as always I understand the need to develop with an eye towards the biggest bang for the buck.

 

Guys,

 

Now I am becoming totally confused.

 

BACK TO MONO? - Whatever happened to Phil Spector? Ooops!

 

There are posts all over this forum, and a multitude of requests on Ideascale, for reverb effects that go above and beyond than those which are available in the Strymon and Eventide hardware. Only now it seems that mono must be the way to go, although it has been noted that the stereo paths can be summed to mono outputs. Well, if mono is going to be the next big, must have thing, then someone needs to get this thing voted up. That should amuse the developers at Line 6.

 

Does anyone really know what they want from this machine, because it's starting to become the Infinite Improbability Drive of the guitar universe?

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Guys,

 

Now I am becoming totally confused.

 

BACK TO MONO? - Whatever happened to Phil Spector? Ooops!

 

There are posts all over this forum, and a multitude of requests on Ideascale, for reverb effects that go above and beyond than those which are available in the Strymon and Eventide hardware. Only now it seems that mono must be the way to go, although it has been noted that the stereo paths can be summed to mono outputs. Well, if mono is going to be the next big, must have thing, then someone needs to get this thing voted up. That should amuse the developers at Line 6.

 

Does anyone really know what they want from this machine, because it's starting to become the Infinite Improbability Drive of the guitar universe?

 

Nice 'Hitchhikers.. ' reference. :)   "BACK TO MONO", no one is advocating that here. If you are implying that running your PA in mono is archaic there are some great debates and good arguments for both mono and stereo that have been had at length in other topics (was hoping to avoid that here ;) ). We run the PA in mono to keep things simple and to avoid the sound being poor depending where an audience member is sitting in a venue. We don't want someone only hearing the 'pong' in a ping-pong echo, or only the delayed/detuned half of a chorus effect's signal.  I understand, appreciate, and love the sound of a good stereo setup as well however. If you can get away with it there are awesome sounds and effects to be had there.

 

There are already plenty of mono effects in every other category; they just left the reverbs out and that is what appears to be an unnecessary DSP loss to people who run in mono. The point has already been made that although the stereo is summed to mono it also uses up more DSP in the process. There is a cost attached to using stereo in the Helix when it is not required. Why not have all the effects be stereo and for that matter why not triple their processing requirement for increased definition? The answer is that you might then only be able to fit one effect in your signal chain before your DSP was exhausted. Mono preserves and extends DSP resources. So why have this one exception that may well be attached to the fact that the reverbs have not yet been updated yet for the Helix? Perhaps mono reverbs are coming in the future, or perhaps as phil_m postulated the effort is not worth the return in the amount of extra DSP it would free up. I have no idea, just asking questions.

 

Btw, Phil Spector was a genius producer albeit quite possibly homicidal as well. Definitely not the guy I am trying to emulate...  :angry:

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I don't think they made the wrong call in not making mono verbs.

 

I have made 3 and 4 chain patches with amp/cab, several delays, a modulation or two, and up to 3 or FOUR verbs.

 

If you need more than that, you might be making just "mush"...

 

Can we please not make this a conversation about who needs what in a preset and how much is too much. You may be switching back and forth between effects, have multiple amp channels and IRs, or be using more DSP intensive effects like the 3-OSC Synth, Tri-Chorus, Pitch blocks, etc. that eat up a lot of DSP. The point is not about trying to convince people why they do not need the extra DSP but instead why are the reverbs different from every other effect in that they don't offer a mono option.

 

Btw, if you have never used up all the DSP in a preset you are just not trying hard enough... :)

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The point has already been made that although the stereo is summed to mono it also uses up more DSP in the process. There is a cost attached to using stereo in the Helix when it is not required. Why not have all the effects be stereo and for that matter why not triple their processing requirement for increased definition? The answer is that you might then only be able to fit one effect in your signal chain before your DSP was exhausted. Mono preserves and extends DSP resources. So why have this one exception that may well be attached to the fact that the reverbs have not yet been updated yet for the Helx? Perhaps mono reverbs are coming in the future, or perhaps as phil_m postulated the effort is not worth the return in the amount of extra DSP it would free up. I have no idea, just asking questions.

 

Well Honest, that's very honest of you because it seems that you have already answered your own questions. As phil_m has noted these reverb algorithms began life on the previous HD platform and were ported over to Helix. I suppose the Line 6 techies could have spent another couple of years re-writing everything to suit but I think that would mean we would still be drooling and waiting the arrival of the incarnation of the fantastic Helix machine! Only now when we have it does the whole world and his brother decide that what we have is inadequate and missing stacks of features. Then everyone starts to cry out for "updates, updates" and no matter what is included in the update some folks will NEVER be satisfied or happy! If ya want mono do a Van Gough and chop an ear off! I'm more of an ambient, dimensional reverb exponent. And before you ask - No, I'm not just some Hoopy Frood who has lost his towel! Jeeziz - I cannot remember the last time I needed a stereo distortion! :P ;) :)

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Well Honest, that's very honest of you because it seems that you have already answered your own questions. As phil_m has noted these reverb algorithms began life on the previous HD platform and were ported over to Helix. I suppose the Line 6 techies could have spent another couple of years re-writing everything to suit but I think that would mean we would still be drooling and waiting the arrival of the incarnation of the fantastic Helix machine! Only now when we have it does the whole world and his brother decide that what we have is inadequate and missing stacks of features. Then everyone starts to cry out for "updates, updates" and no matter what is included in the update some folks will NEVER be satisfied or happy! If ya want mono do a Van Gough and chop an ear off! I'm more of an ambient, dimensional reverb exponent. And before you ask - No, I'm not just some Hoopy Frood who has lost his towel! Jeeziz - I cannot remember the last time I needed a stereo distortion! :P ;) :)

 

Sheesh, lighten up people. I am perfectly happy with the Helix. If "chopping an ear off' is a metaphor for making a stereo reverb mono, yes, that does not sound like such a bad idea. My post was more in the spirit of asking why reverbs were being treated differently than other effects and wondering if it even made a significant difference in DSP usage. How am I all of sudden being cast as the guy who is asking for 'two years of development' for something you obviously don't need or consider trivial. I love the way when it is something other people (you) want they are convinced it is a matter that could be dispensed with by the Line6 receptionist doing five minutes worth of coding on her iPhone whereas when it is a request from someone else all of a sudden it turns into a two year ordeal that will rob the Helix of all other feature requests and require the ghosts of Einstein, Alan Turing, and Madame Curie along with a 24x7 dedicated team of rocket scientists to program. :)

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HO,

 

I can feel that you are already typing away at some huge and expansive riposte to my last humourous quip, which will reverberate around the galaxy, so I will get in first and say: Fuggedaboudit! I'm off to listen to the latest release from Hot Black Desiato and Disaster Area - IT'S QUADRAPHONIC! :o

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HO,

 

I can feel that you are already typing away at some huge and expansive riposte to my last humourous quip, which will reverberate around the galaxy, so I will get in first and say: Fuggedaboudit! I'm of to listen to the latest release from Hot Black Desiato and Disaster Area - IT'S QUADRAPHONIC! :o

 

LOL, fair enough, I was actually striving to be brief and surgical, I could certainly use the practice. For the love of all that's holy, bring on the latest firmware already Line6, it's getting hot in here. :D

 

 

Disclaimer: "Holy" is used here strictly as a figure of speech and should in no way be construed as an invitation to start up the theist vs. atheists wars in this thread. ;) 

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...I'm off to listen to the latest release from Hot Black Desiato and Disaster Area - IT'S QUADRAPHONIC! :o

 

Btw, I was the first kid in my neighborhood to have a quadraphonic Hi-Fi system ('Dark Side Of The Moon' in quad was awesome!) so I would be perfectly within my rights to look askance at all you folks willing to settle for something as pedestrian as stereo. But no, I'm better than that.  :D

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Btw, I was the first kid in my neighborhood to have a quadraphonic Hi-Fi system ('Dark Side Of The Moon' in quadraphonic was awesome!) so I would be perfectly within my rights to look askance at all you folks willing to settle for something as pedestrian as stereo. But no, I'm better than that.  :D

 Ye Gods, are you psychic? I'm actually wearing a "Dark Side of the Moon 40th anniversary" T-Shirt right now and I was a pioneer of the quadraphonic hi-fi systems. Saw PF many time in the old UFO days but Knebworth '75 was the "mutts nuts". Steve Miller band with Les Dudek, Captain Beefheart (with Winged Eel Fingerling and Drumbo), Roy Harper and Trigger - Outstanding!

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 Ye Gods, are you psychic? I'm actually wearing a "Dark Side of the Moon 40th anniversary" T-Shirt right now and I was a pioneer of the quadraphonic hi-fi systems. Saw PF many time in the old UFO days but Knebworth '75 was the "mutts nuts". Steve Miller band with Les Dudek, Captain Beefheart (with Winged Eel Fingerling and Drumbo), Roy Harper and Trigger - Outstanding!

 

What a phenomenal lineup! The live version of 'Lights Out' features some of my all-time favorite pieces of guitar soloing. And Captain Beefheart, oh yes, what avid Zappa fan like myself can possibly avoid having discovered and developed a deep appreciation for Mr. Don Van Vliet at some point. Sorry I never got to see him perform.

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the only reverbs that seem super processor intensive are the springs.  for me that is fine, as I never use the springs (I even take the tanks out of most of my amps unless the reverb is really good and voiced on the dark side of things).  Just to see i managed to get 8 "Cave" reverbs running in a row.  That seems pretty good from my point of view dsp wise.  I did cap it out pretty easy using a bunch of stereo only effects (multitap 4, multitap 6, Harmony delay, whowatt, whowatt 100 412 (I run the cab and amp separate as I think it sounds better, and a cave reverb, adding one more vintage delay killed the chain).  Still, with 8 slots left on the other path and the fx loops that seems enough for even the most effect hungry users (which i am, I never use the amp sims beyond late at night, and then i only use the hiwatt as I dont really use any other amplifiers but my DR104).

Still, I see a point for mono reverbs.  I think a few more mono options is always a good thing.  I also think some mono only stuff isn't the worst idea (as so many vintage tape echoes sound weird when you emulate them in mono). 

But at the end of the day, I would give up mono reverbs for a single reverse reverb.  that would mean i could plug into the helix and be fine for a gig without bringing anything else with me.

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I am onboard the mono reverb train. I'm happy with Helix whether it has mono reverbs or not, but given a choice, I would use mono reverbs at least 80% of the time. It doesn't matter what other people use, need or feel. My personal opinion is to agree mono reverbs would be useful.

 

I also agree the reason for no mono models here is most likely due to the holdover HD verbs.

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In terms of usage scenarios, it does seem like an oversight to not have included mono (and thus DSP conserving) versions of the reverbs given that the scenarios where people will actually be making use of a stereo signal path are going to be fewer and further between for probably the majority of users and usage scenarios.

Realistically, for me, the only time I will ever actually require a stereo effect of any kind from Helix will be in recording sessions.
Helix is primarily a live performance tool and given that there are not many guitar amplifier out there with stereo poweramps there are not going to be many people actually able to make use of stereo anything in a live performance situation.
That's not to say there aren't loads of people who will make the effort to do stereo effects live but they will certainly be on the outside of the bell curve of the total number of users.

It would indeed be beneficial for a larger proportion of users to have mono reverbs if said mono reverbs did indeed use less processing than their stereo counterparts.

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I, too, am in the "I'd like a mono set of reverbs" camp.  Not only would it preserve DSP, but I've also found that I tend to like the mono effects better when running with a single speaker setup.  The stereo delays sometimes sound a little weird when mono-ized.  I'm imagining the reverbs might react similarly, given especially that they are just specialized delays.

 

So when creating patches, I'll only use stereo effects if I'm going to be playing through a stereo output, and when I want a stereo effect. 

 

This is rock you know... supposed to just slam you in the face straight on, right?  (As if I really need to ask)

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Just put a mono block at the end of the signal chain... works for me.

 

Simple EQ for the win

 

Might be one way of improving the tone according to some others here although I am not sure why this would be any different than summing to mono at the output, perhaps it is better to sum earlier in the signal chain. I wouldn't exactly call this 'the win' as it does not address the use of the unnecessary additional DSP or perhaps the improved tone a true mono spring reverb designed from the ground up might have (maybe?). Great suggestion though.

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I read somewhere that early EVH recordings had his guitar signals panned to one side and mono reverb on the other - but, I don't know if that's true, I never bothered to check!

 

That's true but that's an old studio trick. They didn't come up with it. Basically Main audio panned to one side. Reverb panned to the other. Don't know whether the reverb unit used was mono or not. But it was panned. Ya also generally don't want to pan them hard.left and right.

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That's true but that's an old studio trick. They didn't come up with it. Basically Main audio panned to one side. Reverb panned to the other. Don't know whether the reverb unit used was mono or not. But it was panned. Ya also generally don't want to pan them hard.left and right.

Yep, brue58ski, that's true - it's a very old trick that I was already familiar with - it was just the comment that I read somewhere about early EVH recordings and as I noted, I didn't bother to check. Plus, you are correct when you say, "Ya also generally don't want to pan them hard.left and right", too wide doesn't work properly, it simply sounds "wrong" to my ears.

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I agree totally, mono reverbs (especially spring and plate) would be very useful for when DSP gets tight.

Also, I would like to see some new higher def and more lush reverbs a la Big Sky for those drifty moments.

 

So I want simpler reverbs and more complex reverbs.  :)

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I agree totally, mono reverbs (especially spring and plate) would be very useful for when DSP gets tight.

Also, I would like to see some new higher def and more lush reverbs a la Big Sky for those drifty moments.

 

So I want simpler reverbs and more complex reverbs.   :)

 

Absolutely, not just mono spring, bring 'em all on in mono! Hope 'springs' eternal....  ;)

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We're making a number of speculations and assumptions in this thread (not judging here, just summarizing - some or all may be true):

 

- That the reverbs were ported from the HD series

- That it would have taken a lot of effort to make them mono

- That mono reverbs would use significantly less DSP

 

I'd like to throw in one other speculation: what if these reverb algorithms are written in such a way that there would be minimal DSP savings for going mono - that is, what if mono versions would still use like 90% as much DSP as the stereo versions?

 

Who knows what crazy optimizing tricks could be happening in the math behind the scenes... Like pre-calculating the commonalities between L/R (maybe that's 90% of the work), then introducing the difference between channels (maybe that's only 10%), for example.

 

Until/unless someone from Line 6 comments authoritatively, I guess speculation is all we have.

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We're making a number of speculations and assumptions in this thread (not judging here, just summarizing - some or all may be true):

 

- That the reverbs were ported from the HD series

- That it would have taken a lot of effort to make them mono

- That mono reverbs would use significantly less DSP

 

I'd like to throw in one other speculation: what if these reverb algorithms are written in such a way that there would be minimal DSP savings for going mono - that is, what if mono versions would still use like 90% as much DSP as the stereo versions?

 

Who knows what crazy optimizing tricks could be happening in the math behind the scenes... Like pre-calculating the commonalities between L/R (maybe that's 90% of the work), then introducing the difference between channels (maybe that's only 10%), for example.

 

Until/unless someone from Line 6 comments authoritatively, I guess speculation is all we have.

 

Couldn't agree more that speculation is what we have here until Line6 weighs in on the matter. I echo the sentiment that we have no idea how much effort is involved in producing mono versions of the reverbs nor do we know if the DSP savings would be significant and I have made both of those points repeatedly here.  I would also add to your points regarding speculation that we don't know if mono versions would sound any better in a mono signal chain (new mono reverbs designed for the HX level of processing well might though). The only thing in your bullet points that is not speculation is that Line6 themselves have confirmed that the reverbs were indeed ported from HD. I hope and believe we will see some new reverbs specifically designed for the Helix in the future. I wold also love to see some mono versions included with them.

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