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mullensk8er180

Difficulty getting usable sounds

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Hi everybody,

Sorry if this is redundant with other's posts.  I'll start by letting you know that I have been using the Line 6 Vetta II for over 10 years now and before that, a Flextone II so I have a lot of experience with amp modeling, cab modeling, etc.  I have had my Helix for a few weeks now, and I have been unable to build a tone that I feel is usable.  Some of the presets in Factory 2 sound good, but dialing up an amp has been really difficult for me on the Helix.  

I don't feel that I can start with a blank channel, throw in an amp, throw in a cabinet, and have it sound great.  I find that it sounds overly grainy in comparison to what I'd expect or just not the clear good quality sound that I see people talking about.  I try lowering the drive, and that doesn't work.  It almost sounds like it's peaking, but I don't think that's the case.  I use a Schecter Diamond Series S-1+.  I tried turning on and off Pad.  It has always sounded great in my Vetta.  I guess I was expecting to be able to easily get a great sound like I was in the past, then from there I could play with EQ, filters, effects, etc.  I know I can start with a preset and adjust it from there, but honestly every time I load up an amp, it sounds crappy to me.  Please let me know if anybody has advice.  Since I have been using/trusting Line 6 products for so long, I want to believe this product is great and that there's just a setting that is wrong on mine that I can adjust to fix the sound.  I don't feel that the amps sound like the amps they were modeled after in my device.  All help is appreciated.  Thanks

 

-Justin

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What are you using to play the helix through?   This has a massive impact on what you are hearing.  

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Grainy! What are you globals set too vs what your playing into? I found a high cut got rid of the grainy fizz and smoothed it all out.

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I'm wondering if your ears just have gotten used to hearing what's coming out of the Vetta and Flextone and that the Helix's much higher resolution is not what you're used to. 

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Grainy is one of those descriptions like fizzy, it means different things to different people. I spent way too much time trying to eq out what I perceived as Grainy, to no avail. Now, I know that somebody's gonna jump in and say that there's no changes to the amps between versions, but when I updated from 2.01 to 2.10, the Grainy sound miraculously went away. I have no clue why, maybe I'd changed something in the globals that was restored, I have no clue, BUT IT HAPPENED! Now my Helix sounds GREAT and I'm having a ball. YMMV. Good Luck!

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Many people won't agree with me but here's my experience.

 

I got the Helix for 2 months, at first, I haven't been able to get a good sound with it and I was using stock cabs. Then I retried with Redwirez Ir's, sounded KILLER instantly.

 

Since that moment, I've been able to get the greatest tones I was looking for. After that I retried the stock cabs and definetly, I found them not as good as Redwirez Ir's.

 

But it's only my opinion and even if I haven't been able to make stock cabs sounds good, all the other stuff on the Helix is really great. Don't give up, it's a great unit.

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The stock cabinets can sound good, but you might need to experiment with the mic choice and placement. The SM57 sounds hash and unpleasant to me. I like the darker sounds of the ribbon mics up close. Experiment with the low and high cut in the cabinet models too. This can quickly tailor the tone for your needs.

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The stock cabinets can sound good, but you might need to experiment with the mic choice and placement. The SM57 sounds hash and unpleasant to me. I like the darker sounds of the ribbon mics up close. Experiment with the low and high cut in the cabinet models too. This can quickly tailor the tone for your needs.

 

 

I agree about the 57 Dynamic. I've found that I really like using a Dual Cab block containing the 67 Cond and the 160 Ribbon. I play around with the Early Reflections setting as well as the distance setting to get what I want.

 

Every guitar player should always do a low cut at 80 at the very least to clean up any flub. In the world of electric guitar frequencies below that are junk and just muddle up the works. They cause conflicts with the kick drum and bass guitar. For any player not doing this, give it a shot... you'll be amazed at how much it cleans up your band's sound.

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Lots of good suggestions here already. I have not seen an answer yet about what you are playing the Helix through? One thing that strikes me about your post is that I am not sure whether you are mentioning the Vetta and Flextone simply to cite your prior modeling experience or whether you are feeding the Helix into a clean preset on your Vetta or the clean channel on your other amps. Although good sounds can be achieved that way they may take more work then only using the power amp section of an amp by coming into the send/return loop on the amp or by using some kind of powered PA speaker or FRFR solution. If you use a Helix amp and cab and then send the Helix into a preamp (front jack) of a guitar amp you are putting a modeled amp and cab into an existing amp and cab. This is not in my opinion an ideal way to implement the Helix and can definitely require more work with EQ to make it sound right. You sound like you have some experience and may well not be doing this so the first thing I would start experimenting with is a high cut anywhere from 4-9khz in the cab or in an EQ block. I do agree with one of the prior comments that 'grainy' is one of those adjectives that does not immediately reveal what exactly you are not liking about the sound. Some more descriptors regarding the sound you are getting would be helpful as well as what other equipment you are using with and how you are connecting the Helix. Are you using 'mic' or 'line' level for the outputs? Where do you have the large volume knob positioned?

 

Here is a post on how some folks go about setting up a preset from scratch. The Factory presets may just not be your cup of tea.  http://line6.com/support/topic/24408-how-do-you-design-a-preset-from-scratch/

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The video below shows a creative way of filling out the cabinet sound. I do something similar, always using two cabinet blocks, different mic models, different early reflections on each cab, and a 5ms time delay on one of the cabs. Sound really fills out nicely without getting too wet. Everything on my top signal path is mono, amp, two cab models with just two-three blocks before the amp. The bottom signal path is all stereo effects: modulation, delays, and reverbs. That spreads out the DSP usage quite nicely. 

 

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My small guide:

1) Cut lows arround 85hz, high arround 10000

2) small cut at 4000, and and arround 2700 to 3700 (kill the fizz) after amp

3) compressor before the amp.

4) pre eq the guitar, (depends on your guitar, boost 1 or 2 khz, or both, depends on the tone.

 

http://line6.com/customtone/tone/2730045/

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The Helix's Speaker Cab Block's Mic Choice parameter (Knob 1), when pressed, did not reset the chosen Cab Model's Mic parameter value to it's factory default!? Instead, it is changed to the first Mic in the Mic List (i.e 57 Dynamic).

 

For instance, I was exploring the 2x12 Double C12N Cabinet Block, in its own Block. The Model's factory default Mic is the 121 Ribbon. Pressing Knob 1 changes the Mic to 57 Dynamic!?

 

This happens regardless if the Cab is a stand alone Cab Block or an Amp+Cab Block. (Obviously, for any Cab Model with the 57 Dynamic mic as its factory default mic parameter value, this issue is moot.)

 

Might this be a bug? If so, I can submit it on a Support Ticket.

My Helix is 3 weeks new and has 2.10 installed.

 

As a consequence of the above, there is no direct method to get back to the default mic value short of manually reseleting it, (if you noted it in the first place). You must actually select a different Cab Block model, and then reselect the original cab block model. Doing this, however, resets all the parameter values for that block. On a grander scale, if the Preset had been saved before changing the mic value, switching to another Preset and then back to the subject Preset will accomplish restoring the Mic value, however at the cost of resetting all parameter values of all blocks in the Preset. Not convenient for editing presets!

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The mic you are using is huge when dialing in a tone. I prefer ribbon or condenser mics to get a smooth, warm tone.  Try the 121 or 160 or 4038. These make very significant changes in the sound. I prefer these over the dynamic mics. Or of you use multiple amps or cabs, try a couple different ones together. Maybe a dynamic with a condenser, etc.

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Lots of good suggestions here already. I have not seen an answer yet about what you are playing the Helix through? One thing that strikes me about your post is that I am not sure whether you are mentioning the Vetta and Flextone simply to cite your prior modeling experience or whether you are feeding the Helix into a clean preset on your Vetta or the clean channel on your other amps. Although good sounds can be achieved that way they may take more work then only using the power amp section of an amp by coming into the send/return loop on the amp or by using some kind of powered PA speaker or FRFR solution. If you use a Helix amp and cab and then send the Helix into a preamp (front jack) of a guitar amp you are putting a modeled amp and cab into an existing amp and cab. This is not in my opinion an ideal way to implement the Helix and can definitely require more work with EQ to make it sound right. You sound like you have some experience and may well not be doing this so the first thing I would start experimenting with is a high cut anywhere from 4-9khz in the cab or in an EQ block. I do agree with one of the prior comments that 'grainy' is one of those adjectives that does not immediately reveal what exactly you are not liking about the sound. Some more descriptors regarding the sound you are getting would be helpful as well as what other equipment you are using with and how you are connecting the Helix. Are you using 'mic' or 'line' level for the outputs? Where do you have the large volume knob positioned?

 

Here is a post on how some folks go about setting up a preset from scratch. The Factory presets may just not be your cup of tea.  http://line6.com/support/topic/24408-how-do-you-design-a-preset-from-scratch/

Hi sorry about the late response.

I have the Helix connected to Studio Monitors and got the rack version.

Also, I use studio headphones with it sometimes as well. I figured the monitors would be the best way to get the sounds the developers intended. I will try the high cut some of you have mentioned and see how that works. Thanks for the replies so far.

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This helped me a lot do exactly what he does and you will get the same great tone and sound...

 

I also made them into one preset

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