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danadstudios

Overcoming Helix's Mediocre Reverb

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The lackluster reverbs within Helix have been discussed elsewhere in this forum and I agree that they are Helix's #1 weakness. I believe they lack clarity, depth and space and can really compromise Helix's detailed amp models. Instead, I use one of Helix's Sends to my 11Rack (previously collecting dust) which has as its best feature great pro-tools reverbs (essentially Reverb One). What a difference; Helix's amp simulations' clarity and dynamics coming through! I'm sure any quality reverb pedal or rack device would do like a Strymon or an Eventide. Forget using Helix's return, why subject the signal to another round of A/D and D/A?  Since I'm unwilling to go back to Helix's reverbs, I will be setting up MIDI patch change messages between the units.  

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Well you didn't mention delays...

 

Here's a list of just the added "delays" from a "beta" update I just downloaded for my Kemper...

 

Tonic & Octave - 2016-11-09 16-16-39.kipr
Talking Mice - 2016-11-09 15-41-45.kipr
Suspended - 2016-11-09 17-26-31.kipr
Sunrise - 2016-11-09 15-42-49.kipr
Softener - 2016-11-08 14-31-35.kipr
Sinking - 2016-11-09 16-25-43.kipr
Shivers - 2016-11-09 17-24-10.kipr
SETI - 2016-11-09 17-27-38.kipr
Riding Along - 2016-11-09 17-25-32.kipr
Resolution - 2016-11-09 16-10-49.kipr
Power Tone - 2016-11-09 16-26-39.kipr
Poly Octaves 6 - 2016-11-09 17-21-48.kipr
Poly Octaves 5 - 2016-11-09 17-21-30.kipr
Poly Octaves 4 - 2016-11-09 17-21-13.kipr
Poly Octaves 3 - 2016-11-09 17-20-55.kipr
Poly Octaves 2 - 2016-11-09 17-20-36.kipr
Poly Octaves 1 - 2016-11-09 17-20-16.kipr
Octave Slapback - 2016-11-09 15-55-31.kipr
Musical Box 2 - 2016-11-09 17-19-53.kipr
Musical Box 1 - 2016-11-09 17-19-27.kipr
Moth Wings - 2016-11-09 17-23-25.kipr
Marvin - 2016-11-08 13-43-54.kipr
Major 2 - 2016-11-09 17-35-12.kipr
Major 1 - 2016-11-09 17-34-57.kipr
Wholetones - 2016-11-09 17-29-01.kipr
Warm Pad - 2016-11-09 15-45-19.kipr
Vibro Up - 2016-11-09 16-22-32.kipr
Upwards Arpeggio - 2016-11-09 16-13-13.kipr
Underwater - 2016-11-09 15-44-20.kipr
Twinkling Stars - 2016-11-09 16-21-25.kipr
Harp - 2016-11-09 16-11-49.kipr
Half Reverse Pad - 2016-11-09 15-51-42.kipr
Gritty - 2016-11-09 17-29-47.kipr
Foundation - 2016-11-09 15-48-01.kipr
Five of Nine - 2016-11-09 16-01-20.kipr
Fifth of Scotch - 2016-11-09 15-59-44.kipr
Fibonacci 13-16 - 2016-11-06 15-49-59.kipr
Dream Sequence - 2016-11-03 16-48-14.kipr
Downward Tape - 2016-11-03 16-45-17.kipr
Dark Mystery - 2016-11-09 15-40-22.kipr
Crystal Stairway - 2016-11-09 15-53-38.kipr
Crystal Heights - 2016-11-09 15-46-47.kipr
Crystal 5th - 2016-11-09 15-49-08.kipr
Close Encounter - 2016-11-04 14-43-11.kipr
Chorus Organ - 2016-11-09 15-57-37.kipr
Bowed Metal - 2016-11-09 16-25-00.kipr
Boo Hotel - 2016-11-03 16-49-12.kipr
Big Triad - 2016-11-09 16-27-40.kipr
Big & Dirty - 2016-11-09 15-39-08.kipr
Belltower - 2016-11-09 16-14-51.kipr
Ballerina Chrom - 2016-11-04 11-46-37.kipr
Bagpipes - 2016-11-09 15-52-14.kipr
Ascension - 2016-11-09 15-56-29.kipr
Alien Communique - 2016-11-09 16-23-55.kipr
12-24 Lead in C - 2016-11-04 11-58-35.kipr
High Voicing - 2016-11-09 16-28-44.kipr

 

 

Those guys know how to do an update...  ;)

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Maybe it's because I try to use it sparingly but I just don't have big issues with the Helix's reverbs.  I'm still so focused on how good the amp models sound that whatever deficiencies the reverbs have just don't seem to matter.  

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I don't happen to share your assessment of the Helix reverbs, but I am glad that you found a functional workaround that gets you the sound you're after.

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My solution is to wait for them to be updated and make due with stacking reverbs and EQs in parallel

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I hear this complaint every once in a while, but I have a hard time relating to it.  I find the reverbs and delays more than sufficient for my purposes.  But then I prefer to hear the guitar more than the effects. :rolleyes:

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I hear this complaint every once in a while, but I have a hard time relating to it. I find the reverbs and delays more than sufficient for my purposes. But then I prefer to hear the guitar more than the effects. :rolleyes:

Agreed, but i imagine many of the ambient type players rely heavily on the verbs/delays. 80% (random number) of the music is the ambient.

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The delays and reverbs are sufficient, but I sure won't complain when they get updated. I do miss my TC Electronic Reverbs (not enough to put them through a loop though). 

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Well you didn't mention delays...

 

Here's a list of just the added "delays" from a "beta" update I just downloaded for my Kemper...

 

Tonic & Octave - 2016-11-09 16-16-39.kipr

Talking Mice - 2016-11-09 15-41-45.kipr

Suspended - 2016-11-09 17-26-31.kipr

Sunrise - 2016-11-09 15-42-49.kipr

Softener - 2016-11-08 14-31-35.kipr

Sinking - 2016-11-09 16-25-43.kipr

Shivers - 2016-11-09 17-24-10.kipr

SETI - 2016-11-09 17-27-38.kipr

Riding Along - 2016-11-09 17-25-32.kipr

Resolution - 2016-11-09 16-10-49.kipr

Power Tone - 2016-11-09 16-26-39.kipr

Poly Octaves 6 - 2016-11-09 17-21-48.kipr

Poly Octaves 5 - 2016-11-09 17-21-30.kipr

Poly Octaves 4 - 2016-11-09 17-21-13.kipr

Poly Octaves 3 - 2016-11-09 17-20-55.kipr

Poly Octaves 2 - 2016-11-09 17-20-36.kipr

Poly Octaves 1 - 2016-11-09 17-20-16.kipr

Octave Slapback - 2016-11-09 15-55-31.kipr

Musical Box 2 - 2016-11-09 17-19-53.kipr

Musical Box 1 - 2016-11-09 17-19-27.kipr

Moth Wings - 2016-11-09 17-23-25.kipr

Marvin - 2016-11-08 13-43-54.kipr

Major 2 - 2016-11-09 17-35-12.kipr

Major 1 - 2016-11-09 17-34-57.kipr

Wholetones - 2016-11-09 17-29-01.kipr

Warm Pad - 2016-11-09 15-45-19.kipr

Vibro Up - 2016-11-09 16-22-32.kipr

Upwards Arpeggio - 2016-11-09 16-13-13.kipr

Underwater - 2016-11-09 15-44-20.kipr

Twinkling Stars - 2016-11-09 16-21-25.kipr

Harp - 2016-11-09 16-11-49.kipr

Half Reverse Pad - 2016-11-09 15-51-42.kipr

Gritty - 2016-11-09 17-29-47.kipr

Foundation - 2016-11-09 15-48-01.kipr

Five of Nine - 2016-11-09 16-01-20.kipr

Fifth of Scotch - 2016-11-09 15-59-44.kipr

Fibonacci 13-16 - 2016-11-06 15-49-59.kipr

Dream Sequence - 2016-11-03 16-48-14.kipr

Downward Tape - 2016-11-03 16-45-17.kipr

Dark Mystery - 2016-11-09 15-40-22.kipr

Crystal Stairway - 2016-11-09 15-53-38.kipr

Crystal Heights - 2016-11-09 15-46-47.kipr

Crystal 5th - 2016-11-09 15-49-08.kipr

Close Encounter - 2016-11-04 14-43-11.kipr

Chorus Organ - 2016-11-09 15-57-37.kipr

Bowed Metal - 2016-11-09 16-25-00.kipr

Boo Hotel - 2016-11-03 16-49-12.kipr

Big Triad - 2016-11-09 16-27-40.kipr

Big & Dirty - 2016-11-09 15-39-08.kipr

Belltower - 2016-11-09 16-14-51.kipr

Ballerina Chrom - 2016-11-04 11-46-37.kipr

Bagpipes - 2016-11-09 15-52-14.kipr

Ascension - 2016-11-09 15-56-29.kipr

Alien Communique - 2016-11-09 16-23-55.kipr

12-24 Lead in C - 2016-11-04 11-58-35.kipr

High Voicing - 2016-11-09 16-28-44.kipr

 

 

Those guys know how to do an update... ;)

Those aren't all different delay models, though - more like presets. I think Kemper approaches this stuff more from a synthesis perspective, which makes sense given their Christoph's background in the synth world.

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I think helix reverb is just sufficient, but when you try something better ( strymon for example) you see a biiiiiiig difference, it's like when you drive a audi and it's great, but if you drive a ferrari the audi looks like a yaris!!!!

reverbs are a priority for me, I use many ambience presets, I'm fine with delays ( not the best but very good) and modulations, but need better quality reverbs.

P.s.  kemper delays  get a different approach but they're doing a great job 

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Well, i agree with danadstudios about this, when i plug my Helix into my Kemper the guitar tones really comes to life when use of the Kempers reverb and effects, the same goes to the cab sims.​

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I like the reverbs myself... but that's why there are many available loops and many available options out there.... have at it. :)

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Those aren't all different delay models, though - more like presets. I think Kemper approaches this stuff more from a synthesis perspective, which makes sense given their Christoph's background in the synth world.

Sure phil but the variety give you lots of different ways to spice up your tracks, and they sound great too! As far as the "reverbs" go I think they sound fine. They are not Strymon like verbs but they were never intended to be.

 

 

Take a listen and enjoy...

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I like the reverbs myself... but that's why there are many available loops and many available options out there.... have at it. :)

 

Where in the HELL have you been!?!?  :D

 

 

Welcome back Zap!

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For most of my recordings/ReAmping I use separate reverb plugins.

 

DI did state HX reverbs are coming at some point. But even then I will largely use my plugins for final guitar recordings. Unless the HX reverbs are really that much better, then I would use them more.

 

However for my wet monitoring while recording, and practice/jamming higher quality reverbs are certainly looked forward to with Helix.

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It would be easy to add outboard Reverb (on Mac/PC or iPad/iPhone) via USB in a FX LOOP  - if the Send and Return blocks could be set to USB.

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Been around, lurking alot. :)

and of course playing the crap out of some Helix. 

 

Where in the HELL have you been!?!?  :D

 

 

Welcome back Zap!

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One of the users (WiresDream ... Wires Dream Disasters on YouTube) over on The Thread posted a bunch of comparisons of Helix vs Strymon reverbs and delays.

 

I had been pretty unimpressed with especially the Helix reverbs until I watched these videos, now I'm much happier once I applied his techniques.  I think L6 kind of hurt themselves with the default settings on their reverbs, but that's just me...

 

He basically goes through comparisons of all the reverb modes, here's a couple of examples:

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I feel like at face value you have a legitimate complaint - but if you played more with the Helix you'd get that same tone a huge verb would get you.  I have a HoF and I haven't bothered putting it in the chain bc I can get there on the Helix.

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Ambience provided by high quality reverbs and delays sound really great playing by yourself, and in carefully crafted song mixes. I agree that Helix could stand some improvements here. I use S-Gear and Logic plugins for back of the amp effects during recording.

 

However I don't really consider Helix a recording platform, its not flexible enough. Helix Native is a better option, but in that case I still have lots of ambience options in my DAW. 

 

To me Helix is primarily a performance device, and in this context Helix ambience options are perfectly fine. Less is more for ambience in live performances because it can really make mud out of a live mix. Its the performance that's the focus, not the ambience. That may not be the case for solo artists, but for electric guitar in a typical band application, Helix reverbs and delays seem more than adequate.

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Ambience provided by high quality reverbs and delays sound really great playing by yourself, and in carefully crafted song mixes. I agree that Helix could stand some improvements here. I use S-Gear and Logic plugins for back of the amp effects during recording.

 

However I don't really consider Helix a recording platform, its not flexible enough. Helix Native is a better option, but in that case I still have lots of ambience options in my DAW. 

 

To me Helix is primarily a performance device, and in this context Helix ambience options are perfectly fine. Less is more for ambience in live performances because it can really make mud out of a live mix. Its the performance that's the focus, not the ambience. That may not be the case for solo artists, but for electric guitar in a typical band application, Helix reverbs and delays seem more than adequate.

 

As a recording guitarist...

I don't know of a guitar platform that is more geared towards a recording platform.   8in8 out simultaneously over USB, that is definitely a recording platform. 

 

It just happens to be a great performance platform as well.

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I use a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 interface. I has two Hi-Z inputs and 8 mic inputs, plus many outputs and ADAT ins and outs. Helix is great for guitar-centered recording, but for more general home recording, 8 mic inputs could be more useful.

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Try playing around with stereo delays with WOW at 0 and the feedback time super low.

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I'm not a heavy reverb user. A little goes a long way and I have been fine with the Helix reverbs for nearly 8 months, until a few days ago. I was dialing in a new patch and I was playing a particular riff and I was getting some weird non musical harmonics every time I turned on the reverb block. I tried a couple of different reverb models and the result was the same. I plugged my HOF pedal into a send / return and that made a big difference. This made me realize that some of the cork sniffers that have been complaining about the Helix reverbs might actually have a good ear. ;)  So no big scientific break through here, but I guess there's probably room for improvement. Something for a future update maybe.

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So it seems that people who don't generally use delay or reverb are happy with the Helix delay and reverb.... interesting...

How about some responses from some P&W or ambient folks, who actually do like to use a lot of reverb and delay?

 

As I posted above, Wires Dream is a big Strymon user, and he's pretty happy with the Helix delays and reverbs, and so am I after I used some of his tips...

 

(And, yes, I'm a prior HOF user... was very happy with it, just not happy enough to really want to sully my Helix by putting the HOF in a loop.  I'm trying to stay as lean as possible (hence the reason for purchasing the Helix in the first place, not to mention access to a billion more amps and effects then I'd ever be able to purchase)

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I don't think the Helix verbs are that bad either I usually have to turn the mix down to about 18% because of to much reverb.,

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So it seems that people who don't generally use delay or reverb are happy with the Helix delay and reverb.... interesting...

 

 

I use reverb (old school) on almost every patch, and delay is used on leads and such. I have no bias against those that dont and im against reverb racism and delay deplorables.  :P

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So it seems that people who don't generally use delay or reverb are happy with the Helix delay and reverb.... interesting...

How about some responses from some P&W or ambient folks, who actually do like to use a lot of reverb and delay?

 

As I posted above, Wires Dream is a big Strymon user, and he's pretty happy with the Helix delays and reverbs, and so am I after I used some of his tips...

 

I guess I am one of those reverb cork sniffers, lol. I use them mainly for clean ambient sounds with long tails for pedal swells and such (mostly in contemporary Christian worship music). I used to use the TC Electronics Arena Reverb (Hall of Fame with some different factory presets). They are MUCH more refined. Like in the video, the longer you let the reverb trail, the more apparent how "refined" a reverb is. 

 

I don't dislike the Helix reverbs, I just look forward to the day that they get a little love. I know that some day, that day will come. 

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I'm a proggy ambient guy. Helix reverbs are workable for me because I'm used to them from my Pod days. I stack them, put delays in front, EQs after, run some in parallel, but I'd rather not do all that. Patiently anticipating a reverb update :)

 

Some people don't have the luxury of an awesome studio setup, good standalone interface, high-powered computers and libraries of VSTs, and are going to be paying off their Helix for a while...on a teacher's salary (in the lowest-paying district in Ca I might add)...with two children of his own...

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The best verbs I have ever heard were in the Eleven rack.  That being said - buried in a mix it barely matters - it's more of just musing around in the studio for personal enjoyment.

 

That also being said - I can get the same result I got on the eleven - just the knobs have different names and the settings are different.

 

You can start with the secret journeys patch to see to how to go about it.

 

The harmonic thing - are you sure pitch delay or harmony weren't on?

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DI mentioned that they would be reviewing and updating the Helix reverbs in the future.

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...and trust me, when the song is at a certain point where the mix consists of subtle bass, sparse cymbals and droning, washy guitar that reverb most def matters!

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I guess that depends on what you like.  I haven't really heard anything where blooming verbs coexisted well.

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  There are also options within 11rack reverbs for early reflection only algorithms and these, IMHO, impart an extra dimension of liveliness to the sound, sort of a smoothing enhancement to the Cab emulation. 

  I think many Helix users that also record enjoy the inspiration of a finished, polished tone without having to suffer the latency of VSTs or obsess with post DAW processing.  Sure I could tweak my Waves H-Reverb plugin except that first inspired take is already over.  

  I get that reverb is in the ears of the beholder and certainly can wash out a live performance.  Maybe through using Helix's delays and parallel paths one can stumble upon a great sounding reverb effect.  Regardless, I started this topic to incentivize line 6 on their next update where we can all benefit from an improved reverb algorithm befitting one of the best effects pedals yet produced!

 

https://www.bandmix.com/danadstudio/

 

 

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Still want to see some Helix HX reverbs come to the Helix including some mono HX versions!

Agreed on both points including the mono reverbs.

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I have found myself using the cave reverb for almost everything I have reverb in lately.  I found it to be the least harsh and most "natural" sounding to my ears. I have the high cut at 1kHz. For a more "room" reverb sound I turn the mix to about 30% and the decay to 1-2. For longer more ambient sounds I turn the mix to 50% and the decay to about 5 or so. 

 

Still can't wait for future releases from Line 6 to see what they do in the reverb world. 

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  There are also options within 11rack reverbs for early reflection only algorithms and these, IMHO, impart an extra dimension of liveliness to the sound, sort of a smoothing enhancement to the Cab emulation. 

 

Helix Cabs have Early Reflections as a parameter if that is what you want - the only control is "Amount" which appears to control both level and time but it may provide what you need.

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I finally got around to recording a comparison between Helix's and 11Rack's Hall reverb effect. 

 

Telecaster neck pickup into Helix's Archetype clean amp using 2 -  4x12 cali V30 cabs. No EQ nor effects. Reverb Decay 3 sec., predelay 13 ms, mix 30%.

 

H vs 11R reverb 1.mp3

H vs 11R reverbs 2.mp3

H vs 11R reverbs 3.mp3

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