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Headrush FX Pedalboard - anyone seen this yet?

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Stumbled upon a video of this new product at NAMM. I certainly may be a biased Helix owner, however, I can't help but notice some 'familiarity' with this product more so than other FX/modelling units. Even the scrolling/functionality of their website seems ... familiar.  

 

Thoughts?

 

http://headrushfx.com/

 

pedalboardAngle.png

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I'm sure any similarity in features and looks is all just a big coincidence...

 

xq78z.gif

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Stumbled upon a video of this new product at NAMM. I certainly may be a biased Helix owner, however, I can't help but notice some 'familiarity' with this product more so than other FX/modelling units. Even the scrolling/functionality of their website seems ... familiar.  

 

Thoughts?

 

http://headrushfx.com/

 

pedalboardAngle.png

It looks kinda familiar!! Hmm maybe it"s a cheap imitation of the Helix  ;)

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OR, maybe Better? ^^. You don't need 509 different paths to get good tone or get lost in buying endless tones and ir's and still not be satisfied. or, have to hook up to another computer to edit in this day and age. And still line 6 can't get the preset switching to be seem less. If this board sounds halfway descent in a band mix and is seamless preset switching I will be a convert. This coming from a person who has had the bean to two helix units and everything in Between!

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OR, maybe Better? ^^. You don't need 509 different paths to get good tone or get lost in buying endless tones and ir's and still not be satisfied. or, have to hook up to another computer to edit in this day and age. And still line 6 can't get the preset switching to be seem less. If this board sounds halfway descent in a band mix and is seamless preset switching I will be a convert. This coming from a person who has had the bean to two helix units and everything in Between!

 

To be fair to Line 6 it isn't actually possibe to have seemless preset changes.

 

To do this they would need to have a sepereate second Helix housed inside Helix with the new patch already loaded up... and for it to have the new patch already loaded up it would need also to be telepathic to know which of the several hundred option you were about to choose

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What I imagine they're doing to get "seamless" switching is something like having the ability to lock reverb and/or delay blocks while switching presets. This would make it so there wouldn't be an audible gap. There would still be a short lag for the new preset to load, though. Anyway, locking blocks or having global blocks would certainly be technically feasible for the Helix. Whether or not Line 6 will go down that road, I don't know.

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What does locking a block mean? A given block is either running the settings from the last preset or the current one. If it continues to run the last one, when does it change, and why wouldn't there be a gap at that time? (That's assuming it takes time for a block to init to a new state, which is clearly true, or this whole issue wouldn't exist.)

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The old Pod X3 had a feature called 'Lock Tone 2'. The X3 is a Dual Tone (path) processor with the Tones being completely independent - you could not route the output of Tone 1 to the Input of Tone 2. By contrast, in Helix you can route Path 1 output to Path 2 input and in the POD HD you can split paths. In both Helix and HD the dual-path routing can be different between presets. This different architecture explains why it was relatively straightforward to lock a Tone in the X3 - you simply didn't reload one of the static Tone paths during a preset switch.

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What does locking a block mean? A given block is either running the settings from the last preset or the current one. If it continues to run the last one, when does it change, and why wouldn't there be a gap at that time? (That's assuming it takes time for a block to init to a new state, which is clearly true, or this whole issue wouldn't exist.)

Well, by "locking block", I'm assuming that a block that was locked would be in the same bypass state and maintain the same settings in each preset.

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Ah, I was thinking you meant something entirely different.

 

But silverhead is right that Helix's routing flexibility and its ability to use the same block type multiple times in a preset makes that tricky. What exactly gets locked? Locking by position on the screen doesn't make sense, it might not exist, or might be functionally completely different in other presets.

 

Simplest thing, which I think has been talked about in the context of global reverb but could be extended to hold any blocks you want, would be for there to be a global path, or two, one pre- and one post- everything else, that you could put any effects you wanted into. Reverb and/or delay post everything would be the most obvious use case.

 

Would mean those effects had the same settings for every patch though, not ideal, and not really the same thing as gapless preset switching.

 

Also, every preset would have to have enough DSP headroom to run alongside those global effects, and Helix would have to check when you added anything to a preset or a global rack.

 

Potentially interesting idea though...

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I think I'm gonna throw up...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd7E5NMta5o

That Headrush guy trying to take the credit for the ideas they ripped off Helix. Seriously, it makes me sick

 

 

What exactly did they rip off? Line 6 sure didnt invent that floor board design. BradFoot.jpg

 

 

 

 

You cant really put the pedal anywhere else.... You pretty much have to have the colors to indicate where you are stepping.. The on screen GUI looks better than Helix. The screen itself is similar, but how else could you implement it? Why would you care enough to waste energy to try to make it look different?

 

What color would you encase it in to make it visually intelligible? White? Green?

 

Lets face it, where the two items share their biggest similarities ie. Size, shape, color, footswitch pedal and screen placement, there arent really a ton OTHER cost effective options.

If the bradshaw rack (depicted above) had an on board processor and expression pedal, it would probably look similar to helix and headrush as well.

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OR, maybe Better? ^^. You don't need 509 different paths to get good tone or get lost in buying endless tones and ir's and still not be satisfied. or, have to hook up to another computer to edit in this day and age. And still line 6 can't get the preset switching to be seem less. If this board sounds halfway descent in a band mix and is seamless preset switching I will be a convert. This coming from a person who has had the bean to two helix units and everything in Between!

Well we'll see in a few months when I'm sure there will be a few comparison video's between  Helix and Headrush.. Imo Helix will come on top!

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Just get what you are happy with I say, and let the others decide the same... This way we can all be wrong...  :P

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Definitely some intriguing items going on with this unit.

They're building on all that's come before it, and naturally there'll be some employing of forward-thinking capabilities.

The whole touch-screen aspect is definitely on-point; watching Lee Anderton jumping in and working at editing - and in particular saving the result and having a QWERTY pop-up - makes a strong case for those aspects.

They'll make plenty of sales based on the GUI alone - the visual path display will appeal to many, since it's relatively literal in appearance (reminds me of the magazine articles which demonstrate the sound path of artists etc.).

 

When it all comes down to it, the potential for sounds is what will divide the sales for the most discriminating - if this unit's modelling evolution is strong, it'll be a strong contender.

I'll certainly pay attention to what they're doing; why not? Good to know what's out there, what options exist...

 

My own personal take is that the interface is a part of the puzzle, but certainly isn't the deal-breaker: so long as the device can be fully edited without needing to connect to another device (computer, tablet, etc.) then I'm good - with the proviso that I'm already convinced by the sounds on tap.

Helix checks all the boxes on this for me (and of course, many others).

I'm all for pushing the envelope; in the end, all the contenders step up with their own strengths, and then we all have options which are all good and strong.

Like choosing amongst ice-cream flavours...

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What exactly did they rip off?

On the video, at 6:48: "Now here's something that's really cool... it's on L6 Helix and it's called pedal edit mode, but let me brag about it for one minute, as if we had invented it or something"

Not what he says, though :-D

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I had one brought in to Guitar Center, and out of the box, I was so disappointed. There ought to be a law to protect the consumer when the actual device doesn't perform as advertised out of the box. The cleans were ok, but the preset overdrives and amp models simply garbage. Send a message to these manufactures. Tell the that there is more to a multi effects pedal and amp simulators than tooth rattling metal tones. Also, sound is analogue and sinusoidal. The digital overdrive an distortion in these things are to grainy and hiding either the p[layer or pedal nuder noise gates makes it worse. No multi effects pedal should price out more than 999 CDN. This is another thing. A 2000.00 piece of gear should be unquestionably near perfect in all respects, not just the highest gain amp or pedal. They all need to go back to the drawing board. 

 

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A 2000.00 piece of gear should be unquestionably near perfect in all respects, not just the highest gain amp or pedal. They all need to go back to the drawing board.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahah! Have you EVER used a modeler? ANY modeler? I've got news for you...NOTHING will ever sound "perfect" right out of the box...high gain or not. In fact, the high gain tones are generally just as dreadful, if not worse than anything else you'll find in a factory preset. WORK is actually required to get it sounding the way you want. Instant gratification simply doesn't exist with any of these products, and it never will... but that doesn't mean they're all garbage. It does mean you'll have to use your ears and your head, however.

 

Welcome to this week's episode of "Wildly Unrealistic Expectations", I'm your host Ain't Gonnahappen...;)

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Hahahahahahahahahahahahah! Have you EVER used a modeler? I've got news for you...NOTHING is gonna sound "perfect" right out of the box...high gain or not. In fact, the high gain tones are generally just a dreadful, if not worse than anything else you'll find in a factory preset. WORK is actually required to get it sounding the way you want. Instant gratification simply doesn't exist with any of these products, and it never will... but that doesn't mean they're all garbage. It does mean you'll have to use your ears and your head, however.

Yup. No matter how much or how little money you throw at it. It always takes WORK. Why is it so hard for people to understand that no company, no matter how brilliant, can anticipate people's wildly varying tastes in guitar tone and that EVERYBODY hears things differently. Is that really such difficult and abstract concept to comprehend?

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There's a mega-thread on TGP about it.  TL;DR:

  • Tech-wise, it's 11R in a floorboard with IRs & touchscreen
  • Two IRs pretty much max out DSP
  • Looper UI is super slick
  • Three physical knobs means lots of scrolling to get through params.  This is somewhat mitigated by the lack of deep editing options.
  • Aside from the scrolling, UI is pretty easy
  • IR loading is very simple
  • Tones are what you'd expect with 11R + IRs, though some have complained about apparent aliasing artifacts
  • Software was not up to snuff at launch.  There were some super-annoying bugs and no editor/drivers available.
  • Two firmware updates since launch have addressed the most facepalm-inducing oversights.

For those not familiar with the parent company, InMusic owns a number of brands:

  • Akai
  • Alesis
  • Alto
  • Denon
  • M-Audio
  • Numark
  • and a few others

You may have noticed that none of those brands is a "guitarist's brand".  They do a ton of pro audio and DJ stuff but they've never really done a guitar product.  Ever since they launched, it's been misstep after misstep from ignoring social media to horrid promo demos to firmware that would never work for a guitarist on a gig. My experience trying to include it in my NAMM coverage last January was comical in how poorly they treated a guy who was trying to help promote their product.  

 

My take is that it might end up being a decent product if they can survive the comedy of errors that was the initial launch.  The touchscreen UI is a significant differentiator (even if it's not significantly more efficient to use than HX for a familiar user) and the 11R engine is good if not cutting edge.  The question is if (and it's a big "if") the HR product management team that was absent at NAMM can continue to come up with updates that move the product forward.  Where L6 has clearly figured that out, the Head Rush team has no track record and made a cruddy first impression with their poor handling of things between announcement and initial launch.

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What exactly did they rip off?

 

Not sure any other manufacturer is using the words "Scribble Strips" on their modeler nor has any other provided them before Line 6 either.

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Not sure any other manufacturer is using the words "Scribble Strips" on their modeler nor has any other provided them before Line 6 either.

"Scribble Strip" is a generic term for any configurable small display that is used for labeling something. It mimics an actual scribble strip that you would write on with a marker like on many analog mixing boards. I don't think the term is trademarked. 

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"Scribble Strip" is a generic term for any configurable small display that is used for labeling something. It mimics an actual scribble strip that you would write on with a marker like on many analog mixing boards. I don't think the term is trademarked.

Yeah, I know but they could have made it look a little different than Line6's and they could have called it something else. Maybe I'm being over protective.

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After hearing recorded demos, seeing it action in the videos, even without putting it through paces myself, I'm of the firm belief this is a $400 modeler with a $600 upcharge for a $70 touchscreen interface. If all you care about is the UI, this is cool. If you want the best product for the money, the LT is miles beyond it. I was really interested when it was announced, but watching Headrush post terrible GC cell-phone video after terrible "shill-like" text reviews, no thanks.

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Hahahahahahahahahahahahah! Have you EVER used a modeler? ANY modeler? I've got news for you...NOTHING will ever sound "perfect" right out of the box...high gain or not. In fact, the high gain tones are generally just as dreadful, if not worse than anything else you'll find in a factory preset. WORK is actually required to get it sounding the way you want. Instant gratification simply doesn't exist with any of these products, and it never will... but that doesn't mean they're all garbage. It does mean you'll have to use your ears and your head, however.

 

Welcome to this week's episode of "Wildly Unrealistic Expectations", I'm your host Ain't Gonnahappen... ;)

Well heres the thing, there is no evidence of separation between strings when a fundamental chord is played in any mode, no attempt to reproduce organic anything. When your going to put out 1- 2k, this has to be a better presentation at the point of sale, or at least in the promotion for the product. Prove it can be achieved. 15 days to struggle through reams of tonal options is not enough if you are going to keep the thing. Buy the way, the HeadRush " the helix killer" is worse. Most every guitar player I know shares the same opinion. However, I would really appreciate being proven wrong on this because I am stilling holding out hope for such a rig. Yes it takes work. But when first impressions don't please, why would you buy any product.

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Well Pete Thorn makes it sound good... but then again, when did he ever make anything sound bad?! 

 

 

Not that I'm seriously interested; Helix works just fine for me (except... hey, how's the tuner on the Headrush?  ;) ).

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Yes it takes work. But when first impressions don't please, why would you buy any product.

I've never been pleased by the first impression of any modeler, including the Helix. Nor did I expect any of them to do so. I was impressed by how easily the Helix allowed me to reshape the tonality of any preset and tailor it to my liking.

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Not that I'm seriously interested; Helix works just fine for me (except... hey, how's the tuner on the Headrush?  ;) ).

 

The Headrush tuner looks like Helix's 1.0 tuner (before the top bar was added).  The biggest difference I can see is that the indicators fade in and out instead of flashing on/off, like the Helix does.  In my opinion, this is a tuner done right.  Jump to 16:45 to see the tuner in action.  

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The Headrush tuner looks like Helix's 1.0 tuner (before the top bar was added).

 

:angry:

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:angry:

C'mon...it's Friday. You have to admit, it was kind of funny  ;)

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C'mon...it's Friday. You have to admit, it was kind of funny  ;)

 

The comment isn't what's infuriating.

 

Many of us who've worked many years at NAMM used to play a game. We'd grab a full line catalog from a particular manufacturer and see if we could figure out which other companies' boxes were blatantly, shamelessly, spinelessly ripped off. Not sure if this manufacturer got wind of the game or what, but they stopped making full line catalogs a couple years ago.

 

For the record, that company was not InMusic Brands.

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The comment isn't what's infuriating.

 

Many of us who've worked many years at NAMM used to play a game. We'd grab a full line catalog from a particular manufacturer and see if we could figure out which other companies' boxes were blatantly, shamelessly, spinelessly ripped off. Not sure if this manufacturer got wind of the game or what, but they stopped making full line catalogs a couple years ago.

 

For the record, that company was not InMusic Brands.

That can be expected when you (Line 6) is at the top of the heap in terms of modeling technology with the most I/O options, and the most user friendly interface on the planet. 

 

I understand the frustration from your perspective with all the people and hours involved in development, but... that's what happens when you are the best. 

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Not to put a name to it but I would venture to say that the company everyone would look at for reverse engineering everyone else's products in the past rhymes with "Derringer". Of course they have come light years forward in the last few years since they were acquired and are actually making some fairly innovative products now, particularly their mixers, even if they still have a few "reverse engineers" hidden in a secret lab.

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Not to put a name to it but I would venture to say that the company everyone would look at for reverse engineering everyone else's products in the past rhymes with "Derringer". Of course they have come light years forward in the last few years since they were acquired and are actually making some fairly innovative products now even if they still have a few "reverse engineers" hidden in a secret lab.

 

I once went on a training course and the instructor told us that the company's (not a musical equip co) biggest R&D cost was photocopier cartridges!!

 

I was going to say something that rhymes with Derringer too.

 

Craig

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I once went on a training course and the instructor told us that the company's (not a musical equip co) biggest R&D cost was photocopier cartridges!!

 

...

 

LOL  :D

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Last year I attended a seminar (more like a Q&A friendly talk) with this guy from Oviedo, my hometown, former chief engineer at Marshmallows and former engineer at Bellringer, and he pretty much confirmed what you've been talking about a certain brand making copies of famous pedals... though I'm not sure why that is any "worse" than what most brands of pedals do, I mean, how many klon copies can you name? Tube screamer?
What about modeling? I don't have any ethical issue, if I pay for a modeler, I want it to sound good, I don't need it to nail anything. I know I'm paying for a modeler, not a tube amp (or whatever)
Amp models and brands are just an orientation for me. The closer the modeling gets to sounding like a real amp, the less I care about it sounding like any specific amp. There are amps whose sound I love, and I'd like something that gets me in the ballpark, but no amp sounds exactly the same as the one that came before off the same assembly line. I know this has been beaten to death, 1K times over, and I don't mean to start it again, it's just this feeling that's growing stronger, wanting something good, not necessarily (an attempt at) a copy of anything. In every generation of L6 modelers, there's been at least one L6 original that I used extensively.

What bugs me, is watching somebody trying to take credit for an idea that they've ripped off. If it's a copy, it's a copy, everybody does it as long as it's not illegal, but at least don't sell it as your idea.

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Last year I attended a seminar (more like a Q&A friendly talk) with this guy from Oviedo, my hometown, former chief engineer at Marshmallows and former engineer at Bellringer, and he pretty much confirmed what you've been talking about a certain brand making copies of famous pedals... though I'm not sure why that is any "worse" than what most brands of pedals do, I mean, how many klon copies can you name? Tube screamer?

The company I'm thinking of too the clone thing to the max. IIRC, they ended up getting sued by Boss because their copies extended all the way to the (trademarked?) colors of the cloned pedals.

 

At least most of the booteek clones try to add their own thing to the pedal (same but better). On the other hand, some clones are so blatant, they rip off the PCB traces and that is an actual copyright violation.

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