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HudsonHawk

Fractal jumper.....ordered the Helix.

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Just wanted to introduce myself and hoping this forum is helpful and with fast response like the Fractal Forum.  Been a Axe Fx user for 9 years and hoping the effects with Helix are stellar in 4CM with my Mesa TC-50 head.  Anyone convert also and what is your opinion based on owning both?

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Welcome aboard! This is a very friendly and helpful forum, you'll find no shortage of folks willing to help you out.

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The Helix has both advantages and disadvantages compared to the Axe FX. A bandmate has the AxeFX and I have the Helix, and I would say they are completely comparable as far as their sound potential. I'd be surprised if anyone could tell a recording of either of these modelers apart from a recording of a mic'd cab in a controlled, level-matched, double-blind test (with each modeler using an IR measured from the same cab+mic setup).

 

The Helix is much easier to program and use footswitches, especially since you can color and label the switches. The Axe FX has more detailed programming options with advanced concepts borrowed from the synthesizer world, like LFOs and envelope followers, which as of current firmware the Helix lacks. As a synth programming geek, I sometimes wish I had more in-depth access to those sorts of things in the Helix, but overall I'm happy with the tradeoffs of the MUCH more clear and quickly usable interface, and the custom colors/labels per patch on footswitches.

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Thinking since days to jump over to AXE FX.

Spent a lot of time with the HELIX and have clearly to state that the usability (operation), connectivity are really great. But what I miss are powerful delays like the MultiDly/Quad Delay with the AXE fx. I use the most time the DSP unit wihitn the amp FX loop and sometimes only without. So for me it's not important to have 90 amps or someting like that. Need only very few good amps and thats it.

My demand is more about powerful delay effects with individual modulators/LFO's.

 

What I would like to know :  HELIX  introduced the snapshots and this was th decition "to go for" and to give it a try.

Cause don't like having any empty switching slots in respect to time.

Does the AXE FX provide also such a comparable feature like the HELIX snapshots ?

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Fractal had SCENES earlier and is same thing as SNAPSHOTS with Helix. 

 

What are you missing in delays?  If Helix doesn't have a multi delay type sound, I may not gel with it.  I use that effect a lot!

 

Thinking since days to jump over to AXE FX.

Spent a lot of time with the HELIX and have clearly to state that the usability (operation), connectivity are really great. But what I miss are powerful delays like the MultiDly/Quad Delay with the AXE fx. I use the most time the DSP unit wihitn the amp FX loop and sometimes only without. So for me it's not important to have 90 amps or someting like that. Need only very few good amps and thats it.

My demand is more about powerful delay effects with individual modulators/LFO's.

 

What I would like to know :  HELIX  introduced the snapshots and this was th decition "to go for" and to give it a try.

Cause don't like having any empty switching slots in respect to time.

Does the AXE FX provide also such a comparable feature like the HELIX snapshots ?

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What are you missing in delays?  If Helix doesn't have a multi delay type sound, I may not gel with it.  I use that effect a lot!

 

 

First, you can easily split a chain into two paths and use two delays in parallel, also there is a "Dual Delay" in Helix. use two of those in parallel and you have 4 delays, and that is only on one path. There's another path.

 

There is also a multi tap delay in there and I think there might be another one coming in an update.

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Out of curiosity, what sorts of stuff are you doing with multi-tap delays? Random-sounding spacing? Repeats at the same level then gone? Just wondering.

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Out of curiosity, what sorts of stuff are you doing with multi-tap delays? Random-sounding spacing? Repeats at the same level then gone? Just wondering.

 

At end of songs for long taper or for volume swells it's terrific!

 

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What sorts of patterns or non-patterns are you doing with multi-tap that regular delays can't do?

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I own and use both Fractal and Helix units,   as has been stated before, each has its strengths,  but if the OP is concerned about delay and multi delay FX. IME, the Fractal stuff is certainly deeper and to my ears, more pleasing at this point in time. strictly opinion I guess..what  I really  love is the amazing power of the two unit used together.........

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What sorts of patterns or non-patterns are you doing with multi-tap that regular delays can't do?

 

I like Fractal's plex delay...Not sure what it does...but it sounds great!

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Just going off the name 'plex delay', try Transistor Tape, it's an Echoplex. For multi-tap, if that's actually what you're after, there are 4 and 6 tap versions.

 

You might also find Bucket Brigade, Adriatic, Memory Man, and Vintage Digital interesting as character effects.

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HudsonHawk: Congrats on opting to go Helix!

 

In addition to the outstanding member response and support here on the Line 6 Helix User Support Forums, also check out the thriving Helix Thread(s) on TheGearPage.net. Together these are exceptional resources. If you're a Facebook user, there are also users there.

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Sorry answering so late. Was on a Biz trip. What I miss is something like the quad delay like within AXE FX II. Trick is, to have 2 quaddelays in parallel. At the end you have 8 single delays  with each's own modulation settings like the good old "Magic Stomp Box" from Yamaha. Who ever was investigating in Allan Holdsworth setup knows what I'm talking about. I decided to buy a AXE FX II now. I tried these seetings by using 4 dual delays in parallel, but not having the individual modiulation settings for each delay. (Each Dual Delay has on modulation togehter for left and right.) That's why it doesn't work out.

Overall impression HELIX.

Usability and Connectivity "the No One !", Don't know how to express, but a little bit to "HiFi" on the high gain settings.

Tweaking Effects, especially Delays, AXE FX is stronger. I use mostly delay effects only by using the device within the effects loop from the amp. That's why I decided to go for AXE FX.

 

Don't get me wrong. HELIX is a great device, but AXE serves better to my FX focused needs.

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Having the Axe FX II and Helix ( and Kemper) in the marketplace can only make it better for us players in the long run. Competition is a GOOD thing,  ;)

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Massimo, what about Helix and Kemper makes them seem better for those situations to you?

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they work great in both situation, my helix is floor model and kemper is in my studio rack, mostly for convenience. I tried kemper in live and helix in recording, but..don't know, maybe I'm used to this set up and I'm confortable this way.  in studio I mainly use amp sound, just few effects, and kemper is very, very realistic.

on stage I love the the control of the helix and it sounds awesome. 

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Thanks, just thought you had an interesting take on how these two very capable devices were best used. Really enjoying Helix myself, wish I was also thinking about how I like the Kemper I don't have :)

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hmmmmm... the OP has not chimed in since his initial posts.....so whatcha think , mon?

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hmmmmm... the OP has not chimed in since his initial posts.....so whatcha think , mon?

 

I have not been able to run it through all the paces yet.  I just plugged some good headphones in and it sounded decent.  Though the amp models sounded similar and the delays and reverbs were not as good.  I'm not making a final decision until I really have time to plug it in 4CM and give it a real try. 

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Give yourself time to get to know the Helix and how to dial it in.

 

Ignore most of the Factory Presets. Build your own from scratch using any of the "New Presets" from any of the SetList folders.

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I have yet to hear the first preamp that sounds decent through headphones, but that's me. I think I need the air moving between the sound source and my ears, and adding a bit of room reverb doesn't do the trick.
I'm guessing the 4CM trial will give you a much more useful impression of what Helix actually sounds like.
(most) Reverbs and delays are not on par with the amps, but still perfectly workable.

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Congrats on the jump! I also own the Axe-FX Ultra. It's waaaay awesome, and I especially like the different weird effects I can play with. I also have the MFC-101 controller to go with.

When I bought my Helix a few months ago, I did it as an impulse buy. I kinda discovered it by accident. It's the first piece of Line 6 gear I've owned. I've always liked multi-effect pedal boards and have also owned the BOSS GT-8 and BOSS GT-10. They sounded a little digital, but it was good enough for me, and I thought the sound was decent (not for distortion though). With that said, I'm not really a sound "purist" like some of the other really hard core guys on this forum. I just like really good effects and equipment.

I still like the Axe-FX, but am currently considering selling it in favor of the Helix. What sold me was absolutely the interface, scribble strips, ease of use... I built my patches from scratch. The fact that I didn't have to lug around a rack unit and case anymore, all the wires to connect the MFC-101, etc... I just like the simplicity, and it's an all-in-one unit. I am really looking forward to the ongoing firmware updates, etc... The DSP processing power is definitely waaaay better than the Fractal as well. The reason the Fractal sounds better is because the way the DSP algorithms are programmed, as opposed to the way Line 6 does it. With the POD products, I believe the the modelling was done using something called "piece-wise polynomial functions" mathematically speaking if the value was over this, then this, else this. Fractal takes a logarithmic approach. Not sure how it's done for the Helix, but I think the approach is fundamentally different. I love my HELIX so far! The sound is awesome, and I'm running it through a Roland Cube 40XL (No effects loop), super clean channel. I am also using some Ownhammer IR's.

I dare not compare which unit is better. They're both good. If you can't get a good sound from the Helix, you're doing something wrong.

Check out this interview with Cliff Chase...

http://www.guitarmessenger.com/interviews/cliff-chase-interview-fractal-audio/

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I decided to keep the Axe Fx II XL because of its effects and also i know how to use it will after many years. I also like Fractal's editor better. The scribble strips were main enticement, but i guess I'll look at an RJM Mastermind 22 in near future. Yes, expensive i know.

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I decided to keep the Axe Fx II XL because of its effects and also i know how to use it will after many years. I also like Fractal's editor better. The scribble strips were main enticement, but i guess I'll look at an RJM Mastermind 22 in near future. Yes, expensive i know.

So you will (or did already) return the Helix, yes?

 

Care to share what you think about it, in general?

 

Thanks

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So you will (or did already) return the Helix, yes?

 

Care to share what you think about it, in general?

 

Thanks

 

I returned the Helix.  Very cool unit.  Function wise I wanted to keep.  But it doesn't do as many effects as the Axe Fx II XL and didn't like having expression pedal attached to it. 

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I returned the Helix.  Very cool unit.  Function wise I wanted to keep.  But it doesn't do as many effects as the Axe Fx II XL and didn't like having expression pedal attached to it. 

 

 

Interesting.  With the sonic differences between most of these high end modelers being like splitting hairs, not having a built in expression pedal would be a deal breaker for me.

I'd have having to bring one more thing and have to connect it at the gig.  I realize that you can put it all on a pedalboard but please elaborate.

What is it about built in expression pedals that you don't like? I'm curious as I just can't see any negative aspects to it.

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Interesting.  With the sonic differences between most of these high end modelers being like splitting hairs, not having a built in expression pedal would be a deal breaker for me.

I'd have having to bring one more thing and have to connect it at the gig.  I realize that you can put it all on a pedalboard but please elaborate.

What is it about built in expression pedals that you don't like? I'm curious as I just can't see any negative aspects to it.

 

I just prefer to choose the expression pedals I like.  It's most probable to break and it's built in and can't be easily replaced. 

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I just prefer to choose the expression pedals I like.  It's most probable to break and it's built in and can't be easily replaced. 

 

 

I don't think they're liable to break that much, but I still agree with you. And I've never been a fan of the feel of many of the built in EXPs on things... One of the things I love about Helix Rack. I am using my own EXPs and love it that way.

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I just prefer to choose the expression pedals I like.  It's most probable to break and it's built in and can't be easily replaced.

 

Hawk, I'm with you , IMO, of all the innovative hardware implementation of Helix, the pedal is a weak link., if convenient. I like more sweep and the positioning makes for instability of the unit in certain cases. I still love the integration of my Fractal stuff with Helix....best o both worlds (apologies Mr. HAgar)....sorry u missed the latest FW update here it's awesome , but Cliff will have another 3or 4 for your AXFX next week......

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Funny, I have always liked the feel of the on-board pedals on the Line 6 boards, with perhaps the exception of the X3L (the pedal itself was a little small)... I've never had one of them fail, though.

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Funny, I have always liked the feel of the on-board pedals on the Line 6 boards, with perhaps the exception of the X3L (the pedal itself was a little small)... I've never had one of them fail, though.

 

 

I don't mind them at all. I just prefer other things and love that I have the flexibility.

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I think the "feel" has more to do with how steep or shallow the logarithmic curve is on the pedal. I have to admit that I don't like the curve on the Helix. Still, I prefer the convenience of having it built in.

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I just prefer to choose the expression pedals I like.  It's most probable to break and it's built in and can't be easily replaced. 

 

Every modeling pedal board I've owned with the exception of the Zoom G3 has had a built in expression pedal. None of them ever developed any issues and certainly none of them ever physically broke or stopped working. Ever.  My Ernie ball volume pedal however, is another story. 

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I apologize in advance but I tend to type a lot. I am new to the forum and to Line 6 products. I play multiple guitars; Fender, Gibson, ESP, PRS, etc., pretty high end. Lately I’ve been playing for Praise and Worship as well as rock and country and I’m very fond of the 80s “hair genreâ€. I’ve played through most amps with my staples being Marshall and Fender tube amps. I do have Vox, Hiwatt, Mesa, and Peavey Valve Kings that I do love. Then I bought a Boss GT100 and used it to pre-amp the power amps of my tube amps. Great sound. Played that unit for a couple years and still have it. I was convinced that the newer guitar processors are gonna take over. I do play FOH with in-ears and no

backline. So I researched for the best available product and all pointed toward Fractal, so I bought an AX8, all the accessories, many presets, and IR packs. It sounds good and has many features but I’m wondering if mine has a problem or am I still stuck on real amp sound. The reverbs sound fake to me. The distortions are all fuzzy and each one can be programmed to sound like all of the others. The overdrives are ok but thin and digital sounding. I will compare mine to a friends unit to determine if there is a problem with mine. Meanwhile I thought I’d purchase a Line 6 Helix. Honestly to me Line 6 was a joke. Never heard a good tone from any product. Then I purchased a Line 6 wireless vocal mic. It far out performs my Shure mics and even my Sennheisers. So, let’s try this Helix thing. After a Fractal session I tried the Helix. It sounded mid rangey and thin. Another crappy Line 6 product. A few days latter I stared at the Helix. I watched a few videos, read the manual (a page or two), updated to firmware 2.30, then added some third party Impulse Responses. Some IRs I grabbed from my Fractal (yep they work) and I purchased some. I programmed some P&W presets and started to rethink my initial thoughts. Then I programmed some upbeat P&W patches from watching YouTube vids. I continued to increase my number of user presets with IRs. Now I cannot put down my guitar. The thing can auto detect the pickups impedance so I can grab any guitar and have basically the same preset with the specific guitar characteristics. I cannot get a bad sound from this Helix; in any genre. It sounds and feels like a real amp. It sings with sustain and harmonics of a high end tube amp. The reverbs and delays do not sound fake like they do on my Fractal. I am hoping my Fractal actually is defective but a side by side comparison in the short time I’ve played with the Helix, proves there is no comparison to me. The Helix is never muddy like the Fractal, the overdrives sound like overdrives and the distortions are not Fuzzy, unless you want and like fuzz. I do NOT. The best thing I’ve noticed is no “CPU overloadâ€, With multiple Program paths I can program multiple amps, cabs, IRs, dozens of effects, and NEVER run out of processing power like I encounter on every Fractal preset where I need a few reverbs and delays. I will be playing the Helix live FOH this Sunday with in-ears and no backline so my opinion may change, but today the Helix kicks the crap out of the Fractal. Believe me, I didn’t think it possible at all. I’m still hoping my AX8 is defective. I know this rambling is opinion based on what I’ve personally experienced and opposite of my expectations. I know there are strengths to both of these units and never in my wildest dreams would I put Line 6 on top but now I have them on top for a wireless mic and now this Helix unit. I can’t even stop playing my guitar. It just sings whether using my Strat Elite, Strat HSS, Tele Elite, ESP, PRS, or

Les Paul. I’m sure Line 6 was trying to compete with the big dogs, but I’m gonna bet they didn’t predicate that, in my opinion today, they would come out and lollipop slap their completion. That’s my initial review which could change after Sunday’s live performance. We shall see. I warned you that I type a lot. If you made it this far, you must have had s lot of spare time on your hands. Lol

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