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It takes some tweaking, you say?


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A little background for context.  I've been a guitar player a long time.  My first pre-amp was an ADA, then Marshall JMP1, then Triaxis.  I've owned more rack unit effects boxes than I can possibly remember.  ART, Lexicon, Peavey, TC Electronic, yada, yada, yada.   I'm a MIDI control freak.  Using MIDI used be the hard part of controlling a rig.  It required deep editing, thorough understanding of the manual for both controllers and effects.  


Helix is exactly the opposite.  MIDI control of all my effects is stupid easy.  Assigning controllers, selecting patches, sending program changes, all ridiculously easy, and in almost all cases very intuitively implemented.  Bravo Line 6.  The capacitive touch feature is brilliant.



However, I'm really struggling with the amps.  I knew exactly what my old amp channels sounded like. I had to select from two (three max) channels.  There was clean, and there was crunch.   So now I see the amp section of Helix the same way all my old band-mates used to see my effects racks.





It's only been three days with Helix, and things are getting better.  I just downloaded Glen's boutique patches, and I've found some stuff in there that was both usable and educational.  Probably the best $25 I've spent since getting my Helix.  For me, his Dumble patch is a great starting platform.


I've been auditioning some Redwirez IRs, but I'm not well versed enough with the amps to know that what I like/dislike about a tone is because the IR or the amp. When there are this many variables it's incredibly hard to not just make things worse by grabbing knobs and twiddling.  


I was getting horribly frustrated, almost to the point of sending it back.  After all the reading I've done here it seems clear that IRs are what is needed to turn the amp models into live-sounding tones.  It's definitely not that simple.  In my case they just overly complicate things (completely due to my lack of experience with modeling).   


In my day-job I'm a firmware engineer.  I absolutely should know better than to introduce so many unknown variables and expect acceptable results.  It's one thing to know ahead of time that going from amp/stomps to Helix/FRFR is going to take some tweaking.  It's a completely different thing to have it sitting in front you making noises you don't like and can't fix.  :(  Now is the perfect time to panic.  


So if you're a newbie to Helix (like me), I would encourage you to load up some of the patches from the experienced creators.   Start with those, then tweak the parameters you understand (gain, eq, presence, etc).  Starting with some well constructed patches has gotten me about 80% of what I need.  At least I have usable tones for practice and a place to start.  


Oh, and one other thing made a HUGE difference for me, parallel effects loops.  I use a Mobius in loop 1, and at first I was just throwing a Send/return block in the main path.  While I LOVE LOVE LOVE the mobius, I wasn't getting what I expected until I dropped the send block to the B path, and then set the mix to 50%.  Adding wet signal to dry is the shizz-nit.  Now I just set the Mobius patch levels to 100% and then mix in how much of the effect I want with the send/ret block.  Not something I could do with my old amp's serial effects loop.   I realize this is stupidly obvious to those of you experienced with constructing Helix patches.  I've seen it done in videos countless times.  But in my head I was treating Helix's loops like my old GCX loop switch.  It's either IN or OUT.  There was no mixer on the GCX.  


In Helix it's programmable per snapshot? And I can control the mix level with a pedal?  And decide if the return comes back before/after the reverb?  

I'm like:



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Sorry for the short reply to such a colourful post but I think you'd like this:


Channel 1: Soldano clean

Chsnnel 2: plexi brt

Channel 3: plexi brt biased cold with little sag and hum with an OCD in front


Use the free sample IR on celestions website


It will kinda sound like your JMP-1

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3 days?

Yes this was my experience aswell

But i said to myself hey others can make this thing sounds good so can i

And i have 30 days of returning period before i need to send it back lets try it a bit more.

And i never sent it back

I am still not really satisfied with the high gain tones but my hopes is that they fix that in further updates.

Here is a tip you should include some EQ blocks in your patches and move them around in the signal chain and play with them to hear where they fit in best you dont need to do HP/LP filtering on IR,s if you use EQ blocks.

When it comes to tweaking the ampblock you need to play around with the sag and ripple and all other "non real life tweaking" parameters to find your sound

it is still gonna sound way more pristine then the rack sound you have in your mind as modellers is really the sound of an amp+cab+mic sound i.e what the audience is hearing or the sound of a recorded amp in a studio.

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I've had mine for 3 days and I am simply floored at the capability. I have been playing for over 40 years and a tone snob to boot. I have disliked every Pod that I spent countless hours with and I was a diehard tube fanatic until now. The Helix is the first modeler to seriously win me over. If you don't mind spending a little cash go to Glenn DeLaune's site and by some seriously crafted patches. heck, go listen to them first and be amazed. He is the best at crafting them no doubt:


He's also a really nice guy to deal with. I was so hesitant I waited a year to get my Helix and 3 days in I am already floored at the tones I am getting out of this beast. Can't wait to plug in direct and quit hauling gear back and forth. Spend some time with it if you don't want to spend money on crafted patches but I challenge you to create better then Glenn; good luck.

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Glen's patches are a great way to see/hear/learn.


Over time (as you get more familiar with Helix), your sounds will get better.

More *you* if you will...

I learned that I like using a high-pass filter prior to the Amp Block.  Really helps tighten up the bottom end.

If you have particular cab/s that you liked mic'd a certain way, creating Cab IRs allow you to take this even further.

You've got *your* preferred Cab sound/s in Helix.


Helix is very malleable.

With the provided tools/processing, you can dial-in (and explore) your sound.

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In what way are you wanting them to fix it in regards to that?

Meaning? I dont follow you? English is not my native language.

Anyway i do whish and hope they fix those digital artifacts in future updates.

So it is on pair with Kemper & Fractal as for now it is not up their it is mostly due to the stock cabs but also some coding in the amps.

In every Heiix vs Axe Kemper videos you can hear it


I know many people that dont play this kind of music and they really dont care.

They think it sounds great.

But they might not like something in the more "clean sounding" amps like the Fenders or Vox:es etc and for me they sound ok for what I need even if the Vox AC30 really dont sound like a real Vox AC30 it lacks that Vox "shimmering" or whatever i shall call it.

Many of the amps still have that digital "blanket" in the sound its not really pleasent to the ears.


So for those who like those amps i hope they "fix" those issues aswell.



If Line6 Helix coders do what Line6 have been doing with all off their modelers i have used over the years there will be no "fixing" at all on any of the included amps.

They will only add more amps as it seems what people are wanted instead of improvment on the ones that are in the unit already.

But is still "hope" they work on fixing those issues.

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I play mostly clean tones with a variety of the amp models on Helix and I am quite pleased with the shimmering tones I can achieve. Once you have had the Helix for a while your ears will lead you to some really great sounding tones. 

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