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Harsh, or disappear? How much high-cut is too much?

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I'm still fairly new to Helix, and I have some tones that I like, but I'm struggling to get them into the mix.  I'm using an L2t, and when I play with the band it seems like I just disappear.  I have to be way too loud to get up over the drums/keys/acoustic.  

 

My two main patches use a combination of 3 sigma IRs, one Fender and one Mesa.  I build my tones at pretty high volumes.  In order to tame the harsh, ice-picky sound I've been high-cutting at around 4K.  

 

Could that be why when I take these tones to live practice they just seem like I can never get them loud enough?  They sound great in my studio, until I put them in the band.  The gain patches either feel like way too much gain, or not nearly enough.  

 

I can't find that crisp tone that makes me feel like I'm standing in front of my amp (when in fact I'm right on top of the L2t).    I've tried boosting mids, but that just seems to muddy things up in my higher gain patches, and makes things fuzzier.

 

I really want to like Helix, but I'm starting to feel a bit like the kid with the kidney bean POD again.  Sounds great in headphones, don't bring that *&^% to practice.    

 

I've used a bunch of different tube rigs, and even some solid state amps in the early days.  Never before had this much trouble just getting three decent sounds (clean/crunch/lead) to sit with the band.  

 

Am I still missing something obvious?   Same guitars I've been playing for 15 years.  PRS, Fender Strat, Les Paul, Ibanez UV777.   Starting to wonder if it's just me, and I simply can't get used to modeling/frfr.  It shouldn't be this hard. 

 

I've downloaded Glen's patches.  I've built my own from scratch, from watching youtube.  I've tried the presets.  So far, nothing I have sits in the mix with a live band without sounding super harsh, or being super loud (which is then boomy).  

 

Sounds great in the studio, sounds like crap with four other guys banging away.  

 

Anybody here actually use Helix in a live band?  What are your best tips?  I'm running out of things to tweak.  

 

 

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Had the same problem using a JTV - Helix - L2m

Never could find a decent rock tone in spite of all that was downloadable and indeed did the same thing as you. Bought the patches from Glenn including his Variax patches. Bought tons of patches form others

At home a perfect tone, live in my band: harsh, dissapearing in the mix (and turned the volume up which made things worse). Adjusting the hi and lo cuts to get a tone which was acceptable but was never happy with it.

Was almost in a state of selling the Helix and going back to my ENGL gigmaster which never gave me those problems and thought it was a tube thing.

Till i stumbled over some messages in facebook and looked into that. Bought the correspondent IR's and an Atomic 50W tube amp.

Tried it at home and was satisfied but not too because I knew that in my band I was going to face the same problems.

NOT! It really opened my Helix and I had a heavenly rocktone. Other bandmembers thought that I had something new, I got thumbs up and my sound is better and more that I expected. My blues and leadsounds are just perfect!

Further investigation pointed out that the IR/CAB was the part in the chain which produced the harshness/dissapearance. I tried the L2m in the latest setting and that also gave me the sound I was long looking for. So the IR did the trick for me.

Which one I cannot tell you because I bought them and don't want to advertise or something like that.

 

But the the keys for me were:

- IR/CAB: focus on that part of the whole chain

- Buying and downloading tons of patches and trying them out was a mostly a waste of time

- Every chain is different and a zillion combinations are possible but also a zillion pissible ways to screw up your tone

- Every situation is different and your rock or blues or clean of leadtone is not instant downloadable or of the shelf. You have to adjust it  a) for your situation and b) it has to 'sit' in your chain

 

Forgive my english, it is not my native language

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I think most of us here use Helix in a live band.  Personally there are 7 people in my band and I have no problem with getting my patches to mix well.  I will say it takes a bit of time to learn the ins and outs of dealing with FRFR setups, but once you understand the essentials it's pretty easy to set them up.  Here's a couple of key things to consider when setting up patches.

 

Some of the issues may be related to how you have your L2T setup when dialing in your patches or using it on stage.  Make sure you have adequate distance between yourself and the speaker.  You have to remember this speaker is designed for projecting over long distances, so you want to be far enough away to allow the low frequency driver and high frequency driver ample space to blend together.  That's why no one sets a PA speaker right next to the ear of people in the audience, and I have my speaker positioned as a floor monitor behind me at least 4 feet when performing or at practice.  Normally I stand about 5 feet away from my Yamaha DXR12 when at home adjusting patches facing the speaker to get a better feel for how it will sound coming out of the front of house and not be overly influenced by the high frequency driver.  Also make sure you have the correct speaker mode selected.  Since I don't use an L2T hopefully someone else that's been using them can give some advice on the proper mode and some positioning advice.

 

Given you have speaker positioning and the correct mode you may be better off first adjusting the mic and mic position on your IR before applying any hi-cuts.  I don't use 3Sigma IRs so I don't know what mics they have, but you might try using a ribbon mic to get a more full frequency spectrum representation.  Generally the further you position the mic away from the cap and out toward the cone or cone edge, the less "ice picky" sound you'll have.  In my case, depending on the amp and amp settings in the patch I sometimes have no hi-cuts applied, and usually it's fairly moderate between 5.5khz - 7khz.

 

It's also not unusual that the sound you hear when playing with the full band is different than when playing alone and setting up a patch.  A lot of that high end gets attenuated naturally by the other instruments in a live environment, and over-compensating with high cuts will simply mean you're losing articulation and definition.  Some of this may be related to what you're listening "for".  I find I get a MUCH better tone when I approach it looking for the sound I would want in a studio setting or on a record rather than approaching it as if I were targeting the sound of an amp on stage, and those are two very different things.  In a studio you're listening for articulation and clarity, even in high gain tones.  That's what makes it stand out in a mix, whether that be in a recording or live.  That's not something you worry too much about with a traditional amp, mainly because with a traditional amp what you hear on stage is not what you hear in a recording control room or in the FOH in a live setting, which is based more on the sound of the mic and it's position on the speaker cabinet.

 

That last statement is really the key for mastering dialing in tones with the Helix in an FRFR setup.  What you're trying to accomplish in this case is a professional production sound, not just a stage sound of standing in front of an amp.  One of the biggest issues I see when making this transition is people using too much distortion.  You'd probably be surprised at how much less distortion is used even in high-gain type music when in a studio.  It makes it MUCH harder to get the guitar to stand out in a mix.

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I've found the 3 Sigma IRs pretty bright in general.

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I've found the 3 Sigma IRs pretty bright in general.

 

Yeah...I second that as well.  That's why I don't have any of them...

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I can't find that crisp tone that makes me feel like I'm standing in front of my amp...

 

 

you never will.

 

The fact is, again (third time today I'm talking about this, but no matter...)...

 

An FRFR won't sound like an amp in the room, because it's not.

 

It sounds like a great amp in the NEXT room, miked and monitored in THIS room.

 

If you want or need a real amp in the room, get a real amp and a real room, or at least a guitar cab and power amp.

 

If, however, you are playing in large enough environments that you will be going through the PA, your audience will be very well served by you going direct with something like Helix, if you have sussed out your sound to sound great in the house and in the mix with the band.

 

in terms of the brightness... I have had occasion to try some patches that some people found were killer that I thought were so dark they'd get lost in the sauce. For me, I use the build-in cabs, have no need or use for IR cabs, but the same principles apply, and I find that if I cut the low end much beyond 80 or 90 I don't like the sound, and the high end... no further down that 6 or 7k.

 

But that's me.

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I think 4K might be a little bit drastic of a low-pass for live tones. You have to keep in mind that if you're getting a tone from a FRFR speaker pointed at you that sounds like your cab did when it was on the floor blowing passed your knees, it's probably pretty dark compared to what those guitar speakers would have sounded like. Also keep in mind (as mentioned in another thread about high/low passing with Helix recently) that some of the "fizz" and "sizzle" is actually necessary presence to get a guitar to cut/sit in a mix. On some of my lead-ish snapshots I actually have the Low-pass dialed completely off. On their own at band volumes they're a little "hard" but when everyone is going they cut and the extra sizzle gets washed out in the cymbals, but you want everything up to that range to get out and over without being silly loud. 

If you're after some killer rock tones, I highly recommend Studio Cat's IRs. They're very lively, for lack of a better word. 

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All great advise above.

 

I find IRs tend to satisfy the "amp in the room" feel, but in a live gig volume, full band situation it may quickly become a mud-fest.

 

As Hamm has preached for years now, the stock cabs are perfect for sitting in the mix. Personally, if I need more body, I use a 121 or 160 mic. Roll the lows around 60 to 80. Then if it's too "harsh", up to 4 db cut 2.0 q at 3k. This kills some of the shrill freqs yet preserved the presence above for cut. For some mid warmth, Cali eq boost 750.

 

All above is my rig, my band, my guitar, my style experience.

 

I do use an ir sometimes. When above is just not quite doing it, I parallel one of the free Friedman 2×12 irs with the Helix stock cab.

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I find the cuts required on both my low end and high end really vary from one preset to another. Variables like the amp I am using, the settings I choose in the amp's tonestack, the mic I choose for the Helix cabs, the IR selected if I am using one, the placement and settings of effects before and after the amp/cab, etc. all influence whether I need cuts/boosts at all and if so where. When I am feeling lazy I may just dial in a low and high cut on the cab generally anywhere from 70-110hz on the low end and 3.5khz-12khz on the high end. Obviously 3.5khz is a radical cut on the high end and I rarely cut that much although every once in a while it gives you a nice softened tone on a particularly fierce preset. More commonly my cab high cuts are more in the 4.5-9khz range (when required).  

 

If I am really looking to hone the preset and be more surgical with my cuts I may use milder or even no cab cuts and instead zero in with a graphic EQ before the amp/cab and a parametric EQ after the amp/cab. I use the sweep method with the parametric EQ to dial out any offending frequencies, not usually for a boost. The parametric is my final stage of EQ although some here recommend using a parametric EQ before the distortion effects and amp/cab to refine the signal and particularly for cutting the flubby low end before it hits those blocks.

 

There are also great posts both here and on the Fractal site about specific areas in the frequency range to cut that work as general rules of thumb with most presets to more closely emulate the sound of a tube amp. It really depends on the preset, what equipment you are playing through and what sounds good to you. The great sounds are definitely in the Helix and the more you learn from forums and videos, and the more you work with it the easier and more quickly you can find them. Your own ears are ultimately your strongest ally. And... I still wouldn't mind having the idiot switch labeled "Great Tone".

 

The greatest boon to preset design I have found is running a looper at the front of the signal chain and looping guitar parts so I can make changes while the guitar is playing instead of stopping to tweak knobs. I use snapshots and I will use a clean, crunch, and lead loop to dial them in depending on the intended use for each snapshot.

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I generally cut at 7K and when playing with my band I turn on the global eq, with more low and hi cuts plus a 1 db boost at 2K. A good sound at home for me usually doesn't translate well with a good sound in a band scenario.

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Do you have one or two Altos? I have 2 alto ts210s and had the same problem. One I went through and did similar cuts to all my cabs (I don't use many IRs), and leveled all my patches through my recording studio, I seem to be getting much better results. I make notes of what is lacking at rehearsal, and tweak constantly. But getting there! I should note I use many varied patches so its a pain, but fun. I have a few that cut tremendously! Also, make sure your altos are not on the floor, I always have em elevated, makes a big difference, esp when creating patches!

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Thanks, I've watched video, and I'm aware of the issue. I've played professionally in several bands where I've used IEMs with a cab offstage, or load-boxed and direct.

 

Hearing a mic'd-up tone is not what I'm struggling with with.

 

Perhaps because I've used IEMs in the past, on a private mix, where my guitar signal is EQ'd from the monitor mixer, and fairly hot in my mix, I just can't get used to mixing an FRFR modeling sound on stage. Perhaps it's my in-ear mix that I'm really missing. Maybe?

 

I'm certain that years of live music has left me with mid range frequency loss. Maybe I'm just used to compensating for it with my IEM mix.

 

The tones I'm getting from Helix are acceptable, and I'm sure any average non-guitarist would say they sound fine. Helix is clearly a cut above the previous line 6 modelers (of which I have owned several). If there is a deficiency, it's most likely in my ability to tweak the 200 knobs. There is frustration that even with the advanced capabilities of Helix I can't replicate the time and feel of what I had. Which feels like a step backwards.

 

 

There are some good suggestions here, and always learn something new.

 

When you guys are using IRs, do you use preamp + amp + cab + IR?

 

Right now I'm just using studio comp, amp, split into two IRs, mono to a single L2t in floor mode.

Some verb and delay for some snaps.

 

I'll try to elevate the monitor, get it further away, and raise my high cuts to 5-6k. In my studio that would result in (what my ears hear) as harsh. Next live practice is Monday. Maybe the tones will cut through a little better without being so loud. That was my goal of going frfr in the first place, controlling stage volume.

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When you guys are using IRs, do you use preamp + amp + cab + IR?

 

Right now I'm just using studio comp, amp, split into two IRs, mono to a single L2t in floor mode.

Some verb and delay for some snaps.

 

I'll try to elevate the monitor, get it further away, and raise my high cuts to 5-6k. In my studio that would result in (what my ears hear) as harsh. Next live practice is Monday. Maybe the tones will cut through a little better without being so loud. That was my goal of going frfr in the first place, controlling stage volume.

 

I don't know about anyone else, but I suspect we're mostly the same or pretty close.

 

My basic signal chain for an IR would consist of guitar input -> amp -> IR -> output to monitor

 

No real need for a pre-amp block prior to an amp block, and certainly no reason for a native Helix cab to feed into an IR.  Generally its either Helix cab OR an IR.

 

Again, it would be nice to know which amp model you're using as that would give a little more insight about why you seem to be getting such harshness.  Also what mic and mic positions you've been using would help as well.

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I don't know about anyone else, but I suspect we're mostly the same or pretty close.

 

My basic signal chain for an IR would consist of guitar input -> amp -> IR -> output to monitor

 

No real need for a pre-amp block prior to an amp block, and certainly no reason for a native Helix cab to feed into an IR.  Generally its either Helix cab OR an IR.

 

Again, it would be nice to know which amp model you're using as that would give a little more insight about why you seem to be getting such harshness.  Also what mic and mic positions you've been using would help as well.

 

 

I've tried all of the higher gain models.  The soldano lead and Archetype lead are probably the two I like the most.  All the marshall clones seem a bit spongy and fuzzy, so tend to avoid them for lead tones (mostly the same experience I have with marshall heads, so it's consistent).  I typically back off the drive, presence, and highs, bump the mids a bit, and drop the low a bit.  Then I'll use a tube screamer with gain and tone around 1 or 2 to add a bit of mid shift and grit.  

 

I've tried all the stock cabinets, and of those the Mesa V430 is probably the closest to the sound I'm used to.  Usually I'll use one of the ribbon mics (4028?) at 2".   However, I've not found a stock cab/mic combination that doesn't sound "Kermit the froggy" (back of the throat), super harsh (typical SM57 sound), or boomy (ribbon at distance).  

 

I have Redwirez big box Mesa V30s, Orange V30s, and twin IRs, as well as the Mesa V30 and Fender twin pack from 3 Sigma.   The best sound I've had yet is to split the signal after the amp and run into one Mesa V30 and one Fender twin.  Low cut around 100, high cut around 3.5 - 4K.

 

The 3 Sigma IRs sound better to me than the Redwirez.  However, the Redwirez package is far more extensive.  Last night I Ioaded up each of the Redwirez IRs (30 at a time), and stepped through every combination of mic/distance.  While some are certainly better than others, on the whole, the Redwirez all sound "distant", regardless of mic placement, when compared to the 3 Sigma.  That might be ok, but since I'm already struggling to get this sound into the live mix of my band, I don't need more distance (kind of like adding too much verb).

 

 

Today I'm going to put the high-cuts back up around 6-7K, and then put a parametric at the end of the chain.  See if I can sweep out the harsh.   It's what I would do if I were running FOH, makes sense that I'll have to do it with the FRFR.  There has to be some middle ground.

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I've tried all of the higher gain models.  The soldano lead and Archetype lead are probably the two I like the most.  All the marshall clones seem a bit spongy and fuzzy, so tend to avoid them for lead tones (mostly the same experience I have with marshall heads, so it's consistent).  I typically back off the drive, presence, and highs, bump the mids a bit, and drop the low a bit.  Then I'll use a tube screamer with gain and tone around 1 or 2 to add a bit of mid shift and grit.  

 

I've tried all the stock cabinets, and of those the Mesa V430 is probably the closest to the sound I'm used to.  Usually I'll use one of the ribbon mics (4028?) at 2".   However, I've not found a stock cab/mic combination that doesn't sound "Kermit the froggy" (back of the throat), super harsh (typical SM57 sound), or boomy (ribbon at distance).  

 

I have Redwirez big box Mesa V30s, Orange V30s, and twin IRs, as well as the Mesa V30 and Fender twin pack from 3 Sigma.   The best sound I've had yet is to split the signal after the amp and run into one Mesa V30 and one Fender twin.  Low cut around 100, high cut around 3.5 - 4K.

 

The 3 Sigma IRs sound better to me than the Redwirez.  However, the Redwirez package is far more extensive.  Last night I Ioaded up each of the Redwirez IRs (30 at a time), and stepped through every combination of mic/distance.  While some are certainly better than others, on the whole, the Redwirez all sound "distant", regardless of mic placement, when compared to the 3 Sigma.  That might be ok, but since I'm already struggling to get this sound into the live mix of my band, I don't need more distance (kind of like adding too much verb).

 

 

Today I'm going to put the high-cuts back up around 6-7K, and then put a parametric at the end of the chain.  See if I can sweep out the harsh.   It's what I would do if I were running FOH, makes sense that I'll have to do it with the FRFR.  There has to be some middle ground.

 

Well, I honestly can't say from you're description you're doing anything terribly different in terms of your setup, but you're definitely getting a different impression of your tone than what I and most others here get with the same combinations.  It could simply be that you have a sensitivity toward hearing some frequencies that are bothersome to you.  I can understand that somewhat because I have the same problem in some instances when dialing in patches using my Strat.  I often have to tweek those patches more than others to get rid of that "plucky" sound.

 

Part of what I've come to understand is that I have to adjust what I'm listening for on FRFR speakers when I'm dialing them in due to the increased clarity and articulation of the FRFR speaker.  What seems a bit harsh or thin to me at home ends up being just about right when mixed with the rest of the band.  Even some of that "plucky" sound on the Strat that bothers me ends up being necessary once I get with the rest of the instruments.  If I dial it out at home I end up dialing it back in once I'm at rehearsal.  In fact that's exactly what happened to me last night.  I spent several hours tweaking it out and finally ended up turning down the bridge tone knob to get it where I felt comfortable with it.  As soon as I started rehearsing with the band it sounded dull.  Low and behold I turned my tone knob back up and it sat perfectly in the mix.

 

A couple of things have helped me in this regard.  Ear fatigue gets to be a big factor when dialing in patches, and I dial in patches A LOT.  I have a patch per song, so I've gotten pretty proficient at dialing in different amps with different guitars (Les Paul, Strat, Tele, and Gretsch hollow body).  I try to take a good first swing that's reasonably close to what I want then come back to it later after some time away from it and dial it in with fresh ears and I can usually get it pretty well where I want it after a couple of times.  Often during one of those breaks it will occur to me to try something different that turns out to be the key to getting what I want.  What never works is to just bang against it over and over.  I end up getting frustrated and not getting anywhere because my ears are worn out.

 

A couple of things I'll mention here.  I agree with you on the 3Sigma IRs in that all variations seem way too harsh to me, but I can't agree that the Redwirez seem distant.  To me they tend to be a little closer to the studio production sound I'm looking for when I dial in many of my patches.  Every situation is different but there is a document that's provided on the RedWirez site called "Dialing In Your Tone with Redwirez IRs" which has been very useful as it gives a list of best placements for each of the mics for optimal balance.and has been pretty spot-on.  I've also had some pretty good results combining a bit darker IR with a more present IR in a split arrangement in dialing out what appears to me to be harshness.  But again, I have to be somewhat careful because a certain amount of harshness when dialing it in by myself turns into presence and articulation when combined with the band.

 

As far as IRs, I have to say my most used IRs are the Celestions.  What makes them a bit different is there's less cabinet coloration and more pure speaker.  For me that makes it a lot easier to find the right variation for what I want much faster than with any of the others most of the time.

 

I guess that's all I can add.  I think you're on the right track, just going through some natural adjustment in adapting and adjusting your ears to a FRFR setup.  It is different than just a traditional amp and cabinet but I'm confident you'll find your space.  I had a bit less of an adjustment because I started doing this type of setup with my HD500X so I had already figured out some of the tricks.  The Helix to me was a pleasant surprise because it gave me greater flexibility to get what I wanted.  Since this is your first encounter with it, it may take a bit more initial time, but once you get it figured out you'll know the formula that tends to work for you and it becomes a MUCH easier and faster process.

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Well, I honestly can't say from you're description you're doing anything terribly different in terms of your setup, but you're definitely getting a different impression of your tone than what I and most others here get with the same combinations.  It could simply be that you have a sensitivity toward hearing some frequencies that are bothersome to you.  I can understand that somewhat because I have the same problem in some instances when dialing in patches using my Strat.  I often have to tweek those patches more than others to get rid of that "plucky" sound.

 

Part of what I've come to understand is that I have to adjust what I'm listening for on FRFR speakers when I'm dialing them in due to the increased clarity and articulation of the FRFR speaker.  What seems a bit harsh or thin to me at home ends up being just about right when mixed with the rest of the band.  Even some of that "plucky" sound on the Strat that bothers me ends up being necessary once I get with the rest of the instruments.  If I dial it out at home I end up dialing it back in once I'm at rehearsal.  In fact that's exactly what happened to me last night.  I spent several hours tweaking it out and finally ended up turning down the bridge tone knob to get it where I felt comfortable with it.  As soon as I started rehearsing with the band it sounded dull.  Low and behold I turned my tone knob back up and it sat perfectly in the mix.

 

A couple of things have helped me in this regard.  Ear fatigue gets to be a big factor when dialing in patches, and I dial in patches A LOT.  I have a patch per song, so I've gotten pretty proficient at dialing in different amps with different guitars (Les Paul, Strat, Tele, and Gretsch hollow body).  I try to take a good first swing that's reasonably close to what I want then come back to it later after some time away from it and dial it in with fresh ears and I can usually get it pretty well where I want it after a couple of times.  Often during one of those breaks it will occur to me to try something different that turns out to be the key to getting what I want.  What never works is to just bang against it over and over.  I end up getting frustrated and not getting anywhere because my ears are worn out.

 

A couple of things I'll mention here.  I agree with you on the 3Sigma IRs in that all variations seem way too harsh to me, but I can't agree that the Redwirez seem distant.  To me they tend to be a little closer to the studio production sound I'm looking for when I dial in many of my patches.  Every situation is different but there is a document that's provided on the RedWirez site called "Dialing In Your Tone with Redwirez IRs" which has been very useful as it gives a list of best placements for each of the mics for optimal balance.and has been pretty spot-on.  I've also had some pretty good results combining a bit darker IR with a more present IR in a split arrangement in dialing out what appears to me to be harshness.  But again, I have to be somewhat careful because a certain amount of harshness when dialing it in by myself turns into presence and articulation when combined with the band.

 

As far as IRs, I have to say my most used IRs are the Celestions.  What makes them a bit different is there's less cabinet coloration and more pure speaker.  For me that makes it a lot easier to find the right variation for what I want much faster than with any of the others most of the time.

 

I guess that's all I can add.  I think you're on the right track, just going through some natural adjustment in adapting and adjusting your ears to a FRFR setup.  It is different than just a traditional amp and cabinet but I'm confident you'll find your space.  I had a bit less of an adjustment because I started doing this type of setup with my HD500X so I had already figured out some of the tricks.  The Helix to me was a pleasant surprise because it gave me greater flexibility to get what I wanted.  Since this is your first encounter with it, it may take a bit more initial time, but once you get it figured out you'll know the formula that tends to work for you and it becomes a MUCH easier and faster process.

 

 

Thanks for the reply.  I've had a bit of a breakthrough, as I've posted in another thread.  I downloaded the Core Tone IR pack from Ownhammer, and between that and what you've mentioned about FRFR harshness in a solo context I'm getting more optimistic.  Tone is subjective, of course, but the Ownhammer Mesa and Marshall IRs sound like real cabinets to me.  For years I played through a tall Mesa Recto sealed back 4x12 V30's.  Those speakers are perfectly broken in, and I have so many gigs on them that I know exactly what that cabinet sounds like in big rooms, small rooms, different mics, positions, etc.  It's still upstairs in the road case because I don't have the guts to sell it yet.  :)   

 

The first time I dialed in the Ownhammer Recto cab I seriously though "omg, finally, there it is".   It's been about 24 hours, and I've replaced all my other IRs with the OH (Recto, AC30, Marshall, and double verb).  They are fantastic to my ears.  The low end isn't boomy, the high end isn't harsh. I've pushed the high cut up to 7K, and while it does sound a bit bright, it's not the ice-picky fuzzy kind of bright.  I can change the tone from "in your face" to "sittin back" using my volume knob,or small tweaks to amp EQ, drive, and verb.

 

I totally agree with the ear fatigue issue.  I usually only program in 20 minute sessions.  With kids who gets more than 20 minutes uninterrupted anyway? You're right, that I was getting super frustrated.  I'd tweaked pretty much every knob and couldn't get there.  I know that once I lose confidence gear I start finding reasons to justify why I don't like it, instead of finding ways to fix it.  

 

Full-band practice tomorrow.  I've brightened up my patches a bit and am really looking forward to seeing how they sound in the mix now.  It's amazing to me how much impact the IR has on the output.  I thought the 3 Sigmas sounded better than the stock cabs, but the Ownhammers are on another level.   I spent a lot of time A/B'ing between the four or five Mesa V30 IRs I have from different vendors, and every time I dial back to the OH the amp sounds real.  

 

Now I feel like I can get started on tweaking the amps and effects.  I have my pedal platform. Somewhere reasonable to start from.   Sure wish I had tried them earlier.  I'd probably be much further along.  

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Thanks for the reply.  I've had a bit of a breakthrough, as I've posted in another thread.  I downloaded the Core Tone IR pack from Ownhammer, and between that and what you've mentioned about FRFR harshness in a solo context I'm getting more optimistic.  Tone is subjective, of course, but the Ownhammer Mesa and Marshall IRs sound like real cabinets to me.  For years I played through a tall Mesa Recto sealed back 4x12 V30's.  Those speakers are perfectly broken in, and I have so many gigs on them that I know exactly what that cabinet sounds like in big rooms, small rooms, different mics, positions, etc.  It's still upstairs in the road case because I don't have the guts to sell it yet.   :)   

 

The first time I dialed in the Ownhammer Recto cab I seriously though "omg, finally, there it is".   It's been about 24 hours, and I've replaced all my other IRs with the OH (Recto, AC30, Marshall, and double verb).  They are fantastic to my ears.  The low end isn't boomy, the high end isn't harsh. I've pushed the high cut up to 7K, and while it does sound a bit bright, it's not the ice-picky fuzzy kind of bright.  I can change the tone from "in your face" to "sittin back" using my volume knob,or small tweaks to amp EQ, drive, and verb.

 

I totally agree with the ear fatigue issue.  I usually only program in 20 minute sessions.  With kids who gets more than 20 minutes uninterrupted anyway? You're right, that I was getting super frustrated.  I'd tweaked pretty much every knob and couldn't get there.  I know that once I lose confidence gear I start finding reasons to justify why I don't like it, instead of finding ways to fix it.  

 

Full-band practice tomorrow.  I've brightened up my patches a bit and am really looking forward to seeing how they sound in the mix now.  It's amazing to me how much impact the IR has on the output.  I thought the 3 Sigmas sounded better than the stock cabs, but the Ownhammers are on another level.   I spent a lot of time A/B'ing between the four or five Mesa V30 IRs I have from different vendors, and every time I dial back to the OH the amp sounds real.  

 

Now I feel like I can get started on tweaking the amps and effects.  I have my pedal platform. Somewhere reasonable to start from.   Sure wish I had tried them earlier.  I'd probably be much further along.  

 

Congratulations.

 

I wouldn't have guessed the issues holding you back could have been fixed so easily, but I suppose it's different for me as I deal with a lot of various tones from different genres so I can usually find a way to get what I want.  I will say I'm a huge fan of OwnHammer IRs as well, but it never occurred to me that might be the fix for you.  It makes sense now in that my view of OwnHammer IRs is they tend to have more cab coloration than the other IRs I use, so they're pretty useful when I'm looking for that type of thing in my sound.  They make up about 1/3 of my library of IRs with Celestion and Redwirez taking up the rest.

 

So now there's no more excuses...time to get to work building patches...

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