Jump to content
mikegibbo52

'helix how add sustain without increasing gain'.

Recommended Posts

Hi I am new to helix and I have had mine for just over a week so this may be basic to advanced users. I have created a patch with a small amount of gain, slight crunch. I just want to add some sustain to the solo sound without increasing the gain. What's the trick?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Increasing master volume on the amp model might help get you some compression with minimal added dirt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try the Deluxe compressor with anywhere up to a 6:1 ratio. Make sure the release is at least 250ms or longer and the threshold is allowing the compressor to kick in when you need it. You can also use one of the overdrives with the Gain set low and the volume boosted a bit. Also make sure your noise gate is not killing the sustain by kicking in at too low a threshold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Messing with the amps sag and bias settings can really add a lot of sustain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also (and in ADDITION...) try the LA Studio Comp AFTER your cabinet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All those suggestion are good. Some amps also feel more compressed than others, for instance Litigator.

 

And FWIW, and haven't been back to it since trying it yesterday, but oddly enough I think the most transparent compressor may be the multiband. Check it out.

 

I added it as the first thing in the chain, for my clean snapshot only. The other snapshots have a comfortable but still pretty natural amount of sustain from a combination of the other techniques mentioned above. I'm not a big fan of compressors for driven sounds, distortion inherently compresses, an actual compressor loses punch and responds less to how you play. IMO, YMMV, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the quick response everyone, will try those ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a compressor setting that I use with good effect:

 

Compressor - Red Comp

Sensitivity: 9
Mix: 27%
Level: 0db 
 
The low mix should keep your initial pick attack in check and mostly just add sustain. It's pretty transparent as well.
 
Worth a shot...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use the compressor with a ratio of 2:1 to 4:1, and raise the gain to raise your noise floor.  I personally believe it's much better to use multiple stages of light compression, than it is to use ratios higher than 4:1 in only one compression block.  I also recommend placing a noise gate immediately after the compressor to remove the white noise artifacts created from a higher noise floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a compressor setting that I use with good effect:

 

Compressor - Red Comp

Sensitivity: 9

Mix: 27%

Level: 0db 

 

The low mix should keep your initial pick attack in check and mostly just add sustain. It's pretty transparent as well.

 

Worth a shot...

Note that compressor settings vary GREATLY depending on the inout signal.... I.e., how hot the pickups are, pre-compressor gain structure, etc. Always season to taste!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using an overdrive pedal with the gain set to 0 but the level up really high will give you some compression and force the amp to tighten up a little without really adding gain.  Some OD models work better than others for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
distortion inherently compresses

 

 

That's true, and the more you use the more you compress generally. For me, right at speaker breakup it sometimes needs just a bit of sustain/compression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we could somehow reduce the buzziness of overdriven amp sounds I think that would help solve the problem. I'd love it and I'm thinking that because the Helix lives in the digital world, why couldn't it be done?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we could somehow reduce the buzziness of overdriven amp sounds I think that would help solve the problem. I'd love it and I'm thinking that because the Helix lives in the digital world, why couldn't it be done?

 

 

it can. Easily. proper use of hi and lo cuts, amp settings (sag, hum, bias, bias X and even master), etc.

 

Most amps are just as buzzy in the real world, and that gets dialed out by the sound guy.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it can. Easily. proper use of hi and lo cuts, amp settings (sag, hum, bias, bias X and even master), etc.

 

Most amps are just as buzzy in the real world, and that gets dialed out by the sound guy.

I've played with all that quite a bit. You don't quite get there. Imagine a clean Fender sound with all of its sparkle and sheen but with the sustain characteristics of a dimed Marshall. The high cut especially, removes all the sheen and detail that I want to retain. The sag, master and a compressor helps to some degree but not as much as I'd like. I also find power tube distortion adds a different kind of buzz to the sound but it's still buzz and I want less of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try high Master settings, less preamp Gain. For some amps, that can get you compression/sustain with less distortion and mess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also the approach mentioned by @TheDaveDaveDave, with a compressor with the mix at less than 100%, to let some pick attack through. I'm not such a fan of the Red Comp in general (try Deluxe, LA Studio, or 3 Band), and I've never wanted mix as low as he suggested, but even at 95%, the sharp transient at the start of notes adds a lot of life and expressiveness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Real world high volume will do the trick :)

Precisely what I'm trying to avoid. It shouldn't be necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deluxe Compressor. Lower the threshold down a bunch, raise the release, and then raise the level while A/Bing with the compressor on and off while hitting the strings as loud as you can to match volumes.

 

That's how I set it anyway. Works for me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×