Jump to content

Helix LT arriving tomorrow... Won't have much play time before a band practice.


Grimezy93
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been tossing and turning for a few nights about whether to get a Helix LT and I finally bit the bullet today and ordered one. I plan for this to be a replacement for my analog rig as stage noise is a concern of mine and also I'm hoping it will cure my obsession with looking at pedals I can't afford all the time. So it's been a big decision as I'll have to sell my current amp and pedals if I want to keep the Helix!

 

Hindsight is a glorious thing as if I'd ordered it yesterday like I wanted to (but chickened out), I'd have had all of this evening to tinker with it before band practice tomorrow night. That's not the case anymore though so basically, I'll be receiving it at work tomorrow, taking it home and then going to band practice like an hour later where I'll have to use it for the first time. So what I'm after is a crash course on what I NEED to do as soon as I get it to get workable tone out of it. We don't really have laid back practices so people won't appreciate it if I'm faffing about with my board constantly. 

 

So my thoughts were:

 

1) Make a quick patch at home with a Vox amp that I'm used to and a basic pedal chain which I've seen plenty of videos on how to do.

2) I'm normally mic'd up in the room we use so I assume just unplug the mic, plug it into the back of the Helix, plug my guitar in and I should be coming out of the PA?

 

Is it as simple as that?

 

The bit I'm worried about is people talking about different settings that can drastically change things depending on how you run your setup. So I've heard things like Global EQ, Instrument level, high cut, low cut. What do I and what I don't need to worry about for this first practice if I'm direct into a PA?

 

Also I have NO experience of cabs. Any tips on what I can pick to start with? Like I say, I'll probably use a Vox setup and I play fairly clean to crunchy overdrive, not particularly any distortion or fuzz if that makes any difference. Do I just pick the corresponding Vox cab?

 

Thanks guys! Wish I was going to have more time to play before I need to use it infront of other people! So pumped to have one though.

 

Sam

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the rush? Why not stick with your analog rig for one more practice? While things may work out OK you are exposing yourself to a potentially embarrassing situation. I hope you know your band mates well, and that they will be patient while waiting for you to figure out some of the basics on the fly.

 

Take the time you need to gain some experience and confidence before putting needless pressure on yourself. Moving from analog to digital takes more than an hour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's the rush? Why not stick with your analog rig for one more practice? While things may work out OK you are exposing yourself to a potentially embarrassing situation. I hope you know your band mates well, and that they will be patient while waiting for you to figure out some of the basics on the fly.

 

Take the time you need to gain some experience and confidence before putting needless pressure on yourself. Moving from analog to digital takes more than an hour.

 

I do know the band mates well, and it's not as brutal as I'm making out. I just don't want to come across like I'm playing with a new toy instead of going through the practice. I assumed it would be easy enough to pick an amp and some effects and plug in with some minor tweaking to the EQ? 

 

I'd like to use it tomorrow night so that I can use it for the real thing on Sunday. I play every Sunday so it would give me 2 Sundays in a 'live setting' to try it out and decide whether I need to return it. And if I don't practice with it tomorrow night in that room, I won't have another chance to use it through the PA so will have to skip on using it on Sunday. Like I said, one of the main draws to the Helix has been reducing stage noise so I want to get a good grip on it in that setting. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree.  I absolutely love the Helix but it takes time to get it to sound the way you want.  I would use your existing rig while you get to know the Helix and leave some time when you do intro the Helix into your live situation to check sound, levels etc.  It will absolutely blow you away but you need to work with it a bit to get your sound to come out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for cabs, again it takes time to audition them.  I tend to stay away from the IR game as it just takes so much time to go through them.  The built in cabs are great but mic, mic placement and high and low end cut offs all can dramatically change the way they sound so it takes a bit of experimentation.

 

I also have used Glenn Delaune's great patches as a good starting point.  Worth getting IMHO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, that's exactly what is likely to happen.

 

Don't worry, it's quite a simple set and I don't need a ton of functionality; just an amp and basic pedals which from the looks of things is dead simple. 

Sorted out the input query as well so don't worry about that. I'll take my analog gear as a backup but I'm pretty sure I'll get the Helix working quick enough for what I need in a practice after reading some more things and watching more videos.

 

Last question... Does anyone know if it will come with the latest firmware or will I need to do that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would pay heed to what Silverhead has been telling you.

 

Yes, things could go well.  But the Helix, in spite of how easy it is to navigate, is a highly technical device.  You might be lucky and be able to pull things off at practice, but I would certainly have a standby rig you could quickly go to if things aren't working exactly right for you...and there's a good chance of that since you will have had ZERO amount of time to get used to it.

 

Here's what I'd recommend,

 

Have your normal rig ready to go as a standby.

 

See if you can quickly find a decent preset you can use from the factory presets.  Without knowing what firmware will be loaded it's hard to know what presets are there, but a good one for you might be in the Factory1 Presets.  It's the second preset named "Essex A30" which is a Vox preset that has a hall reverb, and a mid-gain boost for leads.  That may be your best bet right out of the box if it's there.  The amp has quite a bit of drive on it by default which you can adjust to clean it up, or potentially control it a bit with your guitar volume knob.  But it might suffice on it's own or at least get you by.

 

Do as you were planning on doing and use the mic cable from the mic on your normal amp and plug it into the XLR L/Mono out.

 

Gain stage that signal on the board and make sure you are receiving an adequate monitor feed from that line.

 

If things begin to get dicey, don't be afraid to unplug the Helix and go back to your normal rig for now until you can work things out on the Helix.

 

That's probably the best plan for now.  If things seem to work out well at rehearsal then you can consider using the setup on Sunday.  If not just go with your old setup until you can get the Helix appropriately dialed in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You say you mic up your current amp in the room.  Is your amp on stage with rest of the band and you hearing it directly?  

 

With the Helix setup, that is all gone.  It will be a shocker for everyone, including you, unless you have an FRFR (monitor) to fill in the lost sound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You say you mic up your current amp in the room.  Is your amp on stage with rest of the band and you hearing it directly?  

 

With the Helix setup, that is all gone.  It will be a shocker for everyone, including you, unless you have an FRFR (monitor) to fill in the lost sound.

 

We use in-ears with our own mixes so there'll be no difference in terms of that for the band. But yes, it the amp used to be on the stage with me. 

 

Thanks for the rest of the advice, I'll give one of the Vox presets a go and see how I get on. I'll still be taking my normal rig but hoping I won't need it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you already understand how to mic amps in the real world and deal with IEMs I say go for it. Sounds like a good Helix ad if it pans out ðŸ‘

 

Kind of guitar you usually play? Do you like a Dark or bright tone? Will the board have Phantom power on? Helix hates Phantom power in it's XLR outputs

 

I use the Essex A30 (Vox AC30) a lot with some of the cabs from the newer firmware but I'm sure if you call up the Amp+Cab block you'll get something workable. With the amp selected, page over to the cab section and low cut up to 111 or so, high cut down to 6.5-ish.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about globals at all. If you're too loud, turn down and if you're not loud enough, that's what PA preamps are for!

 

Joystick over to an icon in your chain, touch a footswitch for two Seconds, hit OK and it's assigned to that stomp switch. Or you could touch the same switch real quick to see its parameters.

 

If you're a smart enough pair of pants, you'll be able to figure it out pretty quick. I did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based on what youve said (play a vox, play every Sunday etc) I'm going to assume you are in a worship band. If I'm wrong I apologize. If you are in a worship band, head over to Worship Tutorials and download a couple of patches from there. There are a few Vox patches. They should get you through the practice. However, as eager as you are to try this out at practice, I'd say wait. I got my Helix a week ago and it took me 2 days to get something I was happy with. I just don't want you to walk away from practice thinking the unit sucks.

 

When I first plugged in, I hated it. I came from using a Kemper which I loved. Now I have almost the exact same tone that I had with the Kemper, but it took some work to get there. An hour probably is not enough time to find "your" tone. Can you stay after practice and hook up the Helix to mess around with it through the pa? That would be ideal. I'm a trustee at our church and I have access to the building anytime I want. So naturally I've spent some time tweaking at home, then again up at church, all before even attempting to try it out with the band. I know you're excited to see what this thing can do......I get it. Just realize it may take some time to get the tone your after. Plus practice is suppose to be fun. You dont want to be frustrated.

 

ps. Do NOT attempt the firmware update before practice. I got a Helix last week and it was firmware 1.06. Current version is like 2.21? I took me an hour and 2 phone calls to Line 6 to get it updated. It refused to update. You may not have any problems. It may go smooth. But if you intend to try it at practice forgo the update for now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the extra answers! I took it to practice having had about 30 mins to set up at home and it was brilliant. Absolutely fine getting a decent amp tone quickly, then added a compressor, 2 stage overdrive chain, volume, 2 delays and a reverb and ran straight into an amp+cab combo at the end of the chain. I know there's much better ways to set up a chain which I'll tinker with next but for last night it was absolutely fine as it was. Our sound person loved me as they had complete control over my volume and they said the tone was as good, if not better than my analog set up. And because I knew they had control, I found I played much better because I knew wouldn't be playing too hard at any point, etc and muddying up the acoustics in the room.

 

 

I know I've got a long way to go in getting things exactly how I want them but the plug and play (with minor tweaking) tone that I got last night was really great and the interface was so so simple. I think I'll have no hesitation in putting my analog gear up for sale apart from the flak I'll receive from my friends for switching to digital. And yes Jeff, you're correct and I co-ordinate our worship band so I can access the building whenever I need to and have access to the desk, etc. I'll be sure to take advantage of being able to tweak at live volumes and with my in-ears. I'll be looking at Brian's WT patches and also I've joined the Facebook group and a guy called 'Alexguitars' seems to release some pretty popular patches. Of course it'd be nice to set my own tone up but I like what those guys are doing with snapshots and creating blocks for swells, big chorus's, etc which I could get some inspiration from.

 

 

Looking forward to getting stuck into it! Even just from playing quickly at home this morning with headphones I loved the ease and functionality of having a jam with myself and getting a huge amount of sounds I would never have got from my old set up with minimal setup time.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know I've got a long way to go in getting things exactly how I want them but the plug and play (with minor tweaking) tone that I got last night was really great and the interface was so so simple. I think I'll have no hesitation in putting my analog gear up for sale apart from the flak I'll receive from my friends for switching to digital. 

 

Glad everything went well for you.  By the way, if your friends give you any flak over going digital relate this true story to them....

 

A couple of weekends ago a national touring act came through and were performing at an event in the local area.  They wanted to get a local band to open for them and the organizer asked us to do it.  We were hanging around out there waiting for our sound check while they were getting setup with all their big tube amps and such.  Some of the band members (all young guys) came over and were talking with our drummer (who's 25) about all sorts of stuff...touring, music, etc.  and pretty much ignoring the old guy standing there (I'm 65).  Eventually one of them asked if I was in the band and I told him yes.  He asked what I play and I said guitar and then asked what gear I used.  I told him I had a Helix and they all went nuts and wanted to know everything about it, how it compared to Kemper, and Axe and so forth.  They really went ballistic when I told them I had two Helix units...one at home for recording and as a backup and one for live.  After we played a couple of the guys came up and told me that was maybe the finest live tone he'd ever heard in a concert.

 

The point being...the world is leaving your buddies behind.  It's kind of ironic that these young guys grew up in the high-tech digital world, but it's us older guys that have adopted it more quickly than them...and are reaping the benefits while they struggle with all the old amps we abandoned.  You see, we used those amps because we didn't have a choice.  Now that we have a choice we're happy to leave them behind for something FAR better.....

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad everything went well for you.  By the way, if your friends give you any flak over going digital relate this true story to them....

 

A couple of weekends ago a national touring act came through and were performing at an event in the local area.  They wanted to get a local band to open for them and the organizer asked us to do it.  We were hanging around out there waiting for our sound check while they were getting setup with all their big tube amps and such.  Some of the band members (all young guys) came over and were talking with our drummer (who's 25) about all sorts of stuff...touring, music, etc.  and pretty much ignoring the old guy standing there (I'm 65).  Eventually one of them asked if I was in the band and I told him yes.  He asked what I play and I said guitar and then asked what gear I used.  I told him I had a Helix and they all went nuts and wanted to know everything about it, how it compared to Kemper, and Axe and so forth.  They really went ballistic when I told them I had two Helix units...one at home for recording and as a backup and one for live.  After we played a couple of the guys came up and told me that was maybe the finest live tone he'd ever heard in a concert.

 

The point being...the world is leaving your buddies behind.  It's kind of ironic that these young guys grew up in the high-tech digital world, but it's us older guys that have adopted it more quickly than them...and are reaping the benefits while they struggle with all the old amps we abandoned.  You see, we used those amps because we didn't have a choice.  Now that we have a choice we're happy to leave them behind for something FAR better.....

 

Love that story!

 

I'm one of the 'young ones' being 23... I bought tube + pedals because that was the thing to do. But 90% of my playing time is for my church which is a very modern church, it's loud, we play new stuff, but I'm in a room of 60-70 people in a converted warehouse with a tin roof and having a 15 watt tube amp on stage just isn't a great combination. Even having the master volume low it's still too loud and muddies the mix and is overpowering. Plus I can't afford to buy pedals all the time so even though the money I've spent already has got me a basic board, it's still a very boring board. The Helix gives me everything I'd ever need for what I play. I occasionally play larger events of around 500 people but I'm sure it'll do just as well there as it will on my weekly uses on a Sunday.

 

But yes, when I put my stuff on sale on the local Facebook selling group I'm sure some of my friends will see and pipe up...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad everything went well for you.  By the way, if your friends give you any flak over going digital relate this true story to them....

 

A couple of weekends ago a national touring act came through and were performing at an event in the local area.  They wanted to get a local band to open for them and the organizer asked us to do it.  We were hanging around out there waiting for our sound check while they were getting setup with all their big tube amps and such.  Some of the band members (all young guys) came over and were talking with our drummer (who's 25) about all sorts of stuff...touring, music, etc.  and pretty much ignoring the old guy standing there (I'm 65).  Eventually one of them asked if I was in the band and I told him yes.  He asked what I play and I said guitar and then asked what gear I used.  I told him I had a Helix and they all went nuts and wanted to know everything about it, how it compared to Kemper, and Axe and so forth.  They really went ballistic when I told them I had two Helix units...one at home for recording and as a backup and one for live.  After we played a couple of the guys came up and told me that was maybe the finest live tone he'd ever heard in a concert.

 

The point being...the world is leaving your buddies behind.  It's kind of ironic that these young guys grew up in the high-tech digital world, but it's us older guys that have adopted it more quickly than them...and are reaping the benefits while they struggle with all the old amps we abandoned.  You see, we used those amps because we didn't have a choice.  Now that we have a choice we're happy to leave them behind for something FAR better.....

 

 

Made my day with this post.   Another assurance that we geezers (I'll be 63 in a couple weeks) still sorta rule the rock roost, such as it is. I've got to get up to the Tampa/St Pete area soon, as it seems the live rock scene there  is not yet moribund, as it has somewhat  become down here in Miami/Dade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the extra answers! I took it to practice having had about 30 mins to set up at home and it was brilliant. Absolutely fine getting a decent amp tone quickly, then added a compressor, 2 stage overdrive chain, volume, 2 delays and a reverb and ran straight into an amp+cab combo at the end of the chain. I know there's much better ways to set up a chain which I'll tinker with next but for last night it was absolutely fine as it was. Our sound person loved me as they had complete control over my volume and they said the tone was as good, if not better than my analog set up. And because I knew they had control, I found I played much better because I knew wouldn't be playing too hard at any point, etc and muddying up the acoustics in the room.

 

 

I know I've got a long way to go in getting things exactly how I want them but the plug and play (with minor tweaking) tone that I got last night was really great and the interface was so so simple. I think I'll have no hesitation in putting my analog gear up for sale apart from the flak I'll receive from my friends for switching to digital. And yes Jeff, you're correct and I co-ordinate our worship band so I can access the building whenever I need to and have access to the desk, etc. I'll be sure to take advantage of being able to tweak at live volumes and with my in-ears. I'll be looking at Brian's WT patches and also I've joined the Facebook group and a guy called 'Alexguitars' seems to release some pretty popular patches. Of course it'd be nice to set my own tone up but I like what those guys are doing with snapshots and creating blocks for swells, big chorus's, etc which I could get some inspiration from.

 

 

Looking forward to getting stuck into it! Even just from playing quickly at home this morning with headphones I loved the ease and functionality of having a jam with myself and getting a huge amount of sounds I would never have got from my old set up with minimal setup time.

 

Thrilled it went well for you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the extra answers! I took it to practice having had about 30 mins to set up at home and it was brilliant. Absolutely fine getting a decent amp tone quickly, then added a compressor, 2 stage overdrive chain, volume, 2 delays and a reverb and ran straight into an amp+cab combo at the end of the chain......

 

Looking forward to getting stuck into it! Even just from playing quickly at home this morning with headphones I loved the ease and functionality of having a jam with myself and getting a huge amount of sounds I would never have got from my old set up with minimal setup time.

 

Glad things went well for you. You're clearly an experienced player (we couldn't tell from your original post, of course) and I'm sure that contributed a great deal to your ability to make things work so quickly. You were brave!

 

I'm sure you'll have lots of fun in the next weeks and months while learning to coax ever improving tones from Helix!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad things went well for you. You're clearly an experienced player (we couldn't tell from your original post, of course) and I'm sure that contributed a great deal to your ability to make things work so quickly. You were brave!

 

I'm sure you'll have lots of fun in the next weeks and months while learning to coax ever improving tones from Helix!

What he said!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point being...the world is leaving your buddies behind.  It's kind of ironic that these young guys grew up in the high-tech digital world, but it's us older guys that have adopted it more quickly than them...and are reaping the benefits while they struggle with all the old amps we abandoned.  You see, we used those amps because we didn't have a choice.  Now that we have a choice we're happy to leave them behind for something FAR better.....

 

 

Thats because they don't have to make little grunting noises and cries of pain when they bend over and pick things up like us old farts. The idea of lugging amps and pedal boards around now fills me with dread and my lower back starts spasming at the thought of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats because they don't have to make little grunting noises and cries of pain when they bend over and pick things up like us old farts. The idea of lugging amps and pedal boards around now fills me with dread and my lower back starts spasming at the thought of it.

gray-pride-were-old-were-tired-getoffour

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...