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Helix with Cab Sims off - Using it like Positive Grid Bias Head


TacklingDummy
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He All, 

 

I'm looking for a solution if there is one. I've owned my Helix for 16 months and love it. I don't, however, love FRFR solutions for amplification. I prefer the sound of my 2x12 guitar cabinet. I've been using the 4CM with my Mesa Boogie Mark V 25 and using the fx return as the power amp for the Helix models bypassing cab simulations. This sounds great for the most part, but the volume levels of the preamps are all over the place.

 

I picked up a used Positive Grid Bias Head last week and got a great deal. When the cab simulations are bypassed and it is played through my 2x12, the amps are balanced across the genres. You can dial in drastically different preamps without having to cringe waiting for your ears to be blasted.

 

Is there a way to setup the Helix to behave more like the Bias Head? 

 

 

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Yes, level the volumes to your satisfaction, and save..

 

Besides the obvious. I'm wondering if there isn't a more elegant solution for those of us who don't like mic'd cab sim sound, but loved everything else. Scrolling through amp models is always going to be chaos even with the saved presets you mention. 

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How is your Helix's Global Settings > I/O Configured for the FX Send you are using to route the signal to your Mesa? Do you have it set at Line Level? If so, give it a try at Instrument Level?

 

This will not automatically balance, nor level each of your several Helix PreAmp Blocks. However, you may find it provides for better gain staging for use with your Mesa -- depending on how you have your Mesa adjusted.

 

Regardless, of Helix's Global Settings > I/O configuration the best method is to properly adjust the Helix PreAmp Block's Level and Save the Preset. You may also use the FX Send Block's Level parameter, or, if you have redirected Helix's Output Block to use the FX Send the Output Block's level parameter can also do the job.

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Thanks MusicLaw.

 

I've flipped back and forth between the Line and Instrument levels to see if I get more consistency. I think Line Level with the master volume know set to 50% has given me the most consistency

 

I'll try the levels on the Send/Return and Output Blocks.

 

I appreciate the response.

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One thing Line 6 used to have in their amp sim units was a way to save amps/FX parameters so when you called the amps/FX up, they would start out with your own "custom" settings and not the factory settings which do appear to be all over the place. Seems like a simple thing to program and was very helpful.

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One thing Line 6 used to have in their amp sim units was a way to save amps/FX parameters so when you called the amps/FX up, they would start out with your own "custom" settings and not the factory settings which do appear to be all over the place. Seems like a simple thing to program and was very helpful.

 

Yeah, I've seen this requested in the Ideascale and in one of the Helix threads. Seems like a no-brainer. If I could ideal in the amps at my levels each time it would work perfectly.

 

That said, the Bias Amp Head is a great gadget. I had a Kemper awhile back, and though the tones can't be beaten, it just didn't behave like an amp through my guitar cab. The Bias Amp Head is like having countless real amp heads at your fingertips. The Helix does as well, but like I said, the levels are all over the place.

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In my experience the best way to use the helix, or any modeler for that matter as a "traditional" amp and cab is to run the helix into a clean tube power amp and into a cab. I've gotten the best results over the years this way

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In my experience the best way to use the helix, or any modeler for that matter as a "traditional" amp and cab is to run the helix into a clean tube power amp and into a cab. I've gotten the best results over the years this way

 

 

I haven't tried that, but it sounds great in 4CM with the Mesa Boogie Mark V 25. I look into a clean tube power amp

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Yeah, some sort of a Favorited version of the standard Factory Block Types would be great! This has come up from time to time in the forums.

 

With the current Helix firmware 2.21, about the best we can do is to Save our favorite/user customized Block settings to a Preset in one of the SetLists, then Copy and Paste that Block to another Preset. Or, Save an entire Preset with such favorite Block settings and configurations as a Template to be recalled and used to Save a newly created Preset. Either way is is a somewhat cumbesome process, but that's the way it is until a new firmware provides more capability.

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I haven't tried that, but it sounds great in 4CM with the Mesa Boogie Mark V 25. I look into a clean tube power amp

4cm to me is if you want to use your guitar amp and get the sound of your guitar amp. You can always patch in amp Sims into the fx return and get amp modeling that way too but it can be iffy in my opinion. If you want to use the helix for all the amp modeling, then the power amp is the way to go. Just know that you're kind of going to be "stuck" with the cab sound of your cab because running an IR or cab Sim into a guitar cab will pro ably not sound nice.

 

Believe it or not I ran a Behringer v-amp into a peavey 50 tube power amp and a 2x12 Mesa half back cab for years in an original rock band. I got Tons Of complements on my tone. If it sounds good it is good right?

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