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How do you handle high end brightness of the Helix?

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New user here. Have done a few searches and looking for some basic guidance.

Sorry if this has been covered before.

 

I find that most of the stock amp presets tend to sound overly bright, crispy, and thin.

The only one that seems natural and not too harsh straight away is the Shiva. Line 6 got that one close ( I have played a Shiva quite a few times).

Most all other amps sound almost ice picky and I have all humbucker guitars.

 

I have been experimenting with the Global setting Pad On, and lowering the Input impedance which warms up the tone a bit.

 

I did a few more searches and it seems people use High Cut on the CABs??

I tried it on a few presets and it does warm things up.

I put it around 4kHz or so on the ones I tried.

I noticed on a lot of presets the High Cut on the CAB was OFF.

Maybe that is default?

 

Is the CAB High Cut where people tame the highs on the unit?

Or do you suggest using an EQ somewhere in the chain?

 

I should comment that this harshness is with both headphones, or FRFR monitors.

I have used Line 6 products dating back to the POD and AX212 combo.

Did not have this issue that I recall.

 

I do have an AXE FX II XL and have had several tube amps (Mesa,Marshall, Fender, etc).

Was really curiuosu about the HELIX and am impressed overall, especially if I can address this issue.

 

 

The Helix seems to have some excellent tones in it, but it is a challenge to get there.

 

Anyway- what is best or easiest method to warm this thing up?

 

Thanks,

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Hi - yes, this has been covered a lot before.

The Helix outputs a full range sound.  A guitar amp and speakers do not.

To get to the sound we are used to hearing from a guitar amp - you need to adjust the output to a similar range.

You can do that on the cab or globally - and some IR's have it pretty much built in........

But the secret sauce is something like this - cut at 100Hz - cut a lot using low cut.   Go to 5Khz and do the same. Use the high cut drastically.

You are now hearing your patch like it is cut by a traditional cab.  I do it in Globals - but I have my top cut a bit higher so I've got a little per patch tweaking.  That works for me - I've never seen it as a limitation on my sound.  Some people only ever do it on the Speaker cuts and regularly use an EQ as well.  I see their argument that it is more tailored to the patch - but in real world experience - it's just means more work setting up each patch - my fenders still sound like fenders and my marshalls still sound like marshalls.........

Anyhow - whichever way you want to go - do that an all problems solved - I believe AxFX have that built into their patches.......??

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most people seem to use cuts on the cabs.. go further than you expect to as the filter curve is shallow .. i cut down to 3khz on some presets even.! some people use an eq block instead ( i think they are steeper cuts)- but yes you'll need to do some sort of cut

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I am a relatively new user but from other advice on here from others, I have found that a 100hz lo cut and 5k hi cut on the cab block seems to be about right for my setup

 

Also I have found the mic, distance and mixing in room reflections can drastically alter things

 

I now use the 121 ribbon at setting 6 with 50 % room reflections on most patches and it sounds quite natural and "amp in a room"

 

I am still learning with this thing - however when you get it sounding sweet it really is bloody impressive!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I have had all sorts of multi effects in the past and this is the only one that actually sounds and responds like an amp - to my ears, it seems especially good at the clean but dirty breakup valve sound that most  other modellers really struggled with

 

I was very close to returning it but I realised it was me, not the box that was the problem - you really have to learn how to programme it 

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Yes, good info from everybody here.

I mainly use IRs so that the hi-cut is already included, or sometimes I even modify the IR with a DAW (or just Audacity) so that I add my own lo-cut and hi-cut.

 

In the Helix, with its own cab/mic sims, I also use extreme hi-cut (from 3.5 to 5kHz), and some low cut (100-130 Hz).

You will find that there is a difference if you use the lo/hi-cut in the cab block or in a separate EQ block. The separate EQ (with just lo/hi cuts) block has steeper eq curves, that you may prefer (or not), and you may need slightly less extreme values.

Anyway, in the Helix, I use just the ribbon mics (specially I like the 4038) because - imho - they offer a better tone for performance level (high volume) when the highs (and lows) are even more annoying.

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As mentioned previously the issue of high cuts and low cuts on the Helix when using FRFR speakers has been around since day one, and is the same even on the POD HD500X.  It's important to understand where this issue comes from so you can make the right decision about how you want to address it.

 

The nature of FRFR speakers is that they are designed to not favor any particular area of the frequency spectrum...thus the "flat response" reference.  This is not the way guitar cabinets are built.  They are designed to specifically favor a fairly limited range of lows and mids.  That being said, it doesn't mean you won't still hear the harshness from a traditional guitar cabinet depending on how you mic the cabinet.  Were you to use a wider range mic such as a Royer R-121 and place it directly over the cap of the speaker you would hear the same type of harshness when listened to through most FOH PA speakers even though you wouldn't hear it on stage.  That's why people seldom mic a cabinet that way.  Instead they tend to place the mic further out in the cone and/or further away from the speaker to get a closer match to what your ear hears most predominantly on stage.

 

The Helix does a pretty good job of accurately modeling such things, so the issue should first be addressed at the cabinet and mic configuration in order to be accurate.  Because the stock cabinets only allow you to position the distance of the mic from the speaker rather than the position of the mic between the cap and the edge many people turn to using IRs, many of which have different versions that reflect this positioning.  However, in addition to positioning between the cap and cone edge there are other ways this harshness can also be addressed such as using different mics and moving them further away from the speaker.  The Helix stock cabs allow you to do this, but when you do this you should also address the early reflections in order to accurately model what happens in the real world.  Early reflections simply mean the mic is picking up extra ambient sound from the room which also tends to mitigate harshness and is a more accurate representation of what your ear hears from a real cabinet.  So moving the mic further from the speaker and increasing early reflections on a Helix stock cabinet can do a lot toward reducing the harshness.  To get the sound of a cab even closer to what a human ear is hearing when mic'd through a PA system, professional productions and studios very often use combinations of microphones and microphone placements which can be accomplished with Helix stock cabinets by using dual cabinet blocks rather than single cabinet blocks, and through IRs many of which provide mixes which do much the same thing.

 

I bring this up because the general approach of using high and low cuts may be an easier way of approaching this situation, but it's more synthetic than the organic approach of first setting up the cabinet, mic and mic placement.  You may still need a certain amount of high or low cuts, but the sound will be much more natural and consistent with the real world.

 

It's also important to realize that the guitar, pickups, amp, cabinet, type of mic, and mic placement all play a part in this.  That's probably the key reason for NOT using global EQ because once you move to a different amp, cabinet, and mic in a new preset or snapshot, that global EQ may be taking away more than you would normally want in that configuration.

 

I know this has been a long explanation, but it's really the reason for the way I tend to approach these things in my patches.  I first select the amp and cabinet/IR configuration including mic(s) and mic placement.  Only then do I address the high and low cuts on the cabinet.  There are situations in fact that I end up using no high or low cuts depending on the guitar, the amp, the cab and mic placements.  It may seem like more work but it's more like the real world and reduces the chance that you'll cut out some of the higher harmonics of the tone and makes you really use your ears rather than your eyes to adjust the sound.  Once you get used to it and gain some knowledge about different mics and placements t's not that big of a process and goes pretty quickly.

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Thanks for all of the input. Very appreciative of your time.

 

I was not aware that adjusting the EQ on the stock preset matched Cabs (or on Global EQ) was pretty much a necessity to get a usable tone.

I did not think that this possibly could be the way that Line 6 or End Users actually used them without adjustments somehow- especially since I have seen so many great tones on Youtube videos, and the HELIX has gotten so many excellent reviews.

 

Am pretty familiar with modelers as noted.

Not a fanboy of any particular brand. Do like the Fractal AXE FX II. Also like real amps. Have a Carol Ann Triptik which I have settled on after trying out a ton of Marshalls, and Mesas, and Dumble clones, and Fenders.

 

I actually liked my POD XT as well as the early Axe FX Ultras to be honest.

I got some great tones out of my primitive Line 6 Ax212 almost 20 years ago.

 

From the comments above I think doing it per preset might be the way to go in the CAB blocks as each amp and CAB combination is unique.

Or finding some good IR's which are already EQ'd.

I will experiment with Mic placments also.

 

I downloaded a couple USER presets from Customtone and looked deeper at a couple that I really liked and their CAB block settings and noticed that they had done a High Cut.

 

As for the AXE FX II. It is a great unit. I just use the stock CABs settings and tweak the amp EQ settings when needed.

It tends to have a slightly darker bassier character on many of the the clean amps.They have improved them in recent FW upgrades.

The midgain and higher gain amps are really very very good with the unique character of the amp modeled. It's how ended up with a CA Triptik.

The tone is spot on. I like having one real Amp around though and I do go out through my real CAB sometimes (versus FRFR monitors) for an Amp in the room feel.

 

I think I like some of the HELIX Clean amps better in some ways.They handle guitar Volume roll off better.

A little easier to get clean shimmer.

I do like the SHIVA on the HELIX better and hope to get the Marshalls dialed in now.

Love the Klon,Tube Screamer, and Timmy pedals.

 

My guitars are all passive humbuckers and I have basic moderate PAF type pickups. Nothing unusual.

 

Will work with it some more tonight.

 

Thanks for your help.

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I do aggressive cuts on the cab block and follow it with a Parametric EQs high and low cuts set just outside of the cab cuts, with steeper rolloff points so the EQ curve tapers instead of brickwalling with just the steep cuts

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Thanks for all of the input. Very appreciative of your time.

 

I was not aware that adjusting the EQ on the stock preset matched Cabs (or on Global EQ) was pretty much a necessity to get a usable tone.

I did not think that this possibly could be the way that Line 6 or End Users actually used them without adjustments somehow- especially since I have seen so many great tones on Youtube videos, and the HELIX has gotten so many excellent reviews.

 

Am pretty familiar with modelers as noted.

Not a fanboy of any particular brand. Do like the Fractal AXE FX II. Also like real amps. Have a Carol Ann Triptik which I have settled on after trying out a ton of Marshalls, and Mesas, and Dumble clones, and Fenders.

 

I actually liked my POD XT as well as the early Axe FX Ultras to be honest.

I got some great tones out of my primitive Line 6 Ax212 almost 20 years ago.

 

From the comments above I think doing it per preset might be the way to go in the CAB blocks as each amp and CAB combination is unique.

Or finding some good IR's which are already EQ'd.

I will experiment with Mic placments also.

 

I downloaded a couple USER presets from Customtone and looked deeper at a couple that I really liked and their CAB block settings and noticed that they had done a High Cut.

 

As for the AXE FX II. It is a great unit. I just use the stock CABs settings and tweak the amp EQ settings when needed.

It tends to have a slightly darker bassier character on many of the the clean amps.They have improved them in recent FW upgrades.

The midgain and higher gain amps are really very very good with the unique character of the amp modeled. It's how ended up with a CA Triptik.

The tone is spot on. I like having one real Amp around though and I do go out through my real CAB sometimes (versus FRFR monitors) for an Amp in the room feel.

 

I think I like some of the HELIX Clean amps better in some ways.They handle guitar Volume roll off better.

A little easier to get clean shimmer.

I do like the SHIVA on the HELIX better and hope to get the Marshalls dialed in now.

Love the Klon,Tube Screamer, and Timmy pedals.

 

My guitars are all passive humbuckers and I have basic moderate PAF type pickups. Nothing unusual.

 

Will work with it some more tonight.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Perhaps the reason you like the cleans is that Line 6 chose to model the amps as they are and let users eq them, whereas it seems Axe has their cabs eq'd already?

(IOW, the cleans kind of depend on those high frequencies to get through)

 

And you are correct, even the Line 6 staff have talked about how they apply cuts to their tone (yes, they are users of their own products).  Overall, Line 6 tends to err on giving users the raw sound and letting users create their tones from that, instead of trying to think for them.

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I do aggressive cuts on the cab block and follow it with a Parametric EQs high and low cuts set just outside of the cab cuts, with steeper rolloff points so the EQ curve tapers instead of brickwalling with just the steep cuts

I do similar, though I use a High / Low cut EQ after the cabs.  I think it also has steeper rolloff than the high/low cut in the cabs block.  I might try the parametric EQ to do the same. 

I also think I may need to cut in the cab block a little more aggressively. 

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@FlyingsCool...

 

I understand what you are saying. Some may define what you call a feature as an oddity, though, :D  but in the end as long as people are aware that they need to make EQ adjustments, its all good.

I will give it a go tonight and see what I come up with.

 

Do you guys mess with the PAD On/Off and Input Impedance also?

 

I am not a huge tweaker. The AXE FX II has more parameters than one can possibly imagine both BASIC and ADVANCED.

I wouldn't say they think for anyone. If anything there are too many options for a lot of users. Can be a learning curve, but most of the stock core presets sound decent to me out of the box as a starting point.

Everybody hates the stock presets over there, too. LOL.

 

Thanks for all of the help. This confirms that working with the EQ is the right path.

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OK...got through doing quick adjustments on first 20 stock presets.

Sounds very very good.

Various levels of CAB high cut only used from 4kHZ to 10 kHz depending on amp.

 

I bypassed the effects in front when doing this so will need to go back and tweak those.

I am sure there is more room for improvement, but too busy playing now..... :P

 

Very nice. Thanks guys.

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Still can't figure out why Line 6 would have the Helix sound so harsh.

I've read all the experts talk about how all amps have fizz in the high end etc. 
But yet....none of my amps ever SOUNDED that way to me. Mic'ed, recorded, in the room...none of them sounded like that.

So why not just have Helix sound GOOD. 

And yes, I've heard the argument about giving us all the tone of the amp including the high end fizz...But does ANYBODY like the high end harshness? Or does EVERYBODY end up dialing that crap down (and maybe losing harmonics and overtones in the process).

Call me crazy...but it seems like life would have been a lot simpler if the Helix amps simply did NOT have the high end fizzy garbage in the first place. 
There's plenty of room to play with the highs and the presence controls on the amp for those players who love a lot of high end in their sound. 

Having said all of that...yes, I have achieved a tone that I love with my Helix. 
But it shouldn't have taken all that work to get there. It should have been a lot more like a real high end amp and sounded good right at the get go. 

Tweaking a good sounding amp to sound GREAT is a pleasure. 
Having to spend hours over a period of time to do all kind of frequency cuts to get a crappy sound to sound great....not so much fun. And I'm sure that all of us would rather have spent that time playing instead of figuring out how to get rid of frequencies that shouldn't be there in the first place.

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it might be good just to have a simple 'amp enhanced' option where the amps are filtered and more tonally focused, to suit the casual user- a global option maybe. default being as it is now maybe, but the option to narrow the frequency range being clearly understandable and selectable in the menu

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Still can't figure out why Line 6 would have the Helix sound so harsh.

 

I've read all the experts talk about how all amps have fizz in the high end etc. 

But yet....none of my amps ever SOUNDED that way to me. Mic'ed, recorded, in the room...none of them sounded like that.

 

So why not just have Helix sound GOOD. 

 

 

I have to admit I was mystified as well about why Line 6 would allow their stock presets, or any normal preset, to sound so harsh when I first started using the POD HD500X.  I learned most of he "secrets" about low and high cuts on the HD500X so I wasn't caught by surprise with the Helix.  Over time, however, I've come to appreciate the approach.

 

First, you have to remember it's mostly those of us using FRFR monitors that tend to experience the brunt of this harshness.  Those that go with 4cm arrangements or power amp and cabinet arrangements don't really cite this as an issue.  In those cases the Helix is delivering a pure amp signal which is processed in a more traditional way into a traditional cabinet, therefore the full range signal is exactly what an amp would deliver.

 

But even using an FRFR monitor I've come to appreciate it more and more primarily for the options it allows me when I use certain guitars or play certain styles.  There are some presets in which I don't even touch high or low cuts.  Most often this is with my Gretsch hollow body when I finger pick, or using an electronic piano.  In those cases with the right cabinet or IR I get a great sound with all the proper overtones and harmonics which would be diminished with high or low cuts.  Even with things like old style jazz I rarely make much in the way of high and low cuts depending on the cabinet, mic and mic'ing technique used.

 

So I guess it all depends on your usage.  For a lot of folks, particularly those that play mostly in the rock genre, it can be a hassle if you're using an FRFR monitor.  But that's not everybody.

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it might be good just to have a simple 'amp enhanced' option where the amps are filtered and more tonally focused, to suit the casual user- a global option maybe. default being as it is now maybe, but the option to narrow the frequency range being clearly understandable and selectable in the menu

This is a good idea imo. Done this the hard way but positive side is that I've learned a lot. Anyway it would have been nice if you could have done this the same way as you do with tube amps and decent cabs. My need for eq there has been next to nothing. But still happy with Helix and sounds are still getting better.

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Still can't figure out why Line 6 would have the Helix sound so harsh.

 

I've read all the experts talk about how all amps have fizz in the high end etc. 

But yet....none of my amps ever SOUNDED that way to me. Mic'ed, recorded, in the room...none of them sounded like that.

 

So why not just have Helix sound GOOD. 

 

And yes, I've heard the argument about giving us all the tone of the amp including the high end fizz...But does ANYBODY like the high end harshness? Or does EVERYBODY end up dialing that crap down (and maybe losing harmonics and overtones in the process).

 

Call me crazy...but it seems like life would have been a lot simpler if the Helix amps simply did NOT have the high end fizzy garbage in the first place. 

There's plenty of room to play with the highs and the presence controls on the amp for those players who love a lot of high end in their sound. 

 

Having said all of that...yes, I have achieved a tone that I love with my Helix. 

But it shouldn't have taken all that work to get there. It should have been a lot more like a real high end amp and sounded good right at the get go. 

 

Tweaking a good sounding amp to sound GREAT is a pleasure. 

Having to spend hours over a period of time to do all kind of frequency cuts to get a crappy sound to sound great....not so much fun. And I'm sure that all of us would rather have spent that time playing instead of figuring out how to get rid of frequencies that shouldn't be there in the first place.

 

I truthfully didn't spend more time tweaking my presets for Helix than I did when I had an AX8. I used high/low cuts for both. I didn't like the stock cabs on either at first. Definitely wasn't crazy about most of the stock presets. I think I was a little bit more plug and play with my Atomic Amplifire, but those models felt more limited to me as well,.

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i just added some hi/lo cut eq blocks (as had been mentioned on this thread) after the amp/cabs in a few presets i'll be using at rehearsal tomorrow (i usually do my cuts solely in the cab blocks) Already with some minor tweaking the presets sound a bit more focused, tighter and nicer to the ear.. i'll see how they go with a bit more volume, tomorrow.

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Turning the tone knob down on the amp (and even on some guitars in addition) has always done it for me.

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Still can't figure out why Line 6 would have the Helix sound so harsh.

 

I've read all the experts talk about how all amps have fizz in the high end etc. 

But yet....none of my amps ever SOUNDED that way to me. Mic'ed, recorded, in the room...none of them sounded like that.

 

So why not just have Helix sound GOOD. 

 

And yes, I've heard the argument about giving us all the tone of the amp including the high end fizz...But does ANYBODY like the high end harshness? Or does EVERYBODY end up dialing that crap down (and maybe losing harmonics and overtones in the process).

 

Call me crazy...but it seems like life would have been a lot simpler if the Helix amps simply did NOT have the high end fizzy garbage in the first place. 

There's plenty of room to play with the highs and the presence controls on the amp for those players who love a lot of high end in their sound. 

 

Having said all of that...yes, I have achieved a tone that I love with my Helix. 

But it shouldn't have taken all that work to get there. It should have been a lot more like a real high end amp and sounded good right at the get go. 

 

Tweaking a good sounding amp to sound GREAT is a pleasure. 

Having to spend hours over a period of time to do all kind of frequency cuts to get a crappy sound to sound great....not so much fun. And I'm sure that all of us would rather have spent that time playing instead of figuring out how to get rid of frequencies that shouldn't be there in the first place.

 

I believe the idea is this. With previous Line 6 amp sims, up to the HD500, you essentially heard a mic'd amp in a studio that had been tweaked by a professional engineer (although the fizz complaint has always been around). Now the decision was made to give you the raw sound that you can shape yourself. Just an amp and a mic. Everything else is up to you. One comparison would be the difference between painting the Mona Lisa with a paint by numbers set and doing one on your own using the same paints and type of canvas. You will get consistent results with the paint by numbers and the potential for lousy is greatly increased by painting on your own but when done well, the paint by numbers picture will be much less interesting than the one you did yourself. It's kind of an extreme example but it does illustrate what I'm saying.

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it might be good just to have a simple 'amp enhanced' option where the amps are filtered and more tonally focused, to suit the casual user- a global option maybe. default being as it is now maybe, but the option to narrow the frequency range being clearly understandable and selectable in the menu

 

I like this idea but I think you would need to create one for each amp,somebody won't like it and I think that's essentially what you can use IR's for that. I would say they essentially do what you're talking about.

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Lots of interesting comments here.

 

Maybe a LINE 6 Product specialist can chime in as to the strategy they had.

 

Here are few thoughts as I sort through this unit.

 

1) I would venture to guess that majority of users are using FRFR studio monitors or FRFR stage monitors, or straight to mixing board and not running this through a dedicated solid state Amp and real CAB setup, or their real tube amp and real CAB setup.

(4CM is a different use and that is something I will try, but that is effects only).

 

2) My point is that most people are likely using the CABs in the Helix in their application. I could be wrong, But why wouldn't they EQ the CABs to be in the ballpark? These were mostly not.

They are not giving you just an AMP and a MIC with no CAB. That would sound like sht as we all know. They do have a CAB assigned and applied. WHy not get it in the ballpark.

 

3) I read through the Helix manual to see if they had any comments about them leaving the settings on stock CABs in a non EQ'd manner.

Actually I can't think of any common application that this would be a benefit to, but maybe I am missing something,

If you are not using the stock CAB, then you are using the AMP signal into your own CAB or IR. Again- I think most people are using the stock CABs at least to start.

 

4) I guess the idea that this is the way LINE 6 intended it doesn't make sense to me. It does not seem to be a Casual user vs Advanced user thing.

Most users would want a usable starting point and will tweak from there.

 

Anyway- glad I stumbled onto the solution. This was not meant ot be a rant, just an observation from an experienced supportive user FWIW.

As noted- I have had about ten Line 6 hardware and software products over last 18 years.

 

The HELIX does sound very very good and I am sure it will keep getting better as they develop new FWs..

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The idea of having the cabs setup already is good. I almost sold the Helix after getting an FRFR and I tried my PA, Friedman, L3T and the Atomic. The whole band complained about the harsh tones.

 

It's poor UI. There should be an easy button for the non engineers that gets things going and for the advanced users, they can work from that foundation.

 

I eventually made it to the forums and read threads like these and got workable tones. My user experience would have been better if it was like the old POD days where it sounded great with headphones and then it was tweaking your actual amp/cab to get close.

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It's poor UI. There should be an easy button for the non engineers that gets things going and for the advanced users, they can work from that foundation.

 

The user interface is very intuitive. You don't need to be an engineer, you just need a solid understanding of what affects your guitar tone and how to get YOUR desired tone in terms of amp settings, effect settings, types of cabinets, and mic setup. Helix is a "guitar in the studio" modeler, not an amp/effect modeler. A lot of players don't have any experience mic'ing up a cab, so they are lost with their tone in the Helix, then blame the Helix for their woes.  

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Lots of interesting comments here.

 

Maybe a LINE 6 Product specialist can chime in as to the strategy they had.

 

Here are few thoughts as I sort through this unit.

 

1) I would venture to guess that majority of users are using FRFR studio monitors or FRFR stage monitors, or straight to mixing board and not running this through a dedicated solid state Amp and real CAB setup, or their real tube amp and real CAB setup.

(4CM is a different use and that is something I will try, but that is effects only).

 

2) My point is that most people are likely using the CABs in the Helix in their application. I could be wrong, But why wouldn't they EQ the CABs to be in the ballpark? These were mostly not.

They are not giving you just an AMP and a MIC with no CAB. That would sound like sht as we all know. They do have a CAB assigned and applied. WHy not get it in the ballpark.

 

3) I read through the Helix manual to see if they had any comments about them leaving the settings on stock CABs in a non EQ'd manner.

Actually I can't think of any common application that this would be a benefit to, but maybe I am missing something,

If you are not using the stock CAB, then you are using the AMP signal into your own CAB or IR. Again- I think most people are using the stock CABs at least to start.

 

4) I guess the idea that this is the way LINE 6 intended it doesn't make sense to me. It does not seem to be a Casual user vs Advanced user thing.

Most users would want a usable starting point and will tweak from there.

 

Anyway- glad I stumbled onto the solution. This was not meant ot be a rant, just an observation from an experienced supportive user FWIW.

As noted- I have had about ten Line 6 hardware and software products over last 18 years.

 

The HELIX does sound very very good and I am sure it will keep getting better as they develop new FWs..

 

1)  Although there are no doubt quite a few using FRFR monitors or direct to the board applications, the variety of setups is pretty wide including those you mentioned as well as others such as separate power amps and speakers.  Even most 4cm applications will still use modeling aspects but without the included cabinets. 

 

2), 3), 4) and 5) What exactly should they EQ to the cabinets to?  A Telecaster, a Strat, a Les Paul or an Archtop?  What style of music?  Metal, Jazz, Blues, Gospel?  The way it's done is that amps are modeled separately from cabinets.  The amps are accurate representations of the electronic interactions, the cabinets are accurate representations of speaker, cabinet, mic, mic placement, and room interactions.  And what style of FRFR or PA output should they EQ to?  I personally use a Yamaha DXR12 and there have been cases in which I haven't needed to EQ the cabinets at all depending on the style of music, the guitar I'm using, and the amp I'm using.  Instead I've simply selected a cabinet, a mic, it's placement, and the amount of room interaction I want and it sounds great.  That wouldn't likely be the case if they were "pre-EQ'ing" as you suggest.  I will grant that it might have been somewhat easier and intuitive for me were the stock cabinets modeled using mic placements consisting of distances of the mic from the speaker cap to the outer cone as that's what I'm used to.  But you get the same effect moving the mic further away from the speaker, and applying the early reflection parameter.  In fact the early reflection parameter simulates to some degree the effect of an off-axis mic.

 

I think much of what happens here is exactly as jbuhajla noted, that not everyone is familiar with live or studio mic'ing techniques, therefore EQ can be a quick workaround for them until they get more experienced with such things.  But I don't think it's prudent to do something that hampers those that do use these techniques as they very often end up producing much more realistic representations of real world cabinets and mics.  Even people that opt to use IRs run into the same thing as you would run into with the stock cabinets.  The difference being that most IR's tend to be shot with a variety of different mics at different placement locations between the cap and the outer cone of the speaker.  But, again, they all produce the same effect.

 

I grant that this is very likely all new stuff to many people that get into the Helix, especially if you're using less advanced modelers without the cabinet modeling details.  For me, a lot of what I'm paying for is accurate real-world modeling so that the same interactions I might take in selecting a mic and it's placement will parallel the things I would do in the real world.  What I do fault Line 6 for, as well as other advanced modeling systems, is not providing a more comprehensive tutoring system to help those that have never dealt with such things better grasp them.  Of course, I'm not sure even that would make that much difference given how few users actually read through the manual they do provide.

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Just a side note, 4CM is not necessarily for effects only....

 

You can also send shut off the Guitar In send... add an (pre)amp in the Helix and send that signal straight to the Power amp.

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The user interface is very intuitive. You don't need to be an engineer, you just need a solid understanding of what affects your guitar tone and how to get YOUR desired tone in terms of amp settings, effect settings, types of cabinets, and mic setup. Helix is a "guitar in the studio" modeler, not an amp/effect modeler. A lot of players don't have any experience mic'ing up a cab, so they are lost with their tone in the Helix, then blame the Helix for their woes.  

 

(repeating Duned's comment at the end of his post...)

 

To this end, and I don't understand why they don't do this and emphasize it... Given that training is important to using any tool effectively, even a hammer, why doesn't Line 6 spend some time and create some videos around the myriad ways to get tone?  Sean Halley did some of this before he moved on ( :(  sniff, sniff ).  There is certainly room for more of this; Paul Hindmarsh and others would definitely be up to the task.

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(repeating Duned's comment at the end of his post...)

 

To this end, and I don't understand why they don't do this and emphasize it... Given that training is important to using any tool effectively, even a hammer, why doesn't Line 6 spend some time and create some videos around the myriad ways to get tone?  Sean Halley did some of this before he moved on ( :(  sniff, sniff ).  There is certainly room for more of this; Paul Hindmarsh and others would definitely be up to the task.

 

Line 6 already has multiple Helix videos showing product specialists creating a signature artist tone from scratch one element at a time. I guess they could make MORE of those, but it appears people have not even discovered the ones they've already done.

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The user interface is very intuitive. You don't need to be an engineer, you just need a solid understanding of what affects your guitar tone and how to get YOUR desired tone in terms of amp settings, effect settings, types of cabinets, and mic setup. Helix is a "guitar in the studio" modeler, not an amp/effect modeler. A lot of players don't have any experience mic'ing up a cab, so they are lost with their tone in the Helix, then blame the Helix for their woes.

My Helix in in the repair facility now. My old marshal and Cab was mic'd for practice with a 57, not an ear bleeding tone to be found.

 

You are correct, I, and a few others have little experience at this level. If we are the minority, ignore our comments, if we aren't, then truly good UI is developing for the novice user as well as giving the advanced users room to play.

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There is physically no way for a guitar amp mic'ed up in the studio to have all those super high frequencies.

A 12 inch celestion simply does not produce them no matter where you place the microphone.

Guitar cabinets are designed for creating specific frequencies that are pleasing to the ear.

The whole concept of the Helix is to recreate that.

 

I have played professionally in rock bands since 1978. My amp was always mic'ed up through a nice PA

I've done a lot of recording in professional studios (first time in 1979 on 2 inch 16 track) and in my own digital home studio.

 

No matter what or where I played...no guitar cab mic'ed up ever magically produced high frequencies that the speaker cab can not physically create.

 

I think that is what I question about this subject.

If you are going to model an amp, speaker, and microphone...then it needs to sound like the real thing.

My amp always sounded the same in the PA or studio as it did coming out of my cabinet

If it didn't...that would just be stupid and negate the whole reason for having a great sounding amp in the first place.

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There is physically no way for a guitar amp mic'ed up in the studio to have all those super high frequencies.

 

 

Not sure I agree... I've heard some nasty high frequencies and high harmonics coming out of real guitar amp speaker cabinets (and the rooms and mikes involved), though. Some make it to record. Sometimes, in the mix, they sound great.

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Oh there are plenty of guitarist with harsh nasty tones...but they are all caused by them scooping the tone controls with no mids.  Sound like mosquitoes to me. lol

But those harsh nasty tones are all mid-high to highs...not super high frequencies that a celestion can't even create in the first place.

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Line 6 already has multiple Helix videos showing product specialists creating a signature artist tone from scratch one element at a time. I guess they could make MORE of those, but it appears people have not even discovered the ones they've already done.

 

These issues really aren't about understanding the steps to doing things, it's about understanding the concepts that drive your choices.  That's where the big disconnects have been for a lot of folks.  Particularly when it comes to live performance.  The Helix varies from a traditional rig in that you're responsible for defining aspects of your signal chain that have been traditionally managed by sound personnel.  Many of those concepts are truly outside the experience of many musicians.  It's not that the concepts are hard to understand, just foreign to their experience.  Without an understanding of such things it's easy to choose a method to address a problem that isn't optimal or could lead to limitations in the future.

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graph.gif

 

Celestions are certainly capable of producing some pretty harsh tones as shown from the frequency response graph above of a Celestion Creamback 12 inch.  The dropoff starts between 15kHz and 16kHz.  And that's a pretty forgiving high frequency dropoff profile as compared to say a Celestion Heritage G12-65. So with the wrong kind of mic and placement it's more than capable of clearing your sinuses.  Fortunately most sound men know how to get the best of them through correct mic and mic placement.  In the Helix world, that's up to you.

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graph.gif

 

Celestions are certainly capable of producing some pretty harsh tones as shown from the frequency response graph above of a Celestion Creamback 12 inch.  The dropoff starts between 15kHz and 16kHz.  And that's a pretty forgiving high frequency dropoff profile as compared to say a Celestion Heritage G12-65. So with the wrong kind of mic and placement it's more than capable of clearing your sinuses.  Fortunately most sound men know how to get the best of them through correct mic and mic placement.  In the Helix world, that's up to you.

That chart looks like that...but you are dead wrong about where the dropoff starts.

http://celestion.com/product/16/g12m_greenback/

 

Look at the specs brother: Frequency range75-5000Hz

 

And if you've played a long time professionally...then you already know this.

 

Plus the comment about guitar players not knowing about the signal chain...nonsense. I, and every professional I knew on the circuit all had nice guitar rigs with effects. My own rig in the 1980's was a Mesa Boogie studio preamp that drove a rack full of effects and then went out in a "wet/dry" configuration through a Mesa SimulClass 295 stereo tube power amp to 2 4x12 cabs (one wet, one dry) and those were individually mic'ed and sent to both Front of House AND the sidestage monitor mixer and my tone was identical in the house, monitors and coming out of my rig.

 

My last traditional guitar rig was a Bogner Ecstasy head with a G-System going into a Bogner 4x12 Greenback cab in mono. 

Again...my front of house and my monitor mix were identical to my sound coming out of my rig. 

 

And now I'm a Helix guy. And I'm getting great sound with it too. I love this thing! But yeah...having to cut all those frequencies seems like something we shouldn't have to do IF the cabs are modeled correctly. 

Having said that...I'm using 3rd party IR's for my cabs because they don't require as much high frequency cutting and seem to have more of a "woody" "thump" like a real 4x12 cab does without being muddy.

 

Just seems to me that the "magic" of a tube amp in a 4x12 cab IS the limitations of frequency that make the mids so predominant and "Sweet" sounding. 

 

I would think that the best way would be to replicate that. I just can't believe that Line 6 deliberately made everything sound so harsh and fizzy on purpose. Just seems counter-productive. And I doubt any of us here would ever go into a music store and audition a real amp and 4x12 and buy the thing if it sounded like that right at the get-go.

 

I know I never did. 

 

Every amp I ever owned sounded great with a few turns of the knob as a starting point. 

 

Again...not saying the Helix isn't great. I'm using it! :)

Just saying that I feel like cutting frequencies is robbing me of certain harmonics and overtones that could create a more desirable tone in the end. 

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I would think that the best way would be to replicate that. I just can't believe that Line 6 deliberately made everything sound so harsh and fizzy on purpose. Just seems counter-productive. And I doubt any of us here would ever go into a music store and audition a real amp and 4x12 and buy the thing if it sounded like that right at the get-go.

 

I don't think they made anything harsh and fizzy "on purpose". I think those characteristics are simply part and parcel of close-micing an amp... I think a lot of the reason those things are more noticeable with the Helix is we're using FRFR playback system with tweeters, and that simply makes them all the more noticeable. I am certain that this harshness and fizziness can happen with real rigs simply because I've heard myself on raw guitar tracks...

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I don't think they made anything harsh and fizzy "on purpose". I think those characteristics are simply part and parcel of close-micing an amp... I think a lot of the reason those things are more noticeable with the Helix is we're using FRFR playback system with tweeters, and that simply makes them all the more noticeable. I am certain that this harshness and fizziness can happen with real rigs simply because I've heard myself on raw guitar tracks...

 

YES. This is what people keep forgetting - the CLOSE MIC part. The Helix does not simulate an amp in the room. It simulates an amp in the room that is close miced by a microphone that has a dynamic range beyond the high end rolloff of a speaker. I've heard it for myself in recording sessions. That's why producers have taped off "sweet spots" on their cabs and Fredman clips to alleviate this. 

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And again...I just told you guys I close mic'ed all my different rigs over the years.

Doesn't matter where the Mic is...if the guitar speaker doesn't produce that frequency spectrum, then it can't be there.

 

And yes I am using FRFR Bose system. It doesn't have horns or tweeters but full range small speakers.

 

But when I used traditional rigs they were all mic'ed with an SM57 and going to front of house and a monitor mixer as well.

And of course our PA had horns lol...and so did out monitor system.

No "fizz" was there. If there ever had been... I would have been looking to replace the soundman lol

 

My rig always sounded the same coming out of my cab, the monitor, and the PA.

Why would anyone tolerate anything less?

 

Granted I am referring to good sounding rooms as well. Of course I played some huge rooms that were so reflective of the sound that the whole mix would be a mess.. but I am speaking in general terms.

A tube amp into a 4x12 cab does not have those frequencies.

And any of you who played in a live band KNOW that your amp is ALWAYS mic'ed up close to avoid it feeding back in the PA with low end rumble.

It's only in the studio that guitar amps are using a mixture of close mic'ing and room mics for ambience

And that kind of negates these theories that some are espousing about close mic'ing.

Mic'ing an amp in the studio is very rarely putting a Mic up close to the speaker.

But even if it were.. you can't get a microphone to record a frequency that isn't there to begin with.

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