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Can never get the sound like in demo videos


mbertrandline62
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Hello, I have a question and it's not directly related to Helix Native but since I've been using it a lot lately then I decide this would be a good place to post. I also posted the same question on Bias FX Facebook.Why is it that every video post I see on the web regarding amp modeling weather it is a  vst or an actual solid state modeling amp the sound I get is never the same, never as good by far. I'm sure there must be plenty of people thinking the same thing!!! Now I'm not talking a real  amps miced up. For example let's take Helix Native as an example. I could never make my sound like the ones in the demos. I have presets that I'm happy with but it does not have that full lush tub sound like int the videos. I've been using amp modeling for years now and I never get close to any of those sounds. I'm plugged directly in Focusrite 2i2 and listening thru Audio-Technica - ATH-M40X. I have a Les Paul with stock pickups and a Squier Deluxe HSH Classic Vibe Strat. I also have a Blackstar ID:30 TVP and with my earphones it never sounds what I hear in videos either. It's not my earphones. I'm never played through monitors.

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I had a very lengthy discussion off-line with a Helix used on that forum.  He said what your saying.  He directed me to some example videos on youtube and it was all about how those tracks were recorded (typically doubled) and in other cases after doing some research I read that the guitar the person was using has "special" pickups, etc.  Without hearing them or you, we can't give specific advice, but you used the word "lush" which leads me to believe they are double tracking their guitar or using stereo effect and you not.  That's my best guess without any info.  And depending on who you are listening to, they might be selling presets or themselves so they are not just sitting down and playing and recording like us.

 

I bought the Helix rack earlier this year and Native a couple months ago.  They sound identical and I could literally not be happier with what I can do with them.

 

On this comment - "For example let's take Helix Native as an example. I could never make my sound like the ones in the demos."  I don't know you, but I disagree with this.  If you record your guitar the way they do (with their guitar and equipment), other than playing style, you can sound exactly like them with Native.

 

And FYI - I don't even own monitors.  I only use headphones and they are definitely not the issue for you or me unless yours are super cheap.

 

The other thing to keep in mind is that Native (and the Helix) have infinite possibilities (knobs to turn).  Just think about all the amps you can choose from and and all their settings, and all the cabs, and then all the IRs, effects, etc.  It takes significant time to figure out how to get the tone you want. 

 

If you want to end the link to some videos you're talking about and a clip of you, I'd be happy to give my opinion.  It took me a long time to convince the other forum member it was how these other guitars were recorded and not his use of Helix, but he finally got it.

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Thanks for taking your time and replying. I'm aware of many techniques used to enlarge your sound but I'm talking about playing live. There are many videos of someone playing live and I don't get that sound at all. Of course there are videos with Amps and mics and going thru all sorts of units but if we go with some basic setup like for example: guitar -> Helix pedal board -> headphones or guitar -> usb interface -> Helix Native -> headphones. I never sound like they sound in their review videos. I will try to find a video to show my point and post it in the days to come.

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Thanks for taking your time and replying. I'm aware of many techniques used to enlarge your sound but I'm talking about playing live. There are many videos of someone playing live and I don't get that sound at all. Of course there are videos with Amps and mics and going thru all sorts of units but if we go with some basic setup like for example: guitar -> Helix pedal board -> headphones or guitar -> usb interface -> Helix Native -> headphones. I never sound like they sound in their review videos. I will try to find a video to show my point and post it in the days to come.

OK.  I'll check back.  Don't give up on Native!

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I did a quick Google and pick a few videos that demo Native and the hardware. Forget about the playing. The sound is fat , tubby and saturated that's the best way I can describe it. Like very electrical, fizzy, fuzzy! The only time I came close is when I tried micing for the first time for fun and was blown away! I'm also amazed has to how silent it always is and I to use gates. Is everyone swapping their stock pickups? I would like to try someones patch lets say a rock patch created more for Les Paul. I'm crazy for Marshall sound especially Ace Frehley. Play a couple of power cords and compare.

 

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We certainly don't have to swap out pickups to do any of this and I rarely have any unwanted noise using the Helix/Native.  I play a Guthrie Govan Charvel, Ultra Strat, Godin, PRS, and occasionally a Variax and they all sound pretty different.  Like many on the Helix forum, I create presets for the kind of pickups my guitar has.  Presets I made for the Start sound too thin for my PRS neck pups, for example.

 

When I first got my Helix I watched some videos, like the first, and copied exactly what they did and it sounded pretty close, if not exact.  On the second one, that's an unusual guitar and will play a role in the tone.  Of course these are two Line 6 guys, so they really know what they're doing!  None of the stock presets sound that good for me, but, those tones are certainly obtainable.

 

I have a few suggestions.  I'm going to try sending you a couple of my presets through the email feature here.  And I'll make a couple short clips of me using them.  I'll use my Guthrie Govan.  It can be similar to an LP.  A word of caution - I swap presets with a friend and early on I bought presets from some of the "famous" sellers.  They never sound the same for me.  It's the guitar, the headphones, the "who knows what."  But you ought to be able to tweak mine, which are not complex, to get a tone you like, or see how to create your own to get certain tones (sorry - I have no clue on your experience level).  I assume you don't use IRs?  They will NOT fix your issue, but I am one of many that use them so I'll include them so your comparison to my tone is "accurate."  

 

And if your tone "sucks" after trying my presets, please send me a clip.

 

The other thing that took my Helix from being a really expensive bad purchase to heaven, was the Helix forum.  There is a ton of discussion on how to get great tone.  You should search that.  This is a very common discussion.  Above I mentioned a couple things that always come up (high cut, create your own presets...).

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Thanks for your time and your help and suggestions Doug6String, it's greatly appreciated.! I don't think I have a bad sound there is just this thing that everyone else seems to have that I'm missing. I'm have maybe 6-8 years experience but not an hardcore guitarist. I have other obligations in life!! I do sometimes use IRs. I went through my IR fase with guitarampmodeling.com and Poulins sims! I don't use them that much anymore I try to keep choice to a minimum. At some point I had so many I could not find the one I liked the most and spent my entire time switching! Now I mostly just go with the matched cabinets. I've pretty much just us Bias FX on iPad but now debating on Helix. But last weekend went back to TH3 for fun and wow!!! It be nice to also have the dry signal to!

I don't know how this internal email thing works so I will look into it and I guess I could be getting something from you in the near future. thanks again!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I'm finding this too. 

I am a pod farm user from way back. I found it FAR easier to dial in a gnarly tone on pod farm than Helix. Granted helix has far more options etc, but it shouldn't be so hard to build a solid tone. I can't go back to podfarm, as I've upgraded to cubase 9, and it's exclusively 64 bit. 

 

I'm finding that I'll spend hours on a tone, think it's "okay" then come back to the session only to hate it. it sounds "pale, scratchy, thin".  Sure, it stands out in a mix, but it stands out for all of the wrong reasons. 

 

I solely use USA PRS guitars (endorsement), and i'm not going to meddle around changing pickups. The pickups are fine. I've tried Helix Native with at least 7 different guitars with the same outcome. 

 

I've found that the only way to get a semi-decent tone quickly is to couple helix with ezmix by toontrack. Honestly, i wish they'd just make a 64bit Pod Farm. :(

 

 

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I'm finding this too. 

 

Hey Modern - Native and my Helix rack are pretty much indistinguishable in sound and if you go on the Helix forum you'll find a ton on how to create great tones, and there are an awful lot of people that are really happy with it, including some pros.  I have a custom 24 and a lot of other guitars and I can get great tones for them all now that I understand the Helix, a little.  I think there's a pretty big learning curve because the Helix has almost an infinite number of "knobs" to turn.  If you think of Native as owning Helix floor/rack and look at that forum to get help creating great tones, I think you'll get the input you need.  But my experience, buying a Helix earlier this year, was that simply dialing in a great tone was not possible for me until I got a lot of info from the forum and tried a lot of stuff!  

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I did a quick Google and pick a few videos that demo Native and the hardware. Forget about the playing. The sound is fat , tubby and saturated that's the best way I can describe it. Like very electrical, fizzy, fuzzy! The only time I came close is when I tried micing for the first time for fun and was blown away! I'm also amazed has to how silent it always is and I to use gates. Is everyone swapping their stock pickups? I would like to try someones patch lets say a rock patch created more for Les Paul. I'm crazy for Marshall sound especially Ace Frehley. Play a couple of power cords and compare.

 

 

Nick Bell, the product specialist in the Van Halen tone tutorial recently appeared on an EVH gear TV episode and there is a link to his EVH preset you can download. These may be worth checking out.

Video:

 

Preset:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/oy1dyo6he0vul4a/AAD1jy4G6M8O8XE-bQVeYUoma?dl=0

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  • 11 months later...
On 10/11/2017 at 8:58 AM, mbertrandline62 said:

Hello, I have a question and it's not directly related to Helix Native but since I've been using it a lot lately then I decide this would be a good place to post. I also posted the same question on Bias FX Facebook.Why is it that every video post I see on the web regarding amp modeling weather it is a  vst or an actual solid state modeling amp the sound I get is never the same, never as good by far. I'm sure there must be plenty of people thinking the same thing!!! Now I'm not talking a real  amps miced up. For example let's take Helix Native as an example. I could never make my sound like the ones in the demos. I have presets that I'm happy with but it does not have that full lush tub sound like int the videos. I've been using amp modeling for years now and I never get close to any of those sounds. I'm plugged directly in Focusrite 2i2 and listening thru Audio-Technica - ATH-M40X. I have a Les Paul with stock pickups and a Squier Deluxe HSH Classic Vibe Strat. I also have a Blackstar ID:30 TVP and with my earphones it never sounds what I hear in videos either. It's not my earphones. I'm never played through monitors.

 

 

I feel your pain! I also have a Focusrite 2i2 Scarlett and Audio-Technicas, but mine are the ATH-M50X, not 40X. Here is what I learned after dealing with the same disappointments that you are dealing with. First off; you're right. All of this stuff sounds terrible compared to the promo videos that we all see on Youtube. But, I have my very trusty Yamaha NS-10 studio monitors and a power amp connected to my Mac Pro.  When I run my audio through that setup it is 100 times better than anything I can get through headphones. In fact I have spent hours trying to figure out how to get it to sound the same way through my headphones as it does through the speakers. The headphones sound great with virtually any music and any Youtube feed, etc. but when monitoring my guitar with any of these digital plugins (Like Native or the rest) they all sound terrible. If I EQ the guitar signal in Logic Pro (pull down the highs a little) I can get it to sound better but this headphone output on the Scarlett really sucks for this stuff. I have some very good guitars too, so they are not to blame. I have several vintage Strats but also some of the very best Paul Reed Smith Custom 24s and the like. I even have a couple of really fat at Gibson Jazz boxes with very warm picks (like my Herb Ellis ES-165 & an ES-165). It has been a huge disappointment but I do believe that a big part of it is the fact that we are trying to make it sound good through the 2i2 and headphones.  I read through this thread and you have received some good info so I hope it is working out for you at this point. I would love to hear how you feel about it these days. Maybe you can give me a leg up because I too am struggling. There are a lot of guys (like Glenn DeLaune) who say that the included tones are not good with the Helix and that is why he is offing all of these beautiful patches as you can see on Youtube. You might want to try one of his smaller packages for a few bucks to see how dramatic a change there may be. Feel free to reply and let us all know how you're doing with this.

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  • 2 months later...

Alright, this thread is old as crap but I figured I'd throw in my two cents since this is still on the front page and I assume everyone else with this problem is coming here to look for an answer.

 

I have a "definitive guide" to amp sims available on Reddit but it's really long and i'll condense it here, there are a lot of possible reasons why your patch "sounds like lollipop" but I'll list the most common reasons:

 

1) Poor gain staging. The line 6 manual says -36 to -12 is the optimal level for the sim, so make sure your peak is around -12.

 

2) Not using a DI Box. The scarlett is a great cheap interface to be sure, but Hi-Z's suck. Literally all of them, even on extremely high dollar interfaces. Don't rush out and buy a cheap DI Box though, you need one of good quality. The Countryman Type 85 and the Radials are a good choice, and used they run about 100 bucks. A bad Hi-Z, which again is all of them, can make your tone extremely muffled or extremely thin (kinda depends on the interface and how bad the Hi-Z is)

 

3) Not having a properly set up guitar or turning away from noise sources. If your guitar is set up like crap, out of tune, and/or your guitar player sucks there is literally nothing an amp sim or impulse response can do to remedy that. It's not a miracle worker. Also with passive pickups you need to make sure you turn away from your computer/tv/monitors/ect and on every guitar mute your strings with foam/tape/whatever after the nut and before the bridge (if applicable)

 

4) Dial in your tone at an optimal level: First off, don't try to dial in a tone while you're playing the guitar. Your ears are going to trick you. Record something short and sweet, loop it, and dial in the tone. Also don't fall into the "bedroom tone" trap  and try to dial in a tone at a low volume. You need to be bumping, at least 80dBSPL (google fletcher-munson curve for info). If this is not possible for you over studio monitors, use a good pair of studio headphones with a good frequency response. 

 

Now if you're doing those 4 things properly then you've entered "Personal Taste Territory". No one can help you get "your tone" but you, but I do have some simple advice.

 

1) select your amp/cab and set all the controls on the amp to noon. No tube screamers or fancy crap here, just amp and cab.

2) play. Does it sound like lollipop?

     if yes: Change the cab

     if still yes: Change the cab

     if STILL yes: change the amp head

3) once you found a combo that sounds the best to you in it's "neutral" state then add your pedals and start your tweaks but keep a few things in mind here:

     #1 An Amp sim does not replicate what an amp/cab sounds like if you're sitting next to it. It emulates what amp/cab sounds like AS CAPTURED BY A MICROPHONE. Therefore if you              don't really have much experience recording real amplifiers you might not even be aware of what they're supposed to sound like with no studio magic or mix to support it. 

     #2 Your "mono" tone is different than your double tracked/quad tracked "panned tone". You will lose a little high end and low end, so if in mono it sounds a little boomy or harsh, it's OK.

     #3 Too much gain on amp sims is bad

     #4 Too much gain on amp sims is bad

     #5 Too much gain on amp sims is bad

     #6 Too much gain on amp sims is bad

     #7 Too much gain on amp sims is bad

     #8 Also, if you weren't aware: too much gain on amp sims is bad. Use AS LITTLE GAIN AS YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH. You want the gain set to where you really have to work for the                 distortion. The tall-tell signs of too much gain: zero note dynamics, really obnoxious harsh high end, you pick softly and it sounds like a slayer album. The fizz is your best friend                   when determining too much gain, pay attention to what it's telling you. In my experience this is where 90% of amp sim users FAIL miserably. 

 

The helix is just as good as any other amp sim in the head department, the cabs. EH, they're usable but not great. You can get a usable tone without 3rd party impulses, but if you're ultra-super-picky then i suggest using impulse responses but this kinda defeats the purpose of Helix native because you can get equal quality heads for free or much cheaper. 

 

Finally, you'll never get the tones you hear in demo videos. You aren't them and you don't have their gear or their picking hand. "Tone is in the hands" is a real thing mate, sure you can do what Glenn Fricker did and try to disprove this by cranking the gain up to 8 and boosting it with a tube screamer so literally a piano would sound the same out of that amp but trust me: don't fall for demo tones. Always try before you buy.

 

Hopefully this has helped someone, if not feel free to PM me. I do reamps professionally and own basically every amp sim (besides helix ironically because the trial didn't impress me and the authentication system is terrible) and they all are usable. Even Bias FX/Amp........ but I won't go on a rant about positive grid. 

 

Addition:

 One final thing I'll mention is: Yes, dual amp/cabs or dual micing IS a thing but i recommend avoiding this unless you're experienced. With a sim, or even in real life, a 57 in the sweet spot (on or off axis, whatever tickles your fancy) WILL give you a good sound so just stick with a single amp/cab/mic until you can get "good tones" with them before you jump down that rabbit hole.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, rsvette12 said:

You have me interested in The Countryman Type 85 - would a rig kontrol 3 benefit from this ? if so what will I hear that makes the difference - thanks much 

 

I had to look up what that was, as I am not familiar with it, but my answer is no based on the fact that it seems to be some kind of pedalboard/interface combo? If it has an XLR input and phantom power, maybe?, but a DI box is meant to be used with a mic pre (not the Hi-Z input) on an interface or console. 

 

If you're talking running the output of the korg into a di box and then into a mic pre. The DI Box will color the tone slightly, but you'd need to set the output to instrument level rather than live level. 

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22 minutes ago, soundog said:

Great post, @WarringtonCJ! 

 

Thanks, I really do hope this helps people. VST Sims are not plug n play, no matter how much they try to advertise they are. A lot of people fail due to user error, which isn't entirely their fault to be fair. After all if your guitar input is too strong or too weak for the sim, then no amp will sound good and they'll just assume the sim or ALL sims are bad and that's just one example of something that could go wrong. Too much gain? You're done. Lots of people get lost in endless tweaking because of the overbearing amount of options in VSTs like this and end up ignoring something as simple as ensuring proper gain staging or that their guitar is in tune. 

 

One final thing I'll mention is: Yes, dual amp/cabs or dual micing IS a thing but i recommend avoiding this unless you're experienced. With a sim, or even in real life, a 57 in the sweet spot (on or off axis, whatever tickles your fancy) WILL give you a good sound so just stick with a single amp/cab/mic until you can get "good tones" with them before you jump down that rabbit hole.

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  • 3 months later...

Hello everyone,

I had the same issue of bad sound and reading the tips of this topic I solved by reducing the input gain.

The sound has changed radically and now with only the default setups I get a wonderful sound.

 

Now I'm a happy man !!! :-D

 

Thanks to all and many thanks to Line6. ;-D

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  • 1 year later...

I have been searching for this answer as I have had the same issue too, a PRS into an ID14 and it was just sounding horrid, but live with my floor I am happy as a pig in some sort of muck. I opened the ID 14 control panel and had the input gain as low as possible and it was just too hot, so lowered the input and boom, things just start to sing as they should! 

On 5/3/2019 at 9:51 AM, Jam2x4 said:

Hello everyone,

I had the same issue of bad sound and reading the tips of this topic I solved by reducing the input gain.

The sound has changed radically and now with only the default setups I get a wonderful sound.

 

Now I'm a happy man !!! :-D

 

Thanks to all and many thanks to Line6. ;-D

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