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backup for a helix at a gig

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hi i got thinking about what happens if the helix stops at a gig for what ever reason.i use a frfr powered spearker.could you use a crate power block to hook into my powered monitor? i have a alto 210.wondering what you guys use as a backup thanks

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I have two backup solutions. Since my band uses an X32-Core for PA, we have to have a computer at gigs. We use an old 2011 13†MacBook Pro which has been totally solid. I have a very nice setup in MainStage that uses Helix Native for front of the amp effects, and S-Gear for everything else. I carry an Apogee Jam to gigs as the I/O device. I use a similar track in Logic Pro X in our studio rehearsal setup. I’m working on a blog post describing that now. More to come soon.

 

I can also use my phone with JamUp Pro or ToneStack. These can use the same interface.

 

Never had to do it through - Helix is been 100% reliable for the last 2 years.

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hi i got thinking about what happens if the helix stops at a gig for what ever reason.i use a frfr powered spearker.could you use a crate power block to hook into my powered monitor? i have a alto 210.wondering what you guys use as a backup thanks

You're proposing a solution which has nothing to do with the problem you've identified. You can have all the speaker and power options in the world at your fingertips, but if it's Helix that suddenly craps the bed, having a power amp like the Crate laying around does nothing for you...there are no tones in that thing, just power. Only another modeler, or a "real" guitar amp (combo, head & cab, etc. ) can pinch-hit for Helix if it goes down.

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Helix LT is on its way to my door. I plan to use my Firehawk FX as a backup unit. It has served me well over the past several years both in rehearsals and on stage. I would have no worries using it for an entire gig if the LT fails.

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well im looking for something thats small can fit in the bag.it would be just to finish the gig out we dont have laptops 

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I'm thinking about Native on a laptop through Mainstage.  I've not investigated a foot controller - it would be a fallback solution, so i'm not thinking the best possible, just something that's OK - maybe Behringer midi board of some sort?  I still need to get a better handle on Mainstage - I've just got it hosting Native at the moment, but I've not tried to program patches - and I run Snapshots live on my Helix floor. Imagine I can't fully duplicate that. Still a backup solution could have say 6 good basic rigs, and be a very good fallback position.

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well im looking for something thats small can fit in the bag.it would be just to finish the gig out we dont have laptops

POD HD Bean would satisfy the size requirement...

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 have a m9 can i plug my guitar into that and out to the power alto210?i guess  its the same as a heix hookup i mean not sound.but theres no models amps just pedals does that matter?plus i guess i would have to really eq it since its a frfr speaker

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Two choices really -- match your Helix as close as possible, or something small and either cheap or already owned that you dig, or if need be, can tolerate for the rest of the night. Close as possible is obviously another Helix of some flavor, or Native. Plan b could be a Fly Rig, Amplifire, or another compact sim, or a small amp.

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well im looking for something thats small can fit in the bag.it would be just to finish the gig out we dont have laptops 

 

Fly Rig. I don't own one, but I've thought about getting one as a backup alternative for quite a while. It's small enough to not add too much to the haul in load. 

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Tech 21 flyrig has been seen as a choice.

There are a bunch of amp in a pedals out there.  If you're going to go with the Bean, I'd get the FVII pedal board to go with it... Probably better to get an HD500X than a bean.  Unless you're ok with just one preset, then the bean would be fine.

 

Ha Specracer beat me to it.

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I've been recently thinking about this exact same thing. I've got the HD500 already so that has been my planned backup. 

 

I've also just received the Mooer Radar:

http://www.mooeraudio.com/?product/201709227917.html

 

It's a cabinet simulator/IR loader pedal. I've loaded it up with a handful of my favorite IRs that I use with the Helix LT and have been experimenting with using it with the HD500. 

 

For the hell of it, I decided to try it with an old POD 2.0 i have lying around and it actually sounds surprisingly good.  It's good enough that I could definitely get through a gig should my Helix fail. 

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the more recent small zoom pedals (i have ms-50g) would do the job if you are just using an amp sound with not many fx (switching multiple fx on and off is problematic) ..i've used it as a back up (before i got helix) and a couple of the amp models were good enough to get thru the gig.. the beauty is it is a single stomp pedal and can run all night on 2aa batteries! ..also putting a real overdrive pedal in front of it doesn't sound bad.

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with the mooer it doesnt have a amp in it so you would have to use a amp in a pedal then go into the mooer?

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with the mooer it doesnt have a amp in it so you would have to use a amp in a pedal then go into the mooer?

i've heard a good overdrive pedal in front of it sounds good, as it has a poweramp stage included.. i guess the od pedal will function as a pre-amp

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It ain’t much but I still have my trusty old Fender Mustang Floor.

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Just bought a Helix LT to backup my Helix Floor...

If my Xitone MBritt open/closed back convertible FRFR goes out, I just jack my level up in my

side fill JBL EON615 monitor.  They're on speaker poles and sound really good as FRFR as well!

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but theres no models amps just pedals does that matter?

Yes that matters. A whole bunch. No amp models = no usable guitar tones. EQ won't save you if all you have is a multi-fx unit and a powered speaker. Even with the modeled distortion boxes in the M9, the absence of amp/cab/mic models is the problem. A distortion box straight into an FRFR speaker is gonna sound horrible, and is an enormous EQ hurdle to overcome. If you want a backup option that can rescue a gig from a dead Helix, then you need another modeler, or a real amp. Period. The workarounds you have suggested are either not feasible at all, or way more trouble than they're worth.

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yes i see now what it would take a pedal that has amp and cab sims.i think that fly rig 5 sounds really good.thanks for showing me what i needed

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This is my backup for now (plan to get an LT down the road for backup)...  fits in a guitar case, can go direct to a powered FRFR speaker or to the PA (or both if passed through my monitor).  

 

Has clean, OD, Boost, and with Delay and Reverb.   Definitely a step down, but will get me through a gig without lugging a second amp.  It's less than a foot long, and less than 3 inches wide.

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RK5?gclid=CjwKCAiA9f7QBRBpEiwApLGUir3VLReABBAEu0eoH5fJmVrZbo5qykLd4Csag5mS6tdjmCLYC2Eh0xoCvKAQAvD_BwE

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yeah i'd had a zoom multi fx quite a while ago in the past and it was pretty ordinary.. the latest generation of zoom pedals tho are pretty impressive for their price

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Yes that matters. A whole bunch. No amp models = no usable guitar tones. EQ won't save you if all you have is a multi-fx unit and a powered speaker. Even with the modeled distortion boxes in the M9, the absence of amp/cab/mic models is the problem. A distortion box straight into an FRFR speaker is gonna sound horrible, and is an enormous EQ hurdle to overcome. If you want a backup option that can rescue a gig from a dead Helix, then you need another modeler, or a real amp. Period. The workarounds you have suggested are either not feasible at all, or way more trouble than they're worth.

This is the case where an M9 AND a Crate Power Block could pass as a backup, using the direct out of the Power Block. 

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This is the case where an M9 AND a Crate Power Block could pass as a backup, using the direct out of the Power Block.

I doubt it. The Crate is just a power amp. There's still nothing to create any gain except the distortion pedal models in the M9, and he'd still have no amp or cab sims. It's effectively like running a distortion pedal straight into a PA. That's gonna sound like $hit....you couldn't pay me to run a set-up like that.

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I doubt it. The Crate is just a power amp. There's still nothing to create any gain except the distortion pedal models in the M9, and he'd still have no amp or cab sims. It's effectively like running a distortion pedal straight into a PA. That's gonna sound like $hit....you couldn't pay me to run a set-up like that.

My bad on the Crate. Something like a Blackstar HT-5 Head has a direct out that includes "cab emulation" and effects loop for 4CM. If you already have the M9, then it may be feasible. If you have to purchase an M9 and a small head with a direct out and loop, then you are getting close to Helix LT territory and it may be more beneficial to just do that. 

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Let Pete tell you about a backup solution for $299.  :) 

 

Yep, my singer who covers some rhythm playing is picking up one of these and I'm grabbing one too. Put it in my guitar case for the gig as the back up, I'm not aware of a more perfect solution at the moment.

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I looked deeper into the Fly Rig 5 and realized that it does not have a cab simulated out. Just an amp flavored OD pedal section. So putting that into my powered frfr would probably not sound good. It's looking like the Ampli Firebox is going to be the answer for me. I guess the Fly Rig is intended to replace a pedal board and go into an amp/cab. Not my situation.

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I looked deeper into the Fly Rig 5 and realized that it does not have a cab simulated out. Just an amp flavored OD pedal section. So putting that into my powered frfr would probably not sound good. It's looking like the Ampli Firebox is going to be the answer for me. I guess the Fly Rig is intended to replace a pedal board and go into an amp/cab. Not my situation.

 

Mine sounds great going direct....  no amplifier required.

 

here are some clips of others doing the same thing...

 

 

 

 

 

Not a Helix, by any means, but it will definitely get you through a gig if the worst happens...

 and slap one of these on a PT Mini board with a couple of mini pedals and it can be pretty flexible.  

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I'm thinking about Native on a laptop through Mainstage.  I've not investigated a foot controller - it would be a fallback solution, so i'm not thinking the best possible, just something that's OK - maybe Behringer midi board of some sort?  I still need to get a better handle on Mainstage - I've just got it hosting Native at the moment, but I've not tried to program patches - and I run Snapshots live on my Helix floor. Imagine I can't fully duplicate that. Still a backup solution could have say 6 good basic rigs, and be a very good fallback position.

You could essentially control your laptop {native} via your helix. However if helix dies then you rely on a laptop without pedals... I get that.

What about midi controller changes?  IE-if Helix did die.. pre-programmed midi messages {automated} 

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For me.. I use Helix via my Mesa Dual Rectifier 1/2 stack. I don't want to lug gear and have been through all the different scenarios. 
MOST small clubs don't have ample monitors let alone dedicated ones.. soooo for me I would rather use my Helix in conjunction with my rig.
If Helix dies I have the real thing, and I'm not at the mercy of a sound man I've never worked with before. 
*Don't sell the van /trailer just yet
Anyways... that's just my view. Lots of options now. 
I could always use my HD500X as a backup. lol They are pretty solid too and dirt cheap. 
I just need a few tones for my gig so my approach might not be great for others however many ways to skin a cat
:) 

 

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I have a Zoom G3 that I take with me as a backup for gigs where I use a FRFR speakers. I do other gigs with the Helix through a Brunetti Pleximan (small, light-weight amp head) and 2x12. The amp is the backup for those.

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If you're gigging frequently, realize that if the Helix is truly screwed up then you might need your back up for more than just getting through the night. Possibly need it for the next few shows until it's repaired. 

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If you're gigging frequently, realize that if the Helix is truly screwed up then you might need your back up for more than just getting through the night. Possibly need it for the next few shows until it's repaired. 

 

Exactly... which is why I'm agonizing over this solution.  I think the right answer would be a Helix LT, but that's a LOT of chiclets for a backup.  But it would sound IDENTICAL, same patches, same "almost everything"...  but there are so many nice, smaller and LESS EXPENSIVE options out there... AA3, Boss units, etc....  but my backup needs to be able to interface directly with an FRFR and FOH at the same time (so I need good cab sim and dual outputs MINIMUM).  Ideally it would have a tuner so I didn't have keep a tuner handy... ditto with built-in expression pedal.  And if I was without Helix for a month, I wouldn't want to have to revert to amps and pedals once I "got through the gig" with my backup unit... I would want to just keep gigging the backup.   

 

I wish Line 6 had a product that was "LT-like" with less power and smaller footprint but could still do all these things.

 

if anyone is selling a used LT for a good price, let me know!

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if anyone is selling a used LT for a good price, let me know!

 

Keep an eye out for used on Guitar Center online. There are a couple of LTs on there for $800 currently. 

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How close is the AA3 to having all that?

 

pretty darned close... no built-in expression pedal and I don't know enough to know if I would have enough "single-footswitch-press" tones available (I go from clean to crunch to dirty to solo a LOT during a song)...  but I've read/heard great things about it.  Considering finding a used one and trying it out.

 

Keep an eye out for used on Guitar Center online. There are a couple of LTs on there for $800 currently. 

 

Thanks, that's good to know and i'll take a look... although only 20% off new doesn't seem like a great price, it's still better than full price.

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the more recent small zoom pedals (i have ms-50g) would do the job if you are just using an amp sound with not many fx (switching multiple fx on and off is problematic) ..i've used it as a back up (before i got helix) and a couple of the amp models were good enough to get thru the gig.. the beauty is it is a single stomp pedal and can run all night on 2aa batteries! ..also putting a real overdrive pedal in front of it doesn't sound bad.

I try to keep a MS-50G handy at all times.  If for no other reason it's a pretty good tuner.  The usual weeird ZOOM interface but once you learn it can be configured for many various applications.  Sorta Swiss Army knife of pedals/modelers.  Very useful with both electric and acoustic guitars.  Yep, some of the preamp, compressors, verbs work nicely with acoustic guitar IMO.  

 

On a scale of 1-5 it may not reach 5 in any particular area but it's a pretty solid 4 across the spectrum of jobs.  Dang good value and a great small simple piece to have as a backup for any rig...

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