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chaijen

Recreate a warm tube lead tone with helix

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Hi !

.

I just got my Helix 3 days ago and have been fighting with it in order to recreate my "signature" Lead tone I have been playing with for over 6 years with my Zoom G3X.(playing direct into active speakers and foh). No matter what I ve tried with the Helix so far (I play into 2 DXR10's ) or into my studio monitors) it sounds harsh, is missing warmth and sounds cheap compared to my Zoom tone..(iv e made recordings to A/B the sounds) and my Zoom tone is just so much better..) 

The tone on the Zoom is just a tube screamer into a marshall with delay and reverb) but saying that its really the delay and the reverb that have a warmth I cannot get from Helix sofar..

 

Here are 2 short youtue clips with my Zoom tone..



 

If anyone could give me any advice on how to create a similar tone with Helix  ..that would be awesome

 

 

The closest I ve gotten was with the Marshall JT45 model but again..on the recordings it's just harsh and cold compared to the Zoom sofar..

 

I want to get this right and love the possibilities of the Helix..but I cant go for a worsened tone

 

Thanks cheers and happy new year..

 

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Have you tried the Litigator amp model on the Helix?

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Have you tried the Litigator amp model on the Helix?

I second this.

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Your tone in the first vid sounds a lot like one I made using the Brit Plexi Brt amp model into a Celestion Redback IR (4x12 closed, high gain-all mic). This IR turned out to be the secret sauce for me to achieve the warmth and complexity I was seeking. I run a crunch tone, which is just the amp with Drive and Master on 10, and a higher gain snapshot with a Scream 808 overdrive block in front. Deep edits are also key to getting simulated power stage distortion... I run Sag at 7.2, Bias at 6.0 and Bias X at 4.0. I’ve not found the reverbs and delays to be lacking, typically using the plate or spring and a simple delay or two in mono. I did read on this forum that HX reverbs are on the way in the next planned update, so that might help your situation.

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the zoom sounds are pretty good and dont need much tweaking (i was using one before i got helix) but definitely not as detailed or versatile.. once you get your ears around the helix and learn to adjust what is needed you wont look back.. the zoom is a good back up tho.. try cabs with the 121 ribbon mic use an eq to cut the lows (around 100) and hi's (down to 7-6khz) maybe boost mids on the amp model too... and watch youtube vids and check the tips here..

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Hi,

first of all thanks for the quick reactions and helpful suggestions! 

IR wise i have tried mostly Ownhammer 4x 12 mesas with a Royer 121. Also tried the stock 2x12 Interstate. Why would the suggested Rosen IR make a difference?

 

Have not tried the Litigator yet but will definetely do today!

 

Thanks for the hint and settings with Britt Plexi and Celestion Redbacks. Heard a lot of positive things about the Celestion IRS..the same goes for the Ownhammers though..I've

loaded about a hundred IRS in the editor to flip through..

 

 

 

 

shanecgriffo, thats very interesteing to hear you had the Zoom before..I did try to adjust these frequencies with Global EQ or the 10band and use mainly the Royer 121..

 

 

I spent 15 hours the last 2 days with the Helix in my studio with studio monitors and 2 Yamaha DXR10s hooked up and will return to the shed shortly..;-) and tweak some more

I've always had compliments on my Zoom tone, also from well-known guitarists..I dont want to settle for less...On the other hand, yes it has only been 3 days with the unit..

so I'll continue searching..

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Here is a preset I built using stock Helix Cabs.  it's the Cartographer amp, a kinky boost, a minotaur, and dual cabs with a mix of a dynamic mic and a ribbon mic. 

 

https://line6.com/customtone/tone/3400968/

 

And here is a soundclip of me playing through this preset directly into garage band from Helix (sounded the same playing through my FRFR)   

 

https://soundcloud.com/geno-13/modtraynor_emjam

 

 

There is a drum/bass/crunch guitar rhythm track and this preset on two tracks (clean snapshot on one track and a smooth lead tone on another using the 'drive' snapshot ).  This is also played with a Telecaster, so it only gets warmer sounding with humbuckers.    

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Thanks GinoBluzGtr!

Just loaded up your patch

 

Sounds good in your demo.

Sounds horribly harsh when I play/record it...

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I am starting to make progress tonewise..thanks! However I am finding another thing I am not used to with the Zoom.

I run Logic X with an Apogee Ensemble Interface.

When I record the Zoom ( whether its through its own USB interface or into the Apogee) I always get the very same sound I am hearing through my active speakers ( DXR 10)

 

I have only recorded the Helix through its USB connection. The tone on the recording is much harsher than on the monitors..not extremely, so its not like a line signal, but it bothers me. It adds the fizzyness aand harshness I am gradually managing to dial out going into the DXRs. Ric1966 its very extreme with your settings..I kind of like the tone I am getting going direct, do not have the Redback IR and I will eventually buy but but getting a good tone from a British 412 IR from Yamaha. However..when I record this tone harshness comes back..

 

I will tweak some more and will then make a little A/B recording with the dialed in Helix tone and the Zoom tone...Thanks for all your help! Highly appreciated!

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At the risk of being obvious, if it's too "harsh" (I assume you mean too trebly), try turning down treble and/or presence in the amp, and/or adding a lowpass filter and/or an eq after the amp to cut some highs or boost low-mids (I like the mesa).

 

Other people's presets may well sound really different when you play them, due to differences in guitars, playing, playback system, global eq, or other settings. The question is, can you adjust things to sound good, to you, in your environment.

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If you use somebody else’s tone play around with your guitar’s volume and tone controls unless you have his guitar. Your guitar’s signal level acts like an amp drive knob. Thus both your signal levels and harmonic content may put you quite off-target if your guitar is different.

And another obvious one, but worth checking, is your global EQ. I fell several times for having played around with it and not returning the controls to neutral.

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Thanks GinoBluzGtr!

Just loaded up your patch

 

Sounds good in your demo.

Sounds horribly harsh when I play/record it...

This would seem to indicate there’s a potential problem with your signal chain. What your’re describing sounds like digital clipping. There’s no reason the patch should sound that different for you.

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Sorry, no digital clipping and nothing wrong with my signal chain. I dont get that with the Zoom at all..

Sofar Ive got one patch that sounds close to what I hear through the DXRs in the recording and that I kind of like..

Tomorrow I will record from Helix into my Apogee to see if its linked to recording through USB..

 

Interesting with the global eq..If its not recorded then i will rather do high and low cut filter in every patch directly.

So far I have 2-3 IRS and cabs I can work with and 2 to 3 amps with most of the 2 times 2 drive pedals..

 

With the Delays and Reverbs theres still a lot of work.. just picking one of each is jsut not enough.To get the depth that I like i find  myself more and more stacking delays and reverbs..

 

Happy new year ;-)

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it is definitely best to do lo hi cuts on a pe preset basis i think.. most people here do that, myself included.. you've really got to eq to suit the amp/cab used .. helix puts out a full range - more than a real cab i think, so you need to narrow the range a bit - dont be afraid to hi cut down below 5-6khz if needed on the cab , a little less cut is needed if you use the hi/lo eq block

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I also went from a Zoom G3X to my Helix. I can't say that I ever got the Zoom sounding as good as your first video. I do think there is a little bit of effect from your guitar sitting nicely in the mix of that recording and being enhanced by the rhythm and bass. On the other hand, I also have struggled with taming harshness from my Helix patches. I use a DXR12. I think they are pretty unforgiving, and I find that I need to keep my low mids up and presence down. 

Your second video has much more crunch than your first. Try bringing down the Master Volume, and/or Drive, or change amps or OD pedals. You might want to try a compressor also. There's plenty of possibilities with the Helix, and once you find your sweet spot, it's easier to stay in it. I've recently found mine after about a year with the Helix, and I'm now going back and "fixing" a lot of my earlier patches. 

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Those tones in the Videos are great. I purchased a Zoom G3xn as a backup to the helix, the deals was so good i couldn't pass it up.

 

I would love to get those presets you used for the Zoom, then I can try to replicate them on my helix. Maybe some other forum users with Zoom can do the same and hopefully one of us can come up with something.

 

Edit: The reason to share the Zoom preset is it's difficult to replicate a video tone, different setups, etc. We may get it close, then on your setup it's sure to sound different.

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The patch in my 2 videos is absolutely identical. Only difference: 1st one recorded with the zoom's audio interface into a recording template from Logic and with some compression added from Logic . Second one is recorded straight into an Apogee Ensemble..

Joe, the new n series from Zoom is much different from the old G3/G5/G3X series . If someone would really like to sit down and recreate the patch on the Helix i could offer it. 

But the thing that gets me: Its really just a Tube Screamer into a Marshall with Delay and reverb added.

 

I think I have gotten close to the core tone being distortion pedal and amp on the helix by combining 2 dirt pedals into a Marshall.

 

But recreating delay and reverb is so difficult. The Zoom delay is so warm and lush. And I find replicating the Arena Reverb from Zoom on the Helix to be next to impossible.

Really have not found a nice warm sounding reverb on the Helix yet. I've seen patches where users are stacking several reverbs if someone has a suggestion on how to recreate a warm "Lexicon " or "Arena Reverb from zoom" like reverb on the Helix ...

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I don't usually go that low, but real reverb isn't very wide bandwidth, on either end. Anyway, whatever you like is good :)

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The patch in my 2 videos is absolutely identical. Only difference: 1st one recorded with the zoom's audio interface into a recording template from Logic and with some compression added from Logic . Second one is recorded straight into an Apogee Ensemble..

Joe, the new n series from Zoom is much different from the old G3/G5/G3X series . If someone would really like to sit down and recreate the patch on the Helix i could offer it. 

But the thing that gets me: Its really just a Tube Screamer into a Marshall with Delay and reverb added.

 

I think I have gotten close to the core tone being distortion pedal and amp on the helix by combining 2 dirt pedals into a Marshall.

 

But recreating delay and reverb is so difficult. The Zoom delay is so warm and lush. And I find replicating the Arena Reverb from Zoom on the Helix to be next to impossible.

Really have not found a nice warm sounding reverb on the Helix yet. I've seen patches where users are stacking several reverbs if someone has a suggestion on how to recreate a warm "Lexicon " or "Arena Reverb from zoom" like reverb on the Helix ...

 

I suspect you'll be very happy when the new HX reverbs are released shortly...

 

In the meantime, have you tried the Plate reverb? I actually find it to be one of warmest delays currently available.

 

I forgot about this, but I recorded this track in Native awhile back. The lead tone on this is using the JTM45 Bright channel and the Plate reverb along with the Transistor Tape delay. I can give you the preset if you like.

 

https://soundcloud.com/phil-miller-20/wide-daylight-snippet

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Hey Phil! wonderful tone and playing there! Thanks for your offer, yes I would love to try your preset. I just discovered the plate reverb today. Also purchased the Mike Britt presets (thanks to urultimate for the hint)
Yes HX reverbs would be nice..hmm maybe for Namm ??

 

I m kind of in your direction Phil. After a few days of heavey tweaking and learning, I also came up with one sound using the JTM 45 with a timmy and a Minotaur in front and some delay and reverb.

Its not a 100% the tone I want yet but it is a tone that inspires me and makes me wanna improvise which is always a good sign. I have recorded some 20 solos over a backing track tweaking different tones. i will prepare a file within the next days to document my progress.. I find the factory presets totally unusable  but thats the case of so many units..

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Thanks so much Phil, I'll try your patch later today

 

Here is a tone I came up with.

 

https://soundcloud.com/chaijen/helix-tweaking   Not happy yet, but not harsh and it feels good fiddling around with.

 

I have to say I actually think I prefer the tones in this Soundcloud link to the ones in your Youtube video... I think what you're interpreting as harshness, I hear as more natural bite, but that's probably just my personal preference.

 

Anyway, I had another thought this morning... Have you tried messing with the input impedance setting on the Helix? Setting that to a slightly lower value may help take some of the edge off.

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Its true that this tone has a bit more bite..its just missing the warmth of the delay and reverb I'm used to..This tone I would not define as harsh compared to the many others I went through before..

I've got a few others as a base..

 

Have not touched the impedance yet,..Will try that. Also, I started tweaking the Helix with my Vigier Excalibur until I broke a string last night and switched to the Tele..obviously less hotter pickups..

As you were saying HX reverbs are in the pipeline..I just saw that Helix native claims to have "HX effects". Are these different from the hardware version ?

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As you were saying HX reverbs are in the pipeline..I just saw that Helix native claims to have "HX effects". Are these different from the hardware version ?

 

Nope... Native and the hardware are exactly the same, and will be updated concurrently. The "HX" designation is just what Line 6 is calling stuff developed for the Helix platform.

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@phil_m: Are you allowed to share if the new reverbs use more CPU power? In other words, if I have a patch that is nearly maxed out, could I swap, say an old plate reverb model for a new HX reverb?

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@phil_m: Are you allowed to share if the new reverbs use more CPU power? In other words, if I have a patch that is nearly maxed out, could I swap, say an old plate reverb model for a new HX reverb?

 

Well, they're definitely more DSP-intensive. As to how they compare to the old reverbs I don't know for sure. One thing is they're are mono versions of the new reverbs, so if having stereo isn't important to you, you can save DSP that way. But if your patch is close to the DSP limit with an existing reverb, I'd venture to guess that there's a pretty good chance that the new reverbs could put it over the edge. The current Plate model, fwiw, is the least DSP-intensive of all the existing reverb, iirc.

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Well, they're definitely more DSP-intensive. As to how they compare to the old reverbs I don't know for sure. One thing is they're are mono versions of the new reverbs, so if having stereo isn't important to you, you can save DSP that way. But if your patch is close to the DSP limit with an existing reverb, I'd venture to guess that there's a pretty good chance that the new reverbs could put it over the edge. The current Plate model, fwiw, is the least DSP-intensive of all the existing reverb, iirc.

Thanks

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Hi there.

 

Just wanted to give you some updates concerning my quest for a warm singing Lead Tone with Helix..I've spent a lot of time with the Helix over the last 10 days...

The closest I have gotten to something comparable to my Zoom Lead tone was playing around witth the J45 amp, stacking 2 overdrive edals in front and trying diffferent cabs and IRS. Then recording over the same track and comparing.

Here are a few soundfiles.There is also one done with the Zoom with a little compression added in Logic.

The Zoom tone still feels warmer in general, and the delay and reverb are just warmer.But I know theres hope with the new Reverbs coming for Namm and for now I will just continue using Helix and Zoom or maybe combining them. I am very much interested in your comments or further suggestions on how to imitate the Zoom tone , mainly the one from my initial 2 videos..I have to add I found an Ambient /Worship Patch for Helix I fell in love with. This one somehow makes the dotted 8th setting reallly shine, I m still having trouble dialing it in like in this patch. It also has stacked reverbs. Stacking reverbs and AMP A/B with seperating and merging the signals is another thing I wanna get into..

 

So here are some Helix test quick and dirty recordings i made:

 

1. https://soundcloud.com/chaijen/helix-tweaking

2.https://soundcloud.com/chaijen/helix-test-lead-2b

3.https://soundcloud.com/chaijen/helix-test-lead-3a

4.https://soundcloud.com/chaijen/helix-lead-test-5a

5.Archetype https://soundcloud.com/chaijen/testhelixarchetype

6. One track with the Zoom as a comparison: https://soundcloud.com/chaijen/testhelixzoom

 

And the "ambient test"

 7.https://soundcloud.com/chaijen/worshiptestok

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hi, to me the helix versions all sound great and sound 'expensive' whereas the zoom, while nice, is a little less so pleasing to my ears. I get the feeling maybe you are just used to hearing the zoom tone and possibly you wont get to recreate it 100%.. maybe just spend time getting the best you can from helix and put that zoom tone behind you 😉 I found the bass a bit bottom heavy in the mix ..just a bit overpowering, but i'm using earbuds and maybe it's just me.. your playing is awesome, very tasty licks! I enjoyed listening to you ðŸ‘

edit- the bass sat more nicely for me in the ambient track

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Your Archtype tone sounds really good in the mix. And great playing, BTW!

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I've been using the Helix for a couple of years now and there's a lot to explore.

From my perspective, achieving the sounds/tones that you are after should definitely be relatively easily accomplished with the Helix.

I have great results from the Line 6 Delays and Reverbs .. so .. just keep tweaking and trying out different models and settings of the delays and reverbs.

You have a very nice sound and technique, the Helix should work great for you. 

As for the amp/cab tones, definitely use the low and hi cuts (or separate low hi cut eq block after the cabs). These help  A LOT!.

Speakers, Mics and IR's can make a huge difference as well.

 

As for the delays and reverbs, experiment with where you place them in the signal chain .. AND, try wet-dry-wet type setups for more options. If you are a reverb and delay guy, you will love experimenting with those.

 

There definitely should not be a noticeable difference between your monitored sounds vs USB recorded sounds ... Mine always sound identical. 

Make sure that your DAW settings are correct and are not adding any compressors, limiters ,eq's, etc.... on the tracks or mastering. 

Maybe try a different free DAW to see if you have the same problems or not?

 

Cheers and have fun

 

 

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