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Qs for live rig users


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Hi all. I got a helix for xmas  [bless the wife.] So far i absolutely love it, and have been useing it firstly 2 cable strait in front, then progressed to four cable. And now lastly 2 cable into fx return with pre amp. Soooo. Its taken all this time to understand just how id like to use it. 

My main problem is paths and routes, what id like to acheive is......

1 A path with 2 pre amps [footswitchable] fx before and arfter into amp fx return 2cm.

2 Same as 1 however this time 4cm.

3 Lastly and most importantly. useing just my amps [Cornford mk 50h] and [Mesa mk3] pre amps. so just fx before and arfter my real amps pre amp. 

My problem with this is how to route path so i can get clean dlys arfter my pre amp and of course drives beforehand. ive read a lot of things on forum but still dont understand. [Must be an age thing.]

So if someone could post a clear path with all vol, eqs and split blocks and possably an easy explanation of why they put whatever block especialy split bocks that would be a grt help to this old crock.

thanks all 

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Hi well not so much as a 4cm as 2cm to fx return on amp will still do what I need. Its more underderstanding the paths, routes and splits on the helix to accomplish what id like to do. my thinking is to have the paths set up for both 2cm, 4cm and same path with no pre amps to see if my amps or pre amps work best. if anyone with understanding on paths could chime in id be absolutely thankfull.

I have tryed some of the templates but not only did i not realy understand it, I couldent modify them to work correctly for what I want 


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Your description of what you want to do is a little confusing, but I think it's all possible.  My suggestion to you is to draw (old school analog with paper/pencil - or with some fancy drawing software) what you want using blocks and lines in the fashion the Helix is programmed.  Then decide which need to be bypassed and which need to be active for each of your scenarios (aka scenes), and figure what needs to be controlled (via MIDI, most likely) to achieve the layout  Then decide which are the proper controls via foot switches - the Helix has lots of those capabilities - multiple controls for each foot switch.  Then duplicate on a blank patch in the Helix and troubleshoot from there.


Looks like you want to make extensive use of the send/return blocks.


Relative separate paths within the preset, you'll have to visualize how that looks to work it out - you've got lots of pieces you want to mix/match.


Finally, you can also build multiple presets for each/any/any combination of amps/preamps/etc.  There is definitely a lag when moving form preset to preset vs. just changing scenes turning blocks on or off within a preset.  Unless you need access to each of your desired signal paths immediately inside a song - maybe it's time to reconsider those needs and play songs with "only" about five sounds...or to build presets with some common basic setups (e.g. your amp's preamps are in a fixed place in each one) and add or subtract other pieces and parts in different presets.


It's a complex rig if you want to do something this complex, I think it's very possible.  Programming examples and factory presets that are included in it, while extensive, won't do everything.  My favorite part of the Helix is the ease you can dive into these crazy paths and experiment without patch cables, dozens of pedals or rack units, and very little potential for frying anything in the process.  If my ancient GSP2101 was this easy to program, I'd be over at the 2101 forum, 'cuz that thing was paid for about 17 years ago and has the same flexibility, minus the amp modeling.

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4cm allows you to either use your real amp's preamp, or to use the Helix preamps (or multiple preamps), put effects in front of the preamp, and put effects after the preamp. I believe 4cm will accomplish everything you mentioned. 

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I can offer a little insight into the question about wanting to do 4cm vs 2cm.


Your pre sections of your good amps will likely sound subjectively "better" for the tones they are known for.  For some reason they just have a bit more presence than just using the power section of those amps.  However, the 4cm will allow you to use those amps to achieve tones spaces that they aren't that good at.  


Using a 2cm to fx returns is easier obviously and just using the pres in the helix sounds damn good.


I had an old Fender Ultimate Chorus that I bought as a practice amp.  It's solid state and stereo.  I use the 1/4" outs (mains not send/return) as 2cm to the stereo fx return of the ultimate chorus.  That amp always had a great clean sound, but of course absolutely sucked at crunch/distortion.  Now, I'd gig happily anywhere with it.  It is LOUD, sounds incredible in stereo and I can get all kinds of range out of it now using the pres from the helix.  And I think you can pick them up for like $250. 


My point is that I think for your kick lollipop tube amps with FX returns, I'd do 4cm for recording and letting them shine at what they do best.  In that configuration, you add the send/return effect into a slot that decides where you want to send to the front of the amp.  They can be send and return only or fx loop for send and return.  You can still treat it as 2cm by either putting nothing in front of the send/return and adding helix pres right after, or simply not using the send/return at all and having the output go to the fx loop.


If I was gigging with that setup, I'd be tempted just to go 2cm just to make it easy to set up.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all thanks for replys. The forum stoped working for me and i only got back on it now. 

So some good awnsers here and thanks to all i beleave i now have a good 4cm set up with an amp and my preamp plus fx pre and post.

Im now trying to just use my amp but with fx pre and post. Do I need to just put in an fx send return block and put pre fx before and post arfter. 

I ask this as it dont seem to be working properly

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