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47 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

I suspect most of these complaints come from obsessive over-analyzing of the solo guitar sound...subtle nuances that might be mildly objectionable under a microscope, that will vanish in a mix anyway.

 

For sure. Another problem may be that sometimes people dial in unrealistic amp settings which would sound crap IRL with the actual amp. Then blame Helix for quite accurately modeling the results.

 

 

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Thanks for the replies... Well... I am no expert but I am experienced. I have been playing professionally for over 20 years, have an undergrad degree in classical guitar performance and a graduate degree in jazz studies. I am jazz  ensemble director and music technology instructor at the university level. I am a 20 year member of the musicians union and play shows every week.

 

Yes I am particular about tone. I will continue to try some of the EQ bias settings you guys have kindly suggested. Maybe the Line 6 is just the wrong choice for me. I can still return it and most likely will.

 

I do hope Yamaha (Line 6) read these posts. They could design EQ curves and IR's for folks like me. 

All the best..

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See, @Nightsky1376, why don't you just post a snipplet of a tone you find offending, along with the Helix patch you were using? That would give us an idea of what you're talking about. I can only speak for myself, but so far I don't have the slightest clue. Ideally you'd post a DI guitar track along as well (it's extremely easy to record one simultaneously with the full Helix shebang) so people could try to find a solution. But without any audio examples, any complaints about audio quality (or lack thereof) are pretty much meaningless.

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5 minutes ago, Nightsky1376 said:

Thanks for the replies... Well... I am no expert but I am experienced. I have been playing professionally for over 20 years, have an undergrad degree in classical guitar performance and a graduate degree in jazz studies. I am jazz  ensemble director and music technology instructor at a university level. I am a 20 year member of the musicians union and play shows every week.

 

Yes I am particular about tone. I will continue to try some of the EQ bias settings you guys have kindly suggested. Maybe the Line 6 is just the wrong choice for me. I can still return it and most likely will.

 

I do hope Yamaha (Line 6) read these posts. They could design EQ curves and IR's for folks like me. 

All the best..

 

There are literally thousands of third party IRs out there, so I don’t really think Line 6 is going to get more into that part of the business than they already are. You have two choices. Make use of the tools Line 6 gives you and craft your own cab/mic sounds or find some IR files you like. Really, once you find one or two IRs you like, you can get a ton of mileage out of those few files.

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43 minutes ago, Nightsky1376 said:

 

 

I do hope Yamaha (Line 6) read these posts. They could design EQ curves and IR's for folks like me. 

All the best..

 

How can you claim your experience and make statements like the above with a straight face?

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7 hours ago, Nightsky1376 said:

I see the same problem posted regularly on the on the Kemper guitar forums site as well.

Personally I believe this may be an issue inherent to digital modlers in combination with the piezo or high frequency drivers in FRFR cabs.

 

The real issue is the vast majority of guitar players have never heard their beloved rig with a microphone (often a '57) jammed into the cone of a speaker and "monitored" solely through a stage monitor. If they actually did this, they would realize that the Helix (and the Kemper, and the Fractal) actually catch every imperfection that really exists in those rigs... including squirrels and fizz. 

 

It's not an inherent problem with modelers, it's that many guitar players have never heard their guitar tone delivered through anything other than their cabinet. 

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5 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

See, @Nightsky1376, why don't you just post a snipplet of a tone you find offending, along with the Helix patch you were using? That would give us an idea of what you're talking about. I can only speak for myself, but so far I don't have the slightest clue. Ideally you'd post a DI guitar track along as well (it's extremely easy to record one simultaneously with the full Helix shebang) so people could try to find a solution. But without any audio examples, any complaints about audio quality (or lack thereof) are pretty much meaningless.

Thanks SaschaFranck... I will post an audio sample.

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5 hours ago, Kilrahi said:

 

How can you claim your experience and make statements like the above with a straight face?

I may have experience as a musician but as I said, I am no expert using the Helix LT. I was hoping to gain a little knowledge from folks that know the unit and software better than I.

I will try to post an audio example soon. 

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6 hours ago, phil_m said:

 

There are literally thousands of third party IRs out there, so I don’t really think Line 6 is going to get more into that part of the business than they already are. You have two choices. Make use of the tools Line 6 gives you and craft your own cab/mic sounds or find some IR files you like. Really, once you find one or two IRs you like, you can get a ton of mileage out of those few files.

I will certainly take your advice.. I haven't had the unit very long and am not sure how I should go about finding the IR file that would best fix the problem I hear. That is why I posted. Hoefully someone that has experienced the same glassy, fizzy top end can make a suggestion. I know I can EQ, compress, try mics, cabnet combinations, switch effect order etc... and tweak until my ears are numb. I just can't seem to get rid of that high end fizz when using OD or distortion. Any suggestion on finding IR files to minimize the top end fizz would be appreciated! Thanks

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5 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

The real issue is the vast majority of guitar players have never heard their beloved rig with a microphone (often a '57) jammed into the cone of a speaker and "monitored" solely through a stage monitor. If they actually did this, they would realize that the Helix (and the Kemper, and the Fractal) actually catch every imperfection that really exists in those rigs... including squirrels and fizz. 

 

It's not an inherent problem with modelers, it's that many guitar players have never heard their guitar tone delivered through anything other than their cabinet. 

I ran a project / commercial studio for many years while working as musician and teaching. I have put many a SM57 on guitar cabs, snare drums, sometimes toms and in a pinch on other instruments as well. Sometimes a 57 sounded great and sometimes not so much... The difference was usually the talent of the musician and the quality of his (her) instrument. At any rate I do know what a 57 sounds like on a guitar cabinet and if I ever heard that high end fizzy sound with a 57 I would first try repositioning the mic. If that didn't work I would try a different mic. The point is... I can't seem to loose that fizzy sound with my Helix (OD and distortion) but I have only had it for a couple of weeks. My suspicion is that the FRFR cabinets (with high frequency drivers) will never handle OD and distortion well. I'm using the XLR outputs (stereo cabinets) and have the Helix set for line level. I'm just hoping I can make it work for me. Thanks!

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34 minutes ago, Nightsky1376 said:

My suspicion is that the FRFR cabinets (with high frequency drivers) will never handle OD and distortion well.

 

Why wouldn't they? Have you ever listened to any recordings thinking "Wow, that guitar sound is great!"? I bet you did. Chances are that you've listened to the recording through what is at least supposed to be a FRFR speaker system of some sorts. Monitoring a modeler through such a system is no different from that.

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9 hours ago, Nightsky1376 said:

I ran a project / commercial studio for many years while working as musician and teaching...

 

At any rate I do know what a 57 sounds like on a guitar cabinet and if I ever heard that high end fizzy sound with a 57 I would first try repositioning the mic. If that didn't work I would try a different mic.

 

Exactly... Here is something you can try. It is all stuff you would do if you were trying to capture a guitar amp in the studio.

  • Insert the AMP and cab blocks separately
  • For the CAB block, choose the dual cab option. I always set both cabs the same because I am after the different mics, not different cabs.
  • On one cab put a dynamic. and leave it 1 - 2" off the grill. For this my favorites are the 20, 421 and 409
  • On the other cabinet place a ribbon or condenser (FWIW my fav is the 121), pull it back to at least 6" or even much further, then add some early reflections to capture a bit of room.
  • Here is a gotcha! The Helix does not allow you to move the mic from the CENTER to the EDGE of the speaker.
    • You can simulate this by inserting the TILT EQ after the cab block. Leave it with default settings and just roll back the TILT. Don't be afraid to get aggressive. I find DARK 50 is very similar to moving the mic halfway toward the edge of the speaker. DARK 100 would be like moving it to the very edge or even beyond...
    • Insert a MONO version to blend the two cabs.... or a stereo version if you want to retain the "left/right" split of a dual cab
    • If you only want to process the dynamic mic with the title eq, then you need to insert two mono cabs and run a parallel split... placing the title EQ only on the path with the appropriate cab. 
  • For an added studio touch... insert the LA Studio Comp near the end of the chain (after the amp/cabs). This is similar to adding an LA2A to the guitar in a studio.... pure magic!
9 hours ago, Nightsky1376 said:

My suspicion is that the FRFR cabinets (with high frequency drivers) will never handle OD and distortion well.

 

Studio monitors, PA cabinets, Stage Monitors, In Ears, etc... etc... They are all FULL RANGE with HFD's. FRFR is just a marketing term... it's just a powered monitor with varying degrees of features. There are certainly low end models of everything that will sound terrible no matter what, but to suggest FRFR cabs (as a whole) can't handle overdrive and distortion makes no sense at all. 

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(@Nightsky1376)

Who turned the clock?

Is it Groundhog Day again?

First of all: The (endless) debate about the 'amp-in-the-room' sound vs. the more 'mic'd recorded sound' filled this forum years ago already -

(and leads systematically to

IY7KbzeY9m3eM.gif )

 

An amp in a room is an amp in a room and logically will always sound different than a FRFR system (maybe more like an - amp in a room?). Maybe you should switch to a tube amp (Line6 DT series for example)?

Nevertheless, with (Global-) Eq's it's no longer a problem to tastefully influence the more high-frequency sound of a FRFR system. This is NOT a question of IR's in the first place. Both ways lead to good sound results - but they HAVE to sound different (because you are using different hardware, speakers etc).

Besides, Jason Sadites made this informative video (last year):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2JP8uXQZB0

 

Eagerly awaiting a more detailed description of your (hardware) setup and your recording ;-)

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10 hours ago, Nightsky1376 said:

My suspicion is that the FRFR cabinets (with high frequency drivers) will never handle OD and distortion well. I'm using the XLR outputs (stereo cabinets) and have the Helix set for line level. I'm just hoping I can make it work for me. Thanks!

 

5 minutes on YouTube will dismiss that suspicion. Check out Jason Sadites' channel.

 

10 hours ago, Nightsky1376 said:

I haven't had the unit very long

 

This is the only genuine "problem" you have at this point.

 

Quote

and am not sure how I should go about finding the IR file that would best fix the problem I hear.

 

It's not supernatural, it's trial and error. Reading descriptions of IR files, or having 10 different people swear on a stack of Bibles that "IR X" is the "best", is as useless as listening to someone try to describe the Mona Lisa. You have to throw caution to the wind and try some.

 

 

Quote

Hoefully someone that has experienced the same glassy, fizzy top end can make a suggestion. I know I can EQ, compress, try mics, cabnet combinations, switch effect order etc... and tweak until my ears are numb.

 

Though it's tedious, boring, and often frustrating... there is no other way to get there. Waiting for the secret sauce to fall into your lap is not going to happen. A universal drag and drop solution does not exist. You actually have to do the grunt work. We all do...

 

And just in case you were wondering, instant gratification won't happen with Fractal, Kemper, or any other modeler under the sun, either.

 

 

Quote

 

I just can't seem to get rid of that high end fizz when using OD or distortion. Any suggestion on finding IR files to minimize the top end fizz would be appreciated! Thanks

 

There are thousands out there... Ownhammer, 3 Sigma, Redwirze, Celestion, etc etc. Check out their sites, try a few of the free downloads they offer. Auditioning a bunch of them is the ONLY way to tell if you'll like them or not. There's no divining rod for "good" IR's... your ears will make the decision for you.

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Fwiw, at least on paper, a FRFR system should be able to sound pretty much identical to a typical guitar cab. But apart from the same dimensions and speaker directivity which such a system would have to deliver, the bigger problem would possibly be to get an IR (or another speaker simulation thing) without the microphone portion and the mic placement influence.

I tried to manipulate a bunch of IRs while A/B listening through the real deal and some FRFR monitors. I got close enough to be fine (in fact, I even prefer it over a real cab) but it's definitely not the same.

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I guarantee a modern high quality FRFR can be tweaked to sound just as low fi as an archaic guitar speaker.

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13 hours ago, Nightsky1376 said:

glassy, fizzy top end

 

13 hours ago, Nightsky1376 said:

that fizzy sound with my Helix (OD and distortion)

 

Try the high cut in the cab block in the 4 - 8kHz range, in conjunction with dialing back the treble and presence in the amp tone stack and tone / presence / bright in the drive / OD block if present. And watch your gain - keep close to unity within Helix and don't have *too much* distortion in your tone.

 

1 hour ago, Kilrahi said:

I guarantee a modern high quality FRFR can be tweaked to sound just as low fi as an archaic guitar speaker.

 

:-)

 

Exactly: high and low cuts in the cab block etc.

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Fwiw, I wish the high/low cut section for both cabs and IRs would be *way* more versatile. The slopes seem to be on the extremely soft side (something like 6dB/octave or so?) so when you turn them up/down as much as to really hear a change, they will already cut some "meat" off your sound. Personally, I really like the high cut of the Amplifirebox which comes with an additional resonance paramter. You can really "shape" your sound with that rather than doing kind of homeopathic adjustments. Pretty much the reason why I rather rely on my own IRs - with those, I can at least pre-shape their frequency content to my likings.

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4 hours ago, codamedia said:

Exactly... Here is something you can try. It is all stuff you would do if you were trying to capture a guitar amp in the studio.

Thanks that is helpful. Most folks are just dissing my coments. I am new to this forum and do not wish to make enimies or create confusion. I want to be a welcome contributor. I think I need to stop posting and do more experimenting tweaking software. I was hoping someone had experienced the same thing and I would not have to recreate something.. You guys know much more about the Helix than I do. Thanks for your reply and suggestions! 

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4 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

Exactly... Here is something you can try. It is all stuff you would do if you were trying to capture a guitar amp in the studio.

  • Insert the AMP and cab blocks separately
  • For the CAB block, choose the dual cab option. I always set both cabs the same because I am after the different mics, not different cabs.
  • On one cab put a dynamic. and leave it 1 - 2" off the grill. For this my favorites are the 20, 421 and 409
  • On the other cabinet place a ribbon or condenser (FWIW my fav is the 121), pull it back to at least 6" or even much further, then add some early reflections to capture a bit of room.
  • Here is a gotcha! The Helix does not allow you to move the mic from the CENTER to the EDGE of the speaker.
    • You can simulate this by inserting the TILT EQ after the cab block. Leave it with default settings and just roll back the TILT. Don't be afraid to get aggressive. I find DARK 50 is very similar to moving the mic halfway toward the edge of the speaker. DARK 100 would be like moving it to the very edge or even beyond...
    • Insert a MONO version to blend the two cabs.... or a stereo version if you want to retain the "left/right" split of a dual cab
    • If you only want to process the dynamic mic with the title eq, then you need to insert two mono cabs and run a parallel split... placing the title EQ only on the path with the appropriate cab. 
  • For an added studio touch... insert the LA Studio Comp near the end of the chain (after the amp/cabs). This is similar to adding an LA2A to the guitar in a studio.... pure magic!

 

Studio monitors, PA cabinets, Stage Monitors, In Ears, etc... etc... They are all FULL RANGE with HFD's. FRFR is just a marketing term... it's just a powered monitor with varying degrees of features. There are certainly low end models of everything that will sound terrible no matter what, but to suggest FRFR cabs (as a whole) can't handle overdrive and distortion makes no sense at all. 

That is true... yet I am not making up this sound I hear. I am using 2 headrush cabs with 8" drivers for the Helix rig. I montor through Yamaha HS8's in my home recording gear. I think I just need to keep expermenting. I will definitely try your ideas, especially on the mic positioning idea.. Thank you!

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47 minutes ago, BBD_123 said:

I guarantee a modern high quality FRFR can be tweaked to sound just as low fi as an archaic guitar speaker.

Ha ha ha! How ironic..

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3 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

Check out their sites, try a few of the free downloads they offer. Auditioning a bunch of them is the ONLY way to tell if you'll like them or not.

Thanks for the reply. I will be doing that.

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3 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

It's not supernatural, it's trial and error. Reading descriptions of IR files, or having 10 different people swear on a stack of Bibles that "IR X" is the "best", is as useless as listening to someone try to describe the Mona Lisa. You have to throw caution to the wind and try some.

Thanks... as I suspected. I was hoping for immediate gratification..

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3 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

This is the only genuine "problem" you have at this point.

You are probably right. But, that is also the reason I posted, hoping someone else could help.

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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions and ideas. You guys know much more about the Helix than me and most of you have not experienced the problem... I am new to this forum and hope to be a helpful contributor. I don't want to make enimies. I think I need to stop posting and start tweaking. Thanks! 

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19 minutes ago, Nightsky1376 said:

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions and ideas. You guys know much more about the Helix than me and most of you have not experienced the problem... I am new to this forum and hope to be a helpful contributor. I don't want to make enimies. I think I need to stop posting and start tweaking. Thanks! 

 

Seriously, post a small snipplet demonstrating your issue, post the DI guitar take as well and post the used preset.

Fwiw, by default, the Helix' "master" out is recorded through USB 1-2, the dry DI guitar through USB 7-8 - and you obviously only need to use mono tracks with one half of these pairs as an input (unless you need to use stereo FX for this demonstration).

With these things available, people will be able to analyze what might be going wrong in your patch and because there's a dry DI track, they may as well come up with possible "fixes".

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I think once 2.82 starts showing up on new units in the store, a lot of these complaints will go away, simply because Line 6 changed the defaults for all stock cabinets to set the lo-cut to 80 and hi-cut to 8KHz.

 

With these settings, the defaults generally sound much better and largely addresses what I think most people refer to as fizz.

 

Sure, there's more folks can do to polish things up if they want from there, but from a stock defaults standpoint, that's a much better starting point for people going through FRFR PA speakers than the previous defaults in earlier firmwares of no lo-cut and no hi-cut - resulting in the dreaded "fizz".

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On 10/27/2019 at 3:13 PM, Nightsky1376 said:

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions and ideas. You guys know much more about the Helix than me and most of you have not experienced the problem... I am new to this forum and hope to be a helpful contributor. I don't want to make enimies. I think I need to stop posting and start tweaking. Thanks! 

 

Good luck. If you persevere you will either be successful or be able to at least conclusively determine that digital modeling through an FRFR is just not for you. Many players here have gone through the same initial frustration you are experiencing. Strictly anecdotal but I remember being dubious myself about the tone when I first got my Helix until somewhere along the way I was playing a gig with an accomplished and longtime guitarist with a Mesa Boogie V and analog pedalboard rig with a great sound and to my shock and genuine surprise I was much happier with my tone than theirs. Not to speak of the range of tones and effects I was able to dial up quickly during the performance.

 

Switching from playing through a traditional guitar speaker to a FRFR has a steep learning curve, mostly centered around getting the EQ and output levels right. For the most part as has been pointed out so many times before many of us grew up listening to guitar through guitar cabs with speakers like Celestions that have a signature frequency response and very limited frequency range. Getting that sound out of an FRFR monitor or direct to the PA from your Helix is challenging. Some people get lucky right from jump and have just the right combination of presets, FRFR, cabling, guitar pickups, etc. to require minimal tweaking but they are probably in the minority.  For the rest of us it took some experimentation and trial and error with others' suggestions to find a great sound but rest assured, it is in there!

 

For more immediate gratification running your Helix or any digital modeler through a traditional guitar cab usually requires less initial EQ than an FRFR as the guitar speaker will take care of a lot of that for you. Even running through a guitar cab requires some adjustment though. All I can say is hang in there, it may seem like a pipe dream now but great sounds are to be found once you get familiar with your device.  The returns in flexibility, similarity of FRFR to FOH, variety of tones and effects, authentic sounding amp/cab emulations, ease of transport, reliability and repeatability, no tubes to replace or bias and fewer points of failure, and a host of other benefits derived from modeling to an FRFR are worth the effort but don't come overnight for most folks.

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2 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

Seriously, post a small snipplet demonstrating your issue, post the DI guitar take as well and post the used preset.

Will do... But I think I need to do more experimenting first. I can see a lot of folks on this forum feel very stongly that I have not explored or do not understand the software, EQ, effects chains, mic choices etc. I can also feel that if I post an audio example folks will say I didn't do it correctly, I used the wrong pickups, should have used different mics... etc. I think my best bet is to lie low on the forum and do more tweaking. I will post an audio sample once I have a "scientific" provable senario... Thanks for your suggestions and for the reply!

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On 10/27/2019 at 8:51 AM, codamedia said:

 

Exactly... Here is something you can try. It is all stuff you would do if you were trying to capture a guitar amp in the studio.

  • Insert the AMP and cab blocks separately
  • For the CAB block, choose the dual cab option. I always set both cabs the same because I am after the different mics, not different cabs.
  • On one cab put a dynamic. and leave it 1 - 2" off the grill. For this my favorites are the 20, 421 and 409
  • On the other cabinet place a ribbon or condenser (FWIW my fav is the 121), pull it back to at least 6" or even much further, then add some early reflections to capture a bit of room.
  • Here is a gotcha! The Helix does not allow you to move the mic from the CENTER to the EDGE of the speaker.
    • You can simulate this by inserting the TILT EQ after the cab block. Leave it with default settings and just roll back the TILT. Don't be afraid to get aggressive. I find DARK 50 is very similar to moving the mic halfway toward the edge of the speaker. DARK 100 would be like moving it to the very edge or even beyond...
    • Insert a MONO version to blend the two cabs.... or a stereo version if you want to retain the "left/right" split of a dual cab
    • If you only want to process the dynamic mic with the title eq, then you need to insert two mono cabs and run a parallel split... placing the title EQ only on the path with the appropriate cab. 
  • For an added studio touch... insert the LA Studio Comp near the end of the chain (after the amp/cabs). This is similar to adding an LA2A to the guitar in a studio.... pure magic!

 

Studio monitors, PA cabinets, Stage Monitors, In Ears, etc... etc... They are all FULL RANGE with HFD's. FRFR is just a marketing term... it's just a powered monitor with varying degrees of features. There are certainly low end models of everything that will sound terrible no matter what, but to suggest FRFR cabs (as a whole) can't handle overdrive and distortion makes no sense at all. 

 

For all the time I've had this thing I've been fighting fizz. You'd think I'd have figured this out.

You should save this to a little text file and every time someone uses the word FIZZ copy/paste this to a reply.

Better yet, make it a sticky. Oh, that's right, nobody reads those.

I applied it to a particularly fizzy preset that I'd been using a single cab on with 8k/80 Hi-Lo cuts, and LO AND BEHOLD! FIZZ BE GONE!

 

BRILLIANT!

 

Thank you!

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3 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

For all the time I've had this thing I've been fighting fizz. You'd think I'd have figured this out.

You should save this to a little text file and every time someone uses the word FIZZ copy/paste this to a reply.

Better yet, make it a sticky. Oh, that's right, nobody reads those.

I applied it to a particularly fizzy preset that I'd been using a single cab on with 8k/80 Hi-Lo cuts, and LO AND BEHOLD! FIZZ BE GONE!

 

BRILLIANT!

 

Thank you!

 

 

It is great advice as a whole, but I'm curious, what was the step(s) you were missing out on? You're clearly very knowledgable in your own right.

 

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1 hour ago, Kilrahi said:

 

 

It is great advice as a whole, but I'm curious, what was the step(s) you were missing out on? You're clearly very knowledgable in your own right.

 

 

Combining the dual cab block with same cabs and two different mics, and the distances. I'd never really messed with dual cabs much, and though I'd used either ribbon OR dynamic, I'd never combined them quite that way.

 

It didn't solve the raspy part of what I perceive to be the tweeter issue though, just cured the FIZZ. I need to spend some more time comparing different amps (some do it more than others) with the Rokits vs the FRFR112. Lately I've been using the Tweaker15, with the FRFR112 at a lower level just to make the overall sound "bigger", since I play at pretty low volumes in my apartment. Could just be a "you get what you pay for" issue with the FRFR112, since I never really seem to notice it (the raspy sound) using just the Rokits. It'd probably be easier if I played out at higher volume, but when I play with other people I play bass - I suck (relative to the people I play with) on guitar! The FRFR112 is great for bass though.

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While I love all these options and while I'm quite a sort of a tweaking person, non of all these steps should be required to get a decent (or even great) guitar sound. Guitar, amp. cab. That should do for a great basic tone. And well, IMO in case of the Helix, it does, but a) not for all amps and b) not exactly for live playing. Studio tones IMO don't work too well in most live scenarios. Would perhaps be great to have a special category of cabs tailored for live players.

Not much of an issue for me as I have my own IRs that I'm happy with, but you hear these things all the time when it comes to modelers (not just the Helix).

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4 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

While I love all these options and while I'm quite a sort of a tweaking person, non of all these steps should be required to get a decent (or even great) guitar sound.

 

The thing is... in a recording studio, they need to do all that to capture the sound of the cabinet. Simply placing a single mic into the cone of a speaker only captures a "tiny amount" of what is really going one. It can sound good... but it will NOT catch any of the cabinet/room tone. 

 

When using the Helix direct.... you will benefit to think of it from a studio viewpoint. At the very least, you need to think of it from a "live tech" view point. My simplified approach for this would be as follows....

  • Insert an amp/cab, or separate them... it won't matter
  • Choose a dynamic mic... FWIW, I like the RE20, 421 or 409/609
  • Pull the mic back about 2 inches
  • The GOTCHA still applies! You cannot move the mic from the CENTER of the CONE toward the EDGE. This is a critical step for getting rid of fizz in the real world, so it is a critical step here as well. 
  • To get around that... insert the TILT EQ after the cabinet. Roll back the TILT toward the dark setting. This has a very similar effect to physically moving the microphone from the center to the edge.
  • In the real world every 1" of movement makes a big difference. I equate that to every -10 on the TILT setting. (eg: Dark 10 is 1" toward the edge. Dark 50 is 5" toward the edge, etc... etc... Real or simulated, I like the mic about half way toward the edge... but that is just my preference. 
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3 minutes ago, codamedia said:

 

The thing is... in a recording studio, they need to do all that to capture the sound of the cabinet.

 

I don't exactly agree. Yes, I know it's done all the time, and yet, I have recorded a full album (admittedly more like some funky/pop/fusion-ish stuff) with exactly one cab and one mic. Nobody ever complained.

 

Anyway, as said, I'm aware of all that - but still, it shouldn't be a requirement to get a nice tone out of the Helix. And again as said, I don't think it is, just that some sounds could do with some "better" (or "easier to deal with) cab options, especially when you want to use things live.

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59 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

I don't exactly agree. Yes, I know it's done all the time, and yet, I have recorded a full album (admittedly more like some funky/pop/fusion-ish stuff) with exactly one cab and one mic. Nobody ever complained.

 

I can respect that... but there is certainly still mic choice and position at play otherwise it's a game of chance. Of course the multi cab/mic solution it's not a REQUIREMENT to get a good tone out of a Helix... but options are a good thing, not a detriment. The majority of guitar players don't know how to choose or place a microphone on their amp... and when going direct that is an aspect of the tone that cannot be ignored. You cannot record a real amp without a mic, and you cannot get to the FOH without a mic. When going direct... it is a huge benefit to understand that part of the signal chain and how much it effects the tone.

 

The EASY BUTTON on a Helix is to just choose an amp and accept the default cab/mic/distance that is provided. I suspect that for the majority, this works fine. However, people are on this thread (and many like it) because that doesn't work for them.  That is why I am offering "options" on how to improve their tone.

 

Slightly off topic... but still relevant

I love the Helix platform... but I'm also very vocal about the lack of mic placement options. In the live amp world, FIZZ/ICE PICK/SHRILL is most noticeable with a mic at the center of a speaker compared to the edge. I know very few techs (studio or live) that mic the center of a cone, yet we do not have the option to move the mic toward the edge on the Helix. I really don't want to dis the person(s) that made the cabinet models, but I have a very hard time understanding how this was overlooked in the process. It's audio engineering 101... and they missed it.

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On ‎10‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 10:30 AM, cruisinon2 said:

 

5 minutes on YouTube will dismiss that suspicion. Check out Jason Sadites' channel.

 

 

This is the only genuine "problem" you have at this point.

 

 

It's not supernatural, it's trial and error. Reading descriptions of IR files, or having 10 different people swear on a stack of Bibles that "IR X" is the "best", is as useless as listening to someone try to describe the Mona Lisa. You have to throw caution to the wind and try some.

 

 

 

Though it's tedious, boring, and often frustrating... there is no other way to get there. Waiting for the secret sauce to fall into your lap is not going to happen. A universal drag and drop solution does not exist. You actually have to do the grunt work. We all do...

 

And just in case you were wondering, instant gratification won't happen with Fractal, Kemper, or any other modeler under the sun, either.

 

 

 

There are thousands out there... Ownhammer, 3 Sigma, Redwirze, Celestion, etc etc. Check out their sites, try a few of the free downloads they offer. Auditioning a bunch of them is the ONLY way to tell if you'll like them or not. There's no divining rod for "good" IR's... your ears will make the decision for you.

  this last line is what I just recently found out.  I purchased the Freidman Cabs from Ownhammer...they sound great, but were missing something....I went back to the stock cabs, I liked what they were doing...but still missing something...I tried combining the use of both, and it was getting closer for me....

 

then....I found some IR files that I'm not even sure where or how I got them.  Not even sure what cab/speaker/mic they are.....the files are merely listed as 412 creamy, 412 Boomy etc.....not very descriptive to my 'wanting to know everything tendencies'....but I tried them.  Settled on the 412 Creamy...its a nice thick midrangey cabinet sound and works great in my monitor and in our band mix....

 

Just saying, I normally would choose IR's based on cabinet/speaker/mic (with my limited experience, reading and all) and work with those...ultimately I tried a file that has no information and it works. 

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7 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

While I love all these options and while I'm quite a sort of a tweaking person, non of all these steps should be required to get a decent (or even great) guitar sound. Guitar, amp. cab. That should do for a great basic tone. And well, IMO in case of the Helix, it does, but a) not for all amps and b) not exactly for live playing. Studio tones IMO don't work too well in most live scenarios. Would perhaps be great to have a special category of cabs tailored for live players.

Not much of an issue for me as I have my own IRs that I'm happy with, but you hear these things all the time when it comes to modelers (not just the Helix).

 

They're not required though. To be honest, I was just fine using an HX Stomp (6 blocks) for most of my presets and I was perfectly happy.

 

Most of the time when I'm just fiddling around, all I grab is a dual amp block.

 

Guitarists are fickle never happy people.  We've all been or met people who own a million drive pedals, or are constantly selling old tube amps and buying new ones, claiming they've found "nirvana" only to then need a new nirvana 12 months later.

 

Guitarists are endless tweakers. That's the strength of Helix, not a weakness.  it allows us to come up with a million permutations of sounds without spending a million dollars to do it, and it allows us to come up with signal chains with would be too big a pain in the lollipop in the real world. 

 

Codamedia's excellent advice should be a reason to buy it, not to stay away. 

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2 hours ago, codamedia said:

The EASY BUTTON on a Helix is to just choose an amp and accept the default cab/mic/distance that is provided. I suspect that for the majority, this works fine. However, people are on this thread (and many like it) because that doesn't work for them.  That is why I am offering "options" on how to improve their tone.

 

But I think that's the very thing making some people unhappy. Even with just a single cab, the sound you'll get is a mic'ed speaker. I vastly prefer cab solutions with as little mic impact as possible for live playing (for recording, it's an entirely different thing IMO).

 

And regarding the lack of mic positions, sure, you're absolutely right. But as I think that the factory cabs of the Helix are "hidden IRs", adding mic placement options would instantly multiply the number if required IRs working in the background which might as well require quite some reprogramming of the current interface.

 

Anyway, I really don't think it's all that important because for recording purposes, the Helix has everything on offer you need to just record the amp tone without any cabs - and you can easily slap any IRs you like onto that while mixing. I do however wish there were more IR slots, which would make sorting out IRs while playing a whole lot more effcient experience.

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42 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

They're not required though. To be honest, I was just fine using an HX Stomp (6 blocks) for most of my presets and I was perfectly happy.

 

Well, compared to the internal cabs, I vastly prefer playing through my own IRs, at least once it's about gig/rehearsal volume. So, in a way, for me that's a sort of requirement - and I defenitely wouldn't have bought the Helix without an IR loading option.

Fwiw, I don't think I'll ever use many cab IRs on the unit at all, right now I think I will end up with 5-10, probably even just 3-5. Pretty much as I was happy with 3 cabs (plus 3 onboard speakers of two combo amps) for the last 20 years.

As said, for recordings it's an entirely different thing (even if my live IRs seem to work pretty well in that context, too).

I'll post one of my IRs and a simple patch for you folks to try out later on.

Oh, hold on, here's a bit more complexed patch already (info and IR in the zip), but I have altered it a bit since uploading it. It's one of the allround live patches I created, tailored to be used in a pop/soul/funk/rock-ish context. Ignore the wah settings, didn't tune them properly (might post an update one day...):

http://www.saschafranck.de/Helix/Soulmates.zip

(for whatever reasons, the link doesn't seem to work in Firefox/macOS, you may have to copy/paste it somewhere)

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