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yeatzee

Snapshots are a GAME CHANGER

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Do you guys use snapshots? Why or why not?

 

Follow up to my previous video on creating nice ambient reverbs this video covers my favorite Helix feature, snapshots. I decided to use them in a sort of unique way I've never heard people talk about, taking the cartographer amp and hopefully making it sound like a Vox, Marshall, Fender, and Matchless amp using just snapshots. Check it out and let me know what you think! 

 

As always, description box has timestamps so you can just around to what you want to see/hear.

 

 

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While interesting, it's not too useful given the fact that with a snapshot you can just change the amp from a Cartographer amp model to a Vox amp model like most people do in a snapshot or a simple pedal assignment.  That would take about 20 seconds to describe.

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You probably couldn't have all 4 amp blocks in one patch if you wanted much in the way of other effects, though.

 

Personally, I rely on snapshots, and wouldn't have bought the Helix if it didn't have them. I need 3 or 4 different sounds per song and the preset switching time is far too long to do that during play, so snapshots are essential. I usually have 2 amps in a preset, but I often have 2 distinct settings for one of them (e.g. a clean and a crunch).

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5 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

While interesting, it's not too useful given the fact that with a snapshot you can just change the amp from a Cartographer amp model to a Vox amp model like most people do in a snapshot or a simple pedal assignment.  That would take about 20 seconds to describe.

Lol, well it's safe to say this video is definitely not meant for you! If your effect needs are minimal you could add both amps and bypass one with snapshots of course, however at the current DSP usage rates for both amps you'd be using about 65% of one chip, which would you leave you with very little room to add much of anything. Add on stereo cabs and you've now taken up 85%. If you play music that requires maybe one overdrive and one delay and reverb than absolutely just add the amps. You've missed the point though...

 

The point isn't just to do what I did in the video, that was a fun example I came up with to show off the power of snapshots. The video is teaching what they are, and giving ideas on ways to use them. This video is for the guys that require tons of flexibility and use a lot of effects at any one given time and need to maximize the limited DSP while needing to make drastic tone changes instantly. I know a lot of Helix users that have never even tried snapshots and are still trying to press and un-press 4-5 effects between a chorus and bridge of a song live. Snapshots ARE a game changer for those folks (and was for me).

 

Check out the video in my other thread on here on reverb. That will give you a sense of the effect requirements I and most P&W players require.

Cheers!

 

1 hour ago, kylotan said:

You probably couldn't have all 4 amp blocks in one patch if you wanted much in the way of other effects, though.

 

Personally, I rely on snapshots, and wouldn't have bought the Helix if it didn't have them. I need 3 or 4 different sounds per song and the preset switching time is far too long to do that during play, so snapshots are essential. I usually have 2 amps in a preset, but I often have 2 distinct settings for one of them (e.g. a clean and a crunch).

Not even close :) Quick calculation all four plus the cabs would take up 100% of one chip, and 44% of the other. Again not the point of the video, but absolutely it's a ton of fun having multiple amps in a patch and switching between them (or better yet STEREO! I run stereo amps all the time).

 

I also rely on snapshots, I think I would struggle greatly going back to a traditional pedal board. I was never good at tap dancing!

 

Thanks for watching :)

 

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Snapshots are absolutely critical to me on the Helix. Firstly they are what enables spillover/trails for the reverb and delay blocks. That feature does not work between presets, only between snapshots. Another important consideration is that a parameter can only be assigned to a single controller/footswitch on the Helix if you are using pedal mode. By assigning a parameter to snapshots you are in essence allowing multiple controllers/footswitches to be able to control that parameter. Snapshots are also what allows low latency switching. Preset switches can have a significantly longer gap than snapshot switches. Add to that the ability to quickly change amp blocks for multi-channel amp emulations, the ability to change not only bypass states but also parameter settings for all of your blocks and routing mixes from snapshot to snapshot. For me that means when I go for example from a rhythm to a lead tone I can do more that just kick in a distortion pedal. I can change the amp channel block, change the EQ, kick in several effects simultaneously etc..  Although some of these maneuvers can be pulled off by multiple assignments in pedal mode, many operations are either straight up impossible to do with only pedal assignments or just much simpler to do with snapshots. Certainly any time you find yourself having to press more than one footswitch to for example change to a different part of the song you should consider using a snapshot instead.

 

Whether they are called 'Snapshots' on the Helix or 'Scenes' on the Ax8 they are a hugely powerful feature. Btw, you may be aware of this but you can actually use just one IR block and switch IRs by assigning the IR block's 'IR Select' parameter to the snapshots rather than switching between two IR blocks. This can save you some DSP and a block when you are not planning to blend two IRs. A helpful video with some good tidbits such as the fact that changing snapshots with certain delay parameters can cause some unanticipated changes, much the same as if you spun the delay knob on a pedal in the middle of a sustained chord.

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28 minutes ago, HonestOpinion said:

Snapshots are absolutely critical to me on the Helix. Firstly they are what enables spillover/trails for the reverb and delay blocks. That feature does not work between presets, only between snapshots. Another important consideration is that a parameter can only be assigned to a single controller/footswitch on the Helix if you are using pedal mode. By assigning a parameter to snapshots you are in essence allowing multiple controllers/footswitches to be able to control that parameter. Snapshots are also what allows low latency switching. Preset switches can have a significantly longer gap than snapshot switches. Add to that the ability to quickly change amp blocks for multi-channel amp emulations, the ability to change not only bypass states but also parameter settings for all of your blocks and routing mixes from snapshot to snapshot. For me that means when I go for example from a rhythm to a lead tone I can do more that just kick in a distortion pedal. I can change the amp channel block, change the EQ, kick in several effects simultaneously etc..  Although some of these maneuvers can be pulled off by multiple assignments in pedal mode, many operations are either straight up impossible to do with only pedal assignments or just much simpler to do with snapshots. Certainly any time you find yourself having to press more than one footswitch to for example change to a different part of the song you should consider using a snapshot instead.

 

Whether they are called 'Snapshots' on the Helix or 'Scenes' on the Ax8 they are a hugely powerful feature. Btw, you may be aware of this but you can actually use just one IR block and switch IRs by assigning the IR block's 'IR Select' parameter to the snapshots rather than switching between two IR blocks. This can save you some DSP and a block when you are not planning to blend two IRs. A helpful video with some good tidbits such as the fact that changing snapshots with certain delay parameters can cause some unanticipated changes, much the same as if you spun the delay knob on a pedal in the middle of a sustained chord.

I was switching IR's with snapshots. I just used two IR blocks because it's a stereo patch :)

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31 minutes ago, yeatzee said:

I was switching IR's with snapshots. I just used two IR blocks because it's a stereo patch :)

 

Makes perfect sense! You can also restore a stereo path after a single IR by using a stereo block. All the amp blocks are mono anyway but as usual it is all about how you want to route things in any given preset.

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It's interesting in my case how rarely I end up using snapshots.  Not that they aren't a great tool, but in my particular case of using different presets for each song it's not terribly common that I really need them that often.  Clearly they're useful when there are some significant changes in dynamics and tone in a given song.  I just don't seem to run into those types of situations all that often.  The weakness I see in using them in a wider setting is the complexity involved in getting everything dialed in with precision.

 

What I mean by this is more based on the way I build patches in that each and every patch (i.e. song) is going to have different settings.  For example, although I might use the LA Compressor across multiple patches, the settings are going to vary with each and every use in the same manner as would be the case were I to be recording the songs in a studio.  The same with amps, or parametric EQ, or distortion pedals, or anything else really.  And of course I use a LOT of different amps for different types of songs not to mention IRs and other various effects.  Whatever best fits the song, style, and specific sound I want.  THAT to me is why I own the Helix...for the precision and distinctive tone for each song.  I guess I'm not a big fan of using snapshots more extensively because it seems like I would end up being much more generalized and maybe less specific just to preserve DSP...which in my case I never have to concern myself with.

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You do realize that each snapshot can have its own settings for any desired parameters of any blocks, up to I think 64 of them, yes?

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Snapshots and scenes are great. That said, SRV didn't need um, but we still do lol.... (Imagine a Emoticon of your choice added here)

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18 hours ago, zooey said:

You do realize that each snapshot can have its own settings for any desired parameters of any blocks, up to I think 64 of them, yes?

Me? 

 

17 hours ago, spikey said:

Snapshots and scenes are great. That said, SRV didn't need um, but we still do lol.... (Imagine a Emoticon of your choice added here)

If you're playing straight ahead texas blues yeah they are probably an overkill tool. Wish Helix had a super reverb model! 

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I've got an HX Effects and love the concept of snapshots. Unfortunately, I've got big feet, so while they work perfectly at home in a relaxed atmosphere, when playing with the band, too many times I ended up hitting the bank down button. So I reworked a lot of my buttons to multitask. I.e. change amp channels and turn effect on and off. For instance, the default state of the preset is clean amp + delay. I hit that button, and it switches amp channel and turns off delay, then I have a phase effect and another delay and can space out the foot switches so I don't hit others. I've done the hybrid as well for songs with more complex effects setups. Start song on snapshot 1, go into snapshot 2 and switch into stomp mode. It works well. I do have a song that has some complex parts and snapshots nail that. Also the changes aren't at razor timing parts, so the foot switch taping is more relaxed.

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