Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
metallixro

Help me understand if Helix is right for me !

Recommended Posts

Heya forum dwellers, I need help with understanding some things about Helix. As I dont have time to read thru this forums I try to explain my situation/expectations here.

I’m a beginner bedroom player and I enjoy learning and playing my favourite heavy metal riffs after a day’s work and thats probably where my playing level will stay. Before I started guitar I bought a 50W Mesa boogie amp and 1x12 cab and once I started to understand gear a bit the obvious conclusion is the amp is not bedroom friendly, in fact it doesn't sound all that good unless you get it at a volume where neighbors from every direction start complaining. I tried to fix this with smaller wattage amps like 5W and even 1W but I ended up returning them as the 50W at low volume sounds way better compared.

 

Is something like Helix going to give a better fuller high gain tone AT LOW VOLUMES than what a valve amp can deliver ?  Or is the Helix something that only a gigging guitarist should buy ? I know music sounds better at higher volumes cause thats how human ears work, but does the digital gear maintain its tone properties at low volume better than valves can ?

 

I’m looking at a Line6 Helix LT with something like an ALTO TS210 to fit my budget (as I understand a normal cab limits what Helix can do)

 

CHEERS!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey metallixro,

 

I have a Helix Floor and an Alto TS210 and i am very happy with it.

You can definitely get some decent sounds, even at low volume, though you might have to spend a little time tweaking.

The good thing about the Helix is that you can compensate for the low volume, by adding EQs, compressors and other effects after your amp-cab-mic simulation and set them up how you like them.

 

Two things to keep in mind:

1) The Helix  always models a mic'ed up Speaker, which will be different from the "Amp in the room" sound you most likely are used to. You can still compensate for that with some tweaks and in your case it might even be to your liking (thinking some proximity effect with a nice fat ribbon mic for extra low end)

2) Though the Helix is fairly easy to use (as far as tools of this complexity go), do expect to spend some time learning to use the unit before you are able to tweak the sounds how you really like them.

 

Hope this helps!
 

PS: The Alto TS210 can have some low end coupling to the ground if you put it on the floor like a monitor, best use some acoustic foam underneath or put it onto a stand of some sorts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, metallixro said:

Is something like Helix going to give a better fuller high gain tone AT LOW VOLUMES than what a valve amp can deliver ? 

 

In a word, yes... the "quiet stage", where nobody in the band has an actual amp on stage, with everything going straight to the PA and everyone using in-ear monitors (or traditional wedges if that's preferred) is becoming more and more common. Devices like Helix have been designed to reproduce the guitar tones we all hear on recordings, without the need for a 100W tube amp roaring away at 120dB. 

 

Will you get there on Day One? Probably not...most don't, even those of us with experience using other modelers. Expect to spend a significant amount of time experimenting with different amp/cab/mic combinations before you found what works for you, particularly if you're a beginner with limited experience on any kind of rig, be it a "real" amp or otherwise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can the Helix do what you want - absolutely yes.

Is it a good fit for a home hobby guitar player - even with a decent budget?

I'm not sure - as others have said, you really need to put in time - and it is almost necessary to have used valve amps and pedal boards to understand what is being modelled and how those things might be plugged together to produce cool sounds.

You could just buy lots of sound sets (libraries) created by others, but if you want a short cut to some good sounds......maybe the Helix is overkill and demands too much of you - it is a professional tool.

Have you had a look at the Firehawk FX?

It is designed for a less complex approach. Sometimes less power means a more friendly experience. https://line6.com/firehawk/firehawk-fx

The Alto speaker system will be fine whichever way you go.  You might even find your stereo works well if it's a decent system and you don't want to play loud enough to keep up with a drummer.

So I think the Helix might be an unnecessary step too far into professional gear.

Try the Firehawk and the Helix and see if you really need the big guns and all the complexity that goes along with it.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Helix is perfect for this. It does what you want to do now, and gives you plenty of room to expand your horizons as you learn more.

 

If I were you, I'd invest in a good pair of headphones also - you can really get lost in the immersive headphone experience on the Helix with stereo reverbs, ping-pong delays, and so on. And not even the family can hear you then, let alone neighbors. I recommend these: http://a.co/d/eXShkWj - Sennheiser HD 600.

 

For anything you get, just make sure you buy from a place with a return policy - it's hard to get recommendations on subjective things like this without trying out a few options yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would start out with a cheaper floor unit like a used Line6 HD500x for your testing.  You can pick them up used for about 1/4 to 1/3 of the price of the Helix.  After you get get a good bit of use out of that then look at upgrading to the next model or keep it if you are happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a lot of good points above - yes, the helix will work brilliantly in your context, but it is a steep learning curve and you not only need to understand pedals, amps, cabs and signal flow, you will also need to understand the basics of setting up a mic in front of a cab, so if you're just kicking back after a long day at work then the argument for a simpler unit is well made.  Nevertheless it is all manageable if you're patient/committed and there are lots of good resources to help, not in the least preset libraries, and if you find the cab modelling difficult to work with or you want a good starting point to train your ears, IR libraries are great mix-with-water solutions.  The big plus is that the unit won't constrain your growth - if you buy the full-fat Helix, all those extra inputs means it can scale all the way to a decent self-release album, but an LT connected to a computer with decent headphones (+1 for HD600, I've had mine for 20 years I think) can hardly be described as limiting.

 

I would add that a halfway decent pair of studio monitors might be a better bet than the Alto.  A pair of lower end KRKs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, arkieboy said:

[...]

 

I would add that a halfway decent pair of studio monitors might be a better bet than the Alto.  A pair of lower end KRKs?

Thats a good point too!

 

If exclusively playing at home, a pair of studio monitors might be more suited.

besides lower end KRKs i can also recommend the Swissonic ASM Series.

They are a Thomann brand and have excellent performance for the price, but I do't know if you could get them outside of Europe.

 

I have a pair of ASM7 that i am very happy with, though i am using them now exclusively for my media center (together with a small Fostex sub).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks or all the replies!

I've decided I'm gonna make the jump into digital and now just waiting to sell my current amp and cab.

There is no possibility for me to try this stuff before buying and I'm limited to ordering online most likely from Thomman since I'm European, I am however intrigued about studio monitors vs a larger size powered speaker. What would be the advantage here ?  

Also I've become interested in the Headrush due to what seems a really simple and noob friendly interface compared to the Helix, so even thou is over budget I'm reading about pros and cons between the two.

And one more question: do different pick-ups sound different on modelling gear ? Or si that becoming a non factor with this type of tech ?

Any other info highly appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I bought my Helix i was in a similar situation. Never looked back. The Helix is perfect for metal-in-a-small-room when paired with headphones, studio monitors or even a pair of decent computer speakers. I've created the best metal/thrash tones i've ever had using my helix. Period.

I got my helix from Thomann as well. I added a pair JBL LSR 305 studio monitors including iso foam pads: https://www.thomann.de/dk/jbl_lsr_305_bundle.htm?ref=search_prv_1

Studio Monitors is in my opinion the best option for small sized rooms. The 305's is loud... like in really really loud when cranked up. I do not see any advantage in getting larger powered speakers. In a small room like from 10-20 m2 it won't make a difference in your scenario. Which studio monitors should you get. Well there's a lot of quality monitors for less money than the LSR 305's so finding a pair for any budget wont be a problem.

Regarding pick-ups. The short answer is yes. I have guitars with active pick-ups and passive pick-ups. And they all sound different when using the same patch (with input pad set to auto).

Headrush vs. Helix. Never user a Headrush. The only thing I can tell you is that the Helix is incredibly easy to use. Easy to use is not the same as easy to get decent tones. Like all other modelling gear/software is takes some effort to get good tones. It's just that the Helix sounds so much better out of the box when compared to older modelers. So you kinda get a head start.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...