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helix in effects loop


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Hi folk's,  been using my helix for a few months now with great tones in my home studio however using it live has been a bit hit and miss.  Usually the set up is an fender amp sim block into a few effect blocks out through left mono quarter jack  and then into the return on my Fender Deville.  Deville being used as a power amp only.  This obviously negates the controls on the amp and by passes the amp overdrive stage.   What I would like to do is use the helix as a pedal board for modulation effects after the preamp.  This was normally achieved by having effects in the effects loop and gain pedals between the guitar and the amp input.  I have tried coming out of the send and then into the helix and then out of the helix back to the send on the amp.  I'm looking for  nice modulation tone however I don't want any change in my guitar tone when no effects are on ( true by pass if you like )  I'm happy channel switching using the amp foot switch so don't really want a four cable set up.   Just guitar into the amp out of the send, into the helix and back to the return of the amp.  Have tried this but the tones are coloured or just plain rubbish.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.   Cheers

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This is how I have mine cabled.  Note that the 7CM is for two amps.  You use the FX Loop 1 (and FX Loop 2) blocks to make this work.


4 Cable Method (4CM)

Cable #1 Guitar to Helix/HX Effects Guitar In

Cable #2 Helix/HX Effects FX Send Loop 1 to Amp #1 Main Input

Cable #3 Amp #1 FX Send Loop to Helix/HX Effects FX Return Loop 1

Cable #4 Helix/HX Effects 1/4" Left (mono) Out to Amp #1 FX Return Loop


7 Cable Method (7CM)

Cable #5 Helix/HX Effects FX Send Loop 2 to Amp #2 Main Input

Cable #6 Amp #2 FX Send Loop to Helix/HX Effects FX Return Loop 2

Cable #7 Helix/HX Effects 1/4" Right Out to Amp #2 FX Return Loop

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  • 3 weeks later...

I switch back and forth on this - classic 4CM, and just using the Helix as a typical multi-fx unit.  In the latter, and you may have already done this - if you don't want it, all tone-shaping stuff must be turned off or bypassed.  EQ's, compressors, the global EQ, obviously all affect that preamp sound coming from your amp.  As I understand it - I could be wrong - but there is still an analog to digital and digital to analog occurrence with either setup, just depends on where you want it to happen.  i would set up a totally empty patch, put the Helix in the amp's fx loop, make sure your global eq etc. is neutral, and get your desired "dry" sound.  Then add fx as you like - plenty of ways to do that - parallel, serial, various other tweaks, EQ within the fx, and EQ blocks - including the global EQ.  I mostly use the 4CM (Helix/Triaxis/power amp/real speakers).  I tweak the eq (very little, actually) to keep my perceived dry Triaxis sound, and go that route.  I use the rack version of Helix.


For other readers, I use the Triaxis because I like the sounds, no gripe on the emulations on the Helix.  They actually make it more difficult - but they're there when I want to cop a specific sound of some kind.  Line 6 - make me a HX effects rack mount style, preferably one rack space!  I (personally) don't need no amps!

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I agree that the 4CM is probably the best route when using an amp for it's gain specific sounds (ie. Marshall/Fender/Traynor etc..). I opted to dump my traditional amps and bought the Line6 Powercab. Being an FRFR amp - removes any of the hurdles of a traditional amp and allows the helix to do everything. Jury is still out, but thinking your probably not going to drop the Fender, I believe the best method is the 4CM, lots of videos on how to do this.... fairly straight forward too.

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