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PROFESSIONAL HELIX PRESETS[Pete Thorn]

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I'm loving my Helix for live use and recording.

 

To bring this powerful unit over the top I think LINE 6 should petition/hire Pete Thorn to create and share his presets for the HELIX.

I recently watched a Pete Thorn video where he set up a Helix to act as a backup should his amp setup run into technical issues.

Given this musician's talent for creating tones, I would imagine these to be VERY realistic sounding patches.

In addition, I participated in a chat where Pete himself said he would be game for creating something for Line 6 :-)

 

What do you think Line 6/Helix users?

 

 

 

 

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Pete Thorn can play,  and I'm sure he's an all around swell guy. However, I think... strike that...I know that reality is VERY unlikely to live up to your expectations. Trying to use patches created by somebody else, no matter who (or how wonderful) they are, is mostly an exercise in futility. You will always always end up having to tweak them to the rest of your rig, guitar(s), needs, playing style, etc. etc. Even if they were free (which they wouldn't be if L6 is cutting the guy a check), you're still chasing your tail.

 

And yes, to confirm my suspicions I've tried (repeatedly) a bunch of downloaded patches...some free, some not... including some of the most talked about ones around here. The free ones were a waste of time, and the paid ones were a waste of money.... so I don't bother anymore. Mine work because I made them with my guitars, monitors, headphones, PA, etc... and all at the volumes at which I intend to use them. When all of those other factors are a complete mystery, and Helix the only common denominator, you're pi$$ing in the wind.

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This is going to be a case of the truth lying somewhere in the middle.

I agree with cruisinon2 that you can't just load someone else's presets and expect to get great sounds.  That's because of the huge range of variables involved.

That starts at the guitar and goes through all the other variables.  I have 2 Strats that are pretty similar except for the pickups - the small difference in gain and high end mean certain sounds need tuning even when they are very similar - and envelope filters are a really obvious example.  Even the glassy highs need tweaking between guitars as one is a bit brighter than the other - and for some sounds it's the difference between cut and cut your head off!

On the other hand - assuming you actually know how to use your Helix (the real problem with people who just want to buy a box and a batch of presets and not do any work), you can often find some enlightenment in other people's patches.  And you can often quickly adjust for differences like gain levels and guitar.

So the thing I'm starting to believe is that the Helix is a tool for people who have some idea of what they are doing - although not absolutely necessary, it helps hugely if they already have experience of Valve amps and analog pedal boards - as that's what the Helix is modelling.

I think we need to discourage people who just want a quick fix. There are probably better choices for them.

For the rest of us who can read into an effects chain and understand what they are looking at, I find patches by people who know what they are doing sometimes good for thinking stuff like - hey, didn't think of using that amp for clean sounds - or here's a fuzz sound I actually like!

Know what I mean?

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30 minutes ago, rvroberts said:

This is going to be a case of the truth lying somewhere in the middle.

I agree with cruisinon2 that you can't just load someone else's presets and expect to get great sounds.  That's because of the huge range of variables involved.

That starts at the guitar and goes through all the other variables.  I have 2 Strats that are pretty similar except for the pickups - the small difference in gain and high end mean certain sounds need tuning even when they are very similar - and envelope filters are a really obvious example.  Even the glassy highs need tweaking between guitars as one is a bit brighter than the other - and for some sounds it's the difference between cut and cut your head off!

On the other hand - assuming you actually know how to use your Helix (the real problem with people who just want to buy a box and a batch of presets and not do any work), you can often find some enlightenment in other people's patches.  And you can often quickly adjust for differences like gain levels and guitar.

So the thing I'm starting to believe is that the Helix is a tool for people who have some idea of what they are doing - although not absolutely necessary, it helps hugely if they already have experience of Valve amps and analog pedal boards - as that's what the Helix is modelling.

I think we need to discourage people who just want a quick fix. There are probably better choices for them.

For the rest of us who can read into an effects chain and understand what they are looking at, I find patches by people who know what they are doing sometimes good for thinking stuff like - hey, didn't think of using that amp for clean sounds - or here's a fuzz sound I actually like!

Know what I mean?

 

In principle, I agree... but my experience says otherwise. The payoff is way less than 1%...I've auditioned 100's of patches with Helix, and my 500X before that.... and there are a grand total of 2 that I've kept and used...and even those are pretty heavily edited. It's just not worth the time or the effort for me. As always though, ymmv.

 

But imho, just about anybody will be better off learning the process of creating tones that work for them, as opposed to just acquiring 200 "square" patches that then have to be shoved into round holes. 

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This is why I'm so supportive of people like Jason Sadites in that a person is FAR more likely to benefit from his video tutorials on YouTube for getting a great sounding preset to meet their needs than they are to expect any preset they purchase or download to be instantly useable for their configuration.

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5 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

This is why I'm so supportive of people like Jason Sadites in that a person is FAR more likely to benefit from his video tutorials on YouTube for getting a great sounding preset to meet their needs than they are to expect any preset they purchase or download to be instantly useable for their configuration.

 

Yup... it's the whole "give a man a fish/ teach a man to fish" thing. If you understand how and why things work the way they do, then you don't need somebody else's "magical" settings... your own will be better by default.

 

Does it suck at the beginning? Yup. But so does everything else. The only thing we're all good at from day one is breathing... the rest is a learning curve. 

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On 9/8/2018 at 5:02 AM, DunedinDragon said:

This is why I'm so supportive of people like Jason Sadites in that a person is FAR more likely to benefit from his video tutorials on YouTube for getting a great sounding preset to meet their needs than they are to expect any preset they purchase or download to be instantly useable for their configuration.

His videos are great alot of my patches are made because of his videos.I have downloaded his patches butlike mentioned above and by Jason himself,you might have to change things to meet your taste.His pathce are a great starting point.

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This is like a discussion about politics or religion, right? There's no right answer here, folks. To each his own. Find your happiness. I've found patches someone else creates and sells that are working great for me. Yeah, I tweak them, but that's the final 10% of the battle.

 

If I want a great sounding, say, Lonestar patch for recording I can pay some guy who makes custom IRs, has golden ears, knows how to milk the best out of the Helix, and might spend days (not hours) perfecting an awesome  patch. Or .... I could try create my own awesome patch from scratch (I'm pretty well-versed in the Helix), but I've got limited time and things I'd rather be doing. I could probably learn to tune my car's engine, too, but I prefer to pay a good mechanic. And I'd also rather buy my salmon at the market than go fishing.

 

 

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I appreciate all the thoughtful comments on this topic so far.

All points stated so far are valid considerations.

I'll delve a bit deeper as to why I think this would potentially be an exciting proposition.

 

- Playing live with a Helix vs. recording with a Helix are completely different animals. What works great in a recording situation may not always work in a live mix. Stealing some ideas from a pro that has already toured with a particular setup can be a super helpful time saver. (At the very least as a starting point)

 

- 2nd session players like Pete are often hired for tours and recording because they are able to produce the right tones at the right time. The palate he'd produce for something like the Helix would be at the very least interesting to observe. I'm sure there'd be some cool ideas we can borrow. [e.g. Effects mixes and settings. etc.]

 

In the end, if a 1ST generation SPIDER can have celebrity presets, why can't a super powerful unit like the Helix have them too?

 

Personally, I've finally gotten to the point where my Helix sounds pretty good to my ears and the band is loving it.

 

Call me nuts but our band live recordings (via our Presonus digital board) actually have the 2 guitars sounding clearer than when we mic'dup 4x12 cabs. LOL

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