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optofonik

My first few hours with the HX Effects

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I didn't buy the HX Effects for "bread and butter" but that is the only type of demos I could find online.

 

I decided to ignore the demos

 

I bought it.

 

Then I ignored the presets.

 

Starting straight away with HX Edit I dug in and the three presets I uploaded are my first. Honestly, it didn't take terribly long to find some glitchy goodness but 45 days will tell the tale. If Line 6 can take a cue from the "boutique pedal" world and come up with some "outside the box" modeling (synth modules, perhaps) they will decimate the boutique market. There are just too many bread and butter multi-FX to not embrace the boutique aesthetic and model some wackiness, to embrace the weird, and genuinely differentiate themselves from everyone else.

 

For now, it will be interesting to see how far into the left field I can take the HX during the next six weeks. If things start to sound "samey", though, it's over.

 

 

Using firmware 2.70 

Gel The Lites.hlx

Max Mad Ring 01.hlx

Synthy Warbly 02.hlx

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I'm not arguing that that type of product wouldn't be good for you, but I still think you fundamentally have the majority of the market backwards. 

 

Boutique effects are really the only way these non multi effects groups can possibly survive in the long term. Each of them has to come up with some new "bizarre" and "out there" sound to maintain relevance because more and more consumers are going to realize, "Hey, I can spend $1500 for one amazing tube amp, and five pedals, OR I can spend about that for one Helix LT and a solid FRFR speaker and have over 100 times the abilities I'd have the traditional route."

 

Line 6 does occasionally come up with their own sounds, but what has been their bread and butter for well over two decades now is providing the tools for the "everyman" musician to create amazing sounds at an affordable price. Creating 100 wacky pedals that only a very niche market will use isn't what causes things like the HX Stomp to sell like hotcakes.

 

Electro Harmonix though - that's the only way they survive. They keep churning out unusual variations on a theme because it's all they've got. Occasionally a Line 6 guy like me bites because I know I can't get it on a Line 6 setup, but it's a very rare deal. 

 

To be honest, I kind of like it that way.  It's fun to buy an unusual pedal - it really is - it's nice not to have to drop $100 on a "boring" M90.

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32 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

Electro Harmonix though - that's the only way they survive. They keep churning out unusual variations on a theme because it's all they've got. Occasionally a Line 6 guy like me bites because I know I can't get it on a Line 6 setup, but it's a very rare deal. 

 

EHX has an interesting catalog and four of their pedals found a home on my main board. In a way EHX is a good example of creating pedals from "off the shelf". Many of their pedals are permutations of various ideas they've already marketed successfully. It's a double edged sword though. How many POG and Big Muff permutations to we need?

 

24 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

I'm not arguing that that type of product wouldn't be good for you, but I still think you fundamentally have the majority of the market backwards. 

 

Boutique effects are really the only way these non multi effects groups can possibly survive in the long term. Each of them has to come up with some new "bizarre" and "out there" sound to maintain relevance because more and more consumers are going to realize, "Hey, I can spend $1500 for one amazing tube amp, and five pedals, OR I can spend about that for one Helix LT and a solid FRFR speaker and have over 100 times the abilities I'd have the traditional route."

 

No argument there. Line 6 can only survive by selling massive amounts to a large consumer base and that base wants familiar bread and butter. Most musicians who are buying modeled mutiFX are in cover bands (gigging or not) and need to "model" the boards of various known guitarists and their sounds. Line 6 is only one of several companies catering to that largest market of musicians. Guitarists in worship bands are probably a sizable market as well.

 

11 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

Creating 100 wacky pedals that only a very niche market will use isn't what causes things like the HX Stomp to sell like hotcakes.

 

That's he beauty of modeling, though. "Creating" a pedal doesn't require hardware prototyping, it's done inside computers. Using "off the shelf" modeled circuits already in their (virtual) inventory it seems like it wouldn't require extensive R&D (unless they are tying to recreate an already existing pedal).

 

21 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

It's fun to buy an unusual pedal - it really is - it's nice not to have to drop $100 on a "boring" M90.

 

Totally agree, I've got a Rainbow Machine in my sights. Inserting it into my main board's chain is going to take some work, though.

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It was creative combinations of "bread and butter" effects that created the off the wall and ambient sounds of the past, and is still what drives creativity in the modern boutique pedal world.

 

L6 has recently completed some changes to the core programming which they promise will bring us much sonic joy in the future. They've also hired some people (I hear) to step up development in the area of polyphonic effects. However, stuff like this takes time to get right, and no doubt the fires will add further delays.

 

If 45 days is all you've got, then we'll all be sorry to see you go :-( . But you'll likely be missing out on a lot! 

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10 hours ago, optofonik said:

 

....it will be interesting to see how far into the left field I can take the HX during the next six weeks. If things start to sound "samey", though, it's over.

 

 

I hope your friends and partners are OK with your selection criteria.

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I've spent the afternoon mucking about with weirdness. I haven't hooked up my expression pedals or inserted my main board yet but so far I'm encouraged. I uploaded several bits of weirdness to the "CustomTone" section in order to illustrate my "selection criteria" (good choice of words, Soundog). They're also attached here though I don't know if they can be downloaded from the forum posts. They're all designed for Ebow so they're basically pads of a sort.

 

 

Cycling w_SETI.hlx

Dreaming The CPU.hlx

Everglades@Night.hlx

Gel The Lites.hlx

Grinding Wall.hlx

Max Mad Ring 01.hlx

Synthy Warbly 02.hlx

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3 hours ago, rd2rk said:

If 45 days is all you've got, then we'll all be sorry to see you go :-( . But you'll likely be missing out on a lot! 

 

Forty-five days is plenty of time; I doubt it will take even that long. I'll keep building presets and digging deep into the parameters until I''ve sussed out all it can and can't do. I've been programming synthesizers since I was a kid and the HX isn't nearly as deep as some of those beasts.

 

3 hours ago, rd2rk said:

It was creative combinations of "bread and butter" effects that created the off the wall and ambient sounds of the past, and is still what drives creativity in the modern boutique pedal world.

 

Indeed, and the ability to so easily re-order the HX FX chain is what intrigued me. That alone goes a long way to achieving unusual textures.

 

3 hours ago, rd2rk said:

L6 has recently completed some changes to the core programming which they promise will bring us much sonic joy in the future. They've also hired some people (I hear) to step up development in the area of polyphonic effects. However, stuff like this takes time to get right, and no doubt the fires will add further delays.

 

I suspect this is true but will be part of a new product or, more than likely, the product that was planned from the start; corporations, even small ones, deal in long term strategies that maximized already existing R&D results. I find it hard to believe the name "Helix" was an arbitrary choice; a bit too "on the nose".

 

When EHX came out with the "Canyon" I immediately asked about their plans for the "Grand Canyon". They denied any plans, of course, but it was pretty obvious that a "Grand Canyon" was planned from the start. The Helix is over three years old and now that every permutation of it has made it to market, it's time for the "Double Helix" to be introduced; it's just too obvious. I suspect the Double Helix will incorporate the very "changes to the core programming" and "sonic joy" you mentioned.

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14 hours ago, optofonik said:

 

Forty-five days is plenty of time; I doubt it will take even that long. I'll keep building presets and digging deep into the parameters until I''ve sussed out all it can and can't do. I've been programming synthesizers since I was a kid and the HX isn't nearly as deep as some of those beasts.

 

 

Indeed, and the ability to so easily re-order the HX FX chain is what intrigued me. That alone goes a long way to achieving unusual textures.

 

 

I suspect this is true but will be part of a new product or, more than likely, the product that was planned from the start; corporations, even small ones, deal in long term strategies that maximized already existing R&D results. I find it hard to believe the name "Helix" was an arbitrary choice; a bit too "on the nose".

 

When EHX came out with the "Canyon" I immediately asked about their plans for the "Grand Canyon". They denied any plans, of course, but it was pretty obvious that a "Grand Canyon" was planned from the start. The Helix is over three years old and now that every permutation of it has made it to market, it's time for the "Double Helix" to be introduced; it's just too obvious. I suspect the Double Helix will incorporate the very "changes to the core programming" and "sonic joy" you mentioned.

 

There are no plans for a Double Helix anytime soon...

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18 hours ago, optofonik said:

I suspect this is true but will be part of a new product or, more than likely, the product that was planned from the start; corporations, even small ones, deal in long term strategies that maximized already existing R&D results. I find it hard to believe the name "Helix" was an arbitrary choice; a bit too "on the nose".

 

4 hours ago, phil_m said:

 

There are no plans for a Double Helix anytime soon...

 

Come off it phil! we KNOW that L6 is part of the vast Illuminati plot to control the world! That plot depends upon constant sales of increasingly advanced mind control devices such as the Helix and AI embedded microwave ovens......

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I just finished a two and a half week run and am actually looking forward to designing some presents. That hasn't happened with a piece of gear in a loong time. Thst alone speaks volumes to me about the HX Effects.

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On 11/12/2018 at 12:24 PM, rd2rk said:

 

 

Come off it phil! we KNOW that L6 is part of the vast Illuminati plot to control the world! That plot depends upon constant sales of increasingly advanced mind control devices such as the Helix and AI embedded microwave ovens......

I knew it all along!!!!!!  ; P

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