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mileskb

Getting those Amps with Effects just right.

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Not being able to put things like Reverb or other "built-in" effects where they "belong" in the chain has bugged me since day one.  

I'll admit, it's a little picky, and 90% of the time it doesn't really matter.  But to me at least, it matters on at least a couple of amps and I'm sure others and I wondered what the workaround is.

Specifically as an example, to keep it simple.  The "reverb" on a Fender Deluxe goes after the input of the preamp and exits before the early stages of the power amp.   This makes getting that "Fender" sound a little tough because we can't put the reverb there.   The best we can do is split before the pre/amp and put it on a parallel path and it's helpful to put some tube distortion (very subtle)  in front of the reverb on that path and maybe an EQ after then bring the path back before the cab block.   This is close, but in this specific case, the Reverb does not get the elements of the Fender input circuit nor does it get treated to going through the amp.  It's close, but on the real amp, the reverb, for better or worse, has a sound of it's own, because it's IN the amp between the pre-amp and amp.  

Another example is the JC-120.  The reverb and chorus are affected by being IN that amp, and while you can put the effects on a parallel path, the signature interaction between the pre-amp, the effect,
and the actual amp is lost. 

 

Based on how many updates there have been, I'm guessing just having an AMP block just isn't going to happen.  So what is the BEST solution for getting this signature tones back into the amps they came out of.

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Wow, I killed my own thread...   that's impressive.   Am I the only one who is curious about this, or am I missing something so stupid no one is willing to say anything?  :) 

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I agree with you. I run spring reverb and tremolo between the Deluxe and the IR because it’s closer than having it in front, but it sho’nuff isn’t the same as having it between the pre-and power amp. I would love the option, however it were most feasible to implement it. Not holding my breath though, I think their to-do list is pretty full as it is....

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I guess for me I've never experienced this issue with either of the amp models simply because there are so many other factors that come into more serious sonic variation in the arrangement of blocks in the signal chain such as the right type of cabinet, mic, and mic placement that the placement of the reverb on either of these two models is not something that jumps out at me as being "off" in any way.  For me I've always placed the reverb very late in the signal chain after the amp and cab as I would in a typical studio setup regardless of the amp.  But I do hear some people prefer the results of placing it after the amp but before the cab/mic setup.  It's all a matter of what your ear tells you as far as do you want the reverb effect to be colored by the cab/mic or not.  I prefer it not be colored and be pure once the amp/cab/mic tone has been fully formed.  To me it just has a more professional polished sound like that of a recording.

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I haven't found it to be an issue either. Don't get me wrong, if they figure out a way it's just more creativity for the user, but I've always felt like any classic tone with a traditional amp is creatable.

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1 hour ago, DunedinDragon said:

I guess for me I've never experienced this issue with either of the amp models simply because there are so many other factors that come into more serious sonic variation in the arrangement of blocks in the signal chain such as the right type of cabinet, mic, and mic placement that the placement of the reverb on either of these two models is not something that jumps out at me as being "off" in any way.  For me I've always placed the reverb very late in the signal chain after the amp and cab as I would in a typical studio setup regardless of the amp.  But I do hear some people prefer the results of placing it after the amp but before the cab/mic setup.  It's all a matter of what your ear tells you as far as do you want the reverb effect to be colored by the cab/mic or not.  I prefer it not be colored and be pure once the amp/cab/mic tone has been fully formed.  To me it just has a more professional polished sound like that of a recording.

 

I agree about the more polished sound... however, in many cases, it's not about polished or not, it's more about just "the" sound.   I guess the reason I and some others notice it, and miss this feature is Helix, as far as I can tell, with the component level modeling is the only one that could do it.   Using the Fender as an example, the dynamics of your playing and the level of the amp, change the texture of the reverb.  It's subtle (well, unless you don't want it to be) but it's there.  If you "up pick" a chord on the higher strings the reverb accentuates that breakup that is almost not noticeable without it.  It's a cool sound, used a lot.  It's kinda easy to reproduce running the 'verb on another path with some sort of gain stage in front to taste... and maybe a bit of eq after to accentuate what you what...    It's pretty close that way...  just not as close as I'm pretty sure it could be.

 

Of course..  if they did have a separate amp block...  imagine the combinations, in general, being able to use one pre-amp with another power amp.  

 

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Forgive me if this is a stupid idea. I'm new around here and haven't even purchased my Helix yet (but soon), however from my basic understanding of how the Helix works I have thought of a workaround:

 

There are a few different pedals that emulate power amps, (rather than being actual pedal-sized power amps that can drive a cab). 

Here is an example from NUX:

https://www.thomann.de/ie/nux_solid_studio_ir_pow_amp_sim.htm?glp=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgp6__t2S4AIV77ftCh1Y4QvHEAQYBSABEgKcMPD_BwE

 

Notice that it also has a mic/cab section that can be turned off so that you're only using the power amp emulation. Stick it on the 6V6 setting and 'drive' to taste and that should get close to a Fender-ish power amp section.

 

So in terms of blocks in the Helix, you would have a PREAMP block --> REVERB block --> SEND/RETURN block with the nux in that loop.

 

Again, forgive me if this is the dumbest idea you've ever read.

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On 1/26/2019 at 3:54 PM, mileskb said:

So what is the BEST solution for getting this signature tones back into the amps they came out of.

 

The only answer to this currently available in the Helix is to place it between amp "amp blocK' and a "cabinet block or ir block". It may not be 100% accurate, and you may wish it could be placed between the PRE and POWER section, but that is the BEST solution at this time. 

 

There may come a time with Helix offers a selectable power amp as an option. Single ended 6v6, push pull EL84, EL34, 6L6, etc... etc..  but you would still be playing the accuracy game because it wouldn't be the exact power amp for each model, it would just be "close to one". What PI style does it model, what output transfer gets modeled, etc... etc... 

 

If you really want to get creative... try this.

You could likely create a static IR block to simulate the tone of the power amp. Using a DR as an example, these would be the steps....

  1. Insert a Deluxe Reverb AMP Block and a PREAMP model of the same amp. MUTE the preamp model for now.
  2. Insert a CAB block or IR after the amp blocks
  3. Dial in the tone your want with the full AMP Block
  4. Now mute that AMP Block and turn on the PREAMP block.... set the values the exact same as the Full Amp Block
  5. Turn off the cab/ir block... it was only there so you could dial in a tone you like.
  6. Now go through the process of creating an IR using a tone print of the PREMAP model, and a separate tone print of the Full AMP model.

Once you have the IR, you re-assemble your amp block in this manner.

  1. PREAMP model
  2. Inert Spring Reverb
  3. IR of the power amp you just created
  4. Cab or Cab IR block

The power amp will be a static/fixed tone, not dynamic like a real amp. That just means it won't change as you adjust the pre-amp, but if you captured the tone you like it will be very close! 

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Not tried, but can’t you just run 2 chained Amp models with the first one being a preamp only, followed by the rewerb / tremolo block(s) and follow that with an Amp and a low preamp gain and the power amp level you want. A bit clumsy, but shouldn’t that get you what you are looking for?

Edited by MartinDorr

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On 1/29/2019 at 6:16 PM, GingerLefty said:

Forgive me if this is a stupid idea. I'm new around here and haven't even purchased my Helix yet (but soon), however from my basic understanding of how the Helix works I have thought of a workaround:

 

There are a few different pedals that emulate power amps, (rather than being actual pedal-sized power amps that can drive a cab). 

Here is an example from NUX:

https://www.thomann.de/ie/nux_solid_studio_ir_pow_amp_sim.htm?glp=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgp6__t2S4AIV77ftCh1Y4QvHEAQYBSABEgKcMPD_BwE

 

Notice that it also has a mic/cab section that can be turned off so that you're only using the power amp emulation. Stick it on the 6V6 setting and 'drive' to taste and that should get close to a Fender-ish power amp section.

 

So in terms of blocks in the Helix, you would have a PREAMP block --> REVERB block --> SEND/RETURN block with the nux in that loop.

 

Again, forgive me if this is the dumbest idea you've ever read.

Not that far fetched.

Here’s somebody with pretty much the same idea:

http://www.stagecue.com/stomp.html

 

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7 hours ago, MartinDorr said:

... can’t you just run 2 chained Amp models with the first one being a preamp only, followed by the rewerb / tremolo block(s) and follow that with an Amp and a low preamp gain and the power amp level you want.

 

IMO... that would color the tone too much. Sure.. you might build a great tone, but it wouldn't be "authentic" (topic of this thread) since it's running through two pre-amps.

 

EG: In the case of the Fender Deluxe, it is not possible to dial out the mid scoop completely - it will always add color. Adding a 2nd amp will compound the mid scoop even further. There are other amps that get very flat you could try... but then you wouldn't be running the Fender Deluxe POWER section so authenticity is out the window again.

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On 1/26/2019 at 4:54 PM, mileskb said:

Based on how many updates there have been, I'm guessing just having an AMP block just isn't going to happen.

Yeah.....One or two "neutral" amp blocks shouldnt be that hard should it?  One for the lower gain amps and one for the higher gain amps.  Or hell even one amp!  We dont have to have matching power/pre amp for each and every block, but  even one generic one would be something.

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Great ideas one and all for the workarounds.  They all work to some extent.

Just a keep-in-mind thing, is that this isn't about "getting a tone"...  It's about getting the Dynamics.   I heard reference to people not likely the Reverbs...  well that's fine.. If I wanted nice lush reverb I wouldn't be looking at a tank with springs in an old amp...   But what I like is how the reverb (and the whole tone in fact) changes with playing dynamics and input volume.

Those dynamic changes are what brought me to Helix.  Kemper and AxFX just don't have it, it's not how their amp modeling is designed.  

Let's move off Reverb for a moment... I just picked it but maybe it's not obvious enough.   The Chorus in a Roland JC120 it worthy of being an effect on it's own.   Lots or nice Chorus and other modulation effects in the Helix and in the world...  but only one JC120 Chorus... especially when mixed with the reverb... it's a sound all it's own, and it changes with your playing..  and frankly sometimes not in a good way... but that's kinda the point too.  

 

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