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Guitar input pad - does you or doesn't you?


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I actually changed from input pad on to off (at least for the time being), pretty much the other way around from what many others seem to be doing. I started with it on after reading several comments about it to improve some things. That was before I bought the Helix. When I finally got it, I compared on/off with what I thought would be my most used amps and some things seemed to sound/react a little better, so I left it on.
Ok, over time I was working a bit more with Helix Native (and other software amps), using the straight DI signal (coming from USB 7/8). And even with my hotter guitars, it's always been pretty weak - which is annoying as I have to way zoom in to visually control cuts and such.

But well, that wasn't the main reason for me to turn it back off. I noticed that with my particular assortment of guitars (my absolute No.1 being an Anderson with pretty low level PUs) some of the drives would simply work better with Input Pad off, most notably the Top Secret OD (which is indeed my most loved drive within the Helix, actually delivering what I usually expect from a nice fuzz). So I checked all my patches and re-adjusted them. I found most of them to work better in the end.


There's some drawbacks, though. I think some Helix amps deliver too much drive, so I have to turn their drive parameter way down or activate a volume block in front - which wasn't necessary with Input Pad on. Now, I have a volume block as the first thing in my signal chain anyway (at least on all of my regular patches), but I prefer to have as little blocks as possible switched on for a basic tone. Whatever, unfortunately my most used amp models for anything slightly driven to standard rock kinda stuff, namely the two 2204s, are affected the most. I like them a lot with very little drive (I rather add gain with some drive models), just as I did back when I owned a JCM800, and with the Input Pad off, without a preceeding drive block I need to go down as low as 1.0 or even 0.8/0.9 on the Drive parameter.

I may have to revisit the entire thing one day, for now I decided to live with IP off.


Whatever, ideally, there would be a patch setting allowing you to overwrite the global setting (global/on/off). And IMO it'd be even better in case there were more settings (I'd likely go for something inbetween), but that would require new hardware.

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