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Dwf2008

Surfin’ with Helix

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Hello all, I am contemplating purchase of a Helix, but before I do I would like to know how well it will reproduce the surf guitar sounds of the early 60s. I have not been able to find any sound samples that highlight songs like Pipeline or Telstar. I also would like to get Duane Eddy tones. Can the HX accurately sound like the original Fender tube/spring reverb?

Thanks

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It has my vote for being able to sound like anything.

 

Telling you how to get there may not be my forte, but as a guy who is cool with surf rock, I personally think the Helix can do that kind of stuff with one DSP chip tied behind its back. 

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Easy. Reverb spring 69 before a fender twin reverb or deluxe on clean , ans opto tremolo adter the amp.

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Any chance you can provide a sound sample?

 

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Note, though, that if you kick the Helix the reverb won't "sproing" like the real thing.  Firmware 3.0 perhaps?

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The biggest limitation for producing a "surf" sound isn't going to be the Helix.  It's going to be your knowledge and skills about the elements in the signal chain that will produce that sound.  And that signal chain consists of everything from your guitar, it's pickups, the strings you use and even the output device you send the signal to.  The rest of the stuff in the middle such as amps, cabinets, mics for the cabinet, mic placements and various effects such as reverbs and how all of that should be configured will all be a part of getting the "surf" sound.  It's no different than in the real world choosing an amp to play through.  You can go buy a Fender Bassman amp which was used by Bob Bogle back in the day back in the day with the Ventures.  But that amp has been used for many different genres over the years, so it's up to you to know what all is needed and how to configure it specifically to get the Ventures sound.  Likewise in the Helix you can select a Fender Bassman amp along with a cabinet containing 2 C12N speakers along with an appropriate mic and it's placement as well as a spring reverb, but it's still the same limitations as the real amp in that you have to provide the knowledge of how to set it all up.

You can go onto CustomTone on the Line 6 web site and search for the Ventures and they'll have presets to get you started.  They may or may not be right to your ears, but that may be dependent on the other factors such as your guitar, your strings and your output device.  But that's the limitation on any preset because the Helix only controls so much of the signal chain.  There's no doubt the Helix (with the proper gear) can provide a studio quality representation of a surf sound.  But it depends a lot on your knowledge and skills and other external equipment to produce it.

Case in point is your interest in doing some Duane Eddy tones.  The Helix is perfectly capable of that, but you'll struggle to get an authentic Duane Eddy tone using the same guitar used for surf music because most surf music was based on Tele's, Strat's, and Mosrite's whereas Duane Eddy was a famous Gretch hollow body user and Gretsch Filter'Trons sound nothing like Fender single coils.

 

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3 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

The Helix is perfectly capable of that, but you'll struggle to get an authentic Duane Eddy tone using the same guitar used for surf music because most surf music was based on Tele's, Strat's, and Mosrite's whereas Duane Eddy was a famous Gretch hollow body user and Gretsch Filter'Trons sound nothing like Fender single coils.

 

So, all the sound is not coming from just Helix? There's different guitars and fingers involved too? So I guess Helix cant do Andy Summers after all then... Who woulda figured... ; )

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2 hours ago, spikey said:

 

So, all the sound is not coming from just Helix? There's different guitars and fingers involved too? So I guess Helix cant do Andy Summers after all then... Who woulda figured... ; )

I thought we had already established that NOBODY can do Andy Summers? 

 

With regards to surfy tones, I’m going to say that there is only one place that Helix has disappointed me and that is in the spring reverb. It does not get as springy/drippy as I would like. I run a Malekko Spring Chicken in an FX Loop and all is right with the world.

 

I recorded some comparisons a while back. There are three tracks here: one with the Malekko, one with Helix’s Spring Reverb, and one with Helix’s ‘63 Spring Reverb. They are all the same dry track re-amped, so the only change is the reverb. Hope it helps some!

 

https://soundcloud.com/vb-tunes/sets/malekko-spring-chicken-with-line-6-helix

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Verne, thank you so much. This is very helpful.

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Quote

thought we had already established that NOBODY can do Andy Summers? 

 

HA, you just haven't heard the spiffy playing that Silver and I can do!!! ; )

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