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subseauk

Complete newbie with modlers etc, am I doing something stupid??

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Hi all, finally took the plunge and went for a Helix floor unit after reading loads of reviews, forums etc!!

Jumped straight in checking all the presets and effects out but have to say I was not as impressed as I thought I would be.

I'm running through Bose Headphones at the moment as had to sell all my other gear to pay for the Helix. As a complete newbie I down loaded some IRs after watching vids on youtube and hearing the sound which ii thought were pretty amazing. The problem I am having Is the sound I am getting just doesn't sound anything like any of the videos or sound samples previously heard. My question is should IRs sound the same as the sound files out of the box or do I have to alter settings on the Helix? ie the amps just don't sound loud or offer much in the way of sustain etc. Please excuse me if I have not gotten the subject across very well.

BTW I am using a Fender Strat and Gibson LP but both sound pretty subdued.

Helix and Edit firmware 2.8

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kev

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4 minutes ago, subseauk said:

My question is should IRs sound the same as the sound files out of the box or do I have to alter settings on the Helix?

 

Yes, you need to alter the settings, but also learn how to do this to please your ears. IR's are different as some are done well, and others are not. The cabs in Helix are mostly what I use, along with those in the Power Cab +. It is a process but once you learn how to do this it will pay off. Keep reading here and elsewhere, listening and watching tutorials. Youtube is your friend. And welcome!

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Cheers Spikey, It may seem obvious to some but I didn't want to "mess" with what was a good sound on the IR I had downloaded as I thought that was what you were basically paying for, ie the setup, I didn't know you would need to alter the amp settings say!!!

Thanks for the input and just to be clear we are talking about the Helix inline Block Amp settings :-)

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16 minutes ago, subseauk said:

BTW I am using a Fender Strat and Gibson LP but both sound pretty subdued.

 

Hi subseauk,

 

You may want to check the “input pad” settings when using the single coils on the Strat and ‘buckers on the Paul. That may need playing around with if they sound subdued as they have different impedance.

 

Oh, yeah - I don’t think anyone has ever been impressed by the onboard preset files right out of the box - you need to work on your own stuff and getting it sounding how you want. If you have come from a regular amp set up and not used a modelling system it seems totally alien, because what you are dealing with is a fully produced sound such as you would experience in a studio control room listening through the monitor system. 

 

Keep at it - you will find your sound.

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The first thing that pops out at me is where do you have your Helix master volume set (big knob on the floor unit)?  That kind of determines the output of all of your presets.  Bear in mind there's no guarantee that any preset you might download or that comes with the Helix will be built with a specific master volume setting, so you may have to adjust each amp's channel volume so they match up appropriately with YOUR specific master volume setting.  Where people set their master volume is up to each person.  Line 6 recommends running it full open, but that's not practical for most people.  For myself I keep mine at around 3 o'clock when developing patches and around 12 o'clock when I'm playing through my FRFR monitor on stage.  The main thing is to be consistent so your patches can be consistent.  In my experience, the higher you set the master volume on the Helix, the more consistent the amp settings will be with their real world counterparts for achieving a given volume.

 

As far as IRs, those are just an alternative to the stock cabinets in the Helix.  Typically you'll use one or the other, but in both cases it's just a specific cabinet with a specific set of mics positioned in specific locations on the cabinet.  Stock cabinets or IRs can be used on any amp block and will affect the overall sound of that amp in the same way as different cabinets, speakers, and mics do in the real world.  They really don't affect things like sustain which would be controlled by the amp gain or potentially master volume on whatever amp you're using.  They only affect the overall tone of the amp.

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This part might sound obvious dumb/but sometimes people get excited and gloss over stuff, so don't think I'm I'm being condescending here, just touching bases.

 

Think of it as each preset is it's own guitar rig. Are you gonna plug your guitar into just any setup and have it sound the way you like? The other thing to keep in mind is what the Helix is meant to reproduce when you're using headphones or studio monitors or FRFR. If you're accustomed to hearing what a cabinet (combo, head/cab, whatever) sounds like sitting on the floor next to you, the only way to recreate that in the Helix is to connect it to a real guitar cab/power amp with cab modeling/IRs turned off and listen to it out in the room. Honestly, I've been playing modelers and multi-FX pedals since the Zoom 505, and I've yet to find one there presets actually sound good outside of a few really wild synth-type sounds. Editing for your guitars, your playing style, etc is NECESSARY on almost all of these devices.

 

Inexpensive headphones will never get your the best sounds out of the Helix, but they shouldn't be awful either. Whenever I get a new piece of gear like this my first thing to do is go to a blank preset and add nothing but an amp and separate cab/IR block and tweak those things till I'm happy with the sound, just like I would do if I was in a recording studio tracking through studio gear. Maybe even do it with a couple of different amps/cabs to get an understanding of what parameters are doing before you add in any FX. Knowing what sounds good to you and how to get it with the gear will make going back and editing any of the presets that have a sound close to what you like much easier. Another important thing to remember is that headphone-created patches will almost always ONLY sound good in headphones, so you'll have to tweak those patches when you plug into bigger speakers/monitors. Think of of it like going from a 1x4 cab to a 4x12 cab. There's no way the same settings are gonna work, even with top of the line boutique tube gear. 

 

Tweak with your ears, not your eyes! There's a learning curve, but once you figure out how it all works, there's so many possibilities, and its actually really easy to adjust stuff once you're comfortable with the interface. Good luck!

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Buy some Fremen tones and you will see what Helix can do - promise - they will make your day especially if your a pink floyd fan - sound incredible - the "Mother" preset alone is amazing

 

Also invest in high quality headphone amp - I actually use 2 its crazy amazing - amp 1 is emotiva and use a little dot III as a preamp as it is tubed to warm things up - pricey but well worth it

 

The emotiva acts more of a digital sound and little dot acts like a warmer natural sound - I use the volume dials of each to go more digital or more natural

 

Lastly get a nice pair of Sennsi 650's of ebay you will be in jamming heaven 

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Get Equalizer APO if on a pc - huge difference in sound capabilities especially gain (volume) also eq - I use this with peace addon also with my amps really boosts the sound stage

 

Equalizer APO - free

 

https://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/

 

Peace addon - free

 

https://sourceforge.net/projects/peace-equalizer-apo-extension/

 

If your on a mac your out of luck nothing comes close to this on mac side of things and its only for a pc and its free :)

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8 hours ago, subseauk said:

Hi all, finally took the plunge and went for a Helix floor unit after reading loads of reviews, forums etc!!

Jumped straight in checking all the presets and effects out but have to say I was not as impressed as I thought I would be.

 

[...]

 

BTW I am using a Fender Strat and Gibson LP but both sound pretty subdued.

Helix and Edit firmware 2.8

 

Hello mate - fwiw, another UK Helix user, but more to the point, main guitars are a Strat and an LP (wow, sooo adventurous, aren't we?). And my first impressions of Helix were... meh.

 

I'd spent the previous few years using the Line 6 HD500 so not unused to modeling, but I naively expected Helix to sound better out of the box than a fully set up HD500... daft in hindsight, but there you go.

 

Please, be patient and get to grips with the unit. As others have said, the time spent pays off in spades. Helix is very, very good, but a classic case of you get back what you put in.

 

All I would suggest is that you keep it simple for now. No third party IRs. Just a handful of amps that you like, a bit of reverb, and plenty of time spent dialling in basic, foundation tones that you are happy with. First walk, then run :-)

 

Enjoy!

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There are already a ton of great tips here and as has been suggested load of informative videos on Youtube on how to get a great tone. The biggest general tip I would give to anyone new to modeling is this:  If you use an FRFR be ready to learn how to EQ it properly as it has none of the built in limitations on frequency range  nor the frequency response of a guitar speaker that you are used to hearing. If you are looking to ramp up more quickly use a guitar cab but recognize that you will be hearing something different than the FOH.  In addition cab models and IRs (if you are even using them with your guitar amp) will not be as well differentiated as they are with an FRFR. Amp models will be better differentiated using a guitar amp/cab if you run them either through the effect loop or use a 4CM setup. Regardless of what you use as a monitor be prepared to have to ramp up as there is a learning curve, instant gratification is rare or limited but it is well worth the effort once you get your head wrapped around this incredibly powerful tool. Oh, and finally, there are guidelines and tips but no rules, if it sounds good to you give it a try.

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22 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

The first thing that pops out at me is where do you have your Helix master volume set (big knob on the floor unit)?  That kind of determines the output of all of your presets.  Bear in mind there's no guarantee that any preset you might download or that comes with the Helix will be built with a specific master volume setting, so you may have to adjust each amp's channel volume so they match up appropriately with YOUR specific master volume setting.  Where people set their master volume is up to each person.  Line 6 recommends running it full open, but that's not practical for most people.  For myself I keep mine at around 3 o'clock when developing patches and around 12 o'clock when I'm playing through my FRFR monitor on stage.  The main thing is to be consistent so your patches can be consistent.  In my experience, the higher you set the master volume on the Helix, the more consistent the amp settings will be with their real world counterparts for achieving a given volume.

 

As far as IRs, those are just an alternative to the stock cabinets in the Helix.  Typically you'll use one or the other, but in both cases it's just a specific cabinet with a specific set of mics positioned in specific locations on the cabinet.  Stock cabinets or IRs can be used on any amp block and will affect the overall sound of that amp in the same way as different cabinets, speakers, and mics do in the real world.  They really don't affect things like sustain which would be controlled by the amp gain or potentially master volume on whatever amp you're using.  They only affect the overall tone of the amp.

Hi mate, the master volume dial makes no difference as far as I can tell as I am only using headphones at the moment but the feedback is appreciated.

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16 hours ago, BBD_123 said:

 

Hello mate - fwiw, another UK Helix user, but more to the point, main guitars are a Strat and an LP (wow, sooo adventurous, aren't we?). And my first impressions of Helix were... meh.

 

I'd spent the previous few years using the Line 6 HD500 so not unused to modeling, but I naively expected Helix to sound better out of the box than a fully set up HD500... daft in hindsight, but there you go.

 

Please, be patient and get to grips with the unit. As others have said, the time spent pays off in spades. Helix is very, very good, but a classic case of you get back what you put in.

 

All I would suggest is that you keep it simple for now. No third party IRs. Just a handful of amps that you like, a bit of reverb, and plenty of time spent dialling in basic, foundation tones that you are happy with. First walk, then run :-)

 

Enjoy!

Cheers BBD, I can see me having to do just that. I understand the reasoning behind it but is there anywhere that the names provided by line6 shows what they units are in the real world ?

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22 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

The first thing that pops out at me is where do you have your Helix master volume set (big knob on the floor unit)?  That kind of determines the output of all of your presets.  Bear in mind there's no guarantee that any preset you might download or that comes with the Helix will be built with a specific master volume setting, so you may have to adjust each amp's channel volume so they match up appropriately with YOUR specific master volume setting.  Where people set their master volume is up to each person.  Line 6 recommends running it full open, but that's not practical for most people.  For myself I keep mine at around 3 o'clock when developing patches and around 12 o'clock when I'm playing through my FRFR monitor on stage.  The main thing is to be consistent so your patches can be consistent.  In my experience, the higher you set the master volume on the Helix, the more consistent the amp settings will be with their real world counterparts for achieving a given volume.

 

As far as IRs, those are just an alternative to the stock cabinets in the Helix.  Typically you'll use one or the other, but in both cases it's just a specific cabinet with a specific set of mics positioned in specific locations on the cabinet.  Stock cabinets or IRs can be used on any amp block and will affect the overall sound of that amp in the same way as different cabinets, speakers, and mics do in the real world.  They really don't affect things like sustain which would be controlled by the amp gain or potentially master volume on whatever amp you're using.  They only affect the overall tone of the amp.

Cheers mate, playing via Bose headphones at the moment so can't compare output through an amp but I was under the impression you would get the effect of the amp via the modler without the need of an external amp or am I expecting too much!

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21 hours ago, rsvette12 said:

Get Equalizer APO if on a pc - huge difference in sound capabilities especially gain (volume) also eq - I use this with peace addon also with my amps really boosts the sound stage

 

Equalizer APO - free

 

https://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/

 

Peace addon - free

 

https://sourceforge.net/projects/peace-equalizer-apo-extension/

 

If your on a mac your out of luck nothing comes close to this on mac side of things and its only for a pc and its free :)

Wouldn't you believe it I run a Mac system :- (    oh well

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On 8/7/2019 at 7:08 AM, subseauk said:

Hi all, finally took the plunge and went for a Helix floor unit after reading loads of reviews, forums etc!!

Jumped straight in checking all the presets and effects out but have to say I was not as impressed as I thought I would be.

I'm running through Bose Headphones at the moment as had to sell all my other gear to pay for the Helix. As a complete newbie I down loaded some IRs after watching vids on youtube and hearing the sound which ii thought were pretty amazing. The problem I am having Is the sound I am getting just doesn't sound anything like any of the videos or sound samples previously heard. My question is should IRs sound the same as the sound files out of the box or do I have to alter settings on the Helix? ie the amps just don't sound loud or offer much in the way of sustain etc. Please excuse me if I have not gotten the subject across very well.

BTW I am using a Fender Strat and Gibson LP but both sound pretty subdued.

Helix and Edit firmware 2.8

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kev

I tried the Helix at Guitar Center, and it sounded awful. I knew Helix sounded great, as I tried Helix Native, at home. I added a low cut at 100 hz, a high cut at 8k to the cab block. That helped. I added a second cab, with the same cuts, and a different mic (first was condenser, second was a ribbon). This made it better. 

 

I still wasn't fully happy with the tone, though. I think the Alto speaker they had it running through (I think it was branded Headrush, but I'm pretty sure they are the same thing). I bought the unit, despite how it sounded, in the store. 

 

I bought the unit and tried it at home, with my Xitone MBritt, frfr cab, and it sounded amazingly good, even on the 2.30 firmware. I didn't really mess around with it for too long, since I am sending it back to get a new one, rather than the used one I was sold as new, but in about 30 minutes, I had plexi, jcm800, ac30, and fender deluxe sounds I was happy with. 30m for four patches is pretty impressive -- especially being a former hd500x user. 

 

Even using IRs, try making the cuts I mentioned. I still think what the sound is going out of makes a huge difference, though. 

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I've scanned through this post and I might be missing it, but....

 

The OP mentions "jumping in and checking all the presets..." (by which I expect he means factory presets) and also mentions using IRs. Afaik all of the factory presets use stock cabs. Nobody seems to have mentioned the possibility that the OP has simply added an IR to a preset that is already using a stock cab. If this is the case then I would expect the sound to be horrible. Use either a stock cab OR an IR - not both.

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3 hours ago, subseauk said:

is there anywhere that the names provided by line6 shows what they units are in the real world ?

 

Yes, there's a good list here. Scroll down for links to cabs, effects and mics.

 

3 hours ago, subseauk said:

I was under the impression you would get the effect of the amp via the modler without the need of an external amp or am I expecting too much!

 

No! Helix does the lot, from effects to amps to cabs to mics - the whole signal chain - so you can monitor through headphones.

 

50 minutes ago, silverhead said:

Nobody seems to have mentioned the possibility that the OP has simply added an IR to a preset that is already using a stock cab. If this is the case then I would expect the sound to be horrible. Use either a stock cab OR an IR - not both.

 

And this ^^^^^^^^

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56 minutes ago, silverhead said:

I've scanned through this post and I might be missing it, but....

 

The OP mentions "jumping in and checking all the presets..." (by which I expect he means factory presets) and also mentions using IRs. Afaik all of the factory presets use stock cabs. Nobody seems to have mentioned the possibility that the OP has simply added an IR to a preset that is already using a stock cab. If this is the case then I would expect the sound to be horrible. Use either a stock cab OR an IR - not both.

Oh yah! Very good point. If it was an amp+cab block and you stuck an additional ir in their, it's probably not going to work well. 

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So much great info provided already in this thread.. especially @silverhead's comment a post or two above. 

 

On 8/7/2019 at 6:08 AM, subseauk said:

the amps just don't sound loud or offer much in the way of sustain etc...

 

I'm going to try and tackle this one :) 

 

You are monitoring through headphones... therefore the guitar has "zero" interaction with any volume. Sustain is often the result of an amp being turned up, and the guitar interacting with that amp. If you monitor the Helix through an FRFR (or similar) and get it up to levels similar to a "real amp", then it will sound and feel more like a "real amp". (This is partly because you will setup the amp model in a more realistic way was well)

 

There are tricks to simulate this type of interaction through IEM (headphones) or at lower volumes, but those tricks won't be implemented in any presets... you would need to learn how to add those yourself. There isn't really a "one trick fits all". Boosts, pre-amps, compression, overdrives, EQ, delay, reverb, etc... etc... can all help provide depth, loudness and sustain... how it is applied will change from tone to tone.

 

Just my 2 cents....

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4 hours ago, subseauk said:

 

I understand the reasoning behind it but is there anywhere that the names provided by line6 shows what they units are in the real world ?

 

 

Hi again,

 

This might seem like stating the bleeding obvious, but you can find what the the real amps and FX the Line 6 models are based on in the the Helix Owners Manual. Oops!

 

Ok you might find this link useful in figuring out not only what the Amps and FX are based on, but also lots of tips for the common amp and FX settings. Plus all the Factory Reset info should you ever need it.

 

https://helixhelp.netlify.com/

 

Have fun.

 

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5 hours ago, patrick2099 said:

I tried the Helix at Guitar Center, and it sounded awful. I knew Helix sounded great, as I tried Helix Native, at home. I added a low cut at 100 hz, a high cut at 8k to the cab block. That helped. I added a second cab, with the same cuts, and a different mic (first was condenser, second was a ribbon). This made it better. 

 

I still wasn't fully happy with the tone, though. I think the Alto speaker they had it running through (I think it was branded Headrush, but I'm pretty sure they are the same thing). I bought the unit, despite how it sounded, in the store. 

 

I bought the unit and tried it at home, with my Xitone MBritt, frfr cab, and it sounded amazingly good, even on the 2.30 firmware. I didn't really mess around with it for too long, since I am sending it back to get a new one, rather than the used one I was sold as new, but in about 30 minutes, I had plexi, jcm800, ac30, and fender deluxe sounds I was happy with. 30m for four patches is pretty impressive -- especially being a former hd500x user. 

 

Even using IRs, try making the cuts I mentioned. I still think what the sound is going out of makes a huge difference, though. 

Cheers Patrick

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1 hour ago, datacommando said:

 

Hi again,

 

This might seem like stating the bleeding obvious, but you can find what the the real amps and FX the Line 6 models are based on in the the Helix Owners Manual. Oops!

 

Ok you might find this link useful in figuring out not only what the Amps and FX are based on, but also lots of tips for the common amp and FX settings. Plus all the Factory Reset info should you ever need it.

 

https://helixhelp.netlify.com/

 

Have fun.

 

Thanks for the response DC and the link 

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1 hour ago, codamedia said:

So much great info provided already in this thread.. especially @silverhead's comment a post or two above. 

 

 

I'm going to try and tackle this one :) 

 

You are monitoring through headphones... therefore the guitar has "zero" interaction with any volume. Sustain is often the result of an amp being turned up, and the guitar interacting with that amp. If you monitor the Helix through an FRFR (or similar) and get it up to levels similar to a "real amp", then it will sound and feel more like a "real amp". (This is partly because you will setup the amp model in a more realistic way was well)

 

There are tricks to simulate this type of interaction through IEM (headphones) or at lower volumes, but those tricks won't be implemented in any presets... you would need to learn how to add those yourself. There isn't really a "one trick fits all". Boosts, pre-amps, compression, overdrives, EQ, delay, reverb, etc... etc... can all help provide depth, loudness and sustain... how it is applied will change from tone to tone.

 

Just my 2 cents....

Thanks for the repsonse Codamedia, all input is welcomed

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2 hours ago, patrick2099 said:

Oh yah! Very good point. If it was an amp+cab block and you stuck an additional ir in their, it's probably not going to work well. 

Thanks guys, I was sticking the IR straight in as I thought it was a complete setup replacing anything already there, I will go off and check it all again Doh!!!

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Another good resource is Custom Tone.  I would search and look for best rated tones and download them and demo them.  You can search by artist, song, and guitar.  I will warn you there are some not so good patches and some great ones.  I used this technique to get myself started and tweak.  The FB page on Helix also has some very good patches.  This technique helps get you started with say a tone that is 70-90% there and only needs a little massaging to get something decent.

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On 8/7/2019 at 4:08 AM, subseauk said:

I'm running through Bose Headphones at the moment as had to sell all my other gear to pay for the Helix.

 

This is probably the problem, for lack of a better word. You'll have to tweak the settings to get a good sound out of your headphones. I have different setting for my headphones compared to my powered cabinet because they sound completely different. Also because i have a different guitar and different set up than what someone may have when they post a video their preset doesn't sound the same with my gear as it does with theirs. That's part of the learning curve, and I'm still learning myself. What motivates me is seeing that other people can make some amazing tones, so I just have to dial mine in. I've come up with some awesome sounding presets, just takes a bit of practice. Good luck and don't get discouraged!

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19 hours ago, subseauk said:

Cheers mate, playing via Bose headphones at the moment so can't compare output through an amp but I was under the impression you would get the effect of the amp via the modler without the need of an external amp or am I expecting too much!

 

You do get the effect of the amp model through the modeler.  But the Helix amp model is just the amp itself, not the cabinet as if you were just using an amp head.  Beyond just the modeled amp head, you still need to have a modeled cabinet selected along with how you want it mic'd (or alternatively an IR) in order to give you a fully formed amp and cabinet model to produce a fully formed model of a real world setup.  The Helix provides a signal output that contains the results of the modeled amp and cabinet.  In your case that signal is sent through the Helix internal headphone amp and you listen to it through your Bose headphones.  If you go out through the 1/4" outputs or the XLR outputs you will simply get the un-amplified signal containing the modeled amp and it's selected cab model.  That then needs to go into some form of real world amplifier and speaker.  There are many ways to do this but ultimately the Helix doesn't contain a real world amplifier.  It's providing your modeled signal that still has to be amplified in a traditional sense in the real world.

 

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19 hours ago, subseauk said:

Hi mate, the master volume dial makes no difference as far as I can tell as I am only using headphones at the moment but the feedback is appreciated.

 

That's because you're listening through headsets which are controlled via the headphone volume knob.

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