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drb1982

Tips/Advice for Setting Up Patches

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I am looking to hear some examples of how other people set up their patches with the Helix. I want to see if there is a different method than the one I’m using that would work better for me. 
 

Right now I’m basically using one patch for 90% of my playing. I have a Marshall JCM Amp model and I use snapshots on the bottom 4 foot switches to go from clean to distortion. Then I use the top 4 switches for effects, like modulation and delay. This takes care of almost everything I need. However, if a song I’m working on requires different effects, something I don’t use often, I will start a new patch, use the same amp model, and just add the effects needed to the patch. This gives me a consistent tone song after song, as I’m using the same amp model. 
 

This method has been working for me so far, but sometimes I can’t help feeling like I’m wasting the helix’s potential. It has so many amp models available and I’m really only using one. Sometimes, to mix it up, I’ll set up a  new patch with a different amp model and work out a new song using it. However, when I try to do a set, I find that when I switch between amp models song after song, I don’t like it. The tone isn’t consistent. I must be OCD because I need a consistent tone when I’m playing. I don’t like an entirely different sound song after song. 
 

I’m wondering if maybe I should set up a few patches the exact same except with a different amp model in each. That way I can get the same tone for an entire set but have some variety with different amps when I feel like switching. 
 

How are you setting up your patches? Do you have one jack of all trades patch? Or do you make a new patch every song? I’d really like to hear everyone’s method for setting them up. 

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Check out Jason Sadites on YouTube. That's a great place to start. The series is called How To Create A Great Sounding Tone. There are about 16 of them. It may sound like a lot but it's because the Helix has a lot. 

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19 hours ago, drb1982 said:

I am looking to hear some examples of how other people set up their patches with the Helix. I want to see if there is a different method than the one I’m using that would work better for me. 
 

Right now I’m basically using one patch for 90% of my playing. I have a Marshall JCM Amp model and I use snapshots on the bottom 4 foot switches to go from clean to distortion. Then I use the top 4 switches for effects, like modulation and delay. This takes care of almost everything I need. However, if a song I’m working on requires different effects, something I don’t use often, I will start a new patch, use the same amp model, and just add the effects needed to the patch. This gives me a consistent tone song after song, as I’m using the same amp model. 
 

This method has been working for me so far, but sometimes I can’t help feeling like I’m wasting the helix’s potential. It has so many amp models available and I’m really only using one. Sometimes, to mix it up, I’ll set up a  new patch with a different amp model and work out a new song using it. However, when I try to do a set, I find that when I switch between amp models song after song, I don’t like it. The tone isn’t consistent. I must be OCD because I need a consistent tone when I’m playing. I don’t like an entirely different sound song after song. 
 

I’m wondering if maybe I should set up a few patches the exact same except with a different amp model in each. That way I can get the same tone for an entire set but have some variety with different amps when I feel like switching. 
 

How are you setting up your patches? Do you have one jack of all trades patch? Or do you make a new patch every song? I’d really like to hear everyone’s method for setting them up. 

 

It's funny because I'm a bit the opposite insofar as I want to have maximum variety in patches, and even within patches.  I have a number of patches where in that very patch, there are 2 different amp models that I switch between.  For the metal patches, it's typically a distorted, higher gain amp, paired with a clean one; I assign a switch for the amp model, and often I will associate a chorus effect with that same switch.   Some patches are what I call "dual-tone", where I may have 2 different artist sounds that I try to work into the same patch, such as pairing a Police "sound" with a King Crimson "sound"- one amp (the Roland JC) is focused on the Police and 80s KC, whereas the Hi-Watt model is geared towards 70s King Crimson.  I actually don't even use snapshots yet; I set up my switches to all be stomp switches, and then just hit the up/down switches to temporarily drop into pre-set mode if I want to select another patch.

 

As far as consistency, maybe the issue you are having when switching between patches is more about the patch/amp volume.  The actual relative volume of each amp model can vary wildly.  For some reason, the max volume for the Derailed Ingrid model is noticeably lower than that of one of the Marshall models or a Twin.  I actually ended up putting a mic preamp model after the Derailed, to boost the volume enough to match other models.  Another thing I do in most of my patches is use at least 1 or 2 EQ blocks, and set a switch for the mid frequency and/or mid gain for a parametric EQ block.  This essentially adds a "mid frequency" shift switch, that you will often find on more complex amps, or on modded amps.

 

There's a lot of options you have available.  If you're feeling like you're wasting potential, don't sweat it.  A lot of people gravitate towards favorite amp and effects models.  It's better to have all those options available for later on, when you feel the urge to experiment, than not to have them at all.  Maybe you just need to see how much you can get out of a couple models, until you really have the hang of how to dive into all those parameters.  I was hesitant to get a Helix at first, because the technical number of amplifier models was lower than my RP1000, and I actually held out as long as possible until the number of models and FX increased enough from launch.  When I actually dove into the parameters, I was surprised at how much variance you could get from 1 helix amp, as opposed to the Digitech's very limited parameter control.  The bias and sag controls alone can make one Helix amp model have the variations equivlanet to 2-3 RP1000 amp models.  Just go at your own pace, and get familiar with how all the parameters work.

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21 hours ago, drb1982 said:

I am looking to hear some examples of how other people set up their patches with the Helix. I want to see if there is a different method than the one I’m using that would work better for me. 
 

Right now I’m basically using one patch for 90% of my playing. I have a Marshall JCM Amp model and I use snapshots on the bottom 4 foot switches to go from clean to distortion. Then I use the top 4 switches for effects, like modulation and delay. This takes care of almost everything I need. However, if a song I’m working on requires different effects, something I don’t use often, I will start a new patch, use the same amp model, and just add the effects needed to the patch. This gives me a consistent tone song after song, as I’m using the same amp model. 
 

This method has been working for me so far, but sometimes I can’t help feeling like I’m wasting the helix’s potential. It has so many amp models available and I’m really only using one. Sometimes, to mix it up, I’ll set up a  new patch with a different amp model and work out a new song using it. However, when I try to do a set, I find that when I switch between amp models song after song, I don’t like it. The tone isn’t consistent. I must be OCD because I need a consistent tone when I’m playing. I don’t like an entirely different sound song after song. 
 

I’m wondering if maybe I should set up a few patches the exact same except with a different amp model in each. That way I can get the same tone for an entire set but have some variety with different amps when I feel like switching. 
 

How are you setting up your patches? Do you have one jack of all trades patch? Or do you make a new patch every song? I’d really like to hear everyone’s method for setting them up. 

 

I'm probably at the far end of the OCD scale from you in that every one of my patches sounds pretty different and unique in most ways from the others.  But that's by design because I don't generally play within the same genre with each song.  Even when I do, there will be differences.  For example if I play classic rock, Joe Walsh's sound is nothing at all like Brian May's sound.  Or in blues BB King's sound is different than Eric Clapton's sound.  And of course there's always the completely unique sound of some artists such as Mark Knopfler or Chet Atkins.  That doesn't bother me at all because I appreciate the differences and try to pay homage to those differences when I play.  It doesn't bother me any more than when I hear two songs from different artists on the radio and they sound different....because the sound is part of what makes each song unique.  And to me, that's what the Helix is best at.

However, I do understand when someone generally plays within the same genre such as metal or punk, there's often not as much variety in sounds and in that case I can see one or two presets for dealing with those circumstances.  I have a few like that such as a strummed acoustic patch or a slide resonator patch or a clean jazz patch.

I think it's really all based on what kind of things you play as to what will work best for you.

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