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bad distortions?


krz19
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I recently acquired a helix floor. It happens that distortions do not convince me. I have read that with good Irs it improves the sound quality quite a bit. I have not succeeded.
Do you have any suggestions for a good distortion?

I don't want to get to the point of deciding to sell it, and stay with Fractal. I want to give Helix the opportunity, because I have it very recently and I don't know how to configure distortions well.
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When you say distortions are you talking about the drive pedal models or the distortion coming from the amp models?

 

I mean, there's all sorts of videos and sound clips out of the Helix sounding very good, so it's clearly capable of producing a broad range of very good tones. Perhaps it would help if you gave some examples of what you're wanting to hear.

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You're asking a question that can't be answered because "sounds good"/"sounds bad" is entirely subjective.

Even in the real world, not all pedals sound good with all amps, and the difference between good and bad could be a quarter turn of any parameter dial on either the amp or the pedal.

The only thing you can do is try a lot, and if you really can't handle the process, stick with your Fractal or try something else.

Whether you're using Helix or Fractal or analog pedals and amps, the possible configurations are infinite, and only experimentation will get you to YOUR sound.

 

There's no "Magic Bullet".

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I think it's a fair assessment to say that the 'pure' distortion offerings on the Helix are a bit lacking compared to the variety of overdrives and fuzz that are available, for instance. You might have some luck with the distortions in the Legacy category which, although of a lower audio quality, could have the characteristics you're looking for. But beyond that, you might want to just stick with Fractal which has more to offer in this area.

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59 minutes ago, kylotan said:

I think it's a fair assessment to say that the 'pure' distortion offerings on the Helix are a bit lacking compared to the variety of overdrives and fuzz that are available

 

That would be a subjective opinion, rather than a 'fair assessment'.

 

1 hour ago, kylotan said:

just stick with Fractal

 

This however is good advice for the OP.

 

 

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I'm surprised how little help has been offered so far.............??

Let's start at the beginning.

I don't use fractal, so I can't know if this applies there, and I don't know anything about your rig - so that doesn't help at all.

This is assuming you are going FRFR.  If not - probably not useful.

To get a good sound - one that a guitar player referencing the history of guitar sounds might call good - just with a basic amp/cap combo - you need low and high cuts.

This is because guitar speakers have limited frequency range - on purpose - because that's what makes guitar sound good.

A guitar plugged directly into a HiFi sounds bad.  Now if you plug your guitar into the Helix and plug that into an FRFR system - that's what you got.

To confuse this, some systems are doing a "quick fix" for this and adding a basic speaker emulation as a default.  

You might think an IR is that emulation, but probably (and this is also different depending on the IR) this is simply reproducing the mic directly in front of the speaker - and that also generally sounds harsh. So a general EQ is, and always has been part of a recorded guitar sound.

As there is nothing that sounds nice much above 5.5Khz - most people put a cut there abouts.  Without that all distortion (including amp distortion) sounds harsh.

Now if you use a good IR and you apply that cut (and a low cut at say 100hz) you are now in the ballpark - a starting point for your own ears to make adjustment.

If that doesn't help, and you are using an FRFR rig, then I'd be keen to hear more.

You will find YouTube videos where people have A/B'd the real pedal with the Helix model with very slight difference (the kind of difference you get from different pedals), so I'd say it's something you are or aren't doing.

If all that EQ stuff is totally familiar to you.......can't explain you getting different results to many (respected) others.

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You hit the exact spot. I find the distortions too hard.
I don't think the correct answer from several is: "if it doesn't work for you ...". I wonder too much why in fractal it sounds warm, while in Helix they sound too hard. I am not an expert on this, but I think that good modeling should approach reality (microfone amplifier).
Now why does one differ so much from another?

 Which of the two is closest to reality?
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1 hour ago, krz19 said:

Which of the two is closest to reality?

 

The point I was trying to make in my first post and, I think, what RV is trying to say is that, both platforms have very good sounding effects, many A/B (and A/B/C) comparisons have been made between modeled effects on both platforms and THE REAL DEAL, and there are enough variations between individual examples of THE REAL DEAL that there's no definitive and totally objective answer to your question. Use the one that SOUNDS BEST TO YOU! 

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Are you taking the time to tweak the overdrives after you insert them, or are you judging them solely by the default setting? IMO.... I find the majority of the overdrives I insert are set too aggressively by default, either too loud, too much drive, or both. As soon as I tweak them in the manner I would tweak the real pedals I find them "often" remarkably close to the originals. 

 

Also... have you created your basic amp/cab tone prior to using the overdrives? You need to start with a good tone (ie: a tone you like) before adding anything to it. Although I don't own a Fractal and have no experience with one, I do see a trend of users suggesting the Fractal presets sound better than the Helix presets. If you are relying on presets, then that "may" be what you are experiencing. 

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13 minutes ago, codamedia said:

Are you taking the time to tweak the overdrives after you insert them, or are you judging them solely by the default setting? IMO.... I find the majority of the overdrives I insert are set too aggressively by default, either too loud, too much drive, or both. As soon as I tweak them in the manner I would tweak the real pedals I find them "often" remarkably close to the originals.

 

Pretty much this. I find the drives in the Helix to be quite excellent (minus perhaps the fuzz models, which I really don't think are doing too well - and yes, I fooled around with various input impedances) but their default settings are nothing to write home about, more to the opposite. As you say, plenty of them are adding way too much drive/boost (similar with the amps), as if they were designed to only please the high gain crowd. But once you do some tweaks, most of them are absolutely excellent IMO.

No idea what the drives are like in Fractal land by now, but until not too long ago it was kinda wellknown that quite some Axe users were asking for drives delivering Helix quality.

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15 hours ago, krz19 said:

You hit the exact spot. I find the distortions too hard.

 

One possibility is that you need to trim your top end a bit. Pre- or post-EQ the amp, and / or set a high cut in the cab block at ~8kHz and have another go. And as others have said, be sure to dial back the effect pedal parameters right back and dial the effect gain / intensity in until you hit the desired level.

 

And please - just normal fonts for posts - I can barely see your last.

 

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I commented that on the weekend I decided to try the EQs in different positions, where the result improved a lot, and I was able to regulate the means of distortion. It would be great if an EQ is incorporated into od / ds and thus not rely on an EQ block to make adjustments. Why do I make this kind of request? Because Helix occupied it in pedal mode, and easily solve it with snapshot.

But I'm not occupying snapshot.

 


 
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7 hours ago, krz19 said:

 

I commented that on the weekend I decided to try the EQs in different positions, where the result improved a lot, and I was able to regulate the means of distortion. It would be great if an EQ is incorporated into od / ds and thus not rely on an EQ block to make adjustments. Why do I make this kind of request? Because Helix occupied it in pedal mode, and easily solve it with snapshot.

But I'm not occupying snapshot.

 



 

 

The whole point of "modeling" is to accurately model a particular device's real world behavior. Adding EQ to the device defeats that purpose.

Having a separate EQ to modify that device's behavior accurately models what you would do in the real world to get a result specific to YOUR needs.

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