Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gampfer

Will this work? Using Helix with a remote amp

Recommended Posts

Ok so I'm sure you've seen this question before, but I couldn't find anything specific to my needs in the search... I'm thinking about purchasing an LT or Floor (thoughts on this welcome, too) and had a question about using it in different settings. 

 

So I've got a Vox AC30 that lives an hour away at my rehearsal space, my band practices once a week so I don't get much time with my amp. I'm thinking about a Helix because I like the idea of having a silent practice tool at home (I have three young kids and no place to play loudly, ever) and a way to create sounds for my band outside of the rehearsal space. Does anyone here have experience working with a Helix and a Tube amp where they are creating presets and shaping their sound remotely from their main source of amplification? How does it work for you? Can you create sounds leveraging the models for your amp at home then remove the amp / cab when you go 4CM with the amp in person? How does it translate?

 

Thanks for any thoughts! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gampfer,

 

Many of us have worked through this kind of scenario.  If you get a Helix, you have the perfect tool for practicing and playing at home.  I assume since you say "silent practice"  you will want to use headphones.   The selection of headphones is important, and there are lots of threads you will find for a recommendation.  I don't use headphones at home so I won't recommend anything.  I practice and make my patches using FRFR speakers, home amps, and/or my most recent acquisition the PowerCab +.   When I play live, I go direct to front of house and use in-ear monitors.

 

In the helix, you can use the Essex A-30, Fawn AC30, and the Matchless models to get tones you are used to from your AC30.   One cool thing about the Helix is you can do dual amps in any combination you can think of.

 

You will have at your disposal a huge amount of variation of other amp tones available to you. But if you primarily want the AC30 sound, I would develop my patches using the AC30 amp model at home using the built in cabinet model.  Put in an the preamp model of the same amp you dialed in and match the values with the full amp model.  Then when you get to your practice venue, you can bypass the full amp/cab model, and activate the preamp.  Run the output at line from the helix to the effects return of your AC30.    It'll sound fantastic.

 

You can run the 4 Cable Method, but the preamps in the Helix will be just as good, and they will be consistent.   4CM is fun to play with, but I find it too much effort other than for experimentation.

 

From there you can do other things of course.  You can use different preamps besides the AC30 type with the power amp on your AC30, as well as do things like run the XLR from your helix to the front of house, and just your your AC30 as your backline.  The options are endless.   Be careful or you may spend more time experimenting than playing.

 

I don't travel with any of my tube amps anymore.  I just use Amp modeling in the Helix with Impulse Responses and go direct to the front of house.  I use in-ear monitors when I play.  I have lots of options for using a backline to allow me to get interaction of the speaker to fingers and strings like you would playing in front of a real tube amp.  

 

The bottom line is that the helix will open up all kinds of possibilities for you.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful response, Bob. Appreciate it! 

 

You're correct in assuming that I'll be using headphones when playing at home. I have a small (closet-sized) studio and plan to use the Helix straight into my interface (Focusrite Scarlet  2i4) with some Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro studio headphones for monitoring my sound while working on stuff here. 

 

Like the tips on how to play into the power section of the AC30 and will likely go that route. I have a ton of pedals and crap and wouldnt mind consolidating the lot down. Depending on how things sound I may end up with some kind of FRFR for my backline and to give me more stuff to play with in the rehearsal space. I'm sick of lugging around the 90lb AC30 lol. 

 

So you've got me convinced, now I just need to decide if I should be responsible and go with the LT or splurge on a full Helix :) 

 

Thanks again! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gampfer said:

Ok so I'm sure you've seen this question before, but I couldn't find anything specific to my needs in the search... I'm thinking about purchasing an LT or Floor (thoughts on this welcome, too) and had a question about using it in different settings. 

 

So I've got a Vox AC30 that lives an hour away at my rehearsal space, my band practices once a week so I don't get much time with my amp. I'm thinking about a Helix because I like the idea of having a silent practice tool at home (I have three young kids and no place to play loudly, ever) and a way to create sounds for my band outside of the rehearsal space. Does anyone here have experience working with a Helix and a Tube amp where they are creating presets and shaping their sound remotely from their main source of amplification? How does it work for you? Can you create sounds leveraging the models for your amp at home then remove the amp / cab when you go 4CM with the amp in person? How does it translate?

 

Thanks for any thoughts! 

 

What you're asking for is certainly doable, but personally I take issue with the assertion that it will be as simple as creating a patch with headphones at home, and then disabling the cab and mic sims in favor of the preamp-only models when you're plugging into your Vox at rehearsal. Using full amp and cab models and monitoring through any sort of FRFR platform such as headphones is VERY different than playing through an actual guitar amp... they have vastly different frequency responses. There is also going to be a huge volume difference between what you're getting through the cans, and the level you'll be cranked to in a full band setting... and volume has an enormous impact on our perception of different frequency ranges. Just turning off the cab sims and plugging into an amp is very unlikely to produce the same tone you've carefully crafted through your headphones.

 

Two completely different usage scenarios like these will always acquire some significant EQ changes to yield similar results, especially with dirty tones. Less so with clean sounds, in my experience. It's not impossible to achieve, but you will have to do some tweaking for each scenario... it's unavoidable. Keeping separate sets of patches for each situation will be far easier in the long run, as opposed to constantly changing multiple parameters every time you move between rehearsal and home.

 

Live, I run straight to the PA and at home I'm playing through either headphones or studio monitors, so everything is some sort of FRFR platform for me. The volume difference alone is enough to require different sets of patches depending on where I am... you'll be dealing with not only a big volume discrepancy, but two totally different output systems. That's gonna require some work to sort out.... and fit a while, the liberal use of most of the English language's really good profanity, until you get used to how modelers work. ;)

 

All that being said, Helix is a great unit,  and I wouldn't trade mine for the "boutique-iest" tube amp on the planet. But it will take some getting used to, and instant gratification is rare for most who make the transition from the analog amp world... and if you're trying to marry the two, it'll mean wearing different hats depending on what you're listening through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...