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Using Helix LT/Native to Sculpt Two Tracks Simultaneously?

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I'd like to do some tone sculpting in preparation for a project where I need to record some doubled tracked hard-panned rhythm guitars.

 

However, I'm aware that tones which sound perfect in mono can sound very different when double tracked and hard panned, so I'd like to sculpt these two tracks simultaneously while they're hard panned. I'd like to have to DI tracks playing in my DAW, hard L and R, and then shape the tone of both simultaneously by modifying the parameters in a single instance of Helix.

 

I own the Helix Native plugin as well as the LT unit (hooked up via USB, but also can use XLR outs to a separate interface), so am up for suggestions using either.
 

So far I tried reamping via usb with the helix, but any stereo input to the Helix gets summed to mono as soon it hits the amp block, and if I split the L/R channels into different lanes of the Helix, then I can't edit two amp block simultaneously, right?

 

I've also tried to do it with Helix native both by applying native to a stereo bus of the two guitars, but that's the same issue as reamping with the helix - the stereo bus gets summed to mono via the amp block. And if I do it with two separate instances of helix on each track, again I don't seem to be able to control the parameters of both simultaneously. I'm using Presonus StudioOne as a DAW.

 

Anyone have any success with this?

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On 10/23/2020 at 9:26 PM, gsmanon said:

I'd like to do some tone sculpting in preparation for a project where I need to record some doubled tracked hard-panned rhythm guitars.

 

I read your post several times.... I think you are over thinking this. 

If you are double tracking hard panned rhythm guitars, just record and process each part separately and hard pan them! That's how it would be done in a real studio! 

 

There is no reason to try doing it all within a single Helix Preset or Native instance. It's far easier to have two MONO tracks in Studio One and process each one with a separate instance of Native. 

 

On 10/23/2020 at 9:26 PM, gsmanon said:

And if I do it with two separate instances of helix on each track, again I don't seem to be able to control the parameters of both simultaneously.

 

IMO.... when recording this is a non issue. Taking the time to process each track on it's own will always produce the best results. 

 

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11 hours ago, codamedia said:

I read your post several times.... I think you are over thinking this. 

If you are double tracking hard panned rhythm guitars, just record and process each part separately and hard pan them! That's how it would be done in a real studio!

 

Yes, when I am actually recording the final takes, this is obviously what I will do. Two separate recordings, hard panned and then mixed appropriately.

 

I'm not talking about recording double tracked guitars simultaneously, I'm talking about deciding what tone to use for my double tracked guitars, and the processed I'd like to deploy to help make that decision is to record two DI guitars, pan them hard left and right, and then reamp them both simultanously through the same helix patch, which I can then edit while listening to get the perfect recording tone.

 

Many amp sims have a "stereo mode" which does precisely this, so you can tweak guitar settings in one places and it effectively changes the settings on both tracks simultaneously. I'm asking if something is equivalent on Helix.

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13 minutes ago, gsmanon said:

I'm not talking about recording double tracked guitars simultaneously, I'm talking about deciding what tone to use for my double tracked guitars, and the processed I'd like to deploy to help make that decision is to record two DI guitars, pan them hard left and right, and then reamp them both simultanously through the same helix patch, which I can then edit while listening to get the perfect recording tone.


Hi,

 

I have to agree with “codamedia” in the post above.  I also read your post several times - you possibly are overthinking this.
 

Once you have captured the DI (Direct Injected) clean guitar by recording it into your DAW, then processing the signal should not be as complex as you want to make it. Once you have decided on the tone you want to achieve, then simply have an instance of  HX Native, loaded with the same preset, as an insert on each track and then playback, panned hard left and right, and adjust to taste.

 

You can playback the dry guitar through as many variations of presets as you want, the dry signal is always there, your choice of preset only happens when you hit “record” to bounce to another take. Audition as many set ups as you want and change as much as you want.  Treat it like a huge sampler, or looper, nothing is permanent until you print it to disc and even then you can change things.You could also save the dry audio and re-amp it through a completely different rig in a months time, if you like. Or maybe, another couple of years down the line there could be yet more amps and FX added to Helix and HX Native, then it could be a totally new experience.

 

Sorry if I am missing something, but I hope this helps/makes sense.

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4 hours ago, datacommando said:

Once you have captured the DI (Direct Injected) clean guitar by recording it into your DAW, then processing the signal should not be as complex as you want to make it. Once you have decided on the tone you want to achieve, then simply have an instance of  HX Native, loaded with the same preset, as an insert on each track and then playback, panned hard left and right, and adjust to taste.

 

I think you misunderstand me. I know exactly what do to as soon as I know what tone I have decided on. What I'm trying to achieve right now is deciding on that tone, and in order to do that, I'd like to be able to find that tone while listening to double tracked DIs being sculpted with a single instance of helix.

Tones sound different in mono than they do when double tracked and panned. So I do not want to decide on my tone in mono, then record it and pan it and find that it's not exactly what I wanted. I want to decide my tone with stereo double tracked guitars, THEN I will record in mono and pan.

 

Forget my intentions - I'm looking for an answer to the technical question "is there a way to affect the tone of multiple tracks running through the helix with a single control". I want to hear two guitars running through separate instances of the same patch, and be able to change both of those patches simultaneously.

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6 hours ago, gsmanon said:

I think you misunderstand me.

 

Hi,

 

You are quite correct, I really can’t understand what you are trying to achieve with this, because having re-read your OP, I think you have already answered your own question.

 

On 10/24/2020 at 3:26 AM, gsmanon said:

 

So far I tried reamping via usb with the helix, but any stereo input to the Helix gets summed to mono as soon it hits the amp block

 


This is the point my confusion - if you have recorded dry guitar signals how/why is it a stereo input to the Helix. There are some exceptions but usually guitars are mono instruments until post amp stereo FX are added.

 

Dazed and confused (once more).

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7 hours ago, gsmanon said:

Forget my intentions - I want to hear two guitars running through separate instances of the same patch, and be able to change both of those patches simultaneously.

 

I will respectfully "forget your intentions" and just answer your question. 

 

No.... it is the simultaneously part that makes it fall apart.  Two guitar parts through separate instances will need to be controlled separately. Even if you run them through a single instance of Native (or the Helix) on separate paths, two amps are two amps. 

 

It appears the biggest hurdle you face is the amps because they have no "stereo version". Set your Helix up with all stereo effects, create a parallel path for the 2nd amp (amp 1 on the upper path, amp 2 on the lower path) and make sure the split & merge are panned appropriately. The effects will be simultaneous, but the amps will need to be controlled separately.

 

If I can make just one suggestion....

 

When building stereo guitar tones, guitar should be treated as MONO IN > STEREO OUT, not STEREO IN > STEREO OUT

There are exceptions to this... but normally that is simply how guitars work. 

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The best option might be to use Helix Native, and use your DAW to link the controls on two amp blocks. 

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1 hour ago, datacommando said:

 

Hi,

 

You are quite correct, I really can’t understand what you are trying to achieve with this, because having re-read your OP, I think you have already answered your own question.

 


This is the point my confusion - if you have recorded dry guitar signals how/why is it a stereo input to the Helix. There are some exceptions but usually guitars are mono instruments until post amp stereo FX are added.

 

Dazed and confused (once more).

 

I'll try to explain again:
The fundamental problem is this: guitar tones sound different in mono than they do when double tracked and hard panned.

The consequences of this problem are this: a tone that you have landed on/sculpted while playing in mono doesn't translate perfectly when doubled and panned.

What I'd like instead: be able to sculpt the two guitar tracks at the same time, while monitoring them already hard panned - turn up the amp's bass control on both amps simultaneously, for example

The consequences of this method: guitars will sound exactly like I want them to when double tracked without me having to constantly/iteratively/blindly adjust the tone in mono until it sounds good doubled and panned

 

In an ideal world, the helix native would have a big button on it called "mono input, or L/R input", and if you put it in mono input mode it works as it does now, but if you put it in L/R input more it acts as two instances of the same patch acting independently on the L/R channels of a stereo input, i.e. not collapsing the stereo guitars to mono, but treating them as two independent guitar signals running the same patch which can be adjusted with a single interface and not one separate interface for the L side and R side.

 

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9 minutes ago, zappazapper said:

The best option might be to use Helix Native, and use your DAW to link the controls on two amp blocks. 

 

Yeah, I think this is the way to go. It's a shame there isn't something built into Native to allow it, or a routing option on the LT/Floor. The LT/Floor responds to midi commands for patch changes, etc, but it would be nice to be able to use a midi controller to control the amp settings on one or more amp blocks for tone sculpting.

 

I have a Faderport 8 so I'm now trying to implement this so I can control the amp controls on two native instances with the sliders on the faderport. Just need to jump the technical hurdles and I'm sure it will work. If it does I'll perhaps upload a tutorial on it somewhere because there's nothing out there that I can see, and I can explain to the people in this thread just how powerful a tool it would be!

 

 

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1 hour ago, codamedia said:

 

I will respectfully "forget your intentions" and just answer your question. 

 

No.... it is the simultaneously part that makes it fall apart.  Two guitar parts through separate instances will need to be controlled separately. Even if you run them through a single instance of Native (or the Helix) on separate paths, two amps are two amps. 

 

It appears the biggest hurdle you face is the amps because they have no "stereo version". Set your Helix up with all stereo effects, create a parallel path for the 2nd amp (amp 1 on the upper path, amp 2 on the lower path) and make sure the split & merge are panned appropriately. The effects will be simultaneous, but the amps will need to be controlled separately.

 

If I can make just one suggestion....

 

When building stereo guitar tones, guitar should be treated as MONO IN > STEREO OUT, not STEREO IN > STEREO OUT

There are exceptions to this... but normally that is simply how guitars work. 

 

I am not building a stereo guitar tone. I am building a mono guitar tone that translates well when double tracked and panned, and therefore would like to monitor them double tracked and panned while sculpting with a single interface for the mono patch that both tracks are running through.

As other poster has suggested, it seems the only solution is to use ControlLink in my DAW to assign the parameters of two separate Helix Native instances to the same control knob, and then assign that control knob to a fader on my midi devices.

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I'm sure you could do it with the hardware unit and MIDI, but it just seems simpler to do in a DAW. I use Reaper and Reaper has a thing called Parameter Manipulation, which is very easy to use.  Here's a video that doesn't really have anything to do with reamping guitars but shows how to link the parameters of two instances of the same plugin, and I'm sure you could use the basic concept to apply that to two blocks in the same instance. Not sure if you're using Reaper but I'm sure your DAW has similar capabilities, although like most things compared to Reaper, it might not be as simple and straight forward.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, zappazapper said:

I'm sure you could do it with the hardware unit and MIDI, but it just seems simpler to do in a DAW. I use Reaper and Reaper has a thing called Parameter Manipulation, which is very easy to use.  Here's a video that doesn't really have anything to do with reamping guitars but shows how to link the parameters of two instances of the same plugin, and I'm sure you could use the basic concept to apply that to two blocks in the same instance. Not sure if you're using Reaper but I'm sure your DAW has similar capabilities, although like most things compared to Reaper, it might not be as simple and straight forward.

 

 

 

I'm not sure you can do it with the hardware unit - I'm pretty use midi control over the helix hardware is limited to things like changing global parameters/patch changes/tempo changes/etc, but not to the level of controlling individual parameters on blocks - although would be very happy to be proved wrong on that.

 

I'll have a watch of the video. I'm using PreSonus Studio One, which has ControlLink, but I'm having a hard time getting the same knob to control multiple plugins simultaneously. I have reaper instaleld but never messed around with it - might be worth having a look, thanks!

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2 hours ago, gsmanon said:

I am building a mono guitar tone that translates well when double tracked and panned, and therefore would like to monitor them double tracked and panned while sculpting with a single interface for the mono patch that both tracks are running through.

 

OK... this is the "intent" I've been wanting to see in a clearly described manner. I now understand what you are trying to accomplish! Thanks for persevering in getting your point across.  

 

1 hour ago, gsmanon said:

I'm using PreSonus Studio One, which has ControlLink, but I'm having a hard time getting the same knob to control multiple plugins simultaneously.

 

This was a great suggestion from @zappazapper, but what you are noticing could be a problem. I can't open my DAW (Studio One) at this time to see if there are any workarounds, but maybe take a look at Macro's and in particular the Channel Macros in conjunction with Control Link. 

 

I do believe the answer with lay in Control Link (maybe with help from macros). I'd suggest you check out the Studio One forums and see if there are solutions for controlling two of the same plugin (on different channels) with a single control. If there is a solution it can be applied to Helix Native. 

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What you're trying to do is a very specific and not very common thing, therefore you shouldn't expect it to be a simple thing at all to set up, nor should you expect people on this forum to understand what you're trying to do and why. Personally I agree that it's probably not the best solution to your problem, but you've already decided that that's how you want to deal with it so I'll do my best to help you, but as someone who has over 20 years experience in studios, I know that no attempt to get a "final" sound is worth the effort before attempting a final mix. Chances are you're going to end up applying some kind of EQ to your guitar tracks in final mix stage anyway, no matter what you do at this point, and that's mostly because whatever compression and limiting you use on the master bus or any groups your guitars are in is invariably going to affect frequency response. It's just an inescapable fact of life that mixing is "itinerant", which means jumping from place to place. You'll never get a final guitar sound before you do the final mix EVER, and the best approach is always to get the best sound you can NOW, and make incremental adjustments as you get further down the line to deal with how the interaction with other elements change that sound. BUT... if you want to try and do what you want to try and do, yes, you can do it with the plugin and whatever your DAW calls Parameter Manipulation. 

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