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FRFR. Found out what I was missing...

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I have always used the Helix and Pod Go through a power amp (Orange Pedal Baby) and real cab. Using the preamps and no cabs as that always sounded best to me. Still a great solution for these units but the other day I decided to pick up a JBL 305p mkii just to see what an FRFR can do. Well it opened up a whole new world for these units. Every stock amp sounded great in default settings, and being able to use all Amp and Cab options really makes a huge difference. I ordered  the Line 6 1x12 power amp. Probably still keep the JBL as it sounds great for just messing around in a different location.  

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Yep!  I think that most every complaint concerning the Helix and the like by the analog purists is 90% due to the fact that they're not using the new tech as it was meant to be used.  That being an apples to apples system front to back.  Most everyone, including myself tries to mix the two technologies the then most of the time doesn't do that right either.  You're gonna love the Powercab.  It, in combination with the Helix, completely blows my analog stuff out of the water.  Still awesomely usable doing the 4 cable method but it's just not worth the trouble.  It's a deep well learning to get everything between Helix/PC+ set up properly, but I'm selling all my awesome old stuff and not looking back. 

 

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11 minutes ago, JLondon said:

Yep!  I think that most every complaint concerning the Helix and the like by the analog purists is 90% due to the fact that they're not using the new tech as it was meant to be used.  That being an apples to apples system front to back.  Most everyone, including myself tries to mix the two technologies the then most of the time doesn't do that right either.  You're gonna love the Powercab.  It, in combination with the Helix, completely blows my analog stuff out of the water.  Still awesomely usable doing the 4 cable method but it's just not worth the trouble.  It's a deep well learning to get everything between Helix/PC+ set up properly, but I'm selling all my awesome old stuff and not looking back. 

 


I didn't go the PC+ route, just the basic version. I plan on using the cabs within the Helix/Pod only and maybe some IRs in the future. 

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If you're not running two JBL LSR305s to fully appreciate the stereo imaging and fx Helix has to offer, you may also want to consider it! Even if you run everything strictly mono, the additional speaker positioned for your space will distinctly add to the fullness of the sound field. 

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38 minutes ago, MusicLaw said:

If you're not running two JBL LSR305s to fully appreciate the stereo imaging and fx Helix has to offer, you may also want to consider it! Even if you run everything strictly mono, the additional speaker positioned for your space will distinctly add to the fullness of the sound field. 

 

Yup...I plan on picking up another JBL 305 for that stereo experience! Thanks.

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What's interesting to me more than anything is that the folks that insist they want a traditional amp/cab setup are willing to sacrifice so much to keep it.  Just the physical setup alone would discourage me not to mention the routing acrobatics both in cabling and in the antics that must be in included in each and every preset would seem to me to be discouraging.  Especially when you consider the simplicity of a direct to FOH mixer setup using stage monitors or in ears.  It literally adds steps and complexity to every aspect of their workload and workflow.

The one thing you have to admit about them is they truly must be dedicated to their physical guitar cabinets to go though all that.

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I have no desire to return to a traditional cabinet. Working with and listening to the finished tone has always been much more appealing to me. Even back when I used amps I used to run the sound back through my monitors so I could hear "what the crowd is hearing" and shape my tone accordingly. Making the switch to modeling was easy for me... eliminate the amp, not the tone, all while increasing options and versatility. 

 

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I've gone full circle on this (a couple of times) and have arrived at a slightly different place.

 

I've tried the FRFR thing and while , for me, it arguably sounded more polished, I just felt slightly disconnected from the experience. Plus - when my band invested in a PA and we ran both guitars through that, it just didn't feel the same as having an amp right next to me. Now - I appreciate that's what the crowd will hear but for actually playing the instrument there's still something to be said for having an amp next you (the most enjoyable 'sound' I've ever experienced was playing through a beat-up old marshall head through a 4x12 at rehearsal studio.. ) Anyway - amp-in-the-room argument has been done to death.

 

That said - I sold my HX Stomp, went valve amp 2x12 (blackstar artist - excellent amp) and love it to bits. Much better experience during practice sessions. But - even then I started to miss the versatility of the Stomp. So I bought one again (first bit of kit I've ever bought twice) and I run it 4 cable method into the blackstar. For me this is the perfect setup - I still get my tube/amp in the room fix but I have the versatility of the stomp. I can also run the stomp preamps/amps direct into the power section of the amp so I get that flexibility as well. The only real functionality I'm not really using is the Cabs/IRs as I'm running into a real cab (obviously). Coming back to the Stomp I've realised what an amazing piece of kit it is. I'd say even a handful of the drives alone make it worth the money.

 

On a side note, I also run a Victory V4 Sheriff in the loop so that's an option as a preamp. I have tested (for ages) the Victory preamp vs the helix plexi style preamp. They are very close.. you can get them sounding almost identical but the Sheriff has more dynamics and feels more responsive under the fingers when playing. There's also an undeniable sparkle and clarity it has even at high gain that I can't get out of the Helix.... But - it's really close.

 

I guess I just like the flexibility of switching between old and new ways of doing things. It is a bit more set up but not that much more and yes, I do have to lug an amp from my car but I just love playing next to it and getting all that subtle feedback and interaction you only really get with a real amp.

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Who claims that will not come back to his old analog stuff or:

1) Has had a poor analog set-up, or 

2) Has never experimented what means a " great tone" from a great tube amp.

A great  tube amp sounds amazing with Helix effects in the FX loop (4cable) and a real guitar cabinet.  IMHO the best combination of all time.

The same effects routed in a simulation amp + cab (or IR) through a FRFR give  a good sound, but not  comparable to the real one.  The dinamics are totally different. 

It' a question to have a fine ear or not.

Those who deny this point, have never had the pleasure to play a great tube amp or have never be able to get the right sound out of it or, as happened to me, playing for too long time with digital stuff, had forgotten about it...! Probably, the younger ones who have not been able to play on the great amps of the past, having "tasted" day after day their sound, will not understand what I mean and will jump on me!

That said, I' m happy to use my Helix in small venues. It' s fantastic and irreplaceable in those "scenario". 

But in large venues or open stages non one will convince me to leave at home my analog set up (with Helix in the loop !)

 

 

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22 hours ago, viola said:

Who claims that will not come back to his old analog stuff or:

1) Has had a poor analog set-up, or 

2) Has never experimented what means a " great tone" from a great tube amp.

 

1: NO

2: NO

 

Why can't some people accept that there are many of us that found our way past amps and actually prefer it?

 

IMO... It doesn't matter how good I make it sound "for me".... I have to rely on a microphone, placement and a sound tech with skills to make it sound even close to that out front where it really matters. I prefer to put my time and effort into what the people hear, not what I plan to enjoy by myself. Not to mention, the moment I'm on a tour requiring IEM's.... there is zero benefit (for me) to have an "amp in the room". 

 

Don't get me wrong... I love amps and own several. It's just not my preferred method.

I'm also not telling anyone else they should ditch their amps if that's what they prefer. 

 

22 hours ago, viola said:

The same effects routed in a simulation amp + cab (or IR) through a FRFR give  a good sound, but not  comparable to the real one.  The dinamics are totally different. 

It' a question to have a fine ear or not.

 

I can't speak for others...  but I have no problems with dynamics, tone or feel and my ears are just fine!

Actually... it's knowing what great amps sound like (through experience) that has helped me achieve that at the FOH with modelers. 

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On 12/4/2020 at 12:03 PM, viola said:

Who claims that will not come back to his old analog stuff or:

1) Has had a poor analog set-up, or 

2) Has never experimented what means a " great tone" from a great tube amp.

A great  tube amp sounds amazing with Helix effects in the FX loop (4cable) and a real guitar cabinet.  IMHO the best combination of all time.

The same effects routed in a simulation amp + cab (or IR) through a FRFR give  a good sound, but not  comparable to the real one.  The dinamics are totally different. 

It' a question to have a fine ear or not.

Those who deny this point, have never had the pleasure to play a great tube amp or have never be able to get the right sound out of it or, as happened to me, playing for too long time with digital stuff, had forgotten about it...! Probably, the younger ones who have not been able to play on the great amps of the past, having "tasted" day after day their sound, will not understand what I mean and will jump on me!

That said, I' m happy to use my Helix in small venues. It' s fantastic and irreplaceable in those "scenario". 

But in large venues or open stages non one will convince me to leave at home my analog set up (with Helix in the loop !)

 

 

 

I'm with Codamedia on this one.  What I think is you're completely out of touch with the frustrations a lot of us have endured for many decades (in my case 5 decades) using analog gear in live performances.  But I'll play your game with you.

Those that claim they can never get rid of their analog gear have:

1) Never been on a year long tour going to cities all over this country and others and tried to get an amp (or worse yet a Leslie) repaired before a show that starts in 4 hours when you don't even know where there's a music store or an electronics repair shop.
2) Have never played an entire show thinking they had a great sound only to find out due to any number of possible reasons it sounded like a cheap Montgomery Wards amp to the audience through the PA.
3)  Because of stage setups you're forced to stand far off-axis from your amp and it sounds like you're playing under water.  And when you try and correct the tone on stage, it then sounds like a buzz saw to the audience.
4)  Had a wonderful sound only to go out 50 feet into the audience and realize no one can hear it because all they're hearing is the mic'd version through the PA.
5)  Tried to have a nice Black Sabbath sound on one song, a Doobie Bros sound on another song, and a Earth, Wind and Fire sound on another song through a single amp and setup.
6)  Have to lug all your gear up a tight circular stairway to get to the venue you're playing at.
7) Frantically tried to troubleshoot a wiring problem with your floor effects board before you have to start playing in 5 minutes.

The bottom line, I think what you're going to find in reality is that the vast majority of us that are firmly committed to this technology have come from many more years of playing all sorts of different analog equipment and amps than you have, and that's why we choose the modeler.  Because it fixes all the problems we've endured with analogue setups over the years.

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2 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

1: NO

2: NO

 

Why can't some people accept that there are many of us that found our way past amps and actually prefer it?

 

IMO... It doesn't matter how good I make it sound "for me".... I have to rely on a microphone, placement and a sound tech with skills to make it sound even close to that out front where it really matters. I prefer to put my time and effort into what the people hear, not what I plan to enjoy by myself. Not to mention, the moment I'm on a tour requiring IEM's.... there is zero benefit (for me) to have an "amp in the room". 

 

Don't get me wrong... I love amps and own several. It's just not my preferred method.

I'm also not telling anyone else they should ditch their amps if that's what they prefer. 

 

 

I can't speak for others...  but I have no problems with dynamics, tone or feel and my ears are just fine!

Actually... it's knowing what great amps sound like (through experience) that has helped me achieve that at the FOH with modelers. 

Thank you "codamedia" !

At least a guy that explain his different  point of view without put a "-" !

I agree with you in many things .....the most important is that the experience with the "analog" is helping everyone to found the right settings, feelings, tone and dinamics in the "digital  world" too. This is absolutely true. 

That said, there are many points that make Helix a winner and I respect who has decided to "retire" his analog rig. 

For a certain time, I thought for me too was come the time to choose the digital way.....but one night in one show I  played my old rig and now I' don't feel me ready anymore...

The analog yet brings to me something more than the digital......I can' t ignore this ! 

If I've understand correctly, you said that you don't mind making a sound you like, but rather that it' s "right" for the audience.

For me it's the opposite ... the sound I make must please ME FIRST ... If anything, the problem is to make sure the audience get exactly the same sound I hear.

In this context, I have to admit that the ability to send the signal to FOH from the Helix XLR output is a point in its favor..it is more difficult to capture the right sound through a microphone, but for me who have frequented  for many years the old recording studios, it's not a big trouble.

In short, when I have the chance and the conditions are right ( sometimes is the artist/ producer that asks me it), I prefer to play "anolog". That's all !

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39 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:

 

I'm with Codamedia on this one.  What I think is you're completely out of touch with the frustrations a lot of us have endured for many decades (in my case 5 decades) using analog gear in live performances.  But I'll play your game with you.

Those that claim they can never get rid of their analog gear have:

1) Never been on a year long tour going to cities all over this country and others and tried to get an amp (or worse yet a Leslie) repaired before a show that starts in 4 hours when you don't even know where there's a music store or an electronics repair shop.
2) Have never played an entire show thinking they had a great sound only to find out due to any number of possible reasons it sounded like a cheap Montgomery Wards amp to the audience through the PA.
3)  Because of stage setups you're forced to stand far off-axis from your amp and it sounds like you're playing under water.  And when you try and correct the tone on stage, it then sounds like a buzz saw to the audience.
4)  Had a wonderful sound only to go out 50 feet into the audience and realize no one can hear it because all they're hearing is the mic'd version through the PA.
5)  Tried to have a nice Black Sabbath sound on one song, a Doobie Bros sound on another song, and a Earth, Wind and Fire sound on another song through a single amp and setup.
6)  Have to lug all your gear up a tight circular stairway to get to the venue you're playing at.
7) Frantically tried to troubleshoot a wiring problem with your floor effects board before you have to start playing in 5 minutes.

The bottom line, I think what you're going to find in reality is that the vast majority of us that are firmly committed to this technology have come from many more years of playing all sorts of different analog equipment and amps than you have, and that's why we choose the modeler.  Because it fixes all the problems we've endured with analogue setups over the years.

Hey "Dunedindragon", my friend,

I' m 56 y.o....I, professional from 1984.......italan R.C.A. studios first...and.after,  several studio recording session, touring for thirty years ALL AROUND THE WORLD with many italian artists. 

What would you teach to me ? NOTHING .......BECAUSE I have played with so many analog equipment that you can only "dream"..pay attention !

I'm sorry if YOU are frustrated by all the problems you said: it means that you worked in such poor and crap productions that you always had to do everything yourself !

Instead,  for over thirty year,.  I've  had a technician at my service who solved all problems .. I just plug the guitar to the amp and play ... 

And, above all, don't try to give me lollipoping lessons.
If after "5 decades" you' re not able to found your sound with all the analog systems you have had, it means that your ears are not "tuned"  and you better stay at home and continue "toying" with Helix,  with all the other "talibans" of digital.

I swear this is the last time I write anything on this forum where, with few exceptions, nobody accepts that one can criticize the "GOD" Helix ".

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42 minutes ago, viola said:

Hey "Dunedindragon", my friend,

I' m 56 y.o....I, professional from 1984.......italan R.C.A. studios first...and.after,  several studio recording session, touring for thirty years ALL AROUND THE WORLD with many italian artists. 

What would you teach to me ? NOTHING .......BECAUSE I have played with so many analog equipment that you can only "dream"..pay attention !

I'm sorry if YOU are frustrated by all the problems you said: it means that you worked in such poor and crap productions that you always had to do everything yourself !

Instead,  for over thirty year,.  I've  had a technician at my service who solved all problems .. I just plug the guitar to the amp and play ... 

And, above all, don't try to give me lollipoping lessons.
If after "5 decades" you' re not able to found your sound with all the analog systems you have had, it means that your ears are not "tuned"  and you better stay at home and continue "toying" with Helix,  with all the other "talibans" of digital.

I swear this is the last time I write anything on this forum where, with few exceptions, nobody accepts that one can criticize the "GOD" Helix ".

Wow

 

I know you weren't talking to me, but ...

 

One thing I learned after being a professional musician for decades (with 2 degrees in music and having worked in classical symphony orchestras as well as touring rock groups)... one thing I learned is that the better you get, the more you realize how many amazing, experienced, incredible musicians there are... most of whom can offer useful advice while having their own challenges they are working through with gear, playing, creativity... tone. 

 

It's never wise to assume you have nothing to learn from other musicians, specially so when you are on an internet forum with no idea who you're actually talking to.

 

You could learn a lot from many of these people. But if you choose to post an arrogant insulting rant it will not earn the respect of anyone here... which is really too bad if you are as good as you say you are.

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2 minutes ago, donkelley said:

Wow

 

I know you weren't talking to me, but ...

 

One thing I learned after being a professional musician for decades (with 2 degrees in music and having worked in classical symphony orchestras as well as touring rock groups)... one thing I learned is that the better you get, the more you realize how many amazing, experienced, incredible musicians there are... most of whom can offer useful advice while having their own challenges they are working through with gear, playing, creativity... tone. 

 

It's never wise to assume you have nothing to learn from other musicians, specially so when you are on an internet forum with no idea who you're actually talking to.

 

You could learn a lot from many of these people. But if you choose to post an arrogant insulting rant it will not earn the respect of anyone here... which is really too bad if you are as good as you say you are.

 

I wouldn't worry about it.  He obviously didn't get my tongue in cheek response.  Maybe because he's such "ME FIRST" person... I know he was responding to my post by telling me how great he is and how unworthy I am, but I'm old enough to not take offense.  After all, this was coming from a great Italian recording and live musician and, as we all know, the last world wide popular Italian artist was...well...uh...never.  Unless you count Opera....but I don't think Helix plays a big part in that crowd....

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4 hours ago, viola said:

Hey "Dunedindragon", my friend,

I' m 56 y.o....I, professional from 1984.......italan R.C.A. studios first...and.after,  several studio recording session, touring for thirty years ALL AROUND THE WORLD with many italian artists. 

What would you teach to me ? NOTHING .......BECAUSE I have played with so many analog equipment that you can only "dream"..pay attention !

I'm sorry if YOU are frustrated by all the problems you said: it means that you worked in such poor and crap productions that you always had to do everything yourself !

Instead,  for over thirty year,.  I've  had a technician at my service who solved all problems .. I just plug the guitar to the amp and play ... 

And, above all, don't try to give me lollipoping lessons.
If after "5 decades" you' re not able to found your sound with all the analog systems you have had, it means that your ears are not "tuned"  and you better stay at home and continue "toying" with Helix,  with all the other "talibans" of digital.

I swear this is the last time I write anything on this forum where, with few exceptions, nobody accepts that one can criticize the "GOD" Helix ".

No offense, but you shouldn't post anywhere if you're not ready to read a post like yours but on the opposite side (you were telling "digital lovers" they're clueless and deaf, then they told you you're wrong).

 

Just a friendly advice :)

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Seems like a good moment to remind everyone of the "ignored users" option available under your account settings. Add the name of a user who annoys you and, "voila," instant drop in forum drama.

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11 hours ago, viola said:

If I've understand correctly, you said that you don't mind making a sound you like, but rather that it' s "right" for the audience.

 

You are missing an important part.... I do not compromise for the sake of the audience, I just make sure they get the EXACT TONE I want them to hear.

 

11 hours ago, viola said:

For me it's the opposite ... the sound I make must please ME FIRST ...

 

Again... you are missing something about what I am saying!

I set up the tones I like... and make sure they translate 100% to the audience that way! 

 

"They get what I get"... and I know that because

"I hear what they hear!" 

 

11 hours ago, viola said:

If anything, the problem is to make sure the audience get exactly the same sound I hear.

 

This is exactly what I've been saying all along!

It is really hard to get that great "amp in the room tone" to translate to the audience.... and quite often, it doesn't! 

 

IMO the Helix makes it really easy for me to deliver a consistently great tone that I have control over! 

 

11 hours ago, viola said:

it is more difficult to capture the right sound through a microphone, but for me who have frequented  for many years the old recording studios, it's not a big trouble.

 

It isn't for me either... but the FOH is out of my control on any given night. 

 

 

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To quote a great song from long long ago:

 

"Communication breakdown, it's always the same
Havin' a nervous breakdown, a-drive me insane"

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It is just us guitarplayers. I played many amps, modellers, mix of both, PodHD with DT50, ....

My bandmates just do not care, play the right notes and rock on, who cares about the last 20% of our sound? 

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