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jtuvner

How to best record with Helix/Native/etc???

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Hi! I've got too many options for how to record my guitar sound and wanted to check what is best practice. I've got a UA Apollo Twin, the Helix, a Powercab, Helix Native, SM57's, Warm-Audio WA-87. 

 

Should I at all take out my microphones and record the Powercab? What about taking the sound out of the Helix in to the UA preamps? Not necessary? The Helix Native sucks a lot of juice from my computer. I could also record through the Helix with USB to my mac and skip the UA Apollo. 

 

What do you guys find the best?

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I have a similar setup, but am using an HX Stomp. I'd personally skip mic'ing the cab (unless your room acoustics are really good, you are good at mic placement, you are OK to commit to the recording, etc). You could use USB and skip the Apollo (as described in the manual). This gives you flexibility in terms of having dry mono and wet stereo guitar recordings, and you can treat the dry signal during mixing using Native. Or, if Native is dragging down your resources, reamp through the Helix via USB. This would probably work out nicely for your needs.

 

I personally prefer using my Apollo Twin (Thunderbolt) as my audio interface. I split my guitar input (using a Samson MDA1 DI) to record a wet and dry guitar track through my Apollo Twin. Signal paths are then:

 

1) DI XLR out ---> Apollo Twin XLR/TRS line in 1

2) DI Thru 1/4" out --> Stomp guitar in --> L mono out TRS --> Apollo Twin TRS XLR/TRS line in 2.

 

I can then monitor everything through my Apollo Twin (studio monitors and/or headphones) and don't need to mess with an aggregate device (on Mac). Plus, I have better control over my recording levels. I usually record a guitar dry and a wet (mono Helix wet) track. That way I can use any amp sims I want on the dry track during mixing (in your case, Native), or simply go with the Helix wet track. Next I treat the track with suitable plug-ins for compression, eq, effects (sometimes going mono -> stereo), etc.

 

If you are having issues with Native draining CPU and don't want to mess with a DI split, you could simply take your L and R outputs from your Helix using TRS cables into your Apollo Twin, and record either a dry mono and dry wet track from your Helix, or commit to sterero wet L +R.

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same.  I use my Apollo twin X as my interface.  

I just throw on Native on the track I'm recording along with my IR loader and just record like that.  I keep plugins to a minimum on my base writing session so there's no real noticeable latency.  (at least not enough to bother me, but I have a beefy machine... so I don't have the same limitation as you're experiencing.  I'd save up if you can for a heavier duty computer at some point.  It just makes life easier)

Then I spice things up later.    

I use my Helix floor to control cubase for punching in and out.  It's pretty awesome for that.  There's a preset for it actually.  (but I'm not actually plugged into my helix floor at all otherwise.)

I don't record a wet track at all since Native is right there.  

IF I had a session where I had already done a lot of mixing and there were a lot of plugins already in the chain then I would then probably use my helix to monitor a wet signal and record the dry.   I doubt I'd even bother recording the wet signal tbh.  I just know I'd never use it personally with how I work. 

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1 hour ago, the_bees_knees22 said:

I doubt I'd even bother recording the wet signal tbh.  I just know I'd never use it personally with how I work. 

 

Yeah, I don't even know why I bother recording recording the wet signal since I never use it.

 

Another tip @jtuvner ....dial in a preset on your Helix that sounds close to what you hear in your head. It doesn't have to be perfect because you will use Native and other plug-ins to do that later. Before recording your dry guitar track, created a nice monitor headphone mix of your wet Helix guitar tone along with your DAW's recorded tracks. Crank it as needed and record. You'll end up playing better, tighter, more inspired tracks that will fit nicely with your other tracks. Then use Native and other plug-ins your dry track to make it just how you like it.

 

Also, when I get the guitar tone (the dry signal through an amp and cabinet sim such as Native), I usually bounce/commit that mono guitar track. I then treat that track like I would an audio recording of an amp (to eq, compress, room reverb, etc) when mixing.

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Thanks, great insights sounddog and the_bees_knees22. I think it´s a great idea to bounce-/commit to a track, to free up resources. 

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