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Helix as amp control center


Bryangatzke
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I'm looking to ditch my entire pedalboard and amp footswitch and use a Helix for everything.  I have a Mesa Boogie Roadster that I will be adding a Midi Matrix to so the channels, effects loop, reverb, ect can be switched through MIDI.  I will be using the 4CM, and adding a second expression pedal.  What I would like is to be able to select a preset and have the Helix select the correct channel on the amp, and also be able to switch channels using snapshots. Occasionally, I will also be using my Variax, and would like to be able to switch models and tunings with snapshots.  I have no issues with programming MIDI devices, but my main concern is if the Helix is capable of all of this. If so, what would be the advantages of the Helix Floor over the LT for this?   I've heard the expression pedal on the LT isn't the sturdiest, I wouldn't be using that one all that much, I'll get a Mission Engineering latching expression pedal for crazy wah usage.

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2 hours ago, Bryangatzke said:

I have no issues with programming MIDI devices, but my main concern is if the Helix is capable of all of this.

 

Yes. Using the CommandCenter, MIDI messages can be assigned to "Instant Commands", which run each time the Preset loads and each time you change Snapshots, and are configurable Per Snapshot. MIDI messages can also be assigned to Stomp Mode Footswitches so that you could change channels within Snapshots without changing the actual Snapshot. Those Footswitches can also change effects parameters within the Snapshot, and Helix can be configured to reload the Snapshot, reverting to the default Snapshot settings from whatever changes you've made via a Footswitch.

 

3 hours ago, Bryangatzke said:

If so, what would be the advantages of the Helix Floor over the LT for this?

 

Helix Floor is a sturdier, more road-worthy unit, the Expression Pedal is more reliable, the Scribble Strips make it easier to tell what's going on at any given time in whatever Mode you're in, there're more signal routing options (4 FX loops vs 2) and a dedicated mic input if needed.

 

You've got top of the line equipment with the Mesa. Don't scrimp on your Helix. Buy used if necessary. Warranties are transferrable, and support, including turnaround time on repairs and an extended warranty option that provides a loaner while waiting for repairs, is unparalleled. One advantage of buying new is the discount on Helix Native which can cover the price difference ($99 vs $399) all by itself, and makes re-amping in the recording process simple and painless.

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21 hours ago, Bryangatzke said:

I've heard the expression pedal on the LT isn't the sturdiest, I wouldn't be using that one all that much, I'll get a Mission Engineering latching expression pedal for crazy wah usage.

 

I don't believe the "latch" (toe switch) of that expression pedal works on the Helix or the LT. (somebody, please correct me if I am wrong). 

 

What I am trying to say is... with a Helix Floor or Helix LT... to use the expression like a wah (with the toe switch) you need to use the internal expression pedal. Of course, there are other ways to set up the wah on/off.

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18 hours ago, rd2rk said:

Helix Floor is a sturdier, more road-worthy unit, the Expression Pedal is more reliable, the Scribble Strips make it easier to tell what's going on at any given time in whatever Mode you're in, there're more signal routing options (4 FX loops vs 2) and a dedicated mic input if needed.

 

I don't disagree with anything stated here... but as an LT user I would like to clarify a couple points.

  1. The LT isn't nearly as flimsy as it is is often made out to be. It's not a Helix Floor, but it's still pretty rugged. Granted, I use gear hard... but I'm not hard on gear :) 
  2. The LT has "performance view" to compensate for the lack or scribble strips. There is no guessing when it comes to footswitches.... performance view is a great roadmap that is easy to get used to.  FWIW - I did own the HX Effects (with scribble strips) and when I moved to the LT I didn't miss them at all. 
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