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New and need some help..


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Hi everyone! So I've been using a

Mesa MkV for about 6 years as a touring and professional musician. For fly dates, travel, and ease of setup, I switched to Helix about a week or so ago and WOW am I impressed. The only situations I'm finding problematic are

1. Switching quickly with presets or sounds, while running out of DSP.. or

2. Not being able to switch sounds quickly (one, for example, is using the acoustic sim and switching to a lead sound...we do a Prince tribute..)


Sets and songs are at random, and I'm not sure exactly how to go about the right way to set this up. With the Mesa, I've used the 4 cable method and use effects at will to aid the background tracks we have along. Looking for a way to set up something similar, or use patches to my advantage. I've been a stompbox dancer for my entire career and have adapted to that, but easier is always better.


Does anyone have a suggestion on what to do? I'd even be happy to pay for a zoom meeting or something for your time.




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Learn to use snapshots. They change instantly. 
Then you make a small number of presets, each having a full set of snapshots. 
Think of each preset as a rig that can do a number of songs.

this lets you get around quickly- you don’t have a hugely long string of presets- you might get by with no more than 8 - especially if you used one amp in the past. 

You might then have one preset that is say a Marshall based rig and a collection of pedals that gets you maybe 8 songs in your set.  You might have a chorus in your crunch sound in one snapshot and a flanger in the next song, so one snapshot is Marshall with chorus and the next one is same Marshall, maybe with slightly different EQ and gain and chorus saved as a different snapshot.- still the same preset.  
Then when you use up all the possibilities and you still need say another crunch with univibe, you build the next preset. 
and then you have a few presets say built round say a Mesa sound. They all have say 8 snapshots, so you can have a lot of variety there with no delay switching, just be sure to not change presets during a song and it will all be fine. Change snapshots. 
Learn to program all the controls inside pedals and the amp so you can change flange speed and amp gain for example from one snapshot to the next. 
Changing presets has a delay- never do it in the middle of a song. 

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Not to pile on, but snapshots are your friend. This is how I approach the Helix hierarchy. 


PRESET: Each preset loads the amp/pedalboard layout of your choice. 

SNAPSHOTS: These are the PRESETS of that layout you loaded. You can't change the layout, but you can change the settings of anything you want. 

STOMP MODE: Just like using a traditional pedal board, but with more flexibility and power. 


If you can build a multi-purpose preset... snapshots are instant and seamless at going tone to tone while stomp mode is still just a click away. 

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As has been said: Very likely a mixture of snapshots and stomp controls will be your best friend. With a clever patch layout, you'll be able to cram quite a lot of things into just one patch.
Personally, because I need instant global control for the kind of jobs I'm playing (basically pretty much unrehearsed gigs, often just knowing about them a day or two before), I got used to optimize my presets so they would allow me to do pretty much anything within a given genre - and even with lots of stylistic bandwidth. For example, my most often used preset features two amps (clean and somewhat overdriven), both running through a master cab (an IR) to save some DSP.  Within that preset I have a clean rhythm tone and a lead one, same for the overdriven amp. And as there's still plenty of DSP juice left, I can add some drives to either amp and also some FX (usually reverb/delay for lead purposes, the occasional modulation for the clean sound and there's even space for some ambient delay things left). I can as well turn the entire patch from smooth to pretty much rockin' with just a handful of knob movements.

Now, I'm not suggesting you should be doing the same, but it sort of illustrates how much can be done just within a single patch.

As you're doing a Prince cover show, I'm assuming you will actually do some rehearsals, in that case, adjusting some patches so they fit each other should be no big deal. And I'm pretty much sure that if you laid out the individual patches properly, a single bank of 4 presets might take you through the entire show. That way, you wouldn't have to jump through many presets, it'd just be two buttons to get to a new one, so your setlist could vary as much as you desire.
Yeah, sure this needs some planning beforehand, to allow you to switch everything relevant in all tunes without changing presets, but as said, even just a single preset can take you quite far.

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