Jump to content

Thinking of buying Helix LT / Rack but...


Georgehomme
 Share

Recommended Posts

Till now i use to play with my plexi amp and Cab in my house but in a short time we are expecting a baby so i need to change my Guitar playing. 

 

I am thinking to buy a Helix LT + Headphones.

 

During my internet research i have seen a lot of people writing that Helix doesn t sound good with Headphones. Some even with Good headphones like Sennheiser HD600+ e.t.c

 

What is your experience with headphones and Helix? How good sounds do you get? For example i have read in other forums that Headphone experience is better with kemper or Axe fx II / iii / FM3 e.t.c

Other people claimed that the sound through headphones with helix is harsh and other modellers compensate with some features they have like axe fx iii has the enchanser block and KEmper the space block which both help with headphones...what about the Helix in this subject?

 

Some people wil say that i have to try but there is no stock of the unit near me and i will have to order online and even if i try one i will not have the time to sculpture the sound to test it fully.

 

Also what headphones do you reckon. i am thinking of Sennheiser HD600

 

Headphone tone is very important for me to buy the helix because it will be the only way i am going to be able to play guitar for at least a year or 2 and be able to carry the helix in rehearsals. 

 

Thanks in advance. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, friend!
 

I can suggest you to install Helix native and try it. During 15 days off trial you surely will figure out sonic possibilities of Helix platform.

Helix may sound harsh in headphones, like any other modeler, that doesn't set right. It can sound naturally warm and, as I believe, can satisfy most guitar players, who spend some time learning to use this piece of gear.

Main advice: don't judge Helix by it's preinstalled presets.

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been using Breyer Dynamic 990 Pro headphones with Helix and other Line 6 devices for several years. They sound very good to me.

 

As mentioned above, Helix Native will give you a good idea of how your headphones will sound with the Helix LT. Bear in mind that the soundcard you are using will have an effect on the sound as well. The Helix LT is an excellent soundcard, so if you try Helix Native with a standard computer soundcard the LT will sound better.

 

EDIT: We we’re posting at the same time. I see from your post that you understand the difference between your computer soundcard and the Helix LT.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do use a pair of BT DT 770 Pro and a more cold'ish AKG K141 MKII. They both sounds good, no problems at all. (both with Rack and HX Stomp)

 

Just grab the one with a not too low or too high impedance and you should be fine. A too low impedance could be a bit edgy and oversaturated if you use high gain stuff, while a too high impedance could be too low volume. Stuff you know already for sure. :)


Then, depending on the headphones, you'll get different "colouring", so that's up to your personal taste. 

 

Usually the rants are coming from people who think a preset made for a monitor/speaker, should also sound just as good, when using headphones.


If you have the patience to tune your presets to work at best with headphones (and made another version for a normal speaker/monitor/FRFR/foh), I'm sure you'll be more than happy.

 

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, PierM said:

…..

Usually the rants are coming from people who think a preset made for a monitor/speaker, should also sound just as good, when using headphones.


If you have the patience to tune your presets to work at best with headphones (and made another version for a normal speaker/monitor/FRFR/foh), I'm sure you'll be more than happy.

 

Exactly.

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Georgehomme said:

Till now i use to play with my plexi amp and Cab in my house but in a short time we are expecting a baby so i need to change my Guitar playing. 

 

I am thinking to buy a Helix LT + Headphones.

 

During my internet research i have seen a lot of people writing that Helix doesn t sound good with Headphones. Some even with Good headphones like Sennheiser HD600+ e.t.c

 

What is your experience with headphones and Helix? How good sounds do you get? For example i have read in other forums that Headphone experience is better with kemper or Axe fx II / iii / FM3 e.t.c

Other people claimed that the sound through headphones with helix is harsh and other modellers compensate with some features they have like axe fx iii has the enchanser block and KEmper the space block which both help with headphones...what about the Helix in this subject?

 

Some people wil say that i have to try but there is no stock of the unit near me and i will have to order online and even if i try one i will not have the time to sculpture the sound to test it fully.

 

Also what headphones do you reckon. i am thinking of Sennheiser HD600

 

Headphone tone is very important for me to buy the helix because it will be the only way i am going to be able to play guitar for at least a year or 2 and be able to carry the helix in rehearsals. 

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

Ignore whatever you've read online because the simple truth is this: Any of the devices you've mentioned are equally capable of creating sounds you like with headphones... or studio monitors, or live straight into the PA... provided that you know what you're doing. And it might sound harsh, but anyone who says otherwise, simply does not know what they're doing.  But it's not because they're stupid, or a lousy guitar player... it's just a lack of experience, and/or a lack of understanding of what a modeler is actually designed to do, as compared to the guitar amps they've played forever.

 

A modeler is not a guitar amp... it's a recording studio in a box. You have to stop thinking like a guitar player, and start thinking like a recording engineer... because the whole point is to reproduce a recorded guitar tone...amp+cab+mic... NOT the sound of your favorite amp as it roars away 6 feet from you. What you're getting is exactly what you'd hear in a studio's control room, listening through monitors to the amp that's mic-ed up in the room next door. That means understanding how mic choice and placement affect tone, and having a thorough understanding of EQ (beyond the amp's native tone controls) and how to boost or cut the right frequencies to achieve a desired result. And none of that will happen overnight. You will have to learn how to create the sounds you want, no matter what you buy. 

 

If you've been playing through tube amps your whole life, then you have a steep learning curve ahead of you. We all did initially. In the end however, it is no more difficult to create a patch for use with headphones, than it is for studio monitors or a full stage PA. What tends to be difficult for many at the beginning, is understanding that each output method is a fundamentally different device, with different frequency responses. Simply put, the same patch will sound different (to a greater or lesser degree) every time you change the output device. What works for one, won't necessarily work for another without making some adjustments... and the only way to figure it out is through trial and error. 

 

Buy any decent pair of reasonably flat response, studio quality headphones, and you will be fine... but there is no magic bullet. If you had 6 pairs of cans at your disposal, and you dialed up a magnificent tone with the first one you tried, it is a virtual certainty that the other 5 will all end up sounding slightly different... it's unavoidable. You might prefer one over the other for whatever reason,  but that doesn't make those headphones objectively "better",  or "easier" to dial in than the rest of the lot... nor does it mean that you couldn't get two different pairs to sound virtually identical with the right EQ adjustments.

 

The moral of the story is this: don't fixate on any one piece of gear. Understanding the process is the key to success.... once you understand the "how's and why's", you can dial in a good tone on anything that somebody puts in front of you. The tools change... but the underlying concepts that govern their use do not.

 

Watch some Helix- specific YouTube tutorials on how to create a tone. Jason Sadites' channel is a good place to start.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need to know your headphones...

 

If translation is not really a concern to you, then just ignore the following.

 

I use Sony mdr-3000 (mastering cans) and Sony mdr-7506 (basically the modern v900)...I have been using the v900 and mdr-3000 since they were released around 1992-3....For headphones to work well, you have to learn how your headphones translate when you are mastering your tones....there are compromises with ANY headphones you choose to use as they are all different...If you try to get the tone exactly how you want it in headphones, it will not translate well when you move to an FRFR system like nearfeilds, stage monitors or house PA....This is where most people get stuck, expecting it to sound exactly the same...it never will...

 

I would suggest you use headphones you are familiar with....picking out a new set of headphones for new gear at the same time does not always work out well...At least I have seen happen a lot of times. I have been mixing and mastering for a long time and I would suggest your go with what your know...They is nothing mystical about the HX headphone amp...you could always use your own headphone amp that you know the response of...

 

I would suggest Sony mdr-7506....they may not be what you prefer...I don't like open cans that much...I started with Sony v600s which were a mainstay in the industry...For me, headphones are kinda like a personal guitar amp....You learn how they respond and translate to other platforms, so you know where to not go overboard, etc....anyway, that's my 2 cents...good luck...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prior responses have done an exemplary job of discussing the issues. 

 

I have Helix Floor and HX Stomp. Amongst my array of headphone's I frequently use the Sennheiser HD600 and they work wonderfully with either unit. Dialing them in is not complex. Simply add a slight bit of Reverb for ambience and you're good to go. This can also be accomplished via the Early Reflections parameter in the Cab Block. It all depends on your taste, favored musical genres, and style preferences. I also use BeyerDynamic DT-770 Pro, and Sony MDR-V6, both of which are closed back. I've also got Shure SE-530 IEMS. Each have their own audible attributes  so as previously been mentioned, it is imperative you get to know your monitoring system regardless if they be headphones, IEMs, earbuds, Studio Monitors, FRFR PA Monitors, etc.

 

It is also really easy with Helix units to save your configurations. This allows quick and easy switching from what you have dialed in and saved to sound great with your Sennheiser HD600 to some other listening devices.

 

FWIW, I also have several sets of Studio Monitors and FRFR PA monitors, as well as a Yamaha THR10C; each of which I use with my Helix gear. It is not unduly complex to dial in your tones to sound great with any of these. This, once you become familiar with your Helix's UI.

 

My recommendation is that you go with the gear you are contemplating and enjoy it to the max!

 

Do post back your findings to share with others. 

 

Happy Holidays.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's some great advice in here.

 

Also remember that almost all consumer headphones, and even many "studio" headphones, hype the highs and lows, which are exactly the frequencies you don't want to hype with modelers. Hyped highs make the sound harsh, lows make it undefined because the lows crowd out the mids. AFAIC the limiting factor in how Helix sounds is the presets you create.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, MusicLaw said:

Prior responses have done an exemplary job of discussing the issues. 

 

I have Helix Floor and HX Stomp. Amongst my array of headphone's I frequently use the Sennheiser HD600 and they work wonderfully with either unit. Dialing them in is not complex. Simply add a slight bit of Reverb for ambience and you're good to go. This can also be accomplished via the Early Reflections parameter in the Cab Block. It all depends on your taste, favored musical genres, and style preferences. I also use BeyerDynamic DT-770 Pro, and Sony MDR-V6, both of which are closed back. I've also got Shure SE-530 IEMS. Each have their own audible attributes  so as previously been mentioned, it is imperative you get to know your monitoring system regardless if they be headphones, IEMs, earbuds, Studio Monitors, FRFR PA Monitors, etc.

 

It is also really easy with Helix units to save your configurations. This allows quick and easy switching from what you have dialed in and saved to sound great with your Sennheiser HD600 to some other listening devices.

 

FWIW, I also have several sets of Studio Monitors and FRFR PA monitors, as well as a Yamaha THR10C; each of which I use with my Helix gear. It is not unduly complex to dial in your tones to sound great with any of these. This, once you become familiar with your Helix's UI.

 

My recommendation is that you go with the gear you are contemplating and enjoy it to the max!

 

Do post back your findings to share with others. 

 

Happy Holidays.

 

Yea, man...great perspectives all around...I like reading threads like this. btw,  I left my IEMs out of it because I honestly never tweak using them...I have SE-215 because I'm a poor basterd...I like em tho...they translate ok...just what came with my system. I want to move up to triples, but these are doing the job adequately for the moment.

 

Happy Festivus to you and yours!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must be in the minority. I would never imagine creating/tweaking tones for different speaker sets.

 

I create my live tones in my home studio (on two sets of monitors, at relatively high volume) and the core tone translates without further adjustment to the FOH, Stage Monitors, IEM's (headphones) and FRFR (when I require it).

 

20 hours ago, Georgehomme said:

i have seen a lot of people writing that Helix doesn t sound good with Headphones.

 

This would imply that there is a fault with the headphone amp... I'll have to let others offer their opinion here because I don't use the headphone output on the Helix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, codamedia said:

I must be in the minority. I would never imagine creating/tweaking tones for different speaker sets.

 

I create my live tones in my home studio (on two sets of monitors, at relatively high volume) and the core tone translates without further adjustment to the FOH, Stage Monitors, IEM's (headphones) and FRFR (when I require it).

 

Basically, that's the skill involved in mastering - to make audio translate over a wide variety of playback systems. I also need only one set of presets, but that's because I develop presets with Helix Native, and have the Sonarworks program to flatten the headphone and speaker responses (I do reality checks with both). Then as long as I go into an FRFR system live, the presets sound as intended.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Anderton said:

Basically, that's the skill involved in mastering - to make audio translate over a wide variety of playback systems.

 

Exactly... I've done a fair amount of studio work over the years so the concepts and goals are quite familiar to me. I use that same approach to creating presets. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, codamedia said:

I must be in the minority. I would never imagine creating/tweaking tones for different speaker sets.

 

I create my live tones in my home studio (on two sets of monitors, at relatively high volume) and the core tone translates without further adjustment to the FOH, Stage Monitors, IEM's (headphones) and FRFR (when I require it).

 

 

This would imply that there is a fault with the headphone amp... I'll have to let others offer their opinion here because I don't use the headphone output on the Helix.

 

 

I did not reveal my workflow in my answer...I too tweak primarily on near fields....I will check things with cans some times, but that is usually translation checking. I tried to answer the OP's question based on his situation. He's got a baby coming....No tweaking loud...So I kept it to cans...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@spaceatl... FYI: it wasn't really your response that prompted mine... it's a pattern I see in both this thread, and through the forums that people are creating different presets for different "full range" speakers. (eg: monitors, headphones, FOH (PA), Stage Monitors, FRFR, etc... etc... ) 

 

I think people get hung up on the fact that it doesn't sound the same from "speaker to speaker" or "speaker to headphones". For me that is not the goal because that goal is not achievable. The real goal is just to make it sound good/great on everything it gets played through. 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, codamedia said:

 

I think people get hung up on the fact that it doesn't sound the same from speaker to speaker or speaker to headphone. For me that is not the goal because that goal is not achievable. The real goal is to make it sound good/great on everything it gets played through. 

…. 

I agree. I use headphones, a pair of Line 6 L3t PA speakers, and a pair of 5” studio monitors. Over time I have tweaked my go-to presets so that they sound good on all of these devices. Not identical among any of them,  but good on all.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...