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WOW! The Big Book of Helix Tips & Tricks


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On 1/12/2022 at 9:38 PM, jpdennis said:

…..Especially as the talk is the current Helix version will be in play for some time.


This book is much more generally applicable than just Helix. The section on detailed FX parameters applies to all FX in the genre (Delay, Mod, Reverb, etc) whether the FX are modeled like Helix, Axe, or the physical thing. Some owners of the actual physical pedals being modeled would benefit from understanding what the knobs actually do.

 

The general discussions and theory behind the presets is also portable to other modeling equipment. The presets themselves are actually the only thing in this book that is really Helix specific.

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On 1/12/2022 at 5:32 PM, hyperwav said:

Does this address HX Effects or have any patches for it?

The detailed description of the FX parameters addresses all the FX blocks in HX FX. There are no HX FX presets but some of the discussion and examples could be reproduced in HX FX.

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On 1/14/2022 at 7:27 AM, silverhead said:

The detailed description of the FX parameters addresses all the FX blocks in HX FX. There are no HX FX presets but some of the discussion and examples could be reproduced in HX FX.

 

@silverhead thanks for replying. I'd add that the chapters on bi-amping and combi-band processing apply to effects, not just amps. For example, combi-band delay, chorusing, etc. can sound pretty cool.

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I just have to say how freakin' delighted I am to see Craig Anderton contributing to this forum and now with an eBook. Mr. Anderton is truly the equipment OG and I have fond memories of visiting his site, definitely hundreds if not thousands of times, decades ago when it was the ONLY decent place to see actual users' reviews of guitars and related effects and equipment. Truly it was the sole outpost in the wilderness of an Internet newly emerging out of the message board era. He provided such an invaluable service for so many musicians for so many years and helped guide me to excellent pieces of gear as well as lending an assist in avoiding klunkers. I hope 'The Big Book Of Helix Tips & Tricks' sells like gangbusters. He deserves every bit of the acclaim it is garnering!

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Thanks for the props! Now it's time for some props to the community. I've received some excellent suggestions/ideas for the next update, and already implemented several of them. Although all my eBooks include an email address for comments, Helix people have been the most engaged and helpful. 

 

So, this eBook is turning into the collaborative effort I had hoped it could become, and your comments will help guide the direction of the updates. It's kind of like working with a producer :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

@kartikg3, version 1 of the eBook does contain a brief mention and description of the deep amp parameters on page 258.

 

Craig just updated the eBook to version 1.1. It contains 45 more pages, including coverage of the recently released firmware 3.15's features, and much more. One of the bulleted items covered in the revision is "Explanations of amp Hum, Ripple, and Sag parameters".

 

See: Craig's post about the update: 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

After buying my Helix LT I spent an outrageous amount of time on forums and on YouTube to learn tips and tricks that would make the experience with this hardware satisfying. I have a text file with all the most useful (to me) infos I have found in 2 years, and of course I made hundreds of presets and experiments, I played the Helix in studio and live and tweaked the hell out of it. So, when I saw this book for sale I thought it was useless to me. Nevertheless I gave it a try, and I am amazed how much useful stuff I am finding in it! This is an invaluable work for any serious Helix user. Chapeaux @craiganderton, a great, great book! Thank you!

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On 3/11/2022 at 3:18 AM, pico322 said:

After buying my Helix LT I spent an outrageous amount of time on forums and on YouTube to learn tips and tricks that would make the experience with this hardware satisfying. I have a text file with all the most useful (to me) infos I have found in 2 years, and of course I made hundreds of presets and experiments, I played the Helix in studio and live and tweaked the hell out of it. So, when I saw this book for sale I thought it was useless to me. Nevertheless I gave it a try, and I am amazed how much useful stuff I am finding in it! This is an invaluable work for any serious Helix user. Chapeaux @craiganderton, a great, great book! Thank you!

 

First of all, I'm glad you find the book useful! Second, if you want to contribute any of your tips for a future revision, drop me an email at the support email given in the book. Of course, you'll get credit for anything that's used.

 

I have to say that the suggestions people have sent me are very useful. I incorporated a lot of them in v1.1 and am keeping track of ones for v1.2. I really like the collaborative feel of doing a book this way.

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Thanks for this book since it served me very well as a beginner. The published edition gave me some tips for the Helix 4x sends and 4x returns. Additionally, I found some options for the LT with two additional Bass/Guitar inputs and the Helix with 5. I didn't find anything for the XLR Mic Preamp, but the Helix doesn't even have it. Instead, it includes the StageScape Mic Preamp. https://edubirdie.com/write-my-essay-for-me offers an analysis of the new edition, and even edubirdie's essay asserts that it has pretty useful instructions for line inputs of Helix and others. "The Big Book of Helix Tips and Tricks" provided me with a huge number of effects that I learned and what is better value for money. In a nutshell, I am satisfied and impressed by this masterpiece. The book taught me how easy to use, and how to make the touchscreen function - a modern and effective way to control the sound.

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  • 1 month later...

I just ordered the book.  I was thinking about selling my Helix and going back to pedals because of the complexity.  I figured that $20 was a small amount to pay to try one last time to get a grip on the Helix.  I know of Craig Anderton from his old Cakewalk Sonar books, and know he's a reputable, knowledgeable guy., and his books are excellent.

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  • 3 months later...
On 8/31/2022 at 7:46 AM, mustafai said:

Do you recommend this book for HX Stomp? Considering the DSP limitations, how much is this book relevant for HX Stomp? For example, the dual amp applications are not viable for HX Stomp as it leaves no DSP for other effects.

In 7 years of using my Helix in live performances every week, you'd be surprised how rarely I felt I needed a dual amp setup in a preset.  But there's a ton of stuff in that book that relates to things I use every single week in various presets.  Honestly if dual amps are a major concern for you then why didn't you opt for the LT, Floor or Rack?

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On 8/31/2022 at 6:46 AM, mustafai said:

Do you recommend this book for HX Stomp? Considering the DSP limitations, how much is this book relevant for HX Stomp? For example, the dual amp applications are not viable for HX Stomp as it leaves no DSP for other effects.

 

Excellent question. I got an HX Stomp when writing the book because I wanted as much info as possible to apply to HX Stomp and Helix LT/floor/etc. Of course, the detailed descriptions of the amps, effects, etc. are equally applicable to both. Of the 12 Chapters, one is exclusive to Helix. It covers 3- and 4-band multiband processing, which is not possible (mostly) to do with HX Stomp (there is a pseudo-3-band workaround for HX Stomp where one path processes the midrange, and the other, the lows and highs).

 

However, there's a lot of material in the book on how to save DSP power. Many preamps can substitute for amps if you know a few tricks, and use less DSP. Two different amps can share one cab and still generate a stereo image from the Delay and Reverb, like this

 

image.png.de2200ed0dd5b3ef318539f7f92bff75.png

 

Of course, you may have to compromise on which amps and effects you choose, but you might be surprised at how many DSP tradeoffs you can make, and still have solid-sounding presets. Also, I cover using EQ-based cabs, which save quite a bit of DSP power. And many presets don't involve dual amps at all. One of my favorite clean sounds layers a Nashville-tuned sound with dry guitar:

 

image.thumb.png.e4f1301204feb93a8bc56ed56305f422.png

 

If you have specific questions, I've opened a dedicated support forum for the book, where people can get support if they have questions about the tips, as well as give suggestions about what they' like to see in future revisions. A lot of great suggestions for the 1.1 version came from readers. I have to say that as an author, interacting with readers to shape a new version, instead of just putting a book out there, is a very cool experience.

 

If you like, ask me to post the table contents in the support forum, and I'll post it so you can see exactly what's in the book. There's also a promo video about the book, although it was made before the version 1.1 release.

 

Hope this helps!

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  • 1 month later...

I was looking for a book to learn how to create preset from zero on the helix floor.... and this book looked interesting.... however it's a pity that I cannot buy it since my country is not allowed to create an account on sweetwater (I live in Italy).

 

There is really no way to buy the book in some other way?

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Via the Sweetwater Website Page for The Book there may be an email address for Craig Anderton. If so, reach out to him to explore how you may be able to buy a copy. Otherwise, reach out to him via this thread by placing the at sign: @ before his name like this: @craigandertonwhich will direct a copy of your post to him.

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On 11/1/2022 at 3:08 AM, Kethav said:

@craiganderton

So could you contact me (also in private) to see if there's a possibility to buy the book even if I cannot have an account on sweetwater ? :D

 

I sent a note to Sweetwater asking for clarification about this. If it really isn't possible, I'll come up with some kind of solution. I appreciate your interest, thank you.

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On 11/2/2022 at 4:40 AM, craiganderton said:

 

I sent a note to Sweetwater asking for clarification about this. If it really isn't possible, I'll come up with some kind of solution. I appreciate your interest, thank you.

 

It's weird, as I'm also in Italy, and used to have a Sweetwater account for years, but now it says has been deactivated. :(

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 I received the following from Sweetwater:

 

The customer should be able to go through the checkout process without having to create an account at the very least. We have occasional international orders for software, which the e-books would mimic in delivery behavior, so things should work just fine.

 

If they continue to have an issue, I would have them reach out via the email form at this link: https://www.sweetwater.com/about/contact/. It’s monitored constantly, and someone should be in touch within the day.

 

So I think the takeaway here is the contact info. Sweetwater is very good about support. 

 

On 11/2/2022 at 5:35 AM, somebodyelse said:

Weird?

I'm in the UK. I keep getting emails from them, but they never emailed me when the book was updated - I found that out through this forum.

 

There is not yet a mechanism in place to notify customers when a new version is out. I do know it's in their "to do" list, but I'm not aware of an ETA.

 

Meanwhile, if you want to find out about current versions, future updates, have suggestions for what you would like to see in future versions (hint, hint!), etc., there's a dedicated support forum for all my Sweetwater books at Musicplayer.com. I monitor it at least every other day. One of the threads lists all books and their current versions. Hope this helps!

 

(FYI my next book, The Musician's Audio Handbook, will be available starting Friday.)

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On 11/2/2022 at 12:54 PM, craiganderton said:

 I received the following from Sweetwater:

 

The customer should be able to go through the checkout process without having to create an account at the very least. We have occasional international orders for software, which the e-books would mimic in delivery behavior, so things should work just fine.

 

If they continue to have an issue, I would have them reach out via the email form at this link: https://www.sweetwater.com/about/contact/. It’s monitored constantly, and someone should be in touch within the day.

 

So I think the takeaway here is the contact info. Sweetwater is very good about support. 

 

 

There is not yet a mechanism in place to notify customers when a new version is out. I do know it's in their "to do" list, but I'm not aware of an ETA.

 

Meanwhile, if you want to find out about current versions, future updates, have suggestions for what you would like to see in future versions (hint, hint!), etc., there's a dedicated support forum for all my Sweetwater books at Musicplayer.com. I monitor it at least every other day. One of the threads lists all books and their current versions. Hope this helps!

 

(FYI my next book, The Musician's Audio Handbook, will be available starting Friday.)

 

Perhaps an interim solution for staying abreast of updates and other details for "The Big Book of Helix Tips & Tricks", until Sweetwater has an automatic update, would be to click the 'Follow' button at the top left of this forum topic. That way you get emailed every time there is a post here.

 

Alternately @craigandertoncould start a topic just for update information and those who purchased the book could follow there.

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On 11/3/2022 at 2:06 PM, HonestOpinion said:

Alternately @craigandertoncould start a topic just for update information and those who purchased the book could follow there.

 

I didn't want to use up forum bandwidth for something that could appear to be self-serving, so there's a dedicated support forum for all my Sweetwater Publishing books in the forum section of musicplayer.com. I just posted in the Helix thread today.

 

Please note this isn't only about me posting stuff about when to expect an update!! Feel free to post suggestions about what you want to see covered in future updates, any problems you encounter with any of the tips, any typoze you find, anything that's not clear, and of course, anything you particularly like so I'll keep going in that direction. 

 

The thread has quite a few views, but people aren't taking advantage of the two-way nature. Remember, I'm writing these books for you, so the more I know about what you want, the better :) 

 

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On 11/4/2022 at 3:17 PM, craiganderton said:

 

I didn't want to use up forum bandwidth for something that could appear to be self-serving, so there's a dedicated support forum for all my Sweetwater Publishing books in the forum section of musicplayer.com. I just posted in the Helix thread today.

 

Please note this isn't only about me posting stuff about when to expect an update!! Feel free to post suggestions about what you want to see covered in future updates, any problems you encounter with any of the tips, any typoze you find, anything that's not clear, and of course, anything you particularly like so I'll keep going in that direction. 

 

The thread has quite a few views, but people aren't taking advantage of the two-way nature. Remember, I'm writing these books for you, so the more I know about what you want, the better :) 

 

 

An unselfish view of the forum and a very much appreciated invitation to musicians here to provide feedback about what information might be most helpful to them as well as providing a feedback loop for keeping content accurate and up to date. Wanted to make sure forum users, particularly newer ones, were aware that a 'Follow' feature was available for any content/topic they want to keep up on. In fact, I just clicked the button myself :-)

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On 11/2/2022 at 5:54 PM, craiganderton said:

 I received the following from Sweetwater:

 

The customer should be able to go through the checkout process without having to create an account at the very least. We have occasional international orders for software, which the e-books would mimic in delivery behavior, so things should work just fine.

 

If they continue to have an issue, I would have them reach out via the email form at this link: https://www.sweetwater.com/about/contact/. It’s monitored constantly, and someone should be in touch within the day.

 

So I think the takeaway here is the contact info. Sweetwater is very good about support. 

 

 

There is not yet a mechanism in place to notify customers when a new version is out. I do know it's in their "to do" list, but I'm not aware of an ETA.

 

Meanwhile, if you want to find out about current versions, future updates, have suggestions for what you would like to see in future versions (hint, hint!), etc., there's a dedicated support forum for all my Sweetwater books at Musicplayer.com. I monitor it at least every other day. One of the threads lists all books and their current versions. Hope this helps!

 

(FYI my next book, The Musician's Audio Handbook, will be available starting Friday.)

Very well, I was finally able to buy the book....  I didn't suppose that an account was not mandatory to buy it :D

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On 11/5/2022 at 10:25 AM, stapani said:

My Big Book order is here, thx

 

I'm glad they took are of you, good to hear. But I forgot to mention a crucial point: Save the download code they gave you! You'll need it to download the free updates (you use the same code to get the free "point" updates). Normally this is stored in your account, but if you sign in as a guest, it won't get stored on the Sweetwater site.

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On 11/7/2022 at 12:11 AM, khiryos said:

Hello Craig,

 

Out of curiosity, do you plan to update the book according to the 3.5 update? If so, will it be part of the free update or a 2.0 version of the book?

 

Thanks,

 

All the best.

 

Well, IMO your answer is given in the Craig's quote just a few posts above yours:

On 11/6/2022 at 11:07 AM, craiganderton said:

 

I'm glad they took are of you, good to hear. But I forgot to mention a crucial point: Save the download code they gave you! You'll need it to download the free updates (you use the same code to get the free "point" updates). Normally this is stored in your account, but if you sign in as a guest, it won't get stored on the Sweetwater site.

 

"you'll need it to download the free updates . . ."

 

If you're really interested in developments I'd check out the forum at musicplayer.com that Craig mentions below. That way you can push hard for a specific 3.5 update if you worry it won't be included in future updates (unlikely though when you think about it considering how thorough the book is):

On 11/4/2022 at 1:17 PM, craiganderton said:

 

I didn't want to use up forum bandwidth for something that could appear to be self-serving, so there's a dedicated support forum for all my Sweetwater Publishing books in the forum section of musicplayer.com. I just posted in the Helix thread today.

 

 

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On 11/7/2022 at 3:22 PM, Kilrahi said:

If you're really interested in developments I'd check out the forum at musicplayer.com that Craig mentions below. That way you can push hard for a specific 3.5 update if you worry it won't be included in future updates (unlikely though when you think about it considering how thorough the book is):

 

I've started on the 3.5 update by doing frequency response graphs of the new cabs. Then I want to show how the various mic positions affect the sound of selected cabs. For example, Line 6 models the proximity effect on directional mics, which comes into play when you move the mic closer to the speaker. It's most noticeable with the ribbons.

 

However - if there are specific areas you want to see covered, drop by the forum! There is much about Helix that the book doesn't cover, like doing automation with DAWs, setting up footswitches, that sort of thing. I'll be prioritizing the new features, but if there's a sense that people really need some other features covered. I'll see what I can do.

 

Also this probably goes without saying, but since I don't have a firm ETA yet, if you don't have the book you don't have to wait for the update to appear. You can get the current version, and grab the free update when it's ready.

 

Thanks everyone for your interest and support!!! Doing these books is a bit of a labor of love, so it's good to know they're helpful to Helix fans.

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On 11/9/2022 at 5:54 AM, craiganderton said:

 

I've started on the 3.5 update by doing frequency response graphs of the new cabs. Then I want to show how the various mic positions affect the sound of selected cabs. For example, Line 6 models the proximity effect on directional mics, which comes into play when you move the mic closer to the speaker. It's most noticeable with the ribbons.

 

However - if there are specific areas you want to see covered, drop by the forum! There is much about Helix that the book doesn't cover, like doing automation with DAWs, setting up footswitches, that sort of thing. I'll be prioritizing the new features, but if there's a sense that people really need some other features covered. I'll see what I can do.

 

Also this probably goes without saying, but since I don't have a firm ETA yet, if you don't have the book you don't have to wait for the update to appear. You can get the current version, and grab the free update when it's ready.

 

Thanks everyone for your interest and support!!! Doing these books is a bit of a labor of love, so it's good to know they're helpful to Helix fans.

 

Thanks Craig. You do a great job. It's very useful for Helix users. No doubt about that :)

 

I am happy to know you are working on the 3.5 update. As a noob concerning the sound recording of an amped guitar, I would like to know what are the differences between, for example, changing the angle of the mic position and filtering a specific range of frequencies. It may seem stupid for an expert, but for someone who thinks in terms of basic physics, all parameters are very similar and sometimes it's not obvious that changing an amp/cab/mic parameter is very different than filtering/reverberating/saturating the audio signal.

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On 11/15/2022 at 9:33 AM, khiryos said:

I would like to know what are the differences between, for example, changing the angle of the mic position and filtering a specific range of frequencies. It may seem stupid for an expert...

 

No, it's not stupid. Short answer is changing the angle is just a different kind of filtering. But, you've given me another idea for some frequency response graphs to illustrate this.

 

As I finish sections for the updated book, I'll mention them in the abovementioned forum, and maybe give some previews. But again...there's no ETA on this. I don't want to shortchange the info just to get something out sooner.

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