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Poly Pitch


ShaneKeller
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Hello - the poly pitch block is storage intensive on the Helix and cannot be added to the block chain of most presets; creating a new preset and placing the poly pitch block first, and then adding a limited number of blocks (in my experience so far, only an amp and maybe one effect) works but obviously the sound of the preset is so limited that it's usually not any good.

 

Can you create a preset with only the poly pitch block, set to whatever tuning you want, and then have any other preset access/use in parallel that preset? Such that both presets are being used at the same time, with the poly pitch preset first in the overall signal chain ... And I guess I should ask - assuming this is possible - would this eliminate the problem and accomplish what I'm wanting to accomplish? Or will storage/DSP space still be an issue?

 

Thank you!

Shane

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No... you can't run two patches simultaneously... but even if you could, in this case it wouldn't solve anything. Think about it... Helix has 'X' amount of processing power. The DSP limit is a fixed value based on the hardware. So it wouldn't matter if you spread out all the stuff you wanted to use across 10 patches... there's either enough DSP to run it all at the same time, or there isn't. All roads lead to the same brick wall.

 

Two parallel paths within one patch is the best you're gonna get... but you'll still be subject to Helix's inherent hardware limitations/DSP limits... and yes, polyphonic pitch shifting chews up a lot of processing power. It is what it is.

 

I learned a long time ago that no one box is ever going to be able to satisfy every possible need... there will always be compromises and limitations. I still have a few external pedals, the Digitech Drop being one of them, for precisely this reason.

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39 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

No... you can't run two patches simultaneously. Think about it... if the device is running out of DSP within one patch, how can you expect it to be able to load and run two at the same time? Two parallel paths within one patch is the best you're gonna get... but you'll still be subject to Helix's inherent hardware limitations/DSP limits... and yes, polyphonic pitch shifting chews up a lot of processing power. It is what it is...

 

I learned a long time ago that no one box is ever going to be able to satisfy every possible need. I still have a few external pedals... the Digitech Drop being one of them, for precisely this reason.

I had a DigiDrop for a bit.  I couldnt get along with it in the loop where I wanted to run it so it was preset specific engaged.  Do you run yours in the front of the Helix?

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12 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

I had a DigiDrop for a bit.  I couldnt get along with it in the loop where I wanted to run it so it was preset specific engaged.  Do you run yours in the front of the Helix?

 

Yup, first thing in the chain after the guitar... just toggle on/off as needed.

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Poly pitch is extremely expensive in dsp terms. You must be using an HX Stomp, XL or FX..If you are at a point where you feel the poly is a must have, you will need likely more dsp to finish basic tones on an HX.

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My solution is using EQ-based cabs, and selected preamps instead of amps. Those two techniques cut down dramatically on processing power, and with proper editing, sound almost the same as using a conventional amp and cab.

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Thanks for all the info! I like the EQ cabs/preamp idea, and the POG2 and similar ideas are good, too. Ultimately, at least for the time being, I am only using the poly pitch function for practicing various songs on one guitar at home - no playing live or anything like that - so the sound quality of the preset is not that important overall for my application at the moment. Thanks for all the great info!

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8 hours ago, ShaneKeller said:

Hello - the poly pitch block is storage intensive on the Helix and cannot be added to the block chain of most presets; creating a new preset and placing the poly pitch block first, and then adding a limited number of blocks (in my experience so far, only an amp and maybe one effect) works but obviously the sound of the preset is so limited that it's usually not any good.

 

Which device do you own? Helix (LT/Floor/Rack), a HX Stomp, or an HX Effects?

Your hands are tied with an HX, but you should be able to work around it with a HELIX... and a little creativity. 

 

With my LT I'll admit that I couldn't just drop a POLY PITCH into any of my presets, but splitting up the presets to make room would not be a problem for me. Under no circumstances would my tone be jeopardized... my convenience "might" be. I would prioritize my needs... then re-structure my presets accordingly. 

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2 hours ago, ShaneKeller said:

Thanks for all the info! I like the EQ cabs/preamp idea, and the POG2 and similar ideas are good, too. Ultimately, at least for the time being, I am only using the poly pitch function for practicing various songs on one guitar at home - no playing live or anything like that - so the sound quality of the preset is not that important overall for my application at the moment. Thanks for all the great info!

 

There are lots of players who off-load some of the signal processing to outboard units to free up DSP.  I know a guy who has two H9s connected to his Helix Floor, controlled via MIDI.  That wouldn't work for you though, as their pitch shifter algos are all monophonic.

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3 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

Which device do you own? Helix (LT/Floor/Rack), a HX Stomp, or an HX Effects?

Your hands are tied with an HX, but you should be able to work around it with a HELIX... and a little creativity. 

 

With my LT I'll admit that I couldn't just drop a POLY PITCH into any of my presets, but splitting up the presets to make room would not be a problem for me. Under no circumstances would my tone be jeopardized... my convenience "might" be. I would prioritize my needs... then re-structure my presets accordingly. 

I have the Helix Floor. I think I've done a very basic version of what you mean here - I've set up new presets with poly pitch set to the tunings I use most often (Eflat, whole step down, and C#) and I've put very basic processing after the poly pitch block. It sounds ok for practicing, but I wouldn't use it to jam or play live. As time allows, I may edit to get better sound just for the hell of it - if I was to jam or play live, I have multiple guitars to tune to these other tunings ... 

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Here's an example of an HX Stomp preset I use for low tunings, with the Poly capo settings. The preset uses bi-amping to balance the high- and low-frequency Amp sounds. Path A handles the highs, while Path B handles the lows. Fitting all this into 8 blocks requires two amps that don’t need much processing power, and uses stereo EQ to simulate a cab (not a stock Cab). Using preamps instead of amps would have freed up more processing power. The output Mixer can pan the two Amps for stereo imaging. A stereo Simple Delay provides a stereo output that collapses acceptably to mono. However, deleting or bypassing the Simple Delay for mono-only outputs sounds slightly better.

 

In terms of customing, deleting the Simple Delay allows using the Line 6 Electrik, Litigator, or Badonk for one of the Amps. If you  remove the Compressor,  now the Essex A15, both A30 Fawn Amps, Matchstick Ch2, Placater Clean, and Line 6 2204 Mod Amps become available for one of the Amps. If you also remove the pre- and post-Poly Capo EQs, several more Amps become available for one of the Amps. Your choices for the other Amp remain limited. It take some strategy to shoehorn all this stuff into HX Stomp. but it's doable. (Note: For those of you who have my book, this is described in Chapter 4 on Poly Block processing, and is LowPreset.hlx in the Free Files folder.) Hope this helps - HX Stomp can do a lot more than you might think at first.

 

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7 hours ago, ShaneKeller said:

As time allows, I may edit to get better sound just for the hell of it - if I was to jam or play live, I have multiple guitars to tune to these other tunings ... 

 

Our priorities are very different.... there is no "just for the hell of it" in my vocabulary when it comes to core tone. 

I might add an <effect effect here> for the "hell of it", but not my core tone. 

 

As for multiple guitars.... IMO that's irrelevant. There are many ways to work around that one. 

 

7 hours ago, ShaneKeller said:

I've put very basic processing after the poly pitch block. It sounds ok for practicing, but I wouldn't use it to jam or play live.

 

Can you show us a picture of your preset(s)... or share a couple. I'd love to see what you "normally use" without the POLY PITCH, then what you feel you are forced to use with the POLY PITCH. With the Helix Floor, you should be able to have both great tone, and POLY PITCH.... you just might lose a couple bells and whistles along the way. 

 

If your presets really are required to be that complex, then something like the Digitech DROP (as mentioned by @cruisinon2 in the first reply) will likely be your best option. 

 

7 hours ago, ShaneKeller said:

I've set up new presets with poly pitch set to the tunings I use most often (Eflat, whole step down, and C#)

 

You can also change intervals within a preset with a little planning by using snapshots and/or stomp buttons.

 

 

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I have been using the "wham" block in the past to downtune my guitar.  I removed the control assignment for the pitch and just made it fixed.  In my experience it sounded just as good as the poly one.  So if you have an issue running out of DSP, give it a try....

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2 hours ago, theElevators said:

I have been using the "wham" block in the past to downtune my guitar.  I removed the control assignment for the pitch and just made it fixed.  In my experience it sounded just as good as the poly one.  So if you have an issue running out of DSP, give it a try....

I did this in the past as well for home use.  Is it comparable quality wise to the Poly Wham doing the same thing?   

 

I have a band that literally has 1 maybe 2 songs in Eb, and I can't get the preset to sound right with the Poly Pitch stuff cause I need the dsp for other parts of the song....however, bringing an additional guitar for 1 or 2 songs is a pain and not 'worth' it.  The song can't be played just lower on the neck cause of open strings either.  

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1 hour ago, themetallikid said:

I have a band that literally has 1 maybe 2 songs in Eb, and I can't get the preset to sound right with the Poly Pitch stuff cause I need the dsp for other parts of the song....however, bringing an additional guitar for 1 or 2 songs is a pain and not 'worth' it.  The song can't be played just lower on the neck cause of open strings either.  

You could do worse than just getting a DigiTech Drop and using it on those tunes. It's not perfect, but as good as I've heard for this purpose.

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