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Your favorite combinations of models


adagosto
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I'll start with a confession...I'm a Stomp XL user and I'm still (sorta) in the mode of using my existing physical pedals and supplimenting with the Line 6 models. But lately I'm been experimenting with various combinations of distortions and amp models.

 

So my question for you good folks is, what are your favorite combinations of models and what you use them for.  What happens when you pair up a Teemah with a US Princess and set the gain a certain way and what would you use that tone for? And that's a simple combo....can anyone share their creative pairings. 

 

I think getting into this is where some of the magic might be with the Helix that I've just not tapped into yet (much).

 

Thoughts??

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My thought is that a heap of opinions from other people about their fav combos seems pretty futile in terms of understanding what works for you. Even more so when there's nothing to guide anyone on the sort of tones/material you're into.

 

I'd have thoght whatching demos on YouTube and hearing what floats your boat would be a better starting point. Jason Sadites has a tone of dialing in videos that demo a range of combinations.

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For me these sort of things change over time since I've been using the Helix exclusively since it came out.  Right now the amp models I tend to use most often are the WhoWatt, Matchstick, Placater, and Archetype.  But from the looks of it I may end up using the new Ventoux in place of a couple of them as it seems to fill a broader range of sounds in a similar way that the WhoWatt does.  My most commonly effects are the Teemah, Minotaur, LA Compressor, Dynamic Hall,  Transistor Tape Delay and Retro Reel but I'm sure that's going to have some additions/replacements with the new stuff in 3.15.

I agree with Waymda in that what I choose is based on the type of music I normally play which tends to be pretty varied in music style and genre and may not be applicable to what you play.  I also use different presets for each song which is a big factor in my choice of amps and effects.

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My personal choices for my live patches (and well, I'm always just using one single patch per gig, I don't like losing control because there's too many patches I'd have to adjust, but in addition, it's an aesthetical/practical decision as well, for a number of reasons...).

 

Amps:

- A clean "channel", usually using the Princess ever since it came out, but I still occasionally exchange that in favour of either the Cali IV Rhythm 1 or the Cali Texas Ch 1.

- A dirt "channel" usually using either one of the 2204 models (I prefer the Line 6 mod but for that one the gain needs to be dialed *way* down, around 0.9-1.2) or the Mandarin 80. There's been some occasions when I went for the Voltage Queen instead (usually gigs not requiring any real typical riffing).

 

I use all of them with some homebrewn IRs (specifically one that I constantly seem to keep going back to, simply because it just works in pretty much any context), and yes, just one cab sim for both channels (I usually keep the cab sim at the end of the signal chain as I'm strictly playing mono live, so I can still insert stereo FX and listen to my live sound in mono through stereo outs, which I'm using at home).

 

In addition to these amps, I keep coming back to these drives:

- Teemah. I usually have two instances in my patches, one per each channel. What I like about it is that it's sort of flexible regarding tonal balance (offering both treble and bass cut) but also kinda neutral in terms of drive characteristics, so both guitar and amp tone stay more or less intact.

- Top Secret OD. I just love that one as it's allowing me to get a rather "wooly/fuzzy" sound while cleaning up excellently when backing up the guitar volume. I really wish it offered more output levels (I tend to keep gain pretty low) and tone controls. To compensate for the lack of those, I always add a simple EQ behind it and control the two with a single switch. I may have a closer look at the KWB as it seems to be able to deliver kinda similar sounds while featuring tone controls.

- Kinky Boost. I usually have one of those in my patches working "globally", adding a bit more grit or even "oomph" to the entire patch. Interestingly, I sometimes place it behind the amps, sometimes one both pre- and post-amp. Allows me to always get just a little more gain instantly (pre-amp) or to cut through a bit better (post-amp), should I feel the need. In general, it's kinda like a "utility" drive.

 

For lead boosts, in 90% of all cases I add a Vetta Comp in front of the entire amp shebang, resulting in a bit more "meat", plus a Simple EQ behind (sometimes individuall blocks per amps, sometimes for the entire patch), usually pushing some mids a bit and adjusting the overall lead volume.

 

For most jobs, that really is it in terms of basic sounds. Pretty much following the "KISS principle", I just prefer to know my tools more or less inside out instead of being overwhelmed.

 

And fwiw, style-wise, I'm kind of an allround guy, my preferred things usually are kinda funky/souly/groovy with the occasional jazzy bits thrown in, but I don't mind some sort of classic rock riffing, either. No metal, though (at least not beyond the funny aspect of it).

 

For recording purposes, I tend to start with the same things (just organized a little different in terms of routing) but for obvious reasons, I fool around with various things a lot more.

I may add the new Ventoux to my live arsenal rather quickly as I really seem to like it.

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Thank you for the replies! Very interesting. So before I break some of this down, I want to now share some of the reasoning for my question about "combinations".

 

When given a "candy jar" with just about all of the wildly know amps, I find myself not using distortions and over drives very much. I really like the US Princess and the Essex A30, but when I need a more saturated 'brown' sound, I just go find a Marshall or Orange or whatever amp model that fits the tone I'm looking for.

 

But this presents a small problem. Everytime I grab a new model, it starts a learning curve. That's by no means a bad thing, don't take that as a negative. But, here's an example of using a combo I found interesting and why I asked this question.

 

The Archetype Clean is a great sound, but doesn't have a lot of gain. But, the Archetype Lead starts off with too much gain. Ordinarily I might just search for a different amp model, and I did, but I came back to it with a Teemah on the clean Archetype and that landed in a space between the two models.

 

Ok that's cool and all, but now I want to ask then what is your strategy with the Helix in finding the tones you are looking for?

 

With a physical amp it's more simple and limiting. You do what you can do with your amp as is and fill in with pedals. But when you have a Helix, do you find yourself changing out amps or instead find the three or four amps you really like, get dialed into them and then supplement them with ODs and Distortion models. The later seems more efficient and focused but, that's why I'm asking.

 

What is YOUR strategy to find the right combinations of models to land on the tone you are seeking?

 

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2 hours ago, adagosto said:

What is YOUR strategy to find the right combinations of models to land on the tone you are seeking?

 

Doing it pretty much every bit the same as during the last 30 years (or thereabout), just with a lot more comfort and flexibility.

2 channel setup with modifications for each channel, lead options for each, adding a handful of FX for flavour, done.

 

Fwiw, I have been a 3-channel guy for a while but noticed that 2 basic channels would give me as good results with less hassle while possibly even sounding more homogenous.

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7 hours ago, adagosto said:

 

What is YOUR strategy to find the right combinations of models to land on the tone you are seeking?

 

To me it's a simple matter of over time becoming familiar with the different models and their behaviors or my personal experience with some of the real amps they're based on.  Once I know those things I can pretty much tell  which ones will be the most likely candidate for what I'm trying to do.  The approach I use with an amp may vary based on the amp's behaviors.

For example, I agree with what you say about the Archetype clean.  It's probably the most beautiful crystal clean sound of any of the amp models in my opinion.  I know it has it's limits and I don't particularly care for the over the top behaviors of the Archetype lead, so I approach using it in a manner similar to the way I use the WhoWatt which is renowned for how well it can incorporate boost or overdrive pedals and use those as a way to build a crunchier version of the Archetype clean when I'm doing a song that has a very clean section but breaks into a heavier, crunchy sound or a  lead.  I could simply use a WhoWatt, but the WhoWatt is really more of an older, classic Marshall based underlying tone whereas the Archetype is more of a modern high presence tone.

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48 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:

I know it has it's limits and I don't particularly care for the over the top behaviors of the Archetype lead, so I approach using it in a manner similar to the way I use the WhoWatt which is renowned for how well it can incorporate boost or overdrive pedals and use those as a way to build a crunchier version of the Archetype clean when I'm doing a song that has a very clean section but breaks into a heavier, crunchy sound or a  lead.

 

See this is exactly what I was hoping to learn from this thread. Very interesting. 

 

Thank you!!

 

 

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