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Upgrading... (or changing as a better word)


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On 11/14/2022 at 1:44 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

Sort of off topic:

 

I know this is likely considered blasphemy round some parts of the modeling world, but is that really all that important?

All I know is, that for me, it isn't.

Fwiw, this is also why I have a sweet spot for the Boss modeling. The best sounding amps and drive boxes in their units IMO are those not trying to be literal copies of existing devices.

And on my recent pedalboard, the amp model I'm using for all my driven tones is a pretty much modified (as in using pre- and post-EQ plus some custom-made IR) Bassman of an Atomic Amplifirebox with some (real) pedals slapped in front. Apart from a completely clean tone (which is provided by another pretty much modified Super Reverb coming from a NUX Amp Academy), I hardly ever need anything else (I could use the Stomp in addition but only ever do so for certain rare recording situations).

For me, as long as it feels well while playing, offers enough flexibility to get everything I need done and sits well in a mix (especially live), that's all it takes.

 

In the end, for me (<-!) the usability aspect has turned out to be much more important than whatever super accurate amp replications. And for my use case, with my current setup pretty much all usability boxes are checked (apart from some that, interestingly enough, are almost exclusively related to the HX Stomp, even if I like it quite a bit in its role as an almost-only-FX unit).

 

Now, I know that's just me (well, maybe not just me, but still...), but when lurking around the modeling world's various channels, I can't help it but think that this almost endless quest for whatever perfect amp emulations is keeping away at least quite some people from concentrating what all this at least originally was almost certainly about: Playing guitar, ideally through some nice sounding pieces of gear. It often seems to be along the lines of "Until I don't have amp XYZ at my disposal, all of my rock star attempts must be brought to a halt!"

I'm not saying it's necessarily like that, I'm also not adressing anyone in particular, but that's the impression I often have.

And as far as myself is concerned, ever since I decided to not use a one-size-fits-all-in-one-box modeler anymore (even if I still own the Stomp), I'm playing more than ever throughout the last 2-3 years. Fwiw, partially related, in my case it also seems to massively help that I simply don't have to use any editors and what not for any common things anymore. It's all knobs, directly exposed WYSIWYG style, sitting next to me (my pedalboard is raised to chair level at home).

 

I actually agree, for me the accuracy of the modelling was never that important, just to be able to plug in and really enjoy what you're hearing is far more important and you can get that with Helix but it usually takes a bit of tweaking. I will say that Quad Cortex and Fractal do sound better out of the box, but Helix is a better overall deal for what you get.

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On 11/14/2022 at 5:27 PM, rd2rk said:

I like broccoli. And brussels sprouts.

And hot dogs and pizza.

NY pizza of course. The problem is that most places that claim to be NY style pizza are FOS.

Nobody wants to eat that. Well, obviously SOME people do.

Silly remark, it's not about preferences or some platforms claiming to be something they are not, it's just a simple objective comparison

between similar pieces of kit. I'm surprised some people take such umbridge to the mere mention of a competitor. The Helix platform is

good enough to be able to have an objective discussion when comparing to other devices. It's helpful to know the pluses and minuses

of various platforms.

 

It's not a religion when you buy a modeller. You should still be able to discuss.

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On 11/17/2022 at 8:37 AM, Paulzx said:

....

 

It's not a religion when you buy a modeller. You should still be able to discuss.

Yes, we should be able to discuss modellers. However, when it comes to a computer OS nobody should ever use anything except Ubuntu. That's a simple fact beyond beyond the scope of any disagreement or discussion.

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On 11/17/2022 at 6:37 AM, Paulzx said:

It's not a religion when you buy a modeller. You should still be able to discuss.

 

Thing about most religions is that they don't allow for humor, and their adherents have no concept of "context".

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On 11/17/2022 at 10:28 AM, brue58ski said:

Please. This is the one calm safe haven I have. No religious (or political for that matter) opinions. You're just going to wind up insulting someones beliefs. I'm beggin' ya.

 

Context. Humor. Context. Humor. Context humor. All of it, including punctuation, matters, especially in a text discussion.

The only belief being challenged here is that someone could consider the actual subject matter of this forum in the context of a religion.

That some people actually do is silly.

 

@SaschaFranck- Thanks for that link. Made my day!

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I was referring to opinions

On 11/17/2022 at 10:10 AM, rd2rk said:

 

Context. Humor. Context. Humor. Context humor. All of it, including punctuation, matters, especially in a text discussion.

The only belief being challenged here is that someone could consider the actual subject matter of this forum in the context of a religion.

That some people actually do is silly.

 

@SaschaFranck- Thanks for that link. Made my day!

 

Thing about most religions is that they don't allow for humor, and their adherents have no concept of "context"

 

Despite the context your post was in, it still demonstrated an opinion you have about religions. Or at least could be taken that way. That's all. I was afraid of it blowing up like I've seen others do.

In your inital post you said most religions, I took that to mean most and not some. Those two words have different meanings. And the their adherents wording includes everyone who has a particular religions beliefs, not just some of the people. There was no quantification there. Just an overall blanket statement. I never said any beliefs were being challenged at all. What you presented was an opinion about religions in general, not a challenge of any religious beliefs. Context and punctuation do matter but so do the words you use. In fact I would say the words you use are the most important in determining context. Not trying to offend or insult or wag my finger at you. Just tired of everyone insulting everyone else and although at the very least your comment was meant to be in a humorous vein, I just saw how it could be taken differently. And sorry for the over analyzation. I'm stuck here waiting and this was something to do.

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On 11/17/2022 at 12:03 PM, brue58ski said:

I was referring to opinions

 

Thing about most religions is that they don't allow for humor, and their adherents have no concept of "context"

 

Despite the context your post was in, it still demonstrated an opinion you have about religions. Or at least could be taken that way. That's all. I was afraid of it blowing up like I've seen others do.

In your inital post you said most religions, I took that to mean most and not some. Those two words have different meanings. And the their adherents wording includes everyone who has a particular religions beliefs, not just some of the people. There was no quantification there. Just an overall blanket statement. I never said any beliefs were being challenged at all. What you presented was an opinion about religions in general, not a challenge of any religious beliefs. Context and punctuation do matter but so do the words you use. In fact I would say the words you use are the most important in determining context. Not trying to offend or insult or wag my finger at you. Just tired of everyone insulting everyone else and although at the very least your comment was meant to be in a humorous vein, I just saw how it could be taken differently. And sorry for the over analyzation. I'm stuck here waiting and this was something to do.

 

Dude, you are totally missing the point and making a big deal out of nothing!

Go back to the first post in which the word "religion" was used. My comment was directed at THAT poster and related to THAT statement.

All it was intended to do was to point out THAT poster's lack of a sense of humor.

In your attempt to prevent this from "blowing up", you did EXACTLY that by not recognizing an attempt at humor!

 

Here's an opinion: The world needs more Pastafarians! 

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On 11/17/2022 at 11:48 AM, rd2rk said:

 

Dude, you are totally missing the point and making a big deal out of nothing!

Go back to the first post in which the word "religion" was used. My comment was directed at THAT poster and related to THAT statement.

All it was intended to do was to point out THAT poster's lack of a sense of humor.

In your attempt to prevent this from "blowing up", you did EXACTLY that by not recognizing an attempt at humor!

 

Here's an opinion: The world needs more Pastafarians! 

 

Well, it's obvious you're missing my point as well. I did see the first post, am aware of where it was directed and I  did recognize an attempt at humor. That wasn't part of my point. We'll just have to agree to disagree. See ya on the flip side.

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On 11/14/2022 at 6:07 AM, Paulzx said:

It's not a load of crap, it's the opinion of many people who have owned both and chosen to move because one sounded better than the other.

The Helix does a lot of things better than most competitors, but it isn't the best thing out there when it comes to reproducing amp tones, it's pretty good

but it's not the best.

 

I called it a load of crap. You called it the "opinion."

 

In our modern era, those are pretty much synonyms. 

 

You enjoy your gear. I ain't stopping you. I just don't agree with you at all. 

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Epiphone vs Gibson

Gibson vs Custom Shop

Fender USA vs Mex

Fender vs Squier

Real Tube vs Modeling

Ebony vs Richlite

Rosewood vs Pau Ferro

Mahogany vs Maple

Tonewood vs firewood

Klone vs Clones of Klone

Fractal vs Helix

etc vs etc...

 

When it's about a sense which is SUBJECTIVE and that shares its boundaries with taste (which is also subjective), it's all forum bullcrap that wouldnt validate in any double blind test. Ever.

 

...Just play the damn thing, with stuff you like and that you can afford today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/17/2022 at 5:28 PM, brue58ski said:

Please. This is the one calm safe haven I have. No religious (or political for that matter) opinions. You're just going to wind up insulting someones beliefs. I'm beggin' ya.

Are you talking about modellers or real religion lol?

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On 11/17/2022 at 7:03 PM, brue58ski said:

I was referring to opinions

 

Thing about most religions is that they don't allow for humor, and their adherents have no concept of "context"

 

Despite the context your post was in, it still demonstrated an opinion you have about religions. Or at least could be taken that way. That's all. I was afraid of it blowing up like I've seen others do.

In your inital post you said most religions, I took that to mean most and not some. Those two words have different meanings. And the their adherents wording includes everyone who has a particular religions beliefs, not just some of the people. There was no quantification there. Just an overall blanket statement. I never said any beliefs were being challenged at all. What you presented was an opinion about religions in general, not a challenge of any religious beliefs. Context and punctuation do matter but so do the words you use. In fact I would say the words you use are the most important in determining context. Not trying to offend or insult or wag my finger at you. Just tired of everyone insulting everyone else and although at the very least your comment was meant to be in a humorous vein, I just saw how it could be taken differently. And sorry for the over analyzation. I'm stuck here waiting and this was something to do.

I think you're safe, I don't think anyone is about to get into religion on here. The only religion I'm interested in is rock & roll!

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On 11/17/2022 at 8:42 PM, Kilrahi said:

 

I called it a load of crap. You called it the "opinion."

 

In our modern era, those are pretty much synonyms. 

 

You enjoy your gear. I ain't stopping you. I just don't agree with you at all. 

You may not agree and that's fine but when you call it a load of crap you're inferring it is incorrect, so what you're saying is that everyone with the opinion that Fractal is an improvement on the Helix, is wrong. You can disagree but the tide of opinion is against you I'm afraid

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On 11/19/2022 at 10:37 AM, Paulzx said:

Fractal is an improvement on the Helix, is wrong

 

Hardware side, it's more powerful than Helix, and also quality of the build is higher. That's a FACT.

Editor side, we can talk on which is better. Opinions, subjective, personal needs, taste, etc... 

Tone side, ENTIRELY SUBJECTIVE, waste of time even starting an argument on the subject.

 

So, the only fact here is the hardware, and you pay for it. Fractal last gen are putting more horsepower, more DSP, more quality parts, and that's a fact. The only one. :)

 

Everything else is an opinion, doesn't matter if that's coming from you or Steve Vai.

 

Every single Fractal thread ends with the same bulllollipop... lol

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As said, part of what might be the reason that quite some people prefer Fractal's modeling, might be that out of the box the Fractal units are sounding quite glorious.

And I can still remember it myself... when I got my Helix, first thing I did was updating and restoring the factory presets. Then I decided to go through some of them. Wow, what an underwhelming experience, regardless of the guitar I plugged in. Was pretty similar when I loaded pretty much any A+C block into an empty preset.

A while later I had an Axe FX III borrowed from a friend for some days, apparently with pretty much all factory content (presets and defaults) intact. What an incredible difference, really.

And while that - very obviously - is quite a subjective thing, it's still what you read in all sorts of related discussions.

 

Having said that, even after tweaking the Helix for quite a bit, I still think that some models in the Fractal offerings are better, perhaps even a lot. But in the end, the handful of models I ended up using within the Helix were pretty much as good and it certainly didn't justify the extra money and/or hassle to even think about switching. If I would ever get an Axe FX, it'd be for other reasons but sound quality. But I'm further away from even thinking about it than ever before.

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On 11/19/2022 at 3:19 PM, SaschaFranck said:

As said, part of what might be the reason that quite some people prefer Fractal's modeling, might be that out of the box the Fractal units are sounding quite glorious.

And I can still remember it myself... when I got my Helix, first thing I did was updating and restoring the factory presets. Then I decided to go through some of them. Wow, what an underwhelming experience, regardless of the guitar I plugged in. Was pretty similar when I loaded pretty much any A+C block into an empty preset.

A while later I had an Axe FX III borrowed from a friend for some days, apparently with pretty much all factory content (presets and defaults) intact. What an incredible difference, really.

And while that - very obviously - is quite a subjective thing, it's still what you read in all sorts of related discussions.

 

Having said that, even after tweaking the Helix for quite a bit, I still think that some models in the Fractal offerings are better, perhaps even a lot. But in the end, the handful of models I ended up using within the Helix were pretty much as good and it certainly didn't justify the extra money and/or hassle to even think about switching. If I would ever get an Axe FX, it'd be for other reasons but sound quality. But I'm further away from even thinking about it than ever before.

 

I had/have this same experience with the Iridium modeling, when compared to the helix legacy amp/cabs. I do believe and respect everyone saying the opposite tho. I still have to dive deep into new cabs, but I think I would keep the Iridium as I really need core amp params available on the fly.

 

As for the AXE FX, I was really really close to grab one when I sold my Helix Floor. But as a ambient/jazz/guitar/synth guy, I've found it really lacking in that area (and amp modeling alone would  never justify the investment). My latest setup costed me almost twice than an Axe FX III first release, so would have been even cheaper lol!

 

Never say never btw, when I tried few of them, always been blasted by the quality of the hardware.

 

 

 

 

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On 11/19/2022 at 2:37 AM, Paulzx said:

You may not agree and that's fine but when you call it a load of crap you're inferring it is incorrect, so what you're saying is that everyone with the opinion that Fractal is an improvement on the Helix, is wrong. You can disagree but the tide of opinion is against you I'm afraid

 

Lately the tide of public opinion seems to be that pineapple doesn't belong on pizza. 

 

I don't care. I ate one with them tonight. Loved it. 

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On 11/20/2022 at 6:38 AM, Kilrahi said:

 

Lately the tide of public opinion seems to be that pineapple doesn't belong on pizza. 

 

I don't care. I ate one with them tonight. Loved it. 

You cared enough to comment on it. Several times lol

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On 11/19/2022 at 9:57 AM, PierM said:

Everything else is an opinion, doesn't matter if that's coming from you or Steve Vai.

There are certain caveats to that. I would suggest that any tone related opinion offered by Steve vai would be significantly more valid than either yours or mine actually. The reason for that escapes me right now but it will come back to me I'm sure.

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On 11/21/2022 at 4:18 PM, Paulzx said:

There are certain caveats to that. I would suggest that any tone related opinion offered by Steve vai would be significantly more valid than either yours or mine actually. The reason for that escapes me right now but it will come back to me I'm sure.

 

Wrong. He's just another dork with a guitar and an opinion.

Steve Vai is who he is because he never lacked for self-confidence.

Nor did he waste his time hanging around in forums.

He played his guitar.

We should all do that more.

Our opinions still won't be worth 541t, same as Steve Vai, but he'll still be a better guitar player than me.

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I bought a Helix floor in 2020, just as pandemic started. I sold it in 2021 after owning an AX8 and falling in love with Robben Ford's Dumble then buying a FM3. Here's why I sold the FM3 (I'm still on the list for an FM9 hesding into year two) and bought another Helix:

 

Editing from the unit. I can be done with the Fractal but boy does it suck. It's very.. "utilitarian". My first real modeler was a Boss GT-8, before that, a Korg AX1 and a Korg 411fx. None of these units were easy to edit and took an understanding of parameters, I've also worked in IT for the last decade. I RTFM for everything. I knew I'd need the manual editing the fractal live. 

 

Once I have the amps/effects I want in a patch, i can edit standing up. F'ing brilliant! You can't even do that on the FM9.

 

How do you sell a modeler for so much money and NOT have a Klon model?? I love the Minotaur more than I love the clones of Robben Ford's Dumble or Dweezil's Bassman.

 

It's cool being able to change the type of diodes in a modeled pedal but i bet you dollars to donuts, the average player doesn't give a rat's left butt cheek. That includes me. That said, the drives were underwhelming in general. I think the Helix drives sound far better.

 

I'm a very techy gear lollipop. I drooled for years at Fractal stuff and now that I can pretty much afford whatever I want, Line 6 makes something just as good and far better in the UI department. 

 

Realizing all this is anecdotal, I'll add that last Saturday I took the Helix to my friends house (he's a drummer and had been recording bands in his studio for years) for a small jam. I played his Squire Classic Vibe bass into Helix and a crown poweramp with a 2x10 cab. I dialed up the full Ampeg B15fn amp model and checked it with default settings. We were all so impressed with the 30 second tone that I used it the entire time. I changed nothing except the volume. I think that says quite a bit about the Helix right there. 

 

Really, the only way YOU will know is trying them for yourself.

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On 11/22/2022 at 12:18 AM, Paulzx said:

There are certain caveats to that. I would suggest that any tone related opinion offered by Steve vai would be significantly more valid than either yours or mine actually. The reason for that escapes me right now but it will come back to me I'm sure.

 

No.

 

I really don't like Vai, never did. Never listened, never will. (The fact he's a great player means nothing). So he's a reference for nothing for me. Here we go again, the "argument from authority" is a fallacy, not valid in any scientific approach to reality. It's for sure valid in marketing. :)

 

These are really kiddo arguments, no offense. 

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On 11/22/2022 at 12:18 AM, Paulzx said:

I would suggest that any tone related opinion offered by Steve vai would be significantly more valid than either yours or mine

 

Gotta say "no" as well. Steve Vai is only able to speak for himself and the tones he needs. In case these are *exactly* the tones you want as well, then more power to him, but for pretty much all other cases, there's exactly one valid opinion on tone, namely yours. Sure, it might as well be affected by your environment, so in case you needed to deliver certain tones to play some gigs, then there might be some "experts" on those kinda tones, but even in that case, it's still absolutely crucial how things feel with your guitars, under your fingertips, in the context of the folks you're playing with, etc. So ultimately, the one to decide whether a tone suits your needs, is still you.

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@MayPRS I recently looked into the FM3 in comparison to a Pod Go as a backup unit for my Helix LT, since I have an issue with one of the parameter control knobs on my Helix and it's going to go to the shop. For reference, my use case is that I'm a very amateur performing worship musician, so I need something for the stage in live settings, mainly. I also plan to use the backup unit as my home/practice rig. 

 

So here's why I went Pod Go (and this stuff applies much more so to the Helix LT) despite it being a few bucks more (with current sales) than the FM3:

  • Foot pedals. I don't want to carry extra stuff to have more pedals. I love the 12 plus expression on the Helix, and the thought of scaling back to just 8 plus expression on the Pod Go is tough enough. The 3 on the FM3 is not going to cut it no matter how clever their switching goes. It's just too much set planning required, or extra hardware.
  • Physical knobs. Touch screen can be a pain to use, despite the 9000 hours a year I spend on my phone. 
  • Interface. On-device editing is dead simple for Helix/Pod, but a PITA for FM3 (so I hear).
  • Software. Since I plan to use this at home, plugging into my USB and editing patches from the computer screen is money. FM3 has no software editing last time I looked. It doesn't matter what other Fractal units have for software if you are looking at the FM3, which I believe is on-device editing only for now. 
  • Familiarity. Even though Pod and Helix use different editors, they are very similar and so are the models. I can jump right into editing with the Pod, as you can with a Helix having used HX Edit before.
  • Sound. I know I can get a great sound from Line 6 models. I'm sure I could get a great sound from an FM3, possibly a tad better, possibly not. Doesn't matter, especially not in a live context or a practice/rehearsal context. 

Nothing wrong with the FM3, IMO. It just wasn't right for my needs based on the above criteria. Sweetwater got the Pod Go down very close to the price of the on-sale FM3, so I bit. Having a blast with it as the baby brother/backup/home game to my full Helix LT. 

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On 11/22/2022 at 5:57 PM, adauria said:

FM3 has no software editing last time I looked. It doesn't matter what other Fractal units have for software if you are looking at the FM3, which I believe is on-device editing only for now.

 

That's not true, there's an editor for the FM3 as well (and always has been).

https://www.fractalaudio.com/support

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On 11/21/2022 at 4:06 PM, Paulzx said:

You cared enough to comment on it. Several times lol

 

Hmmm. Let's parse this. 

"I don't care" = I don't form my opinion about pineapple being on pizza based on their opinion. The obvious analogy is that the same holds true for which modeler is better. 

 

It's not a position that the topic isn't interesting to me. it IS interesting. Human perceptions of reality are actually very intriguing to me. There's a very good chance you'll see me comment some more, and I am carefully reading what everyone says. 

 

Capiche? 

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On 11/22/2022 at 9:36 AM, PierM said:

 

No.

 

I really don't like Vai, never did. Never listened, never will. (The fact he's a great player means nothing). So he's a reference for nothing for me. Here we go again, the "argument from authority" is a fallacy, not valid in any scientific approach to reality. It's for sure valid in marketing. :)

 

These are really kiddo arguments, no offense. 

I don't think it really matters if you like Steve Vai or not, I don't particularly like him either but I respect him as a world famous musician who is very well placed to give an opinion on guitar tone. The point is, unless you have played more guitars, used more amps, played more live, or recorded more albums, than Steve Vai - or anyone with similar experience, I would submit to you that his knowledge would be far greater than yours and therefore, probably has more useful opinions and advice than most people.

 

Of course if you have equal experience or better than Mr. Vai, I doff my cap to you sir, but I doubt you have. It's not a kiddo argument, it's just accepting some people know more than you do because they have more experience to offer. Simple equation really.

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On 11/22/2022 at 4:57 PM, adauria said:
  • Foot pedals. I don't want to carry extra stuff to have more pedals. I love the 12 plus expression on the Helix, and the thought of scaling back to just 8 plus expression on the Pod Go is tough enough. The 3 on the FM3 is not going to cut it no matter how clever their switching goes. It's just too much set planning required, or extra hardware.

That is exactly the reason I never pulled the trigger on an FM3, lack of switches. The guys who use them and swear by them either say three are enough or you can access extra scenes via those three switches. Trouble is, coming from a Helix floor you get very spoilt for switches and it is a backwards move. They partially addressed that with the more expensive FM9, but you're still lacking a volume pedal or wah pedal.

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You keep making the same two fallacies over and over. That is, you keep claiming there is some objectivity to the subjective (i.e. guitar tone - and no - there's not an absolute objectivity to be found here), and you keep making an appeal to authority fallacy. 

 

On the subject of guitar tone, regarding what I like - as in ME - and ME alone - the only "PRO" is myself. I'm more of a pro than Steve Vai is and it doesn't matter how many years he's played, how much gear he's bought, how many tickets he's sold - my opinion about what I like is more important than his damn opinion. Period. There is no escaping that and you keep trying to pole vault over it and it's just not possible because it's just not true. 

 

Now, does that mean he knows nothing? Of course not. There are a number of objective things he can school me on among them being:

 

1. How to play - dude kicks my lollipop. 

2. He might be an expert on how to make X sound (i.e. I go, "I don't know how to sound like so and so can you help me?" Because of his many years of experience, he might be able to get there whereas I can't or I can't get there as accurately or efficiently. 

3. He might know how to create sounds that MORE people are MORE likely to enjoy (i.e. the skill of the song writer, sound designer, who can pull in more than 10 people - some people can literally write songs that make the whole world sing). 

 

The above is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it gets the point across. We keep trying to subtly explain the flaws in your thinking and it feels like you don't see the connection. You seem to sit there thinking, "What do pizza flavors have to do with guitar tone?" It has EVERYTHING to do with guitar tone. The shocking thing is you don't seem to see it. 

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On 11/25/2022 at 1:46 PM, Paulzx said:

I don't think it really matters if you like Steve Vai or not, I don't particularly like him either but I respect him as a world famous musician who is very well placed to give an opinion on guitar tone. The point is, unless you have played more guitars, used more amps, played more live, or recorded more albums, than Steve Vai - or anyone with similar experience, I would submit to you that his knowledge would be far greater than yours and therefore, probably has more useful opinions and advice than most people.

 

Of course if you have equal experience or better than Mr. Vai, I doff my cap to you sir, but I doubt you have. It's not a kiddo argument, it's just accepting some people know more than you do because they have more experience to offer. Simple equation really.

 

4-A118-C13-D726-4203-BBA0-A518-EF13-EF8-

 

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