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Helix LT - advanced help needed


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I’ve had my Helix LT for about 2 years now and essentially only utilize it as a pedal board which goes into an actual amp. I don’t utilize the amp sims, or any of the real epic settings the Helix has. 

I have several questions I need help with and at one point I remember I had someone give me a demo walkthrough of what the helix can do through a zoom call which came through line 6 support, I don’t remember how I got connected to that service but if anyone knows please post the number below. 

problem 1.) my distortions all sound fuzzy and don’t have proper articulation to them. I had a friend bring over his quad Cortex and we compared our distortions and by god was his distortion just infinitely better. The clarity in his ton was astonishing. My distortion just sounded like a fuzzy washed out digital mess while his sounded exactly like a pristine abasi tone. The distortion I use is the compulsive drive for heavier things and the teemah for lighter crunch playing. If anyone has suggestions for new patches or settings I should be looking at in order to get that epic pristine abasi or Henson distorted tone please let me know! 

problem 2.) my band recently got a digital mixer and in ears and I want to use stereo to fully capture the capabilities with all of this. I have no idea how to do that, what the xlr inouts/outputs do, if I can use the 1/4 inch out for mono to a amp on stage that FoH then mics for live shows and experience no problems since everything is stereo. I’m clueless. Any help on getting things dialed in for a in ear monitoring rig while also being flexible to play out of an amp for live gigs would be amazing. 

Problem 3.) my effects all have a wild variation in volume no matter what I do. Some patches are just quiet compared to others even if I crank the volume on that patch. I’m noticing a tone quality loss on just about everything too. 

problem 4.) amp sims, IR, cabs, etc…. No clue where to start. Need some help on getting up and running. 

as you can see there are several issues I’d love some help with. I’m happy to pay someone to spend a few hours working through my settings in order to get it exactly how I want it. Perhaps a zoom session where we map everything out and try to get it all setup would be best. 

anything helps here! 

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problem 1)  There are some pretty wide range of what people like in their distortion settings and that's why there's a wide range of distortion effects available.  One thing for sure, almost all distortions have some interdependency with the amp being used depending on the architecture/design of the amp.  This is true whether it's a physical amp or a modeled amp because amps can add their own distortion based on the gain settings as well as the impedance.  I can't speak to going through a traditional amp since I only used modeled amps and go direct to the mixing board.  In a way using a physical amp limits the possibilities of what you can do with any selected distortion, whereas modeled amps are MUCH more flexible.


problem 2) Using in-ears is easiest when your setup is more straightforward and simple.  My setup is as simple as it gets.  My overall tone is based solely on what's in my preset, so all I need to do for in ears in stereo is to send my XLR out Left and Right to two mixing board channels at Mic signal levels.  Your guitar signal is now in stereo and will be represented in stereo through the front of house speakers.  Getting it to your in ears is dependent upon how they have your in ears setup for monitoring.  Typically you would send both of your channels along with a mix of any other instruments in 2 aux outputs configured for you specifically. but there are a ton of ways to do it depending on your in ear monitoring setup for the band.  Bottom line, you just have to provide the stereo mix to the mixer, the rest is configured through the mixer for the results you want.


problem 3) Managing your presets to be sent at a consistent signal strength is at the core of getting consistency in your output volumes.  In my case I pre-measure the signal strength of all of my presets through a mixing board so that my signal strength on each preset is at roughly the same level.  This is easier is you're using amp models because they provide many more options for how to adjust your signal level from the Helix.  Chances are you hear a tone quality difference when you crank them up because you were listening to them at lower volumes when you dialed them in and therefore some of the tone characteristics were affected due to the Fletcher Munson effect and when the volume was increased the flaws became more apparent.  I try to keep my volumes around 85 to 90 dbSPL when I dial in a preset as that will be a pretty honest representation of how it will sound at performance level volumes.


problem 4) Amp sims, IRs and so forth is at the core of understanding how to exploit the Helix capabilities.  I'd suggest to spend some time on Jason Sadites YouTube channel as he has a TON of great videos explaining and demonstrating all those things in depth.

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Problem 1)

Dark sounding guitars tend to sound muddy and fuzzy when distorted. Compare your guitar with your friends guitar. You could both plug in each unit ( at the same time even) and compare the sound. That would be my step one.


Problem 3)

Perceived tone loss usually is volume loss. If you set input and output levels to instrument and crank the volume knob you should have unity gain (input equals output level-wise) with an empty patch.

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This is not intended to be snarky, but if you like what you got from your friends quad cortex then why not get one and sell the LT? You would already have another user locally that could help if nothing else.


The issues you have described with the LT are not fixable with a zoom session or two in my view. As you're using an amp, and want splits out for IEMs/FoH, and leveling across several patches/effects someone needs to be in the room with you, helping you tweak and learn at the same time. Ideally at a band practice as what really matters is the sound in the mix - not just the backline sound.


With no info on where your located you might find someone nearby with one of the Helix user groups in facebook - such as "Line 6 Helix Family User Group OFFICIAL and ORIGINAL"

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