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Considering uprgrade from HX Stomp to Helix, seeking advice


heiltim
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Hey all, I'm new to the forum but excited to explore and learn more.  I've recently become enamored with amp modelling after being a tube amp guy for the past 30 years.   I'm a gigging guitarist in several bands playing mostly small to medium sized venues.  My current rig includes an HX Stomp with a 6 switch Morning Star midi controller - which is what turned me on to the beauty of stereo fx and amp modelling.  I'm considering upgrading to the full sized Helix floor model in order to expand DSP and consolidate the various functions of my board.   I've become familiar with the UI of the HXS and it seems like the Helix will be easy for me to learn pretty quickly.  

 

So, my question is with regard to the DSP and some specific capabilities of the Helix.   I have a couple of things on my board that I really need to have and am wondering how well the Helix will be able to emulate them while also running stereo effects, amp and cab models, etc.   

The pedals that I'm worried about missing are: 

 1.  EHX Superego Plus for it's freeze function using an external controller/piano footswitch and its' onboard fx

 2. The Boss OC-3 for its' ability to isolate a frequency range and send the separate octave down signal to my bass rig.

 

From what I've read, the Helix seems capable of those functions, though I'm curious how it will differ from "the real thing".   If the Helix is able to reproduce those functions well, I'm wondering if the DSP is even sufficient to also simultaneously run an amp/cab model, stereo reverb, delay, chorus, envelope filter, compressor, and boost/drive.    Coming from the HX Stomp, the stereo fx and amp modelling seem to gobble up DSP very quickly and I want to be sure that the Helix is up to the task of replacing my OC3 and Superego while providing an amp/cab sim and stereo fx.  

 

If anyone has any input on this it would be greatly appreciated! 

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The Helix Floor unit has Send/Return pairs that will accommodate external pedals in an FX Loop. So even if you’re not satisfied with whatever similar FX Helix offers you can just continue to use your current pedals. And, as you note, this will conserve Helix DSP.

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As noted above the 4 send/return loops are one solution - I'm a big fan of EHXs "9" series of boxes, a full size build might include the Mel, C9, String - and I always run a POG.  So there is that.

 

To your specific asks - the Poly Sustain (heck, all the Poly effects) are DSP beasts, eating up the lion's share of one of the two processors.  (And a mighty big lion, at that.)  Now, if you're currently using the Stomp for full amp/cab/fx modeling, and have presets that work for you now - well that's one DSP line, so you'd have another full line available in the Floor.  So certainly possible.

 

There are 4 sends on the Floor, and various ways to split the signal path, so getting an octave box to send to its own discrete output wouldn't be a big deal.  It all depends on the routing within a particular preset.  As flexible as it is, there are still some practical limits to how much Floor can do, as with any gadget.  Until you start dropping boxes on the lines it's hard to tell you exactly what's possible. 

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@heiltim, regarding your DSP questions, use Helix Native with preferences configured for the Helix Floor and you'll be able to explore any block selection configurations you may desire. Use your HX Stomp as the audio interface so the audio you hear through Helix Native (set for Helix Floor Configuration) will be identical to that of the Helix Floor. If you can get the FX Blocks to your satisfaction in Helix Native, you'll be able to use the same Signal Chain of Blocks on the Helix Floor. 

 

As for your other signal I/O issues, you'll only know with certainty once you've got access to a Helix Floor to give it a run. If you buy from a vendor with a return policy, you'll have a safety net of knowing you can return it if it doesn't meet your needs.

 

Happy Holidays!

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