Getting Started with a Helix

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by drew365, May 17, 2016.

  1. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Processing power has not been an issue, but I have noticed that when I want to use certain effects blocks they will be unavailable depending on what else is being used. I like the 63 spring reverb. In order to use it last night I had to eliminate a mod/chorus block.

    I am not sure if it is really a processing issue - I don't know enough about the technical side - I just know that some of the heavy "block" patches don't have every effect available.
     
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  2. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    So, I just finished another 3 hour session with the Helix. I tweaked out and finished my 2 channel amp patch. Here's what I did and what I discovered...

    I decided that I wanted different reverb levels on each amp, so I deleted the "reverb" block at the end of the chain. Then I put a "63 spring reverb" in front of the Twin (like running an old tube reverb unit - one of my favorite things to do). To assign it to be ON the same time as the Twin but NOT the same time as the Dr. Z I had to do this:

    * Get the "reverb" block in its place in the chain. In this case, it is after the split and before the Twin model.

    * Then I stepped on the "channel switching" footswitch to select the Twin model.

    * Next, I activated the "reverb" block and assigned it to the footswitch with the Twin.

    * I hit "SAVE" (lol)

    Then I pressed the "channel switch" again and switched to the Dr. Z. No spring reverb!!! AWESOME!

    But then the Dr. Z was too dry, so it was time to add a "reverb" block. Here was the process:

    * While the Dr. Z was selected, I inserted a "reverb" block after the "amp" block.

    * I activated the "reverb" block and assigned it the "channel switching" footswitch.

    * I hit "SAVE".

    Again, I tested it and all was good.

    Essentially what I am doing is assigning an "amp" and a "reverb" when the footswitch is OFF, and then a SECOND "amp" and "reverb" when the footswitch is ON. So, when footswitch 7 is "off" I have my Twin with its reverb in front of the amp. When I step on footswitch 7, it activates a Dr. Z with a reverb behind the amp.

    It's a neat trick and I am gonna try it again.

    Now, I am stuck on a couple of things maybe a fellow Helix owner can help with....

    HOW do you put the splits in your path? Pretty much the ONLY reason my 2 channel amp is working like the real deal is that there is a "split" that allows me to stick stuff between other amps. Here is a screen shot of the signal path:

    [​IMG]

    Also, do you put effects after the "cab" block or before? In this patch, I currently have two different delays and a chorus after the cab. It sounds clearer, but more like "studio" effects added during mixdown. When I put those effects BEFORE the "cab" block the sound was a little dirtier, but more "authentic". Ultimately, I put them back after the "cab" block because I liked the pristine sound better......
     
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  3. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    You're really going in deep. Your two amps and two reverbs on the same foot switch is a great trick. I'm not sure what you mean about putting in a split with the amps.
    I've been building patches all evening, but nothing too tricky. I just want to get a different tone, that sounds pretty close, for each song in our first set. I'll tweak them after rehearsal on Thursday. My problem is I keep trying different guitars and amps, so the patches will never be perfect until I quit doing that. But I'm having fun.
     
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  4. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Hahahaha - yeah, I was messing with different guitars and models for the fun of it the day I got it. I probably spent 8 hours scrolling the factory presets messing with different effects and making good (and some terrible!!!) sounds - trying things I would have never thought of with my real rig for fear of destroying expensive vintage and boutique tube amps. Eventually my wife came in the studio and was like, "DAMN!!! When are you going to actually work on making that thing USEABLE?!?!?!"

    That's when I got serious, lol....

    As far as digging in deep, the SINGULAR purpose behind getting this unit was to replace my ENTIRE live rig and to be able to do the gigs with 3 things:

    1. The Helix
    2. The Helix Controller
    3. A monitor

    That was the stipulation that the wife gave when we bought it....

    What I am currently working on is figuring out how to emulate the response I get with the Rivera from the Helix. The Rivera instantly changes from clean to dirty when you step on the switch. This has always been a roadblock for me with the modeling systems. I have tried it several times over the years with various products in order to streamline my rig. I would have an AXE-FX if I could afford it. I was not brave enough to sell my gear PRIOR to attaining the AXE, lol....

    Anyway, I don't want just a mirror image of the Rivera because I am now playing something like alternative country and the gain sounds in the Rivera are just enough too much....but I want the Helix to REACT like the Rivera. Seems I have that part now.

    Up next is taking the amps I am using to record our album (Deluxe Reverb and AC-30) and get the "live" versions of those sounds mapped into the Helix. Then I need to look at which guitar I am using for the tracks (Gretsch Duo Jet, Telecaster, or Stratocaster) and create the ideal tone for that guitar and the specific song that the guitar/amp combo is for. I also need to create a "one guitar" and "one amp" version of the band's set list for travel dates where it is not practical to bring multiple guitars.

    It is a bit like science, but I am digging it. The 2 channel patch I finished last night sounds great with my 60's Telecaster. I plugged my Gretsch in, and the sound wasn't as good. That's why I am thinking I am going to need to create "guitar specific" patches.
     
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  5. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    If you happen to upload your 2 channel amp patch to the Customtone section of the Line 6 site, let me know. I'd like to give it a try. I'm already using the '63 Spring Reverb as my default now. Good call on that one.
     
  6. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    OH, never thought to do that. Yeah, I can look into that. If I can figure it out, I can probably just send it to you directly too.....I mean, I bought the patch from that one guy - it came in a zip file. I can probably make a zip file and send it over to you. I'll mess with that tonight and see what I can do!!
     
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  7. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    Cool, I may send you a pm with my email.
    I've been running my Helix into the fx return of an EL34 tube amp. Last night I tried sending it into the fx return of my Vox AD60VTX, which is a SS modeling amp with a Neo Dog speaker and one 12AX7, which I assume is the PI. It sounded really good. I feel like I got the mid point between a guitar cab and an FRFR. It was very clear, and tight and a little bright. But I think the brightness is going to sit well in the band. I'm thinking of using this setup until I get an FRFR. I'll know better after rehearsal tomorrow night.
     
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  8. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Cool. Yeah, I wasn't really digging the Helix through the return of my Rivera S-120 (EL34 power section). I am really starting to believe that SS REALLY is the way to go with these things!!! Funny because you spend all these years acquiring "good" tube products only to have to go back and have the "bad" solid state products to reproduce the accurate sounds of the digital equipment that emulates the tube equipment. Pretty mind f**king when you think about it, lol....

    I am setting my patches up using my studio monitors and my reference monitors - JBL LSR305 w/ sub and some standard bookshelf speakers from Best Buy w/ sub. I am figuring that I will need to tweak further once I get my rig complete.
     
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  9. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    I was wondering why you were using cab sims in your patches. I found that with the Vox I could leave the cab sims on, but there was a bit more presence with them turned off. So that's the way I'm doing it for now.
    FYI, in a previous life I did some sound engineering, I actually went to school for it. I had my own studio for a while. I still have my old JBL 4311's that I use with my stereo. Ancient gear.
     
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  10. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Yeah, I set up the one patch to use with the Rivera power amp and it was just a preamp model with basic effects. I just wanted to try it on a gig. It got the job done, but not as effective as just carting my regular tube rig. That's when I became totally convinced I was going to FRFR - so because of that, I am setting up all my patches with cabinet models.
     
  11. MusicLaw

    MusicLaw Senior Member

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    Those JBL 4311's were great speakers! I had a set of those before switching to dual stacks of Advents years ago. My 4311's are long gone, but I still have a pair of JBL Control 10 Monitors (vintage mid-1990s) that I don't think I'll ever get rid of. They sound too good. And, my entire backyard system is JBL w/subwoofer. They just have that sound....

    Following this thread increases the temptation of stepping to Helix. ;)
     
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  12. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    I have what seems like it should be a dumb question, considering how easy it is to edit the Helix. I've made several attempts at patches that didn't work out and I just wanted to delete them and start over. I don't see a way to delete a patch. I guess I could delete each block and then rename it, but that's a lot more work then just deleting the patch.
    While typing this, I think I thought of what to do. Copy an empty patch and paste it over my useless patch that I want deleted. I'll try that later.:fingersx:
     
  13. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

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    That's how I delete patches on my HD500X.
     
  14. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    Yup it is the same procedure on Helix.
     
  15. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    Okay, I think this is a good question for this thread. I bought several packs of IR's from 3 Sigma Audio today. Now what?
    Apparently I need an IR Loader. Can anyone recommend one and where I get it? I'm surprised they just don't have a loader available on the 3 Sigma site.
    After I get a loader, what is the process of getting the IR's from my computer into the Helix?

    On the FRFR hunt: I nearly ordered an Alto TS212 today, but hesitated. I'm glad I did because a used but nice Yamaha DXR12 got listed on Reverb today for $400 and I jumped on it. Unfortunately, it's coming all the way from Clearwater FLA. So who knows when I'll get it. Something to look forward to!
     
  16. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    I am so glad you are having so much fun with that device. :thumb:
     
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  17. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Andy - loading the IR onto Helix is easy. You are running Helix Editor, right?

    [​IMG]

    With the Editor open:

    1. Click the tab "Impulses" (circled in red on the screen shot).
    2. Click an empty slot (same as the "preset" slots on the screen shot).

    Next you have two options....

    1. Right click the empty slot and select "import"...

    OR

    2. Click the "import" tab (circled in yellow on the screen shot)

    Either of these will allow you to select which impulse (up to 128) that you want to install in that slot. Personally, I have done the "right click" option and VERY easily loaded IRs from the flash drive I keep them stored on.

    Hopefully those directions are easy and to the point....

    HAHAHA, your Yamaha is coming from MY neck of the woods. How funny!!!
     
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  18. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    These are the kinds of posts I love.. :applause:
     
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  19. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    Mark; thanks for the explanation. The instructions that came with the 3 Sigma IR's said I would need a loader, so I went looking for something I didn't need with the Helix. My Helix is in my office. I'll go in tomorrow and try loading the IR's.
    That is funny about my monitor. It's coming from the Sam Ash in Clearwater. The listing was one day old and had 14 people watching it, when I bought it. I got lucky. I hope it's as nice as the photos. I think it's a demo, because it still has a sticker on the grill.
     
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  20. dspelman

    dspelman Senior Member

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    That was an early discovery for me, too, with modelers.
     

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