Helix incoming!

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by James R, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

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    I certainly get the live thing.
    Stereo at the house makes my bedroom hacking darn near tolerable! :laugh2:
     
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  2. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Senior Member

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    ...Also you should check out Glenn DeLaune's patches. He demonstrates many of them online; just google "Glenn DeLaune Helix."
    Realize that if you start using the patches that come with the unit, you will probably be disappointed. It's not that they are "bad," they are just all over the place! Mainly they were designed to show off all of the capabilities.
     
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  3. Donal

    Donal ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Premium Member

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    Firstly congrats James, I know you will love it.

    Yes, you go directly from the Helix into the Speaker/Monitor.

    BUT before you "do anything stupid" here, have a look at the Line 6 StageSource the are imo the best fit with the Helix and with the Line6 connect a digital signal to the speaker integrated amp.

    When you do go to FRFR you will need to play around with the frequencies to make it sound more like a real guitar amp and not be "perfect" in reproducing the complete frequency range. Most amps (and amp mics) tend to roll off the frequencies around 14 kHz so if you set the high cut for the cabs at 14 kHz and the low cut at about 90 Hz then the frequency response is a bit more "realistic".

    Another thing that you will find great is when you go FRFR that you can setup a volume pedal at the end of the chain, so after the speaker cab. This is cool as you can setup your sounds as you like them an then just turn the volume down. Something not doable with real amp.

    Enjoy it for now as it is, all the rest will come with time and as stated above, ask questions there are plenty around with great knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  4. Donal

    Donal ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Premium Member

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    It`s more about keeping it simple and effective for playing live. with Stereo I have more potential problems and 2 channels that a sound guy needs to "manage". If I was using mine at home I probably would have played with stereo much more.

    All that said about playing around with it, I havn`t touchd a single knob on my Helix in months, no tweeking or anything, I swith it on and just enjoy the amazing sounds I have a t the tip of my toes :D
     
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  5. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Senior Member

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    +1 for the Line 6 speakers--I use L3Ts and an L2T, and have never looked back...
     
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  6. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    Holy hell, what have I gotten myself into?
    Barely slept in a couple days, my gf and cats are feeling like they have to compete for my attention with an inanimate object, and I've gone ahead and listed all my beloved tube amps and pedals on my local classifieds. :laugh2:

    Seriously, I'm getting epic sounds out of this thing even through my amp, I can't even imagine what frfr will do to/for me.

    I have a couple quick questions.

    Can the Helix be used as an ABY, or do I still need an external ABY pedal?

    Will IRs be of any use to me while playing through an actual amp and cab, or is that better left for when I get the frfr monitor(s)?

    I've figured out how to merge stuff so that I can activate/deactivate more than one block with a single footswitch depression, but I'm struggling with figuring out how to make certain switches turn the others off when you engage it.
    I want some effects to be stand alone effects that will turn all the others off when pushing it, but I also want other effects that don't turn everything else off.
    For example,
    If I'm running an o/d pedal and then want to switch to a clean chorus, I would like to not have to disengage the o/d first. At the same time, if I'm running the same o/d and want to add a modulation like phaser or delay, I'd like to hit the phaser or delay switch and not have it disengage the o/d.
    This must be possible, as I have a cheap looper strip that can do that, so I can't imagine that it's not a feature on the Helix.

    Thanks to everyone, for the most part the unit is pretty user friendly, but I know there's some things that I'd never figure out on my own.
     
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  7. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    I guess nobody can help with those questions.
    Leave it to me to come up with something that nobody else is even interested in. :laugh2:

    I have finally figured out how to change my path from series to parallel, that was giving me fits for a while.

    I've also figured out that the snapshots are the only way (I think) to make multiple on/off changes with a single switch depression. That's too bad.
    I figured if my cheap looper strip could do it, the Helix would too. In all honesty, this seems to be a huge shortcoming, and I'm rather disappointed with it.
    The snapshots work ok for what I'm doing, but I'd really rather just have it work in stomp mode, it would just be easier. Plus there's only 8 snapshots, why not at least 10, since you can change the layout to a ten switch system without the bank switches?
    In case I wasn't clear in my last post, what I was hoping I could do was assign certain switches to override all other effects (turn them off when engaged), and still have other switches that would not override the effects I already had engaged, but just add that effect to the mix.

    As far as the ABY, I can't figure out a way to have the Helix split the signal and send it to two different sources simultaneously, so I guess I'm stuck with the external ABY. Not the end of the world, but a bit of an annoyance regardless.

    I'm not sure I even understand the IR thing yet, but i do believe it's likely something that would pay more dividends once I get the frfr going.

    Regardless, these are just some small downfalls for me personally, and overall, the Helix is a pretty insane piece of gear.
    I'm not fixating on what I wish it could do, which would hinder my enjoyment and learning curve, but rather just getting these little complaints out of the way so that I can move forward and find the best work arounds possible, and enjoy everything that it can do.

    I'm starting to wonder what a Kemper with a Helix would be like, other than making my head explode.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  8. KenG

    KenG Senior Member

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    That snapshot function is very powerfull from what I understand, there's no delay that could occur when switching patches but allows you to configure all the effects for each snapshot as you'd like. And I think you get 8 snapshots per patch?
    Stomp box mode by definition assigns a single switch to a singel effect imitating what a real pedal board would do with real effects loaded onto it.
    You can toggle between the two modes quickly as well (Snapshot/Stomp).

    I think what you are asking for is the presets/patches mode but if I recall there can be a minor delay where the sound drops off as the Helix totally reconfigures itself which is why Snapshots are there. I also believe the same delay can happen in other high end modellers when you do drastic changes (presets) where thewhole signal chain has to be cleared and reloaded.
    IR is simply an impulse response algorythm that gets applied to the signal to simulate how a specific speaker would react to the sounds it receives. While you can use cabs or IRs with a traditional amp and cab, the end result will be quite different than intended.
    DOnal had some great advice for when you go FRFR, especially IMO the cutoff in the high frequencies well above the useable music (guitar) content but below the useable range of up to 20KHz.
     
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  9. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    Unfortunately, I was very spoiled with my huuuge pedalboard, in that the looper switch I've been using for a couple of years could do exactly what I was trying to accomplish with the Helix.
    So, it's been quite a while since I was harnessed by the limitations of a traditional "tap dancing" pedalboard.

    I get your point though, and as I said, the snapshots will be a good enough work around that i can still manage some of the more complex effect changes that I tend to favour.

    I will definitely look into the L6 monitors when the time comes, it just makes sense to pair the Helix with them.
     
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  10. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    I live by snapshots, so I'm always a little confused when someone resists using them. I usually only need three or four snapshots per song. I set up the Helix to have four stomp boxes on the top row, in case I feel the urge to adapt on the fly, and four snapshots on the bottom row. But keep in mind I make a preset for each song. If you are trying to create one preset to use all night, then I can understand you would want more snapshots. I arrange my presets to our set list and it only takes me a second to change between songs. I really don't do much tap dancing and I have some pretty accurate patches / snapshots that cover each song really well.
     
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  11. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    Honestly, I would ideally like to set up one patch and one patch only.
    I know that defeats the purpose of having all the options, but I'm ok with that. I like what I like, and don't feel the need to stray too far from that.
    I honestly do not have the patience to set up a patch with different snapshots for every different song I want to play, because I don't think I'd get too much actual playing in.
    One super serial patch with full control as to how the pedals interact with each other is what I was after.
    Ironically, I got the Helix because I figured I could do that without the bulk of an enormous board, but my traditional board actually gave me more control and freedom than the Helix does, simply due to the loopers incredible flexibility and functions.
    If only there was a way to add the looper's brain into the existing Helix brain, it would be Shangri-La.
    Such is life.
    I haven't given up on the Helix yet though, I'm pretty determined to make it work for me.
    I'll give it at least a month or two, if I haven't totally forgotten about my traditional amps and pedals by then (which I have decided NOT to sell just yet) then I'm sure I can easily unload the Helix and get back to my old stand by rig(s).
     
  12. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    The easiest way for to accomplish to what you want is via snapshots. The routing on the Helix is the best out there and will do astronomical things. The flexibility was only matched by multiple GCX/Ground Control Pro system with a 12 space rack. Even then, it is a million times easier to route and program what I want in the Helix - WAY less wiring and weight as well.

    To be honest, as far as only wanting to create one patch to do it all then complain about the limitations of the Helix is showing that the expectation is too great. How long did it take to learn, program, and work through your analog set-up? I know when I was building my rack with the GCX units, stomp boxes and rack processors I spent WAY more time getting it together than I did playing - BUT that was a temporary issue. Once the MIDI changes were all worked out I was good to go. I STILL had to program different "songs". In the end, I had a programmed patch per song - just like what I have done with the Helix. The difference? It didn't take two people t load my rig in and out of the truck and on to the stage because it weighed 150+ pounds.

    When I got the Helix it was to accomplish ONE thing:

    Replace my Rivera amp and cabs along with all my effects

    It did, but it took me about three weeks before I was able to tweak the unit well enough to get my sound. Nobody models Rivera amps. Nobody models my Rivera cabs (open back 1x12, 2x12, 2x10, 4x12 - all with EVM speakers). I had to find amps that reacted similarly to the Rivera. I bought and A/B'd "EVM12L" IRs to my real Rivera cabs. Found out I got closer using two stock Helix cabs blended a certain way with different mic combos than L6 assigned to the cab. I had to do HOURS of experimenting to get the cab sound I wanted. It was VERY frustrating.

    Now?

    I have MY sound with effects that are (or are close enough to) what I was using before (talk about tweaking and experimenting!). The end result? 15 patches that use the SAME amp, the SAME cab, the SAME basic effects with extras added on a "per song" basis. ALL controlled via snapshots....

    One button will activate/deactivate a bevy of pedals pre and post amplifier. I even have a couple of patches where the AMP changes from a dirtier amp to a clean amp WITH a bevy effects - all going to the same cab.

    Personally I am not sure exactly HOW much you are wanting to accomplish with the Helix, but a couple of the things I saw in your posts above - like the ABY to multiple sources - I would need a little more context to help you out. You could also visit the Helix Forum and talk to the people over there. They do WAAAAAYYYYY more bending end stuff than I do - and I have several patches that have 4 paths maxed out with astronomical amounts of routing and switching....
     
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  13. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    I probably just need more time with it, but like I said, I haven't given up on it.
    With my old setup, I had a twelve switch looper (14 including the bank switches) that was 100% programmable.
    It took me a couple hours to set it up for the way I used it for a couple years, but it was big, bulky, and messy.
    It was just so easy to program.
    Of course, I didn't have the options of changing pedal placement unless I started messing with cables, but I had it so that my always on mod pedals went through the effects loop, and I never had to think about them again.
    With the looper I could hold down a switch for 4 seconds, which engaged the programming mode for that switch, then put whatever pedals I wanted it to activate into that loop. Hold the switch for 4 seconds again and the program was finalized.
    Then, if I held the switch down for 7 or 8 seconds, the switch would change modes from allowing all other switches to be active at the same time to overriding all the other switches.
    What I liked about this was that I could switch between dirt pedals with one stomp. If I had my favourite od on and wanted to switch to my fuzz, it was one pedal stomp on the fuzz switch. On the other hand, if I had the same od on and wanted to add an effect, like a boost or chorus, I could hit the boost or chorus switch and the od would stay on.
    So that's how I had bank 1 set up, just a good interface for all my pedals.
    Then in the other banks I could setup presets for particular songs.
    I really don't know if that makes sense, but it was a great setup for me, personally.

    It's just a bit of a trade off I guess.
    I'm really enjoying the effects and many of the amp models, as well as the fact that it's so self contained.
    The issues that I'm having aren't deal breakers and I realize that they're specific to me, and me alone, I just didn't even think that there was a possibility that I wouldn't be able to do it with the Helix.
    I'm figuring more out as I go though, and it may just be newbie jitters.

    Btw, I'm pretty sure I figured out how to eliminate my ABY pedal.
    I think (I haven't tried it yet) that I can just Use the loops on the Helix itself and add a couple blocks into my chain to control them. No?
     
  14. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Yes. That is one area I don't use at all because I want to keep EVERYTHING in the box for quicker set up/tear down at gigs. But, yes, you can utilize the loops in a few ways. Fr greater detail, I will defer to a couple dudes here that use the loops, and/or people on the Helix Forum.
     
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  15. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    I want to mostly use it to a/b the Helix with all my amps, to see which one will sound best.
    My ABY pedal is rather sketchy though, it wants to stay on "both" most of the time and it's multiple stomps to get it to change to either A or B.
    So even though I only need it temporarily (now that I have many amps inside the Helix :D) I was really hoping I could just use the Helix to do the trick.

    Once I know which amp sounds best, I'll delete the loop blocks and be back to just the two cables. :dude:
     
  16. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Ok, then take the send of a helix loop to the input of your amp. Make a snapshot (I know you may not want to, lol) with only the "pre amplifier" effects before the loop block. make sure everything else in bypassed in the "loop' snapshot. This way you are sending the guitar + "pre amplifier" effects to the input of your amp.

    That SHOULD do what you want. I would use a split path, though. Have your "pre amplifier" effect before the split. Have one split path go to the loop block, the other to your modelled amp. This will get you an A/B rig. To do an ABY you would need to do a 2nd snap shot where the loop turns on, and everything else stays on - this would also be done via a split path. It would be easy to do - just copy your A/B snapshot to the next footswitch and then activate the things bypassed for the 'Y' portion - save it as ABY. Then you have an AB and an ABY switch. There are probably ways to do it where it can be on one switch, but I'd have to actually DO IT to explain it, lol....
     
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  17. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    Oh wow, that's more than I thought I would have to do.
    I still haven't tried it, but here was my plan of attack. Let me know if you think it'll work.
    I was hoping to do a send block at the very end of my signal and then assign it to a footswitch and cable it to the return on my amp. Add a second send block cabled to a second amp, and then assign it to the same footswitch so that it switches back and forth between the two amps by toggling the footswitch.
    Am I way out in left field here, or would that work?
     
  18. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Sounds like you have a good plan....and seems it should do what you want. Go for it! WORST case scenario is you have to tweak stuff around to fine tune it. Right on!!
     
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  19. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    I'm having issues with the pitch shifting.
    It sounds like hell if I try and play in a drop tuning.
    I did a quick google on it and many seem to have the same issue.
    I'm just wondering if anybody here has figured out the best way to use the pitch shifters for drop tuning and have it sound good.
    I have a Whammy DT, so I can easily just throw that guy back in the mix and be fine with it.
    Any tips on the onboard shifters?
     
  20. MusicLaw

    MusicLaw Senior Member

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    @James R, congrats on getting the Helix!

    You've got plenty of options and flexibility amongst your existing gear and the Helix. The extremely versatile Helix configurations (pedal board, full modeling with Amps and Cabs, 4CM, 7CM, etc.) gives you plenty to discover in deciding what sounds best to you! There's nothing wrong with running Helix to Amp Cabs and many conclude that is the best method, sound, and feel for them. Others vastly prefer the FRFR alternative. I'll run either depending on my needs, preference, mood, context, etc.

    Also be sure that you have updated the Helix's firmware to the latest version 2.21.
     

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