The Official Line 6 Helix Thread

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by AllTheSound, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. AllTheSound

    AllTheSound Premium Member

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    With the ever growing Helix community thought it might be useful to have as much info for all things Helix in one thread as possible to help ease research for both new and long time users.

    Discussion for Helix Floor , Helix LT , Helix Rack & Helix Native welcome.

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  2. AllTheSound

    AllTheSound Premium Member

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    Line 6 announced today they are now offering extended service plans up to 5 years with and without advance replacement loaners for US customers.

    http://shop.line6.com/services/
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  3. matthew bear

    matthew bear Senior Member

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    This could be a nice FAQ and quick tip page to reference... nice idea :thumb:
     
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  4. MusicLaw

    MusicLaw Senior Member

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    Good idea! Now, if only MLP would dump those overbearing/oversized adverts along the right side of the thread -- without charging a fee! -- the high visitor and post level of traffic might return to what it had been prior to the MLP format change several months ago.

    As much as I came to appreciate participating on MLP since I joined over 2 years ago, the format change significantly dampered things. I find TGP far more facilitating. There's no reason that TGP cannot regain the attention and activity, if they simply reduce the size of those adds on every page of the thread.
     
  5. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Hmmmm.....as a long time Helix owner (got it in the first couple months of release) I have to say, it was one of the BEST gear purchases I have ever made!
     
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  6. alstev

    alstev Senior Member

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    Man the Helix looks cool . I love my Kemper but sometimes I wonder if I shoulda got a Helix.
     
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  7. Pal

    Pal Senior Member

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    I am seriously thinking about getting one but I only know what I have read/watched over the last month. Probably the LT to get my feet wet. I have been looking around this sub-forum but didn't really see anyone break down what they did for gear. I was planning on just using as a pedal board through a tube amp at first, we have a PA but I don't know if that would be the best solution.

    I am a tube guy and would have never considered it but the band I just joined requires a wide variety of tones. I think the Helix could make it so much easier. Who knows (well I guess you guys do), but I think I am willing to give it a try. I was going to buy today but figured I should start posting and asking questions here before I make a move.
     
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  8. fleahead

    fleahead Senior Member

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    I REALLY wanted to get Native to use for my studio...but the whole "have to have your network adapter active" turned me right off. ProTools don't be liking that.
     
  9. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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  10. AllTheSound

    AllTheSound Premium Member

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    Not necessarily If the Kemper does what you want it to do and you really enjoy using it you did well. Ya never know maybe a opportunity will present itself and you will own both :)
     
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  11. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    What are you wanting to know? Fire away!!
     
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  12. AllTheSound

    AllTheSound Premium Member

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    You have options you could run into the loop of your amp and out to a guitar cabinet disabling IR usage. If you have a PA already and are in control of it during your gigs (not having to rely on various sound guys) that could work out well for you. Unless you are using in-ears for monitoring you might want to factor in a powered FRFR cabinet into the setup for monitoring.
     
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  13. jdto

    jdto Pretend Human Premium Member

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    I had a Helix for a while, but was somewhat overwhelmed by all the options and parameters and ended up selling it. Lately, I’ve been wondering if I shouldn’t have given it some more time.
     
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  14. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    I use my Helix through the PA live. However, I also use a PA wedge as a "cabinet" to hear myself in rehearsal and onstage.

    I don't play in a band that carts our own PA, though. I use house systems at the venues my band plays. These range from Sports Bars with a tiny stage and a hired PA, to legit rock clubs with nice house systems and full time sound guys, to Theatres with AMAZING house systems and professional sound crews/light guys. I have never had an issue running direct to the FOH - usually the most it takes is a brief conversation with the sound guy upon arrival. Between house monitors and my EV ZLX12P I am heard with great ease.

    In rehearsal, I just use the sound coming out of the EV. It is MORE than loud enough, contrary to what conventional guitar player thinking. We often don't think Solid State watts compare to tube watts. TRUE. However, most of the powered PA wedges are using DIGITAL amps that are way more efficient and powerful per watt than a typical SS amp. My EV packs a 1000 watt digital amp. In comparison, my bassist uses a Mark Bass amp with an 800 watt digital amp. In the "industry" this is called a "Class D" amplifier. These have incredible clarity and headroom. In reality, I only have the volume set around "3" and the output is ferocious.

    I don't use our PA to amplify my Helix in rehearsal because it is unnecessary, and nobody but the vocalist runs through it. If I used the PA in rehearsal it would make for a weird "mix" in the room. It's kind of hard to explain, but think of it like this.....

    The drums are "raw" and "live" in the room. The bass guitar is "raw" and "live" in the room. All of a sudden the guitar AND vocals are coming out of a "mixed" common system. That would just "feel" weird in the room while you are rehearsing.

    In most instances (of mine anyway) once you get to a venue and set up, (at least) these elements are mic'd and put through the PA:

    Kick Drum
    Bass Guitar
    Guitar
    Vocals

    In many cases, EVERYTHING is mic'd and supported through the PA. In both of these instances, running direct to the house makes PERFECT sense. The soundman is blending the volume levels of the whole band to give a better sound. One of the HUGE benefits to using a Helix (or any modeler) direct when playing live is that your (guitar player) stage volume is not OBSCENELY loud and fighting with what the soundman is trying to accomplish via the FOH system. Even if you do what I do, which is use the EV wedge behind me onstage, the emphasis is still mostly FOH. It makes for a MUCH cleaner stage sound.

    I post these a lot, but here are two examples of Helix use in my band. The first clip is from rehearsal, the second from a gig.

    This video is just the Helix in the room with the sound amplified via the EV ZLX12P on the floor. Audio was captured with the mic from a GoPro Session camera.



    This video is the Helix mixed with the band via FOH. There is a bit of my EV mixed in there as there would be a 4x12 cab (or whatever) if I was using a tube amp, but the stage volume is MUCH more controlled. Note, this venue does not have floor monitors for the band.....



    Experimentation is good. When I first got the Helix, I was using the loop of my Rivera while I decided on what "FRFR" I wanted. Personally, I found just using the PREAMP models with any effects added pre and post was the way to go since the tube power amp colored the sound so much.

    For the OP - Helix amp models have AWESOME power amp "coloration" also. You have a whole set of parameters for adjusting bias, rectifier sag, filament hum, etc. When running an AMP MODEL into the loop of a tube amp, you get "double coloration" from the "power stage" of the amps....

    For instance, an amp like the AC15 gets ALL the drive from saturating the power stage. It sounds killer, and Line 6 did a GREAT job setting the model up to achieve that. So, let's say you want the CRANKED AC15 tone, but then you run it through the loop of a tube amp with similar power stage drive.....you'll end up with a mushy, sloppy tone. If you ran that model through a 100 watt 6L6 based power amp, you'll get some tonal coloration that you might have to EQ out, but it'll be a "cleaner" platform for what you want to hear. But, you'd still need to disable all the cabinet models because that just sounds TERRIBLE (in my opinion, anyway)....

    In contrast, if you took an AC15 (with its cabinet) and ran it through an FRFR type system (PA wedge, 'fancier' options like the Xitone, etc) you are going to have a clean, flat response amplification for the tone you created. It will be more authentic to what you want to hear since the Class D amps don't have much EQ response.

    LOL, it takes some time to really "get" what can be done and how you should set stuff up. I have been using modeling since it was introduced, so my learning curve on the Helix was "quick". Yet, a year later, I am still learning techniques for how to make it "better" and I am happier with my newest patches vs. the ones I made before. Were the old patches still "good"? Yeah, I think so - it's just that my newest ones are better in different ways. It is a piece of gear you can grow into.

    The complexity of a Helix reminds me working with a MESA/Boogie MK III or IV. You can get it sound cool right away, but to get the MOST of it, you need to "understand" how to finesse the controls. With those amps, subtle changes make a HUGE difference. The Helix can be the same.
     
  15. Pal

    Pal Senior Member

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    Thanks MMD and AllTheSound. That answers many of my questions. I always assumed there was more to it than the Helix and a powered monitor.
     
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  16. saks

    saks Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    I picked it up(Helix Service Plus Level 2), hopefully won't need it but it will be nice if i do.
    A lot less expensive than a backup helix.

    My Matrix just blew last week ( turned it on and POP ) and I would have never thought it would go.
    The guys sent me out a new one the next day. No credit card, no waiting for mine to come back. They just sent me new one with a return label. I shipped the broken one back in the box the new one came it.
    Awesome customer service!
     
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  17. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    The Helix has changed the way I think about making music.
    It's the best gear purchase I've ever made.
    I feel like it can do anything, and I'm having great fun testing that theory.
     
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  18. AllTheSound

    AllTheSound Premium Member

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    Man that's great service from Matrix. I have a pair of their Q12 passive FRFR's. Not that i'm expecting any issues but its good to know they have your back. I spoke to Andy for a good hour a while back. He really knows his stuff and seems obsessively driven to provide products of the highest quality.
     
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  19. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Sure thing, man!!!

    Really, there isn't much more than that. My rig these days is a Helix and a powered monitor, lol. I HAVE played small rooms with JUST that rig - no PA support. It's similar to using a 1x12 combo. I toss around getting a second EV, but then I realize it's not necessary and I don't waste the money.
     
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  20. AllTheSound

    AllTheSound Premium Member

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    I really dig that song "Last Crusade" you and your band did , good stuff!
     
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