The Official Line 6 Helix Thread

drew365

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Change is the only thing that stays the same. You have to do what you have to do to keep up. I'm faced with a similar situation. My Helix rig works great for my current band. We play originals and covers that lean heavy towards 90's grunge. But I have suspicions the group won't last. I've been asked to audition for a country/rock group. I'm thinking about doing it, but based on their video's they are guitar > amp and keep on smilin'. If I do the audition, I'll probably bring my Roland Blues Cube Artist, since it's the only thing I have that looks "normal". I wouldn't want to create any image concerns by bringing my space ship looking Helix. But, 90's grunge suits me a lot better than country rock, so I'm not sure that I'm going to stray that far.
 
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Mr Insane

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Hey strangers! Update from Helix-land over here. After using Helix exclusively since it was released and having sold off all my amps, I am back to having and using a tube/analog rig :(

The band I was in, Demented Truth, split up in mid-2018. I sat around for awhile just working in the studio and doing sessions. Recently I wanted to get back to being in a band and on the stage. As time rolled on over 2018, I really got into playing Southern Rock/Country. I have some GREAT patches set up in the Helix using the Matchless models.

Long story short, as I was auditioning for bands many of them (all older dudes with CLEAR bias against modeling) were shutting me down before I would plug in because "Line 6 sucks" and I needed a "real amp".

After several "rejections" like that I went out and bought a Bad Cat Hot Cat 30R. It's cool. Too loud, though (as we all know). The funny part? I use the amp to sound like my Helix. I dialed it in pretty close.

Ultimately, the plan is to get into a band and then slowly switch back to the Helix. I still use it 99% of the time. The other 1% is just getting used to the Bad Cat.....
Wow, some people's ignorance is unbelievable. 5 to 10 years ago, those people had a chance of being right. But Modeling has improved so much since then.

I see "strictly analog" people using load boxes with cabs sims now with their 100 watts amp, the load box and amp sim kind of works against their real tube amp argument.

The best rock shows I have been to for the last 3 or 4 years...the artists having been using some sort of modeler.
 
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mmd

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Wow, some people's ignorance is unbelievable. 5 to 10 years ago, those people had a chance of being right. But Modeling has improved so much since then.

I see "strictly analog" people using load boxes with cabs sims now with their 100 watts amp, the load box and amp sim kind of works against their real tube amp argument.

The best rock shows I have been to for the last 3 or 4 years...the artists having been using some sort of modeler.
Yeah, it is ridiculous. I bought two hand-wired Bad Cats, a Cub 15 and a Hot Cat 30. Both sound amazing, but after several minutes of tweaking in the Helix I could get 95% of the way there. And that 95% is only because of the sound of the Bad Cat speaker. I am not a big IR guy, but I am going to mess around with those - and maybe buy a few more - to see if I can get the other 5%. If not, no biggie - I dig what I hear.

I also bought a Suhr Reactive Load box. I use that to send the Bad Cats to the Helix for cab sims and effects. It has really helped in me getting the sound right between the "real" amps and the "fake" one, lol.
I have a Rivera Rockcrusher coming too, because - as we know, which is why most of us went this direction in the first place - to get the goods on either Bad Cat the volume is CRUSHING.

I have another audition later today. We'll see what happens when I bring in my "real" amp. I am betting they will complain that I am too loud, lol.
 

CaptainT

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@mmd Sad to hear that. I really liked your band.

Good luck with your audition and the gear snobs:)
 
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mmd

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@CaptainT thanks! I liked that band, too. It was a bummer, but once we recorded the EP the drummer and I (we were the new guys) wanted to start writing material that didn't have the stamp of the guys we replaced. I dug the tunes, but wanted us (the band) to develop and begin to reflect the cumulative talent that had been collected. Plus, that batch of tunes were the songs they had been playing for 8 years!! It was time for something new, lol.

I went and did the audition with the Bad Cat this afternoon. There were three of us auditioning. We came in an hour apart. I feel pretty good about it. They liked my tone and playing. They were impressed by the amp, but did think it was a little loud. You can't win!!!

**RANT - some of this will come across douchey because I did go out and buy gear to do this audition. Keep that in mind. I did not have the Bad Cat prior to this situation. It was bought JUST for this situation.**

This band has pedigree. I am not one to drop names but a couple of the guys were in legit bands in the 80s. It's a great opportunity for me to move into a new genre and not get stuck doing covers. But, it has been a frustrating process. When I got to the first audition (the one I got ejected from because of using a "fake" amp :rolleyes:) I scoped out the gear. For the heritage these guys have I was surprised at the gear.

The guitarist/vocalist uses a Fender Blues Deluxe and a couple of pedals. Not bad, but not great enough to have been giving me grief. I heard his rig today and I was NOT impressed. He plays a Les Paul (of course), but his tone lacked crispness and clarity. His sound just was not dialed in very well considering the crap I was given for having the Helix - which in all honesty sounds WAY better than that Blues Deluxe/pedal rig.

The bassist had a small Peavey 1x12" combo that kicked back like a monitor. He played a Squier PJ bass. The band seemed to set its overall volume around that bass amp. The sound was ok, but nothing spectacular. Again, especially considering the grief they gave for the Helix.

The drummer had decent gear. He has a nice history and resume. He was playing a 4 piece Fibes acrylic kit with old Paiste cymbals. His sticks were like pencils though. I am guessing he was using the little sticks to control his volume - that's what I used to do when I was a drummer.....

I rolled in today with a hand wired Bad Cat Hot Cat 30R and a Bad Cat 1x12" cab. My only effect was a Strymon Flint in the loop for tremolo (I always have tremolo on for my tone - it's not that noticeable until I roll the volume down on the guitar). I brought my PRS SC245 57/08 Limited Edition for my guitar.

When I fired up the Bad Cat, and the logo lit up, the guitarist/vocalist came over and was wanting to check the rig out. He was asking me a ton of questions. I dropped the standby switch to "on" and dialed the amp to a good volume for "the sound".....

The response?

"DAMN, dude - that thing is LOUD. What is it - 100 watts????"

Honestly, I got really butt hurt. I didn't say too much. I just responded, "Nah, it's 30 watts. Less than your amp...."

We then talked a few minutes about Bad Cat and the engineering that goes into them. The drummer was digging it. He commented that he had never heard an amp that awesome. The bassist just stood off to the side, not saying a whole lot.

After a few minutes of jibber-jabber, we started to play. I had to learn 4 songs - originals. I had them down pretty well. I got to create/improvise my own leads. There are twin leads on a lot of the songs, but not on the ones I had to learn for today. As we played, the drummer was really smiling. The vocalist stopped at one point and asked if I could turn my amp down because he was struggling to hear his guitar. The bassist chimed in at that point and said I was burying him. I commented that my amp was barely cracked open, but I would try to turn down a little.

After the third song, we talked volume. The vocalist asked me what my volume was set at. I told him "2". He said he was a little past half way up. I just kind of shrugged. I told him that I have a 120 watt Rivera, too. I did say that my volume is more controlled with the Helix. I just got a blank stare for a second, then the vocalist commented that the amp sounded killer. We launched in to the 4th song and got through it with no complaints.

Shoot, now that I have typed this all out and shared, maybe it wasn't so great after all, lol. I guess I'll have to see what happens. It may not be worth it. I have to see what they say and weigh my options. It is a GREAT opportunity...
 

drew365

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I always prepare well for an audition. It helps to boost my confidence and smooth over the fact that there are dozens of stupid reasons you may not get a spot that you want. At least if I go in knowing the material well, I can walk out and say I did my part and that's all I can control. Every audition is a learning experience. I hope you get the spot Mark, but don't let it bother you if this one doesn't work out.
 

mmd

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Thanks Drew! Right now I am actually indifferent, lol. If I get it, killer. If not, meh. I played my butt off. My tone killed. I did what I could do. If I don't get the spot, I can be right where you said....

"I did my part and that's all I can control."

What more can a guy do?
 

CaptainT

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@mmd Sounds like a good audition to me. Might take some finetuning in the end if you´re getting the spot, but as long as there is sympathy between you guys, there´s always a good chance to have fun.

Just get yourself a Friedman ASC 12 and most people won´t get, that the sound is made in the Helix:)



Good luck!
 
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Sournote

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Hello old friends.
The other day I read a post about my amp. Made me think I ought to turn it on just to see if the light still glowed. I was left with I can't believe this is how I used to listen to guitar. Evidently I'm still a convert.
Hey Pop, I guess I'd still describe myself as a convert, but I was still always very happy on those occasions when I played my analog(mostly)board and tube amp. I did get tired of seeing that pile of money sitting there unused so I made the decision to haul my Budda/board/Orange 112 to our drummers and use it for practice. It sounds glorious to me and the band hasn't complained about the swap. The Helix is my home solution as I can practice at much lower volume. For now this is working great as I don't have to pack anything but my guitar to go to practice.

I don't know what I'll use when we play our next gig. Guess I'll start to worry about that when its on the books.
 

Sournote

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snip:

The band I was in, Demented Truth, split up in mid-2018. I sat around for awhile just working in the studio and doing sessions. Recently I wanted to get back to being in a band and on the stage. As time rolled on over 2018, I really got into playing Southern Rock/Country. I have some GREAT patches set up in the Helix using the Matchless models.

Long story short, as I was auditioning for bands many of them (all older dudes with CLEAR bias against modeling) were shutting me down before I would plug in because "Line 6 sucks" and I needed a "real amp".

After several "rejections" like that I went out and bought a Bad Cat Hot Cat 30R. It's cool. Too loud, though (as we all know). The funny part? I use the amp to sound like my Helix. I dialed it in pretty close.

Ultimately, the plan is to get into a band and then slowly switch back to the Helix. I still use it 99% of the time. The other 1% is just getting used to the Bad Cat.....
Man that totally sux.

They didn't even let you audition? I'd of been like, "hey, if I get the gig I'll buy gear to suit your image, but what I've got here is good enough for you to evaluate my playing."

Good luck with the new rig and finding a band you enjoy being in.
 

mmd

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Man that totally sux.

They didn't even let you audition? I'd of been like, "hey, if I get the gig I'll buy gear to suit your image, but what I've got here is good enough for you to evaluate my playing."

Good luck with the new rig and finding a band you enjoy being in.
Yeah. Should have done that!!! I am kind of blinded by the band. Dumb on my part.
 

drew365

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Anyone use the Helix for vocal processing? Interested to hear opinions on it.
I have. I wanted to do a quick demo of a song that I wrote, to play for my band. It was just guitar and vocal. I put them both through the Helix and recorded in my DAW. The vocal came out really good. I sounded better than I normally sound. I kept the preset for next time, but I haven't used it again, yet.
 

Filipem

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I just rented a helix yesterday. I figure I'd try it for a few weeks just in case I didn't like it. So far I'm impressed with the unit however a little taken back by how customizable it is. I play at home for fun I currently have 2 tube amps and a few pedals. The Helix is more then I'll ever need.

I'm seriously contemplating on selling by other gear and using just this FX board. I have a feeling it's going to take some time before I am really comfortable dialing it in.

I rented the floor model and I'm just contemplating if the LT is better for me simply because it's only for home use.
 

JonCanfield

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I just rented a helix yesterday. I figure I'd try it for a few weeks just in case I didn't like it. So far I'm impressed with the unit however a little taken back by how customizable it is. I play at home for fun I currently have 2 tube amps and a few pedals. The Helix is more then I'll ever need.

I'm seriously contemplating on selling by other gear and using just this FX board. I have a feeling it's going to take some time before I am really comfortable dialing it in.

I rented the floor model and I'm just contemplating if the LT is better for me simply because it's only for home use.
I'm strongly considering selling my LT if you're interested. It's a great setup, but like you say, it's more than I'll ever need. PM if you want more info
 

KenG

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A used LT is more than enough for home or even a Stomp should be fine if you don't need dual amps, a lot of effects or footswitches. I am having a blast with my LT and a TS308 with my two electrics.
 

BBD

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Apologies if this has come up before on the thread but I've just had me socks blown off by playing around with this frequency split thing that Craig Anderton did:


Well worth a try, imho.
 

Netwarrior

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Hi Folks,
anybody here is using the helix for headphone playing?

I play through headphones 99% of the time and I'm currently using a Yamaha thr10, but I'm not really satisfied with the quality. I have three guitars: a R6 with P90, a R8 and a 335 with humbuckers. Especially with humbuckers, the distorted sound is not really up to my taste.

I want to invest in a high quality solution to play with headphones and I was thinking about a digital modeler like the helix.
Reading online I can find mixed opinions about how good the helix sounds with headphones, so I would like some honest opinions and experiences from you.

Thanks a lot!
 

JonCanfield

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That's the way I typically use mine for practicing. Headphone quality is going to make a huge difference, I'm using BeyerDynamic DT 770 Pro
 

Netwarrior

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That's the way I typically use mine for practicing. Headphone quality is going to make a huge difference, I'm using BeyerDynamic DT 770 Pro
Thanks for the answer!
Is the impedance of the headphones a concern? I currently have a set of Audio Technica ATH-M50X which are already quite nice (but low impedance), but again, since I'm after quality I don't mind investing in nicer ones.
 




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