Spent an hour with a Helix today - Page 2

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Thread: Spent an hour with a Helix today

  1. #9


    Join Date: Sep 2012
    Location: wickford
    ME: RG 1550
    MA: ROFL
    MB: Dafuq?!
    Rig: Mesa Mark IV, Recto 2x12

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    Also I saw that the headrush pedal has gone on sale now - there are 1 or 2 demos up - none of which are official demos from the makers - just new owners dicking about at home. Seems like a flop waiting to happen

  2. #10


    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: London, Ontario, Canada
    ME: WarmothTele/SE245
    MA: Seagull S12+
    MB: Fender Jazz Bass V
    Rig: Egnater Renegade 65

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Frost View Post
    I can't help but be curious about why Line 6 cannot model amps as well as other manufacturers. It always seems like they're at the bottom of the (digital) tone totem pole
    I suspect it's that they've never worked with someone who knows how to get great guitar sounds in the studio. All of their cab models sound like they just through a mic in front of the cab without moving it around to find the best sounding spot.

    Their bass models are always solid, though.

  3. #11


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Faribault, MN
    ME: Telecaster
    Rig: Helix

    iTrader: 0

    I've been using a Helix since it came out and I get complimented on my tone all the time by sound guys at clubs and other guitar players that are at the show. Even my other guitar player who is a bit of a tone snob was impressed with the tones I get. But I am not doing the high gain stuff. It's country and classic rock so I use mostly the Matchless and Tweed amps with a Fender Deluxe once in a while. I had an old rockabilly guy come up to me at a club one time and asked why I hid my amp, it sounded great and it should be out front showing off. When I told him I was using the Helix he was shocked. And I spent the entire break (two actually) showing him how it works and how I dialed in the sounds.

    All my patches use two different mics and two different speakers and I send the FOH two signals that they blend. In my IEMs one is panned hard right and one is panned hard left.

    The trick to the Helix is the global EQ. I set a HP and LP filter on it. I also dial back the gains on overdrive pedals since in a band setting with 5 guys it can get to be a shit show with too much gain.

    The other thing is you really need to use FRFR speaker with it if you are going to use it like a regular amp. I use Rockit 8's at home in my studio and they tend to accentuate the high end. I go to the practice space and plug it into my PA and it sounds great.

    Is it worth the $1500 I paid for it? Probably not. But the thing is built like a tank. You could run this thing over with a semi and it would still work. I don't trust the build quality on the new one they released since mine gets banged around quite a bit before and after gigs.

    I've thought about the Axe8 and getting one to test out too, but I've been happy enough with the Helix to stick with it for now. Its not perfect, and you do have to spend quite a bit of time tweaking things little by little as you use it, but I get a great useable tone out it.

    I have some gigging friends that use the Axe-Fx and some of them sound great, but then there is one guy I know that I have no clue how he fucked up the patches but it sounds like complete ass.

  4. #12


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner 5
    Rig: Mesa Roadster, Recto 4x12

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    I have been checking one out for a couple weeks and its pretty good.

    I finally figured out what I don't like about modelers tho. I dont like the jarring shift of amp character. I like that most multi channel amps, the general character of the sound is consistent thru the channels. On a modeler you have a Fender blackface clean and a Marshal or Mesa lead sound and its like WTF just happened to my sound. I dont like it and im not about to use a modeled distortion pedal into a modeled amp. I cant hang.
    I find this bothers me less when switching individual patches - because, let's be honest, Ch 1 and Ch 4 of a Roadster are pretty radically different sounding, although I'm with you on at least the sound sounds like it's coming out of the same cabinet and that helps "glue" things together more - than I am when I see someone playing covers through a modeler, and going from a Recto distorted rhythm patch in one song to a Marshall distorted rhyuthm in another to a 5150 in the third, etc, and the overall cohesiveness of the "band" sound is lost, instead trying to recreate the sound of an original recording. That always never sat well with me - it makes yous ound more like a human jukebox than an actual band.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  5. #13


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: EBMM JP6 / JP7
    MA: Martin DC-1E
    Rig: Axe-Fx II XL

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    I have been checking one out for a couple weeks and its pretty good.

    I finally figured out what I don't like about modelers tho. I dont like the jarring shift of amp character. I like that most multi channel amps, the general character of the sound is consistent thru the channels. On a modeler you have a Fender blackface clean and a Marshal or Mesa lead sound and its like WTF just happened to my sound. I dont like it and im not about to use a modeled distortion pedal into a modeled amp. I cant hang.
    This is definitely a modeler shortcoming. The natural tendency for anyone is just to plow through presets and see what the thing sounds like, and your ears don't really have time to "reset" at all between them. So one second you're hearing a Mesa through a Recto cab model, then some crazy high gain thing through a Marshall, then a Fender twin through a 2x12, etc, etc. Instead of a whole bunch of "wow that sounds great"! it ends up being a whole lot of mush.

    Edit: Shortcoming is probably the wrong word. The modeler is doing exactly what it's supposed to do. When you demo an amp in a store, you don't immediately run around plugging it into a half dozen cabinets - you change channels and adjust knobs, but for the most part the character of the cabinet never changes, and neither does the feel of the power section. The "right" way to A/B an amp vs any modeler would be to just tweak knobs on the modeler the same way you would with an amp. But nobody does that, because it's way more simple to just flip through presets.

    Put FRFR into the mix and you have another thing that's almost apples/oranges when comparing modelers to amps. Even the best studio monitors don't sound as full, warm and resonant as an actual cabinet, yet most people demo and judge modelers based on them. Just like you need to own an amp for a while to find where the sweet spots are, modelers are the same way, just with a shitload more variables. What you get for the extra effort with modelers is a fuckload of convenience.


  6. #14


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Faribault, MN
    ME: Telecaster
    Rig: Helix

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    I find this bothers me less when switching individual patches - because, let's be honest, Ch 1 and Ch 4 of a Roadster are pretty radically different sounding, although I'm with you on at least the sound sounds like it's coming out of the same cabinet and that helps "glue" things together more - than I am when I see someone playing covers through a modeler, and going from a Recto distorted rhythm patch in one song to a Marshall distorted rhyuthm in another to a 5150 in the third, etc, and the overall cohesiveness of the "band" sound is lost, instead trying to recreate the sound of an original recording. That always never sat well with me - it makes yous ound more like a human jukebox than an actual band.

    This why most of my presets with the Helix are using the two matchless models and the Tweed. It covers pretty much all my bases and they are not that radically different. I even tweaked the pedals so that they sound the same-ish in each patch. So if I switch between patches tones change but not all that much different.

    For the prog stuff I do, I have a completely different bank of patches that I do the same thing with. They are all pretty close to the same sounds, but different levels of gain and effects. I also have a bank setup for the classic rock band.

  7. #15


    Join Date: Apr 2017
    Location: Texas

    iTrader: 0

    For me, I judge a modeler by it's high gain tones, mostly. Cleans are generally easier to recreate; high gain sets the big boys apart from the toys. Granted, I'm no cleans expert. If it sounds clean, shimmery, and not dead I'll probably like the tone.

    These are just general thoughts btw.

  8. #16


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner 5
    Rig: Mesa Roadster, Recto 4x12

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Frost View Post
    For me, I judge a modeler by it's high gain tones, mostly. Cleans are generally easier to recreate; high gain sets the big boys apart from the toys. Granted, I'm no cleans expert. If it sounds clean, shimmery, and not dead I'll probably like the tone.

    These are just general thoughts btw.
    I'm the reverse, actually. I think an edge-of-breakup clean is one of the things that a lot of modelers really fall down on. The Axe does it extremely well, and much to my surprise, in the first generation of modeling the Johnson J-Station was actually pretty decent in this regard, too.

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