anyone using their Helix Stomp as a Delay/Reverb box?

Mark Al

Member
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891
Uhm do people know you can have six blocks in stomp and multiple delays and reverbs in series and parallel can do very cool stuff.

i like fractal plate a bit better but prefer helix spring.
Right on, all but the Sprint reverbs in my Axe III sounds good, for some reason the Fractal Spring verbs doesn't sounds right to my ear...

The Helix plate Spring is not bad, but I am not a heavy reverb user, I just need a touch and use delay for more ambient sound instead.
 

luckymethod

Member
Messages
235
I have not long had my HX Effects, nor do I have formal qualifications in reverb/delay righteousness ... but I do have to say I agree with you on this. It didn't take me long to find and dial in a reverb and delay that I liked ... to the point where I'm playing and liking, and forgetting about tweaking.

I suppose it's possible that I'm not playing music for which highly specific delay tones/features are total deal makers/breakers. Just looking for a bit of ambience, a tiny bit of always on slap-back and a longer delay to moisten solos.

To the OP, have a listen to the kind of tones that John Nathan Cordy gets on his YouTube channel. He's a big user of HX Stomp, and, to my ear, has some of the best tones I've heard on YouTube ... which almost always feature reverb and delay.
If you just want something in the background it's fine but for post rock or ambient music it just doesn't sound right, it's pointless to even argue about it, it doesn't get it done.
 

MartinC

Member
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3,007
I have not long had my HX Effects, nor do I have formal qualifications in reverb/delay righteousness ... but I do have to say I agree with you on this. It didn't take me long to find and dial in a reverb and delay that I liked ... to the point where I'm playing and liking, and forgetting about tweaking.

I suppose it's possible that I'm not playing music for which highly specific delay tones/features are total deal makers/breakers. Just looking for a bit of ambience, a tiny bit of always on slap-back and a longer delay to moisten solos.

To the OP, have a listen to the kind of tones that John Nathan Cordy gets on his YouTube channel. He's a big user of HX Stomp, and, to my ear, has some of the best tones I've heard on YouTube ... which almost always feature reverb and delay.
If you just want something in the background it's fine but for post rock or ambient music it just doesn't sound right, it's pointless to even argue about it, it doesn't get it done.
That's my point ... it depends what you want from it ... I'm good with it. The OP didn't say what he wants to use the reverb for ... in what context. So ... I gave him a possible reference point, to hear some examples, so he can see if he thinks it would work for him. Again, I don't know the context, but Mr Cordy gets some beautiful sounds to my ear ... the OP may or may not agree.
 

Watt McCo

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10,306
Person A: "Helix reverbs aren't the greatest and are it's weakest feature"

Helix Community: "why the hate on the Helix reverbs?!?!?!?"

If you have a multi unit and want to stick to an all-in-onr-approach, I get it, and the Helix reverbs are fine for that and don't sound like dog-sh1t or something. But it's also okay to admit that everything in your al-in-one-box isnt the pinnacle of it's kind the pitch block in my FM3 kinda sucks, for example.
 
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dk_ace

Member
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1,937
I played with the helix reverbs again last night. I had dialed in 3 sounds that I really liked previously and just use them for everything with minor tweaks. Last night I tried just the stock settings on the new reverbs. Now I understand why some people have such a visceral reaction to them.... They’re initially pretty bad. But, there are good sounds in them if you spend some time with them, turn all the knobs, and have a pretty good idea what you’re looking for. Still, they can’t do everything.

They can do good post rock and ambient stuff but it takes some effort.

D
 

bosetuno

Member
Messages
410
I am! But i dont rely much on spatials reverbs for my sound, i am the kind of delay based reverb type of guy. Anyway, there are several algorithms to choose from, most of them are way too intense for normal use, but go for a legacy model for a "smaller" verb. Do not limit yourself to use one block, you have six of them to craft the sound you want. Split signal and keep dry separate for a rack type processing. Or go chorus/delay/flanger/whatever in parallel with other reverb/delay/chorus, etc.

I´ve programed in all my patches a delay based looper/pcm80 style. Two paths, one dedicated to the looper. On the looper path, one vol block assigned to exp pedal, one Delay block (choose to taste), (optional) reverb/chorus/distortion/whatever. Set the delay time somewhere between 3 and 8 seconds (you can change delay time in real time for some nice erratic sounds), set feedback to 100%. Open you exp pedal to record sound into the delay and close it when finished. Add layers to taste. I feel much more fun to use this type of looper that the "regular" looper. Now use some assigns to toggle feedback between 100 and 0 to make the looper stop
 

mikah912

Member
Messages
6,759
It's weird to read takes that say HX verbs can't do ambient. If anything, I think they err too much on the side of esoteric ambient sounds. Too much wacky modulation and pitch-y repeats (which can be turned down/off, but really shouldn't be there in the first place). I will admit that they're missing instantly deep and spatial reverbs with those lingering breath-y tails. Kemper excels at that stuff with no tweaking required. The "cloud" algorithms on FM3/Axe-FX III are kinda close. Helix requires you to slap that stuff on a parallel path, then play with the mix to get it right.

For plug-and-play purposes, the best Helix reverbs for ambient remain the legacy ones like Octo, Cave and Particle.
 

JiveTurkey

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It's weird to read takes that say HX verbs can't do ambient. If anything, I think they err too much on the side of esoteric ambient sounds. Too much wacky modulation and pitch-y repeats (which can be turned down/off, but really shouldn't be there in the first place). I will admit that they're missing instantly deep and spatial reverbs with those lingering breath-y tails. Kemper excels at that stuff with no tweaking required. The "cloud" algorithms on FM3/Axe-FX III are kinda close. Helix requires you to slap that stuff on a parallel path, then play with the mix to get it right.

For plug-and-play purposes, the best Helix reverbs for ambient remain the legacy ones like Octo, Cave and Particle.
Kemper verbs are spectacular, imo. I definitely dug the legacy "ambient" stuff the most. I knew I really dug Particle and Octo but Cave was one I had forgotten about.
 

Will Chen

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Messages
6,259
If you just want something in the background it's fine but for post rock or ambient music it just doesn't sound right, it's pointless to even argue about it, it doesn't get it done.
I'll just drop these here for anyone interested. If you are comparing specifically to another effect in another device, the HX is going to be different for sure. But "ambient" covers a ton of ground and "doesn't get it done" is a bit of hyperbole.




 

Will Chen

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6,259
Kemper verbs are spectacular, imo. I definitely dug the legacy "ambient" stuff the most. I knew I really dug Particle and Octo but Cave was one I had forgotten about.
I loved the KPA verbs too in a time where nearly everyone was complaining about them. Started with calls for a spring and that eventually turned into the KPA verbs are weak. If I'm being honest, I haven't heard any modern digital device where the verbs sounded so bad that they were unusable even in cases where they are mixed up very high.

EDIT: Should add during this period I was playing in a more experimental band where we definitely did some ambient stuff where I had the verb cranked up high. I actually had to use a Zoom G3 (this was before the MS-70CDR came out) to add some weirder stuff to the KPA.
 

Brandon7s

Member
Messages
1,259
Person A: "Helix reverbs aren't the greatest and are it's weakest feature"

Helix Community: "why the hate on the Helix reverbs?!?!?!?"

If you have a multi unit and want to stick to an all-in-onr-approach, I get it, and the Helix reverbs are fine for that and don't sound like dog-sh1t or something. But it's also okay to admit that everything in your al-in-one-box is the pinnacle of it's kind the pitch block in my FM3 kinda sucks, for example.
I sometimes use the reverbs in my HX Stomp instead of my Mercury7, or Specular Tempus, or Collider, and for a while I don't have a problem with them - particularly if you are aggressive with the low and high cuts. But after a few hours I'll go back to one of my dedicated reverb pedals and think to myself "man, this sounds so much less like a jumbled mess". There's just something about the Helix reverbs that manage to get in the way of your playing when using long decay times. The other reverb units CAN have that same property but getting them to sit and play nice with your playing is pretty easy, while the Helix reverbs will never get out of your way quite enough and still sound somewhat decent. I'm talking decay times of 6+ seconds, not your typical rock and roll, blues, or jazz thing. I love playing that is more on the ambient side though, so a reverb that can sit nice in the mix, even if the mix is only one guitar, is very important to me.

So while I wouldn't call the reverbs in the Helix series bad, I would say there a whole lot of better options out there. I can't say the same for the delays though, they are REALLY, REALLY good in the Helix series. Easily on par with my Specular Tempus' and Collider's delays, and actually preferable over them for a lot of reasons like being able to edit any parameter on the fly without having to plug into a computer and use software, and they just sound great.
 

JiveTurkey

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I sometimes use the reverbs in my HX Stomp instead of my Mercury7, or Specular Tempus, or Collider, and for a while I don't have a problem with them - particularly if you are aggressive with the low and high cuts. But after a few hours I'll go back to one of my dedicated reverb pedals and think to myself "man, this sounds so much less like a jumbled mess". There's just something about the Helix reverbs that manage to get in the way of your playing when using long decay times. The other reverb units CAN have that same property but getting them to sit and play nice with your playing is pretty easy, while the Helix reverbs will never get out of your way quite enough and still sound somewhat decent. I'm talking decay times of 6+ seconds, not your typical rock and roll, blues, or jazz thing. I love playing that is more on the ambient side though, so a reverb that can sit nice in the mix, even if the mix is only one guitar, is very important to me.

So while I wouldn't call the reverbs in the Helix series bad, I would say there a whole lot of better options out there. I can't say the same for the delays though, they are REALLY, REALLY good in the Helix series. Easily on par with my Specular Tempus' and Collider's delays, and actually preferable over them for a lot of reasons like being able to edit any parameter on the fly without having to plug into a computer and use software, and they just sound great.
Have you tried the MXR M300 reverb? If so; how does it compare to the Specular or the Collider? I had it a long while back and, while it was obviously much more stripped down; I LOVED some of the bigger sounding verbs on it.
 

JiveTurkey

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Sheesh, you guys defending the Helix reverbs take this seriously don't you.

If we don't like them it's either "group think" or we just don't know how to use them correctly?

Maybe... we just don't like them? :dunno
They're better than the Boss verbs. I'll totally give them that.
 

Brandon7s

Member
Messages
1,259
Have you tried the MXR M300 reverb? If so; how does it compare to the Specular or the Collider? I had it a long while back and, while it was obviously much more stripped down; I LOVED some of the bigger sounding verbs on it.
I own the M300, it was my first dedicated reverb pedal and is probably the single biggest contributor to exploring outside of the Helix ecosystem! It really is fantastic sounding, quite a bit better than the Helix reverbs which is why I started looking for modeling/home amp solutions. I love the M300's Epic verb setting, the huge modulated reverb one. The tone knob on that thing is very powerful, too - much more powerful than the tone controls on the Collider and the Specular Tempus (Mercury7 has great tone control). There's just a couple reasons I don't use it on a regular basis, the main one being the fact that you need to run TRS Y-splitter cables in both the input and the output, which is just a humongous pain in the butt since those cables always stick out much, much further than your typical guitar pedal patch cable. And good luck finding one with a right angle! Though seriously, if anyone knows of a Y-splitter TRS cable with a right angle on the stereo end, please let me know so I can buy a couple of them.

The other problem with the pedal is it's very limited headroom. It'll get nasty distortion at input levels that my other pedals can handle with zero problems. This makes gain staging with it another pain in the butt. Though I'll note that I've only seen this ugly distortion happen when the decay times are set fairly high, like 4+ seconds so this might not be a real world problem for a lot of folks.

Still, it's an amazing bang-for-your-buck pedal that has reverb algorithms competing toe to toe with the biggest in the field.
 

JiveTurkey

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I own the M300, it was my first dedicated reverb pedal and is probably the single biggest contributor to exploring outside of the Helix ecosystem! It really is fantastic sounding. I actually like it's Epic verb setting, the huge modulated reverb one. The tone knob on that thing is very powerful, too - much more powerful than the tone controls on the Collider and the Specular Tempus (Mercury7 has great tone control). There's just a couple reasons I don't use it on a regular basis, the main one being the fact that you need to run TRS Y-splitter cables in both the input and the output, which is just a humongous pain in the butt since those cables always stick out much, much further than your typical guitar pedal patch cable. And good luck finding one with a right angle! Though seriously, if anyone knows of a Y-splitter TRS cable with a right angle on the stereo end, please let me know so I can buy a couple of them.

The other problem with the pedal is it's very limited headroom. It'll get nasty distortion at input levels that my other pedals can handle with zero problems. This makes gain staging with it another pain in the butt. Though I'll note that I've only seen this ugly distortion happen when the decay times are set fairly high, like 4+ seconds so this might not be a real world problem for a lot of folks.

Still, it's an amazing bang-for-your-buck pedal that has reverb algorithms competing toe to toe with the biggest in the field.
I was afraid you'd say this :anon
 

mikah912

Member
Messages
6,759
Sheesh, you guys defending the Helix reverbs take this seriously don't you.

If we don't like them it's either "group think" or we just don't know how to use them correctly?

Maybe... we just don't like them? :dunno
I think you're painting with just as broad a brush, unfortunately.

Some of us acknowledge the limitations of the Helix reverbs and think a lot of negative hyperbole is being thrown their way. And some of us just do like them.
 

Will Chen

Member
Messages
6,259
Sheesh, you guys defending the Helix reverbs take this seriously don't you.

If we don't like them it's either "group think" or we just don't know how to use them correctly?

Maybe... we just don't like them? :dunno
Because there's a wide gulf between "they're totally usable but I like X better" vs "they aren't good enough and can't get the job done".

And to be clear, I'm a gear whore and have played too many devices to get into. Right now it's the HX Stomp so I have a current context but I did the same back when I had the KPA and folks were talking about it's reverbs being bad. There are absolutely some verbs I've played in the past in other MFX which I've preferred and I can definitely understand/accept criticism of some of the HX verbs (I have some criticisms myself, but nitpicky stuff) but it's kinda funny as the criticism posted about the HX verbs getting in the way was the issue I had with the AX8 (non ambient usage) when I had it, I was always trying to dial the mix down and felt I was constantly battling no reverb audible vs the reverb is getting in the way. It's the "unusable" I take issue with (really with pretty much any MFX) and I posted clips for the OP to judge for themselves.
 




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