Couldn't bring myself to commit to a Helix so I bought Native instead

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Axe-Man, Dec 4, 2017.


  1. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

    Messages:
    2,966
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I just couldn't bring myself to pay for a Helix LT let alone the Floor or an AX8 as to be honest, the clips (and man have I listened to a LOT of clips of late) did not wow me. At all. Both the Fractal and Line 6 products here. Kemper sounded KILLER...couldn't afford a Kemper sadly...

    So, I decided to get a Focusrite Scarlett and Helix Native as it was on special and all up it was nearly 1/4 of the price of the AX8.

    I needed something as I wanted to create some scratch tracks so I would have been crazy to not take advantage of the 30% off L6 sale.

    First 15 minutes were BAD.

    I'll be brutally honest here...it was HD500 tones as far as the ear could hear. I was a tad dismayed about how awful the stock Helix cabs were but I had a bundle of Ownhammer IRs from my Two Notes product days and knew they would sort the issue.

    After loading some random IRs, the difference was huge.

    Suddenly I had chunky gain tones, killer cleans and really awesome classic rock stuff. Brian May, fuzzy doom, woody Matchless and SLO fever...lol I played for like 3 hours straight and my fingers are killing me.

    I don't think Helix has tight enough bottom end for truly djent worthy high gain even with using a low cut but it sounds good for most things and surprisingly the mid gain tones L6 has seriously improved now (as they were always the struggle for every past L6 modelling engine).

    I went from phew...dodged a bullet there to hmm...maybe the LT would have been good. lol Still my foremost reason for getting a Helix was recording so I'm pretty darn happy now. Glad I took the plunge.

    Interface works like an absolute charm; it and Native had no perceptible latency. FX on Native are pretty solid too.

    Just need more IRs.

    If you're on the fence, jump in. I'm pretty impressed so far.
     
    MIJLOVER likes this.
  2. FPFL

    FPFL Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Boston, MA. USA
    Somehow Jeff Loomis in Arch Enemy found enough tight low end.

    Glad you like it but I worry that you’ll end up buying a Kemper. Settling and advertising that in this forum is dangerous!

    Focus on the playing I say - you got a great rig now.
     
  3. moonblack

    moonblack Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
  4. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,621
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    East of the Sun, West of the Moon
    There’s dozens, if not hundreds, of people creating djent tones with Helix in the Facebook group. It may be worth joining if you haven’t already.
     
    mikah912 likes this.
  5. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

    Messages:
    4,124
    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Dude.....search out John Browne's Flux Conduct records. All Helix with stock IRs, and it gets no tighter, tone-wise.

    Here's a taste:



    Every song is super-percussive riffing. He sells all of his tones on his Big Cartel site in a single pack for $10 too.
     
  6. JamCave Studio

    JamCave Studio Member

    Messages:
    1,174
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Location:
    South Florida
    I did the opposite. After having issues with my newly built Recording PC and Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 I couldn't play guitar at all. It convinced me that relying 100% on software probably isn't such a great idea.

    The Helix LT went back on my Christmas list and the wife bought it for me.

    I am still on the Native Free Trial thanks to the Line 6 guy (felt sorry for me I couldn't use it and ran out of time). I can use it with my Mac Pro and Scarlett. I'm not sure why I ran into the issue with my PC but I'm actually glad I did. Caused me to rethink my setup.

    I've yet to mess with the Native stuff totally but I'm excited I have time this week.
     
    cabojoe, MusicLaw and MIJLOVER like this.
  7. DigiPOV

    DigiPOV Member

    Messages:
    1,348
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    I'm surprised that no one mentions it, but the quality of the DI, how you get your signal into the computer is HUGE. HUGE. HUGE. The scarlett interface at best has a mediocre DI. With a top notch DI, you will hear all the detail and articulation that you might otherwise be missing.

    You owe it to yourself to test different DIs. Different ways to skin a cat. Standalone active DI will be best, but using a good FX processor/pedal in front just to handle the guitar input sometimes gives a huge improvement.
     
  8. Frank Ritchotte

    Frank Ritchotte Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,040
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    Sir thank you for giving Native/Helix a shot. If you need anything feel free to shout!
     
    outlawten5 and Axe-Man like this.
  9. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,437
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    I'll second the interface thing. My experience with Native was better running my guitar into a TC Electronic delay pedal set to buffered bypass mode and bypassed before hitting my Presonus interface (similar input to that on the Scarlett) than it was just going straight into the interface. I've read somewhere -- don't remember if it was Focusrite print or a review -- saying the 0.5Mohm input impedance was chosen as a happy medium between different inputs an instrument level signal might see, but to my mind there is no happy medium -- the input impedance should be high enough to not change the sound of your guitar -- a small handful of pedals have a low input impedance but for the most part guitarists go out of there way to avoid having their guitar run into anything other than a true high impedance input by using loop switchers, etc., by using a buffer on their pedalboard if they're using long cable runs, etc., etc.
     
  10. Drop the sun

    Drop the sun Member

    Messages:
    420
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2014
    Does it Djent? :D

     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  11. MusicLaw

    MusicLaw Member

    Messages:
    1,132
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Yet to upgrade to a dedicated computer for Native. As a Helix Floor owner, I simply could not let the Helix Native 30% discount offer end this past Sunday night without getting a copy for $69! Also, got one for a friend. I'm now set with an Activation Code, ready to load Helix Native on a new computer....

    Has anyone on this thread -- who also owns a Helix -- used Helix Native with a Focusrite Scarlet 212 (2nd Gen) or Focusrite Solo, offer a comparision of the audio quality via the Focusrite vs. the Helix Hardware?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
    DigiPOV likes this.
  12. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

    Messages:
    818
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Location:
    Massachusetts,USA
    I'd go one step further and say best results are with a good tube preamp with a DI input.
     
  13. CreamTele2

    CreamTele2 Member

    Messages:
    387
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    While I agree on the sentiment, and mediocre is a subjective description.. I'm using a Scarlett 6i6 with S-Gear and getting more than enough dynamic range, detail, and articulation. That isn't to say there's no improvement to be found, but you don't NEED to buy a $800+ interface from UA to get good results.
     
    yeky83 and FPFL like this.
  14. DigiPOV

    DigiPOV Member

    Messages:
    1,348
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    I'd wager that most decent guitar MFX have better input buffer than mid-priced audio interfaces. (When I am using amp sims, I run dry tone through my GT100 first.) This has been my experience. The only one I've used that is fantastic is the RME UFX, but thats a 2K+ box.

    Unless it is a stellar interface, ime you are losing noticably plugging direct. You don't need a UA interface, sometimes just a good pedal will do the trick. I havent tried any of the cheap Behringer DIs, but I would further wager that a $40 Behringer active DI will work better than the input of a Scarlett.

    You won't know until you try. Maybe the 6i6 is better than the smaller boxes? idk.
     
  15. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,437
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    It's not about price. Like I said, I got big improvements just running into a basic TC Electronic delay pedal bypassed. If you have a pedal laying around that isn't true bypass (or that can be set to buffered bypass like the TC stuff), give it a try and see if you don't notice less top end roll-off.
     
    Cgkindler and DigiPOV like this.
  16. Dave Merrill

    Dave Merrill Member

    Messages:
    525
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Or you could put an active buffer in your guitar and not worry about cable effects or tell roll-off when you turn down. That's what I did years ago.

    But the extended high end that gets you is a trade-off too...
     
  17. DigiPOV

    DigiPOV Member

    Messages:
    1,348
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    But then you have to put it in EVERY. DAMN. GUITAR.
     
  18. Dave Merrill

    Dave Merrill Member

    Messages:
    525
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Yeah, well, not such a problem here, wish it was.
     
  19. Dave Merrill

    Dave Merrill Member

    Messages:
    525
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Wireless seems the best option then, keeps the cable short, but still usable on all guitars.
     
  20. Footbutt

    Footbutt Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,991
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    Pickerington, OH
    i owned a Helix, tried the free Native trial, and returned my Helix. Using OwnHammer IRs, i was pretty much set with using Helix Native (full) for that Matchless sound, and use a BadCat cab IR from Ownhammer.
     
    Cgkindler and MIJLOVER like this.

Share This Page