Go easy on me! HX Stomp remorse!

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by sugarlou, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    New Hx Stomp owner here. Let me explain my journey then I'll get to the questions.
    First off I wanted a devise for tracking guitars silently as well as a"headphone" amp for noodling on the couch and coming up with song ideas. I have no intention of using it live. I love my amps.
    First up was an Amplifier Firebox. Seemed like a good solution plus it was relatively cheap. Got one used. Sounded ok but didn't like the editor and started reading reviews and watching video's on the Strymon Iridium. Flipped the Atomic...enter Iridium. Plug in and WOW! Now these tones are excellen! The Marshall Plexi with the gain dimed was awesome but I soon started feeling the limitations of the Iridium. I wanted to add a reverb. Ive got an H9 on my main board. I guess I could use that but the thought of taking apart my gigging board wasn't a good one. Plus (and heres the deal breaker for me) I wanted to use the headphone output for monitoring. I don't want to be tethered to my computer interface. Any effects placed after the Iridium won't be included in the headphone mix.Theres no loop on the Strymon. Another major problem for me was there is no gate on the Iridium. I use single coils mainly and sitting on the couch with a gained out tone listening to the hum is annoying to say the least...so I started watching HX Stomp demo's and decided that this "all in one" box was a better solution. Flipped the Strymon enter HX Stomp. I was nervous about the switch as I felt the Strymon tones were really dialed in and Im not that great with editing. Plug and play. I don't mind fine tailoring or dialing in effects but the core amp tones not so much. Well my fears were warranted. As I scrolled through the stock "direct" patches I didn't hear anything even close to the Iridium in the stock presets. Lots of way out oddball tones but no stellar "holy 3" amps I loved about the Iridium. ( Fender/Vox/ Marshall) The Iridium tones had a lifelike 3D feel to them and the HX sound flat in comparison.

    So here I am with the slightly underwhelming stock HX Stomp wondering......

    A. Why didn't HX sound as good as the Iridium out of the box? stock IR's?
    B. Should I just buy some presets from someone who has dialed in the tones and save myself the learning curve and if so WHO do I get them from?
    C. Go back to Iridium's stellar tone and live with its shortcomings
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  2. rockapede

    rockapede Member

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    I think the Stomp is a better fit for all the other reasons you mentioned. I also thought most of the stock presets blew, even the artist ones. Before you give up, spend a few bucks and get a couple of -Empire’s presets (http://alex.guitars/). They’re excellent and will significantly shorten your learning curve on getting great sounds out of the Stomp.
     
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  3. Lele

    Lele Supporting Member

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    Helix, too, has excellent tones.
    How do you use to it? Just with headphones?
     
    ford likes this.
  4. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    Yes headphones only.
     
  5. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    This sounds like the route for me. With Iridium it seemed like all that "legwork" was done for me and I could instantly get to creating / playing music.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  6. TonePilot

    TonePilot Supporting Member

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    Enjoyed your journey ‘cause it wasn’t me lol. My go-to source for setup advice is Glenn Delaune. Seek him out on YouTube. He sells patches too but in my experience, the Helix community can be just as good.
     
  7. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Member

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    Because presets rarely work.
    Stomp is capable of making a far wider variety of sounds.
    Those options will include sounds that are terrible or that you think are terrible for you.
    There is brainstorming going on trying to make it easier to get rolling.

    BEFORE YOU START ASKING ABOUT BUYING PRESETS....
    You need to be really specific about what tones you are going for.
    And I don't think you need to buy presets.

    I HIGHLY recommend as a 'shortcut' to get a couple of York Audio IR Packs.
    https://www.yorkaudio.co/product-page/mrsh-412-blackjack

    They are more tonally neutral than the other big options.
    You mentioned Plexi so you might start with his Marshall Blackjack.
    His Deluxe is exceptional if that is something you need.
    Just load up a mix IR and find the amps you like.

    The Brit, JTM, Plexi 2204 Mod HX models are VERY VERY different and some of their defaults are really weird.
    THat's why you win by loading up "Mix 01" or "Mix 04" of the Blackjack and leave the IR choice alone for a while.

    Don't add EQ Blocks, Split Crossovers....just Amp/IR maybe a Verb.
    I find the "Tile Room" very nice for headphone playing.
     
  8. Phosphenetre

    Phosphenetre Member

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    The stock Helix cabs are probably the culprit, the Iridium in comparison comes with some excellent third party IRs loaded from some of the best IR producers like Ownhammer.

    I'd suggest a couple of relevant cab packs from ML Sound Lab and York Audio, who I think make some of the best, most realistic and honest IRs currently, and don't rely on the default amp settings, because those tend to not sound great the way the defaults are on the Helix.
     
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  9. Frank Ritchotte

    Frank Ritchotte Member

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    Have a look at Jason Sadites channel for Stomp. He is a great player and really cool to watch. His stuff is so good several of the artists he reproduces on Helix/Stomp actually follow him. Thank you for giving HX Stomp a try. Once you get the tricks I think you will be very happy:
     
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  10. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    I was happy with the Iridiums "Holy 3" Fender Vox Marshall. The only thing it lacked that I personally would use was a high gain searing Gary Moore type lead tone.
     
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  11. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Member

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    For the AC30, try a stock Blue Bell or Silver Bell Cab with 160 or 121 and set it's mic distance to 4"-6"
    Stock High and low cuts on the cab
    It will depending on what guitar you are playing.
    The Fawn model is pretty easy to tame
     
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  12. Lele

    Lele Supporting Member

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    Headphones are a different beast... Any preset by a user could be much less than nice for another user. I'd really suggest to make your own patch, before spending money on any ir or preset.

    If you like, download my own ir (it's free and it's in my tgp profile) then use any of the great Marshall type amp sims (including Friedman, Archon Lead, German Mahadeva, Cartographer, too: they are all great). Add a some reverb that can help a lot with headphones (Plate, Room or Glitz for example) to create the feeling of the place where you play. And then, enjoy
     
  13. kdm1218

    kdm1218 Supporting Member

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    @sugarlou +1 on the recommendation above to check out what @-Empire has. His website is alex.guitars

    Also if you’d like a wider variety that will also come with IRs, Michael Britt (MBritt) of the country band Lonestar has a preset pack that also includes custom IRs with several presets.

    As others have mentioned, there are not stock IRs on the Stomp versus what’s in the Iridium. Most people also don’t tend to care for the DIR: preset options.

    I personally am a proponent of purchasing something quality like one of the above guys’ stuff if you don’t want to have to learn and dig into tweaking the sound. Both of those options are from people who tour professionally with legit acts, not just your local cover band kinda players. So their stuff is stage ready. Then you can learn, swap effects in/out, etc.
     
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  14. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    What I don't really understand is why isn't the IR the first thing they upgrade with a new update? I mean wouldn't getting great amp tones be more important than a new effect?
     
  15. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Member

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    This is what helps me achieve a good balanced tone and allows me to use the Amp block's tonestack knobs (Bass, Mid, Treble, etc.) in a more useful manner:

    Start with just an amp and cab block that you like (seperate or together, your choice).

    In the cab block, select the 160 Ribbon mic(a pretty neutral mic, with a hump in the low end that gets bigger when placed closer to a sound source) and bring it back at least 5 inches. 0 Early Reflections.

    In the amp block, crank up the Bass knob to 7 or 8 or so, so that it gets pretty boomy. In the cab block, raise the the low cut until the boom starts to go away. DONT WORRY ABOUT THE NUMBERS. In the Amp block, back the Bass knob down to 0. Are you severely lacking bass? Good! Bring it up to 5 -- we should hopefully have a balanced bass response.

    Repeat for the treble knob and high cut. DONT WORRY ABOUT THE NUMBERS.

    What we're doing is finding the right ratio between an Amp block's tone stack knobs, the appropriate low/high cuts, and your playing volume. If your volume changes, your tonestack/cab cut ratio will likely change.

    Dont fret if your low cut is up to 250hz or if your high cut is down to 2.5k. If you're playing at 90db through a good live sound reinforcement monitor, this might sound and feel great in the room -- while at 70db on a set of studio monitors, you'd might want to make some changes ..or a whole different preset -- I keep banks for different output methods -- but most of the time my gig level presets are useable at any volume, even through IEMs.
     
  16. Gearzilla

    Gearzilla Member

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    If you want a good ac tone go with the Matchless.

    One man’s perfect IR is someone else’s dud.

    There’s no way around the learning curve when something has as many options for shaping tones as the Helix platform.

    Rarely does some else’s presets sound good. Designed with different guitar, pickups, etc.... The person likes a different tone.

    What Frank says in his post.

    Sometimes less is more, however you can get a lot out of the HX if you’re willing to invest some time and energy with trial and error.
     
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  17. Growlycake

    Growlycake Member

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    I'm literally sat here now plugged into the Stomp though some cheap headphones (literally worth about £30, they came with a keyboard someone gave me), stock cabs and I adore this thing. Hooked up to Mac via USB with all backing tracks and guitar monitored using headphone jack. As stated using the presets of others is not a great idea at all - I've tried some from established players/Line 6 experts and they sounded pretty underwhelming with my set up so definitely create your own. Using HX Edit obviously the way to go, definitely worth spending the mere minutes it should take to learn your way around the basics. In terms of the 3D sound you referred to have a play around using dual cabs if possible, could be what you're looking for.
     
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  18. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    Have you tried the Strymon?
     
  19. Growlycake

    Growlycake Member

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    I admittedly haven't, it's just that's what I thought the dual cabs gave my existing presets when I first tried them. As I say it could be the answer but obviously may not be. I do like the idea of the Strymon simplicity (I gig with amps and pedals usually for one thing) but I guess I can't imagine the Stomp not being able to match pretty much any sound given the amount of editing you can (but don't necessarily need to) do
     
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  20. Saxon68

    Saxon68 Member

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    If you’re not happy with the tones then nothing else matters. Return it.
     

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