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Helix FW 3.10 ..... Biggest Single Change To My Ears

benifin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,136
Hi all !

Just put 3.10 on - reset all my globals to as they were under 3.01 .... pulled up a recorded track of 4 parts done in 3.01 then recorded the same parts with 3.10 ...... very noticeable improvement in tone and sound - from the update notes:-

" ..... Increased Oversampling Throughout

Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT, Helix Native, HX Effects, HX Stomp, HX Stomp XL. Oversampling has been increased across the board, resulting in higher fidelity, fewer aliasing artifacts, and smoother decay trails, especially when running multiple distortion stages or with higher gain tones. Many people might not notice a difference, but those highly sensitive to aliasing will appreciate 3.0's smoother response. Amp and effects models have been optimized to accommodate these improvements without increasing DSP usage ..... "


I have no actual idea / knowledge about what / how important things like "oversampling" and "aliasing artifacts" actually are and do ..... so I was very skeptical thinking it was some sort of pointless in-audible "technical gobbledygook" ... but let me assure you that all the frequencies - especially- the high mids and high end is now buttery smooth - in a fantastic way ....... any previously existing harshness / crackling / fizziness is all gone.

I would encourage all of you before you put 3.10 on .... make a reference recording of your main sounds .... do the update ..... and then re-record your main sounds and listen / hear / compare the difference for yourselves ... it will put a smile on your face :)

The remaining people who always / constantly criticized the Helix for " that Line 6 tone and sound " when comparing to other modelers - one in particular - will need to find "another angle" for their "criticisms".

Ben
 
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SwirlyMaple

Member
Messages
520
It's pretty noticeable to me, but I play through headphones (Senn HD600) 90% of the time, where small details stand out more. There's an improvement in clarity, and less high-freq harshness which makes headphone use more comfortable for the same volume levels I used to use. In short, it just feels better on the ears than it did before.

I fully realize these kinds of statements are often placebo nonsense, but I went into this very skeptical and not expecting to hear any difference at all. Instead, every one of my presets that I tried sounded noticeably better.
 

benifin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,136
It's pretty noticeable to me, but I play through headphones (Senn HD600) 90% of the time, where small details stand out more. There's an improvement in clarity, and less high-freq harshness which makes headphone use more comfortable for the same volume levels I used to use. In short, it just feels better on the ears than it did before.

I fully realize these kinds of statements are often placebo nonsense, but I went into this very skeptical and not expecting to hear any difference at all. Instead, every one of my presets that I tried sounded noticeably better.
Its definitely noticeably real .... no placebo going on here.

Ben
 

the swede

Member
Messages
3,009
Hi all !

Just put 3.10 on - reset all my globals to as they were under 3.01 .... pulled up a recorded track of 4 parts done in 3.01 then recorded the same parts with 3.10 ...... very noticeable improvement in tone and sound - from the update notes:-

" ..... Increased Oversampling Throughout

Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT, Helix Native, HX Effects, HX Stomp, HX Stomp XL. Oversampling has been increased across the board, resulting in higher fidelity, fewer aliasing artifacts, and smoother decay trails, especially when running multiple distortion stages or with higher gain tones. Many people might not notice a difference, but those highly sensitive to aliasing will appreciate 3.0's smoother response. Amp and effects models have been optimized to accommodate these improvements without increasing DSP usage ..... "


I have no actual idea / knowledge about what / how important things like "oversampling" and "aliasing artifacts" actually are and do ..... so I was very skeptical thinking it was some sort of pointless in-audible "technical gobbledygook" ... but let me assure you that all the frequencies - especially- the high mids and high end is now buttery smooth - in a fantastic way ....... any previously existing harshness / crackling / fizziness is all gone.

I would encourage all of you before you put 3.10 on .... make a reference recording of your main sounds .... do the update ..... and then re-record your main sounds and listen / hear / compare the difference for yourselves ... it will put a smile on your face :)

The remaining people who always / constantly criticized the Helix for " that Line 6 tone and sound " when comparing to other modelers - one in particular - will need to find "another angle" for their "criticisms".

Ben
100% agree, to me it was very noticable at ”edge of breakup” areas across many different amps. In some very noticeable and in some not so much.
I especially very much like how the matchless amp is sounding even better.

An “effect” or result of this (at least to my ears) is that at certain drive/gain level, it sound almost as clipping/level of distortion is a very little amount less than before. But it’s more refined in the clipping, not like lowering input gain or using Pad/Line.

another benefit that I clearly hear is that stock cabs sound better, the cab emphasize what is happening.

so this is clearly a win for stock cabs (and IRs to of course)

I leave the high gain chugga to others to decide if they can perceive any difference as i suck at high gain stuff...
 

Rewolf

Member
Messages
936
Oversampling is a method to reduce a digital effect when new harmonics are generated ie distortion. These harmonics will go all the way up the frequency range well beyond bat hearing. The unfortunate effect is to bounce ones higher than the max frequency to lower frequencies, so a 30k harmonic bounced off a 20k maximum actually appears as extra 10k, which you can hear.

This is low level, but if that signal is then amplified again then the level gets higher and it’s more noticeable.

Oversampling increases that maximum, so 4x oversampling changes 20k to 80k and the 30k isn’t bounced.
Well that’s my attempt to explain it in simple language. Helix always had oversampling, this change moved it higher.
 

Lele

Member
Messages
1,636
Just put 3.10 on - reset all my globals to as they were under 3.01 .... pulled up a recorded track of 4 parts done in 3.01 then recorded the same parts with 3.10 ...... very noticeable improvement in tone and sound
As soon as I installed the update and without making a real test comparison I also noted immediately that the sound was "cleaner" and that I needed more highs and even a little more gain!
I have always cut a lot the highs, because maybe I perceived some bad behaviour that I thought was normal, but now I understand that maybe I was only compensating some harsh non-amp ordinary highs.
 
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SwirlyMaple

Member
Messages
520
it was very noticable at ”edge of breakup” areas
An “effect” or result of this (at least to my ears) is that at certain drive/gain level, it sound almost as clipping/level of distortion is a very little amount less than before. But it’s more refined in the clipping,
I also noted immediately that the sound was "cleaner" and that I needed more highs and even a little more gain!
These are all things I noticed too. The newfound clarity, especially at that edge-of-breakup region, makes my tones sound cleaner than they used to, but adding a little more drive still sounds better and more refined than it used to. I hate to use this overplayed cliche, but it really does come across like the difference between "HD" and "SD."
 

SwirlyMaple

Member
Messages
520
The trouble with "squirrels" is different people used that word to mean different things, but it was often discussed together without universal agreement. In some cases, they were referring to the crackly sound of crossover distortion, which definitely exists in real amps just like @the swede said. However, many were using the term to describe subtle aliasing artifacts, which are pretty hard to explain exactly what they sound like, but with the right combination of settings and frequencies being played, you could hear their subtle weirdness sometimes. To make things more confusing, sometimes it was hearing a combo of crossover distortion *and* aliasing artifacts, which I think is why some people called it "disembodied distortion," where it was expected to be there but seemed too pronounced or too detached from what the amp was doing.

Anyway, the aliasing artifacts are now at such a low level as to be essentially imperceptible. The crossover distortion is still there, but it's supposed to be, and it sounds more realistic and natural to my ear now and decays when you'd expect.

TL;DR: It sounds great now. No acorns.
 

the swede

Member
Messages
3,009
The trouble with "squirrels" is different people used that word to mean different things, but it was often discussed together without universal agreement. In some cases, they were referring to the crackly sound of crossover distortion, which definitely exists in real amps just like @the swede said. However, many were using the term to describe subtle aliasing artifacts, which are pretty hard to explain exactly what they sound like, but with the right combination of settings and frequencies being played, you could hear their subtle weirdness sometimes. To make things more confusing, sometimes it was hearing a combo of crossover distortion *and* aliasing artifacts, which I think is why some people called it "disembodied distortion," where it was expected to be there but seemed too pronounced or too detached from what the amp was doing.

Anyway, the aliasing artifacts are now at such a low level as to be essentially imperceptible. The crossover distortion is still there, but it's supposed to be, and it sounds more realistic and natural to my ear now and decays when you'd expect.

TL;DR: It sounds great now. No acorns.
Awesome explanation!
 

James Freeman

Member
Messages
1,992
I never thought of 'squirrels' as the crossover distortion, always as aliasing.
Crossover distortion is an essential part of a cranked tube amp, it produces only odd buzzy harmonics caused by a kink in the center of a waveform.
Happen when the output of the PI exceeds the negative bias voltage and the grids of the Power Tubes start to conduct current which charges/discharges the RC network between the PI and Power Tubes.
We have full control of it with the Bias and Bias-X control in the Helix.

By the time Crossover distortion happens in real amps you have your ears bleeding.
It is easier to hear that with modelers like the Helix at 60db when you crank the Master volume control.
 




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