Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Guitargord, Jan 19, 2017.
the Helix cabs IMO, are the weak link. Using IRs improve the tone drastically for me.
I haven't been able to bond with S-Gear, either... To be honest, I haven't spend a lot of time with it, but to me it just feels to clean and polished a lot of the times. It's harder for me to wrap my head around the S-Gear interface, for whatever reason. I guess I've been so immersed in the Helix UI for over two years now, that it just seems natural to me.
I think we're just different. I started with S-gear before Line 6. It's a great product for sure, but the as for amp and effects integration in Helix fits me way better. That said, if Helix wasn't around I'd still use S-gear, and messing with it more, I'm sure I could get something on par with some of the sounds in Helix (maybe not the feel, but that's more of a computer sim vs hardware situation, I think).
The point is that some approaches night align better with someone than another products approach. It doesn't take away anything from the other products, necessarily.
If I ever get some extra time, I might mess more with S-gear, but Helix keeps me occupied well enough on it's own.
So i read alot about this or that plugin sounds and feel better than Helix Native in this thread
There is however a shootout of 8 different ampsim plugins on Sonic Drive Studios youtube channel..
It's the same song
But he didn't use the same amps or effects or even the same IR on those ampsims he used
So it isnt really a "fair comparison"
A fair comparison would mean same modeled amp with the exact same settings thrue the same IR
But then again no real world amp even if it is the same brand and model sounds exactly the same
So the only way to have a "fair comparison" against amp modeling developers would be to let the developer model the exact same amp.
The ampsim in his test are in alphabetic order
Since everyone can judge which one they like best by looking/listening to his videos and therefore also be a little biased
I have dl his videos and audio from his Youtube channel (hope it is ok John?) and simply renamed all m4a files to 1-8
And then i have uploud them to a filesharing host.
I can put a download link here if anyone is interrested to take the test and find out which of the included plugins you like best without knowing which brand it is..
I dont gonna give the answer anytime soon as i rather wanna see as many as possible answer this blindtest before i reveal the answer..
Is anyone interrested to take the test?
Not really. The thing with the soft sims is they all have demo versions so you can actually PLAY them with tones you personally have dialed and you can interact with the sims and interface and work flow directly. It is a million times more informative than some random’s vid. Heck, I own full versions of all but two of those and several more besides. Demo versions are an awesome thing.
I tend to look more for tutorials for the sims I have personally settled on to refine my skills with my chosen tools rather than to pick them.
For me, Helix Native took a bit more playing around with to get the sounds I wanted. But now that I'm through the learning curve, I'm really enjoying the plug-in. The layout is excellent and has a very nice workflow and the flexible routing makes for a lot of creativity. I don't have the hardware, but this makes me want to pick up a unit. Nice job L6.
Thanks for the steer. I spent some time with the plugin this weekend. Some of the amps sounded pretty good already, but others were really boxy. I replaced the stock cabs with ownhammer IRs and it made a huge huge difference. I am surprised I had not tried this before. I have a whole new appreciation for Helix now. But what is needed on Native is a much better IR management system. It is very slow to import and audition IRs.
ETA: As great as everything sounds now, I now have a dilemma. I bought a Headrush which has been really great to back up my Ax8. But now I'm thinking that maybe I should give the Helix floor another shot. The headrush has some pros over the Helix (the most important of which I thought was sound). But overall the helix seems to be the better more robust platform. I got a good price on the Headrush which would make the Helix almost double the price. Maybe if I search around a lot this month I can find a way to bring the Helix price down.
MF is running 17% off if that helps!
It looks like the 17% does not work on the Helix (or the Kemper).
Sorry! It was worth a shot...
Did you call? I've done that in the past with items that weren't covered by the deal. I didn't get the full discount amount (15% at the time) but they did cut me a significant deal.
I was initially ho-hum about Helix Native, particularly compared to S-gear. After playing around with the free trial for a bit, I've changed my mind. Here's what I did to get the most out of Helix Native:
1) Use an IR instead of a Helix cabinet (this is a rule of thumb, I haven't tested all of Helix's cabinets).
2) Use a low/high cut eq after the amp to roll off lows starting around 80hz.
3) Even after #2, turn the bass down on the amp model.
4) Make sure you set your inputs per the manual: input peaks should be around -12db. I was surprised at how sensitive Helix is to input gain. I get a noticeable amount about digital (bad) distortion if my peaks are higher than -12db. S-gear is much better about receiving a hotter signal (IMO), but Helix sounds much better (in the same league as S-gear) with a little tweaking.
5) The sweet spot for gain on some amps is between 0 and 1 (I'm looking at you, Derailed Ingrid). This isn't ideal with a real amp, so it feels a little counterintuitive with a virtual amp. But, I'm happy with results.
I haven't used the helix plugin yet but aim to dive into the demo soon,
these are some really good points (especially about Input Levels, just wanted to reiterate that) i have some other useful hints that pertain to computer ampsims in general;
Input impedance - not every daw interface is equal and some have high-z/di inputs, some have line-in etc. to get a general correctness when it comes to DI guitar impedance is put a 'buffered' (not true bp) pedal between the guitar and DI, even with it switched off.
Which also kinda brings me to my next point;
Use Real Pedals - for boosting specifically, i know they model a real tubescreamer but if you have one, use that instead. The sims are for the amp/cabs, not the pedals. Pedals you can afford, a fleet of amps notsomuch. Also to control the guitar input levels, you might want to consider something like the EHX Signal Pad (amp volume pots naturally rolling off a lot of top-end and altering tone when you turn them down).
Waves C4 - or any multiband plugin really, because helix native is vst only that means it'll always be in a daw, which means you'll always have other plugins to run it through. Running amp sims through a C4/multiband comp goes a long way to adding some dynamics to an otherwise static/sterile sound (especially in the top end) as well as a good overall eq. Very good for taming digital harshness which lives around those 3k or so frequencies, the more range you program to compress around that area, the harder those signals hit, the smoother they'll sound.
Monitoring - Is key!! It's not like using an amp into a 1x12 and that's your sound, ampsims are meant to simulate the entire recording chain; guitar -> amp -> cab -> mic -> recording interface -> monitors. Tweaking amp sims can be an endless tail-chasing exercise if you're not hearing what you're doing properly. I'd avoid using any headphones at all, get a decent digital-to-analog converter and flat-ish powered monitors to help you actually hear what you're doing (you've got to treat tweaking digital tones more like actual mixing). Tweaking for a PA might also be good, especially if that's what you're using to gig with, but it might not necessarily translate to recording.
Other people's presets - probably won't work for you, they were using different interfaces, different monitoring solutions, different guitar pickups, hell even different cables. Don't go downloading other people's patches expecting the same result they get, everything has to be tweaked to work for you (and hopefully it translates well to a recording). Which is another important point;
Playback on different audio devices!! See how your guitar tones translate to a hifi system or the car radio, convert it to an mp3 and play it on your phone, upload it onto youtube whatever. You need a general idea on how it sounds 'outside' your recording studio/tweaking bubble.
There's probably more but i can't think of anything else just now. Except for maybe turn up those mids!!
Please do this if at all possible. I have a patch with two instances of the pv panama amp/cab model (4x12 uber) and with just those two amps selected I can't choose valve driver as a distortion (it's dimmed). If I choose any distortion in front of one of those amps, then I can't add models of any sort.
I build my patches this way so I can run one instance of native in my daw, route multiple recorded tracks to that instance and then individually pan those tracks left and right (see page 25 in the helix manual about Discrete Stereo Processing with Amps). It's very limiting to run into this intentional "feature" when building patches.
If there's another way to pan multiple guitar tracks in helix that would allow me to build larger patches, please let me know.
You need to move that amp/cab block in path 1B down to path 2B. So copy and paste it into path 2, then drag it down to split Path 2 into two paths. You would also need select the merge block at the end of Path 1 and drag it down so Path 1 remains split into two paths, and those would feed Paths 2A and 2B. If I were in front of my recording computer, I'd create a screenshot for you, but I'm not. But, basically, yes, you can do what you want to do.
Yes, Path 1 uses one DSP, and Path 2 uses the second DSP. Place the 2nd amp/cab block on Path 2, and you will have enough DSP to do what you are trying to do.
Try setting your input to mono. I was also seeing too hot input gain on patches that are fine on the hardware. Once I set the input to mono, instead of stereo, the gain matched up almost exactly. It is almost like a stereo setting doubles the gain.
I'll try and figure out what your describing later tonight when I'm home
I must say that Line 6 support doesn't really know helix native all that well, in my opinion. I opened a ticket months back asking how to run multiple guitar tracks through native and pan them l/f and all they kept going back to was I wasn't running the proper vst for my daw. It was very frustrating since I did this easily with podfarm. Finally someone on the l6 forums showed me the right spot in the manual and I was able to figure it out.
If that's what you're trying to do here, you'd need to make that distortion block at the beginning of the chain stereo...
Native and POD Farm handle stereo tracks differently. In Native, an amp block (or any mono block, for that matter) will collapse the stereo signal to mono and give you a dual mono output. POD Farm would maintain stereo separation through a signal path.
I'm getting stuck on the bolded part below. Do you mean the merge block of 1a and 1b or the very end block of path 1? Seems like it should be the latter, but when I select that my only option is 2a. The option for 2a+2b is there, but grayed out.