Help needed for the less technically inclined!

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by HughesP, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. HughesP

    HughesP Member

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    So I play with an artist who recently signed with a really important booking agent. We've got a bunch of opening gigs this summer for major artists - I'll be playing a few stadium shows, etc.

    We've got a stretch of 7 shows in 7 days - often with a 6-8 hour drive between each city. We fly out to the first, where we also grab a rental van, and go from there. 6 out of 7 shows are supplying backline, but we've got one show in the middle that won't supply a backline amp for me. We don't really have room in the van, so to play this show - which is already sold out in front of over 10,000 people, I need a direct setup.

    Now here's the rub - I don't typically like digital modelling. I'm generally a tube amp purist (I even build/modify/repair amps as side income), and the whole workflow of programming generally isn't my style. But I'm going to have to suck that up for this gig.

    I don't really feel like investing in a unit yet, but I can easily rent either a boss GT-1000, GT-1, or Helix, Helix LT, or HX Stomp. That said, I went to a shop a tried out a Helix LT through a power cab, and while it might have been user error, but I couldn't get a sound that sounded anywhere near as good as a basic tube amp.

    The sounds I need are pretty simple - a lot of old school soul, james bond-ish guitar sounds. A clean-ish fender sound is typically home for me.

    Any advice on getting setup quickly with one of these units, and getting a good sound? I've got about 2 weeks to get ready, but can't spend a crazy amount of time on this, as I will be spending a lot of time in rehearsal already as it is.
     
  2. Maltese Fan

    Maltese Fan Member

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    Maybe a Tech 21 Flyrig would work for you.
     
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  3. KenG

    KenG Member

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    Oh well. Adapt or........
     
  4. HughesP

    HughesP Member

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    That was my point - as I said I need to suck it up. BUT I don't have a lot of time - I'm asking for advice for getting up and running quickly/simply. I don't have time to learn the ins and outs of all of the different gear pieces I listed - I just need advice on what might be the simplest/fastest way to get a good sound. I don't want to grab something that will sound "good" if I spend a couple of weeks tweaking - I don't really have that time.

    For out of the box settings, what's the way to go here? Which piece of gear would you rent?

    I really just need to simulate one good clean-ish, warm tube amp (ideally a fender-y amp).
     
  5. HughesP

    HughesP Member

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    Maybe. I've never played any of those... I don't necessarily need it to be the fly rig, I suppose, since I already have all of my other pedal with me for these dates (when using backline amps), and have I some pretty specific sounds I need to get from my pedals...

    I can rent a Sans Amp GT2 though... so I will add that to my possible rental options:

    So now my list of options are:

    Sans Amp GT2
    Line 6 Helix, Helix LT or HX Stomp
    Boss GT-1000, or GT-1
     
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  6. Flamencowboy

    Flamencowboy Member

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  7. stevenymets

    stevenymets Member

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    First, I am not you, I play in a weekend warrior band and you know more in your little pinky than I will ever know about guitar. But that being said, considering your dilemma and the options you stated, I would rent a Helix, spend 28 minutes watching Jason Sadites’ first tone video here - , and substitute in the chain the fender amp of your choice instead of the amp he uses. Plus he is a fellow Canadian and he makes an occasional appearance here - @jsad .

    I have a tech 21 fly rig as well, and personally I don’t like the way it sounds, but that is just my taste, and possibly me as a player. The minute I plug it into a board it just becomes lifeless, but many others get far better sounds out of it than I, one YouTube search on it will tell you that. The advantage of the tech 21 flyrig is that there is far less tweaking possibilities and theoretically a much shorter journey to getting useable sounds. Love the concept but as I said, it doesn’t really work for me through a board.

    One thing, if you rent any of these digital devices, get the desktop software so you can configure on your computer initially. The Helix is great for configuring on the device itself, but based on what you have said it sounds like you want to invest as little time as possible, and that to me means, at least initially, using a computer.
     
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  8. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    Ethos or one of the Tech 21 character pedals at the end of your pedal board.

    Simple and no learning curve.
     
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  9. FracStrat

    FracStrat Supporting Member

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    For what you described …… Especially since you are inclined to lean towards Tube Amp Clean ……
    If I was in your situation , this is what I would truly try first …… An MXR 10 Band EQ into a NU>X Solid Studio Pedal ……
    That’s it
    Inexpensive and Versatile as far as Clean Tube Amp Tone ……
    To my ears completely convincing ……
    No LCD Screen to break , No scrolling through menu pages, No programming, Every Setting with an actual knob or switch you can touch , Balanced XLR or 1/4” Out …
    As far from what 95% of the Floor EFX / Flyrig crowd as you can get
    2 Pedals that will deliver Pure Magic instantly
     
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  10. RiF

    RiF Member

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    If you're into Fender'ish sounds in a direct box, the Joyo American (which is a clone of a SansAmp Blonde) comes to my mind immediately. This pedal is all-in-one, no cab sim needed. $30...

    Check this video out to get an impression (ff to about 1:00 for the comparison):


    I have the pedal and I am really impressed by the tone and feel of this cheap little box.
     
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  11. voi666

    voi666 Member

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    do you have some kind of preamp pedal?
    if so, just get a mooer radar.
     
  12. Tootone

    Tootone Member

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  13. sliberty

    sliberty Member

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    You can buy presets for the Helix family of processors. Maybe do a little research In that direction.
     
  14. Guitarwiz007

    Guitarwiz007 Silver Supporting Member

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    Tech 21 FTW. I have a Flyrig for this purpose but the regular Sansamp would work. I'm a recent Headrush Pedalboard convert. My Helix went back. To me, the effects sounded really good but I couldn't deal with their amp sims at all. The HR is heads above in that dept. On par with Fractal and Kemper in my experience. Good luck in your venture.
     
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  15. Lele

    Lele Member

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    Would you use anyway a pedalboard? Or do you need to change presets or turn on/off effects from the multi-fx unit?

    I use the Helix live, too, and imho it's perfectly suitable to get excellent tones, as well as any other moderm (and not inexpensive) modeler. Since I know it I'm going to suggest it with some other tips.
    In case you use separate pedalboard the Helix Stomp could be perfect.
    In case you need to use and turn on/off effects (or switch presets) Helix LT or Helix Floor are much more practical.

    Any modeler will require some time to know it properly and tweak it to get good tones, and testing it in a real environment (high volume, with a band or at least loud backing tracks).
    But in the case of Helix there is a great helper: Mr MBritt...
    Michael Britt sells presets and impulse responses (very important!) that are live-ready and tested by his (excellent, imho) ears.
    In your situation I wouldn't think twice. It's the most simple solution to get tested live presets and sounds that fit typical Fender/Marshall/Vox situations very well.
    I see that now Mbritt website doesn't work now! :eek: I hope it will be active soon again.

    Or you can use my own Impulse Response and with any Fender style amp sim of Helix.
    I (and some friends of mine) use it and it works well in a live context.
    The Impulse Response is the most important brick (together with your guitar and even a little more than the amp sim) to build your tone for direct setup.

    Even better you could email Jay Mitchell asking for his (free) 1x12 far field impulse response.
    It's really exceptional for live use, much better than mine or any other commercial IR you'll find on the market today. IMHO and YMMV, but please believe me ;)
    I mean the IR discussed in an excellent (and technical) long post here
    Mr Mitchell is giving some IRs to test to the interested users (at the only condition not to share them with others and giving a feedback sooner or later). His "C" far field IR is as good as it gets for any IR.

    The other direct solution suggested like the Tech21 pedals are rather good, but imho a little far from the quality you can get from the above suggested solutions or anyway from any modern hi-end modeler, specially thanks to a proper and excellent dynamic response.

    Maybe it's already clear and solved but anyway better safe than sorry.
    Any direct setup will require that you have a monitor to hear your guitar.
    It could be IEM or a wedge monitor or anything else, but please make sure that you always have your OWN monitor.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  16. Pat6969

    Pat6969 Supporting Member

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    Get a Kemper as almost every other touring pro seems to have done. King of the castle if you want a good amp tone.
     
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  17. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    It'll be ok :console
    Yes.
    Yes to the character series...
    or one of the Joyo copies added to your existing board. Super cheap and will get the job done on that single gig.
     
  18. Dan Desy

    Dan Desy Member

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    Any amp modeler can do exactly what you need. The thing is though, they all require commitment and time to understand, master and tweak to your preference. Essentially, a modeler doesn’t usually just blow your mind instantly; you need to work at and with it.
    Probably not a great choice in your current situation.

    The other suggestions here are pretty good. Tech 21 or Joyo would probably cover you for that show.
     
  19. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    So you only need the amp part?
    Those sounds aren’t a problem on HX.

    Don’t rent.
    Buy a Stomp, set up a few Snapshots. You can use stock cabs and don’t need IR.

    Post on here and we’ll talk you through it

    As mentioned above, the monitoring will still be wierd for you.
    Remember that modeling is the sound of the amp with a mic on it...not the amp in front of you.
     
  20. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    PS

    I have had the Joyo stuff. Good through an amp but not on their own
     

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