I Was Wrong About Helix Stock Cabs

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by JoeB63, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. ivanh3

    ivanh3 Member

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    Glad you found some good tones with stock cabs. For me, the IRs just plain rule. I treat them like a real cabinet in the sense that I can only afford so many. I use the same two OH IRs on almost every patch, and they just work. I felt the same about my AX8 and Atomic Amplifire.
     
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  2. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    I felt the built-in cabs were good, but not up to the OH IRs I bought. But, I had not even tried the dual cab blocks until I read this thread. So, did some experimenting today. I think there are some great tones to be had from the stock cabs, but you really need to know what you are shooting for to dial them in. I think the IRs are easier in that I only adjust high and low cut on those, but I also cycle through a lot to find the right one for the sound I have in mind for the patch. (disclaimer: I have only had the Helix since 6/15/17, but not new to modeling, used 11R then AA3, and had the FX8).

    I had set up a patch with the dual cab 2x12 blue and 4x12 with 20watts, but I see the patch I just recorded was just the 2x12 vox blue, I am even more impressed with the Helix cabs now.

    I recorded this with my EJ strat into Helix into Garageband, nothing added in post. Both are the same Mathcless patch and all blocks and settings are the same except for cab/IR. First is the cab block with 2x12 blue and a 121 1.5" away, low 104Hz, high 5.3khz. second part is the Ownhammer Marshall 4x12 w greenbacks and the vox 2x12 with blues and a 121.


     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  3. Dave Merrill

    Dave Merrill Supporting Member

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    Soundcloud link's no good.
     
  4. Matticus

    Matticus Member

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    Sometimes I like using the dual cabs using the same cabinet but two different mics: the 57 (0 dB) with the 121 (-9 dB) at one inch each. It seems to approximate, OH, I don't know, an IR mic combination that I like a lot. It might not be exactly right, but it seems pretty close to me. I should figure out the 57-421 combo too, as I quite like that one.

    The one thing I do have to start getting into third-party IRs for is other mic positions besides distance. The Helix cabs don't offer on/off-axis choices or any real description of where the "mic" is for each cab (I'm assuming they used a mic or have modeled the mics as well). For example, I was working on a Van Halen thing today and it seems like there's one cab on axis and one that's off, creating this very slight phase thing that's really cool. (Maybe y'all already knew that but learning that today was a light bulb moment for me.) I mean, it's also just beating the living snot out of a Super Lead too that could do that with the sag, I guess. In the end, I just combined the G12M25 and G12M20 cabinets.

    Anyways, I can't really do that with the Helix cabs. But more of the "Unchained" thing, which sounds to me like a G12H30, I found the stock Helix cab worked great (with a little EQ massaging).

    People think the cabs in the Helix are bright. That's simply untrue. It's the amps. Well, not all of them. But a good majority of the amps themselves are just brighter than other modelers. Yes, they're dialing down the high end in the cab blocks, but they're not "at fault."
     
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  5. Karl Houseknecht

    Karl Houseknecht Supporting Member

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    I'm still not to a point where I can get results I like with the stock cabs. Probably just me. I have a couple offerings from Ownhammer that deliver the goods without tweaking.
     
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  6. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

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    I can't get it to work. Copy and pasted the share link like I have done before, but not working.

    Here's the link to my page, https://soundcloud.com/ducmike , it's the blue vs oh clip at the top.
     
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  7. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    I haven't need to buy any IRs for my Helix. I've just played with the mic settings a bit and pulled a lot of the high end down and bass down. They sound great!
     
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  8. PJH

    PJH Member

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    I've never found the need for third party IRs. The stock cabs sound fine to me.
     
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  9. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Member

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    I've had a bunch of free IRs for a few years now (before Helix was announced and even before I bought a Pod HD). I used VSTs primarily so I knew what I liked as far as IRs go by the time I got my Helix (November) so I never really gave the stock cabs a chance until a couple weeks ago when summer break started ( I'm a teacher who married a teacher so now I've got plenty of free time).

    If you twiddle the knobs right for the right amount of time you can can get any sound you want out of the stock cabs. My biggest trouble was High Gain Rhythm tones. Using dual cabs really helped but mixing two or more IRs down into a single IR file and using that saves me more DSP so for now I'll stick to IRs
     
  10. Dave Merrill

    Dave Merrill Supporting Member

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    I just like options, choices, more space to wander around in.

    I don't go into the stock cabs thinking, hmmm, need a little more nads, that'd be the Bogner, I just try them. For mics I have a better idea of which ones to try if I want more fullness, or brightness, etc, but even there, each one has its own character, which interacts with the amp, cab, and pedals, in its own way. It's not a simple linear scale you can walk in order.

    Having a variety of IRs on board just adds to the set of sonic spaces you have available. They're not so expensive that investigating those possibilities, at least to some degree, is seriously problematic.

    That said, I do dig the stock cabs too, many of my patches use them. It's all good.
     
  11. Imerkat

    Imerkat Supporting Member

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    I've been trying to recreate my presets from Atomic Amplifire after two weeks it's been basically a fool's errand. Trying to keep DSP real-estate down and use the stock cabs, it seems AA cab block filter has much broader range than mic/distance/ and high/low cut. I hope that we may get an update to stereo IR for each path at 2048-point sometime down the line.
     
  12. Dave Merrill

    Dave Merrill Supporting Member

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    I'm sure you're hearing some things that are frustrating you, but I really doubt it's the difference between 2048 and 1024 point IRs. That's subtle at best.

    If you need stronger filtering, put a parametric after the cab, it has steeper low and high cut filters, plus the sweepable bells. Or if you'd rather a less technical approach, I really like the Mesa EQ, usually between the amp and cab, sometimes post cab,
     
  13. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    If you've got IRs that work -- go with those. If you're using the Friedman amps on Amplifire, I agree those tones will require a bit of work to find a 1:1 correspondence for in Helix. The simple high/low cut eq block in Helix is steeper roll-off than the cab block, so you can put one of those directly after the cab and experiment. Aside from that -- the AA just has the air/bottom bass/treble EQ bit
     
  14. Karl Houseknecht

    Karl Houseknecht Supporting Member

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    I prefer the second part, if I had to choose. Clearer, less compressed sounding.
     
  15. Alchemist XP

    Alchemist XP Silver Supporting Member

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    I think the craze for 3rd party IR's is often (but certainly not always) driven by a popular demo/reviewer, that says something with a ton of conviction (XYZ IR's make all the difference in the world!!!) and then people stop listening with their ears and start focusing on their tribal instinct to associate with a tribe that "can hear the difference" and be part of that group. It's not that some 3rd party IR's don't sound great, because they do ... it's more that it is very possible to get sounds out of the Helix existing and constantly updated cabs that are as good, if not better.
     
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  16. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    Thanks to some nice TGP folks pointing me to available IR's, I was available to demo them some over the weekend. Some of the Allure Pack, Celestions, OwnHammers and I didn't hear anything that sounded better to me than the stock cab offerings personally.

    I did figure out that I could set up an amp, then an IR, then a cab and assign the IR and cab to the same footswitch and set one to off and one to on. Then step on the switch to A/B. That came in handy.

    How are people running dual cabs in Helix? Actually using the dual cab blocks or running two cabs in parallel? I've only used the dual cab blocks thus far. Any reason to do it the other way if only running mono?
     
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  17. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    I find it easier to dial in using the parallel routing -- the dual cab block is somewhat annoying because if you change your selection for the first cab it also changes the second cab and you can quickly lose something you'd taken a fair amount of time dialing in by accident. So I dial in parallel and once I know how I want it set, replace that with a dual cab block.
     
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  18. toasterdude

    toasterdude Member

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    Dual cabs also help. Think about how many commercial IRs are a mix of two or more mics. Most engineers in a studio will not just use a 57 on axis. They may add a royer further back. We can get that using two cabs. Even the same cab with different mic settings.
     
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  19. VCuomo

    VCuomo Member

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    :agree Yep, as I mentioned in another thread my main patch uses two different cabs.
     
  20. uglybassplayer

    uglybassplayer Member

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    When my main rig was a GSP1101 (MustBeBeta firmware), I found a few Ownhammer IRs that made a HUGE difference.
    When I replaced it with my Helix, I immediately loaded those same IRs. I setup some patches where I would use a footswitch to go between an IR and stock cabinet (Dual cab). While they sounded different, I couldn't say the IRs sounded better than the stock cabs once I started dialed them in with different mics, distances, roll off, etc. With the Helix, it all become different flavors of vanilla for me.

    Most of my patches today are based solely on the stock cabs.
     
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