Sorry Helix I tried....

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Judge Smails, Dec 29, 2017.


  1. Judge Smails

    Judge Smails Member

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    So after many more hours of dicking around the Helix was returned to GC. I loved the sounds I was getting but the navigation, saving snapshots, and frustration of twiddling knobs and making patches instead of actually PLAYING GUITAR got to me. I consider myself fairly competent with electronics but couldn’t wrap my head around some of the features. I just need 4 or 5 patches with clean dirt crunch delay and lead on each one for our setlist. I’m going direct into FRFR
    So with the Headrush I was able to get up and running an an hour and it sounds just as good so far.Ill see how it goes at practice tonight after setting up some patches today.Maybe I’m just a simpleton but I just want no fuss and to just play my guitar , The Headrush seems way easier but I’ll see for sure in the next few weeks.
     
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  2. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    That's why we have so many different options out there... some things work for some of us and other things work for others of us.

    Helix did take me a couple of months to find what I like about it and make it work for me. It's a steep learning curve for those of us who have never tried modeling stuff before.

    Glad you seem to have found what works for you... either way, you'll NOT have to lug a heavy amp and pedal board!! So congrats!
     
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  3. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

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    This will start the hate mail for sure.
    I have a huge history with effects, I used to work for Digitech, among others that won't be named.
    Owned and played a Helix, a Kemper, Line 6 POD HD of course Digitech.
    I recently acquired a Boss ME80. I use it with an Eventide H-9 and another drive pedal in front of it. Sometimes a Strymon Riverside, Sometimes a JHS double barrel among others but only one pedal in front. I could easily just use the ME80 and the H-9. Try one, the ME 80 is darn easy to program once you get the hang of it. Sounds great. No menus to speak of. The OD"s and amps while not sounding exactly identical on every little nuance, do sound very good. Try that.
     
  4. Brandon7s

    Brandon7s Member

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    Helix has one of the best interfaces of any device that I've ever used. That said, if you want to just plug in and play and not fiddle with much, I think there are better options. Particularly the Atomic Amplifirebox. No screen, just some switches to select different amp models and good 'ol school knobs. It's also dirt cheap and sounds at least as good. However, the effects are limited and I recommend using pedals for your effects on it.
     
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  5. Baba

    Baba Supporting Member

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    I'm with you OP, as far as the playing guitar thing. Even if you guaranteed me that I'd have the best tones ever, at the end of a couple/few months of learning a unit, I'd pass, and take a "lesser" or less complicated unit, and use that time for playing/practicing instead.
     
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  6. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    I completely disagree about ease of use... but... since everybody is different, I completely agree that you probably have the right tool for YOU now.
     
  7. JCW308

    JCW308 Supporting Member

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    For me, Celestion open-back IRs fixed my Helix "issues" - made all the difference in the world.
     
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  8. Judge Smails

    Judge Smails Member

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    Yeah and that’s the thing, the modeling these days is just incredible and I find Helix,Headrush sound very very similar.Being able to show up at a gig with a pedalboard like these and 2 guitars is awesome.
     
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  9. scott58

    scott58 Member

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    Pedals simplify my modeling patches a lot.
     
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  10. Blix

    Blix Member

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    You're not. Some of your Helix questions had me thinking "Dude, RTFM".....
    Personally I find it incredibly easy to use.
    Glad the Headrush is working for you! :aok
     
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  11. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I solved mine but stuck with the stock cabs but I now always do a Dual-Cab arrangement and mix my mics on each cab.

    Example: 2X12 "Interstate" (closed back ZBest) with a dynamic mic, like a 57 or a 421. Usually set about 8" back. Next cab would then be an open-back - I like the Matchless H30 2X12 - and use a warmer ribbon mic (the 160 is my favorite) and set that back a little further... 9-11". Then I mix the levels of the two cabs to adjust for openness, high-end / low-end content, etc... Sounds SOOOO Much better than just going with the cabs that are pre-assigned or any single cab. this works for me for any config (1X12, 2X12, 4X12, etc.. ) Just choose 'Dual' when selecting cabs and it gives a TON more flexibility than selecting an IR that you can't really adjust.

    I also usually use Snapshot mode, so I can adjust all the cab parameters between each snapshot... mic choice, mic distance, level, etc... so if a different cab/mic/distance/level etc sound better between clean and crunch, it's easy to assign all those parameters the snapshot footswitch. Instant changes.
     
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  12. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    The stock Helix cabs need some tweaking with the available parameters to fit my tastes at least. Then I ended up liking them as much as 3rd party IRs. I wish the same options were available for 3rd party IRs even if it results in a "mic on top of mic" type situation. At least on the Axe-Fx 2 that works just fine.

    But I can totally understand getting frustrated with the Helix. It does require you wrapping your head around how it operates more than the Axe-Fx does with its dual signal paths (aka CPUs) etc. Even then the interface is one of the best available on devices as complex as the Helix.
     
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  13. Judge Smails

    Judge Smails Member

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    Whatever... all I know is I had 2 great patches set up in an hour on the Headrush. It’s lightyears ahead of the Helix that department. At least it was for me an admitted a noob. I want to play not dick around , so far so good but I’ll test drive it on New Years Eve gig.
     
  14. tonyhay

    tonyhay Member

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    The Helix does take some time, in my experience. I have found all the effort to be enjoyable and well worth it, but it’s good you got something that works for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  15. Frank Ritchotte

    Frank Ritchotte Silver Supporting Member

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    Don’t be sorry. Somebody’s gonna get a great open box deal and you seem to have found your thing. I do not think Headrush is light years ahead of anything in this space and the same goes for Fractal, Atomic, Kemper and Helix. These devices are all too good to be “light years” ahead in any area.
     
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  16. Judge Smails

    Judge Smails Member

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    They are seriously great devices.
     
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  17. Trundler55

    Trundler55 Member

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    Try a Mooer GE200 - works for me!
     
  18. ldizzle

    ldizzle Supporting Member

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    Theyre great for some- and timewasters for others. I know me, personally - it's too much time away from playing though I want to get an fx8.
    I don't even care to program my strymon pedals =(
     
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  19. MatchFive

    MatchFive Silver Supporting Member

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    With me I was able to watch a lot of videos on YT and instruction videos before I even bought it in order to see if I really wanted to pull the trigger. I knew about the low cut high cut tricks before even getting the Helix. I also knew how to create snapshots (conceptually anyway) before getting the Helix. Not sure if Headrush has snapshots or something similar.

    The way I generally have my Helix set is to have 4 presets on the top row and 4 snapshots on the bottom row. I know there are 8 possible snapshots per preset, but I would rather use it where I have 4 presets on top and 4 snapshots per preset. 16 possible sounds without hitting the up and down arrows at all. To do this press the menu button and go to Global Settings by pressing the knob below "Global Settings", use the joystick to select foot switches, and then under "Preset Mode Switches" turn the corresponding knob to where it says "Preset/Snap" and then use the Home button to back out. Pick your preset on the top row and use the bottom row to switch between the snapshots of said preset. You go back and forth on the bottom row tweaking the snapshots and when your satisfied or feel you've made good progress press the Save button twice to save the preset.

    For example the first patch has 4 amps in it. Two on the top signal path and two on the bottom signal path. I generally use an Ownhammer IR with the Lowcut set to 100 Hz and the Highcut set to 5.0 kHz. From what I understand this cuts out the mud and the fizz. You can also set it that way for the internal cabs as well. The IR is on the second signal path just after the last of the 4 amps.

    Amp 1 on the top path is a Deluxe Reverb and it is enabled on the first snapshot for cleans, and the other three amps are disabled.
    Amp 2 on the top path is a Fawn AC-30 and it is enabled on the second snapshot for light crunch, and the other three amps are disabled.
    Amp 3 on the bottom path is a Matchless Channel 1 and it is enabled on the third snapshot for heavier crunch, and the other three amps are disabled.
    Amp 4 on the bottom path is a Bogner Uberschall and it is enabled on the fourth snapshot for the heavy stuff, and the other three amps are disabled.

    So I have clean, light crunch, heavy crunch, and plain heavy all on one preset. That leaves 3 other patches / 12 sounds available.

    You can add an EQ block, just before the IR is where I put it, and use the output parameter of the EQ to compensate between lower volume amps and higher volume ones. If you press in the output knob while turning it you can have a different output level for each snapshot using the same EQ block. You can use the master knob of the amp to compensate some, but I found I needed a clean boost for further adjustment.

    After the IR I put the delay and the reverb. I generally use the simple delay at about 15-20% mix and the Cave Reverb at about 15-20% mix. I want them to be there but not overpowering and washing everything out. I am hoping that Line 6 is coming with more reverbs soon..

    Obviously you can add a noise gate at the beginning of the chain if your heavy amp is noisy and only have it enabled on the heavy snapshot.

    It takes a bit of time to get it all going and get the hang of it, but it's worth it in the long run..

    ** I know this is too little too late for you, but maybe someone else will see it and it will help them...
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  20. Stev0Griffin

    Stev0Griffin Trendsetter Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey man! You gave it a shot, don’t be sorry about that!

    At least it wasn’t a Fractal product. Helix is simple as hell to program compared to the AX8, even with the editing software.
     
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