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HX Effects: Helix LT, LT? :)

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by mkdaws32, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Our church now uses a Helix Floor as a "backline" for electric guitarists. Everything in box and direct out to the main board in stereo and IEMs for monitoring. I am responsible for programming the unit and, after spending some time with the unit, have come up with some excellent general-use patches based on a variety of amps and gain levels, for use depending on which guitarist is playing and which guitar they are using.

    I like the simplicity, flexibility and tones from this rig so much, I had been contemplating replacing my rather large pedalboard with a Helix. The full Helix Floor unit was way to much investment for me, and the HX Stomp was not flexible enough on the control side, not to mention the limitation of 6 effect blocks. So it was the Helix LT or the HX Effects. The Helix LT could duplicate what we are doing at the church almost 100%. The HX Effects would get most of the way there, with an outboard amp. Given the HX Effects was half the price, and that I have an 18watt tube head with attenuator and silent operation capability, I went with that.

    That was two months ago and I am EXTREMELY happy with the unit and the fact that it takes up much less space on the floor than my old board, is easier to move around and setup and more flexible than individual on/off stomp boxes.

    Today I was wondering if I could use the HX Effects as an all-in-one unit even though there are no amp models or cab models on tap. Since I always use IRs for cabs on the Helix Floor, that was a non issue - the IR block is present in the HX Effects. I looked into the "amp" possibilities and found that there were three potential pre-amp-like models in the distortion effects - a SansAmp Bass Driver model, Chandler Tube Drive model and an Obsidian 7000 bass pre-amp. Worth a try, but I was really not happy with any of them. As a last ditch, I tried the OCD model, and with the gain all the way down and the level up somewhat, I got a very amp-like, edge-of-breakup tone. I started building around that, and with some compression, a little EQ, a transparent OD model (Heir Apparent), and a Celestion Greenback IR, I was pretty blown away by the end result!

    I can't say it's a Blackface or Plexi or AC30 tone, but it's a good amp tone, cleans up well rolling back the volume knob, touch responsive and generally behaves like an amp. All said and done, in a live band or a recording mix, the listener would never know.

    Pretty cool...
     
    littlebadboy likes this.
  2. Alex_C

    Alex_C Tele-Meister

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    The Helix is a phenomenal piece of equipment. I have the LT. Currently, I'm back to an amp and discreet effects but I'll be updating the Helix to v3.0 and it'll probably come back to the front of my lineup.
     
    mkdaws32 likes this.
  3. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    It really is - I’ve owned all kinds of multi effect units from Boss, Line6 and Zoom. This is the only one I have to date that really does not require anything additional outboard (like a cab emulator or additional effects because of the lack of DSP power)
     
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  4. fleezinator

    fleezinator Tele-Meister

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    I love my LT. I’ve never owned proper pedals and only recently upgraded from an aging POD XT live so it was reeeeally easy getting aboard the Helix train.

    oh and I’ve always thought of HX stomp as helix LT LT, lol
     
    mkdaws32 likes this.
  5. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    Another very happy Helix LT user here.

    I'm a multi=instrumentalist... and everything I have goes through the Helix then direct to the FOH/Monitors on a single line. Electrics, Pedal Steel, Banjo, Acoustic, etc... etc... on a single setup - it doesn't get nicer than that!

    My favorite "sleeper" feature is the amount of money and time it has saved me since I bought it.
    I used to buy/sell/trade a lot of gear in search of something special. My 40 year quest came to an end with the Helix ;)

    That is very creative use for an HX Effects. Of course, amp models have certain character that make things easy but when you break it down a nice amp generally has a few fundamentals that make it work.
    • Varying degrees of level/gain/dirt
    • Varying degrees of compression
    • EQ
    • Speaker
    Based on your style, there is no shortage of choice in the HX Effects for any of those... so creating your own "amp-like" circuit is a more than doable, and quite logical!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
    mkdaws32 likes this.
  6. Thin white duke

    Thin white duke Friend of Leo's

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    If you only need one clean sound you could go for example Joyo American Sound and a D.I. or Joyo and something like the Mooer Radar.

    The Joyo is a fantastic preamp and can solve a lot of problems for going straight to P.A.

    You could use it with the Helix Effects for example.
     
  7. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Something like the Joyo would work perfectly. I’m super happy using the HX Effects with my TubeMeister 18 head in silent mode (no speaker - built in dummy load and attenuator). That’s why I opted for the HX Effects in the first place. But it’s also cool that I can use the HX Effects all by itself, in a pinch. Such an easy and flexible setup!
     
  8. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I use an HX Stomp and I like the amp modeling. I make all of the presets that I use clean so that I utilize my OD/distortion pedals for the dirt which gives those presets each 2 channels. I find I have much more control of my lead tone when I do this. The amp modeling gives me some incredible variety of tone characteristics for multiple applications.
     
    mkdaws32 likes this.
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