I'm doing it! Going all in on modeling.

tfarny

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I spent two hours today in rehearsal comparing sounds I can get out of a regular all analog pedalboard and my Allen Accomplice Jr (a fantastic Fendery amp) versus what I can get out of my HX stomp with somebody else's (M Britt) presets through a PA with a high quality monitor speaker. Modeling wins - the Fender sounds with my Taylor Solidbody (LP-ish) were a tie, different but equally great, but one button push also gets me really great AC30 tones too. I don't hear any digital artifacts, fizziness or anything weird, just a killer amp tone. With my own presets I thought the unit was pretty mediocre, but the ones from this guy won me over.

And then - I also play acoustic and they always sound half-electric through an electric guitar amp no matter what you do. So the acoustic with a good reverb and EQ on the Helix through the monitor was what really won me over. There is no way I want to run my acoustic through the PA, deal with all that, AND set up an electric amp. So many other pluses - I am LOVING being able to control tremolo intensity with the expression pedal. So cool within a song to be basically just a little damp and then go full swamp for some weird bridge chord.

I decided to tackle my main issue with MFX head on. Anything that can radically change the levels I will use a real pedal in front of the HX stomp. For my next show that means a comp. I want to be able to bend down and turn a knob if anything goes wrong.

Next step is to get a better monitor / frfr cabinet. Looking at the Yamaha options as the sweet spot price / quality. I have a Beringer thing and it technically works, but it's junk next to a good speaker.

I don't think I'm going to sell all my tube amps (OK, I have two, just two) but who knows.
 

swarfrat

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I'd sell my Carvin X-60C except it's such a a "value" that I just keep it. Yeah.. I'm all in now. As someone said in the 2 year running troll thread my modeller sounds better than what I was ever able to get out of tube amps.
 

Milspec

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I think it always comes down to what works for each player. There is a reason people use different guitars and different amps, the key is finding the tools that mach you the best.

I avoid any amplifier that is complicated. I am mostly caveman and struggle to dial in anything that sounds right to me on amps like Mesa, for example. I don't even like more than 2 knobs on the guitar. I sound best on very simple set-ups, a telecaster through an amp with very basic controls. I don't even use pedals except for a few if playing a single knob amp to gain some effects.

Give me a modeler and I will end up hitting it with a club and throwing it out the window within a week out of frustration. Thankfully, I know my valve amps and how to make myself sound the way that I want, so I remain happy and unlikely to change.

It is funny how the 2 worlds show up all around us today. Tubes vs modelers is just one more example where there can be a generational divide. I just left the grocery store and was furious to find that they converted all lanes to self-checkout since last week. Many people love that....I was so angry that I left my cart behind and stormed out. I refuse to pay the same price for goods while going on the clock to become an employee for 15 minutes. Might as well do away with wait staff as well at the restaurants and just have people come to the kitchen and pick up their food when it is ready.

There is no one size fits all in anything. Amps are just one of those things that prove the rule. Glad you found the tool that works best for you, turns out that I did as well decades ago with tubes. We both win.
 

tfarny

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@Milspec I agree with you and not trying to sell any approach to anybody.

I am not really patient with the tweaking side of modeling stuff either and I don't need nor favor a million presets and all that nonsense. And what people seem to end up with on these things is way, way overprocessed sounding tones to my ear. Way too much drippy chorused delays, modulation on everything, "crunchy" tones having way too much gain and so on. I certainly don't need multiple presets per song and every song with a different tone. Give me a couple good sounds and some time to practice my parts.

I've had the HX Stomp for maybe six months and not got real serious about it, just mostly used it as a pedalboard, until I downloaded this guys' patches and instantly the thing sounded like a great, great amp without me doing much of anything. On my own I would never have done much with it as I never was able to dial in anything I liked.
If I look into the patches this guy sells they have a whole EQ section, a custom IR and so on. Nothing I want to learn much about if I don't have to. But dangit, if it works it works.
 

swarfrat

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I spent about a week getting my compressor into clean Plexi that just ever so slightly barely grunts when you spank it, with a barely there plate reverb and an almost not swirling multivoice chorus. The MX5 is a very simple interface once you have it set up . I use it pretty much like a one knob amp that I can change between songs.
 

jaxjaxon

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I use a G Dec 3 Thirty amp it is a modeler that can do 40 different amp types though many of them sound the same their are 10 types that are very different from each other like Acoustic style amp or Black face or Tweed or Jazz Master or marshal or Vox or silver face or Custom and so on. Then it will do different cabinet styles like 10 of them. And all of these you can set up all parameters. And of course all the different pedal types that fender makes and any reverb you want. Many rack type units. Can set it up like it has a FX loop for every thing. Line outs on the back. Alot like the Boss Katana amps. Oh it also has 1 min loop function and Backing tracks that you can change key and tempo on. So I guess you can say I am all in with the modeling thing.
 

codamedia

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I'd sell my Carvin X-60C except it's such a a "value" that I just keep it. Yeah.. I'm all in now. As someone said in the 2 year running troll thread my modeller sounds better than what I was ever able to get out of tube amps.

Prior to my Helix, modelers were my compromise for convenience... I'm 4 years in with my Helix and can safely say "amps" have become my compromise.

I don't think I'm going to sell all my tube amps (OK, I have two, just two) but who knows.

I've trimmed my Tube amps down to a new Marshall Origin 50... but sold off my others. I also kept my Peavey Special 130 (SS) as it's a real work horse and great for grab and go gigs. There are some gigs that require an amp, so I'm prepared. That said, for the most part they just sit in my music room, my Helix does at least 90% of the gigs at this time.
 

arlum

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Let's make this a team effort. You play through modern equipment in the modern world and I'll hang back to remind the newer players what we used in the old days when we weren't busy gathering fruits and berries, taking down saber toothed tigers, dragging women around by their hair, (I am so so so sorry), or choosing which sandals go best with this or that loin cloth. You handle the modelling and I'll trudge through the ditches with my older that dirt components. I'm behind you 100%. By at least 40 years. :rolleyes:
 

Digital Larry

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I avoid any amplifier that is complicated. I am mostly caveman and struggle to dial in anything that sounds right to me on amps like Mesa, for example. I don't even like more than 2 knobs on the guitar. I sound best on very simple set-ups, a telecaster through an amp with very basic controls. I don't even use pedals except for a few if playing a single knob amp to gain some effects.

Give me a modeler and I will end up hitting it with a club and throwing it out the window within a week out of frustration. Thankfully, I know my valve amps and how to make myself sound the way that I want, so I remain happy and unlikely to change.
I generally like simplicity as well, ditched my Boogie + HX Effects + Captor-X recording setup I had for a year. Still have the Laney L5 studio.

I like the modeler stuff as well and have had to adopt a KISS strategy (no, not blaming everything on the drummer) and try to get the most out of just a few presets instead of constantly auditioning every dang thing there is.
 

swarfrat

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Let's make this a team effort. You play through modern equipment in the modern world and I'll hang back to remind the newer players what we used in the old days when we weren't busy gathering fruits and berries, taking down saber toothed tigers, dragging women around by their hair, (I am so so so sorry), or choosing which sandals go best with this or that loin cloth. You handle the modelling and I'll trudge through the ditches with my older that dirt components. I'm behind you 100%. By at least 40 years. :rolleyes:
I think you missed the subforum - the one you're looking for is one above us.
 

blowtorch

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This is my latest modeling hope
279400097_10160705135424644_4576345512414598706_n.jpg


Every multi can give you great delays/reverbs/swirlys these days. Driven and distortion sounds is where they fall flat- except for on this, in my experience thusfar. Although it's still somewhat honeymoon period for me , I even got the shirt
281749908_10160747115074644_8753486184782758822_n.jpg
 

tfarny

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Let's make this a team effort. You play through modern equipment in the modern world and I'll hang back to remind the newer players what we used in the old days when we weren't busy gathering fruits and berries, taking down saber toothed tigers, dragging women around by their hair, (I am so so so sorry), or choosing which sandals go best with this or that loin cloth. You handle the modelling and I'll trudge through the ditches with my older that dirt components. I'm behind you 100%. By at least 40 years. :rolleyes:
Believe it or not, I'm not trying to stop anyone from using anything they want to!
Just posting a thread about my particular recent choice and how I came about it. Hopefully it's possible to have a thread on this without it becoming another "debate" but maybe not.

I'll use it for the next few gigs I get (they don't happen all that often) and see where I go from there.
 

drmordo

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I spent two hours today in rehearsal comparing sounds I can get out of a regular all analog pedalboard and my Allen Accomplice Jr (a fantastic Fendery amp) versus what I can get out of my HX stomp with somebody else's (M Britt) presets through a PA with a high quality monitor speaker. Modeling wins - the Fender sounds with my Taylor Solidbody (LP-ish) were a tie, different but equally great, but one button push also gets me really great AC30 tones too. I don't hear any digital artifacts, fizziness or anything weird, just a killer amp tone. With my own presets I thought the unit was pretty mediocre, but the ones from this guy won me over.

And then - I also play acoustic and they always sound half-electric through an electric guitar amp no matter what you do. So the acoustic with a good reverb and EQ on the Helix through the monitor was what really won me over. There is no way I want to run my acoustic through the PA, deal with all that, AND set up an electric amp. So many other pluses - I am LOVING being able to control tremolo intensity with the expression pedal. So cool within a song to be basically just a little damp and then go full swamp for some weird bridge chord.

I decided to tackle my main issue with MFX head on. Anything that can radically change the levels I will use a real pedal in front of the HX stomp. For my next show that means a comp. I want to be able to bend down and turn a knob if anything goes wrong.

Next step is to get a better monitor / frfr cabinet. Looking at the Yamaha options as the sweet spot price / quality. I have a Beringer thing and it technically works, but it's junk next to a good speaker.

I don't think I'm going to sell all my tube amps (OK, I have two, just two) but who knows.

I think your post captures a remarkable strength of modeling - flexibility.

Does my Variax guitar sound exactly like a 60s Rickenbacker 12 string and a 50s Tele? I don't know, I have never played either thru an amp.

Does my Variax guitar sound very much like a Rick 12 string and a Tele? Yes, it does.

Critically - does my Variax guitar allow me to switch from a Tele to a 12 string Rickenbacker in the same song with the flick of a switch? Heck yes it does.

So while a modeler may not sound exactly like the guitar or amp it is modeling, it at least sounds very much like it and opens up an incredible amount of flexibility. Heck, on the guitar you can even dial in alternate tunings that you access with the flick of a switch. It's amazing.

So if you added a Variax to your gig, you could start the song on an modelled acoustic guitar running clean into the PA, solo on a modelled Tele thru your HX's Fender Twin, then finish the song back on acoustic again, all by actuating two switches. Now that I think about it, you might be able to link your Variax setting to your amp preset so you switch both the guitar and amp with one foot switch; I'm not sure about that, though. I haven't explored that option yet.

I have a friend of a friend who is a gigging pro lead guitarist, and well over ten years ago he switched entirely to Line 6 guitars and amps because of the flexibility - he used multiple models of guitars and amps and even used alternate tunings (for slide) every night. His vintage Fender guitars and amps stay in the spare bedroom (he literally has a collection of both), and I bet he sold many of them off (I haven't run into him in years).

All that said - I am much more of a 'studio guy' recording my own material. So all the different guitar/amp tone options are very useful when I'm trying to find the right sound for a track. If I started gigging regularly, I'd at least experiment with the options modelling offers.
 
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SmokinJoe992

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I do the same thing with a Headrush pedalboard straight into PA for full band electric gigs and acoustic gigs. I play everything from CCR to the Foo Fighters. My tube amps never leave the house anymore.
 

tfarny

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Just back from rehearsal - it did sound just fine through the PA. Sound quality is not the issue. I need to get better / faster at making edits on the screen mid-practice. I am a little frustrated by the HX stomp's interface which involves more button pushing than the full Helix setup from what I gather - there are fewer buttons and a smaller screen to accomplish basically the same things as the big brother version. But it can all be done, I was making mods to patches between songs, just dialing stuff in.
And some things sound great by yourself but just don't work in a band setting, you need to be able to tweak settings confidently and quickly.

@drmordo yes it is the flexibility that justifies the button pushing, nothing else. I was thinking that with the right PA / FRFR cabinet I will have a perfectly giggable bass rig, acoustic rig, and electric rig in one unit.
 

ahiddentableau

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With the quality of modelling now there's no reason not to go that way, especially as you seem to have a pretty diverse set of needs (and you're smart enough not to judge it solely on the basis of presets, which are almost always overcooked). I love tube amps and still own several (and am about to build another) but I play with a modeller the vast majority of the time.

Editing is a whole other kettle of fish, though, and can be a challenge. It's the biggest weakness on mine (I have a Fractal FM3). I've heard the Helix is easier in that regard, but being able to walk over to the amp and turn a knob is an important feature and I can easily sympathize with players who are put off by its absence.
 

swarfrat

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I'm currently running an FRFR-108. It's ok, cheap and non threatening. But my dream is to get an EV PXM-12MP and ELX-200-18 and have something I can use as a bass/e-drum/guitar rig (leave the sub home for guitar. And maybe for bass if it's in FOH)
 

codamedia

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I need to get better / faster at making edits on the screen mid-practice. I am a little frustrated by the HX stomp's interface which involves more button pushing than the full Helix setup from what I gather

Editing is a whole other kettle of fish, though, and can be a challenge. It's the biggest weakness on mine (I have a Fractal FM3). I've heard the Helix is easier in that regard

When touch capacitance is turned on a Helix is almost as fast to edit as a pedalboard/amp set up.

The home button takes you to the amp itself.... and the primary controls are all right there to edit. I actually save each preset so the amp is always in reach. In stomp mode.... just touch the switch for the effect you want to edit and all the controls are right there to edit.

Deep editing requires screen scrolls, but that's actually easier than opening a pedal to get at hidden dip switches ;)

... mostly used it as a pedalboard, until I downloaded this guys' patches and instantly the thing sounded like a great, great amp without me doing much of anything

Those MBritt presets are fabulous. IMO, the secret to those are the custom IR's he's created. He put in a lot of work fine tuning them for live performance. They have a lot of depth in their tone. I roll my own presets, but I use Michael Britts IR's.
 
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tfarny

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When touch capacitance is turned on a Helix is almost as fast to edit as a pedalboard/amp set up.

The home button takes you to the amp itself.... and the primary controls are all right there to edit. I actually save each preset so the amp is always in reach. In stomp mode.... just touch the switch for the effect you want to edit and all the controls are right there to edit.

Deep editing requires screen scrolls, but that's actually easier than opening a pedal to get at hidden dip switches ;)



Those MBritt presets are fabulous. IMO, the secret to those are the custom IR's he's created. He put in a lot of work fine tuning them for live performance. They have a lot of depth in their tone. I roll my own presets, but I use Michael Britts IR's.
I wonder if you have the Helix / LT or the HX stomp. HX stomp has a really compromised interface for what the software does. Often the thing I want to do is one screen away from when I go to change something, and that makes it harder to know even what is available, you have to memorize weird button push sequences to get simple things done. I understand that is the tradeoff for amazing power in a tiny box but it is annoying as you are learning the thing.

I HATE the touch capacitance, if I so much as graze the wrong button it moves me somewhere I don't want to be. I'm trying to do the big edits in the software and save tweaks for on-device.

As for the M Britt presets, the "wow" moment was the "PB" presets which are just amps / irs without effects. His take is that you have a pedalboard in front of the stomp when you use it that way, but there seem to be a couple of open slots in all of them to add in a bit of modulation or whatnot.
 




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