Question for fellow Helix users

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by MerleJam, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. MerleJam

    MerleJam Tele-Meister

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    Hi, I am very happy with my helix but I’ve been looking at tube amps again lol. I’ve been playing my helix into an EV ZLX12P. I admit that I haven’t really learned how to get the most out of the Helix. It doesn’t help that I don’t really know how to use EQ properly. The EV speaker has the option to raise and lower treble and bass. I’m trying to get get rid of the boominess and shrill top end. I’ve read where people had said the EV speaker is hard to get to sound perfect. Any advice will be appreciated. I have went into Global EQ and set the low and high cuts to what someone said would help. Also, I’m using Mbrit helix patches. Anyone know of other high quality patches? Thanks so much
     
  2. koolaide

    koolaide Tele-Holic

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    I have a solution. Donate that crappy sounding Helix to someone Me, Me, Me and go get that tube amp you're gassing for.
     
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  3. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Seems to me that no matter what patches you use, you may have to make some adjustments so they work better through your rig. If your EV speaker is coloring the sound in a way you don't like then one option is to adjust the EQ to try and correct this problem. Rather than rely on someone else's recipe, you're probably going to have to try different settings until you dial in a sound that is pleasing to your ears. Just my $0.02 and all that.

    Having said that, I have seen other posters who use Helix, Fractal, etc., saying that they prefer to run the Helix through an actual tube amp rather than using its amp/speaker emulation and running through a PA and FRFR rig. They feel that going through a tube amp restores some warmth and body that can be lacking in a 100% digital signal. YMMV and all that....and what do I know, this is just something that some people say on the Internet...my suspicion is that the guys who play heavy distortion can be pretty happy going 100% digital, while some of the cork sniffer guys going for cleaner tones hear a bit more richness and tone quality when they run through a tube amp.
     
  4. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I’m biased, but I think powered monitors are the worst possible option for amplifying modelers. EQ issues that you may or may not be able to deal with, inconsistency with FOH sound, they don’t sound like an amp, etc. Some people swear by them, but I’d take a real guitar cab 100/100 times.

    You can cut frequencies all over the place, but cuts are more powerful in certain places. Probably the least effective is in the IR and Cab blocks. You still probably should do it though. Cut lows between 80-100hz and highs wherever you want (I usually started around 7-8k).

    Global EQ is one people will tell you avoid, but I think I’m your situation it’s worth trying. Try the baked-in low/high cuts or select your frequencies. I watched a video about pulling 400 Hz down 3db to eliminate muddiness. Not unusual to have to do multiple layers of EQ (global, IR, etc).

    Also, there are a couple quick block options in the Helix that might help you: Tilt EQ and Shelf EQ. Both are very powerful and Shelf sounds like it might be exactly what you need.

    Anyway, keep the Helix. You can use it with an amp too, you know. That’s what I do now (with an HX Stomp). You can use it for effects or even as a modeler into the return of your amp (if it has one).
     
  5. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It’s not so much a matter of warmth/richness, tube mojo, etc. It’s more related to unnatural frequencies, at least as far as guitar is concerned, being an overwhelming part of what powered monitors put out into the room.
     
  6. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I’ve been toying with Helix Native the past few days - and I’m sold on it for recording. Compared to other amp modellers and plugins I’ve used, there is an authenticity and complexity tone I find difficult to obtain elsewhere. I do think the built in cabinets are lacking (although I haven’t tried the all), but it sounds phenomenal to FOH and to studio monitors with some of my Redwirez and Celestion 3rd party IR cabinet impulses. I had it through the mains at our church for a couple of hours today and was able to tune it in pretty good - enough so that the tone was inspiring for me to play and the congregation would have no chance of distinguishing it from a “real” rig in the mix. Do I prefer my tube amp through real cab? You bet, but the Helix can be pretty impressive. We are going to buy a Helix floor for our backline at the church.
     
  7. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    This has come up on the various forums and Youtube lately.

    Rhett Schull and Jason Sadites both use Low and high pass shelving in all their patches, they also include very light Compression at the end of the chain.

    I played with this and the high pass at 8 to 12 Khz and it certainly makes a lot of difference.

    BUT there was another youtube video a guy put up and said in a LIVE format he felt that that shelving took away a lot of the amp in the room sound and more improtantly, the feeling. The sub 120 Hz thump in the chest and the brighter frequency that actually cuts through a live mix i.e the 8 Khz and up stuff.

    AND I have to agree with him.

    He also pointed out that yes, guitar speakers and cabs aren't designed to work in those frequencies but they do still put out sound in those regions. Removing that makes for a nicely balanced recorded sound where everything can slot in to its place but not so much in the live sound......


    I use my Helix as a direct recording device with amps and cabs AND as a pure MFX board in to my various tube amps. I use the shelving eq and compression for recording and playing / practicing with headphones but allow the tube amp, cab and speaker to impart and control the sound when in MFX (out loud) mode. soemtimes a little tweak of eq tot tidy up a really masty sound but usually I just rely on the amp and cab to be the limiting factors.

    In my opinion people either forget or dont realise that a MASSIVE part of tuning your sound is only doing so in the live band practice session. This is where the at home by yourself horrible 8 KHz + frequencies really come in to their own. Like a real AC30, that rarely sounds good on its own but shine in a band mix due to that over bearing high frequency stuff.

    So in brief conclusion :).... im a believer in the balance of both theories. A little bit of both can work magic and the Helix works great as just a MFX in to a tube amp.
     
  8. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    IMO.... don't use the global EQ on the Helix. Save that for "one time uses" in a quick emergency.

    Place the "parametric" EQ block toward the end of each patch. Just use the filters (high pass/low pass) in that block. They are very musical, and effective! They are the best filters in the Helix (IMO). I apply the parametric filters to every preset. Nice thing is they can be set different for each preset as needed, unlike the Global EQ that effects everything!

    Leave the speaker FLAT... nothing boosted, nothing cut. If there is a contour control on the cabinet, LEAVE IT FLAT as well. Many of these speakers will have built in "loudness" curves to boost lows, you need to avoid that at all costs!
     
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  9. MerleJam

    MerleJam Tele-Meister

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    Thank you all for all the help. I’ve applied as much as I could and it has helped.
     
  10. 63telemaster

    63telemaster Tele-Meister

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    I think I may have suggested this in another thread but I find that using my HX Stomp into an active PA speaker never sounds right. If you're used to using amps, plug the Helix into the FX return of a combo or amp/cab and don't use the Helix cab/mic emulation.

    So much of the sound and feel we're familiar with comes from the humble guitar speaker with its limited frequency range and colouration. As suggested above, the para EQ on the Helix is very effective and you can use this to shape your tone. You can even refer to the frequency charts of your speaker and compare this to the speaker used in the particular amp you are trying to emulate to see where they differ and therefore act as a guide for your tweaking. I actually use the global EQ only, just to tame the 2.2KHz peak on my Celestion speaker and to tidy up a little muddiness in the bottom end.
     
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  11. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    63telemaster, thanks for this post. I am excited about getting the Line 6 Pod Go later this spring but I suspect I'll have challenges getting it to sound right going straight to P.A vs. going into amp. I figure a fair bit of tweaking will be required to get really satisfactory tones across a range of situations (into guitar amp, direct into P.A., into both amp and P.A.) that satisfy me and don't sound too artificial/flat/digital to my ears.

    At least it's set up to easily use cab/amp sim or to bypass it depending on scenario. But getting the sound right is everything. I'm not too worried because I know it will work great for recording into a DAW. So even if I end up not using it live I won't have wasted my $$.
     
  12. Twang-ineer

    Twang-ineer TDPRI Member

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    I'm a bit late to comment here.... But also worth note is buy some presets from MBritt and Glen Dulaune. It is worth every penny. Two very different approaches and you can learn a lot by taking those sounds apart. And to be fair, any sound that you are looking for is probably easily attained by modifying their presets. Spending that money made my Helix investment feel 300% more valuable. And FYI.... at the Helix level of processing, if it sounds digital or flat... it is user error, not the hardware.

    FYI when I am building a patch from the ground up, I start in headphones. Once I think I have it right, I send it to Studio monitors. Once that is right, save it. Now copy the preset to another patch. Remove the IR and end of line compression. Now, plug into the return of your stage guitar amp and set it to a realistically loud stage volume, dial that in as "Stage". Next, compare the two presets in monitors and through stage amp. Then go back and do the comparison again THE NEXT DAY because ear fatigue kicks in after a few hours on day one. Now when you get to the gig use the global EQ adjust to fix the sound in the room. Now dial back all that reverb you added at home. With this method you can dial the gig settings in using the 180 seconds that you get before the bartender starts shooting daggers at you.
     
  13. Togman

    Togman Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I think this sentence is the most important line in the OP. I have been using a Helix floor sine November 2019. I did lots of research before I decided to take the plunge, and I also timed the purchase when I had just retired from my main job and I knew I would have the time to devote to learning how to use this new bit of kit. For the 1st week of ownership the Helix was on a desk beside my PC and linked up to the HX edit software. I spent countless hours playing with various sounds and settings through headphones to see what could be achieved. I think this time was well spent as I've now been gigging with the Helix since December (until the current enforced suspension) and am very pleased with it.

    Most of my regular gigs are as a solo act playing in care homes and also also do freelance work for various musical theatre companies. I have found that in both situations the Bose S1 speaker is ideal.

    I have not had the need to use any IR's or patches from other sources. My personal feeling is that this would add further complexity to what is already a very complex bit of kit.

    Here is a clip from my solo act performing one of The Shadows tunes. The sound is straight from the Helix through the Bose S1 that you can see behind me on top of the H&K amp. The backing track is also being played through the Bose via Bluetooth. The sound and video is recorded using the camera and mic in my HP computer.

     
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  14. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    That was really nice.... you really captured Hank Marvin's tone and style beautifully.

    You did things right.... you researched the Helix, prepared yourself for the change in approach then embraced that change! Exactly what is needed to make the most of these units.
     
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