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Thinking of getting a Helix LT..... 
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I might do the occasional church gig as a bass player, but my guitar playing is largely restricted to playing along with my stereo and home recording, so a decent modeler seems logical.

I tried an AMPLIFIRE 12 when they first came out but never really warmed up to it. A few weeks beyond the trial period the Helix LT was released. :o I didn't care for the interface on the AMPLIFIRE and I still got better tones (much quicker with less fuss) by dropping an SM57 in front of my tube amps.

I didn't get to spend much time with it, but my first attempt to try a Helix in the store was positive. The interface is much better, it has more models and effects, and a lot of what I couldn't dial out of the AMPLIFIRE just wasn't an issue with the Helix. The full version is more than I'd want to pay and I'm not sure I need the scribble strips. I know I don't need all those extra input/outputs.

This isn't a complete conversion to digital, I'm keeping my Marshall 4x12 and JVM205 for whenever I want to scare the neighbors. Sometimes you just want to move some air. The Helix would be connected to my iMac and Rokit 8 monitors and would be primarily for home recording and playing late night (I work 3rd shift so I'm up at weird hours).

So, please pass the Kool Aid......or warn me that I'm making a horrible mistake.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:16 am
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i want one so bad.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:18 am
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If your first experience with it was positive (which was absolutely NOT the case for me); go for it. The hard part is over with if that's the case. It's a killer platform. You can dig in fairly deep and tweak or you can just skim the surface and just play. Bonus points for it will kill through your traditional rig.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:19 am
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JiveTurkey wrote:
If your first experience with it was positive (which was absolutely NOT the case for me); go for it. The hard part is over with if that's the case. It's a killer platform. You can dig in fairly deep and tweak or you can just skim the surface and just play. Bonus points for it will kill through your traditional rig.


Another bonus point is that it has several bass amp models and I'm primarily a bass player. :cool:


I have tried other modelers throughout the years. Johnson Millennium, POD 2.0, Line 6 Flextone II, POD XTL, Atomic AMPLIFIRE 12. They seem to have improved dramatically in recent years.


Last edited by valtyr on Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:27 am
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valtyr wrote:
JiveTurkey wrote:
If your first experience with it was positive (which was absolutely NOT the case for me); go for it. The hard part is over with if that's the case. It's a killer platform. You can dig in fairly deep and tweak or you can just skim the surface and just play. Bonus points for it will kill through your traditional rig.


Another bonus point is that it has several bass amp models and I'm primarily a bass player. :cool:

That pretty much kicks it up to no-brainer status :whistle:


Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:28 am
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I owned the Floor shortly after it first came out and I was pretty "meh" about it and sold it after a few months. A few firmware updates later...I started hearing a lot about how it had become an entirely different animal. I took the plunge on an LT and have been completely happy with it since. FW version 2.54 has been incredible. The new effects, amp models, etc. hang with the rest of the pack.

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Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:39 am
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esizer wrote:
I owned the Floor shortly after it first came out and I was pretty "meh" about it and sold it after a few months. A few firmware updates later...I started hearing a lot about how it had become an entirely different animal. I took the plunge on an LT and have been completely happy with it since. FW version 2.54 has been incredible. The new effects, amp models, etc. hang with the rest of the pack.


Good to know, I'm not sure what version of firmware they had for the model in the store.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:42 am
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I just recorded an entire album with my LT. It's legit

FWIW, the virtual scribble strips are fine. I really don't miss real scribbles.

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Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:46 am
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atrox wrote:
I just recorded an entire album with my LT. It's legit

FWIW, the virtual scribble strips are fine. I really don't miss real scribbles.


I have heard conflicting reports.

I have heard it mentioned that the LT may have less DSP than the full version? Is there any truth to that? In many of the vids I have watched they say the engine and processing is the same.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:50 am
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valtyr wrote:
atrox wrote:
I just recorded an entire album with my LT. It's legit

FWIW, the virtual scribble strips are fine. I really don't miss real scribbles.


I have heard conflicting reports.

I have heard it mentioned that the LT may have less DSP than the full version? Is there any truth to that? In many of the vids I have watched they say the engine and processing is the same.


No truth to that. they are identical except for scribble strips, I/O and metal they are made out of. The software and DSP is exactly the same on all units.

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Lot's of Charvel's and Fender's


Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:51 am
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atrox wrote:
valtyr wrote:
atrox wrote:
I just recorded an entire album with my LT. It's legit

FWIW, the virtual scribble strips are fine. I really don't miss real scribbles.


I have heard conflicting reports.

I have heard it mentioned that the LT may have less DSP than the full version? Is there any truth to that? In many of the vids I have watched they say the engine and processing is the same.


No truth to that. they are identical except for scribble strips, I/O and metal they are made out of. The software and DSP is exactly the same on all units.


Thanks. Sounds like I'm definitely fine with the LT version then.


Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:53 am
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arent there a few less connections too?


Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:53 am
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sleewell wrote:
arent there a few less connections too?


I said I/O :P

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Lot's of Charvel's and Fender's


Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:54 am
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sleewell wrote:
arent there a few less connections too?


Yeah, but in my case, the missing connections aren't the ones I'd need anyway (extra loop, S/PDIF, etc)


Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:57 am
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I like the LT, very cool unit.

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Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:25 pm
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I tried one out at GC and its just as good as AxeFX IMO better.


If your thinking of getting one and have the cash to blow, its the best option into next gen moddeling AxeFx/Kemper territory, just better.

Tried the Gt1000, the Boss counterpart and as much as I like Boss shit, this was no contest. Helix LT hands down.

Im thinking of getting the HelixFX. To finish up the pedal board.


Tried one of those too and I never felt that modeling drive units were good, the amp models are great but the simulated drive pedals are always garbage. This one was just as good or better than my favriote OD pedals.

Great work


Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:04 pm
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I’ve got one, it ended my gas for amps. But I’m only playing at home and have a baby now so I might sell mine and get a small amp instead.

Reverse gas lol


Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:41 pm
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I got it. I have a Shotokan class tonight so I won’t get to try it out till I get home,


Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:26 pm
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Congrats. LT is awesome.

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Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:33 pm
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valtyr wrote:
I got it. I have a Shotokan class tonight so I won’t get to try it out till I get home,


Noice!

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Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:17 am
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I love my LT

The best part is that you can set it up for direct recording, playing along stereo, running as a bass rig, AND you can run it 4cm with your JVM.

Just set different banks of presets and it will do all of these things very well. That's how I run my LT. I don't care about scribble strips at all for my needs. I'm sure people make use of them, but I like the color coded rings so I can see what footswitch to press without having to read a scribble strip.

I also prefer the expression pedal on the LT to the full size. Both my bassist and my other guitarist in my last band had the full size and we all thought the LT's exp pedal felt better.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:38 am
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I have to say... I'm coming around lol..... after using the HX Effects for the last month or two I'm sold.... I have no need for a full Helix just yet, but... when the day rolls around that it makes sense I won't hesitate to pull the trigger...


Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:55 am
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I go back and forth on it. I want one but doubt I have the patience to get what I want out of it. That said, all of those different amp sims are a great option.

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Fuck yeah sounds bad ass to me!!! You really need a trashy rock band dude. This shit is glorious. I would totes chug whiskey and punch somebodies girlfriend in the front of row of this show. Zero fucks! :lol:


Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:02 am
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Thanks for input!

So far I have only had the time to hook up my Firebird and check out the presets.

First impressions,
- notes decay much more naturally than the Atomic Amplifire.
- the interface seems relatively easy to navigate. It is way better than some of the synth gear I deal with.
- sounds fine through my Rokit 8 monitors.
- I have no use for most of these presets, but there was enough in there that I liked that I'm confident I'll be able to get what I want once I learn to edit existing presets or create my own.

When I get some more time, I'll hook up my Rickenbacker bass and check out the bass presets next. There appear to be a lot of videos out there so I don't think it will take long before I sort out how to make my own presets.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:34 am
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TurboPablo wrote:
I go back and forth on it. I want one but doubt I have the patience to get what I want out of it. That said, all of those different amp sims are a great option.

I'm here for you Pablo.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:43 am
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JiveTurkey wrote:
TurboPablo wrote:
I go back and forth on it. I want one but doubt I have the patience to get what I want out of it. That said, all of those different amp sims are a great option.

I'm here for you Pablo.



:lol:

Honestly, it's something that I will probably buy after I get myself set up with a nice Tweed combo.

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Fuck yeah sounds bad ass to me!!! You really need a trashy rock band dude. This shit is glorious. I would totes chug whiskey and punch somebodies girlfriend in the front of row of this show. Zero fucks! :lol:


Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:49 am
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I still haven't actually tried the presets.

When I received it from JerEvil I unpacked it, took it straight to band practice, scrolled to a blank preset, titled it "Band Jubilee" and added the pedals I used on my board to see if it could replace my pedal board. At the time i was using some expensive boutique pedals which were nice but super limited. Sure enough the Helix allowed me to ditch my entire pedal board so I sold the pedals to cover the cost of the Helix. I was sold with only using it in front of my Jubilee!

Then I took it home and tried it running 4cm with the Mark amp and WOW. Works perfectly and really expands the amp. I created a patch that switches from running the Mark in 4cm to remote switching the amp to the clean channel then bypassing the preamp of the tube amp in favor of different preamp models within the Helix. This allowed me to A/B the amp tone versus the Helix running direct in to the power amp of the Mark. I was blown away by how real the preamp models are, and how cool it was to run the Mark and have the ability to footswitch to a completely different tone.

Finally I bought a Macbook to run the Helix direct in to Garageband. Holy shit!! I can use the editing software to control every aspect which is even easier to use than the unit's interface. The interface is extremely user friendly as-is, but using a mouse and keyboard is just that much easier. After loading the Celestion Creamback IR I've never been happier with home recording. Not that I'm getting perfect results, but they're better than anything I got when I was mic'ing things up with my real tube amps.

It's been one of the best pieces of gear I've ever purchased. I haven't GAS'd for anything since I bought it and actually sold some of my high end niche pedals.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:49 am
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The pedals have always been righteous as f on the Helix. It's the amp modeling I initially had problems with that have been improved upon significantly imo.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:52 am
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I will say that when I first add an amp model I don't even bother trying it before re-eq'ing it.

Take the Mark IV model. The factory settings are straight garbage. Instead I just dial it in exactly how I would a real Mark and boom. It sounds like a real Mark :D


Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:55 am
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^ I've been meaning to revisit that amp actually. I never end up getting into anything other than one of the plexis or the 2204. If you have some general settings you use; post them up f you have a moment and I'll give it a go!


Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:59 am
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Dave wrote:
I still haven't actually tried the presets.

When I received it from JerEvil I unpacked it, took it straight to band practice, scrolled to a blank preset, titled it "Band Jubilee" and added the pedals I used on my board to see if it could replace my pedal board. At the time i was using some expensive boutique pedals which were nice but super limited. Sure enough the Helix allowed me to ditch my entire pedal board so I sold the pedals to cover the cost of the Helix. I was sold with only using it in front of my Jubilee!

Then I took it home and tried it running 4cm with the Mark amp and WOW. Works perfectly and really expands the amp. I created a patch that switches from running the Mark in 4cm to remote switching the amp to the clean channel then bypassing the preamp of the tube amp in favor of different preamp models within the Helix. This allowed me to A/B the amp tone versus the Helix running direct in to the power amp of the Mark. I was blown away by how real the preamp models are, and how cool it was to run the Mark and have the ability to footswitch to a completely different tone.

Finally I bought a Macbook to run the Helix direct in to Garageband. Holy shit!! I can use the editing software to control every aspect which is even easier to use than the unit's interface. The interface is extremely user friendly as-is, but using a mouse and keyboard is just that much easier. After loading the Celestion Creamback IR I've never been happier with home recording. Not that I'm getting perfect results, but they're better than anything I got when I was mic'ing things up with my real tube amps.

It's been one of the best pieces of gear I've ever purchased. I haven't GAS'd for anything since I bought it and actually sold some of my high end niche pedals.


Thanks Dave. I'm hoping it has a similar effect on me as far as fending off a lot of pedal GAS.

Connecting the Helix direct to my iMac into Garageband is how I intend to use it. I have never tried any editing software and have always stuck with using the hardware directly in the past. Maybe this is where I'll make the leap.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:23 am
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If Dave gives it a check of approval, I'd believe that it is the real deal. He's pretty straight forward about 01011s. He'd tell you if its shit or not.

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Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:56 am
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The editing software mimics the feel of the unit exactly. No learning curve at all


Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:13 am
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Yup. Editor is super easy. I do 9% of my editing in the hardware because it’s so simple but the editor is great.

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Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:29 am
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Exactly 9%?

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Fuck yeah sounds bad ass to me!!! You really need a trashy rock band dude. This shit is glorious. I would totes chug whiskey and punch somebodies girlfriend in the front of row of this show. Zero fucks! :lol:


Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:40 am
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that's almost mike levels of accuracy


Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:15 pm
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Yeah the drive pedals are amazing on this thing!!!


Thats how I always test out some new kit. Centours, TS9s, MIABs, FFs, treble boosters whatever...... Aside from going to the standard JCM800, AC30, Trip Rec and Bassman models.....The AXEFX was solid on this basis but having played my friends AXE FX for some good time and then playing this at the store. I just feel the Helix is better, more refined, tuned IDK its just a nicer unit in every way.

Were the Boss Gt1000 or the prior line 6 HD crap sounds like low grade computer garbage regarding the pedals especially the drive/od units. The Helix might as well be put head to head with your favorite analog units on the drive side the modulations and time based effects are just pure magic...Its like it was bathed in the blood of Unicorns....and the impeccable amp models to boot.

IMO the JCM800 models sounds better....than an actual JCM800 but thats me..... Just amazing work.


Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:00 pm
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The-kid wrote:
Yeah the drive pedals are amazing on this thing!!!


Thats how I always test out some new kit. Centours, TS9s, MIABs, FFs, treble boosters whatever...... Aside from going to the standard JCM800, AC30, Trip Rec and Bassman models.....The AXEFX was solid on this basis but having played my friends AXE FX for some good time and then playing this at the store. I just feel the Helix is better, more refined, tuned IDK its just a nicer unit in every way.

Were the Boss Gt1000 or the prior line 6 HD crap sounds like low grade computer garbage regarding the pedals especially the drive/od units. The Helix might as well be put head to head with your favorite analog units on the drive side the modulations and time based effects are just pure magic...Its like it was bathed in the blood of Unicorns....and the impeccable amp models to boot.

IMO the JCM800 models sounds better....than an actual JCM800 but thats me..... Just amazing work.


I haven't messed much with drive pedals much so I'd never know if the models are accurate or not. :lol: As long as they sound good I'm happy.

Hey JerEvil, your Helix Idiot's Guide videos have been helpful! :cool:


Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:05 pm
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Yeah Jer’s Helix series is kick ass


Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:19 pm
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valtyr wrote:
The-kid wrote:
Yeah the drive pedals are amazing on this thing!!!


Thats how I always test out some new kit. Centours, TS9s, MIABs, FFs, treble boosters whatever...... Aside from going to the standard JCM800, AC30, Trip Rec and Bassman models.....The AXEFX was solid on this basis but having played my friends AXE FX for some good time and then playing this at the store. I just feel the Helix is better, more refined, tuned IDK its just a nicer unit in every way.

Were the Boss Gt1000 or the prior line 6 HD crap sounds like low grade computer garbage regarding the pedals especially the drive/od units. The Helix might as well be put head to head with your favorite analog units on the drive side the modulations and time based effects are just pure magic...Its like it was bathed in the blood of Unicorns....and the impeccable amp models to boot.

IMO the JCM800 models sounds better....than an actual JCM800 but thats me..... Just amazing work.


I haven't messed much with drive pedals much so I'd never know if the models are accurate or not. :lol: As long as they sound good I'm happy.

Hey JerEvil, your Helix Idiot's Guide videos have been helpful! :cool:

I have to say its not really a thing about accuracy as I wasnt really looking for that. But the tones were damn very well in the zone of what you would expect from the pedal models being used..I wouldnt be surprised that head to head they would be exact replicas tone wise or the same but just better.


What I meant to say is they behaved much like real analog units do and dont give off an FM/AM filtered vibe when playing them or cheap, elastic digital OD sounds of the likes of my Roland Cube(line 6 HD, GT1000 boss)....... They behaved and sounded just like a real drive would, lots of substance and give and pull.

For what it is have only played two digital units that can do that with the drive pedal models this and an AxeFx unit. And this does it better IMO and IME for what it is.


Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:59 pm
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TurboPablo wrote:
Exactly 9%?

Lol! Meant 90!

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Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:52 pm
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valtyr wrote:
The-kid wrote:
Yeah the drive pedals are amazing on this thing!!!


Thats how I always test out some new kit. Centours, TS9s, MIABs, FFs, treble boosters whatever...... Aside from going to the standard JCM800, AC30, Trip Rec and Bassman models.....The AXEFX was solid on this basis but having played my friends AXE FX for some good time and then playing this at the store. I just feel the Helix is better, more refined, tuned IDK its just a nicer unit in every way.

Were the Boss Gt1000 or the prior line 6 HD crap sounds like low grade computer garbage regarding the pedals especially the drive/od units. The Helix might as well be put head to head with your favorite analog units on the drive side the modulations and time based effects are just pure magic...Its like it was bathed in the blood of Unicorns....and the impeccable amp models to boot.

IMO the JCM800 models sounds better....than an actual JCM800 but thats me..... Just amazing work.


I haven't messed much with drive pedals much so I'd never know if the models are accurate or not. :lol: As long as they sound good I'm happy.

Hey JerEvil, your Helix Idiot's Guide videos have been helpful! :cool:



Dave wrote:
Yeah Jer’s Helix series is kick ass

Thanks y’all!

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Check out "Dunky's N' Demos at:

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Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:53 pm
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After all the talk about it, I downloaded the trial software. Im have not tried loading impulses yet, but this thing without impulese is no better then the old stuff imo. Sounds sterile witha blanket over the speakers, now, once you ditch the build in cab sims and use wall of sound it kicks it up a big notch. So maybe the impulses are just a requirement, the software trial did not come with any loaded, does the full product come with default impulses?


Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:04 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:28 am
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Location: On the spectrum
trey, you're in DFW right?

You're welcome to stop by and try mine if you'd like. I'm in the mid cities...


Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:08 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:19 am
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Location: Rochester, NY
trey85stang2 wrote:
After all the talk about it, I downloaded the trial software. Im have not tried loading impulses yet, but this thing without impulese is no better then the old stuff imo. Sounds sterile witha blanket over the speakers, now, once you ditch the build in cab sims and use wall of sound it kicks it up a big notch. So maybe the impulses are just a requirement, the software trial did not come with any loaded, does the full product come with default impulses?


I think it comes with one or two. I can't remember. I usually use an impulse of my actual cab setup and i have no issues.

You can get great tone out of the built in cabs. It just takes a little work. Run two cabs in parallel. Use mic's and mic distances that will keep your tone from sounding like a cab with a blanket on it and add a Low/High Pass block after the cabs.

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Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:10 am
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GABmiral
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:49 pm
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Location: Trumpets and 2x12s
trey85stang2 wrote:
After all the talk about it, I downloaded the trial software. Im have not tried loading impulses yet, but this thing without impulese is no better then the old stuff imo. Sounds sterile witha blanket over the speakers, now, once you ditch the build in cab sims and use wall of sound it kicks it up a big notch. So maybe the impulses are just a requirement, the software trial did not come with any loaded, does the full product come with default impulses?

From the mouth of Line 6's posted elsewhere (not strat talk :freak: :lol: ) :
"Know how I'm constantly spouting about how one's playback system is at least half their tone? Their input system is probably another 10-15%. Unlike some other plug-ins, Helix Native is really picky about input impedance and level, just like the gear it models. We don't build in any safety net for newbies (and we won't, because it'll make things sound worse for those who do everything right.) Apply Helix Native to a normalized—or simply input optimized—guitar track and it'll sound as if you ran a dozen boost pedals into your amp; that is, hot garbage. Yes, we're looking at additional things we can do to help push people in the right direction.

The input level should almost never go into the yellow. Keep it at -18dB ~ -24dB and compensate with the output slider
Your audio interface should have a 1M Ohm instrument level input, preferably with no volume control. This will help ensure you end up with the right input level
If your audio interface doesn't have a dynamic impedance circuit, several models—especially fuzzes—won't behave like the real thing. Helix and newer Universal Audio interfaces have this
Dynamic range is a big one too. Helix hardware's Guitar In has 123dB of dynamic range, which is much higher than the vast majority of audio interfaces
Latency has a MASSIVE impact on one's performance and will easily devolve "Holy crap this is amazing!" into "Holy crap this is still hot garbage." I'll commonly write additional guitar parts after already instantiating dozens of delay compensated plugins on a mix, and... boo. Using Helix hardware for processed input monitoring+dry tracking helps to no end here; at the very least see if your DAW has a low latency mode and turn it on while tracking"

So set your input levels correctly and make sure you use a decent interface. Again; I think the hardware is a much better way to judge the tones. Also, afa IRs go; this guy does great work:
https://livereadysound.com/impulse-responses/


Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:13 am
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GABmiral
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Location: Trumpets and 2x12s
atrox wrote:
trey85stang2 wrote:
After all the talk about it, I downloaded the trial software. Im have not tried loading impulses yet, but this thing without impulese is no better then the old stuff imo. Sounds sterile witha blanket over the speakers, now, once you ditch the build in cab sims and use wall of sound it kicks it up a big notch. So maybe the impulses are just a requirement, the software trial did not come with any loaded, does the full product come with default impulses?


I think it comes with one or two. I can't remember. I usually use an impulse of my actual cab setup and i have no issues.

You can get great tone out of the built in cabs. It just takes a little work. Run two cabs in parallel. Use mic's and mic distances that will keep your tone from sounding like a cab with a blanket on it and add a Low/High Pass block after the cabs.

The cabs in parallel trick is great. My problem with that is, unfortunately; my presets are just complicated enough where I don't have the signal chain room to do that trick.


Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:16 am
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GABmiral

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The Celestion branded IRs are next level shit compared to the stock cab modeling. I don't use the stock cabs at all, and plan to buy the G12T75 IRs as well.

Eventually I'll look for an EVM12L and a JBL D120F IR as well to round it out. For now the creamback IR is just so good I don't even both with others.


Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:31 am
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GABmiral
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Location: Evangeline Parish
I decided last week that I wanted to build a new smaller, more streamlined pedalboard and briefly considered just ordering a Helix HX, but it's price point was just slightly too high for me to pull the trigger, especially considering I already have tons of great pedals so I really only needed a new board and power supply.

If it was priced at around $400ish, I would have bought the Helix for sure. Maybe with some coupon codes and whatnot I could have got it for close to that....

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Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:37 am
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devin they are like 500 or less used.


so far i've sold 2 pedals and have about 500 more to go before i get my LT. it will be soon. started to take pics of a guitar this weekend and decided not to sell it so i have to sell some more pedals.


Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:40 am
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