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Line 6 Helix - Thoughts, Opinions and Amps
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Rhysyrhys
The Kraken


Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:06 pm    Post subject: Line 6 Helix - Thoughts, Opinions and Amps Reply with quote

So if any has been watching my reentry to SS.org over the past few weeks, you'll know that I am searching for new gear because I have none at all at the moment and it's a good chance for me to rebuild. Obviously twiddling one's thumbs a little bit and dipping my toes into the guitar based internet again I discover that Line 6 have released the Helix as the successor to the POD series and the M series of multi-pedals.

Basically my needs are such that I would like something that does amp models, has a bunch of effects, can act as an interface, has headphones out, doesn't sound like shit, has effects loops (I still have my MbM and a Triangle BMP (no guitar or amp though, priorities boys)) and plays nice in front of a conventional amp. I live with my wife now and want to practice with headphones on, I want to spend some time looking for the right amplifier (so very picky... might take me months and months) - don't mind playing out studio speakers for a little while and I really want to get myself back into a live music project again soon - there are a variety of styles that I like and would play in, so I don't want to buy kit to be in, say, shoegaze band and then end up in a stripped down blues two piece and feel like I went a little overboard.

So I'm looking at this as a potential "start my rig off again" board, I've never done modelling amps before and don't really care too much about it in a live situation unless it's necessary (amp blows up or summink). But models for recording, practicing and kinda working out where I'd like to go tone-wise seems sensible and cost effective, the recording out on this thing seems to be pretty darn handy, it has the effects loop from the M9-13 so I can use my conventional gain pedals if I want and whilst I go out and audition myself or audition other musicians, I can grab it, stick it in a guitar bag and get in transport easily - then when I've found a group I like I can build my kit around that. If I do end up playing in something where my set up has to be quite complicated to achieve sounds, it's switch bits and bobs seem to have my arse covered.

That's my train of thought here. My questions and reservations are this:

I can't find anything in the market that seems to compete with it. Am I not looking hard enough?

I am wondering if it is overkill - if I buy a decent desktop interface and some software will that do? I suppose there is the gigging aspect I mentioned. I don't really wanna be fucking around with an iPad or laptop on stage.

Does this sound shitty in front of normal amps? I don't really want to bother with FRFRs. I've played tube and SS amps for the last 18 years and got by just fine - having some crazy amp that models with my models and floorboard seems a bit much... idk - I'd really love to know anyone's thoughts on this?

Any experience with this floorboard in general?

From the Andertons demos I've had a listen to, I think it sounds really damn good for a modeler. I've never said that before. Lmk what you guys think.
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Doog
can i get uhhh


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amplitube, serious. I've been using the VST for a few months and it's amaze. Fuck off using an amp at home when it sounds that good, has a million models and pedals and is insanely flexible.

I nearly bought an AC15, and this stopped me, that should be kudos enough. Even takes pedals well!
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Rhysyrhys
The Kraken


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are u gigging with these days fella? Still a HH, midi switch, m9 etc - same as last time I saw your riggerino?
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Doog
can i get uhhh


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rhysyrhys wrote:
What are u gigging with these days fella? Still a HH, midi switch, m9 etc - same as last time I saw your riggerino?


Haven't actually gigged the HH yet! Have only played 2 shows since we got going again, borrowed Freddy's old solidstate Marshall combo for the first one, and used my old Laney head w/repurposed PA cab for t'second.

And aye, still running the switcher (not MIDI, just programmable), M9 and a few dirt and octave pedals. Trying to look at a way to downsize the pedalboard but still have (nearly) as many sounds as it weighs a fucking tonnnnnnnnnnn.
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Mike
I like EL34s


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doog wrote:
Amplitube, serious. I've been using the VST for a few months and it's amaze. Fuck off using an amp at home when it sounds that good, has a million models and pedals and is insanely flexible.

I nearly bought an AC15, and this stopped me, that should be kudos enough. Even takes pedals well!


Out of interest how did you purchase this? It's been ages since I got involved with this stuff but I used to love it way back when (I was an early adopter of GuitarRig etc).

I've mucked about with GarageBand on my Macbook a bit but would need to purcase a new small audio interface as I sold my big 8 in 8 out one a while back now I'm just a Daddy Rocker mostly.

I guess you just buy it on the appstore or summat?
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Doog
can i get uhhh


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 19248
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Doog wrote:
Amplitube, serious. I've been using the VST for a few months and it's amaze. Fuck off using an amp at home when it sounds that good, has a million models and pedals and is insanely flexible.

I nearly bought an AC15, and this stopped me, that should be kudos enough. Even takes pedals well!


Out of interest how did you purchase this?


Totally legally
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Mike
I like EL34s


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not pointing fingers or anything, I gneuinely have no idea if this is just a simple cheapo app store purchase or pricey

Either way this thread has finally given me the punt in the arse to get one of these



So I can get my Macbook back in action as a home studio.

Keep your eyes peeled for gear demos and boy with guitar whinefests
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got Amplitube on both my iPhone and laptop. IIRC the laptop one was free and you get a small selection of amps/cabs/pedals. You can then buy additional ones. There are a number of packages you can buy that probably work out cheaper than buying lots of things individually but it would probably depend on how many things you think you'll want to end up using. I think the full version with everything included is several hundred pounds.

I think I may have paid a small amount (<10) for the iPhone app. There are lots of in-app purchases for additional bits of kit.

I got both some time ago though so things may have changed.
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Mike
I like EL34s


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I've been looking about, I think going the "Custom" route of free + the stuff I want/will use is the way to go rather than 130 for the whole deal.
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Doog
can i get uhhh


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 19248
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
I'm not pointing fingers or anything, I gneuinely have no idea if this is just a simple cheapo app store purchase or pricey

Either way this thread has finally given me the punt in the arse to get one of these



So I can get my Macbook back in action as a home studio.

Keep your eyes peeled for gear demos and boy with guitar whinefests


Yay! I got an M-Audio interface from Maplin for 60 or something, it's been kicking ass, no latency, better than the iOS amp sim stuff I used to use.

There's a free version of the desktop VST and app that has a few pedals and you can trial amps/pedals etc for a few days from the custom shop before buying.

Worth giving it a spin, esp as a VST plugin as you're recording the dry audio and you're monitoring it through the plug-in and interface, so it's effectively like reamping. Any issues with your base clean tone during your good takes? Go in there and tweeeeeeeak them knobs
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Rhysyrhys
The Kraken


Joined: 02 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll definitely checking Amplitube out for home - I doubt it runs on Linux, but in a month or so I'll probably have a nice shiny new macintosh anyway, so I don't think that will be too much of a problem. Just as an aside, if you guys like app model stuff for desktop PC's, I can highly recommend Logic Pro X's amp models - that was my practice rig from about early 2014 onwards - I made mostly electronic music for a while and would get my 30 mins a day in just plugging into my crappy interface and going through that.

Still a few unsolved issues for me here though - what about taking something with this sort of power to a practice session? I eventually want to move back to a heinously large board of individual stompers and a switcher and a tube amp and shizz, but that takes time and lots of money - any suggestions for the interim?
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Rhysyrhys
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a really good hypothetical question here is: You have 2500 (there is no reason for this exact amount, honest, it just sits nicely in my 6am pre-coffee brain when I am thinking about this the most) of your denomination of currency, your gear vanishes overnight, you have to go out to audition yourself for a band this evening - you run to a guitar shop. What do you buy and why?
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Bacchus
Whatever's handiest


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doog wrote:
Mike wrote:
Doog wrote:
Amplitube, serious. I've been using the VST for a few months and it's amaze. Fuck off using an amp at home when it sounds that good, has a million models and pedals and is insanely flexible.

I nearly bought an AC15, and this stopped me, that should be kudos enough. Even takes pedals well!


Out of interest how did you purchase this?


Totally legally


Have you tried Amplitube 4 yet?

You can change the speakers inside the cabinets. It's awesome (and definitely doesn't have the same effect as just adjusting the eq a nudge).
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Doog
can i get uhhh


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bacchus wrote:
Have you tried Amplitube 4 yet?

You can change the speakers inside the cabinets. It's awesome (and definitely doesn't have the same effect as just adjusting the eq a nudge).

Nah, just 3 as of yet. I pretty much always used the match cab and speaker size with the amp head; it can result in total paradox of choice paralysis if you don't limit yourself in some way, fuck knows 3 has enough parameters to keep even the most autistic of Kevin Shieldeseses happy

Rhysyrhys wrote:

Still a few unsolved issues for me here though - what about taking something with this sort of power to a practice session? I eventually want to move back to a heinously large board of individual stompers and a switcher and a tube amp and shizz, but that takes time and lots of money - any suggestions for the interim?

You defo could use the software as amp with a pedalboard, provided you've got a PA/super neutral solidstate amp to use it with... might as well just go with a Sansamp at that point. Guys like Adrian Belew rock it though, I think they've got MIDI switchers to change the software settings, rather than purely using it as a base tone.

Rhysyrhys wrote:
I think a really good hypothetical question here is: You have 2500 (there is no reason for this exact amount, honest, it just sits nicely in my 6am pre-coffee brain when I am thinking about this the most) of your denomination of currency, your gear vanishes overnight, you have to go out to audition yourself for a band this evening - you run to a guitar shop. What do you buy and why?

Honestly, not far off from what I have now; something singlecoily with a nice tremolo, a good OD that can work as a clean boost, a fat non-goofy fuzz pedal, something like an M9 to provide modulation, reverbs etc, going into a punchy 1x12" closed back tube amp, something like an AC15. Low-mid gain OD, mid gain fuzz, combine both for mayhem, super flexible.



#helpful
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dezb1
The Oppressor


Joined: 01 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Line 6 ux1 - amp farm... takes care of the sounds and the interface is love mine.
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Bacchus
Whatever's handiest


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doog wrote:
Bacchus wrote:
Have you tried Amplitube 4 yet?

You can change the speakers inside the cabinets. It's awesome (and definitely doesn't have the same effect as just adjusting the eq a nudge).

Nah, just 3 as of yet. I pretty much always used the match cab and speaker size with the amp head; it can result in total paradox of choice paralysis if you don't limit yourself in some way, fuck knows 3 has enough parameters to keep even the most autistic of Kevin Shieldeseses happy



Aye, but it has wee pictures of the speakers that it's emulating.
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Doog
can i get uhhh


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well in that case
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Mike
I like EL34s


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would you believe that Focusrite interface I ordered yesterday just arrived. The world we're living in.
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Doog
can i get uhhh


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah!
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robroe
Bon Jovi Fan Club!!1


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike wrote:
Would you believe that Focusrite interface I ordered yesterday just arrived. The world we're living in.


do an demo about how to hook all this shit up. i think i want one too.
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