Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by andy_tchp » Tue Sep 05, 2023 3:45 pm

Line 6 Helix is also a possibility/option.

My 'Helix Stomp' arrived yesterday.
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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by Embenny » Tue Sep 05, 2023 5:25 pm

Steadyriot. wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2023 12:10 pm
Luckily after ten whole years (!!!) Christoph Kemper finally saw the light and added USB audio and reamping capabilities with the latest update! With the updated effects from a few years back it’s really become way more of a standalone unit than when they were released.
Wait, you mean the hardware was capable of that but he simply didn't implement the necessary firmware/software?

That's really not cool. If it had had those features a few years ago, I might not have bothered switching to AxeFX.

I'm still happy with what I have, but it would have been nice to skip the learning curve and stick with what was working for me.
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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by Steadyriot. » Wed Sep 06, 2023 7:29 am

Embenny wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2023 5:25 pm
Steadyriot. wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2023 12:10 pm
Luckily after ten whole years (!!!) Christoph Kemper finally saw the light and added USB audio and reamping capabilities with the latest update! With the updated effects from a few years back it’s really become way more of a standalone unit than when they were released.
Wait, you mean the hardware was capable of that but he simply didn't implement the necessary firmware/software?

That's really not cool. If it had had those features a few years ago, I might not have bothered switching to AxeFX.

I'm still happy with what I have, but it would have been nice to skip the learning curve and stick with what was working for me.
Yes! I have mixed feelings about it as well. It’s great that it was finally added but there is no logical reason for it to have taken a decade.
Telliot wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2023 2:33 pm
I really appreciate everyone's input so far! After doing some more research I'm starting to lean towards the non-powered toaster model. From what I'm seeing, it seems to be more straightforward and intuitive. That said, I really hate (HATE) the stereo delay/reverb presets I'm hearing on YouTube demos, but then I'll hear something really nice that sounds useable for my tastes. There was a nice Magnatone demo I came across by ToneJunkie I really liked, for example..
Yeah a lot of profiles and sellers are hit or miss. I like some of the Tonejunkie stuff but his and my ears are clearly tuned to different things. He’s great at the whole worship thing though if stacks of delays and reverbs are what you’re into.
Upside with (most) paid profiles you almost always get at least some good ones in a profile pack and none of them truely suck.
There’s a lot of junk on the free rig exchange, most of the profiles on there sound like a box of angry bees. If you dig around you can find some gems though. All the profiles I use live are free from the rig exchange coincidentally.

A personal favorite of mine for profiles is Multitracks.com. Brian Carl (big worship guy) did some tremendous profiles for them. I’m not into the whole worship thing but their amps sound great.

I bet I have the free set Tonejunkie gives out with every release. If you end up buying a Kemper (I’d sell you mine for a brOSG price but shipping across the ocean seems prohibitive) and you want that Magnatone or other profiles send me a DM and I’ll send them to you. I got quite the collection by now.
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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Sep 06, 2023 9:03 am

Interesting thread. I don’t have the scratch for a Kemper, but I have been using hardware amp sims at home for years.

For me being able to record silently/whenever I want trumps any minor differences in teh toanz.

Honestly my ideal baseline guitar sound is not all that different from the worship sound. I just ugly it up a little.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by Telliot » Wed Sep 06, 2023 9:09 am

Steadyriot. wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2023 7:29 am
Yeah a lot of profiles and sellers are hit or miss. I like some of the Tonejunkie stuff but his and my ears are clearly tuned to different things. He’s great at the whole worship thing though if stacks of delays and reverbs are what you’re into.
Upside with (most) paid profiles you almost always get at least some good ones in a profile pack and none of them truely suck.
There’s a lot of junk on the free rig exchange, most of the profiles on there sound like a box of angry bees. If you dig around you can find some gems though. All the profiles I use live are free from the rig exchange coincidentally.

A personal favorite of mine for profiles is Multitracks.com. Brian Carl (big worship guy) did some tremendous profiles for them. I’m not into the whole worship thing but their amps sound great.

I bet I have the free set Tonejunkie gives out with every release. If you end up buying a Kemper (I’d sell you mine for a brOSG price but shipping across the ocean seems prohibitive) and you want that Magnatone or other profiles send me a DM and I’ll send them to you. I got quite the collection by now.
Ah, I suspected but wasn't sure about the whole worship thing. I did watch a video of his where he had a sign behind him that says 'repent,' so I guess I should have taken that as a clear indicator. :D

When you mentioned selling yours my first thought was to PM you to discuss further in the hopes we could help each other out, but then I realized you're in the Netherlands and it might not be the best solution.
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by Embenny » Wed Sep 06, 2023 10:20 am

Telliot wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2023 9:09 am
Ah, I suspected but wasn't sure about the whole worship thing. I did watch a video of his where he had a sign behind him that says 'repent,' so I guess I should have taken that as a clear indicator. :D

When you mentioned selling yours my first thought was to PM you to discuss further in the hopes we could help each other out, but then I realized you're in the Netherlands and it might not be the best solution.
Yeah, two things to remember about the Kemper:

1) It's popular in a few distinct "scenes" so many demos are biased toward those tones, and 2) Unlike modelers who use the same style algorithm for everything, profiling is completely different in that it's a snapshot of this amp with these settings as recorded by this person, so the tones you end up using as daily drivers might sound absolutely nothing like any YT demo you've watched.

What #2 also means is that each "profiler", as in "recorder of profiles" (a given user on the exchange, a given company who sells for money) has a distinct "flavour" to their profiles.

What I also noticed, personally, was that certain "profilers" clearly used a Les Paul to set up their tones, or a Tele, or that one guy who used a 3xP90 guitar for everything (forget his name, M Britt maybe?). And, shockingly, the profiles I found to fit my Jags, Mustangs and Jazzmasters best came from the Tele/Strat profilers and not the P90 and PAF profilers.

Because, unlike an AxeFX where you can simply change the balance of Normal and Bright volume settings on a Plexi, a Plexi profile is stuck with whatever balance the profiler settled on IRL. And what they settle on will be what suits their guitar and their preferences. Very few people use identical amp settings for single coil Strats, P90 Les Pauls and EMG-equipped Jacksons, so it really matters what the person at the other end of the profiling process was into.

I did find a certain degree of success tailoring profiles using the deep menu features (I think my favourites were called "definition" and "attack", but it's been a while). I often could massage the same profile into a Jaguar, Jazzmaster, Mustang, and Gretsch version primarily by tweaking those two parameters, and then finishing off with some EQ adjustments. But I'd have to start with one that sounded near-perfect with one of those guitars as-is before doing that, and the majority of profiles seemed to be made with very different guitars in mind.

That might be something that's changed in the last 3 or so years since I sold my Kemper. With Offsets becoming so much more popular, I bet a ton more people are using them to dial in profiles compared to when I bought mine in 2015. I'm pretty sure the last new profile I actually put to use was made in 2016 - after that, I just stuck with what worked instead of resuming the exhaustive search for profiles that didn't make my Jaguar sound like a tin can of bees.

But, as much as I loved my Kemper, I'd encourage you to also look at the IK Multimedia Tonex pedal. It's a true profiler, rather than modeler, so the premise is much the same, but it uses 10-year-newer hardware, AI-assisted software, costs much less, and comes with a native plug-in version that makes reamping in software and auditioning profiles effortless.

I've not used it personally, but I have trouble imagining that it feels or sounds worse than the Kemper given that they had an extra decade to work on it, and Kempers available to A/B and reverse engineer.

It doesn't have as many effects, but the form factor is super handy and the money you save could buy you a lovely pedalboard or multi-FX to make up the difference.
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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by øøøøøøø » Wed Sep 06, 2023 5:41 pm

My experience with them is limited, but non-zero

If I had a choice between a Kemper and an ideal situation to record real amps--a great room, a choice mic locker, an assistant to help place the mics (and they're placed advantageously), great front-end and the ability to crank the amp when needed (while sitting and monitoring in the control room), I'd definitely choose the latter.

But if I had a choice between a Kemper and the opposite extreme... mediocre mics and front end, working in a weird-sounding room when the amp is cranked, and I have to sit IN the room and put earplugs in and headphones over top, etc...

I'd probably choose the Kemper, even if the amp in question was really nice.

There's obviously a spectrum in between those two extremes where it gets to be more of a judgment call.

It's less fun to use than real tube amps and mics (to me), but it removes a lot of common "home recording" logistical hurdles. And people have made (and will continue to make) great-sounding records using the Kemper. As with everything else, it's the ideas and execution that matter more than the tools.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by OffYourFace » Wed Sep 06, 2023 6:53 pm

They sound good. I heard a profile of a '78 50w marshall halfstack i used to own and it blew me away.

Other than that, I've seen many of them break down on big summer festival stages due to heat. You'll be fine at home.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by Telliot » Fri Sep 22, 2023 1:15 pm

Thanks again to everyone for their feedback.

After reading your responses and spending more time diving into this world I've largely ignored, I started leaning more heavily into the Line 6 world and was pleasantly surprised to see so many options and positive reviews online. I watched a TON of head-to-head videos between the Kemper and Helix models and was blown away by the Helix's sound and flexibility. At first it was a bit overwhelming but then I decided I wanted something that would be an 'all in one,' including an expression/volume pedal. (While I don't tend to use expression pedals all that much, I do like to use a volume pedal from time to time, especially when I'm playing lap steel.)

This nudged me towards the 2 larger models, the Floor and LT. There's still a big difference in price between them so I kind of set my sights on the LT, which tends to go for ~$900 used these days (the Floor still tends to be ~$400 more), but today a Floor popped up on Reverb for $1k and free shipping, so I pounced on it. (I guess I ended up with their flagship model after all, even though I'd decided it was more than I needed.)

Even though I prefer the cleaner aesthetic of the more minimal LT, I like the screen-per-button aspect of the Floor (hopefully it will help ease the learning curve a bit), and the audio over USB is huge. I don't know if it will completely void my need for pedals, but I assume it will help with pedal GAS, and the fact it's got cab sims and IR's built into it was imperative in my search. I think this will be a good way for me to expand my studio pallet and workflow moving forward.

In any case, I'm excited about this purchase (seller's photo):

Image
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by andy_tchp » Fri Sep 22, 2023 3:10 pm

Nice one. I think the larger units are a little easier to use than the ‘Stomp’, but once I figured out the basic functionality I had a new song demo down within an hour - with not just good, but great guitar and bass sounds.

Keen to hear how you get on.
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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by Telliot » Fri Sep 22, 2023 6:15 pm

andy_tchp wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2023 3:10 pm
That makes me super happy to hear! I love that I’ll have bass rigs too. My plan is to create starter patches for my guitars, bass, lap steel, Rhodes, and synths.
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by andy_tchp » Sat Sep 23, 2023 12:34 am

Telliot wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2023 6:15 pm
andy_tchp wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2023 3:10 pm
That makes me super happy to hear! I love that I’ll have bass rigs too. My plan is to create starter patches for my guitars, bass, lap steel, Rhodes, and synths.
I'm still in shock at the capabilities of these things and home recording in 2023 generally TBH (I mean... 'Drummer' is just worlds ahead of what I thought it could possibly be). I spent most of today dialling in sounds/tracking guitars and bass for what, I guess, will be a new song on my first 'EP' since my aborted second album ended up being scrapped.

I will most likely dry hire a local studio for vocal tracking (this house is not conducive to room treatment or building a vocal booth) as there's one 5 minutes from my work office that I stumbled across the other day.

I've never used a real Ampeg SVT-4 Pro in a real studio setting so I can't speak to whether it sounds 'the same', but does it sound 'good' and usable? Oh, hell yes. Assuredly better than any result coming from me attempting to mic my own amps in what is literally a bedroom.

The guitar amps (particularly the Fender based ones) nail the sound/feel IMHO.
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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by Telliot » Sat Sep 23, 2023 8:16 pm

andy_tchp wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2023 12:34 am
Oh, man. Drummer has been an absolute lifesaver for people like me who don’t have the capacity to record drums at home. I’m years into using it and still learning new techniques to wring every possible drop of inspiration I can from it. I really hope they expand into other styles of music in upcoming releases; a proper jazz player and kit would be awesome.

It makes me feel much better, reading your experiences with the Line 6 stuff. You’re confirming everything I was hoping to get out of it, and it’s only making me more excited. I’d love to hear your music when you’re ready to share!
The cool thing about fretless is you can hit a note...and then renegotiate.

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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by sessylU » Sun Sep 24, 2023 6:01 am

Was at a wedding last night and the band had three helixes between them, and an electric kit. They soundchecked more or less silently with in-ear monitors and sounded terrific.
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Re: Has Anyone Replaced Their Pedalboards with Helix?

Post by BTL » Sun Sep 24, 2023 8:35 am

I think you've sold me on the Helix. I was considering building a pedalboard from scratch, but I think this is just the better way to go for me. :)
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