Line 6 Helix Native. DAW plugins.

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Mike, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    Strange that you still got the hiss even having the Custom Shop open (I'm using a mac, so not sure if that makes a difference).

    I was ok with the UI in general, probably because I found TH3 so frustrating on my 13' Mac Air screen. But the one thing I don't understand is why Amplitube has 8 preset routing options, rather than just letting the user pick their own routing schemes. It took me a while to figure out how the flow of these different routing schemes impacted mono and stereo output.

    I plunked down the $500 for Amplitube Max yesterday by purchasing through the Custom Shop app. Most (but not all - like 95%) of the amp, cab, mic, pedal, and outboard models are available in Max (a few ). You can buy individually through the Custom Shop app as well, but I typically just buy bundles anyhow. One thing that really irked me was many of the Boogie presets rely use a Boogie slanted cab, and that cab did was not included in the Max bundle, so many of the patches throw a warning dialog box. Many of the other included cabs work great as a replacement, but a huge selling point Amplitube markets with Max is that you're getting all the Boogie amps, so I don't understand why they wouldn't throw in the cab that most of the Boogie presets include. Annoying!!!

    Here's everything that's not included in Max, in case you're wondering:

    2 Fulltone rack modules
    Ampeg amps SVT-VR, V-48, Heritage B-15N and corresponding cabs
    7 of 21 Fender Amps and their corresponding cabs (mostly the '57 models)
    Mesa 4x12 Reco Slant cab and 2x12 Transatlantic cab

    There's so much more in in this bundle than I'll ever use... it was the variety of rack and pedal FX that I wanted more than a hundred vintage amp and cab models I'll never use. So the few excluded models are not a big deal for me personally, it's more of an annoyance that you buy their top end bundle and still don't get everything included. It's like they want to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the consumer via those Boogie cabs and the annoying dialog boxes when you pull up a dependent preset.
     
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  2. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Yeah that's a rip that you don't get that cab after you paid for 'everything'. Congrats on the purchase though, the sound from Amplitube is top-notch!

    Due to my current monetary situation I just can't afford amplitube. Maybe in the future I could grab the basic for $150 and then buy the Mesa Dual rec and cab, but I still wouldn't have what I would want (a 5150 model for instance). At the moment I can't justify the extra expense unfortunately, and I can get some good tones from BIAS FX--even better than the shootout I just did--especially when I play around with cab and mic settings.
     
  3. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I didn't demo the BIAS before testing some of these other sim packages because I didn't understand their bundling model... their website isn't very clear on what the different product bundles are. And the bundles aren't cheap either. Currently 'on sale' at $549 for Guitar Complete and $649 for Studio Platinum. Yikes!!

    That said, I've heard great things about BIAS. Most of the people who have it and even compared it to others say it's as good or better than the other sim packages. It looks like Positive Grid's approach is a little different, which I respect as well. Someday I'll spend some time demo'ing it. Hope it won't make me regret the investment in AmpliTube!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  4. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    In my opinion, I think Amplitube sounds more realistic (tonally more complex sounding). BIAS FX can great some really nice tones though, and the UI is extremely simple and intuitive. For me it was/is the best all-in-one package at such a cheap price point. BIAS products often go on sale too, so when I got BIAS FX Standard it was $99, and its currently on sale for $69, with the PRO version (more amps, more effects) at 169. Bias AMP (standard on sale $69) is cool but I'm not interested in 'deep tweaking/editing' of Amp models, although BIAS AMP Pro version ($169) does offer an IR Loader, which is nice.
     
  5. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    I like AT4 and Bias both. Bias has taken a long time to grow on me, and I find it more work to get good tones but some of my Bias tones that are fully tweaked are way up there in my personal satisfaction ranking. A number of them are based on personal amp matches and then deeply tweaked from there. I do not find the Bias amp match nearly as good as the AxeFx tone match. It is more on par (probably a little better) than the Revalver ACT combo thing. So most of my Amp matches I have heavily EQ and whatnot afterward. BUT once it is there it can be tranferred to my iOS device, etc. Great fun!

    AT4 is a little more plug and play with amp tones and the cab room is really well done (still wish IRs were an option too but you can do it externally). AT4 has a bunch of OOOLD amp models in there though. Those new Mesas/Oranges/Fenders trounce everything else in the catalog. Even the Slash models, the Soldano, and and some of the other CS stuff could use some updating not to mention all those old AT original models. I can barely abide ATs FX. Bias FX, TH3, Native, just about anything except maybe Revalver or amp only sims are more satisfying for me than the AT4 FX.

    My personal King of the Hill as a total package is still TH3, I guess... amp tones are mostly great with just a few clunkers, no fizz issues, IR support, very very good FX; interface is the only let down.

    I would rank Native in the Revalver 4 range amp tones wise. It is way up there for FX for me, though. Top two or three.

    So they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I had been hoping that Native would just force a total reset on everyone: UI, Amps, FX but I am in wait and see mode. I do think L6 will commit to keeping it updated with the main Helix.
     
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  6. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Sorry everyone, had to do another shootout, this time with a wider variety of amp models (usually 2 per VST). Different guitar, tuning, and riffs on this one. Like the previous shootout Helix has OwnHammer IRs while the others are stock cab modeling. For each 'part' I chose which amp model sounded best in that situation so its less about comparing amp models and more about comparing what the vst's can do in general with raw tracks.

    https://soundcloud.com/michael-sherbert/sets/amp-sim-vst-test-part-2-amplitube-helix-bias-fx

    Details:
    Part 1: Bias FX with OD pedal into JCM800 model with 4x12 v30 cab
    Part 2: Bias FX with OD pedal into 5150 model with 4x12 v30 cab.
    Part 3: Bias FX with OD pedal into 5150 model with 4x12 v30 cab with Reverb.

    Part 1: Helix with OD pedal into 5150 model with Mesa 4x12 v30 cab.*
    Part 2: Helix with OD pedal into Archon model with Mesa 4x12 v30 cab.*
    Part 3: Helix with OD pedal into 5150 model with Mesa 4x12 v30 cab* with Reverb.
    *Mesa 4x12 v30 cab IR from Ownhammer

    Part 1: Amplitube with OD pedal into Soldano model with Mesa 2x12 v30 cab
    Part 2: Amplitube with OD pedal into Soldano model with Mesa 2x12 v30 cab.
    Part 3: Amplitube with OD pedal into Mesa DualRec model with Mesa 2x12 v30 cab with Reverb.

    Gear: Gibson Les Paul Menace in Eb Standard in Part 1, Drop C# in Part 2.
    -D'addario NYXL 11-49 strings.
    -Stock Gibson pickups (498t and 490r w/ modified pole pieces that come stock).
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
  7. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    Having spent a little more time with AT4, I agree with this assessment. I'm a huge Mesa Mark series fan and the Mesa models in AT4, especially the Mark IV, really scratch that itch. Even better than the Kemper in some ways. The Engl is pretty satisfying as well.

    I found the 'Mesa' models ok in TH3, but way short of the AT4 Mesas. I felt like TH3 went all in on the Lynch models, which were mostly good, some overlap redundancy, some not so appealing, but none were really a tone I could connect with. I also thought the options on the TH3 amps felt limited, where as many of the AT4 models give the end user many more front panel options.

    I really liked the Metropolitan amp in TH3 as something very different from what I'm used to. I've never heard of that amp before and wish AT4 had it.... I'd love to have that tone as my lightly-distorted/mild-crunch tone. It's the one thing I'll really miss when my TH3 demo expires!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  8. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    Another great shootout. I thought the Helix was a lot more competitive in this round, but I'd still rank it 3rd. Actually, I thought they were all a lot closer than in the previous shootouts.

    I still prefer the AT4, and I think the reason is that there's something additional in the low-mids that gives it a feel of 'moving air', which I don't get from the Helix or Bias.

    In a full mix, that bump in frequencies may or may not be desirable, depending upon the other instruments involved. It may end up needing to be EQ'd out, making the post-processed track sound a lot like Helix or Bias after all. YMMV...
     
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  9. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Thanks!

    I don't have any full songs with multiple tracks to mix so I don't know how easy or well these guitar tracks would fit into a full mix but I'd definitely be curious to see which are easiest to work with.

    I've said it before but I'll say it again, AT4 (The Official Mesa Dual rec + Mesa 2x12) sounds like i'm listening to that amp in the room. I love how detailed all of the strings are in the chord. It's very realistic/genuine and musical. Without question, it is the amp sim that is most enjoyable to play/hear (either just noodling by myself or playing along to music). I will say the Official Orange Rockerverb and matching cab sim I tried was pretty good but not as authentic as the Official Mesa sims. Yes, you get more 'air/thickness/detail' with AT4's Mesa sims for sure!

    Helix sounds very raw and replicates the sound you'd get if you were listening to the amp through monitors in a studio. You have to use the EQ or filters on most amp models to dial out some of the highs and fizziness if you want a pristine sound that most of us have become accustomed to. The Helix for high gain is probably the least 'enjoyable' for me when playing along to music or riffing by myself.

    BIAS FX is sounds good and is easy to use for cheap. Sounds good without much trouble/tweaking and is fairly inexpensive, especially if you are satisfied with the cheaper 'std' version of BIAS FX like I am.
     
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  10. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    I feel with every new amp sim, there's always gonna be the preference debate. I think I've flip flopped 100's of times between loving Kazrog and Bias. When Helix dropped I tried the demo and personally, I prefer it to both options. More so because Bias FX doesn't give me the complete experience that Line 6 did with POD Farm, and Helix is merely a leap and bound sonically for me. I think we all have to remember our ears and preferences are subjective. I think Helix is more darker sounding than the previous things we've heard (I really did not like HD to my ears) and I'm glad they have made something that gives us an option that's not POD Farm.
     
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  11. brutalwizard

    brutalwizard Pretty Your Petunia

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    Not condoning or anything, and if you'll note i am one of the only people here that bought native. But it has already been "decrypted". Isn't that basically the reason fractal never vst'ed their proprietary software??
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  12. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Well that was fast.
     
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  13. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    Line 6 knew it was going to happen. Decided it was worth it. They're right.
     
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  14. niffnoff

    niffnoff Just another SunBro

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    Superior was also cracked the same day of release... I still bought both pieces of software cause I love the products. Who cares if it does get pirated? Least I don't feel like a POS when I do demos for people with legit software.
     
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