Toan-chasing rant: Helix owners input welcome.

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by SnoozyWyrm, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. SnoozyWyrm

    SnoozyWyrm SS.org Regular

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    So I've been playing with my band for quite some time now, and I am not completely satisfied with my tones. I know I am a bit of a greedy f*cker regarding tones...however that's not the point. Last week we played live in a mid-large venue that has nice stage gear and I had -kind of- a revelation.

    Let me be thorough:

    The band has two guitarists, we play 80s styled metal & covers.

    During practice I plug the Helix in the return of a mini-rec going into a vertical marshall 2x12. For my lead tones (strictly amp-wise not talking about effects) I add 3-6db from the output block, usually I also increase the gain and sag a bit. Typical amp models are the Placater dirty and Line 6 2203 Mod.

    My friend goes from an MXR 5150 to the input of a Marshall 1962 JTM Bluesbreaker combo. For his leads he steps on a TC-electronics sparkle booster (placed after the MXR).

    Rehearsal observations: Our rhythm sounds are comparable, mine have a bit more of a high mids focus than his. When going to lead though he totally buries me. His sounds is so much fuller, ballsy and round. Compared to mine which sound tinny/hollow, although I have almost maxed mid settings on the amp models.

    Live observations: This venue offers 2 Marshall JVM410 heads with the accompanying 4x12 cabs. It was really funny when I plugged in the return once again and -lo and behold- instant brutal mayhem! My rhythm sounds were amazing even in the full band mix! On the other hand we had to fiddle with my friend's rhythm sound a lot (both on the amp and his pedals). Nevertheless, his leads were again more to my liking.

    Finishing rumblings (or TLDR if you may):
    Is the TC Sparkle booster magical?
    Add mid hump with EQ block after the amp block for leads (I am really wary of the honkiness)?
    4x12s and 100w really rock when you can really use them!
     
  2. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Maybe try less mids in your rhythm settings, since they're dimed?

    If you're not playing identical guitars in identical ways, I'm sure that accounts for more differences as well.

    Try swapping rigs at your next practice and see if it's really his settings or his guitar/playing that are making big differences.

    Lastly, each of your tones should compliment the band sound. Create your rhythm and lead tones together so everything sounds cohesive. Get the bassist in on it as well.
     
  3. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Also are you using the preamp models are the full amp models?

    Because the Mini Rec has a power amp that really colors the sound, vs the JVM which is a relatively clean power amp.
     
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  4. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    EL84s suck for stage volume levels, they are for lunch boxes and toy amps in the bedroom. Get a 6L6 or EL34 based amp, or go FRFR and FOH.
     
  5. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    If your lead and rhythm tone are identical tone-wise, it's not surprising that your lead doesn't stand out. You gotta twist some knobs there to make it sound good.
     
  6. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    My dude, do you know what AC30's are known for :lol:
     
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  7. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Instead of a straight volume boost for your lead tones, try a different OD boost or even using the Snapshot feature to adjust the amp EQ. Speakers play a big role here, too. What's the difference between your cab and his cab, or your cab and the house cab you just played through? I've run my Helix through a bunch of different amps and cabs and I've always been able to either dial in exactly, or incredibly comparable to various tube rigs, but they all sounded different, and I found out I HATE Orange cabinets, lol. I also second dialing back a little bit of the mids for your rhythm tone so when you step on it for leads its a broader change.
     
  8. devastone

    devastone SS.org Regular

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    What speakers are in the vertical 2-12 vs the 4-12s and the other guitarists' combo?
     
  9. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    Not headroom and tight palm mutes.
     
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  10. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Go look up Brian May though.
     
  11. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

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    lmao, this advice. "go full size tubes or fuck it, go digital"

    ...what? what? have you even A-Bed el84 and el34 in the mix?

    personally I am confused why you are running a modeler into a Mini Recto when you can just use the amp instead? you could get your rhythm tone on channel 1 pushed with a very very hot boost pedal running into it to get some serious gain happening. Boost + OD808 works for me. Then go channel 2 vintage for leads and use the channel volume to bring your volume up.
     
  12. SnoozyWyrm

    SnoozyWyrm SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the replies guys!

    The fact is I mostly like my rhythm sounds. They lean towards tightness and don't interfere with the bassist's domain. Going to lead has tonal differences they are just a bit subtle other than in perceived volume.

    I am using the snapshots (I mean I'd have to be stupid to not utilize them.) and I also use the full amp models cause I found I preferred them over the preamp ones. I guess I was afraid a bit that there is such a thing as too much mids. I've been tinkering with an eq block after the amp for my lead snaps instead of the output block. We'll see next time in the studio.

    About the speakers. The venue had v30s. The rehearsal studio I am not sure, probably not v30s though. The Bluesbreaker has 2x G12M-25.
     
  13. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    I would try going direct to the PA, or get a power amp and 212 or 412 cab. Turn off the power amp and cab/mic simulations in the Helix if you go with the latter; leave them on if you go with the former.
     
  14. SnoozyWyrm

    SnoozyWyrm SS.org Regular

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    Didn't notice your message before.

    I ain't using the recto cause it's not mine :lol: it belongs to the rehearsal studio. In addition to that I need ~5 sounds (regarding gain & volume levels) during a setlist and the mini-rec can't do that while the helix (which I own can)

    On a side note the Vertical 2x12 has seventy80s which might explain some things.
     
  15. devastone

    devastone SS.org Regular

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    Yes, use something with better speakers. IMHO the 70/80s sound thin at low volume and fall apart at high volume, and there isn't really much middle ground. YMMV
     

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