A good point, well made

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Re: A good point, well made

Post by Random Guitarist »

Music Wolf wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:56 pm A Helix (or Kemper etc) isn’t quite the same as having a ‘real’ amp a few feet away from you but, out front (where it matters), they certainly do the business.

Amen to this. I recently started doing a new covers band thing, the first time using a Helix. It sounds very good, and it frees up my focus for playing. With the snapshots feature I just need to select the right patch, tap the tempo on the count in if needed, and play. As sounds change through the song I have a single press to move snapshots. I can focus on what I'm playing what others are playing. Even if the tone wasn't stellar it would still be the thing to use because it frees me up to be a better player.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by Music Wolf »

Random Guitarist wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:30 am
Music Wolf wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:56 pm A Helix (or Kemper etc) isn’t quite the same as having a ‘real’ amp a few feet away from you but, out front (where it matters), they certainly do the business.

Amen to this. I recently started doing a new covers band thing, the first time using a Helix. It sounds very good, and it frees up my focus for playing. With the snapshots feature I just need to select the right patch, tap the tempo on the count in if needed, and play. As sounds change through the song I have a single press to move snapshots. I can focus on what I'm playing what others are playing. Even if the tone wasn't stellar it would still be the thing to use because it frees me up to be a better player.

Something that I like to do with my Helix, and I used to empoly a similar technique when I gigged my Kemper, is to set up two paths and either switch between them or bring in the second path using the expresion pedal (with the Kemper I used the morph feature). Typically one path is rhythm and the other lead.

The idea is that the expression pedal is a much bigger target to aim for, as opposed to a footswitch, especially if you are covering any vocal duties.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by blinddrew »

I would love to get to this point, I'm practically tap-dancing through some songs and switching between vocal mics as well.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by Music Wolf »

blinddrew wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 11:25 am I would love to get to this point, I'm practically tap-dancing through some songs and switching between vocal mics as well.

There are pros and cons.

When it's all set up and working the possibilities are endless. I use my Helix as a controller for two external MIDI effects, a digital mixer and record / playback from my laptop. I select a patch from the Helix (one patch per song, so my Helix is also my set list - no more bits of paper), this pulls up the corresponding song in Cantabile software on my laptop, it selects the scene on the mixer and calls up the correct patches on the SY-300 and VoiceLive VL-2. I have footswitches set up as 'play', 'stop' and 'mute'. 'Play' starts the 'song' running in Cantabile. A couple of songs have a pre-recorded intro / count-in which starts but I also have it set to begin a multi-track recording of everything running through the PA. 'Stop' ends the recoding and 'Mute' kills the PA in case of uncontrolled feedback or at the end of a set.

Next step - controling the lighting.

Cons - Learning curve, it takes a while to 'tune' things (an amp and a couple of pedals are so much easier, especially in the beginning) and more complexity increases the risk of something going wrong.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by blinddrew »

The other 'con' is the cost of the system in the first place. ;)
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by BigRedX »

blinddrew wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:06 pm The other 'con' is the cost of the system in the first place. ;)

I spent less money on my latest bass rig - a Line6 Helix Floor and an RCF 745 powered cab (approximately £2k) than I had on the rig it replaced that was composed mainly of items bought second hand.

And when you consider the fact that I also use this rig for Bass VI and guitar, I actually came away with a profit after selling all the stuff it replaced.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by blinddrew »

I'm much more of a cheapskate so that equation really wouldn't work out for me! :D
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by merlyn »

The good point in question was whether the £1000 is better spent on gear or guitar lessons.

Or you could save yourself some money and practice.

Taking time at £30 per hour £1000 is ~33hrs practice, or 3hrs a day for 11 days.

A year's practice at 3 hrs a day is then worth £32850. (OK, take Christmas Day off -- £32820)
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by Murray B »

I'm a recent convert to the Line 6 Pod Go - it's nowhere near as sophisticated as a Helix but I used it for two gigs at the same weekend festival (one on guitar and one on the bass) and I was very happy with the results, plus it was easier than travelling with and loading two amps.

It's does feel a little precarious having nearly all my eggs in one basket - despite packing a very budget plan B Sonicake multi effects pedal just in case of disaster. One RCF 710 worked well enough as both guitar and bass monitor - although I haven't yet worked out the gain staging so that there is less of a hiss. :? Frustratingly I have no hiss problems with a similar connection approach and my trusty old Yamaha MSR 100.

My pedal board of nearly 20 years is small collection mostly modded and fancy pedals and just nails the tone I like and has meant I've never needed anything other than a clean amp tone to sound 'right' - but it's heavy and I'm not getting any younger. in reference to the original post my band mates didn't notice a negative change to my guitar or bass tone, I can't imagine anyone in the audience wishing I'd brought a valve amp or my bass rig with me either. The drummer liked the lighty up switches. :-) The sound man liked that my 'amp' was pointed at my ears and not firing down the venue.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by Murray B »

merlyn wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 4:59 pm The good point in question was whether the £1000 is better spent on gear or guitar lessons.

Or you could save yourself some money and practice.

Taking time at £30 per hour £1000 is ~33hrs practice, or 3hrs a day for 11 days.

A year's practice at 3 hrs a day is then worth £32850. (OK, take Christmas Day off -- £32820)

Can I use this formula when negotiating my gig fees :bouncy:
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by The Elf »

blinddrew wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:06 pm The other 'con' is the cost of the system in the first place. ;)

You don't need the full Helix Floor to do that fancy stuff. An HX Stomp XL may suffice.

That said I find the additional switches of the Helix Floor to be helpful, especially since I have them linked to software instruments and effects too.

I also use a Morningstar MC8, which is just a bunch of MIDI control buttons in a box.

TBH all the clever stuff is happening in Cantabile.
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Re: A good point, well made

Post by Sam Spoons »

I bought a Headrush Gigboard at the beginning of lockdown last year. I like it a lot but I can't say I've got it to sound as good as my, fairly modest, pedalboard yet. I will persevere as I don't want to end up sounding like a guy I gigged with a couple of years ago, he had a Helix and a pair of 8" FRFR boxes, sounded pretty feeble compared to my 18 watt combo and a Tube Screamer :headbang:
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