Going Digital?!?! ME?!?!?

danktat

Award winning tattoo artist ... Amateur guitarist
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Nov 5, 2018
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Yes, me.....Mr stomp box purist is dipping my toe in the digital processing realm. I got too good a deal on this to turn it down. It has been gigged but you wouldn't know it from the condition. And the Reviews I have read and seen on youtube. And even the A/B next to the Helix seems to be pretty close. To me, it is like my cell phone. I will NEVER use all of the features on my cell phone. By the time I understand half of them, the phone would be obsolete anyway. So, even though the Helix does more, this seemed like a good fit for me to start down this road on. Should make these upcoming recording projects easier if I can dial in the tones I need. We shall see.

Any of you guys have experience with this system?

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Never played one but they sound good. Even using it as an effects changer through your tube amp loop is cool of you love the amps tone but want major effects flexibility.
That was basically the idea.....to try to be done with so many effects pedals and patch cables, and power cables, velcro falling off, etc............figured, for the price, I'd give it a try. I love my amp's tone.....but if I could get an all in one thing for the effects it should be more convenient.

(I hope)
 
I spoke to a session player who didn't use anything else, because of it's convenience. Looking good, have fun!
 
I use a Helix for that exact purpose. It replaced all my stompboxes and switches my Mesa amp. I still use my old Pod XT for noodling and as a scratchpad for working on ideas at my recording console.
Spend the time to get to know it pretty well and it will pay dividends.
 
Oh... Wait 'til you tried the big guys... Boss GT-100, GT-1000, the Headrush and Helix newer series, etc.
 
I am looking at getting the newer Line 6 Helix (LT or Floor) as a replacement to my Boss GT-100. Headrush looks great but its more limited than the others. The Helix LT and Boss GT1000 are very similar in terms of quantity if you are looking at number of Amps, Cabs, Mics and FX which puts them more in competition with each other. Headrush though looks cooler and has a touchscreen but its not as quick or as in-depth as Line 6. The Line 6 is quicker to set-up too despite Headrush's touch screen.

I have been doing a LOT of research lately as I am trying to decide which to buy. The Headrush has the strips above the foot switches - more like the Helix Floor but has around half the options. I have found it quite hard to get a 'direct' comparison of all 3 - even just the Helix LT vs Boss which appear to be as well stocked as each other. I initially wanted the Headrush as the touchscreen is a cool idea - it also has the 'best' looper of them all. However, as I researched more, the Helix and Boss seem to be more well stocked - each offering over 100 FX compared to 45 with Headrush. Its similar when you compare Amps, Cabs and Mics too. I am sure Headrush would be great, more than adequate for many people and I hear the modelling is very good. I think the Helix Floor is far more than I need - when you compare the difference between it and the 'Light' LT version. A few less loops, no scribble strips etc but I think the Scribble Strips are cool and helpful - although the screen can display what each foot switch will be set to do instead of having that info above each switch.

From what I have read, as well as the guitarists I speak to, the famous people that use a Multi-FX pedal board, Helix really seems to be the one of choice. I know AxeFX is often used too as a Rack option but as far as floor based Effects, Helix, is the most popular and most recommended. Helix and AxeFX racks can add a foot switch controller too of course.

It seems that I will be going the Helix route and will look to see if I can get a 'bargain' on the Floor version but may end up with the cheaper LT as my upgrade to my Boss GT-100. However there isn't a 'big' rush for me as I am gassing for at least 1 new PRS Guitar and, if I do buy a Helix, that's a big chunk out of my savings pot for Gear. I am not in a position to buy the guitar I want right now but my fund is getting closer every month. I want to be in a position to buy a guitar, should I see one in the colour I want, and if I spend £800-£1k on a Helix, that's going to take a big chunk out of my 'gear' fund and set me back a few month's to being in that position to buy the guitar. I don't like buying on Credit and always buy when I have saved the money to buy.

As much as I love individual pedals, tube amps etc I want the convenience and variety of options these Digital multi-fx pedals offer. They are already at the stage where you cannot tell the difference 95%+ of the time when listening and they are getting ever closer to replicate the feel and the dynamics. Since I have become just a home only player, and with the fact I have neighbours in very close proximity, I haven't been able to play my Marshall JVM410 100w Amp, not even my Blackstar HT5R 212 90%+ o my guitar time. As a UK resident living in a 1 bed apartment, I only have 4 rooms - 2 of which are the Kitchen and Bathroom. I cannot leave my complete rig set-up, cannot have my guitars hanging around the walls (there is literally no wall space thanks to doors, windows, wardrobes, shelving units etc) There isn't the floor space either to have pedals, cables, power supply, guitar stands (more than 1) so a digital Helix is ideal. I can plug it into my amps when I want or able, use it to listen in on headphones, plug it into my PC and use it that way, even plug it into a desktop type Amp (like the Yamaha THR or Katana air and get my JCM800 or Plexi sounds my JVM410 can offer - as well as many amps I don't own like a Mesa Boogie or Vox.

Its not like I am giving up my Valve amps at all and still able to use them if and when I can but a Helix with everything, bar the actual speakers to hear my sound, seems like a win to me. Of course I would love a bigger house, one where I can have a room totally dedicated to Music, a room large enough to have multiple amps, cabs etc, even have all my guitars on the walls and room to add many more, have shelving full of individual pedals, one end completely dedicated to recording, mixing and producing full complete instrumental songs (there is no way I would inflict my singing onto the world or have it recorded so it may leak out) but right now, for the limitations and present day circumstances, a Helix Floor (or LT, GT1000, Headrush) would be 'perfect' for me. Its a sacrifice I am willing to make LOL
 
Digital can be a big rabbit hole!

I had the original HD 500 I used for just effects with my tube amps. Took forever for me to figure out how to set it up right (4 cable method) to prevent ‘tone suck’ from the unit. Tons of flexibility with it, but overkill for my limited needs. Moved it on during my amp purge a few years back.

Now use an H9 which sounds superior and is much less guesswork involved. Although I seem to use less effects these days in general with my Kemper. They updated their delays and reverbs which helped. I just got the L6 Powercab to try with my Kemper so I’m trying to dial that in now.
 
Digital can be a big rabbit hole!

I had the original HD 500 I used for just effects with my tube amps. Took forever for me to figure out how to set it up right (4 cable method) to prevent ‘tone suck’ from the unit. Tons of flexibility with it, but overkill for my limited needs. Moved it on during my amp purge a few years back.

Now use an H9 which sounds superior and is much less guesswork involved. Although I seem to use less effects these days in general with my Kemper. They updated their delays and reverbs which helped. I just got the L6 Powercab to try with my Kemper so I’m trying to dial that in now.
Curious about the Powercab, but that's another thread perhaps...
 
Curious about the Powercab, but that's another thread perhaps...
Thought you might :)

I’m getting over a nasty flu bug and one of my ears is still plugged so my hearing is off - couldn’t resist 20% off though so figured why not. We’re also packing up getting ready to list our house for sale -guitars are now off the wall :(
 
wa paul hopping states?

Thought you might :)

I’m getting over a nasty flu bug and one of my ears is still plugged so my hearing is off - couldn’t resist 20% off though so figured why not. We’re also packing up getting ready to list our house for sale -guitars are now off the wall :(
 
Thought you might :)

I’m getting over a nasty flu bug and one of my ears is still plugged so my hearing is off - couldn’t resist 20% off though so figured why not. We’re also packing up getting ready to list our house for sale -guitars are now off the wall :(
I hate moving. Hopefully it's a good thing!
***EDIT*** Rats, well the good thing is you've got a plan! Best of luck mate!
 
Digital can be a big rabbit hole!
That is kind of what I was afraid of. No matter how far you go, there is always "MORE" "BETTER" "CLEANER" "SMOOTHER" blah...blah....blah......

One thing is for sure, if all goes as it looks like it is going, I'll have the opportunity to put this thing through its paces and it will let me know realistically weather or not it is for me. Since I'll be at home using it, recording with it, and playing out with it. . .I'll get a better feel for weather or not it is a rabbit hole I want to go deep down in.
 
I like the two H9s on my pedalboard for certain tempo-synced modulations and delays, wah (which I rarely use) and some reverbs. There’s some excellent digital stuff out there for those purposes, though I still like my chorus, tape delay and tremolo analog, and if I used more wah, that’d be analog as well, due to its character and non-linearity.

I find that digital’s shortcomings are mainly in the distortion and drive emulations, where the texture becomes a problem (for me). So for that I need analog, as well as tube amplifiers.

In any case, my “mixed” pedals mean that if I had a Helix or equivalent, I’d still need a pedalboard! Hence the H9s instead.

My favorite thing about the H9 interface is the Bluetooth connection for editing and creating presets. No crawling around on the floor, no connecting wires to a computer, no disconnecting everything to move it to a table to deal with tiny menus! Two taps on a device, and I’m ready to work.
 
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