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Al Krow

Helix Floor/LT/HX/Stomp Owners' Club - Tips, Ideas & Patches

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1 hour ago, dave_bass5 said:

Still loving my Stomp. Its making life more complicated as I’m forever jumping,on switches now, but it’s good fun. 

2 questions.

When using an amp sim, or rig sim, where you do put it? My mind thinks at the end, just like pedals in to a rig. Is this what most do? I must admit ive not got in to splitting the chain yet, my needs are quite modest at the moment. 

The second is, does anyone use a different PSU, but still in stand alone mode and not a pedal board? I could do with something slightly smaller, and something that doesn’t fall apart when I unplug it from the wall  (Might superglue it together)

http://drtonelab.com/?fbclid=IwAR2fRWJLdx2Dg6uH0jRLirDA0uZjaXWXemQK-Iq7Z1xWy5hsYczVtFxh1iQ some of these have some good ideas in them 

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2 hours ago, stoo said:

I usually put the amp/cab/IR blocks at or near the end of the chain - sometimes I'll put delay/reverb/compression afterwards.... I just play around with it in HX edit and see what I like better.

I'm no fan of the stock PSU either - I went with a slightly less permanent option than superglue though!

helix psu.jpg

I had thought about taping it up, but seeing as I’ll never need to use anything other than a uk 3 pin outlet I’ll never need to take it apart again. Would prefer a smaller one though (as she said...never lol)

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So I’ll still learning about using compression, but what compressors are ppl using best for bass? I’ve found a million and one ways to sound bad, have got some great ok tones on the three band and the studio compressor

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1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

So I’ll still learning about using compression, but what compressors are ppl using best for bass? I’ve found a million and one ways to sound bad, have got some great ok tones on the three band and the studio compressor

I think @Osiris mentioned he had got some great results with the multi-band compressor on the Stomp. Hopefully he'll be along shortly to give you some pointers...

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1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

So I’ll still learning about using compression, but what compressors are ppl using best for bass? I’ve found a million and one ways to sound bad, have got some great ok tones on the three band and the studio compressor

Compression is a bit of a black art and very easy to screw up as you seem to have found out :)

At the risk of sounding patronising, (and I'm not meaning to be) are you familiar with compressors? Do you understand what the various controls do and how they impact your sound? If not, then it's definitely worth taking the time time get an appreciation of what the various parameters do as this will enable you to dial in exactly what you want. 

There are different types of compression, some obvious, some more subtle, so you need to know what you're aiming for and then use the knowledge of what the different controls do to try to achieve what you want. There's a very useful guide on the Ovnilab site and @51m0n has written a sterling guide to compression basics. Both of these will be able to educate and inform you way better than I ever could xD

 @Al Krow often badgers me to share my settings with him but ultimately there are so many variables when it comes to compression that what woks for me is almost certainly not going to work for you. Different playing styles, different output basses, different tastes in compression etc. can all have a marked effect on how a compressor will react to the individual playing. 

For the record, I use the Stomp Multi-band compression for each of my gigging basses. Each one is set up differently to compliment the bass and the style of compression I like, but generally speaking it's a low-ish ratio, fast attack with slower release times. After that everything else is a matter of taste,  the various thresholds, gains, crossover points and so on. Having re-read this I can see how unhelpful it is xD

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7 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

So I’ll still learning about using compression, but what compressors are ppl using best for bass? I’ve found a million and one ways to sound bad, have got some great ok tones on the three band and the studio compressor

https://images.app.goo.gl/EcA4fuSNhyeRpzKr6

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Am i right in thinking that will all blocks off im getting the true unaffected signal (assume Global FX are flat as well)?

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7 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

Am i right in thinking that will all blocks off im getting the true unaffected signal (assume Global FX are flat as well)?

Not necessarily - there's some stuff that happens in the input and output blocks at each end of the chain, and those blocks can't be switched off.

You can press both upper and lower knobs at the same time to put it in full bypass though. Also, as an added complication, there's two different types of full bypass.... analog bypass uses relays to completely bypass everything, and DSP bypass has the signal still routing through the processor so that delay/reverb trails continue. You can pick which one in the Global Settings-> Preferences menu

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20 hours ago, Osiris said:

At the risk of sounding patronising, (and I'm not meaning to be) are you familiar with compressors? Do you understand what the various controls do and how they impact your sound? If not, then it's definitely worth taking the time time get an appreciation of what the various parameters do as this will enable you to dial in exactly what you want. 

I don’t know enough no! Having spent last night reading up I think I’m getting more of a handle on it. I figure I’ll use the basic compressor to experiment with and learn before using the three band. 

I need to learn this stuff, firstly as it’s a gap in my knowledge and also Compression and amp sims is a large part of why I got the helix. I seem to have a fairly large dynamic range and hit the strings hard at points - what I want is that not to mean My signal is suddenly peaking the desk. The idea (which is stage two) will be using the combination of  amp sim and compressors to change tone as I hit the strings louder so there is a tonally large dynamic range but not a massive volume difference. 

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7 hours ago, stoo said:

Not necessarily - there's some stuff that happens in the input and output blocks at each end of the chain, and those blocks can't be switched off.

You can press both upper and lower knobs at the same time to put it in full bypass though. Also, as an added complication, there's two different types of full bypass.... analog bypass uses relays to completely bypass everything, and DSP bypass has the signal still routing through the processor so that delay/reverb trails continue. You can pick which one in the Global Settings-> Preferences menu

Thanks. I did realise there were other things in place, like input impedance etc, but wasn’t sure how to put it in full bypass. Useful to know. 
I was just reading a post over on TB about this as well, and it seems there is definitely a bit more to this than meets the eye. 

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33 minutes ago, LukeFRC said:

I don’t know enough no! Having spent last night reading up I think I’m getting more of a handle on it. I figure I’ll use the basic compressor to experiment with and learn before using the three band. 

I need to learn this stuff, firstly as it’s a gap in my knowledge and also Compression and amp sims is a large part of why I got the helix. I seem to have a fairly large dynamic range and hit the strings hard at points - what I want is that not to mean My signal is suddenly peaking the desk. The idea (which is stage two) will be using the combination of  amp sim and compressors to change tone as I hit the strings louder so there is a tonally large dynamic range but not a massive volume difference. 

Welcome to the world of the dark arts......once you are in there, you will love it

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Are you guys getting a mini-'surge' when engaging the full bypass? Something that seemed to be happening on mine and not great for the speakers so I've ended up just including easy to access 'clean' patches.

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2 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

I don’t know enough no! Having spent last night reading up I think I’m getting more of a handle on it. I figure I’ll use the basic compressor to experiment with and learn before using the three band. 

I need to learn this stuff, firstly as it’s a gap in my knowledge and also Compression and amp sims is a large part of why I got the helix. I seem to have a fairly large dynamic range and hit the strings hard at points - what I want is that not to mean My signal is suddenly peaking the desk. The idea (which is stage two) will be using the combination of  amp sim and compressors to change tone as I hit the strings louder so there is a tonally large dynamic range but not a massive volume difference. 

Compression is one of those areas where you really need at least an appreciation of what's going on to get them to work for you. You have to think more like a sound engineer than a bass player because compressors, as I'm sure you know, control and compress your dynamic range - they're not an effect in the same way that something like a flanger or delay is, and I think that's where people get confused by them as they're expecting an obvious change in the sound. But think of it in terms of controlling your sound so it sits better with other instruments and you'll start getting better results. It's definitely something where it's worth doing your homework. 

Another idea could be something like a limiter. Set it up so the threshold only cuts the spikes that are peaking the desk. Could that work? But there's plenty of different compression models in the Stomp to play with, some simple, some more complex. Have a play, see what each one does and what ones you like best. My own experience is that not all of them give me what I want on bass, but that's not to say that they won't work for you. Once you've got to grips with the basics try playing with them in parallel signal paths with crossovers too to mess about with mixing in clean signals :)

Likewise, I use my Stomp for the amp/cab sims and compression. I gig with in ear monitors so I have a patch set up for each bass that I gig with, each patch having an amp/cab sim and compressor that are always on, with footswitchable drive and pitch shift for drop tuned songs. For my needs it's the perfect single box to drag along on a gig. 

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2 minutes ago, Osiris said:

Another idea could be something like a limiter. Set it up so the threshold only cuts the spikes that are peaking the desk.

+1 ^^

Will preserve your tonal range intact below the volume threshold. @ped is a big fan of this approach.

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4 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

I don’t know enough no! Having spent last night reading up I think I’m getting more of a handle on it. I figure I’ll use the basic compressor to experiment with and learn before using the three band. 

I need to learn this stuff, firstly as it’s a gap in my knowledge and also Compression and amp sims is a large part of why I got the helix. I seem to have a fairly large dynamic range and hit the strings hard at points - what I want is that not to mean My signal is suddenly peaking the desk. The idea (which is stage two) will be using the combination of  amp sim and compressors to change tone as I hit the strings louder so there is a tonally large dynamic range but not a massive volume difference. 

You need a limiter not a compressor.

Common misconception, often put forward by people who know better in the name of keeping it simple, is that a limiter is just a compressor with a high ratio.

This is not actually the entire story.

A Compressor typically effectively measures volume over a space of time, taking the average volume over that time. This isn't some clever thing done by the electronics, so much as a by-product of the circuit design. An optical compressor is the easiest one for people to imagine this happening in, the electrical energy in the signal lights a lamp (literally) the lamp glow is picked up by a light sensitive device (various types exist). This effectively produces resistance the more light hits it, damping down the level going out of the compressor. Clearly this build up of energy in two devices takes some very measurable time - less obviously the resistance rises and falls in a curve, it is not at all linear to the amount of light hitting the light sensitive component. This is why an optical compressor is a useless limiter, not because you couldnt crank up that damping effect to make it near infinity to one, ie a brickwall limiter.

So a limiter (like an 1176) must be super fast. The 1176 is a FET circuit, very very fast (attack times between 20 and 800 micro seconds), also very likely to colour the signal. In the case of the 1176 this colouring is a very nice thing, some engineers have been known to run signal through one without the compression even doing anything.

If you set up a limiter at 20:1, with a very very fast attack (careful, too fast and you will get distortion on the leading edge of the transient) with a  fast release, then lower the threshold to just clip 3dB off the top of the loudest notes (ie halving the transient volume effective) then you will be far better protected against peaking the desk input. 

Of course, if its a decent desk you can instead just turn the gain down a tad and do the limiting/compression there....

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16 minutes ago, 51m0n said:

 

So a limiter (like an 1176) must be super fast. The 1176 is a FET circuit, very very fast (attack times between 20 and 800 micro seconds), also very likely to colour the signal. In the case of the 1176 this colouring is a very nice thing, some engineers have been known to run signal through one without the compression even doing anything.

Interesting this should come up. I just got my hands on a FET compressor for this exact reason. Hoping to find some fatness when compared to a tge more sterile sounding m87, empress etc I've tried before it.

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5 hours ago, GisserD said:

Interesting this should come up. I just got my hands on a FET compressor for this exact reason. Hoping to find some fatness when compared to a tge more sterile sounding m87, empress etc I've tried before it.

Optical is my go to for fat. You can get this big fat sound from optical that others dont give IME.

Horses for courses though, whatever bakes your cake and all that, everyone plays different through different gear and has a different idea of what phatttness is anyway :D

VCA tend towards very transparent. Control of the attack/release is what makes them more overt (same can be said for any compressor really)

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10 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Are you guys getting a mini-'surge' when engaging the full bypass? Something that seemed to be happening on mine and not great for the speakers so I've ended up just including easy to access 'clean' patches.

I’ll test mine later but is this when going true bypass? Ive always found this type of bypass to give clicks and thuds whenever I use it with other pedals. 

Edited by dave_bass5

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2 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

I’ll test mine later but is this when going true bypass? Ive always found this type of bypass to give clicks and thuds whenever I use it with other pedals. 

Cheers Dave. Yup on true bypass. Clicks are fine. Chunky loud thuds / pops that you know your speakers are not liking, much less so! 

Let me know if you find 'pretend' bypass any better in this regard, I might have to settle for that if it's significantly better. 

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16 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Cheers Dave. Yup on true bypass. Clicks are fine. Chunky loud thuds / pops that you know your speakers are not liking, much less so! 

Let me know if you find 'pretend' bypass any better in this regard, I might have to settle for that if it's significantly better. 

Will do. Ive always preferred ‘pretend’ bypass a lot less hassle in the past. Each has its pros and cons but Ive found (personally) true bypass has that one con that I find annoying.

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47 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Cheers Dave. Yup on true bypass. Clicks are fine. Chunky loud thuds / pops that you know your speakers are not liking, much less so! 

Let me know if you find 'pretend' bypass any better in this regard, I might have to settle for that if it's significantly better. 

Might have to wait until tomorrow night’s rehearsal. I’m using headphones at home and the signal is cutting out when in bypass mode. I assume this is normal. 

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@LukeFRC Getting a compressor set up correctly often means it's working with and for you rather than against you and some finer tuning will be required across instruments etc as @Osiris and other have said.

@Al Krow I've read that the clicks and pops can be 'discharged' by stepping on the pedals on/off switches a few times but this could be the words of a madman or only relative to stand alone fx pedals. Might be worth a try? Turn you amp volume down upon powering up the stomp click the pedal switches on and off a few times and that might deal with it. Oh and buffered bypass will likely be better if you're running heaps of pedals unless you can notice and/or prefer a slightly darker signal....just pick the one which works best for your signal chain.

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Hi guys, I'm really tempted by a helix and wondering whether I should and if its worth getting the LT or Stomp. I'd appreciate some input/experience. 

I'm planning to use it live into my mark bass LM3 and barefaced super twin, i currently use a sans amp BDDI which will probably go into retirement if I go ahead with the helix. I use the Mark bass with the EQ completely flat and let the sans amp cover all pre amp duties. 

I mostly play in a metal band with one guitar. We downtune to A# and I tend to be equal parts rhythm guitarist and bass player. To that end I'd be looking to have the helix split my signal with a cross over, have the high end run through some dirt and the low end through a compressor, maybe adding an amp sim to one or both. 

Is this something it can do in my circumstances live? Have I missed the point completely? Would I be better off with the stomp or LT do we think? 

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@cocco The Stomp will certainly be able to split your signal through a crossover and allow you to build the signal path you describe. I'm not too familiar with the LT, but I think I'm right in saying that it will allow you to use more blocks (blocks are what Line 6 call each individual effect in the signal chain). There is currently a limit of 6 blocks on the Stomp, but the good news is that you wouldn't need to allocate one of these to a crossover as you can drop one in between blocks at whatever point in the path you wanted, so that would effectively give you 7 blocks. 

For example, you could set up a signal path something like this;

Crossover, then lows going through a compressor into an amp & cab model (or just an amp or just a cab). Maximum of 2 blocks. 

The high signal path could go into a Sansamp model (I actually prefer the Helix model to the real thing as its easier to put the mids back in) into an amp & cab model. You could even mix and match guitar amps and cabs here, but if you were to mix a bass amp with a guitar cab they would need a separate block each. Maximum of 3 blocks. 

Your can then either blend both signals back together or route them to separate outputs if you're running more than one rig. Like the crossover, you'll get the mixer to blend the signals back together for free so it won't use another block. 

The only potential issue with using the Stomp for this is that a signal path like this will only leave you a block or 2 for other effects. But that's obviously not an issue if you're not a big effects user! 

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