Megi's Jazz Odyssey - the return

11718192022

Comments

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    Must try the Cartographer amp also, sounds very much to my taste for nice clean sounds:


  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 875Member
    Gosh that does sound ridiculously good! I’ve been reading the posts but don’t really have much to contribute, but have to admit that it sounds amazing.

    I’m one of those people who does enjoy manuals, editing and wot not, but I think those of you who don’t probably get more playing done...!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member

    Gosh that does sound ridiculously good! I’ve been reading the posts but don’t really have much to contribute, but have to admit that it sounds amazing.

    I’m one of those people who does enjoy manuals, editing and wot not, but I think those of you who don’t probably get more playing done...!

    So, still on about the Helix - the 3rd party patches don't cost much, and today I bought the Cartographer patch above, and also the "Litiga" one from the same site. And in the interests of honesty, I have to say, although there are good and useful things to learn from how these are put together, I don't think I'll be buying any more. There's nothing wrong about them, and no complaints, but I will have to modify them both to get them to a state where I could use them myself at gigs. But really, I think the key thing is to trust one's own ears - settings on gear, and the tone we get or strive for, is such an individual thing.

    One thing I have found worth buying is 3rd party impulse responses - for anyone with a Helix or similar unit, and into clean jazz playing, I can really recommend the Dr. Bonkers Polytone cab IRs: https://www.drbonkerssoundlab.com/product-category/guitar-cabinet-impulse-response-ir-files-in-wav-fractal-audio-systems-ultra-res-formats/ - they sound awesome to me, used with a clean Fender Twin amp model. Also, it's really amazing how IRs made with different cabs really change the sound character, the versatility is wonderful (I've probably already said this...).

    I have quite a few gigs in the next week or so, so I'm going to try the Helix plus Alto TS210 cab setup at a couple of them - seems a bit of an unknown, but at some point one has to take the plunge. I can always have an old-fashioned guitar combo with me as well, just in case... :D

  • LesterLester Posts: 1,606Member, Moderator
    I have a novice question, because I don't have a Helix. What are getting when you buy a patch? Is it a (or many) new sounds that you could not have dialed in with your existing Helix or is it just a set of parameters that any Helix owner could dial in on his own?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    Lester said:

    I have a novice question, because I don't have a Helix. What are getting when you buy a patch? Is it a (or many) new sounds that you could not have dialed in with your existing Helix or is it just a set of parameters that any Helix owner could dial in on his own?

    Cheers Lester - you are really just buying someone's skill and knowledge of how to put together a kind of tone (or group of tones) using the existing capabilities of the Helix. You don't get any new effects or anything. But the possibilities with the unit are fairly vast, so it could be handy for a lot of people to have some experienced help and guidance.

    It was something I felt I needed to try anyhow, but I've come to the conclusion, perhaps surprisingly, that I already know enough about putting sounds together, effects settings, and what kind of things I like and work for me. Finding and developing one's own sounds does take a bit of time for searching and experiment, but I don't mind that, all part of the fun.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    edited January 23
    Also just to add, but any patch can be stored as a file - which is what I was able to download from the 3rd party website having paid my money. Once you have the file on your computer, you can connect Helix to the computer via USB cable, open the Helix editor software, and simply drag the new patch file to the storage location where you want it, and hey presto! - all very simple.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,606Member, Moderator
    edited January 23
    Thanks, Megi. I am still using my old and much-loved Boss ME-5 which I bought in the late '80s. It took me a while to really understand each pedal and how they worked in combinations. After about a year of having it I could hear a song on the radio and get a passable attempt at that sound.

    A major plus is that it was early multi-pedal technology and therefore not so hard to get to grips with.

    Its major minus in this modern era is that it precedes amp and speaker sims so I still need to plug it into a guitar amp, which when recording would sometimes be nice to avoid.

    I wonder whether I should get something more modern at some point, but as I am loving the sound of my Ibanez semi-hollow direct into my amp, now seems like the wrong time to be thinking of effects, apart from a compressor and reverb, both of which I have.
  • SilversharkSilvershark Posts: 34Member
    Megi, you're right, I'm actually on 2.12.2. Must be going dyslexic in my old age...
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    Lester said:

    Thanks, Megi. I am still using my old and much-loved Boss ME-5 which I bought in the late '80s. It took me a while to really understand each pedal and how they worked in combinations. After about a year of having it I could hear a song on the radio and get a passable attempt at that sound.

    A major plus is that it was early multi-pedal technology and therefore not so hard to get to grips with.

    Its major minus in this modern era is that it precedes amp and speaker sims so I still need to plug it into a guitar amp, which when recording would sometimes be nice to avoid.

    I wonder whether I should get something more modern at some point, but as I am loving the sound of my Ibanez semi-hollow direct into my amp, now seems like the wrong time to be thinking of effects, apart from a compressor and reverb, both of which I have.

    I just watched a few ME-5 videos - it's a cool little thing and sounds great! Boss seem to always voice their products very nicely, by which I mean they always set up the sounds to work well together, and within a pleasing, musical range. So, late 80s though it may be, I'd hang on to that one Lester. And I like the sound of my own Ibanez semi-hollow straight into an amp too - nothing wrong at all with that formula! :)
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 875Member
    edited January 25
    I agree Megi. Lester, if it works, don’t break it so you have to fix it! Mike Stern is using the same setup he’s used for years on end, including a Yamaha SPX90. Dont let the marketing talk you out of what sounds good. Unless its a Helix ;)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member

    I agree Megi. Lester, if it works, don’t break it so you have to fix it! Mike Stern is using the same setup he’s used for years on end, including a Yamaha SPX90. Dont let the marketing talk you out of what sounds good. Unless its a Helix ;)

    This advice comes sadly too late for me Nick, but then I'm a hopeless case when it comes to getting sucked in by the marketing anyhow. Mike Stern eh? pah, what does he know...

    On the other hand Helix firmware update 2.5 has just been announced, though I think we have to wait a few weeks for it's release, but it includes a ton of stuff:

    http://line6.com/support/topic/18284-latest-helix-firmware-250—coming-soon/

    :)

  • SilversharkSilvershark Posts: 34Member
    I'm puzzled... The link to a Helix release 2.5 shows that the announcement was posted in February 2016. Is this for real?
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,606Member, Moderator
    edited January 26
    Maybe in this day and age version 2.5 means version 2 update 5 and version 2.12 means version 2 update 12, rather than what the numbers alone imply.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    edited January 27
    Weird with the date given, but it must be a strange error, and not sure how that could have happened. I am certain the announcement was just recently made, to tie in with the current big NAMM music industry show, and it definitely details new features for a firmware update to be released in the next few weeks - I can only hope the update itself is error-free! :D
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    Just looked again, and I think I understand what is going on - this is a thread on the Line 6 website forum, started by someone at Line 6, to detail whatever the lastest update is. Whenever there is a new update, they just modify/edit the original post, but doing this doesn't change the date recorded for that post. Clear as mud?? - honest anyhow, it's about the next update, which is happening very soon.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    The new Helix firmware update (2.50.0) was released yesterday - I got it installed on my own Helix LT this morning. The new reverbs seem very good indeed - I particularly like the "Glitz" and "Searchlights" ones, but need to play with things more to find out what they can do. And also, in one swooping upgrade, I now have a library of all the legacy effects from the Line 6 M series multi-effects units, plus some others. A quick wizz through these did seem to find a few that will come in handy for me.

    Anyhow, in case Silvershark, or anyone else, would now like to update, you go here:

    https://line6.com/software/index.html and search for all relevant software downloads by selecting your unit from the drop down menu and clicking on search.

    First off, you need to install the new HX Edit 2.51 version software on your computer - this will also update the Helix drivers, and anything else that needs updating on your computer. Then, use HX Edit to create a backup of your current Helix patches, settings etc. - which is very simple - obviously you have to have your Helix unit connected to the computer at this point.

    Then download the 2.50 update, and use the Line 6 updater program to, er, update - you just select your unit which should appear as an option (the only one most likely) - a small list of firmware update options then appears, select the 2.50 one, and it takes (at least on my system) about 10 minutes to complete. Still a slightly nerve inducing experience for me, and do make sure your computer isn't going to go into sleep mode half way through or anything. But it all worked fine, no problem, happy to say. :)


  • SilversharkSilvershark Posts: 34Member
    Thanks for the latest on The Helix. I've been on the line6 website a lot in the past few days but hadn't picked up on that. In fact I managed to upgrade to 2.30 just a couple of days ago. I couldn't do a backup since the HX editor for 2.30 wouldn't connect to my box which was running 2.12.2 so I just went ahead and ran the upgrade fully expecting to lose the presets I'd created. But, hey presto, they're still there after the upgrade. Will make sure I do a backup this time.

    I've been watching a lot of videos of people promoting their own presets for sale. Some of them are very impressive, particularly those by Glenn DeLaune. Megi, you mentioned earlier that you had purchased custom presets; were they from this guy?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member

    Thanks for the latest on The Helix. I've been on the line6 website a lot in the past few days but hadn't picked up on that. In fact I managed to upgrade to 2.30 just a couple of days ago. I couldn't do a backup since the HX editor for 2.30 wouldn't connect to my box which was running 2.12.2 so I just went ahead and ran the upgrade fully expecting to lose the presets I'd created. But, hey presto, they're still there after the upgrade. Will make sure I do a backup this time.

    I've been watching a lot of videos of people promoting their own presets for sale. Some of them are very impressive, particularly those by Glenn DeLaune. Megi, you mentioned earlier that you had purchased custom presets; were they from this guy?

    Cheers Silvershark. When I did the 2.30 update, I didn't have any patches to save, so missed the backup step out. This time there were a few, but I think it's just in case - my patches were still in place after the update. I'm now thinking perhaps I'll just start again from scratch anyhow :D The patches I struggle to get right more are those using some sort of overdrive or distortion - not that I use these sort of sounds a huge amount, but I do like a smooth sustain lead tone, and also a kind of moderate gain, bluesy, singing tone a la Larry Carlton, Robben Ford etc. .

    The presets I got were from the Italian chap in the video above, Marco Fanton www.marcofanton.it . He seems to be an excellent guitarist who knows his stuff, but to be honest I have trouble using the patches I bought from him, and wouldn't tend to use some of the effects options/settings he includes. They're probably very good in the right hands, and I'm not knocking my own playing saying that either - it's just that settings on effects, amps, and how these respond to the player, seems to be such an individual thing. I will at least try modifying from them to see if I can get a lead tone that works better for me. But someone else would probably struggle with the kind of settings that do work for me. I guess perhaps at some point I'll try a patch or two from Glenn DeLaunne, just to see, but I won't worry if those don't work out either.

    Let us know what you think of 2.50 anyhow! :)

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    edited April 16
    Just for what it's worth, in case of any interest, an update on the Megi gear situation...

    First off - those Marco Fanton Helix patches I mention above turned out to be great after all :D , especially the Litiga one, which basically has become my overdrive lead tone of choice. I guess I must have modded the amp settings a tad since installing the patch, and I don't use all the extra effects options included, but the basic formula of the patch, which is a Klon overdrive model, pushing the Litiga amp model (i.e. Dumble amp based), plus a bit of delay and reverb, is just a great, smooth, warm, controllable overdrive, refreshingly free of any fizz or buzz. As nice a drive sound as I've ever had, and it's wonderful to be able to switch to this with a single footswitch press. The Cartographer one isn't bad either, although I still need to work a little with it to find the best things for me - not quite as natural a fit I guess. I think the reason I wasn't getting on with the patches before was that I was trying to do things at unity gain (i.e. at unamplified guitar signal level) and experienced Helix users seem to do patches that have a fair bit higher output level - since you're going from the Helix into a powered monitor at line level, and not into a guitar amp input, you may as well.

    Anyhow, up until today, I still owned my previous effects pedal board setup, but this morning I decided to burn my bridges, and sell most of it, including the board and carry case itself. I've already sold the Boss MS-3 multi effects switcher and additional Boss FS-7 footswitch - these are now packed and ready to be posted to the (I hope happy) recipient tomorrow. There is other very good stuff that in a way I'm sad to part with, but it won't get used, so it's all going. I will keep the Boss FH500 volume/expression pedal (I think I can use it with the Helix), the Digitech looper as a practice tool (the Helix's looper is OK, but can't do longer loop times, and doesn't have memory to store loops I think) and probably the DopeFX Black Lotus overdrive - simply because they're a bit hard to find, and it is the best overdrive pedal I ever used (for my taste) and I did go through quite a few.

    So there we have it - I've converted to a single box, multi effects/amp modeller, and done away with pedal board, pedals, patch cables and power supply plus power leads going everywhere, and even the traditional guitar amp for a lot of gigs - to my surprise. Although I still do prefer my Polytone combo amp for some jazz gigs. I'm planning to spend some of the money I make from the sale on a second Alto FRFR monitor - possibly the bigger TS212 12" speaker model - then I can have a stereo setup with the Helix when desired, and also I think the TS212 with the Helix will make a very decent bass guitar setup. :)

  • LesterLester Posts: 1,606Member, Moderator
    That is an impressive report, Megi. Thanks.

    Years ago, when I bought a BOSS stereo chorus pedal, I started playing with the idea of trying to use stereo when playing live but I learned that audiences do not line themselves up centrally to get the full effect and that is why PA systems are almost always mono. For recording I like recording in stereo or else I will at least double-track (ie. record at least two tracks from each voice and instrument) whenever possible.
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 882Member
    Big brave new world. I admire your ability to embrace the new technology.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    Lester said:

    That is an impressive report, Megi. Thanks.

    Years ago, when I bought a BOSS stereo chorus pedal, I started playing with the idea of trying to use stereo when playing live but I learned that audiences do not line themselves up centrally to get the full effect and that is why PA systems are almost always mono. For recording I like recording in stereo or else I will at least double-track (ie. record at least two tracks from each voice and instrument) whenever possible.

    Thank you Lester - I must say, the Alto speaker has turned out to be a very good choice - your help with information about that really was very useful to me. And I could easily have spent more money, and I now think there would have been little to gain from that, so you've helped my bank balance also. Regarding stereo - it has a lure for me, but the logic of what you say re live use limitations is undeniable. I guess there will be situations where I'll use it all the same, even if parts of the audience don't get the full effect - just one of those things that will satisfy me, even if no one else notices. Having said that, there are some small to medium gigs, not going through the pa, but where I'm across the other side from the keyboards and bass, drummer in the middle, and although I know I'm at proper gig volume, they complain they can't hear me too well (the bassist is a little hard of hearing also, having worked in bands for decades) so it could be useful to position a second monitor aimed towards them.

    ESBlonde said:

    Big brave new world. I admire your ability to embrace the new technology.

    Thank you ES! I think maybe part of the reason I've been able to do this is that I never got into "proper" valve amps. Possibly a slightly perverse thing on my part, but I always preferred to see what I could achieve with solid state gear - although it does tend to be lighter to carry, cheaper, and you don't have the worry of looking after fragile vacuum filled glass tubes, so some justification. Now we're getting to the point that the latest generation of modelling gear can make a decent fist of emulating the valve gear I've avoided, so I'm suddenly seeing certain benefits - witness the Dumble amp model overdrive tone I'm raving about, for example. For me, having made do with drive pedals going into a solid state amp previously, this seems a revelation - possibly would be less so for an experienced valve amp user - it's a strange new world, as well as a brave one, maybe. :)


  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 882Member
    Yes megi one of my favourite overdriven sounds and one that turns heads of fellow musicians is a strat OOP bridge/middle with the guitar tone knocked back, an cheap Arion SOD-1 overdrive in the 'soft' option into a little marshall AVT20 combo which has an 8" cone driver and is mainly transistor. For some reason that compressed, boxey smooth distortion is sweet rich and expressive. I can't reproduce it quite the same (but I get close) with anything else even with a full valve fender or marshall amp.
    But there is something else about a good all valve amp that can't be reproduced yet. Maybe I'm to old to start looking now, or maybe I'll start looking because I'm old?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    ESBlonde said:

    Yes megi one of my favourite overdriven sounds and one that turns heads of fellow musicians is a strat OOP bridge/middle with the guitar tone knocked back, an cheap Arion SOD-1 overdrive in the 'soft' option into a little marshall AVT20 combo which has an 8" cone driver and is mainly transistor. For some reason that compressed, boxey smooth distortion is sweet rich and expressive. I can't reproduce it quite the same (but I get close) with anything else even with a full valve fender or marshall amp.
    But there is something else about a good all valve amp that can't be reproduced yet. Maybe I'm to old to start looking now, or maybe I'll start looking because I'm old?

    Oh - I think absolutely fair enough, there's doubtless things that a real, in the room with you, valve amp will get, that can't be achieved any other way - I happily concede. Should I add the word "yet" to that sentence - of course I don't know. But what I think is also true is that the latest modelling gear really has made big strides progress-wise, to the point where it certainly can produce tones that have at least some of those valve qualities, if not all, and also to the point where the sounds in terms of quality (subjective though that is) can be very impressive in their own right.

    So it will be the answer for some people, and not others - like a lot of things. I watched a demo video with Alex Hutchings recently, and the interviewer was querying him about the bit of kit he was demoing, re sample rates and technical details and blah blah blah. AH said he didn't know, but in his opinion, with any gear, the question has to be "can I get the sounds I want from it?" and that it sounded great to him, technical specs aside. I tend to agree - if in your case, your valve amp setup sounds great and does what you like very well (or Arion SOD-1 into AVT20!) or whatever it is, then why change? In my case, I've been on a bit of a search for certain somethings, perhaps of importance only to me, and now feel I've arrived somewhere very good, for me that is. :)

  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 882Member
    Glad you are enjoying the sounds Graham, now go and play music without worrying about the gear.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    ESBlonde said:

    Glad you are enjoying the sounds Graham, now go and play music without worrying about the gear.

    :D will do!
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    I'm off to rehearse with a big band this evening - dep-ing for a friend of mine. I get one rehearsal tonight, and then there's an actual concert for me to do this Saturday, which is themed as "Music from the movies". Have been ploughing through all the parts today, plus they've helpfully given me a CD to listen to. Still a bit daunting, but I hope to have fun and not disgrace myself.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,606Member, Moderator
    That sounds fantastic. Well done on getting the part.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 875Member
    That sounds like fun. Love big bands! Well done Graham. What’s the venue?
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,088Member
    Thank you chaps - the venue is Trinity Arts Centre, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire - just a bit of a drive for me from Grimsby, but it adds to the adventure. Rehearsal went well, although I will still be practicing various bits in the next few days - playing along with the cd I think.

    This experience is making me realise just how much I still have to learn about chords and ways to play them - I smugly thought I was pretty good with jazz-type chords, but this is requiring me to find some new voicings, and make new discoveries. We tend to stay within certain boundaries without even realising it I think, and good to be pushed out of that. :)
Sign In or Register to comment.