Say hi to my new toy!
This great processor is currently taking over all duties of my TC Electronic G-System and even from my Marshall JMP-1! I’ve ony had it for 4 days, but I thought I would share my thoughts, comments and enthousiasm right away. 😉
I’ve been looking for something to replace my G-System for a while now. What I really liked about that unit is the fact that is was easy to connect and carry around, but especially since I joined 5150 (where having a phaser BEFORE your amp is a MUST!) I started to miss some things.
For one, I am a musician without a driver’s license. The G-System doesn’t have any distortion, amp models or cab-simulation in it so in order to use it I always need to carry an extra amp and even pedals with me. This features a few very nice amp models and loads of functions and things to tweak; all built into it! So in essence all I really need is my guitar, a few cables and the Helix and I’m ready to gig or rehearse!
I also missed some creative ‘space’ and ‘options’ to create cool sounds. For Equisa’s Strange Release I used Raymond’s Axe FX and the whole editing-grit thing really stuck with me. The ability to place any effect in any order is really appealing and funny enough I just couldn’t get it out of the G-System. TC Electronic placed all effects in the most logical order, but I could only use one modulation effect at the time, the pitch shifter always came after the amp, so did all modulation effects and that eliminates a lot of sonic possibilities and improvement to my eyes. And ears.
I could have gone for an Axe-FX or a Kemper and I was actually looking at both as a serious option. But the Helix had one very important feature: it’s build into a pedalboard. Therefor I need less stuff to carry around and I don’t need to aquire a seperate pedalboard which has to be programmed, etcetera. Thereby the Axe-FX had too many menu’s and wasn’t that easy to program on the fly (without software) and the Kemper also had effect limitations much like the G-System. Not to mention that the Helix costs considerably less than the Axe-FX or Kemper!
Honestly, I’ve only found one downer with the Helix and I’ll be honest about it. When you are in preset mode and you have a delay running on one preset the repeats get cut off when you go to the next preset. I’m secretly hoping they’ll fix that in a feature firmware update. This is not an issue when you’re using the ‘pedal’-mode. And for now I can certainly live with this tiny limitation.
As for the amp models: I really like them. I guess some people would be let down by them, but I’m not that critical about it and to me they sound good enough to use them live and in the studio. And to be honest I think I could only give some fair judgement on this subject when I’ve owned this device for a few years. Then I could always run my trusty JMP-1 in one of its loops. 😉
So yes, I am a very happy dude and I would love to share its tone during one of my upcoming shows with Equisa, 5150, the Big Shift release party or whatever!