I’ve been using the Set List Maker iOS app since 2013. This app has a wealth of features for the practicing / gigging band and has been an invaluable timesaver.
Prior to Set List Maker, I would always bring a folder full of printed pages and notes to rehearsals, and make copies for my bandmates. With our growing repertoire, it was an ever-increasing waste of time scrounging through the folder before playing a new song. More
However, as I started to go through the many hours of work preparing presets for the Drop Daddies’ setlist, I found that the continuous hiss coming from the EON’s tweeter was causing significant ear fatigue. More
I saw the Musikmesse announcement today that a new model of the Helix was just released – the Helix LT. At first, I kinda panicked – thinking I just bought into the Helix, and they’ve already released a new model with the same processing power and audio quality, but at a significantly lower price?!
However, after looking at the specs and reading about the differences, I’m no longer doubting my my purchase. Of course, I’m also trying to make myself feel better and justify the expense, but I think I’m on fairly solid ground. More
I’m loving this thing! I’ve been waking up early to craft song presets before work, and staying up super-late every night.
Yes, I’m obsessing, but there’s a lot to prepare if I’m going to pull this off at Friday’s gig with the Drop Daddies.
It’s so liberating using the amp / cabinet models in the Helix, rather than only using my Blackstar. I can use a Marshall amp for Weezer, an AC30 for Stone Temple Piltots and U2, a Fender Bassman for Stray Cats, etc.
I mentioned last month, as I awaited the Helix arrival, that I was considering going ampless- completely replacing my entire amp and pedalboard rig with a single device: the Helix.
So, once I started learning to edit on the Helix, the first thing I did was try to make a preset to match the sounds of the channels on my Blackstar Stage 60. This was surprisingly easy to do. Very quickly, I had a Pedal Board preset in which I could switch between Clean, Overdrive, High Gain, and blistering Lead, all of which sounded close enough to my Blackstar. And bonus, no more pause/delay in the sound when changing channels on the Blackstar. Changing snapshots on Helix is totally seamless. Beautiful!
We’ve had our Mackie DL32R Mixer for how long now? (nearly 2 years!) And I’ve never bothered to figure out why the Solo channel controls weren’t working as I expected. When I solo a channel, its Solo button turns yellow, and the yellow all-caps SOLO indicator shows up in the top right quick access panel button. But, I don’t hear the channel solo in the audio outputs. Why not?
We don’t really need to use Solo during a gig. But at soundcheck, it sure would be nice! We like to record our soundcheck and then stand out front while playing it back to adjust the mix. Being able to solo a channel would be helpful when dialing in EQ setings, etc.
My Helix arrived last night. Sweet! I lost myself for a couple hours, going through the presets and getting familiar with the unit.
I borrowed a JBL EON 610 full-range powered speaker for the occasion, and the combination sounds amazing. I haven’t even tried plugging it into my Blackstar Stage 60 yet. It sounds soooo good through the full range speaker.
The Helix is a beautifully built machine- solid as a tank! The footswitches, knobs and wah treadle are seriously next-level quality, compared to my HD500X. And the huge display, scribble strips, and colors are all just glorious.
Did I mention how amazing it sounds?!
I haven’t even started editing yet, but I’m super-excited to delve into it. We have a gig in less than 2 weeks and thinking about whether I’m crazy to switch my whole rig up, this close to a gig.
The Helix finally came in stock today, and it’s on order! While I’ve been waiting over the last couple weeks, I’ve been obsessing about my big rig transition to the Helix. I’ve come across a couple of new video demos which just blow me away how good the Helix sounds.
These demos have me seriously considering going ampless. While I love my Blackstar Stage 60, this would be amazing simplification in my rig, and a serious boost in flexibility. We’ll have to wait and see when the Helix arrives.
Meanwhile, take a look at these videos – two very different styles, two compelling arguments:
I know that I started the recording before the first set! Did I bump it accidentally during the set?
So, I restarted the recording at the beginning of the second set, and the red light was still on after midnight when we finished…