I am seriously enjoying the Helix Rack and Control I have been using and beta testing for Line 6 (and for all of you, of course) since December 2015. I want to give you something to work with if you, like me, dig on these fancy two-voice guitars. There are four VERY different examples below, so please check all of them out.
3-Voice Guitar (Acoustic, Electric, & Ambience) with the Anderson Crowdster Plus 2 and Line 6 Helix
I use a similar approach to the video below this one for this acoustic/electric/ambience patch right here. To make all these sounds, you need to add the Electro Harmonix Mel 9 (in FX Loop 3) and POG 2 (in FX Loop 4) to make it work the way I do here (or you can just delete my Send/Return FX blocks and use the patch without them).
Also, the amazing Crowdster Plus 2 from Tom Anderson Guitarworks is fairly unique in that it uses real bronze acoustic strings and a regular acoustic bridge and piezo to sound more like an acoustic guitar than any other instrument I’ve ever encountered. And the electric sound doesn’t compromise to do it. Simply amazing.
Please scroll down below the next video for more about how I create my 2-voice patches, or just download the one I use with the Crowdster here. You can go use the IRs I use, by getting them from 3 Sigma Audio here. Or, if you want, you can just try my free ones I made from D-tar Mama Bear here.
3-Voice Guitar (Acoustic, Electric, & Ambience) with the Anderson Hollow Atom CT and Line 6 Helix
Please feel free to download the tones I use in the video as starting points. The tones I use, and some IRs I have found for the acoustic sound can be found in this folder. They were made by me and derived from the excellent D-Tar Mama Bear, and are totally free to you. You may download the patch I use in this video here.
You will need to download the patches AND the Impulse Reponses (IRs) I used. You should try different IRs until you find the one that works best with your particular guitar. Alternatively, you may use one of the excellent Acoustic Guitar IRs that are available for a small fee from 3 Sigma Audio here. These are the IRs I currently use when I am playing live or recording, but I didn’t include them in the patches for this video, as I wanted something you could have free right away.
I am not using any non-Helix IRs (remember, Helix’s cab models ARE IRs) on the electric signal. The stock Helix cabinets work great for me. Please note: In order to use these patches, you must install the latest firmware update from Line 6.
You will also want to go to Global Settings:Footswitches and turn dial 3 (Stomp Mode Switches) for “10 Switches” mode to use footswitches 1 and 7 (the very left hand switches usually reserved for “Bank Up” and “Bank Down”). Additionally, the patches I use sometimes require one, two, or even three Expression pedals.
The patch works as follows:
Electric guitar signal -> Guitar input on Helix
Acoustic guitar signal-> Return 1 on Helix (You can change this to “Aux” in, if you wish. But because I connect guitars with and without preamps in my usage, I chose to use Return 1, since a PowerBridge without a built-in pickup does not work so well on the Aux in, which is designed for an active instrument like an acoustic guitar or bass with battery.)
Here is a screen grab showing what’s going on in the patch. Path 1A (the top line) is the acoustic guitar signal. Next is the beginning of the electric guitar signal, followed by the rest of the electric signal and finally, in Path 2b (the very bottom line) we have what I call the “Schmaltz,” which is ambience.
Here is the layout of the pedals in this patch.
The very left 2 foot switches (1 & 7) are for the ambience path. The center green delay foot switch is delay for the acoustic. The rest of the buttons affect only the electric guitar signal.
Acoustic Guitar andAmbience with Line 6 Helix
A lot of folks end up asking about acoustic guitar with Helix, so I set up this stereo patch to show how I would use this with acoustic guitar. The IRs I used are free, made by me. In this patch, I use “b03_Dtar_blues” in the top path and”b10_Dtar_mah_dread” in the second path down. They are here, and they are also free.
The patch is here. You may have it for free.
There is no electric signal in this patch, and you must plug your acoustic guitar into the “Aux in” input on Helix, unless you change that in the patch.
2-Amp Guitar with the Anderson Classic T and Line 6 Helix
The EXP layout and Footswitch arrangement are detailed in the video. The patch is in the folder with all my others and is called “T_+_M_2_amps_48d.hlx”.
Basically, you can get a full range of amp tones and have a clean amp and distorted amp at the same time. I could maybe get through most any electric guitar song I play with this patch. It doesn’t require a 2-voice guitar like the others do here, but it does require 3 Expression Pedals the way I have it set up.
Disclosure: I am a beta tester for Line 6’s Helix Rack. Other than that, everything I own was bought just the way you buy your stuff, either new or used. I do admit to loving Tom Anderson’s guitars more than any grown man should love anything…
Original Article: January 5, 2016 ~ Changed button layout, added latest patches.*
Update: January 23, 2016 ~ Changed button layout, added latest patches.*
Update: January 26, 2016~ Changed text to reflect latest Line 6 firmware availability.*
Update: February 3, 2016~ Added “Super Stereo” example.*
Update: April 18, 2016~ Added “Dual Amp” example.
Update: January 20, 2017 ~ Totally new content. All old content removed.
Update: January 21, 2017 ~ Additional Crowdster Plus 2 content added.
*Removed and replaced 1/20/17.