Putting Helix Native and the Axe FX head to head!

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Guitarjon, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys!

    A while ago I was working on this song and I felt I wanted to try to do this one on two platforms.
    Just for fun and to see how they both sound in the mix compared to each other.
    Of course the formats are different, one is a plugin and the other hardware.
    But do they stack up to each other well?
    I think they both sound really good but I'd love to hear which one is your favorite and why.

    I'm using the same OwnHammer Emperor 4x12 IR from the Heavy Hitters Collection II.

    I tried to just make them both sound good in their own right so they don't use amp models that were based on the same amp necessarily.

    Here we go!

    Axe FX:


    Helix Native:
     
  2. Carl Kolchak

    Carl Kolchak SS.org Regular

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    Compared to the Axe FX, Helix sounds duller and less dynamic.
     
  3. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Sick tracks!! Both actually sound phenomenal.
    The Fractal seems to be 'warmer' and 'airier' while the Helix is more 'cold' and 'present'.
     
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  4. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    The exact opposite to me, but honestly... they're both quite good.
     
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  5. PBGas

    PBGas SS.org Regular

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    They both sound great. If you heard this live or was a blind test without knowing, really...it would be a guess.

    Nicely done and a great comparison.
     
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  6. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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    I never thought I'd actually say this, but I liked the Helix better.
     
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  7. Guitarjon

    Guitarjon SS.org Regular

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    Not bad eh? ;)
     
  8. Corusal

    Corusal SS.org Regular

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    Honestly anyone who hears a difference in quality in those two videos has to either have the very best of ears or be full of shit :2c: :D

    Both sound great and I'm pretty sure the difference you can hear is down to Jon using different amps on the two units. Just shows how great OwnHammer IRs are :p
     
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  9. Rev2010

    Rev2010 Contributor

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    Sorry to quote you after this many months later, only came across this thread now and gave Jon's video's a listen. I think he does a very good job making the Helix sound good but I've been trying out Helix Native for a few days now and the issue I have is the same as most people mention - the fizz. I can hear it in Jon's video's too. It's not a top end fizz that I'm hearing that can just easily be hi-cut out - to me it sounds like the culprit is the way the distortion is created (or modeled). It's kind of hard to explain, but with real amps and other modelers (even my POD HD) I hear the distortion more as a growl whereas with Helix it sounds more like a compressed fizz. Again, I don't know how I can better explain this, but I don't hear that compressed fizz sound in the AxeFX vid above and I don't at all claim to have golden ears.

    What I've been trying to do for the past several days is decide if I can replace my POD HD with an upgrade to Helix Native, then later the Helix hardware unit for live/studio rehearsal use. So I've been trying to replicate my dual amp Mesa patch that I created a long time ago. My POD HD sound does the job for home scratch recording but it can certainly use improvement, however I still haven't yet been able to match it really with the Helix Native. I've owned a Triple Rec for many years and that pushed growl I get with it I do hear in the POD HD patch but I can't seem to get there fully with Helix Native. After several hours last night I've just come to the conclusion that the way it mimicks the amp distortion just doesn't sound right to me. Then this morning I jumped on here to give Jon's vids a listen, and while they are great there is that sound I keep hearing. That fizz, that "buzzy" sounding distortion. I dunno, I must be crazy I guess. I truly want to get on with the Helix as I posted on here years ago about a combination hardware/vst unit pairing and so far Line 6 is the only company I know of to have done it.

    Rev.
     
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  10. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    My experience has been that pretty much all plugins are capable of making good tones. It's just easier or more difficult with different plugins.

    The impulse response is, by far, the largest determinant. After that, it's where you set your high and low pass filters. After that, probably the quality of the guitar DI, fresh strings, the setup, your playing consistency etc. After that, the amp sim itself.

    Thing is, these sims aren't emulating how an amp sounds when you play through it. It's simulating the signal of how an amp sounds, through a cab, with a microphone in front of it. In my experience (which is limited, I admit), a raw guitar tone from a mic'd cab *is* pretty damn fizzy.
     
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