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1500 bucks, you say, Line6?

DavidE

Power User
I don't know how many parameters a Fractal amp model typically has, but if it's as deep as the effects parameters then I would say L6 and Fractal are aiming for different customers. Here's the answer about amp parameters from Line 6:

"A few amps have specialized parameters (such as the Orange's FAC knob or the Vox's Cut), but for the most part, you're talking:

Drive, Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence, Channel Volume, Master Volume, Sag, Heater Hum, AC Ripple, Class AB <–> A Biasing, and Bias Excursion.

Option anxiety is a very real thing, and the team's made the conscious decision to keep things stooopid simple to dial in, at least at launch. We're certainly not interested in playing the "who can add the most parameters" game, but there have been discussions about where we might go next, if users demand more granularity to achieve the tones in their head.

For example, the deepest you're gonna dive to access any block parameter is (quick, we're timing you!):

1) Touch the footswitch assigned to the 3 Osc Synth (24 parameters).
2) Press PAGE> three times.
​Two seconds! Nice job. :cool:"
 
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DavidE

Power User
I don't know many guitarists who are begging for extra parameters. Just the ones that are available on the real amps/effects are all the vast majority of guitarists want & should need.

That keeps things simple & avoids over thinking/tweaking......

I think much of the Fractal crowd wants the deep editing. Perhaps my impression is wrong, but that's my understanding based on my short time here after receiving the FX8.
 

JRod4928

Experienced
I don't want deep editing. I ignore as many of the options as possible, aside from the few that are often mentioned on this forum like Transformer Match. I want to spend more time playing and less time learning about taking my tone from 99% to 99.9%.

The AXE FX can be as complicated as you want it to be. If you don't like so many options, don't use them or investigate them.
 

philipacamaniac

Fractal Fanatic
The approaches are different. With Helix, you're presented with a model of the Deluxe Memory Man they have in the L6 office. It will probably have the same parameters as on the real box, and not more. With Fractal, you have the Analog Delay as a starting point, with all the parameters you'd need to shape the delay into sounding exactly like your uncle's rare vintage DMM that was warmer and had this quirky extra oscillation every so often. You can take that same block and shape it into a DM2, a Carbon Copy, or any other BBD-type delay. And when a parameter is missing, if enough users want it, The Man Giveth via years of firmware updates.

You want updates from Line 6? The M series still has bugs (the multi-head doesn't respond correctly to expression pedals), and Line 6 stopped producing firmware updates in 2011. And yet they're still selling M series products new...
 

hippietim

Fractal Fanatic
You want updates from Line 6? The M series still has bugs (the multi-head doesn't respond correctly to expression pedals), and Line 6 stopped producing firmware updates in 2011. And yet they're still selling M series products new...

This is the norm in the industry. Fractal has blown away all expectations in that regard. Fractal is a rare breed in the music industry. Very few products have continued to evolve in dramatic ways. Eventide has done great stuff in their rack products and seems to be doing at least OK with their pedals. Kemper is obviously doing a good job adding value. There seems to be hope for Amplifire customers as well. With most companies you are lucky to get bug fixes.

The list of one (or none) and done products in terms of updates is enormous - Boss/Roland, Line 6, Avid/Eleven, Digitech, etc. are all very unlikely to do more than a single semi-major update if at all. Line 6 has a few products where they've done a couple nice updates but it's been a while since we've seen that sort of evolution from them.

Companies like Fractal, Eventide, and Kemper sell platform products with headroom to evolve. The rest seem to spec a product, find the lowest cost stuff available to build that product, deliver it, and move on to the next product. It doesn't take much to realize which companies create best of breed products with lifespans that are 5-10+ years and which create products with a 2 year lifespan. Heck, Eventide updated the Eclipse 10 years after it's introduction. And it was cool!
 

DavidE

Power User
The approaches are different. With Helix, you're presented with a model of the Deluxe Memory Man they have in the L6 office. It will probably have the same parameters as on the real box, and not more. With Fractal, you have the Analog Delay as a starting point, with all the parameters you'd need to shape the delay into sounding exactly like your uncle's rare vintage DMM that was warmer and had this quirky extra oscillation every so often. You can take that same block and shape it into a DM2, a Carbon Copy, or any other BBD-type delay. And when a parameter is missing, if enough users want it, The Man Giveth via years of firmware updates.new...


I have to say that's not how I want to buy my effects. If I want the sound of a modeled DMM, i want there to be a DMM setting in the delay block that sounds like a DMM without me having to create it. Id never get there on my own. Just give me the parameters to tweak an existing DMM model.
 
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pima1234

Fractal Fanatic
The "we" and we're" comments make the above post seem a little fishy. My apology for being wrong about that.

"Option anxiety is a very real thing, and the team's made the conscious decision to keep things stooopid simple to dial in, at least at launch. We're certainly not interested in playing the "who can add the most parameters" game, but there have been discussions about where we might go next, if users demand more granularity to achieve the tones in their head."

Maybe this was a quote from one of Line 6 people over at The Gear Page?

Sounds like the AX8 will be the product for you though.

For as cool as the UI is, I'm still skeptical about Helix, until I get my hands on it, and can here some more convincing demos.
 

BrainalLeakage

Experienced
I don't know how many parameters a Fractal amp model typically has, but if it's as deep as the effects parameters then I would say L6 and Fractal are aiming for different customers. Here's the answer about amp parameters:


A few amps have specialized parameters (such as the Orange's FAC knob or the Vox's Cut), but for the most part, you're talking:

Drive, Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence, Channel Volume, Master Volume, Sag, Heater Hum, AC Ripple, Class AB <–> A Biasing, and Bias Excursion.

Option anxiety is a very real thing, and the team's made the conscious decision to keep things stooopid simple to dial in, at least at launch. We're certainly not interested in playing the "who can add the most parameters" game, but there have been discussions about where we might go next, if users demand more granularity to achieve the tones in their head.

For example, the deepest you're gonna dive to access any block parameter is (quick, we're timing you!):

1) Touch the footswitch assigned to the 3 Osc Synth (24 parameters).
2) Press PAGE> three times.
​Two seconds! Nice job. :cool:

If you're suggesting I'm somehow affiliated with Line 6, you're dead wrong.

I'm sure you can see the confusion, right?

Personally, I got the impression you worked for Line 6 reading this post, and I'm sure I'm not alone.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
For as cool as the UI is, I'm still skeptical about Helix, until I get my hands on it, and can here some more convincing demos.

Have you heard/seen convincing demos of the AX8?

I'm all for Fractal stuff, but the AX8 makes me more skeptical than anything. If you create a preset in AFX with just an amp and a cab, it'll use like 22% CPU. Add a drive and a delay and boom - that should be somewhere around the limit of AX8's processor capacity. How that thing is supposed to work is a mystery to me.

Now, I'm sure FAS will not release an unusable product, that's not my point. It'll work somehow. But they will have to either make some optimization miracles to fit an Axe FX into a much less powerful device, or strip down effects dramatically, or... Well, I'm not sure what else exactly.

In this regard, if Line 6 makes a simpler device with simpler effects, it's a much more understandable beast. I'm not saying it'll be better, but at least I totally see how it will work.

Granted, there's something I don't know/understand. But we're talking about skepticism.
 

DavidE

Power User
The "we" and we're" comments make the above post seem a little fishy. My apology for being wrong about that.

"Option anxiety is a very real thing, and the team's made the conscious decision to keep things stooopid simple to dial in, at least at launch. We're certainly not interested in playing the "who can add the most parameters" game, but there have been discussions about where we might go next, if users demand more granularity to achieve the tones in their head."

Maybe this was a quote from one of Line 6 people over at The Gear Page?

Sounds like the AX8 will be the product for you though.

For as cool as the UI is, I'm still skeptical about Helix, until I get my hands on it, and can here some more convincing demos.


I should have used quotes to make it clear that the answer was a direct quote from Line 6. My apologies. I fixed it.

Honestly, if the the Helix feels and sounds good,mI dont need deep editing. I always say that if you give me a pedal with too many knobs, I'll make it sound horrible when I'm trying to make it sound good. The interactive knobs on the Mesa Mark series may be why I couldnt ever get one to sound good on more than one channel at a time. On the FX8 I'm mainly using the main parameters and leaving the rest as is. One exception was trying different clipping devices (fet, diodes, tubes) on drive blocks.

I'm hoping the Helix is for me. But it's good for all guitarists have a choice. Want a simple interface? Helix. Want deep editing? AX8 or AxeFX. Want profiles? Kemper. Hopefully the sound of the Helix will justify the price because thats what we're really after in the end.

This interesting response from Line 6 that will help us differentiate among the various modelers and maybe help many move on from the endless, and often meaningless, comparisons:

"
At no point during Helix's development was any variation of "we're going after [Brand X]'s customers" uttered. Line 6 is all about solving problems for musicians and we've done over 9,000 metric tons of interviews, surveys, and objective listening to make sure our solutions solve said problems in the most elegant and efficient way. If the user of a different box happens to like our methodology better and wants to try it out, bonus, but if they expect us to add every little [Brand X] feature they're accustomed to, they're barking up the wrong tree. Helix will continue to be Helix for its entire life cycle.

And to be honest, personally, I'd almost prefer that people stick with what they know and love. If one needs a never-ending supply of amp profiles, they should stick with Kemper. If one expects hundreds of amp models with extremely deep programmability, they should stick with Fractal. If one needs an affordable modeler with a tiny footprint and IR support, they should stick with Atomic/Studio Devil. Seriously.

Our goal has never been to compete with other companies; it's to help make the electric guitar viable again, by giving musicians the tools to make great-sounding, unique tones extremely quickly and with very little effort."
 

willowdale

Fractal Fanatic
Your point about keeping things simple is a good one. There's a market for that, just as there's a market for making things more flexible and versatile.

Yeah but the market for guitarists that wants things simple(just like the real effects/amps) is probably 95% compared to the 5% that like to geek out & deep dive......

This will affect Fractal going forward.........when the modeling tones between units are all close enough for most not to care, it's going to be ease of use, UI, price & the must have options that will win the day.

Fractal is already starting down the simpler road with the upcoming AX8......all in 1 floorboard.....KPA looking tone knobs on top......much lower price etc....
 

pima1234

Fractal Fanatic
Cool.

Again, sorry about the post.

And yeah, I definitely get it about keeping things simpler, and definitely less expensive.

We'll see. I'm sure the AX8 will deliver. And the Helix will probably be really good with 3rd party IRs. I didn't keep my Axe FX the first time around, or the Kemper. The UI of the Helix is a winner.

I should have used quotes to make it clear that the answer was a direct quote from Line 6. My apologies. I fixed it.

Honestly, if the the Helix feels and sounds good,mI dont need deep editing. I always say that if you give me a pedal with too many knobs, I'll make it sound horrible when I'm trying to make it sound good. The interactive knobs on the Mesa Mark series may be why I couldnt ever get one to sound good on more than one channel at a time. On the FX8 I'm mainly using the main parameters and leaving the rest as is. One exception was trying different clipping devices (fet, diodes, tubes) on drive blocks.

I'm hoping the Helix is for me. But it's good for all guitarists have a choice. Want a simple interface? Helix. Want deep editing? AX8 or AxeFX. Want profiles? Kemper. Hopefully the sound of the Helix will justify the price because thats what we're really after in the end.

This interesting response from Line 6 that will help us differentiate among the various modelers and maybe help many move on from the endless, and often meaningless, comparisons:

"
At no point during Helix's development was any variation of "we're going after [Brand X]'s customers" uttered. Line 6 is all about solving problems for musicians and we've done over 9,000 metric tons of interviews, surveys, and objective listening to make sure our solutions solve said problems in the most elegant and efficient way. If the user of a different box happens to like our methodology better and wants to try it out, bonus, but if they expect us to add every little [Brand X] feature they're accustomed to, they're barking up the wrong tree. Helix will continue to be Helix for its entire life cycle.

And to be honest, personally, I'd almost prefer that people stick with what they know and love. If one needs a never-ending supply of amp profiles, they should stick with Kemper. If one expects hundreds of amp models with extremely deep programmability, they should stick with Fractal. If one needs an affordable modeler with a tiny footprint and IR support, they should stick with Atomic/Studio Devil. Seriously.

Our goal has never been to compete with other companies; it's to help make the electric guitar viable again, by giving musicians the tools to make great-sounding, unique tones extremely quickly and with very little effort."
 

pima1234

Fractal Fanatic
LOL!!!

Yeah... okay Line 6.

You lost me when the electronics on my Variax nylon quit. (Even after sending me a free replacement of the power supply... which then also quit pretty quickly.) But, maybe with Yamaha's backing, things have improved. The DG Stomp was a good early modeler. But, it was noisy.
 

vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
Yeah but the market for guitarists that wants things simple(just like the real effects/amps) is probably 95% compared to the 5% that like to geek out & deep dive......

.

Something is telling me that if you look at the world of all guitarists, 2/3 of them are using $150 sound cards bought used with pirated Guitar Rig. Another 15% will use a few pedals, and some other 15% use combo amps, cheap processors and such nonsense. And more because of costs rather than simplicity, although the later certainly plays a role to some extent.
 

svl

Power User
Our goal has never been to compete with other companies; it's to help make the electric guitar viable again, by giving musicians the tools to make great-sounding, unique tones extremely quickly and with very little effort."


I like some of Line 6's stuff, but I hate absolute bullshit.
 

DavidE

Power User
Our goal is not to compete, it's to make guitar viable again. Oh my, my eyes are wet with tears seeing such noble creatures.


It seems like Cliff has a similar goal. Nothing wrong with that. These guys really appear to have personal investment in the Helix platform just as Cliff has with Fractal. In order to keep the lines going, both companies have to make money so they do need a goal of selling units. That's business.
 
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