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If you play metal don’t buy the Helix

khordking

New Member
I am the kind of person who finds a piece of gear and sticks with it for a long time (The last pedal that I bought was a digitech rp250 back in 2008.) After weeks of research on different options between the helix, fm3, boss gt-1000, headrush, etc. I decided on the helix LT because every YouTube guitarist I saw couldn’t stop singing their praises for it.

The first day I got it I spent 7 hours on it. Not because I was enjoying it, but because it was taking that long for me to find a usable tone for the type of music that I enjoy; metalcore, death metal, slam. I was getting more and more frustrated that I couldn’t find a tone that would even match the free plugins that I had been playing with prior. I tried everything, EVERY amp/cab available, dozens of community made presets, and as many IR’s as I could download. There was a distinct buzzing noise with every single high gain sound that it could make, as well as the fact that when I plugged it into an amp it sounded like it gave a muffled sound like it was playing through a pillow, which I found unacceptable for a device that I had paid over $1200 for.

I had read online that many people found the fractal tones to be much better and more realistic without the buzzing or the muffled sounds. I had no way to test any of these devices in person but regardless i returned the helix LT and reluctantly ordered the FM3. After setting up I IMMEDIATELY heard a night and day difference. It felt like the $1000 device it was supposed to be! The tones felt so much more realistic, they had the low end which was completely absent from the helix. There was a life in even the factory presets that the helix didn’t have. Even with the hundreds of amps and cable available I was able to find a workable tone within minutes, and I was able to tweak the community presets into something I would consider perfect with minimum effort.

I’m not writing this to gush over the fm3 or to sound like a fanboy. I’m writing this because it’s exactly the thing that I needed to read when I was researching which to buy in the first place. If you play metalcore/death metal/djent/slam or any high gain music, you should know that fractal is used by all of the artists we listen to for a reason. Most devices just aren’t capable of creating the tones that we look for. I can’t speak for many other devices but the fact that it is difficult to find anybody on YouTube who demos other devices for anything heavier than ‘edge of breakup’ level tones speaks volumes. Metal guitarists thrive with fractal devices.
 

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Kruegmeister

Experienced
Yes your experience seems odd.
Perhaps you were on an old Firmware? As the new one defaults Cabs to have a Low & High Cut now I think? Or maybe the FM3 does that? I forget...
Anyways, I've extensively used an AxeFX II in the Past & recently bought an FM3 & a Helix Floor. I sold the FM3 mainly cause the Helix Capo is so much better than the Fm3s & I needed that for Cover Band...
But the Sounds from both were on par. The Revv, Mesa & Diezel sims should have gotten you a very pleasing Heavy Sound & the Mark IV should have achieved Metallica area quite easily???
That & typically the consesus was Helix was easier to tweak??? I think both are easy to tweak as Fractal has the "Authentic" Tab I think it's called, which streamlines the Parameters while still leaving pages of tweaks for those that want to swap Tubes or Modify a tone stack, etc...

But either way you bought a great Modeler with a gazillion Amps at your disposal & glad it worked out & you can proceed to rock on!
 

albert salas

New Member
I agree, I was a stomp and native user, for high gain it was difficult to get good tones although I managed to do some, however with fm3 I got incredible tones from the beginning. I don't mean helix is bad I got awesome tones but not for death metal. If you play metal exclusively, I recommend fractal.
 

ElectricPhase

Power User
I can get good sounds out of the Helix platform....it's nowhere near as diverse and flexible as the FM3, but decent.

I personally find that getting there on the Helix requires a bunch of counterintuitive tweaks, while on the Fractal platform the sounds are ready to go.

ymmv
 

Bhairava

New Member
Я из тех людей, которые находят шестеренку и надолго остаются с ней (последней педалью, которую я купил, была digitech rp250 в 2008 году). После
Totally agree with you . I also tried for over a year to get good sound from Helix LT . Nothing worked and I sold it, and bought Fractal Audio FM3 . My opinion: Helix is not worth more than Mooer GE 300, for example.
I do not speak English well, so I'm sorry if I expressed something wrong.
 

mehegama

Member
having both platforms, my experience is nothing like yours. I understand that people have different tastes etc but the "day and night difference" is factually wrong. It s simply not the case, no matter how subjective you see it. Maybe for some reason you could not get your way from the default settings, which is extremely unlikely but hey. If you know how to dial a high gain tone, you should not have any issue at all with the helix.
 

JiveTurkey

Experienced
having both platforms, my experience is nothing like yours. I understand that people have different tastes etc but the "day and night difference" is factually wrong. It s simply not the case, no matter how subjective you see it. Maybe for some reason you could not get your way from the default settings, which is extremely unlikely but hey. If you know how to dial a high gain tone, you should not have any issue at all with the helix.
Yes if you love disembodied distortion; the Helix is excellent.

Hypocritically speaking, though; you can do metal with it. So I'm at a bit of an impasse.
 

rossipedia

Inspired
I understand that people have different tastes etc but the "day and night difference" is factually wrong. It s simply not the case, no matter how subjective you see it

This just... that's now how those words work. There are facts here, only more opinions. It's all subjective.

(Don't mean to derail this, but it gets under my skin when people try to pass off things that are entirely subjective as somehow objective).
 

mtripp

Inspired
There is no tone/amp that either device cannot do equally well. Fractal has much more depth to the settings, and also has the custom scales ability. Beyond that, If you know what you are tweaking, you should be able to get comparable results on either, easily.
 

mehegama

Member
This just... that's now how those words work. There are facts here, only more opinions. It's all subjective.

(Don't mean to derail this, but it gets under my skin when people try to pass off things that are entirely subjective as somehow objective).
Well, liking a tone or not, is subjective. Hearing 2 sources of sound and being able to compare them is not. There will always be some kind of subjectiveness, as different people hear things slightly differently, but in general most people will be able to tell if two sounds differ or not. So what you say is not true. Hearing 2 sounds and being able to say if they are "day and night different" is something that can be identified objectively. It is not a matter of opinion (unless you think that someone in broad daylight, saying it s night is an opinion and subjective, in which case i have nothing to say). I have tried it myself, and with the same IR i cannot tell what is what in a blind test. They have very small differences, that in a mix or live you cannot even hear them, and one is not better than the other. They are what they are. Like playing 2 different dual recs.
You can also see loads of videos that compare the 2 in blind tests. It is impossible to tell what is what.
 
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