#1
Hi, that's going to be long thread and hope you'll help me to get the perfect rig!
I'm playing for 10 year guitar, I played live, recorded on studios, took places in some bands, but now I play for fun and for home recording mostly. ( I still play here and there on live gigs)
I recently bought a new EBMM Majesty and it is awesome! So I want to get the best of it and build a perfect rig for sound and home recording.

I'm still noob in all the recording stuff so I don't know exactly what I suppose to have.

I want to change all my gear to something more flexible and with wide range of sounds, I don't like my correct gear and I want to sell all of it (expect the guitars) (I bought all my gear when I was 14 and was influenced by guitarists)
My gear:
Amp - Marshall ma50 combo (I want to replace it)
Pedalboard contains : vox wah, tonebone plexitube, Marshall jackhammer, maxon distortion, line 6 echo park, line 6 space chorus.
Interface - Mackie onyx blackjack
VST - guitar rig 5 and amplitude 4
Monitor - American acoustics (perfect huge monitors)
Guitars - EBMM Majesty, fender telecaster and 3 acoustics.
PC - 8gb ram windows i5

So what I'm looking for is a multi effect pedalboard that I can have anything I want and an amp or something like axe FX or kemper that sounds very professional and versatile. I am very toward the mark v sound in clean and distortion, but I still want flexibility. I saw a lot of videos about the kemper,the line 6 helix, the ax8 all vs real tube amp and all sound awesome. My budget is 3000$ .
I'm so confused and don't know what I need. I'm playing mostly progressive metal, blues, rock, and djent. Please help me understand how to build a rig for live and record, if an amp and keeping my pedals + sm 57 is enough or should I go and buy axe FX / Kemper and what I need with it to sound awesome (cab, interface and etc)
Last edited by yuvalmaster at Oct 2, 2016,
#3
This is the lower budget competition for the AxeFX. I have one and have gigged with it twice now and it worked just fine.
You will still need a USB audio interface for recording. The USB on it is just for configuring it, it doesn't output sound through it.

http://atomicamps.com/amplifire-pedal/
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#4
for what you are doing, I would probably do axe. especially since you aren't gigging it a ton (at all?). it is probably the best just for sitting in a home studio.

I gotta be honest though, I have VERY limited time on axe.

what DAW are you using?
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#5
It's a bit difficult for me to say for live purposes, but I've very much become a proponent of the no-amp setup. With that in mind, if you haven't already looked at Bias FX/Amp by Positive Grid, it's absolutely worth a look. Theoretically, there is no reason you couldn't then have a computer/tablet/etc as part of your setup. Another option would be to get the physical Bias Amp, which is designed at modelling anything based on recognition software. Plenty of stuff on YouTube for verification; it's not 100% accurate, but it's pretty close. Without a doubt, someone will have put together a Mark V preset for it already.

Fluff had a pretty good video showcasing it + has more.



To be fair, Fluff also does a lot of post-mixing, so taking that into account, you'll need a DAW if you don't already have one. Given that you have quite a sizable budget and your current PC, ProTools should be fine - Reaper, FL Studio etc are fine too, but PT would be my vote.

You've got the input interface covered, so that's all good.

If you're looking at drums and such as well, Superior Drummer 2.0 is pretty darn good.
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#6
Quote by Bob_Smith
It's a bit difficult for me to say for live purposes, but I've very much become a proponent of the no-amp setup. With that in mind, if you haven't already looked at Bias FX/Amp by Positive Grid, it's absolutely worth a look. Theoretically, there is no reason you couldn't then have a computer/tablet/etc as part of your setup. Another option would be to get the physical Bias Amp, which is designed at modelling anything based on recognition software. Plenty of stuff on YouTube for verification; it's not 100% accurate, but it's pretty close. Without a doubt, someone will have put together a Mark V preset for it already.

Fluff had a pretty good video showcasing it + has more.



To be fair, Fluff also does a lot of post-mixing, so taking that into account, you'll need a DAW if you don't already have one. Given that you have quite a sizable budget and your current PC, ProTools should be fine - Reaper, FL Studio etc are fine too, but PT would be my vote.

You've got the input interface covered, so that's all good.

If you're looking at drums and such as well, Superior Drummer 2.0 is pretty darn good.


Thank for answering ! My daw is tracktion 5… I got it with my blackjack interface.
What I'm looking for is something that I can also play for practice, take to gigs and for record. Because of that I want to have a multi effect pedalboard included. Bias FX are awesome but I can't change settings and effects with it while playing. So that's why I'm looking into the ax8 the line 6 helix or a tube amp with external pedalboard. What I don't know is if I need with the digitals ax8 and line 6 helix a pre amp and all that stuff, and honestly I don't know nothing about that.
#7
Quote by trashedlostfdup
for what you are doing, I would probably do axe. especially since you aren't gigging it a ton (at all?). it is probably the best just for sitting in a home studio.

I gotta be honest though, I have VERY limited time on axe.

what DAW are you using?

I use Tracktion 5 because I got it with my blackjack interface.
If i getting axe or Kemper I want to be able to change settings while playing so for that I need a pedalboard version. So I was looking into ax8 and I don't know the differences between the axe FX ii and the ax8. I don't know what I need to add to it like pre amp and stuff (I know nothing about that stuff)
#9
Quote by yuvalmaster
Thank for answering ! My daw is tracktion 5… I got it with my blackjack interface.
What I'm looking for is something that I can also play for practice, take to gigs and for record. Because of that I want to have a multi effect pedalboard included. Bias FX are awesome but I can't change settings and effects with it while playing. So that's why I'm looking into the ax8 the line 6 helix or a tube amp with external pedalboard. What I don't know is if I need with the digitals ax8 and line 6 helix a pre amp and all that stuff, and honestly I don't know nothing about that.


Interestingly: https://www.amazon.com/Positive-Grid-Bluetooth-Midi-Footswitch/dp/B0178FC4U8

I wasn't actually aware of the footswitch's existence til you brought the point up, but this should actually solve that problem. The switches look like you can adjust them to do whatever you feel like as well
Pedal GAS?
Empress Heavy
ISP Dec of some sort
Keeley Katana
TC Corona/Vortex/Dreamscape
#10
I can vouch for the Helix. My opinion: it is the most versatile in application, and it is very easy to use. Sounds are on par with the other big hitters.

And, it's cheaper than its competition
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#11
yuvalmaster

The computer-based sims are very good if you're a stay-at-home guitarist, but as soon as you start playing live, their shortcomings come to light.
First, you need to bring a computer along and you need to figure that in as a cost of your rig. A friend of mine ruined two laptops before he came to his senses in that regard. Second, you need some kind of foot pedal switching, and that's another cost. And then, as always with live use, you have to figure a backup.

I've got an Axe-FX Ultra rig, but that stays at home. It's a rack-mount, it needs a moderately expensive foot pedal (the recommended Axe version is over $750) and a similar backup gets pretty spendy. I've also got Line 6 Pods, from the "desktop" versions (XT to HD) to the foot pedal versions (XT Live to HD500). The good news is that these are actually pretty good once you get to know them (whole albums were done on the XTs and more on the HD series) and it's relatively cheap to own backups (the XT Live units can be had for $125-175 used), and in a band context your audience will be more than fine with them. The only place you'll hear anything bad will be from forum wonks.

In between those two extremes (and assuming you want to bump your bragging rights on the forums) are add-ons like the Two-Notes Torpedo C.A.B. and units like the Amplifire, the AX8, the Kemper and the Helix. I've used the C.A.B. as an add-on to the HD500, and it completely changes the sound quality; the cabinet IRs are superb (among the best in the business) and the power amp sims are an added dimension as well. The two units, working together, produce sound very competitive with the highest end gear. But "working together" is the issue and it can get slightly complicated. The Kemper is also either lunchbox or rack-mount and needs external foot-pedal switching, is still expensive, and its sound quality is now being matched by cheaper alternatives. It's becoming a bit long-in-tooth (while still an excellent unit) in a couple of ways.

The original Amplifire (the red one) is an uncomplicated foot pedal from Atomic Amps using Studio Devil sims that fits into a pedalboard and that gives you some great sounds in the $600 range. Doing complicated things is out of its reach, but if you're doing relatively simple amp switching, you're good. A newer version that adds some switching options (but no expression pedal) has just been introduced and will run you about $800. Cathbard loves his original red one and recommends it highly. But you'll want to ask him how he's using it.

The AX8 is a Fractal product and offers a severely truncated section of the AXE-FX abilities with foot switching included. It's in the $1500 range (by the time you buy an expression pedal to use with it), and while some of the sounds are very good, it's very old-school in the user interface side of things.

In the same price range, the Helix is a far better piece. These days, when you're spending this money, the sound quality is very good across the board (I'll get some arguments here and there on specifics). Most are capable of working with both supplied and aftermarket IRs -- the same IRs work for all, and there are folks like Ownhammer who are selling vast libraries of them and other folks who are doing their own and making them available as freebies across the internet.

What's different about the Helix, then, is its emphasis on user interface. It has a MUCH larger LED screen than any other unit, and coupled with that big screen are some absolutely stunning editing and routing capabilities. A single patch on the Helix can offer a wide variety of sounds, so you don't have to switch patches for every change, and you can select preset "scenes" (as Axe-FX refers to them) within a single user preset/patch. You can do real editing on that screen, and that's more than you want to attempt on the squinty little things on most of the other units. There are lights surrounding each of the switches, and those lights change color contextually. In addition, there are LED (screen) "scribble strips" that are also contextually based and extremely helpful. The switching is touch sensitive, so that you can touch a switch to select an option before activating it. There's a very solid Expression pedal built onto the unit (extra cost on almost everything else, and one more connection to fail), and there's a lot of thought put into the outputs (there are actually FOUR FX loops, and you can send a different output to local monitors from what you're sending to the mixer with the outputs. And so on.

Lots to choose from! Lots of research to be done.
#12
Quote by dspellman
yuvalmaster

The computer-based sims are very good if you're a stay-at-home guitarist, but as soon as you start playing live, their shortcomings come to light.
First, you need to bring a computer along and you need to figure that in as a cost of your rig. A friend of mine ruined two laptops before he came to his senses in that regard. Second, you need some kind of foot pedal switching, and that's another cost. And then, as always with live use, you have to figure a backup.

I've got an Axe-FX Ultra rig, but that stays at home. It's a rack-mount, it needs a moderately expensive foot pedal (the recommended Axe version is over $750) and a similar backup gets pretty spendy. I've also got Line 6 Pods, from the "desktop" versions (XT to HD) to the foot pedal versions (XT Live to HD500). The good news is that these are actually pretty good once you get to know them (whole albums were done on the XTs and more on the HD series) and it's relatively cheap to own backups (the XT Live units can be had for $125-175 used), and in a band context your audience will be more than fine with them. The only place you'll hear anything bad will be from forum wonks.

In between those two extremes (and assuming you want to bump your bragging rights on the forums) are add-ons like the Two-Notes Torpedo C.A.B. and units like the Amplifire, the AX8, the Kemper and the Helix. I've used the C.A.B. as an add-on to the HD500, and it completely changes the sound quality; the cabinet IRs are superb (among the best in the business) and the power amp sims are an added dimension as well. The two units, working together, produce sound very competitive with the highest end gear. But "working together" is the issue and it can get slightly complicated. The Kemper is also either lunchbox or rack-mount and needs external foot-pedal switching, is still expensive, and its sound quality is now being matched by cheaper alternatives. It's becoming a bit long-in-tooth (while still an excellent unit) in a couple of ways.

The original Amplifire (the red one) is an uncomplicated foot pedal from Atomic Amps using Studio Devil sims that fits into a pedalboard and that gives you some great sounds in the $600 range. Doing complicated things is out of its reach, but if you're doing relatively simple amp switching, you're good. A newer version that adds some switching options (but no expression pedal) has just been introduced and will run you about $800. Cathbard loves his original red one and recommends it highly. But you'll want to ask him how he's using it.

The AX8 is a Fractal product and offers a severely truncated section of the AXE-FX abilities with foot switching included. It's in the $1500 range (by the time you buy an expression pedal to use with it), and while some of the sounds are very good, it's very old-school in the user interface side of things.

In the same price range, the Helix is a far better piece. These days, when you're spending this money, the sound quality is very good across the board (I'll get some arguments here and there on specifics). Most are capable of working with both supplied and aftermarket IRs -- the same IRs work for all, and there are folks like Ownhammer who are selling vast libraries of them and other folks who are doing their own and making them available as freebies across the internet.

What's different about the Helix, then, is its emphasis on user interface. It has a MUCH larger LED screen than any other unit, and coupled with that big screen are some absolutely stunning editing and routing capabilities. A single patch on the Helix can offer a wide variety of sounds, so you don't have to switch patches for every change, and you can select preset "scenes" (as Axe-FX refers to them) within a single user preset/patch. You can do real editing on that screen, and that's more than you want to attempt on the squinty little things on most of the other units. There are lights surrounding each of the switches, and those lights change color contextually. In addition, there are LED (screen) "scribble strips" that are also contextually based and extremely helpful. The switching is touch sensitive, so that you can touch a switch to select an option before activating it. There's a very solid Expression pedal built onto the unit (extra cost on almost everything else, and one more connection to fail), and there's a lot of thought put into the outputs (there are actually FOUR FX loops, and you can send a different output to local monitors from what you're sending to the mixer with the outputs. And so on.

Lots to choose from! Lots of research to be done.

Thank you very much for the answer! I really appreciate it!
2 months ago I start learning about the helix and everything I found about it was awesome.
Then I saw comparison with the axe FX and the Kemper and it sounds the worst of the three.
But after I see your post I think it's good for me because it is user friendly and got anything build on it (expression pedal and etc) and even to record with it (fix me if I wrong). But if I get this piece I won't have an amp (because I will sell mine) so what I want to know is:
1: is the helix has professional sound that I can record with and play live and every one will ask "wow that's sound incredible! I bet you played a 5000$ amp!"
2: if I buy it I need anything beside my monitors or I need to have cab? (To get the most of it)
3: if I will buy sometime in the future an amp it will be able to shape it sound and make him more unique? (Not with effects of course)
So hope you'll help me with this questions! And thanks!
#13
Since you mentioned Mesa, personally I'd go with one of the smaller Mark series, Mesa Boogie Mark Five 25 Head and maybe a 1x12 or 2x12 cab.
For recording, I'll just get an iso speaker and mic that, most of the other effects could be found on the computer or the effects processor which follows...

For live performance I'll wrap a 4 cable method Boss GT-100 around it and it will provide me with all the effects and channel switching, or just keep all the analog effects and get a rackmount switcher like the GXC by Voodoolabs and their pedalboard.

Personally, I wouldn't go all modelling as that is usually a compromise in the studio and as soon as you sneeze you've lost $3000.
#15
Quote by Bob_Smith
Interestingly: https://www.amazon.com/Positive-Grid-Bluetooth-Midi-Footswitch/dp/B0178FC4U8

I wasn't actually aware of the footswitch's existence til you brought the point up, but this should actually solve that problem. The switches look like you can adjust them to do whatever you feel like as well


They are coming up with a pedal version that copies distortion pedals (you can edit and create everything too) and I'm beyond excited for it

https://www.positivegrid.com/bias-distortion/
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