A new modelling platform — at least new for me — arrives later today. The Helix Line 6.

I opted for the floor model and not the Helix LT primarily because I needed the extra I/O that the floor provides.

I have been running a Fractal AX8 for the past year or so. The units from Kemper, Helix and Fractal are all capable of producing good tones and I have owned both Kemper and Fractal.

Helix has an advantage in workflow over the Kemper and the Fractal. The Kemper seems to have gone nowhere with respect to editing software and the Fractal’s software, while excellent, requires both a computer and the AX8 to work out tones effectively.

The lack of scribble strips on the Fractal AX8 is a bit of an issue for me. Probably the bigger issue though is the lack of DSP on the Fractal AX8. I am constantly bumping into the limits of the DSP with only 6 to 8 blocks active.

I spent untold hours previewing profiles on the Kemper. I spent hundreds of dollars on commercial profiles trying to find that sound on the Kemper. I found the unit to be overly difficult in terms of the workflow and I was spending hours tweaking presets for songs.

For me, I need a portable, do everything rig for travelling. One that I can quickly pull some good tones together without needing to use a computer.

Kemper and Fractal might have a slight edge in tone with their platforms but in the context of a mix, I doubt that very many listeners would be that discerning.

I have been using Helix Native with my Pro Tools rig so I have a very good sense as to how the Helix floor will sound relative to the Kemper and Fractal and I have already worked through a lot of the tweaking that is necessary on the Helix to produce a good tone.

I am looking forward to getting some presets going over the weekend.

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