The Line 6 Edit software can be a little intimidating at first. But if you take a look at it, from a different perspective, it really isn’t that difficult to maneuver. Today we take a look at the basic functions.
What Is Line 6 Edit? Do Not Fear!
I think one of the biggest hurdles for guitarists wanting to get into digital processing is the idea that it is complicated. If this is you, and it seems like it is too hard to figure out, then you’re not alone. Lots of people get intimidated by HX Edit, since it is definitely an expansive program. But it can be as easy as you want it to be, or as difficult.
HX Edit is used to program your Helix, Helix LT, or Pod GO units. Now, of course you can program these units with the onboard screen and knobs. But if you plug the unit up via USB, you can change your patches around in real time with HX Edit on your computer. This can be a huge advantage if you are recording. You can bring up the editor right in your DAW.
The Line 6 edit functions are much more intuitive than you think, and today we are going to walk you through how I build a patch myself! I have had my fair share of problems with Amp Sims. My problem was that there are too many options. But if you go into the edit process with a specific intention, it makes things much easier!
I am going to give you a step by step guide as to how I make patches with my Line 6 gear. I am going to explain to you how and why I made my choices with some screenshots added. This should give you a good idea of just how easy the process can be! So let’s get started with the first step!
For the sake of purpose, we are making a “Metal Lead Tone”. If you have not downloaded it yet, the Line 6 3.50 update is here! This changes a lot of what we are talking about in this article, so go check that one out!
Line 6 3.50 Update Explained: All You Need To Know!
What Is Line 6 Edit: Choosing An Amp Model
No matter which unit you are using, the first step is to start a new patch. You can see your entire signal path at the top of the window. Line 6 has this organized very neatly. Just like in real life, you can put pedals before the amp, or after the amp signal.
Since we are making a “Metal lead Tone” we need one of two options. I can either pick a high gain amp right out the gate, or I can pick a lower gain amp and put a boost in front of it. Either one of these options will be awesome, and it really comes down to a matter of taste.
To go the first route, I would pick something like a Mesa, Bogner, or 5150 amp model. After you click on the amp you want to use, you need to EQ it out. The Line 6 edit functions a lot like a real amp. You have gain settings, volume, and your usual EQ settings like a real amp has! These controls respond the same way, as well.
Now you can choose to do a deep dive, and do more than just EQ the amp. Line 6 allows you to change the tube bias, and all kinds of other options. But we are skipping that today. Let’s keep it simple. I like the Mesa model’s tone a lot. So I just click on the amp I want, and EQ it. Done! On to the next step!
You can also throw pedals in front of the amp. Traditionally, this would be an overdrive or EQ pedal. If this is the case, you would still set the effects model the same way that you would on a pedal. If using an overdrive for a boost, you can turn the gain all the way down and turn the volume all the way up. Line 6 has tons of overdrive options, and they all sound different. But I think the Tubescreamer model is the best for this application.
Now we are on to the next step….
What Is Line 6 Edit: Choosing Effects
I think a lead tone should always start with a good delay. This is easy with HX Edit, just choose the effect you want, and add it to the chain. You can then choose the type of echo/delay you want to use. The next window to the right will be the settings for the effect, and you can set all of the delay parameters. I like to use “tap tempo” as every song will be different in tempo when it comes to delay.
There are so many types of delay built into the Line 6 software, but there are only a few that will fit my tone that I am trying to build. The “vintage digital” and “cosmos echo” are the two that I like most. Tweaking the settings around is going to be key here, as I like to make it a “general” as possible. I can always go back and fine tune it later.
I like a light reverb also, but that is up to you. It can take a little bit of experimenting to get a reverb that works perfect with the delay you choose. This is especially true if you have a stereo delay. This is the fun of using the HX Line 6 Edit, as you can find all kinds of different combos.
The other step, can be a little confusing…
What Is Line 6 Edit: Cabinets/IR
The Line 6 units, as well as Helix Native all come preloaded with cabinet impulse responses. These are built in, and designed by Line 6. But this is the cool part: You can also load your own IR, and add it to your Line 6 patch. It doesn’t matter where this comes from, Line 6 supports 3rd party IRs!
An impulse response (or IR) is a recorded measurement of the sound and tones of a speaker, room, or microphone in relation to a sound source. So this can be any type of cabinet. This is the final touch to building your patch, usually. Just like real speaker cabinets, you can choose:
- Full Range, or FRFR Cabinet
Now these are just the setups I currently have downloaded. But I am sure there are many more out there. Some, you can buy separately like Overloud. Some IRs are completely free, and can be found all over the internet. These model Mesa, Marshall, and all of the big names in cab design. These can change your sound drastically.
I have 3 or 4 that i like to keep on hand, and they are my favorites. Other people may want to have 1000 different cab IR files to choose from, as you need more versatility. It is really up to the player.
Now you are all done! You should have a good basic lead tone!
Line 6 is at the forefront of modeling technology and digital effects. The HX Stomp was clearly designed to fit a niche that the Helix cannot. It is the compact solution to recording, adding to your effects chain, or using it as a stand-alone unit. The possibilities are crazy!
Line 6's FBV Express MKII Guitar Footswitch offers all the classic advantages you expect from a Line 6 foot controller, including rock-solid channel switches, a rugged wah/volume pedal and a chromatic tuner display but it's also full of surprises. The steel footswitches are built for constant stomping. They make it easy to store and select four channel presets, to synchronize time-based effects with Tap Tempo, and to activate the chromatic tuner. The burly, full-sized volume/wah pedal feels solid under your foot and features plenty of grip. Clicking the toe switch toggles between volume and wah control.
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What Is Line 6 Edit? It’s Easier Than You Think!
The HX Edit can be a great tool, if you just take a little time to get used to it. It isn’t some big scary program. I can’t lie though, I used to have a big problem with these kinds of programs. I often had a hard time making a decision because there are so many options. This is called option paralysis, and it happens to the best of us.
But the important thing to remember is to go into the program with an intent. Know what tone you are going to try to build. Because if you don’t, you can easily end up just playing with all of the different sounds for hours. when you first get the program, it might be a good idea to play with it and familiarize yourself with it.
But in practical application, you need to have an objective. Since I have taken this attitude, I find it easy to create patches without getting sidetracked. HX Edit, and Helix native are powerful tools, that can be a huge advantage when you know how to harness their power!
Christoper HortonChristopher has been playing guitar, bass, and piano for 28 years. He has been active in the professional music industry for over two decades. Chris has toured for years with several bands and music projects across the United States. He worked in Los Angeles as a studio musician and engineer working with many genres, but mainly Pop, Rock, and Metal. In between giving private lessons, he is usually recording under his various projects at home in Georgia. Christopher plays Schecter Guitars, BOSS Amplifiers, and uses STL Tones in the studio.
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