Helix 3.0 vs Kemper for praise and worship?

  • Hey guys, I'm a long time Kemper owner and user. Up until now, I've been pretty much a fanboy of Kemper and I believe the tones just cannot be beat. I'm a huge fan of the delays, verbs, and drive releases that Kemper has provided over the years for free... I'm a super Kemper evangelist!


    I never thought the Helix had better tones, although, the all-in-one floor unit was much better than my current setup (Kemper toaster, HD500 as midi controller, other pedals) and is superficially better than the Kemper Stage. Up until Helix came out with 3.0, I thought I'd rather not upgrade to the Stage or the Helix from my original toaster, but my setup is getting more cumbersome to haul around for church recordings (due to the pandemic).


    So for all of your Praise and Worship guys out there, how do you think the Helix 3.0 compares to what you can do with the Kemper? I just want to hear some opinions - especially on the Helix 3.0 release.


    Tone-wise, I'll never be completely convinced that Helix is better, so I'm not asking for that. I'm mostly asking for the other variables.


    Looking forward to hearing some intriguing discussion!

  • Hi

    I had the Helix floor but I never found really good OD/disortion sound. I had to use pedals and bought and tried new ones every week. I now have Stage and Two Kemper Kone cabs and I just love this setup. It is something in the sound, the breakup, dynamics and how it cleans up with the volume knob that I have never experienced before. At least not at reasonable volume levels

    Ok I do not use so much effects but if you need that Helix (or Axe-Fx) has more.

    For me the most important is the basic sound. If it is not what you whant it does not matter what effects you ad.

    Mike

  • I've never used a Helix but the other guitarist in the band has one...


    As you would expect, it does sound really good......but, it always sounds less valve like to me and doesn't "breathe" as much...but, if the KPA didn;t exist, I'd defo go the Helix route and no doubt be very happy. I think there are pro's and cons between the units


    The form factor is a personal decision. I prefer the amp/footpedal layout myself.


    The key with all this equipment is the set up.

    Interesting to see if the V3 improves the transpose as I believe its not great on the Helix as my mate has to use a drop pedal.

  • I have been playing in that scene for some yrs now. Used a Hx for 3 years and started using a Kemper a year ago (Just Kemper and remote). No comparison IMO, especially after the added Kemper Drive on the last firmware. The drives were the last stronghold of the Hx, a gap that kemper nearly closed.


    I still have an HX stomp as backup and that is all it is for me: a nice and portable backup. The latest firmware die nothing for the sound, only gave it 2 additional blocks (and some amps and fx) which made the stomp a lot more usable for me.

  • Is there a certain guitarsound that is used in praise and worship? Is this sound much different than any other style?

    I think the Kemper sounds sounds better than Helix.

    Clean amps/edge of break up, overdrive mostly from nice overdrive pedals plus heavy reverb and dotted 8th delays.


    Remember U2, the Edge.


    Sounds quite close (for me) on every modeller (cause of the reverb+delay abuse😄).


    But I buy and like a lot of those holy presets or rigs, cause it can be used as a great and easy starting point on any shoe gaze, black gaze whatever project. Think about the sounds from bands like Alcest for example. And I use it for atmospheric parts in Black Metal.


    So basically exactly the same sounds, but ...how should I say... not worshipping the same god :saint:

  • I had the Helix a couple years back. Returned it. It sounded just fine, but even with the ability to use two amp models and cabs at the same time, there was a warmth it lacked and richness that couldn't match my favorite rigs. The always available effects enable you to do more per Rig than the you can with the Helix, since the Helix 3.0, though it can now give you spillover between Presets, requires you to give up half the DSP to do so, no more two amp- two cab combos, with lots of ambience.


    Another benefit to the Stage is that like the Head, it has automatic volume compensation, allowing to adjust the amp's gain or OD model's gain and never worry about a volume change that won't match your other rigs. You remember the good old days of endlessly trying to balance the volume between presets in modelers, going back and forth adjusting, and hitting save? Those days are back with the Helix or the Quad.


    The third thing I like about the stage, in particular for P&W is the ducking feature on most of the effects. I can set ducking on delays and reverbs at 0.5 and the ambience disappears some as I strum chords and musically sneaks back in as I arpeggiate, let a chord ring or play single lines. This beats having different rigs or on the Helix snapshots, needing multiple delays for different parts of a song, and less tap dancing.

  • The Kemper can profile all kinds of sounds - not only real tube amps.

    So, if you like some tones from your Helix - profile them (only the amp, eq and cabinet sections).

    I own the HX Effects (Helix effects only) and love the 3.0 update - there are great options.

    For digital amp sounds I still prefer the KPA over everything else.

    (All trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with soundside.de)


    Great Profiles --> soundside.de

  • Clean amps/edge of break up, overdrive mostly from nice overdrive pedals plus heavy reverb and dotted 8th delays.


    Remember U2, the Edge.

    With respect, I'll call this an oversimplification. Clean/Edge of breakup describes a base tone for Blues or any number of genres. The heavy reverb and lavish delays are a stereotype of the genre. Both are only truly relevant for ambient sounds. If you have a keyboard player worth anything, they're even less needed.

    The standard Worship toolkit generally starts with a Vox style amp of some kind. The AC15 is ubiquitous for those using regular amps. Higher-end Vox style (Matchless....etc) are popular. I personally don't like the way those amps sound. Drive choices are all over the map.

    That said - I've been using Fender Champ and Soldano Hot Rod 100 profiles of late. But I'm not a 'pure' worship player by any stretch.

    “Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Love the responses guys... I appreciate all of your feedback. I wrote in frustration because my setup was glitching out on me, but I realized that I could update my HX Effects to 3.0 too. So now, I’ve got my beloved warm and edge of break up Michael Britt Dumble profile on my Kemper, the huge ionosphere reverb, the glitch delay and other reverb from the HX (also I like the Valve distortion) running into my Mod Duo that has about a million reverbs and delays.

    It’s overkill, but it does the job for me even though set up is a B. I’m considering going to the Stage too, but I also love my toaster regardless of my setup. I might just add a Stage to my setup and finally do a dual amp thing haha.

  • I’ve been playing in Churches for years - long before the current Worship Style became very popularized with Hillsong etc. Years ago, I was an amp/pedal guy then embraced the earlier Line 6 stuff when it first came out. The sound wasn’t the same but I made it work because I preferred the simplicity.


    Fast forward to now - some of the Worship Guitar Players I know are using pedalboards and racks? I get it, lots of “color”... but again, I like to make it easy. I bought the Stage last year and that’s all I use... and it sounds awesome. I compared the Helix (not the 3.0 I’m sure) and the Axe FX... too much for me... too much programming and tweaking.


    I have paid for a few profiles and performances from Tone Junkie that are great, but my faves are the ones I’ve built on my own. My stock sound is the Morgan AC, add reverb (I admittedly don’t use as much as many), Delay and run my amp slightly overdriven.... if I need a clearer tone I roll off the volume on my LP. Just like the old days except I’m using a profile as opposed to the real amp.


    I wish I had the time back that I spent tweaking with Line 6 stuff years ago... too much time spent trying to make something work. THAT is my bigger love of the KPA.. I can get a GREAT sound in seconds...


    That said, play what you like and what moves you... have fun!

  • How to get a “worship” guitar tone?


    take a great Vox style amp (Vox, Matchless , Morgan etc) running in the sweet spot around the edge of breakup. Marvel in the gloriously juicy tone coming from your amp. Then, completely obliterate it with so much delay and reverb that the guitar sounds like is bobbing around in a sonic ocean and you can no longer hear anything meaningful 😬


    sorry in advance for being an arse. I know that sound does work for many players but its way over the top for my liking. The first thing I need to do with most profiles is remove about 90% of the delay and reverb 🤣

  • How to get a “worship” guitar tone?


    take a great Vox style amp (Vox, Matchless , Morgan etc) running in the sweet spot around the edge of breakup. Marvel in the gloriously juicy tone coming from your amp. Then, completely obliterate it with so much delay and reverb that the guitar sounds like is bobbing around in a sonic ocean and you can no longer hear anything meaningful 😬


    sorry in advance for being an arse. I know that sound does work for many players but its way over the top for my liking. The first thing I need to do with most profiles is remove about 90% of the delay and reverb 🤣

    I know you’re jesting but this is spot on. The “wash” is very popular now... TONS of reverb, usually multiple delays... the more ambient the more it’s “cool”.


    Not my thing but hey... I like it from time to time for a special effect, but not all the time.

  • It is only 'cool' for the break up kind of sounds. The 'pad' kind of thing. Reason is simple: you don't need to pick so many notes to keep it full. It's not my kind of thing, but serves as purpose. More driven sounds with the wash thing don't work IMO.


    Thanks goodness we use a lot of these tones :-p

  • I don't, however for services in other churche (guest performance) our team receiver compensation. I don't play in those services and have no Idea how much that is. Sunday services (pre corona) were 4500 attendants, so that is a lot of fun to do. No need for me to get paid; it is great to do these gigs :-)

  • Yes ofcourse.Compensation..


    I have some friends from the US in germany who do this whenever they can(most of them pro singers).All of them for free.But it seems this whole thing has become very big in the USA during the last 20 years or so..that's fine ofcourse..