Interview: Uruha @ HELIX Masters

English translation of lead guitarist Uruha’s interview as part of the HELIX Masters series. Original article here.

[This is] a story from our series on top artists and professional users of the Helix Line 6, revealing how they use [our products] and their impressions.  In this 10th edition, we introduce Uruha, guitarist of the GazettE, whose unique worldview and loud rock sound have gained approval around the world. In the past, he was using a complex sound system and even did the micing of the amps himself; now he places tremendous trust in Helix, even using it as the central component of his system.  Read on to learn the reasons Uruha is so drawn to Helix.

Uruha’s View: Uruha talks about the Helix Floor

Originally for lives, I was using a big setup with three amps and speakers for separating dry [sound] and delay, but I was still having a lot of trouble with it.  Because of that, I gradually switched over to a PC-based plug-in system, but ran the risk that the PC would freeze or something like that.  It was around that time that I happened across the Line 6 Helix Native plug-in, and I was immediately impressed with the sound quality and the large variety [of effects].  I think one distinguishing feature of the plug-in is that it can easily be used with products by multiple manufacturers, but even so, this one [plug-in] has been able to handle all the effects required for the songs I’ve played so far.  In any case, it produces a real amp sound, so the sound from the speakers comes out [the way I intend it to].  Having learned about Helix’s power with [products] like these, about a year ago I introduced the Helix Floor [into my setup].

When I was using a computer, I was having trouble with things like MIDI signals not being transmitted or received, or pre-sets not switching properly, but since the Helix Floor is a single unit manufactured [specifically] for the guitar, I haven’t had any of those issues [with it] at all.  So, first of all, I wanted to say thank you for that.  In addition, with the aid of “SNAPSHOT,” I’m also happy there’s absolutely no delay when changing tones.  I often use a polyphonic octaver-like effect to shift pitch up or down for a moment, and that this allows me to do that is incredibly helpful.  It’s perfectly suited for guitarists.

One of the reasons I started using the Helix Floor was that I was looking forward to using it abroad [on the world tour].  On an international tour, you try to pare down your system as much as you can, so it’s very stressful that your [regular] sound could change [because of it].  With that in mind, I wanted to get a minimum ideal sound set up starting from the onset of our domestic tour.  Additionally, I’m grateful that if my main unit were to fail, I can transfer the data to a spare and get the same sound output.  In the past, I used to mic up the speakers myself, but it would take me a long time and I was worried about the microphone’s mix quality and phase and stuff, and sometimes I wasn’t quite sure exactly what kind of feel I wanted the sound to have. But the Helix Floor can import the IR data to the speaker of your choice and use that, so generally speaking, it really doesn’t take much time at all.  I’ve been set free from all those stresses, and as a result, I’m able to focus on my musical performance instead.

Of course, sometimes I miss my real amps, but I’m not able to reproduce the tone quality I get with the Helix Floor with the real amp and effects system, and more than anything else, you can’t beat the convenience and sense of security [you get] with the Helix Floor.  I can’t ever go back (laugh).

His preset for “*MANUAL” mode, used for songs that don’t run in sync and songs he controls on his own with foot switches. It consists of base settings “10 Band Graphic,” “Placater Dirty,” “Third-party Developer IR,” and “Parametric,” and each SNAPSHOT combines “Simple Pitch,” “Scream 808,” “Searchlights,” etc.
His preset used for “GUSH” (a recording from the album NINTH). This “Backing” [switch] also includes “10 Band Graphic,” “Placater Dirty,” “Third-Party Developer IR,” and “Parametric,” and each SNAPSHOT incorporates “Obsidian 7000,” “Hard Gate,” “Pitch Ring Mod,” “Pitch Wham,” and “Glitz.” “Pitch Wham” is assigned to the “Position” switch.
His preset for “13STAIRS[-]1” (a recording from the album DIM). “Backing” is the same as on “*MANUAL” and “GUSH” with other SNAPSHOTS including “Tycoctavia Fuzz,” Low and High Cut,” “Simple Delay,” “Pitch Wham,” “Deez One Mod,” “Clawthorn Drive,” and “AM Ring Mod.” “Pitch Wham” is once again assigned to the “Position” switch.

“IF YOU USE HELIX, YOU’LL BE FREED FROM ALL THOSE STRESSES SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON YOUR MUSICAL PERFORMANCE.” – URUHA

Masters Takeaway

All photos © 2019 Digimart Magazine.

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