TC Electronic has a long track record of delivering exactly what the market wants and needs. Their pedals are almost always meeting and exceeding the expectations, no matter how conservative the critic is. TC Electronic Helix is a pretty solid example of this. They took what is an effect with built following established guidelines, and yanked it out of the box.
The result is something completely different, and in this case, much better. If you are one of those who likes to extract the very most their gear has to offer, chances are you will love this incredible phaser pedal.
If you look at most of the other phasers on the market, they follow a pretty strict set of rules. It is known which controls are going to be offered, and most brands stick to it. So did TC Electronic, but they’ve decided to spice things up a bit. What we are talking about is their TonePrint technology which allows you to create your own phaser from scratch.
You can do this thanks to their editor which is full of options. On top of that, you also get stereo input and output which makes this pedal one of the most versatile phaser pedals in general, and probably the most versatile phaser you can get at the moment.
An initial survey of the controls reveals those standard four knobs. There’s Speed, Depth, Feedback, and Mix. Speed and Depth control the frequency of the effect along with the depth of the ‘dips’ as you turn them clockwise. Feedback impacts the resonance, while Mix adjusts how much of the effect is present in your signal chain at any given moment. The switch between these four knobs has three positions. The middle position is the TonePrint position and it will use whatever preset you have loaded up. Top position offers a more vintage effect while the bottom smooths out the phase shift.
Even though it sounds like it’s trying to accomplish too many things at once, TC Electronic Helix actually offers a pretty awesome performance. No matter which mode you go for, there’s a lot of range to work with.
TonePrint technology gives it an immense amount of versatility, which is something you definitely won’t find elsewhere. You can use presets from popular guitarists, or make your own ones. Whatever the case may be, it’s highly unlikely that you will ever find this phaser dull.
TC Electronic is no stranger to trying out new things and thinking out of the box. TC Electronic Helix is just their latest proof of that, and it’s definitely worth the praise. For a single pedal, this phaser is behaving as a mini processor of sorts.
There will be those who simply don’t appreciate the overly digital nature, but even they can’t deny the sheer amount of possibilities this type of design brings to the table. In that regard, Helix is definitely in the top few phasers at the moment, there is no doubt about that.