Show & Tell is where we get artists to tell us about a piece of gear that they cherish and use as a part of their live or studio setup. For this instalment, we copped the scoop from Connor Brooker of beloved Brisbane natives Bugs for a yarn about how his Line 6 Helix amp modeller lets him zone in on his tone and assist with simple songwriting in iso.
What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?
This is my Line-6 Helix effects pedal. It's basically that plus an amp simulator all in one piece of hardware.
How did you come across this particular item?
We started investigating the smaller model HX effects after wanting to find a more efficient way to tour / travel without so much unnecessary gear. I've personally never been a huge pedal-head, I am more interested in songwriting than hardware. We saw the larger model when we played with Ceres in Adelaide and then again with Luca Brasi in Tasmania over New Years for Falls. Seeing such guitar tone reliant bands using them gave us confidence in their quality enough to commit.
What is it that you like about it so much?
The ease of intuitive interface use, the tidiness of having less connector cables and power supply leads. It is more compact and you have less parts that can break, so in my opinion, it's a much more reliable live option. You can also add multiple amp simulators through different channels, thus generating some truly huge tones. It has limitations, being a digital device and all, but I think that's what we like it for - the control, the fact it's tame-able.
How do you use it and how has it shaped the way you write music?
I personally have it set up at home all the time and use it as an interface (it's so versatile) - you can even run vocals through it and multiple channels at once, it's unreal. Also, having a wide range of effects to explore as opposed to being confined to three or four options has opened up my writing process to allow for more creativity, for sure. Sometimes it leads me down a bit of a rabbit hole, but I'd still rather be exploring and pushing myself when it comes to creating as apposed to writing with boundaries. As I touched on earlier, the element of control it gives is great for LIVE performing, but the element of creative freedom it gives you with writing is equally as valuable.
Tell us a little about what you have coming up?
Lollll. Spending plenty of time getting to know the finer points of my Helix, being stuck at home has its advantages if you enjoy learning new things like me :D. I'll just try to write a bunch, hopefully some of the songs that come out are good!
Listen to Bugs' new single 'Can't Get Enough'.