Featuring an advanced multi-core processor with a huge library of onboard guitar FX, amp, cab and microphone emulations, smart amp/pedal cloning and IR loading, best-in-class looper, and a full suite of vocal FX (including the industry-standard Antares Auto-Tune®), the HeadRush® Prime is the most powerful, versatile, and realistic-sounding floorboard FX processor ever. The high-resolution and ultra-responsive 7-inch display enables you to touch, swipe, and drag and drop to instantly create and edit your rigs in an unprecedentedly easy-to-use way. Housed in a road-ready steel chassis, the Prime features 12 footswitches with individual RGB indicators and OLED scribble strip displays, a built-in expression pedal with toe-switch, and is packed with all the input and output connections you need including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth audio connectivity. The HeadRush Prime is the ultimate tool ready for any home, rehearsal, stage, or studio session. In this guide, we'll discuss some common questions about the features and functionality.
Frequently Asked Questions
- General Information
- What inputs and outputs does the HeadRush Pedalboard have?
- What is the Amp Cloner?
- What can I clone?
- What is the Headrush Cloud?
- What is the Practice Tool?
- What is the Dry Mic Out?
- Does the HeadRush Pedalboard have reverb/delay tail spillover across presets?
- Can I load custom/3rd party impulse responses (IRs) into the HeadRush pedalboard?
- Can I turn off the amp/cab models for specific outputs or send my guitar directly to an output with no amp modeling applied at all?
- What kind of MIDI messages can be sent/received by the HeadRush Prime?
- Is there a list of included Amp, Cab, Mic, and FX models?
- Can I use the FX Sends/Returns to add my own analog pedals to my rig sound?
- Footswitch and Expression Pedal Features
- Can I change the settings with the expression pedal?
- Can I arrange my footswitch assignments in any order?
- Can I assign my footswitches to only control only rig preset selection or only model selection?
- Can I assign half of my footswitches to control models, and half of my footswitches to control rig selection at the same time?
- Can I turn off the auto-assignment of models to footswitches?
- How many parameters can I assign to the expression pedal A + B?
- How does the EXP and TOE inputs work?
- What Expression Pedals/Toe Switches work with the Headrush Prime?
- What are Scenes?
- Why does it seem like there is a delay when changing a patch?
- Presets, Rigs, and Setlists
- What are Rigs?
- How Many Rigs does the Headrush Prime have?
- How do I restore the factory rigs?
- Is there an easy way to search for rigs on the Headrush Prime?
- Can I backup, load, save or share my Headrush Prime rigs to my Mac/PC?
- What are Block presets?
- What are Setlists?
- What is gapless preset-switching and why does it matter?
- Recording and Re-Amping
- Firmware Updates
- Warranty and Technical Support
What inputs and outputs does the HeadRush Pedalboard have?
- 1/4” (6.35 mm) TS input (guitar)
- XLR / 1/4" (6.35 mm) input (microphone with +48V Phantom Power))
- 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS input (expression pedal)
- 1/4” (6.35 mm) TS input (expression pedal toe switch)
- 1/8” (3.5 mm) stereo input (auxiliary device)
- 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS output (external amp footswitch)
- 1/4” (6.35 mm) stereo pair outputs
- XLR stereo pair outputs
- 1/8” (3.5 mm) stereo headphone output
- 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS input (FX send)
- 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS output (FX return)
- (1) 5-pin MIDI input
- (1) 5-pin MIDI output
- USB Type-A port (storage/USB-MIDI)
- USB Type-B port (connection to Mac/PC)
- IEC Power Connector
What are the minimum system requirements for the Headrush Prime?
The following system requirements are the minimum specifications required for using the HeadRush Prime with your computer:
- Windows: Windows 10
- Mac: macOS 11
- Host USB port; High-speed USB 2.0 or 3.0
What are the Headrush Prime's dimensions and weight?
- Dimensions: 25.68” x 12.12” x 3.24” / 65.23 x 30.78 x 8.23 cm
- Weight: 16.53 lbs. / 7.50 kg
What is the Amp Cloner?
The HeadRush Prime features proprietary next-generation cloning technology enabling you to greatly expand your onboard amp and FX library using real gear. The HeadRush Amp Cloner precisely captures the sound, dynamics, and most importantly, feel, of your favorite boutique, vintage, and modern amps, pre-amps, distortion pedals, overdrive pedals, and even fuzz pedals.
Using the HeadRush Amp Cloner is as simple as connecting your target device to the HeadRush Prime and following the easy directions shown on the 7-inch touch screen. After the cloning process is complete, you can make flexible adjustments such as removing the speaker cabinet sound from an amplifier clone, so that you can use your clone with different cabinet models or impulse responses.
Once you’re finished making any final adjustments, you can share your favorite amp clones with other users, as well as preview and download new clones made by other users using the onboard Wi-Fi with HeadRush Cloud. With the new HeadRush Amp Cloner and HeadRush Cloud, your personal tone armory is unlimited.
What can I clone?
The HeadRush Prime can clone amps, pre-amps, distortion pedals, overdrive pedals, and most fuzz pedals. However, please be aware that some pedals cannot be cloned:
- Certain gated fuzz pedals are not able to be cloned at this time. A “gated fuzz” doesn’t mean that there is an actual noise gate in the fuzz pedal, but that the bias is shifted so hard, that the signal is cutting out on low input volumes (which is a Noise Gate-like behavior).
- Some older fuzz pedals that were designed to be connected to a high-Z (high impedance) guitar output (7k to 15kohms) are not able to be cloned directly into the HeadRush Prime without the use of a ReAmp box.
- Time-based effects like flanger, chorus, and delay effects are unable to be cloned at this time.
What is the Headrush Cloud?
The HeadRush Prime features an onboard Wi-Fi connection that can connect directly to the all-new HeadRush Cloud via a local Wi-Fi network. The HeadRush Cloud is a free service for all HeadRush users where they can browse, demo, and download exclusive rigs and clones created by the entire HeadRush community, including featured artists. Users can quickly search and filter by the most downloaded and liked rigs, and they can also search by other parameters like genre. The HeadRush Cloud is the ultimate resource for finding out how to quickly craft a tone like your guitar hero or for when you’re just looking for inspiration for creating a new sound.
What is the Practice Tool?
The HeadRush Prime is the world’s first FX processor with the ability to load songs directly from Dropbox over Wi-Fi for practice or to learn songs faster. Once a song is loaded, you can loop and slow down tricky sections, as well as change the pitch up or down in semitones to quickly learn songs in new keys. The Prime can also connect and play audio from any Bluetooth-enabled mobile device, which opens you up to using many more streaming and digital lesson services. Whether you’re working on transcribing your favorite face-melting guitar solos, expanding your knowledge on chord voicings, or just trying to learn a cover song for your next gig, the HeadRush Prime has everything you need onboard to get the job done quickly.
What is the Dry Mic Out?
The HeadRush Prime’s Mic Dry Out feature enables you to still use a microphone while using rigs that use guitar-centric signal paths (Straight Path, Middle Split, Immediate Split) that typically do not allow adding FX to the microphone input.
This can be useful for different performance situations such as:
- You require the full 14 blocks of your rig to attain a complex guitar sound, and while you do not need vocal effects, you still need to sing simple backup vocals or talk to the audience between songs.
- You are live streaming a performance or taking online lessons using your HeadRush Prime as an audio interface and you still need a way to talk to your viewers or instructor.
To enable/bypass the Mic Dry Out signal on these types of rigs, tap the MIC button located at the bottom of the Main screen next to the TAIL and Signal Path buttons. Although you are unable to add vocal effects to the microphone signal to these types of rigs, the Mic Dry Out configuration screen still enables you to enhance the Mic Dry Out signal with a noise gate, compression, high pass filter, and simple EQ settings. To access the Mic Dry Out configuration screen and further configure this signal, tap the Menu icon in the top left of the Main screen, and then tap Mic Dry Out.
Does the HeadRush Pedalboard have reverb/delay tail spillover across presets?
Yes, reverb/delay spillover can be enabled/disabled for each rig by tapping the TAIL button in the rig view.
Can I load custom/3rd party impulse responses (IRs) into the HeadRush pedalboard?
Yes, The HeadRush Prime supports all common wave formats (WAV, AIFF), sample rates (up to 192kHz), and bit depths (up to 32-bit). Two IRs can now be assigned to a block when working in a rig.
Can I turn off the amp/cab models for specific outputs or send my guitar directly to an output with no amp modeling applied at all?
Yes, you can do this using the Alternate Output setting, which is located on the global settings page.
What kind of MIDI messages can be sent/received by the HeadRush Prime?
The HeadRush Prime will receive and/or send MIDI Program Change, Control Change, and Clock messages via the MIDI DIN and USB-A ports.
- Incoming MIDI Program Change messages can be used to change to specific rig presets. You can also choose to have Outgoing MIDI Program change messages be sent to other hardware when a rig loads on the HeadRush Prime. You can configure this on the Hardware Assign page.
- Incoming MIDI Control Change messages can be used to turn blocks on and off, as well as simulate footswitch presses.
- Incoming MIDI Clock messages can be used to sync time-based FX or the looper tempo to an external MIDI device.
- You can set the global send/receive MIDI channel in the MIDI tab of the Global Settings page. For more information, please see the full user guide.
Is there a list of included Amp, Cab, Mic, and FX models?
Yes, you can view this at http://www.headrushfx.com and clicking the Models tab on the page.
Can I use the FX Sends/Returns to add my own analog pedals to my rig sound?
Yes, hardware guitar pedals, rack effects, and any other gear can be looped into your signal chain by using the FX Send and Return ports on the HeadRush. Use the FX Loop block to place the Send/Return at any point in your HeadRush signal chain. Don’t forget to check the signal level (stomp/rack) for the FX Loop on the Global Settings page, depending on what you are using.
Footswitch and Expression Pedal Features
Can I change the settings with the expression pedal?
Using the hands-free edit mode, you can adjust any parameter without having to bend over. Hold the footswitch assigned to the model that you want to adjust, select the parameter, and use the expression pedal to fine-tune your settings.
Can I arrange my footswitch assignments in any order?
Yes! You can arrange your footswitch assignments on the Hardware Assign page without affecting the model's placement in the signal chain.
Can I assign my footswitches to only control only rig preset selection or only model selection?
Yes, you can do this by holding the bottom left footswitch and selecting the Rig, or Stomp views accordingly.
Can I assign half of my footswitches to control models, and half of my footswitches to control rig selection at the same time?
Yes, you can do this by holding the bottom left foot switch and selecting the Hybrid view.
Can I turn off the auto-assignment of models to footswitches?
Yes, you can adjust this parameter in the global settings menu.
How many parameters can I assign to the expression pedal A + B?
The expression pedal can function in Classic Mode or Advanced Mode.
- In Classic Mode, you can assign one parameter to each expressional pedal (A and B). Using the toe switch will select the other expression pedal and deactivate (bypass) the current expression pedal’s parameter. For example, if you assign a wah pedal to Expression Pedal A and a volume pedal to Expression Pedal B, only one of them will be active at any time; when you are controlling the wah pedal, the volume pedal will be bypassed, and vice versa.
- In Advanced Mode, you can assign up to four parameters to each expression pedal (A and B). Moving the pedal will adjust all of its assigned parameters simultaneously. Using the toe switch will select the other expression pedal and leave the current pedal’s parameters active and at their maximum values. Other parameters such as Gain, Treble, Time-based FX speed or Amp Presence can be assigned to expression pedals as well, allowing for some truly unique combinations.
How does the EXP and TOE inputs work?
If you connect an external expression pedal to these inputs, the external expression will control parameters assigned to expression pedal C and D on the Hardware Assign page.
If your expression pedal has a toe switch, you will be able to switch between expression pedal C and D by pressing the toe switch. If your expression pedal does not have a toe switch, then you will only be able to access expression pedal C.
What Expression Pedals/Toe Switches work with the Headrush Prime?
Most standard expression pedals will work with the HeadRush Prime. We recommend the official HeadRush expression pedal (with a toe-switch), the Akai Pro Expression Pedal, or the M-Audio EX-P expression pedal (without a toe-switch) as an alternative. For Toe Switches, any simple tap tempo switch will work, but be sure to check your Global Settings to adjust if your switch is Momentary or Latching.
What are Scenes?
A Scene is a combination of models that can be turned on or off with a single footswitch. When the footswitch assigned to that scene is pressed, multiple models included in that scene will turn on or off depending on how they are assigned.
To set and edit scenes for a footswitch, go to the Hardware Assign page and tap Toggle/Hold/Scene. Here you can choose models assigned to that scene and whether they turn on or off when the scene is activated. You can choose to have 1 or 2 scenes assigned to a single footswitch.
Why does it seem like there is a delay when changing a patch?
Some of the switches on the HeadRush Prime are dual-purpose: holding down the switch will enter hands-free edit mode, and letting go initiates the action of the assigned pedal (on/off). This means that a block will not turn on/off until the associated pedal is released, which may differ from some standalone pedals that active/deactivate on the initial press.
How Many Layers/how much record time does the Looper have?
You can have up to 50 loop layers with up to 5 minutes of recorded audio per layer, and up to 20 minutes of total recorded audio per loop.
What does the Peel function do?
When you press this footswitch, the last recorded loop layer will be removed. You can continue to press this switch to remove layers in the opposite order they were added.
What does the Insert Function do?
When you press this footswitch, you can "punch-in/punch-out" of a specific part of your loop and overwrite all previous layers. This is useful when you need to fix a very small part of a loop.
Can the Headrush Prime record multiple different loops at once?
The Headrush Prime records one loop at a time
Presets, Rigs, and Setlists
What are Rigs?
When using the HeadRush Prime, a Rig can be considered a preset. A Rig contains all of the 14 footswitch slots and their associated blocks (amps, cabs, IRs, clones, and effects) and each model's parameter settings. This makes it easy to save and recall an entire signal chain at once.
How Many Rigs does the Headrush Prime have?
The HeadRush Prime comes preloaded with 50 factory presets covering a variety of genres and styles. You can also connect to the HeadRush Cloud through WIFI to find more presets.
How do I restore the factory rigs?
You can restore your factory rigs by holding footswitch 11+12 (the two right footswitches on the bottom row) while powering on the HeadRush Prime. Keep holding these two switches until you see "Reverting..." displayed on the 7" touch display.
Is there an easy way to search for rigs on the Headrush Prime?
Yes, just simply tap and drag the bar located below the rig name downwards until the rig list is shown. Then tap the magnifying glass icon and you can search through all of your rigs using the virtual keyboard that appears.
Note: If you are currently using a setlist when you tap the magnifying glass icon, you will only search within that setlist.
Can I backup, load, save or share my Headrush Prime rigs to my Mac/PC?
Yes, you can connect your HeadRush Prime to your Mac or PC's USB port, then go to the menu page, and tap USB Transfer. Once you're in this mode, the HeadRush Prime will show up as a mass-storage device (like a USB drive) and you can drag and drop to easily transfer your rigs, block presets, clones, IRs, and setlists.
With HeadRush Prime, you also have direct access to the HeadRush cloud while connected to WIFI. With the HeadRush Cloud, you can easily upload your favorite rigs and clones for sharing with the community and as a cloud backup.
What are Block presets?
After you've edited an FX block the way you want it, you can then hit the save button in the top right corner of the screen and save that preset to the block. Any time you pull up that effect afterwards, for example in a different rig, you will then be able to access that preset to recall the settings you have saved. These presets can also be setup to switch over in your scenes so that if you had a particular way you wanted your amp or distortion pedal to jump in gain for a solo, you could have the preset switch over from the default over to your custom block preset.
What are Setlists?
A setlist is an ordered collection of rigs, which you can save and recall at a later time. You can use the setlists to quickly organize your rigs. This is useful, for instance, if you only need some of your rigs for a performance; you can save a setlist of just those rigs so you don’t have to spend time searching through all of your rigs before playing the next song. You could also use this feature to organize your rigs into specific genres, or for certain guitars.
What is gapless preset-switching and why does it matter?
Gapless preset-switching is an exclusive feature on the HeadRush Prime and means that any reverb or delay-tails will continue to ring out, even after changing your preset or rig. This way there is no break in the signal, making your rig changes sound fluid and seamless.
Recording and Re-Amping
Can I record with the Headrush Prime?
Yes, the HeadRush Prime can be connected directly to a USB port on your computer for recording straight into your favorite DAW. The USB port will supply 6 channels in and 4 channels out, including stereo wet and mono dry signals depending on the mode. A description of the channel/signal layout can be found in the HeadRush Prime user manual in the Recording section.
A Windows driver is available at headrushfx.com/downloads for Windows users. A driver is not necessary for connection with a Mac.
What bit rate/sample rates are supported for recording?
The HeadRush Prime supports 24-bit, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, and 96kHz for recording.
Can I listen to tracks playback while recording through the Headrush Prime?
Yes! With the Prime assigned as the output of your DAW, you can listen to audio playback while recording.
Can I re-amp with the Headrush Prime?
Yes! Direct recorded guitar tracks can be played back from your DAW and routed through the HeadRush Prime’s effects and amp simulation as a form of re-amping.
Will you release new firmware updates with new features, models, and/or presets?
Yes! Stay up to date on our latest firmware releases by signing up for our email list at www.headrushfx.com, and by liking or following us on our social media channels.
Where can I download the latest firmware for the Headrush Prime?
As long as your HeadRush Prime is connected to WIFI, new updates will be pushed out to your Prime as soon as they are available. Simply follow the prompts on the screen to download and install.
You can also download the latest firmware by visiting headrushfx.com/downloads. Firmware updater software is provided for Mac and Windows systems.
Stay up to date on our latest firmware releases by signing up for our e-mail list at https://www.headrushfx.com, and by liking or following us on our social media channels.
Warranty and Technical Support
Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own a HeadRush product, or if you just have a pre-sales question, the HeadRush technical support team is available to help!
Visit the links below to connect with our technical support team through chat or email, or visit our community forum to share tips with other HeadRush users!
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