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Everything posted by ChubbyJerk

  1. I hate threads like this, and there's one main reason. Well, I guess two...the first reason is that people always have to be smartasses and spew ad hominem attacks, but that's not my main point (at the moment). I swear I end up arguing most often because I hate the attitude of posters more so than the meat of their point. Here's the main problem. Both sides have valid points. Are we, as users, entitled to updates? No. (In my opinion, the OP did not come across as a whiny entitled brat, but clearly some disagree, so let's just roll with it.) Anyway, no, we're not entitled to updates. However, let's run with one of the earlier examples... When you find out a politician took bribes, or paid out hush money to cover up child molestation, or whatever. (I'm from Chicago, plenty to choose from.) What do you do? Do you smile, nod, say, "Hey, whatevz, man, that's what I expected. No big deal"? Or do you complain, charge them with crimes, impeach them, campaign for somebody else, vote for somebody else, etc? I would say, personally, while I'm no longer surprised when I find out a local politician is a criminal, I certainly am not going to smile and nod and keep my mouth shut and vote for them again. If nobody said, "hey, wait a minute, that's, you know...not okay, man," then we'd still have Blago and Hastert et al in charge here. The same is true here. Is it going to lead to DI saying, "oh, yeah, Chubs, you're totally right, here's an update just for you!"? No, of course not. But it gives them insight into the market, their users, expectations, problems, and so on. All useful tools for a business. (Maybe slightly less useful once it's the 20th thread in the same vein, but still useful; much like counting the number of upvotes something gets on Ideascale, information can be gleaned from even the 50th thread on this topic.) Are we entitled to on-demand updates? No. But we are entitled to let them know our opinion. This forum happens to give us that opportunity. And doing so is healthy, the company needs to hear it. They need to know what customers are happy with, what their expectations are, etc. That's the whole reason they set up stuff like Ideascale, is it not? You know they listen, they want us to be happy. Word of mouth, reviews, happy users looking to buy something else from them...this is how they stay in business, both short-term and long. As long as you're respectful, letting them know your opinion, even if it's negative, is a good thing. And really, you guys are ignoring a big part of this...if Line 6 can't get any new models out in 5 months, that is not a good sign. It is not indicative of product health. It does not bode well for their place in this market. It's about more than just giving me what I want, it's about making the product better, selling more units, taking market share, and so on. You can say 200 amp models is a waste of space, and I'd agree with you, but the fact is that when people go researching a product like this, it's a big factor for many. Whether you'll use them or not, we, as a community, all benefit from having more. Sure, buy the unit for what it can do now, not what it could theoretically do with an update in the future. That's one way to look at it. Just be complacent, happy with what you have, shut up and nod your head and say, "good job!" And in the meantime, other products are getting better over time, and the Helix is looking like it's starting to stagnate (when many would already say it's behind the competition). (Stagnation is probably a misconception, there is theoretically "stuff" in the works, but if it's a misconception then it's a common one due to lack of content updates and/or concrete communication.) Can we all make a deal? I'll avoid calling you all brown-nosed boot-licking yes-men if you avoid calling people who complain spoiled entitled bratty McWhineybutts. It's really not all that difficult to make a point civilly.
  2. By the way, to answer your question, nobody who knows actual details is allowed to say so with anything remotely resembling specificity, which is kinda silly, but theoretically they're prioritizing bug fixes at the moment. I vaguely recall DI saying that the next update would be mostly bug fixes, though I could be wrong. To be fair, there have been updates in the past 5 months, just not new models. I haven't bothered updating since February I think.
  3. No need to be so sarcasstic. OP was calm and polite. He also has a point. Five months is too long for a flagship digital product like this to go without any updates. They do have competitors with similar products at the same price point, ya know? They need to keep their current customers happy and give people looking at buying a mega-multi-fx pedal reasons to go with Helix over something like Fractal. Somebody researching such a purchase right now would see a longer list of models in the Fractal and more frequent updates. That's not good for Line 6 or Helix. One reason I went with Helix was that I trusted Line 6 to do well in buffing up their model list over time. So far (at least lately), they aren't, in my personal opinion. I don't care so much about more amp models, but there's a long list of other things I think are lacking, and it's disconcerting that not only has there not been an update in months, there hasn't bee any word about when or what we'll be seeing in the future aside from coy little hints. At a minimum, their customers deserve better communication. (Not DI's fault, I think his hands are tied by somebody higher up.) Note to DI (or his managers and/or legal team): being tight-lipped might protect you in some ways (preventing backlash from undelivered "promises" or whatever the reasoning is), but it annoys your customers and hurts the company's image in its own way. All this is just my $0.02, IMHO, YMMV, etc and so on. /shrug
  4. It isn't really the fault of Bluetooth. It's just a generic communication protocol. You'll have issues sometimes when dealing with different manufacturers, particularly mixing and matching, but that's true of any generic messaging. Some web sites will load fine in IE but not Chrome, or vice versa. Some USB devices will have issues on certain OSs. Have you never struggled to get an audio interface to behave properly on your computer? (If not, you're lucky.) Oddly enough, I've seen countless people struggle with that, but I've never seen USB blamed for it. Bluetooth is the same basic concept, it's just wireless. Honestly, given how much noise there is on the 2.4GHz band these days, it's a miracle Bluetooth works as well as it does.
  5. I owned a Firehawk and upgraded to the Helix. I kept saying, man, this is great, but I wish it had X, or I could do Y, etc. And the Helix did everything on that list, so I went for it. I'm happy I did. There is a desktop app. I haven't bothered to use it yet. You can do everything from the on-board controls easily enough that I don't personally see the need to use it in creating or editing patches. Cons vs Firehawk: price. That's it, in my opinion. No marketing hype, the Helix is just better in every way, in my opinion. Maybe there are some old fx or models that haven't gotten into the Helix (yet)? I'm not 100% on this, but I don't think so. The list of models and effects seems bigger, at least. I sold my Firehawk to put the money toward the Helix though, so I never compared side by side. Pros: Um...this list would be big. The most important items, for me, were the following: 1. Far far far less limited in terms of how much you can add to the signal chain. Firehawk locks you into several things. 1 block for amp, 1 for cab, 1 is always reverb, 1 for the looper, and then 3 (or 4?) blocks where you get to pick. The Helix is wide open for customizing what you put in there. You'll hit a DSP ceiling at some point, but not for a while, especially if you use the 2 processors wisely. 2. Far more flexibile in terms of routing. You can order the blocks however you want. You can put separate signal paths, so you have a distorted and dry signal in parallel, you can...well, the options are practically limitless. 3. There's more bass-specific stuff, though still not enough in my (biased) opinion (as a bass player). IIRC, Firehawk had exactly zero (0) bass-specific blocks. It's been a while, I could be wrong, or perhaps they added some. 4. UI - you can do everything directly on the Helix that you needed the app for with the Firehawk. 5. Scribble strips - makes it easy to see with a quick glance what you put where. Eh, there's more, but you get the idea. It's a big improvement. It's a big price tag. You just have to decide if the big improvement is worth the big price tag. Overall, I would say the features are vastly improved. The sound quality of the pedal doesn't seem to be a huge jump up (to me, IMHO, YMMV, etc).
  6. Is the tuner "broken"? I guess that's another semantic argument. What it boils down to for the user is this: can I use it to get my guitar tuned accurately (yes, accurately) in a live situation? The answer, for some, has been no. Broken: not working properly. I'd say the tuner, as a whole, which includes the display, is broken (from their perspective). It's not working properly. It might be working as designed, but that's different. A design flaw is still a flaw. But hey, semantic arguments suck. :) (For the record, for me, it's mostly good enough, except for low E on the bass.) For the record again, sorry if I was overly rude, I just see the semantic sub-argument as pointless and annoying. I understand why the distinction is important to you. I just think it's irrelevant to the end user.
  7. I love the Helix. The tuner issue is annoying, but, in the grand scheme of things, relatively small. I've refrained from commenting on the tuner thread(s) in the past, because it doesn't bother me all that much. But man, I'm serious...bringing up that same pointless semantic argument about accuracy vs granularity, honestly, as somebody just reading through the threads and not taking a side, it's every bit as annoying as seeing another thread on the tuner. Do you know any people like this? Every time somebody says the word "decimate" they say, "well, technically, you know, decimate specifically means to kill one out of every ten, so it's incorrect to say they decimated their opponents." Yeah, well, technically, that guy is really frickin obnoxious, and nobody cares. This accuracy vs granularity argument has reached that point for me. I understand what he's saying. I just don't care, and I really don't want to read about it again. Just nod your head, say "hey, we know the tuner has issues, and we're working on it." No need to be Mr. Decimate about it.
  8. Bah, whatever. I like DI. I understand he's doing his job the best he can. In most cases, he performs a tough job admirably. In my opinion, his posts had a different tone in this thread. It didn't feel light-hearted to me, it felt like, "man, I'm annoyed at these idiots." /shrug, YMMV. ITT: DI showed he doesn't understand that the same word can have different meanings.
  9. I respectfully disagree. The distinction is meaningless to somebody trying to use the Helix to tune. When I'm standing there at my gig trying to tune, you know what I don't think? "Man, I'm sure glad the underlying tuner is so accurate that this theoretical fix will be coming soon, theoretically!" I'm thinking, "Man, I wish this tuner was more accurate." Oh, wait, sorry...I mean, I'm thinking, "I wish the underlying accuracy that I have no way of observing was more accurately reflected in the visual display so that I could confidently use this to tune my bass."
  10. Precision vs accuracy, when it comes to technical measurements, has nothing to do with this argument. Precision, in the technical sense, is repeatability of the measurement. It doesn't overlap with accuracy at all. A measurement can be precise without being accurate, or vice versa. The tuner could say that A flat is A, and if it did it every single time, that would be low accuracy, high precision. That's not the issue here. Look, I understand the argument. Here's the problem: it's irrelevant. Users don't see the measurement, they see the display. The display is an integral part of the tuner. We can't, as users, observe and judge them independently. It's one single unit. It may internally measure the value with pinpoint accuracy. It does not display with accuracy. The display is part of the tuner. A tuner is only as accurate, as a whole, as its worst part. It does not accurately display whether or not you are in tune, when compared to the industry standard (basically any $50 tuner). You cannot acccurately tune your guitar with the tuner on the Helix. (It also sucks on bass, by the way.) Best case, if you want to buy into the semantic argument BS, is that DI is using one definition, and others are using a different one. DI uses the "engineers in the lab" definition, others use the definition from the actual dictionary that normal human beings use. Then DI insults those people for "not knowing the definition of accuracy LOL idiots" (paraphrased, obviously, but that's the inferred tone I got). But that's wrong. They're not using the word incorrectly, they're using it differently. Their use still matches the dictionary definition, just not the one he chooses to use. tldr: The distinction is vital to the developers working on the Helix. The distinction is meaningless to somebody trying to use the Helix to tune.
  11. I don't know which annoys me more - this topic continuously popping up or your nit-picking argumentation regarding the semantics every time it does. I'll quote one of your old posts on this: EDIT TO NOTE: tried to pull in a quote from another thread. Failed. Bolded it instead: Say you did a search for my house in Google Earth. If Google Earth tells you "Los Angeles," when you wanted a neighborhood or street address, that doesn't mean Google Earth is inaccurate, because I do indeed live in Los Angeles. Google Earth would be inaccurate if it said I lived in San Diego, just like Helix's tuner would be inaccurate if the wrong box was lit. The problem with your analogy is that tuners don't work like Google Earth. A tuner is like asking Google Earth, "does DI live in Los Angeles"? And Google Earth says, "yep." OK, cool. Sure, it's not as granular as a street address, but it's accurate to say that. Ok, we're on the same page so far. But now we look at some other examples. Let's say you live did that same search for somebody who lives just outside of Los Angeles (Pasadena, for example). And Google says, "yep, that dude lives in Los Angeles". No, wrong, he doesn't. Maybe it's only a 5 minute drive away, but it's still wrong. It is not accurate. That's more akin to the issue here. That big green light in the middle is lighting up not just for people in LA, but for people in the surrounding suburbs as well, and it's lumping them all together and saying "THEY LIVE IN LOS ANGELES". No. They live near Los Angeles, not in Los Angeles. I know Chicago, not LA, so I'll use an example from there. Somebody who lives in Evanston does not live in Chicago. Somebody who lives in the Loop does. Asking about somebody in the Loop and getting a generic "they live in Chicago" lacks granulariy. Asking about somebody in Evanston and getting "they live in Chicago" lacks accuracy. You ask the Helix, "is this an A?" and Helix says, "yeah, sure, close enough" when many people and/or tuners would say, "nope, that's a bit off." That's not just lacking granularity, it's inaccurate. Full Definition of accuracy 1: freedom from mistake or error : correctness 2a : conformity to truth or to a standard or model : exactness 2b : degree of conformity of a measure to a standard or a true value — compare precision The display is part of the tuner. If the granularity shows you as in-tune when a reasonable person (or tuner) would say you're not, then that's a mistake. It is not correct. It does not conform to the standard. It is not exact. It is not precise. Therefor, it is not accurate. Feel free to bump this down a few spots on your priority list. It won't make you right.
  12. Ok, dude. Maybe you're sincere. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. If you're trolling, congratulations, you hooked me back in. I will try my hardest to be calm and polite (though I'm not sure what you mean by "that tone", it's not like I was terribly rude previously). I never ever ever said that updates in general were a new invention, or that patches were a new thing. I said expecting everything to get patches and updates was a relatively new thing. Let's start by defining a couple key words I used in my posts. I apologize if this seems condescending, but it seems necessary at this point. ubiquitous: existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : widespread prevalent: accepted, done, or happening often or over a large area at a particular time : common or widespread So let's compare the 90s to today. Things that regular updates in the 90s: OS (Windows, etc) Things that get regular updates today: OS Phones PC Applications Phone apps Digital guitar pedals How often would you expect an update in the 90s? Windows had the automatic updates once a month I think, right? So you would encounter 1 thing that wanted to update 1 time a month. How often do you see updates, in general, now? I personally get app updates just about every day. Every week at a minimum. In the 90s, your video game consoles had no way of getting updates, at all, period. You bought the cartridge (or disc, eventually), and that was the game. Now, the first thing most games will do when you buy them is connect for an update! Some games have regularly scheduled patches and updates, like every week. Heck, we have cars that get firmware updates now! Watches! Thermostats, dishwashers, washers and dryers! Refrigerators! Updates: not new Getting constantly inundated with updates from every direction: relatively new FYI, just in case: inundate: to cause (someone or something) to receive or take in a large amount of things at the same time
  13. Well, you're either deliberately misinterpreting what I said or your reading comprehension is seriously lacking, so I'm done.
  14. It has been possible for years. The ubiquitous nature of it, which is what I commented on, is fairly recent. That is to say, what was possible before has only recently become common practice, i.e., expected of companies, demanded by consumers, available in most cases, etc. While you could update a handful of pedals 10 years ago, it was not nearly as prevalent as it is now. I had some that I'm assuming could have possibly been updated (early Digitech, Zoom, and Line 6 digital multi-fx pedals), but I personally never did. There was nothing, to the best of my knowledge, like the massive content updates that Line 6 et al make available now, entirely new fx and amp models that weren't shipped with the unit. There are certainly other things you could base this on, but a big factor that pushed us from the old standard to the constant always-available nature of updates here and now was the release of the iPhone, which was ca. 2007, less than 10 years ago. Did phones get updates before that? Flip-phones? Um...maybe? I had several, but I don't remember. If they got them, I didn't notice or care. Somewhere in that same general timeframe, the PS3 and XBox 360 started heavily trending the same way - direct download of games, patches, and add-ons. And so on. Again, this is not talking about the general possibility. As soon as you have a consumer connected to the internet it's possible. Heck, as soon as you have them register a product you can ship them an update disc. I'm talking about expectations and prevalence. Ubiquity. If you don't think 2007 is relatively recent, then I guess we're looking at different timelines. This is a rather silly thing to nitpick about though. Regardless, to what others have said...sure, there are downsides. But there are also big advantages to the consumers. I think the pros outweigh the cons.
  15. Well, one key thing to note is that there has been a drastic shift in standard software practices in recent years. Waterfall is less common, Agile is more common. It's far easier to incorporate new features into a product closer to release with Agile than it is with Waterfall. Furthermore, the ubiquitous nature of the internet is also changing things drastically. Everything can be patched nowadays. Everything is expected to be patched these days. When you buy a product like this, you know it will receive updates. That's still a relatively new phenomenon, and it is a big change.
  16. I think it would be viable to have separate looper blocks that you could add in - 1 minute, 5 minute, whatever. That should be possible. It seems reasonable. As far as I can tell, the limit is somewhat arbitrary. It would be a good suggestion. I think Digital_Igloo suggested somebody put it on Ideascale at one point, or something similar. It's probably up there. I'd be shocked if it wasn't on one of DI's lists somewhere. But here's the thing...they made the decision for a reason, and they have a lot more info about the inner workings of the box. Making a suggestion that they increase the time, that's cool. It's not a bad idea. But suggesting they intentionally limited the time with the intent of pushing sales of their 20 year old looper pedal is just ridiculous. It's also worth noting that the hardware in things like the Helix isn't quite what the average person is used to in terms of a computer. The average computer may have a crapton of RAM that cost about $20, but it also introduces too much latency in real-time audio processing to be viable as a high-end guitar pedal. (Not all computers, but the average computer.) There's a difference between the processors in your PC and the dedicated DSP chips in things like AX and Helix. These are dedicated processors that make sacrifices in other areas in order to excel at the more important ones, like I/O throughput. Point being, it's not an apples to apples comparison. It's all fruit, but...
  17. The fact that memory is so cheap is not a factor here at all. They didn't pick out memory and chipsets and so on based on how much time it would give them for the looper. They designed the looper and its constraints based on how much memory they had available with the hardware they already decided on, and how much DSP they wanted the looper to hog when you put one in there. Keep in mind, if they say the looper can go for 5 minutes, then whenever you put a looper in your patch, they need to set aside that much memory. If they put the limit too high, people would be whining that it takes up too much DSP power and they can't load enough effects in there to go with it. :) If you want to criticize the looper for something, there are other things that limit it more than the time. The fact that it's one track only, for example. Or that you can't save or load loops. For almost everybody, 1-2 minutes is more than enough. For the people who need more, they probably need a load of other features as well, regardless of time available, so it isn't an issue for them either.
  18. Is there any chance of some middle ground? Not open to the public, but not completely locked down. Perhaps a partnership with another company? (hint: EHX) OK, so a deal with EHX is probably never going to happen. :) But... Here's an idea. How about Andras Szalay? He worked on the Deep Impact back in the day, and he recently released the Future Impact, an update to the original. IMO, the synths are a weak point of the Helix. How about seeing if he'd be willing to work with you on a Future Impact model for Helix? That would be a huge addition.
  19. No problem. It's easy to skim through a thread like this and miss the details like that.
  20. It's not that simple, because it's not the same interval for each note. Sometimes it's the appropriate 3rd, sometimes it's the 4th. No unit will do that without human interaction - either you have to use a footswitch / expression pedal to tell it which you want on the fly, or you have to specify an interval for each note in the key ahead of time. This is quite clearly spelled out more than once in the earlier posts. With the GNX2, for example, you can set the key (A) and the type of scale (major) and the interval (3rd). (Most smart harmonizers work this way, unless they process an incoming signal to get the chord.) But this won't give you the correct harmony for the whole solo, because they're not all 3rds. You cannot simply select something that will give you the following (copied from above, credit to mdmayfield): A -> C# - major 3rd B -> D - minor 3rd C# -> E - minor 3rd D -> F# - major 3rd E -> A - perfect 4th F# -> B - perfect 4th G# -> ?
  21. Dude, relax. They're not screening their calls. They're not trying to make sure you deserve to use their product. They're not auditioning you. They don't reject people who aren't up to their standards. The demand is higher than the supply. They handle it in an entirely reasonable way...a wait list. It's that simple. They have a product, but they don't have inventory. It's actually quite a bit nicer than many companies would do it. The wait list means you don't pay up front. You don't have to put down a massive deposit to secure your place in line. (I don't think there's even a deposit at all until your spot comes up, but I could be wrong.)
  22. No worries! It was fairly tame. :) Good discussion. It's just hard to say for sure what would be required with what little info we have. I think it's obvious from what DI said that undo was not planned for when they designed this. I've had to shoe-horn features into code that wasn't designed to include them. It sucks.
  23. I agree that there is such a thing as over-engineering the design, but there are a lot of reasons to restrict direct access to the data.
  24. Didn't I already say that restoring the entire patch state was a workable solution?
  25. But again, in order to build up the stack of basic commands, you need to understand the business logic and chain of events that each action causes. Maybe each action would cause the Helix to send out a series of "state update" messages that could be parsed to put it together. That seems plausible. I wonder if an action in the UI is only reflected in the UI after it gets confirmation from the Helix that it went through. I would guess so, in case communication has been cut or lower level logic (like the 8-assignment limit on a footswitch) prevents it from sticking. I haven't used the app. I assume twisting a physical knob on the Helix is reflected in the app before the patch is saved? If so, there have to be update messages sent. But still, that would still require additional programming to handle, parse, map an update to the command required to undo it, and build up a set of commands into an undo stack. And there's the problem where an update won't necessarily include all info required to undo it; for example, deleting a block probably just gives you an update of "BlockDeleted (dspID, blockID)", and you'd need to handle retrieving and storing all its parameters yourself before clearing it from the UI. Once again, I'm not saying it's undoable by any stretch, but it's unlikely to be straight-forward, simple, or quick. So I guess to answer your question of "how do we know...?" my answer is "we don't", and that's basically my whole point, and has been all along. I said it before, hubris and all that, we don't know. We can speculate, but that's all. At this point I think we're just going around in circles. At least the discourse has been civil, and for that I thank you. :)
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