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HonestOpinion

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Everything posted by HonestOpinion

  1. Ultimately I guess I don't understand why both the latency between presets issue and the delay trails/spillover issue can't be solved relatively inexpensively by throwing some additional hardware at it. As has been discussed elsewhere the DSP chips on the Helix are about $15 apiece in bulk. I could be way off here but it seems as if you added a couple of DSP chips and some memory you could knock out both problems. The additional DSP would handle the delay trails. The additional memory would allow you to cache at least an entire bank or two of presets such that at least all of the presets available for any two banks (8 footswitches) would be instantly available. That way at least the presets you have visible at any one time could be switched to instantly. That would primarily leave the physics of the footswitch as the main culprit for delays between preset switches; the software would not be an issue as it would be cached (preloaded). Caching is a strategy that is used all over the software world to dramatically increase response times and it is probably in use to some extent on the Helix but maybe it could be increased. Anyway, I know there are some really smart programmers over at L6 and they have marketing telling them what price point they have to hit. However, IMHO people would be willing to pay a bit more to get a device that is not hampered by inadequate hardware, even if that hardware is considered an industry standard or even cutting edge. It is very frustrating to see the software out ahead of the hardware, like a tantalizing mirage of water and a beautiful girl that are just ahead but still not quite attainable. When are these units going to have enough hardware on board to truly get the job done? Seems like we are still one or two generations away. In the meantime, I still love the Helix, there is nothing else out there like it, and I prefer it to anything else out on the market right now. However it still has a ways to go before it resolves the issues of switching latency and spillover. The same two issues challenging most other manufacturers. No matter how they resolve it, it still requires compromises. I am sure even with the current hardware both issues can at least be improved with clever workarounds and code optimization. One would think if it was just an inexpensive hardware issue all the high end manufacturers would have solved it by now. I sure hope the reason isn't to save a few dollars and increase the profit margin because marketing knows people will buy these MFX units despite the issues. I don't understand why these issues have not been resolved by additional hardware, I am sure there are good reasons but nobody from the industry has stepped forward to explain the challenges or perhaps give us a slightly more expensive option that addresses them. Maybe the math just does not make good business sense and there would not be enough people willing to pay the extra to resolve these issues. Perhaps we just have to wait until the hardware gets so cheap and powerful that the manufacturers don't have to worry about it impacting the price point of the "Helix III". Until that day, the Helix rocks and I think it is the best "all in one" MFX unit on the market (but please don't stop improving it)!
  2. Assuming you have not damaged your amp you may be able to restore proper operation by getting and connecting a more garden variety footswitch(don't use the Helix) and attempting to reset the amp. I think I had this happen one time when I was hooking up an Amp Gizmo to my Boogie and I was able to restore normal operation with the correct cable and switching things on and off.
  3. Sounds like one possible source of the problem could be how you have your send/return jacks plugged in. A lot of people are used to seeing send/return jacks in vertical pairs with the send jack on the top and the return on the bottom. The Helix send/return jacks are in horizontal pairs with the send next to the return on the same row. Some possible troubleshooting steps. Starting with as simple a setup as possible so you can troubleshoot from the ground up. This scenario uses "FX Loop 1" for the loop block, and the "Guitar" input and "1/4" output on the back of the Helix, adjust the instructions as needed: Connect guitar to "Guitar" input and set the "Input" block to "Guitar". Connect a guitar cable from the Helix "1/4" output to your amp input and set the "Output" block to "1/4". Connect from the input of your pedal to the "Send 1" jack on the back of the Helix. Connect the output from your pedal to the "Return 1" jack on the back of the Helix. Note: If you are looking from the back of the Helix this will be the two jacks on the top row all the way to the left in the "Sends/Returns" section. Select "FX Loop 1" as your loop block. Bypass all the effects blocks in your preset except for the "FX Loop 1" block. Make sure you do NOT have "FX Loop 1" bypassed. The "Mix" parameter on the FX Loop should be 100% Make sure your effect is powered up and has its level/volume turned up and turn it on. You should hear just the sound of your effect. The volume may be a bit low as all of the blocks are off, you can always crank the level on your output block. If this test succeeds you should now be able to turn the bypass off on the other Helix effect blocks and hopefully all will be well. For what it's worth, the loop functionality seems to be working as advertised, at least on my Helix, so it may well be a setup issue or a bad cable or the like. Good luck!
  4. You have probably tried this already but two frequent culprits of tone/volume loss are not selecting "Mic" as the output level (instead of "Line") where appropriate and not cranking the physical "Volume" knob high enough.
  5. My sympathies go out to all who are waiting. May their wait be a short one. It is worth it! One consolation may be that the Helix appears to be in high demand and selling a lot of units will probably translate into the resources for L6 to provide many enhancements and additional amp/cabs/effects and IRs over the life of the unit. Go Helix!
  6. Chuckle, you are so right from a marketing perspective cruisinon2. I too love DI's frankness and honesty, don't ever change man!
  7. This seems like a great IdeaScale suggestion. I wonder if this was what Digital_Igloo was referring to a while ago when he hinted that L6 had some ideas on how to implement some form of delay trails without requiring additional DSP.
  8. Great news! Glad to hear there was not a QC issue. The last thing you want to hear as an early adopter is that there are Quality Control problems or impacting hardware changes from one production run to the next.
  9. I think this is a great idea and the easiest way to implement it might be that if a preset is saved in "stompbox" mode (8/10 assigned footswitches available) it would come up in "stompbox" mode when that preset is selected. Please put the idea in IdeaScale, you have my vote.
  10. I love the Helix it is awesome! But... as has been pointed out many times(I suspect L6 is quite sick of hearing about it), the Helix does not have the ability to maintain delay trails from preset to preset. Line6 would be well served by providing scene functionality to compensate for this shortcoming. Although the Helix's ability to assign up to eight blocks per footswitch is great it is missing the functionality to assign a single block to more than one footswitch. It is the ability to assign the same effect or parameter to multiple footswitches that is essentially the "scene" functionality. Scene functionality would allow much more flexibility within one preset which is what you need if you want to have delay trails and have to remain within one preset to get them. Scene functionality would allow you to for instance easily change between multiple(more than two) cabs/IRs within a preset with only one footswitch and never have more than one cab or IR in operation at the same time. It would allow you to change the same amp or effect parameters with multiple footswitches; for example, stomping on footswitch1 would turn off the distortion and increase the mids parameter on the amp, stomping on footswitch2 would turn on the distortion and decrease the mids and also turn on the phaser. In summation, if you don't have delay trails between presets and can only have them within a preset, the most obvious alternative is to have scene functionality within presets. Scene functionality is a must have for more complex switching scenarios anyway, even if you are not concerned about delay trails!
  11. I don't think this is nitpicking at all! I think this is the way many of us would like to be able to use the tap tempo. I would love to see Line6 change the behavior so that you could preset the millisecond(ms) value and still use tap tempo to override the ms value by clicking the Tap footswitch. That would be ideal and would definitely be the way I used the Helix! You should put this idea in IdeaScale. I remember being mystified when I first started using the Helix by the fact that the Tap did not work unless I had the effect block set to a subdivision. You were actually the one who clued me into that fact (thanks!). You are right you can use the capacitive touch feature but that may not be much help when you are out playing a gig unless you are playing barefoot. I think allowing the option for tap tempo to adjust the tempo on a preset with either beat subdivisions (e.g. 1/4, 1/16) or set with milliseconds is the way to go. Of course you would have to either default to a 1/4 subdivision for the tap footswitch or offer an additional beat parameter for subdivision, either global, or better yet, per preset.
  12. Are you also having to reset the Helix after the volume drops as some other users have reported or can you get the volume back? Sounds weird to me too. I thought the paths on the Helix were only available in stereo by default. Even if you select mono effects/blocks you are still always on a stereo path as I understand it. Is this correct? Running out of only the left XLR or 1/4 automatically sums to mono. Are you running out of the Helix in mono or stereo? I output from the Helix in mono from my XLR (Left) output to the mixing board. Does this volume drop also occur when using only one, summed to mono, output; or, is this problem limited to stereo operation of the Helix? This might be a bug and not a user related routing/stereo vs. mono effect issue. Selecting a specific routing and mono effect selection may cause the bug. The fact that it only happens sometimes, and can actually cause the Helix to "lock up" and not allow volume pedal operation without a hard reset sounds much more like a bug.
  13. Thanks, very helpful! Any more free acoustic IRs out there?
  14. Now that has me really concerned, a "QC problem"! Should I be worried that I already have a Helix? Are they changing hardware in between batches? Did they have any specifics on what the QC problem was?
  15. How is the SPDIF volume compared to the "Line" level output on the XLR (as opposed to the "Mic" level)? I would expect the "Mic" level to be louder than the SPDIF. Sounds like there is an issue with the overall SPDIF volume though.
  16. I will give the Jazz Rivet a try, thanks. I am using an acoustic guitar with piezo pickups rather than the modeled acoustic of the JTV69. I need to be able to retain that real analog wood acoustic tone that so often ends up sounding digital when put through processors. Would love to get something that sounds close to a mic'ed Taylor or Martin.
  17. Have you created a login on the Line6 website? You will want to login and then download.
  18. I think Digital_Igloo mentioned in a post that some Helix boxes had been opened by Line6 in order to flash them with the latest firmware update. However, I agree that is a terrible practice by almost all of the online stores and I have had to send "brand new" items back because they had clearly been opened, tampered with, and were sometimes even missing items.
  19. I feel the same way, the "Studio Tube Pre" does not provide enough flexibility for shaping your acoustic tone. I have been using that preset at practice and without even basic EQ it is just not able to get a great acoustic tone, at least not for me. Using the graphic or parametric EQ, compressor, etc. helps a bit but still does not quite get it. I still have not been able to produce an acoustic tone I can live with although there are probably more wizardly tweakers who could. I am confident in time with enough twiddling I could get there but a little help sure would be nice. The Helix really needs at least a couple of acoustic preamp/amp/cab models and IRs as well as a couple of acoustic presets. I posted a request for them a while back in Ideascale, you can vote for it here: http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/More-amp-cabs-effects-and-presets-for-acoustic-guitar/791672-23508
  20. Most guitar speakers drop off dramatically after about 5khz so a high cut anywhere from about 4-8khz will definitely help take the harsh high end out. Low cuts anywhere from 60-120hz can help with the mud and flub at the low end. I think many guitar modeling units provide the full range as the manufacturer cannot anticipate whether you will be using the modeler with a full range speaker such as an FRFR or PA speaker, or if you will be going through a guitar amp. In the case of a guitar amp the low and high end may be cut naturally by the guitar speaker, and providing a full range 20-20,000hz signal may or may not sound just fine without a low or high cut. Through a full range speaker or PA you will often or almost always want to provide at least a high cut depending on the preset. I like mine around 5khz depending on the preset. You may want a low cut as well if you are having issues with too much bass response. You may want to experiment on where in your signal chain you want to place the cuts, from the various locations available to cut in the Helix to perhaps the EQ on the guitar channel on your mixer. As always use your ears when you set up your low/high cuts and cut as little as you can to get a great sound. Once you have the most egregious high and low issues taken care of, if you are still hearing nastiness(not the good kind) in your tone you can use a parametric EQ to track it down. Crank the level on the parametric EQ all the way up and sweep through the frequency range until you pinpoint the offending frequency. It will be obvious because the sound you only had a mild lack of affection for will start to sound absolutely horrendous. Then cut that frequency's level with the parametric EQ. You can use the Q on the parametric to widen or narrow the range you are cutting. You generally want to cut the level as little as possible with as narrow a Q as you can get away with to get rid of the offending frequency range. You can cut more dramatically if you need to or in multiple locations using the same strategy. As has already been pointed out, try cranking up the large physical "Volume" control on the top of the Helix and lowering the sensitivity/volume on your amp/speaker/PA channel or whatever you are plugged into. I set the "Volume" control to 3/4 and have even seen some recommendations to crank it all the way. I like having a little play for volume adjustment on the Helix but do whatever sounds best to you. Just some rough guidelines.
  21. You can find presets for the Helix here at the Line6 CustomTone page http://line6.com/customtone/browse/helix/
  22. Did you have to remove some foam to make this work? I see interior dimensions for this printed as only 3" high.
  23. As SWoRd points out I don't know of a way to add blocks with your feet unless you want to work the joystick/toggle with your foot. Would take a lot of ninja talent and is definitely not recommended for Helix knob longevity. You can change from block to block while standing up if you tweak presets barefoot by touching the capacitance sensitive footswitch; as long as the block is already assigned to a footswitch.
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