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  1. Kudos to Line 6 for taking the guitar rig "nerve center" approach with Helix. I'd be curious about other people's experience with the Helix and Amplitube, or other computer-based modeling software. I am finding that Helix and Amplitube work VERY well together, almost made for each other. Even using Helix as an Amplitube live interface and controller seems to work well (I haven't tested in a true live situation yet though). I bet this is what IK Multimedia envisioned with the Stomp I/O, but they discontinued that and do not support it in Amplitube 4. Helix is a heck of a backup too if you have a computer crash live...just tap to a pure Helix preset ;) I'm still exploring Amplitube's MIDI learn with Helix MIDI sends and assignments for Amplitube amp knobs and effects control, but Amplitube presets are easy. It's great being able to pass audio IO and MIDI control over a single USB cable. I even have it up and running on a Dell Venue 11 Pro Windows 10 tablet (i5 & 8GB RAM) on a mic stand clip. You can also switch between Helix sounds and Amplitube sounds using presets and the Helix USB IO configurations. It's even pretty easy to set up Helix preamps/amps with no cabs routed to the Amplitube cab room and mics, which I am still experimenting with. Helix has it's own custom ASIO drivers, which IMO contributes to its Windows stability and very low latency, allowing me to set the Amplitube buffer down to 64 samples (lowest latency), and really simplifies the setup with a single USB cable. Add the super-customizable and accessible MIDI implementation over USB (and DIN), and you have an ideal audio software interface and controller. I was actually on the fence about getting the Helix since I was very happy with Amplitube 4 and the manufacturer-certified models (Mesa, Engl, Soldano, Fender, Marshall, Orange, etc.) and the new Amplitube cab room. The Amplitube 4 Mesa models are awesome. The online clips I was hearing of the Helix weren't really sounding better to me than Amplitube, albeit internet clips are compressed audio, etc. Now that I have Helix in hand, I do still prefer most of the manufacturer-certified Amplitube models over headphones. Through a pair of JBL EON 515XT's, the difference is less noticeable, and I do quite like some of the Helix models. I can also see the Helix sounds possibly being able to cut through a live band mix better, but again haven't tested it live yet. It may just be a matter of spending more time with the Helix settings to tune it to my tastes. I haven't tried custom IR's either, only routing Helix amps through the Amplitube cab room. Too bad I haven't found a way to create an IR out of Amplitube 4 and its cab room yet. Maybe I'll request this feature on the IKM site ;) Previously, I had a vision of using Amplitube live with the IKM iRig Pro and a midi controller, but I couldn't seem to set the iRig below 512 samples without stability issues, clicking/popping, etc. with my Windows tablet. The iRig uses generic ASIO drivers, so maybe that was part of the problem. My Avid Eleven rack had it's own custom ASIO drivers and didn't have those latency and stability issues, but man I did not want to mess with setting up the Eleven Rack with a MIDI controller to operate Amplitube. I REALLY wasn't about to purchase an iPad and re-purchase all of my Amplitube software and models and use an IKM Blue Board either. Amplitube 4 also has a 4 track looper and 8 track recorder, but I haven't tried mapping Helix switches to the controls yet. I can see Helix being able to run pre-recorded backing tracks and loops in various software applications. So I would say even if the Helix models aren't your holy grail, the capability and flexibility to integrate Helix into your software and/or hardware rig really make Helix worth it. Anyway, I thought I would share some experience with Helix and computer-based modelers and software since I hadn't seen very many posts on the subject. Any suggestions are welcome too.
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