Jump to content
Digital_Igloo

Helix FAQ

Recommended Posts

Ok, I pre-ordered it today from Sweetwater so I wouldn't miss out on the 36 month deal.  Called my Sweetwater rep and got $100 off.  I didn't push for more of a discount seeing as I'm way ahead after winning that $1700 microphone from them in January.

 

I'm very excited and glad that I already bought the HD500X model packs, which should keep me busy while I wait.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the question but don't see an answer about "how visible is the display in day light" or in the sun or out side.... and what is the 36 month deal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read some posts earlier about Line 6 doing some extensive testing outdoors, in their parking lot, and that it shouldn't be a problem to read the display outdoors.  

 

Over on the mega-thread on thegrearpage Digital Igloo said "We spent a lot of time in our back parking lot. Actually made a few hardware changes to maximize legibility in all environments."

 

The 36 month thing is 36 months / 0% interest from Sweetwater.  When you factor in their excellent customer service and the extra year warranty (for free) it's a great deal.  Also, if you call them, they'll probably knock a bit off the price for you.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read some posts earlier about Line 6 doing some extensive testing outdoors, in their parking lot, and that it shouldn't be a problem to read the display outdoors.  

 

Over on the mega-thread on thegrearpage Digital Igloo said "We spent a lot of time in our back parking lot. Actually made a few hardware changes to maximize legibility in all environments."

 

The 36 month thing is 36 months / 0% interest from Sweetwater.  When you factor in their excellent customer service and the extra year warranty (for free) it's a great deal.  Also, if you call them, they'll probably knock a bit off the price for you.

thanks bro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

I'm a POD XT Live user and have been waiting for you guys to release a newer pedal board for years!

The HD500x had been out for a good while when I started thinking about upgrading so I'm glad my patience has paid off.

My questions are maybe a little less menial then others and maybe more comparative to my current pedalboard.

 

 

1) EQ's - Obviously we haven't seen a great deal of information about individual modules yet. Could you elaborate on some of the EQ modules that will be available day one?

i.e The Pod XT has a 4 band parametric EQ. Two shelving and two notch EQ's and although they're very helpful, they aren't enough to either compensate for guitar amp coloration, or trying to pre-mix your tones to fit the rest of the band mix before hitting the stage.

 

2) High Gain Amps - I saw the big list of amps and cabs, can you elaborate on the high gain amps available? They're all codenamed something bizzarre so it leaves only speculation of what is available. (Mesa, 5150 etc)
with the XT live, I use the "Modern High Gain" amp as it doesn't require distortion pedals to get a typical tone, freeing up a spare stomp box slot for something else.

i.e, I'd hate to splash so much money on a pedal, to find out that I'll have to purchase unreleased content at a later date just so I can get back to square one again.

 

3) Tweaking settings to match the guitar amp - Has this function been changed/improved. I'm referring to when you change your output settings of the pedal to say "Combo front" and setting focus frequencies to try and get your pedal to react the same way as when the signal is directly injected into a mixer/PA.

i.e Is it simple to switch between various output settings? are particular pedal outputs always setup for particular global settings? Do you have to use a 4 cable method as I don't think my Hot Rod Deville has an effects send return? 

 

I understand this is an extensive list, but as I'd be spending my old man's inheritance on it, I wanted to make sure I knew what I was dealing with.

Best regards,

Will
 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Similar issue here... Half my HD500x switches were no longer "clicking" after a year of use. So much for "Pro-grade footswitches" hey, anyway... this is what I did to fix the problem myself:

 

  

 

Thanks xavierb for posting this!  These look like the exact same circuitboard mounted switches I had to replace years ago in my Vetta floorboard.  You're right, so much for "Pro-grade footswitches".  These switches just do not last long, period.  And I'm afraid these are the same switches that will be in the Helix.  Well I can certainly do this fix since I've done it before.  Were you able to get the switches from Line 6 or did you go elsewhere?

 

Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The footswitches on the Helix are a new design. Check out Dale's (aka 'Design Guy') post over on the TGP. He was one of the industrial designers for the Helix.

 

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/line6-helix.1586637/page-72#post-20156828

 

Footswitches can be a conundrum. Once upon a time (DL4, the original FBV, etc.) we used off the shelf actuators which were very high quality, had a nice tactile "click", and were expensive ...and still broke from time to time (technically, the springs would wear out, and could be "fixed" by simply pulling the spring out, and stretching it back out). So we designed a plastic footswitch for the PODxt and Bass PODxt. ...these had almost zero failures, and I mean below 0.1%, but "the market" stated, quite loudly, that they hated plastic footswitches, and wanted metal ones.

So, for the POD X3 we custom designed new metal switches with an integrated light pipe. ...these cost more, and were tested extensively, and also helped with assembly and provided attachment points for the PCBs below the switches, etc., yet over time we began to experience some failures in the field; I'm not going to go into the details of those failures (not my department), regardless, the issue was resolved and further refined for the release of the HD500X. However, the perception became that they were unreliable. It's important to note, despite the impression one might get from reading forums, the failure rate of these switches was actually quite low (as a percentage of units shipped) ...but that doesn't matter to you, if you are one of the guys with a bad footswitch, does it?

So for Helix, we designed yet a newer footswitch, taking into account the failure modes we've seen over the past 15 years (since I've been at Line 6). These new switches were tested on "the Ripper" (a repetitive torture device designed by our good friend, and long time mechanical engineer Rip (yep, that's his name). The new switch was tested over countless cycles without a failure (okay, there actually is a count, but I don't know the number off hand, I believe it is well up into the hundreds of thousands of cycles).

Note: this doesn't guarantee there will never be a failure, anything is possible, but we have done everything we can to make it as robust as humanly possible!

The Helix switch ended up making it into the Firehawk FX floor unit, and into the field prior to Helix being ready for launch (that's how long Helix has been in development) and thus far we have had no failures on Firehawk FX that I'm aware of. This is good news for Helix customers, as no matter what testing you do, the end users will always, and I mean ALWAYS, find a way to break something! ...it's just the nature of the beast.

All that being said, I didn't design these switches, though I had some input, it was a team effort (as so many things are) and all of that work was done by our awesome mechanical engineering team, though it may have been DI who had the idea for the halo switch ...I'm not really sure anymore whose idea it was.

I want to say thanks again for all the kind words on the design! I've been designing Line 6 products since 2000 and along with the HD-147, Helix is one of my all time favorites. ...and I also need to throw some mad props to those same mechanical engineers. My design for Helix was not an easy one to pull off, especially the cantilevered expression pedal, but they did a fantastic job!
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just hope the switches aren't too loud.  The switch on the TC Electronics Ditto looper is about the perfect mechanical switch IMO - tactile feedback without so much "click" as to bleed into mics or otherwise distract from the music.  (The Native Instruments RK3 has the worst switches of all time in this regard.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks xavierb for posting this!  These look like the exact same circuitboard mounted switches I had to replace years ago in my Vetta floorboard.  You're right, so much for "Pro-grade footswitches".  These switches just do not last long, period.  And I'm afraid these are the same switches that will be in the Helix.  Well I can certainly do this fix since I've done it before.  Were you able to get the switches from Line 6 or did you go elsewhere?

 

Thanks again.

 

No sure where you live but I'm in Australia... IIRC I got those:

http://www.jaycar.com.au/Electromechanical-Components/Switches/Tactile/0-7mm-SPST-Micro-Tactile-Switch/p/SP0600

 

It says it's 7mm but I think that's the height and the sides were 6mm which AFAIK is pretty much standard, if you search for "tactile switch" on ebay you should get something similar you can use.

 

I'd recommend opening your HD500 first and measure the old switches, just in case yours are slightly different.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new question for Digital_Igloo  

 

I attached my HD500 to a piece of plywood.  I opened the case, and replaced the screws in the feet with longer ones that went through the plywood and attached the feet on the bottom of the plywood.  Any reason I couldn't do the same with the Helix?  

 

In case you ask why.  I attached a power strip to the plywood as well, so I could easily turn the HD500 off an on.  (Helix at least adds a switch, but I also used that for phone chargers)  I also added handles on both sides, which made it much easier to carry around.  I left room on the board to add another expression pedal that would always be hooked up (but I haven't bought that yet).  I put this in a nice road big road case to carry between gigs.  I also always left my cables plugged in and just wrapped up.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No sure where you live but I'm in Australia... IIRC I got those:

http://www.jaycar.com.au/Electromechanical-Components/Switches/Tactile/0-7mm-SPST-Micro-Tactile-Switch/p/SP0600

 

It says it's 7mm but I think that's the height and the sides were 6mm which AFAIK is pretty much standard, if you search for "tactile switch" on ebay you should get something similar you can use.

 

I'd recommend opening your HD500 first and measure the old switches, just in case yours are slightly different.

 

Thank you sir!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The footswitches on the Helix are a new design. Check out Dale's (aka 'Design Guy') post over on the TGP. He was one of the industrial designers for the Helix.

 

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/line6-helix.1586637/page-72#post-20156828

 

Thank you for this info phil_m and I sincerely hope Line 6 did somehow improve the switches.  I hate to be a skeptic (All my gear is Line 6 so I'm not a hater) but, it still seems to me that the Helix/Firehawk switches are still ultimately activating the same circuit board mounted switch such as this:

http://www.jaycar.co...Switch/p/SP0600

 

No matter how tough or heavy-duty they make the actual footswitch, the part that seems to go bad, at least for me, is the actuator mounted to the circuit board.  This is the same part that was used in the original Vetta floorboard, the FBV.  They may have gone with different manufacturers since then but, the concept has not changed.

 

I really want to get the Helix but, I am a bit concerned over the design of the footswitch/actuator set up.  I am not a professional but I do play in two bands and gig several times a month.  I mentioned previously that I had to buy a second HD500X because the switches in my first one went out after about a year and a half.  Before that, my HD500 also started exhibiting footswitch problems as well.

 

For now, I'm trying very hard not to change patches as often during a show so as not to wear out the actuators! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With all the more publicized footswitch failures, I never got the impression that it was the actuator itself that was failing. With the X3L, for example, it was the mechanism under the switch that was breaking. I don't recall reading any complaints about the actual piece mounted to the boards. Honestly, any mechanical piece can fail, but I wouldn't be too worried about the actuators. Pretty much every manufacturer making digital effects is using a very similar piece.

 

I've also owned a ton of Line 6 gear, and other than the DM4 I used to own, I've never had an issue with any of the footswitches. I gigged with my M13 regularly for over 5 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Software,

 

Any chance we could get some graphics or a video of the editing software that runs on the PC/computer side of things, or more details of it???

 

Or is it just going to look like pod farm, I'm wondering if this aspect has been redesigned,

 

I'd like to have full editing capabilities on the computer, that integrate with the pedal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its not going to look anything like pod farm...

the editor is going to look exactly like what you see on the helix screen itself.

pretty much identical experience to editing on the hardware itself.. with the exception that a computer keyboard will make naming things easier on the computer.

 

Software,

 

Any chance we could get some graphics or a video of the editing software that runs on the PC/computer side of things, or more details of it???

 

Or is it just going to look like pod farm, I'm wondering if this aspect has been redesigned,

 

I'd like to have full editing capabilities on the computer, that integrate with the pedal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its not going to look anything like pod farm...

the editor is going to look exactly like what you see on the helix screen itself.

pretty much identical experience to editing on the hardware itself.. with the exception that a computer keyboard will make naming things easier on the computer.

 

That's actually really cool.  With my 500x I can toss together patches with a quickness on the PC but damn I look like a goober when I have to change one small thing with the POD's actual interface since I'm not as used to it.  It will be nice to have a unified experience!

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its not going to look anything like pod farm...

the editor is going to look exactly like what you see on the helix screen itself.

pretty much identical experience to editing on the hardware itself.. with the exception that a computer keyboard will make naming things easier on the computer.

Thats great, can you still view amp and pedal model graphics, like in other line 6 editing software, I personally like being able to view these

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, just the icons of the type like the amplifi app/helix screen as far as i know... 

 

Thats great, can you still view amp and pedal model graphics, like in other line 6 editing software, I personally like being able to view these

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you reamp the dry signal inside the daw of choice with just the editor or do you need to send the signal back to the pedal and tweak on the pedal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the ability to reamp from the pedal is built into the usb streams. the editor cannot reamp. it's too early to say if a plugin, VST, or software reamp solution will come... certainly not on release... but not ruled out for the future either...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How's initial startup sync (for the software edit) improved? The HD500x editor takes about a minute to start, and Helix has a lot more patches to sync. Is the USB controller USB2 or USB3?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How's initial startup sync (for the software edit) improved? The HD500x editor takes about a minute to start, and Helix has a lot more patches to sync. Is the USB controller USB2 or USB3?

 

It's most likely USB2. This is one thing I've always disliked about the using the software editor; the sync time. Hope the new software might allow the possibility of a selective sync.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the hd500 and hd500x where usb2 just FYI, I don't have any info on the USB hardware standard that Helix uses.... but it is robust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This seams pretty intuitive, but I'll ask anyway. Will I be able to use the Aux Input to send audio in from my phone. This is my primary method of practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanna do like I could do with the X3 live, obviously the firehawk could do this through Bluetooth. So I understand you, this is possible???

 

https://goo.gl/photos/kGtiJ2kTaieSdWuXA

"

There's no dedicated 1/8" MP3/CD in on the Helix. So you'd have to run it into a pair of the 1/4" returns and set those up as an input on one of the signal paths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"

There's no dedicated 1/8" MP3/CD in on the Helix. So you'd have to run it into a pair of the 1/4" returns and set those up as an input on one of the signal paths.

So every tone of wanna play along or try and get a part down I'm gonna have to add an input into a signal path. $1500 for a product 5 years of development. Something as simple as this is left out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So every tone of wanna play along or try and get a part down I'm gonna have to add an input into a signal path. $1500 for a product 5 years of development. Something as simple as this is left out.

 

Well, I honestly think the reason it was left out is simply that an input like that is not something you typically find on top-tier pro-level gear, which is what the Helix is aiming to be. The other thing I'd say is that if you're using the Helix connected to your computer via USB, it will playback any system audio from your computer. So you can still play along with anything you'd play in iTunes, Windows Media Player, Spotify, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So every tone of wanna play along or try and get a part down I'm gonna have to add an input into a signal path. $1500 for a product 5 years of development. Something as simple as this is left out.

 

A Mac, PC, or iPad (with camera kit) works great with no routing necessary. If one wants to hook up a CD player, cassette deck, minidisc player, or... Zune, Helix still has plenty of inputs.  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Mac, PC, or iPad (with camera kit) works great with no routing necessary. If one wants to hook up a CD player, minidisc player, Zune, or cassette deck, Helix still has plenty of inputs. ;)

 

Just thought of this as I was walking upstairs, and was coming back down to edit my post to add it... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

A Mac, PC, or iPad (with camera kit) works great with no routing necessary. If one wants to hook up a CD player, cassette deck, minidisc player, or... Zune, Helix still has plenty of inputs. ;)

What about Android, is USB option feasible?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I currently use a VoiceLive 3 for my vocals and guitar straight to the PA (along with the M13 in front of the VL 3).  I usually get a master signal from my mixing board and put it in my monitor in on the VL 3 and then I have everything coming out in my in ear monitors and the VL 3 lets me mix the monitor signal, my voice, and guitar signals independently from the PA mixer for the house and I also have independent control over my mix in my headphone channel that goes to my in ear monitors.  Honestly I like the voice live for recording and its fun but the amp/cabinet/preamp modelers are not the best quality for the guitar and honestly I don't need all the voice correction and stuff for gigs.  Im thinking of selling the voice live 3 or just using it at home if the Helix will let me have the same capabilities as far as mixing the mic, guitar, monitor signals independently as well as having access to a separate headphone only mix.  Is this possible on the helix?  Worst case scenario I will just replace my M13 with the Helix and still bring the voice live 3 but as a wedding player Im trying to go with the lightest most effective setup possible.    I'm also wondering how the Acoustic guitar amp modelers are that are in the helix and if its possible to have separate presets for an acoustic and electric amp settings.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about Android, is USB option feasible?

It could be, once Google fully supports class-compliant audio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be, once Google fully supports class-compliant audio.

 

So just to be clear - if you have an Android 5 device (Lollypop - such as the Nexus 7 Tablet that I have) and a suitable cable to connect the device to Helix that Helix you can record and playback audio using that device?

 

My presumption is based on following from this http://www.soundonsound.com/news?NewsID=17431 to discover the Released state of this https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=24614 (scroll to the bottom for the release statement). Plus that fact that a lot of people on the 'net are reporting success with USB Audio and Lollypop.

 

If it does then L6 could report Android compatibility for Lollypop and later.

 

Does it also work with an HD500?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe that the hd500 is class compliant... so probably not.

 

 

 

Does it also work with an HD500?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes - that occurred to me after I wrote it; all those Mac and Linux Users complaining that it wasn't class compliant, while us Windows users just went ahead with the custom driver installation because that is what we are used to

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So just to be clear - if you have an Android 5 device (Lollypop - such as the Nexus 7 Tablet that I have) and a suitable cable to connect the device to Helix that Helix you can record and playback audio using that device?

 

I don't believe we've tested Helix with Android devices, but if and when class-compliant drivers shake out and become more commonplace, we'll likely take a good look at them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Helix rack looking amazing. I'll be buying as soon as I've got this kidney removed and listed on ebay.

A couple of questions:

i) Will it have bass amps in it for mainly guitarists but ocassional bassists like me?

ii) Same question for vocals presets?

iii) Why oh why isn't the mic input on the front panel for the rack unit? Tons of real estate there, so once rack mounted, it seems cruel to wait til we're in the midst of inspiration requiring a mic, then make us contort our way round to the back of the unit while on tip toes, squinting in low light while looking upside down at the input as we try and get the XLR in, no doubt standing on a guitar cable and dragging a speaker off a shelf in the process etc. You know the drill....

 

If it aint too late line 6 (which it clearly is) please stick it front panel a la Pod HD Pro:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×