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Helix FAQ

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given the price difference, i'm sure that the HD500x's will be around for a while.

 

can't speak to future development plans...

 

Is this the end of HD500 development/updates?

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Is there a recommended/optimized guitar amp to use the Helix with?

 

If there are no "pre" models (ala hd500) or topology specific patches, will there be recommendations how best to use it with the DT 25/50?

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Is there a recommended/optimized guitar amp to use the Helix with?

 

If there are no "pre" models (ala hd500) or topology specific patches, will there be recommendations how best to use it with the DT 25/50?

 

There are still Pre models, and I imagine there will be recommendations as to what sounds best. But the coolest thing about the DT interaction with the HD series, imo, is the ability to mix and match. I love using the Class A setting with the Fender amps, for example.

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Let me ask this differently.

 

Has the Helix been played thru a DT25/50...If so, does it sound great? (possibly better than with other amps)

 

What is the ideal amp you would play it through? 

 

Thank You, btw!

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Why is that the block on the right side doesn't look like an expression pedal?

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It is an expression pedal.. even has its own LCD above it.

 

Why is that the block on the right side doesn't look like an expression pedal?

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I noted also the Variax and L6 link input connection on the back, and the mention of Dream Rig on the display... FINALLY some actual integration... I have a Variax 69, L3t speakers, L3s, an L2t for a monitor, AND the Stagesource mixer... Hoping this will all come together and work in a more unified manner- the Variax and the Stagesource mixer never seemed to fit. This might be the key...

 

I wonder how the Variax guitar will integrate with it... Any insights?

 

Larry

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So as far as I can see from the picture, there's (still) no phantom power for the mic input?

 

The separate Volume for Headphones is superb!

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Since helix is being dubbed the new flagship guitar processor can we expect a helix lite or some such in the future to take the place of the 500x? Can we also expect to see a new class of flagship amps to replace the dts that play well with helix?

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So as far as I can see from the picture, there's (still) no phantom power for the mic input?

 

The separate Volume for Headphones is superb!

 

Phantom power is listed in the video.

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Will the rack-mount unit have support for the current FBV controllers?

 I read no from The RealZap

And there we go again another way for Line6 to force people to buy a NEW midipedal 

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I wonder how the Variax guitar will integrate with it... Any insights?

 

Each of the four possible input blocks can be set to any of the physical inputs, including Multi (the default), which includes Guitar, Aux, and Variax. Variax only and Variax Mags only are also in the input list. Pages 2 and 3 of the Input block pages deal with Variax settings. You don't even have to leave the Home screen.

 

So as far as I can see from the picture, there's (still) no phantom power for the mic input?

 

The mic pre is the same one from Stagescape M20d, which sounds really good. Phantom power, digitally-controlled analog gain, and dedicated variable low cut are set from the Global Settings menu.

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The mic pre is the same one from Stagescape M20d, which sounds really good. Phantom power, digitally-controlled analog gain, and dedicated variable low cut are set from the Global Settings menu.

Damn, I'm desperatley looking for something I don't like - can't afford it at this price ;-)

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Let's talk about the effects: did Line 6 create new algorithms for upgraded effects quality, or maybe the effects are the same as M13, HD500??

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I wouldn't like to be in the Boss or Fractal  R&D offices this morning!!

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Are you going to make amps demo videos, especially metal ones ?  I think there is  no talking about until we can here how does it sound in real.  

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Let's talk about the effects: did Line 6 create new algorithms for upgraded effects quality, or maybe the effects are the same as M13, HD500??

 

The reverbs and eight of the ten wahs come from HD, but they've been rebuilt in HX, so they sound better. All other effects have been created from scratch within HX. To pull some of them off, we've had to physically model the behavior of incandescent light bulbs, transistors, bucket brigade chips, and other components. Completely new architecture and DSP engine.

 

I wouldn't like to be in the Boss or Fractal  R&D offices this morning!!

 

I have friends at Roland/BOSS and they're doing just fine. Cliff makes brilliant-sounding boxes, and I'm sure he's not losing any sleep. Helix is a different type of processor; if anything, it'd make a great master controller and audio routing/recording hub for a GT100, AxeFX, and KPA... all simultaneously.

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The reverbs and eight of the ten wahs come from HD, but they've been rebuilt in HX, so they sound better. All other effects have been created from scratch within HX. To pull some of them off, we've had to physically model the behavior of incandescent light bulbs, transistors, bucket brigade chips, and other components. Completely new architecture and DSP engine.

 

THAT'S GOOD NEWS!!

How long for testing it in shops???

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As exciting as the Helix is, it sounds like support for the DT series amp is not in your road map which is very disappointing. I have three DT50s and the tight intergration between Pod HD, Variax, and DT amp have been stellar. Not to mention - the beauty of an adaptable real tube amp. Now, with no direct integration between DT series amps and Helix (rather, some hotchpotch midi workaround) the value of my dream rig is a ticking time bomb as it's key features of integration depend on a particular technology item that shall be significantly outdated (Pod HD).

 

Please do not alienate and leave a large number of your customers who've previously bought at least three pieces of your equipment to have a DT series based dream rig in the dark. Should this happen, I for one will be lost as a Line 6 customer. I'm certain many others may feel the same.

 

Concerned,

 

Ashley Strahle

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HD series was not too hard to introduce clipping  or overdrive an effect in an unpleasant way.  Does Helix address this in any way? Clipping indicators for instance? Level meters?

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Please do not alienate and leave a large number of your customers who've previously bought at least three pieces of your equipment to have a DT series based dream rig in the dark.

 

yeah, I really want this to work with my DT and in fairness, DI has has said that feature would not be there at release, not that it can't be done.  Sounds like the system has lots of room for future development. I expect they will add that at a later update.

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HD series was not too hard to introduce clipping or overdrive an effect in an unpleasant way. Does Helix address this in any way? Clipping indicators for instance? Level meters?

There aren't but it seems to me that there is a lot more headroom in this than my HD500. A commercial IR block for instance comes in at 18dB or so higher than than one of the Line 6 cabs. Even with that, there was no clipping. The nice thing is that every block has an independent level control so it's easy to keep unity gain through the whole chain.

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can't speak to future development plans...

 

If you're going to give things away like that, you're spoiling the fun... :)

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From another thread, @Digital_Igloo responded:

 

It's important to note that Helix does not behave like HD500X when it comes to L6 LINK communication. It acts much more like HD500X and StageSource; that is, one DT will receive a mono signal and two will split the signal hard left and right. There's no tapping off from various points in the signal, although Helix's flexible routing makes this very easy to accomplish this manually. Unfortunately, at launch, there will also be no automatic topology recall, although if you're willing to hook up a MIDI cable as well, some of this can be accomplished via the Command Center page's Instant commands.

 

Helix's engine is completely different from HD500X's, and much of the functionality of the current DT Dream Rig simply can't apply to the new routing architecture. We're still not sure how deep down the L6 LINK rabbit hole we want to go, so anything's possible.

 

------------------------------------

 

Could you expand on this a bit? I own a DT25 and it seems the L6 LINK for Helix is in no way the L6 LINK for my HD500. I now understand the manual reconfiguration comment (midi for topology recall) but you're saying also that while there's a signal coming out of L6 LINK from Helix, it's not electronically controlled and configurable as far as routing like it is with the HD500, through the single L6 LINK cable. So essentially, except for limited fixed scenarios, L6 LINK is pretty worthless on Helix with my DT 25 for flexible, on the fly patch configuration changes. I'm going to have to hardwire multiple pairs of cables in a 4 wire+ fashion and of course even that is manual if I want to change it, or will there be a way to connect cables to the DT25 that is flexible enough that the routing in Helix will be the equivalent of the L6 LINK, but you won't have the convenience of a single cable connection? Please give an example or two in your answer to illustrate....thanks.

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Will I be able to do guitar/vocals combo with FX on vocals just like the HD500X?

 

 

VOCODER:  Will it actually be available/useable on this thing compared to the HD500X?  NEVER been able to make it work for live use and it is pretty frustrating when there's this ONE effect you want to use sparringly out of all the stuff in the HD500X and just can't.  

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As exciting as the Helix is, it sounds like support for the DT series amp is not in your road map which is very disappointing.

 

+1. I was almost onboard but with DT function almost like any other amp then it would not be worth the price to me. If it gets added down the road then I'll be intrested. Glad I followed the forum FAQs on this. Maybe there is DT replacment coming down the pipe too?  

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I'm pretty stoked. Really looking forward to hearing this baby! I've been extremely satisfied with my HD500, gigging several days a week for a few years with it, but better modeling is always welcome! Below are some features I'm interested in:

 

1) Have you included a mix or bypass control for fx such as distortion so we don't have to resort to PITA routing schemes to bypass them? I use the control pedal to dial from clean to distorted, and have to set up two paths in HD500 to accomplish this (one path holds the pedal, the other doesn't).

 

2) Will there be a new external control pedal? The current one is pretty weak.

 

3) Can you say if it will have a better auto wah? The Mutron was never very guitar friendly, and was IMHO the wrong piece to model.

 

4) Any new compressors, especially rack models? Can we get some DBX 160X overeasy or other soft knee in the house?

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Gotta say, looks amazing. Price is steep compared to the 500X, but it certainly looks like a tremendous bang for the buck...I'd already be rading the piggy bank, but divorce would end up costing me a lost more than $1500, ;)...this time I'll be waiting until after the holidays. Learned my lesson last year with the L2T...

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Could you expand on this a bit? I own a DT25 and it seems the L6 LINK for Helix is in no way the L6 LINK for my HD500. I now understand the manual reconfiguration comment (midi for topology recall) but you're saying also that while there's a signal coming out of L6 LINK from Helix, it's not electronically controlled and configurable as far as routing like it is with the HD500, through the single L6 LINK cable. So essentially, except for limited fixed scenarios, L6 LINK is pretty worthless on Helix with my DT 25 for flexible, on the fly patch configuration changes. I'm going to have to hardwire multiple pairs of cables in a 4 wire+ fashion and of course even that is manual if I want to change it, or will there be a way to connect cables to the DT25 that is flexible enough that the routing in Helix will be the equivalent of the L6 LINK, but you won't have the convenience of a single cable connection? Please give an example or two in your answer to illustrate....thanks.

 

Hopefully they'll publish the manual soon, so we can get straight clear examples, but I think the integration isn't as nice as the HD500, but still easily workable.  It looks like you'd use L6Link, and a midi cable.  You would add the MIDI command in the patch to change your DT settings.  You can even make a footswitch send a MIDI signal.  So you could have a foot switch to flip Pentode/triode on the DT.

 

So, sounds like not perfect, but simple to replicate.  I'd suggest to L6 that they include

  • a bunch of demo patches that include this kind of configuration.
  • A simple table of what MIDI commands to send to the DTs for each preamp model.  
  • In the desktop editor, include an option to automatically add the appropriate MIDI commands if you have a DT.
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Hopefully they'll publish the manual soon, so we can get straight clear examples, but I think the integration isn't as nice as the HD500, but still easily workable.  It looks like you'd use L6Link, and a midi cable.  You would add the MIDI command in the patch to change your DT settings.  You can even make a footswitch send a MIDI signal.  So you could have a foot switch to flip Pentode/triode on the DT.

 

So, sounds like not perfect, but simple to replicate.  I'd suggest to L6 that they include

  • a bunch of demo patches that include this kind of configuration.
  • A simple table of what MIDI commands to send to the DTs for each preamp model.  
  • In the desktop editor, include an option to automatically add the appropriate MIDI commands if you have a DT.

 

 

I'm less concerned with topology programming than I am with the whole routing issue as explained in my post. Kinda doubt we see a manual until after it's released.

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You did a great job and I really appreciate this great FAQ page.

Anyway I can't really believe a 1500$ processor without delay tails.
This is (along with the slow patch change and the "hole" in the sound among them) the worst missing feature of my pod hd500 (that, at least, was a 500$ machine).

The Helix may be the definitive sound processing tool, something that I was really waiting for, but this news really depressed me.

Please consider adding this feature at launch. To me (and I really know I'm not the only one) this is a basic feature.

What do you mean when you say "The good news is that Helix's routing is incredibly flexible, so you can do all sorts of inter-preset switching that can emulate spillover."?
Do I have a swithing mode similar to Fractal's "scenes"?

Are the single effects freely assignable to more than one fs or I'm limited like I am on the Pod HD500?

Thanks.

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I wouldn't like to be in the Boss or Fractal  R&D offices this morning!!

 

I have friends at Roland/BOSS and they're doing just fine. Cliff makes brilliant-sounding boxes, and I'm sure he's not losing any sleep. Helix is a different type of processor; if anything, it'd make a great master controller and audio routing/recording hub for a GT100, AxeFX, and KPA... all simultaneously.

 

Interesting to see an insider's view of their market positioning with this product.

Anyway, as many other potential buyers of the Helix, I was planning on buying an Axe FX or AX8. But now, I'll wait for the Helix to be more thoroughly reviewed for its tone and feel ("like the real thang" factor).

For me, the Helix has all the potential to beat the Axe FX on a certain wide market target that comprises people who want lots of things the Axe FX has, but don't want to pay the extra charge for things they will never use.

If it delivers the tone and feel, it will be the gear of the year.

 

Now, if Roland and Fractal aren't worried, maybe RMJ Music is.

 

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I am literally amazed at the versatility, flexibility and thoughtful design of this product.  I was definitely in the "What has Line6 done lately" camp, and I am more than pleasantly amazed at what was being worked on during this period since Yamaha's acquisition of Line6.  All the gentle hinting that DI and other Line6 proponents have been doing was certainly not BS at all.  Wow, and holy cow.  So by way of apology for doubting the commitment of Line6 to creating cutting edge, professional quality guitar gear, I'd like to say I'm sorry for ever doubting.  I'd like to add that I am not a marketing expert, and that radio silence may well be better in a case of an R&D effort such as the Helix obviously was, but it is inevitable that in the absense of real information, people will speculate and feel left out.  Line6 employees and forum presences remained above the fray though, and for that they are to be commended since they knew full well anyone saying ugly things about them would ultimately be proven false.

That aside, this device looks to be thouroughly amazing and engaging, addressing so many things people wanted AND literally reinventing how a floor processor can be programmed.  Using one's feet while maintaining hands on your guitar is pure genius IMHO.  The immediacy of tweaking a tone can be maintained on the fly now it seems.  Time will tell if the new HX models are as excellent as that Sweetwater video suggested they were.  I suspect they are as good as modelling gets in 2015, and the folks at Kemper and Fractal are likely feeling like they now need to up the ante themselves because by comparison, their excellent offerings are now difficult to engage with by comparison to a device like this.  If the gap between modeling sound and feel has now been closed along with it -- well, it ought to shake them up a bit.  The Kemper can still profile amps, of course which is lacking in either Line6 or Fractal gear but beyond that it's a brand new ballgame in my opinion.

Nice work LIne6!  The Helix represents some excellent engineering decisions, adherance to customer wishes and desires and apparently you're giving us things we never knew we always wanted.

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Question: I could hear a slight click noise when switching from mic to mic options on the Sweetwater video (12m38s-12m54s). Any chance that is eliminated in the future?

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