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Helix FAQ

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I don't believe a marketing hype like this usually occurs so far out from release. And that's what this is - marketing.

 

How many boxes in this industry are announced 9-18 months before finally showing up in stores (to crickets, because no one cares anymore by then)? A lot.

 

It's weird how perceptions can vary.  I remember seeing the Helix product announcement and being happily surprised - amazed, even - that it would be available so soon.  Usually when I first get word of a new product, I don't expect to be able to actually buy one for many months.  A product of this scope, a year or so would not have surprised me.

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It's weird how perceptions can vary.  I remember seeing the Helix product announcement and being happily surprised - amazed, even - that it would be available so soon.  Usually when I first get word of a new product, I don't expect to be able to actually buy one for many months.  A product of this scope, a year or so would not have surprised me.

 

 

It seems pretty much standard operating procedure for companies to announce products months in advance. And actually, the three months for a product like Helix isn't bad at all. At Summer NAMM, Boss announced a new delay pedal, the DD500, and last I heard that's not supposed to start shipping until October.

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Its typical new product release schedule for most manufacturers

 

1 ) After beta testing and final hardware features are locked in , make a product announcement or display at major M.I. trade show ( Winter NAMM ( January), MusikMesse ( April) , Summer NAMM (July). 

 

2) Take dealer orders

 

3) Contract bulk volume manufacturing in Asia ( typically takes 12-18 weeks) 

 

4) Ship product to dealers

 

Helix is right on schedule.

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I find the dates on Musician's Friend interesting 

 

Helix: 09-25-2015

Helix Rack Foot Controller: 09-24-2015

Helix Rack: 11-20-2015
 
The first thing available is the foot controller that won't be able to control it's rack component for 2 more months. :)

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To those asking about bootup time...  The latest video includes a cold start.  Roughly 25 seconds, but as has been pointed out, this is a pre-consumer model, so your mileage may vary.

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Roughly 25 seconds,

 

 

yikes - at least thats faster boot up than the Kemper 

 

Time to budget a UPS 

413WmpVHo3L.jpg

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yikes - at least thats faster boot up than the Kemper 

 

Time to budget a UPS 

413WmpVHo3L.jpg

Oh wow, that's longer than I would have thought. My Axe-Fx boots up in about 5 seconds and I just assumed that was typical for Axe, Kemper, Helix type of gear.

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I don't think any of us (product management, engineering, marketing, executive staff, Yamaha) expected a can of worms so big. It's been pretty overwhelming, to be honest. In a good way.

DI:  In any reasonably unbiased look at this -  to have created this much discussion, debate, love...and hate.... on the basis of a pre-launch announcement and a couple of vids says only one thing:  You are on to something really good.  It doesnt matter if a few extremists are not happy...and it doesnt matter if the final product is not all things to all people.  Clearly it is going to fit a niche that is currently unfilled, and do it with  a fair bit of flair. 

 

For me its a simple equation: is this a better tool than what I currently have (500x).... yup I think so!

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Don't tell the team downstairs, but I love me some Bill Hicks. R.I.P.

 

We kinda had to. Helix was going to be shown at GearFest, and there was no backing out. We would've loved to have announced and shipped Helix on the same day, but that almost never happens. How many boxes in this industry are announced 9-18 months before finally showing up in stores (to crickets, because no one cares anymore by then)? A lot.

 

I don't think any of us (product management, engineering, marketing, executive staff, Yamaha) expected a can of worms so big. It's been pretty overwhelming, to be honest. In a good way.

On a lighter note (Bb), I must admit it's been a little like watching a train wreck in progress - or like the sore tooth you can't help but touch constantly to see if it still hurts - ow... ow...ow...(thanks again Bill Hicks).

I still peek through my fingers that are covering my eyes from time to time to see how far the debris has been strewn throughout the ballpark. :lol:

 

Now hurry up and get it out there so we can see users' youtube videos of the damn thing in action in all manner of styles!

 

PS thanks for the continuation of the Hicks theme - chirrup chirrup

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same day as  dealer shipments  - Mid September 2015

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Is the External Amp switcher TRS or TS?

 

TRS. So you can actually control two external amp functions with it.

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In stomp mode, when changing banks, do the active switches stay on, or do they turn off? 

 

Depends on the blocks' states of the target preset.

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Depends on the blocks' states of the target preset.

 

Can you elaborate?  I'll be using this as a dual FX controller into my amp, and Midi controller for Ableton, and will likely set up DAW control in one bank, and have another bank or two for FX on/off.  ie. If I've got a delay/reverb on one switch in bank 1, and want to go to bank 2 to initiate a MIDI command, will the preset in Bank 1 stay on?  

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Can you elaborate?  I'll be using this as a dual FX controller into my amp, and Midi controller for Ableton, and will likely set up DAW control in one bank, and have another bank or two for FX on/off.  ie. If I've got a delay/reverb on one switch in bank 1, and want to go to bank 2 to initiate a MIDI command, will the preset in Bank 1 stay on?  

 

As with all modelers, if you change banks (presets), you won't hear effects from the previous preset... unless, of course, they exist in the current preset as well.

 

Any MIDI/CV/Amp Control commands are tied to the preset. However, you can copy and paste your entire Command Center (MIDI/CV/Amp Control) layout to other presets.

 

In Stomp footswitch mode, you can have up to 10 separate footswitches, all of which can be assigned to up to eight of any combination of block bypass/enable, controllers, MIDI messages, CV messages, or Amp Control messages. All within a single preset.

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Hi, are there any power amp section models?

 

if I want to use the preamp section of my tube amp then I would need a model of a power amp before the speaker and mic models

is there a way to do this with the Helix?

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I'm curious about assigning footswitches- let's say you had an amp model within a patch, and you wanted to program 3 footswitches to correspond to 3 different amp settings, essentially making it a 3-channel amp. Is this do-able?

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I'm curious about assigning footswitches- let's say you had an amp model within a patch, and you wanted to program 3 footswitches to correspond to 3 different amp settings, essentially making it a 3-channel amp. Is this do-able?

 

Amp models don't have channels per sé; each "channel" would be a separate amp model. You could, however, assign a footswitch to control user min/max values of up to eight settings within that amp. Or you could assign a footswitch to switch between Path A (amp 1) and B (amp 2).

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Amp models don't have channels per sé; each "channel" would be a separate amp model. You could, however, assign a footswitch to control user min/max values of up to eight settings within that amp. Or you could assign a footswitch to switch between Path A (amp 1) and B (amp 2).

 

Could you assign four of the eight settings of one amp to one switch, and the remaining four settings of the same amp to another switch?

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Yes. The controller assign limitations are:

  • No Input > Variax parameter assignment
  • Eight total assignments per switch
  • 64 total assignments per preset
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You could, however, assign a footswitch to control user min/max values of up to eight settings within that amp.

Yeah I mean it more along those lines- could you have one footswitch for one setting on an amp, and another footswitch for another setting on the same amp?

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Yes. The controller assign limitations are:

  • No Input > Variax parameter assignment
  • Eight total assignments per switch
  • 64 total assignments per preset

 

 

Could you elaborate on the first limitation about Inouts and Variax? Didn't quite get what you meant

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Currently, any parameter found on the Home screen (input, amp, effects, split, merge, output) can be assigned to a controller/footswitch except for Input > Variax parameters. That is, a switch cannot, for example, change Variax models or retune strings within a preset; you can, however, store and recall these settings per preset.

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Yeah I mean it more along those lines- could you have one footswitch for one setting on an amp, and another footswitch for another setting on the same amp?

 

Well, you can have one footswitch control one or several parameters in the amp model, and you can have another footswitch control others, but you can't have multiple footswitches controlling the same parameters. What you described above sounds something more like scene control, where you'd have footswitches cycle through multiple states. That's not really how the control assignments work. You have min and max for each parameter, and you can assign a controller to toggle or sweep between those.

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Well, you can have one footswitch control one or several parameters in the amp model, and you can have another footswitch control others, but you can't have multiple footswitches controlling the same parameters. What you described above sounds something more like scene control, where you'd have footswitches cycle through multiple states. That's not really how the control assignments work. You have min and max for each parameter, and you can assign a controller to toggle or sweep between those.

 

But Helix has enough DSP to have two or more instances of the same amp, each with 2 different sets of parameters controlled by footswitches effectively giving you 4 or more "channels" of the same amp, or different dual channel amps.  Like SLO clean with 2 channels and SLO crunch with 2 channels all in the same patch... can't wait for this beast!

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Well, you can have one footswitch control one or several parameters in the amp model, and you can have another footswitch control others, but you can't have multiple footswitches controlling the same parameters. What you described above sounds something more like scene control, where you'd have footswitches cycle through multiple states. That's not really how the control assignments work. You have min and max for each parameter, and you can assign a controller to toggle or sweep between those.

 

 

Oh ok- so you could have one footswitch that goes back and forth from clean (say low gain, high vol, scooped mids), to dirty (high gain, low vol, boosted mids). That's not a bad way to do it. For a lead sound I could just add an extra boost somewhere...

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I've read that you can run out to a DAW, and then back into Helix from the DAW.  Is that done through a block, (if so, what block), and can you put that signal anywhere in the chain? 

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I've read that you can run out to a DAW, and then back into Helix from the DAW. Is that done through a block, (if so, what block), and can you put that signal anywhere in the chain?

Not anywhere in the chain, but at the beginning (Input block) or end (Output block) of any chain. Sends and Returns are the only I/O accessible mid-chain, although they're also available as Input and/or Output blocks.

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Are there any more details on the looper for Helix? 

Is it just about the same as the HD looper, or are there any improvements to it? 

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Are there any more details on the looper for Helix? 

Is it just about the same as the HD looper, or are there any improvements to it? 

 

Has all the same capabilities as the HD looper, but can be placed anywhere in signal chain, and you have a choice of using it as a mono or stereo looper (in stereo, it maintains stereo separation unlike summing to mono like the HD).

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can the footswitches be linked, so that when I press one, another one turns off? For example one would activate a compressor and a chorus, and the other switch a drive block and a delay? I could then switch between those two combinations with only one foot-tap ;)

It would also be cool if more than two could be linked together.... like a row of four switches, where only one could be activated at a time.

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I hope I am not the only one following this that has no clue what half of you are talking about. Maybe it is my age. I had the X3 Live when church did away with amps. I was pretty happy overall but it was far from amp like in my opinion and clean tones were its weak points. We got the HD 400 when we added a second electric to the fold. I hate it. I am always turning the looker on when I don't want to (read old guy set in his ways) and while amp selection and tweaking is easy I found the rest much more difficult than the X3. So when I saw the big screen of the Helix, and how great the clean clips sounded, I was drawn in. When I saw the Sweet water demo and how easy it was to select and move things I was instantly drawn in and ordered it.. What I want to see is more straight up HE vs HX demos. Especially with clean tones. For this to truly compete with the Kemper it is going to need to compete with the Fender clean tones as well as Marshall. Can any of the testers on here speak about clean tones more and if it can do the chime or sparkle of various clean tones and then with a pedal or e ex rolling the volume up emulate the increased gain of a tube amp? This has been the weakness of all my previous line 6 devices. I didplay with a friend's Kemper and it did it well. But if this can do it I will be thrilled with the $1000 saved over a Kenmore and controller.

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But if this can do it I will be thrilled with the $1000 saved over a Kenmore and controller.

 

It will definitely sound better than your Kenmore... Sorry couldn't resist.

 

I don't think Line 6 will ever produce any demos specifically pitting one of their products against the other like that. It's not really in their interest to do so. I'm sure those sorts of things will be made by others once the Helix gets into the hands of users, though. Personally, I think the Helix models are very responsive and realistic sounding, and moreso than the HD (as they should be for three times the price).

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What I want to see is more straight up HE vs HX demos. Especially with clean tones. For this to truly compete with the Kemper it is going to need to compete with the Fender clean tones as well as Marshall. 

 

BigRalph, check out this video, and in particular the Divided by 13 tone used through much of it.  I've been concerned as to whether the Helix could cop the cleanish Marshalls as well as the Kemper does - and oddly enough none of the alleged Marshall tones I've heard from Helix have convinced me.  But the Div by 13 tells me that the tech is well up to the task.

 

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It will definitely sound better than your Kenmore... Sorry couldn't resist.

 

I don't think Line 6 will ever produce any demos specifically pitting one of their products against the other like that. It's not really in their interest to do so. I'm sure those sorts of things will be made by others once the Helix gets into the hands of users, though. Personally, I think the Helix models are very responsive and realistic sounding, and moreso than the HD (as they should be for three times the price).

Damned auto correct kept changing Kemper to Kenmore. I thought I fixed them all.

 

I was actually referring to Line 6 hx vs line 5 he demos. Not putting it up against a Kemper or Axefx. There will be enough of those once it's released. Though I suppose your point is the same if they are still selling both products.

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