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Helix FAQ

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Phil_M, you mentioned in a post somewhere, that you've been a Strymon user.  Can you give your comparison on the quality of the Helix verbs, including shimmer and Helix delays as compared to the timeline/big sky?  This is one of the big obstacles for me, as a Strymon user.  If the effects are comparible to Strymon, then that with the routing power makes this a no brainer. 

 

I use a Strymon BigSky reverb pedal in the effects loop of my HD500. Using similar types of reverb, I really can't tell the difference between the HD500 verb and the Strymon verb. The Strymon just has a few types of reverb that the HD500 doesn't and a cool hold function (although, the HD500 has a couple that the Strymon doesn't). The main reason I bought it was to reduce DSP usage on the HD500 (not 500X) for big patches and to get really over the top swells. That said, I can't imagine the Helix reverbs won't be as good or better than the HD500's, and I take it DSP won't be much of an issue.

I'll still probably use it with the Helix once I own one, if only because I look so cool carrying around a baby blue aluminum brick.

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I use a Strymon BigSky reverb pedal in the effects loop of my HD500... I'll still probably use it with the Helix once I own one, if only because I look so cool carrying around a baby blue aluminum brick.

 

We love Strymon. They are, after all, partly made up of ex-Line 6ers.

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No, Helix will not improve your playing after 10 beers.

 

So I still need to learn how to play........

But how will it withstand beer/water spillage ?

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But how will it withstand beer/water spillage ?

 

I presume like any other piece of electronic gear; we didn't install rubber gaskets, if that's what you're asking. If drunk people keep spilling liquid on your gear, maybe Helix Rack/Control is a safer bet. Or... gear insurance?

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I presume like any other piece of electronic gear; we didn't install rubber gaskets, if that's what you're asking. If drunk people keep spilling liquid on your gear, maybe Helix Rack/Control is a safer bet. Or... gear insurance?

Well, it doesn't happend every gig, but sometimes in small clubs with low ceiling and high alcohol consumption, this is a part of reality for me, and I believe other can agree on this.

 

The videos have made a big number out of the build quality of the Helix, so I think it's strange that spillage of liquids not have been considered in the design.
I don't expect to play underwater gigs, but a few rubber gasket could have helped a little.
The rack solution is Ok, but it's more expensive, and not so elegant

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We love Strymon. They are, after all, partly made up of ex-Line 6ers.

 

I had heard that about Strymon's personnel. It was one of the reasons I decided to purchase the BigSky, but I didn't know if it was accurate or just an errant comment I once read on a comment board like this. I'll take it from you, though. And I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but the BigSky really plays well with the HD500 via MIDI. When I first tried to use an extension expression pedal connected to the HD500 to control parameters on the BigSky, I expected making the connection between the two would be a hassle but it was an absolute no-brainer. Having just read that back to myself, I realize it doesn't sound all that impressive, but it was the first MIDI controlled device I've ever used with something other than a computer as the MIDI controller, so it was shockingly uncomplicated and foolproof to me.

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Well, it doesn't happend every gig, but sometimes in small clubs with low ceiling and high alcohol consumption, this is a part of reality for me, and I believe other can agree on this.

 

The videos have made a big number out of the build quality of the Helix, so I think it's strange that spillage of liquids not have been considered in the design.
I don't expect to play underwater gigs, but a few rubber gasket could have helped a little.
The rack solution is Ok, but it's more expensive, and not so elegant

 

 

That's one of the main reasons why I got gear insurance (that and the fear of drunk fat dudes falling on the stage).  It's only $100 per year and it covers multiple grands worth of gear.

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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).

So there is not quantization or other "new" looper functions then, besides placement.  :) And stereo of course :) 

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That's correct, on release. Add or vote for anything you would like to see on ideascale... :)

 

So there is not quantization or other "new" looper functions then, besides placement.   :) And stereo of course :)

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Will Helix be supported by Line-6 Monkey?   

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Will Helix be supported by Line-6 Monkey?   

 

No, there is another utility called Line 6 Updater that will handle the updates. It's the same program they use for the Firehawk FX and the new Relay units.

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No, there is another utility called Line 6 Updater that will handle the updates. It's the same program they use for the Firehawk FX and the new Relay units.

 

Thanks - (been there, done that with Firehawk FX already )

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Will Helix have any Re-Amping via USB capability ? 

 

Can I change the bit depth / bit rate when used as an ASIO Audio interface? 

Or will it be fixed at 24 bit @ 48kHz USB Audio Interface device  - (like the Firehawk FX?)

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Will Helix have any Re-Amping via USB capability ? 

 

Can I change the bit depth / bit rate when used as an ASIO Audio interface? 

Or will it be fixed at 24 bit @ 48kHz USB Audio Interface device  - (like the Firehawk FX?)

 

Yes. You can even reamp two tracks at once.

 

Yes.

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When used as a USB  Audio Interface  - What are the available Bit depths and clock rates that Helix is capable of ? ( i.e. 16 bits @44.1kHz, 24 @ 48kHz , 32 bits @ 96kHz? ?   

 

 

Is there a Sample Rate Converter on the Helix's SPDIF Input ? What bit rates are acceptable?  

same question for the SPDIF Out

 

Also Without a computer, Can I use the Helix's SPDIF Input as a separate audio source input, or use the SPDIF Send Return for external FX Loop - ? 

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When used as a USB  Audio Interface  - What are the available Bit depths and clock rates that Helix is capable of ? ( i.e. 16 bits @44.1kHz, 24 @ 48kHz , 32 bits @ 96kHz? ?   

 

 

Is there a Sample Rate Converter on the Helix's SPDIF Input ? What bit rates are acceptable?  

same question for the SPDIF Out

 

Also Without a computer, Can I use the Helix's SPDIF Input as a separate audio source input, or use the SPDIF Send Return for external FX Loop - ? 

 

Up to 24-bit/96kHz.

 

Yes, Helix utilizes SRCs.

 

S/PDIF can be used as an input for one or more of the (up to) four input blocks; currently, it can't be used as an FX Return.

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Does it support 24 bit / 44.1kHz? 

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Does it support 24 bit / 44.1kHz? 

 

Yes; sorry. That's what "up to 24-bit/96kHz" meant to imply.

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Yes; sorry. That's what "up to 24-bit/96kHz" meant to imply.

 

I ask because my Firehawk FX does not support 44.1kHz - seems to be fixed at 48kHz with its Win USB ASIO driver version 1.76 

 

 

 

 

 

 
and I dream Line-6 on the Helix would resurrect the flexible USB audio routing and Re-Amping function of the 10 year old POD XT 
 

processing.png

 

 

Since Helix is USB Class Compliant Audio  / MIDi Device  - imagine in the Above USB Audio I/O Routing Block Above if replace "Computer" with "IPad running BIAS FX  or InterApp Audio Host for Ipad FX (Holderness Media, VirSyn IOS FX)"  then we have a new world of tone possibilities 

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Hi, I've just put my pre-order in for a rack with control board, and am now frantically selling any piece of kit not biologically attached to my body!! I have one HUGE request though, please - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make the looper sync to tempo - it's utterly useless for live use without being able to sync to the drum machine or other tempo source! I had an HD500X for a time, and the looper was simply a home practice tool - useless for live use as it had no sync capability. With the Helix aimed firmly at the more professional market, synchronising the looper is, in my view ESSENTIAL. 

 

What's the chance?

 

Thanks again for producing such an awesome product!

 

Doug

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Hi, I've just put my pre-order in for a rack with control board, and am now frantically selling any piece of kit not biologically attached to my body!! I have one HUGE request though, please - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make the looper sync to tempo - it's utterly useless for live use without being able to sync to the drum machine or other tempo source! I had an HD500X for a time, and the looper was simply a home practice tool - useless for live use as it had no sync capability. With the Helix aimed firmly at the more professional market, synchronising the looper is, in my view ESSENTIAL. 

 

What's the chance?

 

There's always a chance. Helix doesn't currently have MIDI sync, but if it ends up getting it, there are all sorts of things that could shake out from it.

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Hi, I have some questions:

1) Obviously I'll be able to record Helix over USB by sending it to DAW. But can I process a Helix's signal in DAW with, say, some VST plugin and send it back to Helix for further processing (this effectively emulates the ability to insert an external plugin somewhere in the middle of Helix's chain) ? That would be a killer feature! 

2) Does Helix 'color' sound if all elements in its chain are disabled/removed? I'm asking because when I tried to run my POD X3 Live in the tube amplifier effects loop (just for sake of delays/reverbs etc.), it DID color amp's sound even with ALL effects disabled.

3) Oh, and does it have separate Power Amp and Preamp blocks? It would be great to mix different preamps and poweramps then...

 

Thanks in advance.

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Hi, I have some questions:

1) Obviously I'll be able to record Helix over USB by sending it to DAW. But can I process a Helix's signal in DAW with, say, some VST plugin and send it back to Helix for further processing (this effectively emulates the ability to insert an external plugin somewhere in the middle of Helix's chain) ? That would be a killer feature! 

2) Does Helix 'color' sound if all elements in its chain are disabled/removed? I'm asking because when I tried to run my POD X3 Live in the tube amplifier effects loop (just for sake of delays/reverbs etc.), it DID color amp's sound even with ALL effects disabled.

3) Oh, and does it have separate Power Amp and Preamp blocks? It would be great to mix different preamps and poweramps then...

 

Thanks in advance.

 

I asked number 1 before and DI said you can at each path output. So I took that to mean you can insert a VST at up to 3 points in the signal chain.

 

Don't know number 2.

 

Number 3 is no.

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I asked number 1 before and DI said you can at each path output. So I took that to mean you can insert a VST at up to 3 points in the signal chain.

That's insanely great if true, thanks!

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Hi, I have some questions:

1) Obviously I'll be able to record Helix over USB by sending it to DAW. But can I process a Helix's signal in DAW with, say, some VST plugin and send it back to Helix for further processing (this effectively emulates the ability to insert an external plugin somewhere in the middle of Helix's chain) ? That would be a killer feature! 

2) Does Helix 'color' sound if all elements in its chain are disabled/removed? I'm asking because when I tried to run my POD X3 Live in the tube amplifier effects loop (just for sake of delays/reverbs etc.), it DID color amp's sound even with ALL effects disabled.

3) Oh, and does it have separate Power Amp and Preamp blocks? It would be great to mix different preamps and poweramps then...

 

Thanks in advance.

 

1. Yep, Duncann was correct above. The Helix is 8-in, 8-out, so you could set up three virtual effects loops. Latency might become an issue simply because you're depending on your DAW for processing at that point, but it's definitely a possibility.

 

2. It's very transparent, imo. I've used it for effect-only both just in front of an amp and in the 4CM, and my bypassed sound was still fine.

 

3. It has separate preamp blocks as well as standalone amp blocks which are essentially preamp + power amp, but at this point there's not standalone power amp blocks.

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So I took that to mean you can insert a VST at up to 3 points in the signal chain

 

If this is true - that would be impressive 

 

 

 

If I connect Helix to a Mac with OSX 10.10 ( or iPad Air with Apple Lighting USB Camera Adapter) I would expect  Helix to appear as an  8 in  / 8 out audio device.

 

 

USB Audio Inputs (From Helix to DAW)

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

Input 1 = Guitar IN

Input 2  = Mic In 

Input 3  = Aux In 

Input 4  = ?
Input 5  = FX Send 1

Input 6  = FX Send 2

Input 7  = FX Send 3
Input 8  = FX Send 4
 
 

 

 

USB Audio Outputs (From DAW to Helix )

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

OUT 1  = XLR OUT Left
OUT 2  = XLR OUT Right
OUT 3 = 1/4" Out Left 
OUT 4 = 1/4" Out Left
OUT 5  = FX Send 1
OUT 6  = FX Send 2
OUT 7  = FX Send 3
OUT 8  = FX Send 4
 
 * Note this omits  SPDIF  Input and Output  -  how are these handled?
 
 
Is the above correct? 
 
Is there a Helix Beta tester who can talk about the Helix as IOS USB Class Compliant Audio  / MIDI interface with iPad?
 
 
 
 
ipad-tracks.png

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If this is true - that would be impressive 

 

 

 

If I connect Helix to a Mac with OSX 10.10 ( or iPad Air with Apple Lighting USB Camera Adapter) I would expect  Helix to appear as an  8 in  / 8 out audio device.

 

 

USB Audio Inputs (From Helix to DAW)

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

Input 1 = Guitar IN

Input 2  = Mic In 

Input 3  = Aux In 

Input 4  = ?
Input 5  = FX Send 1

Input 6  = FX Send 2

Input 7  = FX Send 3
Input 8  = FX Send 4
 
 

 

 

USB Audio Outputs (From DAW to Helix )

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

OUT 1  = XLR OUT Left
OUT 2  = XLR OUT Right
OUT 3 = 1/4" Out Left 
OUT 4 = 1/4" Out Left
OUT 5  = FX Send 1
OUT 6  = FX Send 2
OUT 7  = FX Send 3
OUT 8  = FX Send 4
 
 * Note this omits  SPDIF  Input and Output  -  how are these handled?
 
 
Is the above correct? 
 
Is there a Helix Beta tester who can talk about the Helix as IOS USB Class Compliant Audio  / MIDI interface with iPad?
 
 

 

 

The USB inputs 1- 6 depend on how you have the outputs for each path assigned. They aren't tied to physical outputs. Inputs 7 and 8 are the dry signal from the guitar in and mic input for re-amping.

 

The USB outputs 1 and 2 are the main stereo bus, for lack of a better term. The stereo audio from your computer by default will be played back through these. Outputs 3 - 8 can be whatever you assign them to in your DAW, and they can be fed back into the input of the Helix's signal paths.

 

I've not tried recording with an iPad, so I can't help there.

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3. It has separate preamp blocks as well as standalone amp blocks which are essentially preamp + power amp, but at this point there's not standalone power amp blocks.

 

Have I misunderstood something here because this sounds like you can't set up an amp FX loop using onboard blocks? ie Onboard Fx -> Onboard Pre-Amp -> Onboard Fx -> Onboard Power Amp

 

Or can you "switch off" the pre-amp in the preamp+power amp block?

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3. It has separate preamp blocks as well as standalone amp blocks which are essentially preamp + power amp, but at this point there's not standalone power amp blocks.

Thought about it a little more, and now I'm thinking it would be great to create a single all-purpose Power Amp block with multiple settings in it (tubes type, sagging, bias, damping, resonance, LO freq control + Presence etc.). Or maybe very few different Poweramp blocks with different coloring and 'touch' to sound.

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Thought about it a little more, and now I'm thinking it would be great to create a single all-purpose Power Amp block with multiple settings in it (tubes type, sagging, bias, damping, resonance, LO freq control + Presence etc.). Or maybe very few different Poweramp blocks with different coloring and 'touch' to sound.

 

There is an ideascale entry that would treat the power amp as a separate block. But just that, none of the extra parameters you mention.

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Have I misunderstood something here because this sounds like you can't set up an amp FX loop using onboard blocks? ie Onboard Fx -> Onboard Pre-Amp -> Onboard Fx -> Onboard Power Amp

 

Or can you "switch off" the pre-amp in the preamp+power amp block?

 

You can create a very close approximation of an effects loop by placing any post effects after the amp block and before the cab block. It's true that this doesn't fall between the preamp and power amp stages as in a real amp, but it still works out to give your post effects after the amp gain.

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In most studio situations the post effects are applied after the Cab and Mic, and that is what Helix and all other L6 modellers offer - and most of the competition as well.

Most of the amps modelled don't even offer FX Loops so that is authentic.

 

That said I quite like the idea of being able to Frankenstein some amps together - I expect the problem will be balancing the input levels, and the loss of interactions between pre and power amp stages such as the pre-amp Sag, but if the pre-amps now have that modelled (as was implied somewhere in some Helix discussion - Sean Halley was hassling about this apparently) then the other part is just about having an input gain setting for the Power Amp block.

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I would like the ability to use a midi foot controller to switch effects while using the helix switches for patch changes. It would be great to be able to assign some additional patches also to the F/C and variax models and tunings, Feasible?

Thanks,

Gary

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I would like the ability to use a midi foot controller to switch effects while using the helix switches for patch changes. It would be great to be able to assign some additional patches also to the F/C and variax models and tunings, Feasible?

Thanks,

Gary

 

It's possible to turn effects on and off with a MIDI controller, but switching Variax models and tunings would require bringing up a new patch on the Helix. There's no MIDI CC associated with those.

 

If you're using the Helix floorboard, having a separate foot controller seems very redundant to me. It's very easy to go from preset mode to stomp mode. You just hit the "Mode" footswitch. So I don't think having another controller is going to give you anything all the useful in terms of added control.

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1. Yep, Duncann was correct above. The Helix is 8-in, 8-out, so you could set up three virtual effects loops. Latency might become an issue simply because you're depending on your DAW for processing at that point, but it's definitely a possibility.

 

2. It's very transparent, imo. I've used it for effect-only both just in front of an amp and in the 4CM, and my bypassed sound was still fine.

 

3. It has separate preamp blocks as well as standalone amp blocks which are essentially preamp + power amp, but at this point there's not standalone power amp blocks.

 

 

Have I misunderstood something here because this sounds like you can't set up an amp FX loop using onboard blocks? ie Onboard Fx -> Onboard Pre-Amp -> Onboard Fx -> Onboard Power Amp

 

Or can you "switch off" the pre-amp in the preamp+power amp block?

 

 

You can create a very close approximation of an effects loop by placing any post effects after the amp block and before the cab block. It's true that this doesn't fall between the preamp and power amp stages as in a real amp, but it still works out to give your post effects after the amp gain.

It seems there are separate blocks for ap sections, after all!

 

Amp + CAB

Amp

Preamp

CAB

IR (Impulse Response)

 

So you could run a virtual FX Lopp by running PREAMP -> effects -> CAB/IR, no? Paul just did that in this clip:

https://youtu.be/RuZurmlRlUM?t=21m1s

 

Also, could anyone clarify the difference between AMP+CAB and AMP, or between AMP and PREAMP? Thanks

 

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I'm curious about output mapping as it relates to the 4 stereo signal paths. If I assign one signal to go out two different outputs, does that count as taking up two signal paths? Or are outputs separate from the signal path count.

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