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Helix FAQ

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Well...now....goddammit.  You guys are getting closer to making me spit out $1500   :angry:

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Good day...Will the Helix be able to MIDI slave sync the modulation effects and also the BPM of the onboard looper? Thanks.

 

That's one thing about the HD500 which leaves me underwhelmed.  While able to synch up the looper, 46 seconds just isn't enough.  I've addressed it with a Boss RC300 very well, but between that, the HD, the external expression pedal, my trusty, ever-present Dunlop Volume Pedal, and the Banshee, that's a lot of stuff underfoot during live performances.  I'll never let go of my volume pedal or my Banshee, but it would be nice if they were able to at least approach matching up the Boss Loopstation.

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Good day...Will the Helix be able to MIDI slave sync the modulation effects and also the BPM of the onboard looper? Thanks.

 

Right now, there is no MIDI clock functionally on the Helix. Given that other Line 6 processors, I would be surprised if that isn't added. Also, the looper is just a standalone phrase looper. It doesn't relate to the BPM at all, and there's no quantizing or anything like that. I don't know if Line 6 will ever go down that road or not.

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Well if I cannot at least sync modulations and delays to my DAW, it is a no go for me. Glad I did not sell off all of my gear and pre order this beast. I  really cannot understand why the HELIX would even have MIDI input if it where not capable of syncing to external devices. I brought my HD500x back to the store for refund mainly for this reason. Geez are any of these manufactureres ever gonna give us the full blown unit we need. The Boss GT-100 had damn good MIDI sync but the lack of proper balanced outputs (NOISY AS HELL!)and crappy Amp modeling made me sell that unit off also.

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Well if I cannot at least sync modulations and delays to my DAW, it is a no go for me. Glad I did not sell off all of my gear and pre order this beast. I  really cannot understand why the HELIX would even have MIDI input if it where not capable of syncing to external devices. I brought my HD500x back to the store for refund mainly for this reason. Geez are any of these manufactureres ever gonna give us the full blown unit we need. The Boss GT-100 had damn good MIDI sync but the lack of proper balanced outputs (NOISY AS HELL!)and crappy Amp modeling made me sell that unit off also.

 

The 500X does have MIDI clock sync capability. At least it can receive it. It can't send it.

 

I would be surprised if it doesn't make it into the Helix at some point.

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What's the difference between a preset and a bank?

 

A bank is a collection of presets - usually 4. The Helix will allow you to see either 4 presets and 4 stomps or 8 presets, when you're in preset switch mode. Meaning you can see up to two full banks at a time.

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I think I already know the answer to this, but is there a way to run the Helix between an amp and a cabinet without an effects loop? I.E., since my amp head doesn't have an effects loop, go from guitar > Helix > amp (e.g., 16 ohm out)> Helix > cabinet

 

My assumption is that the answer is no, but I'd love to have my dreams squashed officially!

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Ok -- this is not really a Helix only question, as I understand it, but what you're proposing is to run your FX pedal (Helix or POD HD, or whatever) signal output into your normal amplifier input (yes you can do that), but running out of your 16 Ohm out of the amp back into your FX (Helix, whatever) then to your speaker WILL NOT work and could possibly fry your FX pedal. The 16 Ohm (or 8 or 4 Ohm) outs are the power output to drive your speakers with many amps to get your 50, 100 or whatever Watts of speaker power. Then assuming your FX pedal survived that without being fried, the 2nd output from your FX pedal to you speakers would be back at low level signal, where speakers need power, and FX do not provide that....

 

Ok -- I'm not with Line 6, it's not official, but I am an engineer, and I know what fries stuff.... Jeeze, be careful -- I'd hate to see your brand new $1500 Helix go up in smoke... Think Marty McFly in the first scene of Back to the Future....

 

Dave

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Dave,

Thanks for the great response (even referencing my favorite movie!).  Had I thought about it for more than 2 minutes with my head rather than my heart, I would've know that the signal out of the amp is the wrong signal.  I just looked at ALL THOSE INPUTS/OUTPUTS and thought "maybe something will work!".  

 

(As an aside, I would love to use my drive channel on my effects-loop-less amp, but the reverb tank stinks and using my reverb pedal before drive is, as you know, trashy.  That's why I was asking this question.)

 

Thank you for the great response and helping me realize my blockheadedness!! :)

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Hi all,

 

Please can someone confirm the tuner accuracy? Also, will balanced cables in 4CM to the amp work (and is it recommended)?

And finally - the day I get it (the 25th, hopefully!) I have to spend the evening in London, so I'd like to test it out. If I plug my guitar in, can I just use the headphone out to listen to the amp simulators etc. (I'm assuming yes!)?

 

Thanks.

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I have no idea on the tuner accuracy. Someone from Line 6 will have to answer that. I believe Digital Igloo is on a well-deserved vacation right now, so that may have to wait. It's not a strobe tuner, so that in itself is going to make it less accurate than something like a Peterson.

 

There's no benefit to using balanced cables for the 4CM. All of the 1/4" ins and outs on the Helix are unbalanced.

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Hi all,

 

Please can someone confirm the tuner accuracy? Also, will balanced cables in 4CM to the amp work (and is it recommended)?

 

And finally - the day I get it (the 25th, hopefully!) I have to spend the evening in London, so I'd like to test it out. If I plug my guitar in, can I just use the headphone out to listen to the amp simulators etc. (I'm assuming yes!)?

 

Thanks.

 

The tuner seemed better than my Boss TU3.

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I guess I need to ask more specific questions..

 

Is there a compressor(s) and how flexible are they?  I want to assume it would be as flexible as most of the line 6 effects but I haven't heard anyone speak of a compressor specifically.

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I guess I need to ask more specific questions..

 

Is there a compressor(s) and how flexible are they?  I want to assume it would be as flexible as most of the line 6 effects but I haven't heard anyone speak of a compressor specifically.

Found this PDF:

http://line6.com/data/6/0a06433914f2c55c24a2704937/application/pdf

 

Looks this there are three flavours - a Line 6 original, a Dynacomp, and an LA2A. I'm hoping they took as much time as they did with modelling the Univibe.

 

I'm also curious to see if there are any controls that aren't on the original units. The LA20, for example, only has 2 pots and one switch.

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Hmmm,

Finally!  Helix user manuals are available......oops......spoke too soon.  Manual links available to click on but no manuals available yet.  Any day now?

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Looks this there are three flavours - a Line 6 original, a Dynacomp, and an LA2A. I'm hoping they took as much time as they did with modelling the Univibe.

Me too! A modeled Dyna Comp that actually feels like a Dyna Comp would be gold. I use compression all the time. Univibe, once in a blue moon. (Granted, I'd use a Univibe much more often if there weren't alternatives I prefer, e.g. rotary sim.)

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Found this PDF:

http://line6.com/data/6/0a06433914f2c55c24a2704937/application/pdf

 

Looks this there are three flavours - a Line 6 original, a Dynacomp, and an LA2A. I'm hoping they took as much time as they did with modelling the Univibe.

 

I'm also curious to see if there are any controls that aren't on the original units. The LA20, for example, only has 2 pots and one switch.

 

Thanks Lance.   I haven't used an LA2A nor do I have any familiarity with Line6.   The Dynacomp is a great unit, but....  there's that annoying Ducking issue instead of a more smooth "limiting" when it hits the wall that Rockman, and other higher end compressors have.   I'll guess I'll just wait for one to get to a store to check out.  

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I'm carefully reading this thread since a few weeks, and have preordered an Helix in my local store here in Belgium, but still some things are unclear with the input/outputs, even with the cheat sheet.

 

Would it be possible to have the following:

 

- a guitar connected to the "Guitar In", then a few effects, then split the path to have a few other effects sent only in the left 1/4" (connected to a mono tube amp), and a few other ones sent only in the right 1/4" output (connected to another mono tube amp, I use two tube amps on stage, an Orange and a Koch).

 

- all this while having a few effects applied to a mic connected to the mic input and sent to the left XLR output

 

- ... and I also have a Turbo Tuner (https://www.turbo-tuner.com/pages/slides05.htm) that I like to have always On, but it can't be On and let the signal go through, so I'd also like to have an output that send the guitar signal (dry ideally) to the tuner (I have preordered the floor version, not the rack).

 

- one last thing, if I can use an FX loop somewhere in the guitar signal, that would be nice in order to use a M5 while some of the effects in it have not make their way in the Helix (lo-res delay...)

 

... so, possible, and if yes, how would you do it?

 

If @Digital_Igloo can answer that, thank you very much! :)

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If @Digital_Igloo can answer that, thank you very much! :)

DI is on vacation, but he may still answer your questions. If not I'm sure someone else will.

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Would it be possible to have the following:

 

A) - a guitar connected to the "Guitar In", then a few effects, then split the path to have a few other effects sent only in the left 1/4" (connected to a mono tube amp), and a few other ones sent only in the right 1/4" output (connected to another mono tube amp, I use two tube amps on stage, an Orange and a Koch).

 

B ) - all this while having a few effects applied to a mic connected to the mic input and sent to the left XLR output

 

C) - ... and I also have a Turbo Tuner (https://www.turbo-tuner.com/pages/slides05.htm) that I like to have always On, but it can't be On and let the signal go through, so I'd also like to have an output that send the guitar signal (dry ideally) to the tuner (I have preordered the floor version, not the rack).

 

D) - one last thing, if I can use an FX loop somewhere in the guitar signal, that would be nice in order to use a M5 while some of the effects in it have not make their way in the Helix (lo-res delay...)

 

... so, possible, and if yes, how would you do it?

 

A) Yes. Make Path 1 parallel and move the Merge block down to create a duplicate out. Pan Path 1A's Output block (set to 1/4") all the way left and Path 1B's Output block (also set to 1/4") all the way right.

 

B ) Yes. This is your Path B. Set its Output block to XLR.

 

C) Yes. Helix's tuner has a routable output, but this bypasses all processing anyway. So you could accomplish this by placing a Send 1 block somewhere early on Path A, and connect Send 1 to your external tuner.

 

D) Yes, in mono or stereo. You can even control it via MIDI.

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A) Yes. Make Path 1 parallel and move the Merge block down to create a duplicate out. Pan Path 1A's Output block (set to 1/4") all the way left and Path 1B's Output block (also set to 1/4") all the way right.

 

B ) Yes. This is your Path B. Set its Output block to XLR.

 

C) Yes. Helix's tuner has a routable output, but this bypasses all processing anyway. So you could accomplish this by placing a Send 1 block somewhere early on Path A, and connect Send 1 to your external tuner.

 

D) Yes, in mono or stereo. You can even control it via MIDI.

 

Thank you for your reply, much appreciated!

 

C) You mean I can have a Send 1 block with no need for a return block? (as I can't get a return from the tuner, it doesn't let the signal go through)

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Thank you for your reply, much appreciated!

 

C) You mean I can have a Send 1 block with no need for a return block? (as I can't get a return from the tuner, it doesn't let the signal go through)

 

I think the idea is that you would just turn the send block on when you wanted to use the tuner and then you'd turn off when you're done tuning. If you truly want the tuner to be receiving signal all the time, I suppose you could set up a parallel path and put the send block in there and just leave it on all the time.

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Yep, I do want it on all the time.

 

A parallel path just for the tuner? With the two amps with each one its effects and the mic (see my previous post) would I have one left?

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Yep, I do want it on all the time.

 

A parallel path just for the tuner? With the two amps with each one its effects and the mic (see my previous post) would I have one left?

Yes, you have up to four paths to use, so even with your amps and a mic you'd have one left. It would have a pretty small DSP footprint, so it should work.

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You don't have to waste a path on a tuner—just a Send block. Keep the Dry Thru parameter set to 0.0dB (the default), and Helix will always send signal to your Tuner. Nothing to engage at all.

 

Actually, if you have two band members sharing Helix, you can add two of the same Sends so you can share the tuner.

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You don't have to waste a path on a tuner—just a Send block. Keep the Dry Thru parameter set to 0.0dB (the default), and Helix will always send signal to your Tuner. Nothing to engage at all.

 

Actually, if you have two band members sharing Helix, you can add two of the same Sends so you can share the tuner.

 

Perfect! Thank you :)

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If I acquire a Helix, I think that I will end to buy some FRFR speakers.
But, at the beginning, due to budget limitations, I won't be able to buy those.

 

Is it be possible to plug the Helix to my PC through the USB interface and play my guitar by hearing the sound on my PC speakers (through my PC sound card)?

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Still a 9/28 street date?

 

No official street date has ever been announced.

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No official street date has ever been announced.

 

That is correct. My information is second hand from MF's page:

 

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/line-6-helix-multi-effects-guitar-pedal?rNtt=helix&index=1

 

As they, along with their Brick and Mortar and Sweetwater, are likely going to be the largest retailers for this, I sure do hope that date is true.

 

I want one of these.  I've finally been able to tame the less-than stellar cab models on my HD500, but am frustrated at the DSP limitations.  I'm hoping to be able to read some honest reviews (along with the ubiquitous snarky ones) so that I can either qualify or discount plunking down fifteen hundred bucks on a new tool.

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I notice in the Effects List PDF, that drives, compressors, EQs and Wahs are all listed as being both mono AND stereo.

 

If this means that when you feed a stereo signal into one of these blocks that it stays stereo,

does that then also mean that each of the two stereo signals would be driving the block to distort independently? 

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A general observation on the nature of posts in this topic - ok it's directed at the people who are most likely to be standing next to the microwave waiting a whole 30 seconds for their meal to reheat and tapping their feet with impatience....

 

Take a few deep breaths and relax - I'm not going to pre-order this damned Helix beastie, just because I don't need it. I never will need it. I may in time want it, and I'm sure I'll be happy with it, (even taking into consideration limitations - what I WANT it to do, compared to what it CAN do). If you need it to be on in 5 seconds, don't turn it off. If you need to anticipate the 2ms gap in between patches then just get on with it - that's what I do, and I don't lollipop about it. These products from Line 6 aren't magic wand driven. It's all zeros and ones, and current high speed processor driven with limitations. Could your trusty old Les Paul/Stratocaster into a couple of effect pedals, and a Marshall amp do all that the current setup you have can do? Everywhere you look there are limitations. (Insert Frozen song here: Let it Go, Let it Go, ....ad infinitum).

 

If and when I buy one, to replace one of my HD500s, it will be because I  know it will deliver all the flexibility I will need to create a diverse range of (Variax) guitar/tuning/amp/effect combinations in order to play whatever the hell I want to play, WITHOUT having to take all the gear I ever bought (AND sold, so that's impossible anyway) - you know what I'm saying....

 

Line 6 don't care if you (yes I'm pointing at you foot tappers), don't pre-order their latest, (allegedly) greatest, hyped to within an inch of it's yet to be born life product. They KNOW their product will have limitations, just as of right now, they're still figuring out just how much.

 

Currently my only wish is that Line 6 hadn't started all this pre-release game of sneaking out some information to entice the snarling, slathering beasts.

I DON'T wait at the microwave, I do something else "multitask"  And though your idea of using a trusty crusty MArshall amp and a strat and or paul, tele?  There are those few people where this tried and true classic combonation simply does not and will not work in an up to date inviroment where, high $$$ pay means,NO FREEBIRD, NO SMOKE,NO AMPS, NO WEDGES, NO LIVE DRUMS, BASS RIGS,KEY RIGS, LIVE ANYTHING EXCEPT VOCALS is the mandantory standard AND your only form of montoring is strickly in ear.  Now this gig is not for everybody, or anybody that has to have to get "thier sound" I need the right amp and guitar sound and tone for the song everytime. Helix and Variax is the new dream rig for these types of gigs which are becoming the new standard,THIS is a working inviroment where the HELIX would be a perfect tool,provided it does not have that dredded AUDIABLE switching delay. And yeah, I'm upset the shady hiding of the Helix...

At the end of the day though IF line 6 fixes the one thing that has plauged them form day one! I will buy two of these units, one to use and one as a back up, and sell my Kemper rig and my HD500's... So a question and a little toe tapping IYO about wil it do or not do this to Line 6, are avalid questions to some OTHER working musicians. 

WE, wait with baited breath to hear...DING! Gotta go...burrito's are done :D

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I DON'T wait at the microwave, I do something else "multitask"  And though your idea of using a trusty crusty MArshall amp and a strat and or paul, tele?  There are those few people where this tried and true classic combonation simply does not and will not work in an up to date inviroment where, high $$$ pay means,NO FREEBIRD, NO SMOKE,NO AMPS, NO WEDGES, NO LIVE DRUMS, BASS RIGS,KEY RIGS, LIVE ANYTHING EXCEPT VOCALS is the mandantory standard AND your only form of montoring is strickly in ear.  Now this gig is not for everybody, or anybody that has to have to get "thier sound" I need the right amp and guitar sound and tone for the song everytime. Helix and Variax is the new dream rig for these types of gigs which are becoming the new standard,THIS is a working inviroment where the HELIX would be a perfect tool,provided it does not have that dredded AUDIABLE switching delay. And yeah, I'm upset the shady hiding of the Helix...

At the end of the day though IF line 6 fixes the one thing that has plauged them form day one! I will buy two of these units, one to use and one as a back up, and sell my Kemper rig and my HD500's... So a question and a little toe tapping IYO about wil it do or not do this to Line 6, are avalid questions to some OTHER working musicians. 

WE, wait with baited breath to hear...DING! Gotta go...burrito's are done :D

Everywhere we look there is compromise....

My "waiting impatiently by the microwave" analogy is my humorous way of referring to those who feel the need to rant here about "I'm not going to buy this new piece of tech, unless you guys promise me it can switch patches quick enough that it's not noticable in any way shape or form". The fact will be known in good time just how long the lag will be between patches. There will be one. There will also be far more ways around it if it is deemed "unacceptable" to user X.

You echo my point - as good as the sound/feel may be at concert stage volume with the (insert guitar preference here) into (insert amp preference here), there are limitations - no alternate tuning changes within the same song - unless if you're Joe Walsh, and your tech brings the requisite guitar to you while the band vamps. The ability to do stuff nowadays that we couldn't do 20 years ago, is nevertheless compromised by other "annoyances" the new technology brings with it. Limited DSP (aka let's see what we can get the allocated DSP to do with all our algorithms when we push it to it's limits), resulting in the (insert unknown milliseconds here) gap in sound when we change to the new patch to get the other preset we need, in order to be able to recreate the song we're covering as authentically as possible. Sometimes we need to go with the flow, and just like - get on with it!

For others, there will be more fundamental reasons whether to go with the new tech or not, eg it doesn't support the original Variax, making all this a moot point.

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Will this possible:

Variax to variax input.

Wireless to guitar input.

Pedal in loop 1

Aux monitor send from FOH to wedge parallel out to R4

Main out L+R : all guitars (variax and/or variax mags or wireless) out to FOH

Unbalanced out L+R: all guitars (variax and/or variax mags or wireless) out to FRFR monitors

S3+S4 (L+R): all guitars + AUX monitor from FOH to IEM.

 

Anybody have an idea if this will be possible and how it will be setup in the Helix and how much "path-space" I will "waste"?

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Can one of forum experts/insiders speak on the Helix capabilities as a USB audio interface?

 

All I have right now is a high-spec (i7, 8GB, 256GB SSD) Microsoft Surface Pro 3 PC. I started thinking about putting together a home studio setup, using this PC to host Reaper and EZ Drummer 2, and have the Helix to deal with all my analog audio I/O needs.

 

Ideally, the Helix will drive my (to be purchased) active monitors for all monitoring activities, using the XLR balanced outputs. For guitar/mic sounds processed within Helix, obviously it will be awesome. But I wonder if we'll be provided with high-quality, low-latency audio drivers for everything else.

 

Does this sound realistic? Thoughts anyone?

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