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Helix FAQ

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Does Sweetwater's 24-month financing ever end?  I've seen it jump up to 36 a few times a year and then it drops back to 24.

Line 6 normally doesn't allow them to finance Line 6 gear.  The 24 month thing ends for Line 6 stuff June 30, which I assume is before any models outside of the Plexi are demo'd.

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I've commented before but it wasn't picked up, which i'm not surprised by with how many people are on this post asking things.

 

One feature that would be mega helpful would be a separate power amp block, even if it was just an FX block that was like a single clean tube amp model or something.

This would be useful for silent recording real amps with the 4 cable method to capture the real amp pre-amp and then run it through a 'power amp' block and a 'cab' block.

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Separate Pre, Power and Cab blocks (as we now call them) were asked for against the HD500 to enable simulation of effects in an FX Loop for example.

 

One workaround for this as Helix is currently described is to use a 3rd party IR that is a power amp + cab.  

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Separate Pre, Power and Cab blocks (as we now call them) were asked for against the HD500 to enable simulation of effects in an FX Loop for example.

 

One workaround for this as Helix is currently described is to use a 3rd party IR that is a power amp + cab.  

 

The IR idea is a good one, but actual models would also be very useful. Having something where you can pick and mix the pre amp and power amp like the BIAS program would be great.

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Hi, I have two questions.

 

- what are the dimensions of the helix?

 

- what is the looper time of the helix? (24 secs? 48 secs?)

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I believe it used to be in DI's FAQ, but is no longer there. I can't imagine the dimensions changing at this point. There must be a reason it is no longer there so what I got from TGP may be meaningless.

 

From TGP quoting DI: (Dimensions of the floor unit: 22.05 x 11.85 x 3.6 inches; 14.6 lbs.) 

 

Zap said "BUT it's not done yet... and you can disable it, it's stereo (60sec) or mono (120sec) and you can place it anywhere you want in your signal path."

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One of the most frustrating thing about the hd series was phase issues when dual tones were summed to mono, can you let us know if this is a potential issue on the helix or has it been designed to compensate for latency incurred on different signal paths so they remain in phase when summed?

 

Cheers.

Mr igloo?

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can helix supply an extrernal unit with power via a 7 pin midi cable...?

thanks for info!

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The MIDI sockets are 5 pin - you can see that on the main video, so no power over MIDI

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I'm not a Line 6 owner, so apologies if I'm reading the amp list decoding wrong...but it looks like there is no Mesa Mark IV, IIC+ or Mark V iterations.  If so, any reason why not?  Since I'll be in the market for an AX8, the Helix also caught my attention, but I do like my Mesa amp sims (just not Recto really).  

 

Or is that one of those things that will need to be purchased if/when they release a boutique or Metal/Hi-gain amp pack??

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Line 6 normally doesn't allow them to finance Line 6 gear.  The 24 month thing ends for Line 6 stuff June 30, which I assume is before any models outside of the Plexi are demo'd.

 

That's worth keeping in mind.  Thanks.  I guess they make exceptions sometimes though because I bought my Dream Rig (JTV69, HD500X, DT25 Head & Cab) from them last year and got the 24 month financing on it.

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I confirmed with Sweetwater yesterday that the deal ends June 30.  I told them to go ahead and charge my account so I won't pay any interest.  They agreed to match any lower prices anywhere else before it ships.  If I don't like it I can send it back... not the end of the world for me to make a few small payments now... Gives me more reason to sell off the other gear!  ;)

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I've seen it asked but not answered yet. Maybe I missed it. 

 

What are the dimensions of the Helix? Looper time also as asked by another above. Neither is listed on the FAQ. http://line6.com/sup...aq/#entry102788

 

 

Dave

See post #374 in this thread, above

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I've seen it asked but not answered yet. Maybe I missed it. 

 

What are the dimensions of the Helix? Looper time also as asked by another above. Neither is listed on the FAQ. http://line6.com/sup...aq/#entry102788

 

 

Dave

 

Here's the dimensions I found listed by DI, or silverhead, or phil_m, or TheRealZap, sorry can't remember who, for all the Helix products:

 

Helix  22.05 x 11.85 x 3.6 inches; 14.6 lbs.

Helix Rack  19 x 5.25 x 9.5 inches; 9.3 lbs.

Helix Control  17.2 x 2.5 x 9.4 inches; 7.2 lbs.

 

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I'm not a Line 6 owner, so apologies if I'm reading the amp list decoding wrong...but it looks like there is no Mesa Mark IV, IIC+ or Mark V iterations.  If so, any reason why not?  Since I'll be in the market for an AX8, the Helix also caught my attention, but I do like my Mesa amp sims (just not Recto really).  

 

Or is that one of those things that will need to be purchased if/when they release a boutique or Metal/Hi-gain amp pack??

I'd love a nice Mesa combo too. And a primo Dumble! You might dig the Divided by 13. It's really smooth and creamy.

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I apologize if this has already been asked but, how are we going to be looking for updates?

 

The Axe FX has regular updates where extra amp models and FX are added FOC, I am hoping this will be the case with the Helix.

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I also want to know more about the updates! I'm digging what I'm seeing so far but as an ex Axe FxII owner, the updates are what make it worth the price. And at this price point I think regular updates for at least 2 years is necessary.

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I'm confident there will be updates, but I can almost guarantee Line 6 isn't going to announce their future plans regarding them. That's just not how they operate.

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A generalized update scheme would be nice to know, and it would push me personally towards a purchase.

 

There's the idea that you should buy a product like this for what it does, not what it might do in the future. Nothing really wrong with this, except you know the device will be updated at some point. I'm sure most have heard the "not at launch" phrase, which implies future updates. So nothing specific really needs to be stated, just something general rather than not committing to anything at all, or teasing people. Line 6 should really display better communication in this area.

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I believe it would push many people towards a purchase if there were more upadates/add ons planned. The amp models provided by the helix/HD500 are great but it would be nice to have more choice like the axe fx does, especially when the axe fx is what the helix is designed to compete against. In the pod HD Pro facebook group many people complained that the new add ons weren't free but as the units only cost a fraction of the price of axe fx's it's easy to see why they would be charged for. However with the helix being a much more expensive and advanced unit, again marketed to compete with axe fx it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect the same updates/add ons regularly and FOC.

 

The kemper are really the only future proof unit at the moment as when you want a new amp model you can just get a new profile.

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Line 6 should really display better communication in this area.

 

I've explained our position and reasoning behind not being able to talk about updates many times. If it were specific to Helix, I'd add it to the FAQ.

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I've explained our position and reasoning behind not being able to talk about updates many times. If it were specific to Helix, I'd add it to the FAQ.

 

Didn't mean to take a dig at you DI. Sorry about that. I get that you're the guy out there representing Line 6, probably a lot on your own time too, and that your bound by rules if you want to keep your job. The concern was more about Line 6 maybe reconsidering their policy a little, to be a little more open and flexible with their customers. After all, you guys make such a flexible device. But it's damned if you do and damned if you don't.

 

By the way you do an awesome job of answering questions, the ones you can.

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Excellent job answering questions, for sure! And I do agree about the updates comments. Would be awesome to get them frequently as needed, rather than just cause, with new amps and Fx added to the mix.

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If I remember correctly, I didn't see the vocoder on that v.1 effect list, am I right?
Well, I know I may be one in a thousand but... I use it! In two songs, actually, and might use it more (one of the bands I work with is an electronic rock band)
Oh yes, there are more pressing matters to attend, and I'm keeping my HD500 anyway, but it will be nice when it gets implemented (if it does)

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That page no longer exists... LoL... but they DO have 8 easy payments versus forking the whole thing out at once!!!

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Is this right? Americanmusical lists them as being available July 14th!? I'm not sure if this will change but I'm looking right now and it says July 14th.(I took a snap shot and attached it just in case it changes)

 http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-LIN-HELIXFBhttp://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-LIN-HELIXFB

 

 

That page no longer exists... LoL... but they DO have 8 easy payments versus forking the whole thing out at once!!!

 

It is still there. The link in the Dean's post is doubled. Still says 7/14.

 

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-LIN-HELIXFB

 

 

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Can you speak more on the MIDI capability?  As I recall in the HD series, you could only control footswitch toggles and expression pedal assignments over MIDI.  

 

1.)  What parameters are MIDI mappable?

2.)  Is there a dedicated MIDI implementation strategy per block/i.e. CC 50 controls amp selection, CC51 controls amp gain, or do we choose and make those assignments ourselves?

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Can you speak more on the MIDI capability?  As I recall in the HD series, you could only control footswitch toggles and expression pedal assignments over MIDI.  

 

1.)  What parameters are MIDI mappable?

2.)  Is there a dedicated MIDI implementation strategy per block/i.e. CC 50 controls amp selection, CC51 controls amp gain, or do we choose and make those assignments ourselves?

 

As far as controlling Helix via MIDI, the implementation is similar. You can change presets, turn effects on and off, and control the expression pedals. You can also control the looper (if its in your preset) and the tuner on/off, and you can change setlists. You can't change the mapping, though. As far as controlling individual parameters of amps and effects, that's not possible except through the expression pedal and switch controls (I imagine if you were using a switch as a controller, the control functionality would respond to the MIDI CC associated with that switch). I think for one thing, that having individual parameter control via MIDI CC would get very messy. If you look at the effects, some of them have up to 24 parameters. Also, you can have up to four amp models in a preset. So Line 6 would probably run out of available CC messages very quickly.

 

As a controller, though, the Helix surpasses the ability of the HD500 and 500X by a lot. In addition to being able to assign different MIDI commands to the footswitches, you also have the ability to control the TRS relay jack and the CV jack. Additionally you can assign up to 6 quick commands to each preset that are sent as soon as you load the preset. So you could have it so that when you load a preset, you could automatically change channels on your amp, turn your amp reverb off, and change presets on a MIDI-controlled pedal.

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Can you speak more on the MIDI capability?  As I recall in the HD series, you could only control footswitch toggles and expression pedal assignments over MIDI.  

 

1.)  What parameters are MIDI mappable?

2.)  Is there a dedicated MIDI implementation strategy per block/i.e. CC 50 controls amp selection, CC51 controls amp gain, or do we choose and make those assignments ourselves?

 

1) All parameters available from the Home page except for Variax specific parameters. This includes Input, Output, Split, Merge, and Looper parameters.

2) There are dedicated global CCs that will predictably emulate whatever, say, footswitch 11 does, or Looper Forward/Reverse, but any non-global CC can be learned (or manually assigned) in the exact same way as expression pedals, footswitches, or Variax knobs. That is, assigning the rotary speaker speed to your MIDI keyboard's mod wheel takes three seconds. If you attempt to learn a dedicated global CC, Helix will ask you to pick another.

 

As with expression pedals, the same (non-global) CC can control multiple parameters with specific min-max ranges (even in reverse).

 

And as always, the explanation is always way more complicated than how it works in practice. In many ways you don't need to know anything about MIDI other than IN goes to OUT and vice versa.

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As far as controlling Helix via MIDI, the implementation is similar. You can change presets, turn effects on and off, and control the expression pedals. You can also control the looper (if its in your preset) and the tuner on/off, and you can change setlists. You can't change the mapping, though. As far as controlling individual parameters of amps and effects, that's not possible except through the expression pedal and switch controls (I imagine if you were using a switch as a controller, the control functionality would respond to the MIDI CC associated with that switch). I think for one thing, that having individual parameter control via MIDI CC would get very messy. If you look at the effects, some of them have up to 24 parameters. Also, you can have up to four amp models in a preset. So Line 6 would probably run out of available CC messages very quickly.

 

As a controller, though, the Helix surpasses the ability of the HD500 and 500X by a lot. In addition to being able to assign different MIDI commands to the footswitches, you also have the ability to control the TRS relay jack and the CV jack. Additionally you can assign up to 6 quick commands to each preset that are sent as soon as you load the preset. So you could have it so that when you load a preset, you could automatically change channels on your amp, turn your amp reverb off, and change presets on a MIDI-controlled pedal.

The MIDI controller capability of the Helix sounds great...I think that's just what users would expect out of a $1500 pro-style effects unit.

 

Unfortunately, I still feel that Line 6 is missing some great opportunity with MIDI implementation.  I understand and accept the notion that MIDI CC control of individual parameters would be messy, if it were locked down.  What I envision out of the Helix is a functionality more similar to the way one might use an amp sim plugin.  For example, if I insert an amp sim on a track inside of Ableton or Logic, I can take any old generic MIDI controller and create my own mappings to control every parameter under the sun.  If I want to macro a control to effect 10 different parameter changes at once, I can do so with ease.  It seems that one should be able to do this with a hardware unit, and store the CC control on a per preset basis.  CC 30 doesn't necessarily have to have the same effect in preset A as it does in preset B.

 

The confusing part about the absence of this feature is that you can essentially do similar things with the Variax controls and/or the expressions pedals.  For years, PODHD users have been able to assign multiple, smoothly ramping effect changes to a single expression pedal.  Wouldn't it be awesome to exert this type of control over the Helix from your DAW?  Perhaps a MIDI learn feature where you can select the parameter on the Helix display, double press the joystick to enter "learn" mode, and move a knob or fader on your MIDI controller to assign direct one-to-one control.  Now that would be the ultimate, for me at least.  Imagine the possibilities for automation during re-amping.  

 

I understand that you can MIDI map the expression pedals and still achieve something similar, but what I look for when searching for a place to drop my money is ultimate flexibility.  Let the users decide how to customize the performance to their particular workflow.  

 

I am still hopeful that this feature will find its way into Line 6 products. 

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1) All parameters available from the Home page except for Variax specific parameters. This includes Input, Output, Split, Merge, and Looper parameters.

2) There are dedicated global CCs that will predictably emulate whatever, say, footswitch 11 does, or Looper Forward/Reverse, but any non-global CC can be learned (or manually assigned) in the exact same way as expression pedals, footswitches, or Variax knobs. That is, assigning the rotary speaker speed to your MIDI keyboard's mod wheel takes three seconds. If you attempt to learn a dedicated global CC, Helix will ask you to pick another.

 

As with expression pedals, the same (non-global) CC can control multiple parameters with specific min-max ranges (even in reverse).

Hold the phone...did I misunderstand, or did I get mixed signals from phil_m and Digital_Igloo?  This post seems to indicate that the Helix is in fact capable of custom MIDI control!    :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D

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Hold the phone...did I misunderstand, or did I get mixed signals from phil_m and Digital_Igloo?  This post seems to indicate that the Helix is in fact capable of custom MIDI control!    :D  :D  :D  :D  :D  :D

 

Yes, I might have to eat some crow it appears... But, I think what DI is saying, and what I forgot to mention, is that from the "learn controller" function in the Controllers section, you can assign MIDI CCs to individual parameters in effects and input and output blocks. That was something I forgot about (stupid brain... don't make me poke you with a Q-Tip!) But what you won't find is a detailed, fixed MIDI mapping of every parameter of every effect. So ultimately will probably let you do what you want to do, but if you wanted to control every parameter of every effect for some reason, you probably would run out of CCs.

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Yes, I might have to eat some crow it appears... But, I think what DI is saying, and what I forgot to mention, is that from the "learn controller" function in the Controllers section, you can assign MIDI CCs to individual parameters in effects and input and output blocks. That was something I forgot about (stupid brain... don't make me poke you with a Q-Tip!) But what you won't find is a detailed, fixed MIDI mapping of every parameter of every effect. So ultimately will probably let you do what you want to do, but if you wanted to control every parameter of every effect for some reason, you probably would run out of CCs.

Thanks Phil...in this case, fixed MIDI mapping is exactly what I don't want!  It sounds like the MIDI capability will be on par with a computer based solution, which makes me very happy.

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Yes, I might have to eat some crow it appears... But, I think what DI is saying, and what I forgot to mention, is that from the "learn controller" function in the Controllers section, you can assign MIDI CCs to individual parameters in effects and input and output blocks. That was something I forgot about (stupid brain... don't make me poke you with a Q-Tip!) But what you won't find is a detailed, fixed MIDI mapping of every parameter of every effect. So ultimately will probably let you do what you want to do, but if you wanted to control every parameter of every effect for some reason, you probably would run out of CCs.

The midi spec limits CC's to 128 anyway, so a full and total map would be nigh on impossible. Because of the dynamic nature of how the Helix is undoubtedly going to work (IE: you can put any effect into any slot) you would very quickly run out of CC's. So a fixed map isn't possible.

 

The way other manufacturers get around this is to use NRPN's, but to be honest, they're a massive pain in the lollipop.

 

It's much better to build dynamic mapping functionality, and allow users to map only the things they want. Realistically, for most people... 128 CC's should be more than enough.

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The midi spec limits CC's to 128 anyway, so a full and total map would be nigh on impossible. Because of the dynamic nature of how the Helix is undoubtedly going to work (IE: you can put any effect into any slot) you would very quickly run out of CC's. So a fixed map isn't possible.

 

The way other manufacturers get around this is to use NRPN's, but to be honest, they're a massive pain in the lollipop.

 

It's much better to build dynamic mapping functionality, and allow users to map only the things they want. Realistically, for most people... 128 CC's should be more than enough.

I agree, and I'm thrilled to have confirmation of dynamic parameter mapping to MIDI protocol.  I'm already dreaming of ways to use this with MidiDesigner Pro for iOS.

 

For those of you that haven't used it, check it out.  I owned it for a year before I dug in deep and learned how truly flexible and awesome it is as a MIDI controller.

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