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Helix FAQ

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For me the most important would be reamping as a plug in, just like it was possible with the GearBox and PodStudio interfaces.

 

I don't use Line6 as my soundcard and I think it is completely unnecessary, unpractical and audio quality degrading having to send the dry recorded version to the hardware, going through converters, processing, converting again and sending to soundcard, if all the process could be done "plugin style" in the software just like it was done on older and cheaper hardware such as the ones I mentioned. 

 

With the (expensive) Helix Line6 is really aiming high in the market and I think the best thing to compete with such highly regarded Fractal and Kemper units is to pack important features that bring audio quality and make our lives easier such as the one I mentioned. 

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For me the most important would be reamping as a plug in, just like it was possible with the GearBox and PodStudio interfaces.

 

I don't use Line6 as my soundcard and I think it is completely unnecessary, unpractical and audio quality degrading having to send the dry recorded version to the hardware, going through converters, processing, converting again and sending to soundcard, if all the process could be done "plugin style" in the software just like it was done on older and cheaper hardware such as the ones I mentioned. 

 

With the (expensive) Helix Line6 is really aiming high in the market and I think the best thing to compete with such highly regarded Fractal and Kemper units is to pack important features that bring audio quality and make our lives easier such as the one I mentioned. 

 

Well, you will be able to do USB re-amping with the Helix, but there's no Helix plug-in to do software re-amping. But with USB re-amping, you wouldn't be going through any additional steps of A/D or D/A conversion. I should also add that Kemper doesn't offer digital re-amping at all. The Axe-FX does it in the same way the Helix does (although, the Axe-FX only has four channels of USB audio compared to the Helix's eight). So in this respect, the Helix actually offers more than either of those units.

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bump on the "will there be some type of Helix VST available?"  Still on a PodXTPro, and regularly use PodFarm...

This looks like the upgrade me and my Variax could use...

 

If I've missed the point, and simply recording dry and reamping has more value in a composition context than I'm giving credit, please let me know your experiences...

 

Thanks!

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Actually the Axe-FX is only 2x4 on USB. That was the main reason I didn't go with it. I want an all in one solution. 

The Eleven rack has I want to say 4x8 on USB.  This allows you to dial in the ReAmp tone while the mix is playing simultaneously. That is why I chose it.

 

I am really excited about the Helix having 8x8 on USB. This allows it to do ATLEAST what the Eleven rack did when talking about ReAmping.

 

As long as the A/D/A converters in the Helix are of better quality than the POD lineups then no one really has any reason to complain. (on a technical level) And I have a feeling of it being 3x more in price than any previous L6 pedal, and well over 2x more than any of their rack systems. That an upgrade in A/D/A from the Pod series is extremely likely.

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Well, you will be able to do USB re-amping with the Helix, but there's no Helix plug-in to do software re-amping. But with USB re-amping, you wouldn't be going through any additional steps of A/D or D/A conversion. I should also add that Kemper doesn't offer digital re-amping at all. The Axe-FX does it in the same way the Helix does (although, the Axe-FX only has four channels of USB audio compared to the Helix's eight). So in this respect, the Helix actually offers more than either of those units.

Guess I will stick to my GearBox then... 

As I'm a Pro Tools user (old version, still requires usage of Avid audio interface) the USB reamping doesn't work for me, as I can't use the Line6 device as soundcard and I would need either to move out of Pro Tools and learn how to use another software (not to mention loss of purchased plugins, etc) or purchase a new version of pro tools that does not require the usage of an Avid soundcard, the cheapest one being the bundle with Eleven Rack at USD600. 

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Guess I will stick to my GearBox then... 

As I'm a Pro Tools user (old version, still requires usage of Avid audio interface) the USB reamping doesn't work for me, as I can't use the Line6 device as soundcard and I would need either to move out of Pro Tools and learn how to use another software (not to mention loss of purchased plugins, etc) or purchase a new version of pro tools that does not require the usage of an Avid soundcard, the cheapest one being the bundle with Eleven Rack at USD600. 

 

Understood... But I don't get why you were holding up the Axe and Kemper as examples in your first post. Neither of those can do what you want either.

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Same here.

 

Page 7 and page 12, where I rephrased / embellished it.

 

I don't want to be a pain, so I've resolved to just continue to check the thread every day...

 

I don't think there's going to be a simple answer to your latency question. The latency through the unit will change a little bit depending on what effects you're running and the complexity of your chain. To me it's never been enough to notice, but I never noticed anything on the HD500 either. I mean any digital effect you put in your chain is going to have some effect on latency. There's no way it can't. The Helix doesn't feel any different than playing to a regular amp to me, though.

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Understood... But I don't get why you were holding up the Axe and Kemper as examples in your first post. Neither of those can do what you want either.

Explaining: as they are the main audio quality reference for modelers right now, I'm pointing out a flaw they have that could be easily avoided by Line 6 as L6 releases Helix and would be an important advantage and selling point for Line 6.

But unfortunately, as I noticed, won't be an L6 advantage. Missed opportunity! If I was a Line 6 Marketing Executive I would love to have the opportunity to offer this feature to the prospect customer base. Remember that most the pros won't use Line 6 as their audio interface.

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just because there is no VST currently doesnt mean there can't be....

take the idea to ideascale...

it brought us the Helix....

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I don't think there's going to be a simple answer to your latency question. The latency through the unit will change a little bit depending on what effects you're running and the complexity of your chain. To me it's never been enough to notice, but I never noticed anything on the HD500 either. I mean any digital effect you put in your chain is going to have some effect on latency. There's no way it can't. The Helix doesn't feel any different than playing to a regular amp to me, though.

I second this. Never perceived any latency out of my HD500, so I wouldn't expect it with Helix's additional horsepower and coding efficiencies over time. And I know what latency feels and sounds like, as I record.

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Guess I will stick to my GearBox then... 

As I'm a Pro Tools user (old version, still requires usage of Avid audio interface) the USB reamping doesn't work for me, as I can't use the Line6 device as soundcard and I would need either to move out of Pro Tools and learn how to use another software (not to mention loss of purchased plugins, etc) or purchase a new version of pro tools that does not require the usage of an Avid soundcard, the cheapest one being the bundle with Eleven Rack at USD600. 

 

You could try the subscription plan for the upgrade...

 

https://shop.avid.com/ccrz__ProductDetails?viewState=DetailView&cartID=&sku=%23DYNA20000&&store=shop

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I voted, but not for launch.. I want all hands on deck to make sure the Helix ships working as great as possible. 

After the Helix is out, and once all the bugs/issues are ironed out. Then by all means work on this, along with more FX/Amps/Cabs/etc. (for post release content)

 

Have the plugin as a free addition to those who actually own a Helix unit. Or at the very least a significantly discounted price. 

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Thank you Line 6 for listening to your customers.  It's really rare these days.  Try getting TC Electronic to update the midi functions on anything.......

 

That being said, I wouldn't even consider buying another Line 6 product until my question is answered.

 

At some point, preferably sooner rather than later, will either the Helix or the HD500X be able to have discreet on/off functionality for individual effects?

I play live mostly.

The ability to turn a Chorus on with FS1, and then turn the Chorus off with FS2 would make it all worth it for me!

 

This question has been asked by myself and others repeatedly, and not answered.

I don't really care about recording, amp mods, etc. at this point.

If I can do the following, I will buy a Helix.  If not, I will keep looking.

 

FS1 - My amp's clean channel with Chorus & Ducking Delay

FS2 - My amp's clean channel with no FX (all FX turn off when FS2 is pressed)

FS3 - My amp's dirty channel with no FX

FS4 - My amp's dirty channel & lead boost with Delay

 

It's as simple as that for me.  I can use the other row of buttons to turn individual FX on or off as I need them.

I will be using midi out to a Voodoo Lab Control Switcher to control my amp.

 

Thanks!  I do really appreciate everything you've done.  I just need to make sure the Helix will work for me.

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Sounds like you're basically looking for scenes or snapshots. Helix can't currently do this.

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Sounds like you're basically looking for scenes or snapshots. Helix can't currently do this.

Thank you.  I will keep my eyes on the Helix.  When this function is added, I'll definitely be getting one!  It seems to have everything else I need.

 

On the other hand.....if the M13 had more midi capability, it would almost be perfect for me.  I like my HD500X, but it's a little more than I'll ever use.  I do really like the midi functions on it though!

 

Thanks again, and have a great day!

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Sounds like you're basically looking for scenes or snapshots. Helix can't currently do this.

What about polarity? When assigning a footswitch to an effect, it would be easy to include a 'reverse polarity' option. If you could assign more than one switch to an effect, you would 'in effect' (sorry) have scenes.

 

Example: Delay assigned to switch 1 AND 2. Polarity reversed on 2 (to 'off'). Repeat with as many effects as you like. Now some effects turn on and others off with each switch!

 

This would be an elegant way of handling scene-like functionality within a patch, and not have to get into actual 'scene' architecture and all the crazy CODE that implies.

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What about polarity? When assigning a footswitch to an effect, it would be easy to include a 'reverse polarity' option. If you could assign more than one switch to an effect, you would 'in effect' (sorry) have scenes.

 

Example: Delay assigned to switch 1 AND 2. Polarity reversed on 2 (to 'off'). Repeat with as many effects as you like. Now some effects turn on and others off with each switch!

 

This would be an elegant way of handling scene-like functionality within a patch, and not have to get into actual 'scene' architecture and all the crazy CODE that implies.

Yes please!

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Id like to restate my question I asked a while ago because maybe it wasn't clear the way I asked it,

 

Is it possible on the helix to have separate control over the headphone mix (turn mic or guitar, or monitor in up or down) for use with an in ear monitor system at the same time as controlling a different mix to the main output mix? Also can I bring a monitor signal from the mixing board into the helix just for use with the headphones?   I ask because I normally use in ear monitors instead of an amplifier or wedge solution for my own monitoring and just send the mixing board vocals and guitar.  Right now I'm using a Line 6 M13 to a TC Voicelive to have this capabilities. The voice live has a separate headphones section that allows mixing of vocals guitar and monitor signal and even a signal from any auxiliary device without affecting the main mix output.   I would really like to sell the TC voice live and just bring one pedal (the helix) to gigs.  This would simplify my setup time.  

 

Heres another question also.  Will I be able to send the vocals/guitar through the helix to the mixing board with the following options?- Dual Mono- Guitar and Vocals come out as separate mono signals, Mono- Vocal and guitar combined into a mono output, Stereo and Dual Stereo

 

Thanks for all your hard work on such a great product!

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What about polarity? When assigning a footswitch to an effect, it would be easy to include a 'reverse polarity' option. If you could assign more than one switch to an effect, you would 'in effect' (sorry) have scenes.

 

Example: Delay assigned to switch 1 AND 2. Polarity reversed on 2 (to 'off'). Repeat with as many effects as you like. Now some effects turn on and others off with each switch!

 

This would be an elegant way of handling scene-like functionality within a patch, and not have to get into actual 'scene' architecture and all the crazy CODE that implies.

 

With effects that have mix parameters, you could have the sort of functionality you're looking if you're clever in the way you assign controls functions. Since you can assign control functions to footswitches, you could set it up so that when you hit a footswitch to turn an effect on, that same switch could turn the mix control of another to zero.

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With effects that have mix parameters, you could have the sort of functionality you're looking if you're clever in the way you assign controls functions. Since you can assign control functions to footswitches, you could set it up so that when you hit a footswitch to turn an effect on, that same switch could turn the mix control of another to zero.

That's a good idea!

How many footswitches would we be able to assign the Mix to?

I'm guessing only one?

 

If there was a way to eliminate the loss of sound and have delay trails between presets/patches, none of this would matter.

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Is it possible on the helix to have separate control over the headphone mix (turn mic or guitar, or monitor in up or down) for use with an in ear monitor system at the same time as controlling a different mix to the main output mix? Also can I bring a monitor signal from the mixing board into the helix just for use with the headphones? I ask because I normally use in ear monitors instead of an amplifier or wedge solution for my own monitoring and just send the mixing board vocals and guitar. Right now I'm using a Line 6 M13 to a TC Voicelive to have this capabilities. The voice live has a separate headphones section that allows mixing of vocals guitar and monitor signal and even a signal from any auxiliary device without affecting the main mix output. I would really like to sell the TC voice live and just bring one pedal (the helix) to gigs.

 

1. Use both paths—1 for guitar, 2 for vocals.

2. Place a split after the last processing block on both paths.

3. Drop the merge to create duplicate outputs. Set output A on both paths to XLR and output B on both paths to 1/4".

4. From the Global Settings > Ins/Outs menu, set Headphones Monitor to 1/4".

 

In the above scenario, the 1A and 2A output blocks control the relative mix of the guitar and vocals from the XLR outs, and 1B and 2B output blocks control the relative mix of the guitar and vocals from the headphones (and 1/4" outs). So yeah, it seems doable.

 

Will I be able to send the vocals/guitar through the helix to the mixing board with the following options?- Dual Mono- Guitar and Vocals come out as separate mono signals, Mono- Vocal and guitar combined into a mono output, Stereo and Dual Stereo

 

There's no special matrix mixer screen or anything (all routing is accomplished from the home screen), and I'm not 100% sure what you're asking, but... probably?

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Is it possible to use a stereo instrument that has an internal preamp with the Helix? I'm Considering the Helix for Chapman Stick.

I've heard people using the HD500X's guitar and aux inputs for this as they had adjustable impedance inputs, I think...

 

Still wondering about the stereo instrument input - guitar input + aux - possible?

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Still wondering about the stereo instrument input - guitar input + aux - possible?

It's possible, but you'd probably be better off using a pair of returns as an input. That would especially be true if it's a line level instrument, like a keyboard. You can set those inputs to be either instrument or line level.

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1. Use both paths—1 for guitar, 2 for vocals.

2. Place a split after the last processing block on both paths.

3. Drop the merge to create duplicate outputs. Set output A on both paths to XLR and output B on both paths to 1/4".

4. From the Global Settings > Ins/Outs menu, set Headphones Monitor to 1/4".

 

In the above scenario, the 1A and 2A output blocks control the relative mix of the guitar and vocals from the XLR outs, and 1B and 2B output blocks control the relative mix of the guitar and vocals from the headphones (and 1/4" outs). So yeah, it seems doable.

 

 

 

There's no special matrix mixer screen or anything (all routing is accomplished from the home screen), and I'm not 100% sure what you're asking, but... probably?

Thats great about being able to create multiple output destinations for each signal, actually thats really freakin' cool lol.  However what about the monitor signal coming in from the mixing board, can I bring that in and only assign its output to the headphones?  From your answer it seems that the usable signals (guitar, vocal) can be routed wherever, but since the signal from the mixing board would not be a path being used such as vocals and guitar, will I be able to put that signal only into the headphones?  

 

As far as my second question, in similar way, is it possible to route multiple paths to come out the same output for instance, just have vocals and guitar come out one mono output? 

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Thats great about being able to create multiple output destinations for each signal, actually thats really freakin' cool lol. However what about the monitor signal coming in from the mixing board, can I bring that in and only assign its output to the headphones? From your answer it seems that the usable signals (guitar, vocal) can be routed wherever, but since the signal from the mixing board would not be a path being used such as vocals and guitar, will I be able to put that signal only into the headphones?

1. Connect your mixer's outputs to Helix's Return 1/2 jacks (or S/PDIF if it's a digital mixer).

2. For one of your four stereo paths, set its Input to Return 1/2 and its output to 1/4" (as per the last post, where your headphones are set to monitor/mirror the 1/4" outputs).

 

The other three stereo paths can be for guitar, vocals, whatever.

 

If you happen to have a knobby MIDI controller box, you could map the knobs to the various output levels and pans in a few seconds.

 

Just note that other than direct monitoring of USB Input 1/2 and direct dry tracking to USB Output 7/8, all routing in Helix must be accomplished from the Home screen and its four Input and four Output blocks. We're not trying to build StageScape here; it's still designed to be an easy-to-grok guitar processor.

 

is it possible to route multiple paths to come out the same output for instance, just have vocals and guitar come out one mono output?

Absolutely. Just set the paths to the same output.

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I noticed a 9v input to power the Helix control (footboard). Can the control unit be powered with the 10-base (Ethernet) cable, or does it require a dedicated "wall-wart" power supply?

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I noticed a 9v input to power the Helix control (footboard). Can the control unit be powered with the 10-base (Ethernet) cable, or does it require a dedicated "wall-wart" power supply?

It's powered from the rack through the Cat5 cable. The 9v input is for when you're using as a controller while connected to a computer via USB.

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This is all great news!! thanks for the response DI.  This routing will make my setup time so much quicker and lighter.  Bring on the helix!

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It's powered from the rack through the Cat5 cable. The 9v input is for when you're using as a controller while connected to a computer via USB.

 

Helix Control isn't (currently) a controller for anything but Helix Rack. DC In and USB are only there for a bit of futureproofing, so we don't end up forcing a Helix Control MkII down everyone's throat in a year. Plus, if you want to run a reaaaaally long Cat5 cable, the DC In provides a bit of insurance. We don't know the max length just yet.

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Hi guys and musicians, 

I have some important questions about the MIDI capabilities of the new HELIX, these are :

 

- Can the HELIX send and receive MIDI CLOCK ?

- Can send and receive MIDI CC and MIDI Program Change?

 

Let me know,

thanks

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Is there any plan to implement global blocks? The ability to use a global amp/drive/cab/etc, make a change, then have that carry across numerous presets is indespensable for the way I work. Copy-and-paste isn't the same. I may want different reverbs, delays, modulations on different presets, but I want my core sound to be consistent.

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- Can the HELIX send and receive MIDI CLOCK ?

- Can send and receive MIDI CC and MIDI Program Change?

 

- Not currently.

- Yes. PC messages are sent and received by default, but you can disable this. Certain incoming global CCs correspond to specific global functions, but non-global CCs can be used for other stuff (incoming controllers, remote messages, etc.).

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With all respect, I'm not sure anyone can really answer your question.  I know I really have no idea what you are talking about.  There is absolutely no discernible latency when I play, certainly nothing to make me feel disconnected.  I have never heard anyone mention any problems with latency except when recording and monitoring the recorded signal.  However, that latency is created in the computer and the DAW or VST's being used, not the POD...  Anyone else?

 

The question can indeed be answered, radatats.

 

I consider you lucky that you don't notice the delay / "disconnection". How I envy you!

 

For me, I'm afraid, it's a big deal. I did (I think) refer to the Kemper's throughput latency. If you missed it, it's 2ms -> less than 4ms, depending on the rig and effects involved. You can set the unit to maintain a constant latency across all rigs for reamping / layering integrity, but that's a compromise of course, and the resulting figure is around 4ms. I'm going from memory here; it's been a while since I checked these facts.

 

Again, consider yourself lucky, bro', and thank you for chiming in.

 

I don't think there's going to be a simple answer to your latency question. The latency through the unit will change a little bit depending on what effects you're running and the complexity of your chain. To me it's never been enough to notice, but I never noticed anything on the HD500 either. I mean any digital effect you put in your chain is going to have some effect on latency. There's no way it can't. The Helix doesn't feel any different than playing to a regular amp to me, though.

 

The answer from Kemper was simple enough; it was concise and complete. I can see no reason why L6 hasn't provided the figures yet. Yes, obviously a range will have to be quoted in order to account for the simplest chains through to the most complex / processor-intensive ones. I find it hard to believe the company wouldn't be aware of the throughput time; I'm betting benchmark testing would've been instigated at strategic points during the development of the unit/s.

 

You're lucky you didn't notice it with the HD500; that one was the worst in the POD line for me thus far, and I've been with it since POD v1.0. Then again, I could just be getting more sensitive to it in my old age, but I doubt it. I am open to this possibility of course. LOL

 

Phil, you too are a lucky bugger!

 

I second this. Never perceived any latency out of my HD500, so I wouldn't expect it with Helix's additional horsepower and coding efficiencies over time. And I know what latency feels and sounds like, as I record.

 

Wow, so you record with latency? I have to use a desk with parallel feeds 'cause I can't handle it at all.

 

Mate, it wouldn't matter if 1000 users jumped in and said they'd never perceived latency through any digital guitar product before. Good for them, I say. Unfortunately, as you know, repeating a mantra doesn't make it so, so whilst I'm sure it's true for these folks, it ain't for me.

 

Why do I feel like I'm being punished for this sensitivity? I'm an engineer with perfect pitch and acute timing sensitivity; I simply cannot help this, and I'm certain I'm not the only one who experiences this stuff; I just don't consider myself special or unique in any way.

 

Anyway, hopefully L6 can offer me something, even if it's an answer along the lines that the company doesn't know. I'd find that impossible to believe, but any sort of an answer apart from the deafening silence would be very much appreciated by me and I suspect a few others. Yes, they'll be out there; I'm apparently taking a hit for the team.

 

Thank you all for your time; I really do appreciate it and I regret that this issue might have been nothing more than an entertaining or annoying distraction for some.

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From TGP forum:

 

Digital Igloo: "Specs like full throughput latency aren't known until after the last round of optimization."

 

They're still optimizing Helix, so that's why the question about Helix's latency hasn't been answered yet.

 

BTW, this doesn't mean that Line 6 is behind schedule on its release.

 

HTH

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Wow, so you record with latency? I have to use a desk with parallel feeds 'cause I can't handle it at all.

 

Mate, it wouldn't matter if 1000 users jumped in and said they'd never perceived latency through any digital guitar product before. Good for them, I say. Unfortunately, as you know, repeating a mantra doesn't make it so, so whilst I'm sure it's true for these folks, it ain't for me.

 

Why do I feel like I'm being punished for this sensitivity? I'm an engineer with perfect pitch and acute timing sensitivity; I simply cannot help this, and I'm certain I'm not the only one who experiences this stuff; I just don't consider myself special or unique in any way.

 

Anyway, hopefully L6 can offer me something, even if it's an answer along the lines that the company doesn't know. I'd find that impossible to believe, but any sort of an answer apart from the deafening silence would be very much appreciated by me and I suspect a few others. Yes, they'll be out there; I'm apparently taking a hit for the team.

 

Thank you all for your time; I really do appreciate it and I regret that this issue might have been nothing more than an entertaining or annoying distraction for some.

 

Easy mate, I didn't realize you had the golden ear curse. Helpful for everyone to know, as the next answers will feel less like punishment to you with that context provided.

 

I was just trying to pre-answer your question "are you sure you know what latency sounds like?" by saying I do based on monitoring various parts of the signal path when recording.

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- Not currently.

- Yes. PC messages are sent and received by default, but you can disable this. Certain incoming global CCs correspond to specific global functions, but non-global CCs can be used for other stuff (incoming controllers, remote messages, etc.).

It's a great pity !  It means that I will not be able to keep the Helix in sync with my DAW and also I will not be able to have the Helix in sync with my Midi Looper ( EHX 45000) 

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Is there any plan to implement global blocks? The ability to use a global amp/drive/cab/etc, make a change, then have that carry across numerous presets is indespensable for the way I work. Copy-and-paste isn't the same. I may want different reverbs, delays, modulations on different presets, but I want my core sound to be consistent.

 

My intended application is slightly different from yours, I think, but I've already submitted an IdeaScale request along these lines. (Please vote!)

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Optional-Global-signal-path/741927-23508

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For me, I'm afraid, it's a big deal. I did (I think) refer to the Kemper's throughput latency. If you missed it, it's 2ms -> less than 4ms, depending on the rig and effects involved. You can set the unit to maintain a constant latency across all rigs for reamping / layering integrity, but that's a compromise of course, and the resulting figure is around 4ms. I'm going from memory here; it's been a while since I checked these facts.

 

Monkey_Man, I agree 100% that it is a big deal, but I also agree that a simple answer is difficult to provide.

 

First off, yes, the KPA is the best unit I've personally played in terms of minimizing latency.  There are some straightforward reasons for this:  1. Its amp block isn't doing dozens of calculations in parallel in order to model individual components and interactions; it is instead executing a relatively small (and consistent) number of calculations with changes in coefficients etc. to model an entire signal path's I/O characteristics.  2. It's routing is fixed and therefore also relatively consistent/ predictable.  Even so, if Kemper responded to the latency question with something as direct as n ms, I imagine they were oversimplifying, as many users commented on certain amp profiles having different latencies which impacted on phase in recordings (though its improbable any of them had enough latency to feel bad during performance.)

 

If I were to speculate:  Helix will likely have slightly more latency than KPA.  Helix will have less latency than HD500 for all but the most insanely over-engineered patches, on account of the faster processors.  Latency will vary on a patch-by-patch basis.  (The alternative is to lock every patch to a latency that suits worst-case-scenario CPU load - which no one wants!)  Disclaimer:  this is all based on what common sense tells me, and I could be wrong on every single point.  :)

 

I still say the best approach is to wait and TRY IT WITH YOUR OWN HANDS in order to know whether it's fast enough for you personally.

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It's a great pity!

 

Agreed! MIDI clock is at the top of my personal list, but it's not up to me. Vote that sucker up...

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