Jump to content
Digital_Igloo

Helix FAQ

Recommended Posts

You may have missed my questions from a couple days ago:

 

I'm pretty stoked. Really looking forward to hearing this baby! I've been extremely satisfied with my HD500, gigging several days a week for a few years with it, but better modeling is always welcome! Below are some features I'm interested in:

 

1) Have you included a mix or bypass control for fx such as distortion so we don't have to resort to PITA routing schemes to bypass them? I use the control pedal to dial from clean to distorted, and have to set up two paths in HD500 to accomplish this (one path holds the distortion pedal, the other doesn't).

 

2) Will L6 offer a new external control pedal? The current one is pretty weak.

 

3) Can you say if it will have a better auto wah? The Mutron was never very guitar friendly, and was IMHO the wrong piece to model.

 

4) Any new compressors, especially rack models? Can we get some DBX 160X overeasy or other soft knee in the house?

 

5) Obviously, hearing is the final answer, but could you go into a bit more detail about the new modeling itself and the improved capabilities of the unit to recreate natural amp feel and sound?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet Digital_igloo is hoping that when the next "big thing" is released, they have the manuals ready first!   :)

 

The manual went out for translation last week, but since then I've already found a couple of errors. In the meantime, I trying to answer questions as best I can. The manual will likely go live before the first Helix ships. I'm hoping to get the Cheat Sheet uploaded in the next week or two.

 

The manual's very different from what we've done in the past—lots of step-by-step instructions and tons of color illustrations. As Helix's minutia is notably deeper that what we've done in the past, I'm expecting to write followup blogs, which should be available from line6.com/support.

 

a) Will The Helix be able to do switchless wah for its expression pedal? Will it be able to support spring loaded expression wahs right out of the box? Or at least program an expression pedal to have the wah come in as soon as I move the treadle and come off as soon as i return it to zero position or take my foot off the pedal. You know? Morley Bad Horsie style like the switchless wah mode on Fractals and Atomics.

 

b)4 Cable Mode on the HD500X is a pain! We had to play with levels in the I/Os and mixer to get into unity level with a tube amp. And that Unity level is HARD to zero in with the POD. What are the improvements in the Helix that will address integration in 4cm with tube amps? Will you still have to contend with volume and tone loss in the effects loop depending on what amp you are connecting to?

a ) Not at launch.

 

b ) 4CM, 7CM, and 10CM in Helix is at Unity level. Volume loss from an FX loop should be able to be compensated with send and return level parameters; I presume tone loss is dependent on the equipment you connect, but the sends and returns can run at either line or instrument level; some amount of manual gain staging will always be necessary.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may have missed my questions from a couple days ago:

 

I'm pretty stoked. Really looking forward to hearing this baby! I've been extremely satisfied with my HD500, gigging several days a week for a few years with it, but better modeling is always welcome! Below are some features I'm interested in:

 

1) Have you included a mix or bypass control for fx such as distortion so we don't have to resort to PITA routing schemes to bypass them? I use the control pedal to dial from clean to distorted, and have to set up two paths in HD500 to accomplish this (one path holds the distortion pedal, the other doesn't).

 

2) Will L6 offer a new external control pedal? The current one is pretty weak.

 

3) Can you say if it will have a better auto wah? The Mutron was never very guitar friendly, and was IMHO the wrong piece to model.

 

4) Any new compressors, especially rack models? Can we get some DBX 160X overeasy or other soft knee in the house?

 

5) Obviously, hearing is the final answer, but could you go into a bit more detail about the new modeling itself and the improved capabilities of the unit to recreate natural amp feel and sound?

 

1) Not distortion, but many of the other pedals have mix parameters. Parallel paths are very easy to set up. Like seconds.

2) Hopefully the good guys at Mission will make a ton of money from Helix; right now, there are no imminent plans to make a new Line 6 expression pedal, but if enough people want one...

3) No auto wah at launch.

4) We'll be releasing multiple videos over the next couple of months that should get deeper into the minutia. I can answer simple questions, and plan on writing a few blogs, but right now, it's pretty nuts. Suffice to say HX is notably advanced in comparison to what we've done in the past. We didn't stop until blind A/B tests could fool our own employees.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the answers! Really looking forward to trying this one out personally! Hopefully, with the dual dsp chips, I can plug in to a power amp and cab onstage then send out my signal to the mixer with the cab modelling on. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We didn't stop until blind A/B tests could fool our own employees.

 

That's what we all wanted to hear. No pun intended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mean you kept at it until they were so fatigued they couldn't tell the difference between a Microcube and a Champ???

 

;)  

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on a fine looking product.  To date I've owned the AX212, Pod HD400, HD500, HD500X, DT50 and DT25 so I'm a Line 6 fan and always have been for a long time now.  I'm glad to see you guys step up your game to a higher tier and I think you'll compete well there.

 

Recently I've had time with the AxeFx 2 XL and Kemper and if there is any advice I could give you it is as follows:

 

1.  Please don't slap together 256 presets to ship with.  You need to spend some serious time working on those.  Fractal and Kemper have - and they are wonderful.  They need to have balanced volume.  They need to be usable - very usable.  I should be able to power on the unit and plug it in and be so impressed with the first few presets I can't put down my guitar for days.  There should be 2-3 presets in the first 10 where people say the unit is worth the cost just for those presets.  I should know how they were designed - like these first 5 work best direct or with headphones, the next 5 sound best in the return of an amp, etc.

 

2.  Keep in mind when you are designing your presets your users aren't running through a multi thousand dollar mixing console (well most of them).  You need to think about the user who is plugging directly into a set of low-mid grade studio monitors (or headphones) - how does he perceive this?  As he moves through the patches does it go from blasting harsh to he can't even hear it?  Balance that stuff out because they won't have a board that influences the tone and volume like you will.

 

3.  With all the wild variations in volume on every single thing we need a way to balance volume - and not just by ear.

 

4.  I am sure you will have software to load on Mac or PC to edit this thing and for the love of God, please, make it's resolution adjustable so I don't have to stare at my 27 inch monitor and edit a box the size of a business card.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you integrate(embed) a wireless G50 into the Helix so All I need to buy is a transmitter for my guitar? :P

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.  Please don't slap together 256 presets to ship with.  You need to spend some serious time working on those.  Fractal and Kemper have - and they are wonderful.  They need to have balanced volume.  They need to be usable - very usable.  I should be able to power on the unit and plug it in and be so impressed with the first few presets I can't put down my guitar for days.  There should be 2-3 presets in the first 10 where people say the unit is worth the cost just for those presets.  I should know how they were designed - like these first 5 work best direct or with headphones, the next 5 sound best in the return of an amp, etc.

After having owned and used (the hell out of) Pod 1.x, Pod Pro, Pod XT Live and Pod HD500, I have yet to use my first factory preset. Seriously  :D 

They've been useful to know the potential of the units though, and sometimes as a base to create my own presets from, but other than that...

Anyway, I always take the initial tour and browse through them. None of them are exactly what I want, but many of them are inspiring

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will definitely be an early adopter of this - it fixes pretty much every issue I had with the HD500x, which I tried my best to love, but just too many missing pieces (as an Axe-Fx and Kemper owner, I got spoiled).

 

I do have one question though.
 

Is there an easy way to add a solo boost to a patch? I found that more difficult to do in the HD500x than it should be. Just a simple volume boost - nothing more. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only one question, DI:

 

Has throughput latency been drastically reduced, or has the increased available DSP been commensurately annulled by the increase in code complexity and concurrent (parallel and FX) simulation demands?

 

I had a major issue feeling "disconnected" from the guitar through the HD500, and this problem was obviously exacerbated when I plugged either of my JTVs into it. Any sense of immediacy and "connection with the instrument" was lost. I cannot overstate what an issue this was for me and how it prevented me from playing; the joy was lost, I'm sorry to say.

 

Thank you for hosting this Q&A mate; it's much appreciated by all here, I reckon.

 

 

EDIT: Sorry if this question has already been asked; it's 7AM here now and I started reading the thread at 5:30! Eyes really burning now and I realised I could well have missed it if this was so. Off to la la land now, mate.

 

Thank you.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will definitely be an early adopter of this - it fixes pretty much every issue I had with the HD500x, which I tried my best to love, but just too many missing pieces (as an Axe-Fx and Kemper owner, I got spoiled).

 

I do have one question though.

 

Is there an easy way to add a solo boost to a patch? I found that more difficult to do in the HD500x than it should be. Just a simple volume boost - nothing more. Thanks!

There are a number of ways you could do it. One easy way you could accomplish it without even using another block is to assign the level control of an effect or a cab block to be controlled by a footswitch. You can set the boost up to 6dB when you hit the switch. If 6dB isn't enough you could assign the level control in multiple blocks to be tied to the same footswitch so you can get exactly the boost you need. Another option would be to use the volume pedal effect and have kind of a reverse boost. Have the effect turned on and set to attenuate normally, but then when you want to boost hit a switch to turn the effect off or go to a preset level.

 

The ability to assign control functions to footswitches adds a ton of flexibility. The other nice thing is that with 32 possible slots, you can add utility type blocks without worrying about it limiting you in other ways.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say, as a current Kemper owner and an ex-Axe FX II owner, I found the factory presets for both units pretty poor tbh. I guess they just weren't my thing, but I like hard rock and metal - Tool, Deftones, RATM, SOAD, etc... - and those are the tones I am after from factory presets. Nail the Adam Jonez tonez with the Helix, and I'll be orgiastic!! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could also assign the Split > A/B Mix parameter to a footswitch and toggle between two completely different signal paths, with or without the same outputs. If the expression pedal (or Variax knob or MIDI CC) is assigned to that same A/B Mix parameter, you can seamlessly blend between the paths.

This. Is. AWESOME. Crossfades like this are really fundamental to me, but most of the hardware and software I own requires that I jump through all kinds of hoops to make this work (external inversion of cc value ranges, etc.). What you're describing here is exactly what I need. I'm assuming fx loop returns can be inserted within one or both of of those A/B signal paths?

 

Also - I think you've already implied this is doable, but can you reverse the footswitch rows from what is seen in that sweetwater demo, such that the top row selects presets and the bottom row toggles effects on and off? I like having both switch types, but I toggle stomps more often than I change patches, and need the stomps more easily accessible.

 

Thank you - this is looking fantastic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also - I think you've already implied this is doable, but can you reverse the footswitch rows from what is seen in that sweetwater demo, such that the top row selects presets and the bottom row toggles effects on and off? I like having both switch types, but I toggle stomps more often than I change patches, and need the stomps more easily accessible.

 

DI said:

 

By default, there are two footswitch modes—Preset and Stomp. You toggle them with the MODE switch. In Preset mode, you get eight presets, in Stomp mode, you get eight stomps.

 

You can also customize how the switches appear. In Preset mode, you can choose to view four stomps on the top row (like HD500X) or the bottom row, and in Stomp mode, you can swap out Bank Up/Down for two more stomp switches. You can also repurpose Bank Up/Down as Preset Up/Down. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, CipherHost. I think I'm in.

 

The HX could be a real game changer depending on how it sounds. Very cool piece of equipment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only one question, DI:

 

Has throughput latency been drastically reduced, or has the increased available DSP been commensurately annulled by the increase in code complexity and concurrent (parallel and FX) simulation demands?

 

I had a major issue feeling "disconnected" from the guitar through the HD500, and this problem was obviously exacerbated when I plugged either of my JTVs into it. Any sense of immediacy and "connection with the instrument" was lost.

Really? I have never experienced any noticeable lag at all with my JTV and HD500. Is this straight to an amp or are you talking about recording?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will the amps and cabs have the same deep editing on helix?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

don't know about the amp deep paramaters, but regarding the cab, there is no the resonator (resonance, thump, decay) and you have low and high cut, and mic distance parameters

Good Observe there Nico, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every now and then Digital Igloo mentions in an answer that he will "set up a template for that" 

 

What is a Template in the context of Helix?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every now and then Digital Igloo mentions in an answer that he will "set up a template for that" 

 

What is a Template in the context of Helix?

 

I would guess that it's nothing more than a patch that contains a way to do something with the Helix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps a predefined configuration of active inputs and outputs, routing, switch programming, and perhaps default blocks...

 

So can Users define their own Templates?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if there will be the micro delay, anyone any info???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Not distortion, but many of the other pedals have mix parameters. Parallel paths are very easy to set up. Like seconds.

Thanks for the reply. I understand about parallel paths - that's a trick I discovered a while back, but it would be so much easier if distortion fx could have an off setting below 0, or simply a mix parameter. From what I'm told, the former is available on the Fractal units. The problem I have with paths in the 500 is that the amp must be placed after the mixer, which SEEMS to have some effect on the sound, even after carefully setting a unity value, but maybe that's my imagination.

 

Also, I asked about new compressors, especially something with over easy or soft knee compression a la the DBX 150 comps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey all.

 

1 - Can I have 2 separate outputs for my Variax and my voice so I can connect 2 different cables into the venue's soundboard, which would allow the sound guy to set the volumes of the Variax and the vocals independently? (Was this ever possible with Pod HD500?)

 

2 - Please tell me you created great vocal harmony effects (I'm thinking TC-Helicon class) so I only have to carry 1 footboard around (especially now that I know the Helix weighs 2 lbs more than the HD500).

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) this was possible on the HD500 - just don't place any mono effects after the mixer and use the XML outs

 

2) "Not on release" - or whatever it is that DI keeps typing.  There are harmony options just not vocal ones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will there be functionality to control the helix using a companion app similar to the firehawk remote app?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will there be functionality to control the helix using a companion app similar to the firehawk remote app?

 

Just pc/mac software.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi !

 

It may look like a detail, but has any special effort been put into the tuner ? As far as :

  • readability (it would be a shame not to exploit that big color screen)
  • reactivity

On stage, these features are really important, and embedded multi-fx tuners usually don't cut it.

Of course, the absolute best would be a polyphonic tuner ^_^

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi !

 

It may look like a detail, but has any special effort been put into the tuner ? As far as :

  • readability (it would be a shame not to exploit that big color screen)
  • reactivity
On stage, these features are really important, and embedded multi-fx tuners usually don't cut it.

Of course, the absolute best would be a polyphonic tuner ^_^

The tuner takes up the entire color screen when active. You'd have to be legally blind to not see it on stage.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tuner takes up the entire color screen when active. You'd have to be legally blind to not see it on stage.

 

screen shot? thanks...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to HEARING the wide range of sounds this unit has to offer. Only then would I consider pre ordering

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) this was possible on the HD500 - just don't place any mono effects after the mixer and use the XML outs

 

Thanks for replying, and sorry everyone for being off-topic, but can you please detail? What are XML outs?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pretty sure he meant XLR outs

 

Thanks for replying, and sorry everyone for being off-topic, but can you please detail? What are XML outs?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I think I got it, i have to pan Guitar and voice to L/R outputs, how did I not think about this!

 

Thanks and sorry again for being off-topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would never guess that I work in IT would you... staring at XML documents and XSLT transformation right now.

 

Yes I meant the XLR outputs - hard left and right at mic level into the desk (or snake)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the XLR outs mic level only, or can they be switched to line level?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the XLR outs mic level only, or can they be switched to line level?

They can be switched between mic and line level. All of the 1/4" outs, including the sends, can be switched between instrument and line level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...