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jonhollis

helix - what no bluetooth iPad link???

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i love the idea of the helix - i will be ordering one. but its huge backward step not to have bluetooth and iPad integration. The fire hawk is so great because of the iPad app. you can adjust all the parameters from a waist height iPad, instead of having to bend down to the ground. 

 

i have seen the sweet water and other videos, and everyone is changing the levels and things with their fingers. i know you can do stuff with your feet - but i haven't seen anyone do this yet - and if that way of using it is so great then why have the six control knobs and the home and take buttons..  

 

why not include bluetooth and iPad integration. then you have the option. i guess I'm going to do what i did with the HD500 and the G system and have it on a table to do all the prep and then on the floor for the gig. which is a backward step. i guess lets see when it arrives.

 

anyway the new sounds seem to be great...and I'm super pleased they have control over amps and external boxes....

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Bluetooth is an incredibly slow protocol when it comes to data transmission. The issue is that because there are so many more parameters to sync when it comes to Helix patches, the time for sync would be frustratingly slow. That's the reason why there's such a long gap while changing patches on Ampliifi or Firehawk when connected via Bluetooth.

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i know - its not for changing patches live - its for not having to bend over whilst changing parameters whilst you are experimenting

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Can't you do all the editing with your feet or something like that with the Helix?

 

Edit:

Never mind you already knew that... :P

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all the demos I've seen everyone does it with the knobs beneath the screen! i mean I'm not saying its bad or anything. just a tad of a backward step. the UI on the iPad app is amazing. it doesn't matter it has a lag as you only use it when you are designing sounds and storing things. 

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I guess the obvious thing is to have a blinding Mac or PCs app. Then all is good.

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Why can't it just transfer the current preset you're working on to your phone. 

I don't think it has to sync the entire thing. 

 

Maybe it could sync the 4 presets in the bank you're in. 

 

It's just a bummer that Helix isn't a more Pro version of Firehawk. Why should we have to choose? 

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Why can't it just transfer the current preset you're working on to your phone. 

I don't think it has to sync the entire thing. 

 

Maybe it could sync the 4 presets in the bank you're in. 

 

It's just a bummer that Helix isn't a more Pro version of Firehawk. Why should we have to choose? 

Agree totally!

 

Line 6 is aware of the advantages of the UI being lifted off the floor- this is mentioned in their own promotions.  I use my feet ( see my profile pic from a live show) and hands to tweak on the fly while playing live. I consistently tweak many different parameters from the tablet or phone during a show. Having the UI at waist level is far superior in both visual and manual access.

 

Line 6, if bluetooth is limited,  please narrow down the bluetooth synch along the lines that @therightclique mentions . Otherwise , you'll be losing a great feature.

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One could always use something like the Lemur app and create their own crazy MIDI touch-controller that Helix could respond to.

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I do my tweaking at home on my 500X with the unit sitting on a chair in front of me. I pretty much do all the tweaking on the unit itself, as opposed to the PC via USB. If I was tweaking at a gig, it would be for very minor things like the global EQ.

 

I can't really imagine messing with a setting in he middle of a song, or even between songs, as we keep our sets moving as much as possible -- we work very hard to not have dead space between our songs....

 

I know from the forums, there are folks that use their 500(x)'s hooked to a mac or PC while performing, but that just seems like a problem just waiting to happen -- the USB on the HD floor units are notorious for breaking, then you are SOL for future PC use, or updates. I'm very nervous and therefore very careful with the USB connector, so I hesitate to use it much hooked to the PC....  I've seen the 500X get totally screwed up when using HD Edit and touching a control on the unit... Things get out of sorts pretty easily... I move around patches, and backup patches and set lists with the Edit, but for most patch creation, I do it right on the unit -- don't have to send it to the unit and reboot before it stays put with the tweak.... If I royally screw up a patch, I fire up Edit and reload it from the backups....

 

My experience with smart phones is little, by choice, but I did buy an android tablet to mess with, and it's connectivity is on again off again -- can't really see it as reliable for an interface. I watch how often the thing drops and picks up connection with my WiFi - seems constantly.... My opinion of them is not high. I also wonder how secure it is, and well it rejects spurious signals and interference...

 

I am curious to see the usability of the foot editing capabilities of the Helix. One hope is it can't be easily triggered by a simple misstep -- I had my 500X's looper kick in by a misstep, talk about embarrassing in the middle of a song...

 

I'm an engineer, and I deal with a lot of  tech, so I think about things like that... I think in terms of contingencies. It's amazing to me how much has to go right for all these things to work well together. I'm a big believer in Murphy's Law -- what ever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible moment....

 

I'm GAS-ing for this thing, too....

 

Dave

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Very bummed there is no app or Bluetooth control. As a H9 owner I can tell you it's a great work flow

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Very bummed there is no app or Bluetooth control. As a H9 owner I can tell you it's a great work flow 

 

 

 

 

Can we add Net Flix and Sirius Radio too? Oh and don't forget a tuner for the editor!  ;)

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...

 

I am curious to see the usability of the foot editing capabilities of the Helix. One hope is it can't be easily triggered by a simple misstep -- I had my 500X's looper kick in by a misstep, talk about embarrassing in the middle of a song...

 

...

First you would have to be in stomp mode to fire off the looper by accident. And as you say there is Murphey's Law but it would be easy enough to assign the looper to the footswitch you would be least likely to hit by accident. Or, alternatively, you could just not assign the looper to a footswitch at all or not even include it in presets you intend to use for a live performance. The looper is an optional block and can be left out of a preset.

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Very bummed there is no app or Bluetooth control. As a H9 owner I can tell you it's a great work flow

 

I also would have like have seen Bluetooth/tablet connectivity for the Helix. It is quite usable without however including perhaps the best onboard interface ever designed. You can connect a Windows tablet by USB cable to the Helix and use the Helix Editor but you need a tablet with a full fledged USB connection. Many/most tablets running Windows don't have fully functional USB ports unless you connect their sometimes optional keyboards. There are also remote connectivity apps that allow an iPad to run an app remotely that is running on another computer but this would require you have both a computer directly tethered by USB to your Helix running the Editor and then use your tablet to manage it. There are some threads on the forum using this setup.

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I can certainly understand how bluetooth could be problematic in the Helix world.  Heck, the USB connection lags quite a little bit if you have it connected and change setttings directly on the Helix interface.  I've even had the Editor freeze up when I've changed a bunch of parameters on the Helix interface too quickly.  I can only imagine how bad a bluetooth connection would be.  Personally I'm not a big fan of bluetooth as it just tends to be slow and a bit flaky in it's connectivity.  I suppose it suffices in consumer electronics due to it's convenience, but I wouldn't want to depend on it in pro situation. Personally I seldom, if ever, use the editor interface for anything more than saving and restoring presets.  It does nothing but slow me down.

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If Helix had a wireless connection, I would not have bought it!

Helix is professional gear - and there are other products out there for bluetooth fans ;)

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Can we add Net Flix and Sirius Radio too? Oh and don't forget a tuner for the editor! ;)

And Facebook connectivity. The world needs to know about this awesome patch I just made...Tweet, tweet! "Like, like". Ugh. Ugh.

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If you don't want to bend over and edit, get the Helix Rack and floor controller.
Best of both worlds eh?

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I would beg to not have bluetooth involved with Helix at all.  Helix is the most advanced processor Line 6 has ever put out while bluetooth is an unreliable and slow technology. Helix UI is incredibly fast and efficient on its own, and there is already a really useful way to edit with your feet without having to bend over.  Adding the wireless connectivity of bluetooth wouldn't do anything to improve on what it already does so well.  I would rather not force the guys at Line 6 to fix bugs and deal with android issues instead of continuing to make Helix the best it can be.

 

I understand not wanting to lean over during a gig, but I feel that is a minor complaint for a small amount of tweaking.  

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I could see WiFi, but Bluetooth just isn't there.   I've mixed with Behringer XR18 as FOH and I gotta say it was pretty awesome.  I had a 20" tablet at the sweetspot in the room for main mixing, and a 10" that I walked around with every now and then.   Actually took it to the Mens room with me and sure enough they started the set while I was on the can....  no problem :)   

 

Wireless (via wifi) would open up to android and apple devices for tweaking... all sorts of things.

 

However...  I think more pressing issues like general updates and file management (especially for IR's) need to be addressed first.  I postponed the 2.11 update, and now that I just got the unit back to normal....  they release another update and I have to restore again.   Kindof annoying.

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Ain't gonna happen on this hardware. If you want WiFi or Bluetooth, it's got to have the receiver and transmitter built in. It doesn't and no FW update can do anything about it.

Dave

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No idea how Facebook and Netflix relates to having the ability to edit patches with the Helix via Bluetooth. Oh wait it was super funny.....

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No idea how Facebook and Netflix relates to having the ability to edit patches with the Helix via Bluetooth. Oh wait it was super funny.....

 

Yes... it was....  :lol:

 

See what you have to understand is firmware space (memory), time to develop, and priorities. Even if Helix had the hardware to work with bluetooth and all they needed was to add the software, that still takes memory space and time to develop. Which then takes away from other things which I think are MUCH more important than bluetooth. So do you want more amps and cabs added for instance, or a tuner for the editor? ;) Do you want more delays and verbs or distortion pedals added, or Bluetooth?  For me,  I want a good professional guitar preamp. I don't need another iPhone with guitar amp simulation.

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Helix is a "pro" level piece of equipment. Bluetooth is not a pro-level wireless protocol. As someone who gigs, I want as few possible points of failure as possible and as little extraneous hardware/software as possible.

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I think the real point of threads like this is that it would be great to have wireless connectivity to the Helix. The mechanism used be it WiFi or Bluetooth or whatever is certainly worthy of discussion and important but not the central issue. There are new Bluetooth protocols like 'Bluetooth 5' coming out that are supposed to be much faster and more robust. As others have pointed out WiFi is an option and there are also extremely fast WiFi protocols coming. I don't agree with the characterization that wireless options are somehow not 'pro' or childish toys or the like. I use a Bluetooth pedal to flip pages for lyrics on an iPad onstage and it works great, WiFi is what allows wireless adjustment of my PA from anywhere in the room and many digital mixers offer it at this point. It might be kind of cool to set a guitar loop going on the Helix and then walk out and adjust settings from somewhere in the front of the house; essentially wirelessly adjusting the sound on the Helix the same way I do for the PA . Setting a tablet up for eye level on-the-fly adjustments from a mic/music stand or an armchair, and tone-matching might be nice to have as well.

 

Oh, and how exactly is USB 'professional' level connectivity? We have seen thousands of posts from people having problems with USB connectivity for everything from firmware updates to Editor and DAW connectivity. If USB is the 'pro' level standard it clearly requires improvement, not by Line6 necessarily but by the computer industry as it has proven to be a problematic way of connecting for years for many devices and users. It is also worth remembering how slow USB was and still is to some extent. Only with USB 3 did we start to see decent transfer rates for hardware like external hard drives. Wireless technology is maturing in the same manner and becoming a viable mechanism for more data intensive connectivity.

 

The one place I do share a concern with many of the posters is that each added capability dilutes development efforts and potentially detracts from other features. That is always a point of concern especially when a new capability means supporting additonal OS platforms as well as additional applications. Still, I am sure these same concerns were expressed when the first WiFI tablet app was offered for use with digitial mixers and yet still it has become a central and much used and appreciated feature of many mixers.

 

I have accepted that the current version of Helix may never have wireless connectivity but I think it is eminently worthy of consideration in the next Helix version.

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I don't agree with the characterization that wireless options are somehow not 'pro' or childish toys or the like. 

 

Thats fine and you don't have to.  :)

 

But Id rather have a few new amps and cabs added versus the time they spent on wifi or bluetooth firmware, even if the hardware was there for the software devs to use (which it isn't on Helix). You want bluetooth buy a FireHawk 1500.  ;) It works very well there and isn't a toy, however "it" has the opposite issue of not having a working PC/Mac editor. Only iPad-iPhone apps.

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Thats fine and you don't have to.  :)

 

But Id rather have a few new amps and cabs added versus the time they spent on wifi or bluetooth firmware, even if the hardware was there for the software devs to use (which it isn't on Helix). You want bluetooth buy a FireHawk 1500.  ;) It works very well there and isn't a toy, however "it" has the opposite issue of not having a working PC/Mac editor. Only iPad-iPhone apps.

 

No desire to own a FireHawk 1500 although more power to those who do. I don't think having wireless (and potentially as a bonus touchpad capability) and also having a PC/Mac app are mutually exclusive. I certainly would not want my PC app replaced with an iPad app, but both, ahhhh. There is potentially a problem with spreading development resources too thin and I agree with that concern but perhaps the effort would be worthwhile nonetheless. I would not be surprised if we see wireless functionality in the next Helix, even if it only works via WiFi via the same types of apps we have now on a PC or Mac.

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Bluetooth is an incredibly slow protocol when it comes to data transmission. The issue is that because there are so many more parameters to sync when it comes to Helix patches, the time for sync would be frustratingly slow. That's the reason why there's such a long gap while changing patches on Ampliifi or Firehawk when connected via Bluetooth.

 

You are right about the slowness of the data transmission with Bluetooth, the speeds of even the newest Bluetooth 5 standard still lag way behind WiFi. When talking about transmission speeds though you have to consider how much data actually needs to be exchanged between the two connected devices which is somewhat determined by what activities you would be trying to execute with for instance a tablet connected via Bluetooth. It doesn't matter if your pipe only has a one inch diameter if you are only pouring a few drops through it per minute.

 

My impression judging by how small presets exports are is that the amount of data that needs to be transmitted from the app to the Helix might be relatively small for many actions.  Most likely you would use a Helix footswitch for presets, snapshot, and stomp switches during a song. Your tablet would probably be used on a mic/music stand or desk to change parameters, manage and name set lists and presets, do backups and restores, and make other sorts of changes that might not require a response with close to zero latency. Many of these actions might require only a small amount of data to be sent and returned. Perhaps even slow Bluetooth could keep up with this. Ultimately though WiFi might just be a better more flexible choice given the exponentially higher data transmission rates.

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Oh, and how exactly is USB 'professional' level connectivity? We have seen thousands of posts from people having problems with USB connectivity for everything from firmware updates to Editor and DAW connectivity. If USB is the 'pro' level standard it clearly requires improvement, not by Line6 necessarily but by the computer industry as it has proven to be a problematic way of connecting for years for many devices and users. It is also worth remembering how slow USB was and still is to some extent. Only with USB 3 did we start to see decent transfer rates for hardware like external hard drives. Wireless technology is maturing in the same manner and becoming a viable mechanism for more data intensive connectivity.

 

Thats why Im not using Helix as an audio interface. I have a better solution in my UAD Apollo firewire 800 interface, altho USB-3 / Thunderbolt is faster (an option I can add later to mine if I choose to). Im not suggesting that Helix can not be a fine audio interface for most users, as it serves many in this regard right now. But there are better faster ways out there that USB 2. But lets not forget that Helix has a finite amount of memory. Id rather fill that up with amps, cabs and effects than with bluetooth and wifi. As always YMMV. :)

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Ain't gonna happen on this hardware. If you want WiFi or Bluetooth, it's got to have the receiver and transmitter built in. It doesn't and no FW update can do anything about it.

 

Dave

Indeed. You guys do realize that Bluetooth requires Bluetooth hardware, an antenna right?

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Indeed. You guys do realize that Bluetooth requires Bluetooth hardware, an antenna right?

 

Yep, acutely aware of this, that is why I directed my comments towards the release of the next Helix version e.g. 'Double Helix'. Theoretically I suppose you might be able to use the USB connection to connect to a WiFi adaptor or maybe even some kind of Bluetooth adaptor. As long a there is a route (USB) already in existence for communicating between the Helix and an app you should be able to create an adaptor that could transmit and receive wirelessly. Seems like a lot of trouble and expense that I don't foresee happening in this version of the Helix. You never know though, those crafty L6 fellows have surprised me before.

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Yep, acutely aware of this, that is why I directed my comments towards the release of the next Helix version e.g. 'Double Helix'. Theoretically I suppose you might be able to use the USB connection to connect to a WiFi adaptor or maybe even some kind of Bluetooth adaptor. As long a there is a route (USB) already in existence for communicating between the Helix and an app you should be able to create an adaptor that could transmit and receive wirelessly. Seems like a lot of trouble and expense that I don't foresee happening in this version of the Helix. You never know though, those crafty L6 fellows have surprised me before.

To my mind, it doesn't even need to be wireless. It seems to me that just a plain old USB cable connected via a Camera Connection Kit should allow an iPad to run an editor app and connect to the Helix.

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Yep, acutely aware of this, that is why I directed my comments towards the release of the next Helix version

 

 

In my next life I want to be a fighter pilot. But until then I'll keep playing the old Helix I have now...  ;)

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