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Backing Tracks in HELIX

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Is it possible to run backing tracks into HELIX, say, from a laptop or iPod's stereo source in a live setting while simultaneously using HELIX for guitar with both going to FOH? I'm at a point where I'm considering buying a small mixer, DI box, cables, etc. to make this happen, but if HELIX can do this for me while giving me a stereo backing track AND dual guitar amps out, problem solved. Plus, this would save me the cost of buying new equipment ($300 to $400) and give me a cool new rig!

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With a laptop or iPad or iPhone with a camera kit, you could run audio over the Helix's USB connection. That would probably be the cleanest way since it would only be one cable. The Helix doesn't have an 1/8" stereo or other consumer-audio oriented connection, so if you wanted to plug in a regular MP3 player, you could use a pair of 1/4" returns as inputs. You would have to set that up on a patch per patch basis, though. I think using the USB would definitely be better way to go.

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Is it possible to run backing tracks into HELIX, say, from a laptop or iPod's stereo source in a live setting while simultaneously using HELIX for guitar with both going to FOH?

Yes.
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The HD500 can do this too... except for the iPod via USB part, you would need a laptop via USB or 1/8 headphone connection

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If I used the HELIX USB for backing tracks, would I be able to send guitar left and right to FOH. I use a 2-amp rig. Thanks.

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If I used the HELIX USB for backing tracks, would I be able to send guitar left and right to FOH. I use a 2-amp rig. Thanks.

 

Yes, you could still do that. Actually, if you wanted to, you could keep the audio from your PC or iPad separate from the guitar. You can select what outputs the USB audio is played back on, so you could, for example, send the USB audio to the XLR outs and then use the 1/4" outs for your guitar. There's a lot of flexibility.

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I am trying to use my laptop to play audio to the helix via USB connection.  Sounds like this is possible but I can't see how to get this to work

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I am trying to use my laptop to play audio to the helix via USB connection.  Sounds like this is possible but I can't see how to get this to work

 

I had to go into the sound settings for my computer and choose Helix as my playback device.

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I bought a camera kit for my iPhone and ran it into the USB port of the Helix and it worked great. However, I had no way to control the volume of the music as the volume control of the phone is disabled when connecting via the lightening jack. I was only trying to do this to jam with some backing tracks and songs. Is there a way to control the volume of the music without impacting the guitar volume through the headphone out? I am learning new ways to use the Helix every day!

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With a laptop or iPad or iPhone with a camera kit, you could run audio over the Helix's USB connection. That would probably be the cleanest way since it would only be one cable. The Helix doesn't have an 1/8" stereo or other consumer-audio oriented connection, so if you wanted to plug in a regular MP3 player, you could use a pair of 1/4" returns as inputs. You would have to set that up on a patch per patch basis, though. I think using the USB would definitely be better way to go.

What is an iphone camera kit?  When i look for one on amazon, it brings up iphone lenses.  Pretty sure that's not what you mean!

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What is an iphone camera kit?  When i look for one on amazon, it brings up iphone lenses.  Pretty sure that's not what you mean!

 

Here's the official Apple one: http://www.amazon.com/Lightning-to-USB-Camera-Adapter/dp/B014VGHG0U/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1464729302&sr=8-4&keywords=ipad+camera+connection+kit

 

Basically a lighting to USB adapter. It allows you to plug a regular USB cable into the iPad or iPhone.

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I bought a camera kit for my iPhone and ran it into the USB port of the Helix and it worked great. However, I had no way to control the volume of the music as the volume control of the phone is disabled when connecting via the lightening jack. I was only trying to do this to jam with some backing tracks and songs. Is there a way to control the volume of the music without impacting the guitar volume through the headphone out? I am learning new ways to use the Helix every day!

You'd need to add a gain block of some sort after the USB input, then control the gain in Helix.

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Here's the official Apple one: http://www.amazon.com/Lightning-to-USB-Camera-Adapter/dp/B014VGHG0U/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1464729302&sr=8-4&keywords=ipad+camera+connection+kit

 

Basically a lighting to USB adapter. It allows you to plug a regular USB cable into the iPad or iPhone.

 

Thank you.  VERY helpful.  This worked.  Since you are a LINE 6 expert, i have one more question.  I ran the jam track through the HELIX...which is EXCELLENT.  But i could not control the volume of the track.  IS there a way to do this?  All volume control was dismantled on the computer.  I know this was asked above as well, and someone mentioned running a gain block.  No idea what that is and when i googled it, the results were useless.  Any help...very much appreciated!

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I use the camera connection kit that has the power port on it so that I can charge my ipad while using it. Just make sure your ios device is compatible with the connection kit you choose.

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Problem: When listening to backingtracks or other soundfiles via USB and playing guitar to these, I notice a remarkable latency with my Helix.

This not the case, when I do the same procedure over UX2 and Gearbox.

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Problem: When listening to backingtracks or other soundfiles via USB and playing guitar to these, I notice a remarkable latency with my Helix.

This not the case, when I do the same procedure over UX2 and Gearbox.

 

Could you describe your Helix setup? When used right there is no audible latency in Helix.

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Hello thank you for your answer.


Global settings:


Guitar in Pad - off


Mic in Phantom - off


Mic in Gain -0 dB


Mic in Lowcut - off


USB In 1/2 - Multi


USB In Trim 0.0 dB


1/4" Outputs - Line


XLR Outputs - Line


Send/Return 1 - Instrument


                      2- Instrument


                      3 - Instrument

                      4 - Instrument

Re-amp Src USB 7 - Guitar

                            8 - Mic

Volume Knob Controls - Multi

Headphones Monitor - Multi

Digital Output - S/PDIF

Digital Out Level - 0.0 dB

 

Sound control panel - Notebook's internal soundcard deactivated

Default Bit depth  24 bit

Buffersize extra small

Still latency - music from notebook excellent

I turn the notebook's volume slider down, then no music from notebook and no latency

 

Any suggestions?

Thank you

Josef

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Do you use headphones or speakers? They must be connected to the Helix not the computer.

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I don't suppose there is any way to assign the USB In 1/2 Trim to an expression controller? :)

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I don't suppose there is any way to assign the USB In 1/2 Trim to an expression controller? :)

That would be great. Or at least have quick access to this setting.

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Would it be possible to run audio from the 'POD XT Live' directly into the 'Helix' over USB?

 

I'm out of inputs (grin).

 

Cheers!

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I'm not sure the pod xt can output to a helix as the xt is expecting to see a PC or Mac driver at the other end of its USB connection.

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Hmm... I sense an air of doubt in that answer that holds a shred of hope - or denial (smirk).  What about the Variax connection?

 

Seems like a miss otherwise, not being able to connect other Line 6 pedals via the digital inputs.

 

Cheers!

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Hmm... I sense an air of doubt in that answer that holds a shred of hope - or denial (smirk).  What about the Variax connection?

 

Seems like a miss otherwise, not being able to connect other Line 6 pedals via the digital inputs.

 

Cheers!

Hardly a miss at all.  The USB ports on both the XT Live and the Helix are type B so by definition that type of connection would mean both units are upstream units.  You couldn't get a cable for that anyway.

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Some pods do have digital outputs and inputs, can't remember that the XT live had. I guess it's more the pro versions and helix that would have AES in/out ports.

 

Although don't forget that digital isn't everything. All audio you hear with your ears is analog, as is a guitar and a tube amp. Sure it's more ideal to use the least ad/da convertors as possible but analog out of your xtl to an analog input on another FX magic-box shouldn't give you any issues. I used to do it with POD HD500 and an M5!

 

Cheers

 

Rowbi☢ï¸

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I should clarify that you would need to think about input impedance, so having the xtl in the helix loop would be best.

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Hardly a miss at all.  The USB ports on both the XT Live and the Helix are type B so by definition that type of connection would mean both units are upstream units.  You couldn't get a cable for that anyway.

 

Hey, just thought I'd ask, you know, perchance someone had a clever tech solution.  No need to state the obvious (wink).  And considering that most Line 6 devices have USB audio capabilities, I maintain that it's a shame such a scenario wasn't planned for.  Anyway, thanks for the replies, gents.

 

Cheers!

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Some pods do have digital outputs and inputs, can't remember that the XT live had. I guess it's more the pro versions and helix that would have AES in/out ports.

 

Although don't forget that digital isn't everything. All audio you hear with your ears is analog, as is a guitar and a tube amp. Sure it's more ideal to use the least ad/da convertors as possible but analog out of your xtl to an analog input on another FX magic-box shouldn't give you any issues. I used to do it with POD HD500 and an M5!

 

Cheers

 

Rowbi☢ï¸

 

Oh, it's not a concern about analog vs digital at all.  I was simply out of inputs on both my Helix and the line mixer in my live rig, and was looking for yet another way to get auxiliary audio through the Helix.  In truth, even if it had it been a viable solution, adding the 'POD XT Live' to my set-up would have been gratuitous anyway (smirk).

 

Thanks for the replies, Rowbi.  Off to find another solution to my audio excesses...

 

Cheers!

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I think you will get a drop out of the backing track audio when you change patches in Helix. I used to run my tracks through the HD500 but went with a separate cable in my helix set up.

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I think you will get a drop out of the backing track audio when you change patches in Helix.

 

Not if your USB feed is 1/2, which it should be.

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Not if your USB feed is 1/2, which it should be.

Cool. I was referring to analog inputs. I do a lot of solo gigs with an iPad for backing tracks. It was convenient on the 500 to plug it straight in via mini plug, but on Helix I would rather not give up any blocks, even if it could be heard during patch changes. If there was a way to mix a return into the final output "behind the scenes" I would like that.

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<Snip>The Helix doesn't have an 1/8" stereo or other consumer-audio oriented connection, so if you wanted to plug in a regular MP3 player, you could use a pair of 1/4" returns as inputs. You would have to set that up on a patch per patch basis, though. <Snip>

Are there any tips to add to the above to get this to work smoothly? I have not tried yet on my new Helix.

Aside from adjusting the output (playback) level on the ipod, would it be best to do so using a Return block? Or, would it make more sense to use Path 2 and configure the input block to use the 1/4" returns and the output block to use the 1/4" returns and adjust the volume via the output block?

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