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xavierb

S/PDIF OUT has clicks

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When using the S/PDIF interface and you have a fairly loud distorded patch, there is a periodic (about every second or so) faint click in the background. This doesn't happen with the analog or the headphone OUTs.

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Clock timing is out of sync.    On your audio interface you most likely need to change the clock source to the Helix vs having the audio interface as the master.  Not sure what interface you have but for me the Presonus studio, I change the clock source from FireStudio - Master to FireStudio SPDIF, otherwise clicks will occur.   Then restart your DAW after making the change if you are using one, otherwise if not you should be good as is.

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I have a focusrite saffire, you can only change the sync source when you use an ADAT slave, not S/PDIF

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Not familiar with the saffire but a quick search would say otherwise,

 

http://global.focusrite.com/answerbase/how-do-i-use-the-spdif-inputs-and-outputs-on-the-saffire-or-scarlett

Good catch! ("Up voted"!)

In any case, it sure would be cool if future Helix updates enable slaving to SPDIF, but I can see how this would be waaaay down the priority list....

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Related to spdif, but with the input. Has anyone tried connecting an HD500(X) to Helix via spdif? I took the send 1 from Helix to guitar in on my HD500X, then the spdif out on the HD500X to Helix's spdif in. Then on Helix, I changed the input on path 1 to guitar, added a send block for send 1, changed the output of this path to the next path, and on the next path set the input to spdif. This all works fine, but is really noisy. The noise is a hiss and can become even worse depending on what the patch on the HD500X looks like (I started with a black patch on the HD500X). I tried adding a noise gate after the spdif input on Helix, but it does absolutely nothing to get rid of the hiss. This makes connecting the two units this way pretty much unusable. Hope this can be fixed because of something I might be doing wrong.

 

Another problem not related to spdif. One of the first things I did was update the firmware. Went smoothly. But after that, not turning off the unit yet, the upper right quadrant of the screen containing the last two blocks were invisible. Rebooting the unit fixed it. At a later time, the right half of the screen became a staticy mess, but when selecting a new model for a block from the list while in this condition, the text displayed over the static. Rebooting fixed it. I have since done a global reset and haven't had this problem reappear. Could this be a software problem, rather than a broken screen or related circuitry?

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Assuming your only using the HD500 and Helix I would think you could get it to work.   Helix as the master in sync clock options HD500 as slave and if your going out analog only after that.   If you are chaining this with an audio interface essentially trying to SPDIF three devices then it will never work.  You can't daisy chain SPDIF and that is just the way it is for any device which Line 6 has no control over.  Would require a wordclock device in the mix to manage more than 2 devices and those are pricey but I am not sure if that is what you are doing in this case.

 

Another thing to consider is the samplerate must be set identical on both devices, 44.1, 48 or 96.   

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The HD only has s/pdif out and the Helix will have to slave to it.

Remember too the HD inputs. Aux set to a different than the guitar input.

There is also a level control on the s/pdif out in the menu which might need attenuating.

 

Good luck, very interested if all works well and also how you like the sound of the HX amps and FX etc

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Assuming your only using the HD500 and Helix I would think you could get it to work.   Helix as the master in sync clock options HD500 as slave and if your going out analog only after that.   If you are chaining this with an audio interface essentially trying to SPDIF three devices then it will never work.  You can't daisy chain SPDIF and that is just the way it is for any device which Line 6 has no control over.  Would require a wordclock device in the mix to manage more than 2 devices and those are pricey but I am not sure if that is what you are doing in this case.

 

Another thing to consider is the samplerate must be set identical on both devices, 44.1, 48 or 96.   

 

Sample rates are identical. The whole setup works as expected, with the exception of the underlying hiss, which changes depending on the contents of the patch on the HD. Just adding a higher gain amp to an empty patch does it. Adding a noise gate on the HD and changing the threshold to 100% gets rid of it, until you start playing. It's not a quiet hiss either, it can be heard above the desired signal. The entire system, both devices, is isolated from any computer. Using the headphone output on Helix to monitor.

 

The HD only has s/pdif out and the Helix will have to slave to it.

Remember too the HD inputs. Aux set to a different than the guitar input.

There is also a level control on the s/pdif out in the menu which might need attenuating.

 

Good luck, very interested if all works well and also how you like the sound of the HX amps and FX etc

 

The spdif out level on the HD's system menu only allows for an increase. It works well, except for the hiss. Hope someone else has both devices to try this and see what happens.

 

I planned on using the HD to cover some of the effects Helix doesn't have currently, but am finding that some can be covered, sort of. For example, the tron-up from the HD can be done for the most part with Helix using either the sweep echo (most important to set time and feedback to zero) or the mystery filter I think it was. For an auto panner, there was something in the mod list that would work, can't remember what it was. The 3 osc synth looks like it could cover some stuff the HD has too.

 

Overall, the effects I'm finding a big step up from the HD stuff. Really great quality. Haven't gone over the amps I'll tend to use very thoroughly yet, but initially I'd say they are a significant step up from the HD. The problem is, I have to recalibrate my brain because I'm so used to the HD amps that it makes Helix's amps sound and feel strange, at first. It's gonna take time learning the character of Helix, just like it took time to learn the HD's character.

 

Oh yea, the re-amping feature is really great. That's gonna make it a lot easier to tweak tones.

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Earlier comments by the Line 6 staff on another board suggested that the Helix could be slaved through s/pdif to the Kemper Profiling Amp, which itself can only be master.

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So I had to think about what else I have that has an spdif output on it. The easiest thing to try was my DVR. So I hooked that into Helix's spdif input. Worked just fine, crystal clear, no hissing.

 

Prior to getting Helix, I always used the spdif out on the HD to an audio system to amplify/monitor the sound, and it's still currently set up that way, so the spdif output on my HD works. It's just the combination of HD and Helix seems to have problems. Odd.

 

I might have to just use the 1/4" outs from the HD to a couple of Helix's returns, as that seems to work.

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On page 9 of the frequently asked questions page it is stated that HD500 connected through s/pdif with the Helix should work.

Are you using genuine 75 Ohm s/pdif cables?

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On page 9 of the frequently asked questions page it is stated that HD500 connected through s/pdif with the Helix should work.

Are you using genuine 75 Ohm s/pdif cables?

 

Yes. It does in fact work, except for the unwanted noise. So it works, but not well enough to be useful.

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It is really odd about the s/pdif noise, it seems a good way to AB FX and amp models if it marries up as intended

I get the impression  it is the HD rather than the s/pdif from what your saying.

Did you try your other HD500? 

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Yep. I couldn't leave it alone and leave myself not knowing. It did the same thing. I've tried about everything I can think of except removing and testing both devices in a completely different environment. The noise does lessen if I physically touch the HD case with my flesh. Starting to wonder if it could be some sort of grounding issue.

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I was finally able to set the "sync source" to "S/PDIF" on my Saffire, clicks are gone. Thanks :)

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Did you try a phase flip on either?

When I first got my HD500 I was getting too much noise coming thru and I was disappointed.

The input selection helped to lessen it but it wasnt until I completely shielded all cavities in all guitars that the noise

became a non issue.

I observed that when the amp and HD500 were in close proximity to the guitar the noise issue got worse as hum was being induced into both.

Maybe the HD500x being non balanced on guitar input shares its ground on one of the terminals and the Helix might be out of phase with it.

As unbalanced inputs the electronics pick up the Pickups electromagnetic field.

Good luck with it and I hope it doesnt take too much time to sort out.

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