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Helix USB and the Mac

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I wish I had read something like this before trying to hook my Helix up to my Mac.

 

1.  Helix 1.03 DOES NOT WORK with USB on a Mac with El Capitan OS (10.10.5).  Also, the Helix does not work with USB less than 2.0.

 

The Helix will show up under USB in "system information" and the Helix app will "see" the Helix but won't be able to read from it or write to it.

 

Line 6 says they'll fix that in a future update but if you can't connect your Helix to your Mac, you won't be able to upgrade.

 

2.  So....using "Time Machine", I reverted to the previous Mac OS ("Yosemite").  It took 10 hours to revert!!!

 

THAT WORKED!!!

 

3.  I expected to see Helix listed among the connected USB devices in Finder.  Nope.  The only place I've found to "see" the Helix is using the Helix App.  But that's all I wanted.

 

4.  The Helix is way cooler than is possible to describe.  Yow!  If you play electric guitar, you want this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yep. My Mac (MacBook Pro, mid 2012) doesn't see Helix with El Capitan either. It's pretty well-known that there are serious USB connectivity issues with El Capitan (even with extremely simple devices like USB flash drives!). Hopefully OS X 10.11.2 will fix things; unfortunately, until then, we're at the mercy of Apple.

 

The vast majority of Macs seem to have no problem seeing Helix with El Cap. Mine is the only Mac in the building that doesn't work, and like yours, it worked fine with Yosemite.

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Both of my Macs with El Capitan see the Helix, the problem I have is the clicks and pops.  I hope Apple/L6 gets that fixed soon or I'm going to have to partition one of my drives so I can do some reamping on this record I've been working on.

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What a disgrace to one of the most awesome geological formations on this planet. Bastards.

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Yep. My Mac (MacBook Pro, mid 2012) doesn't see Helix with El Capitan either. It's pretty well-known that there are serious USB connectivity issues with El Capitan (even with extremely simple devices like USB flash drives!). Hopefully OS X 10.11.2 will fix things; unfortunately, until then, we're at the mercy of Apple.

 

The vast majority of Macs seem to have no problem seeing Helix with El Cap. Mine is the only Mac in the building that doesn't work, and like yours, it worked fine with Yosemite.

 

Oh.  I'm surprised to hear that there are instances where the two work together.

 

Check this out:

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/line-6-usb-driver-7-3-8-and-el-capitan/

 

(Admittedly, I don't know which version of a usb driver I have for the Helix and don't know how to find out).

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Apple has had this USB issue since about 2009. My 2006 (Yes, the ones that overheat and lock up every couple of hours) had audio input and output and when it wasn't overheating, recorded flawlessly.

 

It seems Apple chose to dumb down their iMac line by removing the dedicated audio in.

 

As I mentioned in another post, I rejected seven top of the line iMac 27" models back in 2013 as they all had major audio playback issues.

Back in 2013 you could walk into any of the local apple stores and repeat the issue on any random iMac they had on display.

 

Come on Apple, stop running around like rock stars and get back to work.

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This morning I went to the Apple support pages to check on the status of the Snap Crackle Pop noise issues and see if any of the forums had been updated.

I could not find the thread at all from Apple.com.

 

As a test, I tried to do an internet search for Snap Crackle Pop, and I found this:

 

snap crackle pop noices from iMac 27 | Apple Support Communities

 

I find it odd that you cannot searching find this thread on Apple.com itself which hosts it. Even a word for word search of the title gets me nothing. Nor any other issues with audio or USB audio on iMacs. Unless I search them via the internet and link to them from there.

 

FYI, the thread spans three years right up to summer 2015.

 

Can someone try this from their location?

 

My point here is that Apple's iMacs have had audio issues for over five years.

And we are being offered band-aid after band-aid.

Don't blame Helix.

If you own a Helix and a Mac, make sure you let Apple know this issue is important to you.

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I have a digitech RP500 that has USB interface to my MAC. THERE ARE NO ISSUES WITH IT. Why can't my Helix do that? Granted there are only two USB I/O.

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I learned a very very very long time ago to 

 

1. Never update to the latest OS on a computer that you actually do work on for at least 6 months after it comes out.

2. Never ever update anything on a computer on which you are working on a video or audio project until it's finished. Ever.

But Apple's USB debacle with the latest OS X update is really bad. Yuk.

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How odd. I have El Capitan on my Mac and have had no trouble with connecting the Helix to it. It communicates and loads as designed. I wish Line 6 would hurry up and release a Helix editor like the one that was for the HD500

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2014 Macbook Pro Retina running OSX El Capitan -- got my Helix yesterday and updated to firmware 1.04.2 no problem. Computer recognized Helix right away and had no issues running the firmware update. 

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Good to hear...did you upgrade to newest El Capitan that came out yesterday?  Is the Helix app working without dropping the connection to Helix?

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The problem is when streaming audio to/from the Mac via USB. It's very aggravating. I have an active support ticket on this topic.

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The problem is when streaming audio to/from the Mac via USB. It's very aggravating. I have an active support ticket on this topic.

 

Same problem for me.
I reported this problem in the bug report helix forum.
Line 6 No response on this shameful problem.
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Greetings!

 

The problem is when streaming audio to/from the Mac via USB. It's very aggravating. I have an active support ticket on this topic.

We are still working on resolving the issue and will let you know as soon as we have an update. Your current ticket is still open, we have not forgotten about you. 

 

 

Same problem for me.
I reported this problem in the bug report helix forum.
Line 6 No response on this shameful problem.

 

I would suggest you open a ticket with our customer support so that we can gather a little more info and keep you up to date on this issue. While we appreciate you posting in the bug report forum, it is also very helpful if you open a ticket. 

http://line6.com/support/tickets/

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I am having the same issue.  Have a Mid-2012 MacBook Pro with El Capitan and I could update the firmware, and can for about a minute get the Helix Beta Patch Manager to connect, but as soon as I try and export or backup and patch, setlist, and/or bundle it disconnects and crashes.

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I am having the same issue.  Have a Mid-2012 MacBook Pro with El Capitan and I could update the firmware, and can for about a minute get the Helix Beta Patch Manager to connect, but as soon as I try and export or backup and patch, setlist, and/or bundle it disconnects and crashes.

 

Hi bloozach,

 

Although there are many others on this forum who are having various issues with El Cap OS X and Helix over USB, I'm a little confused about the exact nature of your problem, so maybe some further info would help figure it out.

 

Did your Helix function correctly previously, or is this an issue with it straight out of the box. You state that you managed to update the Firmware – (but not which version?). That seems to indicate that you did manage to achieve a 2 way connection between your MBP and Helix - so that worked fine! Now, I'm guessing that you did that via the "Line 6 Updater" app and at the same time got the D/L of the Beta Helix Editor app. During the many fun filled hours I have spent trying to solve the problems with the USB on my Helix and iMac another thing which I noticed was the Helix Editor did not want to play nice, or sometimes would not launch at all, if the Updater software is still open. Don't know if that's a thing you have been experiencing? Seems, as if for some strange reason, the Helix only wants to connect to one application at a time. Also, did you get and install the Beta version of the Helix USB Driver? I ask because I tried the new driver and, in my case, it just made everything worse, so I removed it. Does your USB audio work properly, i.e., no pops, crackles or odd distortion? Have you been able to successfully record/re-amp audio through the DAW of your choice? I'm asking all this as it may help to clarify if this is a problem on your set-up with El Cap, or the Helix.

 

Regards

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I have the same problem (won't talk with the editor or updater) with my MacBook Pro Early 2011 and tried upgrading to Sierra with no joy.  Tried it with PC - no problems.  Bummer I don't own a functioning PC anymore.  Tried this with two separate Helix units with the same results.   

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I came here to get some guidance on the Helix not showing up on my system preferences, in certain situations.  But, it looks like my problems are relatively minor.

 

I'm noticing that when I reboot my Mac, I have no problems.  However, when I put it to sleep and wake it, the Helix won't show up in my system preferences / sound.  I was curious whether there's a way (perhaps through terminal) to force/prompt/cajole/pleasantly guide the Mac to find the Helix.  Any ideas?  Or should I count my blessings that it works, at all?

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Not a Mac guy for decades now, but on Windows, USB ports may get put to sleep, depending on power management settings. Something similar could account for what you're seeing.

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I came here to get some guidance on the Helix not showing up on my system preferences, in certain situations.  But, it looks like my problems are relatively minor.

 

I'm noticing that when I reboot my Mac, I have no problems.  However, when I put it to sleep and wake it, the Helix won't show up in my system preferences / sound.  I was curious whether there's a way (perhaps through terminal) to force/prompt/cajole/pleasantly guide the Mac to find the Helix.  Any ideas?  Or should I count my blessings that it works, at all?

 

Not a Mac guy for decades now, but on Windows, USB ports may get put to sleep, depending on power management settings. Something similar could account for what you're seeing.

 

Hi guys,

 

Zooey may well have a point - if the Mac goes to sleep then it will effectively just "forget" what is attached, which is why a reboot brings everything back.

 

Suggest you try disabling the "Computer sleep" option in the Energy Saver section of your System Prefs and see if that keeps alive the link to your Helix.

 

Suppose you could always simply pull the USB cable out of the socket on the Helix and then re-connect. Crude but efficient.

 

Worth a shot - let us know if it works.

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Hi guys,

 

Zooey may well have a point - if the Mac goes to sleep then it will effectively just "forget" what is attached, which is why a reboot brings everything back.

 

Suggest you try disabling the "Computer sleep" option in the Energy Saver section of your System Prefs and see if that keeps alive the link to your Helix.

 

Suppose you could simply pull the USB cable out of the socket on the Helix and then re-connect. Crude but efficient.

 

Worth a shot - let us know if it works.

 

I'm also a PC guy so I don't know if there is an equivalent setting on Mac but on a PC depending on your OS and hardware you can set your preferences under Power to just stop the USB ports from going into power saving mode without having to completely disable your power down or sleep modes for the entire computer.

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Thanks everyone for the replies.  The issue doesn't appear to be related directly to sleep/power saving mode.  

 

There seems to be a small number of variables that I can toggle: Mac power status (on/sleep/power-save/awake), Helix power status (on/off), Helix USB plug status (already in / subsequently plugged in) and Sound Output selection status.

 

Since reading the suggestions regarding the Mac power status, I've tried a small number of different variations.  In each case, the Helix USB was available in the sound output preferences window.

 

So, I'm still unsure of the conditions that make the Helix USB not show up as a sound preference.  As soon as I figure it out, I'll add a comment.  I'll also (casually) continue to look into what can be done to force the Helix USB to be recognized, through Terminal or other means.

 

Again, thanks for the replies and suggestions.

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Thanks everyone for the replies.  The issue doesn't appear to be related directly to sleep/power saving mode.  

 

There seems to be a small number of variables that I can toggle: Mac power status (on/sleep/power-save/awake), Helix power status (on/off), Helix USB plug status (already in / subsequently plugged in) and Sound Output selection status.

 

Since reading the suggestions regarding the Mac power status, I've tried a small number of different variations.  In each case, the Helix USB was available in the sound output preferences window.

 

So, I'm still unsure of the conditions that make the Helix USB not show up as a sound preference.  As soon as I figure it out, I'll add a comment.  I'll also (casually) continue to look into what can be done to force the Helix USB to be recognized, through Terminal or other means.

 

Again, thanks for the replies and suggestions.

 

Hi again,

 

I just realised that you noted that the Helix USB doesn't show up as a sound preference.

 

Question: Have you used the installed the Line 6 Custom USB driver and run OSX Audio Midi Setup utilitly to configure the Helix?

 

Maybe worth checking if not.

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Zooey may well have a point - if the Mac goes to sleep then it will effectively just "forget" what is attached, which is why a reboot brings everything back.

 

 

My UA Apollo gives a message saying that I need to turn off and back on the Apollo after the Mac go's to sleep. So Its not just the Helix interface that does it. 

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I just realised that you noted that the Helix USB doesn't show up as a sound preference.

 

 

It sometimes doesn't show up as a sound preference; most of the time Helix USB does appear as an available sound preference.  I haven't yet figured out the conditions that cause the Helix USB to disappear as an available sound preference.  Having now tested putting my Mac to sleep and then waking it, it seems that the Mac entering/exiting the sleep mode does not seem to be a sole cause.  I suspect that it's necessary but not sufficient.  I'll keep trying different variations to see if I stumble across it.

 

I thought that, perhaps, from Terminal (is that the kernel?) that I could force the Mac to recognize that the Helix USB is an available sound preference.  But, I'm far beyond my ken, when discussing what I think a computer should be able to do.

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It sometimes doesn't show up as a sound preference; most of the time Helix USB does appear as an available sound preference.  I haven't yet figured out the conditions that cause the Helix USB to disappear as an available sound preference.  Having now tested putting my Mac to sleep and then waking it, it seems that the Mac entering/exiting the sleep mode does not seem to be a sole cause.  I suspect that it's necessary but not sufficient.  I'll keep trying different variations to see if I stumble across it.

 

I thought that, perhaps, from Terminal (is that the kernel?) that I could force the Mac to recognize that the Helix USB is an available sound preference.  But, I'm far beyond my ken, when discussing what I think a computer should be able to do.

 

O.K. Now you see it, now you don't.

 

Could be down to a flakey prefs file.

 

I found this info that may help (or not). See if it work for you.

 

On rare occasions, a Mac preference file relating to audio devices may become corrupted.

This can cause a device to not show up as an input/output device in System Preferences > Sound even when there is nothing wrong with the device itself, or cause the device's MIDI ports to not show up.

 

On these occasions, deleting a few preference files can sometimes fix the issue.

The first set of files to be deleted can be found by navigating to Mac HD > Library > Preferences > Audio.

There should be two preference files in this folder:

com.apple.audio.DeviceSettings.plist

com.apple.audio.SystemSettings.plist

Any additional files in the Audio folder will likely be duplicates (which can often be the cause of the problem), you should delete these files as well.

The other preference file that can cause a similar problem is found in a different Library folder.  

On OSX 10.7 and later, open Finder > click 'Go' at the top of the screen > Hold down the "Alt/Option" key and click on the Library folder > Preferences > delete 'com.apple.audioMIDIsetup.plist'

On OSX 10.6 and earlier, the User Library folder is not hidden and so can be accessed by navigating to Mac HD > [your username] > Library > Preferences > delete 

'com.apple.audioMIDIsetup.plist'

Note: This filename is lengthened to 'com.apple.audio.audioMIDIsetup.plist' on systems running OSX 10.10 Yosemite.

There are 3 Library folders on a Mac so if you cannot see one of these files it’s worth double-checking that you are navigating to the correct one. After trashing these files restart your computer.

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I found this info that may help (or not). See if it work for you.

 

 

Thanks for info and guidance.  I'll check that out.

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As the OP, I feel compelled to mention that this thread is coming up on its first birthday.  

 

I no longer have any problem with USB/Helix/Mac.

 

Parenthetically, I've also had the Helix for a year and have never played so long and so satisfactorily through a guitar toy.  Usually I'm sick of them in 3 months.

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As the OP, I feel compelled to mention that this thread is coming up on its first birthday.  

 

I no longer have any problem with USB/Helix/Mac.

 

Parenthetically, I've also had the Helix for a year and have never played so long and so satisfactorily through a guitar toy.  Usually I'm sick of them in 3 months.

 

Happy birthday to us, one and all.

 

I acquired my Helix on November 23, 2015 and it worked flawlessly, right out of the box. Patched straight into my (then one month old) iMac 27" Retina 5 with 32GB RAM - perfect plug and play.

 

It continued that way until March 2016 when it started to malfunction with both audio and MIDI. There then ensued much wailing and moaning from me until May when Digital Igloo informed me that Line 6 had a fix for my predicament. Sadly, it was not 100% effective and I limped on until the July when FW  2.01 seemed to improve things a little. Once again, this was still not quite a 100% fix. Then just a mysteriously as it had started being weird with MIDI and Audio bugs it seems that this piece of alien technology healed its self and returned to perfection. No one has any explanation for the bout of extreme flakeyness, and as long as it continues to function as it does - I don't care. I have even indulged myself with a second Variax (JTV59) to pair up with the Helix.

 

It is a thing of total wonder!

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Happy birthday to us, one and all.

 

I acquired my Helix on November 23, 2015 and it worked flawlessly, right out of the box. Patched straight into my (then one month old) iMac 27" Retina 5 with 32GB RAM - perfect plug and play.

 

It continued that way until March 2016 when it started to malfunction with both audio and MIDI. There then ensued much wailing and moaning from me until May when Digital Igloo informed me that Line 6 had a fix for my predicament. Sadly, it was not 100% effective and I limped on until the July when FW  2.01 seemed to improve things a little. Once again, this was still not quite a 100% fix. Then just a mysteriously as it had started being weird with MIDI and Audio bugs it seems that this piece of alien technology healed its self and returned to perfection. No one has any explanation for the bout of extreme flakeyness, and as long as it continues to function as it does - I don't care. I have even indulged myself with a second Variax (JTV59) to pair up with the Helix.

 

It is a thing of total wonder!

 

Good to hear! I opt for inexplicable smooth operation over prolonged issues any day of the week.

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Good to hear! I opt for inexplicable smooth operation over prolonged issues any day of the week.

 

I'm going with "inexplicable."  Yesterday AM, my MacBook was working fine with Helix USB sound preference.  I shut the top, unplugged the USBs, took it to work where I plugged in different USBs, came home plugged in the Helix, opened the MacBook pro and... the Helix was not to be seen in the available outputs.  I figured I've narrowed the cause.  This AM, after my MacBook was left on all night and performed it's normal sleep function, the Helix USB is appearing in the Sound Outputs.

 

I'm sure there's useful information in that.  I'm just too ignorant and incurious to figure it out.  I'm going to accept the inexplicability of it.

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I'm going with "inexplicable."  Yesterday AM, my MacBook was working fine with Helix USB sound preference.  I shut the top, unplugged the USBs, took it to work where I plugged in different USBs, came home plugged in the Helix, opened the MacBook pro and... the Helix was not to be seen in the available outputs.  I figured I've narrowed the cause.  This AM, after my MacBook was left on all night and performed it's normal sleep function, the Helix USB is appearing in the Sound Outputs.

 

I'm sure there's useful information in that.  I'm just too ignorant and incurious to figure it out.  I'm going to accept the inexplicability of it.

 

 

Welcome to the Twilight Zone of Helix and USB connection. There are worm holes in space where the sound vanishes, but it's truly fantastic when it works properly. Just treat it as an X-File incident.

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