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How do I access HD Workbench with Helix?

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Sold off my HD500 and now have a Helix and that USB connecter thingy. Tried to access workbench using the USB port and no luck (running OS X Yosemite). I don't believe Helix will port my variax through to workbench. Do I have any options right now? 

 

Thanks

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If Helix won't/can't connect, then you're gonna need the goofy USB dongle that came with the guitar, a fully charged battery in the JTV, and a 1/4" cable plugged in to "turn on" the guitar, otherwise it won't be recognized.

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The Line 6 folks won't/can't comment on future features, but it would seem pretty silly if they never added that feature to the Helix in a future firmware update.

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The Line 6 folks won't/can't comment on future features, but it would seem pretty silly if they never added that feature to the Helix in a future firmware update.

If you ask me, it's borderline absurd to have left it out in the first place...

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I don't think it's absurd; rather it's a good business decision to get Helix to market earlier. Helix as is targets potentially every guitar player. Adding the Variax Workbench interface capability improves Helix for a rather small minority of guitar players - namely, Variax owners. They would have lost some degree of market share and revenue by holding back the product for everyone to add a bit of extra value for a few.

 

I expect it's coming. You'll recall they made the same business decision with the POD HD series. Workbench interface capability was added in a firmware update months after initial release.

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I don't think it's absurd; rather it's a good business decision to get Helix to market earlier. Helix as is targets potentially every guitar player. Adding the Variax Workbench interface capability improves Helix for a rather small minority of guitar players - namely, Variax owners. They would have lost some degree of market share and revenue by holding back the product for everyone to add a bit of extra value for a few.

 

I expect it's coming. You'll recall they made the same business decision with the POD HD series. Workbench interface capability was added in a firmware update months after initial release.

I may be naive in my thought that Line 6 SHOULD have some degree of respect for those who indeed HAVE purchased Variax guitars, and who thrive on having that special connection between the the two pieces of equipment (historically HD500/500X), and the Variax.

 

Personally, I don't recall the HD500 not allowing the Variax to communicate with Workbench upon the HD500's release. I figure you must be accurate on this piece of info, though.

 

Can you comment about your "expectation" regarding the Helix/Legacy Variax communication, as we have come to accept as the norm with HD500/500X? Or is this part of  Line 6's "planned obsolescence" regarding the Legacy Variaxes still out there, working as they should still....

Specifically, controlling Variax patches in a live situation - the Workbench issue is unimportant for me, as I will keep one of my 500s as a backup live unit, and for workbench communication if necessary,

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.....

 

Can you comment about your "expectation" regarding the Helix/Legacy Variax communication, as we have come to accept as the norm with HD500/500X? Or is this part of  Line 6's "planned obsolescence" regarding the Legacy Variaxes still out there, working as they should still....

I have no particular expectation about that. We'll have to wait and see.

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They would have lost some degree of market share and revenue by holding back the product for everyone to add a bit of extra value for a few.

 

Cutting corners and rushing things to market only makes sense to the bean-counters among us (and they all have tunnel vision). It irritates the rest of the world. Plus, the whole product integration angle is HUGE for L6, so leaving it out makes little sense to me. Having everything work together sells more stuff...period. How many times have you seen someone post that they shelled out for the entire dream rig all at once? I've seen it a number of times. Why sell just a Helix, when you could tap somebody for a JTV and an L2T at the same time? And why pi$$ off those who already have the other pieces? Do you want them to continue buying your gear, or not? Loyal customers keep businesses afloat, not the guy who buys one thing, and never comes back.

 

Besides, I seriously doubt that they would have lost any sales. It's still less expensive than most of the Fractal stuff, and guys have been salavating for this thing since June. Lots more still waiting because as soon as anyone gets a few in stock, they disappear. If the current wait time hasn't driven most of them to Fractal and Kemper, nothing will.

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Well, here I sit trying to use Workbench with my Variax connected to my Helix. Its now my standard setup in my studio. I did a google search, and found this thread with bad news.

 

So, what a hassle to have to stop what I'm doing, get out that USB dongle, reconnect everything, and run monkeys and workbenches. ARG!! There goes the creative moment when all I wanted to do was modify a tuning or some pickups.

 

Throw us a bone, those of us who invested in Line 6 gear ... hook, line and sinker. Please add Workbench support via Helix connection.

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Well, here I sit trying to use Workbench with my Variax connected to my Helix. Its now my standard setup in my studio. I did a google search, and found this thread with bad news.

 

So, what a hassle to have to stop what I'm doing, get out that USB dongle, reconnect everything, and run monkeys and workbenches. ARG!! There goes the creative moment when all I wanted to do was modify a tuning or some pickups.

 

Throw us a bone, those of us who invested in Line 6 gear ... hook, line and sinker. Please add Workbench support via Helix connection.

Interesting, I wrote nearly a verbatim topic on the Helix Forum just 2 minutes ago. My sentiments exactly tonite in my studio. Double Aargh.

Please make that happen Line 6 and I promise you, I will a able to sell at least 10 of my recording guitarists to move on over to digital land.

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I have purchased a Helix recently and was seriously considering also buying the Variax Shuriken. They seemed to be a perfect match. I am very interested in using a Variax with workbench and Helix as the interface. But reading this threat and the debacle of not being able to use Helix as an interfface for Workbench has really held me back from purchasing the Shuriken. I am not interrsted in spending another hundred bucks on just a silly old usb connector while i already own the Line6 flagship. Come on, it has been years since the Helix was released and it is still not implemented. Seriously disappointing and making no sense at all. I got a ton of Line 6 hardware but a Variax won't be any of them until i see Line6 coming with a fix for this. This could be a big selling point for getting more folks interrsted in the Varaix and Workbench HD so i don't understand why they don't make this happen already.

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The Helix is an interface for work bench HD, since firmware 2.0. I have 2 JTV's and it works fine now. It is not able to do Variax firmware updates yet, but your shurikan should come with the USB interface that can do jtv fw updates. I have 2 that came with my 2 JTV's.

Dave

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.... Come on, it has been years since the Helix was released and it is still not implemented. ....

This capability was implemented almost a year ago, as of firmware version 2.20. There have been several more firmware updates since that time.

 

Your homework: when exactly was v2.20 released, and how many updates have there been since then? (Hint: Check the Downloads area of this website.)

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Ridiculous!!! Blah, blah...(Righteous Indignation)... how dare they?!?!?!?!?!..Blah, blah...It's been years, and they still can't get their $hit together...(more righteous indignation)... feel my pain.

 

"Huh? I'm reading a thread that started more than 2 years ago and ranting about a problem that no longer exists?"

 

Oops... lmao. 😂

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As far as i could find anywhere in all forum threads about this subject is that the Helix still does not succesfully operate as an usb interface between Variax and the Workbench software. From what i gathered from all posts of Variax owners is that you will still need the usb dongle that doesn't come included with all Variax models, but can be purchased seperately for an additional $100 in order to make the Variax communicate with Workbench. Am i wrong in this assumption? My point is that i would like to use the Helix as the usb interface without having to spend another $100 on a dongle.

 

Or am i missing something here and does the Helix now function flawlessly as a usb interface for the Workbench software?

I am not talking about the built-in Variax support of the Helix, but am wondering about the Helix as the link with the Workbench software without the need of an additional dongle. Or does the updated built-in support for Variax in the Helix make the Workbench software redundant and now give you full access to all customization functions that Workbench offers? I couldn't find this info anywhere either and i don't think Helix fully replaces Workbench just yet and still doesn't work as a way to connect to Workbench.

 

If i am wrong and it is implemented by now with the latest updates then I stand corrected. I have no way to test this myself but would love to get a clear answer from an actual Variax owner that doesn't own the dongle and uses Helix to access all the Workbench functionality.

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The Helix is an interface for work bench HD, since firmware 2.0. I have 2 JTV's and it works fine now. It is not able to do Variax firmware updates yet, but your shurikan should come with the USB interface that can do jtv fw updates. I have 2 that came with my 2 JTV's.

Dave

Ah thank you Fave i was NOT aware of that and haven't been able to find this info or have been able to test it since i don't own a Variax just yet but was considering to get one once i knew for sure things were working properly.

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[...] From what i gathered from all posts of Variax owners is that you will still need the usb dongle that doesn't come included with all Variax models, but can be purchased seperately for an additional $100 in order to make the Variax communicate with Workbench. Am i wrong in this assumption? [...]

 

Or am i missing something here and does the Helix now function flawlessly as a usb interface for the Workbench software?

Yes to both.

 

[...] Or does the updated built-in support for Variax in the Helix make the Workbench software redundant and now give you full access to all customization functions that Workbench offers? [...]

If i am wrong and it is implemented by now with the latest updates then I stand corrected. [...]

The Worbench HD software delivers deeper editing possibilities (building your own models etc.).

JTV with Helix it works flawless. Important parameters (tone, tuning etc) can be edited with Helix 'standalone'.

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Yes to both.

 

The Worbench HD software delivers deeper editing possibilities (building your own models etc.).

JTV with Helix it works flawless. Important parameters (tone, tuning etc) can be edited with Helix 'standalone'.

Excellent. Thank you for your reply. I am very much interested in the deeper editing features of Workbench HD and this is why it is so important to me to know that Helix finally communicates flawlessly as an interface to Workbench HD for the Shuriken. Glad to see it is working fine for the JTV. I hope the same goes for the shuriken which still seems to be dealing with some of its own issues. I read in the Helix 2.5 release description that there are still some other known Shuriken related issues at the moment.

 

I am sorry if i came across like some entitled troll. I have been doing my homework for months and there is just not that much specific Shuriken and Workbench HD related info out there. I cannot afford spending $1400 on a guitar of which i am not fully sure it will capable of doing what i expect it to do. And i only found the frustrated posts of some of other Variax users in the past complaining about these issues Helix and Workbench connectivity. From all the documents i have been able to find and read i could only still conclude that it was still an ongoing issue for Variax users trying to use Workbench HD through their Helix. I apologize for the way i might have annoyed some and would like to express at the same time my gratitude and admiration for the Line6 team doing an amazing job so far with the Helix.

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