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Referance Manual - any available ?


UnderdogLeader
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Hi Guys,

I´m new here and I dont even own a Helix yet. Still researching if this fine wonder box is for me.  :)  A couple of questions:

 

1) I wonder if there is a more detailed manual available ? The current manual for download is pretty poor though it gives a good overview.

2) Does the Helix have options for alternate guitar tunings ?  Can you program a block to Drop D tuning or any other tuning ?

3) I play through a Fender Vibroking. Would it make sense to put a Helix in front of the VK or is it a must to go through a PA ?

 

Thanks for your input  :D

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1)  Not yet and I'm not sure if they have one planned.

2)  Yes with a Variax.  You can drop the tuning down on a regular guitar but not individual strings.

3)  It should work great through a Vibroking.  You can use it as fx only into the front of the amp or set up the 4-cable method (much better option IMHO).  It sounds great through FRFR but it's not a requirement.

 

I play mine mostly through FRFR or headphones but some of the time I go into a DT25 using Line 6 Link and a MIDI cable or into a Randall Amp using 4-cable method.  All of these options sound terrific.

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Hi Guys,

I´m new here and I dont even own a Helix yet. Still researching if this fine wonder box is for me.  :)  A couple of questions:

 

1) I wonder if there is a more detailed manual available ? The current manual for download is pretty poor though it gives a good overview.

2) Does the Helix have options for alternate guitar tunings ?  Can you program a block to Drop D tuning or any other tuning ?

3) I play through a Fender Vibroking. Would it make sense to put a Helix in front of the VK or is it a must to go through a PA ?

 

Thanks for your input  :D

 

 

http://line6.com/data/6/0a06439cb91a5609df67966ca/application/pdf/Helix%20Owners%20Manual%20%28REV%20B%29%20-%20English%20%28%20Rev%20B%20%29.pdf

 

Sure you've got this manual? I find it very detailed and not poor...

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Thanks guys for your reply and great knowledge. Much appreciated.

 

Just a comment, Helix is a complex box -  a computer combined with DSP´s

and a  operating system. A proper reference manual would probably enable another

level of programming possibilities as well as enable opensource programmers

to make an editor interface that Line6 may not want to share / or offer resources 

for.  Likewise the open source (free) editor software for Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth.

 

Thanks again. ;)

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Thanks guys for your reply and great knowledge. Much appreciated.

 

Just a comment, Helix is a complex box -  a computer combined with DSP´s

and a  operating system. A proper reference manual would probably enable another

level of programming possibilities as well as enable opensource programmers

to make an editor interface that Line6 may not want to share / or offer resources 

for.  Likewise the open source (free) editor software for Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth.

 

Thanks again. ;)

 

It's not that kind of product I don't think. I'm fairly certain that there isn't another level of programming in the box that would do much for the kind of guitarist that is going to use it. When you see all the parameters, for instance, that you can program in a given amp... what else are you hoping for?

 

As far as an editor goes, the unit is so easy to learn and use that the only thing the eventual computer editor is going to get you is the same interface on a laptop or iOs screen or some such so that you don't have to bend down as much.

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The current manual for download is pretty poor...

<_<

 

Helix is a complex box—a computer combined with DSPs and a operating system. A proper reference manual would probably enable another level of programming possibilities as well as enable open source programmers to make an editor interface that Line6 may not want to share/or offer resources for. Likewise the open source (free) editor software for Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth.

IIRC, Line 6 has never supported full SysEx implementation; our editors communicate via a simple yet proprietary data protocol that no white paper could ever hope to explain without divulging IP.

 

The Helix Owner's Manual is the length it is because the box is so simple to use—90% of what your average guitarist needs to know is on the one-page Cheat Sheet! I suppose it'd be nice to have an exhaustive section detailing every parameter on every model, but from a functional standpoint, any more text would only serve to confuse. Its brevity is by design.

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<_<

 

IIRC, Line 6 has never supported full SysEx implementation; our editors communicate via a simple yet proprietary data protocol that no white paper could ever hope to explain without divulging IP.

 

The Helix Owner's Manual is the length it is because the box is so simple to use—90% of what your average guitarist needs to know is on the one-page Cheat Sheet! I suppose it'd be nice to have an exhaustive section detailing every parameter on every model, but from a functional standpoint, any more text would only serve to confuse. Its brevity is by design.

With all due respect, for a product costing this much with so many features and parameters, that is a pathetic view for the manufacturer to take.

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With all due respect, for a product costing this much with so many features and parameters, that is a pathetic view for the manufacturer to take.

 

Seriously? I strongly disagree.

 

This is a tool for guitarists. No doubt LIne 6 knows that 95% of them probably would say "System Exclusive of what?"

 

It's not a synthesizer made for rocket scientist computer genius keyboard players after all.

 

I really seriously doubt that many people are pining away for 3rd party Editor/Librarians for their guitar processor.

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With all due respect, for a product costing this much with so many features and parameters, that is a pathetic view for the manufacturer to take.

This is Technical Writing 101:

 

The goal of technical documentation should never be an exhaustive dissertation covering anything anyone could ever possibly ask about a product. The goal of technical documentation is to entice the user to read it. Studies show almost NO ONE will read a 300-page passive voice wall-o-text. A bunch of people will read a concise, 50-page user guide with illustrations and active voice step-by-step instructions. Almost everyone will at least peruse a full-color, glossy Cheat Sheet with pretty pictures.

 

Helix's day-to-day functionality is 85-90% covered by the 1-page Cheat Sheet alone. The remaining 10-15% is covered by its 50-page (50 pages on purpose!) Helix Owner's Manual. All of it is backed up with videos, KB articles, blogs, and a metric ton of discussion on the forums. The reasons we don't include an exhaustive play-by-play on every model parameter are simple:

  • Since we model other manufacturers' IP, there's a constantly moving fine line dividing what we can and can't say. We include a list of the original products modeled so that one can dive into Google and get as granular as they like. For example, the full description for the Universal Audio (Teletronix) LA-2A Compressor's Emphasis Knob could fill two pages. If you need to know how a particular amp's tonestack behaves, Helix's model is close enough that the original amp's manual can serve you better than we ever could... or would be allowed to, ethically or even legally
  • Helix's model list continues to be a constantly evolving target, and we now have to translate Owner's Manuals and Pilot's Guides into over twenty languages
  • If the vast majority of people prefer to watch how-to videos over reading a manual, the smart company would put their resources there

The main reason we don't support SysEx isn't to keep two people from making their own custom editors—it's because our communication protocol is a lot more flexible, robust, and faster to implement than SysEx. It makes for better products.

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"The main reason we don't support SysEx isn't to keep two people from making their own custom editors—it's because our communication protocol is a lot more flexible, robust, and faster to implement than SysEx. It makes for better products."

 

Great to hear, may we expect Line6 to issue a nice usable editor that present all programming possibilities to a PC platform ?

Feel free to get inspiration from these guys:  http://sourceforge.net/projects/grfloorboard/

 

The above editor for Roland GR-55 has made it easy to quite a few guitar folks to program great sounds and tweek parameters to its best

in an easy way.  Would surely also be an asset for Helix owners.

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Seriously? I strongly disagree.

 

This is a tool for guitarists. No doubt LIne 6 knows that 95% of them probably would say "System Exclusive of what?"

 

It's not a synthesizer made for rocket scientist computer genius keyboard players after all.

 

I really seriously doubt that many people are pining away for 3rd party Editor/Librarians for their guitar processor.

Yes seriously, And I was referring to the general point made by the original poster, not the single line referencing lack of support for a basic midi command.

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This is Technical Writing 101:

 

The goal of technical documentation should never be an exhaustive dissertation covering anything anyone could ever possibly ask about a product. The goal of technical documentation is to entice the user to read it. Studies show almost NO ONE will read a 300-page passive voice wall-o-text. A bunch of people will read a concise, 50-page user guide with illustrations and active voice step-by-step instructions. Almost everyone will at least peruse a full-color, glossy Cheat Sheet with pretty pictures.

 

Helix's day-to-day functionality is 85-90% covered by the 1-page Cheat Sheet alone. The remaining 10-15% is covered by its 50-page (50 pages on purpose!) Helix Owner's Manual. All of it is backed up with videos, KB articles, blogs, and a metric ton of discussion on the forums. The reasons we don't include an exhaustive play-by-play on every model parameter are simple:

  • Since we model other manufacturers' IP, there's a constantly moving fine line dividing what we can and can't say. We include a list of the original products modeled so that one can dive into Google and get as granular as they like. For example, the full description for the Universal Audio (Teletronix) LA-2A Compressor's Emphasis Knob could fill two pages. If you need to know how a particular amp's tonestack behaves, Helix's model is close enough that the original amp's manual can serve you better than we ever could... or would be allowed to, ethically or even legally
  • Helix's model list continues to be a constantly evolving target, and we now have to translate Owner's Manuals and Pilot's Guides into over twenty languages
  • If the vast majority of people prefer to watch how-to videos over reading a manual, the smart company would put their resources there

The main reason we don't support SysEx isn't to keep two people from making their own custom editors—it's because our communication protocol is a lot more flexible, robust, and faster to implement than SysEx. It makes for better products.

Thank you for your condescending reply referencing the lack of system exclusive support, something that you seem to have introduced as the be all and end all of the lack of reference material from Line6. The original poster made a perfectly valid point that you seem happy to rubbish. I could tell you what I think of your claim that what 90% of all guitarists need to know about the operation of the Helix is available from the cheat sheet but I would hope that even you might be able to work it out. I personally have learned more from user videos and this forum about some of the more advanced uses of the unit than I have from the cheat sheet. Thanks for your kind attention

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can you give an example of what you would like to see in a technical manual

I'd wager most of the users on here are fine with the level of detail provided . I also think it's not an unreasonable stance to take not to pour a LOT of effort and resource into writing proofreading and updating something only a few people want (for reasons that are yet unclear)

Oh and if you feel condescended by the replies perhaps you should consider the tone you open with?

If you act like a brat you can expect to be treated like one

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Thank you for your condescending reply referencing the lack of system exclusive support, something that you seem to have introduced as the be all and end all of the lack of reference material from Line6. The original poster made a perfectly valid point that you seem happy to rubbish. I could tell you what I think of your claim that what 90% of all guitarists need to know about the operation of the Helix is available from the cheat sheet but I would hope that even you might be able to work it out. I personally have learned more from user videos and this forum about some of the more advanced uses of the unit than I have from the cheat sheet. Thanks for your kind attention

Not sure how anyone could consider what I wrote condescending; there are empirical, pragmatic, technical explanations for why we don't support SysEx; the fact that almost no guitarist knows SysEx is just icing on the cake. Regardless, I wasn't sure which part of my post you took offense at—the manual thing or the SysEx thing—so I addressed both.

 

The 90% comment wasn't pulled out of a hat; we've spent countless hours watching users interact with Helix's UI, months or even years before it was even announced. If a feature, function, or procedure wasn't obvious enough to discover without help, we'd redesign it until it was. If you read the Cheat Sheet, it covers almost all functions someone needs to create and edit tones. A lot of the minutia it doesn't cover (such as moving blocks down to create parallel paths) appears as helper text on Helix's screen. Anything else is covered in the manual. Craig Anderson is currently writing a comprehensive Helix review on Harmony Central and is actively eschewing both the Cheat Sheet and the manual to test Helix's discoverability and ease-of-use.

 

Regardless, there's a purpose behind everything, and there are many reasons why the full Helix Owner's Manual is only 50 pages. Here are the two most important ones again:

  • All 1.0 features and functions (aside from individual model parameters) are indeed covered in the Helix Owner's Manual
  • Individual model parameters cannot be covered in detail for legal, ethical, and operational reasons, and exhaustive information exists elsewhere

The Cheat Sheet is really a desperate ploy to get people up and running very quickly, knowing full well that the majority of people will never crack the manual. Plus, it lists all the cool shortcuts that really speed up tone creation (touch switch to select, hold switch to assign block, hold knob to assign controller, touch TAP to open tempo panel, hold BYPASS to turn Global EQ on/off, etc.), and knowing them makes the whole process a lot more fun.

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" FROM LINE6:   ..........should never be an exhaustive dissertation covering anything anyone could ever possibly ask about a product. The goal of technical documentation is to entice the user to read it. Studies show almost NO ONE will read a 300-page passive voice wall-o-text. A bunch of people will read a concise, 50-page user guide with illustrations and active voicestep-by-step instructions. Almost everyone will at least peruse a full-color, glossy Cheat Sheet with pretty pictures.

Helix's day-to-day functionality is 85-90% covered by the 1-page Cheat Sheet alone. The remaining 10-15% is covered by its 50-page (50 pages on purpose!) Helix Owner's Manual. All of it is backed up with videos, KB articles, blogs, and a metric ton of discussion on the forums. The reasons we don't include an exhaustive play-by-play on every model parameter............."

 

Wow !  ....  Out of interest for the Helix I have read most pages in the Helix manual but I surely miss many details. I guess if I had the Helix unit handy I could experiment the possibilities and have fun during so spending hours and hours of practical research. On the other hand why not use that time enjoying playing guitar ? In my job I often turn to reference manuals and whitepapers and I can assure that Line6 folks are correct when they claim that nobody will read 300 pages technical stuff for fun. However that is NOT the intention with a reference manual. If someone have a problem or want to go in debt with a matter you turn to the manual. And.... probably no need to translate to twenty languages. Musicians are "smart" folks  :) 

Perhaps Line6 is also smart folks when they relay on the customers support on youtube, in forums ect, ect. Its probably just me, but I am able to find very few videos from Line6 about technical Helix stuff but quite a few commercial adds for the unit. But there might off course be much more in the pipeline. Please remember this unit is not cheap at all and the fact that Line6 promote their new baby as top of the line may call for proper support and documentation.....

 

 

  

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Please remember this unit is not cheap at all and the fact that Line6 promote their new baby as top of the line may call for proper support and documentation...

I feel your pain, but it should be stressed that aside from individual model parameter descriptions (which we're not allowed to include for legal and ethical reasons), the Helix Owner's Manual covers literally everything the box can do. Any how-to videos or KB articles just reiterate what's already there.

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Unless you are going to programme it or solder it then why do you need a reference manual?

I'm sure there is a fair bit of technical documentation internal to Line6 but if you are expecting a 'Haynes Manual' then I don't think it's realistic.

It's already a heavy support overhead ... Can you imagine how many different ways people could run into problems if it were opened up like this?

Then you get into propriety technology and intellectual property?

If that's the level of hacking you want to do then this isn't the unit for you. I would say get an AX 8 but they won't give you any of that info either

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I will say this. I read the whole manual the week before Helix arrived in my hot little hands.

After sitting down with it for a day or two and then referring the manual about 2 or 3 times... I have not had to look again, and in fact, I'm not sure where I put my printout I made. I lost it... because I don't need it.

 

But I do recall that every function in the entire unit was in there in all the detail you need to actually use the unit.

 

Anderton has the right idea I've learned. Reading that manual was a waste of time for me, except that as a beta tester I felt compelled to so I would be able to point out anything that might be "off" in it... (there isn't).

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