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Marcpattison

Does the Helix have Bluetooth built in for a possible blue tooth app?

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I am getting my Helix this Friday, but I've been wondering why all the other new products have the ability to program a unit or change settings on the fly via ipad or smart phone, while the new flagship doesn't seem to have this feature. Are there any plans for this in the future? Is the unit even capable if they do write an app?

 

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Helix presets are much much larger than presets in AMPLIFi or Firehawk, and there are 1,024 of 'em. It'd take forever to sync presets every time you connected. Currently, tethered Mac/PC makes more sense for the type of environments we envision Helix in.

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And the good news is that the interface on Helix is so easy to figure out that when I misplaced my manual in late December, just a few days after receiving Helix, I didn't find it again until a few days ago because I didn't bother looking for it.

The interface is ridiculously easy.

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Up to a certain degree...

For example, take a look at this discussion:

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/18839-path-ab/

 

I know, but I respectfully disagree with those who think there are any difficulties that can't be solved by the manual and experimentation. There is SO much flexibility in Helix that I have found TOTALLY new and better ways to set up my patches in just the past few days that are blowing me away. None of that can be learned by ANYTHING other than experimentation. A longer manual won't help and will probably hinder, and an external editor will make no difference either way.

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I know, but I respectfully disagree with those who think there are any difficulties that can't be solved by the manual and experimentation. There is SO much flexibility in Helix that I have found TOTALLY new and better ways to set up my patches in just the past few days that are blowing me away. None of that can be learned by ANYTHING other than experimentation. A longer manual won't help and will probably hinder, and an external editor will make no difference either way.

If it works for you - fantastic!

But people are different. Some want less experiments and more 'instructions'.

I don't want a longer manual.

Maybe a more structured faq...

And finally:

 

Helix does not have any (internal) bluetooth functionality.

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But people are different. Some want less experiments and more 'instructions'.

 

What's the manual missing, besides model-specific parameter discussions, which can get sketchy, since you're dealing with third-party IP? If you read it cover-to-cover (it's designed to be a very quick read at 50 pages), you will literally know how to do everything.*

 

If the argument is "I shouldn't have to read a manual!", then cool—Helix is still miles ahead of other boxes, discoverability-wise, and we can prove it with metrics. But wouldn't it be easier and take less time to read the 12-page Quick Start section than perusing one paragraph without the proper context (context = the Quick Start section that the very first page implores you to read in its entirety) and then posting about it?

 

FWIW, there are a metric ton of manuals in this industry that consist of "WALL O' TEXT." It appears as if they have more content, but it's just filler that makes your eyes gloss over. They're incredibly difficult to parse, and almost no one reads them.

 

* outside of things not specific to Helix, like the billion different ways to hook gear up, how MIDI works, how amps and effects sound in different orders, etc.

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I don't see why the bluetooth synced app has to have any information other than the controls of the current patch and the names of the other patches. 

 

Surely, syncing one preset (or a bank of 4) and a text list of the entire setlist (or all of them) shouldn't be out of reach for Bluetooth. 

 

Naturally, it'd be great to download new patches and beam them to the unit as well. 

The bluetooth functionality wouldn't have to be super deep.

 

Just the ability to switch presets and download new ones would be nice. I imagine mounting a phone/tablet to a mic stand and controlling it without bending over, or if the Helix isn't right next to you.

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I don't see why the bluetooth synced app has to have any information other than the controls of the current patch and the names of the other patches. 

 

Surely, syncing one preset (or a bank of 4) and a text list of the entire setlist (or all of them) shouldn't be out of reach for Bluetooth. 

 

Because the experience of changing presets, waiting XX seconds for the patch to sync, changing presets, waiting XX seconds for the patch to sync changing presets, waiting XX seconds for the patch to sync... sucks.

 

It doesn't matter anyway. Helix is designed for professionals, and studios record with Macs and PCs, not iPads. At least in 2016.

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I don't see why the bluetooth synced app has to have any information other than the controls of the current patch and the names of the other patches.

 

Surely, syncing one preset (or a bank of 4) and a text list of the entire setlist (or all of them) shouldn't be out of reach for Bluetooth.

+1 Absolutely agree! Even if the Helix required a limited implementation of an editor or control app it would still be awesome! I have been advocating for bluetooth/iOS connectivity since I first received my Helix. Certain operations would be so much easier with drag & drop. Being able to program the editor while standing up or sitting at practice when you don't have access to a PC editor would also be nice. Having an iPad at eye level on my mic stand at the gig for on the fly adjustments would be hella great for the floor unit Helix version. Bluetooth/iPad may not be for everybody and I in no way want to detract from the efforts to develop the Helix's physical interface but I think remote iPad/Android connectivity would be a huge enhancement.

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Because the experience of changing presets, waiting XX seconds for the patch to sync, changing presets, waiting XX seconds for the patch to sync changing presets, waiting XX seconds for the patch to sync... sucks.

 

It doesn't matter anyway. Helix is designed for professionals, and studios record with Macs and PCs, not iPads. At least in 2016.

 

Another way to approach it if the current Bluetooth protocol is too slow would be the approach the Digitech IPB-10 took which is to provide an actual hard-wired iOS connection for an iPad.

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I don't see why the bluetooth synced app has to have any information other than the controls of the current patch and the names of the other patches. 

 

Surely, syncing one preset (or a bank of 4) and a text list of the entire setlist (or all of them) shouldn't be out of reach for Bluetooth. 

 

Naturally, it'd be great to download new patches and beam them to the unit as well. 

The bluetooth functionality wouldn't have to be super deep.

 

Just the ability to switch presets and download new ones would be nice. I imagine mounting a phone/tablet to a mic stand and controlling it without bending over, or if the Helix isn't right next to you.

 

USB 2.0 has a data transfer rate over 400 mbps...Bluetooth is around 1 to 3 mbps depending on wireless channel conditions (about 2 mbps most of the time)...Bluetooth is VERY VERY slow compared to USB.

 

If you really want wireless, then a WIFI dongle like the M20D has might be what is needed for transfers to be at least on par or better then USB (802.11N or AC)...

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It doesn't matter anyway. Helix is designed for professionals, and studios record with Macs and PCs, not iPads. At least in 2016.

 

Yup. Same reason such features aren't on Kemper or Axe.

 

 

Another way to approach it if the current Bluetooth protocol is too slow would be the approach the Digitech IPB-10 took which is to provide an actual hard-wired iOS connection for an iPad.

 

That really worked out well for them...  :wacko:

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....

 

 

That really worked out well for them...  :wacko:

 

That unit may never have quite caught on with the public in term of huge sales but it does not begin to have the same feature set or sound quality as the Helix. The concept itself was somewhat visionary and just because it was not the complete package everyone was looking for does not mean it did not have some features that could be adopted and adapted. Many a failed product has included an innovation or two that were later executed better and adopted successfully elsewhere.

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...

It doesn't matter anyway. Helix is designed for professionals, and studios record with Macs and PCs, not iPads. At least in 2016.

 

Although I am sure there are those who would and are exploring the recording possibilities with the iPad; I believe the primary interest in  Helix/iPad connectivity is not about studio recording, it is more about programming and making minor adjustments in live performances, living room, and for some, even in a home studio (although most home studios would probably opt for a PC or Mac). I am a working paid to play "semi-pro" musician (I still have a day job) and I would love to see iPad connectivity. 

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That unit may never have quite caught on with the public in term of huge sales but it does not begin to have the same feature set or sound quality as the Helix. The concept itself was somewhat visionary and just because it was not the complete package everyone was looking for does not mean it did not have some features that could be adopted and adapted. Many a failed product has included an innovation or two that were later executed better and adopted successfully elsewhere.

 

The problem with iPB-10 was that it relied on the iPad in such a way that it was completely useless without it. When Apple changed over the lightning connector, Digitech was screwed.

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The problem with iPB-10 was that it relied on the iPad in such a way that it was completely useless without it. When Apple changed over the lightning connector, Digitech was screwed.

 

Agreed, the IPB-10 had its shortcomings and I am not in any way advocating that the Helix emulate the IPB-10 or repeat the same mistakes, I would take the Helix over the IPB-10 any day (under-statement of the year). I simply trotted it out as the only example of iPad programming on a MFX that I am aware of. The iPad part of its interface was really cool and super easy to use.

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The other problem with the IPB-10 is that it used very very old technology in a new format (the fact that you couldn't change one single thing in the patches without your iPad present didn't help. There was no difference in sound between it and the RP1000. It was a perfect storm of bad design decisions imho.

That said, everybody has cycles, Digitech has been very forward thinking at times, and I wonder what they might have up their sleeve about now.

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The other problem with the IPB-10 is that it used very very old technology in a new format (the fact that you couldn't change one single thing in the patches without your iPad present didn't help. There was no difference in sound between it and the RP1000. It was a perfect storm of bad design decisions imho.

 

That said, everybody has cycles, Digitech has been very forward thinking at times, and I wonder what they might have up their sleeve about now.

 

I really agree about the absolute requirement to have physical knobs and swtiches in addition to touchscreen. One of the things that Line6 really got right with the Stagescape M20d in the new world of compact mixers controlled by iPads, is they also included physical knobs and buttons where most other manufacturers didn't. I am just saying having both a physical and touchscreen option is a knockout punch.  The iPad/touchscreen has its place as a secondary ajunct interface, not as a replacement for a physical interface (knobs, switches). The unit ideally should also always have its own screen so you are not dependent on the iPad.

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The problem with iPB-10 was that it relied on the iPad in such a way that it was completely useless without it. When Apple changed over the lightning connector, Digitech was screwed.

 

Actually, you can buy an adaptor that enables the IPB-10 to work with the lightning connector but you are absolutely correct when you point out that hard-wiring always brings the threat of imminent obsolescence.

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I actually have done recordings with the Helix and iPad using the camera kit. It works well for the most part. Obviously it is limited with no reamping and storage space (pretty much forced to use cloud storage) but it works. I have a laptop now but haven't but the bullet on new software yet.

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Also it would be cool to have an iPad holder on your mic stand and have the iPad show the Helx display. Even if that is all it did it would be cool. Especially with my vision issues.

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Also it would be cool to have an iPad holder on your mic stand and have the iPad show the Helx display. Even if that is all it did it would be cool. Especially with my vision issues.

 

You and me both brother! It's also a lot easier on the back for adjustments when you are standing at a mic than bending down to the floor.

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Let's remember to stay grounded here and not let unrealistic hopes get the better of us. Re-read post #2 in this thread.

 

Of course, things are still good if by iPad you mean PC laptop or Mac equivalent, with a USB tether running the pending Helix editor. But that's not really what this thread is about. No harm in dreaming, but that's what it is for the forseeable future.

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Let's remember to stay grounded here and not let unrealistic hopes get the better of us. Re-read post #2 in this thread.

 

Of course, things are still good if by iPad you mean PC laptop or Mac equivalent, with a USB tether running the pending Helix editor. But that's not really what this thread is about. No harm in dreaming, but that's what it is for the forseeable future.

 

We are definitely sometimes just dreaming out loud or proposing things for future development However, some of the ideas like limited function Bluetooth apps or tethered iPad could perhaps be implemented in the present.

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Yup. Same reason such features aren't on Kemper or Axe.

 

 

 

 

I say give Helix time to catch up first, (before boasting how superior it is to the other two)- there is time, and competition is always good for the pocketbook... It will one day have the same if not more goodies as those two do now- Hell its brand new and slung out the door so fast the contractual ink to meet the deadline is not completely dry on the paper yet... And the Rack unit is still a month off from hitting the vendor shelves! As far as having Helix settings adjusted by my iPad, Id really like the have the desk top editor 1st. But later on this (as it has many possibilities) would be a kewl feature too.

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It's worth reminding people that you can get pretty cheap Windows tablets with USB ports if this really is a want of yours

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I edit my FX8 and my Amplifire with my surface pro on a music stand and it works just fine but then that is a top end tablet

No reason why the cheaper ones shouldn't be able to handle the helix editor when it comes out

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I edit my FX8 and my Amplifire with my surface pro on a music stand and it works just fine but then that is a top end tablet

No reason why the cheaper ones shouldn't be able to handle the helix editor when it comes out

 

Great suggestion, some kind of Windows tablet with the upcoming editor might be just the ticket for now! It would be tethered but it is no big issue to run a USB cable up a mic stand or a music stand. The major drawback of having to use a Windows based tablet is that all my other apps for live performance are on iPad. I use OnSong for lyrics and set lists(probably the dominant lyrics and set list program on the market and not available on Windows) and I also have my digital mixer control app on iPad. As a matter of fact the vast majority of performance and equipment related apps are on iPad. I can't see having two tablets on my mic stand. Maybe one on my mic stand and one on a music or a mic stand with tablet holder off to the side. Damm, thought I had dumped the music stand forever.   :(

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Check this adapter out:  

Yamaha MD-BT01 

 

You plug it in the midi in/out and it will create a bluetooth midi audio signal to connect to an ipad.  Limited uses - but may meet your needs.  You can send signals to GarageBand on your ipad wirelessly for example. 

 

 

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While I have to agree that it may be "convenient" to link to a BT device for control..  BT is sketchy.

 

One thing I could imagine happening is that I'm in the middle of a set, reach over to my trusty BT device to make a set setup change, and <insert very loud tire screeching sound here>!

 

Granted, wired solutions can (and do) have the same issue at times.  But they are FAR more rare then BT solutions.

 

Hey.. I'm all for convenience and "quickness" of access to setups.  But tech is tech (and it's my full-time job for the last 20 years).  Things fail - and the last thing you want to do is put yourself in the position of being subject to a weak technology process.

 

Also, can see Line 6's perspective here.  If they include it, pros (or semi-pros) will think they can rely on it.  First time it fails during a set will cause a HUGE wave of bad publicity for the product... when, in fact, it's the base technology (BT) that is flakey by nature.

 

Anyway.. just my .02

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Damm, thought I had dumped the music stand forever.   :(

 

Just when you thought it was safe.. lol!  :P

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