Jump to content
monkeymanx

Helix S/PDIF Out Loses Sync Too Often

Recommended Posts

Sorry I wouldn’t have created another one, but I was searching for S/PDIF not AES so I didn’t see yours. I did upvote yours as well.

 

Doug

I believe its a clock algorithm in the firmware. I believe I raised another idea, asking for a clock reference parameter, which is what the Helix Rack has. Either way, both models have unstable digital outputs. Had I known about this beforehand, I would have spent the money on another guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I voted for both ideas and added:  Wow, this is essential!  I want to use the Helix as my interface, connecting a very-high quality ADC for recording vocals and a very-high quality DAC for DAW output.  If this isn't fixed I will have to buy an interface to do something the Helix is advertised to do.

 

I specifically bought the Helix Floor instead of the LT because the Floor has digital in and out.  Why isn't it a priority to get these to work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I wouldn’t have created another one, but I was searching for S/PDIF not AES so I didn’t see yours. I did upvote yours as well.

 

Doug

I also just voted for both.  I put a message to Digital_Igloo on this Forum on this topic a couple days ago but didn't get a reply from him.  It quickly moved off the first page with all the other posts.  If anyone things that's a worthwhile approach, if you reply you that post it'll show up on the first page and maybe DI will see it and have sympathy for our plight!  I am a huge Helix fan and am probably less angry about this than many of you, but, it is unacceptable to have to put a fix to a known issue on ideascale!  Any one think it's worth it for us all to open support tickets on this topic again?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed over the life of Helix so far, that any official response about this doesn't exist. There has been an uncorroborated response by someone at Line 6 support relayed to this forum by a user. Seems a little strange to me because they are usually pretty vocal - and caring to an exceeding amount - about most other things. Maybe not enough users either have this problem or simply don't use the digital outputs. Or maybe it's a hardware problem that can't be worked around via software. At this point, though, I would find it very difficult to believe they don't know the problem exists. What little is known about this problem, by users, so far suggests to me it's something that can't be fixed and they'd just rather remain silent about it. As others have pointed out, it is a feature listed in the documentation, and one would assume it's fully functional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also just voted for both.  I put a message to Digital_Igloo on this Forum on this topic a couple days ago but didn't get a reply from him.  It quickly moved off the first page with all the other posts.  If anyone things that's a worthwhile approach, if you reply you that post it'll show up on the first page and maybe DI will see it and have sympathy for our plight!  I am a huge Helix fan and am probably less angry about this than many of you, but, it is unacceptable to have to put a fix to a known issue on ideascale!  Any one think it's worth it for us all to open support tickets on this topic again?

 

I’ve definitely been tempted to open a support ticket to see what they say. I think it would be great if everyone with this problem did that. Maybe Line 6 will take it a little more seriously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve definitely been tempted to open a support ticket to see what they say. I think it would be great if everyone with this problem did that. Maybe Line 6 will take it a little more seriously.

That's probably the best thing you can do, to be honest. You can't assume that just because someone reports something in a thread that Line 6 has all the details they need. I would encourage who's having this issue to open a ticket if they haven't. Often issues like this are actually much more sporadic than they appear, so getting as much information as possible can only help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve definitely been tempted to open a support ticket to see what they say. I think it would be great if everyone with this problem did that. Maybe Line 6 will take it a little more seriously.

 

I say do it, and the more users do, the better chance we might have. I am one of those who did raise a ticket (quite a while ago), and was advised the fix was scheduled for 2.30, and then 2.50 when I complained. I had already tried a few Helix Floor units and one Helix Rack, and they all have the digital audio dropouts. I say Line 6 place this at the top of their priority list, before adding new effects that many of us will not use.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say do it, and the more users do, the better chance we might have. I am one of those who did raise a ticket (quite a while ago), and was advised the fix was scheduled for 2.30, and then 2.50 when I complained. I had already tried a few Helix Floor units and one Helix Rack, and they all have the digital audio dropouts. I say Line 6 place this at the top of their priority list, before adding new effects that many of us will not use.

 

I'm with you on this. As much as it kills me because I love the new amps/effects and innovations that just keep coming with each update I think we need a "stop & take a breather" update that is dedicated to any fix or enhancement that can be performed on the various I/O options for anything that is not impossible due to hardware issues/limitations rather than an issue with the firmware.. I am currently seeing bugs or requests for more robust functionality for several of the I/O options including Ext Amp control, MIDI, and S/PDIF.  Some of those bugs or issues with full functionality have persisted for a couple of years. It would also be great to see an update focused primarily or solely not only on the I/O but also on bug fixes to things like the new mono HX reverbs as well as the Placater amp model added in this firmware and any other block or existing function that requires a fix. 

 

After that my personal priority would probably be to have the now 'Legacy' reverbs and wahs either upgraded to HX, or if this is not possible, the addition of some of the more commonplace mono and stereo HX reverbs such as the spring, plate, and hall types as well as some HX wahs. I think a lot of users tend to use the spring, plate, hall type reverbs much more often than the ones that appear better suited to ambient music or more extreme reverb settings although they are lovely and great to have and some can be set for everyday use on their less extreme settings.

 

Anyway don't want to derail this topic which is dedicated to correcting the issues with S/PDIF but there seems to be other I/O issues that would benefit from being addressed as well. In other words an update that focused solely on just getting what we have already in the box working optimally and whatever possible upgraded to HX. This would include things as mentioned above like reverbs(add more mono versions please, they were a fantastic addition in the latest update) and maybe the wahs upgraded to HX.  Not saying anything Line6 has probably not thought about many times as they tread the fine line between maintaining a fast pace of innovation, prioritizing the requests and features that impact the most users, and also making sure what is already there works properly and fully exploits the HX architecture and hardware. I just think an update that focuses on existing fixes and getting things migrated to the HX code without introducing any new bugs would provide a good baseline going forward for future innovation.

 

Btw, there are well over three thousand views on this topic so it seems to be of interest to a substantial number of users.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say do it, and the more users do, the better chance we might have. I am one of those who did raise a ticket (quite a while ago), and was advised the fix was scheduled for 2.30, and then 2.50 when I complained. I had already tried a few Helix Floor units and one Helix Rack, and they all have the digital audio dropouts. I say Line 6 place this at the top of their priority list, before adding new effects that many of us will not use.

I just opened a support ticket on this and encourage everyone else to do the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Opened a support ticket, with link and excerpts from this thread. Here's hoping......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also posed this idea a while back:

https://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Switchable-SRC-and-digital-input-status/890462-23508#idea-tab-comments

 

If the Rack can be sync'd via wordclock in, then the Floor version should have the ability to be clocked externally too. This would potentially mean that using Helix Floor with a DAW via USB would stop taking over another device as master clock and still be sync'd to that device. I don't think its fair that you have to buy the Rack version just to be able change the clock source. This is the point I made 15th July 2017.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also posed this idea a while back:

https://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Switchable-SRC-and-digital-input-status/890462-23508#idea-tab-comments

 

If the Rack can be sync'd via wordclock in, then the Floor version should have the ability to be clocked externally too. This would potentially mean that using Helix Floor with a DAW via USB would stop taking over another device as master clock and still be sync'd to that device. I don't think its fair that you have to buy the Rack version just to be able change the clock source. This is the point I made 15th July 2017.

I tried this quite a while back and it doesn't affect the drop out problem.  I even spent a week talking with L6 about how to do this and we tried pretty much every variation.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried this quite a while back and it doesn't affect the drop out problem.  I even spent a week talking with L6 about how to do this and we tried pretty much every variation.  

 

I know. I was just upping the ante ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know. I was just upping the ante ;-)

Funny - I guess I miss sarcasm sometimes even thought my wife and kids say I'm the king of it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a couple message exchanges with L6 on this topic this week.  Here's the last one:  "Our product team is already aware of this situation, so just hold tight and hopefully there will be a fix in the near future."  I think I will put a reminder on my phone and open a ticket on this monthly.  And I am serious about that.  I don't want any potential (I hope) urgency to fade away (again).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed over the life of Helix so far, that any official response about this doesn't exist. There has been an uncorroborated response by someone at Line 6 support relayed to this forum by a user. Seems a little strange to me because they are usually pretty vocal - and caring to an exceeding amount - about most other things. Maybe not enough users either have this problem or simply don't use the digital outputs. Or maybe it's a hardware problem that can't be worked around via software. At this point, though, I would find it very difficult to believe they don't know the problem exists. What little is known about this problem, by users, so far suggests to me it's something that can't be fixed and they'd just rather remain silent about it. As others have pointed out, it is a feature listed in the documentation, and one would assume it's fully functional.

 

Considering that they acknowledged the problem 2 yrs ago, you're likely right about it being a hardware issue. One bad chip spoils the board! :rolleyes:

 

What happens, though, if they admit it? Odds are it's not something that your local tech can just, you know, take out the bad chip and solder in a new one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny - I guess I miss sarcasm sometimes even thought my wife and kids say I'm the king of it!

 

It wasn't meant as sarcasm, even though I am extremely sarcastic, often without even noticing it! Seriously though, I want more than what I originally posted - 1) fix the dropout fault. This must be fixed first. 2) Then add the clock sync parameter already in Rack to the Floor version. The only difference is the sync would be coming in from the SPDIF IN instead of a BNC Wordclock IN. I too had a conversation with L6 Support about this, and they said it was only possible for the Helix RACK to act as slave USB audio interface, with its clock set to WordClock IN, and the Helix FLOOR can only act as master clock in an AES, SPDIF and USB setup. I don't truly believe this, because why else does the Floor have a frikkin SPDIF INPUT, and why does it frikkin work? None of my other gear is restricted to acting as clock master in a AES, SPDIF or USB setup. Examples: Roland FA06 (USB, no AES or SPDIF), MOTU 8D (USB, AES, SPDIF all at the same time!). Hurry up Line 6.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering that they acknowledged the problem 2 yrs ago, you're likely right about it being a hardware issue. One bad chip spoils the board! :rolleyes:

 

What happens, though, if they admit it? Odds are it's not something that your local tech can just, you know, take out the bad chip and solder in a new one.

 

Product recall? Perhaps if Line 6 appoint specific service centres for different countries, it may be possible. Just an idea. I remember when TC Electronic appointed a service centre (I believe it was a Dutch company) to do the upgrade from a 48k to an up/down sampling 96k chip (or maybe it was an expansion board). Something like that. I sincerely hope if it really is a bad chip, the Helix is not like an Apple product, whereby attempting to change the RAM would potentially fry the board!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering that they acknowledged the problem 2 yrs ago, you're likely right about it being a hardware issue. One bad chip spoils the board! :rolleyes:

 

What happens, though, if they admit it? Odds are it's not something that your local tech can just, you know, take out the bad chip and solder in a new one.

 

What if the hypothetical hardware problem is more than just one chip, if even a chip? A possible poorly designed circuit? That might be worse than just a chip.

If it is hardware and can't be fixed with software, I wouldn't be surprised if they provide repair service or replacement units to people having the problem, even if there is no warranty. Line 6 seems to have a habit of going out of their way to make wrongs right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if the hypothetical hardware problem is more than just one chip, if even a chip? A possible poorly designed circuit? That might be worse than just a chip.

If it is hardware and can't be fixed with software, I wouldn't be surprised if they provide repair service or replacement units to people having the problem, even if there is no warranty. Line 6 seems to have a habit of going out of their way to make wrongs right.

 

Assuming it is definitely hardware, I stick to my guns when I say it should be a recall of all faulty units. Even better if its a swap out, insofar as the user does not have to send their unit away and wait weeks or months for the replacement to arrive. Likewise, if these are coming from outside the UK, it should be made abundantly clear the item is a replacement, so that trigger happy Customs can't slap on BS charges that they are not entitled to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming it is definitely hardware, I stick to my guns when I say it should be a recall of all faulty units. Even better if its a swap out, insofar as the user does not have to send their unit away and wait weeks or months for the replacement to arrive. Likewise, if these are coming from outside the UK, it should be made abundantly clear the item is a replacement, so that trigger happy Customs can't slap on BS charges that they are not entitled to.

 

I highly doubt they would issue a recall. I'm no expert on these sorts of things for sure, but aren't product recalls usually associated with some sort of danger (doesn't have to be though) to the consumer? And assuming that the number of people affected by this issue is small only reinforces against a recall. But I have no doubt that Line 6 would orchestrate their own "recall" outside the legal system and on a case by case basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I highly doubt they would issue a recall. I'm no expert on these sorts of things for sure, but aren't product recalls usually associated with some sort of danger (doesn't have to be though) to the consumer? And assuming that the number of people affected by this issue is small only reinforces against a recall. But I have no doubt that Line 6 would orchestrate their own "recall" outside the legal system and on a case by case basis.

Yeah, a recall has a specific legal definition in the US, and there are different levels. Even with things that are related to life safety, they have a pretty abismal response rate. If there is a hardware issue, Line 6 will handle it on a case by case basic, I'm sure. They usually issue technical bulletins to service centers detailing the specific fix. They might offer replacement units... I guess it depends on how difficult the fix would be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I created a support ticket on this. It’s good to hear they’re working on it, but it’s been a known problem for a long time, it’s time to either fix it or admit they cant.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've now created a trouble ticket as well. Since nothing concrete and/or obvious has happened regarding this issue in the 10 months I've owned my Helix Rack and Controller, I think it's prudent to make my issue officially known while the primary warrantee period is still in effect.

 

 

 

Oh, and a product recall doesn't necessarily need to be a matter of a legal necessity or mandated by the government. A product recall could be issued for limiting other corporate exposures to liability. It could be for safety, but could also be for maintaining corporate reputation, non-compliance of advertised specs, or other factors like, prevent a lawsuit, or as a remedy for a lawsuit.

 

https://www.google.com/search?&q=product+recall+meaning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't tried 2.53 yet, but it's still there is 2.52, so I would guess it's still there in 2.53 as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am noticing the dropout after 25-30 minutes on firmware 2.50.  I'm plugging the Helix Rack SPDIF out to the SPDIF in on a Focusrite Sapphire Pro 40.  Once it drops out, I have to reset the clock source to internal, then back to SPDIF on the Focusrite for the sound to return.  It does not return on its own.  I did not have this issue with the HD500x previously.  Just thought I'd chime in to see if anyone else is monitoring this issue and still sees the problem as I do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks the new 2.54 firmware that was just released addresses this issue:

 

H E L I X  2.54 Release Notes

 

Bug Fixes

- Pop noise can occur when exiting Tuner in four cable method setup with FX loop block engaged and audio playing upon entering and exiting Tuner -FIXED

-In rare cases, Helix AES clock/audio/SPDIF can glitch and/or drop every 40-60 mins -FIXED

- other bug fixes and improvements

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, phil_m said:

Looks the new 2.54 firmware that was just released addresses this issue:

 

H E L I X  2.54 Release Notes

 

Bug Fixes

- Pop noise can occur when exiting Tuner in four cable method setup with FX loop block engaged and audio playing upon entering and exiting Tuner -FIXED

-In rare cases, Helix AES clock/audio/SPDIF can glitch and/or drop every 40-60 mins -FIXED

- other bug fixes and improvements

 

"In rare cases"?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, phil_m said:

Thanks Phil!  I have been using the spdif with regular drop outs for some time so this is potentially great news.  I'll update and we'll see!

 

Looks the new 2.54 firmware that was just released addresses this issue:

 

H E L I X  2.54 Release Notes

 

Bug Fixes

- Pop noise can occur when exiting Tuner in four cable method setup with FX loop block engaged and audio playing upon entering and exiting Tuner -FIXED

-In rare cases, Helix AES clock/audio/SPDIF can glitch and/or drop every 40-60 mins -FIXED

- other bug fixes and improvements

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to read that it's fixed. Thanks Line 6.

 

I guess the word rare is relative in this case, because when people experience(d - hopefully) it, it's usually every time they use Helix. That's not rare. But I would also guess that the number of people who use the digital output is rare. Maybe that's what they meant. Lol.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome! Thank you to everyone involved! I hope to try it tonight, it's updating now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm waiting for one of "us" to actually try this and play a few hours and see.  I would normally take the chance and do this right away since I use the spdif and suffer with the drop outs but I have something I need to do playing with the Helix tomorrow and I'm too chicken to update tonight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Doug6String said:

I'm waiting for one of "us" to actually try this and play a few hours and see.  I would normally take the chance and do this right away since I use the spdif and suffer with the drop outs but I have something I need to do playing with the Helix tomorrow and I'm too chicken to update tonight!

 

 HX Edit 2.52 > File > Create Backup. Everything on your Helix will be saved to your computer. After the update, just use File > Restore Backup. This is something I should've done when the editor first became "HX Edit".

 

I'm going to use my Helix as much of today as I can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I haven't noticed it drop out yet. I didn't spend very long in front of it today. I've got some more time to myself tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×