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Helix Mac Driver 1.00 Public Beta Now Available

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Today we released a Mac OS X driver that improves audio performance and supports sample rates up to 96 kHz. It has no impact on editor communication. However, there's good news.

 
Since OS X 10.11.4 was released publicly, Apple also released a slew of developmental diagnostic tools that helped us figure out a way to bypass the low-level USB port communication issue. This means that yes, even mid-2012 MacBook Pro Retina computers will be able to use the next release of the Helix application/editor. Even my mutant stepchild only-computer-in-the-building-that-fails works, and it's working well. Hasn't lost communication all day, and I've been custom labeling/coloring scribble strips from my laptop like a mad man.
 
We still need to add copy/paste and fix some lingering bugs, but we're getting close.
 
 
 
Helix Mac Driver 1.00 Public Beta Release Notes
Helix Mac Driver 1.00 is a public beta that improves multichannel audio performance. It supports the following sample rates: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, and 96 kHz.
 
IMPORTANT! Installing the Helix Mac Driver 1.00 Public Beta precludes using Helix with the class-compliant OS X Core Audio driver.
 
The driver is available here: http://line6.com/software Be sure to click the Beta box, otherwise you won't see it!
 
After installing the driver and restarting your computer:
  1. Make sure Helix/Helix Rack is connected to a dedicated USB port on your Mac. Do not use any sort of USB hub.
  2. From the Apple menu, select “System Preferences…†and click the Sound icon.
  3. Click the Output tab. Line 6 Helix should appear in the list of devices. Click “Line 6 Helix†(or “Line 6 Helix Rackâ€).
  4. Click the Input tab. Line 6 Helix should appear in the list of devices. Click “Line 6 Helix†(or “Line 6 Helix Rackâ€).
  5. Open your DAW. In the list of audio devices, you may see two items—Line 6 Helix and (Helix Audio). Choose “Line 6 Helix†(or “Line 6 Helix Rackâ€) for both Input and Output.
If for whatever reason you want to uninstall the Helix Mac Driver:
  1. Navigate to Macintosh HD/Library/Extensions. Inside the Extensions folder, you should see an item named “L6Helix.kext.†Drag this file to the trash.
  2. Empty the trash and restart your computer. Helix will return to using the class-compliant OS X Core Audio driver.
 
Known Issues
  • On rare occasions, loss of audio occurs after waking your computer from sleep
  • Audio artifacts may occur while adjusting UI controls in several DAW applications

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This means that yes, even mid-2012 MacBook Pro Retina computers will be able to use the next release of the Helix application/editor.

 

 

Best part of the this release is the unreleased part! 

 

You're welcome to send me the beta version of this new Helix Editor :)

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Joy for us Apple Bonkers. Thx, Line 6 .... I use the Helix in the studio and live and have been waiting for this one.

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Slightly less awed as I just spent $100 on the Apple mini display adapter with the pass through USB port to "fix" my mid 2012 MBP Retina....may be able to return it though as it has only been a week. 

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You did what :rolleyes::

Labeling/coloring scribble strips from computer!!!

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This is the best news I've had all day... The day started off with me having to return one of my brand new studio monitors because there's an issue with the tweeter connections. But now my day is alright!! Finally, thank you!  :D

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Hi DI,

 

Just did a quick test here for 10 minutes and it works perfectly, no nasty noises like before.

 

Thanks very much for this :)

 

Andy

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Just did a quick test here for 10 minutes and it works perfectly, no nasty noises like before.

 

Great—thanks! Are you running El Cap 10.11.4?

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nope this is on 10.10.5.

 

Before when running as class compliant I was getting noise after a minute or so which would last a few seconds, then it would work for a minute or so, then noise for a few seconds.

 

One thing I have noticed is that the "Line 6 Audio-Midi Devices" in "System Preferences" does not see the new Helix driver.

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O.K. Helix/Mac User folks, I'm still here and still ranting.

 

I've got an extra item that I would like to add to the "Know Issues" bullet points above.

 

• I'm not entirely sure why, but it doesn't appear to work for me! Fact – it’s worse!

 

Sure – it now shows available sample rates from 44.1 to 96KHz, but what happened to everything else. I still have no MIDI communication via DIN to USB and now I find that it’s only possible to record Helix into the DAW on channels 1 and 2. That means a “wet†signal from the Helix of whatever amp and effects are in the patch. ARRRRRGGGGGG! Also, why do the Helix inputs/output now show up as 4 pairs of Streams? What is that all about?

 

Apple System Info shows 8 functional Audio Channels:

Line 6 Helix:

  Default Input Device: Yes

  Default Output Device: Yes

  Default System Output Device: Yes

  Input Channels: 8

  Manufacturer: Line 6

  Output Channels: 8

  Current SampleRate: 44100

  Transport: USB

 

and USB as:

HELIX   :

  Product ID: 0x4241

  Vendor ID: 0x0e41

  Version: 2.00

  Serial Number:   2582638

  Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec

  Manufacturer: LINE 6

  Location ID: 0x14100000 / 2

  Current Available (mA): 1000

  Current Required (mA): 100

  Extra Operating Current (mA): 0

 

So, why can I now only record 2 channels with effects - where has the re-amping capabilities gone? When I discovered this I decided to remove the new driver and revert to the previous Core Audio version, (people need to have Core Audio in order to run all those fancy plug-ins). Even then there is still no available audio in other than paths 1 & 2. This is complete madness. 

 

As for the promo statement on the cheat sheet:

USB

Helix can act as an 8-in/8-out 24-bit/96kHz audio interface for recording to Macs and PCs; reamping and MIDI are provided.

 

Well not on mine. It gave up on MIDI over 5 weeks ago and now I seem to have lost any decent recording capability.

 

Damn this thing - it works great - if you don’t want to hook up to a computer, record and re-amp!

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What daw are you using?

Hi BobTheDog,

 

Good idea. Thanks for asking, that's the first thing that I would have considered asking and or checking out too, although I think it maybe a fault in the hardware of the box

 

So, let me just say I only had time to check this out on the usual suspects (in the world of Mac OSX) i.e., Logic Pro X, GarageBand and Pro Tools First. I was going to try with Reaper, but sadly I was so depressed I couldn't be bothered and I just gave up!

 

I've switched back to my previous set up, (not that it helped) as I'm now starting to think that this not/or has ever been a software issue, but that it could possibly be a dodgey component in the USB/MIDI section of the board inside the black box of alien science.

 

My head is really starting to hurt now - but the doctors have said I will not get the voices of the clowns telling me to kill again! ;)

 

Well – not just yet! :)

 

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGG!

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Midi doesn't work here, it is gone.

 

 

Audio seems to work here though.

 

Just so I get this right, say in Logic X if your audio input device is set to the Helix if you add a mono audio track and set the source to input 7 you are not getting the unprocessed audio from the Helix?

 

You are definitely using the Helix device and not "System Setting" as your input device?

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Midi doesn't work here, it is gone.

 

 

Audio seems to work here though.

 

Just so I get this right, say in Logic X if your audio input device is set to the Helix if you add a mono audio track and set the source to input 7 you are not getting the unprocessed audio from the Helix?

 

You are definitely using the Helix device and not "System Setting" as your input device?

 

Oops! Sorry that your MIDI has also gone – one of the perils of testing. I guess I should have put a "don't try this at home, kids" warning on there.

 

Anyhow, my audio is behaving just fine from iTunes, YouTube, DVD and whatever else - it's the DAW recording end of it that is totally screwed.

 

As requested and FYI, re: LPX – after installing the new driver, when Logic is opened it brings up a dialogue box stating the previous interface is missing. So, when you open an existing, or new project you must change the audio device from (Helix Audio) to the new Line 6 Helix option. The brackets indicate the other device is not available - see original post above by Digital_Igloo. From that info, I think you can guess that – Nope, I'm not using the "System Setting" option.

 

Furthermore, if I now create a new stereo audio input on Ch 1&2 with another new mono audio in on Ch7. Arm all inputs to record, the VU meters show activity on 1&2 but 7 simply flat lines - nothing happening. Re-test by switching inputs to 3&4, then 5&6 and all other combinations - again nothing - no VU readings, total silence. So the situation is, I can now only record the fully processed Helix stereo out. Same thing in ProTools and, well, GarageBand is just too simple to get wrong! At one stage, I was stepping through all the in and out options in LPX and Helix, when I inadvertently had both ends set on channel 8 - Wow, what amazing digital feedback. Luckily, I had the volume low enough for the howl round not to blow my monitors. Good job I wasn't wearing "cans" either. Weird, but it only happened on channel 8 and I don't fancy repeating the experience.

 

IIRC, I believe I saw another thread on here, somewhere, where someone was now having similar issues - only they were using Wondoze 10! Damn, whatever next?

 

So, nothing works like it is shown on the nice diagram in the user manual, other than stereo in and out. All other channels and MIDI over USB are vapour! Now, I really am starting to despair!

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...

 

So, nothing works like it is shown on the nice diagram in the user manual, other than stereo in and out. All other channels and MIDI over USB are vapour! Now, I really am starting to despair!

If you haven't done so already please make sure you open a support ticket with Line 6 so they can work with you to resolve these issues while the driver is in beta.

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Hi BobTheDog,

 

Good idea. Thanks for asking, that's the first thing that I would have considered asking and or checking out too, although I think it maybe a fault in the hardware of the box

 

So, let me just say I only had time to check this out on the usual suspects (in the world of Mac OSX) i.e., Logic Pro X, GarageBand and Pro Tools First. I was going to try with Reaper, but sadly I was so depressed I couldn't be bothered and I just gave up!

 

I've switched back to my previous set up, (not that it helped) as I'm now starting to think that this not/or has ever been a software issue, but that it could possibly be a dodgey component in the USB/MIDI section of the board inside the black box of alien science.

 

My head is really starting to hurt now - but the doctors have said I will not get the voices of the clowns telling me to kill again! ;)

 

Well – not just yet! :)

 

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGG!

 

datacommando - it really seems like this must be something with your Mac's USB port, or maybe your Helix. I'm using the new Beta driver here on OS X 10.11.4 on my 2014 MacBook Pro and it seems to be working great with Logic Pro X so far. I am getting audio input from all 8 Helix channels at any of the 4 supported sample rates. I don't do as much with MIDI, but I did configure the pedals in my Helix to send MIDI CCs and then used the "Learn" feature in Logic's Control Surfaces>Controller Assignments window and it works fine for me, so it is definitely receiving MIDI commands from Helix via USB.

 

I don't believe this new Helix driver affects the MIDI functionality on Mac - I think I read that this is only for USB audio (not 100% sure though), and that MIDI is still handled by the OS? Also, I don't think Helix is intended to be a MIDI 5-pin to USB type of interface as it seems you are expecting. POD HDs and earlier Line 6 USB audio interfaces were the same in this respect as I recall - that is, the 5-pin MIDI is primarily for controlling Helix functions, and for sending Helix MIDI Out to other 5-pin MIDI devices. It will also route some of those controller 5-pin messages to/from USB I think, but it is not as full-featured as a dedicated USB MIDI interface (such as a MOTU MIDI Express or M-Audio MIDISport, for example) so I doubt it is what you'd want to use to connect the 5-Pin MIDI from a synth to capture all your performance functions into Logic for MIDI recording. 

 

Anyway, hope Line 6 can help you get things working there!

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If you haven't done so already please make sure you open a support ticket with Line 6 so they can work with you to resolve these issues while the driver is in beta.

Hi silverhead,

The support ticket has been raised. I will wait to see how it progresses.

 

datacommando - it really seems like this must be something with your Mac's USB port, or maybe your Helix. I'm using the new Beta driver here on OS X 10.11.4 on my 2014 MacBook Pro and it seems to be working great with Logic Pro X so far. I am getting audio input from all 8 Helix channels at any of the 4 supported sample rates. I don't do as much with MIDI, but I did configure the pedals in my Helix to send MIDI CCs and then used the "Learn" feature in Logic's Control Surfaces>Controller Assignments window and it works fine for me, so it is definitely receiving MIDI commands from Helix via USB.

 

I don't believe this new Helix driver affects the MIDI functionality on Mac - I think I read that this is only for USB audio (not 100% sure though), and that MIDI is still handled by the OS? Also, I don't think Helix is intended to be a MIDI 5-pin to USB type of interface as it seems you are expecting. POD HDs and earlier Line 6 USB audio interfaces were the same in this respect as I recall - that is, the 5-pin MIDI is primarily for controlling Helix functions, and for sending Helix MIDI Out to other 5-pin MIDI devices. It will also route some of those controller 5-pin messages to/from USB I think, but it is not as full-featured as a dedicated USB MIDI interface (such as a MOTU MIDI Express or M-Audio MIDISport, for example) so I doubt it is what you'd want to use to connect the 5-Pin MIDI from a synth to capture all your performance functions into Logic for MIDI recording. 

 

Anyway, hope Line 6 can help you get things working there!

Hi TexLefty65,

 

Glad to hear that you have had success with the new driver, but for me it just got a whole lot worse.

 

This is madness - when I got the Helix last November, I hooked it up to the iMac and straight out of the box, everything worked - no drivers needed! Yay!

 

All the intervening upgrades to OSX and Helix FW were applied with absolutely no issues.

 

Then at the beginning of March the MIDI functionality ceased and audio distortion started to creep into the picture - all for no apparent reason.

 

As noted in some of my previous rants on this forum connecting up Helix to my old iMac caused the same problems on there!

 

Anyhow the ticket has gone in now - I just want it fixed so I can get on with my life instead of having to type out all this stuff.

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With OS X 10.11.5 beta I could get Helix to communicate reliably over USB to Ableton Live down to 256 samples without any pops, clicks etc. At 128, it started making noise.

 

With the new driver, has anyone experienced any improvement in how low you can set buffers?

 

I am just about to give up on this thing, 256 is just too much latency for me.

 

Thanks,

 

Dan 

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With the new driver I can use 32 samples at 44.1 and 48 with no problems. 64 samples is needed for 88.2 and 96.

 

This is on 10.10 though.

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I do not believe the response I just got from Line 6 Tech Support after raising a ticket about my problems with this stuff.

 

The ticket had been marked as "Assumed Answered", but it's very poor and can be effectively summed up as:

Hi,works in Cubase, Reason here as expected (didn't try the other DAWs but if the channels are there it should work) of course the apps need to support assignment of separate output busses per track as described on page 45-46 of the manualmake sure to adjust the global-settings according to the manual(Global-Settings, Ins/Outs, select the input device you're using, if you're using a Variax via VDI-In"guitar" won't work, easy to oversee )and select the 2nd patch correctly (eg USB 3/4) for reamping, not Return 3/4 by accidentdepending on the assigned ports in the DAWwhat do you mean with : I still have no MIDI communication via DIN to USByou must activate "MIDI over USB" in GlobalSettings/MIDI-Tempo to have MIDI data also via USBcheck it via a MIDI Monitor and switch between two patches, you should receive MSB/LSB/PrgChg with settings ON via USB on the Mac and nothing on "OFF"you can use MIDI or USB for I/O but Helix has no MIDI patchbay functions to patch MIDI data between the portsBest regards

Looks like I've essentially been told to go away and RTFM!

 

Most helpful? I don't think so!

 

Let's see what happens now when they get my reply!

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Keep at it. I have found Line 6 support to be pretty good once you get past the initial default support type "go away" responses.

 

Just repeat with more detail the problem, images, videos or whatever to show that you know what you are doing.

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Keep at it. I have found Line 6 support to be pretty good once you get past the initial default support type "go away" responses.

 

Just repeat with more detail the problem, images, videos or whatever to show that you know what you are doing.

Hi BobTheDog,

 

Thanks for that.

 

Yep, I think you're correct – I guess I simply got the "Level 1" tech support, "please read the documentation that came with your equipment" thing.

 

That's a little annoying, although putting in an initial  support ticket is limited to the amount of allowable input characters (bit like Twitter) so it makes it difficult to relay a problem that is, say, a little more –"out of the ordinary".

 

I replied to the above missive, requesting that my "issue/problem" be passed to someone who may have a little more experience in solving these types of extraordinary digital weirdness (got to be Level 3 or 4, easy). I further suggested that a quick trawl of my constant "ranting" posts on this forum would reveal more than enough background to this, and all the helpful possible solutions that have already been suggested and tried (and failed), so we don't have to keep going over the same old tired stuff, time, and time again.

 

As Sherlock supposedly said "When you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains however improbable must be the truth".

 

O.K. – so, as with all the X Files – "the answer is out there"!

 

Hi, Ho Silver - Go get 'em, Line 6!

 

Find me an explanation and solution! Sooooooooooon.

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Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!! I just spent my whole day off editing and playing with my Helix using the new editor and my 2012 macbook pro. My one complaint about the helix has now been resolved. You guys have no clue how happy this makes me. 

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I upgraded to El Capitan 10.11.5 today - looks like Logic and the Helix via USB are at odds again (latency !?!?!) I'm too tired to mess with it right now - I'll see how it goes tomorrow.

 

I'm only putting this out there in case anyone else is thinking about the upgrade - or already has and is having issues.

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I recorded several tracks this morning running all 3 apps (Logic Pro X, Helix via USB, Helix Editor) and all seems to be fine. But just for the sake of simplicity, I decided to remove this driver and am now back to the core audio driver. Recorded a few more tracks, and so far so good. 

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 just for clarity ...

I would like to know if this driver is absolutely necessary for Mac users ...

or is it only necessary if you're having USB recording or playback problems.

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Slightly less awed as I just spent $100 on the Apple mini display adapter with the pass through USB port to "fix" my mid 2012 MBP Retina....may be able to return it though as it has only been a week. 

 

Did the adapter work for you running in El Capitan? Were you having issues with connection to the Helix app/Editor as well or just audio issues?

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just for clarity ...

I would like to know if this driver is absolutely necessary for Mac users ...

or is it only necessary if you're having USB recording or playback problems.

I'm running El Cap 10.11.5 without it. So far no issues. However my recording is pretty simple and straight fwd..

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I'm running El Cap 10.11.5 without it. So far no issues. However my recording is pretty simple and straight fwd..

 same here , I only record one instrument or vocal at a time my little home studio ...

I haven't noticed anything amiss , but just like you said I'm not really doing anything fancy right now .

so I guess I'll just leave well enough alone until I run into a problem .

 

I just wasn't sure exactly what issue this driver is supposed to resolve.

The release note explains how to implement it ... but is rather vague as to why I would want to or need to.

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same here , I only record one instrument or vocal at a time my little home studio ...

I haven't noticed anything amiss , but just like you said I'm not really doing anything fancy right now .

so I guess I'll just leave well enough alone until I run into a problem .

 

I just wasn't sure exactly what issue this driver is supposed to resolve.

The release note explains how to implement it ... but is rather vague as to why I would want to or need to.

When Line6 released the driver there were some Mac latency issues and the driver fixed them, or mine anyway. However, soon after/about the same time of the Line 6 release, Apple came out with El Cap 10.11.4 and right after that 10.11.5 somewhere in the midst of all of this the core drivers from Apple started to work correctly.

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When Line6 released the driver there were some Mac latency issues and the driver fixed them, or mine anyway. However, soon after/about the same time of the Line 6 release, Apple came out with El Cap 10.11.4 and right after that 10.11.5 somewhere in the midst of all of this the core drivers from Apple started to work correctly.

 

OK , thanx ...

i'm still on Yosemite right now , but if I run into any latency issues I'll give the driver a spin.

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Any guidelines on when to use this special Line 6 Mac driver (or not)? Is the driver in beta still?

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I think that Helix driver crashed yesterday my mac with a kernel panic :-(

 

 

Sun Aug 28 12:41:49 2016
 
*** Panic Report ***
panic(cpu 0 caller 0xffffff80093ce6fa): Kernel trap at 0xffffff7f8bf9181d, type 14=page fault, registers:
CR0: 0x000000008001003b, CR2: 0x0000000000000040, CR3: 0x000000000c6d4000, CR4: 0x0000000000002660
RAX: 0x0000000000000000, RBX: 0xffffff91a60dd000, RCX: 0xffffff7f8a728d88, RDX: 0x0000000000001100
RSP: 0xffffff81821d3f40, RBP: 0xffffff81821d3f40, RSI: 0x0000000000000000, RDI: 0xffffff8026101528
R8:  0x0000000000079749, R9:  0xffffff8159c6f068, R10: 0x0000000000000000, R11: 0x00001e2a5e3c490e
R12: 0x0000000001f97e42, R13: 0xf8ffa7cbca1b00f1, R14: 0x00001e2a5e3c5050, R15: 0x00000000018be7af
RFL: 0x0000000000010286, RIP: 0xffffff7f8bf9181d, CS:  0x0000000000000008, SS:  0x0000000000000010
Fault CR2: 0x0000000000000040, Error code: 0x0000000000000000, Fault CPU: 0x0, PL: 0
 
Backtrace (CPU 0), Frame : Return Address
0xffffff81821d3bd0 : 0xffffff80092dab52 
0xffffff81821d3c50 : 0xffffff80093ce6fa 
0xffffff81821d3e30 : 0xffffff80093ec563 
0xffffff81821d3e50 : 0xffffff7f8bf9181d 
0xffffff81821d3f40 : 0xffffff7f8bf8d761 
0xffffff81821d3f90 : 0xffffff7f8bf88067 
0xffffff81821d3fb0 : 0xffffff80093c9117 
      Kernel Extensions in backtrace:
         com.line6.driver.helix(1.0)[83456A14-B65E-3628-9819-257876D91F89]@0xffffff7f8bf87000->0xffffff7f8bf9dfff
            dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOAudioFamily(204.4)[16D694E8-A341-3DAC-A710-57BC95EF7758]@0xffffff7f89acb000
            dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOUSBFamily(900.4.1)[FB980EB5-1F73-348E-9554-6F9F6FE481FD]@0xffffff7f89c5d000
 
BSD process name corresponding to current thread: kernel_task
 
Mac OS version:
15G31

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i've been using the HELIX Mac USB driver for a while now with no problems.  Except today - when I was trying out my new Fremen HELIX patches. 

 

Was playing backing tracks via iTunes from my 2011 iMac ( El Capitan latest ) into the HELIX via USB.  

 

All was fine until I selected the Fremen - preset  Pull Me Under - which must be using a lot of DSP power. 

 

When using the preset by itself - no issues. but as soon as i tried playing a track o iTunes along with it - got lots of noise and crackles. 

 

Switching to a different patch ( a Fremen one ) made all the crackles go away.  

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