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Does the helix have an audio in?


Andy1175
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There isn't a specific 1/8" input labeled 'cd/MP3'. You can use any of the FX Return inputs for this purpose, with a suitable adapter and a preset structured to use it. See the Send/Return section of the manual.

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I for one do not want a low quality stereo mini jack input on my Helix thank you very much.

 

If for some reason I wanted to connect via mini jack rather than usb I'd just grab a

Minijack - twin 1/4in jack cable and "plug and play"

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Oh I see, snobbery.  Fair enough, I'll keep my £1000 in my pocket then and stay with my (designed for amateurs) HD500X.

Thanks all the same, I was just about to buy one from Dawsons in Liverpool when I thought I'd better have a look just be sure, good job I did.  Like I say, very disappointing indeed.

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I just don't understand... Have you got something against a mini jack - twin 1/4 inch jack cable?

Not at all, but according to silverhead I'd have to set up patches specifically structured to use it, rather than just plug in and play.

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If you're happy with the tones you are getting with the HD500 then there's really no reason to upgrade to Helix, cd/MP3 input or not.

 

However if you want better tones perhaps you should reconsider. Will the lack of a specific 1/8" input really dissuade you from getting better guitar tones, given that fact that you can use other inputs? Your choice of course but it seems like a minor consideration rather than a deal breaker to me.

 

But again - it's all based on how happy you are with the HD500 tones. Why were you considering upgrading in the first place?

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If you're happy with the tones you are getting with the HD500 then there's really no reason to upgrade to Helix, cd/MP3 input or not.

 

However if you want better tones perhaps you should reconsider. Will the lack of a specific 1/8" input really dissuade you from getting better guitar tones, given that fact that you can use other inputs? Your choice of course but it seems like a minor consideration rather than a deal breaker to me.

 

But again - it's all based on how happy you are with the HD500 tones. Why were you considering upgrading in the first place?

 

Because it's the next generation and I want all of the improvements that brings.  Yes I want access to the best tones I can get, and I specifically want a rack for ease of use in my particular situation.  The Helix looks just perfect, easy to see display for my dodgy eyes, dedicated knobs for real-time tweaking, edit via app etc.  I really shouldn't have to explain why I would like to upgrade to the best and latest, it's pretty obvious I think.

 

 

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No, you don't have to explain anything. There are many advantages to upgrading, including the ones you mention. That's why it's hard for me to understand why a relatively minor thing (to me), which can easily be accomplished in a different way, would be a deal breaker. You'd forego all those advantages because you'd need to get a cheap adapter and structure a simple preset? That's entirely up to you, but perhaps give yourself a bit of time to get over your initial disappointment?

 

EDIT: I'd be happy to build an appropriate preset and put it on Customtone for you (if it isn't already there).

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If you're wanting to play tracks from a PC, Mac, iPad or iPhone, you can use the USB connection. You'd need a camera kit for the iOS devices, but for the PC and Mac, just a regular USB cable. I think some versions of Android now support USB audio, but I don't know that the Helix works with those yet.

 

Funny thing (or sad, depending on your perspective, I guess), is that Apple is going to start making iOS devices without an 1/8" jack. Not that this is why Line 6 decided to not put it on. I just think that as was mentioned earlier, it's not something you typically see on pro-level audio devices.

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No, you don't have to explain anything. There are many advantages to upgrading, including the ones you mention. That's why it's hard for me to understand why a relatively minor thing (to me), which can easily be accomplished in a different way, would be a deal breaker. You'd forego all those advantages because you'd need to get a cheap adapter and structure a simple preset? That's entirely up to you, but perhaps give yourself a bit of time to get over your initial disappointment?

 

But I wouldn't just have to structure a simple preset would I, I'd have to structure EVERY preset I wanted to use with the line in.

So I can't just randomly run through presets seeing how they sound with "The Royal Scam" I'd have to set them up first, which somewhat reduces the free-flowing fun nature of playing, for me anyway.

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Funny thing (or sad, depending on your perspective, I guess), is that Apple is going to start making iOS devices without an 1/8" jack. Not that this is why Line 6 decided to not put it on. I just think that as was mentioned earlier, it's not something you typically see on pro-level audio devices.

 

Can I just clarify, it's not the SIZE of jack I'm bothered about, it's the job it does.  I'd be more than happy with a regular stereo jack as the audio source input.

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Can I just clarify, it's not the SIZE of jack I'm bothered about, it's the job it does.  I'd be more than happy with a regular stereo jack as the audio source input.

 

Well, sure... I'm just saying that having a separate audio in for this sort of thing isn't a feature seen in these types of products. The Axe FX or the Kemper Profiling Amp don't have it either. The Fractal AX8 doesn't even support USB audio.

 

It is really easy to set up a patch with an audio in on the Helix, though. You don't even have to use a separate path. You can just add stereo return block to a path right before the output block, and that will give you an audio input. Yes, it's not a global thing, but it would take less than 10 seconds to setup on each patch you want to do it.

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Well, sure... I'm just saying that having a separate audio in for this sort of thing isn't a feature seen in these types of products. The Axe FX or the Kemper Profiling Amp don't have it either. The Fractal AX8 doesn't even support USB audio.

 

It is really easy to set up a patch with an audio in on the Helix, though. You don't even have to use a separate path. You can just add stereo return block to a path right before the output block, and that will give you an audio input. Yes, it's not a global thing, but it would take less than 10 seconds to setup on each patch you want to do it.

 

Aha Andy, now I understand :)  Yes it might be handy if there was the facility to set certain inputs to "global" so that you could play along with a backing track easily.

 

But having said that, it would be very easy to add it to each preset at phil says - today I just added one exp pedal controlled gain block to the end all of my 35 odd presets for tonight's gig.  I just set it up on the first preset with the settings I wanted.. pressed "copy block", then I could just drop it in on every other preset.  Took only a few minutes to do.

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Well, sure... I'm just saying that having a separate audio in for this sort of thing isn't a feature seen in these types of products. The Axe FX or the Kemper Profiling Amp don't have it either. The Fractal AX8 doesn't even support USB audio.

 

All the more reason for Line 6 to get ahead of the competition.

 

 

It is really easy to set up a patch with an audio in on the Helix, though. You don't even have to use a separate path. You can just add stereo return block to a path right before the output block, and that will give you an audio input. Yes, it's not a global thing, but it would take less than 10 seconds to setup on each patch you want to do it.

 

On my HD500x I can flick through 100 patches in 100 seconds or less if necessary, stopping when I find one that suits, adding an extra 10 seconds and some fiddling around for each one is far from ideal. 

 

But thanks, I do appreciate all your help people and I'll think about it.  I'm still bemused and saddened by this decision though.

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Aha Andy, now I understand :)  Yes it might be handy if there was the facility to set certain inputs to "global" so that you could play along with a backing track easily.

 

But having said that, it would be very easy to add it to each preset at phil says - today I just added one exp pedal controlled gain block to the end all of my 35 odd presets for tonight's gig.  I just set it up on the first preset with the settings I wanted.. pressed "copy block", then I could just drop it in on every other preset.  Took only a few minutes to do.

 

OK, that sounds interesting and quite doable.  You may have just brought me back online.  :)  

 

Thanks again guys, much appreciated.

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Andy1175, on 06 May 2016 - 07:10 AM, said:

Andy1175, on 06 May 2016 - 07:10 AM, said:

 

Because it's the next generation and I want all of the improvements that brings.

To be fair, one of those improvements was to replace the 1/8" TRS jack (always more flimsy, especially when dealing with drunk fans) with more robust 1/4" jacks. :)

 

But it really depends on what you're connecting:

  • Apple/Google smartphone or tablet, Mac/PC, iPod Touch, or anything else supporting class-compliant audio—Just connect it via USB and Helix will route it directly to its outputs with no additional D/A/D conversion (plus it sounds better!)
  • Portable CD player, iPod Classic/Mini/Nano, Minidisc player, or Zune (more rare these days)—The only difference is that you'll need a different cable—1/8" TRS > L/R 1/4" as opposed to an 1/8" TRS > 1/8" TRS. Neither cable is typically included with a playback device; you'd need to hit a music store or Radio Shack anyway
  • Component CD player, Minidisc player, or DAT machine—Save as above, except you'd need a L/R RCA > L/R 1/4" cable as opposed to a L/R RCA > 1/8" TRS, neither of which are included with the player
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I'd get a 1/8" stereo to L/R RCA and a pair of RCA to 1/4" jack adaptors myself - covers most options.  Andy being the UK doesn't have a Radio Shack, but on Amazon something like:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/kenable-3-5mm-Stereo-Phono-Plugs/dp/B00HT52UZW/ref=sr_1_6

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/6-3mm-Female-Audio-Adapter-10PCS/dp/B00X73M05K/ref=sr_1_38(10 pack!)

 

Dirt cheap and easy to replace when inevitably the 1/8 jack cable goes faulty

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Prior to my ordering a helix I wanted to be sure that I could use my ipad or other music player through the helix.

Basically same question as the original poster.

I was also surprised that there was no dedicated input for this.

 

My question was answered on the forum but I was a little unsure how easy it would be to get my music to the helix.

I went ahead and got the helix ( I couldn't resist).

 

It's been great. Lots of fun.

Adding a return block to a preset takes seconds. So it all worked out well......

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Adding a return block to a preset takes seconds. So it all worked out well......

 

If you happen to have the camera kit for your iPad, it just works. No return block necessary or wasting jacks.

 

More flexibility with the return block tho', as it can exist anywhere on any path.

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If you happen to have the camera kit for your iPad, it just works. No return block necessary or wasting jacks.

 

More flexibility with the return block tho', as it can exist anywhere on any path.

The only issue with the ipad is that you can't use the ipad volume button if you go through the camera connection kit.

 

I can't remember now (since I'm not with my helix) if there is a way to change the output level of the USB signal that goes through the helix.

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Not... currently, no. ;)

But.... I use an app on my ipad called tab toolkit to play my tab pro tabs which has volume sliders for each instrument that I can still control. So with that app the volume issue with the camera connection kit is a non-issue

 

For other types of audio there may be other audio player apps that have their own volume control or equalizer that may work.

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No, you don't have to explain anything. There are many advantages to upgrading, including the ones you mention. That's why it's hard for me to understand why a relatively minor thing (to me), which can easily be accomplished in a different way, would be a deal breaker. You'd forego all those advantages because you'd need to get a cheap adapter and structure a simple preset? That's entirely up to you, but perhaps give yourself a bit of time to get over your initial disappointment?

 

EDIT: I'd be happy to build an appropriate preset and put it on Customtone for you (if it isn't already there).

Silverhead,

I would very much like and appreciate such a preset if it isn't too much of an inconvenience.

EF

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Not at all, but according to silverhead I'd have to set up patches specifically structured to use it, rather than just plug in and play.

 

Hi Andy,

 

Sometimes Q&A on here get bit muddled and it can soon turn into a squabble. As someone once said – "No need!"

 

O.K. Instead of jacking in a CD/MP3 player into the Helix, you could always do what I do. I have a fairly large iTunes Library stuffed with a variety of stuff, including a whole heap of backing tracks and such like. They just play straight out of the Helix through USB, allowing me to noodle along with the guitar using whatever patch I fancy. Easy!

 

If you need to be free from being tethered to a 'puter nip into Maplins or check on Fleabay for a 1/8" to 1/4"adaptor. They should be pretty cheap. Creating a patch/preset is way simple.

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Silverhead,

I would very much like and appreciate such a preset if it isn't too much of an inconvenience.

EF

 

The preset I offered to make serves two purposes:

- it will playback audio from an external device such as a CD or MP3 player, and

- it can be used to play your guitar along with backing tracks

 

The first purpose is useful for providing sound to the room during breaks between your band's sets. The second purpose is useful both during gigs and just for practice.

 

While setting up a separate preset I realize that it's so simple it doesn't need its own preset. It would consist of a single stereo Return block. You can easily add this to any existing preset. Here's the method.

 

1) Select any preset to which you want to add this capability. If desired, select a New Preset and use it solely for the first purpose above.

 

2) Select (or arrange for) an empty block immediately preceding the Output block in any path. You want this at the end of the chain so that your external sound is not processed within Helix; it goes straight to the outputs. You can use Path 2 exclusively for this purpose if you wish, reserving Path 1 for your guitar processing, but it doesn't really matter. If you're using Path 2 for this you can leave its Input block empty (X'ed out).

 

3) At this end-of-path location, add one of the stereo Return blocks in the Send/Return items, e.g. Return 1/2.

 

4) Connect the stereo output of your device, using adapters if necessary, to feed its L/R outputs individually into the selected Return pair above on Helix.

 

5) Start playing the external audio device and adjust its volume level to balance with your guitar playing level if desired.

 

That's it, that's all.

 

 

EDIT: @Andy1175 - I realize after a later post that you have a different requirement than either of the two purposes above. In your case you would either have to use a computer and the USB connection as described above, or add this stereo Return block to all presets for which you want this capability. It only takes a few seconds for each preset but I know it would be tedious to do it for all factory presets. The USB connection to a computer would be much easier.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 years later...

 

I just cant beleive this "Ultraflexible" invention (or was "Behringer" saying this about one of his units, whatever..) does not let a user creatively jump from preset to preset while listening to an external sound source in order to find a suiting sound.The way Helix is treating input signals is completely against any idea of creativity with such an advented unit.

This could be so easily solved be simply extending the headphone monitor with another software routing to the return inputs

or just mixing them into the headphone monitor. This way the headphone monitor would make more sense too.

Very disappointing. 

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49 minutes ago, RJKole said:

 

I just cant beleive this "Ultraflexible" invention (or was "Behringer" saying this about one of his units, whatever..) does not let a user creatively jump from preset to preset while listening to an external sound source in order to find a suiting sound.The way Helix is treating input signals is completely against any idea of creativity with such an advented unit.

This could be so easily solved be simply extending the headphone monitor with another software routing to the return inputs

or just mixing them into the headphone monitor. This way the headphone monitor would make more sense too.

Very disappointing. 


Hi, 

 

I’m confused as to why you are posting to a thread that Is 3 years old, and then saying “this "Ultraflexible" invention does not let a user creatively jump from preset to preset while listening to an external sound source in order to find a suiting sound.

 

It does, and I use the facility of auditioning various presets, along with any backing track or whatever,  on a daily basis. Not a problem, very easy to do. The thing that makes that possible is a thing called USB. Playback iTunes, YouTube, DAW audio or whatever. Ultraflexible!

 

This is discussed in the thread above. Although, you don’t mention what it is that you would like to connect that is causing such a problem for you?

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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8 hours ago, RJKole said:

Thanks for your kind comment.

I read the above about "USB" but the devices i am using,  unfortunately do not have "USB" :-(


Huh?

 

Now I’m really confused.
 

No USB?

 

If you don’t have USB you will not be able to make backup safety copies of your presets, or use HX Edit to load IR files. It’s a real “must have” thing on a computer communicating with Line 6 HX devices. The clue is in the name Universal Serial Bus, its an industry standard.


To me this doesn’t make sense.

 

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Interesting.

 

I suppose RJKole is suggsting, maybe, that he wants to literally plug something like an mp3 player (without usb?) into his helix using a dollar store 1/8" stereo aux cable, rather than connecting his helix to either a pc or mac computer.

 

In which case, I too am stumped. 

 

RJKole..... do you not have the ability to use your helix within 6 feet or so of a computer (the typical length of a USB cable for computer <-> Helix)?  Because if you CAN use your computer, then that is how you can solve this.  Playback music on your computer however you like... OR plug your phone into your computer's audio input via an aux cable, so any device you use that does not have USB can be heard.  Or any other path you like.

 

Most of those guitar amps/boards that have 1/8" mini stereo aux inputs for listening to music at the same time are considered, how shall I put it.... entry-level devices, for beginners who care more about convenience and not using quality gear than about reliability and sound quality of how they listen to their music.  The amplifire line, for example, and all of the line6 amps (And squier amps etc) that have aux inputs... those are for playing along to your phone music in your bedroom for fun, not for serious music making like the helix line is for.  Bluetooth is not pro level at all - there is lag.  That's why it only works for playing back prerecorded music for you to play along to - because if it was used for your guitar playing itself there would be so much latency that you'd be unable to play.

 

When you get into pro level gear, you also get into pro level connectivity.  Bluetooth and 1/8" aux inputs disappear above a certain price point because there are far superior ways to do the same thing using your computer - which is pretty much a requirement to own when working with the helix.

 

Don't buy a helix (or any other pro product) if you aren't prepared to have the rest of the gear, and knowledge, needed to use it properly.

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