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Helix had it's first wobble tonight

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Mid way through a song in the second set tonight my guitar suddenly cut out. I wasn't even touching the Helix at the time. I tried changing patches (nothing doing) and quickly checked the cables (all still connected) and everything looked fine and the power amp was still on. Turned the Helix off and back on, it rebooted and then sound magically returned and it worked for the rest of the gig. I really hope this sort of wobble doesn't happen again!

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Whow!! That certainly is something you hope, will never happen to U!!

I use mine only in the studio and yes he freezes up sometime, but is always connected by USB (and that's a known issue, although quite annoying)

 

Good luck man, hope it was a onetime in a life helix quirk ;-)

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I do worry about this happening at a gig - and also that my Helix might simply die!  If I was a wee bit more professional I'd carry a spare Helix just in case.. as it is what I have in my gig bag will probably get me through the night.

 

It's possible bad electricity supply or power spikes can cause digital things to go on the fritz.  I carry a rack mount power conditioner to help nowadays.

 

From my gigging experience over the years I have found digital gear more susceptible to dodgy mains power...  in some places with badly unregulated generators the digital stuff we've had has just refused the operate, whilst the analog stuff manages to carry on - albeit making a god awful buzz.

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I'd suspect power issues too that may have caused Helix to crash. I've had this happen a couple of times at home while editing patches, but so far, never at a gig. 

 

With all the benefits of Helix, I still think its important to bring a backup setup. For me thats an iPad with BIAS FX and a Blueboard. I have to have the iPad for other things anyway, and with a small cable adapter for the output, I can use the same TRS cable that goes to my stage amp or into the PA. I haven't used that yet except for testing at rehearsal, but it works pretty well. 

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Regarding possible issues with the power supply it's the first time I've used the Helix at this particular venue, although I have played there quite a few times previously using other gear with no issues.

 

However, I can believe that some places are worse than others when it comes to the quality of the mains power as back when I used to gig a midi rack system with a Marshall 9200 power amp there was one venue (now closed) where on several occasions it blew fuses, which never happened at all anywhere else.

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Well, that's a scary one. Especially since I run both my guitar and vocal through Helix. But realistically, with software as complicated as in Helix it's just impossible to iron out all of the bugs. Possibly it could be a mains issue, as noted, or a failing hardware component in Helix...

 

Thanks for the report and please keep us posted if you experience this issue again.

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I was worried about not having a spare when I was using HD500. Now that I have Helix, I've kept my old HD500 as a spare. The HD500 can handle all the ins and outs that I use: Variax In, Guitar In, Keyboard In (FX return), XLR out to front-of-house PA, and 1/4-inch out to my own powered PA speaker.

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I've only ever seen the dreaded 'freeze when connected to USB' where it just hangs but still routes audio colored by the preset that was selected when the problem occurred. Happened about 5 times now, in every case I had the editor open and was at a point where I physically changed a preset on the unit. Editor will popup a disconnected message and reboot is only fix.

 

The possibility of a crash mid gig though with audio killed has me thinking. The spare unit (HD or Helix for the Kardashian amongst you affluence-wsie) still involves some switching around downtime. I think what might work is having a tiny board of a few small form factor pedals to cover the basics. Then A\B switch between helix and that and running into two separate amp or mixer channels. Light to carry, small real estate, and any hiccup is just switch over to the backup immediately.

 

Kinda like this, aesthetically

 

http://www.cheaperpedals.com/products/mooer-firefly-fc-m5-pedalboard-flight-case?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=1046013736

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I'm glad you posted this too.  Nothing is bulletproof, including amps and pedals.  It's good to have a backup plan.

 

Along the lines of amsdenj above, I could carry iPad, iRig Pro Duo, Boss FC-50 MIDI board, for Amplitube apps.

 

Although, I have covered an entire gig with a Mesa v-Twin pedal, TC Nova System, and wah pedal when an amp died before.  Hate to haul that around, but I suppose I could break out the old MPS Pedal Pad XL Lite and fit it all on there.

 

Hmm...how much is Atomic Ampifire again...$599 ;)  Would fit in the Helix backpack.

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For a backup rig, $599 is a bit rich for my blood, though it seems like a great option.

 

Has anyone tried the Line 6 AMPLIFi TT? It's tiny, relatively inexpensive, and should plug right into your FRFRs. Biggest downside I can see is that as far as I can tell it doesn't have MIDI input, which is a problem for patch changes and footwitch-like stuff.

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Maybe line 6 will make a Helix lite, single processor, 1-2 paths instead of 4, simplified display, less IO, use the same models and patches, the size of the Amplifire or M5 for $499 (or less).

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Yeah Backup rig!

 

I need to set mine up for such, but it's got a lot of built in backup options available

 

My main amp is a H&K Switchblade - a 4 channel MIDI controlled tube combo that can store 128 presets and has Reverb, Delay and basic modulation.  I just need to make sure I set up a few basic patches to get me through a gig, and then stuff it's supplied MIDI controller in my bag.  

If Helix dies, the H&K will get me through a gig ok.

 

My other amp in my stereo rig is an old solid state Award Session Sessionette 75 combo.  It has a great clean tone and a pretty cool FET drive channel.  If the H&K goes down I can use that as the power amp with the Helix preamps I have set up on each preset to mimic the H&K's tone.

 

If both the Helix and the H&K die I could just the Sessionette - or give up and go home before that blows up as well ;)

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So far no problems for me, but I also have a "mini" board with just an amplifire and a wah pedal on it as a back up. There's a tiny pub we play where I'll use this to save a bit of floor space, and feel a bit less paranoid about the crowd stamping all over my shiny Helix. It's still a pretty nice sounding rig...

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The Helix made it through tonight's gig with no apparent problems so hopefully the previous loss of sound issue will just be one of those freak, one off events.

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I had a flawless gig last night... Well... After I replaced the bad/faulty patch cable from my wireless to my Helix. LoL!

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So far so good with Helix here. 2+ gigs a week for the last 3 months with no hiccups.

 

I definitely don't miss a loaded pedalboard with a bunch of patch cables. I will gladly trade a Helix reboot for trying to track down a bad patch cable on my 10+ pedalboard in the middle of a gig or song.

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I tweaked Glenn's 3 amp patch to my liking and probably used it for 60% of my gig last night!

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I had my second gig with me Helix this weekend and I had zero issues. It sounded great and never glitched once. This gig I used all of my own presets that I created, the first gig I used tweaked Glenn D patches (I only had a few days after getting the Helix before that gig).

 

-Max

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Gotta say, it's at a point where when I'm using the Editor on a Mac via USB, it crashes Helix quite a lot. I'm now hitting save on almost every change, getting to the point where I really dont want to use the Editor that much except for naming\renaming things and backing up. Really hope that gets addressed as a priority.

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I recently played a show with Helix and there was bad power on the stage. I experienced some unusual behavior but I also had total loss of power. But the whole stage was losing power in different spots at different times. Once this was resolved, I had no more issues the rest of the night.

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I had a flawless gig last night... Well... After I replaced the bad/faulty patch cable from my wireless to my Helix. LoL!

Welcome to one of the great guitar truths: If you have a problem with your wireless system, at least 90% of the time it will be down to one of the wires :-)

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i have a zoom ms50g pedal always as a spare in case of disaster, it is a multifx in a single stomp pedal with, in my opinion very good, usable amp modelling and fx and they're pretty inexpensive. also it runs for hours on 2 AA batteries so it's a really quick set up if you need it quickly. they're a handy emergency back up for any rig.

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i have a zoom ms50g pedal always as a spare in case of disaster, it is a multifx in a single stomp pedal with, in my opinion very good, usable amp modelling and fx and they're pretty inexpensive. also it runs for hours on 2 AA batteries so it's a really quick set up if you need it quickly. they're a handy emergency back up for any rig.

 

I use one of these as an emergency backup as well (actually the MS100BT, same idea though). Easy to stuff in a backpack. Kind of a bear to use though if you need to switch a lot of effects or sounds in and out. I usually carry my old MFX unit with me as well which has more flexibility and better tone.

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