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Helix DT not a perfect fit


gmathis501
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Helix preset are very cool and the amp modeling is assume but Helix without a great tube amp "In my case DT25" does not blow you away. Helix needs a real tube amp in the mix to blow your mind and then it does.  But the DT25 does not play nice with the Helix out of the box without tweaking and messing around and trying to figure out all the in's and outs of the pre's, midi bla bla bla.  I want the Helix to control the DT25 just like the POD HD does but with the cool helix tones. And I don't want to mess around with the interface between the two for a month trying to figure out a way to make them play nice.   I did download DT Edit and I did try running through the DT25 effects "Return" to bypass the pre's but even with this I'm lacking all of the control that are/where standard in the POD HD Edit software. 

 

Line 6 needs to make this a plug and play link between the DT series and the Helix. Not midi patch or play through the return, disable your pre's etc. 

 

I love the Helix modeling but the interface for DT a real tube is very disappointing.

 

Bummer

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Although I found the MIDI solution to be a piece of cake and I'm getting incredible tones, I agree that full Helix/DT implementation would be great.  I know it's very popular on Ideascale and I expect it to come eventually, after they finish tackling some of the more popular ideas.

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Helix and DT integration (without jumping thru hoops) would have been nice, but it just wasn't released that way by Line 6. You can wish in one hand and spit the other "right now" until the cows come home and it won't make it so. Thats a shame, but it is what it is at the moment. That said, I really "really" disagree with you about having to have a tube amp "of any kind", to make Helix, Kemper, Axe FX II or any other A= processor like these sound great and blow you away. Time to think outside of the amp in the room box. My Helix (and Kemper) is sounding just wonderful on my studio Mackie 824 monitors, or the FireHawk 1500 amp, or thru an SLA-2 into a Marshall 1960a cab. There is an old Fender SuperSonic sitting close by however. Not using it much these days, but maybe that mojo tone I'm getting is coming from that?  ;)  As always, YMMV.

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Hi Spikey,

 

Not feeling it. The Helix has amazing modeling that's a given I love having all those amps at my fingertips but it needs to run through my DT without the DT pre's effecting Helix just need the tubs to do there thing.  I spend way to many hours daily doing recording, writing, producing and all the hats that you have to wear. I don't have time to mess with an interface it needs to work right out of the box.  And it's not that I can't figure it out I can but why should I have to?

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Well, because you invested money in it is my first thought. That said, if I had read that Helix would not work with studio monitors after I bought it I would be miffed too, but that would be my fault for not asking beforehand. There are folks here who will chip in I'm sure shortly, that have used a DT-25 with amazing results. yes they had to set it up differently but from what I read it produced results they wanted. Stand by before you sell/return it and hear from them first, just to get another opinion on this set=up.

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My ignorance was a lack of understanding on the basic Helix and DT midi setup and how to control everything from the Helix.   I will post a Youtube video on this so other people like me have reference that they can SEE.  Telling a guitar player to how without giving specific instructions is not a win.  I will create a video today to help out some other frustrated DT midi challenged players.

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I had my first gig with the Helix, DT25 combo, and Variax today. They all worked great together. Switching amp voicings worked perfectly through Midi commands. I will admit that setting up has been trial and error, and somewhat more involved than your average user would like it to be. But it does work and sounds fantastic.

 

It really helps to have a midi cable interface for the DT amps to your computer. This also you to use DT Edit and change the voicings to remove any internal preamp models. This also allows customization of class, pentode/triode, and other settings. This saves you the hassle of programming these things into separate midi commands later in your Helix. You can then change voicing with one midi command.

 

Again, this is more work than it should be for the average user. I don't mind it because I'm a guitar geek and enjoy this stuff, but at very least Line 6 should have some detailed instructions or a video to show everyone how to accomplish this. I'm really hoping for a firmware update soon that makes this much easier. It's got to be coming soon.

 

FYI, I am the ideascale creator for the Helix/DT amp integration request. It is currently ranked 25th with 212 votes. Please vote it up if you haven't already:

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/DT-amp-compatibility-for-Helix/726817-23508

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My apologies for my ignorance.  It was very simple to setup the MIDI to control the DT25..

 

Sorry,

 

Gary

 

I have to admit that I was dreading the MIDI thing, especially since I have almost zero MIDI experience, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to configure.

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Gary,

 

As the owner of two DT25's (purchased at Sweetwater at full retail less than 2.5 years ago), formerly used with my HD500 in stereo via L6 Link, prior to Helix purchase, I was really disappointed to learn that a midi workaround was required to get the Helix and DT's to cooperate. I finally gave up and have been running with no stage amps (direct to PA) or using an FRFR solution.

 

I have a couple of questions about your suggested approach to my situation:

Are you using the L6 Link out of the Helix to the DTs?

Do you use the direct XLR out of the DT's to go to the PA or do you mic the DT's?

 

I am SO not a computer tweaking guy - but I'm willing to work with it a bit.

 

I'm also willing to wait for a Line 6-developed integration if one is coming fairly soon. Any real intel on that?

 

Thanks Gary and really appreciate your sharing with us here. I am where you were last week - love the Helix, but kinda frustrated that it doesn't truly integrate seamlessly with the DTs - especially given what we all paid for the DT's only a short time ago.

 

Bradley

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Hi Bradley,

 

I'm using my Helix in a recording studio not a live situation.  So my answers are only from my limited experience with the Helix/DT all of two weeks.

 

I do have the Line 6 Link connected to the DT but after all my research I don't really think it's doing ANYTHING the midi commands are controlling

all of the DT settings.  Line 6 Link is there but I think it's doing ZERO.  Maybe a tech can clarify.

 

I'm using the XLR out into my DAW from the Helix no mic on DT.  My guess is you could go either way. From the Helix I'm getting great tone into my DAW you would use the XLR out to a PA with no problems and get the same result.  You can control the XLR feed volume and make it different than what's being fed to the DT I haven't done this but I"ve read it's doable.

 

You can control the CAB, Mic, Mic distance and SO MUCH more from the Helix and dial in your exact tone.  Why use the DT cab with a mic?  That's just going to change the nice tone you dialed in. 

 

I can do quick how to videos let me know if you need help on any of this.

 

Gary

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Gary,

 

Just wanted to say thanks so much for the thoughts. I'll look into this further asap. My question the L6 Link was just for the audio feed between the Helix and the DT's. No worries there.

 

Bradley

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  • 6 months later...

I've been gigging with Helix for a while now and trying all sorts of monitor options. I was trying to get comfortable with only hearing my guitar through a K10 monitor in front of me on stage, but somehow I wasn't able to get it dialed in. Since I already had a DT25, I decided to give that a shot. So I used DTedit to configure the amp with "no preamps" on Channel A, but I left Channel B alone so that I could use it as a backup amp if necessary. I had the amp raised up slightly and behind me on the stage. Bottom line is, it worked out stellar. One of my favorite nights for getting good tone on stage, at reasonable volume. I really enjoyed playing through that rig last night...and you know how it is when you can't get into that sweet spot, and are left struggling to get a tone that seems inspiring and big enough to get the room rocking. I got there last night. Very nice feeling. Also, plenty of volume. I don't like to play too loud, but I do need to get into the sweet spot, and that happened last night. I was using line level on the output from Helix to the amp, not instrument level, so there was plenty of signal hitting the DT25 input. The master volume was only about halfway up on the amp but it definitely rocked.

 

I ran the signal from Helix into the regular guitar input on the DT25, but I plan to try using the L6 link. I guess it doesn't make too much difference, but I imagine the amp will be even quieter since the signal is passing in digital form over L6 link vs analog when you run it via a regular guitar cable.

 

One never knows if it's completely reproducible in another room, but since it was all programmed patches, I know the generated tone will be the same at the next venue. However the acoustics will certainly be different, that is always the big unknown from night to night. Oh, one other thing, I ran the XLR out on the back of the DT25 directly into the FOH console and it sounded great through the mains. And no hassles with having to mic the amp. Very sweet. First time I've been completely happy with my stage tone in months

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Bottom line is, it worked out stellar.

 

 

Yep and that's why it's such a shame to "abandon" such a great idea behind "Dream Rig",  which should include Helix too (but because its old market hype now they moved on), especially when they used the same trademark name on the port for both series of processors. Its the "control" side that's not cooked yet. I'd like to know if they even get reports back to the shirt and tie boys about many being upset about this cause I'm sure I'm not alone, even if many have never known, forgotten or moved on. Kicking a dead horse again, but it's good for the leather on the boots.  ;)

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Yeah, I would definitely like to have full control implemented via L6 link rather than having to run a separate MIDI cable. Last night I just left the amp in Topology I all night. To me, that setting is the most flexible and gives the best Fender clean tones, which are obviously a staple, especially since we're a one-guitar band. However it would have been nice to be able to easily switch to another setting without having to physically toggle the switch. I was able to dial in the distortion tones pretty well, using the same topology, so no problem, but it would have been interesting to be able to switch to Topology IV which is usually my go-to setting for heavier tones. I was just happy to be able to feel good about my stage tone, but the additional control flexibility would be the icing on the cake.

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