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Helix as interface...


Shrednoise321
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I'm just now getting into the recording aspect of things. Was going to buy an interface today and was told that the Helix is one. I'm sure if I read my manual I would know this. I did however purchase some studio monitors and a vocal mic. I will be purchasing Reaper as my DAW. I know there is better but for my budget, it will do the job.

 

NOW TO THE QUESTION/QUESTIONS AT HAND....

 

How do I hook all this stuff up to the computer and get it running? If someone already covered this, could someone point me in the right direction? I always look to this place for advice and support. I wanna say thanks to all of you who have helped me. This is my first time venturing into this realm so please be gentile.....

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Pretty much that. Also Reaper is totally fine. I love it and I have access to... Studio One, Pro Tools, Cubase, Ableton... the point is, no need to feel bad about Reaper. The option for your interface is in the upper right corner where it shows your current buffer size and latency settings.

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Helix is a good interface. With more mature drivers, which I am sure are coming at some point, will make it a great interface. It should handle what you want faily easily. You could even wet monitor, and record dry. Then ReAmp the dry recordings. That can be done with both the voice/mic, and the guitar. I myself, use FL Studio as my daw. Its fantastic, but needs improvements in loop recording and midi for external hardware, and such. Which just so happen to be the focus of their next update to it. Reaper is fine btw.

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I use Helix Control downstairs in the vocal booth to control Logic Pro X (via Helix Control) upstairs in the studio. Logic makes it really easy to map any Command Center MIDI messages to functions normally reserved for QWERTY key commands. In Logic, press OPTION-K to view a list of over a thousand.

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Yep. That's the physical chain. You may need to configure your DAW accordingly.

 

I tried it with the phones output going to my computer speakers.

My Garageband drums sounded distorted, as if they were being fed through my Helix guitar chain.

 

How do i get this right?

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How do i get this right?

 

Hi Thoeng,

 

If you want to get this right – very simple answer – buy some real studio monitor speakers. They don't need to be huge or expensive - just anything that is a real monitor.

 

For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why anyone would spend a stack of cash on one of the most state of the art digital modelling units in the world – and then feed the signal from the phones socket to some PC speakers. Jeeziz wept! Then you wonder why it distorts?

 

Wrong, wrong, wrong, in so many ways it's just wrong!

 

This is a joke post, right, or, is it me?

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I've been DELIGHTED with Helix as an interface. Recording up to 4 tracks at once (I'm sure it can do more, but I haven't had occasion to) I have had way more stable recording than my venerable old MOTU Ultralite MK III. The MOTU farts out every now and then and Helix hasn't one single time... even when I've been running beta firmware!

Using the vintage mic pre in helix very subtly, I get so much better vocal sounds that on a recent project I re-tracked all my vocals through it.

Listen for free if you want here. https://peterhamm.bandcamp.com/album/protest-songs

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I've been DELIGHTED with Helix as an interface. Recording up to 4 tracks at once (I'm sure it can do more, but I haven't had occasion to) I have had way more stable recording than my venerable old MOTU Ultralite MK III. The MOTU farts out every now and then and Helix hasn't one single time... even when I've been running beta firmware!

 

Using the vintage mic pre in helix very subtly, I get so much better vocal sounds that on a recent project I re-tracked all my vocals through it.

 

Listen for free if you want here. https://peterhamm.bandcamp.com/album/protest-songs

 

You know, I keep forgetting it has mic pre models on there. I mean, I have a really nice outboard tube pre now, but I ought to just use the Helix. Mic pre plus compressor, do it all on there... hmmmm.

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Hi Thoeng,

 

If you want to get this right – very simple answer – buy some real studio monitor speakers. They don't need to be huge or expensive - just anything that is a real monitor.

 

For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why anyone would spend a stack of cash on one of the most state of the art digital modelling units in the world – and then feed the signal from the phones socket to some PC speakers. Jeeziz wept! Then you wonder why it distorts?

 

Wrong, wrong, wrong, in so many ways it's just wrong!

 

This is a joke post, right, or, is it me?

 

It's on my list. I bought the Helix mainly for my live rig, so studio monitors are not a priority for me.

The guitar sounds are fine for what I need through the computer speakers . I'm just setting it up correctly for use with Garageband I think.

The drums from Garageband sound fine when hooking the speakers up to my computer, but when I go USB to Helix then the drums distort, so just a user error in the setup i guess. 

 

The speakers are not distorting because of the volume being too loud, the problem seems to be that the drums are going through the guitar chain...

Like I stated in my earlier post. But thanks. I guess...

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It's on my list. I bought the Helix mainly for my live rig, so studio monitors are not a priority for me.

The guitar sounds are fine for what I need through the computer speakers . I'm just setting it up correctly for use with Garageband I think.

The drums from Garageband sound fine when hooking the speakers up to my computer, but when I go USB to Helix then the drums distort, so just a user error in the setup i guess. 

 

The speakers are not distorting because of the volume being too loud, the problem seems to be that the drums are going through the guitar chain...

Like I stated in my earlier post. But thanks. I guess...

Theong,

Sorry for the misunderstanding, but really you should not be hooking up your PC speaker system to the headphone socket.

The correct way to connect your system was provided above –  as "silverhead" stated, it works like this:

Helix USB into computer and GarageBand, Reaper, Logic, Abelton, ProTools, iTunes, YouTube or your weapon of choice etc.

Studio monitors, FRFR (or whatever, but you know what we mean) out from helix 1/4 inch or XLR

Plug mic/guitar into Helix.

Make noise!

Nowhere does it say – "Oh, yeah if it seems like a good idea, you could plug you gamer's speakers from the PC into the headphone output". Apart getting into the realms of physics and Ohms law (I think the impedance is rated @ 12ohms on the cans output) etc. your headphone socket is probably sending the fully processed signal from Helix. Not good, you have to know it's going to distort. Just take a look at how many other Helix users on here say stay away from trying to judge any of the the sounds through headphones. Use speakers that you can evaluate properly in the correct setup. Anything else is going to fail - big style.

 

They shouldn't go through the guitar chain. Make sure you have your global settings to run the USB monitoring separately. Also make sure your sample rate is set correctly and matches on Helix and Mac.

Yeah , Zombie,

Good call - let's get this guy on the right track so he can enjoy the sonic elegance that's the Helix sound machine.

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Also would just like to clarify, monitoring via the headphone out is not going to cause distortion on speakers unless you have it cranked up too loud. So that is one thing to play with. However, you could also plug headphones in there to verify, as it should not distort those. I frequently use my Helix as an interface to monitor the sound coming out of the computer while I play via the headphones. It allows me to play along to YouTube videos so I can practice. I experience no distortion doing this.

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Also would just like to clarify, monitoring via the headphone out is not going to cause distortion on speakers unless you have it cranked up too loud. So that is one thing to play with. However, you could also plug headphones in there to verify, as it should not distort those. I frequently use my Helix as an interface to monitor the sound coming out of the computer while I play via the headphones. It allows me to play along to YouTube videos so I can practice. I experience no distortion doing this.

Thanks for trying to help me figure this out guys.

Sorry about the cranky response at first. Long day  :)

 

I don't feel that volume is the issue. The weird part is that at first the drums will sound fine, but after a few minutes they will begin to distort.

I guess I am indeed not using it as intended, so can't complain it's not working as i'd want it to. Guess I'll put a pair of studio monitors on the want-list.

Kinda just bought a house though, so that might be a couple months  :D

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  • 9 months later...

I use Helix Control downstairs in the vocal booth to control Logic Pro X (via Helix Control) upstairs in the studio. Logic makes it really easy to map any Command Center MIDI messages to functions normally reserved for QWERTY key commands. In Logic, press OPTION-K to view a list of over a thousand.

Hi,

One question, 

In my computer with helix selected as my midi/audio interface, what if I connect a USB controller like a novation launch pad, can I control parameter on helix?

I haver done this via regular midi straight from the controller to helix and works perfect. But all new controllers that comes with lots of knobs which are cool, are USB only, they are not including the regular MIDI.

Can I control my helix with on USB controller connect through my computer?

Unfortunately my controller USB is damaged, so I cannot do run the test, and I need a new controller with more knobs... 

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In my computer with helix selected as my midi/audio interface, what if I connect a USB controller like a novation launch pad, can I control parameter on helix?

I haver done this via regular midi straight from the controller to helix and works perfect. But all new controllers that comes with lots of knobs which are cool, are USB only, they are not including the regular MIDI.

Can I control my helix with on USB controller connect through my computer?

Unfortunately my controller USB is damaged, so I cannot do run the test, and I need a new controller with more knobs... 

 

Any MIDI controller that can send CC messages can control up to 64 parameters in Helix simultaneously. Assuming you've routed your controller through a DAW or some other MIDI routing program to control Helix:

  1. On Helix, press and hold the knob for the parameter you wish to control. Helix jumps to the Controller Assign screen.
  2. Press Knob 6 (Learn Controller) and then turn the knob on your controller. Helix maps it automatically.
  3. If desired, set Min and Max values (even in reverse) and press HOME when you're done.

If you're shopping for a new MIDI controller anyway, it might be worth getting one with a MIDI out DIN port as well; that way, you wouldn't need the computer in between.

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Any MIDI controller that can send CC messages can control up to 64 parameters in Helix simultaneously. Assuming you've routed your controller through a DAW or some other MIDI routing program to control Helix:

  1. On Helix, press and hold the knob for the parameter you wish to control. Helix jumps to the Controller Assign screen.
  2. Press Knob 6 (Learn Controller) and then turn the knob on your controller. Helix maps it automatically.
  3. If desired, set Min and Max values (even in reverse) and press HOME when you're done.

If you're shopping for a new MIDI controller anyway, it might be worth getting one with a MIDI out DIN port as well; that way, you wouldn't need the computer in between.

Thanks for your help!

I control it currently with din, great to know that a regular usb can do the trick with a laptop! THanks!!!

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  • 11 months later...

Can someone please help me .. I have a helix LT and I’m using it as an interface to record my guitar with GarageBand. When I previously recorded, the quality was great.. however, I’m not sure what I’ve done but all recordings are now distorted when I playback the track.  (Only my guitar not GarageBand drums)

Much appreciate some help 

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