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Lachdanan0121

Topic on the UI itself, how has it affected you?

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Line 6, I wanted to leave a comment here, and a place for anyone else that wants to comment on the UI of the Helix product. 

 

I will preface this by saying I have the Helix Rack + Controller + Mission Helix exp pedal.  I haven't used the Controller, and exp much, as I am a studio musician, and just haven't got around to using it much. (Ironically I got that more for tweaking patches when I am at the Mic stand when I am recording vocals, and not sitting beside my Helix)

 

Now that out of the way... The Interface is one of the first things that interested me in this product when I first heard about it about 14-15 months, or so, ago. Obviously after I heard that the level of tone they were going for was to actually rival Fractal, and Kemper. I wanted a nice rack unit that I could adjust with my hands while I was recording/playing/tracking guitar. I wanted it this way to save screen real estate. I have two screens, (top/bottom) but I want all the space for plugins, and DAW/playlist/piano roll. The Helix seemed like almost a perfect fit, and fit my audio interface routing needs as well. 

 

On to actually using the UI for a bit now that I got a good hang of it.  I have found that I am rarely opening my editor on the pc. Even though my Helix is connected to it 24/7.  I open the editor to check things like what the bpm is set too, and things like library/IR management.  The rest I do all on the UI of the unit itself. I even save/rename patches on the unit. Its so easy, and intuitive.  The screen is bright, a good size, and it is quite clear. The color representation of each category is smartly chosen imo. 

 

I can dial in great patches with complex routing in a much quicker time than I ever could on any other unit. I get a better sound quicker than with any unit. I have dialed in patches in 15-30 minutes with my Helix that sounded miles above anything I could with the Pod Farm 2.0 with my Pod X3, and Eleven Rack in the entire time I had them. (much less earlier modelers) On top of all that, I will get faster at dialing in better tones over time with this unit. 

 

Line 6 you have really raised the bar when it comes to UI on guitar modelers. I can tell a lot of thought went into that aspect.

Everything feels sturdy too, not like its about to fall off. Though I have read of some users when they had technical problems with the UI, but Line 6 seems to give great care to its customer service of the Helix line. Which in turn makes me feel somewhat "safer" with my decision to go Helix. 

 

I would like to hear from others how the UI has helped them in there scenarios. I don't even use snapshots, but I hear setting them up is a breeze as well. I dare say its even fun to program patches on the Helix compared to a lot of previous modelers. 

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Definitely the most easily navigable multi-FX I've ever used. I think I had tones I was digging about 5 minutes after powering it on the first time.

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Well I spent 20 years in a wheelchair, but after seeing the Helix UI I can walk again...!!!

 

......too much?  Bit over the top...?

 

So ok - Helix ain't gonna heal the sick, or raise the dead (depending I suppose on the amp you hook it up to...) but on an obviously well thought out and executed design, the UI stands out as the cherry on top.  All the power and possibility in the thing mean nothing if you can't get to it and manipulate it without it getting in the way - and the UI is pretty much as clear as New Mexico air.

 

Based on comments over the last year it seems like lots of folks initially bump their nose into splits/merge, and "how do I get to path 2" kinda stuff - but once you get your head around those items, patch design is pretty much just like looking down at a pedalboard/patchbay kinda deal.

 

Another "program on the device" guy here - thus far I've only used the editor for librarian purposes. 

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Well, I was a beta tester for the Helix, and when I got it, the manual was still being worked, so for the first few days, I just figured it out by using. I actually felt like I was able to figure 90%+ or more of the functionality without any documentation. Based on the actual complexity of everything you can do, I feel like that's pretty amazing. To put it in perspective, I've used digital delay pedals (the Boss DD500 is one that comes to mind, fwiw) where I couldn't figure out how to do relatively basic things without digging in the manual. The fact that Line 6 understands the importance of this aspect of these devices is really one of the main reasons I've stuck with them over the years. The Helix takes the whole ergonomic design to new level for this segment.

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I'm pretty much the same as the OP in that I rarely use the Helix app.  I do the VAST majority of my preset building and adjustment through the UI.  The only reason I ever pull up the editor is to do hard disk operations such as saving/restoring or loading IR's.  This speaks volumes about how functional the U/I is in my opinion.  Every once in a while I'll get stumped on something but I can usually quickly resolve it with the cheat sheet.

 

Personally I think you're taking a big chance relying on the Editor app if you play live.  You don't want to be trying to figure out the Helix U/I in the middle of a performance.

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Since day one (6 months ago) used only UI for patch design and Editor for saving/restoring. Edit was usefull to see the global EQ curves. I wish there was more info on idividual effects parameters somewhere since I am not the authority in using the various effects to start with. There is next to no info on the settings of parameters so experimentation sometime is very tedious on elaborate blocs.

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Same here very much mostly, edit on Helix device, use the editor as a librarian and IR loader. Wonderfully great UI, really a showcase of UI design, righteous props to its maker(s).

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I kept hearing about how user friendly the UI was, but when I spent my first few hours with Helix, I felt like that was far from the truth. But that was me being foolishly arrogant enough to think I could figure everything out by myself. The next day, I had the two-sided cheat sheet next to the Helix and it all quickly started making sense, aside from a few things that only the user's manual could explain. Now I have to concur; the thing is laid out very intelligently and has the best and easiest UI Line 6 has ever come up with. And I love how little time it can take to build a great sounding patch! To tell the truth, I'd spent so many hours (months, actually) programming my Vetta that I gradually went from enjoying tweak time to hating it (and my tinnitus afflicted ears didn't appreciate it either). So I'm very grateful that it goes so much quicker with Helix!

 

BTW, I've never used the editor on the Helix or the Vetta, for that matter. I know many who do, but I don't see the need for it.

 

Speaking of manuals, I have to say that I do miss the days when a fellow named GVW wrote the manuals for Line 6; they were informative, but also hilarious! After I had the Vetta pretty well figured out, I re-read it just for laughs. These days, the manuals are quite helpful, but the entertainment factor just isn't the same.

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Heads up Ernie, of your not using the editor at all, you're not backing up your patches! Bad idea! Do that, at least some, unless you're using only stock presets. If something happens that requires a full reset, you'll wish you had!

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Oops, I meant that I haven't used the editor for actual patch editing. I have used it to back up my patches when I updated to OS 2.00. Haven't updated to 2.01; just figured I'd wait until the next version since I wasn't having issues with any of the bugs.

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Best UI for a MFX ever designed by a country mile! Easiest thing to program I have ever encountered and that means I spend less time navigating through buried menus and more time playing so I would say the UI has had an enormous impact on me. The Helix is like the invention of the wheel, radically different from everything that came before. I think it will influence  other manufacturers' designs for many a year to come. I won't bother listing all the amazing features that complement the UI like scribble strips, colored LEDs, ease of routing, DSP implementation that allows the user enormous flexibility with block selection and placement, cap-sensitive switches, flexible footswitch assignment, touch sensitive footswitch swapping, a better screen than any other MFX, Pedal Edit Mode (program with your feet), and the list literally goes on forever (maybe I will mention a few things after all).

 

In an effort not to allow my abject admiration for the UI overcome me here are a couple of things I might change on the next Helix.  These are all minor points however when you consider what Line6 has already accomplished with the current Helix.

 

  1. Replace the rotary knob with something like the arrangement on the Roland GR-55. I think that assembly is much less vulnerable to breakage as it does not protrude from the case and it is easier to manipulate, easier to scroll through large lists, and less sensitive to accidental turning. The GR-55 assembly may be more vulnerable to spills however which is something to consider.
  2. Add at least one extra knob for the parameters to reduce paging. This would allow for, among other things, all the most important controls for an amp including "Master" to be on the first page of the block and allow a quick turn in performance.
  3. Add Bluetooth functionality so that wireless tablets could be used at eye level onstage.  I know there are currently slow communication issues that L6 says would prevent this, perhaps not in the most recent or future Bluetooth revisions.

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Love the Editor- use it very often, but I also find the UI very easy to use from trial and error and without RTFM.  Good design. Now if I can get a tuner for the editor...  :P

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These days, the manuals are quite helpful, but the entertainment factor just isn't the same.

 

Regrettably, my humor is almost entirely based in sarcasm and snark.

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.... I wish there was more info on idividual effects parameters somewhere since I am not the authority in using the various effects to start with. There is next to no info on the settings of parameters so experimentation sometime is very tedious on elaborate blocs.

I move for a wiki-manual , drawing on the brains and experience of the community. It would be for understanding and using the various parameters for the effects and amps. It could be housed in the support section . It could include links to other info sources. The benefit is it would be easily accessible and indexed/ content-tabled, and specific for the product ( Helix). Unless Line 6 has the time to write about all the effects and such, this would be a great resource. 

 

Line 6 , what say ye? 

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I move for a wiki-manual , drawing on the brains and experience of the community. It would be for understanding and using the various parameters for the effects and amps. It could be housed in the support section . It could include links to other info sources. The benefit is it would be easily accessible and indexed/ content-tabled, and specific for the product ( Helix). Unless Line 6 has the time to write about all the effects and such, this would be a great resource. 

 

Line 6 , what say ye? 

I still think it would be a bliss to have more info on effect's parameters. Since my last post on the subjects I tended to stick to what work for me. A bit fed up with experimenting to try to figure out what the parameter do in reality. 

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I still think it would be a bliss to have more info on effect's parameters. Since my last post on the subjects I tended to stick to what work for me. A bit fed up with experimenting to try to figure out what the parameter do in reality. 

What I do when I have a question about a parameter on a specific effect is look up information on the original effect that they modeled. The parameters in Helix usually follow the original. 

 

That doesn't work for the Line 6 original effects. That just takes some intuition and/or experimentation. 

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Love the interface - I use it over the editor for editing my patches.  I only use the software editor for management, backup, rename, as I find the onboard UI much faster One thing however I would really like to see is some undo or cancel options on the UI as I can't tell you how many times I have accidentally changed an effect or parameter by accident, only to have to completely leave the preset and re-enter it to recover, losing all my other changes. One other thing I have had an issue with is accidentally touching a footswitch when making other changes, and invoking an unrelated edit by accident  

 

I have gotten very good at saving after every little change, but would like to see some better controls on this.

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For me the interface on the unit is very good, at the moment there is no way I would use the clunky software editor.

 

I am hoping the Native editor works a bit better though then the Helix could go on the floor where it belongs rather than on the desk!

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I find the UI very good in most respects, if a little awkward in others (snapshot naming, 'moving' blocks between paths, having to use both joysticks to switch between presets in different setlists). Agreed that a bit more information about the parameters would be nice but I don't know where it would be displayed and still be practical.

 

The PC editor is really awkward - dragging a block seems to require military precision. And it doesn't offer much more information than the on-device editor anyway.

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