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Helix Native

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There are many VST hosts out there for very little money - see this article from Sound On Sound:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-there-simple-way-play-vst-instrument-without-daw

 

It recommends this free one - the only problem that I can see is that the VST3 64bit version doesn't come without on-screen keyboard. http://www.hermannseib.com/english/savihost.htm

 

I personally have an older version of Bloxpander than I sometimes use for synth duties:

http://www.eareckon.com/en/products/bloxpander-vst-host-for-live-performance.html

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I believe the question is will there be an option to use as a standalone app when not using a DAW.

Even if the answer is "no", that shouldn't be a deal-breaker. There are some perfectly functional low-cost, and in some cases free "lite" versions of various DAWs. If you're willing to spend $400 on a plug-in, an extra $60 for something like Reaper is a no-brainer. Even something like Garageband will get the job done...which I'm pretty sure comes installed on the newer Macs, at least it did on the one I bought last year.

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I believe the question is will there be an option to use as a standalone app when not using a DAW.

Yes. Currently you can run Pod Farm 2 outside of a DAW on it's own. The Helix Native currently has to run as a VST from inside a DAW. I'm hoping and wondering if there are plans to make it also a stand alone app/program. I know you don't have to be connected to a Helix.

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Yes. Currently you can run Pod Farm 2 outside of a DAW on it's own. The Helix Native currently has to run as a VST from inside a DAW. I'm hoping and wondering if there are plans to make it also a stand alone app/program. I know you don't have to be connected to a Helix.

 

I believe DI said that as of now, it's plug-in only, but they may develop the standalone functionality in the future.

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Even if the answer is "no", that shouldn't be a deal-breaker. There are some perfectly functional low-cost, and in some cases free "lite" versions of various DAWs. If you're willing to spend $400 on a plug-in, an extra $60 for something like Reaper is a no-brainer. Even something like Garageband will get the job done...which I'm pretty sure comes installed on the newer Macs, at least it did on the one I bought last year.

Yes, Garageband comes free on all Apple products. I use it quite a bit. It's very basic, but works great. The $99 for Native will be a simple way for me to create tones from my Mac. I'll just keep a variety of dry tracks from a variety of guitars in different pickup configurations in a folder to use to run through the Native plugin. Easy to do no matter where I am. 

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I believe DI said that as of now, it's plug-in only, but they may develop the standalone functionality in the future.

 

When POD Farm was introduced, there weren't a bunch of cheap (or free!) VST hosts available. Now that there are, we don't see an overwhelming need to spend the resources on making a standalone version, especially when those resources could go toward making Helix, Helix Rack/Control, and Helix Native better.

 

Still, anything could happen.

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I *think* I've heard it said that Helix Native will only be a plugin initially, so it will need to run inside a DAW or other plugin host, but that standalone version isn't out of the question at some point.

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Reaper makes a very good and flexible host for plugins. You can use the mixer view and create tracks just like any regular digital mixer. Its cross platform, inexpensive, has an active community and is one of the best software values ever. I have used Reaper for exactly this purpose, to create a simple computer based digital mixer for rehearsals. I also have used Logic Pro X and MainStage for similar purposes. Reaper being cross platform, light-weight and with a fast startup time is a plus. Logic/MainStage has a lot of great software instruments that are also very useful.

 

Helix Native gives us a great opportunity to exploit modern DAWs and live performance tools that can incorporate our preferred guitar and bass tones. I'm very much looking forward to Helix Native.

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Reaper makes a very good and flexible host for plugins. You can use the mixer view and create tracks just like any regular digital mixer. Its cross platform, inexpensive, has an active community and is one of the best software values ever. I have used Reaper for exactly this purpose, to create a simple computer based digital mixer for rehearsals. I also have used Logic Pro X and MainStage for similar purposes. Reaper being cross platform, light-weight and with a fast startup time is a plus. Logic/MainStage has a lot of great software instruments that are also very useful.

 

Helix Native gives us a great opportunity to exploit modern DAWs and live performance tools that can incorporate our preferred guitar and bass tones. I'm very much looking forward to Helix Native.

Yep Reaper is a great value, something great to start with.

 

Another I will add is FL Studio. Its a massively flexible full fledged DAW. It is no where near as expensive as its competition. It has a very active, and considerate community. It has had major updates, and they aren't stopping anytime soon. Here is the kicker, once you register your FLS, you get FREE LIFETIME UPDATES... basically none of the competition offers this, some of the competition charges $200+ for marginal updates.

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Reaper is great, I've been using it for recording for quite a while now.

I really don't like the standard theme though, I think it looks terrible and confusing.

I recommend the AM_JANNE-2017 theme or Albert-C

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Reaper is great, I've been using it for recording for quite a while now.

I really don't like the standard theme though, I think it looks terrible and confusing.

I recommend the AM_JANNE-2017 theme or Albert-C

 

Thanks. I'll have to check that out.

 

I use a slightly modified Default Commala 5, the non-light version.

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Having fun with reaper since it was mentioned here. I have 2 machines, one running only 32bit windows unfortunately. I'm experimenting with jbridge to allow the use of 64 bit plug ins with 32 bit os and daw. Really hope it will be a way to use helix native on this machine at home as well as the 64 bit one at my business address. Seriously considering purchasing a new pc but would like to experiment with what is possible first.

Minimum spec would be helpful

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Clearly it can't. It's software, so unlike Helix, it has no analog inputs to control.

 

I suppose it's possible they've emulated a similar effect, but they didn't do that in Helix, so I doubt it. It's really not possible, since the net effect depends on the electronics in the guitar, which the software has no knowledge of.

Not a deal breaker, but I'll miss that part of the Helix in the software version. Conditioning the initial tonality of the incoming guitar signal via the impedance parameter really helps me get the sounds I'm after in the Helix.

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When POD Farm was introduced, there weren't a bunch of cheap (or free!) VST hosts available. Now that there are, we don't see an overwhelming need to spend the resources on making a standalone version, especially when those resources could go toward making Helix, Helix Rack/Control, and Helix Native better.

 

Still, anything could happen.

 

Can you or anyone, for that matter, recommend a good free one?

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Sorry I missed this- Is Native a 64 bit Vst and AU plugin?

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I don't know if this has been asked or can be answered but is there a plan for a stand alone version of Helix Native like Pod Farm 2 had?

 

After seeing all the successive posts and clarifications I see how good a question this was. It never occurred to me that the new Helix Native app was going to be offered strictly as a plugin, at least initially. Glad you got this straightened out. Would be great to see it offered as both a plugin and a standalone but I can see DI's point about where to focus resources.

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After seeing all the successive posts and clarifications I see how good a question this was. It never occurred to me that the new Helix Native app was going to be offered strictly as a plugin, at least initially. Glad you got this straightened out. Would be great to see it offered as both a plugin and a standalone but I can see DI's point about where to focus resources.

I think savihost might be useful if you want a really low resource and quick way to use. It basically makes any plugins standalone outside of a resource hungry DAW. Although reaper is so quick and easy anyway.

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Still doesn't answer my question. How will Helix Native handle variable input impedance?

Hmmm, I don't recall seeing interfaces with variable input impedances on their 1/4" inputs. Typically, the variable impedances were for the Mic inputs.

Was in response to this question

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but if I want to use it in live situation (in some crowded place I'm afraid to use my helix), I would like to control it with my bluetooth pedalboard and change the patches like I do with the gear...it will be possible?

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but if I want to use it in live situation (in some crowded place I'm afraid to use my helix), I would like to control it with my bluetooth pedalboard and change the patches like I do with the gear...it will be possible?

 

Funny... I think I'd be much more comfortable using the Helix in such an environment than a laptop. But, anyway, if you can map MIDI commands to the BT board, then, yes, I imagine you'd be able to do what you want to do.

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I experimented for years trying to use a laptop with an audio interface (and multiple I/Os) and MIDI controllers for live performance; versus using analog and analog/digital devices. In the end, I gave up on relying on laptop-based setups. Too many weird problems, too much troubleshooting, too much latency, the list goes on. Yes, you can make stuff work, but you may not be happy over time.

 

The experience you describe trying to make laptop solutions work mirrors my own.  I think there are laptop applications/plugins with footswtch/hardware options combined with better faster laptops that are starting to get there now. At the end of the day though I still prefer a dedicated device for guitar like the Helix. I like the idea of a Helix that could be augmented by plugins from an attached laptop. Seems like that would be the best of both worlds. For instance, the ability to use your Helix's I/O, switching, and effects/models processing abilities but also be able to use a plugin from an attached laptop to add a custom convolution reverb or IR that was many more bytes than the Helix hardware can accommodate; or for that matter any plugin effect you might have on your PC. In other words using the Helix plus your computer to create a hybrid signal path with vast capabilities only limited by your computers processing power and any latency issues introduced. Your computer at that point becomes a sort of daughterboard you could add to the Helix for extra processing power. And if things on the PC get wonky, you still have the Helix to fall back on.

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Funny... I think I'd be much more comfortable using the Helix in such an environment than a laptop. But, anyway, if you can map MIDI commands to the BT board, then, yes, I imagine you'd be able to do what you want to do.

 

I always use the helix, but sometimes the people is too close and I'm afraid someone kicks or spills drinks on my helix,

 

it's obvious that I prefer to use the gear over the plugin, it's only a live back up

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What I'd prefer that Helix could run PC and/or Mac plugins itself, best of both worlds (;-)

 

...which we know isn't going to happen...

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What I'd prefer that Helix could run PC and/or Mac plugins itself, best of both worlds (;-)

 

...which we know isn't going to happen...

 

This would be ideal for plugin usage and make it totally portable, rather than trying to route connections back from a computer to the Helix, particularly for rehearsal and performance.

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Helix with a VST and AU wrapper? Interesting thought but I agree it's probably not likely... yet.

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VST plugins running inside Helix itself means emulating the Mac or PC OS. That's not a reasonable thing to hope for unless it was designed that way from the start.

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Yea I kinda have the opinion that when I want to freeze food, I want a freezer. Not a freezer that I can drive, watch TV on, go to sleep in, or save files on.  ;)

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Yes DI it's Line 6's wheelhouse. But IMHO the tones were not really on "Top O the shelf" with Kemper and Fractal until Helix came out  ;) AS always YMMV.

 

While I'm at it, if you add a few more delay's to Native like this, it would be icing on the cake...

Can't you already do this with the Helix?

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Helix as a VST and AU wrapper is probably nextgen. Hope they do it though. Sooner or later one of the big three will do it and then it is off to the races.

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What I'd prefer that Helix could run PC and/or Mac plugins itself, best of both worlds (;-)

 

...which we know isn't going to happen...

We can dream can't we? A Thunderbolt connected Helix would be awesome!

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One of us is misunderstanding the other I think. What I'm idly wishing for is that the Helix hardware could run PC and/or Mac plugins itself, with no computer required.

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One of us is misunderstanding the other I think. What I'm idly wishing for is that the Helix hardware could run PC and/or Mac plugins itself, with no computer required.

 

Reasonably positive that's never going to happen.

 

It's like asking an iPad to run the full MacOS version of Photoshop.

 

Wrong hardware/wrong software.

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Agree, as I said :)

 

But it would be super awesome...

 

Next best would be for Line 6 to provide the resources needed for other developers to write software for Helix, specifically third party blocks.

 

Not that L6 has been doing a bad job of it or anything, quite the opposite, but it sure would be cool if Helix could host say Scuffham amp modules, Valhalla verbs, etc.

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Agree, as I said :)

 

But it would be super awesome...

 

Next best would be for Line 6 to provide the resources needed for other developers to write software for Helix, specifically third party blocks.

 

Not that L6 has been doing a bad job of it or anything, quite the opposite, but it sure would be cool if Helix could host say Scuffham amp modules, Valhalla verbs, etc.

Actually, I would think this would be a good idea once L6 no longer supports the Helix.

Then again L6 would have to compete with that with their successor of the Helix. Wouldn't be a smart business decision for L6.

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Think you're missing the point. Great third party content isn't a boat anchor, it's a huge competive advantage, for instance for Kontakt, iPhone, even Kemper.

 

The sounds in Helix are great, but so is the hardware and UI/OS. It's a great platform for hosting audio processors, particularly for live use, and it's got the guitar world's attention. If the process of porting computer based models to Helix is reasonable, which Helix Native sort of loosely implies, though in reverse, I bet lots of plugin devs would be interested. It'd be good for Line 6, third party devs, and customers.

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Think you're missing the point. Great third party content isn't a boat anchor, it's a huge competive advantage, for instance for Kontakt, iPhone, even Kemper.

 

The sounds in Helix are great, but so is the hardware and UI/OS. It's a great platform for hosting audio processors, particularly for live use, and it's got the guitar world's attention. If the process of porting computer based models to Helix is reasonable, which Helix Native sort of loosely implies, though in reverse, I bet lots of plugin devs would be interested. It'd be good for Line 6, third party devs, and customers.

No, I understand the point.

 

The only way I see it working is if the Helix successor has this feature out of the gate. Few people will buy "Helix 2" or whatever if it doesn't have this feature, and Helix one does. Just pointing out that is a hell of a thing to launch with, especially with so many already established 3rd party options on the Helix

 

I do think there should be a vetting process, of some kind, or at least a rule of parameters otherwise you'll have a decent amount of Helix problems. I am not against it myself. I think it could be really cool, and it would set it in an entirely different realm than the competition.

 

Would like to hear L6 chime in on this at some point. Though I can completely understand if they don't want to go that route, I think it would be much more of a massive undertaking than you seem to be thinking.

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... If the process of porting computer based models to Helix is reasonable,...

 

 

We have no reason to believe that it is. They seem to indicate that, for instance, the process of modeling an amp is insanely time-consuming.

 

Also, here's the real reason they'll never do this, imho.

 

If they "open it up" and someone creates content that is NOT insanely great, it reflects on them forever.

 

IMHO, don't spend time wishing for something that will never ever happen.

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Think you're missing the point. Great third party content isn't a boat anchor, it's a huge competive advantage, for instance for Kontakt, iPhone, even Kemper.

 

The sounds in Helix are great, but so is the hardware and UI/OS. It's a great platform for hosting audio processors, particularly for live use, and it's got the guitar world's attention. If the process of porting computer based models to Helix is reasonable, which Helix Native sort of loosely implies, though in reverse, I bet lots of plugin devs would be interested. It'd be good for Line 6, third party devs, and customers.

 

Well, the third party content that's available for Kemper isn't really comparable to loading software on an iPhone... The profiles are using the Kemper building blocks (I believe Kemper uses seven basic gain structure frameworks for all its amp profiling), and they're using whatever IRs people. That's quite a bit different than offering something like VST loading. I suspect the main reason Line 6 doesn't want to down that road is simply because of the potential support nightmare it could become. If you load a third party VST on your Helix, and it bricks it, it becomes Line 6's issue. So it would require a lot of extra vetting and testing just to make sure such things work.

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Understood about the support liability. I don't think it's likely to happen, just wish it would.

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