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Helix FW 2.20 (The "Get Low" Update) OUT NOW

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Wow.  I remember a time when if you mention a multi-band compressor to a guitar player, their eyes would glaze over like a deer in headlights.

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...I'm wondering why line 6 keeps releasing new pitch models instead of working on polyphonic pitch shifting???...

 

 

1. Polyphonic pitch shifting is, I bet, incredibly CPU-intensive.

2. Only a few people really need what a POG or HOG have to offer, and those people (like myself) are often using loads of FX which means that if those models were in Helix, we'd end up buying a POG or HOG anyway to free up CPU cycles.

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Wow.  I remember a time when if you mention a multi-band compressor to a guitar player, their eyes would glaze over like a deer in headlights.

 

Well, my experience in mixing is that I always tend to make things worse when using multiband compression so for now I'm staying away from it. I definitely don't see me using it in Helix anytime soon...  :mellow:

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1. Polyphonic pitch shifting is, I bet, incredibly CPU-intensive.

2. Only a few people really need what a POG or HOG have to offer, and those people (like myself) are often using loads of FX which means that if those models were in Helix, we'd end up buying a POG or HOG anyway to free up CPU cycles.

 

I respectfully disagree with both of these.

 

Ad 1) Somebody recently mentioned in some of the Helix forums that some quite old DSP units (not Line 6) have excellent polyphonic pitch shifting. So I don't think that the processing should be that overwhelming for Helix's DSP horsepower.

 

Ad 2) Well, it kinda follows from Ad 1) that this shouldn't be that limiting but anyway even if polyphonic pitch shifting uses one of Helix's CPUs completely (and that's insane I think) you still have plenty left as you can do wonders with even just one CPU/path.

 

I think it's rather about pitch-shifting algorithms. To be honest it doesn't seem (from past products) that Line 6 is really strong in this department (by choice, I'd guess). Modelling is their A game, some weird FX stuff also made impression but no "legendary" pitch-shifter yet. Hope they'll change this score with Helix ;)

 

I'm just saying this for the sake of the argument. I am not heavy pitch-shift user but enjoy a nice FX trick now and then and recently just used whammy for some cool stuff so would definitely welcome a new toy like proper polyphonic pitch-shifting rather than a 5th flanger...

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I will say that if they implement more advanced polyphonic pitch tracking then I hope they make it optional, like the "Classic/Chords" switch on Whammy 5. Mine was always set on "Classic". I like the glitchy tracking. But I'm not using it to simulate drop-tuning my guitar. So horses for courses.

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Ad 1) Somebody recently mentioned in some of the Helix forums that some quite old DSP units (not Line 6) have excellent polyphonic pitch shifting. So I don't think that the processing should be that overwhelming for Helix's DSP horsepower...

 

 

I do not think this is correct, however. Someone mentioned that? What devices are they talking about? I've never found them. And I've looked.

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i mentioned here there or somewhere else that my old iphone 4s used to run an app that tracked guitar chords amazingly well and converted it to midi..not sure it is the same sort of processing tho

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I'm using my iPhone SE with the MIDI guitar app and ThumbJAM to create some strings / keys sounds with Helix - it works great!  Tracks really well.

(and it would be really easy to set up in crowded Helix patches via Send and Return blocks if only the Send/Return blocks could send to USB!!)

..oh look there is an idea scale for that :) https://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/SEND-Block-to-more-places-e-g-1-4in-for-easy-IR-bypass/818624-23508

 

The app is not a freebie - like £30 for the full version.. or you can get it for Mac (VST I think) for £100 ish.

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It's not 1995 anymore guys. Helix is more than good to run a polyphonic pitch shifter.

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i mentioned here there or somewhere else that my old iphone 4s used to run an app that tracked guitar chords amazingly well and converted it to midi..not sure it is the same sort of processing tho

 

 

No, it is not the same kind of thing at all, I'm certain.

 

It's not 1995 anymore guys. Helix is more than good to run a polyphonic pitch shifter.

 

And you know this because...???

Don't get me wrong, I want a POG or (even better) a HOG in here if they can do it. But even if it is only SLIGHTLY more CPU intensive than other FX, I will probably not use it very much, preferring my external device for this task.

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I do not think this is correct, however. Someone mentioned that? What devices are they talking about? I've never found them. And I've looked.

 

Ok, it's possible I took for granted something which is not true.

 

To be sure, can we please even clarify here what it means "polyphonic pitch-shifting"? It seems to me the current pitch-shifting blocks which we have in Helix are quite alright when it comes to shifting whole chords, right? Or is the quality of this not enough for everybody and by requesting Line 6 to go "polyphonic" you mean to improve these?

 

My understanding always was, that "polyphonic pitch-shifting" actually means "polyphonic harmonizing". So you say you want to shift by 2 "steps" in A minor, let's say, and if I then hit tones A-C simultaneously, it would shift it to C-E, that is a DIFFERENT chromatic interval for each of the tones (3 semitones for A to C and 4 semitones for C to E). But is there currently even any device in the market capable of that?

 

It's very different to just a "capo" FX, which shifts your chord (all of its tones) up or down a FIXED amount of semitones...

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The only entity which could say it's not possible, is Line6, but even in that case I would say it's more because they don't want to invest in such pipeline, and I could understand. ;)

These days you don't need that huge power you were asking your processors for old FFTs, working (bad) with linear scaling. It all depends how they want to implement such effects (if they want). There are several available approaches to solve same goal, more or less efficient, more or less good. It also depends if they want to add advanced transients detectors, heuristics trackers and much more math in the middle of the pipeline, to reduce tone artifacts before hit the out, but in general we are not talking about flooding DSPs. Sure I would expect some input latency, but that is another kind of issue. It's really a tons of constants and few algos. I would honestly expect a block a bit more demanding than actual harmonizers. Imho problem here it's not the processing power (which by the way should be declared by L6, not by their users), it's to find the time and resources to write down a good set of algos to compete with those stomps. I'm not holding my breath on this, but don't tell me is because it does require more power than the one the Helix has already. That is task overestimation. :)

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Well, my experience in mixing is that I always tend to make things worse when using multiband compression so for now I'm staying away from it. I definitely don't see me using it in Helix anytime soon...  :mellow:

 

 

Interesting.  I've often had great results using multi band compressors and and have used them successfully in tone shaping in recording situations.  It'll be nice to the use of one for live use.

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The only entity which could say it's not possible, is Line6, but even in that case I would say it's more because they don't want to invest in such pipeline, and I could understand. ;)

 

These days you don't need that huge power you were asking your processors for old FFTs, working (bad) with linear scaling. It all depends how they want to implement such effects (if they want). There are several available approaches to solve same goal, more or less efficient, more or less good. It also depends if they want to add advanced transients detectors, heuristics trackers and much more math in the middle of the pipeline, to reduce tone artifacts before hit the out, but in general we are not talking about flooding a DSPs. Sure I would expect some input latency, but that is another kind of issue. It's really a tons of constants and few algos. I would honestly expect a block a bit more demanding than actual harmonizers. Imho problem here it's not the processing power (which by the way should be declared by L6, not by their users), it's to find the time and resources to write down a good set of algos to compete with those stomps. I'm not holding my breath on this, but don't tell me is because it does require more power than the one the Helix has already. That is task overestimation. :)

 

Yeah, I've never thought it was for a lack of processing that Line 6 hasn't developed these sorts of things. Nor do I buy the somewhat-conspiracy type thinking that it's because they want people to buy a Variax. I just think that it's low on their list of priorities, and overall the number of people asking for it is relatively small. I think it's kind of a niche effect. Really, how many popular guitar songs are there that use pitch shifting? As a percentage basic, it has to be tiny. I'm actually surprised EHX has done as much with it as it has, in a way.

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No, it is not the same kind of thing at all, I'm certain.

 

 

And you know this because...???

 

Don't get me wrong, I want a POG or (even better) a HOG in here if they can do it. But even if it is only SLIGHTLY more CPU intensive than other FX, I will probably not use it very much, preferring my external device for this task.

 

Well, at this point we have tiny Chinese knockoff pedals that track as well as the Helix. I don't know what they've got in those pedals, but I'm gonna take a big risk and go out on a limb here and say the Helix probably has slightly more processing power available than those.

 

Sorry to snark, but the idea that the Helix might not have superb tracking due to a lack of processing power is ridiculous. There are plenty of smaller and less powerful pedals out there that do it wonderfully. EHX (HOG, POG [POG2, Micro, Nano]), obviously, but others like Earthquaker (Arpanoid, Organizer) and Digitech (Drop, Whammy [several], Ricochet) all kick the Helix's lollipop with polyphonic tracking. And then there are the Chinese knockoffs like Mooer who are doing it too, and when that happens you should probably up your game a bit. :)

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Yeah, I've never thought it was for a lack of processing that Line 6 hasn't developed these sorts of things. Nor do I buy the somewhat-conspiracy type thinking that it's because they want people to buy a Variax. I just think that it's low on their list of priorities, and overall the number of people asking for it is relatively small. I think it's kind of a niche effect. Really, how many popular guitar songs are there that use pitch shifting? As a percentage basic, it has to be tiny. I'm actually surprised EHX has done as much with it as it has, in a way.

Octavers, at least in my (online) circle, are huge. Over at TalkBass, threads asking about the best octave pedal are one of the most common repeats. Best octave up? Best polyphonic octaver? Best analog octave? Best octave for blah blah etc.

 

There have been a lot asking about synth pedals lately too. I think the only effect asked about more than those two is dirt.

 

Granted, that's only on that one forum, and it's specific to bass, but I don't think octavers are niche at all. Just my opinion.

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Keep in mind, the Helix is a "software" based system where modeling of effects/circuits is done in the software world only (hard coded software is the firmware). Specialty effects (EHX POG/HOG) have dedicated circuits, chip sets, and their own processors/firmware that they are utilizing that are dedicated to just this one effect pedal. Line 6 would have to do simulate all of the circuitry/processing in the purely software world of the Helix. 

 

Yes, I am sure it can be done in the Helix, but they would have to model individual components just like they do with everything else. I would imagine that it would be a LOT more DSP heavy that other "normal" harmonizers and modulation effects. 

 

Also, think from a marketing perspective. Is it very cost effective to invest 6 months of development for just one effect for a fairly narrow range of Helix customers? I can't answer that, but that is what drives what they are developing for future effects and amp models to be rolled out on Helix. They want to sell more units primarily, and make existing Helix users more happy as a secondary affect. 

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Octavers, at least in my (online) circle, are huge. Over at TalkBass, threads asking about the best octave pedal are one of the most common repeats. Best octave up? Best polyphonic octaver? Best analog octave? Best octave for blah blah etc.

 

There have been a lot asking about synth pedals lately too. I think the only effect asked about more than those two is dirt.

 

Granted, that's only on that one forum, and it's specific to bass, but I don't think octavers are niche at all. Just my opinion.

 

Forum world and real world are different places... As far as bass players, there's only been a couple I've played with over the years who've used an any effects at all, and those that did mainly stuck to compression and chorus. I mean, obviously, there's some demand for these effects, because they are still being made by some companies. It's interesting, though, isn't it, that hardly anyone makes a dedicated bass multi-fx pedal anymore.

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 I think it's kind of a niche effect. Really, how many popular guitar songs are there that use pitch shifting? As a percentage basic, it has to be tiny. I'm actually surprised EHX has done as much with it as it has, in a way.

 

It's for sure a niche effect, but modeling it is dedicated to a niche market, which usually is mostly composed by musicians who likes to experiment outside the typical set of pedals you could buy alone. Usually it's also a good system to know, approach and learn a new range of effects that you could lately buy in a different form (standalone, rack etc). For example, beside the amount of delays in the Helix, there is nothing (ATM) capable to beat the old good DL4. :) As for me I'm a big user of pitch shift and intelligent harmonizers, in various forms, so for me would be a blast to have a polyphonic PS.

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I recently bought an H9 max and soon after opened a thread just to give L6 a thumbs up on their pitch shifting.
Polyphonic shifting: H9 wins
Pitch related effects: H9 wins, some by far, some not so much
but there are two specific pitch areas where I was surprised:

-One is straight harmonizing. Helix does it, H9 does it, I wouldn't dare to say which does it better.
-The other is whammy stuff. Helix wins, in fact, I don't think I'll use H9 for that, probably ever. Helix sounds like a real Whammy pedal, H9 sounds... maybe not bad, but different.
My 2 cts. Just sayin' I'm quite happy with the pitch shifting on the Helix as it is, not that there isn't room for improvement.
 

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Forum world and real world are different places... As far as bass players, there's only been a couple I've played with over the years who've used an any effects at all, and those that did mainly stuck to compression and chorus. I mean, obviously, there's some demand for these effects, because they are still being made by some companies. It's interesting, though, isn't it, that hardly anyone makes a dedicated bass multi-fx pedal anymore.

Of course forums and real world are different. And your real life experience is just anecdotal evidence. And it doesn't match up with mine, but so what? That's just anecdotal evidence too. /shrug. Like I said, it's just my opinion.

 

I mean, there's a pretty big variety of octave pedals out there, and people keep making new ones, so It has to be a reasonably substantial market.

 

As far as bass mutli-fx go, it's not terribly surprising. Guitarists are the much bigger market. Frustrating as a bass player, but not surprising.

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1. Polyphonic pitch shifting is, I bet, incredibly CPU-intensive.

2. Only a few people really need what a POG or HOG have to offer, and those people (like myself) are often using loads of FX which means that if those models were in Helix, we'd end up buying a POG or HOG anyway to free up CPU cycles.

1) So aren't better reverbs but those are almost certainly on their way.  Like the reverb situation, leave the monophonic shifters in there so those that don't need the extra oomph can save some DSP.

2) I have to think that there are a lot of metal heads that run a pretty simple chain but want polyphonic shifting to simply tune down digitally. 

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Yeah, I've never thought it was for a lack of processing that Line 6 hasn't developed these sorts of things. Nor do I buy the somewhat-conspiracy type thinking that it's because they want people to buy a Variax. I just think that it's low on their list of priorities, and overall the number of people asking for it is relatively small. I think it's kind of a niche effect. Really, how many popular guitar songs are there that use pitch shifting? As a percentage basic, it has to be tiny. I'm actually surprised EHX has done as much with it as it has, in a way.

I'm sure it depends on what you listen to but I hear far more harmonizing/pitch shifting than I do, say, tremolo or leslie.

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Any updates, sorry if I've missed it but as this subject, depending on your interests, evolved or devolved into a technical discussion the actual point has disappeared into the fundament. It's well and truly March, and I want to plug my 76 Musicmaster bass into my Helix and know the power of a Darkglass pedal. I suspect it will enable me to actually play bass and not just rest my foot on the wedge and run quarter speed Steve Harris lines.

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I've only had my new Helix a couple days. I've updated it to 2.12 and downloaded the 2.11 editor. Any idea when the official (non-beta) version of 2.20 will be out? Would this not also require the editor be updated too?

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The latest word from Line 6 is that v2.20 will be released by end of March. It will likely involve a new editor release, probably also including a new driver and new Line 6 Updater utility.

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The latest word from Line 6 is that v2.20 will be released by end of March. It will likely involve a new editor release, probably also including a new driver and new Line 6 Updater utility.

 

 

Thank You Mr. Head! 

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The latest word from Line 6 is that v2.20 will be released by end of March. It will likely involve a new editor release, probably also including a new driver and new Line 6 Updater utility.

A new driver would b nice as I do truly think they could be a little more stable. Im looking forward to the update, and the plugin.

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1. Polyphonic pitch shifting is, I bet, incredibly CPU-intensive.

2. Only a few people really need what a POG or HOG have to offer, and those people (like myself) are often using loads of FX which means that if those models were in Helix, we'd end up buying a POG or HOG anyway to free up CPU cycles.

 

I sell a lot of POG's where i work.  I think it would be a good edition. 

 

I am the weird one out, I use pretty much 3 amp models (and most of the time I just use the Hiwatt).  99% of the time my helix is just a processor.  So bring on Hog/Pog/high definition reverbs/Reverse reverb/the filters from the FM4 and all that jazz.  Make my pedal collection expendable.

 

Excite for the fade delays and super duper excited for the synth.  The synth is going to make my life way easier!

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We said it'd hopefully be available in February, not on February 1st.

2018 or 2019??? LOL

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 Really, how many popular guitar songs are there that use pitch shifting? As a percentage basic, it has to be tiny. I'm actually surprised EHX has done as much with it as it has, in a way.

 

Not as many as say, wah since its a relatively new effect that was only invented in the last 10 years, but off the top of my head the White Stripes (Blue Orchid was apparantly part of a race on jack whites part to be the first person to put a POG on a song) literally every song by Royal Blood (who line 6 are obviously aware of since theres a "royal duo" preset in the helix) lots of new school indie rock (you see a lot of POGs), anyone who wants to fake downtuning their guitar for one song etc...

 

The POG is basically a modern classic pedal. And if you play one its not *that* precise, there is a little bit of warble. I find it hard to believe the Helix wouldnt have the gas in the tank to replicate it.

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Not as many as say, wah since its a relatively new effect, but off the top of my head the White Stripes (Blue Orchid was apparantly part of a race on jack whites part to be the first person to put a POG on a song) literally every song by Royal Blood (who line 6 are obviously aware of since theres a "royal duo" preset in the helix) lots of new school indie rock (you see a lot of POGs), anyone who wants to fake downtuning their guitar for one song etc...

 

And thats before you get into the classic whammy stuff like RATM, but you can do that in the helix already now fine, I'm just talking about polyphonic shifting.

 

The POG is basically a modern classic pedal. 

 

 

it's also been HUGE in P&W for a while. I see POG and HOG pedals on a LOT of P&W boards.

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it's also been HUGE in P&W for a while. I see POG and HOG pedals on a LOT of P&W boards.

Pretty popular on a lot of contemporary Christian/worship guitar rigs as well. Super useful for tasty ambient stuff. 

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Pretty popular on a lot of contemporary Christian/worship guitar rigs as well. Super useful for tasty ambient stuff. 

 

I use my POG2 a LOT, and my Mel9, too. And my ambience sounds better than my synth ambience usually does...

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There are basically 5 things I want to see in the helix then I could happily glue up the USB and never update it again.

 

1. Better pitch shifting

 

2. More filters. Basic LFO controlled, S/h, lpf, hpf stuff.

 

3. More reverbs. Mainly a modulated verb that stands alongside the boss rv6 or strymon flint. Reverse verb.

 

4. Roland space echo

 

5. Boss hm2 for swedeth tones

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I'm sure they could do Polyphonic pitch shifting to a pretty decent degree, but if it eats up the DSP of two amp models or a couple of IRs, its basically useless because you can't add much else to a patch that involves its use.

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Why don´t we encourage the guys modeling at Line 6 to deal with those very expensive or discontinued things that regular Joes like us can`t afford?

Asking for a POG or a Whammy DT is really selfish when you can save a couple bucks and just buy it, when compared with the 5 grand you need in order to buy a Diezel VH4 or a Herbie... Other thing with phasing... Just Two phasers (the Deluxe Phaser is the worst effect by far in the Helix with that tweety bird inside singing wee-wee with every cycle) vs. 4 Flangers vs 3 Filters vs 4 Choruses (taking into account the new Arion Stereo Chorus model, hope they nail it because it sounds awesome)...

Maybe the Boss HM-2 can apply because it´s not easy to get a hold of right now... old but classic pedal...

Come on guys... you just can`t have everything in a U$S 1500 multi-fx processor and expect to be updated with products you can go buy at your favourite music shop for 300 bucks or less in ebay...

Summing up... more expensive guitar and bass amps with top notch quality modeling. More discontinued pedals. And that`s it.

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