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talonmm

Helix Native - Let's See If I have This Straight

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I see there's a lot of excitement about the Helix Native and I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't quite get why this is a huge enhancement. 

 

So, If I use my helix to play-out, and don't mind bringing it into the studio for recordings, then there is really not a huge advantage or game changer for me?

 

Reading other topics on the Native, I can see why certain users would be thrilled, no longer having to bring their Helix from the road to the studio.  And it looks like there will be more amps coming?  Hopefully those amps will be included in future updates for the Helix units themselves in addition to Native?

 

Last, I would appreciate if anyone could tell me if the following use would work out well and perhaps this would be a game changer for me! 

 

I would much rather put the guitar down, and adjust the helix settings, sitting down at a computer than playing and having to make changes to the unit or the computer editor while strapped to a guitar and playing. 

 

Could I record my guitar with zero effects and processing, and then feed that sound into the  Helix Native?  Then sitting comfortably at the computer for long periods of time, I could try many different amps and effects and really dive in to how the setting change the sound.  Or will the dynamics of playing in real-time not be identical to a pre-recorded input into Native from the same guitar?

 

 

 

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the big thing you're missing, is that you can record the dry tracks and reprocess the entire thing through a while different setup in software....

you can use a dry track and a pair of headphones to create tones from your living room that you can transfer to your helix for live use....

you can also use any of the effects elsewhere in your recording at relative ease... add compression or reverb to the odd track....

 

but yes.. pretty much what you said at the end of your post. :)

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I see there's a lot of excitement about the Helix Native and I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't quite get why this is a huge enhancement.

 

So, If I use my helix to play-out, and don't mind bringing it into the studio for recordings, then there is really not a huge advantage or game changer for me?

 

Reading other topics on the Native, I can see why certain users would be thrilled, no longer having to bring their Helix from the road to the studio. And it looks like there will be more amps coming? Hopefully those amps will be included in future updates for the Helix units themselves in addition to Native?

 

Last, I would appreciate if anyone could tell me if the following use would work out well and perhaps this would be a game changer for me!

 

I would much rather put the guitar down, and adjust the helix settings, sitting down at a computer than playing and having to make changes to the unit or the computer editor while strapped to a guitar and playing.

 

Could I record my guitar with zero effects and processing, and then feed that sound into the Helix Native? Then sitting comfortably at the computer for long periods of time, I could try many different amps and effects and really dive in to how the setting change the sound. Or will the dynamics of playing in real-time not be identical to a pre-recorded input into Native from the same guitar?

Hi talonmm,

 

As far as the hardware and native software versions go, it's two way traffic, everything is the same in both. All the new amps and fx will be matched and whatever gets updated in one will be done to the other. One is software that lives in a box we call Helix and the other is software that uses your computer as a brain.

 

The really good bit as far as your question goes is - yes you can record a perfectly dry guitar signal into you DAW of choice and then re-route that signal through the plug in to try out whatever amps and effects you want. The new audio can then be recorded to another channel. Not happy with the result - too much overdrive, distortion or reverb? Simply adjust the settings and run it again - as many times as you like till you are happy. The original is unaffected. Cool.

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Here is what I'm leary of. Ive not got the tones from any software that compared with my hardware, ever. Cliff (fractal) said IIRC that the reason for this is because of the expensive (or non-expensive) DtoA and AtoD chips used inside audio processors. In other words computers are built to be computers and Helix and the Axe FX (with the Sharc Processors and related chips) do the DtoA and AtoD conversions better for the audio side. Now Im sure Im missing a great deal of other things in what makes audio sound better, but the fact is for me at least, I have a Helix box and a Kemper box because I can not get the same TONES with Guitar Rig and Amplitube like I can with them. Thats a fact, and believe me I have tried using the later models of "software". That, is why I'm a bit "leary" of software type processors. I hope that Native has the ability to prove me wrong on this. We shall see.

 

The really good bit as far as your question goes is - yes you can record a perfectly dry guitar signal into you DAW of choice and then re-route that signal through the plug in to try out whatever amps and effects you want. The new audio can then be recorded to another channel. Not happy with the result - too much overdrive, distortion or reverb? Simply adjust the settings and run it again - as many time s as you like till you are happy. The original is unaffected. Cool. 

 

That's all wonderful, but can't you do all this now by simply running the dry out of the DAW and into Helix for reamping?

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The other thing is that you don't actually have to use the hardware version of the Helix to record. You can actually use any interface you want. The way Line 6 is handling the Helix Native licensing is different than the way they handled it with the POD X3 series and POD Farm where you had to have the device tethered to your system to use the plug-in. Now, you can have your hardware Helix somewhere else entirely and still get the tones right at your DAW. It's almost like getting another Helix to use altogether.

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The other thing is that you don't actually have to use the hardware version of the Helix to record. You can actually use any interface you want. The way Line 6 is handling the Helix Native licensing is different than the way they handled it with the POD X3 series and POD Farm where you had to have the device tethered to your system to use the plug-in. Now, you can have your hardware Helix somewhere else entirely and still get the tones right at your DAW. It's almost like getting another Helix to use altogether.

This ^. Native is a software replacement for the Helix that you can just pop into your DAW so you don't have to use the physical helix to process your guitars sounds to be recorded or reamped. 

 

It has the added benefit of being able to transfer whatever presets you come up with in Native to transfer to your actual Helix, and vice versa. 

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The other thing is that you don't actually have to use the hardware version of the Helix to record. You can actually use any interface you want. The way Line 6 is handling the Helix Native licensing is different than the way they handled it with the POD X3 series and POD Farm where you had to have the device tethered to your system to use the plug-in. Now, you can have your hardware Helix somewhere else entirely and still get the tones right at your DAW. It's almost like getting another Helix to use altogether.

 

Ahh but Phil, do those tones (Helix versus Native) sound the same , using the same signal chain and thru the same monitors? Have you compared them?

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In the other two threads I outlined a few different reasons why this is great for recording guitarists, and producers.

 

The sound looks like it will be identical. Line 6 has stated their mission on consistency of tone between different versions if the Helix platforms. There will be phase cancellation tests to verify once released to ease (or validate) any worries in that department, which we all could do easy enough.

 

This easily doubles the ReAmping simultaneously ability.

 

Streamlines, and makes considerably more efficient automation of parameters in real time.

 

More producers will be dialing patches in the context of full mixes, and the presets will be transferable to the Helix Hardware, and back.

 

Also provides excellent back up solutions for recording guitarists who didnt give up their old interface. I still have my 11R just in case.

 

As a recording guitarist / composer / producer... I would be stupid to pass this up for $99.

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That's all wonderful, but can't you do all this now by simply running the dry out of the DAW and into Helix for reamping?

Yep, that's perfectly true and in fact that's the way I have worked for years, not just with Helix. The thing is, as phil_m has noted in his post, with "native" you don't require the physical Helix to be hooked up to use it.

 

As for AD/DA converters, we have come a long way since the Commodore 64 and the SID chip but, we shall see how it goes. ;)

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The sound looks like it will be identical. 

 

 

I'd like proof of that, and then I will gladly shutup and praise the Line 6 Gods!  ;)

 

Anyone care to do some comparisons and post them??

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I'd like proof of that, and then I will gladly shutup and praise the Line 6 Gods!  ;)

 

Anyone care to do some comparisons and post them??

 

I'm sure there will be plenty when it's actually available, which would probably be sometime in April.

 

The fact is that many of the interfaces on the market now are using very good converters. Converters have become cheap and ubiquitous, so that's no longer the weak point of digital audio the way it once was.

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I'd love this but... in my recording studio, I use a fairly old version of the Mac OS - 10.6.8 to be exact. It's super stable. I can't remember the last time it crashed. I also use a fairly old version of my DAW - Digital Performer 7.24. I know it really well and again, it's super stable and I can't remember the last time it crashed. I wonder how old an OS this Helix Native will support.

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This is nothing more than Line 6 bleeding as much money as they can out of folks.  There is absolutely nothing of worth that can be done with the software that cant be done with the hardware.

 

As much as this will de-value the hardware the software should be free for Helix owners. Try telling the ones who got a Helix for christmas that they could have had it for $1100 less and see if they think its a win win.

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This is nothing more than Line 6 bleeding as much money as they can out of folks.  There is absolutely nothing of worth that can be done with the software that cant be done with the hardware.

 

As much as this will de-value the hardware the software should be free for Helix owners. Try telling the ones who got a Helix for christmas that they could have had it for $1100 less and see if they think its a win win.

 

Honestly, that's an unnecessarily pessimistic view. If you never take your Helix out of your house/studio, I suppose you may feel that you'll only be able to get by with the software version. Helix owners who feel that way can certainly sell their units and get the $400 version of the plug-in if they feel that serves them better. I suspect, though, that most people who are interested in the plug-in will gladly pay the $100 to have access to the plug-in.

 

Personally, I have my Helix floor unit mounted on a pedalboard, and there have been many times I've wished I had the plug-in already because it wouldn't have to pull the Helix out of the case and reconnect everything.

 

If you think $99 is too much, well, that's just being unrealistic. S-Gear, which only has 4 amp models, and a pretty limited selection of effects sells for $129.

 

I mean, no one is making existing Helix users pay for the plug-in. If people don't think they need, they don't have to buy it.

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I believe there will be a trial version that will give you time to decide if you like it or not so I wouldn't be too concerned with whether it "sounds the same or not" claim because you'll have the time to see for your self if it does or not.

 

Mostly reverbs and delays don't translate well from venue to venue due to "the room" you are playing in anyway. Just stand in front of your amp and play then stand off axis and it sounds different.

 

For $99 ..... I'm in either way.  :)

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Honestly, that's an unnecessarily pessimistic view. If you never take your Helix out of your house/studio, I suppose you may feel that you'll only be able to get by with the software version. Helix owners who feel that way can certainly sell their units and get the $400 version of the plug-in if they feel that serves them better. I suspect, though, that most people who are interested in the plug-in will gladly pay the $100 to have access to the plug-in.

 

Personally, I have my Helix floor unit mounted on a pedalboard, and there have been many times I've wished I had the plug-in already because it wouldn't have to pull the Helix out of the case and reconnect everything.

 

If you think $99 is too much, well, that's just being unrealistic. S-Gear, which only has 4 amp models, and a pretty limited selection of effects sells for $129.

 

I mean, no one is making existing Helix users pay for the plug-in. If people don't think they need, they don't have to buy it.

Abso-freaking-lutely!!!!

 

It's really irritating that people feel so entitled to getting things for free, regardless of how much the company spent in time, money and effort in creating a product. Ridiculous!

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I just hope that the software sounds equal to the hardware. Not that it matters what I say here, I will give much praise if it does do that, and much criticism if it does not. Hoping for the BEST however!  :)

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I'd like proof of that, and then I will gladly shutup and praise the Line 6 Gods!  ;)

 

Anyone care to do some comparisons and post them??

 

 

I just hope that the software sounds equal to the hardware. Not that it matters what I say here, I will give much praise if it does do that, and much criticism if it does not. Hoping for the BEST however!  :)

 

Comparisons can't be done yet but I'm sure they will be as soon as the plug-in becomes available.

 

I used to own a Pod X3 Live, which was claimed to be sonically identical to the then-current Pod Farm plug-in. The presets were transferable. I remember testing the hardware version of the presets against the DAW/plug-in version, using the X3 Live as the audio interface. They sounded identical to me, just as advertised. I expect this to carry forward to the Helix hardware and plug-in, but the proof will be in the pudding as they say.

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I see there's a lot of excitement about the Helix Native and I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't quite get why this is a huge enhancement. 

 

So, If I use my helix to play-out, and don't mind bringing it into the studio for recordings, then there is really not a huge advantage or game changer for me?

 

Reading other topics on the Native, I can see why certain users would be thrilled, no longer having to bring their Helix from the road to the studio.  And it looks like there will be more amps coming?  Hopefully those amps will be included in future updates for the Helix units themselves in addition to Native?

 

Last, I would appreciate if anyone could tell me if the following use would work out well and perhaps this would be a game changer for me! 

 

I would much rather put the guitar down, and adjust the helix settings, sitting down at a computer than playing and having to make changes to the unit or the computer editor while strapped to a guitar and playing. 

 

Could I record my guitar with zero effects and processing, and then feed that sound into the  Helix Native?  Then sitting comfortably at the computer for long periods of time, I could try many different amps and effects and really dive in to how the setting change the sound.  Or will the dynamics of playing in real-time not be identical to a pre-recorded input into Native from the same guitar?

 

Could I record my guitar with zero effects and processing, and then feed that sound into the  Helix Native?

 

Yes. I'm pretty excited about being able to mess with guitar processing while in bed on the laptop and then later use those same settings live. It also now allows me to share DAW projects with band members without requiring me to record the reamp output.

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Streamlines, and makes considerably more efficient automation of parameters in real time.

 

 

 

^^^^  THIS ^^^^ 

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Well, aside from sounding identical, will it feel the same? That's of equal importance to me. In fact, I can work around a different tonality and even not so great tonality if the feel is decent. It would be important to have patches created in the software version translate well to the hardware version but I'm not sure there's a way to guarantee that. For me, it's probably a matter of a few tweaks once you get it onto the hardware Helix. No biggie - to me. But what if... the software ends up sounding better than the hardware version because of superior interface electronics and design and/or superior A/D conversion?

What if I were using say, a Burl preamp and A/D converter? I'm sure that the Helix's A/D is not of that caliber. What would the difference in sonics and feel be?

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I use my Helix to play out anywhere from 1-5 times a week. If I could leave it at the rehearsal spot, come home, track demos with the same tones and my little interface (or create new ones, and take them to rehearsal to load into the hardware), that would save me a lot of hassle. I can leave my live rig set-up and my demo rig at home and have the same tones between the two....sounds pretty great to me!

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I have to wonder how true they'll stay to the hardware. A couple examples:

 

Can we put other VSTs in the 'effects loop' all in software?

Is the # of effects loops limited by the actual helix hardware?

When Helix++ comes out, which will be the reference implementation of native?

If I use the editor will it randomly lock up the plugin? ;)

 

Wouldn't it make more sense to use the real Helix just to offload some of the DSP to dedicated hardware? (Assuming you only run 1 instance)

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I use my Helix to play out anywhere from 1-5 times a week. If I could leave it at the rehearsal spot, come home, track demos with the same tones and my little interface (or create new ones, and take them to rehearsal to load into the hardware), that would save me a lot of hassle. I can leave my live rig set-up and my demo rig at home and have the same tones between the two....sounds pretty great to me!

Do you have a PC at your rehearsal space?  Otherwise, how would you transfer the tones?

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This is nothing more than Line 6 bleeding as much money as they can out of folks.

 

They will make money on it sure, but it will cost them Helix sales. I for one have never had my Helix out of my house. I'm a studio guy, I don't play out. If this had existed when the Helix was released, I would have saved myself $1100 and just gone with the software. The only reason I'm not selling my Helix now is that I would have to buy another interface since I sold mine.

 

Hell, the software a $300-$400 pc, a cheap io and midi pedal and you could build you own Helix for less money than the real thing.

 

I don't see how they are bleeding people, no one is being forced to buy it and it doesn't add any must have tech.

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Advantages of Helix Native in the studio:

  • Can run multiple instances simultaneously, on guitar tracks, bass tracks, vocal tracks, synth tracks, busses, or hey—the entire mix if you want
  • Number of blocks is limited by your computer's horsepower, not DSP
  • Instance(s) automatically stored and recalled with your DAW project
  • Helix Hardware doesn't need to be connected
  • Tweaking an already tracked guitar tone doesn't require re-amping (tracking all the way through the song in real time)

Advantages of Helix Hardware in the studio:

  • Effectively zero latency, resulting in a better feel
  • Superior analog front end, optimized for tracking instruments
    • 123dB dynamic range on the Guitar Input
    • Digitally-controlled impedance circuit loads your pickups properly for the selected tone
    • Digitally-controlled analog pad
  • Can route external pedals into your signal flow with negligible latency
  • Integrates seamlessly into 4-cable method setups (or 7, 10, and 13-cable method setups) for tracking real amps
  • Simple to integrate realtime control (Wah, Pitch Wham, Volume, etc.)
  • Variax connectivity
  • Tactile feedback
  • Easier to control and edit
  • Snapshots, Command Center, etc.
  • 64 controller assignments (vs. Helix Native's 16 automation lanes)
  • Future Helix features that don't really apply to Native

Advantages of using Helix Hardware with Helix Native in the studio:

  • All of the above (best of both worlds)
  • Getting your album's tones ready for touring takes minutes, not days or weeks
  • Getting your tour's tones ready for recording takes minutes, not days or weeks
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Can we put other VSTs in the 'effects loop' all in software?

Is the # of effects loops limited by the actual helix hardware?

 

This is a good question. I would like to be able to use any VST I want in the FX loop of Native Helix. That would allow for the ultimate flexibility for ReAmping guitar chains.

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This is nothing more than Line 6 bleeding as much money as they can out of folks.  There is absolutely nothing of worth that can be done with the software that cant be done with the hardware.

 

As much as this will de-value the hardware the software should be free for Helix owners. Try telling the ones who got a Helix for christmas that they could have had it for $1100 less and see if they think its a win win.

giphy.gif

...just wait and see...

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the big thing you're missing, is that you can record the dry tracks and reprocess the entire thing through a while different setup in software....

you can use a dry track and a pair of headphones to create tones from your living room that you can transfer to your helix for live use....

you can also use any of the effects elsewhere in your recording at relative ease... add compression or reverb to the odd track....

 

but yes.. pretty much what you said at the end of your post. :)

 

 

 

Wow, I never thought of that.  Recording a dry track and then having the power of Helix to shape the exact sound I want is a great tool.  I imagine I can even make changes throughout the recording by bringing in different effects and different settings?

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i do this in a number of ways when recording... as i suggested with guitar tracks...

but i also use drum plugins like toontrack to change drum kits etc... after recording (via midi kit)

 

but yeah... great way to change the whole song up without performing again.

and you can record both the wet and dry tracks to different armed tracks....

which gives you a reference

 

Wow, I never thought of that.  Recording a dry track and then having the power of Helix to shape the exact sound I want is a great tool.  I imagine I can even make changes throughout the recording by bringing in different effects and different settings?

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People with studios are definitely excited about this.  Why wouldn't they be?  Both items are necessary.  People that want to craft in the studio without adding to the wire mess will have a GUI to tune their tone and get their ideas right instead of having a helix unit in their lap or on their desk.  Then when going on the road they won't have to take their DAW with them.

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I guess the big question is.. Will it have a tuner ;)

A mischievous tuner. One that can be ultra accurate but some times it chooses to display 3 and a half notes off just to mess with Spikey. Lol

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Do you have a PC at your rehearsal space?  Otherwise, how would you transfer the tones?

I'm thinking a laptop?

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the big thing you're missing, is that you can record the dry tracks and reprocess the entire thing through a while different setup in software....

you can use a dry track and a pair of headphones to create tones from your living room that you can transfer to your helix for live use....

you can also use any of the effects elsewhere in your recording at relative ease... add compression or reverb to the odd track....

 

but yes.. pretty much what you said at the end of your post. :)

Perhaps you could answer this? Will there be a way to control the Variax without the Helix via native? Ie the standard dongle that comes with the JTV? 

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I guess the big question is.. Will it have a tuner  ;)

 

 

A mischievous tuner. One that can be ultra accurate but some times it chooses to display 3 and a half notes off just to mess with Spikey. Lol

 

 

Yes.

 

 

Wow thanks for replying DI!  I was only joking - just a bit of forum humour on Spikey's behalf.

 

I can see that Helix Native might be especially useful for those of us with laptops who do bits of recording in various places.

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This looks good, is it free/cheaper for Helix owners?

 

$99 for Helix owners, $399 for everyone else.

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