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

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Some other advantages of Helix Native:

  • Ability to use Helix front of the amp effects with S-Gear
  • Use Helix Native with MainStage for integrated performance rig
  • Use Helix Native with Logic Pro X (or any DAW) as a digital mixer for full band rehearsal in a box - supporting multiple guitarists and bass player (I do this with FCB1010's and S-Gear now and it really works).
  • Really simplifies re-amping 
  • Supports automation of Helix parameters
  • Helix on the road with something as simple as a laptop (does anyone travel without one anymore?) and Apogee Jam.

Next - Helix for iOS!

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...just wait and see...

 

I might be mildly offended if you had any serious skills at all, but seeing how your biggest contribution is trolling internet forums and trying real hard to think of "cool" stuff to post, i just snicker to myself and consider the source.

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One thing Native cant do (without some hardware) is mimic the current Helix's ability to serve as the send and return capital of my studio.

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doubtful... and messy... because the variax interface doesnt carry audio so you'd still need a separate interface and a 1/4" also coming from variax.

 

 

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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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

 

 

 

This made my day !!!!    I have been struggling because I can't get out of "studio" mode.  I play in the "play" room and I record and mix in my "control" room.  My work-around was put a laptop in the the "play" (some people call is live) room.  And while I have nice monitors in the live room, that's not the optimal place to mix, or create patches.  It's for playing.  It's not a dead room, it's a pleasantly alive room.

 

The control room is the dead room, designed to sit for hours and mix listening only to what comes out of the monitors.

 

Also...  I'm to freak'n old to sit in EITHER room to audition patches..   how nice to finally be able to record a dry track, transfer it to my Laptop, and sit in the comfort of my living room with headsets and just casually audition amps or effects... or just tweak different aspects of an amp or effect or cap to learn the effect completely.  

 

For folks on the road... they can setup their Helix for the next gig while on the buss or plane.   For that matter, even if you're in a local cover band, you don't have to break out your helix hardware to setup for the next gig.  You can do it at your leisure, in a comfy setting on a laptop, then when at your destination or setting up at the gig, plug in the laptop for a few seconds to make the transfer and you're done.

 

Of course, this begs the request now more than ever for better file management, especially regarding IR's, but WOW just the same !!!!!!

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This made my day !!!!    I have been struggling because I can't get out of "studio" mode.  I play in the "play" room and I record and mix in my "control" room.  My work-around was put a laptop in the the "play" (some people call is live) room.  And while I have nice monitors in the live room, that's not the optimal place to mix, or create patches.  It's for playing.  It's not a dead room, it's a pleasantly alive room.

 

The control room is the dead room, designed to sit for hours and mix listening only to what comes out of the monitors.

 

Also...  I'm to freak'n old to sit in EITHER room to audition patches..   how nice to finally be able to record a dry track, transfer it to my Laptop, and sit in the comfort of my living room with headsets and just casually audition amps or effects... or just tweak different aspects of an amp or effect or cap to learn the effect completely.  

 

For folks on the road... they can setup their Helix for the next gig while on the buss or plane.   For that matter, even if you're in a local cover band, you don't have to break out your helix hardware to setup for the next gig.  You can do it at your leisure, in a comfy setting on a laptop, then when at your destination or setting up at the gig, plug in the laptop for a few seconds to make the transfer and you're done.

 

Of course, this begs the request now more than ever for better file management, especially regarding IR's, but WOW just the same !!!!!!

 

I'm afraid you're forgetting the fact that while switching monitor systems (studio monitors/headphones with native , to Helix and stage volume/FOH will definately NOT transfer 1 on 1, unless you use the same monitor system! The patches will need proper tuning/eq, sometimes little, sometimes more, to adapt to the new situation. So many threads already with people having problems to adapt their 'at home' created patches to the live situation ;-) But with that taken into mind, Helix Native can make live easier for us guitarists! Always good :-)

Edited by lulu_m

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Next - Helix for iOS!

 

 

Yeah now this is interesting me - as I noticed that the new iOS Garageband is able to run AU plug ins!

 

that's what I'd call a nice portable practice rig - guitar, cable, iPhone (running Helix native), headphones

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I might be mildly offended if you had any serious skills at all, but seeing how your biggest contribution is trolling internet forums and trying real hard to think of "cool" stuff to post, i just snicker to myself and consider the source.

 

Nothing personal, eyh?!

And thanks for compliments ;)

 

Let me tell you my thoughts with some letters then:

You wrote that "Line 6 bleeding as much money as they can out of folks" and

"There is absolutely nothing of worth that can be done with the software that cant be done with the hardware".

 

You're knowing this already? Wow.

 

Guess that you fear to pay $99.

But the good news is: You don't have to.

Helix Editor remains free, for example.

 

Sometimes pictures say more than words - that's all.

And if you're chilled , snicker to yourself again and post a snapshot :P

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Troll it up. I know you cant wait. You mustve been disappointed when you found out you couldnt troll the internet with the Helix.

 

Thanks for your attention!!

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I'm afraid you're forgetting the fact that while switching monitor systems (studio monitors/headphones with native , to Helix and stage volume/FOH will definately NOT transfer 1 on 1, unless you use the same monitor system! The patches will need proper tuning/eq, sometimes little, sometimes more, to adapt to the new situation. So many threads already with people having problems to adapt their 'at home' created patches to the live situation ;-) But with that taken into mind, Helix Native can make live easier for us guitarists! Always good :-)

This^^^^

 

For me it's an even larger disparity as I use Helix with real tube amplifiers live. Currently I run my Helix in 4CM (6CM actually) into a Blackstar Series One EL34 head and my Egnater Vengeance (as a poweramp only) both into my Egnater Vengeance stereo 412 cabinet. This way I get all the tones from the Blackstar head and can switch channels via Midi, Also get the preamps from the Helix and I get some EL34 goodness and 6L6 goodness running in stereo. Tons of versatility and great tone as I still prefer real tube amps to FRFR for live use.

 

However, for the studio, Helix Native makes a ton of sense to me. I use Protools 11. The ease of reamping alone so that I can really dial in the guitar tone and effects into the mix of the song in real time has huge advantages for my application is worth one hell of a lot more than $99.

 

Using both together so that I can dial in anything and everything I want is perfect. I can use the 4CM capabilites of the hardware unit to get me physical amp sounds and I already have a bank of recording presets and a bank of live presets because I use tube amps live, so there is really no downside to me.

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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.

 

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?

 

If someone has a lower-end audio interface, the Helix and Axe may very well have higher quality A/D D/A converters.

The opposite is also true. 

If you have a higher-end audio interface (or high-end outboard converters), they may well be superior to the Helix and Axe.

If there's some analog processing "behind the scenes" prior to the A/D, that would be something you wouldn't get with a plugin.

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Ahhh- and DUH... So... the PC and the MAC are not the ones using the audio converters for Native. The audio Interface is. Ok, then mine should be OK as Im running a UAD Apollo Quad. I kept thinking, how in the world is the PC or Mac going to keep up with the 2 Sharc processors with the higher quality A/D D/A converters? They don't have to cause the audio interface is. Thanks Jim for the info. 

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I'm afraid you're forgetting the fact that while switching monitor systems (studio monitors/headphones with native , to Helix and stage volume/FOH will definately NOT transfer 1 on 1, unless you use the same monitor system! The patches will need proper tuning/eq, sometimes little, sometimes more, to adapt to the new situation. So many threads already with people having problems to adapt their 'at home' created patches to the live situation ;-) But with that taken into mind, Helix Native can make live easier for us guitarists! Always good :-)

 

I'm not forgetting at all... for most of what I mentioned, accurate listening isn't required.  Auditioning Patches, playing with effect and amp parameters..  organizing setlists, maybe minor editing like changing what snapshots do what etc..  There is a ton of stuff to do that doesn't require actually listening or playing for that matter.

 

The ability to create a patch that sounds good in the room, then be able to tweak it with the SAME modeling software for mixing it priceless.  

 

I'm thinking back of all the times that I recorded a guitar part that needed a little "something" and all we are left with is after-the-fact tweaking of compression or eq.  How nice it will be to be able (as long as there is a dry track too) to go in and just adjust the compressor or gain or whatever, and not have to bring the artist back in the studio.   Many times it's an adjustment to one note or one phrase... and while yes, even I'm sure likely no one would ever notice the difference between adjusting it post production, or just re-amping the bit that needs fixing....   I'll know it was done.   

 

Ya'll ain't gonna rain on my parade... this Helix plug-in is some amazing kit.

 

As for it sounding different than the Helix... my guess is not.   I know some others do sound different, and I could see where actual recording with the plug-in could sound different based on the A/D tech being used... but if you are using a track recorded with the Helix hardware, I believe any effect on that signal from the Helix plugin will be the same because of what I believe the architecture to be.  Once it is in the digital world, it's just bits. If you add 1 + 2 on your calc on your phone, or 1 + 2 on a super computer... using the same algorithm, the answer will be 3.  

 

What I see as a bigger ADVANTAGE....  while the A/D in Helix seems fine...  if not now, in the future, I could use better A/D from another source, and create even better tones !!!  

 

Sorry for the rant... but I just had another idea...  I could actually record an entire group, couple guitars, bass, keys at the same time... and run them all through their own Helix in the DAW !!!!!!      

 

I'm headed to the Tardis... I'm going to February.. !!!!  See Ya

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doubtful... and messy... because the variax interface doesnt carry audio so you'd still need a separate interface and a 1/4" also coming from variax.

Gotcha/Bummed  :(

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Helix Native looks very promising. 

I've checked the Helix Native webpage and both forum topics including this one, but haven't found out one thing,

Does anyone know if HN can act as new version of Farm? In other words, will one be able to use HN (in standalone or whatever manner) to get real-time processed sound from guitar connected via an audio-interface, for straight recording or just playing/practicing?

Sorry if I somehow missed this, the only info I've seen so far is about VST-use, which would be first of all for re-amping

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A few points that may already have been touched on in this long thread regarding the Native app plugin; particularly with an eye towards transferring presets back and forth between the two.

  • If latency is low enough the Native app might make a nice backup in case of Helix failure during a performance. Particularly with some kind of foot pedal device added that can be used with your laptop. It would be a good feature if the Native plugin supported some of the the available wireless Bluetooth pedals as well perhaps as MIDI.
  • The current description of the Native app says it would be limited by the hardware resources available on the computer, not the Helix hardware resources. That means that you would need to have some kind of 'Max Compatibility' setting for presets that you intended to transfer back and forth between the Helix and Native app. The 'Max Compatibility' setting would limit what you could dial up a preset in the Native app such that you would not end up with a preset that used too many blocks or too much DSP to load back to the Helix.
  • Even if the Native plugin is entirely faithful to and mimics the Helix's sound, when using the Native app on your computer you would have to dial up your presets on the same or substantially similar external monitors you use for your Helix if you expect them to behave predictably during a performance. Designing the presets with the same monitors whether using Helix or Native app would give you a better chance that the sound was similar when a preset was transferred from the Native plugin to the Helix. Dialing in a preset on the Native app using headphones or computer speakers or even studio speakers is bound to sound different once you have it pumping through your FRFRs, PA speakers, or guitar amp.

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Ya know the reason once again that I have Helix and I have a Kemper is because of the tones they make. Never been able to duplicate this using any kind of software thru a PC or Mac or thru an audio interface, as I have stated. I guess I should just buy a UAD guitar amp plugin (they sound pretty good on the videos) and prove to myself that the audio Interface can keep up with the hardware and software in Helix, using the same speakers of course. Yea yea, Im gonna hear how that wouldn't be fair since the firmware on "Native's" isn't the same as in the UAD plugin... OK, fine so I go further and buy Native... The real deal... And then compare the two on the same speaker system side by side, for like tone's. If not, then someone is blowing a bunch of smoke up our backsides. Oh Im sorry thats software, you can't return it... Hummmmm....  ;) Maybe a little too blunt...,  sorry, but I hope you get the point about having a really good comparison video available for all, that let's us see it in action and hear the hardware and software tones comparison using the same monitor setup,  before Native hits the download servers.

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Maybe a little too blunt...,  sorry, but I hope you get the point about having a really good comparison video available for all, that let's us see it in action and hear the hardware and software tones comparison using the same monitor setup,  before Native hits the download servers.

I mean, Native has a 15 day free trial period, so you can do this for yourself. Record a DI track, and then reamp it through your helix and through the Native software. If it matches? Great. If it doesn't? Great. You're safe either way.

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I mean, Native has a 15 day free trial period, so you can do this for yourself. Record a DI track, and then reamp it through your helix and through the Native software. If it matches? Great. If it doesn't? Great. You're safe either way.

Good. That trial period is an excellent idea and worthy of the time spent, as long as it's the same thing with just a time limit only. 2 weeks should be enuff to know. Thanks for that info. Im not really interested in anything but whether or not the same sound I hear from Native matches Helix.

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Good. That trial period is an excellent idea and worthy of the time spent, as long as it's the same thing with just a time limit only. 2 weeks should be enuff to know. Thanks for that info. Im not really interested in anything but whether or not the same sound I hear from Native matches Helix.

I get what you are saying, and it is healthy to be skeptical. 

The helix is only a computer itself. Albeit a specialized one (running software on it). In theory if your pc is decent (and especially if Helix Native has decent multi-threading support) Then your PC is more than enough to handle at least 1 instance of it, along with your physical helix handling a separate instance on it. 

 

The Audio Interface will have impact, unless of course your using the Helix for that too. Which I am. I fully expect to hear no difference between Helix Native, and my Helix Rack. They are using the exact same a/d/a converters. If there is a difference I will be quite disappointed myself. But DI has assured, and if faith isn't good enough, (if your like me :) ) then go by track record.  The Helix line up is unified, (is so far) Pod x3 & Pod Farm sounded the same, and that was back then.  

 

I am sure you will get your answer in your free trial. Please report back here in the forums if it is to your expectation, or to your satisfaction. 

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Ya know the reason once again that I have Helix and I have a Kemper is because of the tones they make. Never been able to duplicate this using any kind of software thru a PC or Mac or thru an audio interface, as I have stated. I guess I should just buy a UAD guitar amp plugin (they sound pretty good on the videos) and prove to myself that the audio Interface can keep up with the hardware and software in Helix, using the same speakers of course. Yea yea, Im gonna hear how that wouldn't be fair since the firmware on "Native's" isn't the same as in the UAD plugin... OK, fine so I go further and buy Native... The real deal... And then compare the two on the same speaker system side by side, for like tone's. If not, then someone is blowing a bunch of smoke up our backsides. Oh Im sorry thats software, you can't return it... Hummmmm.... ;) Maybe a little too blunt..., sorry, but I hope you get the point about having a really good comparison video available for all, that let's us see it in action and hear the hardware and software tones comparison using the same monitor setup, before Native hits the download servers.

Have you tried the free trial of Scuffhams S-Gear? If not then you should because it's fantastic

 

I think you'll find that the results at the very least compare with your Helix and Kemper. Even ask DI

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S-Gear and Amplitube are both very good IMO. Haven't compared them to Helix much, or used them much since Helix, because I want a guitar setup I can use w/o a computer, but I like them both a lot.

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Im not really interested in anything but whether or not the same sound I hear from Native matches Helix.

Aww c'mon Spikey, that's the same as all those people who said that Helix (Fractal, Kemper etc.) don't sound like "real" tube amps. We really are in the realms of "hairsplitting" now. Plus it has a tuner. Ya know ya love it! :p

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it will generate the exact same signals as helix, however if you are outputting the audio through different hardware the technical performance of that hardware will affect whether it sounds EXACTLY like helix.

if your audio interface has the exact same DACs and output amplifiers as helix then it will sound exactly like helix.

i suspect that's partly why they intend you to use it with helix.


stop me if i'm stating the obvious here.

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it will generate the exact same signals as helix, however if you are outputting the audio through different hardware the technical performance of that hardware will affect whether it sounds EXACTLY like helix.

 

if your audio interface has the exact same DACs and output amplifiers as helix then it will sound exactly like helix.

 

The bigger issue is the input. Very few audio interfaces have Helix's level of A/D conversion and op amps and almost none have its 123dB of dynamic range, digitally-controlled analog pad, gain-staging, and dynamic impedance circuit. We're just waiting for all the people plugging into cheap audio interfaces (or worse, the 1/8" input on their laptops) to say "It doesn't sound nearly as good as Helix!"

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The bigger issue is the input. Very few audio interfaces have Helix's level of A/D conversion and op amps and almost none have its 123dB of dynamic range, digitally-controlled analog pad, gain-staging, and dynamic impedance circuit. We're just waiting for all the people plugging into cheap audio interfaces (or worse, the 1/8" input on their laptops) to say "It doesn't sound nearly as good as Helix!"

yep, although if we are using the Helix as an audio interface, then the sound should be 100% identical right DI? 

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yep, although if we are using the Helix as an audio interface, then the sound should be 100% identical right DI? 

 

Barring any impact on feel due to latency within your system, it should be, yes.

 

The good news is that you can always monitor through Helix with negligible latency while simultaneously tracking dry guitar for applying Helix Native later (or right then).

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The bigger issue is the input. Very few audio interfaces have Helix's level of A/D conversion and op amps and almost none have its 123dB of dynamic range, digitally-controlled analog pad, gain-staging, and dynamic impedance circuit. We're just waiting for all the people plugging into cheap audio interfaces (or worse, the 1/8" input on their laptops) to say "It doesn't sound nearly as good as Helix!"

yep, this is exactly what i was getting at. it's gonna happen. it's probably gonna happen a lot. i feel bad for you guys in advance having to deal with exactly that type of unwarranted complaint.

maybe time for L6 to do a dedicated audio interface box? :)

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Barring any impact on feel due to latency within your system, it should be, yes.

 

The good news is that you can always monitor through Helix with negligible latency while simultaneously tracking dry guitar for applying Helix Native later (or right then).

 Yep that is my intent.  Helix Rack will be my Wet monitor, and dry recording tool.  Also I will load one of the rhythm guitars up on the unit when ReAmping, and one in the Helix Native, just to spread my resources more efficiently, and be able to effectively dial in complex (full signal chained) tones for both guitars simultaneously. 

 

IMO there has never been a better time to be a guitarist. Unless of course your reason for guitar is to get chicks, that peaked in the 80's lol.

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<Snip>maybe time for L6 to do a dedicated audio interface box? :)

I would not be suprised to see this happen.

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I would not be suprised to see this happen.

Could end up with a bundle with Helix Native, with an interface similar to the quality of the Helix somewhere down the road. Sort of like they do with their cheaper interfaces, and Pod Farm. 

Though still would not fix the latency issue. 

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Barring any impact on feel due to latency within your system, it should be, yes.

 

The good news is that you can always monitor through Helix with negligible latency while simultaneously tracking dry guitar for applying Helix Native later (or right then).

 

This is the best reason to own both. Even with a pretty beastly computer, latency on the Helix is still lower. Just transfer all my settings over, record the dry tracks (while monitoring on Helix for real-time wet signal monitoring), and stick the plugin on it for later tweaking. So easy.

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Will it have a stand alone app or just plug-in? Im thinking ill be crafting my tones in the studio while the gear suffers the cold in the shed... British Winters...Brrrrrrrr

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The bigger issue is the input. Very few audio interfaces have Helix's level of A/D conversion and op amps and almost none have its 123dB of dynamic range, digitally-controlled analog pad, gain-staging, and dynamic impedance circuit. We're just waiting for all the people plugging into cheap audio interfaces (or worse, the 1/8" input on their laptops) to say "It doesn't sound nearly as good as Helix!"

I agree... All the soft amp modlers ive tried suffer somewhat because of this.. I use focusrite Saffire pro and it still doesnt quite feel right.. the latency is fine though.. maybe L6 should put a DI box together with a USB out which features the inpeadence circuit, doable?

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Aww c'mon Spikey, that's the same as all those people who said that Helix (Fractal, Kemper etc.) don't sound like "real" tube amps. We really are in the realms of "hairsplitting" now. Plus it has a tuner. Ya know ya love it! :P

 

No. It's not the same at all. I know for a fact that on my end there has NEVER been software in a PC or Mac that could EVER equal the Hardware and software together in a Helix. or Fractal, or Kemper box. Ever. I am hoping that "Native" can change that.

 

 

 

Very few audio interfaces have Helix's level of A/D conversion and op amps and almost none have its 123dB of dynamic range, digitally-controlled analog pad, gain-staging, and dynamic impedance circuit. 

 

Exactly... And the PC's and MAC's sure dont... I'm not even sure that my Apollo Quad can keep up and it is IMO top shelf.

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