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

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I'm with Spikey — I'll need to take it for a demo spin before I'm assured it will sound "close enough" to the hardware by the time I get it settled into a DAW track. I'm not worried about latency or the response or A/D in my Apogee Duet (114 dB, same as the the Helix chip's spec'd A/D dynamic range). But I've yet to use a software amp sim that I like. That's the main reason I bought the Helix.

 

If the native plug is up to snuff, my wallet will flop out.

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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?

Fryette Valvulator my friend

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Not white knighting but the L6 guys must literally pull their hair out reading some of the lollipop we type

 

If they say it's the same then it's the same

 

If you haven't liked a software amp sim before then it should because most are garbage

 

S Gear free trial in the meantime if you still have doubts about plugins

 

If your machine and interface has latency issues it's because you don't actually have a computer and are in fact in possession of a garden variety potato

 

I'm going to buy it. Without even trying it. I have a million uses for a Helix plugin and I already have Amplitude (crap) Guitar Rig (utter crap) and S Gear (awesome).

 

Let's have some faith

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I'm with Spikey — I'll need to take it for a demo spin before I'm assured it will sound "close enough" to the hardware by the time I get it settled into a DAW track. I'm not worried about latency or the response or A/D in my Apogee Duet (114 dB, same as the the Helix chip's spec'd A/D dynamic range). But I've yet to use a software amp sim that I like. That's the main reason I bought the Helix.

 

If the native plug is up to snuff, my wallet will flop out.

Here's the thing people don't seem to be understanding. You bought a Helix because you can't find a software amp sim you like? Helix IS a software amp sim! It's just software that's hosted inside of a specialized computer. The algorithms that do all the fancy stuff to your sound (amp models, fx, cab sims, etc) are individual chunks of code that receive input and generate output. These algorithms do the same exact thing to the input no matter where you run them or what you run them on. They've encapsulated the algorithms such that they can be ported and run inside of a VST, but it's still the same algorithm. It's the same code. Given the exact same input it will generate the exact same output.

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Thanks @chubbyjerk. I get all that, but its worth a reminder, right? And I have high hope (faith?) that it will sound peachy keen. My wallet is at the ready.

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I can't wait to get the Native app. I think, at least in conception, it is sheer genius. I truly hope it can act as a mostly seamless backup strategy in the event that the Helix has a problem during a performance. Looking forward to its release!  :)

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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!"

This is really good info to have and for me, this makes the Helix's price point more than justified. High quality A/D conversion and the Op Amps involved are too often overlooked on modelers, in my opinion. Even others that claim 24 bit capability, leave me questioning the quality of their converters and op amps.

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I can't wait to get the Native app. I think, at least in conception, it is sheer genius. I truly hope it can act as a mostly seamless backup strategy in the event that the Helix has a problem during a performance. Looking forward to its release!  :)

 

The fact that you're thinking of using Helix Native as a backup ensures that you must experience a power surge that destroys both your Helix and computer. Better have a backup computer...

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The fact that you're thinking of using Helix Native as a backup ensures that you must experience a power surge that destroys both your Helix and computer. Better have a backup computer...

 

Chuckle, now there's a rat-hole of infinite recursion we can go down. Hopefully the surge suppressor takes care of everything except the lightning strike from the perfect storm. Just trying to have a reasonable go-to strategy to account for Murphy's Law, can't plan for every contingency, but I build in redundancy wherever possible and try to make that backup equipment as light, small, and portable as possible. If worse goes to worst there is always the impromptu acoustic guitar, pots and pans from a bar kitchen for percussion, and audience sing-along (shudder).   :D   

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If they say it's the same then it's the same

 

And if you like your Helix, you can keep your Helix...  ;)

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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.

I agree. Helix Native is a great innovation and I will happily pay the Helix owner reduced rate asked. It can't come soon enough!

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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?

I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps if you're not going use the hardware Helix as an interface then maybe something like the Motu Zbox would help on the impedance side of things. Assuming your are happy with your A/D D/A converters.

 

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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!"

 

 

 
 
This is going to be the BIGGEST complaint we see here after Native gets released. Why can't my AM/FM Walkman speakers sound like HELIX does!!!!???? 

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This is going to be the BIGGEST complaint we see here after Native gets released. Why can't my AM/FM Walkman speakers sound like HELIX does!!!!???? 

 

 

 

Surely its Line 6's job to make awesome products and its our job not to be dumb lollipops and learn how to use them properly? Or would you suggest they stop making them at all because some of us can't read a manual or two?

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Surely its Line 6's job to make awesome products and its our job not to be dumb lollipops and learn how to use them properly? Or would you suggest they stop making them at all because some of us can't read a manual or two?

Don't call me shlrley...   ;)  Yes Mr. Obvious,  it is their job to make awesome products, but we as users (YOU and I included) are mostly dumb lollipops,  and can not remember what we said or did yesterday, must less figure out why something doesn't work right. Want proof? Just how many times has it been stated HERE to "Reset the Globals" after an update, otherwise Helix won't work properly? Yet how many didn't do that. Hummm?  :lol: So my statement still stands. Some of us can't read 5 paragraphs, much less a manual. So I think there will be MANY that have issues as to what DI talked about. 

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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

It will not. DI said that since there are so many free VST programs that will run your VST instruments as a standalone, it's not in the works for now either.

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You should be able to use Native as an audio (guitar) source to record with inside your DAW, much like you are able to use Helix now. I mean if you can't do that much what's the point? That doesn't make it a plugin, but I'm not sure now what it makes it either lol...

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 Why can't my AM/FM Walkman speakers sound like HELIX does!!!!???? 

 

You obviously are not EQing properly. Mine sound fantastic. 

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Sorry if I missed a thread addressing this. Regarding recording - Does anyone know if the Native will allow me to record a track (using Native) and then recall the settings (IR's, EQs, Pedals etc) when I open the project up at a later date. What I love about the 11 Rack is that I can right click a wave file of a guitar track that I recorded a week ago and "Load embedded settings" and brings up the same amp, volume, cab, mic configuration I first used. That way I can just seamlessly keep working on a track and it exactly as it did a month ago when I recorded it the first time. 

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Sorry if I missed a thread addressing this. Regarding recording - Does anyone know if the Native will allow me to record a track (using Native) and then recall the settings (IR's, EQs, Pedals etc) when I open the project up at a later date. What I love about the 11 Rack is that I can right click a wave file of a guitar track that I recorded a week ago and "Load embedded settings" and brings up the same amp, volume, cab, mic configuration I first used. That way I can just seamlessly keep working on a track and it exactly as it did a month ago when I recorded it the first time.

I think DI stated that the Helix Native presets save with your project in your daw. So when you load up your project... your Helix Native instances in the project will open to whatever they were at when you saved the project.
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I think DI stated that the Helix Native presets save with your project in your daw. So when you load up your project... your Helix Native instances in the project will open to whatever they were at when you saved the project.

Thx - I really hope so - That feature coupled with recording a dry track to be used at a later date is huge. 

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Every synth geek that has ever wanted to run their synth through their guitar pedals but hates rerouting the cables constantly will love this plug in. I have a rather set it and forget it set up where everything is always hooked up to my soundcard, so I've found myself not running my synths and drum machines through my guitar pedals/helix because it is such a hassle. That will change drastically now. Reamping synths is going to be great too. Line 6 should really push to connect the dots to the synth market with this.

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You obviously are not EQing properly. Mine sound fantastic. 

 

LOL send me your settings!!!!

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Will there be a discount for Pod Farm 2 Platinum owners? (who have been waiting for an update for a long time)

Thanks

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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?

throw the looper at the front of your chain - record your guitar and play back - you can now tweak to your hearts content w/o holding a guitar

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Will there be a discount for Pod Farm 2 Platinum owners? (who have been waiting for an update for a long time)

Thanks

I don't think so. HELIX is a completely different product line, and tier from the POD stuff.

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DI says : 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. 

 

 

ChubbyJerk says : These algorithms do the same exact thing to the input no matter where you run them or what you run them on. Given the exact same input it will generate the exact same output.

Humm. I believe there's a bit of discrepancy here...   ;)

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Humm. I believe there's a bit of discrepancy here...   ;)

 

The key is "given the exact same input". So if you use Helix as an audio interface...

... or one of the few other interfaces. Once you're in the box - it doesn't matter who or what makes the calculations.

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The key is "given the exact same input". So if you use Helix as an audio interface...

... or one of the few other interfaces. Once you're in the box - it doesn't matter who or what makes the calculations.

Yea but that's not what he meant and you know it...  ;)

 

BTW- is that a HAM call sign? If so, then nice to meet ya and  ....   ..   

 

 

De AA5ZX. 

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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.

 

Weird, I for one was really hoping they'd do something like this. You're right that you can do everything with the hardware, but I think you're missing the fact that it will massively improve workflow.

 

I have a ton of unfinished songs that I can't continue on easily because I don't remember which presets I used, and if/how I tweaked them when recording. So I'll have to re-record all the guitars if I want to finish them. Helix Native will solve that problem for me. It also has other benefits - if I want a little more or less distortion on a certain guitar track, that now becomes easy. I know this was already possible with re-amping, but that's a bit of a chore.

 

I found out about this by googling "helix vst". What I was initially hoping for was just an editor-as-a-plugin, just so it could recall settings when opening a project, but this is even better.

 

It stings a little bit that I bought the Helix Rack (+ controller), and will now use it a lot less because I currently don't perform, but when I think about it, it's not that bad, since my workflow will become a lot better, and I'll probably still use the Helix as a recording interface, and for zero latency monitoring while recording. And it's still a freaking cool piece of gear that I'm happy to have bought.

 

I really can't wait. Hope it will be out soon, as I was planning to record a couple of songs next week. If not, I will probably record the dry signals, so I have them ready for when the plugin is released.

 

I obviously wouldn't mind getting the plugin for free, but I'm happy with the discount :)

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Since the native's ability to use blocks is limited by my DAW's horsepower and my computer is a vegan-hulk-arachnoid on steroids plus cyber-tech it will hulk-smash my helix just like that. In this scenario I sure cannot transfer my alien-studio-sounds to my gig-rig.

 

The question is; is there going to be a (switchable) DSP-limiter in Native so I would stay in the helix-able zone of creating tones?

Also, about simulating the physical helix in software-environment, is there going to be same setup of virtual I/O-routing to the Native? For example, running several tracks to the same instance of Native?

 

p.s. I'm excited. This software is going to be a game-changer to the overall sound of my band. I look forward to run both my bass and my friend's guitar through the same helix! I could tailor our OVERALL-SOUND at ease and transfer it to different situations soooooo much faster and easier. Line6, I love you!

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I see a lot of people just don't understand the concept of proper tool for proper job FOR YOU!!!    We are NOT all the same.

 

Se here's my take on Native...     I would use it in my studio.   Record guitarists with their amp, but mainly get a dry track so I can find the "perfect" sound, not the one we're stuck with.  I don't think my Helix will even hit my studio unless I'm using it.  No need.   This really opens the doors for a  LOT of producers.  

 

The real key.. I mean the real price of admission is when it's time to fix or overdub a track...  not having to spend waaaaay too much time trying to "recreate" the original tone close enough that no on will notice.   Just dial up the same settings and record a dry track.   Oh sure... there will still be ever so slight differences, but nothing compared to trying to match a full rig.   

What about getting a project started in another studio.   That other studio had a Dumble, or an AC30...  or or or ...  I don't have to start calling around the country looking for an amp to rent... just dial it up.   

 

Yep...   Native is awesome...   I'm glad I don't have to pay full price because I own a Helix, but I certainly would pay full price if it was the only option.   The $1000's of dollars it would save and my clients in the long run....   even used on just one project.... it would pay for itself.

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Will there be a discount for Pod Farm 2 Platinum owners?

Yes. No official numbers yet.
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Yes. No official numbers yet.

 

What if I have both Helix and Pod Farm 2? Will it be free? ;)

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Yea but that's not what he meant and you know it...  ;)

I meant exactly what I said, which was that the algorithms will generate the same output if given the same input. If you take the whole quote from my post, I'm quite clear what I meant. I say "algorithms" 3 times, "code" twice, and "software" once. That's what I'm talking about. The internals...not the entire signal chain. If you use a different interface, different A/D conversion, pump it through different speakers, add other VSTs in front, etc etc, that's not exactly the same input, now is it?

 

I don't understand your point. Are you saying that if you use a different interface you might not get the exact same sound? That's like saying, hey, I'm listening to the Native plugin through my computer speakers and it doesn't sound as good as my Helix Floor board through these $1000 FRFR monitors!

 

Yes, well...duh. You're obviously injecting other differences into the signal flow. The difference there isn't Helix Native vs the Helix board.

 

Now, will it be a noticeable difference? Probably not, assuming you're using a reasonably decent interface.

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