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BoneToner

Tablet that works with helix editor?(or possibly even native)

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Hey everyone,

 

Currently have a helix rack and am loving it but my selecting knob has become a tad spotty at times to help alleviate this I was hoping to get a tablet(under 13") that could run the helix editor. And download updates so I can leave the helix rack at the practice space and download the update to the tablet and then just bring the tablet home and back to update firmware. Anyone know of a tablet(or touch screen computer Windows 10 type) that can do this without having to be connected through a server? If it could run native that would be even better!

 

Thanks!

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I have a Surface Pro 3 and it's working great.

With the full USB (and not a mini usb socket like alway with tablet ), you can plug the Helix and use the editor.

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Any Windows based tablet should work fine.  I personally use a ASUS Transformer.  I doubt any of these would come with enough processing power and memory to run a DAW and Helix Native.

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It looks like the surface pro 4 has an i7 processor and up to 16GB... Granted it's as expensive as a nice laptop... But I'd be surprised if that's not enough to run a daw with a couple plug ins... Total overkill though for basically a controller for my helix and maybe a couple h9s.

 

Thanks for letting me know though!!! Looks like I'll be looking for a cheaper used tablet soon

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Great Question!!

 

The revised Helix Editor and new Helix Native progams are anticipated this Spring. From what I saw last week at NAMM, the vastly improved Graphic User Interfaces they will share are far superior to the existing Helix software.

 

Once those have been released, I'll be looking for a touchscreen device (tablets, 2 in 1, laptops).

 

I used a friend's Surface Pro 4 several weeks ago to update my Helix's firmware, and although we got through the process in about 5 minutes without any problems, the Helix software on the Surface Pro 4's display did not make good use of the screen size nor scale properly.

 

For the past 2.5 years, I've been using a Samsung 12.2 Android Tablet, and it works very well for a great many tasks, including USB OTG (On The Go) for a variety of appliations and external devices. There is no reason why this could not accomplish handling updating of the HELIX Firmare and other file management tasks with the Helix. The tablet accepts very large capacity memory cards and works fine with flash drives, etc. It would merely take Line 6 to enable the Updater to run under Android. Granted a bit of OS Platform programming, but they do have Android software for many of their other contemporary product lines (Amplifi, Spider V, etc.) And, I'm not even expecting the HELIX Editor to be ported to Android tablets, but it certainly would be nice! :)

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If you're thinking about the Surface Pro 4, check http://surfaceproaudio.com. I was thinking seriously about a Surface running Scuffham and Amplitube, but got sold on a Helix instead, thankfully, given how things went for him.

 

That fellow has been through all kinds of grief trying to get real audio happy on that machine. Working with Microsoft, doing way more testing than I'd ever have time for, yadda, props to him.

 

I just had a quick look now, looks like things have maybe settled down significantly, though I didn't check in detail. I think there have been firmware updates, and maybe better info from MS so music programs can be written to work better in that environment.

 

I know full-on music production may not be what you're thinking about anyway, but keep your eyes open in any case.

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Just to add something in here.  Having spent a couple of decades in software development for PC's one of the most prominent issues I've encountered over that time is when people underestimate the size of the platform necessary for certain types of advanced applications.  You have to bear in mind that platforms like the Surface Pro are designed for convenience and targeted for the largest segment of users that typically don't use advanced computer intensive applications such as CAD, Video Production, Software Engineering, or Music Production.  Could you possibly squeeze by with a tablet?  Maybe, but probably with a lot of pain.

 

Those type of applications need a lot of room to breathe, not to mention the need to integrate a range of external devices.  I'd strongly advise anyone looking to do such things to seriously consider a laptop with plenty of memory, processor capability, device ports and a large enough screen area to accommodate the complex visual interfaces (and potentially additional external monitor) necessary to make it a viable platform for doing those type of applications.

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@DunedinDragon For the tablet I was mostly thinking of just using for parameter changes, updates, and for the occasional song writing session, or stereo jam session(1-2 tracks top) not a full production unit which I would have a desktop with a much faster processor/memory for. It would be nice to run native just so I can have my rack at my practice space and the tablet for home jam stuff but that's not a huge deal if it can't.

 

But that's not as big of a deal as just getting updates and parameter controls more easily while connected to the helix

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One thing to keep in mind if you are considering a Windows tablet is that many of the ones with mini/micro USB connections don't seem to interface properly with the USB connection on the Helix or many other devices such as external hard drives for that matter. Often if they have a detachable keyboard with a full USB connection you will have to use that instead of the tablet's micro USB. You are best off finding a tablet with a standard USB connection if you intend to interface directly with the Helix. It may work fine with the limited micro USB connection for Native app usage without the Helix however depending on what you are intending to connect to externally.

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by the time you spend the money on a tablet good enough to do audio in the PC world, you may as well look for an old (you can actually still find them new, on clearance) mid-2012 MacBook Pro 13" Stick 8G of RAM in there (with ONE 8G DIMM in the slot furthest from the keyboard: too long a story, but that other slot gets wonky after 3 years) and a half-terabyte SSD and you have a SCREAMING computer for probably the same as an equivalent Surface Pro that will be, imho, way better for audio and Helix control...

 

Not a tablet, but that's what I would do...

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I feel like I might have pushed the native thing a little too hard... most looking for a tablet tonplace on top of a rack case during practice so I can change settings more easy without messing with the knob that I fear is starting to fail. That I can also download firmware updates to at home then install at the studio as my practice space doesn't have wifi.

 

The native thing was an afterthought and would not be for professional recording at all. Just something I could mess with at home to get a general vide of a song written out on like audacity or reaper.

 

But thanks everyone for the comments! I'll probably go with a surface pro 3 as those seem to be in the 300-400 range I was roughly looking for

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BoneToner:

 

You're not alone. I'm right there with you. In the next few months, I'll be looking for a Win 10 machine for occasional use with the Helix.

 

By the time the newly revised Helix Editor (and Helix Native Plug In) are released this Spring, there may well be yet another round of inexorable price reductions as the newest of the Laptops and 2-in-1 Touch Screen Units, settle into the market, causing down force on the price of machines in the subordinate tiers.

 

Keep the thread going with any good gear finds.

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I know I will be keeping an eye out for a cheap previous generation Surface tablet. I still like having a tablet on my music stand or a mic stand tablet holder connected to the Helix for eye level adjustments during practice or performance. The advent of Helix Native makes it an even more attractive option.

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I've been enjoying use of a Samsung TabPro 12.2" Android Tablet for the past 2 1/2 years. Last Spring Samsung released a 12" Tab S that runs on Windows 10. I've yet to give it a try, but if it runs USB Host mode effectively it might be a good candidate to consider for Helix Editor. Not sure if the price has yet come down. It may still be pricey.

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Any progress towards running Helix Edit on Android or iOS? Would really like to have this option. 

 

Thanks,

 

j

 

 

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1 minute ago, jkuche said:

Any progress towards running Helix Edit on Android or iOS? Would really like to have this option. 

 

Thanks,

 

j

 

 

 

Currently, no.

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On 10/5/2018 at 1:07 AM, jkuche said:

Any progress towards running Helix Edit on Android or iOS? Would really like to have this option. 

 

Thanks,

 

j

 

 

This would be perfect... I use a chromebook flip that runs android apps and this would be perfect

 

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I think one of the issues that may be an impediment in this case is that the USB on Helix requires your device to run in host mode as if directly controlling a printer or scanner or some other external slave device (notice the USB Type B port on the Helix).  Although things are improving, it's been dicey finding the right level of support or support at all on tablets and phones depending on the manufacturer and model of tablet/smart phone.  I suspect this would be an impediment to investing in the development of a tablet based HX Edit until the market matures and gets more stable in that regard.  There would be a LOT of complaints if you introduced it and it wouldn't run very well on most people's tablets and required buying a new one.

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I've used both Android and Apple tablets with all sorts of music-based hardware and apps. It hasn't been a problem on Apple products, but the Android world get's really messy when it comes to host-based stuff (using OTG, etc). I think a lot of Android users are used to it, though. Lots of forum discussions.

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1 hour ago, soundog said:

I've used both Android and Apple tablets with all sorts of music-based hardware and apps. It hasn't been a problem on Apple products, but the Android world get's really messy when it comes to host-based stuff (using OTG, etc). I think a lot of Android users are used to it, though. Lots of forum discussions.

 

Exactly.  And it's not like you can only do Apple and not Android.  If you do it, you have to do both.  And the real consideration is, how many more Helix units would be sold if this were developed?  I'm not convinced it would measure up well in that regard in order to justify the cost of development and support.

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Agreed. Still, I wish for a simple tablet/phone utility that would allow users to upload/download/store their patches, set lists, and global settings. It would sure be handy when on the road for those of us who don't want to lug around a computer, but always have our phone handy. No need for fancy editing, just a backup utility, especially useful in the event of a crash requiring a complete restore to factory settings.

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