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Helix Tuner Feature

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I searched for other similar topics but the ones I found focused on why people do or don't like the Helix onboard tuner so I didn't think it was appropriate to post this in line with them.

 

I just bought the Helix and wanted to share this since some people who loved their Peterson may find it useful. BTW: I think this is my first post. I hope I'm not breaching any protocols.

 

I would add: I am not mechanically or technically minded, this is all based on my casual observations the past 40 years and while I have been playing a long time, I am only a bedroom rockstar who loves gear.

 

I've attached a few pics...

 

I have been using a Peterson Strobo Stomp tuner for a couple years and it is my favorite because of its "Sweetened Tuning" setting for guitar.

 

This helps me because all my life I've noticed that even if I tune my guitar to perfect pitch on all 6 strings, some chords still ring with dissonance. I also noticed the dissonance was always related to the inclusion of the G or B strings. I'd learned to work around it by doing a micro-bend on one string or the other to bring the chord into pitch.

 

This dissonance can happen because it's a poorly built guitar or has not been set up correctly but it still happens on a quality guitar with a perfect setup. I believe this is because of inherent imperfections in the way fretted guitar design was standardized way back when but that's another story right?

 

Despite my lifelong passion for guitar I (inexplicably) never knew about having guitars set up properly until about 10 years ago. While this has made a huge difference in how much I enjoy playing my guitars it still did not completely correct the dissonance issues for me because I always rely on tuners telling me when the string is perfectly in pitch.

 

When I set the Peterson tuner for sweetened guitar, it takes into account the imperfections in the longstanding design of guitars and shows me the offending strings are in tune when they are really just a smidgen out of tune. Peterson figured out a useful way to combat this heinous aural crime so I no longer need to do micro-bends to correct the issue!

 

So... Where does the line 6 helix come into this? I love this device but was disappointed that I would still need to use my Peterson tuner when I had this big beautiful all-in-one pedalboard with a brilliant display and a great looking tuner mode. Then I read the Helix manual from front to back. The Helix tuner does not have sweetened tunings but it does allow you to offset each string by a specified amount. This text was taken from the Helix Manual: "String offsets calibrate the tuner so that these slightly out-of-tune pitches appear as in tune."

 

After reading that I cabled up so both tuners would show my string pitch and tuned up using the Peterson. Then I changed individual string offsets on the Helix so they would appear in tune on its display.

 

Thanks to Line 6's design considerations, I taught the Helix how to do the same thing my Peterson does and now I can omit the external stompbox from my set up!

 

If you still want to use your external tuner with your Helix there are a few ways to hook it up after your signal path. One of them is: With the tuner activated you can specify the tuner outputs to "send 1/2" or "3/4" so when you activate the tuner, you are still seeing the tuner on the Helix display but also using your own.

 

I hope this helps someone who hasn't made it all the way through the manual yet :-)

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Thanks for the post!  I've been a bedroom rockstar even longer than you and realized the tuning issue long ago and have compensated by ear over the years.  This is a (potentially) great Helix feature I wasn't aware of (there's a manual?! :)).  I'll try your settings and may have to buy a strobe tuner!

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I also used the Peterson sweetened settings on my Schecter with great results. I now also have a new Les Paul which came with G-Force tuners. I love them and tuning takes about 15-20 seconds for very precise tuning (high accuracy mode and tuning each string individually vs all at once - still very quick). I need to read the G-force manual a little more closely, though, because I think it can get even better. I believe it gives one the ability to do a similar thing with sweetened offsets for each string, either directly or through "calibration" mode where you tune your guitar how you want it, and then G-force has a mode to learn that and reproduce that tuning.

 

FWIW, when coming up for the offsets to apply in my Helix when I tried to do the same thing as the Peterson sweetened tuning with the Helix tuner, I did some googling and came up with these offsets, purportedly to be what Peterson uses for the guitar sweeteners, you can find them posted on TGP and other places if you google for "peterson sweetened tuning offsets":

 

Sweetened Tuning Offsets:
E1 = -2.3 cent
B2 = 0
G3 = 0
D4 = -0.4 Cent
A5 = -2.1 Cent
E6 = -2.3 Cent

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Anyone want to hazard a guess as to why these two sets of settings are different?

 

Are the Helix settings in cents?

 

I also don't get how come both sets have all but one or two strings flat. Seems like that'd make the guitar "seem" flat in general.

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It's all to do with the guitar fretboard being imperfect and not being able to accurately do equal temperament.

I get that, but my questions still stand. Open strings must be flat, so overall the guitar would feel flat in that range of the neck.

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I get that, but my questions still stand. Open strings must be flat, so overall the guitar would feel flat in that range of the neck.

 

Tuning by its very nature is a compromise. In the West, we have pretty much agreed to equal temperament tuning, meaning the frequency interval between any pair of adjacent notes is the same. This means that we can easily play songs in different keys and they'll still maintain the same character. It used to be that composers thought of the different keys having particular characters, and that is because with previous tuning systems (Meantone and Just being probably the most popular) certain keys had intervals that were right on and others that were more off. Some keys sounded particularly bad...

 

Anyway, with Equal Temperament, the intervals that are most off are the major and minor thirds. The sort of compensation being talked about here is an attempt to make those sound a bit sweeter for most common guitar chords.

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Thank you. This makes a difference for the better. Nut probably should be changed as said earlier.

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Reminds me of stretched tuning on a piano or keyboard

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OP, I suggest you'd LOVE the BFTS. My Andersons have it, it's glorious.

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Does the Helix Edit Windows app allow you to display the guitar tuner on your PC monitor  ?

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Does the Helix Edit Windows app allow you to display the guitar tuner on your PC monitor  ?

 

No.

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...phew...

...my countdown still running... ;)

lmao 😂... $10 says this rather innocuous question opens the floodgates anyway.

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This could be something that has changed in my rig but I was wondering if anyone had noticed a change in the Tuner since the 2.50 firmware release. For the first time, at least that I remember, since I have owned the Helix I am actually getting a tuner screen that does not have the large note indicator (G, A#, etc.) visible when I get sufficiently off tune and in between notes(not exactly in between, that would make sense). I mean the alpha indicator for what note you are on completely disappears leaving only the bars showing. Not saying that this did not happen before or even to the same extent(could be this aging memory) but it looks like the tuner behavior is slightly different in the latest firmware. Not saying this is a bad thing as it could be part of an effort to stabilize the tuner(purely speculative). Could very well just be me or my current guitar/cables but has anyone else noticed this?

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Personally think it would be a plus if you were able to display the tuner on your PC monitor screen like you can with Fractal ?

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I also used the Peterson sweetened settings on my Schecter with great results. I now also have a new Les Paul which came with G-Force tuners. I love them and tuning takes about 15-20 seconds for very precise tuning (high accuracy mode and tuning each string individually vs all at once - still very quick). I need to read the G-force manual a little more closely, though, because I think it can get even better. I believe it gives one the ability to do a similar thing with sweetened offsets for each string, either directly or through "calibration" mode where you tune your guitar how you want it, and then G-force has a mode to learn that and reproduce that tuning.

 

FWIW, when coming up for the offsets to apply in my Helix when I tried to do the same thing as the Peterson sweetened tuning with the Helix tuner, I did some googling and came up with these offsets, purportedly to be what Peterson uses for the guitar sweeteners, you can find them posted on TGP and other places if you google for "peterson sweetened tuning offsets":

 

Sweetened Tuning Offsets:

 

E1 = -2.3 cent

B2 = 0

G3 = 0

D4 = -0.4 Cent

A5 = -2.1 Cent

E6 = -2.3 Cent

Am I missing something? When I attempted this on my LT, there was only the option to adjust in whole cents, no fractions of a cent.

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Am I missing something? When I attempted this on my LT, there was only the option to adjust in whole cents, no fractions of a cent.

 

I think you'll need to round to nearest for the Helix since it doesn't go down to 1/10th of a cent. So effectively, -2, 0, 0, 0, -2, -2 from E1-E6 respectively.

 

I play my Les Paul so much these days with it's g-force tuners I feel totally spoiled, though, and rarely use the Helix tuner. Just press a button, pick the strings, and watch the guitar tune itself very accurately. :) 

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Yeah I was really hoping the new HX Edit software would allow access to the tuner on screen as well.

 

It's such a pain in the studio that it integrates so well via software yet I still need to walk over to the helix and physically use it to do something as common as tune the guitar.

 

It's an amazing system and piece of hardware but it's the simple things that get to me... like the lack of a global wet/dry control in the helix native plugin.

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Yeah I was really hoping the new HX Edit software would allow access to the tuner on screen as well.

 

It's such a pain in the studio that it integrates so well via software yet I still need to walk over to the helix and physically use it to do something as common as tune the guitar.

 

It's an amazing system and piece of hardware but it's the simple things that get to me... like the lack of a global wet/dry control in the helix native plugin.

 

Not currently using either of these and it may not be what you are looking for but here are a couple of free tuner plugins for your DAW.

http://www.gvst.co.uk/gtune.htm

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MTuner

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Yeah I was really hoping the new HX Edit software would allow access to the tuner on screen as well.

 

It's such a pain in the studio that it integrates so well via software yet I still need to walk over to the helix and physically use it to do something as common as tune the guitar.

 

It's an amazing system and piece of hardware but it's the simple things that get to me... like the lack of a global wet/dry control in the helix native plugin.

 

I guess I don't understand why you would want a global wet/dry control for something like Native... I mean, there's not really a global anything in Native other than the Input and Output levels. But if you want to mix in a dry path, it's pretty simple... Just use one of the parallel paths as a dry path and mix it in however you want.

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Not currently using either of these and it may not be what you are looking for but here are a couple of free tuner plugins for your DAW.

http://www.gvst.co.uk/gtune.htm

https://www.meldaproduction.com/MTuner

Thanks for the thoughtful links. Yes I have a built in tuner in ableton live which I use sometimes but the fact that I have to do 3 or 4 clicks to get to the tuner plugin and then open the hx edit window anyway to setup the guitar sound makes me feel like it would be simpler and intuitive to simply have it built into the hx edit program.

 

@phil_m

Well the global wet/dry control in the helix native plugin would be useful because in plugin form I've found myself using it on vocals, drums and other sounds aside from just guitars that would benefit from this feature.

 

Yes I could drop it on an effects bus and use that to control wet/dry but why make the end user do a work around by excluding that feature when 99% of other plugins have a global wet/dry control built in.  Also I'd imagine having a global wet/dry knob at the top of the native plugin would be easier to get to than finding the specific mix control for a reverb or delay effect since the mix controls are not standard as the first parameter in each effect.

 

These are both first world problem but anything to simplify the user workflow I think is worth looking into.

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[...] I have to do 3 or 4 clicks to get to the tuner plugin [...]

 

These are both first world problem [...]

Egregious!

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Interesting!  I didn't know about these 'sweetened' tunings, but knew that some chords sounded off, like maybe I was pressing too hard.  I ordered a Peterson clip on strobe after reading this.  I am most interested to hear how the guitar will sound now.

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Adjusted the offsets to the nearest whole numbers and my Jr sounds noticably better. Thanks for the tip.

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Hey L6 could you make a legacy tuner option in the Helix, ... say from from your M series gear? The simple tuner in my M13 worked perfectly fine!

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3 hours ago, surfsup1955 said:

Hey L6 could you make a legacy tuner option in the Helix, ... say from from your M series gear? The simple tuner in my M13 worked perfectly fine!

 

Have you tried the new strobe tuner?  I can see dishing on the original tuner (though it was always fine for me) but the strobe tuner is, in my opinion, the best tuner I've ever had. 

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On 5/10/2019 at 10:59 AM, Kilrahi said:

 

Have you tried the new strobe tuner?  I can see dishing on the original tuner (though it was always fine for me) but the strobe tuner is, in my opinion, the best tuner I've ever had. 

 

Yes, I have. As far as I’m concerned, the strobe is just an alternate visual representation of the existing course and fine tuner. I haven’t found it to be any more accurate but I have found it to be as inconsistent and buggy as the other two. Useless for me.

 

But I’m glad it’s working great for you.   

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