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Charvel2

You know what I'd really like? A Helix Mini.

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I don't gig very often, but when I do, it usually involves air travel. It's always hired/borrowed backline, and we rarely know what we're going to get, or what kind of FOH sound there'll be. I use a small pedal board for these gigs, based around a Pedaltrain Nano+, with its own case. I also have to carry a bag for clothes, and my guitar goes in the hold.

 

While my Helix would be great on stage for these gigs, it's just too bulky to travel with. So what I'd really like is an ultra compact version of the Helix, around the size of my little travel board. It wouldn't have a display like the current Helixes, but would instead rely on a computer connection for programming etc, and maybe scribble strips on a single row of switches - say, a bank up/down pair with four for patches/scenes, plus a mini expression treadle, about the size of the Dunlop mini wah. Oh, and a chargeable lithium battery would be ideal (my current pedal board runs off one, and it's great).

 

I don't know if the technology would ever fit in such a small form factor,  but it wouldn't need half the I/O options of the existing units. There probably wouldn't be sufficient demand for such a device to make it worth L6's while developing it, but I can live in hope, can't I?

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Dude, I have done several fly dates since switching to Helix.  I request that the promoter get me a Helix.  I bring my laptop when I travel anyway, so between that and a USB with my patches, I just load them onto the Helix at the venue.  It has worked every time.

 

Do you have a booking agent?  If so, just make it part of the rider....that's what we did.

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Helix in the size of an AMPLIFI TT would be cool but, they did better than that with nativ. Maybe making a cheesy blue tooth pedal that looks like the kemper one that works with nativ would nice

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Dude, I have done several fly dates since switching to Helix.  I request that the promoter get me a Helix.  I bring my laptop when I travel anyway, so between that and a USB with my patches, I just load them onto the Helix at the venue.  It has worked every time.

 

Do you have a booking agent?  If so, just make it part of the rider....that's what we did.

 

I'm curious, how do you ensure that the Helix will be at the correct firmware level for your presets? Do they always provide a Helix with the latest firmware version loaded?

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I'm curious, how do you ensure that the Helix will be at the correct firmware level for your presets? Do they always provide a Helix with the latest firmware version loaded?

 

I don't have a way to ensure it.  My laptop has my Helix software, my flash drive has my presets.  I haven't had an issue, so I am guessing it has been fine.  I am guessing if it was an issue it wouldn't work, and I'd have to make a preset real quick - but I haven't had that issue yet.

 

My presets were made on the first firmware and I haven't changed or adjusted them - would that be the reason it worked? 

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Download all the latest Helix Software (Drivers, Firmware, Updater, Editor, etc.) to your Laptop, so you would be prepared. Should the Helix unit provided at the gig not contain the latest firmware, you could update it and install your Presets (and IRs, if any) all in a few minutes.

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I don't have a way to ensure it. My laptop has my Helix software, my flash drive has my presets. I haven't had an issue, so I am guessing it has been fine. I am guessing if it was an issue it wouldn't work, and I'd have to make a preset real quick - but I haven't had that issue yet.

 

My presets were made on the first firmware and I haven't changed or adjusted them - would that be the reason it worked?

Download all the latest Helix Software (Drivers, Firmware, Updater, Editor, etc.) to your Laptop, so you would be prepared. Should the Helix unit provided at the gig not contain the latest firmware, you could update it and install your Presets (and IRs, if any) all in a few minutes.

Some great suggestions from MusicLaw. I might be a little cautious about updating a Helix being provided by a rental company depending on how much time I had before the show though. Would hate to run into an upgrade problem that hung the Helix an hour before a performance.

I think some firmware versions cooperate across preset versions better than others. It is probably largely contingent on what has been added to or changed in the firmware since the last upgrade. Big changes between firmware versions might be more likely to cause a problem in the event of a preset/firmware mismatch. It also may depend on how many revisions difference there is between the rental's firmware and your presets.

Chances are old presets will work better with new firmware than the reverse. New firmware will attempt to "rebuild" your older presets to the new firmware version. Trying to use new presets with old firmware where an effect or setting may exist in the new preset but not in the older firmware seems like it is more likely to cause problems.

 

I would also suggest always rebooting the loaned Helix after you load your presets as you will notice, at least as of the current 2.21 firmware, that your newly loaded presets will display a "Rebuild..." message as the Helix boots.

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One more thing occurred to me. I am not sure what the implications of trying to load your presets to a Helix that has a newer firmware version with, for example, an older Editor version. I would probably make a point of downloading the version of the Editor that matched the rental Helix's firmware version when I loaded up my presets.  Make sure you have internet access, or better yet, just download but don't install all of the "Helix" app versions so you will always have access to the one you require. No telling what version Helix a rental company is going to throw at you unless that is specified in the rider and taken care of as well.

 

I would probably consider keeping a few different firmware versions of my backed up presets handy just in case.

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Hmmmm, good idea.  Yeah, usually (and to be real it has only been 4 times I have done this) it is pulling teeth to get one.  Every time though I have been pulling one from a box.  I haven't really thought too much about it - I just pull it out, fire it up, and go through the process of loading my patches.  Truth be told, it is kind of a hassle to do - thank God I haven't had to deal with firmware clashes or anything.  Truthfully, I am a little paranoid about potential problems now that you guys have shared all this.

 

Does Native run as an application, or is it only a plug-in? 

 

HAHAHA, maybe I'll just start bringing a note with my basic rig settings and just program one on the fly - might be less stressful.  I only use one amp/cab/drive combo anyway....the extra effects and goodies can be left out.  Might just be easier!!

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what about just an ios app

 

Would be nice - although L6 have said ( a year ago i tihnk ) that theres not enough DSP power yet in the iOS line for this. 

 

Also - i'd prefer the option for a dedicated small box for this.  A HELIX "minimal". 

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I don't know that the kinds of gigs we do, and the companies they hire from, could be expected to provide a Helix. I'm grateful to show up and find a usable guitar amp, to be honest. Using Helix Native on my MacBook would be a more viable option, but I would then need a controller and a decent audio out, so I'm back to bulk again. The compact pedal board I have is doing fine, and I don't have to do a lot of tap dancing to switch things in and out.

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