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I play somewhere weekly, Helix has frozen at this place twice but doesn't do it at home?

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TL : DR - skip to bullet points


Greetings fellow musical brethren & sistren. I have traveled here from the people of ambient , post-rock and praise/worship type music. Here's my pedalboard. I run it through a mesa 5:50 and vox 1x12 cab that came with the ac4tv head.


I recently found a used helix at GC so I asked the boss if I could get it and pay it off over a year. My wife said yes, so that was fantastic.


I posted a lot of my gear up for sale but now I'm having second thoughts. Here are my concerns.



Issues
  • At church it has frozen two weeks in a row now. I can't use ANY footswitches , they are unresponsive and I have to turn the unit off/on. It hasn't done this at my house where I've had it on for equal amount of time.
  • It sounds fine in my headphones but XLR out to PA it ends up sounding really thin and trebley. I'm going to go test it out more in depth Saturday ***

Thoughts on helix when it works..
  • Way lighter
  • Extensive collection of amps / cabs / IR's. Also nice being able to use third party IR's
  • Reverbs aren't quite as good as some higher end stuff...but that's okay. I stack a bunch of them to make them work how i'd like.
  • Delays are quite good, stereo sounds so nice.
  • Overdrives seem pretty good. I think they did a great job on the timmy, which is my fav OD
  • I feel like it does metal / heavy music better than clean
  • Setting up patches is easy whether its using board or connected to PC. I prefer PC setup if possibe :)
  • you CAN connect multiple instruments but it will take some tweaking. Guitar In seems perfectly balanced where as using other inputs ends up sounding weaker at first.
  • The DSP chips can only hold so much. You can't load a ton of amps in one preset...which is not a huge deal to me.

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TL : DR - skip to bullet points

Greetings fellow musical brethren & sistren. I have traveled here from the people of ambient , post-rock and praise/worship type music. Here's my pedalboard. I run it through a mesa 5:50 and vox 1x12 cab that came with the ac4tv head.

I recently found a used helix at GC so I asked the boss if I could get it and pay it off over a year. My wife said yes, so that was fantastic.

I posted a lot of my gear up for sale but now I'm having second thoughts. Here are my concerns.

Issues
  • At church it has frozen two weeks in a row now. I can't use ANY footswitches , they are unresponsive and I have to turn the unit off/on. It hasn't done this at my house where I've had it on for equal amount of time.
  • It sounds fine in my headphones but XLR out to PA it ends up sounding really thin and trebley. I'm going to go test it out more in depth Saturday ***
Thoughts on helix when it works..
  • Way lighter
  • Extensive collection of amps / cabs / IR's. Also nice being able to use third party IR's
  • Reverbs aren't quite as good as some higher end stuff...but that's okay. I stack a bunch of them to make them work how i'd like.
  • Delays are quite good, stereo sounds so nice.
  • Overdrives seem pretty good. I think they did a great job on the timmy, which is my fav OD
  • I feel like it does metal / heavy music better than clean
  • Setting up patches is easy whether its using board or connected to PC. I prefer PC setup if possibe :)
  • you CAN connect multiple instruments but it will take some tweaking. Guitar In seems perfectly balanced where as using other inputs ends up sounding weaker at first.
  • The DSP chips can only hold so much. You can't load a ton of amps in one preset...which is not a huge deal to me.

 

 

I don't know that this has anything to do will the freezing, but, the XLR sounding thin and trebley could be that there is phantom power being fed to the Helix.

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Is your firmware up to date? That might help with the freezing. As far as your presets sounding thin, it's most likely because you're playing presets you made with headphones through PA speakers. Make your presets through similar speakers as the PA and at gig volume.

 

I've made the same deal with my "boss", heh..

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TL : DR - skip to bullet points

Greetings fellow musical brethren & sistren. I have traveled here from the people of ambient , post-rock and praise/worship type music. Here's my pedalboard. I run it through a mesa 5:50 and vox 1x12 cab that came with the ac4tv head.

I recently found a used helix at GC so I asked the boss if I could get it and pay it off over a year. My wife said yes, so that was fantastic.

I posted a lot of my gear up for sale but now I'm having second thoughts. Here are my concerns.

Issues
  • At church it has frozen two weeks in a row now. I can't use ANY footswitches , they are unresponsive and I have to turn the unit off/on. It hasn't done this at my house where I've had it on for equal amount of time.
  • It sounds fine in my headphones but XLR out to PA it ends up sounding really thin and trebley. I'm going to go test it out more in depth Saturday ***
Thoughts on helix when it works..
  • Way lighter
  • Extensive collection of amps / cabs / IR's. Also nice being able to use third party IR's
  • Reverbs aren't quite as good as some higher end stuff...but that's okay. I stack a bunch of them to make them work how i'd like.
  • Delays are quite good, stereo sounds so nice.
  • Overdrives seem pretty good. I think they did a great job on the timmy, which is my fav OD
  • I feel like it does metal / heavy music better than clean
  • Setting up patches is easy whether its using board or connected to PC. I prefer PC setup if possibe :)
  • you CAN connect multiple instruments but it will take some tweaking. Guitar In seems perfectly balanced where as using other inputs ends up sounding weaker at first.
  • The DSP chips can only hold so much. You can't load a ton of amps in one preset...which is not a huge deal to me.

 

 

Do you have anything connected to the EXT AMP jack and/or any external expression pedals connected? I guess what I'm getting at is are all the ins and out exactly the same in both locations?

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I don't know that this has anything to do will the freezing, but, the XLR sounding thin and trebley could be that there is phantom power being fed to the Helix.

I asked about that specifically bc I'd experienced noise bc of phantom power.  He said it wasn't on bc i normally mic'd my amp w/ an SM57.  They tried giving me a vocal (SM58?) at first but I asked for different one.  

 

If i can't make it sound better Saturday I may return it.  I want it to work bc its SO much lighter...but multiple people were saying my amp uusally sounded better.  That paired w/the freezing was a bummer.

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Do you have anything connected to the EXT AMP jack and/or any external expression pedals connected? I guess what I'm getting at is are all the ins and out exactly the same in both locations?I leave

 

 

I leave my headphones adapter plugged into the helix anywhere I go.  Lets me plug smaller sized headphones into the larger jack.

 

At church I plug the XLR in but at home I do not.

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  • At church it has frozen two weeks in a row now. I can't use ANY footswitches , they are unresponsive and I have to turn the unit off/on. It hasn't done this at my house where I've had it on for equal amount of time.
  • It sounds fine in my headphones but XLR out to PA it ends up sounding really thin and trebley. I'm going to go test it out more in depth Saturday ***
Thoughts on helix when it works..
  • Way lighter
  • Extensive collection of amps / cabs / IR's. Also nice being able to use third party IR's
  • Reverbs aren't quite as good as some higher end stuff...but that's okay. I stack a bunch of them to make them work how i'd like.
  • Delays are quite good, stereo sounds so nice.
  • Overdrives seem pretty good. I think they did a great job on the timmy, which is my fav OD
  • I feel like it does metal / heavy music better than clean
  • Setting up patches is easy whether its using board or connected to PC. I prefer PC setup if possibe :)
  • you CAN connect multiple instruments but it will take some tweaking. Guitar In seems perfectly balanced where as using other inputs ends up sounding weaker at first.
  • The DSP chips can only hold so much. You can't load a ton of amps in one preset...which is not a huge deal to me.

 

I play Helix exclusively at church, it is PERFECT for that scenario. 

 

1. You may have to install the newest revision of firmware. The latest is v2.21. Check to see what yours is when it is booting up. 

2. You may have to tweak your tones when playing through the PA. Your presets won't sound the same in headphones and PA. I set mine up on PA speakers at home, and do a final minute tweak if necessary at church. 

3. The guitar input is designed for guitar. The Aux is designed for active acoustic/bass. 

4. I suggest ignoring all of the factory presets. Start from scratch. 

5. Helix does clean VERY well. I don't play any high gain stuff at all. My current go to is the Line 6 Litagator model (modeled after a Dumble Overdrive Special). Timmy is my go do OD. 

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Is your firmware up to date? That might help with the freezing. As far as your presets sounding thin, it's most likely because you're playing presets you made with headphones through PA speakers. Make your presets through similar speakers as the PA and at gig volume.

 

I've made the same deal with my "boss", heh..

 

 

I'm on 2.21 so yes should be fine.  Thats what the windows app says when its connected.  I can try to check on unit itself just to be sure.

 

I'll try to make one Saturday and see if i can make it sound any better.

 

Glad our bosses are both like minded :D

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I asked about that specifically bc I'd experienced noise bc of phantom power.  He said it wasn't on bc i normally mic'd my amp w/ an SM57.  They tried giving me a vocal (SM58?) at first but I asked for different one.  

 

If i can't make it sound better Saturday I may return it.  I want it to work bc its SO much lighter...but multiple people were saying my amp uusally sounded better.  That paired w/the freezing was a bummer.

You may want to give yourself some more time with it. I've had mine for a year, and still tweaking my tone. 

 

 

 

Maybe a fresh firmware install just in case? Backup presets before doing this. 

 

When it freezes, are you connected with PC via USB?

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You may want to consider doing a 9-10 reset and have it rebuild your presets.  Apparently Sweetwater, and other vendors, have been updating to the latest firmware, but not applying the last step, the reboot to rebuild the presets.  Make sure to back up your presets before you do this as it will reset it to factory presets.

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I asked about that specifically bc I'd experienced noise bc of phantom power.  He said it wasn't on bc i normally mic'd my amp w/ an SM57.  They tried giving me a vocal (SM58?) at first but I asked for different one.  

 

If i can't make it sound better Saturday I may return it.  I want it to work bc its SO much lighter...but multiple people were saying my amp uusally sounded better.  That paired w/the freezing was a bummer.

 

I'd say give it more time... I mean, it's one thing if you really do have a hardware issue. You'd want to get that dealt with. But I think you need to be patient with a piece of gear like the Helix. There's more options in it than you could ever really explore.

 

In your first post, you mentioned the Helix doing metal better than cleans... Sorry, but I couldn't disagree more. The Helix can do beautiful clean tones. I'm not a metal player by any stretch, and tend to start with great clean tones and build from there. Here's a few examples:

 

https://soundcloud.com/phil-miller-20/helix-jtm45-clean-delay

 

https://soundcloud.com/phil-miller-20/josefins-waltz

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You may want to give yourself some more time with it. I've had mine for a year, and still tweaking my tone. 

 

 

 

Maybe a fresh firmware install just in case? Backup presets before doing this. 

 

When it freezes, are you connected with PC via USB?

 

I don't want to exceed the return period and be out of a lot of money

 

it never freezes USB only freezes at church

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You may want to consider doing a 9-10 reset and have it rebuild your presets.  Apparently Sweetwater, and other vendors, have been updating to the latest firmware, but not applying the last step, the reboot to rebuild the presets.  Make sure to back up your presets before you do this as it will reset it to factory presets.

I'll do this today for sure.  I assume i'll need to back up IRs as well (there are a  lot :) )

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I'll do this today for sure.  I assume i'll need to back up IRs as well (there are a  lot :) )

IRs too!

 

Make sure your sound guy has the eq on your channel at church set flat. That way you know you are getting out exactly what you are putting in. If you are going from a mic'ed cab to plugging directly to Helix, you may have some frequencies notched out that you need to flatten out on the main board. 

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IRs too!

 

Make sure your sound guy has the eq on your channel at church set flat. That way you know you are getting out exactly what you are putting in. If you are going from a mic'ed cab to plugging directly to Helix, you may have some frequencies notched out that you need to flatten out on the main board. 

Th eissue is we have two sound guys that seem to do things very differently.

 

I feel like a diva having special requirements specifically for me.  

 

With my amp it sounded exactly how my amp sounded wheher I put my ears in or just go stand in front of cab.  I guess helix is just a slightly diff beast.

 

I'll jus tmake sure on saturday that there is no phantom power for me.  They give me flat EQ and only adjust my overall volume.

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One thing to look for is if there is any pattern to which presets it is freezing on. Frequently it has turned out to be problematic presets that cause lockups. If specific presets are the cause you can try modifying the preset or copying it to a different slot to see if that fixes it, otherwise recreate it from scratch. Also, as FlyingsCool mentioned do a backup of your presets, IRs, take note of your global settings and run a global reset.

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It may need a power conditioner. I use one with a voltage regulator and UPS but the power

in my house sucks bad.

 

I would try the other suggestions above first make sure it's on the latest firmware and if it is I would

try re-installing it.

 

Might want to get one for 30 days and try it at the venue /\o/\

Furman Power strip.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SS6Block

 

A little more for a rack:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M8x2

 

A lot more for a voltage regulator. 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/P1800AR

 

I use this:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/F1000UPS

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sounds like a site power issue?...Who knows what the Helix saw before you either but they are built incredibly well / resilient.  ..  Curious how much it was used. Maybe its worth investing a bit more in getting a factory fresh one? 

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I had my Helix freeze on me twice.  Audio still passed through and was processed, but the unit itself was completely paralyzed....Footswitches and expression pedal were dead.  It only happened twice, once in the middle of a gig and once during a sound check.  Reboot fixed it both times.  Because both times were at a gig, I didn't have time to troubleshoot and it never happened again, so I chalked it up to a fluke.  At the end of the day, this thing is a computer, and sometimes computers freeze.  I don't remember which firmware version it was, but I think it was around a year ago, so it would've been a few firmware versions back. 

 

You can never trust what you hear through headphones to match a FOH system.  Far too many variances.

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I had a flaky preset that I created a time back in an older firmware revision. It would occasionally freeze the Helix when I hit a couple of foot switches in a specific order. I rebuilt the preset from scratch and it never happened again. 

 

I do use a small backup UPS at home and at church to keep my Helix powered. They do a good job of regulating voltage, protect from spikes, and filtering noise. 

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TL : DR - skip to bullet points

  • The DSP chips can only hold so much. You can't load a ton of amps in one preset...which is not a huge deal to me.

 

 

brand0n,

 

I also play weekly in a worship context (lead guitar/band leader). With respect to your comment above about limitations in loading multiple amps (and I'm assuming other FX components) into one preset, perhaps Line 6 shouldn't have used the term "Preset" given the baggage associated with that term. With presets being stored in a "Set List" (another Helix term), perhaps they should have called them "Song Presets". 

 
I create my presets to support an entire 'song' in our band's setlist. I use snapshots and/or virtual stomp pedal buttons to manage the different things I need to support that song. As a result, I tend to name my snapshots based on where they're used in a particular song (e.g., Intro/Turn, Verse, Prechorus, Bridge, etc.). With that approach there's no latency with which to contend during playing each song. Furthermore, since we always play against a click-track, this approach also simplifies managing patches that are time-sensitive; all the tempo's are stored with the song preset. I do very little "pedal dancing" these days (lol!).
 
Another benefit of this approach is that I don't need to litter the stage with paper setlists. I name my presets by song name, including the song's Key signature as part of the preset name. Since I can organize them in setlist order, I know what's coming up next, even when the stage is dark at different moments.

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Another benefit of this approach is that I don't need to litter the stage with paper setlists. I name my presets by song name, including the song's Key signature as part of the preset name. Since I can organize them in setlist order, I know what's coming up next, even when the stage is dark at different moments.

 

Yep, it is FANTASTIC for this. You can set up your Helix for 8 snap mode with preset up/down switches on the left. You play a song, click the preset up to the next song, and you have an entirely new preset with 8 new snaps (or 4 snaps/4 stomps). It is especially helpful when leading worship because playing/singing is hard enough as it is. You can just hit a snapshot for intro, verse 1, chorus, bridge, etc...

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I had similar issues. Solved. I had been using USB through a hub and changed to connect USB directly to computer. I also had a corrupt preset. Over wrote it with a blank preset and re wrote it from scratch.

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Yeah, my bet for these lockups is a corrupt preset.  Several people have had this, deleted the preset in question, rebuilt it, and went on their merry way and haven't had a problem since.

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If you have one you think is bent, please send it to Support, so they can learn from it. Also, just for the nubbins, post it here, to see if it acts up for others too.

 

And also because I'd like to see it myself. I'm working very part time on an IR inventory app, that among other things has to read preset files, and it'd be good for me to see how one might get twisted.

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If you have one you think is bent, please send it to Support, so they can learn from it. Also, just for the nubbins, post it here, to see if it acts up for others too.

 

And also because I'd like to see it myself. I'm working very part time on an IR inventory app, that among other things has to read preset files, and it'd be good for me to see how one might get twisted.

I uploaded the preset here - https://line6.com/customtone/tone/3248102/

 

Doing the update now.

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brand0n,

 

I also play weekly in a worship context (lead guitar/band leader). With respect to your comment above about limitations in loading multiple amps (and I'm assuming other FX components) into one preset, perhaps Line 6 shouldn't have used the term "Preset" given the baggage associated with that term. With presets being stored in a "Set List" (another Helix term), perhaps they should have called them "Song Presets". 

 
I create my presets to support an entire 'song' in our band's setlist. I use snapshots and/or virtual stomp pedal buttons to manage the different things I need to support that song. As a result, I tend to name my snapshots based on where they're used in a particular song (e.g., Intro/Turn, Verse, Prechorus, Bridge, etc.). With that approach there's no latency with which to contend during playing each song. Furthermore, since we always play against a click-track, this approach also simplifies managing patches that are time-sensitive; all the tempo's are stored with the song preset. I do very little "pedal dancing" these days (lol!).
 
Another benefit of this approach is that I don't need to litter the stage with paper setlists. I name my presets by song name, including the song's Key signature as part of the preset name. Since I can organize them in setlist order, I know what's coming up next, even when the stage is dark at different moments.

 

 

 

That's a cool way to do it but I tend to prefer to treat it like an amp and pedalboard.  So I go to live mode and have settings I use.  I've uploaded my preset here - https://line6.com/customtone/tone/3248102/

 

I've still got at least 2 weeks w/the helix until I could bring it back to GC.  I won't be terribly upset to go back to my normal setup.  Just is a bit heavier to lug around :)

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