Jump to content

Helix Guitar Tuner


guitaramj
 Share

Recommended Posts

How do you get it? I have a PolyTune 2 Noir and never got it - or mention of it in the box...

I got a code with my Polytune clip a while back. It was in the box with the clip. That could have been a temporary deal though, because I am not seeing it mentioned anywhere now. It was about 6-8 months ago I bought the clip from Sweetwater on sale for $40, and got the free plugin. The plugin is fantastic. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eddie didn't have the tuners available we have now. He didn't complain because he's a great musician, and great musicians know how to get a guitar in tune.

Damn right, sir!

With regard to the idea of tuning on harmonics, here’s a clip of my old tuner - although nowadays it has a tendency to drift off the mark!

😄

 

https://youtu.be/hyF0m3m1Ofc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got a code with my Polytune clip a while back. It was in the box with the clip. That could have been a temporary deal though, because I am not seeing it mentioned anywhere now. It was about 6-8 months ago I bought the clip from Sweetwater on sale for $40, and got the free plugin. The plugin is fantastic. 

 

Thanks - I contacted TC via their Contact Us page and they just got back to me! They generated a code for me to claim the free tuner! :) 

I did offer to send them a photo of me with the pedal (and some of their other pedals) as proof - but I think they thought better of that lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...but never once heard of this "turn the tone control down".

 

It ain't new. First time I saw it mentioned was in an article in some guitar magazine back in the late 80's (for the younger crowd, monthly periodicals were the world's only source of guitar tabs before the internet started to show us all how to play things wrong ;) ).
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It ain't new. First time I saw it mentioned was in an article in some guitar magazine back in the late 80's (for the younger crowd, monthly periodicals were the world's only source of guitar tabs before the internet started to show us all how to play things wrong ;) ).

 

Back in the '70's there was only one major guitar magazine (Guitar Player) and they definitely had the attitude that you HAD to learn to read music on the guitar to be a "real" guitar player and since they were a "serious" magazine there were NO tabulatures of anything on a regular basis. Maybe once every three years there was something. Pompous bastiges. I'm so jealous of you kids these days. There was only ONE rock guitar instruction book available that I could find that was any good and it had tab. Definitely no books with whole albums tabbed let alone anything else rock. There was a Mel Bay book or two but it was no tab and your basic Mary Had A Little Lamb type stuff. The rock guitar book was called "Improvising Rock Guitar" by Glenn Hughes and is still available if you want to experience the only thing we had at the time. They took a guitar player (Pat Thrall before he played with Pat Travers) and filmed him playing. They then analyzed the film to make an accurate tab of what he did. When they first published the book, Hendrix was on the cover and it was full of rock guitar player pics. When Pat Thrall became well known, they replaced all of those pics with pictures of him. He played an SG at the time for the book and that was a big reason my first electric guitar was an SG. That and the picture of Terry Kath in the CTA album playing one. Terry was a big influence on me. It's nice to see him finally get the recognition he deserves. Going back to the '70's again, there was only ONE serious article about him printed that I could find (believe me, I looked) and it was in Guitar Player. JUST ONE! Clapton, Page, Hendrix. Plenty. Kath...One. OK I'm back from my little stroll down memory lane. Hope I didn't bore anyone too much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It ain't new. First time I saw it mentioned was in an article in some guitar magazine back in the late 80's (for the younger crowd, monthly periodicals were the world's only source of guitar tabs before the internet started to show us all how to play things wrong ;) ).

Again, I never saw that. I had a subscription to Musician magazine and Guitar Player magazine in the early 1980's.  And when I went on the road full time I dropped the subscription and just bought the new issues when they came out in whichever town I was in at the time.

 

Just never, ever heard of any serious musician or guitar tech suggesting that you should turn the tone knob down. 

 

Not saying you didn't see that somewhere in a magazine...I'm just saying I never heard of it. And back "in the day" there were so many "A-Circuit" clubs throughout the country that I knew literally hundreds of working players. None of them ever did that either. 

 

Never once read that in the manual of any guitar tuner either. 

 

Matter of fact, I just googled up Boss TU-3 guitar tuner manual for the heck of it. Here is how to tune your guitar straight from the manual:

"How to Use the Tuner

1. Connect the guitar or bass you want to tune to the INPUT jack. (This switches on the power.)

2. Press the pedal switch to turn the tuner on. The CHECK indicator will light.

3. Play a single note on your guitar or bass, and tune it"

 

And THAT is how you are supposed to tune a guitar. Hit the note, tune it. Move to the next one. 

Worked on every tuner I ever had since 1978.

And that's where the Helix tuner runs into problems. lol   I shouldn't have to do a bunch of stuff to just be able to tune the guitar. It's something that shouldn't require only using the neck pickup (and some guitars don't have those either...and what about a bass guitar?)  and/or turn down a tone knob (and then forget I did it when the drummer is counting "4" and I sound like crap with the tone rolled off lol)

 

Anyway, the Helix is awesome. 

The tuner...not so much. But as I said earlier, just pretend that it's a "real" amp and doesn't have a tuner. Use a third party tuner and enjoy the sounds.

 

I've owned so many great tube amps over the years...everything from Marshall to a Bogner Ecstasy 101B and everything in between. None of them had a tuner. lol  I didn't care. They sounded great. 

 

And that's how I've "made my peace" with the Helix tuner. :)   My Helix sounds great. 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, I never saw that. I had a subscription to Musician magazine and Guitar Player magazine in the early 1980's.  And when I went on the road full time I dropped the subscription and just bought the new issues when they came out in whichever town I was in at the time.

 

Just never, ever heard of any serious musician or guitar tech suggesting that you should turn the tone knob down. 

 

Not saying you didn't see that somewhere in a magazine...I'm just saying I never heard of it. And back "in the day" there were so many "A-Circuit" clubs throughout the country that I knew literally hundreds of working players. None of them ever did that either. 

 

Never once read that in the manual of any guitar tuner either. 

 

Matter of fact, I just googled up Boss TU-3 guitar tuner manual for the heck of it. Here is how to tune your guitar straight from the manual:

"How to Use the Tuner

1. Connect the guitar or bass you want to tune to the INPUT jack. (This switches on the power.)

2. Press the pedal switch to turn the tuner on. The CHECK indicator will light.

3. Play a single note on your guitar or bass, and tune it"

 

And THAT is how you are supposed to tune a guitar. Hit the note, tune it. Move to the next one. 

Worked on every tuner I ever had since 1978.

And that's where the Helix tuner runs into problems. lol   I shouldn't have to do a bunch of stuff to just be able to tune the guitar. It's something that shouldn't require only using the neck pickup (and some guitars don't have those either...and what about a bass guitar?)  and/or turn down a tone knob (and then forget I did it when the drummer is counting "4" and I sound like crap with the tone rolled off lol)

 

Anyway, the Helix is awesome. 

The tuner...not so much. But as I said earlier, just pretend that it's a "real" amp and doesn't have a tuner. Use a third party tuner and enjoy the sounds.

 

I've owned so many great tube amps over the years...everything from Marshall to a Bogner Ecstasy 101B and everything in between. None of them had a tuner. lol  I didn't care. They sounded great. 

 

And that's how I've "made my peace" with the Helix tuner. :)   My Helix sounds great. 

 

I used this tone knob "trick" when I had a Digitech GSP2101 in the '90's with a kind of twitchy tuner in it. It definitely helped. Got rid of some overtones I guess. I had other tuners you didn't need to do this to help them work but there were some you did, like with the 2101. I discovered the tone knob "trick" on my own in the late '70's when I had an issue with a super accurate strobe tuner I had access to for awhile. It was a Conn and if you know old strobe tuners, you know they were an industry standard for awhile (don't know about now). Did you ever get to use one? Turning down the tone knob helped it to lock in on the note better. And I'm sure it wasn't because it was working improperly. So the tone knob technique has been around since I figured it out on my own back then. I didn't really tell anyone about so what I really want to know is who stole that idea from me???? ;) Whether the Helix tuner is a bit twitchy or just too accurate for it's own good, ya do what ya gotta do to make it work.

 

And I would say the statement "how you're "supposed" to" tune is a bit strong. The Conn tuner worked the way it was supposed to and turning down the tone knob helped mellow it out. How you think you should tune a guitar may be a more accurate statement. I would argue that how you are supposed to do something is often whatever you have to do to make it work. I'm very pragmatic that way. I have to be. Where I work, a lot of the stuff I use is supposed to work a certain way but it doesn't. So, since it ain't gettin' fixed or replaced, I do what I have to to get it to work. I'm supposed to get it to work. Whether it works the way it should work or not. Besides, there are people who say you're supposed to tune a guitar with your ear. That's how you're supposed to do it. And even then there's arguments about how you're supposed to do that.

 

And I'm guessing that the Helix's issue is accuracy and not "twitchiness". But I could be wrong. If that's true then some kind of damping control maybe. Or better yet, call it a damping control but just have it turn the tone down. :ph34r:  Either way, I know what I gotta do to make it work better for now.

 

Bottom line I would say......Play in tune. Just do whatever ya gotta do to get there. I don't think the Helix tuner is going to change for awhile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh , I agree that if you have to turn down a tone knob to get in tune...then do it. 

Just saying, I never heard of that. None of my guitar techs who maintained, tuned, strung, and handed me my guitars onstage ever did that. And none of the hundreds of other players I knew on the circuit did. 
Doesn't mean that many didn't (like you).

And no, I never used a strobe tuner onstage. I always had to use a small digital tuner to be with me onstage. We always had a Petersohn Model 100 backstage with my guitar tech that he used to tune and maintain all of the guitars.

Anyway, I kinda got in this debate because I see some "matter of fact" statements about tuning that just look ridiculous to me.  A good tuner shouldn't require people to jump through hoops. Hit the note, tune it, done.  And when I say "good" tuner...I mean one that gets you in tune accurately and quickly.

And I'm afraid you're right...it doesn't look like Helix is gonna do anything about the tuner. 
Which sucks because I went to every guitar player here in Vegas when I first got my Helix and the first thing I showed them was the huge display for the tuner! LOL!
Everybody LOVED that because it was so big and easy to read.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A good tuner shouldn't require people to jump through hoops. Hit the note, tune it, done. And when I say "good" tuner...I mean one that gets you in tune accurately and quickly.

 

:)

 

 

Helloooooo!!! Exactly!!!

 

Even though it is the most ancillary part of the Helix, having a tuner as bad as this one on a $1500 device, one that is worse than some of the cheapest clip-on tuners available on the market just doesn't seem right. I really can't understand how some are perfectly willing to tolerate this and even go as far as to defend its antics. We shouldn't need a workaround for the tuner on a device as expensive as the Helix is.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, to be fair...the Helix isn't really that expensive. It's probably the cheapest "rig" I've ever owned. 

My last "real amp" was my Bogner Ecstasy 101B   That head cost 4 thousand dollars. And the 4x12 Greenback Bogner cab I bought to go along with it was another thousand. Then add in the TC Electronics G System I used with it for effects and the "Amp Gizmo" I used to be able to switch channels on the Ecstasy via midi, and the road case for the head, and the road case for the cabinet....and well, you see what I'm saying.

But you're right. The tuner should work just as easily as all other tuners do. It's kind of like buying a Ferrari and the radio doesn't work. lol

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been said before.

 

Ignore the top line and you'll be fine.

And there you have it. A perfect example of making excuses for, tolerating and defending an ill-designed tuner. Much like the way some people do the same thing with a misbehaving but cute child.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And there you have it. A perfect example of making excuses for, tolerating and defending an ill-designed tuner. Much like the way some people do the same thing with a misbehaving but cute child.

 

No, not really. I think you misunderstand.

 

I personally do NOT ignore the top line when I'm tuning for recording. But when live, it's real handy that Control only has the main line, not the top line. For quick and dirty tuning in between songs, it's fine.

 

So, if you want it to behave more like a typical stage tuner in actual use, ignoring the top line basically does that.

 

imho, you can't tune a guitar at it's best unless you take a full 2 or 3 minutes at least. That's how long I take when I'm recording or before my show (or service) starts. But in between songs when something is out... sometimes you need a quick tweak.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, people are way too passionate about the silly tuner. I think "ignore the top line" is a work around suggestion, nothing more. 

Indeed it is a workaround.  Why should we need a workaround for something as simple as a tuner and on a device that's as top-flight as the Helix?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, not really. I think you misunderstand.

 

I personally do NOT ignore the top line when I'm tuning for recording. But when live, it's real handy that Control only has the main line, not the top line. For quick and dirty tuning in between songs, it's fine.

 

So, if you want it to behave more like a typical stage tuner in actual use, ignoring the top line basically does that.

 

imho, you can't tune a guitar at it's best unless you take a full 2 or 3 minutes at least. That's how long I take when I'm recording or before my show (or service) starts. But in between songs when something is out... sometimes you need a quick tweak.

 

Well, except that my Polytune Clip is still far superior to the Helix at those quick and dirty in between song tunings than the Helix is.  That ain't right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, except that my Polytune Clip is still far superior to the Helix at those quick and dirty in between song tunings than the Helix is.  That ain't right.

 

 

So you're saying that a 60-dollar clip tuner that was designed to be among the best in its class is working better for you than a tuner that's built-in to a product that wasn't first and foremost designed to be a guitar tuner?

 

I'm shocked...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you're saying that a 60-dollar clip tuner that was designed to be among the best in its class is working better for you than a tuner that's built-in to a product that wasn't first and foremost designed to be a guitar tuner?

 

I'm shocked...

So is my $14.00 Snark SN-8. The only reason the Polytune is expensive is that it allows you to tune, or at least check the tuning polyphonically. That's what you're paying for and I never use that feature of it. It was given to me as a present and I'm grateful for that - not sure I'd buy one. I might buy the Unitune. The SN-8 is cheap but not very rugged and the mount for that little stem breaks quite easily. As a tuner, the Polytune isn't that much more special than the SN-8. It's more rugged and yes, a better tuner but not by a whole lot... both are still better than the Helix.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been turning the tone control down to tune for many years, not just with Helix. It's not a new thing.

 

Eddie didn't have the tuners available we have now. He didn't complain because he's a great musician, and great musicians know how to get a guitar in tune.

 

This video sez otherwise:

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyways, enough users complaining clearly indicates there is a problem with the Helix tuner.  I don't understand why some folks feel the need to be Line6 defenders on every issue.  This isn't religion.  Line6 doesn't need people to stomp out negative opinions of product features on their forum.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This video sez otherwise:

 

LOL, man that is heinous!  A fine reminder of why you need a decent and fast tuner on stage. This is the kinda thing that gets a guitar tech or soundman summarily fired without references. Somehow strangely reassuring though that a trainwreck can still happen to a band of that caliber and level of fame. No offence intended as I am a fan but I wonder if Eddie was still in his cups at the time because I am fairly confident he can tune better by ear than most of us can with mechanical assistance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyways, enough users complaining clearly indicates there is a problem with the Helix tuner. I don't understand why some folks feel the need to be Line6 defenders on every issue. This isn't religion. Line6 doesn't need people to stomp out negative opinions of product features on their forum.

Exactly. As users, it’s our job to point out the inadequacies. That’s how the product gets better.

If we’re going to be complacent about the Helix’s flaws, we might as well just ignore Ideascale. I mean, why bother?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's depressing to see that some people (the one who posted the video) are actually blaming it on the synthesizer.

 

Unbelievable Ignorance!

 

I have no idea what their actual set up is. But, if the synth is like any other keyboard with a transpose option, it is not out of the question that the synth player had forgotten to reset the transpose from the previous song. I know that's happened more than once to me.

 

But, you're right, the most likely problem there is the guitar was not correctly tuned, or if it was a floating trem, a broken string caused the rest to go way out of tune.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no idea what their actual set up is. But, if the synth is like any other keyboard with a transpose option, it is not out of the question that the synth player had forgotten to reset the transpose from the previous song. I know that's happened more than once to me.

 

But, you're right, the most likely problem there is the guitar was not correctly tuned, or if it was a floating trem, a broken string caused the rest to go way out of tune.

 

This video is from fairly late in David Lee Roth's career. Although this appears at first blush to be a problem with the guitar I suppose another reason this can happen is as lead singers get older they tend to lose part of their ability to hit notes in the higher register of their vocal range. Bands will then transpose hits they have been doing for a long time to a lower key. If someone in the band forgets to make this adjustment to the lower key out of long habit, you can get results like this with a player fumbling live to adjust or different players in different keys - for example, one player in the original key and others in the lowered key. Once that happens things can get really messy as singer and players attempt to adjust to each other further exacerbating the issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no idea what their actual set up is. But, if the synth is like any other keyboard with a transpose option, it is not out of the question that the synth player had forgotten to reset the transpose from the previous song. I know that's happened more than once to me.

 

But, you're right, the most likely problem there is the guitar was not correctly tuned, or if it was a floating trem, a broken string caused the rest to go way out of tune.

This video is from fairly late in David Lee Roth's career. Although this appears at first blush to be a problem with the guitar I suppose another reason this can happen is as lead singers get older they tend to lose part of their ability to hit notes in the higher register of their vocal range. Bands will then transpose hits they have been doing for a long time to a lower key. If someone in the band forgets to make this adjustment to the lower key out of long habit, you can get results like this with a player fumbling live to adjust or different players in different keys - for example, one player in the original key and others in the lowered key. Once that happens things can get really messy as singer and players attempt to adjust to each other further exacerbating the issue.

Guys, listen to the rest of the band, in particular, the synth player and the bass player and Dave. They're in the same key. Furthermore, the guitar is flat in relation to the synth and bass. If they were indeed accommodating DLR because he can't sing it in the original key, they'd transpose it down to where Eddie's playing - not up and Eddie would be sharp compared to the band. That said, Eddie's guitar is not a perfect half step down - it's just out of tune and it's not a matter of the band playing in different keys from each other.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guys, listen to the rest of the band, in particular, the synth player and the bass player and Dave. They're in the same key. Furthermore, the guitar is flat in relation to the synth and bass. If they were indeed accommodating DLR because he can't sing it in the original key, they'd transpose it down to where Eddie's playing - not up and Eddie would be sharp compared to the band. That said, Eddie's guitar is not a perfect half step down - it's just out of tune and it's not a matter of the band playing in different keys from each other.

 

When our keyboardist gets it wrong, and it's the loudest instrument, the singers automatically sing in the key of that instrument. And the bass player might have just automatically adjusted. Leaving Eddie in the wind trying to compensate.

 

Although, you might be right and the guitar isn't an even semi-tone out. It's half way between keys. So nothing Eddie could do even if he wanted to. It's a train wreck no matter how you cut it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When our keyboardist gets it wrong, and it's the loudest instrument, the singers automatically sing in the key of that instrument. And the bass player might have just automatically adjusted. Leaving Eddie in the wind trying to compensate.

Oh yeah. Seen that happen once too many times.

 

the guitar isn't an even semi-tone out. It's half way between keys. So nothing Eddie could do even if he wanted to. It's a train wreck no matter how you cut it.

For me, that’s what defines the issue in this video. It is all about a badly tuned guitar. And I’m not just saying that ’cause this is another Helix Tuner thread. 😂
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I think it needs a fork stuck in it

 

No, I'm gonna say it - this issue needs fixed ASAP.  I and many others spent $1500 for a multi-effects processor that has an issue with the TUNER. 

I hate to be a grump, but Line 6 needs to look into this and release a fix in the next update.    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, I'm gonna say it - this issue needs fixed ASAP. I and many others spent $1500 for a multi-effects processor that has an issue with the TUNER.

I hate to be a grump, but Line 6 needs to look into this and release a fix in the next update.

I think you misinterpreted my metaphor for the fork in this case. I would love to see this issue resolved and it has been mentioned by Line6 that they are looking into it.

 

The fix is the fork

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, I'm gonna say it - this issue needs fixed ASAP.  I and many others spent $1500 for a multi-effects processor that has an issue with the TUNER. 

I hate to be a grump, but Line 6 needs to look into this and release a fix in the next update.    

 

 

It doesn't appear to be hurting sales. But of course, it's working fine for me...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you misinterpreted my metaphor for the fork in this case. I would love to see this issue resolved and it has been mentioned by Line6 that they are looking into it.

 

The fix is the fork

Then yes - let's put a fork in it!!  

I just hate the idea of using another tuner than what's in the Helix due to a bug or super sensitive settings and would think the tuner should be the easiest function to use on the Helix with minimal issues......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...