Jump to content
supertonic_jack

The length of the Looper in the Helix Unit

Recommended Posts

Does anybody know what the maximum time for the looper in the helix units is? How long can I record a riff before the capacity of the looper is reached. On the Spider IV for example it was only 60 sec..
I hope line6 hasn't saved the couple of cents this time and invested in the length of the looping. It is an important feature.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out page 13of the manual for more info.  It is 60 seconds Mono, 30 seconds Stereo at full speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is a half speed which doesn't alter tone too much (that i can hear) which doubles the length. The only setback with it is remembering to set to 1/2 speed before you start recording ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure Helix looper feature is lollipoped, it may have been designed intentionally to be short. The reason is its very difficult to use a looper and switch effects/snapshots using the same set of footswitches and the Mode/Looper switch. Any real looping would benefit from a separate dedicated looper in the Helix effects loop. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, amsdenj said:

Not sure Helix looper feature is lollipoped, it may have been designed intentionally to be short. The reason is its very difficult to use a looper and switch effects/snapshots using the same set of footswitches and the Mode/Looper switch. Any real looping would benefit from a separate dedicated looper in the Helix effects loop. 

well - an external looper adds switches accessible at the same time, but most loopers offer less switches then the helix in looper mode. OK, you have to switch between looper mode and other modes wich is'nt ideal. But what we have with the Helix would be better with a bit more time ;)

I guess - it's not my priority, but to some other people it could be.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, amsdenj said:

Not sure Helix looper feature is lollipoped, it may have been designed intentionally to be short. The reason is its very difficult to use a looper and switch effects/snapshots using the same set of footswitches and the Mode/Looper switch. Any real looping would benefit from a separate dedicated looper in the Helix effects loop. 

BS, you're saying they purposely throttle the loop time so people don't have trouble using effects and the looper together? Maybe I'm misunderstanding. 

 

FWIW loop time is sufficient for me, altgough longer would definitely be desired.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Line 6 multi-pedals have never had much looping power or functionality, at least for serious looping work. Its almost like a marketing check-box item. Helix is no different. Its good enough for simple looping/home jamming or composing, or for designing presets. That's OK, though, because Helix can focus on its core tone modeling strengths.

 

If you want to do precision looping with layered loops or if you perform live using loops, you really should add a dedicated external looper. Pick up a Pigtronix or used Boomerang or something. Polyloops, not lollipops.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, soundog said:

.. Polyloops, not lollipops.

 

... where are the lol emoticons when you need them???........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/17/2018 at 11:01 AM, silverhead said:

 

... where are the lol emoticons when you need them???........

They haven't been here since they updated the forum. I hope they wipe their butt better than this on the next forum update! EmojiEmojiEmojiPOOP. ; )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked a friend of mine, which knows a lot about technical backgrounds and engineering. He says it would cost Line6 just a couple of Cents to a Dollar more to increase the Memory on the Chip^^ It is a joke to save a couple of cents for such a basic core feature in my opinion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, jj19922012 said:

I asked a friend of mine, which knows a lot about technical backgrounds and engineering. He says it would cost Line6 just a couple of Cents to a Dollar more to increase the Memory on the Chip^^ It is a joke to save a couple of cents for such a basic core feature in my opinion. 

 

The memory isn't really the issue. It's more a matter of the software architecture. One thing is an embedded firmware processor like this isn't a modular system like a PC or a tablet where you can just add more storage. The chips are purchased as complete packages, and it's kind of like you get what you get. They don't sell memory upgrades to SHARC chips. If you look at all the SHARC-based processors out there, or even the new Boss GT-1000 (which isn't SHARC-based, but something similar), they all have relatively short loop lengths. The Headrush, which has 20 minutes of looping capability, but that's an ARM-based processor, which ends up having other significant limitations on other, (I'd say) more important things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/17/2018 at 10:22 AM, Thurston9 said:

BS, you're saying they purposely throttle the loop time so people don't have trouble using effects and the looper together? Maybe I'm misunderstanding. 

 

FWIW loop time is sufficient for me, altgough longer would definitely be desired.  

No, I'm saying the looper wasn't necessarily intended to be a performance level looper because of the need to mode switch to share the foot switches between looper, effect and snapshot control. So perhaps having long loops, which would likely require more tone switching, might not have been a priority. 

 

But I too wish the loop was longer as it would make practicing easier. But I'd probably never use it for live looping in any case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/20/2018 at 1:44 AM, phil_m said:

 

The memory isn't really the issue. It's more a matter of the software architecture. One thing is an embedded firmware processor like this isn't a modular system like a PC or a tablet where you can just add more storage. The chips are purchased as complete packages, and it's kind of like you get what you get. They don't sell memory upgrades to SHARC chips. If you look at all the SHARC-based processors out there, or even the new Boss GT-1000 (which isn't SHARC-based, but something similar), they all have relatively short loop lengths. The Headrush, which has 20 minutes of looping capability, but that's an ARM-based processor, which ends up having other significant limitations on other, (I'd say) more important things.

 

So just to verify, you are saying the issue is in the chipset and no firmware update will ever increase the size of the looper length?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, codeOwl said:

 

So just to verify, you are saying the issue is in the chipset and no firmware update will ever increase the size of the looper length?

 

The post you quoted is quite old, and I was speculating that's the case... Maybe Line 6 has something else up their sleeve - I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, phil_m said:

 

The post you quoted is quite old, and I was speculating that's the case... Maybe Line 6 has something else up their sleeve - I don't know.

 

I can't quote chapter and verse, but I did read a post on "The Gear Page" from Digital Igloo who indicated that increasing the length of the looper time was potentially a possible avenue that they could go down once Helix Core was implemented. 

 

Will they?  

 

I think a looper is one of those areas that if you need something more complex, you're best buying a more complex looper. Personally, I'd rather they save whatever space they got or can use to add more amps/effects (but hell, maybe it's not an either or decision, so that would change things).  

 

I'm not anti looper either. I pre-ordered the new Boss RC-10R a few days ago. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you need to do serious looping during performances and use a Helix, a dedicated looper jacked into a In/Out of a Helix is a powerful combination. And you avoid  the dilemma of confusing foot switch assignments. Everything just works predictably. Plus, you can setup Helix presets and snapshots to control when the looper is in or out of the signal path, and which Helix effects are pre or post looper.

 

FYI, I settled on a Boomerang III after trying many loopers, and it is a joy to work with, and can be customized to adapt to your own style of live, on-the-fly looping. There are plenty of other excellent looper pedals out there .... read reviews before buying to make sure it has the feature set you need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loop time is only 60-sec mono and 30-sec stereo. Not the best length in the world, I admit. However, HELIX is an effects processor and amp modeling appliance first and foremost; that does a damn good job, if you ask me. It ain't gonna do the dishes for ya though. If the looper isn't as long as say, maybe a BOSS RC-3, and you need a longer loop time. Just get an RC-3 or something like that. 

 

The cool thing is, if you had a HELIX, you can take that Boss RC-3 and put in one of four effects loops, and just add it as a block in your chain. That'll give you the best of both. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Headrush looper is amazing, and even the axefx iii looper is at least a usable 5 minutes long (or is it 6?).

 

I really hope they can give us competitive length, and honestly, anything the headrush can do, the helix has pretty much been able to match or surpass, so I would be surprised if there isn't a big improvement to the looper coming up with fw3.x

 

I am only guessing, though.

 

As someone who has enjoyed making music with loopers many times and uses them sometimes when doing solo live concerts, I'd love that!  longer length, more useful double track control with safe undo controls (not dangerous "oops, he killed his loop live in concert!" situations as is possible with some older, very basic loopers..... which the helix looper is equivalent to other than having a couple more buttons (And several buttons completely unused that could have been doing great looper tricks/effects, if the firmware ever manages to include the looper software features to utilize those buttons).

 

And heck, the looper in this thing doesn't exceed the capabilities of loopers in many year old multifx devices I have kicking around.  So here's crossing our fingers that it's one of the items they managed to improve notably in the next big FW update release!  If not in 3.0, then I kind of think it'll never happen, so let them focus on the rest of the device, and we can do with dedicated loopers if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont know if any of you have seen this guy. He uses a POD HD looper and an original Variax. Just to show what can be done with a limited looper. All the "synth" sounds your hear in the second one were created with his rig.

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the loopers on Line 6 multifx are really bad and not vey usefull to make good loops

But is really good at the begin of the chain to create/find a good tone. Make a loop> let's play and turn the knobs !

You stay better with an external looper !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, brue58ski said:

I dont know if any of you have seen this guy. He uses a POD HD looper and an original Variax. Just to show what can be done with a limited looper. All the "synth" sounds your hear in the second one were created with his rig.

 

 

 

Yea, back in the day when that was all we had, we made use of it like crazy.  Compared to tape loopers, those early digital ones were amazing!

 

But the helix looper is pretty close to what the original pod looper had, which wasn't exactly far reaching back then even.

 

It's been, what, a decade?  more?  And look at the competition to the helix... what their included loopers can do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, donkelley said:

Yea, back in the day when that was all we had, we made use of it like crazy.  Compared to tape loopers, those early digital ones were amazing!

 

But the helix looper is pretty close to what the original pod looper had, which wasn't exactly far reaching back then even.

 

It's been, what, a decade?  more?  And look at the competition to the helix... what their included loopers can do.

 

The original POD didn't have a looper...

 

Really, I think the only multi-FX that has a really long looper is the Headrush, and I feel like that unit has more or less faded into obscurity. I guess the Axe FX III has a longer looper, too, but I literally never see anyone talking about the Fractal looper. I believe some of the Chinese multi-FX have longer loopers. I really think loopers with big feature sets are kind of niche thing that have small, but passionate fanbases. There really aren't a lot of companies doing a lot in that area right now.

 

I don't really expect the recording time in the Helix looper to be increased. There may be some other functionality added, but I'm not sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, phil_m said:

 

The original POD didn't have a looper...

 

Really, I think the only multi-FX that has a really long looper is the Headrush, and I feel like that unit has more or less faded into obscurity. I guess the Axe FX III has a longer looper, too, but I literally never see anyone talking about the Fractal looper. I believe some of the Chinese multi-FX have longer loopers. I really think loopers with big feature sets are kind of niche thing that have small, but passionate fanbases. There really aren't a lot of companies doing a lot in that area right now.

 

I don't really expect the recording time in the Helix looper to be increased. There may be some other functionality added, but I'm not sure.

Oh, folks on fractal forum talk about their looper often.  And FWIW I meant "the original pod looper" as in the original looper that appeared in a pod.  I didn't explain it further since that was clarified in the video posted by someone before me in this thread, which is why I continued the conversation about the original pod looper.

 

Literally every competitor has loopers that are more useful.

 

If you think it's a niche feature, then maybe it depends on your instrument.  For example, I play several instruments, one of which is 6 string bass.

 

If you go to youtube and search up 6 string bass solo, you see a good example at the top, and no it doens't require a long looper - helix will be fine.

but then you see a suggestion at right of 50+ 6 string bass solos youtube collection.  I watched several of them last night.

90% use a looper.  That was a total shock to me last night.  Yes they're using short loops, but it's part of nearly every solo bass song example in that collection.  It's just a random video collection I hit as the topmost link, and it didn't mention loopers at all, yet nearly all of the examples use a looper.

 

If I were performing live, I'd want a looper that was more predictable and deeper than the helix looper, unless I was desperate.

 

I didn't buy the helix because of it's looper - but when I tried it, I was so surprised that it has it's own footswitch layout, own operating mode, and so much physical layout room for improvements.... I just hope that they will improve the software in some way to bring it up to current standards, even if the length remains short.  Any one of features that are probably varying complexity to add would be beneficial to using a looper live, safely, reliably.

 

When Helix came out, other competition didn't exist yet, at least not with the features they have now.

 

Now, even the Zoom g11 (their helix/axe competitor) has a several minute looper with built in rhythm patterns. Zoom is legendary for 30 second basic loopers like the older line6 multifx looper, still used in the helix.

 

It makes me think, maybe line6 will up the priority of the looper improvements that they probably tossed around early on (every software feature design includes ideas for the future, whether or not they ever get built).

 

I expect their own market research is pretty deep and will tell them what to do, though.  I'm just crossing my fingers a little bit in case.

 

Either way, I can't wait to see what comes in 3.0... looper changes or not!  :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, donkelley said:

I didn't buy the helix because of it's looper - but when I tried it, I was so surprised that it has it's own footswitch layout, own operating mode, and so much physical layout room for improvements.... I just hope that they will improve the software in some way to bring it up to current standards, even if the length remains short.  Any one of features that are probably varying complexity to add would be beneficial to using a looper live, safely, reliably.

 

Well, they did add the HX Looper commands to the Command Center in 2.90. So now you can program any looper command to any footswitch in Stomp Mode. You don't have to actually go to looper mode if you don't want to.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, phil_m said:

 

Well, they did add the HX Looper commands to the Command Center in 2.90. So now you can program any looper command to any footswitch in Stomp Mode. You don't have to actually go to looper mode if you don't want to.

good point!  Thanks! :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Lone_Poor_Boy said:

This horse is flogged and beaten to death.  Have mercy.

 

Necrophilia is a treatable condition.

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhat off topic, but this post made me think of it. Logic Pro X recently released an update that includes support for Live Loops. These are cells of audio or MIDI that represent incremental pieces of sound that can be organized vertically in tracks called scenes, and horizontally on a timeline. Each cell is played in a loop. They're called live loops because you can click on cells or scenes to turn them on or off, and select what cell or scene will play next when the current scene finishes.

 

This sound a lot like a multi-loop looper. So I thought I'd see if I could create a Logic Pro X project that supported a 5x5 live performance looper - 5 separate looper tracks by 5 different scenes. The separate tracks are useful for blending and panning the different looper parts instead of fixed overlays. The separate scenes could be used for different parts of a song: Intro, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Outro.

 

I used my old Apogee GiO as the MIDI controller and Helix direct into each track. The lower 5 effect buttons on the GiO were used to select the scenes, and the upper buttons used for controlling recording, playback, clear and undo. The GiO next and previous buttons were used to select the track.

 

Well, this worked great except for one insurmountable issue. Logic expects every project to have a key and time signature. And as far as I can tell, there's no way to have a Live Loops cell have an arbitrary length, it has to be a number of measures. This makes sense for Live Loops that are pre-recorded and played in a sequence selected live or to record into the timeline. But it would mean that each scene would have to be planned for each song with the proper tempo and loop lengths. That's not really the way to do live looping.

 

Maybe If I set the time signature 1/4 with a really fast tempo, I could make it seem to support arbitrary loop lengths. What I need to happen is for loop recording to start when I press the record button, and stop immediately, setting the loop length when I press the record button again. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, amsdenj said:

Somewhat off topic, but this post made me think of it. Logic Pro X recently released an update that includes support for Live Loops. These are cells of audio or MIDI that represent incremental pieces of sound that can be organized vertically in tracks called scenes, and horizontally on a timeline. Each cell is played in a loop. They're called live loops because you can click on cells or scenes to turn them on or off, and select what cell or scene will play next when the current scene finishes.

 

This sound a lot like a multi-loop looper. So I thought I'd see if I could create a Logic Pro X project that supported a 5x5 live performance looper - 5 separate looper tracks by 5 different scenes. The separate tracks are useful for blending and panning the different looper parts instead of fixed overlays. The separate scenes could be used for different parts of a song: Intro, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Outro.

 

I used my old Apogee GiO as the MIDI controller and Helix direct into each track. The lower 5 effect buttons on the GiO were used to select the scenes, and the upper buttons used for controlling recording, playback, clear and undo. The GiO next and previous buttons were used to select the track.

 

Well, this worked great except for one insurmountable issue. Logic expects every project to have a key and time signature. And as far as I can tell, there's no way to have a Live Loops cell have an arbitrary length, it has to be a number of measures. This makes sense for Live Loops that are pre-recorded and played in a sequence selected live or to record into the timeline. But it would mean that each scene would have to be planned for each song with the proper tempo and loop lengths. That's not really the way to do live looping.

 

Maybe If I set the time signature 1/4 with a really fast tempo, I could make it seem to support arbitrary loop lengths. What I need to happen is for loop recording to start when I press the record button, and stop immediately, setting the loop length when I press the record button again. 

 

 

That's sort of interesting!  I wonder if some software loopers work like that (sans the key sig requirements/limitations etc)?  Computer looping, heck, computer anything, is limitless compared to hardware products, if you ignore the obvious differences/limitations/pros/cons of a pc versus a floorboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, amsdenj said:

Somewhat off topic, but this post made me think of it. Logic Pro X recently released an update that includes support for Live Loops. These are cells of audio or MIDI that represent incremental pieces of sound that can be organized vertically in tracks called scenes, and horizontally on a timeline. Each cell is played in a loop. They're called live loops because you can click on cells or scenes to turn them on or off, and select what cell or scene will play next when the current scene finishes.

 


That's basically what Ableton Live does.

I have plans to use it with my Helix (I use an external looper, it's nice, but looper pedals are quite limited compared to Ableton Live... or ZenAudio ALK for example - and Helix can "click" on buttons...). The main issue I have with that solution is that I then need to have a dedicated laptop for that. Which explodes my music gear budget (I'm not rich at all).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea I know folks do the laptop thing - I don't want to deal with that live at all.  But there sure are great software apps!

Share this post


Link to post
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.


×
×
  • Create New...