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calelitecoach

USB Audio question

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I have a Helix LT. I would like to jam and play to tracks from Spotify and alike. I figured that I could just play tracks from my PC through the USB cable into the Helix and then I could use headphones to hear both the audio streamed from my PC and my guitar at the same time. The guitar sounds fine, but the streamed audio from my PC sounds terrible. Any ideas on how I can practice to tracks from my PC through headphones using the Helix too without the distorted streamed audio?

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If you've selected the Helix as the current audio device on your computer, it should just work.  No special configuration required, assuming of course your headphones are plugged into the Helix.

 

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18 hours ago, calelitecoach said:

I have a Helix LT. I would like to jam and play to tracks from Spotify and alike. I figured that I could just play tracks from my PC through the USB cable into the Helix and then I could use headphones to hear both the audio streamed from my PC and my guitar at the same time. The guitar sounds fine, but the streamed audio from my PC sounds terrible. Any ideas on how I can practice to tracks from my PC through headphones using the Helix too without the distorted streamed audio?

 

14 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

If you've selected the Helix as the current audio device on your computer, it should just work.  No special configuration required, assuming of course your headphones are plugged into the Helix.

 

 

You might need to drop the output level on the PC's mixer. Click the little speaker icon on the right end of the taskbar. 

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I feel like I have tried the basics. Lowering the input volume from the PC. Changing the output from the PC. I am disappointed. The stream from the PC just sounds broken up and distorted. Is there anything I need to change on the Helix? My signal chain is PC to USB into the Helix. Stereo Studio Headphones into the headphone jack on Helix. Guitar into guitar input on the Helix. The playback device on my PC is the Helix LT. Is there a driver I am missing?

 

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Here's the things I would check.  Check the Ins/Outs in the global settings and make sure the USB in 1/2 Destination and USB in 1/2 Trim settings are correct.  Try using a different USB cable to make sure it's not the cable, make sure you're not using a USB hub, and try changing to a different USB port.  If none of those things fix it, then I'd open a trouble ticket with Line 6.

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Turn volume at the PC down in the application. Then try turning down USB 1/2 trim in global settings as DD suggested. 

 

I use this all the time and it works flawlessly. 

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So hopefully this is the problem...When I purchased the Helix from Guitar Center, I noticed the box had been opened. I didn't notice that the USB cable was missing. I used an older USB cable, likely USB 1.0 to update the firmware on the Helix. Data was fine, but audio must be an issue. I contacted GC and told them no USB was provided. They are going to give me a USB cable that should do the job. I hope this was the issue.

 

Thanks for all the good ideas

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Unfortunately, it didn't fix the issue. I have tried the suggestions above. I opened a ticket with support to see if they can help.

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I spend 99% of my time playing along with online tracks from my pc 

Have you updated your PC sound card drivers ?

What headphones you using ?

 

 

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I finally got through and talked to a line 6 tech. Waiting for the response from the ticket was frustrating. The issue seemed to be that I had the USB connection to the front of the PC and not the back. Okay, now I can stream audio to the Helix. But now, there is an echo, delay, or latency from the guitar. IDK what to do.

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Are your speakers connected directly to the Helix or are they on the PC?  If you want zero latency you want the USB connection to only receive the stream and use the Helix to play back the stream and play your guitar through speakers attached to the Helix.

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11 hours ago, calelitecoach said:

I finally got through and talked to a line 6 tech. Waiting for the response from the ticket was frustrating. The issue seemed to be that I had the USB connection to the front of the PC and not the back. Okay, now I can stream audio to the Helix. But now, there is an echo, delay, or latency from the guitar. IDK what to do.

I'd be less frustrated with waiting for the Line 6 tech and appreciative that they helped you figure out an issue with your PC connections, totally unrelated to the Helix.

 

Echo/latency means you are monitoring through your PC.  The guitar signal is going into your Helix, up to your PC , back to the Helix and out the headphones.  You need to change something in your setup so it mutes that path so you only hear Spotify, etc from your PC and the guitar directly from the Helix.  

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12 hours ago, calelitecoach said:

I finally got through and talked to a line 6 tech. Waiting for the response from the ticket was frustrating. The issue seemed to be that I had the USB connection to the front of the PC and not the back. Okay, now I can stream audio to the Helix. But now, there is an echo, delay, or latency from the guitar. IDK what to do.

 

As already mentioned, monitoring directly from Helix, either with headphones or directly connected powered monitors will solve any latency issues. If you don't want to do that, then a separate interface with direct monitoring such as the Focusrite stuff will work also. I run mine into a Focusrite 2i4, which has a direct monitoring/ playback blend control... no latency problems, and the blend control is useful so you're not constantly futzing with the relative output levels from the computer vs. Helix... just roll back and forth as needed with one knob. 

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I think he already is monitoring through his Helix using headphones, so he probably hears the guitar direct from the Helix, followed by the guitar going through the PC with latency and sounding like an echo.  He  needs to mute or otherwise cut off the guitar signal coming back from the PC (but not the background music).

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Yes Thurston9, I believe you understand. What can I change on my PC or Helix to reduce the latency? Here is my current setup. Guitar to Helix via the 1/4 input. USB to PC. Studio Headphones to Helix via the 1/4 input Helix. I am thinking of going the Focusrite direction. 

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Are you using any kind of software on your PC - DAW, VST Host etc - if so, turn OFF the channel monitoring on the Helix channel (in the DAW). Using a different interface won't help if the problem is that you're using software monitoring. I believe that's what Thurston is trying to explain.

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I am currently not running any DAW or alike software on my PC. I do have Cubase5 and would like to use it. I have updated all the drivers for my soundcard and the Helix. I am new to the whole guitar/PC thing. I'm a basic plug and play guy. Guitar-amp-cab. I own a few effect pedals, but the set up is basic. "I JUST WANNA PLAY TO STREAMED MUSIC THROUGH THE HELIX AND MONITOR THROUGH MY HEADPHONES"

 

I appreciate all the support and advice. I hope it is solved soon. 

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What software on your PC are you using to stream the audio to Helix through USB? It sounds as if somehow your audio card on your PC is accepting USB inputs from the Helix, and you are maybe hearing the guitar signal (with latency) coming over USB with your backing tracks. I don't know how that is possible. It has to be something on your PC end, it is not Helix. 

 

I play with backing tracks all the time monitoring through Helix and zero issues. 

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I do the same thing you do with Spotify, I plug usb into m y Helix/Laptop....pull up the Spotify playlist and headphones into the Helix.  Jam away......I get no latency/echo thing, I agree the pc has to be accepting usb audio for some reason.

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Normally, I do all this through a Focusrite interface. I reconfigured to use the Helix, no problem. Here's pictures. Are you set up like this?

 

 

 

 

Edited by rd2rk
Image removed to recover attachment allotment
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I dont use a Focusrite, and the only difference in my 'chain' is that instead of speakers I have headphones plugged into the Helix.  I've never had to configure anything on my pc.  Did the same thing with the Boss GT100 when I had that as well.  Plugged USB in, headphones in...jammed away. 

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2 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

I dont use a Focusrite, and the only difference in my 'chain' is that instead of speakers I have headphones plugged into the Helix.  I've never had to configure anything on my pc.  Did the same thing with the Boss GT100 when I had that as well.  Plugged USB in, headphones in...jammed away. 

 

We've established that lots of us can get the desired results without echo or latency. I only mentioned the Focusrite to say how easy it was to switch to Helix, as OP is using that configuration, I included pictures to find out, hopefully, where his problem lies.

 

In the diagram, just replace the two "Spkr"s with "headphones". It really makes no difference, if it works on one output, it'll work on the other. Likewise, I'm using Amazon streaming, just because I don't have Spotify on that PC. Same same.

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You definitely don't need a Focusrite or any other interface.  The Helix is an interface itself and this should be very easy to solve. 

 

You probably have the output block on the Helix set to Multi (symbol is an Arrow I think).  Try changing this to 1/4" only, I think the symbol is a circle inside a Hexagon. 

 

Multi output mean that the guitar is going to the headphones and to your computer on USB tracks 1/2.  Changing it to 1/4" will hopefully just send it to your headphones and shouldn't affect the sound from Spotify.

 

 

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An alternative idea. Don’t use the usb cable, unplug it. Buy a mini jack to 2 jacks cable (if your PC has a mini jack as audio output, most of them do), connect it to the 2 return inputs of the LT, and make an extra path (in your preset) with the returns as the input, and multi as output, something like this vid. He has the full Helix but this setup should also work with an LT. Only thing is you have to make that path in every preset you want to use, but when done a few times it is perhaps not a problem anymore. This vid might help:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjRI2PHNscw

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On 5/24/2018 at 7:20 PM, LutherDeLorme said:

An alternative idea. Don’t use the usb cable, unplug it. Buy a mini jack to 2 jacks cable (if your PC has a mini jack as audio output, most of them do), connect it to the 2 return inputs of the LT, and make an extra path (in your preset) with the returns as the input, and multi as output, something like this vid. He has the full Helix but this setup should also work with an LT. Only thing is you have to make that path in every preset you want to use, but when done a few times it is perhaps not a problem anymore. This vid might help:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjRI2PHNscw

But he shouldn't need to.  This is a simple routing issue.

 

Curious to hear if you fixed it?

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For the benefit of anyone else who might have this problem, what was the solution?

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Hi! I am having a similar problem. I am playing the songs using media player and youtube, but it keeps breaking when I use USB. When I use AUX In it works fine. I have updated the drivers from the website. I am using a laptop win 10, 64-bit,  4GB RAM, intel core i3-2330m cpu 2.20ghz.  Can you please tell me how you solved the problem of the USB? May the problem be related to the laptop I am using? Thanks for your help.

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1. Try to swap USB cables.
2. Check if your laptop is properly configured for audio work (DPC latency check, system optimisations)
3. If nothing works, consider:
a. upgrade to 8GB RAM, 
b. buying a new laptop, 
c. keeping using laptop audio connected to AUX

Additional questions:
1. Is HxEdit stable on your laptop?
2. Does any DAW output also break?

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Thank you for replying. I have been creating my presets using HxEdit and it seems to work well. It does not disconnect and the DAW output does not break when I use the USB cable, just the sound from media player/YouTube which makes it difficult to rehearsal.  I will try your suggestions and let you know if it works.  

 

Best,

 

 

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