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Helix Native Live Setup


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I was going to get our school bands a bunch of Helix LT's but given the amount of units going back for broken expression pedals and joysticks, and Line 6's track record of abandonware, I think I'll be making a hardware setup of the REAPER Live Pedalboard Project to run Helix Native instead. I would heartily welcome any ideas and suggestions to make this more simple and reliable. I have a few emails out to manufacturers for some specifics, but I'd definitely welcome anyone and everyone's 2 cents


Ideally, I'd like as few wires as possible, and as unlikely to be murdered as possible, so no laptops sitting open on the floor for instance

For demo purposes, I'm suggesting the Behringer FCB1010 as the pedalboard, as it is very cheap, readily available, and can easily be made wireless and battery powered


Stick the pedalboard on the bottom (this would require that the case is designed in such a way that the pedals can be used with the case open and the pedal still inside it. Rondo's CNB410E or G may work, I'm totally open to other suggestions though! Needs to be around 27" x 12" or bigger, not 100% clear on the depth

Put a powerstrip, wireless receiver a windows 2 in 1 tablet, like the dell inspiron 13 7000, and an audio interface.

If the interface has MIDI, then standard midi cables could be used. Everything should be able to stay wired up with the case closed or open.

Optionally, the pedalboard could be made wireless and battery powered, which would remove the need for MIDI on the interface, but there may not be enough USB ports on most windows tablets and 2 in 1's for this

I welcome any ideas anyone has on this


option 1 case mount.jpg

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Until the case gets here to test with, I thought I would try some other configurations. I found a Gator pedal tote on craigslist and just grabbed it....Looks to have another 7" past the pedalboard, so I should be able to mount a 2 in 1 in tent configuration or a tablet holder in it...Gonna see if I can mount some power and XLR's to make it more convenient





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....the more devices, wires, and software involved (especially when you throw in a laptop with an operating system, drivers, and audio/midi interface) the more chances there are for something to go wrong. Expect prolonged periods of head-scratching and trouble-shooting. Possibly murder. Sure, you can make it all work. But reliably? Every time you turn it on (that is ... turn everything on, in the right order?

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There's really only one thing to turn on in this setup, the power strip. Its mostly based on some systems we have been working on for the past year, and loosely based on the REAPER Live setup used in hundreds of shows about 5 years ago, when computers were a lot less powerful.


If you look, there's actually far, far, far fewer wires than the typical guitar player's setup: Guitar to interface, interface to computer, interface to speakers


Most of what I expect to go wrong has to deal with the bleeding edge things we've been working on, scripts that are rather sketchy, and plugins to handle seamless switching. 


I have a LOT LOT LOT less software issues with this setup than with the Firehawk hardware, I can sure tell you that! Plus it switches instantly and has auto engage for the wah.


Helix's snapshots really make this more easily doable. Revalver standalone's Gig Mode is even better, more secure and faster switching, but it has some lacking utilities that at the moment make Helix Native more viable.


We have some insanely good scripting in a REAPER project to really make the most of this stuff, even for people not wanting to use Helix Native.


With the old 1 wire iOS setup I could be up and running, and even out to the PA in less than a minute. This one is going to take longer because you will also have to run an XLR to the personal monitor speaker, and in this case, stick the computer in the tablet, that's why I'm thinking case mounted, with everything already in place and plugged in would be better

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Nice setup!!

I just setup mine running Reaper on WIndows10 too :


guitar ->audient id4-> HP Elite laptop usb1.

Line6 FBV shortboard MkII -> HP Elite laptop USB2.

All powered by the laptop battery - lasts for at most 2hrs continuous use. (with High Performance power plan settings) 

Audient id4 and Line6 FBV will fit on a pedaltrain2 and should have more than sufficient space for a wireless too.



Unfortunately Native spikes up to 50+% RT CPU on and off causing crackling.

WIthout any signal in and track armed Native already runs at 30-35% RT CPU.

Sample rate 44.1kHz, Buffer size 512.

Crackling gets more frequent at 256/128. Fortunately latency is still acceptable at 512.

CPU is 15-6300U 2.5GHz  (2 core 4 thread)16G RAM.

RAM usage was very low throughout -700MB max

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Did you try enabling multicore for live in preferences?


I'd be really interested in how you are making your setup portable. I'm working with several manufacturers about case mounting, pedalboard (with a carry bag) mounting, and tentatively, with a mini/micro/nuc type thing inside a pedalboard with a 5" monitor


I'm really appreciating any ideas people have for this side of it


Let me look into why the Helix Native is making so much trouble for you

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And therein lies the crux of the problem .... you've got to have a powerful system to run Helix Native (or any CPU-intensive plug-in) at low latency (<10 ms). The longer your latency, the more your your real-time guitar playing suffers. So, this sort of venture is just dandy IF you've got the horsepower to run it smoothly. And, of course, if you add more instruments and vocals, you need still more power.

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Thx for the suggestions and help.

i've set "Allow live FX multiprocessing on 4 CPUs" but it still crackles.

I've also disabled "Anticipative FX processing" but no go.

Reaper RT CPU is still at  about 30%, armed and with no incoming signal.

I've heard of reports that Native does take up a fair bit of CPU in Macs as well.


As far as  portability goes for me - it's just dumping my audient, shortboard and laptop all into a backpack.. lol!

I don't gig heavily so this setup is simple and good enough for me.

The FC1010 is rather long that's why i settled on the Line6 FBV shortboard instead.

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Share on other sites's an interesting thread on testing Mac systems by running multiple instances of Helix to determine their breaking point. I was able to run 35 instances on my system before crackling appeared. Computing systems are complex and any number of things can contribute to speed or lack thereof (hard drives, background processes, OS problems, driver problems, graphics chips, RAM, ozone layer, facial expression, etc). I find Helix Native to be no more demanding than a lot of the synth modelers on the market. But it IS demanding!




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