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New owner impressions and questions


LadyGaia
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New Helix owner here as of this past weekend.  So far it’s everything I hoped it would be, but then I had done quite a bit of research.  I love having a physical object to interact with while I play and am very impressed with the user interface design on display.  Stellar, really, and along with the availability of Helix Native for reamping when away from my studio these were the two deciding points for me.

 

I’ve read the manual pretty thoroughly and have done what research I can here, but I still have a few questions that I’m hoping someone might have insight into:

 

  • The Helix Rack offers a clock input but the floor unit does not.  Will it lock to an external clock when using the S/PDIF input?  Or does it insist on being the master?  The manual is no help at all here.

 

  • Is there any way to globally override the multi input used in all presets to use another input?  I prefer to use my audio interface’s preamp for recording clean, and would use S/PDIF for the round trip but it’s irritating to have to edit every preset, one at a time, to adjust to my chosen input.  Presumably anyone running a line level input to one of the returns would be similarly inconvenienced.  If anyone knows any tricks here, please let me know!  If not, weigh in on my IdeaScale suggestion to see if Line 6 can’t address this scenario better in future.

 

  • When using S/PDIF as an input signal, how does the Helix interpret a stereo input?  All other guitar inputs are mono, so does it sum the two channels?  Just use one?  Or actually allow a stereo source?  It might be nice to be able to select the left or right channels individually for two guitars or a guitar and bass.

 

Again, loving what I’ve heard so far from my new Helix.  It’s clearly a very capable, well designed, and solidly constructed unit.  The only out-of-the-box surprise I had was a DoA USB cable included in the box.  I was worried initially about the unit itself, but it works perfectly well with another cable.

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I can't answer several of your questions....

 

but what may help for setting the inputs for your presets is to create a blank 'template' set up the way you want, and then you can save that template to a new preset location when you create a new patch and all inputs would be as you saved them. 

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8 minutes ago, RD1967 said:

Just to be clear......do you have the Helix Rack or the Floor model?  It sounds like you have the floor unit but I want to make sure.

 

Yes, it’s the Floor model (but not the dealer’s demo unit, which many would refer to as the “floor model.”  Some dubious naming, there.)

 

41 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

what may help for setting the inputs for your presets is to create a blank 'template' set up the way you want, and then you can save that template to a new preset location when you create a new patch and all inputs would be as you saved them. 

 

That certainly sounds like a good idea for my own future creative efforts.  Thanks for the suggestion!  It’s still a pain when I’m just auditioning factory presets to get a feel for what’s possible, and makes sharing things with the community more complicated than it needs to be.

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3 hours ago, LadyGaia said:

 

  • The Helix Rack offers a clock input but the floor unit does not.  Will it lock to an external clock when using the S/PDIF input?  Or does it insist on being the master?  The manual is no help at all here.

Not sure, I'd try it and see.

  • Is there any way to globally override the multi input used in all presets to use another input?  I prefer to use my audio interface’s preamp for recording clean, and would use S/PDIF for the round trip but it’s irritating to have to edit every preset, one at a time, to adjust to my chosen input.  Presumably anyone running a line level input to one of the returns would be similarly inconvenienced.  If anyone knows any tricks here, please let me know!  If not, weigh in on my IdeaScale suggestion to see if Line 6 can’t address this scenario better in future.

No, the input is a block in each preset. I wouldn't worry about the audio interface too much. Helix is a pretty good audio interface and convenience and simplicity might be more important in this case.

  • When using S/PDIF as an input signal, how does the Helix interpret a stereo input?  All other guitar inputs are mono, so does it sum the two channels?  Just use one?  Or actually allow a stereo source?  It might be nice to be able to select the left or right channels individually for two guitars or a guitar and bass.

All paths in Helix are stere. Its the blocks that are stereo or mono. S/PDIF is a stereo signal source. If you put it into a mono block, the L and R channels are summed.

 

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3 hours ago, amsdenj said:

Not sure, I'd try it and see.

 

I'm not sure how I can tell.  Just listen to continuous audio for long periods of time waiting for a timing glitch?  

 

3 hours ago, amsdenj said:

I wouldn't worry about the audio interface too much. Helix is a pretty good audio interface and convenience and simplicity might be more important in this case.

 

I appreciate the suggestion, but I'm afraid it's not practical.  There's nothing particularly convenient or simple about trying to reconcile multiple audio interfaces, which will add significant lag by necessitating a round-trip through a host computer among other issues.  I'm looking for my best option to integrate the Helix into an existing setup, and I can't be the only person whose studio environment isn't completely guitar centric.

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