Jump to content
crowdx55

Helix Native vs Hardware

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 so I have installed Helix Native and have been playing with it, I am coming from an Elevenrack and before that pedals and amps. My question is, with the Helix Native I am not getting the same feel as I do with the Elevenrack. Does the hardware Helix help with this or is the feel exactly the same between the Helix Native and the hardware Helix?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, crowdx55 said:

Hi all,

 so I have installed Helix Native and have been playing with it, I am coming from an Elevenrack and before that pedals and amps. My question is, with the Helix Native I am not getting the same feel as I do with the Elevenrack. Does the hardware Helix help with this or is the feel exactly the same between the Helix Native and the hardware Helix?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Patrick

 

The feel will depend on a number of factors. Even though the models and algorithms are exactly the same in Helix as they are in Native, the Helix hardware has a very good input section, and when you're playing through the hardware, latency is a non-issue. While playing through an interface and live monitoring through a plug-in, latency can very much be an issue.

 

Given the exact same input, Helix and Native will respond in exactly the same way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There might be an important difference that depends a lot on the computer, operating system and interface you are using.

 

Helix Hardware has very low latency (you hear what you play with minimum delay) while, depending on system, Native might give you acceptable or totally inacceptable latency. This can completley change your experience. Tweaking relatively good PCs and interfaces for live operation is not trivial (unfortunately). Helix is always very good in this area.

 

Also I/Os in Helix are very good while PC interfaces can be (being practical) as good, acceptable or noticeably worse.

 

But "sound", "tone", options and possibilities are basically the same with some obvious exceptions (like changing input impedance or trying to use external loops) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned, latency could be a significant factor .... some folks are sensitive to even a slight delay when software monitoring through their DAW, especially when playing fast passages or riffs. Turn the buffer size down in your DAW as small as possible until you hear no perceptible delay. Also, Helix Native is sensitive to input levels, so don't get anywhere near hitting peak levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the Eleven Rack you were monitoring with the Rack itself, while recording your wet tone, or your dry tone. 

 

Now if you are still using your Eleven Rack and trying to monitor what you hear in Helix Native, then what you are experiencing is system throughput latency. This is why it doesn't feel right.  Both the Eleven Rack, and the Helix have perceptively 0 latency when using them to process, and monitor. The benefit of the Helix hardware for you would be to have that same preset you have in Native as a wet monitor while you record your dry track.  You can probably get somewhere close with making similar patches on the 11R, and just record the dry track, and using Native solely to ReAmp.  

 

If you had the Helix hardware you could have the same preset in both Native, and in the Hardware that you can wet monitor with 0 latency. Record dry track through usb 7, then ReAmp that dry track with Helix Native, using the same preset you have in your hardware, and you will get the exact same sound.  This is the way I do it (although I automate a lot in Native) But I use my Helix Rack as my audio interface, and my 0 latency wet monitor. 

 

Presets are easily transferable to both (hardware, and Native), just make sure you have your IRs in the same slots on both. 

 

Btw I came from the 11R as well.  I still have it. Its my backup system. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lachdanan0121 said:

With the Eleven Rack you were monitoring with the Rack itself, while recording your wet tone, or your dry tone. 

 

Now if you are still using your Eleven Rack and trying to monitor what you hear in Helix Native, then what you are experiencing is system throughput latency. This is why it doesn't feel right.  Both the Eleven Rack, and the Helix have perceptively 0 latency when using them to process, and monitor. The benefit of the Helix hardware for you would be to have that same preset you have in Native as a wet monitor while you record your dry track.  You can probably get somewhere close with making similar patches on the 11R, and just record the dry track, and using Native solely to ReAmp.  

 

If you had the Helix hardware you could have the same preset in both Native, and in the Hardware that you can wet monitor with 0 latency. Record dry track through usb 7, then ReAmp that dry track with Helix Native, using the same preset you have in your hardware, and you will get the exact same sound.  This is the way I do it (although I automate a lot in Native) But I use my Helix Rack as my audio interface, and my 0 latency wet monitor. 

 

Presets are easily transferable to both (hardware, and Native), just make sure you have your IRs in the same slots on both. 

 

Btw I came from the 11R as well.  I still have it. Its my backup system. 

So I actually monitor through a Babyface Pro, the 11Rack was routed via digital out to spdif (adapter) into the Babyface Pro. I am leaning towards the hardware unit of the Helix, considering for $99 I can also buy the Native it seems like a better deal.  Something I have found with the Native software is the input needs adjusting quite often with downloaded presets, will this be the same with the hardware unit? Also does the rack version have all the same hardware as the foot pedal minus the foot switch? e.g. looper?
Also is the Helix a lot deeper than the Elevenrack? I would like to be able to swap the units, I know the Helix is taller but from pictures it seems like it is also deeper?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, crowdx55 said:

So I actually monitor through a Babyface Pro, the 11Rack was routed via digital out to spdif (adapter) into the Babyface Pro. I am leaning towards the hardware unit of the Helix, considering for $99 I can also buy the Native it seems like a better deal.  Something I have found with the Native software is the input needs adjusting quite often with downloaded presets, will this be the same with the hardware unit? Also does the rack version have all the same hardware as the foot pedal minus the foot switch? e.g. looper?
Also is the Helix a lot deeper than the Elevenrack? I would like to be able to swap the units, I know the Helix is taller but from pictures it seems like it is also deeper?

 

Yes the Helix Rack has everything the floor version does except the foot switches, and exp pedal. You can cover that with the optional floor controller, and expression pedals. 

The Helix Rack is NOT as deep as the 11r.  The 11r is a two space rack that is about 10, or so inches deep. The Helix rack is 3 rack space that is about 7, to 8 inches deep. 

 

As far as I am aware you need some type of midi ( or floor controller/exp pedal) for the looper. 

 

Unfortunately there is no manual input adjustment, like in Helix Native in the hardware.  This is a much requested feature, along with clip indicators on the individual blocks, so hopefully it will come in some form in a later update.  Snapshots did! 

However you can change your impedance, and there is an input "pad" which reduces signal by a set amount. Also as long as you don't go Helix LT (go Helix, or Helix Rack) you get a pretty nice vocal mic pre that provides phantom power. 

 

Also the hardware monitoring is no different with the Babyface Pro, its not adding any perceptive latency when you direct monitor.  Its going through your computer to use Helix Native, then coming back out which is what is creating the noticeable round trip latency. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As has been stated above, Helix Native and Helix algorithms are the same, so we would expect them to sound the same. The differences would be primarily latency and the influence of the audio interface. Latency isn’t much of an issue with modern computers, good DAWs, and fast communication protocols. It could be noticeably worse than Helix hardware, but stepping a few meters away from the speaker would have the same effect. I wouldn’t worry too much about latency.

 

The audio interface however could have significant impact on results with Helix Native. You need to be sure to have a high-Z input or you’re going to loose dynamics and high end. Most audio interfaces don’t have variable impedance, so the impact of the first block in the signal chain will no longer be heard. The other issue is gain staging. Helix hardware does have an input pad switch, but you don’t know where the gain on your audio interface corresponds to pad switch on or off. So you may not be hitting the blocks in Helix Native with the same amount of signal, and that will effect the tone and distortion.

 

So the same patchas from Helix hardware may not sound exactly the same in Helix Native, simply because your audio interface isn’t providing the same input impedance to your guitar and the same gain and dynamic range into the Helix Native blocks.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


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

As has been stated above, Helix Native and Helix algorithms are the same, so we would expect them to sound the same. The differences would be primarily latency and the influence of the audio interface. Latency isn’t much of an issue with modern computers, good DAWs, and fast communication protocols. It could be noticeably worse than Helix hardware, but stepping a few meters away from the speaker would have the same effect. I wouldn’t worry too much about latency.

 

The audio interface however could have significant impact on results with Helix Native. You need to be sure to have a high-Z input or you’re going to loose dynamics and high end. Most audio interfaces don’t have variable impedance, so the impact of the first block in the signal chain will no longer be heard. The other issue is gain staging. Helix hardware does have an input pad switch, but you don’t know where the gain on your audio interface corresponds to pad switch on or off. So you may not be hitting the blocks in Helix Native with the same amount of signal, and that will effect the tone and distortion.

 

So the same patchas from Helix hardware may not sound exactly the same in Helix Native, simply because your audio interface isn’t providing the same input impedance to your guitar and the same gain and dynamic range into the Helix Native blocks.

Now this makes a lot of sense and could very well be the missing piece with the Native software, I remember with the ElevenRack that was part of the marketing boasting about the guitar input piece on the unit.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To update, I went ahead and ordered the Rack Helix, I liked the sounds in Native but to use in realtime in my daw I would have to disable all other plugins in a music project to bring latency low enough to play realtime. My thought is that I can record tracks with the Helix rack and re-amp any raw track at a later date if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, crowdx55 said:

To update, I went ahead and ordered the Rack Helix, I liked the sounds in Native but to use in realtime in my daw I would have to disable all other plugins in a music project to bring latency low enough to play realtime. My thought is that I can record tracks with the Helix rack and re-amp any raw track at a later date if needed.

Your thought is correct. 

I will add to it and say when you record, you can always record the wet track too.  The Helix gives you the ability to send to the DAW the wet (effected signal) as well as the Dry signal (for ReAmping) at the same time.

 

 

Personally I only send the dry track, cause I love to automate with Helix Native. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Lachdanan0121 said:

Your thought is correct. 

I will add to it and say when you record, you can always record the wet track too.  The Helix gives you the ability to send to the DAW the wet (effected signal) as well as the Dry signal (for ReAmping) at the same time.

 

 

Personally I only send the dry track, cause I love to automate with Helix Native. 

So I looked at a video about re-amping and in the tutorial it says to use USB 7 for output and USB 8 to record the track back, in my daw Studio One I am not seeing that as an option. Is there something I am missing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, crowdx55 said:

So I looked at a video about re-amping and in the tutorial it says to use USB 7 for output and USB 8 to record the track back, in my daw Studio One I am not seeing that as an option. Is there something I am missing?

On Helix hardware USB output 7 is default for dry guitar track, USB output 8 default is dry mic input.

 

If you want to ReAmp using Helix hardware you set the input on the Helix to one of these 3 settings: USB3&4, USB5&6, and USB7&8.   

Then on the output of helix hardware set it to USB1&2.  Then in your DAW you set a channel to record USB input 1&2.   That will record your ReAmped guitar signal.  You can also use USB3&4, USB5&6,  Just make sure your outputs of your DAW match the inputs of your Helix, and the outputs of your Helix match the inputs of your DAW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Native is identical to the hardware. 

 

Native is software. Helix is software "with" very nice audio hardware to run that software thru- BIG difference. 

 

Quote

As has been stated above, Helix Native and Helix algorithms are the same, so we would expect them to sound the same.

 

They may be the same, but are the converters in the PC/Mac & Audio Interface yer running Native on able to match Helix's Converters? 

DI says in Helix: "We're able to get 123dB of dynamic range from 114dB converters", and he also says "Very few audio interfaces have Helix's level of A/D conversion and op amps and almost none have its 123dB of dynamic range, digitally-controlled analog pad, gain-staging, and dynamic impedance circuit".

 

So without Helix as your audio interface (or one with the same specs) then I can't see how the equal Algorithms can match up the differences tone wise....  ; )

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, spikey said:

 

Native is software. Helix is software "with" very nice audio hardware to run that software thru- BIG difference. 

 

 

 

I'm not gonna get into a "golden ears" debate. I've run the hardware through my studio monitors and headphones. Done the same with Native and a 3rd party interface.... and I couldn't tell the difference with a gun to my head. That's identical enough for me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isnt about ears, its about having the right hardware to support the software. Identical for you Cru is not Identical to others or does that refute my facts above, but think what you wish an I'll do the same. ; )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not about ears? Then what exactly are we using to evaluate whether or not they sound the same? Spec sheets and geek math? Never mind. You win. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's about time, but then a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while ...  ; ) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the subject of how the Helix Native compares to the Helix Rack, I believe the main difference is that the guitar input of the rack matches with original presets and downloaded presets better out of the box. With tweaking of the input on the Helix Native I can get similar but the High Z input on the rack makes this so much easier. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

It's not about ears? Then what exactly are we using to evaluate whether or not they sound the same? Spec sheets and geek math? Never mind. You win. 

 

Nice misdirect but No, it's not about ears or tone when I was talking about the hardware (to make the software sound better). Once that happens, then you may use your ears. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, spikey said:

 

Nice misdirect but No, it's not about ears or tone when I was talking about the hardware (to make the software sound better). Once that happens, then you may use your ears. 

 

Tell you what... you tell me how many more times you'd like to hear "you win"... it'll save us both some time. Moving on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As soon as you mean it... Next, you'll be telling me you're afraid of flying and have 4 witnesses to prove it lol...

 

  • Like 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi to all. I'm trying to using HelixLT as an audio IF. I can record guitar with Reaper or video/audio directly with OBS for exampe so I'm sure that I've the correct ASIO Helix LT drivers installed and everything is working properly....BUT....

I want to use Helix LT also an audio IF for native, I tried to create a emplty patch and to use the USB7 that can be used to record the dry guitar trace for reamping then I started reaper and Helix Native but it doesn't works...Could someone give me some advice or suggested settings on this? Just for information I can use Helix Native with REaper and another audioIF as for example scarlett 2i2 or Yamaha THR...but I'm not able to do the same with Helix...

 

any tip or suggestion will be appreciated! thanks a lot

 

M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, madguitar78 said:

I want to use Helix LT also an audio IF for native, I tried to create a emplty patch and to use the USB7 that can be used to record the dry guitar trace for reamping then I started reaper and Helix Native but it doesn't works...

 

What exactly is "not working"? Do you see an input signal on USB ins 7/8 in Reaper?

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...