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mikefstewart

Future Helix 2

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Again. I’m saying what I think Helix will evolve into. Not what I think makes sense per se, what makes it more / less pro gear-like. If every other processor around starts having WiFi, chances are Helix will do the same. If Pod Go now has built in wireless, chances are Helix will also have the same. Call it an educated guess.  
All companies’ designs start influencing each other.  Things become more and more powerful even if you don’t need it at the moment or think you don’t. Just remember how fast you thought 56 k modems were in 2000, how you thought you’d never need anything faster. 

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8 minutes ago, theElevators said:

Again. I’m saying what I think Helix will evolve into. Not what I think makes sense per se, what makes it more / less pro gear-like. If every other processor around starts having WiFi, chances are Helix will do the same. If Pod Go now has built in wireless, chances are Helix will also have the same. Call it an educated guess.  
All companies’ designs start influencing each other.  Things become more and more powerful even if you don’t need it at the moment or think you don’t. Just remember how fast you thought 56 k modems were in 2000, how you thought you’d never need anything faster. 

 

Well, I hope not. Especially if this means forcing me to use a specific wireless audio. Just look the terrible story of the G10 device....dont need to say more. (honestly I cant see the point to make the Helix MKII going towards the PodGo market. Doesnt make sense to me, but who knows...)

 

Also, WiFi and wirelss audio are not the same thing. So it depends, wireless to do what? WiFi for what? BT for what? BT audio? BT Midi? BT for editor? Wireless Audio? WiFi for editor? What about LAN?

 

See, all depends what we are talking about, and what is doing what and why.

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1 hour ago, theElevators said:

If Pod Go now has built in wireless, chances are Helix will also have the same. Call it an educated guess.  

Well, here's my educated guess. I am going to guess that Helix (and anything that follows it in that product class) will continue to cater to professional-level musicians who will have nothing to do with "built-in wireless" and that products on the POD Go end of the spectrum will continue to offer an entry level (very limited and very "amateur") wireless built-in.

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9 hours ago, theElevators said:

If Pod Go now has built in wireless, chances are Helix will also have the same. Call it an educated guess.  

 

Amplifi and a few other Line 6 products have bluetooth.... but the Helix does not. There are reasons for this. 

When it comes to wireless... what standard should they include? Analog? Digital? 2.4G? 5.8G? etc... etc...?

 

Throw a standard 2.4G in the Helix and it's USELESS to "many" (but not all) pro's. I've been on several tours where the sound company dictates the wireless units. WHY? So they have 100% control of every channel used without surprises.  They hand over the IEM's packs (you use your ear pieces), and they hand over guitar & mic units as requested! All top notch, all pro, no surprises! 

 

The last thing I want to pay for in something like a Helix is a wireless I can't use in more than half the gigs I do. The POD Go fits that bill.... it will mostly be used in environments where the players actually gets to use anything they want... therefore it's the transmitter for that receiver. That's not how it works in the levels above the norm! 

 

As for WIFI, another "please no" from me. My iPhone/iPads are loaded with apps that are suppose to control monitor mixes and settings for a variety of gear. THEY NEVER WORK WHEN YOU NEED THEM! It's far easier to just say... "can you turn up the kick drum in my mix please?".

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I had a Firehawk in 2016. Everybody was laughing at me cause it was considered as a gadget....Set parameters with a tab is a must-have nowadays :)

Helix ergonomic is already incredible. I think some of us always have GAS.

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I will admit to agreeing that some of the suggestions for inclusion in the next generation of the Helix might fit better somewhere further down the product line. I do however think sometimes the whole idea of trying to dictate or determine what is "pro" and what is "amateur" can get a little absurd, subjective, and short-sighted. I've seen plenty of undiscovered talent come up with amazing innovations to their sound or equipment. There are technically advanced musicians and also those who don't want to have anything to do with a computer or even a tube swap in both the amateur and professional realms. Some professional musicians can be slow to adopt new technology. I don't really relish the idea of "pro" luddites dictating what features should be included in new equipment so their status is not my standard for innovation. IMHO it never pays to get too lofty about what is professional and what isn't. If it helps you in your creative process, and hits some baseline of reliability it might just have some legitimacy up in the vaunted heights of the "pro". Even if they are not using it... yet.

 

In the world of computer based musical equipment, where the internet can play a part in tone sharing, remote collaboration, cloud backups, catastrophic recovery, etc. it can sound a little extreme to call the inclusion onboard of any form of Wi-Fi, USB, or other forms of connectivity "amateur".  Admittedly Bluetooth is still laggy and unreliable but it may get much better in short order. It is already far better than when it first came out. You definitely see Wi-Fi connectivity in some fairly professional or if you prefer semi-pro mixers. Sadly I don't play stadiums but I would not be surprised to see Wi-Fi and a tablet in some of them these days either.

 

There is something to be said for equipment geared towards touring musicians taking a more modularized approach to things. Allowing things like a wireless guitar transmitter/receiver for a guitar or a router to be swapped out rather than being built-in and potentially bringing the rest of the device down with it when it fails. This also allows the musician more choices and possibly superior alternatives to a built-in solution. With that said I think a wide range of connectivity options can be a plus. This used to mean that perhaps your device could accommodate XLR and 1/4" or maybe if the manufacturer went all out, a combi-jack. Now connectivity also encompasses connecting instruments and mics wirelessly, computers and tablets, phones and sometimes even watches. Musicians get to enjoy a level of control over their instrument's or even PA's sound or monitor mix from stage that was never available in the past. The vast majority of HX, including Helix, users are probably at what would be called the "prosumer" or amateur level anyway. Many of them might welcome a richer feature set over a strictly "pro" offering or at least the option.

 

Some can be a little hasty to pronounce and dismiss something as amateur in earlier iterations and it is worse yet to keep maintaining that assertion long after it has reached maturity as a technology. Although Wi-Fi is admittedly much more robust and in many ways not even comparable, both it and Bluetooth has been getting faster and more reliable with each iteration. Although I am currently not a fan of it, after a couple of more revisions Bluetooth may be ready for prime time. You probably would not have wanted to use the first couple of generations of Wi-Fi routers with your musical equipment either.

 

Maybe Behringer X32 mixers are not the device of choice for major stadium gigs but I would hazard a guess that there are plenty of Line6 users who have done many a gig with worse so it makes no sense to me to dismiss Wi-Fi/tablet technology based on where you place Behringer in the "Pro" pantheon. I have used tablets with multiple mixing boards and other devices and they are handy and useful. I do agree with Codamedia that some of these tablet based solutions are all of a sudden unresponsive when you need them most but that will also probably get better with time. Physical buttons and switches fail too although generally with less frequency than dropped connections. To me this is more of an argument for having both analog buttons/switches combined with tablet or computer based solutions. Redundancy is a plus especially if it brings additional convenience or features with it like being able to mix sound remotely from multiple locations in a space or being able to make a quick change to your PA, monitors, or guitar sound or even restore a device's firmware or backup after a catastrophic failure. All from a tablet conveniently clamped to your mic stand or even a phone. 

 

As it matures it is a natural trajectory for some, not all, of today's "amateur" tech to move into more expensive and professionally targeted equipment. Vice-versa as well as expensive tech comes down in price.  I think that migration will continue to include some form of enhanced connectivity whether it is a combination of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, S/PDIF, AES-EBU, etc. - or whatever replaces it. To me that appears inevitable. Some of the technologies that are currently considered state of the art will conversely be phased out. I remember when Firewire was the new hot standard and the mantra was no truly "pro" level device would use USB any more. Firewire cards, modules, and cables like so many other technologies that cost good money to upgrade to are now gathering or returned to dust along with the Dodo bird. Almost anything you buy in the digital age will probably be obsoleted in the future. Sometimes you just need to get on with it and use the best technology you have available at the time of production. Even if it is not ideal or "pro" sanctioned. Sometimes you include a piece of tech just to future-proof a device knowing full well that it will be a couple of firmware revisions before it is worthy.

 

This whole conversation about what tech is "pro" enough for higher end modelers is somewhat ironic anyway as all modelers, regardless of their feature set, were considered strictly the domain of amateurs until relatively recently. Maybe useful on occasion in the studio but by no means to be used when touring in front of a live audience. With a few exceptions no famous guitarist would play a gig with them in the past. So many users of modelers still find it reassuring and validating just to see a major band show up with a Helix. Despite their great merit, modelers have taken quite a while to gain real traction and acceptance at the top tiers of the "biz". Some of the arguably more interesting or useful of the proposed or even already implemented innovations to modelers continue to be greeted with the same sort of resistance. I suppose its all for the best in the long run. Hopefully the criticism will drive excellence and let the cream rise to the top.

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HonestOpinion - Absolutely nailed it.  "Pro" or "Amateur" as a label is pretty irrelevant as the gear is only ever as good as the person using it. The key word is "Options" as that leads to "Possibilities" which are then capitalised upon by the truly creative, which is where special can happen.

 

I am lucky enough to have a Helix and a few nice guitars which would be considered "pro", but there are FAR more talented people than I using what would be considered much worse equipment and sounding far better/expressive/original. I know who I would be more likely to pay money to listen to!

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On 5/27/2019 at 12:07 PM, mikefstewart said:

Total random, curious question.  I am likely to buy a Helix Floor in the next couple of months.  Been researching for too long now.  Thought about Kemper, Fractal or buying a tube amp, etc.  How long do you think it will be before Line 6 says we need a new Helix version, like a Helix 2?  Thanks

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say it won't happen before July 2021..

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Last friday I had a recording session (live/studio) with some friends musicians, and a good part of controllers, plus a drum set, were working via BT (mostly live controlling), and a set of other devices were linked through WiFi.

Half of the BT devices didn't want to re-link to their previous companions, and two of the WiFi devices were disconnecting all the time. We've wasted more than an hour to find out how to solve this situation, and move to the job. As a VERY BT/Widi enthusiast, I can say all this mess wouldn't have happened with standard cables.


I guess some wireless protocols (not talking mics here), aren't yet solid enough to be trusted for "professional" use (talking mostly BT, and intra-connections happening within a WiFi network). Then I agree, the "Pro" term means nothing more than being paid for the job. And in all honesty, if this were a paid job, I would have wired everything with cables. (Not that with cable is all always safe, but the time to debug a cable issue is usually less than the time you need to debug multiple wireless glitches, and once you solved you can relax as you're sure problem is gone). 100% imho.  :)

 

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Controlling the mixing console remotely is a great idea, for example.  But on here, some people claim that wired is the way to go, and wireless control is amateur karaoke-stuff.  Why not have an added bonus of being able to use wireless optionally. 

 

On my phone, the bluetooth always cuts out if I'm outside in a crowded place, but my phone still has it.  When I want to listen to music without any hickups, I connect my wired headphones.  When I'm walking around on my way to work, bluetooth works just fine.  I have an option of both. 


I have been playing pro gigs for a while now (fly in and play music for money in medium-sized clubs and outdoor festivals).  And I obviously have done a decent number of sound checks. Our dedicated sound person always connects his tablet to the mixer at the venue; he has been doing it for 10 years now.  I don't know the technical info of what specific consoles these may be.  ..... Sure there may be some weird glitches sometimes, but the tablet gives him the flexibility to be next to the stage and set up monitor mixes, line volume, EQ, reverb.  When the show starts, he is behind the physical console of course.  So there you.  Of course wired is more reliable.  But if used correctly, wireless controlling of equipment brings just so much convenience to the table. 

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I’m considering buying a new helix floor, but I’m afraid to regret my purchase because I feel like it is going to be a new helix floor released soon… what do you guys think? 
is it about time?

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2 hours ago, Imyourcluster said:

I’m considering buying a new helix floor, but I’m afraid to regret my purchase because I feel like it is going to be a new helix floor released soon… what do you guys think? 
is it about time?


No one is going to give specifics. Those that know can’t, but I don’t believe anyone knows an exact timeline of when something new will be released. I think you’ll see companies pushing releases out further and further now because of the current state of the supply chain in the world. I wouldn’t be worried about buying a new Helix now, no. I know there’s still plenty planned for the current lineup.

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2 hours ago, Imyourcluster said:

I’m considering buying a new helix floor, but I’m afraid to regret my purchase because I feel like it is going to be a new helix floor released soon… what do you guys think? 
is it about time?

 

two things.
1. every day you wait to get the tool that will help you make music better and have more fun doing it is a day wasted.
2. There is not a Helix 2 coming any time super-soon.

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2 hours ago, Imyourcluster said:

I’m considering buying a new helix floor, but I’m afraid to regret my purchase because I feel like it is going to be a new helix floor released soon… what do you guys think? 
is it about time?

 

Technology evolves at a ridiculous pace now. At this point, "the next big thing" is always just around the corner...be it from Line 6, or somebody else. So if this is your yardstick, you'll never buy anything. If Helix fits your needs and you can afford it, then buy it and stop worrying about unknowns you have no control over. Life is shorter than you think...

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Very interesting topic this Helix 2 thing. I`m pretty sure that as long as the SHARC chips get discontinued, Line 6 will have to build their products on more powerful chips architecture. That`ll allow heavier dsp modeling being introduced in the Helix 2. I believe that Helix 2 will compete side by side with Kemper and Fractal Audio. Furthermore, Helix was not a complete product when first released in 2015. Many things were lacking that were added through firmware updates during the last six years. I still hope for the upcoming updates to bring new effects such as a Feedbacker alla Digitech Freqout, more HX reverbs, more amps and maybe new wahs.

According to the equipment they have already modeled with the previous Podxt technology, there are still bass amps, stompboxes like the Maestro Brassmaster and Boss Metal Zone which are not present regardless their Legacy status. I agree what`s been already been said by the Beta testers above, though. Helix 2 is not coming any time soon. Therefore, we should keep playing and waiting for the 3.2 firmware and see what goodies it brings. Regarding what I read in Ideascale and Gearpage, most people are asking for:

 

. A true Dumble ODS 100

. An EVH 5150 III blue and red channels

- Feedbacker alla Digitech Freqout

. A Bogner Ectasy blue and red channels

. HX Plate and Room Reverbs

 

I agree with those minus the Dumble. I don`t play any Blues. But blues guys can definitely have it as long as we get the EVH 5150 III.

I would also like the Monty Python`s Line 6 Albatross hinted by DI... and suggest a new name for it: Line 6 Preposterous or Line 6 Ludicrous.

A Boss Ph-1r Phaser and an EHX Small Clone.

That`s it... that`d be a complete product to me I`d be happy for the rest of my life. I`m pretty sure I`d buy the Helix 2 rack with a touch screen and fancy virtual pots like Pod Farm has.

But I wouldn´t sell my Helix. It`s just too cute.

 

Greetings!!!!

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Imyourcluster said:

I’m considering buying a new helix floor, but I’m afraid to regret my purchase because I feel like it is going to be a new helix floor released soon… what do you guys think? 
is it about time?

 

I consider the Helix my single best purchase in more than 40+ years in the business. That is due to it's flexibility and sound. 

  • I owned an HD500 well into the Helix life cycle. I wish I hadn't waited that long
  • I owned an X3 well into the HD500 life cycle. I wish I had kept the X3

Read between the lines. The next update is NOT ALWAYS what you think it might be!  The Helix is already great.... the next version is unknown.

 

IMO: If the Helix checks those boxes now, there is no reason to wait for what's next, those boxes could disappear! 

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This COVID crap keeps ramping, a lot of people better enjoy what they have and hold onto it.  Lots of music stores have tons of items on back order due to supply chain shortages in multiple stages of product production and distribution ...

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I will repeat: in terms of sounds and functionality I am 99.9 percent happy with what I have on the Helix.  I do not need another better/faster machine to do what I do.  A year or more ago if you asked me if I was happy with the Helix, I'd say "not quite" because there was no acoustic simulator.  It was the last piece that really sealed the deal for me. 

 

The one thing I wish the Helix had better would be: the flat/all knobs exposed design SUCKS!  But I made it work, and figured out how to prevent myself from turning knobs, and messing up my sounds live.  I figured out what to disable, where to place the cursor, and even came up with my own visual cue by using a dummy SEND1 block. 

 

From the sound point of view that the Helix still sucks at are the envelope filter/auto-wah and auto fade-in.  Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but those two are impossible to dial in right for my guitar/virtual amp/etc: the envelope filter is so darn sensitive to the loudness of the note/pitch, it's impossible to make it work for all registers, so I have several envelope filters for each song/section.  The auto-swell is also too darn sensitive and doesn't release when needed.  I wound up just adding a volume pedal at the beginning so that the thing would release in-between notes.

 

Other than that, I've used the thing for 1.5 years, recorded like 15 songs with it, played gigs with it.  It's a piece of equipment that has its flaws, but it's damn near perfect for me.  And unlike other pieces of equipment that never quite sounded/felt right or had inherent problems (like the audio drop-offs when switching the patches), this thing is indistinguishable from the "real" amp + pedals, and has that valve amp interaction with your guitar.

 

 

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22 hours ago, theElevators said:

From the sound point of view that the Helix still sucks at are the envelope filter/auto-wah and auto fade-in.  Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but those two are impossible to dial in right for my guitar/virtual amp/etc: the envelope filter is so darn sensitive to the loudness of the note/pitch, it's impossible to make it work for all registers, so I have several envelope filters for each song/section.  The auto-swell is also too darn sensitive and doesn't release when needed.  I wound up just adding a volume pedal at the beginning so that the thing would release in-between notes.

 

Real envelope filters exhibit that same sensitivity to pitch. That's why there's a Range control on a Mu-Tron. They can be tricky. But I actually sold my Mu-Tron III after comparing it to the Helix version. I didn't think there was that much difference at all between the analog pedal and the Helix model.

 

As far as auto-swell, the newer ones can be a little hard to get right. Try using the Auto-Volume Echo model in the Legacy Delay folder with the Mix set all the way to zero. This will give you the classic Slow Gear type sound. And it's not as picky about the input levels.

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1 hour ago, phil_m said:

 

As far as auto-swell, the newer ones can be a little hard to get right. Try using the Auto-Volume Echo model in the Legacy Delay folder with the Mix set all the way to zero. This will give you the classic Slow Gear type sound. And it's not as picky about the input levels.

 

 

I just tried it and updated my presets!  This was exactly what I needed, instead of notes getting louder and louder/piercing.  Thanks a lot! 

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On 8/20/2021 at 11:06 PM, theElevators said:

From the sound point of view that the Helix still sucks at are the envelope filter/auto-wah and auto fade-in.  Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but those two are impossible to dial in right for my guitar/virtual amp/etc: the envelope filter is so darn sensitive to the loudness of the note/pitch, it's impossible to make it work for all registers, so I have several envelope filters for each song/section.  The auto-swell is also too darn sensitive and doesn't release when needed

 

When an effect is far too sensitive I will place a simple GAIN block before it and turn it down several DB until the effect responds the way I want it to, then make up the gain loss with the output level of the effect. I tie both blocks to the same "stomp switch" so they toggle on/off at the same time. 

 

I don't know if that will work for you or not, it's just something I discovered when trying to get some effects to respond like the original versions I have owned. 

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