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AndyTheDude

So, how reliable has the native been for you?

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Greetings, guitarists. A solo bassist here.

 

I downloaded and used Helix Native trial some time ago. Mostly with Sonar (Cakewalk) and with Zen Audio ALK2, a new kid on the block live-looping DAW.

I've recently bought Ableton after finding ALK2 too unreliable, buggy and undeveloped.

I want to start playing gigs as a solo bass artist, live looping on stage.

 

I am considering two options:

 

1) Helix Rack. 

 

Pros:  a physical piece of gear that can be sold easily should things go wrong with my little show. Reliable. Can be used as an audio interface. All ins/outs I need to get this show on the road. 

Cons: outrageously high latency (~20ms I believe). Pricey.

 

2) Helix Native

 

Pros: I am an ITB guy, have been working in-the-box only for the last 25 years. Less kilos to carry around compared to the rack. I could use two or three instances of the native in a project. Price difference would allow me to buy a good, low-latency interface.

Cons: Price (440 euro is steep). Reliability(?)

 

So, how's Native been for you? Any problems? Is using the Native on stage a good idea?

 

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Haven't used Native on stage, but find it to be highly reliable. For live use, you'll want good MIDI control, and the level of that you can achieve will depend somewhat on what you use to host the plug-in.  I'm not sure how it would work out with Sonar, for example. You're a solo live-looping bass player? So what about vocals, other instruments, etc? 

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8 minutes ago, soundog said:

Haven't used Native on stage, but find it to be highly reliable. For live use, you'll want good MIDI control, and the level of that you can achieve will depend somewhat on what you use to host the plug-in.  I'm not sure how it would work out with Sonar, for example. You're a solo live-looping bass player? So what about vocals, other instruments, etc?

 

I plan on using Ableton Live. No vocals, it's an instrumental music. Just bass and either drum loops or midi/soft synth combo like ezDrummer. I play "guitar parts" on my bass, that's why Helix/Native seem to be a perfect match.

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I don't know about the stability with Ableton Live (I use Logic), but others might chime in. FYI, I just tried Neural DSP's Parallax plug-in for bass, and its great for recording bass tracks.

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My dilemma is over as I bought a Native licence second-hand today. So far, so good. I've been testing it in Ableton and things look really promising. I loaded 5 instances of the Native in one of my projects and the cpu usage was around 30% only. That's at 192kHz with 128 samples with RTL of 5.5ms. I haven't experienced any glitches or drop outs so far and things seem to be very stable. All in all I am happy I didn't spend over 1k euro on the Helix.

As for Parallax, thanks for the heads up. I will give it a try later on. Native will definitely cater for all my "guitar" needs though.

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On 8/31/2019 at 2:40 PM, AndyTheDude said:

I've been testing it in Ableton and things look really promising. I loaded 5 instances of the Native in one of my projects and the cpu usage was around 30% only. That's at 192kHz with 128 samples with RTL of 5.5ms

 

That's excellent performance! What are the computer's specs? Were the Native presets relatively simple (e.g., a single amp/cab), or complex?

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16 hours ago, craiganderton said:

 

That's excellent performance! What are the computer's specs? Were the Native presets relatively simple (e.g., a single amp/cab), or complex?

 

Hi Craig, I hope you're well. Vast part of my (and most likely thousands of others') knowledge about Cakewalk and DAWs in general comes from your excellent posts in the Sonar forum. Good to see you around, mate.

 

My PC is nothing special really:

Asus Sabertooth Z170

6700k @ 4.5 Ghz

16GB DDR4 3200

Steinberg UR 12

 

As for the Native presets, some are fairly complex with parallel paths, others contain 5-7 blocks. I use Waves plugins too.

 

I think the performance comes from the projects being extremely lean. Just to give you an example, I have a project with 1 MIDI track with EZdrummer on it and 10 audio tracks with looper/track volume automation. Only up to 4 of them play at the same time. There are no audio clips in my projects at all. 

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Thanks for the props, and for the info. I think that 4.5 GHz clock speed is really helping you out! It seems clock speed is even more important than the number of cores in terms of running plug-ins.

 

I have a 3.1 GHz i7, and it has a hard time running the Waves Abbey Road reverb (so gorgeous, so CPU-hungry!) along with a couple Helices. Then again my multiband Helix presets do take a lot of processing power.

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Based on my experience with a 10 year old iMac that I use for everything, I would never depend on a computer for a live performance (with or without Helix Native); though obviously a lot of people do.  If I close any Helix Native gui before I shutdown my Cubase AI8, Helix Native has been quite reliable for me.

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I've been using Helix Native live several times a week since November 2018 and ive never had. single problem. As I said above, sometimes it crashes MainStage and it seems to be when I try to open the Helix GUI when I have changed audio interface settings but if Im just loading up my MainStage concert and changing patches it has been rock solid. 

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