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Does the hardware have better response than the plugin?

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I've used both pretty extensively. All other things being equal, if I were blindfolded, I seriously doubt I could tell the difference between Native and the hardware. And given that the modeling is all the same, I don't see how there could be any difference. Your guitar, pick, and technique are what they are, and you're feeding it through the same algorithms either way... the only difference is where those algorithms are housed.

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Given the same input signal, they will have the exact same response. They're both using the exact same algorithms.

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When you play directly through a purely analog signal chain, the electrons are traveling at the speed of light, and the only latency is the amount of time that it takes the sound to reach your ears at the speed of sound. Add just one digital device, like a reverb or delay, you've introduced latency, which may affect your perception of pick attack, dynamics etc..

 

Now add to the signal chain multiple AD/DA conversions such as occur in the hardware Helix with FX Loops and such. This may affect your perception of pick attack, dynamics etc..

 

The plugin is subject to latency in excess of the amount of latency in the hardware, possibly further affecting your perception of the immediacy of pick attack, dynamics etc..

 

Does that bother you when using Native? Get the Helix hardware.

 

Does the latency of the Helix hardware bother you?

 

You can still buy analog effects, pedalboards and amplifiers.

 

IOW - the answer to your question is entirely subjective. Sometimes I THINK I feel a difference. But, as cruisinon2 just said, if I were blindfolded.....

 

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6 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

When you play directly through a purely analog signal chain, the electrons are traveling at the speed of light, and the only latency is the amount of time that it takes the sound to reach your ears at the speed of sound. Add just one digital device, like a reverb or delay, you've introduced latency, which may affect your perception of pick attack, dynamics etc..

 

Now add to the signal chain multiple AD/DA conversions such as occur in the hardware Helix with FX Loops and such. This may affect your perception of pick attack, dynamics etc..

 

The plugin is subject to latency in excess of the amount of latency in the hardware, possibly further affecting your perception of the immediacy of pick attack, dynamics etc..

 

Does that bother you when using Native? Get the Helix hardware.

 

Does the latency of the Helix hardware bother you?

 

You can still buy analog effects, pedalboards and amplifiers.

 

IOW - the answer to your question is entirely subjective. Sometimes I THINK I feel a difference. But, as cruisinon2 just said, if I were blindfolded.....

 

 

I suppose a latency issue might alter one's perception of pick attack, etc... but with a decent interface and a PC with sufficient horsepower, it shouldn't be much of a problem. Latency never bothered me with Native.

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13 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

I suppose a latency issue might alter one's perception of pick attack, etc... but with a decent interface and a PC with sufficient horsepower, it shouldn't be much of a problem. Latency never bothered me with Native.

 

Exactly! But in a world where people claim to be able to feel/hear the 2-4ms difference between a $2000 interface and a $200 interface, subjective is the word!

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Helix hardware also has A2D and D2A converters and also uses a computer to execute the algorithms. With modern computers, latency shouldn't be an issue. Remember, standing 10' away from a tube amp will have more latency than what you'll experience in Helix Native with a good computer.

 

The biggest difference between Helix hardware and Helix Native is the quality of the HiZ input and A2D converters. If you have a good interface and gain stage it properly, you shouldn't see much difference. But Helix hardware is optimized for guitar, most computer interfaces aren't.

 

The other difference is the auto impedance. That only work on the Helix hardware guitar input. So if your patch relies on it, then you might hear a difference with Helix Native.

 

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19 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

Exactly! But in a world where people claim to be able to feel/hear the 2-4ms difference between a $2000 interface and a $200 interface, subjective is the word!

 

I've got another word for it... perhaps two. ;)

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I totally agree that with a decent computer and a decent interface, latency shouldn't be an issue.  Unless the buffer settings default to a high value. 

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8 hours ago, litesnsirens said:

I totally agree that with a decent computer and a decent interface, latency shouldn't be an issue.  Unless the buffer settings default to a high value. 

I tried to lower the buffer on my daw. When I do the plugins are more responsive to my pick attack but there’s allot of static noise, clipping and pooping when adding more effects or other stuff

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So, you say your Pentium II computer with 512kb of memory is having trouble running a DAW on Windows 95?

The best latency you can get at 2048 samples is 3 minutes and 15 seconds RT with lots of poopy static?

 

:-) :-) :-) :-):-)

 

Jorge, DUDE! Give us some details, we MIGHT be able to make some suggestions!

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36 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

So, you say your Pentium II computer with 512kb of memory is having trouble running a DAW on Windows 95?

The best latency you can get at 2048 samples is 3 minutes and 15 seconds RT with lots of poopy static?

 

:-) :-) :-) :-):-)

 

Jorge, DUDE! Give us some details, we MIGHT be able to make some suggestions!

Windows 8, AMD 1.90ghz, 8gb ram.

 

running studio one 3 the sample rate I put on is 512 ( don’t remember I’m not with my computer at this moment) if I go lower I experience the issues mention above

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1 hour ago, jorgealberto25 said:

Windows 8, AMD 1.90ghz, 8gb ram.

 

running studio one 3 the sample rate I put on is 512 ( don’t remember I’m not with my computer at this moment) if I go lower I experience the issues mention above

 

Well, you didn't state the AMD model, so I can't make a comparison to what most people use, which is Intel. Or MAC . Nor did you state S3's reported RT latency, so I can't compare that.

 

I can tell you that my i5 laptop (2.30ghz) has 8gb and, using HX Stomp as interface, can handle a minimal Reaper/Native configuration at 128 samples. That's about 20ms RT latency . 64 samples is noisy.

 

On my i7 (2.90ghz) with 16gb Using Helix Floor as interface gets me 12ms at 64 samples (no noise), 20ms at 128.

 

Using a 2nd gen Scarlett 18i20 at 64 samples gets me 8ms RT latency. If I'm also running Synth and Drum VSTs sometimes there's a little noise, so I generally (if using Native) go down to 128/12ms.

 

If I THINK about it, 12ms seems "snappier" than 20ms.  A little. Maybe. If I think about it. I can't tell the difference between 8ms and 12ms. Not at all.

 

At 8ms I can't tell the difference between the hardware Helix and Native. No question.

 

If you want to spend a LOT more on your interface, I've read that you can get it down to 2-4ms at 16-32 samples.

 

Of course, it's all irrelevent since I have the hardware Helixes and only use Native for re-amping.

 

SUMMARY: If you can afford it, get the hardware. Next best/most economical upgrade your interface. The 3rd gen Scarlett 2i2 is $160. BEST - upgrade your computer AND Interface AND buy the hardware Helix!

 

 

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10 hours ago, jorgealberto25 said:

Windows 8, AMD 1.90ghz, 8gb ram.

running studio one 3 the sample rate I put on is 512

 

Most importantly... what interface are you running and what drivers are you using, or are you just running the sound setup that came with the computer?

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10 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

Well, you didn't state the AMD model, so I can't make a comparison to what most people use, which is Intel. Or MAC . Nor did you state S3's reported RT latency, so I can't compare that.

 

I can tell you that my i5 laptop (2.30ghz) has 8gb and, using HX Stomp as interface, can handle a minimal Reaper/Native configuration at 128 samples. That's about 20ms RT latency . 64 samples is noisy.

 

On my i7 (2.90ghz) with 16gb Using Helix Floor as interface gets me 12ms at 64 samples (no noise), 20ms at 128.

 

Using a 2nd gen Scarlett 18i20 at 64 samples gets me 8ms RT latency. If I'm also running Synth and Drum VSTs sometimes there's a little noise, so I generally (if using Native) go down to 128/12ms.

 

If I THINK about it, 12ms seems "snappier" than 20ms.  A little. Maybe. If I think about it. I can't tell the difference between 8ms and 12ms. Not at all.

 

At 8ms I can't tell the difference between the hardware Helix and Native. No question.

 

If you want to spend a LOT more on your interface, I've read that you can get it down to 2-4ms at 16-32 samples.

 

Of course, it's all irrelevent since I have the hardware Helixes and only use Native for re-amping.

 

SUMMARY: If you can afford it, get the hardware. Next best/most economical upgrade your interface. The 3rd gen Scarlett 2i2 is $160. BEST - upgrade your computer AND Interface AND buy the hardware Helix!

 

its and amd a8 4500m and im using a scarlett second gen interface

 

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@jorge --

 

this is an old discussion and hypothetical question (does Helix and Native sound and behave identically), and its never resolved because of the system variables for Native (PC, audio interface, drivers, etc). plus you'll always get different opinions and arguments. [my own opinion is they sound and behave identically if the input path and A/D quality is similar and buffer setting is low.]

 

are you trying to decide between buying one or the other? what would you use them for? that's a discussion that can be solved and put to rest...

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Based on various benchmarks (google it) your AMD is getting a bit long in tooth. It's typically compared to 3rd and 4th gen i5 processors (mine is second gen, latest is 10th gen, massively faster, and always inferior to i7).

 

Your interface is entirely adequate to the task.

 

I don't understand your aversion to technical details - I feel like I'm pulling teeth!

What is Studio 3 reporting as the ROUND TRIP (RT) Latency? IF it's less than 10ms your performance through headphones or near field monitors is close to the hardware through an amplifier or PA speakers at approximately 10 feet. Not that latency is all that's involved with FEEL, but it's the ONLY factor that can be objectively measured.

 

BOTTOM LINE - I'm sticking with my previous comments. If you've tried Native with your configuration, AND have compared it to the hardware, get the solution that:

 

A) you can best afford

B) FEELS and SOUNDS best

C) best fits your use case  - if you plan to play with other people outside of your home, get the hardware

 

If you haven't compared Native to the actual Helix hardware, this whole discussion is POINTLESS! As Soundog says, FEEL and "sounds best" are ENTIRELY subjective!

 

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I ran an instance of Native alongside my Stomp using an amp selector switch and the difference in the two was pretty negligible at worst. My laptop is a nicer multicore Intel - circa 2012 - with 16G RAM and an RME Fireface - USB 2.0

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

Based on various benchmarks (google it) your AMD is getting a bit long in tooth. It's typically compared to 3rd and 4th gen i5 processors (mine is second gen, latest is 10th gen, massively faster, and always inferior to i7).

 

Your interface is entirely adequate to the task.

 

I don't understand your aversion to technical details - I feel like I'm pulling teeth!

What is Studio 3 reporting as the ROUND TRIP (RT) Latency? IF it's less than 10ms your performance through headphones or near field monitors is close to the hardware through an amplifier or PA speakers at approximately 10 feet. Not that latency is all that's involved with FEEL, but it's the ONLY factor that can be objectively measured.

 

BOTTOM LINE - I'm sticking with my previous comments. If you've tried Native with your configuration, AND have compared it to the hardware, get the solution that:

 

A) you can best afford

B) FEELS and SOUNDS best

C) best fits your use case  - if you plan to play with other people outside of your home, get the hardware

 

If you haven't compared Native to the actual Helix hardware, this whole discussion is POINTLESS! As Soundog says, FEEL and "sounds best" are ENTIRELY subjective!

 

Ok at this point I understand the pros an cons of both products. In my opinion The hardware is ridiculous expensive for someone like me. In a few years its gonna be cheaper.

 

right now my only concern is the Clípping and popping noises when I set the buffer size lower ( 128) and adding more effects. Lower is better right? When I do that I notice a difference when playing. 

 

Edit: sorry I didn’t read the rest of your other post. So the solution is upgrading the computer or buy an expensive interface right?

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2 minutes ago, jorgealberto25 said:

Ok at this point I understand the pros an cons of both products. In my opinion The hardware is ridiculous expensive for someone like me. In a few years its gonna be cheaper.

 

right now my only concern is the Clípping and popping noises when I set the buffer size lower and adding more effects. Lower is better right? When I do that I notice a difference when playing. 

 

Clipping and popping at lower settings (lower settings = better) is a result of your hardware (your computer in this case) being inadequate to the task.

This will be the third time I've said it, and no matter how many times you ask the answer will never change.

If you're NOT going to buy the hardware (good luck on it getting cheaper), your computer needs an upgrade!

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15 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

Clipping and popping at lower settings (lower settings = better) is a result of your hardware (your computer in this case) being inadequate to the task.

This will be the third time I've said it, and no matter how many times you ask the answer will never change.

If you're NOT going to buy the hardware (good luck on it getting cheaper), your computer needs an upgrade!

i know you said it before thats why edited my last post.

thanks for all the info. ill think about the hardware ( stomp) or upgrading the computer.

sorry one more question. some people have old computers using plugins without a problem. why is that?

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1 minute ago, jorgealberto25 said:

i know you said it before thats why edited my last post.

thanks for all the info. ill think about the hardware ( stomp) or upgrading the computer.

sorry one more question. some people have old computers using plugins without a problem. why is that?

 

My old i5 is better than your old AMD.

Some DAWs (or other VST hosts) are less processor intensive than others.

Some VSTs are less processor intensive than others.

No, I know of no all-in-one one-stop evaluative summary of all processors, all DAWs/Hosts or all VSTs.

You use what works for you and pay the HW/SW costs accordingly.

This is NOT a cheap hobby!

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4 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

My old i5 is better than your old AMD.

Some DAWs (or other VST hosts) are less processor intensive than others.

Some VSTs are less processor intensive than others.

No, I know of no all-in-one one-stop evaluative summary of all processors, all DAWs/Hosts or all VSTs.

You use what works for you and pay the HW/SW costs accordingly.

This is NOT a cheap hobby!

can i just install a new processor on my laptop? if not what decent computer or laptop on a budget from bestbuy do you recommend?

im gonna try other daws like reaper. but i really the work flow of studio one.

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2 minutes ago, jorgealberto25 said:

can i just install a new processor on my laptop? if not what decent computer or laptop on a budget from bestbuy do you recommend?

im gonna try other daws like reaper. but i really the work flow of studio one.

 

You MIGHT be able to relace the processor, but keep in mind that each new generation of processors is (usually) accompanied by improvements in the support chips, bus speeds, etc. It could turn out to be an expensive partial cure.

 

What's your budget?

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5 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

You MIGHT be able to relace the processor, but keep in mind that each new generation of processors is (usually) accompanied by improvements in the support chips, bus speeds, etc. It could turn out to be an expensive partial cure.

 

What's your budget?

oh ok got it!

1000. i already have the interface ( 6i6 second gen),  monitor speakers, a midi controller keyboard ( i dont like the keys to hard to press)

 

what else do i need besides the new computer or the hardware? i just play in my room.

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Now we're back to those pesky technical details.

Do you want a laptop or desktop?

Does it have to be new?

Where are you located (used market is better in a larger urban area than in Podunk NE)?

As noted, your AI is totally adequate.

What KIND of speakers? 3" computer monitors, 5 or 6 or 8" Studio monitors? Sub?

Define "MIDI Keyboard"?

Will you be wanting to control the VST with a footswitch? Note that Native doesn't yet switch presets via MIDI except in Logic, despite what L6 said publicly. Support ticket open.

 

$1000 is a lot of wiggle room. You could get a new Helix LT for a few dollars more.

You could get a Stomp AND a decent used laptop.

My advice - now that you know that your current rig won't cut it, do some research.

Keep in mind that a current 10th gen (new) i5 and a 7th (series 7000) or 8th (series 8000) gen i7 might be near equals in performance for your needs.

Avoid AMD - my personal opinion is that they're great for gaming.

16gb Minimum memory. More is always better. SSD Operating System Drive - 256gb minimum. Bigger is always better.

Windows 10. The naysayers are happy with what they've got. Good for them. W10 is the best, most stable Windows yet, and I've been supporting Windows systems since Windows ran on DOS.

 

Think about not only what you want to do TODAY, but where you MIGHT want to go TOMORROW!

 

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15 minutes ago, jorgealberto25 said:

i tried reaper at 128. arter a few minutes of playing starting doing the same issue and it shut off.

 

Runs fine on my W10, 8gb i5, with EZDrummer, while I'm reading my eMail, with HX Edit also running.

See what I mean that even with similar specs, all processors are NOT equal?

I should also point out that I have no idea your level of computer knowledge. Your system could be totally hosed behind the scenes, with all sorts of squandered resources, and not at all optimized for audio. You might want to check your startup programs (whats running in the background):

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/162446/how-to-manage-startup-applications-in-windows-8/

 

and google "optimizing windows 8 for music production".

 

Heck, maybe you don't need to buy anything.....

 

 

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

 

Runs fine on my W10, 8gb i5, with EZDrummer, while I'm reading my eMail, with HX Edit also running.

See what I mean that even with similar specs, all processors are NOT equal?

I should also point out that I have no idea your level of computer knowledge. Your system could be totally hosed behind the scenes, with all sorts of squandered resources, and not at all optimized for audio. You might want to check your startup programs (whats running in the background):

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/162446/how-to-manage-startup-applications-in-windows-8/

 

and google "optimizing windows 8 for music production".

 

Heck, maybe you don't need to buy anything.....

 

 

Nope I don’t have experience with computers. But is good that I learned something new today.

 

ill check those options. Thank you!

 

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On 10/2/2019 at 2:09 PM, rd2rk said:

 

Runs fine on my W10, 8gb i5, with EZDrummer, while I'm reading my eMail, with HX Edit also running.

See what I mean that even with similar specs, all processors are NOT equal?

I should also point out that I have no idea your level of computer knowledge. Your system could be totally hosed behind the scenes, with all sorts of squandered resources, and not at all optimized for audio. You might want to check your startup programs (whats running in the background):

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/162446/how-to-manage-startup-applications-in-windows-8/

 

and google "optimizing windows 8 for music production".

 

Heck, maybe you don't need to buy anything.....

 

i tried everything same issue. even if im using youtube without the plugins the videos start pausing and clipping. but again if i raise the buffer size higher than 128 the problem

stops. 

i tried everything same issue. even if im using youtube without the plugins the videos start pausing and clipping. but again if i raise the buffer size higher than 128 the problem

stops. 

 

ok so if i get helix hardware i wont experience this issue? meaning i can connect it directly to my interface and just leave the interface at 256 where its seems to work its best with my laptop. or connect it via usb?

 

if not then a new computer will be better. what computer desktop or laptop on a low budget is recommended? something that i wont experience same issues in a future. 

 

 

On 10/2/2019 at 2:09 PM, rd2rk said:

 

 

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If you get the hardware, the buffer settings on the interface are irrelevant because you'll be monitoring your sound directly from the hardware. The only purpose of the interface then is to bring the sound of your Helix into the DAW for recording. You don't actually even NEED the interface (keep reading) because Helix IS an interface. However, the interface will allow you to record with a second player using hardware, and allow you to record your playing over streaming (YT, Spotify) or backing tracks stored on your computer on separate tracks. NOTE - in order to record the backing tracks AND your playing on SEPARATE tracks you need to route the streaming signal from the computer's sound card into the Interface to bring the signal into the DAW.

 

If you get a full size Helix you'll also have the option (with your 6i6) to record using S/PDIF (digital), which theoretically gives you a cleaner signal (eliminates an AD conversion), and frees up an analog input for other players to join you (using hardware). Think jamming with friends on keyboard, bass and eDrums and if the vocalist has an FX unit you could record a whole band, monitoring the performance BEFORE the DAW - NO LATENCY!

 

IOW - the only computer based restrictions will come about if you're playing AND monitoring through VSTs. The NATIVE  VST (which is much cheaper if you own the HW) would then be used only for re-amping. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's possible to record a CLEAN/UNEFFECTED track alongside the effected track from the Helix, then use NATIVE to play around with applying other sounds to that clean track. The other restriction caused by your old/underpowered computer would be the number of tracks you could record and type/# of VST FX you could use on those tracks being limited.

 

SUMMARY - getting the hardware is superior to using NATIVE alone on EVERY level, NOT just sound and feel, and allows you to optimize the capabilities of both your excellent 6i6 AND your old underpowered computer, which becomes simply a recording device.

 

EDIT: the S/PDIF outs are only available on the Floor and Rack models, not on the LT. All else still applies.

Edited by rd2rk
add info

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2 hours ago, rd2rk said:

If you get the hardware, the buffer settings on the interface are irrelevant because you'll be monitoring your sound directly from the hardware. The only purpose of the interface then is to bring the sound of your Helix into the DAW for recording. You don't actually even NEED the interface (keep reading) because Helix IS an interface. However, the interface will allow you to record with a second player using hardware, and allow you to record your playing over streaming (YT, Spotify) or backing tracks stored on your computer on separate tracks. NOTE - in order to record the backing tracks AND your playing on SEPARATE tracks you need to route the streaming signal from the computer's sound card into the Interface to bring the signal into the DAW.

 

If you get a full size Helix you'll also have the option (with your 6i6) to record using S/PDIF (digital), which theoretically gives you a cleaner signal (eliminates an AD conversion), and frees up an analog input for other players to join you (using hardware). Think jamming with friends on keyboard, bass and eDrums and if the vocalist has an FX unit you could record a whole band, monitoring the performance BEFORE the DAW - NO LATENCY!

 

IOW - the only computer based restrictions will come about if you're playing AND monitoring through VSTs. The NATIVE  VST (which is much cheaper if you own the HW) would then be used only for re-amping. If you're unfamiliar with the term, it's possible to record a CLEAN/UNEFFECTED track alongside the effected track from the Helix, then use NATIVE to play around with applying other sounds to that clean track. The other restriction caused by your old/underpowered computer would be the number of tracks you could record and type/# of VST FX you could use on those tracks being limited.

 

SUMMARY - getting the hardware is superior to using NATIVE alone on EVERY level, NOT just sound and feel, and allows you to optimize the capabilities of both your excellent 6i6 AND your old underpowered computer, which becomes simply a recording device.

 

EDIT: the S/PDIF outs are only available on the Floor and Rack models, not on the LT. All else still applies.

Oh ok got it. Cool so no issues if I connect it directly to my interface right? Don’t wannna use the helix is an interface but will see.

 

I’ll think about the helix hardware or a new computer to use all my plugins at the same without issues. Thanks for all your help!

 

 

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10 minutes ago, jorgealberto25 said:

Oh ok got it. Cool so no issues if I connect it directly to my interface right? Don’t wannna use the helix is an interface but will see.

 

I’ll think about the helix hardware or a new computer to use all my plugins at the same without issues. Thanks for all your help!

 

 

 

Correct. You're actually better off using the 6i6, digital connect and all around more possibilities.

One further advantage with the 6i6 that I forgot to mention - on my 18i10 I can set up discrete custom headphone mixes (5 mono/3 stereo). Not sure on the 6i6, but you should be able to get at least 4 mono/2 stereo on the 6i6 - play around with the Control SW mixer and see!

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