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Why no level meters anywhere?

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11 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

What's tedious is the repeated side-stepping of this objective reality, and the oft regurgitated assertion that the unit is somehow impossible to use effectively, absent a feature that it's never had.

 

Impossible? Certainly not. Unnecessarily awkward? Definitely. I'm happy to step in and defend the people asking about this strange absence, because it's a totally reasonable query. I do all my editing in Helix Native because metering is an important feature for setting up signal chains. Hopefully one day this will be available in the unit.

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On 12/30/2019 at 6:03 AM, cruisinon2 said:

 

In the modeling world, if you're relying on your eyes to tell you whether or not something sounds good, then you're doomed from the start. That's what ears are for.

 

 

We listen and adjust accordingly, and for most users it works just fine. And not to put too fine a point on it, but  most individual FX pedals don't have level meters either, yet the giant pedalboard aficionados among us have managed to make those work just fine for decades, without any visual representation of what's going in or out of each one.

 

Modeling isn't for everybody... and that's OK, too.


This is the wrongest thing I've read on this forum. Metering is not a luxury for studio equipment, it's a missing feature that's probably missing for a reason but it's not a valid retort to.say "you've gotta do it by ear" because ears are highly unreliable.
 

Plus the axe fx has metering and it obviously helps, so the modeling world a very much into metering, just not line 6 for now.

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3 minutes ago, BlueD said:


This is the wrongest thing I've read on this forum. Metering is not a luxury for studio equipment, it's a missing feature that's probably missing for a reason but it's not a valid retort to.say "you've gotta do it by ear" because ears are highly unreliable.
 

Plus the axe fx has metering and it obviously helps, so the modeling world a very much into metering, just not line 6 for now.

 

All those meters in a studio, but in the end everything gets bricked-walled to -14 LUFS no matter what... :-)

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40 minutes ago, BlueD said:

This is the wrongest thing I've read on this forum.

 

Really, it's not :-)

 

40 minutes ago, BlueD said:

Metering is not a luxury for studio equipment, it's a missing feature that's probably missing for a reason but it's not a valid retort to.say "you've gotta do it by ear" because ears are highly unreliable.

 

I hear this, but here is a truth, unpalatable though it may be:

 

If you lack the experience and ears to set up a workable Helix tone by ear you have wasted money on kit you don't need.

 

The marginal advantage afforded by metering is not going to help much at this point.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, BBD_123 said:

If you lack the experience and ears to set up a workable Helix tone by ear you have wasted money on kit you don't need.

 

The marginal advantage afforded by metering is not going to help much at this point.

I imagine there are more than a few people out there that would be happy with a mediocre tone as long as they knew that was 100% properly gain-staged. Sort of like some OCD people would organize a box of crayons by their relative length from use instead of by color grade, which would actually be more useful.

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Hi

I think we talk about two different things here, at list it's for me. I use my ears to dial in a great tone. I use the meter to not be surprised when changing patch, change snapshot, engage a stomp, switch guitar etc. Well I can see a few things more, but I’m recognize a good tone when I hear one. Not by relying on a meter, just to get a little help on the way there. I get that with or without the meter, but its a good tool on the journey. If you don't need it/whant to use it, just don't. As all feature in the Helix, they are free to use.

 

And, The Helix is the best investment I done music instrument wise. Looking forward to be able to use it more next year. And its only 50 minuts to next year :-)   

 

//Per

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I fully appreciate why some people would like level meters, What's wrong with that feature, it may be really useful for many.  I hope it gets implemented and many get a lot of use out of it.

 

My experience with other units with meters is that in theory they seam like a great idea but in practice they still don't yield the desired results.  Clean tones register differently to overdriven tones and modulations, delays and reverbs again register differently for the same apparent volume, in my experience anyway.  To me results can be just as unpredictable. 

 

For me the only way to really level match is to go through each element in my path and level match the bypassed signal with the affected tone by ear.  This way I can bypass any effect and still have a useable tone.  Just like the old days. I think the helix actually makes this really easy.  I resigned myself many many years ago to not listen with my eyes.  It doesn't take too long and I take regular breaks to rest my ears.

 

Unfortunately I do have to do this at gig volume and studio volume.  Fletcher Munson and all that.

 

The op mentioned he used to use half a dozen pedals or so,  I guess he never used to have 30, 60 or more tones in them days.

Wow 120 presents I can imagine that,  must be some hell of a covers band. When I was with a covers band i can only think of 10 or so presets.   120, I sympathize. 

 

To me the helix is the easiest unit to program I've owned and would never dream of not creating  presets  from scratch.  My golden rule, keep it simple.

 

Anyhow good luck with your request and happy new year all.

 

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On 12/30/2019 at 3:59 PM, codamedia said:

I would love to have a metering block that I could insert wherever I wanted in the chain to monitor the level, when I felt the desire to.

 

...

OH YES!!!

 

 

THAT would be really great (and i don't see any problems with implementing them).

I miss that feature on a regular basis for:

- Sometimes in live situations i get a weak output signal (or non at all) from the Helix ... and it would be a much simpler and faster way to finding the cause.

- esp. checking my guitar output level - since the output of my active pickups tend to 'fade' (one guitar) oder just 'black out' completely (my other) when the batteries dicharge.

- Level management via different presets - esp. with purchased/downloaded presets; it's just annoying to step through a sophisticated preset (from someone else and a lot of snapshots) on the search of the ear blasting volume setting....

 

And as coda mentioned: It seems so unneccessary to leave them out.

 

Bye

 

Simon

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On 12/31/2019 at 1:59 PM, BlueD said:

but it's not a valid retort to.say "you've gotta do it by ear" because ears are highly unreliable.

 

 

It's perfectly valid, for one absurdly simple reason... sit tight, here it comes: There. Are. No. Meters... making one's ears the only remaining option. The End! (Well in all fairness, I suppose you could consult a Ouija board or Magic 8 Ball, but I digress)...Happy new year!

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Irrefutable logic there :-)

 

HNY to all...

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1 hour ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

It's perfectly valid, for one absurdly simple reason... sit tight, here it comes: There. Are. No. Meters... making one's ears the only remaining option. End of story. (Well in all fairness, I suppose you could consult a Ouija board or Magic 8 Ball, but I digress)...Happy new year!

 

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On 12/31/2019 at 7:42 PM, BBD_123 said:

I hear this, but here is a truth, unpalatable though it may be:

 

If you lack the experience and ears to set up a workable Helix tone by ear you have wasted money on kit you don't need.

 

The marginal advantage afforded by metering is not going to help much at this point.

 

Just been looking back over the thread and wanted to make clear that the 'you' there was general, NOT  @BlueD . :-)

 

 

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  • Can great tones be had from a Helix without meters? YES, proven time and time again. 
  • Can great tones be had from a Helix with meters? YES, proven time and time again by those that connect to a Board or DAW and monitor the meters those provide.

IMO: I don't need a speedometer to tell me if I am going to fast or too slow. BUT - it often saves me from speeding tickets. I don't need a thermometer to tell me if I am too hot or too cold. But rather than throw logs on the fire and open the windows until I feel right, it nice to get the temp to 72 and know I will be immediately comfortable. That's what meters are all about... quick reference for general usage. NEEDED? No! CONVENIENT? Yes, I like them. 

 

If you don't agree with my opinion I have no problem with that! 

 

IIRC... the delay on getting a really accurate tuner was due to the nature of how graphics were handled on the Helix. The update that gave us a good tuner (including a Strobe) should be more than capable of providing a decent meter block!

 

 

 

 

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I still didn't found an answer to the question of this thread: '

Why no level meters anywhere?

'

 

The closest to an answer was 'I have a way of getting around without' (what is more of an answer to the question 'Why did you personally work with a tool that has no meters?' ;-) ).

 

I assume that nobody knows why there are no level meters.

 

Bye

 

Simon

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14 minutes ago, Simon268 said:

I still didn't found an answer to the question of this thread: '

Why no level meters anywhere?

'

 

The closest to an answer was 'I have a way of getting around without' (what is more of an answer to the question 'Why did you personally work with a tool that has no meters?' ;-) ).

 

I assume that nobody knows why there are no level meters.

 

Bye

 

Simon

It was noted somewhere in here that a product designer thought that people may be reliant on them, which may cause issues for users (and customer service). It was also noted that, while useful in certain context, they are more or less unnecessary and that there is maybe one (studio comp) piece of modeled gear that would even incorporate them in real life. I'd love to see some meters on the inputs, output, and compressors, but they're far from necessary.

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59 minutes ago, Simon268 said:

I assume that nobody knows why there are no level meters.

 

Bye

 

Simon

 

That's what is known as 'inappropriate tone' :-)

 

A non-winning move on a cooperative platform.

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1 hour ago, Simon268 said:

I still didn't found an answer to the question of this thread: '

Why no level meters anywhere?

'

 

The closest to an answer was 'I have a way of getting around without' (what is more of an answer to the question 'Why did you personally work with a tool that has no meters?' ;-) ).

 

I assume that nobody knows why there are no level meters.

 

Bye

 

Simon

 

Well, I know the answers that Eric Klein, the guy who was/is actually responsible for making the design decisions on the product has said, so I think that's pretty close to knowing the reason why.

 

Someone mentioned this earlier, but I do think that part of it early on was related to the graphics engine and them not liking the way the meters would perform back then. The refresh rate is much faster now, so having useful meters on the display would be more doable now.

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2 hours ago, Simon268 said:

I still didn't found an answer to the question of this thread: '

Why no level meters anywhere?

'

 

The closest to an answer was 'I have a way of getting around without' (what is more of an answer to the question 'Why did you personally work with a tool that has no meters?' ;-) ).

 

I assume that nobody knows why there are no level meters.

 

Bye

 

Simon

 

Well, the fact is I worked with amps and guitars for 50 years without a meter other than the meters on mixing boards or DAWs.  In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a meter built into guitar amp or a multi-effects board.

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3 hours ago, Simon268 said:

I still didn't found an answer to the question of this thread: '

Why no level meters anywhere?

'

 

The closest to an answer was 'I have a way of getting around without' (what is more of an answer to the question 'Why did you personally work with a tool that has no meters?' ;-) ).

 

I assume that nobody knows why there are no level meters.

 

Bye

 

Simon

 

Just for my own morbid curiosity... what would you do with that information if you had it? How exactly would finding out the "why" change anything? Oh that's right it wouldn't... because there still wouldn't be any meters. And here we all are after 4 days of this, firmly entrenched in square one. Time well spent! Boggles the mind...

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1 hour ago, DunedinDragon said:

Well, the fact is I worked with amps and guitars for 50 years without a meter other than the meters on mixing boards or DAWs.  In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a meter built into guitar amp or a multi-effects board.

 

All this time we keep telling new users how a Helix can do so much more than a standard pedalboard and amp can... we tell them they have to think more like an engineer, not just a guitar player - there is so much to learn and it's so wonderful once you understand that.

 

Then deprive them of one of the very features engineers depend on! Worse, it is defended by suggesting the Helix is just a pedalboard and amp. 

 

I have one question for those that don't understand the meter desire.... Will a meter HURT YOU?

if not..  why argue with those that want one... including the 2500+ that upvoted it on ideascale.... apparently to deaf ears! 

 

ALL THAT ASIDE

I also don't understand the side wondering WHY NO METERS so loudly. Just make a polite request for a meter block, and maybe Line 6 will add one for us. If not - the unit is still quite capable. If you bought the Helix for Meters you deserve to be disappointed for not doing your homework first. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, codamedia said:

 

All this time we keep telling new users how a Helix can do so much more than a standard pedalboard and amp can... we tell them they have to think more like an engineer, not just a guitar player - there is so much to learn and it's so wonderful once you understand that.

 

Then deprive them of one of the very features engineers depend on! Worse, it is defended by suggesting the Helix is just a pedalboard and amp. 

 

I have one question for those that don't understand the meter desire.... Will a meter HURT YOU?

if not..  why argue with those that want one... including the 2500+ that upvoted it on ideascale.... apparently to deaf ears! 

 

 

While there are definitely a few people here saying they shouldn't have meters, I think most people are saying that, since they're not available and people are still using the Helix to great effect, they're not necessary and there's no point in complaining about the lack of them or using that a justification for your displeasure with the tones you're getting. The discussion I thought was going was that adding meters won't make your tones better, they'll just make them metered. And I'll say again, I would use them if they were there, but there's nothing missing without them.

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7 hours ago, gunpointmetal said:

While there are definitely a few people here saying they shouldn't have meters, I think most people are saying that, since they're not available and people are still using the Helix to great effect, they're not necessary and there's no point in complaining about the lack of them or using that a justification for your displeasure with the tones you're getting.

 

Thank you.

 

I hate Les Pauls....but why would I spend even 5 minutes whining to the rest of the world about what I perceive to be their deficiencies? What would my end game be? Plenty of others like them... and they're not gonna change their minds on my say-so, nor should they. So why would I bother? So I can be "right", and convince them to see the folly of their ways? Please... there will be no Great Meter Revolution...they'll either show up one day, or they won't. Nobody knows.

 

So go ahead and want anything you like, folks...desire is emotional, and generally doesn't make sense anyway. It's just there. Submit daily requests to IdeaScale if it gives you the warm fuzzies. But persistently whining about the lack of ANY one particular feature will never help you to better utilize the tool(s) you actually have at your disposal, which makes the whole exercise completely and utterly pointless. Equally pointless is openly declaring (or at least intimating) that the device is essentially unusable without said feature, and expecting everyone else to clap like a seal in agreement...then playing the victim when you don't get the desired reaction. And that's what these threads always devolve into...a long walk off the same short pier.

 

Until some future update changes things, Helix is what it is... so either learn to use it warts and all, or don't...nobody cares. But those are the only two options that exist, and no amount of sniveling or wishful thinking will change that.

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I hear the same kinds of things from a buddy of mine that is a professional FOH/monitor engineer. He has to work jobs with all kinds of different equipment from TOL Midas and DigiCo digital boards all the way down to old Mackie analog desks with outboard gear for FX. He's mentioned many times how some of the guys that tour with small to mid level bands will often be exasperated and dumbfounded  and constantly bitching when they have to use anything other than a digital board with a full-size display, compressors and EQs with visual feedback on every channel, etc... and it's funny to him because it's not like live audio only got good in the last 5-10 years where nice digital stuff was available to everyone. It's one thing to complain when something in front of your doesn't work, its an entirely other thing to complain about not being able to use something that ISN'T THERE and then blaming a thing that doesn't exist for the issues you're having.

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59 minutes ago, gunpointmetal said:

It's one thing to complain when something in front of your doesn't work, its an entirely other thing to complain about not being able to use something that ISN'T THERE and then blaming a thing that doesn't exist for the issues you're having.

 

Amen

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Meters won't hurt the pros nor the amateurs. No shame in using all the senses to get the best result faster.

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Save and buy an Axe III.

 

image.jpeg.917507f8064ae13fdb8dbfea47845aba.jpegimage.jpeg.c7f3ff79405c640c8ac442c0a5bf13ef.jpegimage.jpeg.ac675439c9166c9b981a9d0d7e54d9d9.jpeg

 

 

Done. :)

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On 1/3/2020 at 4:27 PM, gunpointmetal said:

It was noted somewhere in here that a product designer thought that people may be reliant on them, ...

 

Ah thanks,

 

maybe not a widespread argument (since i don't see much other audio equipment without level meters), but at least an argument.

 

On 1/3/2020 at 5:12 PM, BBD_123 said:

 

That's what is known as 'inappropriate tone' :-)

 

A non-winning move on a cooperative platform.

Sorry, if i offended anyone.

Maybe because i'm no native english speaker i miss the subtleties ... may you explain to me, what was inappropriate?

 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 5:48 PM, phil_m said:

 

Well, I know the answers that Eric Klein, the guy who was/is actually responsible for making the design decisions on the product has said, so I think that's pretty close to knowing the reason why.

 

Someone mentioned this earlier, but I do think that part of it early on was related to the graphics engine and them not liking the way the meters would perform back then. ...

Ah - THAT would be an argument, i could comprehend.

 

On 1/3/2020 at 7:24 PM, cruisinon2 said:

 

Just for my own morbid curiosity... what would you do with that information if you had it? How exactly would finding out the "why" change anything?...

What a funny self contradiction! :-D

What would YOU do with MY answer to YOUR question? How exactly would finding out the "why" would change anything?

Solve the puzzle and you have my answer. ;-)

 

Hint: starts with 'c' and ends with 'y'. :-D :-D

 

 

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I dont know, maybe most of the helix users arent using to much external routing, or they are mostly playing at home, but in a live situation, metering would be a saver, especially to debug a problem without have to mess with trial and error.

 

For example, I recently had a feedback loop in my chain (which is pretty complex and using basically all the routing available on the back of the Helix), preventing me to raise the volume as there was a really insane squeal. If I had block metering, like Axe FX has, i would have solved the issue instantly, because you would have seen where the loop were happening, exactly at which stage. In my case was one of the S/R routing, going into an external fx unit, so I had to mess with cables and switches for a while, until I’ve found the offender. Again, if I had access to the FX Loop metering (metering send, metering return), I would have solved in 3 seconds. This is just one scenario, but even when creating a patch, would be great to monitor each stage, to either clamp levels to your needs or monitor floors levels along the entire path, and outside the unit (FX Loops). I mean, c’mon, that’s basics in any complex routing setup.

 

They didnt do that probably because there is not enough power available to handle multiple realtime metering rendering on that screen, at proper refresh speed, so I dont think we will ever see that happening. 

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6 hours ago, PierM said:

I dont know, maybe most of the helix users arent using to much external routing, or they are mostly playing at home, but in a live situation, metering would be a saver, especially to debug a problem without have to mess with trial and error.

 

 

THIS is the only really compelling argument for having built-in signal metering.  Although I also have to say I've never run into this kind of issue on stage because my process for getting ready for a gig would have revealed it and allowed me to correct it long before I ever went onto the live stage.  However with the ability to provide for various levels of integration with outside devices (which I also don't use), I can see the value in troubleshooting in the same way as metering gets used at a mixing board in a live situation.

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17 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:

Although I also have to say I've never run into this kind of issue on stage because my process for getting ready for a gig would have revealed it and allowed me to correct it long before I ever went onto the live stage.

I've seen too many other performers try to bring new gear/setups on stage without the full rehearsal workup and it almost always ends badly. From what I've experienced, even "pros" don't spend as much time trying to eliminate issues before they arise as myself (and now my bandmates, because I'm not dealing with their BS at sound check either). I don't even use a new patch live until I've run it at live volumes in rehearsal at least 3-4 times just to make sure all the switching is right, all the routing is right, etc. I feel like that's not a common approach though, and given the nonchalance of most musicians I've met, I can almost guarantee it, lol.

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Isnt about being pros or not anyway. Metering it’s basics in any device with more than an input and an output, and everyone is free to use it or not. Point is Helix cant have any, because has hardware limits, so let’s not try to make this lack as if it were a smart choice, planned by the engineers. Hardware isnt there, that’s it. Isnt there not because you guys don’t need it. You say you dont need it because isnt there. 

 

Amen. ;)

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11 minutes ago, PierM said:

Isnt about being pros or not anyway. Metering it’s basics in any device with more than an input and an output, and everyone is free to use it or not. Point is Helix cant have any, because has hardware limits, so let’s not try to make this lack as if it were a smart choice, planned by the engineers. Hardware isnt there, that’s it. Isnt there not because you guys don’t need it. You say you dont need it because isnt there. 

 

Amen. ;)

 

I don't think there's any hardware limitation that would prevent meters being implemented. Obviously, it's not going to have actual hardware meters, but I'm sure they could develop some sort of graphical meters if they wanted.

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6 minutes ago, PierM said:

Isnt about being pros or not anyway. Metering it’s basics in any device with more than an input and an output, and everyone is free to use it or not. Point is Helix cant have any, because has hardware limits

 

I'm not sure not having the capability is actually the case.  Certainly seeing it stated on an internet board doesn't make it so.  But it's certainly not a show stopper, even if it's not in the box.  Signal metering is easily and economically available as an add on to to anyone's rig that wants it in a number of different ways.  Would I probably use if it were there...maybe.  But the fact is I have constant metering available to me at all times in any patch without having to do something special to turn it on or off.  I just play and watch the meter.

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15 hours ago, phil_m said:

 

I don't think there's any hardware limitation that would prevent meters being implemented. Obviously, it's not going to have actual hardware meters, but I'm sure they could develop some sort of graphical meters if they wanted.

 

I remember someone from L6 saying that in the facebook group, don't remember who (group which I abandoned, so I can't check now). Animation of meters in the display was not an option due limits in the hardware, which is not surprising if you ask me. Would have required more expensive hardware and a more complex UI.

 

 

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Eric from Line 6 has said that the Helix will probably get meters sooner or later, just that they want to make them foolproof so people don't get misled by them. I suspect this will include some notion of trying to understand the expected levels in and out of certain blocks so that they don't get a ton of complaints when things are working as intended but looks weird.

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Just now, PierM said:

 

I remember someone from L6 saying that in the facebook group, don't remember who (group which I abandoned, so I can't check now). Animation of meters in the display was not an option due limits in the hardware, which is not surprising if you ask me. Would have required more expensive hardware.

 

 

 

My understanding is that this was more about the way the software was engineered, and that this limitation was lifted when they implemented the improvements to the tuner recently.

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16 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

 

I'm not sure not having the capability is actually the case.  Certainly seeing it stated on an internet board doesn't make it so.  But it's certainly not a show stopper, even if it's not in the box.  Signal metering is easily and economically available as an add on to to anyone's rig that wants it in a number of different ways.  Would I probably use if it were there...maybe.  But the fact is I have constant metering available to me at all times in any patch without having to do something special to turn it on or off.  I just play and watch the meter.

 

Isn't a showstopper for sure. I'm a happy Helix user. Started with the Floor, now happy with my Rack, so that's not the point.

 

Point is Helix it's a killer routing machine, tons of inputs, tons of output, incredible routing capabilities. Metering would have been very welcome for me, and other users I'm sure. :)

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5 hours ago, kylotan said:

My understanding is that this was more about the way the software was engineered, and that this limitation was lifted when they implemented the improvements to the tuner recently.

 

That's exactly it.  The screen refresh rate was too low for a smooth scrolling display.  Now with the higher refresh rate, we're able to have nice things like the strobe tuner.  Regardless of what camp you're in (meters vs no meters), before that update, any kind of software meters would have been nearly useless anyway.    

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So the bottom line seems to be

 

The Helix originally didin't have meters because they did not work. Something to do with a refresh rate.

Now they can implement them but there is so much other more important stuff to handle (like the recent update that ties all of the Line 6 devices together) it hasn't been readdressed yet. So now that all of that is done, it may be back on the table for reconsideration. It sounds like it is on the list of things to do

 

I think that answers the OP's post.

 

As far as their usefulness. I think it's kind of useless to talk about their usefulness. The Helix has a SEND and RETURN 4. I never use them. But others do. Since it takes nothing away from my getting everything I can out of the Helix, I don't care whether its' there or not.

I would use meters. I use meters after the Helix to set levels. I had to learn the particulars of doing that and the particulars of that particular meter. And about using them in general. Like, since clean sounds aren't as  compressed as distorted sounds, generally, you have to give them a wider berth so to speak, on the meter. So some people will use meters, some won't. There is no empirical yes or no answer. In other words, you're all right. when it comes to this.

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