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I got Helix to work as an audio interface in Linux!


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After a lot of of messing around, I finally got my Line6 Helix LT multi-effects working on Linux (Ubuntu 20.04)! Here's what I did.


Install a distribution with the latest Linux kernel. I am currently running Ubuntu 20.04 with Linux kernel version 5.3. I think these instructions should work for any distribution with kernel 5.x+, but I'm not sure.


Install the JACK audio connection kit. This took me a bit to understand, but here's what I learned. ALSA is the low-level driver used for Linux audio, but most user applications do not interface with ALSA directly, they use a "sound server." JACK is exactly that, it's a server that runs on top of ALSA. It turns out that the Helix would not work for me directly in my ALSA sound settings, but it would work for me if I used JACK. Read on...


After you have installed jack, you'll want to fire up the graphical user interface for it called QJackCtl. It's ugly but it works. Once you get into the GUI, click the setup button and look for the "interfaces" dropdown. Choose the "Helix" interface in the dropdown. If it's not there, make sure you've connected the USB port to your computer, etc.


Once you get this far, you'll sometimes need to select JACK as the audio server in the application that you want to use the Helix in. For me, it was Bitwig studio. I went into the settings, set the audio engine to use JACK, and BOOM! My sounds were coming straight into the software from USB. I could also use the helix as an output!

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Now all you need to do is get HX Edit to run under WINE (or whatever the current Windows environment is).

And get it all running at once with Bitwig.



Is the Penguin coming of age? Do keep us up to date!

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Hi, it has nothing to do with jack audio. The newer kernels have the driver for helix. Pulse audio is working too. So if you don't need jack audio, you don't have to install it for using helix as a audio device. Thanks anyway for the hint.


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