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Possible to record DI track without USB?


schapman1022
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I apologize if I missed it somewhere but is it possible to record your wet signal and dry DI signal when NOT using USB?  I currently record via USB so I can record a DI track but I'm looking into an audio interface so I don't always have to turn the Helix on if I want to use my studio monitors, keyboard, etc.  Would it be as easy as setting up the top path in the Helix with my sound and then setting up the bottom path with nothing on it and go out with both inputs into an audio interface? 

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You can do it several ways.

 

I have my Helix 1/4" outputs going to my audio interface and the studio monitors are plugged into the audio interface. However, when the Helix is on I use it as the ASIO audio interface and the actual audio interface is free to be used as the system sound device. Or if the Helix isn't on, the audio interface becomes the ASIO device (assuming you're using Windows).

 

What you describe will work but you will limit yourself to mono output and a single path of effect blocks.  Instead, I would suggest using a send block as the first block in your chain. But if the Helix is on and you want to record wet and dry at the same time, just use the Helix as the ASIO device. You can still monitor it through the audio interface.

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I have an always connected audio interface to my PC (windows) and use it as my primary audio control.  I run XLR stereo out of my Helix for wet signal, and I drop in two "Sends" blocks right at the beginning of the chain for stereo dry out to 1&2.  This method takes up 4 spots in total, but lets me have full access to my studio monitors with individual line control at my finger tips by turning knobs on the interface instead of software sliders.

 

I also setup Windows audio to play through the (virtual) SPDIF OUT of the interface which pipes in my general PC audio through the interface for recording and hearing whatever I play on my PC (YouTube, MP3s, etc.) as well as it plays out through my studio monitors and I don't get any humm or buzz that often happens if you run a physical cable from the PC to the Audio interface. 

 

Basically - I have no physical audio cables connected to the PC, only 1 single USB connection through the audio interface. the Audio interface handles all audio inside itself so there's no latency (maybe 2-3ms at most, but it's a zero latency unit so it's darn close to zero).  the only small thing with this setup is the audio interface must be on at all times you are using the PC,  but for me it's silent so I just leave it on.

 

If I could share one lesson I learned with buying audio interfaces - if you think you'll ever do any recording or play multiple instruments then don't short yourself on inputs, you'll always wish you had more!  getting a more expansive and better quality unit is worth the added cost; and relatively speaking they cost less than guitars, amps and other gear.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/7/2020 at 6:25 AM, kringle said:

If I could share one lesson I learned with buying audio interfaces - if you think you'll ever do any recording or play multiple instruments then don't short yourself on inputs, you'll always wish you had more!  getting a more expansive and better quality unit is worth the added cost; and relatively speaking they cost less than guitars, amps and other gear.

 

Fully endorse this comment. A better audio interface is well worth stretching your budget for.

 

I use the S/PDIF output to connect my Helix to my RME400 interface, which works great. But I also base all my Helix presets on a template that includes a few basic effects (just so something is there from the start) but more importantly a couple of routing blocks. In the attached you can see that the first block is a Send that goes to Output 3 on the Helix (yes into analog until it hits the RME) and its purpose is for sending a DI signal to my DAW.

 

Right below it, between the main effects and the amp is another Send block which goes to Output 4. This one is to send the signal after the effects to a physical amp in my studio - which lets me use Helix effects with any amp.

 

One cool thing with this setup if you have a Variax is to use it for double tracking. I can send the modeled guitar through the Helix like normal but route the Variax's magnetic pickups to the DI. Since the modeled and mag signals are totally independent of each other this more closely resembles two different performances.

 

 

Helix Template.jpg

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