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mysticaxe

Daisy Chain of Helix devices

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Since the Helix family uses USB as an interface between the device and computers, would it be possible to use USB to communicate between Helix devices to daisy chain them and reduce the number of digital to analog conversions?  To accomplish this, one could have a "USB Send" and "USB Return" blocks to communicate between the devices.  This would help work around some of the DSP limitations on the Stomp family by allowing one device to handle amps/cabs and another for heavy effects (stereo, reverb, pitch, etc).

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Logically it seems like it might work, however the issue with DSP limits is all about latency and you'd still be accumulating DSP latency plus communications latency even across two Helix units that were daisy chained.  But who knows?  I don't think I'd want to invest in, nor cart around two Helix units plus a MIDI controller to manage the two of them just to find out if it works.  I'd just opt for more efficient use of my presets.

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There’s also probably a technical limitation based on the ASIO protocol that Helix uses. That protocol requires that a single audio device be used at any time.

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This would require one device to be the USB host, and that wouldn’t be possible with just the USB B port. Beyond that, it probably wouldn’t work without significant latency anyway, even if it were feasible.

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If you want to sidestep the DSP limitations you would be far better off using something MIDI programable in one of the effects loops.
The Eventide H9 would probably be the most perfect candidate.  It has plenty of processing power and is extremely versatile in that it can do as much as Helix in terms of variety of effects.

Actually, maybe more than Helix now that I think about it.

It also has several algorithms that use a combination of effects, which could potentially eliminate more than one DSP intensive block from your Helix path.

 

It doesn't have to be Eventide but maybe try steering your explorations in that direction.  I think you'd probably find more and better success.

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Helix isn't a USB Host, so it can't be done.

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I think you might be able to use the Helix Digital outs (S/PDIF or AES/EBU) to connect to a Helix rack digitally and chain them with minimal latency (should be much better than USB). Add MIDI connections and you probably could control the Rack with the Helix floor. All theory though, I don’t own either.

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USB is a master/slave architecture, not pier to pier. everybody is a home run root controller(master) or a hub. I think the option is to set up a loop with the spdif/aes io for the additional processors is the only realistic option for what you are seeking. The signal stays digital and only the processing adds minimal additional latency. as long as the devices have spdif or aes/ebu io there should be no noticeable additional latency. 

 

 

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The Helix FLOOR and Helix RACK both have S/PDIF I/O.... in theory, you could chain the audio on multiple devices that way and keep everything in the digital environment. For control it's as simple as a daisy chain of midi and some careful planning. 

 

The only option for the other HX Devices (including the LT) would be analog I/O. 

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