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theElevators

Left/Mono bug: really frustrating experience dealing with Line 6 support

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Hello, world. 

 

I have been an owner of 2 Helix units for almost 2 years.  I have been experiencing a bug with both of them where Left/Mono is not actually mono, but simply "left".  A workaround is to unplug the 1/4 inch cable, plug it into the Right jack, then back into Left/Mono and then it starts adding it correctly.  For some unknown reason, barely anybody seems to be suffering form this bug.  I am convinced that this is either related to my Global Settings somehow, or every single Helix has this. 

 

Customer support's response at Line 6 has been absolutely unacceptable.  This latest interaction with Mr. {redacted} has been short of a joke.  After going AWOL for several weeks, he claims he cannot replicate the issue, even though I for a fact know he did not even bother trying to do so.  How do I know this?  I am able to replicate it all the time because I back up and restore my Helix LT and Helix Floor all the time.  Back up on one, restore on the other. 

 

Can somebody do me a huge favor?  Restore my Helix backup and see if you are able to hear what I hear? 

 

Steps:

1. plug in just one cable into Left/Mono, nothing in Right

2. Power down Helix

3. Power up Helix

4. Go to NOGU SVELO! / 000  Sound Check preset; "2 DELAY" snapshot. 

 

 

Play the guitar and notice how the delay behaves.  then.

1. unplug the cable from Left/Mono and plug into Right

2. plug the cable back into Left/Mono

 

Play the same thing now, and you will hear the delay combined as expected. 

 

This can be replicated on an LT or Floor.  Could somebody please tell me what could possibly be wrong. 

 

backup file is here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fTk2FYrUJNZMNxu7ZvAF5OB5VCU3xZ0X/view?usp=sharing

 

thanks a lot,

d.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, theElevators said:

Customer support's response at Line 6 has been absolutely unacceptable.  This latest interaction with Mr. {redacted} has been short of a joke.  After going AWOL for several weeks, he claims he cannot replicate the issue, even though I for a fact know he did not even bother trying to do so.  How do I know this?  I am able to replicate it all the time because I back up and restore my Helix LT and Helix Floor all the time.  Back up on one, restore on the other. 

 

DUDE! That makes NO sense at all!

No, I'm not going to restore your system to mine! The problem is that your system has cooties, and they spread from one system to the other due to repeated promiscuous backing up and restoring!

EEWWWW!!!

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9 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

DUDE! That makes NO sense at all!

No, I'm not going to restore your system to mine! The problem is that your system has cooties, and they spread from one system to the other due to repeated promiscuous backing up and restoring!

EEWWWW!!!

 

 

I see this thread is going well so far....

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Most of us don't suffer from it because we take two outputs and sum externally as needed. I don't plug/unplug my stereo outs...that would be lame....

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To elaborate: I need to sum up the left and right in order to hear both on stage coming out of one amp/monitor/FRFR.  I go to the front of the house in stereo.  So: 1/4 inch has to be mono and 2 XLR's in stereo.  It's perfectly logical to expect left/mono to be left/mono and not left

 

I have a Nord Electro 2 keyboard from 2006 and if I plug into Left/mono, it works correctly and nobody gives me snarky remarks why that is needed for me.  On that keyboard the sounds are in stereo (when the virtual leslie is spinning), and mono in case I want to hear both left and right sides. 

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If I have to think about it, sounds an expected behaviour if you are trying to get a mono sum, out of a stereo block that isnt being merged to mono before to hit the out. I guess that's also why we have mono version of many blocks. For example, if I'd just use a ping/pong delay, plugging just the left output, Im expecting to hear only the left "ping".

 

I could be wrong, but never faced this issue myself, as I always work my presets in stereo for stereo out, and in mono, for mono out (many times is just a matter of placing a "dummy" mono volume/gain block before to hit the out stage).

 

 

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20 minutes ago, PierM said:

If I have to think about it, sounds an expected behaviour if you are trying to get a mono sum, out of a stereo block that isnt being merged to mono before to hit the out. I guess that's also why we have mono version of many blocks. For example, if I'd just use a ping/pong delay, plugging just the left output, Im expecting to hear only the left "ping".

 

I could be wrong, but never faced this issue myself, as I always work my presets in stereo for stereo out, and in mono, for mono out (many times is just a matter of placing a "dummy" mono volume/gain block before to hit the out stage).

 

 

I can get the left/mono to sum correctly by temporarily plugging something into the right side, then unplugging it.  It is a bug.  It is working as expected, and as I need it, but only after temporarily plugging a 1/4 inch cable into the right. 

 

Is this bug the end of the world for me?  No.  But I need to always remember to perform this ritual of plugging/unplugging a cable, otherwise I will have a problem.  The biggest thing is that if you do a sound check, then power down your Helix, you need to power up the Helix, then do this absurd plugging/unplugging ritual and it looks silly. 

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Apparently, someone lacks a sense of humor.

 

It makes no sense that OP KNOWS that the support person DIDN'T EVEN TRY because HE (OP) can replicate the problem.

There's a failure in logic there.

 

The rest was humor. Sorry you didn't get it.

 

DID anyone else try to restore OP's system to their's? Did YOUR system catch the cooties? :-)  :-)  :-)

No, seriously....

 

@theElevators - it sounds like a mechanical problem in the Helix, but if it affects both units that's unlikely. I'm not sure how the switching works vis a vis the jacks. You keep calling it a BUG, but if it were a BUG then it would affect everybody. Your stage configuration is very common, and in fact is exactly how my studio is set up. The XLRs send Stereo to the 18i8, the 1/4" sends MONO to my tube amp, and both Stereo and Mono presets work as expected. It's NOT a BUG, but it MIGHT be a glitch if the switching jacks use some sort of digital logic, and that might have spread to the second unit through the "promiscuous" restores. To test this, do a complete Factory Reset and, if that doesn't work, reinstall the FW. If that doesn't get it, it has to be something in your presets, as @Pier_M suggested. Or cooties...   :-) :-) :-)

 

A good work-around might be to use a MONO SEND block and take that SEND to the stage amp.

 

And if you attach the offending preset, I'll be happy to have a look at it. I'm not REALLY afraid of cooties.... :-) :-) :-)

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

Apparently, someone lacks a sense of humor.

 

It makes no sense that OP KNOWS that the support person DIDN'T EVEN TRY because HE (OP) can replicate the problem.

There's a failure in logic there.

 

The rest was humor. Sorry you didn't get it.

 

DID anyone else try to restore OP's system to their's? Did YOUR system catch the cooties? :-)  :-)  :-)

No, seriously....

 

@theElevators - it sounds like a mechanical problem in the Helix, but if it affects both units that's unlikely. I'm not sure how the switching works vis a vis the jacks. You keep calling it a BUG, but if it were a BUG then it would affect everybody. Your stage configuration is very common, and in fact is exactly how my studio is set up. The XLRs send Stereo to the 18i8, the 1/4" sends MONO to my tube amp, and both Stereo and Mono presets work as expected. It's NOT a BUG, but it MIGHT be a glitch if the switching jacks use some sort of digital logic, and that might have spread to the second unit through the "promiscuous" restores. To test this, do a complete Factory Reset and, if that doesn't work, reinstall the FW. If that doesn't get it, it has to be something in your presets, as @Pier_M suggested. Or cooties...   :-) :-) :-)

 

A good work-around might be to use a MONO SEND block and take that SEND to the stage amp.

 

And if you attach the offending preset, I'll be happy to have a look at it. I'm not REALLY afraid of cooties.... :-) :-) :-)

My entire backup is in the first post. It happens in every single preset where I have any sort of hard panning, e.g. ping pong delay. 
 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fTk2FYrUJNZMNxu7ZvAF5OB5VCU3xZ0X/view?usp=sharing

 

steps to replicate:

1. have an exaggerated delay, for example one repeat left, followed by one repeat right.  You will most likely not hear anything wrong until you actually set up a slow one-repeat delay.

2. power on the Helix with only Left/Mono plugged in, and you will notice that you hear only one side.

3. plug in any cable into right, unplug, now it will combine it together and you will hear both in mono.

 

Video explaining the bug, for those who are still confused...

 

https://youtu.be/frlsZpUkTdo

 

Line 6 support was able to replicate it a year and a half ago, and said they would send it to QA.  After which all I get is arguing whether I ACTUALLY need stereo or not, and various workarounds for it.

 

"Here is a silly question... if you are worried about the mono summing, why do you use stereo effects in the chain? Just curious."

 

 

thank you!

 

 

 

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I don't know if this has been mentioned. Does it still not sum to mono when the XLR outputs aren't plugged in? Could the fact the XLR's are being used in stereo and you want a summed mono out of the 1/4" confuse the Helix?

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Just now, brue58ski said:

I don't know if this has been mentioned. Does it still not sum to mono when the XLR outputs aren't plugged in? Could the fact the XLR's are being used in stereo and you want a summed mono out of the 1/4" confuse the Helix?

It behaves the same way whether there are XLR cables plugged in or not.  

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Quick test as I'm off to work in a few minutes.

In Path 2 you have 2 stereo Ping Pongs, followed by a Mono Simple Delay, followed by a Stereo simple delay.

You also have a Mono Reverb in a split.

So, not a pure stereo signal.

Despite that, I'm getting muddy stereo delays in my monitors, and both Ping and Pong in my Tube amp.

Turning OFF the Mono delay gives me a much cleaner signal. Replacing the Mono delay with a Stereo version retains the clearer signal.

I also replaced the Mono Glitz with a Stereo version.

 

Bottom line - I got no problems with my system like you're reporting.

Try the attached version of your preset and let me know if it helps.

If not, I'll have another think about it after work.

 

Sound Check.hlx

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

Quick test as I'm off to work in a few minutes.

In Path 2 you have 2 stereo Ping Pongs, followed by a Mono Simple Delay, followed by a Stereo simple delay.

You also have a Mono Reverb in a split.

So, not a pure stereo signal.

Despite that, I'm getting muddy stereo delays in my monitors, and both Ping and Pong in my Tube amp.

Turning OFF the Mono delay gives me a much cleaner signal. Replacing the Mono delay with a Stereo version retains the clearer signal.

I also replaced the Mono Glitz with a Stereo version.

 

Bottom line - I got no problems with my system like you're reporting.

Try the attached version of your preset and let me know if it helps.

If not, I'll have another think about it after work.

 

Sound Check.hlx 18.33 kB · 0 downloads

If I build a preset from scratch with a ping pong delay and nothing else, I get what I described.  It's not the preset, it's the entire Helix not combining left and right.  always, with every single preset.  Something with the global settings, EQ, line output level, global tempo, touch sensitivity, or other. 

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2 hours ago, brue58ski said:

I don't know if this has been mentioned. Does it still not sum to mono when the XLR outputs aren't plugged in? Could the fact the XLR's are being used in stereo and you want a summed mono out of the 1/4" confuse the Helix?

 

This is my setup, and for what it's worth, I have not had the problems reported by the OP.  The XLR outputs are stereo L/R and the 1/4 out is summed mono, as expected.

 

Good luck! I hope you get a resolution!

 

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I will try some more things at home, including a factory reset.  I will keep you all posted.  I will document whatever I do in form of a video :)   thanks all!! 

 

(as a computer programmer, these gremlin bugs drive me up a wall.... )

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LONG story short: did a complete system restore to all default factory settings, restored from my backup and everything is now working as expected.  There was something wrong with my global settings.  

 

Pressed fs 9 and 10 when starting the Helix

restored from the backup

 

 

back to normal.... daaaaaaarnnnn!!!

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1 hour ago, theElevators said:

LONG story short: did a complete system restore to all default factory settings, restored from my backup and everything is now working as expected.  There was something wrong with my global settings.  

 

Pressed fs 9 and 10 when starting the Helix

restored from the backup

 

 

back to normal.... daaaaaaarnnnn!!!

 

Darned computers! Glad you got it sorted! Rock on!

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12 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

Darned computers! Glad you got it sorted! Rock on!

I have a suspicion that this bug will resurface again.  I always press FS 9+10 after updating firmware, and then restoring from the backup... maybe it take 2 times to fix it?.....  Well, anyway, I have a "sound check" preset that will be my preset 0, so I can always confirm all my sounds are coming through correctly, before playing a show, play a few notes....

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7 hours ago, theElevators said:

I have a suspicion that this bug will resurface again.  I always press FS 9+10 after updating firmware, and then restoring from the backup... maybe it take 2 times to fix it?.....  Well, anyway, I have a "sound check" preset that will be my preset 0, so I can always confirm all my sounds are coming through correctly, before playing a show, play a few notes....

 

Glad you got it working properly again. If this issue does resurface in the future at least you know how to test for it. If I had to guess, given your subsequent testing and resolution, I would think one of the following issues probably occurred:

  1. Always possible to forget the global reset and/or backup restore after a firmware update.
  2. As you mentioned firmware reset and/or restore didn't take the first time.
  3. You discovered a bug caused by some arcane combination of global settings. Maybe you took note of your global settings to see if you could recreate the bug after global reset and restore.
  4. Some kind of cabling issue or defective cable caused the automatic summing of the Left output to mono to fail until plugged in while the device is on.
  5. Some kind of hardware issue on the Helix caused the automatic summing of the Left output to mono to fail until plugged in while the device is on.
  6. Points #4 & #5 seem unlikely since the issue did not persist after you did a global reset & restore.
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Heya. Was doing a sound check yesterday and the issue came back!  At least I now have my #0 preset “sound check” that tests left/right delay so I know: if I don’t hear the sound I want, I re/plug my monitor mix cable. 

The bug…It comes and goes. Doing a reset solves it for some time, but without doing anything (no change to any settings)….it comes back. Support can’t replicate it because it only comes up after some time, not when you restore your backup right away / when you do a reset.  
 

ughhh

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