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Helix Native live use


PlayinOcean
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Hello all, 

 

Currently I am using an HX effects into an amp. Because I registrered the HX, I got a nice discount on Helix Native. Combined with cyber monday, it was a nice deal.

I initially bought Native just for recording stuff, but now that I've experienced the full range of Helix soundscaping, I am thinking about using Native live. 

To do that, I need an audio interface (already have one), a midi controller (HX Effects could double as one) and a host for the Native plugin. Currently I am using Reaper, but I have read about programs that transform Native into a standalone plugin. VSTHost/Savihost for example. 

 

My question: does anyone have good experiences using Native live with either a DAW or another type of host? I already read some sparse info on using midi commands within Reaper, but it seems better to use another type of host that might require less CPU usage than a full-on DAW. Is there a host-type of program that includes midi-commands? I only need to be able to switch between snapshots.

 

Hopefully you guys can help me out.

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2 hours ago, PlayinOcean said:

My question: does anyone have good experiences using Native live with either a DAW or another type of host?


Hi,

 

This is one of those things that makes you think, “if it was so easy, everybody would be doing it”.

 

There have been many discussions in here - for example, way back in 2017.

 

Also, there is a thread over on TGP where it is discussed and has has examples of some solutions.

 

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/helix-native-live-use.1944255/

 

For even more answers, simply type “using helix native live”, into Google.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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If you manage to build a dedicated machine for it, completely optimized for live low latency DAW'ing, then it's doable. It does require a decent computer that is capable to run very low DPCs (Deferred Procedure Call), which are the first cause for clicks, pops and audio drops. This is valid for any audio plugin, not only Native.

 

Also the audio interface and its drivers are very important. Native seems very sensible to preamps quality and Dynamic Range, at least IME.

 

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1 hour ago, datacommando said:

 

 

This is one of those things that makes you think, “if it was so easy, everybody would be doing it”.

 

 

 

Not quite. If everybody already had an HX Effects and an audio interface and a somewhat reliable laptop and the idea to grab the discount on Native, then everybody would do it. If I had none of that, of course I would be far better of just buying a Helix Floor. But since I have what I have, I am thinking of the possibilities.

1 hour ago, datacommando said:

 

 

For even more answers, simply type “using helix native live”, into Google.

 

 

 

That is somewhat condecending and not very helpful. Thanks for the links. One of them I hadnt found yet after searching Google. Many of these discussions are outdated because Native can do things now that it couldnt do some years ago (mostly MIDI-related stuff).

 

26 minutes ago, PierM said:

If you manage to build a dedicated machine for it, completely optimized for live low latency DAW'ing, then it's doable. It does require a decent computer that is capable to run very low DPCs (Deferred Procedure Call), which are the first cause for clicks, pops and audio drops. This is valid for any audio plugin, not only Native.

 

Also the audio interface and its drivers are very important. Native seems very sensible to preamps quality and Dynamic Range, at least IME.

 

 

Thanks for the advice! I am aware that any such setup is less stable than just using a Helix Floor. Maybe I will use it only for certain practice sessions where technical breakdowns aren't as problematic.

 

Still hoping that some people here have actual experience that they want to share.

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5 minutes ago, PlayinOcean said:

 

 

Still hoping that some people here have actual experience that they want to share.

 

Played live many times with just a guitar, a computer and MIDI controllers. it's completely doable. But that's just an oversimplified description of a very complex balance. A DAW for live use can be hard to keep in balance in a way that you can feel confident in a live situation, unless you are good with installing your stuff, work for weeks to optimize it, and then disconnect it from the internet forever, to prevent driver updates, OS updates, bloater installations, new services, registry changes, crap selfinstalling in the auto-start, etc etc... 

 

Point is, there are hundreds of variables involved, and a potential domino of elements. For example, you asked about a good Host. It depends what you want to do, and what machine/OS we are talking about. The DAW is mostly about CPU and disk I/O (if you are also doing live looping), but again, DPCs are the real enemy for a clean and stable low latency, and those can be a PITA to kill, and once killed they are very easy to screw up, since even just a generic driver update could bring them back to high timings. 

 

My suggestion is to sketch down a plan and move from there; budget, what you have, what you need etc... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, PlayinOcean said:

That is somewhat condecending and not very helpful.


Really? Well that’s a very considered reply.

 

Good job there isn’t a RTFM response to your question.

 

Happy to help, hope you find what you haven’t discovered yet!


Keep looking.

 

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10 minutes ago, datacommando said:


Really? Well that’s a very considered reply.

 

Good job there isn’t a RTFM response to your question.

 

Happy to help, hope you find what you haven’t discovered yet!


Keep looking.

 

 

Honestly that was a hell of a response, since that thread you linked has plenty of real life setups, with specs and details..

 

Shrug...

 

 

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51 minutes ago, PierM said:

 

Played live many times with just a guitar, a computer and MIDI controllers. it's completely doable. But that's just an oversimplified description of a very complex balance. A DAW for live use can be hard to keep in balance in a way that you can feel confident in a live situation, unless you are good with installing your stuff, work for weeks to optimize it, and then disconnect it from the internet forever, to prevent driver updates, OS updates, bloater installations, new services, registry changes, crap selfinstalling in the auto-start, etc etc... 

 

Point is, there are hundreds of variables involved, and a potential domino of elements. For example, you asked about a good Host. It depends what you want to do, and what machine/OS we are talking about. The DAW is mostly about CPU and disk I/O (if you are also doing live looping), but again, DPCs are the real enemy for a clean and stable low latency, and those can be a PITA to kill, and once killed they are very easy to screw up, since even just a generic driver update could bring them back to high timings. 

 

My suggestion is to sketch down a plan and move from there; budget, what you have, what you need etc... 

 

 

Allright, I seem to be walking into a rabithole here it seems. Will look into the capabilities of my laptop and whether I am willing to invest this amount of energy.

 

Still wondering whether there is a host that is able to link MIDI commands straight to Native. From my understanding a host like Catabile does receive MIDI commands, but you then have to create multiple instances of Native to switch between, since the MIDI commands do not connect to within Native. I know there are ways within Reaper to give commands directly to Native, but I've read that using a DAW live is just a waste of CPU if a simple host can do the same trick.

If the hosting of Native/connectivity is settled, I can then test and maybe perfect my live setup.

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2 minutes ago, PlayinOcean said:

 

Allright, I seem to be walking into a rabithole here it seems. Will look into the capabilities of my laptop and whether I am willing to invest this amount of energy.

 

Still wondering whether there is a host that is able to link MIDI commands straight to Native. From my understanding a host like Catabile does receive MIDI commands, but you then have to create multiple instances of Native to switch between, since the MIDI commands do not connect to within Native. I know there are ways within Reaper to give commands directly to Native, but I've read that using a DAW live is just a waste of CPU if a simple host can do the same trick.

If the hosting of Native/connectivity is settled, I can then test and maybe perfect my live setup.

 

Not sure I understand here. Native does receive MIDI from Cantabile. Never had to use multiple Native instance with it, but maybe you have in mind some particular task I dont need, and there you go; it's all about your very specific needs. ;)

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5 minutes ago, PierM said:

 

Not sure I understand here. Native does receive MIDI from Cantabile. Never had to use multiple Native instance with it, but maybe you have in mind some particular task I dont need, and there you go; it's all about your very specific needs. ;)

 

I will just download Cantabile and see it for myself. Thanks for the advice and sorry for the misguided questions. It is quite daunting to enter into a whole new way of guitar amplification with so many variables that I have to learn about. Time will tell.

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Just now, PlayinOcean said:

Windows, sorry for not mentioning it earlier.

 

Ok. If you want to check what might be the best for Windows, you might want to try out Gig Performer. It's entirely programmed around live useage.

https://gigperformer.com/

You might as well want to have a look at Blue Cat Audio's Patchwork:
https://www.bluecataudio.com/Products/Product_PatchWork/

 

The already mentioned Cantabile is worth a try, too. I think they even have a feature reduced free version.

 

These aren't free, but I would highly recommend checking them out because they might save you *lots* of trouble compared to hacking your way around whatever other host.

Also, they allow you to add other plugins, which I think is something I'd do in any case if I was using a computer live (it's actually why I thought about doing so already).

 

Anyway, there's also a pretty simple program called Savihost, turning pretty much any plugin into a standalone:

https://www.kvraudio.com/product/savihost-by-hermann-seib

 

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13 minutes ago, PlayinOcean said:

 

I will just download Cantabile and see it for myself. Thanks for the advice and sorry for the misguided questions. It is quite daunting to enter into a whole new way of guitar amplification with so many variables that I have to learn about. Time will tell.

 

No probs.

 

Be sure you understand the Routing in Cantabile. https://www.cantabilesoftware.com/blog/introducing-routing-diagrams/

 

https://www.cantabilesoftware.com/guides/routingDiagrams

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Check a demo of Gig Performer. It has very robust MIDI binding (via "widgets") and works great for live performance. I haven't tried it with HXNative, though. Also, it will tell you what the latency is for any plugin you use with it. If you decide to buy, though, its quite spendy!

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8 hours ago, PlayinOcean said:

Still hoping that some people here have actual experience that they want to share.

 

In the early 2000s I did solo gigs with Ableton Live and guitar. Mostly I was doing fader slamming with Ableton, changing loops and scenes etc. Of course Helix native didn't exist back then, but I loaded amp sim plug-ins into Live. The biggest problem was program changes. It was too much CPU to have multiple sims loaded in different channels, and switch them seamlessly. I had to switch manually. The computer was never a problem. I've done sim gigs like this with both Mac and Windows.

 

A much more unusual use case was doing a festival gig with Brian Hardgroove from Public Enemy on drums. It was just the two of us. I was using hex guitar so I could pull bass notes off the low strings, rhythm off the top four, and there were standard magnetic pickups for playing lead. I had to use six instances of AmpliTube, because the guitar sent a digital multiplexed signal to a breakout box that had an audio output for each string.  These had to go to a six-input audio interface.

 

The gig was in 2007 IIRC so let's face it, computers pretty much sucked for real-time operation with multiple amp sims. Still, there weren't any issues with the computer, but unlike the Ableton Live gigs it didn't have to do anything other than host six instances of AmpliTube. There's a one-minute clip of the performance here

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Всем привет. Вот моя установка для живого использования. Общая задержка 3,2 мс. На основе системной платы Intel® DG41AN для настольных ПК. Звуковой интерфейс M-Audio Audiophile 192 SSD 64GB. Экран 10. 1TNT Full HD. Резистивный сенсорный экран. Гибридное управление с резистивным сенсорным экраном + энкодер. MIDI-контроллер Arduino Mega 2560. Входное сопротивление гитары 1-3 МОм, линейный стереовход, выход для наушников, балансный выход XLR, выход для педали. ОС Windows встроенный стандарт 7, встроенный helix, neural dsp.

https://youtu.be/N3tlznixTUE

IMG_0023.thumb.JPG.dfe4706e15ec498a61d392f6729e9004.jpeg

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Кнопки добавлять не нужно. Есть режимы работы. Основные 4 кнопки отвечают за сцены и пресеты. Также есть режимы сцены, пресеты, луперы, тюнер, FX, а также возможность подключения отдельной педали и еще 4 кнопки. Я не говорю по-английски. Пишу через гугл переводчик. Сейчас доработал схему. 2 гитарных входа с динамическим изменением импеданса от 22к-10м. 1 микрофонный вход.

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