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No sound over USB from computer via hub


maroguitar
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Hi, I'm new to the Helix.

I recently purchased an HX stomp and I'm quite happy with it. I connect it via USB to my windows computer's screen which is connected via USB-C to the computer. It connects fine to HX edit. However audio playback from the computer only works a couple of seconds after the Helix has booted up . It stops immediately thereafter and I'm not hearing anything. It seems to be more stable if I connect the Helix directly to the computer's USB port. Is this a known issue? I would really like to route the connection through the monitor as I don't have to plug cables all the time. As I can hear audio initially it at least seems to work somehow, so I wonder if there is an easy fix for this.

 

Many thanks

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There's a problem with the way your PC is configured.

I connected my Helix (USB implementation is no different than HXS) to my USB C hub which is connected to my laptop.

No problems, works exactly like when connected directly to the laptop USB.

The only difference is that my USB C hub is not part of a monitor.

Check your drivers and Windows display and audio settings.

 

NOTE: L6 advises against using a Hub, but that is only an issue when performing updates. Remember to connect your HXS directly to a mainboard USB port when performing updates.

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Unfortunately hubs are a problem. 
and from personal experience not all hubs are created equal. I recently bought a reasonably expensive hub. It lets me make all the connections I want to make. But it turns out I can’t get 4K monitor support ( although it is supposed to work)

so I bought a midrange USB-c to HDMI cable and that works 100%. 
My point is that usb hubs are just a minefield of pain- there are lots of YouTube videos on it. 
So all you can do is buy a USB-c to Helix USB and hope it works- some here might have a common brand to point you at?

Otherwise, you are stuck with trial and error as all the cables say they work and many don’t!!

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USB hubs have been a problem since Line 6 first went USB on the XT line....All modelers that act as interfaces and have edit ability employ both Bulk Mode (editing) and Streaming Mode (audio) simultaneously. There is an inherent problem with the USB IEEE Leader Follower specification in that Streaming mode allows for an "acceptable" number of dropped packets. Bulk mode is what is used for data transfers like copying files and device presets and that mode must move the data perfectly. Because Streaming is a real-time mode and Bulk is not, when Bulk mode hits a critical condition where it must interupt Streaming mode, the stream will drop some packets and sometimes, bulk mode will get errors. These are low level hardware errors that happen all the time and are corrected. hubs add another layer of interrupts for the other devices in the hub and the hub itself. This is dictated by the spec...

 

It is so much better now that it was years ago, but I don't think hubs will ever be good for streaming audio devices...But then, not all hubs are created equal. So one hub could work where another won't. I have seen it happen with computer MB so many times...New board comes out and there are bugs in the modes and you have to update the BIOS to fix it...Sometimes a shop will develop a driver using a flawed chipset and workaround the issue....then the chipset is updated and workaround breaks the driver....but yeah, hubs are mostly bad results for Line 6 stuff.

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USB hubs have been an endless source of problems ever since I'm using them. I can't even remember how much I already had and apart from some medium-expensive Belkin one (that I unfortunately forgot in a backstage area a while ago), pretty much all of them had some issues every now and then. Fwiw, this is my experience with standard USB hubs (there's newer ones such as what, say, many people are using with their M1 Macs, also allowing you to connect various other things, those seem to do a lot better).
In addition there's USB cables and for whatever weird reasons, the differences between them are staggering - and once you're using a hub, you double those potential issues.

In a nutshell: Don't use hubs for anything mission critical in case it's possible.

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