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Recording using the seven cable method


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I have two presets. One is for electric guitar, using the seven cable method. Guitar goes to the aux in, sends 1/2 go to two amps, returns 1/2 go to fx sends of the amps, 1/4" outs L/R go to the FX returns. All blocks are stereo. Please feel free to correct me if I'm doing anything wrong here.


The second preset is for acoustic guitar. I use the guitar input for this, run one long fx chain, and then send to the XLR outputs which go to the PA.


I recently discovered that the Helix is a (class compliant!) recording interface, and would like to record with it, ideally in this fashion:


* USB input 7: DI guitar from either the electric or acoustic, depending on what preset I'm using.

* USB input 8: Mic in, my electric guitar cabinet is mic'd up with an e609.

* USB inputs 1/2: Sends 1/2, ie, the sound of my electric guitar after my "pedalboard" but before the preamp. Not super necessary, but might be interesting to have.

* USB inputs 3/4: 1/4" outputs, ie, the sound of the "pedalboard" + preamp + fx loop. This is also not crucial, but might be interesting to have as well. I could use an impulse response in my DAW to simulate power amp + mic + cab later on for experimenting.


I need no monitoring or USB outputs.


I tried setting this up (just for electric guitar for now) and it looks like I can only really accomplish the first item. It looks like there is no way to set an output as "Sends 1/2 + USB 1/2", or "1/4" + USB 3/4" unfortunately. Again, this isn't super necessary, but it seems like it would just require a few additional permutations on the output block. Perhaps there is a feature request for this? (The gain reduction meter feature was implemented!) I can't use "multi" of course as XLR is included in that, and the XLR outputs are being used already by the acoustic guitar preset, going into the PA.


It looks like I can use the mic input for USB input 8, but it says "Use as DI source", so it seems like my guitar cab mic would then be going through a DI? Normally a guitar is connected to the high z side of a DI, and the low z side is connected to an audio interface. In this configuration it seems like the mic would then be connected to a DI (incorrectly apparently converting from high z to low z?) and then into the interface? I would expect something like mic -> preamp -> interface, no DI should be in the chain at all.


Can anyone clarify recording with the mic input? And is it possible to record Sends 1/2 and 1/4" L/R?

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When you're using Helix as your AI (audio interface), the only signals reaching your DAW are:

USB 1/2

USB 3/4

USB 5/6




In this context, "DI" means "DIRECT INPUT".

When you set your Track Input to USB 7 or 8, you're taking whatever input is specified in Global Settings Re-amp Source DIRECTLY to the the DAW, bypassing the signal chain (no processing). The Output Block does not need to be set to USB 7 or 8. Those USB Outputs are ALWAYS available to the DAW.


In Global Settings you can set USB 8 Re-Amp Source to MIC and your mic'd cab signal will go straight to a track whose input is set to Input 8.

Question: You're sending a stereo signal to two mono amps, but only mic'ing one cab? You only want to record HALF of the stereo signal?

The usual way to do this without a proper multi-channel AI would be to use an IR on the split mentioned below and NOT mic the amps.

OR use an IR in your DAW.

This also frees up the Re-amp Source input on USB 8 for a dedicated DI for both electric and acoustic inputs.


If you set your electric preset to utilize 7cm, you need to take a split before your 1/4" Output Block and set the Output Block of the split to one of the USB pairs.

Same for the acoustic preset, you need to take a split before the XLR Output Block and set that to another of the USB pairs.


Getting separate DI tracks (if you're mic'ing your amp, see above) will require you to setup two tracks with one input (7), then change the source in Global Settings from Guitar to Aux and make sure that you have the correct track armed in your DAW.


Summary: Because of your 7cm/dual amp stereo configuration, you've reached the limits of the Helix's usefulness as an AI.

You can do everything you want to do, but you can't just wire it up and set the DAW tracks if you want to mic your amp. Some fooling with your DAW settings and/or Helix Global settings will be required. With that in mind, there may be other ways to do what you want other than what I've described but none that I'd consider optimal.


Recommendation: Save up for a proper multi-channel AI. I use a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, but there are many quality affordable units out there.






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