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Why is L/Mono outputting Left, not Mono?


YammerUK
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Just FYI, I restored my Helix to factory settings, then I recreated my global settings from scratch.  Sure enough, the bug resurfaced after about a week of normal use.  By normal use I mean turning the Helix on/off, backing up and restoring, and reordering presets. 

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On 8/13/2022 at 11:13 AM, theElevators said:

NO.

 

Well then mine must be a more perfect than perfect specimen, because I ain't got no problems like you got with yours!

How do you explain THAT? Are you located on a convergence of major ley lines?

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On 8/13/2022 at 1:30 PM, rd2rk said:

 

Well then mine must be a more perfect than perfect specimen, because I ain't got no problems like you got with yours!

How do you explain THAT? Are you located on a convergence of major ley lines?

Back to square one.  I explained that Line 6 replicated it.  I replicated it on 2 Helixes I own consistently after a week.  One of the Helixes was brand new when I restored the backup and developed the same problem after a week.  Reset solves it for a week and then it comes back.  It's a software bug.  If you restore my backup and use the Helix you will also have it. 

 

I work with clinical trials, with big shot companies like bayer, jnj, moderna, etc, I investigate and fix various bugs constantly.  If I say "sorry, can't see any issue locally, ticket closed", I'll be fired. 

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Then why don't I (or many thousands of other Helix users) have this problem? We're all using the same SW/FW. 

You've had this problem over several updates, and L6 replicated it over two years ago?

What's their latest explanation for why only SOME units (including theirs) have this problem? And why it hasn't been fixed?

I don't mean to be attacking you, but this whole thing baffles me. It makes NO sense!

 

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On 8/13/2022 at 2:19 PM, rd2rk said:

Then why don't I (or many thousands of other Helix users) have this problem? We're all using the same SW/FW. 

You've had this problem over several updates, and L6 replicated it over two years ago?

What's their latest explanation for why only SOME units (including theirs) have this problem? And why it hasn't been fixed?

I don't mean to be attacking you, but this whole thing baffles me. It makes NO sense!

 

Why people don't thousands of users have this problem?

- Because these people do not use the same exact global settings as me, e.g. output level of XLR is microphone, etc.  Most people do not take advantage of stereo signal chain.  Some people are unaware that they are outputting only one side -- it's not always obvious that that is the case unless you have an exaggerated ping-pong delay. 

 

 

What's their latest explanation?

- Line 6 can no longer replicate this issue.  Translation: they do not have time to try to replicate a bug for over a week. 

 

I wound up getting a simple adapter: 2 1/4" male to 1 1/4" female and after this latest failed experiment I've accepted that this is how it will be. 

 

 

---

 

P.S.: this reminds me of the Catch-22 b.s. I had to deal with when my iPhone's Apple Pay stopped working one day.  Apple said it's T-mobile to blame, T-mobile said it's Apple.  Tried restoring from my backup on 2 phones and it never worked.  After wasting several hours of my life, going to the Apple Store, calling T-mobile, I said "f.... this!" and just used a physical credit card, as I do to this day. 

 

 

 

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There are bugs that can be triggered only if a complex series of conditions are valid and happening at the same time, or in a specific sequence. They can be very tricky to track down (debug) and being able to replicate a bug, doesnt even mean they know the cause. 

 

It's up to L6, once reproed a bug, to start a branch to investigate, track down, debug, solve, test and release a fix. Problem is, sometimes these bugs are affecting a very small percentage of userbase, so they probably think It is not worth it.

 

 

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On 8/13/2022 at 2:38 PM, theElevators said:

P.S.: this reminds me of the Catch-22 b.s. I had to deal with when my iPhone's Apple Pay stopped working one day.  Apple said it's T-mobile to blame, T-mobile said it's Apple.  Tried restoring from my backup on 2 phones and it never worked.  After wasting several hours of my life, going to the Apple Store, calling T-mobile, I said "f.... this!" and just used a physical credit card, as I do to this day. 

 

I have an old Hotmail account that I haven't used for years. I ran into an old friend who I haven't seen for about that long and she said she'd been trying to contact me at that account. Apparently during one of the updates it got disconnected from my main MS account (which I've had for decades). I contacted MS and they linked me to a "Recovery" app that asks a bunch of questions that can't be answered unless you have access to the account. Yep, Catch-22!

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On 8/13/2022 at 12:43 PM, theElevators said:

It's a software bug.  If you restore my backup and use the Helix you will also have it. 

 

Just an FYI....

I have been restoring your backup now for about a month and cannot get the problem to surface.  The problem is, I can't leave your settings in place for more than a few days as I am gigging every weekend... I need to find a time where I can load them for a couple weeks or more. 

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On 6/30/2022 at 8:35 AM, theElevators said:

It's a software glitch.  Do an experiment with prominent left/right/left/right delay with Left and Right cables plugged in.  Now unplug the right cable, power down the Helix with only Left cable plugged in, power it up -- if you hear only one half of your stuff then you have successfully recreated the bug. 

 

The software glitch is that it does not sum the signal to mono initially.  After plugging/unplugging, it does. 

 

Are you switching between stereo and mono output setups between gigs? Does this only occur after you change from a stereo to a mono setup? Once you have proper mono behavior working, are you able to recreate this bug when using the Helix solely in mono (only L output plugged into) between restarts? Is it possible that when moving between stereo and mono output setups, that, perhaps dependent on global settings, preset, a firmware issue, or all of the above, that some users may experience a sort of frozen state where the firmware stops properly responding properly to the 'sum to mono' instruction from the hardware, and just stays stuck in stereo? 

 

Don't know enough about how summing works on the Helix to have any real insight into the source of your issue. Seems that the method you provided for correcting the issue is a fairly good workaround though for players who switch between stereo and mono setups.  Whether it is from venue to venue, or when they move from the studio to the stage. Good to be aware of this possible glitch.

 

I know you have been wrestling with this for quite a while. My first thought when I read the description of the issue was, much as @codamediasuggested, that it was suspiciously similar to the issue I have encountered on some older amps where the loop send/return jacks start to misbehave, probably from corrosion/shorting, and then proceed to partially or completely disrupt the signal flow through the amp. Essentially the amp acts like it thinks the send/return is in use, despite the fact that it isn't. For that particular problem, if cleaning doesn't work, often, plugging in a cable between the send and returns restores proper operation. A somewhat arcane issue the first time I encountered it (my amp periodically cutting out or not making any sound at all), for which I recall being quite happy to stumble across a cheap DIY fix.

 

Albeit, although your fix works somewhat differently, your solution of using a "2 1/4" male to 1 1/4" adapter to sum to mono from the Helix is very reminiscent of the blunt force workaround I ended up resorting to. With that in mind you have probably already tried swapping out guitars, cables, and monitoring destinations (amps/FRFR/mixer) to eliminate a short as a possibility. You appear to have tried quite a few approaches to troubleshoot this. As you point out though, it is quite possible this has nothing to do with your hardware. Or maybe it is not solely the hardware causing the issue. Maybe it is something in the interaction between your power, instrument, hardware, cabling, rig, etc. and the Helix's firmware/globals. That could potentially explain why @codamediahas not been able to recreate the problem when restoring your backup.

 

And now on to the highly unlikely problem sources. One crazy notion and probably just trying to apply a hammer to a screw. You posted having deoxed the main 1/4 input/output jacks. Grasping at straws here but wondering if you have done the same with the send/return jacks. Doubt they could impact the main outputs (the way it can on an old amp) unless you have a send/return block in the signal chain, but it can't hurt to clean them (properly/safely!) as well. Feel free to disregard this suggestion though. The odds of this being the problem when the issue has occurred for you on two separate devices is astronomically low unless you are in some kind of insanely dusty and wet environment. Another remote possibility I suppose is that there is corruption in your presets and using a certain one(s) triggers this behavior. Seems very unlikely though and probably something you have already considered. Anyway, good luck with this, sorry to see it dragging on. 

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I practice at home and at home I have 2 studio monitors plugged into left and right.  Every once in a while I check whether the bug comes back by leaving only left/mono plugged in and rebooting my Helix.  After a few days/weeks the issue resurfaces.  If I do a system restore, it goes away.  The problem is clearly with my Global Settings that I have, and those are pretty standard and nothing out of the ordinary. 

 

 

If this were a hardware problem, then this problem would always be there.  However, the problem only comes back after a week when I recreate my specific Global Settings and simply use my Helix like people normally do.  So let's please stop referring to it as a mechanical problem -- it clearly is not.  Unless well.... a mechanical problem somehow corrupts my Global Settings ...  it still would be a software bug. 

 

2 Helixes I own, one was brand-new, Line 6 support recreated it a few years back.  So bug bug bug. 

 

I bet you a lot of people have the same exact issue, they just don't know they have it.  Heck, I only realized it 17!! songs into my set that I was only hearing my left side on stage at a gig.  And only because of the prominent ping-pong delay that was simply not there. 

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On 8/18/2022 at 10:25 AM, theElevators said:

I practice at home and at home I have 2 studio monitors plugged into left and right.  Every once in a while I check whether the bug comes back by leaving only left/mono plugged in and rebooting my Helix.  After a few days/weeks the issue resurfaces.  If I do a system restore, it goes away.  The problem is clearly with my Global Settings that I have, and those are pretty standard and nothing out of the ordinary. 

 

 

If this were a hardware problem, then this problem would always be there.  However, the problem only comes back after a week when I recreate my specific Global Settings and simply use my Helix like people normally do.  So let's please stop referring to it as a mechanical problem -- it clearly is not.  Unless well.... a mechanical problem somehow corrupts my Global Settings ...  it still would be a software bug. 

 

2 Helixes I own, one was brand-new, Line 6 support recreated it a few years back.  So bug bug bug. 

 

I bet you a lot of people have the same exact issue, they just don't know they have it.  Heck, I only realized it 17!! songs into my set that I was only hearing my left side on stage at a gig.  And only because of the prominent ping-pong delay that was simply not there. 

 

I can accept that there may be other Helix users out there who may have the same problem and are unaware of it, particularly given how long it can take for the bug to surface. As you indicated, only executing something like the ping-pong test in mono before every use would confirm the absence/presence of the bug for many users who output to summed mono.

 

If I were starting from the premise that the problem has absolutely nothing to do with my hardware, as you assert, I think the next thing I would try would be the following two tests.  Targeted towards ensuring it wasn't either a corrupted preset or a preset with just the right combination of variables to cause a bug. My rationale being that since the issue/bug doesn't pop up for days/weeks, perhaps it is an unfortunate intersection of my global settings and one or more of my presets. For someone who is gigging regularly and only had one Helix this might not even be feasible, given how long it takes to produce the bug, but if you still have two devices you could dedicate one to just doing these tests while you use the other one for gigs.

 

Btw, these tests are also based on the premise that the bug does not occur for you using the factory default global settings. If it does, you would need to potentially add two more tests to recreate the bug. One using only the default globals and Factory presets. And the other using using the default globals and the combination of presets you use to perform/practice.

 

Test 1

 

Use the Helix for a few weeks with only Factory presets and your preferred global settings. 

Does the bug appear?

If it does, start restoring the factory default globals, one at a time, and retest until hopefully the issue no longer surfaces in an effort to nail down the particular global, or perhaps combination of global settings causing the problem.

 

Test 2

 

Use the Helix for a few weeks with the combination of presets you use to perform/practice, and your preferred global settings. 

Does the bug appear?

If it does, depending on the results from your other tests, you may have to start tracking down the problematic presets. 

Guess you have already confirmed the bug pops up in this scenario so perhaps you don't have to run Test 2 again.

 

Any way you look at it this is definitely a tedious test process with no guarantee of success.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry about reviving this post once again. 

 

I just confirmed that there is a noticeable difference between left/mono out vs. using a splitter that combines left and right into a mono signal.  With the splitter, the signal was noticeably hotter and more distorted, as opposed to more "glassy".  So there is a sonic difference due to (I suspect) hotter signal.

 

For my test I connected my Helix to a Yamaha mixing monitor.  My preset is of an edge of breakup clean solo sound...  

 

So I guess for myself, I will go back to plugging/unplugging a cable method, and using a sound check preset!

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I wonder if this problem is the reason my sound has been different lately.  In one configuration of our band, I play a duo with the singer/guitar player.  We play through the Bose (l1?).  My presets are setup as stereo, though nothing flashy.  I go from the 1/4 mono to the bose tonematch 1/4 mixer.

 

The last few recordings (recorded using zoom recorder placed directly in front of the bose speaks), my guitar seems very dry.  I wonder if this is happening to me.

 

I have duplicated the presets and swapped the mono L2 comp for the stereo version.  I have not played through the bose yet, so I'm not sure if that will make a difference or not.  When playing at home and with the rest of the band, I use the Powercabs connected through the l6link for my monitor, so I would not hear any difference anyway.

 

Am I correct is saying that your solution is to plug into the right 1/4, then unplug and plug into the left 1/4 and it should be summing?  Do I have to cycle the power inbetween these plug and unplugs?

 

Thanks for your help, and sorry you have been going through this for so long.

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On 9/16/2022 at 5:16 PM, PaulTBaker said:

 

Am I correct is saying that your solution is to plug into the right 1/4, then unplug and plug into the left 1/4 and it should be summing?  Do I have to cycle the power inbetween these plug and unplugs?

 

 

Yes, that is correct.  If your Helix is not rebooted, the summing will occur. 

 

 

I have set up a soundcheck preset to make sure that left/right panning occurs.  I play a few a quick chords before I begin playing my 2+ hour show to confirm I hear my familiar slow ping-pong delay. 

 

I also have other ways to check if somebody possibly rebooted my Helix..... for example the first preset in the set has snapshot "4" saved.   I switch switch to snapshot "1".  So if somebody rebooted my Helix, then it'll be back to "4"... that means I need to plug/unplug. 

 

 

 

Just test your stuff with an obvious slow ping pong: left/right/left/right.... if you start hearing left...left... only then you know there is a problem.  As for certain venues or PAs swallowing your wet effects, that's absolutely true.  For example, I have this one preset that has a very prominent single repeat delay.  I can hear that prominent repeat at home just fine.  On stage last night it sounded like reverb... barely even noticeable. 

 

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  • 1 month later...

This is a BUG!

 

Last night my Helix did the same thing.

During rehearsal, I use my laptop, connected to the Helix through USB and use Virtual DJ to play music for reference.

The XLR L/MONO from the Helix is sent to ONE powered speaker.

 

On playing "Play That Funky Music" through VirtualDJ, we couldn't hear the guitar, which is normally on the Right of the stereo speakers.

I couldn't figure it out why this happened... that was embarrassing.

 

Reading this thread it all made sense.  I hope Line 6 will sort this out in the new firmware update, hopefully soon.

 

Can someone do a test with playing the above song through your Helix to confirm this happens when music is played out through USB? 

This will highlight the fact the bug is nothing to do with the way Presets are created.

Laptop USB -> Helix USB

Helix XLR L/Mono Out -> 1 Powered Speaker.  In my case does not sum to mono, only get Left channel.

 

Thanks.

 

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On 10/25/2022 at 9:36 AM, line-6-user said:

This is a BUG!

 

Last night my Helix did the same thing.

During rehearsal, I use my laptop, connected to the Helix through USB and use Virtual DJ to play music for reference.

The XLR L/MONO from the Helix is sent to ONE powered speaker.

 

On playing "Play That Funky Music" through VirtualDJ, we couldn't hear the guitar, which is normally on the Right of the stereo speakers.

I couldn't figure it out why this happened... that was embarrassing.

 

Reading this thread it all made sense.  I hope Line 6 will sort this out in the new firmware update, hopefully soon.

 

Can someone do a test with playing the above song through your Helix to confirm this happens when music is played out through USB? 

This will highlight the fact the bug is nothing to do with the way Presets are created.

Laptop USB -> Helix USB

Helix XLR L/Mono Out -> 1 Powered Speaker.  In my case does not sum to mono, only get Left channel.

 

Thanks.

 

Well I did the test -- played this audio ^^^ and as expected the right side was silent. 

 

Don't count on Line 6 fixing this... ever!!!  They'll tell you:

 

"eeeerrrrr I don't hear it on my Helix duuuuuuurrrrr"

 

and

 

"it's clearly a hardware problem, why don't you waste 300 USD and send it to us duuuhhhhh ..."

 

or

 

"please back up / reset / restore and check"

 

lmfao

 

Re-read what I posted as my lifehacks / workarounds. 

1) have a sound check preset

2) verify that nobody rebooted your Helix by selecting a specific snapshot of your first preset, something that is different than the default snapshot.  If somebody rebooted your Helix, the selected snapshot will be different and you'll know. 

 

It's a stupid bug, it's annoying, but I've played many shows since the initial discovery using my plug/unplug workaround -- it is what it is. 

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On 10/25/2022 at 5:10 PM, theElevators said:

Well I did the test -- played this audio ^^^ and as expected the right side was silent. 

 

Don't count on Line 6 fixing this... ever!!!  They'll tell you:

 

"eeeerrrrr I don't hear it on my Helix duuuuuuurrrrr"

 

and

 

"it's clearly a hardware problem, why don't you waste 300 USD and send it to us duuuhhhhh ..."

 

or

 

"please back up / reset / restore and check"

 

lmfao

 

Re-read what I posted as my lifehacks / workarounds. 

1) have a sound check preset

2) verify that nobody rebooted your Helix by selecting a specific snapshot of your first preset, something that is different than the default snapshot.  If somebody rebooted your Helix, the selected snapshot will be different and you'll know. 

 

It's a stupid bug, it's annoying, but I've played many shows since the initial discovery using my plug/unplug workaround -- it is what it is. 

I can confirm that your method of plugging in the Right before plugging in to the Left/Mono works.

 

I don't understand why Line 6 does not acknowledge this.

It can't be difficult to add some coding to the firmware to solve this.

 

Maybe they are not going to support the Helix any longer?

 

I am grateful to you for the workaround, as I had some problems with a few presets using delays... I couldn't figure it out why the sound from the single powered speaker was lacking, compared to the my home stereo monitors.  No wonder! 

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On 10/25/2022 at 2:37 PM, line-6-user said:

I can confirm that your method of plugging in the Right before plugging in to the Left/Mono works.

 

I don't understand why Line 6 does not acknowledge this.

It can't be difficult to add some coding to the firmware to solve this.

 

Maybe they are not going to support the Helix any longer?

 

I am grateful to you for the workaround, as I had some problems with a few presets using delays... I couldn't figure it out why the sound from the single powered speaker was lacking, compared to the my home stereo monitors.  No wonder! 

You need to open the ticket if you haven't already done so.  The more tickets mentioning this, the higher the chance that this will be fixed... in Helix X....lol

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have had the same response from the the tech support as you got... that it's a hardware fault, but it's obviously not, as after reinstalling the 3.15 firmware twice but not doing a factory reset on the last update, solved the problem, ...at least for now.  I will hold my breath.

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On 11/3/2022 at 3:05 AM, line-6-user said:

I have had the same response from the the tech support as you got... that it's a hardware fault, but it's obviously not, as after reinstalling the 3.15 firmware twice but not doing a factory reset on the last update, solved the problem, ...at least for now.  I will hold my breath.

in 3.15 it will come back.  in 3.5 though, maybbbbe they fixed this bug.  Let us know.

 

I'm sticking to 3.11.  No need for me to update the firmware as I don't use IRs, and don't need change a single thing in my presets. 

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I might have found out a possible way to replicate the problem, which happens also with the 3.50 firmware.

 

Previously, with the 3.15 Firmware, I went to reinstall it and I then did the Factory Reset by holding the 2 middle buttons in the lower row.

I then loaded my backup that I made earlier and the problem was still there.

 

I then decided to redo the same 3.15 update, BUT this time I DID NOT PERFORMED THE FACTORY RESET.

This process seems to resolve the problem.

 

Then I carried out the 3.50 Firmware upgrade and the same thing happened.

 

These are the steps I went through:

Carried out a Backup and exported the individual User Setlists

Installed the 3.50 firmware.

Factory reset (so that it display the new Factory 1 and 2 setlists).

Exported The new Factory 1,2 setlists individually.

Imported my previously exported User setlists.

Carried out the 3.50 Firmware update (using the Line 6 Updater), WITHOUT DOING A FACTORY RESET.

Tested the L/Mono Summing with playing the song "Play that funky music" and the summing worked.

 

The only 2 changes carried out after that was:

Set the Tuner to Strobe

Set footswitches to 8 Snapshots.

 

So far it has been working just fine.  Let's hope it will stay that way.

 

Hopefully this helps someone else.

 

 

 

 

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hehe!  But Line 6 folks added the Sunn amp and a few more useless effects nobody asked for. 

 

I knew they would not fix it.  That'd been too easy.  So I will stay on 3.11

 

@line_6_user good luck trying to convince others that it's a software bug. 

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