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New 3.50 Update How is DSP Allocated? Cabs and IRs


DJ5D
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The new 3.50 update says that the new cabs and IRs will use 66-80% less DSP.

 

Yet on HX Stomp I cannot have a 1024 IR and a new Dual Cab in the same patch.

 

Legacy Duals and IRs work fine, so how is it that the new Dual Cabs that "use less DSP" not work in tandem with an IR??

 

I feel like i have gained and lost function at the same time here.

 

 

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Someone explained it somewhere, the new cabs seem to access the same "improved processing area" (in lack of better words) as the IR blocks, and apparently there's a limit of 2 IRs being processed at once, the new cabs in this case are seen as an IR for each cab, so with a dual cab, the limits are reached. The old cabs however don't fall into this category, as they don't seem to be brute force IRs (which the new ones are).

Sorry for not being able to explain this any better, but someone (maybe even someone from L6) explained it along these lines somewhere.

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If this really is only a matter of what is essentially an old limit embedded in the code being unnecessarily triggered by the new code, perhaps they did not have time to get to it for this firmware release. They may be able to remove this limitation in a future firmware upgrade. I guess time will tell.

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I have heard somewhere, old limitations stay (two 1024, one 2048 per path) because of huge memory resouces they need.

"66-80% less DSP" is marketing mumbo jumbo until Ben Vesco confirms that.
https://benvesco.com/store/helix-dsp-allocations/

BTW: If "stock cabs" are IRs now, why their switching can not be automated by snapshots?

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On 11/8/2022 at 6:17 PM, PierM said:

I did some test with my Stomp, and couldn't benefit in any way of that optimization, so I guess it's a DSP headroom not yet available to us (if will ever be).

 

But could you load an IR and a dual (legacy) cab block simultaneously on the Stomp before? I never tried...

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On 11/8/2022 at 6:22 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

But could you load an IR and a dual (legacy) cab block simultaneously on the Stomp before? I never tried...

 

Good question. Never tried with the old 3.15.

 

I could check this with Native (that I didnt updated yet) in hardware compatibility mode.

 

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@SaschaFranck this makes sense logically, i hope its not the case tho.

 

@zolko60 marketing mumbo jumbo....would they dare?

 

 It would be fantastic if they were able to work this out in future updates for the Stomp.

 

Its rare to see this kind of truly functional update for a piece of hardware that is already aging, I guess we will just have to hope they work a few more miracles.

 

Ive mostly just used IRs because the results with the legacy cabs have been less than stellar, so I was excited to see how good the new ones were, but so far, none of my experiments have been able to get to the quality level of the IRs. This is why i was trying to do an IR and the new Duals in the first place, to quickly compare, recreate & share. I suppose ill just have to do it on the PC in Native with the limits turned off.

Still it would be nice to have an official answer from Line6- either  "this is never going to happen" or "yes we are working on that"

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On 11/8/2022 at 8:44 PM, DJ5D said:

Its rare to see this kind of truly functional update for a piece of hardware that is already aging, I guess we will just have to hope they work a few more miracles.

 

It's not exactly aging - especially when you consider that apparently there's still room for efficiency improvements.

Add to this that the demand for the Floor easily exceeds what can be supplied at the moment - now, we all know that hasn't got exclusively to do with the Helix' success but rather with a general supply shortage, but then, that'd be just the same if L6 had a sucessor on offer. So, at this moment in time, it'd possibly be economically stupid to invest in whatever new hardware development when even the "aging" hardware is constantly sold out (heck, over here there's not one single Floor in eBay's classifieds section).

Further, I'd take a bet that all things currently developed will also find their way into the next modeling generation, so it's not wasted time, either.

And finally, supporting the current modeling line that long is raising confidence and trust among users. So once times are better economically, there's gonna be plenty of customers willing to buy whatever new units.

Really, as much as one may like the Line 6 folks, they're not doing this for fun or just to please their customers (at least not just for that). After all, it's a division of Yamaha, and anything done serves a bigger picture. And the main aspect of that bigger picture is to generate as much revenue as possible.

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On 11/8/2022 at 12:57 PM, SaschaFranck said:

It's not exactly aging - especially when you consider that apparently there's still room for efficiency improvements.

The original Helix hardware came out in 2015- and the Sharc processors that power it go back to 2012 or earlier- that's 10 years ago, an ETERNITY in terms of computer processing capability. This is why its rare and much appreciated to see the updates. They are really working some miracles at Line6. :)  

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On 11/8/2022 at 10:17 AM, PierM said:

I did some test with my Stomp, and couldn't benefit in any way of that optimization, so I guess it's a DSP headroom not yet available to us (if will ever be).

 

 

 

 

 

Wait . . . so despite all of the talk about having more DSP available - you haven't been able to see any of it play out in reality? 

 

That's disconcerting. 

 

@phil_m - you're practically Line 6 - do you have any thoughts on this? 

 

Am I reading Pier's comment totally wrong? I'm confused as hell now. 

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On 11/8/2022 at 10:01 PM, Kilrahi said:

 

 

Am I reading Pier's comment totally wrong? I'm confused as hell now. 

 

I managed to see the extra DSP in action, doing presets from scratch, and indeed you can manage to squeeze things better, which means I could get back few of the grayed out effects when using last gen of amp/cab.

 

I still cant improve my old own presets, I guess because they already use demanding stuff (like glitch delay, reverbs, picth etc...).

 

You can be happy now. No Panic ;)

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On 11/8/2022 at 9:44 PM, DJ5D said:

The original Helix hardware came out in 2015- and the Sharc processors that power it go back to 2012 or earlier- that's 10 years ago, an ETERNITY in terms of computer processing capability. This is why its rare and much appreciated to see the updates. They are really working some miracles at Line6. :)  

 

Might generally be true but in this case it's not all too relevant. The entire thing isn't just about brute force processing power, it's a whole lot about how you utilize it. And regarding that, the current hardware would likely be good for another decade to come.

Also, just look at the Kemper. Still going incredibly strong.

 

In most cases, hardware obsolescence isn't happening because of the hardware not being decent enough anymore but simply because it's planned. In the land of all things computing that's just absolutely common. Economically that's just how things are like (as stupid as it might be), ecologically (and of course also socially) it's a large part of the reason why the world looks as it looks like today.

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The IR/Cab categorization that Sasha was referring to would make sense.  I have a few song specific presets where I use an acoustic simulator path and also a dual amp/cab path.  I could fit this before in my preset.  Path 1 would be all pre-amp type stuff (acoustic blocks, amp blocks, eq/comp type stuff).  Path 2 was my "post' section that had Eq's, IR blocks, cabs, delays/verbs.   In my old preset, running a stereo path, I had acoustic stuff prior to my signal split on path 1.  Paths 1a/1b went to 2a/2b respectively, where they stayed separate with an EQ/IR/Cab block before joining together for a final delay/reverb/retro reel finish.  Currently while reworking my presets with the dual stock cabs, I cannot add an IR to the same 2A path.  My current path 2 blocks on this preset are a dual stock cab, dynamic ambience.  When I try to add an IR block I get a memory error.  

 

It would be awesome if they could resolve this, but also makes sense that the old cabs werent 'thought of' by the processor/coding that way.  

 

I could be wrong, but it matches my experience so far. 

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On 11/8/2022 at 3:20 PM, themetallikid said:

The IR/Cab categorization that Sasha was referring to would make sense.  I have a few song specific presets where I use an acoustic simulator path and also a dual amp/cab path.  I could fit this before in my preset.  Path 1 would be all pre-amp type stuff (acoustic blocks, amp blocks, eq/comp type stuff).  Path 2 was my "post' section that had Eq's, IR blocks, cabs, delays/verbs.   In my old preset, running a stereo path, I had acoustic stuff prior to my signal split on path 1.  Paths 1a/1b went to 2a/2b respectively, where they stayed separate with an EQ/IR/Cab block before joining together for a final delay/reverb/retro reel finish.  Currently while reworking my presets with the dual stock cabs, I cannot add an IR to the same 2A path.  My current path 2 blocks on this preset are a dual stock cab, dynamic ambience.  When I try to add an IR block I get a memory error.  

 

It would be awesome if they could resolve this, but also makes sense that the old cabs werent 'thought of' by the processor/coding that way.  

 

I could be wrong, but it matches my experience so far. 

 

This is the answer that Phil gave below. I believe this relates to what you're experiencing, and it's what I was referencing to above:

 

 

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On 11/8/2022 at 9:44 PM, DJ5D said:

The original Helix hardware came out in 2015- and the Sharc processors that power it go back to 2012 or earlier- that's 10 years ago, an ETERNITY in terms of computer processing capability.

 

Once upon a time, 10 years used to be "eternity". But computer processing capabilities of the 2010s was a giant leap forward, if done right.

 

For example, I still see no reason to replace my mid-2012 MacBook Pro, the last one with built-in DVD-R drive and optional matte display. It just works, on and on, daily. I use it for graphic design which is my main profession, audio editing, multitrack recording, mixing and mastering with Logic Pro, Izotope RX and others, video editing with iMovie and several freeware tools.

Now when I compare it to my older MacBook model from 2008: that one already feels somewhat like a "half-eternity", although only 4 years older. But it still works as well, it can do almost everything the 2012 MacBook can, just noticeably slower, despite SSD upgrade.

And not to speak of the PowerBook G4 from 2005, i.e. only 7 years older than my main MacBook. Technically it also still "works as ever", but, meh. It's only sitting here for those rare moments when I'd have to launch some legacy PPC-only software from distant past. (Oh, did I mention my 2001 PowerMac G4 or my 1993 Macintosh LC475? :D)

Would a brand new M2 MacBook be much faster? Sure. Would it run all my favorite apps? Nope. Could I attach my good old and reliable Firewire audio interfaces to it. Nope. 

 

In other words:

Well done, Line6!

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Line6/Yamaha goal is to keep the Helix family still attractive in the market, as much as they can - to make good money and pay the team involved. This means the obsolescence will never be artificial, like it happens with computers, laptops and smartphones, through the various OS update. If you buy an iPad/iPhone today, will feel quick as a blink of an eye and smooth as silk. In 4 or 5 years will start glitching, lagging, slowing down and at some point it will be flagged as legacy, and won't receive new updates...there you go, you are "gently" forced to buy a new one to get back THE SAME efficiency you had with the "old one". That's the only way they have to keep an oversaturated market alive; making a perfectly fine piece of hardware, looking and feeling old as soon as they can. Audio DSP hardware, thanks the lord, never worked that way, so you can still use a Pod, or first gen Fractal, or a 20 years old Eventide rack, same way you were doing when they came out 5, 10 or 30 years ago.

 

Long Live to Line 6 and Helix. ;)

 

 

 

 

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On 11/9/2022 at 10:26 AM, PierM said:

Audio DSP hardware, thanks the lord, never worked that way, so you can still use a Pod, or first gen Fractal, or a 20 years old Eventide rack, same way you were doing when they came out 5, 10 or 30 years ago.

 

Pretty much depends whether you have to use software along with that stuff. For instance, many older audio interfaces simply don't work anymore as there's no actual drivers anymore. The same could happen to the HY family, so using them as interfaces or using HX Edit will not work anymore. Which would also result in not being able to load IRs onto them anymore. So it's really not *all* that different.

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On 11/9/2022 at 3:17 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

Pretty much depends whether you have to use software along with that stuff. For instance, many older audio interfaces simply don't work anymore as there's no actual drivers anymore. The same could happen to the HY family, so using them as interfaces or using HX Edit will not work anymore. Which would also result in not being able to load IRs onto them anymore. So it's really not *all* that different.

 

Im sure you got what I mean. ;)

 

I still have and use rack/pedal stuff I bought in the early '80. I can't barely use my iPad Pro first gen, due the planned obsolescence made by Apple.

 

I was referring to DSP age, that doesn't suffer planned obsolescence. You are referring to interface protocols, that's another story.

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On 11/9/2022 at 3:39 PM, PierM said:

Im sure you got what I mean. ;)

 

Of course, and I'd even agree, at least partially... but then, these days, the lines are pretty much blurred. I mean, using the HX family stuff without computer assistance would be vastly less efficient, at least for me, so as soon as they're not supported any longer (which eventually will happen), their value (and I'm not talking about the monetary value) will dwindle.

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On 11/9/2022 at 3:51 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

Of course, and I'd even agree, at least partially... but then, these days, the lines are pretty much blurred. I mean, using the HX family stuff without computer assistance would be vastly less efficient, at least for me, so as soon as they're not supported any longer (which eventually will happen), their value (and I'm not talking about the monetary value) will dwindle.

 

I don't use the HX Stomp as interface, and the HX Edit isn't really mandatory to make a preset. Actually, I almost never use it, but I 100% understand your point as a user. Still, in 10 years from now, HX Stomp will still work as standalone device, like my '90 Oberheim loopers, or a glamourish ART SGX 2000. It will sounds as today, reactivity will be the same (as there is no planned obsolescence injected by the OS), and it will still be possible to edit presets directly on the device (unless something breaks apart of course). The only thing that it will eventually expire, will be the audio interface aspect due the legacy driver and protocols.

 

On the other hand, where market is thinner in a niche of a niche, there are products like the FH1500, that have been abandoned pretty much instantly after the launch. The app barely works today on iOS, and doing presets onboard it's a miserable experience... That's bloody annoying indeed.

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On 11/9/2022 at 4:26 AM, PierM said:

Line6/Yamaha goal is to keep the Helix family still attractive in the market, as much as they can - to make good money and pay the team involved. This means the obsolescence will never be artificial, like it happens with computers, laptops and smartphones, through the various OS update. If you buy an iPad/iPhone today, will feel quick as a blink of an eye and smooth as silk. In 4 or 5 years will start glitching, lagging, slowing down and at some point it will be flagged as legacy, and won't receive new updates...there you go, you are "gently" forced to buy a new one to get back THE SAME efficiency you had with the "old one". That's the only way they have to keep an oversaturated market alive; making a perfectly fine piece of hardware, looking and feeling old as soon as they can. Audio DSP hardware, thanks the lord, never worked that way, so you can still use a Pod, or first gen Fractal, or a 20 years old Eventide rack, same way you were doing when they came out 5, 10 or 30 years ago.

 

Long Live to Line 6 and Helix. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

On 11/9/2022 at 9:17 AM, SaschaFranck said:

 

Pretty much depends whether you have to use software along with that stuff. For instance, many older audio interfaces simply don't work anymore as there's no actual drivers anymore. The same could happen to the HY family, so using them as interfaces or using HX Edit will not work anymore. Which would also result in not being able to load IRs onto them anymore. So it's really not *all* that different.

 

Both your points are well taken. There is absolutely a dependency between certain devices (e.g. digital modelers) and the computer that can hobble the device if OS upgrades or hardware changes on the computer no longer support the older device. At least there is the option to keep an old OS version around on one of your computers to keep your older drivers and apps still working. I have had a few devices along the way that I have made the decision to do this for. That way I can upgrade my hardware on my own schedule and have multiple computers, a more current one for current devices, and one which is designated for legacy devices. PITA but I have found it necessary at times.

 

Also agree that the way OS upgrades work with their resultant driver and application incompatibility in the Windows, iOS, and even Android universe to some extent, is absolutely geared towards forcing you into a constant, and IMHO too frequent, hardware upgrade cycle for tablets and phones and sometimes even computers.

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