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Using Helix as an interface for DAW amp sims


vstrattomusic
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So doing this is pretty easy in itself. Just mute the output in the patch and use Input 7 for the track in the DAW. But what bothers me is that it seems like there is no way the change the buffer size? Like in the driver control panel there is a slider for it but I don't think it's working or making any difference. No choice to change sample rates too, I guess it just uses the project sample rate. So weird...

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I can change buffer sizes in my host's driver setup. And from all I know, that's possible in any host on either Windows or macOS.

 

On 11/8/2022 at 11:15 PM, vstrattomusic said:

No choice to change sample rates too, I guess it just uses the project sample rate.

 

Of course it does use the project sample rate. There's no point (and also no way) to use various sample rates within one project. It's just how digital audio works.

 

It's pointless to use the Helix as an interface to actually play through other plugins via software monitoring, though, as the latency is simply abysmally bad. It's the worst latency you can think of, even in the land of super cheap audio interfaces.

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On 11/8/2022 at 3:15 PM, vstrattomusic said:

So doing this is pretty easy in itself. Just mute the output in the patch and use Input 7 for the track in the DAW. But what bothers me is that it seems like there is no way the change the buffer size? Like in the driver control panel there is a slider for it but I don't think it's working or making any difference. No choice to change sample rates too, I guess it just uses the project sample rate. So weird...

 

What DAW?

 

On 11/8/2022 at 3:30 PM, SaschaFranck said:

It's pointless to use the Helix as an interface to actually play through other plugins via software monitoring, though, as the latency is simply abysmally bad. It's the worst latency you can think of, even in the land of super cheap audio interfaces.

 

True dat!

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Fwiw, regardless of what their next (post-Helix) modeler line might look like, I seriously hope they will considerably up their audio interface game. Given all the routing options, plenty of inputs that can easily be abused to record additional signals simultaneously, easy re-amping options and what not, it could actually be a pretty decent audio interface. But as software monitoring has become a staple in the land of working with DAWs, latency needs to at least be brought down to a somewhat acceptable level. Something like, say 7-10ms when running the unit at 64 samples buffersize is a pretty common value even among pretty affordable consumer interfaces and with values as low-ish as that, you could at least give other amp sims a testrun. But with those almost 17ms of the Helix, that's just not possible (at least not for me).

Oh, and it needed a decent routing/leveling/mixing matrix for the entire USB-audio signalflow, ideally outside of HX Edit - and especially outside of the hardware.

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On 11/8/2022 at 4:02 PM, SaschaFranck said:

Fwiw, regardless of what their next (post-Helix) modeler line might look like, I seriously hope they will considerably up their audio interface game. Given all the routing options, plenty of inputs that can easily be abused to record additional signals simultaneously, easy re-amping options and what not, it could actually be a pretty decent audio interface. But as software monitoring has become a staple in the land of working with DAWs, latency needs to at least be brought down to a somewhat acceptable level. Something like, say 7-10ms when running the unit at 64 samples buffersize is a pretty common value even among pretty affordable consumer interfaces and with values as low-ish as that, you could at least give other amp sims a testrun. But with those almost 17ms of the Helix, that's just not possible (at least not for me).

Oh, and it needed a decent routing/leveling/mixing matrix for the entire USB-audio signalflow, ideally outside of HX Edit - and especially outside of the hardware.

 

I don't doubt you'll see improvements there in the "next gen" version of Line 6 modeler. 

 

At the time that L6 unveiled the Helix it was pretty impressive to have it be one of the included items. it still is great IMO even though practically every modeler does it now.

 

Still, yeah, technology continues to steadily improve. 

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On 11/9/2022 at 12:58 AM, Kilrahi said:

I don't doubt you'll see improvements there in the "next gen" version of Line 6 modeler.

 

I think it's a must that they improve the interface part. I mean, they're trying to play in the top tier modeler league but the interface is the worst of them all when it comes to latency, even beaten by the cheapest things from NUX, Joyo and what not. And by a wide margin even. Heck, my really sort of shabby Zoom G3 delivers a roundtrip latency under 10ms. That doesn't bode well with L6's general claims.

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On 11/8/2022 at 11:51 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

I think it's a must that they improve the interface part. I mean, they're trying to play in the top tier modeler league but the interface is the worst of them all when it comes to latency, even beaten by the cheapest things from NUX, Joyo and what not. And by a wide margin even. Heck, my really sort of shabby Zoom G3 delivers a roundtrip latency under 10ms. That doesn't bode well with L6's general claims.

 

You keep harping on this, but their position AFAICT is that the ASIO functions are for recording, which it is very good at, NOT for playing through VSTs, which is where the latency becomes a problem. I'd be happy if they improved that, but I really don't think it's ever going to happen. In any case, I don't think that it prevents them from playing in the top tier modeler league, nor do I think it's hurting sales, else it would have already been done.

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On 11/9/2022 at 8:27 AM, rd2rk said:

I'd be happy if they improved that, but I really don't think it's ever going to happen.

 

I don't think it's ever gonna happen, either. One of the reasons I scaled down to a Stomp because I wasn't utilizing the various recording related aspect of the Floor anymore.

Anyhow, I still think they need to improve on that with any future hardware iteration. I mean, it's one thing to deliver a sort of ok-ish interface with your modeler (which pretty much all of them do) but quite another thing to deliver the worst performance of the whole bunch.

And as far as this hurting sales or not, we simply don't know - but that's beyond the point already, I just happen to think that any modeler in that league should be sort of up to certain standards (otherwise, just leave the interface part out).

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On 11/8/2022 at 11:51 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

I think it's a must that they improve the interface part. I mean, they're trying to play in the top tier modeler league but the interface is the worst of them all when it comes to latency, even beaten by the cheapest things from NUX, Joyo and what not. And by a wide margin even. Heck, my really sort of shabby Zoom G3 delivers a roundtrip latency under 10ms. That doesn't bode well with L6's general claims.

 

Random aside - do you have any reccomendations on an audio interface with really low round trip latency that isn't a budget killer? 

 

I've been interested in using Native and my PC without having to pack the biger Helix around, but I've always been torn about what a good choice would be for that purpose. Drop too much of a fortune and I might as well by a Stomp instead. Drop too little money and it could be no difference in latency at all. 

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On 11/9/2022 at 10:33 AM, Kilrahi said:

 

Random aside - do you have any reccomendations on an audio interface with really low round trip latency that isn't a budget killer? 

 

I've been interested in using Native and my PC without having to pack the biger Helix around, but I've always been torn about what a good choice would be for that purpose. Drop too much of a fortune and I might as well by a Stomp instead. Drop too little money and it could be no difference in latency at all. 

 

Part of the equation is how powerful your PC is. The faster the processor the lower you can set your sample rate without glitches.

My 2nd gen Scarlett with my 7th gen i7 laptop will go down to 64spls and 7.6ms RT. Below 64spls it glitches. The 3rd gen Scarlett with a current gen i9 can go down to 16spls and <>2.5ms RT (I've read) which is pretty much the same as Helix direct (<>2ms). I'd like to compare those systems, but the cost of upgrading would be ridiculous considering that I'm not so much of a shredder that I can tell the difference between Helix direct (<>2ms) and Native at 7.6ms.

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On 11/9/2022 at 10:56 AM, rd2rk said:

 

Part of the equation is how powerful your PC is. The faster the processor the lower you can set your sample rate without glitches.

My 2nd gen Scarlett with my 7th gen i7 laptop will go down to 64spls and 7.6ms RT. Below 64spls it glitches. The 3rd gen Scarlett with a current gen i9 can go down to 16spls and <>2.5ms RT (I've read) which is pretty much the same as Helix direct (<>2ms). I'd like to compare those systems, but the cost of upgrading would be ridiculous considering that I'm not so much of a shredder that I can tell the difference between Helix direct (<>2ms) and Native at 7.6ms.

 

Good advice. My PC is reasonably powerful. However, I noticed that with the Helix if I lowered below 64 it started spazzing out. Unfortuantely, at 64 even though the latency was SLIGHT - it was still there and it drove me batty. It feels like a slight bump in speed would be all I need to make it work. 

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On 11/9/2022 at 11:05 AM, Kilrahi said:

 

Good advice. My PC is reasonably powerful. However, I noticed that with the Helix if I lowered below 64 it started spazzing out. Unfortuantely, at 64 even though the latency was SLIGHT - it was still there and it drove me batty. It feels like a slight bump in speed would be all I need to make it work. 

 

Yeah, as pointed out by @SaschaFranck, Helix as AI has horrible latency. On my system Helix RT at 64spls (48k) is 12.5ms vs the 7.6 that I get with my Scarlett.

BIG difference in feel.

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On 11/9/2022 at 6:33 PM, Kilrahi said:

Random aside - do you have any reccomendations on an audio interface with really low round trip latency that isn't a budget killer? 

 

I'm using a Zoom UAC-2. Pretty affordable. At 44.1kHz and 32 samples buffersize, RTL is 4.6ms, at 64 samples it comes in with 6ms. Quite decent.

These days, I might rather get a Motu, though, they considerably upped their driver game as it seems.

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