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Gain staging is a nightmare on the Helix Hardware unit.


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Lord jesus, Line6 please make a global input gain level. The pad in isn't enough for some of my high output guitars. The Cali IV amps for clean (sounds very good on my Stratocasters Single Coils and low output guitars) have incredible clipped sound (it sounds very ugly) with pad off on my P90 pickup guitars and Bare Knuckle Juggernaut Humbuckers. Lowering the gain of the amp won't do the service. It sounds okay with Pad In on the high output guitars. But it sounds miles better with the input turned down by a good bit in Helix Native (which has a input slider, so perfect, thanks for that!). This isn't possible on the Helix hardware unit though. It drives me insane. 

If you don't believe me test out the Cali IV Rhyhtm clean with Helix Native input turned down and Output turned up from the Output of Helix Native. Compare it to Helix Hardware with Pad In and Off on certain high output guitars. -> It sounds terrible there!!

The Helix Inputs definitely need an update for a proper Input fader like in Helix Native. That is a basic musthave for proper gain staging!!

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Wrong forum. Nobody from L6 hangs out here.

If you really want the L6 folks to see your suggestions post them here:


Log in | Line 6 Ideas (


Search first so as not to dilute the vote.

Post your ideas separately. I, for one, NEVER vote for multiple ideas in a single post.

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The PAD is before the AD conversion. It cuts about half of the signal (about 6dB) so that the user can use high output guitars without clipping the input.


If you want to dampen the input signal further (after the AD conversion) you can insert a gain block in the first position of the chain.


And yes, I also would really appreciate an input level control in the input block.

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On 9/21/2023 at 6:11 PM, supertonic_jack said:

The Helix Inputs definitely need an update for a proper Input fader like in Helix Native. That is a basic must have for proper gain staging!!


I would love an input level control... but I quickly found a work around that works fine for me.


Every one of my presets has a GAIN block in the first position for this very purpose. It may not work well for those that utilize the "auto impedance" feature, but I always use a fixed impedance so it doesn't affect me. 

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There is no adjustable input pad on the Helix.  I have my backup guitar to my main one, and it's a lot quieter, so when I use that guitar, on my wireless, I adjust the input gain and boost it + 3db.  But that's beside the point.




Usually you build your presets around the sound that your guitar produces.  If you have active EMG pickups, then basically dial down your distortion.  If your clean amp is breaking up, then you can simply lower the input signal with a volume pedal, or a gain block, or even an EQ block where you lower the output level. 


There are 2 workarounds on how to achieve the adjustable pad you are asking for if you want to have an option of using your low-output guitar or a high-output guitar.  Basically during the show you break a string, and you want to use your Zakk Wylde guitar as opposed to a telecaster, you have these 2 options:


1. You can add a fixed volume pedal in your preset chain, where it is set to for example "40%".  That means, you remove the expression-pedal assignment from it, and just leave it at a fixed percentage.  You can assign a button to that volume pedal to one of the foot switches in stomp mode.  So, when you need to play your EMG-equipped guitar, simply turn on the volume pedal with the button and you are good to go.  If you want to also use your snapshots, then Command Center to the rescue--you can mix your snapshots with the volume pedal-controlling button.  Or you can set up your layout to be 4 buttons on top control stomps, 4 buttons on the bottom control snapshots. 



or another way is to use another aux. input for those situation


2. In your preset you can have multiple inputs.  You can always have an additional input (return 1, 2, etc) that has been adjusted to turn down the signal so it is not as hot.  Here's a video where I explain how to achieve this. 


So in short, you would have to modify your presets to make them work with the high-output guitar.  Hope it helps. 

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On 9/22/2023 at 3:32 AM, DunedinDragon said:

You actually do have an input fader (so to speak) with the channel volume on every amp in the Helix.  Adjusting that does not affect tone in any way.  Neither does the main level adjustment on the output block of your signal chain.


He's looking for something at the input of the Helix to help with his guitars with a strong output. That's for level of the output of the amp.

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