Line 6 Helix

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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 9131
    I'm looking forward to a proper Bass demo.

    I used to use a Bass Pod Pro XT and it was a brilliant unit. I hope that L6 doesn't skimp on the bass features.
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  • FuzzdogFuzzdog Frets: 814
    The Send/Return category has both mono and stereo subcategories, so yes.
    So if I have a stereo delay prior to the Effect Sends and Returns and wish to use a stereo Send, that delay gets summed to mono?

    If so, that's the same flaw the M13 and M9 had. That it's replicated on a device as expensive as the Helix is pretty bizarre.  


    I took that answer to mean 'yes, it can sum stereo to mono if you want to, but if not, you can do stereo too', personally - hopefully I'm right!  :))
    -- Before you ask, no, I am in no way, shape or form related to Fuzzdog pedals, I was Fuzzdog before Fuzzdog were Fuzzdog.  Unless you want to give me free crap, then I'm related to whatever the hell you like! --
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  • So if I have a stereo delay prior to the Effect Sends and Returns and wish to use a stereo Send, that delay gets summed to mono?
    Not at all. Even if you use a mono send, I believe if you leave the Send's Dry Thru parameter set to 0.0dB, the stereo upstream path will pass through, imaging intact.
    Senior Product Manager, Line 6
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  • Any chance of a version with built in SS amp?
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22372
    I think (hope!) that this is going to change everything for me. I just got back from band practice, and for the first time I was doing vocals in a band context. Playing and singing at the same time is hassle enough without tap dancing. I think I might need some full-rig-presets to get me through a couple of songs!!
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  • spacecadetspacecadet Frets: 660
    Drew_fx said:
    I think (hope!) that this is going to change everything for me. I just got back from band practice, and for the first time I was doing vocals in a band context. Playing and singing at the same time is hassle enough without tap dancing. I think I might need some full-rig-presets to get me through a couple of songs!!
    Thats what made me get the Gigrig. Singing whilst changing channels and switching several pedals was a bit too much. I'll be interested to do an a/b of one of these vs my rig. If it's even 80% thats good enough for me.
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  • monquixotemonquixote Frets: 8010
    edited June 2015
    Drew_fx said:
    I think (hope!) that this is going to change everything for me. I just got back from band practice, and for the first time I was doing vocals in a band context. Playing and singing at the same time is hassle enough without tap dancing. I think I might need some full-rig-presets to get me through a couple of songs!!
    Thats what made me get the Gigrig. Singing whilst changing channels and switching several pedals was a bit too much. I'll be interested to do an a/b of one of these vs my rig. If it's even 80% thats good enough for me.
    Yep, same here. 

    I fuck up pedal changes a lot more now I sing a lot.
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 8860
     
    So if I have a stereo delay prior to the Effect Sends and Returns and wish to use a stereo Send, that delay gets summed to mono?
    Not at all. Even if you use a mono send, I believe if you leave the Send's Dry Thru parameter set to 0.0dB, the stereo upstream path will pass through, imaging intact.
    Excellent! An advance since my failed experiments with the M series stuff then :)
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  • Digital_IglooDigital_Igloo Frets: 188
    edited June 2015
    paul_backskin said: Any chance of a version with built in SS amp?
    Can't talk about future plans, but if a solid state Helix amp is something you'd like to see, submit it on IdeaScale and then vote it up.
    Senior Product Manager, Line 6
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22372
    edited June 2015
    @Digital_Igloo - any word on a launch date for the UK market, or rough time frame?


    Also re: the lack of a reverse delay... could this be because the delay's all now have a "direction" parameter with the "forwards" and "backwards" options?? Or am I living in cloud cookoo land?
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  • ElectroDanElectroDan Frets: 546
    paul_backskin said: Any chance of a version with built in SS amp?
    Can't talk about future plans, but if a solid state Helix amp is something you'd like to see, submit it on IdeaScale and then vote it up.

    What else shall we ask Father Igloo for? A stereo full range powered cab, something like atomic do would probably be good for live players. Plenty of power for the low end botherers. Would need to have sleek, sophisticated looks in-keeping with the new Helix.
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  • AndyJPAndyJP Frets: 96
    A built in solid state amp could be cool. No idea if that's possible but hey....
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  • DesVegasDesVegas Frets: 3340
    I'll wait for the Helix Nano.
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  • impmannimpmann Frets: 5782
    edited June 2015
    AndyJP;671363" said:
    A built in solid state amp could be cool. No idea if that's possible but hey....
    Vetta III :)
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22372
    Not necessarily a built in solid state amp, but some sort of addon you could buy, at a variety of power levels... could be cool.
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  • I've got to say... and I hate to be hater... but doesn't it sound a bit, in the demos - doesn't it sound a bit... shit?

    I will be surprised if the cab modelling is really up to Kemper or AxeFX - because it doesn't sound like it is - and perhaps I'm still sore about Line 6 modulation effects after the X3 Live but they just don't do everything well enough. 

    Looks nice, does LOADS, but for a bunch of guys interested in buffers, analogue this, germanium that, I'm quite surprised to see so many of us perfectly ok with the idea of plugging their guitars straight into a D/A converter and being wowed at the possibilities.

    I do think it's a little expensive, and UNLESS they have nailed the cabs and everything else is really very good, I'm going to stick my neck out and predict a bit of a flop...

    But the main thing is, listening to the demos, it doesn't sound that nice to me...

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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22372
    Can't comment on the "demos" really... it's not my style. I need to hear high-gain metal to really know if it's good or not.

    But they're not really demos at this point. They're teasers... with presumably beta-level firmware in the unit, and not a whole lot of preparation time.

    The reverb at the end of the Sweetwater demo sounds very Big Sky-ish imho. The brief modulation effects sound much more natural than previous Line 6 units.

    I don't give a stuff about analog personally. I don't care about Klon's, Germanium fuzzes, true-bypass versus buffered, etc.. etc... I care whether something SOUNDS GOOD.

    And at this point in time, it's utterly premature to make a judgement on that. Which is why 90% of what you've seen about this unit that we're all getting excited about, is pretty much limited to the looks and the workflow and the possibilities of the thing.

    Of course, YES... if it sounds shit, it's going to fail. No question... but something tells me that Line 6 have thought of that.

    If we're going on the HD500... the amp modelling in that unit sounds every bit as good as Kemper and Axe FX... the cabs sucked, sure.

    Loading an IR into an Axe FX II and loading an IR into this new Helix shouldn't really sound that different. Take an impulse, load it into each unit... feed it the same source audio... it will sound the same. Convolution isn't something that is open to subjective qualitative differences - it's hardcore mathematics... so the stock cabs on the Helix unit might not sound good, who knows... but the IR capabilities will sound as good as the Axe FX or Kemper.

    I don't think it's expensive at all. Go and look at your guitars, your effects pedals, and your amps... I'm betting you've got or have had something equally as expensive.

    All in all... I think it's fine for us to go all dream-like about the possibilities... but it's a bit premature to start passing total judgement on it.
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  • hugbothugbot Frets: 1525
    edited June 2015
    The sweetwater demo he doesent really stretch it beyond playing the same old guitar shop shite. It bit premature to be judging it based on that.

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  • AbandonMuteAbandonMute Frets: 27
    edited June 2015

    Drew_fx said:

    But they're not really demos at this point. They're teasers... with presumably beta-level firmware in the unit, and not a whole lot of preparation time.

    The reverb at the end of the Sweetwater demo sounds very Big Sky-ish imho. The brief modulation effects sound much more natural than previous Line 6 units.

    Of course, YES... if it sounds shit, it's going to fail. No question... but something tells me that Line 6 have thought of that.

    If we're going on the HD500... the amp modelling in that unit sounds every bit as good as Kemper and Axe FX... the cabs sucked, sure.

    Loading an IR into an Axe FX II and loading an IR into this new Helix shouldn't really sound that different. Take an impulse, load it into each unit... feed it the same source audio... it will sound the same. Convolution isn't something that is open to subjective qualitative differences - it's hardcore mathematics... so the stock cabs on the Helix unit might not sound good, who knows... but the IR capabilities will sound as good as the Axe FX or Kemper.

    I don't think it's expensive at all. Go and look at your guitars, your effects pedals, and your amps... I'm betting you've got or have had something equally as expensive.

    All in all... I think it's fine for us to go all dream-like about the possibilities... but it's a bit premature to start passing total judgement on it.
    Not passing total judgement - I just think the Sweetwater demo sound less than great. And it IS a demo, it's properly recorded and intended to give an impression of the product. As for guessing about the firmware and the relevance of that... ok...

    The Line6 video sounds good though, it's quite hard to believe that both came from the same product. 

    You're quite right about the theory behind impulses - give or take assumptions about sample rate, bit depth etc - but the point remains that according to you (I would agree) the cabs in the HD500 sucked. Why would that be?

    Of course there's gear that costs more, so what? My point was that if the cab modelling isn't great, people will be running into power amps etc. I would also bet that Line6 will be seeking to extract further money from users with additional packs and IRs. If that's the case, what we need to know is (in addition to whether it's any good) the cost of a completely pimped out Helix. 

    Line6's modelling has never been that great (I mean it's fine for the price, but it's not the stuff dreams are made of). They've made a few classic effects (mainly delays) and some truly horrible guitar processors. There's a history of patchy reliability, lack of updates/fixes and poor customer service. If this sounds magical and works as well as everyone hopes, it'll be a first for them. I hope it does! It would be a frankly awesome solution. 

    Take a TimeLine, a Big Sky, a PitchFactor, and say a ModFactor. Each piece has a powerful processor in it, a Sharc or whatever, and we know that those processors are needed to a) sound the way they sound, and b) deal with spillover, instant patch changes etc. (And some people still complain about some of these pedals not sounding like 'real' pedals). If we're taking about comparisons to Strymon and the rest of the big DSP boys, Line6 must have done some efficient programming if this is going to compete, because once you engage the processing on those four effects that's already a lot of processing. Add in all the convolution - that's amp responses, cab responses, mic responses and room responses, AND all the rest of it like graphics and OS - that's a lot of 'hardcore mathematics'. I think expecting the Heilx to sound and perform as well as these pedals could be unrealistic when it costs the same as just three big Strymons. I could totally be wrong.

    Add in stuff like the preset lag being 'under development' though... I dunno... It'll be interesting finding out!



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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22372
    Speaking of quality, I had an Eventide SPACE pedal, and it was unusable in front of a high-gain valve amp. It was too noisy, and there are many other complaints of this with the other Eventide FACTOR pedals as well. I just got an H9 pedal and it's like night and day difference. A £100 Boss reverb pedal is quieter in front of a high-gain valve amp than the (at the time) £450 quid SPACE pedal... so no, price is not really an indicator of quality even at a lower level.

    But lets not turn this thread into a bitch fest. You're totally right, it is going to be interesting to find out! If it doesn't do everything I want it to do, I wont use it. Simples. But right now on paper, it's the only multi-effect unit that offers the specs I have been looking for, for the best part of 6 years.
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6046
    edited June 2015
    Honestly the demos mean nothing so far - I've heard some terrible Kemper and Axe FX 2 demos and some incredible ones.  I own an Axe FX2 and am very happy with it.  I still think a tube amp has the potential to sound better, but the trade offs aren't worth it to me in my situation (YMMV).

    The cabs in the HD500 weren't the same as normal IRs.  They were more like filters as I understand it.  There was an ongoing feature request to include IRs but L6 said something on their webforums to the effect of it would take up too much processing power to allow IRs in the same way the Axe FX loads them.  I hope I have remembered that correctly, feel free to clarify if anyone knows better.

    Personally I have A/B'd the HD500x and Axe FX2 through a decent setup, GT1000FX power amp and Mesa 2x12 cab.  The Axe FX when set correctly had better punch and a better response to picking.  The HD was difficult to get punchy without being flubby or unbalanced, and the pick attack wasn't able to go as spongy in a natural feeling way.  Realistically you could get a useable sound out of either, but it was much easier with the Axe FX provided you tweak the low frequency resonance correctly.  This models the poweramp interaction with the cab, and IMO makes all the difference with an SS poweramp.  FWIW I mostly play fairly high gain tones.

    I might have missed the response but I asked if @Digital_Igloo can confirm if the Helix will have some kind of way to model the interaction between power amp and speaker cab, when using a SS power amp (which I'd expect to be the most common application of non-DI use, not many people are using valve PAs these days).  

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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 10406

    Take a TimeLine, a Big Sky, a PitchFactor, and say a ModFactor. Each piece has a powerful processor in it, a Sharc or whatever, and we know that those processors are needed to a) sound the way they sound, and b) deal with spillover, instant patch changes etc. (And some people still complain about some of these pedals not sounding like 'real' pedals). If we're taking about comparisons to Strymon and the rest of the big DSP boys, Line6 must have done some efficient programming if this is going to compete, because once you engage the processing on those four effects that's already is a lot of processing. Add in all the convolution - that's amp responses, cab responses, mic responses and room responses, AND all the rest of it like graphics and OS - that's a lot of 'hardcore mathematics'. I think expecting the Heilx to sound and perform as well as these pedals could be unrealistic when it costs the same as just three big Strymons. I could totally be wrong.


    From what I've been reading (might've made a mistake), the Helix does have two dual-core SHARC processors in it for DSP, and a separate controller for UI and interface duties.

    No, they're not TigerSHARCs, but still...that's not a small amount of horsepower. Also looks like they might be the same ones which will be dropped into the Fractal AX8.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6046
    Yeah Cliff has been posting about that, in a fairly balanced way for him too.  His main point is the Fractal algorithms take more power to run, hence why AX8 will only do one amp per patch.  I have literally no way of proving that is due to extra detail vs the Helix and not a combination of that and coding efficiency.  I sometimes can't even remember my own 4 digit gym lock code, computer coding is out of my league.  :)

    Regardless, the G3 Axe FX models are good.  Definitely a noticeable league above the POD stuff.  I'd have liked to try the new HD 5150 amps, but realistically I'm more than happy with the Fractal models of those amps and doubt the POD would end up being as good anyway.
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  • AbandonMuteAbandonMute Frets: 27
    edited June 2015
    Yeah I have no skin in the fight, I'm just cynical about this being the dream solution. The numbers don't seem to quite add up and the demos are sketchy. I guess I'm withholding judgement (with a slight prejudice against phrases like 'tour-grade' and smothering all audio examples in reverb, stereo delay and modulation).

    Time will tell! Interesting about the processors and IRs
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  • hugbothugbot Frets: 1525
    edited June 2015
    The thing is everyone loved the POD2 when it came out. Its not like Line 6's modelling has always been drek, its only recently that big guns like fractal and strymon (who are ex line 6) have raised peoples expectations with "boutique" modelling. 


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  • chrispy108chrispy108 Frets: 2328
    I'm not gigging any more, so I'm not the market for this, but the workflow and usability is a much bigger deal to me than the sound. Pretty much any unit can be tweaked to produce good enough sound (Not necessarily accurate ones, but good enough). Line 6 aren't going to be releasing a unit that sounds shit.

    The flexibility of routing, switching and the  footswitch labels and colour rings look awesome.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 7584
    I'm not gigging any more, so I'm not the market for this, but the workflow and usability is a much bigger deal to me than the sound. Pretty much any unit can be tweaked to produce good enough sound (Not necessarily accurate ones, but good enough). Line 6 aren't going to be releasing a unit that sounds shit.

    The flexibility of routing, switching and the  footswitch labels and colour rings look awesome.
    This, and particularly the bold bit. 

    A lot of other niche-tech-geekery sites talk about the concept of "good enough"- the point where some new thing is developed enough that its shortcomings (whether that's storage space, battery life, price, or lack of ability to sound exactly like Jeff Beck on whatever obscure record in your bedroom) don't get in the way of just using the bloody thing. That's the point fence-sitters jump in and the market goes nuts. iPhone 3GS, Samsung Galaxy S2, [the day HDTVs first dropped under £500], the Ford Model T (and the original Mini), you get the picture.

    The truth is, pretty much everything on the guitar market is "good enough". Some things are a bit overpriced, some things don't have *precisely* the featureset that everyone wants, and it's impossible to change a valve in an AC30 in less than 30 minutes, but honestly it's all pretty bloody good these days.


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  • longilongi Frets: 60
    Thomman are showing the Helix pricing at £1076.84 as of right now. Not too bad really, could've been £1500! There's another Sweetwater demo up as well. On paper it offers far more than I would ever need with it's crazy routing options, but the addtion of the extra loops for whatever you want to use them for, plus amp switching and more importantly (for me) overhauled user interface really sells it to me. I'm not in the market for a new MFX right now, after all I still an AX3000G which I've only just started to use direct after 9 years of ownership and I still have a Boss GT-100 that I haven't integrated into my live setup as yet, so I'm not in a real rush. But If the Helix is light years ahead in every department over the GT-100 I'll certainly be looking at it in around a years time. It does look good though....
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  • Drew_TNBDDrew_TNBD Frets: 22372
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  • FuzzdogFuzzdog Frets: 814

    The truth is, pretty much everything on the guitar market is "good enough". Some things are a bit overpriced, some things don't have *precisely* the featureset that everyone wants, and it's impossible to change a valve in an AC30 in less than 30 minutes, but honestly it's all pretty bloody good these days.


    This!  To be honest, most modelling stuff has been 'good enough' for a long time now in my opinion, the biggest issue is how easy it is to create those sounds and get them out into the world.  That's what perks my interest most about the Helix, as it really does look like they sat down and thought long and hard about how people would actually use it, which I swear quite a lot of manufacturers don't spend nearly enough time on.

    I don't care if something can give me 100% authentic reproductions of the dust levels on 1960's resistors, if it's annoying to program (or, more importantly, tweak quickly in a rehearsal room or on a stage), I'll happily take something which 'sounds worse' and probably end up making it sound ten times better.  I think that even if the Helix had that interface and the same I/O but had a Pod 2.0 gaffer taped inside, I'd probably still be happy with it. :))

    -- Before you ask, no, I am in no way, shape or form related to Fuzzdog pedals, I was Fuzzdog before Fuzzdog were Fuzzdog.  Unless you want to give me free crap, then I'm related to whatever the hell you like! --
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