The Helix Strand

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
Cool! I recently just ditched my Crybaby for the Throaty wah to save some pedalboard space. I pinched Chris Robertson's settings, and can barely tell the difference. But yeah, with a bit of setting up, its stupid easy to adjust pretty much anything with an expression pedal! :cool:
I have found that it helps me a lot to just hook the HX up to my laptop and use the Edit software. That makes my life even easier. I tend to lose my way around the small screens on the HX. In the Edit software I can see my whole effects chain in one shot. I'm going to experiment with the Wah's again, but to be honest, I think I will stick with the Crybaby Mini. I could open up the pedalboard space, but I wouldn't know what to put on it.
 

Shredder79

Well-Known Member
I have found that it helps me a lot to just hook the HX up to my laptop and use the Edit software. That makes my life even easier. I tend to lose my way around the small screens on the HX. In the Edit software I can see my whole effects chain in one shot. I'm going to experiment with the Wah's again, but to be honest, I think I will stick with the Crybaby Mini. I could open up the pedalboard space, but I wouldn't know what to put on it.
I do exactly the same, but I have the rack, so the bigger screen does help too! The auto engage option for the wah is a real winner for me!
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
I do exactly the same, but I have the rack, so the bigger screen does help too! The auto engage option for the wah is a real winner for me!
For sure! I also use the auto engage for the Whammy. It also allows me to use it on the fly when I want to try stuff out with new songs.
 

DrHankWanfordSnr

That's not new, its always been there.
So. Helix out of warranty....... By just over a month....
....and the joystick breaks. Or rather it stops reacting to turning and pressing (still works as a joystick). Unless you use a pc to edit - y'all aint changin' no more models in your presets.

Customer services say "send it to the service centre"
Sending it to the service centre in Milton Keynes and paying for an estimate would cost £48 plus for the repair estimate, and 2x courier fees (£30-40 each for the right amount of insurance?). £110 to £130.

So I decided to research it on t'internet...and fix it myself. As its a £4 encoder switch, and some wires that can come loose. I figured i can fix loose wire and order/fit a £4 part.

In the rack - the encoder/joystick is really easy to remove (4x screws and a plug). NB - if you can see this your warranty is void. Its cool that the joystick isn't part of the larger motherboard as in the rack - it looks alot harder to take that out !

2019-08-17 17.52.01.jpg

The repair involved resoldering the wires to the encoder board - which had come loose as they weren't glued down well, and the 2x very small screws holding the board to the joystick had worked loose. As the board is then free to move - the wires get flexed - and the glue ....and solder joints break. As I mainly use my pc to program the Helix - that knob had received very light use in the last 2 years and...... 5 weeks (bought it used from a guy who hadn't used it much...).



2019-08-17 17.58.29.jpg
A bit of soldering lots of hotglue, some loctite on the screws,.... and some reassembly. Total job from pulling the first cable to putting it back in the rack was about half an hour, half of that was labelling cables & re-cabling. Cost zero - This would have cost a minimum of £48 at the Yamaha/L6 service centre out of warranty (or free if you still have a warranty).

I predict - this will become a growing issue. To move the joystick you apply force to the circuit board via the encoder switch which is soldered to it...... this board is screwed to a black plastic plate (which does the 'joystick' movement) with 2x screws which are really small (5mm of thread) and screwed into holes in abs plastic -which will slowly fatigue with use. NB - reporting this to any of the L6 facebook groups looks like a great way to get alot of light abuse involving their Helixes being perfect, this fault never ever happening ever, and its all your fault, and you smell........ So meh !

I also noted that the knobs/rheostats parts - are all easy to get to and replace. The switches....not so much.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
Two weeks ago I had the final studio session for our EP that will be released....when it's released. Last Friday I had the first band practice after the last studio session. We went nuts in the studio when it came to effects. It's my bass player's studio and he has a decent collection of pedals. I also brought 2 or 3 of my own. We built sounds using whatever we felt like using and whatever we felt would sound right for that part.

This is where my story relates to the Helix, particularly my HX Effects. I was able to either recreate or approach all the sounds we used to record with my HX. I used an analog delay with the pad setting on the MXR Reverb for one song. In the HX I programmed a Memory Man with the Particle Verb. I used an MXR Chorus, which had a thick, lush, almost phasey sound. I emulated that with the Tri-Chorus sound. That sounds closest to me ears.

This is exactly why I wanted the HX. Go nuts in the studio and recreate that live without having a pedalboard that doesn't even fit in my car.
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
General rule is if the amp sounds better don't buy. Do you really need the many options and what about support after purchase?
That's a bold statement without any context? But I'll bite.

I'm going to bet in ideal circumstances amps sounds better than modellers. But..
My home isn't ideal. I have neighbors I have a family. I don't have the money to get three different amps.
On my kemper I have been playing a boogie mark V a lot. When I tried one in the store it was too loud so I didn't buy it. That's still chafing a bit but I ended up with a fine solution. And when I get the itch I switch to a badcat amp, or a fender deluxe or whatever. I get that itch a lot.
Do I NEED that? No if I'm perfectly honest that one amp would be fine. I just like trying different things.

Support wise.. The early run of hx effects had really noisy fx loops. 2 e-mails and a phone recorded movie later they gave me an adres with the option of sending the unit there or going by to exchange it. When I had questions about my fuchs amp they responded really fast with detailed instructions of how to change the boost setting (change a pod on the board so opening up the amp etc)
In both cases I think I've had great help. ymmv by brand but I don't think modellers have better or worse support than amps by definition.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
General rule is if the amp sounds better don't buy. Do you really need the many options and what about support after purchase?
That's a bit out of left field. I don't think you buy a modeler because it sounds better. You buy it because it's more practical and through a PA, nobody will hear the difference. Also, not everybody has the space and funds to buy 10 different amps you like, whereas if you have one modeler or profiler, you can get very close to those sounds.

You can also go hybrid, like I did. I prefer the sound of a real amp. So I use a Fender Hot Rod on a clean tone and I have a pedalboard built around an HX effects unit. Do I NEED that many options? At first...no, but I have them so I am now using many different delays, reverbs and modulation effects in the songs I wrote for my band. It fits our style and enhances the songs, and it's fun!

Regarding support. With regards to Line6, I know from experience working with the brand (and Yamaha) in the past that it is great! Besides, if you buy a real amp, it can also break down and you can also get crappy support, like Bugera in the past.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
Support after purchase? What?

All modelling amp manufacturers offer decent product support. Maybe you're referring to the fact that modern valve amps are fully repairable by a half decent amp technician because there's none of those silly PCBs unlike in a modeller? :p
 

ScutMonkey

Well-Known Member
Support after purchase? What?

All modelling amp manufacturers offer decent product support. Maybe you're referring to the fact that modern valve amps are fully repairable by a half decent amp technician because there's none of those silly PCBs unlike in a modeller? :p
I get what you're saying, but plenty of modern tube amps are using PCBs.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
I get what you're saying, but plenty of modern tube amps are using PCBs.
Dude, that is exactly my point ;)

There are stacks of great, all valve amps that end up binned because the PCBs go wrong and are too costly to repair yet there's a belief that valve amps are easily repaired. The actual parts that are easily serviced are a) of relatively short life and b) replaced by more reliable components on a non-valve amp.

There are plenty of reasons for buying a valve amp and some are built to be pretty much forever repairable. Think turret board and point to point amps, but anything less still has the same vulnerabilities as any other PCB device.
 

DrHankWanfordSnr

That's not new, its always been there.
TLDR - loops within loops.

Now that I've added a Kemper to the 'Rig of un-holy doom' - my Helix routing options have gone to what appears to be the next level.
Instead of wondering whether the Kemper should be in a loop of the Helix, or the Helix in the Kemper FX loop - I've found a compromise..... They are both in each others FX loops - and my pedals can go literally anywhere. Bear with me.

Guitar cable goes into the Helix front input.

My pedal board sits in a Helix loop (loop 3) so I can move it to any point in a Helix preset/fx chain/path. (This is really cool)

My Kemper is in a digital send/return of the Helix using the SPDIF i/o. It sits between path 1 and 2. (This works really well))

I've connected the Kemper FX loop to a Helix FX loop send/return (loop 2).. and placed this on its own FX chain/track in Helix.... (Path 1A - making sure there's no dry through to any rogue outputs !).

So. I can put Helix FX blocks or my pedal board infront, behind, or in the fx loop of the Kemper just by changing preset. Or the remaining physical amps in my office as they're looped too. Yippee !

Sound comes out through the hifi or power amp and cabs (with/without a flattening EQ applied using the global EQ).

Without moving a cable.
Which is lucky as the back of my rack is quite literally cable city. Why? Options. Being able to put the Helix FX into a pedal slot instead of infront of the Kemper sounds different. Being able to put an IR in place of the cabinet in the kemper more easily), using any of the Kemper FX with a Helix amp model. etc. Options. Endless frigging option. YMMV.
 
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Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
TLDR - loops within loops.

Now that I've added a Kemper to the 'Rig of un-holy doom' - my Helix routing options have gone to what appears to be the next level.
Instead of wondering whether the Kemper should be in a loop of the Helix, or the Helix in the Kemper FX loop - I've found a compromise..... They are both in each others FX loops - and my pedals can go literally anywhere. Bear with me.

Guitar cable goes into the Helix front input.

My pedal board sits in a Helix loop (loop 3) so I can move it to any point in a Helix preset/fx chain/path. (This is really cool)

My Kemper is in a digital send/return of the Helix using the SPDIF i/o. It sits between path 1 and 2. (This works really well))

I've connected the Kemper FX loop to a Helix FX loop send/return (loop 2).. and placed this on its own FX chain/track in Helix.... (Path 1A - making sure there's no dry through to any rogue outputs !).

So. I can put Helix FX blocks or my pedal board infront, behind, or in the fx loop of the Kemper just by changing preset. Or the remaining physical amps in my office as they're looped too. Yippee !

Sound comes out through the hifi or power amp and cabs (with/without a flattening EQ applied using the global EQ).

Without moving a cable.
Which is lucky as the back of my rack is quite literally cable city. Why? Options. Being able to put the Helix FX into a pedal slot instead of infront of the Kemper sounds different. Being able to put an IR in place of the cabinet in the kemper more easily), using any of the Kemper FX with a Helix amp model. etc. Options. Endless frigging option. YMMV.
One word...epic.
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
TLDR - loops within loops.

Now that I've added a Kemper to the 'Rig of un-holy doom' - my Helix routing options have gone to what appears to be the next level.
Instead of wondering whether the Kemper should be in a loop of the Helix, or the Helix in the Kemper FX loop - I've found a compromise..... They are both in each others FX loops - and my pedals can go literally anywhere. Bear with me.

Guitar cable goes into the Helix front input.

My pedal board sits in a Helix loop (loop 3) so I can move it to any point in a Helix preset/fx chain/path. (This is really cool)

My Kemper is in a digital send/return of the Helix using the SPDIF i/o. It sits between path 1 and 2. (This works really well))

I've connected the Kemper FX loop to a Helix FX loop send/return (loop 2).. and placed this on its own FX chain/track in Helix.... (Path 1A - making sure there's no dry through to any rogue outputs !).

So. I can put Helix FX blocks or my pedal board infront, behind, or in the fx loop of the Kemper just by changing preset. Or the remaining physical amps in my office as they're looped too. Yippee !

Sound comes out through the hifi or power amp and cabs (with/without a flattening EQ applied using the global EQ).

Without moving a cable.
Which is lucky as the back of my rack is quite literally cable city. Why? Options. Being able to put the Helix FX into a pedal slot instead of infront of the Kemper sounds different. Being able to put an IR in place of the cabinet in the kemper more easily), using any of the Kemper FX with a Helix amp model. etc. Options. Endless frigging option. YMMV.
And here I was thinking I was pushing it with a 4CM kemper/amp setup with a couple of pedals in the second loop.

But it's looking great!
 

DrHankWanfordSnr

That's not new, its always been there.
And here I was thinking I was pushing it with a 4CM kemper/amp setup with a couple of pedals in the second loop.

But it's looking great!
Screwing the back panel on my rack is a great way to guarantee that one of the patch cables involved is bad......... and when I'm swapping them out to find the bad lead, I'll rest my knee on the volume pedal - muting the whole rig without noticing - and then start to wonder if I'll ever find a patch lead that works...... D'oh. Now I'm patiently waiting for the K-editor.
 

DrHankWanfordSnr

That's not new, its always been there.
Don't know if this is a ruse or hoax or rumour, but this list of 2.9 doodads for Helix has given me a gear-boner. [but almost certainly fake]

2.9 Model Updates:

-Revv Purple (Ch3)
-1x12 Fullerton and Grammatico Cabs
-Red Llama Drive
-Steve Vai Legendary Drive
-Harmonic Antagonizer Fuzz
-Rochester Comp (Billy Sheehan Compressor)
-Small Stone Phaser
-Split Dynamics (Path A/B Routing)

Feature Updates:

-Output Meters
-Gain Reduction Meters
-Clip Indicators
-IR Attachment by Name
-New Switch/Snap/Looper Layout Options
-New Model Subcategory Shortcuts
-Update from HX Edit
-A/B Compare for HX Native

Available “soon.”
 
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AngusWolfe

Likes red things.
Newcomer to this... strand, 2.9 sounds awesome. I updated straight from the shelf to 2.8, so the initial jump update basically blew my mind. It's obviously less dramatic, but even the IR names will be pretty cool, and subcategories could make things easier for newcomers. Also SMALL STONE? :bounce:
Screenshot 2020-01-18 at 17.00.01.png

here's my main setting for band stuff. I've basically stolen the main idea from Rabea, but with my own tweaks. Each signal chain is panned hard, (top is left, bottom is right). the only constants are really the Cali Mark IV with a 808 on the top and the Cartographer with a Minotaur on the bottom, so one side does the sweet crunchy mids and the other is pretty scooped with a bit more gain. With the other guitarist in my band running in mono, this basically gives us a stereo image while also meaning that we don't disappear to half the room if one of us takes a solo. Everything else swaps out depending on the song, but my mainstays are the Tri-Chorus (that Myles Kennedy sound from the MM3. surprisingly, it doesn't do it quite right because it's tried to improve it and by doing that it's lost some of it's shitty charm) and the ol' transistor tape delay. The IRs are the Michael Britt pack, #18 on the Mesa, and #14 on the Friedman.

There's probably a neater way of doing this, maybe splitting the signal later so I can have one effect block work on both amps, but with the LT at least, I can't seem to put two IRs on one path, and even using the in built cabs then limits the effects I can do. I honestly need to spend a bit more time fiddling, but for now this does a stellar job.

What I'm really waiting for is a Deizel VH4 model to replace the Mark IV. I'd swallow that right up. I love the Bogner stuff on there, but there's only one king of German metal amps.
 

DrHankWanfordSnr

That's not new, its always been there.
Update to 2.90 is oot !

New Amp Models in 2.90

Helix Floor, Helix Rack, Helix LT, Helix Native, HX Stomp

  • Revv Gen Purple, based on* the purple (Gain 1) channel of the Revv® Generator 120


New Cab Models in 2.90

Helix Floor, Helix Rack, Helix LT, Helix Native, HX Stomp

  • 1x12 Fullerton, based on* the classic 1953 Fender® 5C3 Tweed Deluxe
  • 1x12 Grammatico, based on* the modern 2016 Grammatico LaGrange


New Effects Models in 2.90

Helix Floor, Helix Rack, Helix LT, Helix Native, HX Effects, HX Stomp

  • Distortion > Alpaca Rouge (Mono, Stereo), inspired by* the Way Huge® Red Llama (modded)
  • Distortion > Legendary Drive (Mono, Stereo), based on* the Carvin VLD1 Legacy Drive (high gain channel)
  • Distortion > Xenomorph Fuzz (Mono, Stereo), inspired by* the Subdecay Harmonic Antagonizer
  • Dynamics > Rochester Comp (Mono, Stereo), based on* the Ashly® CLX-52 and created in conjunction with Billy Sheehan
  • Modulation > Pebble Phaser (Mono, Stereo), based on* the Electro-Harmonix® Small Stone phaser
  • Split > Dynamic, Line 6 original. This new Split block type lets you dynamically route signals to Path B, depending on how hard you play. For example, you could roll your guitar's volume back a bit and play clean chords through a Grammatico on Path A and then roll it back up and dig in to blend in a searing Revv Gen Purple lead on Path B
    • Knob 1 (Threshold)—Signals below the Threshold are routed to Path A; signals above the Threshold are routed to Path B
    • Knob 2 (Attack)—Determines how fast the signal routes to Path B once reaching the Threshold
    • Knob 3 (Decay)—Determines how fast the signal returns to Path A once falling below the Threshold
    • Knob 4 (Reverse)—Swaps dynamic path routing. When set to "On", signals below the Threshold are routed to Path B and signals above the Threshold are routed to Path A
*NOTE: All product names used in this document are trademarks of their respective owners and neither Yamaha Guitar Group nor Line 6 are associated or affiliated with them. These trademarks appear solely to identify products whose tones and sounds were studied by Line 6 during sound model development.





New Features in Helix/HX Firmware 2.90



Output Meters

Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT

The following block types display output meters in the inspector when selected:

  • Output
  • Send/Return > Send
  • Send/Return > FX Loop
IMPORTANT! Meters (in any product, not just Helix) are never appropriate for ensuring consistent levels from preset to preset. The models you use, the preset's frequency and dynamic response, your guitar or bass, your pickups, your playback system, your environment, your location in front of (or behind!) your playback system, and especially your bandmates all radically affect the perceived loudness of various presets. It's very common for the meters of one preset to show it's louder than another, while what you hear is the exact opposite. ALWAYS trust your ears when leveling presets, and whenever possible, level presets at stage volume, with the rest of the band playing.



Gain Reduction Meters

Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT

The following block types display a gain reduction meter in the inspector when selected:

  • Dynamics > Compressor (the 3-Band Comp displays three meters)
  • Dynamics > Gate


Signal Present/Clip Indicators

Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT, HX Stomp

The following block types now display a pale green background when signal is present and a bright red background if the block clips:

  • Input
  • Output
  • Send/Return > Send (clip indication only)
  • Send/Return > Return (clip indication only)
  • Send/Return > FX Loop (clip indication only)

Improved IR Referencing
Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT, Helix Native, HX Effects, HX Stomp
Impulse Response blocks now reference each IR file by waveform instead of index number. This means that when presets are shared and the recipient has the same IRs, they'll appear in the right place without having to manually reorder all IRs to match.
IMPORTANT! For improved IR referencing to take place, all presets must be rebuilt. Presets should've automatically been rebuilt after updating to 2.90, but if they didn't, you can manually rebuild them:
  • Helix, Helix LT: While holding FS10 and FS11 (bottom row), turn on Helix. Wait for "Will rebuild all Presets..." to appear and let go
  • Helix Rack: While holding Knobs 1 and 3 below the screen, turn on Helix Rack. Wait for "Will rebuild all Presets..." to appear and let go
  • HX Effects: No preset rebuild necessary
  • HX Stomp: While holding both the Upper and Lower Knobs, turn on HX Stomp. Wait for "Will rebuild Presets..." to appear and let go
  • Helix Native: The first time you open the plug-in, a dialog appears, reading "Your presets are being parsed to associate IR blocks intelligently with the IRs they reference." Click OK.

Command Center > HX Preset
Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT, HX Effects
A new Command Center command type lets you assign any preset (or Next Preset or Previous Preset) to any stomp switch. Together with HX Snapshot and HX Looper commands, you can now customize Stomp footswitch mode to your liking.
  1. From the Command Center, select a stomp switch and turn Knob 1 (Command) to select "HX Preset."
  2. Turn Knob 2 (Preset) to choose Next Preset, Previous Preset, or any single preset within the current setlist.
IMPORTANT! Although stomp mode switches can be assigned to multiple functions, to avoid unintended behavior, we strongly recommend HX Preset commands be assigned to empty footswitches.
 
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