Helix Firmware 2.30/Helix Native 1.10 Release Notes

STEP ONE: Check to see what firmware your Helix Floor/Rack/LT is running: Press MENU, press Knob 6 (Global Settings), and look in the upper right corner of the main display.

Firmware Version 2.20.0 OR HIGHER?follow the GREEN steps below

Firmware Version 2.12.2 OR LOWER?follow the BLUE steps below

Updating a Helix Floor/Rack/LT Running 2.20.0 or HIGHER:

1. Download the all new HX Edit application here (this will also install the latest version of Line 6 Updater):

Mac OS X: https://line6.com/software/readeula.html?rid=7877

Windows 7/8/10: https://line6.com/software/readeula.html?rid=7878

2. Connect Helix to your computer and launch HX Edit. From the File pull-down menu, select “Create Backup…” Follow the prompts to create a full-state backup of your Helix (Global Settings, IRs, setlists, and presets).

3. Close HX Edit, open Line 6 Updater, and follow the prompts to update your Helix’s firmware. Helix will begin rebuilding presets. Wait for this process to complete.

4. Close Line 6 Updater, reopen HX Edit, and from the File pull-down menu, select “Restore From Backup…” Follow the prompts to restore Helix to its previous state.

Updating Helix Floor/Rack/LT Running 2.12.2 or LOWER:

1. Shut down all Line 6 software as well as any software that streams audio, including, but not limited to: iTunes, Spotify, DAWs, browsers, etc.

2. Use your CURRENT EXISTING Helix application to back up all of your presets and IRs (if you want to keep them). For example, if you’re running Helix FW 2.12, your current Helix application version should be 2.12.

3. Quit the CURRENT EXISTING Helix editor application and download and install the LATEST HX Edit application, available here (this will also install the latest version of Line 6 Updater):

Mac OS X: https://line6.com/software/readeula.html?rid=7877

Windows 7/8/10: https://line6.com/software/readeula.html?rid=7878

4. Open Line 6 Updater and update Helix to the newest firmware. At the end of the update process, Helix will reboot automatically and begin rebuilding presets. Wait for this process to complete.


5. To reset globals and restore presets, turn off Helix.

HELIX FLOOR OR LT ONLY: While holding footswitches 9 and 10 (middle two switches on the bottom row), turn on Helix. Wait for the message “Will reset Globals and restore stock Presets, Setlists and IRs…“ to appear and let go.

HELIX RACK ONLY: While holding knobs 5 and 6 below the screen, turn on Helix Rack. Wait for the message “Will reset Globals and restore stock Presets, Setlists and IRs…“ to appear and let go.

6. Using the NEW HX Edit application, reload the user presets you backed up in step 2.

New Amps (7)

Voltage Queen, based on* the Victoria® Electro King

Derailed Ingrid, based on* the Trainwreck Circuits® Express

Brit Trem Nrm, based on* the normal channel of the Marshall® Plexi Tremolo 50

Brit Trem Brt, based on* the bright channel of the Marshall® Plexi Tremolo 50

Brit Trem Jump, based on* the normal and bright channel (jumped) of the Marshall® Plexi Tremolo 50

Cartographer, based on* the Ben Adrian Cartographer

Agua 51, based on* the Aguilar® DB751 bass amp

New Effects (7)

Distortion > Kinky Boost (Mono, Stereo), based on* the Xotic® EP Booster

Distortion > Thrifter Fuzz (Mono, Stereo), Line 6 Original

Dynamics > Kinky Comp (Mono, Stereo), based on* the Xotic® SP Compressor

Modulation > Bleat Chop Trem (Mono, Stereo), based on* the Lightfoot Labs© Goatkeeper

Modulation > Double Take (Mono, Stereo), Line 6 Original doubler

Delay > Cosmos Echo (Mono, Stereo), based on* the Roland® RE-201 Space Echo

Volume/Pan > Stereo Width (Stereo), Line 6 Original utility to collapse stereo paths

* All product names are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Line 6.

New Features

Helix FW: Support for HX Edit—Helix, Helix Rack/Control, and Helix LT now work with the new HX Edit application (Mac/PC)

HX Edit: Full State Backup and Restore—The all new HX Edit application can perform a full state backup and restore of your Helix, Helix Rack/Control, and Helix LT presets, IRs, and global settings. IMPORTANT! You MUST back up a Helix running firmware 2.20 or higher and MUST restore to a Helix running 2.30 or higher! From the File pulldown menu, select “Create Backup…” Click [Create Backup] to confirm. To restore from a backup, from the File pulldown menu, select “Restore From Backup…” From the Backup File pulldown, select the desired backup and click [Restore Backup]. You may choose to restore any combination of 8 setlists, IRs (including the index order), and/or Global Settings

Helix Native+HX Edit: Show/Hide PRESETS/IMPULSES List—Click the icon to the left of the preset name to show or hide the PRESETS/IMPULSES list

Helix Native: Plug-in Window Resizing—Click and drag the lower right-hand corner of Helix Native to resize the window and view more or fewer parameters and model list items

Helix FW: Global Settings > MIDI/Tempo > Duplicate PC Send—Before 2.30, Helix would purposely omit MIDI PC messages with an identical value as the previous PC message. You may now choose to send duplicate PC messages

Helix FW: LFO reset—Stepping on TAP once now resets any LFO-based effects, such as tremolos and rotary speakers

Helix FW: Support for Variax Shuriken banks—When a Variax Shuriken is connected, Helix’s Input > Multi and Input > Variax blocks will reflect the proper factory bank names. These bank names are retained until a James Tyler Variax or Variax Standard is connected


The Distortion > Obsidian 7000 model has been tweaked to sound and feel even more like the original

Bug Fixes

Helix Native: In the rare case that all paths are full, it is possible to drag more blocks into them, which may result in the error “Failed to move item. (Unknown. )” -FIXED

Helix Native: On rare occasions, a warning dialog may appear during AU Validation scan of other AudioUnit plug-ins -FIXED

Helix Native: After updating from OS X 10.12 Sierra to OS X 10.13 High Sierra, Helix Native may not load properly in GarageBand -FIXED

Helix Native: After importing an IR file in a certain instance of Helix Native, the same file may not automatically appear in subsequent instances -FIXED

Helix FW: Turning the Cali IV Rhythm 1 model’s Master knob down can occasionally cause an increase in output volume -FIXED

Helix FW: When UK 846 and Teardrop 310 wah models’ Level and Mix parameters are set to 0, ~3dB of gain can be added -FIXED

Helix FW: Pitch blocks’ Interval parameters may not be properly restored after exporting and then importing a preset -FIXED

Helix FW: MIDI clock could become unstable for a brief time after adjusting certain parameters on the Global Settings > MIDI/Tempo page - FIXED

Helix FW: In the Command Center, if an Ext Amp message is assigned to a footswitch, Ext Amp messages assigned to Instant commands may not restore properly -FIXED

Many other minor bug fixes and optimizations

General stability improvements

Known Issues

HX FW: In rare cases, MIDI note commands set to momentary can switch to “latching”

HX FW: If its Mid and Bass parameters are set to 0.0, the Cali IV Lead Amp/Amp+Cab model sometimes exhibits a decrease in gain

HX FW: If snapshot names have been cleared, preset names can sometimes appear blank when switching from Snapshot footswitch mode to Preset footswitch mode

HX Edit: In rare cases, moving a block from Path A to Path B can result in the Split block being created in the wrong position

HX Edit: In rare cases, importing an IR file into the current “Empty” slot of an Impulse Response block can cause audio output to mute Workaround: Drag impulse response files directly into the IMPULSES list

Helix Native: Recalling an effect or instrument rack in Ableton Live with Helix Native instantiated can mute the track. Workaround: Uninstantiate and re-instantiate the plug-in

Helix Native: In rare cases, clearing Helix Native’s preset library while the DAW is under high CPU loads can cause the plug-in to become unresponsive. Workaround: Close the Helix Native plug-in window and reopen

Helix Native: EXP pedal assignments may not automatically be assigned

Helix Native: The copy/paste clipboard may be cleared after closing and reopening Helix Native

Tip: Use Expression Pedal as Global Volume Pedal

As long as all your presets have Volume Pedal blocks (I believe almost all factory presets do), you can make the volume pedal global:

  1. Press MENU and then Knob 6 (Global Settings).
  2. Use the joystick to select the EXP Pedals submenu.
  3. Turn Knob 5 (EXP 2 Pedal Position) to “Global.”

Originally posted by Digital Igloo: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?posts/25029007/

Tip: Change Params w/Footswitch

  1. Press and hold the Amp > Gain parameter knob. Helix jumps to the Controller Assign page.
  2. Press Knob 6 (Learn Controller) and then press an unused stomp switch. Set min and max values to goose the Gain by a bit.
  3. Press HOME and repeat steps 1 and 2 for any other parameters (up to 8 per footswitch) that might act like a boost—EQ Highs, Minotaur Level, Gain level, Multi Output Level, etc. Remember, you can also lower parameters by a bit from the same switch—just swap the min and max levels. So if you boost the amp gain and it’s too loud, you can simultaneously lower the Output level to compensate.
  4. Touch-hold the footswitch from step 2 and then Knob 5 (Customize). Custom label the footswitch “Boost” and set the ring color to taste.

Bonus—None of the above uses any additional DSP or block locations.

Tip originally posted by DI and found at:


Tip: Parallel Compression

Have you ever found yourself in the position of wanting to reduce the overall dynamics of your sound while at the same time keeping much of the dynamics from your original performance?

If so, you should take a look at a tried and true, classic recording technique called Parallel Compression.

Parallel Compression is essentially the process of splitting your signal down two paths: an untouched path A and a crushed path B.

For example:

Path A will be your original performance. Nothing special needs to happen here.

Path B is where the magic happens. Add a compressor with a high compression ratio (10:1 and up). The idea is to put a hard limiter on this path to crush your signal.

Now, just blend these two paths together to your liking. Path A gives you your original performance. Path B gives you the parallel compression that will beef up your sound and give you more control over your dynamics.

This tip is geared towards the Helix (and guitar) but this technique is used all the time in professional recording situations on drums, bass, percussion, keys, you name it. Give it a shot.

For further reading:


Thanks to MusicLaw!

Tip: Experiment With the Studio Tube Pre

What was a great discovery for me, and may be of interest to other Helix Users, is that Helix has a Studio Tube PreAmp located in the PreAmp > Mic Models List! This Studio TubePre may be placed in Helix’s Signal Path(s) as a Block, once, or several times, and can be just as useful for guitar as it can be for Mics!

Try it positioned early in the Signal Path.

— MusicLaw

Tip: About the Leslie 145

The rotary speaker models are HX updates to rotary speaker pedals. So, they were originally designed to go before an amp. However, once they got in Helix, we realized that they are much more versatile. Let me explain what is going on in the effect.

The dry path is true stereo. The effected path is summed to mono.
The effected path goes through a simulated power amp. It’s nowhere near as accurate as the HX amp modeling. It was just to add some extra grit that one might find in a rotary speaker cab.
Then the signal splits and it gets the separate woofer and horn modeling. This includes filtering an EQ to model the speakers in the cabinet.

Now, how should it be used?

I would use it in one of two way: as a pre amplifier effect pedal, or as a post amplifier cab replacement.

If it’s being used before an amp mode, then there should definitely be a cab or IR model after the amp. The drive knob should be tweaked to the desired amount. I think the drive knob has enough range to distort with just a guitar level signal plugged in.

If it’s being used after an amp model, then the switch that turns on the rotary effect should also turn off the cab or IR block that is being used when the rotary effect is bypassed. Special care should be paid to the Dive knob in the rotary effect. Since it was originally designed to be an effect before an amp, the level coming out of an amp model can sometimes cause a lot of extra, unwanted distortion in the rotary effect. I’d start with the drive at zero and adjust up to taste in this instance.

Most people prefer to use the full amp models with the rotary effect. However, I’ve heard of some people liking to use the rotary effect after a preamp model, and then they will lean into the rotary’s drive knob. This is probably for a parallel path, or a patch where the rotary effect is never turned off.

Finally, I have to put out my standard disclaimer. There is no objectively wrong answer here. If it sounds good, then use it in that setting and enjoy. Users should use their ears and personal taste when setting this up. I’ve just outlined traditional settings for the rotary effects, but non-traditional tones can be exciting, groundbreaking, and inspiring. Dig in, folks!

— Ben Adrian

Tip: Parametric EQ Can Clean Up Bass and High Frequency Issues

Sometimes a particularly rough bass or high problem can be fixed using the parametric equalizer easier than high or low cuts. Often with lows you can clean up boominess with a 2 or 3 db cut in a fairly narrow Q in the frequency range around 180 to 220 hz. You can also take a bit of the edge off of highs without killing the whole range with a narrow cut of 2 or 3 db up around 4000 to 5000hz. Place this toward the end of your signal chain.