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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Feb 18 > LINE 6 Helix Native

LINE 6 Helix Native

Line 6’s Helix amp-modelling tools transition from hardware to software, bringing new amp-and-effect options. Martin Delaney plugs in…


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Line 6 has some history – that’s an understatement – with guitar-amp-andeffect modelling, in both hardware and software. Its current hardware range, Helix, includes fully featured and LE pedalboards, and a rack unit with optional foot controller. Now, the company has swung the other way with a plug-in version; Helix Native doesn’t simply borrow the family name from the hardware, it maintains full compatibility. Presets created on any Helix product can be transferred to the others.

Being free to create and audition amp, cabinet, and effect chains on a spacious iMac screen in the studio before moving them to a rack or pedalboard for the gig is an attractive proposition, but let’s be clear – Helix Native is completely functional without hardware, though you’ll need a DAW or plug-in host of some kind, as there’s no standalone mode. Helix Native runs as an Audio Unit, VST, or AAX, with a 15-day fully functional demo. I reviewed it as an AU in Ableton Live 10 (beta) on an iMac running OS 10.12.6; my audio interface was an RME Fireface UFX with front-instrument input.

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About MusicTech

In this issue, we’ve amassed the ultimate collection of professional advice on all things music; whether that's creating, recording, mixing, mastering or everything in between. Compiled from our interviews with such luminaries as John Leckie, Tony Visconti and Gary Numan, we’ve also got tips and alternative approaches from our (both pro and amateur) music-making audience. We hope this feature provides some inspiration for your creative studio endeavours. Also this issue, we chat to Catherine J Marks, a producer with some seriously impressive credits to her name and a nominee for this year’s MPG Producer Of The Year. We also spend some time with The Flashbulb, whose beautiful studio in the natural tranquility of Georgia is a thing to behold. We wrap up our A-Z series with Gear4Music, which is chock full of all the key terms and techniques that you need to know. We’ve also got our usual vast array of reviews and hands-on tutorial content, as well as an extensive guide to creating music on the move with an iPhone or iPad. We hope you enjoy the issue…