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Helix Rack is a new kind of guitar processor: it’s not only a tour-grade rack mounted multi-effect processor that sounds and feels authentic, it’s also one of the most comprehensive master controller for guitar systems ever built. Start by recreating the tones in your head with the new HX modeling engine - the new amps, cabs, mics, and effects will feel familiar to anyone who has ever spent time in the studio getting the best guitar sounds from both vintage and modern gear.
Have a pile of oddball pedals that you rely on for your personal sounds? No problem. Take advantage of the most comprehensive I/O and routing capabilities ever built into a multi-effect and easily integrate them into the Helix Rack environment. Once connected, create custom setups that make your external pedals feel like they’re all under the hood. Whether you spend your time in the studio or on the stage, Helix Rack is the next-generation guitar processor you’ve been waiting for.
Real Tone that feels and sounds like your analog gear.
When it comes down to authentic sound and feel, Helix Rack represents a giant leap forward for guitar technology. The dual-DSP engine provides massive power to accurately recreate the dynamic feel of tube amplifiers, not just their sonic fingerprint. Each stage of an amp’s circuit has been measured and matched back to the original, so that each model reacts and interacts just like the real thing. This level of dynamic circuit detail extends into areas like power supply ripple, individual tube sag, and control over B+ voltages. Once these elements are captured, you get classic bloom and gooey compression on some amps, and a powerful gut punch on others. Helix Rack also lets you load custom impulse responses, allowing you to personalize your rig setup.
Smart Interaction - So intuitive you already know how to use it
Massive power traditionally comes with a steep learning curve, but Helix Rack challenges that way of thinking. The large 6.2" 800x480-pixel LCD display all but eliminates menu diving and provides the same level of control you would expect from an external editor. When it comes to creating tones, Helix Rack is as fast as you are.
Speed up your editing with Helix Control
Helix Rack can be controlled by almost any MIDI-capable device, but adding Helix Control gives you the same innovative capabilities found in the floor based Helix, and this means that - for the very first time - you won’t have to stop playing to tweak a knob. With Pedal Edit Mode, you can edit any parameter you like using your foot: simply select the block that you want to tweak, and its parameters spill out onto the Helix Control footswitches. Select a parameter, and tweak the value using one of three optional expression pedals.
Helix Rack has four stereo paths per preset, allowing you to design complex routing scenarios for each patch. Creating variations on wet and dry routing schemes is as easy as loading a template or tweaking the joystick, and using the onboard effects models in conjunction with the four freely-assignable effects loops means that the tonal possibilities are truly huge.
Control of your entire rig - Integrate and control internal and external devices
As the most advanced guitar processor ever made, Helix Rack can become the nerve center for your entire guitar rig. Easily integrate traditional effects pedals and other hardware into your environment, creating a seamless hybrid rig that incorporates the best of what software and hardware have to offer.
Helix Rack has extremely flexible audio routing thanks to its dynamically allocated DSP. Use the four effects loops to connect four separate pedal chains, or split them up and use them as freely-assignable inputs and outputs. In combination with four stereo paths, this means that you can process multiple instruments at once, send wet and dry signals to different places, and create large integrated systems that take advantage of both digital and analog I/O at the same time.
When you need to incorporate external devices via MIDI, Helix Rack offers more flexibility than any multi-effect ever. In addition to powerful real time MIDI control, Helix Rack can send up to six separate commands at patch recall that aren’t assigned to a connected footswitch, which means you can change a patch on a synth, start a sequencer, and turn up a fader on an external mixer, all with one patch recall. Add AES/EBU digital I/O, Wordclock sync, support for three expression pedals, CV/Expression out, and external amp switching, and Helix Rack can be the command center for any size rig.
Dual DSP-powered HX modeling engine with four discrete stereo signal paths, 45 amps, 30 cabs, 16 mics and 70 effects
Imports 3rd party 1024/2048 cab IR' (impulse responses)
Large 6.2" 800x480-pixel LCD display
Extensive I/O for seamless integration with your entire rig - 10 inputs 12 outputs (including four fx loops), plus 8-in/8-out USB audio interface
Up to three expression pedals, expression toe switch input, CV/Expression out, external amp switching and deep MIDI control
AES/EBU and SPDIF digital I/O with Wordclock sync
Industry-leading 123dB of dynamic range on the guitar input, for tremendous depth and ultra-low noise
Tour Grade construction “ 3RU rack enclosure with optional foot-based controller
Add to your setup with a click or call today!
Custom Guitar's Friend Gold Coverage
Gold Coverage goes above and beyond the manufacturer's warranty to protect your gear from unexpected breakdowns, accidental damage from handling
and failures. This plan covers your product for one, two, three or up to five years from your date of purchase, costs just pennies per day and gives you a
complete "no-worry" solution for protecting your investment.
Gold Coverage Includes:
Unexpected and unintentional spills, drops and cracks
Normal wear and tear
Dust, internal heat and humidity
Other plan features include:
For products over $200, No Lemon Policy applies. If it fails for the same defect 3 times, it is replaced on the 4th breakdown. (Does not apply to failures due to drops, spills, and cracks)
For products under $200 experiencing the above failures, a Custom Guitar's Friend gift card will be issued for the full price of the product + tax.
Shipping fees covered if required for repair or replacement
Plans are transferable in the event merchandise is sold
Plans are renewable on new gear
*Limitations and exclusions apply. See terms and conditions for program details
Term for New Gear begins on date of purchase but does not replace the store return policy or manufacturer coverage.
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1. Flexibility. This is the big thing right here. 4 totally separate paths that can be linked or not linked, that can work together or separately. I use two separate chains with a piezo-equipped electric guitar plugged in, switching between acoustic, electric, or both, each with their own FX, on the fly. I can get about twice as many FX going in Helix as I could with HD 500, and I can get the kind of flexibility that allows me to stay on one patch for an entire set of material if I want. With HD 500, I might have needed 2 or 3 different patches.
2. Ease of Use. Rather than describe this, I will tell you that I'm a manual reader. I read the manual before my Helix arrived. When it did, within about 2 days, I misplaced the manual... for two months... I didn't bother looking for it.
3. Sound quality. FX are amazing, although I'm hoping and expecting to see more and more as time goes on.
3a. Amp tones. If you are the kind of guy who plays full-bore, never messes with the volume knob on your guitar, and just needs to be heard loud, you might think the HD 500 sounds just as good, but Helix is more responsive to playing dynamics on the amps I use (mostly the Matchless, /13, Dr. Z, and Fender amp models), you are going to be in heaven. This is as responsive as the best amps I've ever played through.
3b. IRs. I don't use 3rd party speaker cab emulations, but I do use IRs to process my acoustic guitar signal. This has revolutionized my ability to make my acoustic sound great live. IRs already have changed the way I record acoustic guitar, meaning I don't need or want to even bother with miking my acoustic in anything resembling a dense mix.
In short, I totally adore this product. But buy the Control, too. You don't want one without the other.
Disclaimer: I am a Line 6 beta tester, but am not compensated monetarily by Line 6 for this review. They nave not asked me to review the product, have not really influenced how much I love it, but you do need to know this.
Line 6 Helix Multi-Effects Guitar Rack