Argh, all these expensive units are such a pain in the neck! They lure you with their shiny bodies, extensive features, ethereal sounds and all you can do is stare at them and save up. If you are successful enough to have that kind of money, you are a lucky bastard, however, most of us aren’t in that position. That doesn’t mean we still don’t long for those advanced pedals that promise to do everything – resurrect David Bowie, save the planet and solve all your problems. Jokes aside, such devices can actually turn your world upside down and take you to the vertiginous world of professional sounds. Line 6 has always been renowned with its breathtaking amplifiers and high quality products – both in high and lower price range. The product we are going to talk about definitely belongs to the expensive category, but it’s worth every single penny. Helix LT offers so much that you might not believe your eyes or ears, but once you start playing, everything else fades away and you get submerged in the world of mesmerizing sounds. It is certainly one of the best multi-effects processors out there – there’s no doubt in that. If you want to find out detailed information about this beauty, then stay with me and read this article till the end. Let’s get started!
You might wonder what’s so special about the technology behind Helix LT. The secret behind its uniqueness lies in its components: it utilizes two Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) to guarantee the most authentic response, organic sound and diverse possibilities. This way your sound will feel like it was created in studio or by a real professional. And that’s something we all want to achieve in our performance, don’t you agree? The effects are reproduced utilizing all the specific virtual constituents, such as germanium or silicon transistors, photocells or bucket brigades – that’s how this fella is capable of delivering the sound of legendary pedals. Line 6 has taken a different approach in terms of amp simulation as well, which means every aspect of this unit is well-thought-out. Plus, it has 123 dB of dynamic range, making sure that each of the amp models is represented in its truest nature. When various components correspond to each other and speak the same language, the results are guaranteed to follow.
In addition, Helix LT has Snapshot functionality. It means that you can save eight different variations of your sound within a single preset. You can also transition between them easily and seamlessly, which is why this feature is so wonderful. If you own Variax, you can change its settings, tuning or even model with this pedal. When it comes to the connections, you get countless options here. This bad boy provides you with a number signal path combinations and you can experiment with all of them to find the one that works best for you. It has four stereo signal paths per preset so you can imagine just how many options you have. You can even employ renowned 4-cable method – it’s is completely up to you. Let’s not forget that Helix LT has XLR outputs for MIDI, headphone output, USB port as well as an effects loop.
Though Line 6 Helix LT does have a learning curve, it’s still relatively user-friendly considering the abundance of sophisticated features it offers. The brand offers comprehensive manual, as well as the main page where you can press the button that you’re interested in and view its functionality easily.
This pedal operates in five modes: Stomp, Preset, Loop, Snapshot and Edit modes, which are self-explanatory. You can toggle between the two with the help of a complementary button. Main LCD display enables you to dig deep and explore the menu in order to access more advanced options. However, you don’t have to do that every time, since most of the properties can be accessed without it. The screen does also display your signal path so that you know where each item is placed. Buttons such as Save, Home/View, Menu or Amp let you jump from one property to another in a matter of seconds. Presets can be accessed via knob or footswitches, depending on what you prefer. There are Drive, Bass, Mid, Mid Freq, Treble and Ch Vol encoders let you alter various parameters and craft your tone to your liking. There is a dedicated footswitch for Tap Tempo and Tuner, as well as an expression pedal that can be used for creating wahs and other effects of the same ilk, or it can be assigned with various settings.
When it comes to the sound, you notice that all the pain you went through to get your hands on Line 6 Helix LT was 100% worth it. You’ll need to spend some time with this beast to unleash all of its secrets and hidden gems, and learn how to operate it. But once you do, a vast world of diverse and high quality sounds will open up in front of you. You can replicate the sound of countless legendary effects pedals and amplifiers, be it a Univibe or else. It is the perfect unit for stage utilization – you can save presets and recall them with a footswitch and immediately jump to the parameters in order to tailor your sound to your band or the venue. You can do the same thing with effects and amps. In other words, you don’t just prepare pieces at home without the ability to quickly craft some of the settings. You can actually do all of that before the gig. Helix LT has extremely useful expression pedal that will be at your disposal when you’re in need for some wahs or volume swells.
It’s really hard to describe with words how wonderful Line 6 Helix LT can actually be. It offers studio quality performance and enables you to access the diversity which seemed so far away with other units. It is truly a revolutionary product and though you have to pay a lot for it, it is worth it. Listen to some of its sounds and you’ll see that yourself. Good luck!
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