Line 6 Helix as Midi Controller and Pre/Post Effects

I just figured out how to do this and thought some of you might be interested.

The basic gist of my setup is I’m using the NDSP standalone apps with the Helix as audio interface, a midi controller and for pre/post effects.

For this example, I’ll explain my set up for a clean, crunch rhythm, heavy rhythm, and lead sound using snapshots to switch NDSP presets and add pre/post effects from the Helix.

You’ll need to know how to configure Instant Commands and Snapshot on your Helix. If you don’t how I would suggest reading the Helix manual or watching one fo the many videos on YouTube explaining how to do this.

Helix Audio Path:

  1. Connect the Helix to your computer via USB.

  2. Create a new patch.

  3. Leave the input to path 1A as “Multi”, change the output of path 1A to “USB 3/4”.

  4. Set the input of path 2A as “USB 3/4” and leave the output of 2A as “Multi” (or whatever you want).

  5. Open your NDSP plugin of choice…Nameless, NTS or Abasi (they have full midi support).

  6. Click on the gear icon in the bottom left corner, select the Helix as input and output.

  7. Then choose Audio Input Channels 3 and 4 and Audio Output channels 3 and 4.

At this point, your signal flow is as follows:
Guitar —> Helix Input to path 1A —> out from Helix via USB 3/4 —> in to NDSP plugin via audio 3/4 —> Out of NDSP plugin via audio 3/4 —> in to Helix path 2A via USB 3/4 —> out of Helix via XLR, 1/4’ or whatever to speakers or headphones.

What this means anything you put in path 1A will be pre NDSP plugin and anything you put in path 2A will be post. I find this pretty handy for adding effects to Nameless and NTS since they have a limited set of effects built in.

NDSP Plugin Midi Setup:

  1. On the NDSP plugin open the midi configuration dialog box
  2. Click the plus to add a midi command, and choose “Program Change Preset”
  3. Select the preset you want to switch to.
  4. Assign a midi PC # (Program Change). It doesn’t really matter what #s you pick, just remember the #s because you’ll need them later to program the Helix.
  5. Repeat this process for all of the presets you want to switch between. In my case, I have clean, crunch, heavy and lead presets and I assigned PCs 40-43 respectively.

Helix Midi Setup

  1. On the Helix on the Command Center
  2. Select a Snapshot and assign a Program Change # via an Instant Command. For example, my Snapshot #1 is my clean tone, so I assign and Instant Command of Program Change 40 to snapshot 1.
  3. Repeat this for the other snapshots. For me…snapshot 2 is Program Change 41, then 42 for snapshot 3, etc. Again, just make sure it matches whatever you assigned in the plugin itself.

Now when you select a snapshot it will change (seamlessly) to the NDSP plugin preset assigned to the PC #. You can also add all of the other effects pre and post on the Helix and assign them to snapshots just like you would for a “normal” Helix preset.

As a bonus, Helix remembers these setting per preset so you can switch to another preset and use all Helix processing for amps and effects. You could also open another NSDP plugin and set it to use Audio in/out of 5 and 6, make a Helix preset with USB 5/6 as the in and out for the two paths. You now can switch between to different NDSP plugins just by switching presets on the Helix…all with pre/post effects.

I hope someone finds this helpful.


I Hope i can use My helix effects hx with the neural quad cortex