In this Pro Tools Expert video review, we take a look at Helix Native, a new guitar amp processor plug-in by Line 6.
What Is Helix Native?
The Helix Native introduces the Line 6 hardware HX Modeling technology in native plug-in format. This guitar processing suite includes a vast collection of vintage and modern guitar amps, cabinets, speakers, stomp box effects, dynamic processors, EQs and microphones. At the heart of the plug-in is an intuitive Signal Flow Display which is used for loading up guitar effects and amps. The effects and amp components are called blocks in the Signal Flow Display, these are very easy to arrange, not too dissimilar to patching real guitar hardware.
- Impulse responses can be imported and used
- Over 250 guitar presets
- Over 50 guitar amps and cabs (Line 6 don't officially state the full amount of cabs, amps and effects)
- Easy to use GUI
- Low of CPU
- Intuitive Singal Flow
Our Opinions On Helix Native
I haven't used a Line 6 product for many years. I remember using the Line 6 pod range of guitar processors, both rack and pedals, I recollect that neither felt very realistic in sound or feel. Helix Native though is a major step forward in guitar processing technology which does away with my negative memories of Line 6 guitar processor products of old.
The guitar tones that can be achieved in this Helix Native feel amazing to play through and sound incredibly close to many sought after guitar amps. I always judge new guitar amp plug-ins by the quality of their Vox AC30 models as I know these amps very well. AC30's produce a very distinctive tone and feel a certain way when the guitar performance causes speaker break up. I can happily report that Helix Native does the best job of reproducing the Vox AC30, no other guitar amp plug-in comes close to this.
The GUI appears to have been very well designed as it's easy to use. There are a handful of little issues such as:
- The preset menu feels like an afterthought. There's no way of searching for presets or cataloging with tags.
- The block edit window controls are easy to accidentally adjust with the mouse scroll when scrolling up and down the edit window.
- Helix Native doesn't include a tuner. Line 6 say a tuner will be available in a future update, sadly the tuner wasn't ready when Helix Native launched.
Helix Native Guitar Preset Examples
Watch the video review of Helix Native to hear a selection presets performed in the style of many popular guitars legends by Pro Tools Expert Deputy Editor Dan Cooper on his Brian May BMG guitar.
Visit the Line 6 website to download the 15-day free trial and for more information about Helix Native.