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Line 6 releases “game-changing” Helix 3.0 update with exhaustive array of new features

Line 6 Helix
(Image credit: Future)

Line 6 has announced Helix firmware 3.0, the most comprehensive update for its Helix family of multi-effects and amp modelers yet.

Users are already praising the update as “game-changing” thanks to its wealth of new features, including polyphonic octave tracking and true preset spillover, plus a raft of new effects and amps.

Line 6 Helix

(Image credit: Line 6)

New amps and cabs include the US Princess, based on the Fender Princeton Reverb, complete with 1x12/1x10 cabs; plus two models based on the Mega and Lead channels of the Diezel VH4.

There’s a dizzying array of new effects on offer, ranging from models of the Boss HM-2, Horizon Precision Drive and several vintage fuzz units, to five new polyphonic pitch models and a glitch delay.

Line 6 Helix

(Image credit: Line 6)

Here’s the full list, taken from Line 6’s release notes:

  • Horizon Drive – based on the Horizon Devices Precision Drive. Includes an extra Gate Range parameter that, when set to “Extended,” drops the gate’s threshold down to -90dB
  • Swedish Chainsaw – based on the BOSS HM-2 Heavy Metal Distortion (Made in Japan black label)
  • Pocket Fuzz – based on the Jordan Boss Tone fuzz
  • Bighorn Fuzz – based on the 1973 Electro-Harmonix Ram’s Head Big Muff Pi
  • Ballistic Fuzz – based on the Euthymia ICBM fuzz
  • Horizon Gate – based on the Horizon Devices Precision Drive’s gate circuit. Includes an extra Gate Range parameter that, when set to “Extended,” drops the gate’s threshold down to -90dB.
  • Acoustic Sim – based on the BOSS AC-2 Acoustic Simulator. Includes an extra Shimmer parameter that imparts some motion to the harmonics, reminiscent of how a string’s vibration tends to affect the other strings. Can be used alone or in conjunction with an acoustic IR
  • Poly Detune – Line 6 Original. Great for those who want to avoid traditional chorus pedals
  • Poly Sustain – Line 6 Original infinite sustain with a modulated poly pitch engine built in
  • Glitch Delay – Line 6 Original performance delay that lets you freely manipulate the repeats' behavior in real-time
  • Poly Pitch – Line 6 Original
  • Poly Wham – Line 6 Original. Automatically assigned to EXP 1 and the toe switch toggles it on and off.
  • Poly Capo – Line 6 Original. A Simpler version of Poly Pitch when you just want to transpose your playing.
  • 12 String – Line 6 Original 12-string guitar emulation
  • Stereo Imager – Line 6 Original. Used to increase the apparent stereo width of your signal when connecting Helix to two amps or a stereo playback system
  • Shuffling Looper

The other big feature addition for 3.0 is True Preset Spillover, which provides completely seamless preset switching, provided you disable path 2.

Other tweaks include the addition of Favorites, User Model Defaults, Auto Impedence and Min/Max Value Indicators.

That’s not to mention fresh artist presets from big names such as Misha Mansoor, Bill Kelliher, Dustin Kensrue, Graham Coxon, Olly Steele, Bumblefoot and oh-so-many more.

HX Stomp users, meanwhile, get an increased simultaneous block count of eight (that’s still DSP-dependent, of course), and a MIDI Command Center, while the Helix Native plugin now has the same needle/strobe tuner as the Helix, and new gain reduction meters.

In short, this is an exhaustive update from Line 6 – check it out in action above courtesy of YouTuber Jonathan Cordy, who has branded the pedal as “maybe the best thing to happen in 2020”.

For more info on the new additions and how to update, head over to Line 6’s comprehensive release notes.