The Line 6 Helix system has always been super popular with players, as it manages to pack in a host of great virtual amps, cabs and effects pedals all into one easy-to-use system. So when they announce a firmware update, well, it is kind of a big deal. It is now time to welcome version 2.90 to the system.
Line 6 Helix/HX 2.90 Firmware
Okay, so we know you get a virtual new amp and two new cabs plus six new stompboxes. But what are they? Well, just looking at the official list and descriptions below, you’ll find there are a few tasty virtual bits of kit in there. I’m looking forwards to trying out the virtual modded Red Llama and the Subdecay Harmonic Antagonizer myself.
- Revv Gen Purple, based on the purple Gain 1 channel of the Revv Generator 120
- 1×12 Fullerton, based on the classic 1953 Fender 5C3 Tweed Deluxe
- 1×12 Grammatico, based on the modern 2016 Grammatico LaGrange
- Alpaca Rouge, inspired by a modded Way Huge Red Llama
- Legendary Drive, based on the Carvin VLD1 Legacy Drive (high-gain channel)
- Xenomorph Fuzz, inspired by the Subdecay Harmonic Antagonizer
- Rochester Comp, based on the Ashly CLX-52 and created in conjunction with Billy Sheehan
- Pebble Phaser, based on the Electro-Harmonix Small Stone phaser
You also get some great new features, which is always a welcome addition to the Helix/HX system. These include the new Dynamic, which is a Line 6 original. It’s described as a new Split block type that lets you dynamically route signals to Path B, depending on how hard you play.
Then there is the the addition of Output Meters for the Helix Floor, Helix Rack and Helix LT. Plus Signal Present/Clip Indicators for the Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT, HX and Stomp. All useful things to have, but there is more! There is now Improved IR Referencing, which is described as Impulse Response blocks. These now reference each IR file by waveform instead of index number, this works across the lineup.
New Command Center Commands allows you to enable customisation of footswitches within Stomp Footswitch Mode on the HX Preset, HX Snapshot, and HXLooper features. Last up is the new Shortcut > Model Subcategory and this allows you to quickly navigate model subcategories without having to open the Model List.
Helix Native 1.9
Helix Native also gets the following updates.
- A/B Compare – A new set of buttons lets you temporarily store all of the Helix Native instance’s parameter settings, then tweak any number of parameters and easily compare an A version and a B version before saving.
- IRs can now be dragged directly from the Impulses list onto the signal flow view
- Double-clicking an IR in the Impulses list auto-populates the currently selected IR
There is loads of great stuff in this release and I will be updating my Helix LT asap. As usual, make sure you back up all your presets before you run the firmware update and follow the installation instructions carefully.