Line 6 are no strangers to amp modeling and this year they have launched the highly anticipated Helix system. Available in pedal board or rack formats, Helix is the successor to the ever popular Pod series, and is rebuilt from the ground up using a completely new system of modeling and a new user interface. This is an amazingly solid, re-engineered piece of gig-worthy kit, and is hitting the streets about now all over Europe and the USA. They have apparently spent years developing this amazing new system and all their promo videos are about the passion, blood, sweat and tears they put into its creation.
So there are lots of impressive demos floating around YouTube and on various guitar forums on both sides of the Atlantic. Many claiming how ‘natural’ and amp like it sounds, how simple the user interface is compared to the old Pod system and singing its praises for cover bands live work etc. However it seems Line 6 have yet again released a product that has serious issues.
So dig down past all the hype and you’ll see reports all over the internet of how the Helix will just turn itself off and refuse to turn on again, unless you factory reset the whole unit. You’ll even lose all those patches you spent hours building if you didn’t back them up to a computer.
Now of course this could just be a simple software fix, we all know that. So my question is – “Why release the thing to the paying public with such a major issue in the first place?” Surely if the Line 6 team have been testing this new product in house they would have found such a major flaw. So why go ahead and release it with such a huge bug.
I love technology, I really do. However I really don’t like paying for the privilege of being an international company’s beta tester. Especially on a Friday night down the Dog & Strumpet in front of an inebriated audience eagerly anticipating my heavenly guitar riffs. Just as my whole rig decides to write an extra zero at boot sequence and loses my carefully programmed rock tones… I’d rather do a ‘Lenny Kravitz’ and give the ol’ chap an airing (give them something to really laugh about) than have them wonder off home laughing at the poor sod that sounded like Lil’ Wayne playing through the house PA system.
Sort it out Line 6!