I have a Helix - Do I need a separate audio interface?

When I am recording at home, I will plug into my Helix, which is also USBed to my computer.  My monitors are connected to the outputs of the Helix.  All of my other sounds are computer soft synths, and their outputs are set to the Helix too.
So far, so simple.  What is annoying me is that if I want to do any audio on the computer (synth only recording, games, god forbid work calls) I have to power up the Helix as it’s my only route to the monitors.  Also I can find it hard to balance levels between the guitar and whatever audio is coming from the computer. 
So... would there be any benefit in getting a separate audio interface and route my computer sounds through that, and also route the Helix outputs through that too?  Or have I come up with a complex solution to a non existing problem?
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Comments

  • MusicwolfMusicwolf Frets: 2485
    chris45 said:
    So... would there be any benefit in getting a separate audio interface and route my computer sounds through that, and also route the Helix outputs through that too?  Or have I come up with a complex solution to a non existing problem?
    It's not complex.  There are probably many Helix users, myself included, who go via an audio interface.

    In my case the audio interface came first and mine has 8 analogue inputs allowing me to leave other things permanently plugged in.  Having something with low latency (which is not all down to the interface) or, better still, direct monitoring is a must for me.


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  • MagicPigDetectiveMagicPigDetective Frets: 2198
    edited May 2021
    I have the same setup. If I want to use the monitors without powering up the HX Stomp, I run an 3.5mm cable from my laptop's headphone jack to the monitor's aux input. Works for me. 
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 7111
    I'd say that was a sensible idea to try a separate interface. Firstly because if you ever want to plug anything else in then you can, but also the usb connections built into other kit is usually a weak point anyway and you're more likely to damage it if you use it frequently
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 2963
    I've been in the same situation as you. I had an audio interface already, but liked the idea of using the modeller instead, but rapidly came back to using the stand-alone audio interface.

    Monitoring was an issue, as you've already noted. I don't have a modeller now, anyway, but I never regretted going back to using the audio interface for everything - including recording from the modeller. It was just more flexible and easier to drive. 
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 16745
    my Helix is my audio interface for everything.

    If my PC is on, so is my Helix.

    @Digital_Igloo confirmed that at the L6 HQ they have a few that have been on for years!

    It's no issue to have them on. Although my Helix is rack mounted next to my desk and it doesn't go anywhere else.
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  • chris45chris45 Frets: 156
    Thanks for al comments - probably 50/50 on which way to go!  Maybe I should add I am Mac based and there doesn’t seem to be a good audio mix app for it
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