Line 6 Helix
Line 6 Helix - back
Line 6 Helix Rack
Line 6 Helix Control
Although the Firehawk has barely landed in stores, Line 6 has announced its new flagship multi-effects processor: the Helix.
Based on the all-new HX modelling engine, the Helix builds on Line 6's previous HD modelling to offer more nuanced sounds, with model-specific bloom and compression characteristics.
Line 6 has revamped the user interface, too, awarding the Helix with a 6.2" colour LCD display, customisable footswitch labels and - brilliantly - a joystick, while its construction is dubbed "tour-grade".
The footswitches themselves are also touch sensitive, allowing you to touch to select, hold to assign and press to engage - and by holding the mode switch and utilising the expression pedal, the Helix also offers hands-free adjustment of parameters.
Around the back, there are the usual ins and outs, plus expression outputs for amp and stompbox expression control, a mic input with phantom power, four (count 'em!) sends and returns, SPDIF in/out, XLR out, MIDI in/out, USB and a Variax connection.
Line 6 has been oddly quiet on the actual list of effects, but we do know that the Helix will include impulse responses, while we'd expect a host of new tones on top of updated POD HD sounds.
The Helix will be available at the end of summer 2015 for $1,499. Helix Rack (also $1,499) and Helix Control ($499) units are also on their way (see gallery images above). Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime, head over to Line 6 for a rather snazzy tour of the Helix floor unit's functionality.