Helix & midi guitar2: use pedal to switch between dry guitar and synth

Hello everyone,
I’m new here and looked a lot on the web about my question: couldn’t find this specific topic

For playing live I want to try to use a 2012 macbook pro, conected to Helix with USB and the MG2 app.
What I want to achieve is that I can switch gradually between dry (different presets on the Helix) guitar and synth (for example sampletank) by the pedal of the Helix
Is there someone out here who can guide me trough the different steps to take, so that it works?
I’m from Holland, so English is not my native language, which makes it a little more difficult to understand the manuals ;-/

Thanks in advance!

Im not sure how Helix works, exactly. But MG wants a dry signal (no amp or FX’s) so you can’t really feed your Helix tone into MG.

The usual way would be to use one of the many popular Guitar Amp/FX plugins and host it in MG - then you have what you want. Im not sure if there is a VST version of Helix(?).

Alternatively, you should probably look into a DAW or simple host, where MG and Helix both does its own thing in parallel, and then crossfade between them.


As explained by JamO, it is important to respect the procedure for a good signal path.
On the other hand, In order not to restrict the use of the Helix by reserving the use of the built-in pedal to switch from dry to synth, it would be better to use an external expression pedal dedicated to this use, as the Helix has 2 additional connections for that.
Provided you look for information to check compatibility, you can find cheap expression pedals working fine with Helix. Even volume pedals can work fine using the right connection.

Finally, look at this post to get an overview of how to connect your equipment:
Helix & Midi Guitar

And do not hesitate to use the search function in this forum, i.e. by typing Helix, you will find more useful informations.

Thanks for chiming in!

JamO: I’ve been using my Helix/MG2 in my studio with my other computer (Mac Pro 5.1 upgraded) for a while now: there it works well, (tho still can’t find a way to hear only dry guitar/only synth)
That works when I use my DAW (Cubase 11)
Btw: I use MG as a standalone now on my MBP: of course I always could install Cubase there as well, but try to keep it as simple as possible
I’ve been reading some posts about people using the Helix, together with MG2… but it’s rather complicated (for me) so looking for someone who can guide me trough this…

Herold; (and JamO too) :wink: sure, I’m going to respect the procedure for a clean signal path and the remarks of the both of you as well…

I have another volume pedal connected to the Helix as well, but I rarely use that
And sure I’ve been looking here as well for Helix/MG2 and I think I’ve red your link as well; guess I’m going to re-read it over…

Maybe I’m going to stick with my old Axon AX 100 guitar synth and my guitar with Ghost pickups; there I have the ability to with different synth patches with a mini switch on the guitar :wink:

Btw, when re-reading the link provided here above, I overlooked a picture, which made it a bit more understandable for me: Thanks!

I use my Helix (and a JTV59 Variax) via a single USB cable in conjunction with an iPad Air2 and Midi Guitar 2 for iOS, which I host in AUM as an auv3. The possibilities with this setup are amazing. Even though you are using a laptop, I imagine it would function similarly if set up accordingly in your DAW. I set path 1 on the Helix for my guitar signal. I use path 2 on the Helix for Midi Guitar 2. Until Line 6 implements a USB send / return block (fingers crossed), this is the only way I could figure out how to get this to work - and it requires dedicating an entire path on the Helix to do so, but it does work. I set the output of path 2A on the Helix to USB 3/4. I set the input to Midi Guitar 2 to USB 3/4. This sends the signal from the Helix to the input of Midi Guitar 2. I set the output of Midi Guitar 2 to USB 5/6. I set the input of path 2B on the Helix to USB 5/6. This returns the signal from Midi Guitar 2 to the Helix. I put a Helix gain block somewhere in both path 1 and path 2 on the Helix. Location could be in A or B of each path and depends on your preference regarding other effect placement, etc. Assign control of both blocks to either EXP 1 or EXP 2 on the Helix. Set each gain block inversely from one another so the block in path 1 is 100% toe down and 0% heel down and the block in path 2 is 0% toe down and 100% heel down (or the reverse depending on which signal, guitar or MG2, you want to hear on toe down). Your expression pedal on the Helix will then blend your guitar signal and your Midi Guitar signal as you like, or give you only one or the other at the extremes of the pedal range. Works like a charm, but did take me some pondering to get it figured out! Good luck!


Hi Chops!

Thanks for taking the time to explain! I think it could help me a lot to understand.
Unfortunately I’m quite busy at the moment and I need to find time and pace to sort things out…
Could you please be so kind to send me (and all the others here) the .hlx file of your Helix preset?
(you can change the .hlx to .jpeg for example to make it possible to send the little file here)
It woud be much appreciated!


I think this reply addresses most of what each of you has posted. I hope it helps.

Using the pedal to blend between MIDI and the guitar signal is a good idea, but there is an easier way to get a clean signal path to MG2, w/o requiring a separate Helix path/block and it works with every patch.

When using a USB connection to your DAW, Helix automatically sends a clean unaffected (un-effected) signal on USB Ch 7. This is used for re-amping, allowing you to simultaneously record with your Helix tone on one track and a dry signal on another.

I set up a template (in Logic) that I load for each session with the following:

  1. 1 audio track with USB 7 as the input and MG2 as the Audio FX

    1. Enable input monitoring. Input monitoring is required for MG2 to work as a plugin but you won’t hear the guitar from that track.
  2. A second track has a MIDI instrument with record enable on. That (and any other MIDI track that’s record enabled) will be triggered by MG2 independent of the volume level of the Helix output, which I control with a volume pedal on the Helix.

    1. The USB 7 output is unaffected by anything on the Helix including the volume, so you always have a clean dry signal for your MIDI controller. The volume from the guitar knob must be at least non-zero for MG2 to work.
  3. Finally, a 3rd track is an Audio track with the input set to USB 1 to record the output of the (affected) Helix signal.

    1. Record-enable controls whether or not it’s recorded. Input monitoring controls if it’s audible.
    2. If I only want to hear the Helix thru that channel and not thru its own outputs, I set the output of the current Helix patch to USB 1.

This setup allows me to use any patch on the Helix and not have to configure it specifically for MG2.

If you’ve followed this far you may be asking how to blend the MIDI track with the guitar signal (not just blending the guitar with MIDI as described above) I use an expression pedal plugged into a USB keyboard and assign it to the fader of the selected channel. It works perfectly (although you need to tweak the scale of the input to not send the fader all the way to the top) and allows independent control of the guitar and MIDI volumes.

I realize this requires a keyboard (and one with an expression pedal input) and so an even more elegant and simpler solution would be to assign a 2nd Helix expression pedal (it can use relatively cheap expression pedals) to a MIDI CC command and assign it to the MIDI track as described above). I haven’t gotten around to that yet, as this setup works great for me.