Release Notes 2.21 - Helix

Released 4/27/17

Helix v2.21.0 is a firmware update that includes new fixes, stability improvements, and optimizations. It is highly recommended that all Helix users perform this update!


  1. Shut down all Line 6 software as well as any software that streams audio, including, but not limited to: iTunes, Spotify, DAWs, browsers, etc.
  2. Use your CURRENT EXISTING Helix application to back up all of your presets and IRs (if you want to keep them). For example, if you're running Helix FW 2.00, your current Helix application version should be 2.00.
  3. Quit the CURRENT EXISTING Helix editor application and download and install the LATEST Helix editor application (2.20), available here: This also installs the newest version of Line 6 Updater (1.11).
  4. If you're using Helix Rack with Helix Control, turn off Helix Control.
  5. Using the latest Line 6 Updater (1.11), update Helix/Helix Rack to the newest firmware (2.21). At the end of the update process, Helix/Helix Rack will reboot automatically and begin rebuilding presets. Wait for this process to complete.
  6. If you're using Helix Control with Helix Rack, connect and power on Helix Control. The inspector will ask if you want to update its firmware. Press Knob 6 (OK). Wait for the update to finish.


  1. To reset globals and restore presets, turn off Helix/Helix Rack/Helix LT.

HELIX FLOOR AND LT ONLY: While holding footswitches 9 and 10 (middle two switches on the bottom row), turn on Helix. Wait for the message "Will reset Globals and restore stock Presets, Setlists and IRs…" to appear and let go.

HELIX RACK ONLY: While holding knobs 5 and 6 below the screen, turn on Helix Rack. Wait for the message "Will reset Globals and restore stock Presets, Setlists and IRs…" to appear and let go.

  1. Using the NEW Helix editor application (2.20), restore the user presets you backed up in step 2.


  • Additional optimizations to the GUI engine

Bug Fixes

  • Pitch/Synth > 3 Note Generator and 4 OSC Generator's behind-the-scenes Trails parameter was disabled, making it appear as if the Decay parameter was broken * FIXED
  • Distortion > Stereo > Clawthorn drive appeared slightly right of center * FIXED
  • Engaging/bypassing a block from a Stomp switch was slower than normal * FIXED
  • Turning the large Volume knob resulted in audible stepping while audio was active * FIXED
  • In rare cases, changing cab mic models while Helix is synced to incoming MIDI clock could result in brief UI lockup * FIXED
  • In rare cases, Helix could freeze when navigating the model list while receiving many tempo changes via MIDI clock * FIXED
  • In rare cases, pressing a Stomp mode footswitch could transmit a single MIDI Clock pulse * FIXED
  • In rare cases, Helix could freeze when accessing Global Settings while receiving MIDI Clock via USB * FIXED
  • In rare cases, multiple bypass assigned footswitches with custom names can have bypass states swapped upon preset import * FIXED
  • In rare cases, Helix can become unresponsive after copying specific block types onto another * FIXED
  • Helix Rack/Control only: If an expression pedal is connected to Helix Control with its position set to heel down, its Global Settings > Pedals > Polarity is set to "Inverted", and its Global Settings > Pedal > Pedal Position is set to "Global", an audible blip can occur on preset load * FIXED
  • Other bug fixes and optimizations

Known Issues

  • If a Variax guitar is connected to Helix, MIDI channel 16 should never be used, as channel 16 is how Variax Workbench communicates with the guitar. This is by design. On a related note, Variax Workbench should never be used while MIDI tracks are armed or playing back in your DAW
  • If Helix is set to a preset with a Pitch/Synth > Generator block on before beginning the firmware update process, a short burst of audio may be heard after presets are rebuilt
  • If a user fails to read and follow the update instructions, Helix will add nine additional steps to the update process, one of which involves a shot of cheap mezcal