Since: Oct 23, 2005
I use a Helix 18 on one of my computers and have had no problems with it using either Sonar 5 studio, or Audition 1.5. It worked right out of the box with the drivers on the disc that came with it. I have an Echo Gina 3g PCI card for input into another computer in my studio and I can't hear any difference in sound quality in them as far as sound cards go, but the Helix gives me less latency when doing over dubs.
Just keep in mind that it's actually 2 pieces of equipment in view of the fact that for firewire output to the computer, that's all it does is send the firewire signal from each channel via the gain control on each mic or line channel of the board. It then comes back in stereo on 2 channels from the computer into the monitor section of the board where you can send it to control room, headphones, etc. There is no automation of mixing or anything like that involved. Consider it as just a way to route signal to a DAW by firewire to multitrack as many channels to tracks as your computer can handle and it seems to do that well. If you're looking for automation or daw control, look elsewhere.
As for the mixer itself......it's an average board that you can use for anything anywhere like an Alesis studio 24 (for example) that has an average group of digital FX, etc. I have used it a couple times as a stage monitor mix for playing jobs, etc and it does that well also.
Hope this well help. J