Why clog up your stage with effects you only use briefly? Line 6’s new stompbox can be any pedal you want it to be, and will fit neatly into any pedalboard setup.
Some 12 years ago, Line 6 launched the M5, a multi‑effects pedal that offered a wide repertoire but produced only a single effect at a time. It proved a useful format, because although larger M‑series pedals could create several effects at once, the more compact M5 found a home on many pedalboards, for providing effects that might be used in only a few songs. For example, you might have a couple of songs that need a fuzz box and another that needs a rotary speaker or a multi‑tap delay. Or perhaps for another you require a Uni‑Vibe clone. Since such effects would get used for only one or two songs each, it isn’t worth buying — or allowing pedalboard space for — a dedicated pedal.
Towards the end of last year, Line 6 revisited that format with the new HX One, an even more compact ‘one at a time’ multi‑effects pedal, packed with over 250 HX effects that are based on the latest Line 6 Helix technology.
The HX One can be used in mono or stereo and has a TRS expansion jack for the connection of one expression pedal or a dual footswitch to augment the two onboard footswitches. There’s five‑pin MIDI in and out/thru, and a USB‑C port for firmware updates. Power comes from an included 9V, 500mA adaptor. The pedal can be locked to MIDI Clock and a Mac/Windows editor/librarian (not yet available at the time of writing but expected soon) will connect via USB. If you only need mono operation, the remaining two jack connectors can be used as sends and returns to patch the pedal into an amp’s effects loop. While few guitarists might be in a position to benefit from the stereo facilities in a live performance setting, stereo in and outs will certainly be appreciated by keyboard players, and I can also see the HX One being embraced by the modular synth community.
This new pedal has a robust cast‑metal case, in which the I/O jacks, power adaptor and USB port are located on the top edge to conserve pedalboard space. The MIDI sockets are on the left and the expression jack on the right. A small but pin‑sharp monochrome OLED display shows preset and parameter names along with horizontal bar displays that show the parameter amount. As a parameter is being adjusted its value is displayed, and it is possible to toggle the displays to show note values, milliseconds or Hertz.
Operationally, the HX One follows a familiar paradigm, with the three knobs below the display adjusting the parameters shown above. However, these knobs are actually turn and press encoders and are used to support a new feature called Flux. We’ve seen a similar concept employed on Eventide’s pedals and plug‑ins: the user can morph between one set of...