Q: What is the Variax Workbench software?
A: Variax Workbench software is an Editor/Librarian for the Variax 300/500/600/700 and James Tyler Variax Electric guitars, as well as the Variax 700 Acoustic guitar. This program can be used to edit and manage the guitar models in your Variax guitar. ***Please note, that the ALT TUNING knob presets of the James Tyler Variax guitars are NOT accessible through the current version of the Variax Workbench software (v1.73 as of this writing).
Q: Can I use the Variax Workbench software to edit my Variax 300 acoustic or Variax 700/705 Bass instrument?
A: No, the Variax 300 acoustic guitars do not have a Variax Digital Interface (VDI) jack, and the Variax 700/705 Bass instruments are not supported for Variax Workbench.
Q: What Line 6 interface will I need to connect my compatible Variax instrument to my computer to use Variax Workbench?
A: You will need one of the following devices to connect your compatible Variax instrument to your computer: PODxt Live, POD X3 Live/Pro, POD HD500, POD HD Pro, Vetta I (equipped with the VDI interface), Vetta II, or the Workbench USB Interface.
Q: Can I use the Workbench software on a 64 bit operating system?
A: Yes all of our software drivers are compatible on 64-bit operating systems.
Q: Do I need to use the XPS box to power my guitar when using the Workbench interface or does the Workbench interface power my Variax?
A: The Variax still requires power from the XPS footswitch when using the Workbench interface to connect to your computer. However, you will not need the XPS box if you are using a PODxt Live, X3 series, POD HD500, or Vetta series unit to interface with your computer.
Q: Why can't I hear audio though my computer while I have my Variax plugged in through the Workbench device?
A: The Workbench USB device is not an audio interface, but merely a USB interface to allow your Variax to talk to your computer. In order to hear your Variax, you will need to have it connected to an amp or other monitoring system.
Q: With the Workbench package, will I be able to download new sounds into my Variax guitar? For instance, can I get the nylon string sound from your Variax acoustic into my Variax 300/500/700 or vice versa?
A: The Workbench software only allows you to edit what is already in the guitar, thereby creating custom guitars internally. You will not be able to install new guitar models into your Variax.
Q: What is the maximum I can pitch shift the sympathetic (12 string) strings in Workbench?
A: On the 12 string models, you can pitch shift the sympathetic strings by one octave in either direction. Please note- when using the 'detune' option for the sympathetic strings, if you raise the tuning by the full octave you cannot detune the strings any higher than a full octave.
Q: Does the Workbench package come with the Digital Variax cable included, or would I have to purchase that separately?
A: The Workbench package comes with a 10 foot Digital Variax cable included. This cable is not designed for live use as the longer Variax digital cable is, since it only has the reinforced, hooded connection on one end, rather than both. The 25' version is available separately either through our online store or through any Line 6 dealer.
Line 6 store
Q: I've changed one of my models to an alternate tuning and when I switch away from it and back, I get the old model for a few seconds before my new one kicks in. What's going on?
A: Until you save your edited model, it has to load into the edit buffer from the swap buffer when you first access the switch. Since it's not yet stored in the guitar, it can take a moment. Take a sip of coffee, and you're golden.
Q: I have the same model in two different banks. If I try and drag them both to the File Browser it works, but if I try one at a time, it asks me if I want to overwrite the patch?
A: If you drag two models with the same name from the Device Browser to the File Browser at the same time, one of them will get a number added to the end to differentiate it from the other patch (actually this will work with more than two models as well). If you try and drag them over one at a time, Workbench can't tell that they're not the same model (since a drag to the File Browser doesn't carry memory location information along with it), so will assume that you're trying to replace an existing model with an edited version of the same model. The solution? Use unique model names.
Q: I just saved a model that I edited from a bundle (or collection) back to that bundle and I'm still getting prompted to save when I close the editor?
A: If you closed the bundle (or collection), you severed the tie between that bundle and the edited model. Workbench no longer knows what bundle it came from, only that it has an edited model in memory. If you're absolutely positive you saved it already, just click on "Don't Save". If you have any doubt, click on Save, and it will just save it as a single model in your default Workbench directory.
Q: I can't see the bottom of the Editor or Tone Locker windows?
A: Workbench needs a screen resolution of 1024x768. While you can flip between two sizes in the Tone Locker (that's what the little triangle in the lower right-hand corner is for), the Editor Window is a fixed size and will go off the bottom of the screen at lower resolutions. For just a little extra room, you can use the Autohide task bar feature on Windows (right-click in the unused portion of the task bar and select Properties) or hiding the Dock on a Mac OS X.
Q: Can I adjust individual string volumes?
A: Yes. When you open the Editor screen in the Workbench Software, under the "Editor" menu, you'll see a choice for "String Volume Setup" at the bottom of the menu.
This brings up a group of 6 sliders to set the balance between strings. Remember that these are global settings (not per patch), so that changing the balance will affect all of your different models. Select "OK" once you have changed the strings to the desired levels.
As a side note, it's normal for many guitars to have volumes that differ from string to string. One example of this would be guitars with combination of a fairly small fretboard radius and pickups with non-staggered pole pieces. It can also happen with guitars that have peaks in body resonance at or near the fundamental or one of the lower harmonics of a specific note.
Q: What is the "Live" & "Studio" switch in Workbench for when using a Variax Acoustic 700?
A: The live mode removes the room reflections from the guitar output.
Q: I am getting strange text characters in my title?
A: On the Macintosh, Option-1 and Option 2 are keystrokes for special characters. Since this functionality is built into the font designs, we can't turn it off. This will only happen if you have an insert point selected in one of the text fields, though, so you can easily work around it by clicking one of the the body, pickup or tone control select drop-downs (depending on which tab of Workbench you're using) to remove the insert point from the text field.
Drag and drop may be a little bit different than what you're used to, as Java (the programming language in which Workbench is written) uses its own protocols for this. We'll try and spell out the differences here.
1. When in the Device Browser window of the Tone Locker, dragging one model to a different location will swap the two (ex. dragging Spank 1 over Spank 3 will swap their positions on the 5-way switch. Dragging Lester 2 over Special 4 will swap their positions on the Select knob and on the 5 way switch).
2. If you don't drop a model directly on top of another model in the Device Browser, but between two models instead, it will insert itself between the two, and slide everything else down one. when this happens all of the 'slid' models will show as editied (have the yellow exclamation mark next to them). If you really want this arrangement, be sure to performa a Sync and choose the "Write Selected Models..." option or your changes can get lost in the shuffle (sorry, couldn't resist the pun). Note: this only works in a bank. You can't insert a model from a different bank, although you can use the swap feature to move a model from one bank to another.
3. Dragging multiple selections from the Device Browser to a collection or bundle in the File Browser will behave differently depending on how the models were selected. A "shift-click" selection process will drop the models in the order in which they are in Memory. "Ctrl-click" (or "Command-click" on the Mac) to make a multiple discontinuous selection will drop them in the order in which they were selected. For example, if you Ctrl (or Command)-clicked on Spank 1, Spank 3, Lester 4, Reso 3, and then came back and selected Lester 2, they would copy to the collection or bundle in that exact order and not the order in which they appear in the Device Browser.
4. Dropping a model from a bank onto that bank name will place that model at the last (5) switch position and move everything above it up one.
Q: Will the Variax Workbench graphics change with left-handed Variax?
A: The strings appear on-screen the same as for a right handed guitar, the graphics will not be reversed. In other words, the high E string on the physical guitar will correspond to the high E string on-screen.
Q: What are all the terms I hear about using Line 6 Workbench?
A: To help you through the navigation of Variax and Workbench, please see the following short glossary.
Bundle: A saved dump of the entire memory contents of a Variax. This includes all models as well as the bank and switch combination at which they're stored.
Collection: A saved group of models. Collections can be of any size and contain internal folders for organization. Models stored in Collections do not include switch/bank information.
Q: What's the difference between a bundle and a collection?
A bundle is always a dump of the complete user memory contents of a Variax. This includes which memory (or switch if you want to think of it in more traditional guitar terms) position is used for each model. It will always have exactly 12 banks of 5 models each for a total of 60 models. If you wanted to quickly clone your Variax into a friend's, you'd use the Get Bundle button on your guitar, then hook up your friend' guitar and use the Send Bundle button to create a duplicate of your guitar.
A collection is just exactly that - a collection of models all stored together. It could be a single model (although that would be a little silly), two models, or thousands of models.
Inside a collection, tones can be arranged in folders, so you could put all of your models that use alternate tunings in one folder, or all the different variations on the T-Model body that you created into a single folder. A collection can have as many different folders as you'd like (although you can't nest folders or put a folder inside another folder in a collection). This is a great way to categorize a lot of models if you were, for instance, going to email them to a friend halfway around the world.
Edit Buffer: The area in the Variax memory where a model is loaded when you select it from the guitar or double click on it in either one of the browsers. When you're editing a model in Workbench, you're working on a copy of what's stored in the guitar. This means that if you decide that you don't like what you've done, you can back out gracefully without having overwritten what's stored in the guitar. It also means that if you like what you've done, you need to remember to save it.
Edit Window: Where the magic happens. In this window, you select body, pickup, tone/volume control, and tuning to build an individual Variax model. The Edit window has three tabs (Body, Pickup, Controls), a tuning section at the bottom, and a graphic representation of the guitar where you can do things like grab one of the pickups, slide it around, or rotate it.
File Browser: The left panel of the Tone Locker window. This displays all the models, collections, and bundles that you have stored in your Workbench directory (or whatever directory you've navigated to).
Device Browser: The right panel of the Tone Locker window. This displays the current memory contents of your Variax, including any models you may have edited and not yet saved (See the entry for "Sync")
Model: A particular combination of body, pickups, tone controls, and (possibly) tuning.
Swap Buffer: This loads the model in the guitar that you started from when editing. It's there so you can A/B between what you started with and what you've got. A good way to tell if you're on the right track, or if you need to start over. By the way, when you save a model, it's the currently displayed model is saved, so make sure you're looking at the right one before you hit that Save button.
Sync: This button allows you to make sure that what the Device Browser shows and what's in the memory of your Variax are the same. It also gives you the option to go back to your saved user models..
Tone Locker: This window contains both browsers (File and Device) and is where you go to to file management, model organization, and shuffle models around in memory.
Q: I am experiencing MIDI timeouts and/or connection error when I launch Workbench. How can I resolve this?
1) Close Line 6 Monkey prior to opening Line 6 Workbench.
2) Reinstall the latest Line 6 Monkey, device drivers, and Workbench program from the Line 6 website. See the following links for more information:
Line 6 Monkey Installation and F.A.Q.
Installing Drivers For Your Line 6 DeviceLine 6 software
3) Remove all non-essential USB devices from your computer, and connect your Line 6 interface device directly to the back of the computer. If you are using a laptop, try multiple USB ports to see if a different port has a better USB connection.
4) Try a different Variax and USB cable, as well as a different Line 6 device to see if there is a hardware problem with the amplifier.
Q: I am receiving a "Java Error" when I try to launch Workbench?
A: Please see the following link for more information on resolving the Java situation:
Java Errors with Line 6 Edit and Workbench
Q: I am not able to load Workbench on my Mac computer running Snow Leopard?
A: This is a Snow Leopard problem, as Line 6 Workbench requires Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 5 and Snow Leopard cannot run JRE 5. This situation has rippled through all levels of the Line 6 organization, and Line 6 will be investigating the scope of effort it will require to update Line 6 Edit. We can’t promise a fix or a timetable yet, but do know that an honest investigation of the effort required is in progress
v1.72 Release Notes/Known Issues
• Using the X3 hardware to change models can cause the software and hardware to get out of sync. Please use either Variax Workbench software or the Variax itself for model and parameter selection.
• Disconnecting USB when launching or running Workbench can cause the program to hang, or cause trouble quitting the program. Please quit Workbench before disconnecting the USB cable.
• Hot swapping Variax guitars when Workbench is running may cause loss of communication. Please quit Workbench, then swap guitars, then re-launch the program.
• Operating the X3 Live while launching Workbench (changing presets, turning the Select knob, etc.) can cause a MIDI timeout error. Please allow Workbench to completely launch before editing the POD X3 Live.