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  1. Thanks for the info. I was able to get it updated fairly fast. It hung updating the firmware for some reason it didn't recognize my built-in keyboard on my MacBook Pro (go figure) and just hung for a couple of hours. In short I was worried I had bricked the damned thing as HX Edit stopped responding and couldn't see the Helix via USB, yet was most of the way through the update. But fortunately was able to download and use the L6 updater, it immediately found the Helix and updated the firmware to the latest version no problem. So here's a question for you, or someone, regarding preset numbering in the global settings... What is the advantage of using the default preset numbering scheme of 01A-32D vs 0-127? I'm guessing it might have to do with which footswitch setup one chooses to use or perhaps this was L6' first swing at creating some type of ordering presets for use in a single song (or other application requiring groups of presets together in a single view) before snapshots came along due to users being unhappy about switching delay between presets and not having tails (?) , but am not quite sure. Are there other uses for having an ABCD version of each preset number? Thx in advance!
  2. The Line 6 updater worked like a charm! Although MacOS wasn't exactly excited about allowing it to be installed. It installed 3.01.0 without any issues. Saved my lollipop! Thx again!
  3. Running the L6 updater now. So far so good. It at least recognizes the Helix and says it's installing 3.01. We'll see how she goes! Thx for the pointing to the L6 updater!
  4. Thx for the info. I had actually already installed the latest HX Edit and started the update, it seemed to have an issue with recognizing my keyboard during the firmware upgrade although I'm using a 2019 MacBook Pro with the stock keyboard. I followed the onscreen prompt to hit the key next to the left shift button, the update never continued on. Eventually the activity monitor said that HX edit had stopped responding. So all was pretty straightforward and uneventful until that point. Now we are not all the way through the update and seem to be stuck. I've never had a process stop responding on the MBP as long as I have owned it and have done LOTS of firmware updates on different devices in the past. Haven't had an issue for many years in doing FW updates. L6 support is not open on weekends. Thinking I might be bricked.
  5. Do I need HD workbench or is it only if using the Variax? Do I need to install the Helix Driver 2 and if so, at what point? I couldn't find any specifics on this after reading through all of the update material. It simply says it adds support for the HX stomp XL, yet it says it works with Helix as well. The previous version of this driver says it adds support for Catalina. Not sure if this driver is required or not, or possibly gets installed through the firmware update? Have been through all the documentation and forum posts and have found no specific instructions for this driver. If I can find answers for these two questions, I think I will be good on the rest. Thx
  6. I just bought a new Helix floor and it came with firmware version 2.30.0. I need to get to the latest versions of everything. As of yet I have not installed nor updated anything. I am yet to receive my verification from L6 for my free version of Helix Native as well. Otherwise I have been to the support site and downloaded all of the latest software. I couldn't find any info on whether I needed to to incremental updates to the firmware or can go straight to 3.0.1. Anyone care to give a little direction here? Most of the release notes and other info I find seems to be referring to units that have been running on a previous vversion, perhaps not new purchases. For example, should I do a backup of 2.30 although I have made no edits to presets, etc? I would assume not but think it best to double check. Also I notice a couple of files in the downloads that say they support Catalina and one says it supports HX and Stomp. They may have been the workbench and the helix driver 2. Do I even need these? If so, do they need to be installed first so the rest of the software will run on Catalina? It would be great if there were a support document that says, congrats on your new purchase, first things first, here's what all you need to install and update, in the following order:.... Perhaps there is such a page, but if so, I couldn't find it. I'm not entirely sure what all I need and what I don't to get up to date. Any direction on specifics here would be greatly appreciated. I'm running MacOS Catalina just FYI. Thanks in advance!
  7. Thanks so much for the info. I'm just rolling through the presets now for the first time. After all I had read I expected them to be just terrible, but not as bad as imagined. I need to get the firmware updated but after a half hour of looking through all the downloads and notes for each, am still uncertain if I need to to incremental updates or can jump directly to the most recent version. Although I admit to being distracted by wanting to just plug in and check it out. I'm guessing by your comments that if you are using one preset per song, unless you have a static setlist, there is probably a way to pull up a list of presets within a setlist with your feet vs having to lean over and push the select on a setlist in order to see all the presets in a list? Thx for your post, direction, and encouragement!
  8. I think your analogy of the iPhone is very apropos. The iPhone revolutionized not only cell phones, but also the way we consume music, video, take and use photos, etc, etc.. It broke down many boundaries and opened the door for so many new uses for a person device... even recording music. Many manufacturers are riding on the back of those innovations today and competing head on with iPhone. Yet for all their success, lack of a user-based file management system has not only kept them from consideration for many consumers, but has also been a feature requested by their own user base since the beginning. Obviously this goes much deeper due to their closed architecture, but they finally got around to building one (and it's still not great!). Having an incredible modeler like Helix, even with all of its great features (that I am yet to skim the top on), for a musician where live performance is almost the entire reason for owning any gear, having limited support for accessing all of these great sounds and features quickly and easily live--without having to make all kinds of compromises (like one preset per song as a workaround appears to be from my reading without having hands on yet ), seems a bit like owning your favorite high dollar sports car and only ever sitting in the driveway listening to the stereo because when you want to drive it down the road and enjoy all that's been included in it, you can't find or get it into the right gears! They are in there but without the mechanisms in place to access them as you need. Sure you can drive around in first all day or find a way to get it down the road, but not in a very pretty way. Lol. Before the iPhone, if a user was wanting to listen to music or take pictures, many cell users might have suggested 'if you want to do that, go buy a camera or an audio playback device.' Especially if the cell phone they had wouldn't roam correctly. First things first! Thank heaven that Apple had the vision for innovation that they had and refused to compromise! We are all reaping the rewards today whether using an iPhone or another device. Guitarists have been creating workarounds since the beginnings of the electric guitar for live usage, and other applications. We are so used to doing it that it's simply become a way of life for almost all of us. I really want to use a lot of what Helix is offering. I just opened the box on my first one! But if I can't find a way to use it live in my application without having to use too many workarounds or not be able to access what I can create within it quickly in a live environment, what's the point of owning one for me unless I can justify its cost with some other use? I realize it has MANY uses in many applications.. Mine just happens to be live and evolve around songs with extreme sound changes in many of those songs. I'm trying to find a way to make it work for me. Probably no big deal to anyone else if I can't find that. I really appreciate all those that have pitched in with great suggestions and otherwise, especially those that are really trying to help, even in the workaround space. Great things come into existence because someone asked.. How can this be done or why can't it be?! I also realize that even playing live music with others musicians is not the end all it once was. It's great that people can do more with music creation all by themselves in their home studio or even just on their iPhone! Lol. Helix appears to be trying to appeal to a very broad audience and being quite successful at it. It really seems to a spectacular platform. I will stay tuned as I start to get my hands dirty now.
  9. My point about that ship possibly having already sailed was from a user's perspective. To the person that's using L6 for only a couple of effects in a a rig made up of tube amps and a huge pedal board of other effects, etc., and who might not touch a modeling amp if their life depended on it, to them it may appear that L6 is trying to be everything for everyone. I've even heard amp manufacturers refer to companies that build multi-fx amp modelers as exactly that. Obviously someone using L6's flagship model as the heart of of their rig and using a lot of the features in that platform is going to have a different perspective on what L6 is and what their focus is. Just reading the different posts in this thread, it's interesting to see the differences in how people are using this product. Reading more posts just to get a better feel for the product, it's obvious there are differencess of opinions as to what is, or should be priorities, and have more or less focus for L6. To one person, a particular feature is 'obviously' square in L6's wheelhouse and should have been fixed or included yesterday, to the next person it can be something quite different. With agreements and disagreements being non-existent to quite heated on this issue as it pertains to different features. But then I've also seen panels at conferences with tech companies like those you mentioned erupt into near fist fights during those discussions and actually end up in fist fights later that evening in the Hotel bar! We all lobby for features we want and often have differing opinions. Plus, L6 most likely has their own product road map. It's all good.
  10. And I thought my request was difficult to communicate succinctly! Lol. Integration is always a can of worms, yet one that has to be opened in today's world of multiple devices. The struggle for manufactures is as soon as a feature is created, users will undoubtedly find many different ways of applying it. The list of requests for fixes and enhancements is endless. Plus, the manufacturer has their own vision for their product lines with new products and new innovations. Each also spawning their own respective requests for fixes. Everybody wants their own pony, coffee maker, tuna sandwich, etc. Having worked in hardware and software most of my life and developer programs for both as well, there are always more requests than resources. And yes, priorities have to be set. I am under no illusion about my hope for song support. Compared to many of the features already within the Helix, it seems a rather simple request by comparison, yet realize that may not be the case when matched up with the existing paradigms already established. It seems ironic to me as pretty much everything we as musicians perform are songs. Yet every musician has a different approach to getting all of their sounds for any particular song. Each approach is dictated largely by the feature set within the equipment they use combined with their specific application. As for Helix being a jack of all trades vs a master of none, even that is determined by the same user criteria and expectations of its user base. That ship may have already sailed depending on ones view. I don't know that there are right or wrong approaches. I certainly hope you can find a solution to your snapshot and midi issue. It's great to see so many jump in and help out!
  11. You have the concept down perfectly zappazapper. Out of all the modelers I think Headrush has the closest implementation. At least they have a song mode that one can assign rigs and scenes to and then place songs in setlists. Even with that it's not as elegant as I would like to see. But it really may not get much better either when a single footswitch controller is being used in so many different ways. Unfortunately, I also have to agree with you about having little hope for such a native implementation coming in the future for L6. I realize the need to prioritize and listen to users. They have a good thing going on Ideascale. One problem with this feature is the ability to describe it succinctly in a small paragraph, so it has to compete for votes against ideas like you mentioned-- support for x and y pedals and amps, etc. Features that can be read, understood, and up-voted by the masses in 30 seconds. I really do believe it would be a popular feature if implemented well. Having actually used something like this in the past, it's hard to wrap my head around going back to keeping track of and accessing things differently. I also don't think it would be all that hard to implement, but that also depends largely on how they coded and built their core architecture. L6 could be hard wired to their current structures. I found an older video of Bradshaw giving a demo of a foot controller he built and put into limited production years ago. Kind of a poor man's version of the controller behind one of his custom Bradshaw racks that were all the rave during the 80s and into the early 90s (pre-grunge and a return to all things simple. A single amp and a couple of pedals days... also the return of the Les Paul and all things vintage. I remember in the mid to late 80s when you literally almost couldn't give away a Les Paul! My have we went full circle again! lol, but I digress). Song mode was one it's main features, just like it also was in his custom racks at the time. Years ahead of its time. I REALLY appreciate your detailed description of how you are using your Helix to achieve the closest thing to a true song mode. Really great stuff! Good luck with your endeavors there. Let me know how it works in practice once you get a chance to use it when you start gigging again. I bit the bullet and bought a Helix floor today. I'm excited for many of its features, but hope I don't regret the purchase in the long run. Time will tell. Amazing how a single piece of gear from 40 years ago spoiled me and insulated me from all of these workarounds in work flow, organization, and tracking in live performances. The ole Midigator RFC1 was such a godsend, and I only used a small number of its features, but those were right up front and center! Much of what it could do is now being re-released in the Command Center and being rediscovered by new generations. Thanks so much for your post!
  12. Sorry for the duplications during that last post. I wrote it over 3-4 days on my mobile and it was struggling. I even thought I lost a section and then it reappeared when I actually posted it. Time to reboot and clear my cache! Lol. Thx again to everyone that's contributed or following along!
  13. A lot of great ideas and comments. My overall objective here is to simplify my rig, not cimplicate it further. And, have an easy way of managing the various sounds for each song within a single unit that I can configure all the sounds for each song before the gig and come gig time be able to find any song quickly and have its sounds, and only it's pre-configured sounds available to me all via the foot controller if possible. The example of stairway to heaven by talonmm is a great example! That is right on fhe money! Now just multiply that need x 100+ songs played in any order! Keeping track of and quickly accessing all those different settings across many songs can become quite the task. Sure one still has to think in terms of each of those individual amps, cabs, effects, routimg, and parameters while configuring for a gig, or even working in a studio, etc. But for the first time in history, one can have almost any (great) sound available with the press of a single switch! This opens the door for the possibility during a performance to not have to think of all those individual pieces that make up a sound. In live performance, the most common organizational element in playing music by a LONG shot is the 'song'. I used to use multiple amps and multiple effects and having to to think in terms of every parameter and amp type and settings, it was a real challenge needing to change, turn off or on almost every part of the rig depending on what the next sound I need is, then one had to be physically able to make all those changes via sstomp, turns of dials n pushing buttons for each. An unbelievable logistical nightmare if one wants to copy sounds and effects pretty closely with that type of rig, even with just a few songs. Along comes modeling amps with multiple FX that can be pre-configured and save practically any combination of elements that make up a particular sound to a ssingle preset. Great! Goodbye multiple amps and each of their controllers and goodbye to lugging around a huge pedal board or rack and having to control each of them individually every time I want to change ssounds. Plus no more having to make 6 adjustments to get a completely different sound! Presets are one common element in all of today's modelers and multi-effect units that allow one to virtualize (to use a tech buzz word) almost any combination of sounds and organize them for quick access with a single switch! For the first time in history, a guitar player might not have to think of each of these individual parts that make up a sound during live performances! This is even more powerful as one uses more unique sounds within a large number of songs in a setlist. If working in a studio, writing music or while preconfiguring presets, etc., one still has to think about all those eelement. Understandable. But in live performance, the most common unit of organization in performing live music is the 'song', by a long shot! Regardless of instrument or supporting gear. It blows me away that with all the capabilities of modern modelers, that I can't create a virtual organational units called a song, name it by the songs name and assign any number of sounds (ie presets, snapshots, programs, etc) to it and be able to find and quickly access any given song and its related sounds with a quick switch or two. Especially given the all the featues that are offered in today's modelers. I saw a YouTube video where the product line manager was talking about how versatile and powerful the Helix is, especially with the inclusion of the Command Center. One can literally check their email spam folder and delete emails with this feature according to the video. I understand the power to be able to send practically any commands to any number of devices with a single switch. But again I come back to my original point, I'm trying to simplify my rig by getting rid of as many different pieces of equipment as possible. I believe the Helix has pretty much all the amps n effects I really need in one unit and an incredibly powerful and easy to use foot controller... especially during the configuration phase of building sounds. Now I'm just trying to find the easiest way to organize these sounds into 'songs' and quickly access them, hopefully without having to use a single preset per song where I may have to throw every amp, cab, effect, etc, and the kitchen sink into a single preset if all if those elements are required to create a variety of sounds for one song. Then (under this approach) having to physically name that particular preset with a particular songs name, making it more confusing if I wanted to use that particular preset in other songs as well. It would be so much easier to create a preset for EACH given sound in a song, be able to create a 'virtual folder' called a song and assign whichever presets (sounds) required to that particular song and have a switch assigned to each preset to be able to switch through the sounds within that song. Find the next song, repeat This is the next best thing to having a guitar tech back stage making all your switches for you for every song during a gig! Perhaps this is an issue of symantics to a certain degree. Perhaps one 'preset' could be equal to one 'song' in the Helix 'file system' (for lack of a better word). If so, I'm still not quite seeing it yet. The Helix is SO close to being able to do this as far as I can tell. The scribble strips are genius in terms of providing an editable visual description of each switch's function. It could have either the name of the preset or the description of which part of a song its being used for, etc. It's just the ability to create songs, name them, find them quickly and access them with their respective sounds, independently from which bank they live in, which presets or lists the belong to, and being able to see clearly that I am still struggling with. All of those things (ie presets, snapshots, setlist, banks) are programmable, virtual 'folders' for organization within the Helix (well, maybe not entirely virtual as there seems to be some strings attached in these assignments) . I'm just trying to find one I can use like a 'song'. But that may be a bridge too far for the Helix by itself today. Yet, I'm guessing I could probably program it via command center to dim the lights, turn on the fireplace, play some music, and maybe even make some toast in a single stomp! Lol Please know that this is not a rant. Far from it. I am just trying to explore its capabilities and how they might match up to my needs BEFORE going out and dropping almost $2K. There are lots of musicians out there using competing products wanting to do the same thing at a song level and not finding an elegant solution without having to add another footswitch, device or app. But if Helix could do this, I believe there would be a fair amount of Fractal, Kemper, and Headrush users that would jump to Helix in a heartbeat. I've read a lot of posts in their forums and other equipment blogs that are looking for very similar capabilities in their native modeler or in conjunction with other misc rigs and trying to do it with with other devices. Given the massive features that Helix has included, being able to create, manage, and quickly access a song and a collection of songs (of course along with their related sounds) seems like it would be relatively easy to do in comparison with many of the things that have already been built into it. Especially when one considers just how ubiquitous the 'song' is to music itself. Even more so when making and playing it. It seems like a logical evolutionary step... and would make life a whole lot easier for gigging musicians! I really appreciate everyones input and help! Great input and suggestions! Keep it coming!
  14. I've taken a look at both of these but haven't used either, but until now, have never had the need to. The band has always prided themselves on not using any music stands or devices to help with sheet music, charts, lyric sheets, etc. Everything has always been memorized with the exception of song list order. We are even struggling a bit with having a device for each member to tweak personal monitor mixes. It is nice to have this capability, but it adds yet one more device to one's setup. For years we have had 3 monitor mixes and everyone has had their personal sounds with volumes and EQs setup in advance so that once we had decent monitor mixes at the beginning of the gig, we seldom had to tweak after the gig started. Now we are running the X32 mixing console and have this capability, a great board for live use and nice additional features, but we had really gotten things down with our old board and now I'm looking at stirring things up with a new rig myself too. Having lost my old midigator footswitch, things were going to have to change anyway. One thing about using a device and software to accomplish this song and settings, is the disadvantage is not having my hands available to look through and find the next song while playing the existing song. To say we use setlists is even inaccurate, for most of our gigs we have never even used set lists. There are 3 of us that pretty much call the next tune up in a different order every single night based on the gig, crowd, etc. This made having a complete listing of all our tunes at my feet to be able to browse the list while playing the current song especially useful. Fast songs were alphabetized in set 1, ballads in set 2, with set 3 I eventually broke the fast set in half and had songs m-z and a few common sound combinations for requests in set 3. If someone else called the next tune, at the most it took me 2-3 stomps to find it and one stomp at the end of the current song to arm all my settings to start the next song. This could all be done within 5 seconds max, so with even 5 seconds advance notice, I could play the end of one song and still be ready to start the next song with no break between songs. It was really slick and so easy to setup before performances. I could add a new song into the footswitch in less than a minute once I had my presets configured and identified. Most of that time was simply entering the song name, which during performances was all that showed in the 16 character display with HUGE one inch characters. Very easy to see the song name and which setting within the song I was on from even 10' away in any lighting. I seldom made sound edits during a gig, but if required, my rack sat about waist high directly to my right. It was nice not having too much info on the display or several lines of small text to search through to find the song name. A real issue with today's midi FW's and modeling amps during live play for me today. So do you use Set List Maker to find the correct song (unless you are using a structured setlist, in which case you would simply swipe to the next song in the setlist I'm guessing) and use it to call up your Helix settings to start the song, then move through the rest of the songs settings via the Helix foot controller or do you use a different method for making preset/stomp/snapshot changes within any particular song if more than one sound is required? Thanks so much for your suggestion and specifics on how you use it. It's amazing what some of the midi software can do running from a mobile device these days!
  15. Thx to everyone that has responded with suggestions and great information. I have been looking into different midi pedals on the market and specifically their support for song mode. There are quite a few out there and pretty sure I could find one to meet my needs. I actually even have a line on possibly buying a replacement of my old Midigator RFC1 by Lake Butler. It does this stuff so easily and is built like a tank. Just hasn't been in production for 20 years or so. I appreciate your suggestions for ways to accommodate this within Helix natively. That would be the best option if I could get it all sorted out. I really would rather spend more time practicing than programming as well (along with the tuna sandwich! :)). I am aware of the tails issue. Again, something I was kind of spoiled with my older and existing rig. I can simply turn them off or on without any performance impact or limitations. Preset changes are almost instantaneous as well. You are correct in stating that none of the modeling amps do this type of song mode particularly well, if at all. Those that take a shot at it aren't very elegant nor easy to use in this fashion. I'm amazed at all they can do and do a lot VERY well, but this seems to be way down on the list of requirements, if at all! Yet I've found lots of folks on various forums trying to achieve the same things or very close to it. I have also looked at midi software to achieve this. But I may have to dig into this a bit more as well. I already have an iPad next to me for personal monitor mixing. One challenge to any of these methods is not actually owning and being able to put my hands on the devices. I prefer to do my homework first, then purchase, rather than purchase, realize it doesn't fit the bill and then return it or have to sell it. I may just have to bite the bullet though to really fully understand and try out the mechanics and practical application. Thx again for all your input and suggestions. I welcome any additional ideas. You all rock!
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