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jdosher

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Everything posted by jdosher

  1. Add Global Blocks to that list and we'd have a winner.
  2. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Every few months I check the update status of the Helix, hoping that Line6 has added support for global blocks and scenes. And no such luck. I was really looking forward to making the switch to a Helix, but so far it can't work the way I need it to. Oh well. I'll keep checking back every few months...
  3. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Basically, you're wanting what is refered to as "scenes". Saddly the Helix does not support scenes. You can kind of fake it by assigning multiple items to a footswitch, but you can't assign an item (fx block, parameter, etc) to multiple footswitches. So, if FS2 turns your chorus on/off, that's the only switch you can push to turn it on/off. And if FS4 kicks in a drive block and a boost, same deal.
  4. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Cool. I do indeed hope scenes are added to the Helix. As far as I'm aware neither scenes nor global blocks were ever implemented on the HD500X though, so I'm not sure if it's in their plans or not. I'd speculate that the first couple firmware updates are going to catch the low hanging fruit - things that are fairly simple extension of pre-existing functions (additional volume pedal curves, knob value-scaling). Implementing Scenes will take a bit of work since it's not a simple addition. Them Line 6 boys is smart though ;-)
  5. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    What's your impression of the buttons in general? The footswitch buttons certain look solid, though they don't look to be held to the face of the unit with a nut. How about the 'Home', 'Amp', 'Save' buttons? Other than this one issue, how's the quality? (On the Alesis Ion I'd mentioned, the buttons take a bit more force than you'd like, but they also have very little movement so there's not much tactile feedback. They're most likely not a decent surface-mount micro switch, but rather some kind of resistive membrane switch.)
  6. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Yeah, the Axe-Fx does scenes. It's really a great way to work (for the record I am NOT an Axe-Fx fanboi - I'm ready to move on if/when ever the Helix firmware supports global blocks and scenes). With the Axe, I use one preset per song, and the bottom row of my control board has five scenes. I have them labeled something like Clean, Clean2, Rhythm, Solo, Special. In addition to each block having a pre-set on/off state for each scene, you can also have "Scene Controllers", such as reverb level, amp gain - pretty much any and all paramater (similarly as in the Helix). So with the press of the Solo footswitch, bam, everthing is exactly the way I want it. With Helix's scribble scripts I wouldn't be restricted to those five static lables, which would be great. You might say "that's no different than changing presets", except the advantages are numerous: no issues with reverb and delay tails getting cut off, no drop-out in sound as you swich scenes, you don't have to duplicate changes across multiple presets for consitency in a song, you sell Helix units to former Axe-Fx owners. ;-)
  7. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    The ablity to assign a block (or parameter) to muliple footswitches, and set a "hard" state or value (rather than only 'toggle') would be great. And yeah, essentially, it would be similar to "scenes". There are several IdeaScale posts asking for scenes (hopefully they'll be consolidated at some point). In a nutshell, the idea of scenes: with the press of one footswitch you jump to a predetermined state. Like "Solo", or "Clean". It addresses a lot of problems such as reverb and delay tails, managing consistent levels and settings across multiple patches for each song, the tap-dance of turning on/off multiple items. Remember that with the current behaviour of the Helix once you assign a block (say, distortion) to a footswitch with other blocks you can no longer switch on/off that distortion block independently. The current behaviour is just too ridgid or compartmentalized, and just doesn't offer the flexibitly that really aught to be offered given the current technology.
  8. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    It'd be cool if you could, though it could also lead to some confusion. When you assign, for example, the on/off state of a block to a footswitch, it toggles the state rather than having the situation where "footswitch on == block on". It's convenient in one sense, that maybe you want to turn amp1 off and amp2 on with one footswtich. So if you were able to assign a block to multiple footswitches it could create a rather confusing series of states.
  9. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Actually, not a really a tough one: Line 6 just needs to implement scenes in the Helix, then problem solved. A/B paths, multiple FX per switch, the ability to assign tons of paramters to a switch, etc are all useful features, but they're no substitute for scenes.
  10. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Uh-oh. I hope the Helix isn't plagued by this issue. I've had equipment that has this button issue where eventually certain buttons, while still working, are really a pain to use. I recently picked up an Alesis Ion analog-modeling synth; great company, great synth, but they cut some corners in an effort to price it below $1000 and the Ions have issues with bad buttons as a result. Hopefully your faulty save button is just an anomaly!
  11. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    NB: I noticed last night in Ableton Live that mouse tap-tempo locks to integer BPMs, but external tap-tempo via MIDI revolves to 1/100s BPM.
  12. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Interesting that it takes that long ("long") to boot. My Axe-Fx unit boots in a couple seconds. But really, at least for me, 20-30 seconds is plenty fast enough. I want to want a Helix, but I think I need to hold out with the hope that certain features are added. Jesus, I sound like a broken record at this point.
  13. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Yeah, totally agreed in the case of regular delays and similar. With normal delay tails you'll always be close enough, and there's no issue with the downbeat alignment since, as you said, you're always "resetting" the measure alignments with your playing. All this BPM and down beat stuff starts to be a big issue though when you're triggering clips in Live, sending a metronome to a drummer, using your tap-tempo light as a metronome, etc. Sometimes I think "what am I doing with all this garbage? Just plug your guitar into an amp and rock out!" heh. It's fun to explore that technology though, and pull some electronic music elements into the rock world. I draw the line at Auto Tuned vocals though ;-) we aint no hip-hop rock band.
  14. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Yeah, that was my hunch as well. That also corresponds well with the ability to switch the display of various parameters between BPM and msec. The whole lack of MIDI clock sync with the Axe-Fx was a big show stopper in my initial approach to sending a metronome (from the Axe Fx) to our drummer, and synching the looper, the metronome, and Live all together. In my case, the BPM resolution issues didn't even surface - the two systems were so out of sync on the down-beats that it was dead right out of the gate. I was dissapointed to see that Helix also doesn't sync to MIDI clock :-(
  15. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Note that the Helix does NOT have MIDI clock sync though, in case you ever want to synchronize the Helix's looper to Live clips, or ensure that the down beat is syncronized between Live and the Helix. Tapping on Helix's tempo button will send taps (via the assigned CC) to Live and set the same BPM, but there's no guarantee a metronome out of Live and the tap-temo LED on the Helix will match up. Also, Live's tap-tempo rounds up/down into integer BPMs; Helix may lock into 0.1 BPM when you tap-tempo. Page 43 of the manual mentions a BPM resolution of 0.1. Does this mean if one taps a tempo into the Helix, it will read something like 119.7 BPM? Or will it round that to 120 BPM?
  16. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Now we're cooking with gas! I just read it tip to tail; the ease of controller assignments (buttons and EXP pedal) and MIDI functionality for sending CCs and program change messages looks great. As does auto-learn for assigning an incoming CC to a controller assignment. The A/B split, along with adopting a different way of working kind of makes up for the lack of scenes, though it still doesn't look as straight forward as "this button = that state" that you get with scenes. Multiple blocks/params per button is great, but it's still not a direct replacement. But I really, really hope Line 6 implements Global Blocks in the Helix. I realize it's not the typical use scenario with this kind of gear, but having the same amp (or amp+cab) settings linked across a number of presets is pretty typical of a real-world scenario where you have one, real, physical amp sitting behind you on stage. I'm not going back to a rack-mount preamp or back to carting around a heavy tube head (and all the cabling) to get that however. I am a bit dissapointed in the limited adjustability of the amp models though. I guess they follow the same/similar settings that were offered on the PODs. Maybe it's a good thing though; dial up an amp, make some basic adjustments, and play for f--k sake! Sometimes I get to thinking all the esoteric amp settings in the Axe-Fx are for people who aren't really playing music, but rather playing "tone". Listen to that tone man! Nice, now how about you write and perform some original music with that fancy box. Overall though the UX of the Helix looks phenomeal! It looks like it's really intuitive and fast to make changes, assign controllers, modify routings, etc. Assuming the interation is pleasant, the buttons feel good, the knob "rates" feel right, screen changes are snappy, then this will defintly be the unit with the best interface out there.
  17. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Can someone explain if it's possible to implement an "A/B/Y" switch. I'm refering to a scenario such as a "clean rig" path, and a "dirty rig" path with the ability to switch between them. I see that the Split block can duplicate its input, but I'm unsure if the Split block can be set to have its output go down only one path. Or maybe I should ask, is there an entirely different way to do this? Is there a dedicated A/B/Y block? Or a way to route the Guitar In signal down Path1-A vs Path1-B at the press of a button? Or Path1 vs Path2?
  18. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Cool to see a longer video playing around with the Helix. I'm going to have to get one....as soon as they implement global blocks.... ;-)
  19. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Oh wow, that's longer than I would have thought. My Axe-Fx boots up in about 5 seconds and I just assumed that was typical for Axe, Kemper, Helix type of gear.
  20. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    I have no idea if this suggestion is reasonable or helpful, but I suspect you could pre-order a unit and when it arrives, if it doesn't meet your requrirements, return it. I don't see that Amazon Prime has them yet, or if that's even an option for you, but I bet that any larger vender like Sam Ash, zZounds, or Sweetwater would accommodate free return shipping if you discussed it with them before pre-ordering.
  21. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Ah, okay. That's not being overly-picky, just clarifying. Thanks for the info. I'm on the fence with that - new amp and effects models are freely included with firmware updates in the Axe-Fx. But it's a different cost model, so I can't say I think the Line 6 model doesn't make sense. Not being familiar with the PODs I wasn't aware that firmware and model packs were handled that way.
  22. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    :-) Yeah, I'd had a longer description of why I suspect it won't be gapless in the Helix, pretty much based on what Line 6 has said, but decided to keep it short. Thanks Monkey_Man. Yeah, I was really excited about the Helix - and I'm still holding out some hope, as testiment by the fact that I'm still here on the forum, raising issues (some would say griping) about some of the features for which the Helix seems to be missing the mark. I think that for those of us coming from the Fractal Audio and KPA world, the Helix looks interesting, but a couple steps down in terms of some of those deeper functions. I'm open to different approaches and I don't expect the Helix to exactly copy what another piece of gear is doing, but so far I'm seeing some missing features that are pretty key and I don't see any indication of an alternative approach. That's the biggy to me - I need something like global blocks (especially amps) and something like scenes; what have you got for me? Nothing, it would seem. (I thought scenes might have a work-around with assigning multiple blocks to a single switch, but the more I understand how that works the more I realize it's not the solution.) So for me personally, I look at the Helix and I think "Wow, that is an amazing, elegent user interface. That sure beats the Axe-Fx...so if I switch from the Axe-Fx to a Helix is it going to cover the key functions I need?" And sadly, it's looking like the answer is "no". Then again, Line 6 might not care that much about trying to draw the Axe-Fx and KPA users. People keep comparing the Helix to the upper end units, but I don't think that's actually what they were shooting for. Line 6 is smart to have target the upper-middle product range. There's really no competition there. The Helix is a huge step up from a POD, and thousands of dollars less than an Axe-Fx with an MFC101 foot controller. Seems like a no-brainer, and no real loss to Line 6 if people like me aren't convinced to jump ship and get a Helix. I'll still hold out hope for what new firmware updated will bring. In fact, I'm curious to see how Line 6 deals with that entire process. Charge me for firmware updates? No thanks.
  23. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    I'm not a Line 6 rep, but I'll eat my shorts if the answer isn't "Yes - there will be an audible delay." It's just the nature of the beast. This is the reason why the concept of 'scenes' is so powerful. The idea is that you save a 'snapshot' or 'scene' of the on/off state of various effects in a preset, then with a single button press you can switch to that scene. So, you can use the same preset for an entire song and bring in/out various effects, switch amp blocks, etc. with the push of a single button - just like changing patches, but without the switching delay. It can also really help with balancing levels and tone if you're not switching into entirely different presets in a song. Even more powerful is the idea of "scene controllers" - the abilty to set different values to an effect parameter with each scene, e.g. different settings for length and/or mix for a reverb block in your solo scene vs your rythm scene. Part of the power of scenes lies in the fact that you can reduce the number of redundant effects blocks (especially handy for CPU-hungry effects like high quality reverbs). The other advantage is TOTALLY SEAMLESS SWITCHING. I put it on IdeaScale. There are currently three show-stoppers for me getting a Helix: no MIDI clock sync, no scenes, no global blocks. The Helix looks totally amazing, but without scenes and global blocks it will never be a pro-level piece of gear - if it stays in the paradigm of yet another piece of gear with a bunch of different patches with nothing tying them together (global blocks and scenes), then it'll remain in the realm a really nice, fancy toy to play in your bedroom. Sorry, but serious, gigging musicians quite often want a consistent sound across patches. It's like using the same (gasp!), consistent, real/physical amp on stage from song to song. I'll never go back to having a bunch of patches for each song. I really hope Line 6 gets this.
  24. jdosher

    Helix FAQ

    Exactly. Historically, the manual for a piece of gear has been the most informative source of information when I'm trying to figure out if and how it'll do what I want. It's far more informative than any product demo. Product demo's are great, but when it comes to any questions about the low-level specfics of some functionality or integration with some other gear, short of having the unit in your hands, the manual is the go-to source. (Yeah, I'm sure Line 6 would prefer the former - we all just buy a Helix, then you'll know if it supports MIDI clock sync or not, or how the grids route, or if it'll send CC to your hand-made monophoic synth made by a sect of Tibeten monks living in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.) So, yeah, I'm looking forward to that online PDF.
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