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Using HELIX Looper 'live '

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First off I confess that I have never used a looper during live play. I have often thought it would be fun to do but never invested in an external looper pedal. I have experimented with the looper in the POD HD series but found it unwieldy for live play for two main reasons:

- the max loop length was too short for many of my desired loops

- the 'mode' design made it virtually impossible to keep the song tempo while switching presets, or even turning FX on/off, to play a lead solo over a loop. The necessary foot tapping was too cumbersome.

 

Now I've been experimenting again with Helix and I've found a setup that seems to eliminate all but one of the above issues (FX on/off). I am finding that the main hurdle now is just the practice required to operate a looper properly when using it live (no pre-recorded loops), whether an external looper pedal or the onboard Helix looper.

 

Here's the setup I use:

 

Helix Global Settings -> Footswitches

- Stomp Mode: 8 switches

- Up/Down Switches: Presets

 

Presets

- organize so that the desired presets during looping are in sequential order, so that you can navigate between them using the Up/Down footswitches

- include the same type of Looper (mono/stereo) in each preset to be used, positioned at the end of the chain. For max loop length use a mono looper and half-speed. See the manual for available loop lengths at various settings (30 seconds to 2 minutes).

- assign the looper to a footswitch in each preset

- choose full or half speed depending on desired loop length.

 

Playing

- Enter Looper mode and STAY THERE! All the footswitch controls you need are and will remain available.

- get familiar with the switch operations, particularly the difference between PLAY and OVERDUB modes.

- Use the UP/DOWN footswitches to change presets as desired. The Looper controls remain available.

- the ONCE switch is your very good friend. Use it early during the last repetition of your loop so that you have plenty of time to switch presets and be ready to go at the instant the loop ends (e.g.from the lead solo preset back to your rhythm preset, in which the original loop was recorded).

 

Note: you will be able to switch presets but not turn FX on/off unless you exit Looper mode which, for me, complicates the timing too much, rendering the looper unuseable for live play. You may have to use virtually duplicate presets (one with FX on, the other with it/them OFF) if you need to control FX while looping.

 

Now just practice the Playing section above. You'll need to figure out, and practice, the most suitable sequence and timing of footswitch tapping for each song in order to manage loop recording and playback operations as well as switching presets. But I think this would be required to learn how to use any external looper pedal as well.

 

Hope this helps anyone who wants to experiment with using the looper for live performances.

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Thanks. I was just messing around with the looper, couldn't figure out how to change patches. Perfect timing, I'll give this a try.

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First off I confess that I have never used a looper during live play. I have often thought it would be fun to do but never invested in an external looper pedal. I have experimented with the looper in the POD HD series but found it unwieldy for live play for two main reasons:

- the max loop length was too short for many of my desired loops

- the 'mode' design made it virtually impossible to keep the song temp while switching presets, or even turning FX on/off, to play a lead solo over a loop. The necessary foot tapping was too cumbersome.

 

Now I've been experimenting again with Helix and I've found a setup that seems to eliminate all but one of the above issues (FX on/off). I am finding that the main hurdle now is just the practice required to operate a looper properly when using it live (no pre-recorded loops), whether an external looper pedal or the onboard Helix looper.

 

Here's the setup I use:

 

Helix Global Settings -> Footswitches

- Stomp Mode: 8 switches

- Up/Down Switches: Presets

 

Presets

- organize so that the desired presets during looping are in sequential order, so that you can navigate between them using the Up/Down footswitches

- include the same type of Looper (mono/stereo) in each preset to be used, positioned at the end of the chain. For max loop length use a mono looper and half-speed. See the manual for available loop lengths at various settings (30 seconds to 2 minutes).

- assign the looper to a footswitch in each preset

- choose full or half speed depending on desired loop length.

 

Playing

- Enter Looper mode and STAY THERE! All the footswitch controls you need are and will remain available.

- get familiar with the switch operations, particularly the difference between PLAY and OVERDUB modes.

- Use the UP/DOWN footswitches to change presets as desired. The Looper controls remain available.

- the ONCE switch is your very good friend. Use it early during the last repetition of your loop so that you have plenty of time to switch presets and be ready to go at the instant the loop ends (e.g.from the lead solo preset back to your rhythm preset, in which the original loop was recorded).

 

Note: you will be able to switch presets but not turn FX on/off unless you exit Looper mode which, for me, complicates the timing too much, rendering the looper unuseable for live play. You may have to use virtually duplicate presets (one with FX on, the other with it/them OFF) if you need to control FX while looping.

 

Now just practice the Playing section above. You'll need to figure out, and practice, the most suitable sequence and timing of footswitch tapping for each song in order to manage loop recording and playback operations as well as switching presets. But I think this would be required to learn how to use any external looper pedal as well.

 

Hope this helps anyone who wants to experiment with using the looper for live performances.

Thanks again for your help!!

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Hi! Any ones knows how to keep one loop from a patch and change the preset to other one without stoping or losing the first patch loop made.

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You should use snapshots to do this instead of presets... the OP wrote his post before the snapshot feature was released, AFAIK.

Hi! Any ones knows how to keep one loop from a patch and change the preset to other one without stoping or losing the first patch loop made.

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I you're going to invest heavily in looping, I wouldn't use the Helix looper. Use a JamMan or something similar in the Helix effects loop so you have dedicated foot switches for controlling the looping separate from the footswitches you use to control your tones and patches. This avoids any mode switching that makes looping and playing at the same time much more difficult to coordinate.

 

You'll also have much longer loops and the ability to store and recall loops.

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Hi! Any ones knows how to keep one loop from a patch and change the preset to other one without stoping or losing the first patch loop made.

Not sure if you figured it out yet. Basically your target patches should have the same looper block (mono/stereo) in the same path and both assigned to a footswitch in each patch.

 

Got it from Line 6 Knowledge base about the looper.

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Clearly I am couple years late to the party but perhaps to help future ‘searchers’ through the forum, I found where I place the looper is important.

To use the looper to adjust presets - record yourself and continually playback while adjusting parameters until desired effect - you place the looper FIRST in the chain.

To record one snapshot, say rhythm, and playback with the same parameters and blocks as recorded, and play over it under a different snapshot, say lead, place the looper LAST.  

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There's also a case for placing the looper in the "middle" especially for HX Stomp. Summarizing:

 

1. All looped parts go through the same signal path: place the looper first in the signal chain, and run it mono. 

 

The problem with this is you can't use any distortion because every loop part goes through the same distortion and the loudest part will duck all the others and you'll get a lot of intermodulation distortion between the parts. This is only useful for very clean tones.

 

This is best for using the looper while adjusting patch parameters.

 

2. All looped parts have their own signal path: place the looper at the end of the signal chain.

 

This makes sure all the parts are independent and can have their own distortion and effects. The only down side is you need to use a stereo looper to retain stereo effects, so the loop tine is cut in half.

 

3. Looped parts use different front of the amp effects, and distortion, but the same after the amp effects (modulation, delay, reverb, etc.): place the looper right after the amp, cab or IR block and run the looper in mono. 

 

This is  a great compromise because it keeps the loop length longer, and everything in front of the looper is controllable for each loop. Each loop part shares the same after the amp effects and retains stereo. That's probably ok for delay and reverb, but might not be great for modulation effects. But its another option.

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