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ninolucarelli

Controlling Helix with Midi CC via DAW Automation

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Hello all,

 

This is my first post in the community, and I'm wondering where I can learn how to automate my Helix Rack to properly and effectively change presets as well as manipulate the values of individual chain loaded effects. Here is what I'm looking to accomplish with Helix (for live use) and as of right now I know nothing of where to start:

 

I'm running my show with Ableton live 9 lite. I want to use MIDI tracks (envelope automation) in Ableton to change my patches throughout the songs and set, as well as automate the toggling the on/off of stompboxes and delay/reverb swells & ramp-ups of the mix percentage within each patch.

 

All I know is that I need to assign the parameters in which I want to control to the open MIDI CC channels in Helix, but I do not know how to technically achieve this the most effective and proper way.

 

Any input or direction to reading materials on this subject is greatly appreciated. Like i said, I know nothing about this process. Thanks!

 

Nino Lucarelli

nlucarelli93@gmail.com

ninolucarelli.com/heartsoul

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Helix's presets respond to boring ol' PC messages. If you also need to switch setlists, send a CC32 message (BANK LSB) before the PC message with value: 0 for Setlist 1 (FACTORY), 1 for Setlist 2, 2 for Setlist 3, etc. Otherwise, a PC message by itself keeps Helix in the same setlist.

 

To quick assign a parameter to a specific CC:

  1. Press and hold the knob for the parameter you want to control. Helix jumps to the Controller Assign page for that parameter.
  2. Press Knob 6 (Learn Controller) and then send Helix the desired CC from Ableton.
  3. Press HOME to exit. You'll see the value's turned white and in brackets, indicating it's not controlled from an external source.

You can also manually assign CCs:

  1. Press and hold the knob for the parameter you want to control. Helix jumps to the Controller Assign page for that parameter.
  2. Turn Knob 2 (Controller) to select "MIDI CC." Knob 3 appears as "CC#."
  3. Turn Knob 3 (CC#) to the desired CC type.
  4. OPTIONAL: Turn Knob 4 (Min Value) and Knob 5 (Max Value) to restrict the value range. This is more important when assigning Helix parameters to external real-time knobs and sliders; they might just confuse things when sending MIDI track automation.
  5. Press HOME to exit. You'll see the value's turned white and in brackets, indicating it's controlled from an external source.

By default, Helix responds to MIDI Ch. 1, but you can change this on the Global Settings > MIDI/Tempo page.

 

For more information, start with page 48 of the Owner's Manual.

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Thank you for the response! Sounds simple enough. Going to give it a try today.

 

My end goal is to be able to treat it similar to writing out DMXIS lighting automation, consolidating all lanes to a MIDI clip, and loading that clip into the same scene as the rest of my clips that make up the song, all consolidated to the same start and end points.

 

This will be possible with the information you have provided correct?

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Thank you for the response! Sounds simple enough. Going to give it a try today.

 

My end goal is to be able to treat it similar to writing out DMXIS lighting automation, consolidating all lanes to a MIDI clip, and loading that clip into the same scene as the rest of my clips that make up the song, all consolidated to the same start and end points.

 

This will be possible with the information you have provided correct?

 

It should, yes. The only limitation is 64 controller assignments per preset.

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That sounds really nice!

 

How do you toggle a specific block via Midi ? 

 

You can only toggle blocks that are tied to footswitches currently. You can control the parameters of of any block with MIDI, regardless of whether it's tied to a footswitch, though.

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You can only toggle blocks that are tied to footswitches currently. You can control the parameters of of any block with MIDI, regardless of whether it's tied to a footswitch, though.

Are you saying that you can only toggle with Helix-switches or, that you toggle via midi - but only those that already has a switch - If the last one is the case: Oh my, that is stupid! 

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Hello,

 

I'm trying to accomplish a very similar goal as Findingnino. To be specific:

 

Goal:

-I want to be able to control a Helix volume pedal block with a MIDI CC.

-The application I'm trying to accomplish is to have the volume pedal modulate level at musical frequencies, that is, a ramp in volume at quarter notes to get a pumping effect that is locked to MIDI.

-Using a tempo sync-ed tremolo does not work because it's important that the effect is in time with the music, in other words, I need it to be locked to the grid, not just at the right BPM.

 

 

What I have done so far:

-I have successfully mapped a CC to the volume pedal position. The CC is sending messages on a largely continuous basis. Maybe 15 messages per second.

 

 

 

The problem:

-The issue I'm having is that the position parameter updates VERY slowly, maybe once every few seconds. In other words, it does not appear to be properly responding to the CC, it is very sluggish.

 

 

Troubleshooting done:

-I've tried multiple CC numbers and they all produce the same effect. I know the CC messages are getting to Helix and Helix' internal mapping is correct because of the occasional parameter updates.

-The sluggish tracking is not occurring when I connect a synthesizer to the same MIDI cable that is feeding the Helix, which suggests the MIDI data is solid and not the issue.

 

 

Question:

-Is the helix smoothing / averaging the CC input that much?  Or am I missing something? Is there a better way to accomplish what I want?

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Just want to bump this post as the last response outlines the exact problem I'm dealing with.  Sluggish CC updates trying to control the expression pedal via DAW automation.  I'm surprised there was no official response since 2016 on this issue.  Anyone have any ideas on mlane22's problem?  I've tried  everything I can think of.


Edit: After a year of trying various things, I've finally figured it out.  At first I thought it was because I was sending too many messages to the Helix.  Nope.  It's because the plugin was sending to All MIDI channels.  Once I set it to only send on channel 1 the problem evaporated.  There.  That works.  Cheers.

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