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Not possible to bypass effects with MIDI?!

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Hi,

 

Just got a Helix rack and I'm new to this forum, but since Helix is so new to the world, I couldn't find any suggestions on Google.

 

So far I've been very pleased, but *I think* I've discovered quite a limitation. Am I right in thinking there is not a MIDI command that can bypass or engage an effect block? I know there are CC49-58 which act like the footswitches, but they toggle the bypassed state, not set it explicitly. Every other effects processor I've used (inc the M13) was able set an effect "on" or "off" using MIDI. For example, on the M13, setting CC11 to 127 turned the bottom left effect "on", setting CC11 to 0, turned the effect "off". Am I right in thinking that with the Helix, we can only toggle effects? This means if I'm doing a song and an effect is toggled accidentally, or a MIDI command is missed, then that effect will be in the wrong state for the rest of the song, not just until it is next bypassed/activated.

 

This just seems kind of crazy to me!? I've tried setting the footswitch assignment to momentary instead of latching, but then CC49-58 have no effect (which I believe is by design). I also know you can use controller assignment on the "mix" of an effect, then dial it down to 0% when you want it off and 100% when you want it on. But that's a workaround at best, and many of the effect blocks don't have a "mix" parameter (amps, cabs, EQ...).

 

I was kind of disappointed with the MIDI implementation on the M13, which was a fabulous piece of hardware, but lacking thorough MIDI control. When I looked through the manual of the Helix, I thought "Oh man, this thing can do it all!". But if I'm now going to find you can't reliably turn effect on and off with MIDI, I'm going to feel a bit robbed  :(

 

Cheers,

David

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We've talked about it a lot here. Per-block bypass via CC is something we'd love to add, but currently, no, to bypass a block remotely, it must first be assigned to a toggle switch. I can totally see this being a bummer for those who sequence edits from Ableton Live or MainStage, but Helix Control is easily 50% of what makes Helix Rack a Helix. Using it with any other floor controller is... is sacrilege.  :(

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Using it with any other floor controller is... is sacrilege.  :(

sadly, it seems that this decision is simply taken for Line 6 to earn more money :-(

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That really is a huge disappointment and leaves me not really knowing what to do with the Helix. I have all my gear controlled by my computer, not a foot controller, because my setup is so complicated. I'd need 10 very accurate feet to use a foot controller. Had I known this before I don't think I'd have bought it :/

 

Out of interest is this the kind of thing that a firmware update would be able to change? Even if line 6 decide not to, is it technically possible?

 

Thanks for the replies.

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sadly, it seems that this decision is simply taken for Line 6 to earn more money :-(

 

It's not really. In some ways—and sales would vehemently disagree with me—I'd almost rather someone buy a different modeler altogether than attempt to shoehorn a third-party controller into Helix Rack. I'm a product designer; anything that makes the user experience notably worse is like nails on a chalkboard. Suffice to say, the advantages of Helix Control with Helix Rack are too numerous to mention; there's a good reason a single manual covers both.

 

It's not a sales thing; it's a design thing. I promise.

 

That really is a huge disappointment and leaves me not really knowing what to do with the Helix. I have all my gear controlled by my computer, not a foot controller, because my setup is so complicated. I'd need 10 very accurate feet to use a foot controller. Had I known this before I don't think I'd have bought it.

 

Out of interest is this the kind of thing that a firmware update would be able to change? Even if line 6 decide not to, is it technically possible?

 

Per-block-bypass via MIDI CC is something we absolutely can, and should do. I can't make any promises, but it's currently towards the top of my personal wish list. My band controls Helix Racks via computer as well; I totally get it and agree 100%.

 

However, we probably won't ever add deep SysEx to Helix Rack so, for example, the preset names and tuner show up on third-party foot controllers. It's not so much to dissuade people from using them as much as we'd rather develop models and features that make the experience of using Helix better, not worse. It's not unlike how Apple won't spend six months building in support for AAX ProTools plugins—there are so many bigger fish to fry. Or [insert better analogy here].

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Per-block-bypass via MIDI CC is something we absolutely can, and should do. I can't make any promises, but it's currently towards the top of my personal wish list. My band controls Helix Racks via computer as well; I totally get it and agree 100%.

 

That's good to hear. Is there any way I (and others perhaps) can "officially" voice this opinion to Line 6?

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That's good to hear. Is there any way I (and others perhaps) can "officially" voice this opinion to Line 6?

 

You already have. I'm product manager for Helix, Helix Rack, and Helix Control.  :)

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You already have. I'm product manager for Helix, Helix Rack, and Helix Control.  :)

 

 

You are a great representative!  

 

Your contributions to this forum are unfailingly informative and otherworldly even-tempered.

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You are a great representative!  

 

Your contributions to this forum are unfailingly informative and otherworldly even-tempered.

 

Thanks. Sometimes I get a bit snarky, but Helix is my baby and very few people understand the scope of what it takes to bring an MI hardware product to market. It's in insane number of moving parts. Line 6 is chock full of hardcore gear nerds; we do this because we love it.

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It's not really. In some ways—and sales would vehemently disagree with me—I'd almost rather someone buy a different modeler altogether than attempt to shoehorn a third-party controller into Helix Rack. I'm a product designer; anything that makes the user experience notably worse is like nails on a chalkboard. Suffice to say, the advantages of Helix Control with Helix Rack are too numerous to mention; there's a good reason a single manual covers both.

 

It's not a sales thing; it's a design thing. I promise.

 

 

I understand your point of view, DI, and I appreciate your explanation. But what I think is that it is not an exclusive choice. I'm not thinking on replacing helix control with another third party controller (in fact, I have a no rack unit) One of the pillars of the helix concept is the control unit and its interface (great job!).

What I am thinking is about expanding capabilities of Helix. People who have helix rack&control, or the floor unit, they may also want to be able to control the unit with a midi sequencer, or with their daw. It's just that :-)

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I understand your point of view, DI, and I appreciate your explanation. But what I think is that it is not an exclusive choice. I'm not thinking on replacing helix control with another third party controller (in fact, I have a no rack unit) One of the pillars of the helix concept is the control unit and its interface (great job!).

What I am thinking is about expanding capabilities of Helix. People who have helix rack&control, or the floor unit, they may also want to be able to control the unit with a midi sequencer, or with their daw. It's just that :-)

 

Yep. You can currently assign MIDI CCs to any home screen parameters (except Variax  :angry: parameters), but not individual block bypass. It's something we'd really like to include, but I'm not allowed to talk about when or even if it'll ever materialize.

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