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I made a discovery this weekend whis was important for me, but which was probably painfully obvious to everyone else.  Apologies, for the rambling that's about to follow.  When I get excited my ability to communicate is . . . compromised

 

I know that the Helix/DT combo is a completely different animal than the HD/DT one.  But I've been trying to make my Helix and DT50 interact as similarly as I can.  

 

The first step, of course is to use DTEdit to blank the preamp modeling for all four voicings on Channels A & B. Then blank the mic/cab modelling for the direct output.  What that leaves you with is basically a DT power amp section.  Some have success picking a Voicing, Operating Class, and Tube Configuration and just leaving it.  Then running all of their presets through that.  I'm sure that sounds amazing, but i knew there had to be more.  Pretty much every parameter of the DT can be controlled via midi.  The aforementioned three, Channel Selection, EQ, Reverb,  And the "hidden" parameters unique to the DT50; 12AX7 Boost, Phase Inverter Voltage, Topology, and Feedback Capacitor Type.  So my goal became to use midi to make the Helix/DT sound and behave as much like the real thing as possible.

 

In an earlier thread, I discovered how to use the midi instant commands.  So I tried to figure out how to set it up so that when I selected a preset, the commands would fire to set up the DT50 to mimic the power section of whatever preamp I was using.  So which parameters to assign to the Instant Commands?  Well the EQ and channel volume controls are disabled when you clear out the preamp models, so I can forget those.  I have reverb in my patch if I need it, so cross that off.  Which leaves me with seven: 1) Channel/Voicing 2)Operating class 3) Pentode/Triode, 4) 12AX7 boost, 5) Phase Inverter B+ voltage, 6) Phase Inverter type, 7) Topology  It's a bit of a hassle to program all those midi commands at the start, but worth it I hope. There's just one problem. There are only six instant command slots available.  So which parameter can I leave out?

 

So I used DarrellM5's spreadsheet, which contains all of the default power amp settings from the HD500  So I hooked my DT up to HDEdit and starting with those, Then I began to set the rest to see which were most important to getting my the sound I was looking for and which I could leave out.

 

Which leads me to the discovery that is the inspiration for this post.  ALL of those settings can be saved can be saved to a voicing slot in DT Edit - Channel A: I, II, III, IV or Channel B: I, II, III, IV  For example, I have a Plexi patch which calls up Channel A, Voicing II.  When I load it up I can, using only one Instant Command, change the DT settings to Class AB, Pentode, 12AX7 Boost on, Topology II, Phase Inverter B+ voltage to High, and Feedback Capacitor to X.  All to match the way Line 6 sets them up (which I assume are the settings they settled on after examining all the gear they modeled)  Or I can change it to anything I want.  All with only one midi instant command.  

 

A couple down sides.  One, you're limited to the 8 Voicing slots available.  Two, at least with the Plexi, which is the only one I've really worked with so far, the DT Master works in the same way, the volume control would on the real amp.  You have to get pretty loud to get any sort of distortion happening.  But when you do, it's glorious!  Then back off the volume on your guitar, ease up on your attack and you can get those beautiful "clean, but on the verge of breaking up" tones.  I love it with my MIM strat with CS '69s.

 

 

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Jecswp...Your communication was fine! Good job. Congratulations on figuring out something that is going to work for you!

 

But....

 

YOU GOTTA BE FRIGGIN KIDDING ME!

 

"It's a bit of a hassle to program all those midi commands at the start, but worth it I hope?" After all of that, you are left with "You hope its worth it?" 

 

Do you have time to actually PLAY guitar?

 

My reaction is not about you, your post or anyone else who is enjoying their Helix. By all means brother, make it happen any way you can! 

 

But... You gotta be kidding me?!?!

 

This is from Line 6 about Helix....

 

"Immense care was taken to assemble a palette of tools that would let musicians quickly recreate the sound they hear in their head, without sonic compromise."

 

"Smart Interaction. So Intuitive, You already know how to use it." Clearly, in this instance, this is not the case right?

 

Look at this Dream Rig diagram. Simplicity and Great Tone!

 

This simple diagram is the money shot. Bada Bing! I plug it up and I am playing guitar! I am in uninterrupted creative flow. Simplicity and great tone are the cornerstones of Line 6's business model. This expressed simplicity of work flow is in nearly every piece of Line 6 product marketing...

 

Variax: "With the Variax family of guitars, creating your own unique sound has never been easier"

Amplifi: "Plug in. Let it rip."

Firehawk: "Get the perfect sound faster than ever before"

Dream Rig: "With the press of a single footswitch, you can recall up to 512 totally different rigs"

 

What you have "discovered" is not in keeping with the one of the cornerstones of Line 6 products. Simplicity. It also sounds to me like a huge pain in the A$$ that has absolutely nothing to do with inspiring one to play more guitar.

 

Again, congrats on making it happen for yourself! I'm really not speaking to you. I speaking over your shoulder to my commiserate souls who love their Dream Rig and who are a bit sore that Line 6 has released a fantastic new FX processor that we all really want but we don't want to be involved in Blanking out preamp voicings and finding hidden midi controllable features of the DT and screwing around with the 6 instant command slots (whatever the hell that means!)

 

Helix needs DT integration. PERIOD! It needs to be simple. It needs to be quick. I'm not paying $1500 for Line 6's trademark Simplicity and Great tone to then engage in a complicated time consuming workaround that I "hope" will give me what I want.

 

And we ALL know the inevitable scenario that this convoluted work around is going to place us in don't we?

 

You are going to show up to a gig, plug your stuff in and your instant command slot is going to screw with your phase inverter B+ voltage which regrades it to a phase inverter D- voltage which will cause your 12AX7 Boost to poop out. You are then left standing there with no sound coming out of your amp while scratching your head and wondering where to start wiggling wires. The audience is staring at you, your singer is trying to entertain a staring audience, your drummer is shaking his head as he wonders why you don't get rid of that thing and your bass player is indifferent! 

 

1000:1= the ratio of time we should be playing guitar to the time we spend tweaking gear.

Sounds to me like your ratio may be a bit off.

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The intention of my post wasn't to say that no improvements are needed to Helix/DT integration.  Do I think it should have come that way?  Yes.  Do I hope it’s forthcoming?  Definitely.  I’m waiting just like everyone else.   While I wait, why not futz around for a couple hours and see what happens.  Why?  I enjoy tinkering and learning something new.  I enjoy trying to solve a puzzle.  If it doesn’t work out, what have I lost? 

 

 

Line 6's advertising copy not withstanding,  I don't think you'll find anyone who would call  the original Dream Rig plug and play.  In fact, anyone who posted that they were unable to get any useful tones was told "It's not a plug and play device.  You have to really sit down with the unit to learn how to use it."  There were endless discussions about tone stacks and output modes. DSP issues.   Does it sound better with input 2 set as "Same" or should I change it to "Aux?" (You should).  Full amps or pre amp models? (Pre amps).  I don't see how that level of study is any less burdensome than learning the very basics of midi.

 

 

And if that means that by whatever output metric you use to measure the value of my guitar playing, my priorities are askew and I’m wasting my time, that’s cool.

 

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The intention of my post wasn't to say that no improvements are needed to Helix/DT integration.  Do I think it should have come that way?  Yes.  Do I hope it’s forthcoming?  Definitely.  I’m waiting just like everyone else.   While I wait, why not futz around for a couple hours and see what happens.  Why?  I enjoy tinkering and learning something new.  I enjoy trying to solve a puzzle.  If it doesn’t work out, what have I lost? 

 

 

Line 6's advertising copy not withstanding,  I don't think you'll find anyone who would call  the original Dream Rig plug and play.  In fact, anyone who posted that they were unable to get any useful tones was told "It's not a plug and play device.  You have to really sit down with the unit to learn how to use it."  There were endless discussions about tone stacks and output modes. DSP issues.   Does it sound better with input 2 set as "Same" or should I change it to "Aux?" (You should).  Full amps or pre amp models? (Pre amps).  I don't see how that level of study is any less burdensome than learning the very basics of midi.

 

 

And if that means that by whatever output metric you use to measure the value of my guitar playing, my priorities are askew and I’m wasting my time, that’s cool.

 

Well said! 

 

I like puzzles too. How to work a lydian dominant arpeggio over the V chord in a II V I progression is one that I'll spend hours doing until I can play it convincingly!

You are absolutely correct. No harm no foul in playing with your gear! I have fun, at times, playing with my gear too. And you are also correct that there was a TON of discussion about how to get usable tones out of the Dream Rig. But no one spent any time trying to get the hardware to communicate. You plugged it in and it worked! Plug and play! You may not have liked what you heard, but when you hit the button, the relays in the amp did what they did automatically as advertised. You only spent time trying out different amps and different FX as you do with Helix or with any other processor. None of this stuff sounds usable out of the box! We all have to put our thumbprint on the gear we touch. But no one spent any time on an elaborate work around to get the Dream Rig to behave like some other gear. 

 

That is what is happening now. Before you spend a moment getting a useful tone out of Helix, you have to spend too much time, in my opinion, on your rigs Flux Capacitor and getting it to talk nice to the rest of your rig. I don't want to spend a moment attempting to get Helix to behave like a POD HD in its relationship to the DT amps. No worries about it! I get it! Some people enjoy that type of tweaking.

 

I don't. 

 

I want play guitar. 1000:1! Any day of the week!

 

If I am spending too much time getting the Flux Capacitor in my rig to act right....I'm out!

 

That takes me away from writing songs, playing guitar and taming that blasted Lydian Dominant arpeggio!

 

But truly, from the bottom of my heart, tweak on my man and keep us posted on your findings!

 

Lastly, I would never be so arrogant to assume that anyone is "wasting their time" doing anything! It's your time! Get down the way you want to get down! I am only speaking for me! I stand on the shoulders of great puzzle solvers like you! I mean that! 'Cause as soon as you make the discovery of how to make this stuff work in a manner that my simple mind can understand, I will use it, sound fantastic playing it for audiences, and give you absolutely no credit for it! lol!

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Thanks to  jecswp for the efforts, and I agree with Tbone. There "should" have been integration with Helix and the DT series but contracts and release dates had to be met. Thats a shame, but maybe an update will happen soon! 

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