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musiclover7

Why only 60 seconds for the looper?

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The looper switch sort of works the way on the HD500X. Part of this suggestion is to have this functionality on Helix too so you don't need to use a stomp footswitch to get to the looper. The stomp switch basically wastes a footswitch just to do a mode switch that could just has easily have been done with the MODE switch.

 

The idea is:

1. add a Looper block in your patch - usually at the end of the signal chain, just before the output, and usually stereo.

2. To get to the Looper, press MODE. Press MODE again to get to PRESET, again to get to stomp mode. No need to use a separate footswitch to get to looper mode.

3. In looper mode, the other 10 footswitches control the looper and sent their own configured MIDI CC messages - allowing Looper mode to also be used to enhance the number of footswitches available for MIDI control. 

4. Preset mode is unchanged

5. Stomp mode is unchanged except there's no need for a looper stomp footswitch, and there's no need to overload the available 10 footswitches to control both Helix block bypass (or parameter changes) and MIDI control since the looper mode can be used instead

 

Another possibility is to add further MODEs, say MIDI 1 and MIDI 2 with different configurable MIDI messages. This would make Helix a great MIDI controller without compromising the foot switches we need for stomp blocks.

 

There can't be too many modes, because cycling between the modes would take too may presses.

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I think what he meant, and the way mine works, is that a lot of the presets have the looper block set up in them. When you change mode from preset to 'stomp' (I'm sure that's what @amsdenj meant to type) on those ones, the mode button scribble strip changes to 'looper' so there's consistency there. Tap it and all the controls for the looper show up 'Record, Play, Overdub etc etc'. 

 

I never thought of this as a mode, as if you pick a preset that doesn't have the looper prebuilt in (or obviously build your own) it is not an option whereas Preset\Stomp are global modes no matter what. 

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I think what he meant, and the way mine works, is that a lot of the presets have the looper block set up in them. When you change mode from preset to 'stomp' (I'm sure that's what @amsdenj meant to type) on those ones, the mode button scribble strip changes to 'looper' so there's consistency there. Tap it and all the controls for the looper show up 'Record, Play, Overdub etc etc'. 

 

I never thought of this as a mode, as if you pick a preset that doesn't have the looper prebuilt in (or obviously build your own) it is not an option whereas Preset\Stomp are global modes no matter what. 

 

Well...not to be a jerk...but that's not exactly true either.

 

The "Mode" button scribble strip doesn't change.  It's often the button next to it that says "Looper" in the factory presets but that's totally up to you.

 

But either you or someone else has to "manually" assign a button (footswitch) to the Looper in order that it will show up as one of the stomp switches.

 

This would be irrelevant except that Amsdenj's post sent me scurrying to the manual, and then to the Helix to see if I could get to the Looper directly from the "Mode" footswitch.  You can't.

 

It would be a great idea if, as Amsdenj says, you could.

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Jerk :)

 

Ha, actually as I hit post I thought, 'I must have that messed up, if the Mode switched to Looper that would essentially lock you out of a simple way to switch back to preset mode'. So a quick fire up of the Helix and yup, as was stated, it's the button next to Mode. 

 

I guess what I was conveying though was this Looper block assigned to a stomp acts a little different than your regular control in that activating it puts a corresponding number of footswitches and scribble strips into a pre-canned set of looper commands. 

 

And I'm thinking if they did have Looper as a proper mode you'd have to be able to disable the option, seems a lot of folks who never use looper function (a staple for me) so they would be annoyed if they had to cycle through that page to go back from stomp to preset. It's the little things you know. 

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The MODE switch could of course detect whether there is a Looper block in the patch and skip the Looper mode if not. The idea is to maximize the number of stomp foot switches that are available for performing in a song while also making Helix more consistent. 

 

Stomp, Preset and Looper are clearly modes - they all change what all the foot switches do. They should all be accessed using the fixed MODE switch.

 

Any foot switch should be able to be configured to send MIDI messages in any mode. Stomp mode already does this. Preset mode sends MIDI program messages. Looper mode doesn't send anything. This is inconsistent and inflexible, unnecessarily limiting Helix as a MIDI controller and does not have functional parity with HD500X.

 

Then I would like to see additional MIDI modes on the MODE switch to program foot switches with additional MIDI messages that are not associated with any blocks or programs in Helix. These would be used for additional MIDI control of other devices through Helix. For example, iPad apps like Loopy HD, SongBook, and SampleTank (when using a MIDI guitar controller such as the Fishman Triple Play).

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Jerk :)

 

 

 

If only you were the first person to call me that today...

 

Yes, the looper is the only MODE without programmable buttons.  What a waste.

 

And since I never make mistakes (Jerk!), I only ever use two buttons on the looper anyway.  Actually, I never figured out what the UNDO button does, despite its glaringly obvious label.

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...  Actually, I never figured out what the UNDO button does, despite its glaringly obvious label.

It undoes the most recent overdub - not the original recorded loop.

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I think he's suggesting a change to how the mode switch works, a feature request.

 

Personally, I understand the motivation, but it'd annoy me to have an additional step to get to footswitches mode after selecting a preset in 10-switches presets mode. It's annoying enough already, wish there was a global setting to go immediately into footswitches mode in that case. OTOH, it'd only have that extra step if you added a looper block, which I rarely do, and if you did, you might well want it, so no harm, especially with a global setting to enable and disable it.

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Well, i didnt expect much from the POD HD, and dont from the Helix.. loop time more than 20 secs is fine for most given that you cannot midi sync tempo. 

 

My suggestion and request is that once in Looper mode, and ONLY in looper mode, the looper buttons can send programmable midi CC out.. 

 

then, whether you want loopyHD, an Infinity looper (me), boomerang or whatever then you are covered...WITHOUT dedicating buttons to the job and losing other functions or buttons when NOT in looper mode.

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I'd love that, although I'd actually take it a step further. Why not allow any switch to display a "sub-page" of controllers, that way you could put controls for a looper on one page, a drum machine (BeatBuddy in my case) on a second page etc

 

Mike

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What I was suggesting is a more general solution that uses the MODE switch to support multiple MIDI configurations in the same patch. The looper is then just one special case.

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That'd work too I guess, but being a software engineer I just have a thing about trying to avoid anything that has the words "special case" attached  :D

 

Mike

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Would love to return to the initial point of this thread - that the Looper on the Helix is just plain inadequate (and IMHO I couldn't agree more, it's very disappointing on a high end unit like this)

 

The simple question is, can that be 'upgraded' at all with a firmware release, or is it hardwired - so best wait until Helix 2 comes out (10 minute looper, touch screen, etc etc  :) )

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Would love to return to the initial point of this thread - that the Looper on the Helix is just plain inadequate.....

Depends on your expectations and planned usage. Helix is designed primarily as an amp/FX modeling device. It is not designed primarily as a looping device. It is designed for, and works perfectly well as, a tool for practice and preset building. It is not designed for, and does not work particularly well as, a fully featured looper for live performances.

 

If you want to use looping as a fundamental component of your live performances I suggest you get an external looping device that is designed for that purpose and use it in the Helix FX Loop.

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But the whole point of the Helix for me is that it's a one-box solution, and I've deliberately purchased it to slim down my rig. So I don't want extra gear plugged in to it - point I'm making is that while some people do and some don't it would have been easy to have included a longer looper - after all many £100/$100 fx units can loop for at least as long as the Helix. It's up there for me with the lack of an Aux-in socket... (we're not all writing our own material, some of us play in cover bands, so an aux-in would be really really useful for working out guitar parts/tweaking patches specific to particular songs you are covering...)

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Well, unfortunately (despite the whole point of Helix for you) the looper is what it is and it's not what you want it to be.

 

I expect this suggestion is already in Ideascale. Search for it and vote it up, or add it as a new feature request.

 

Meantime you can get an external looper or sell Helix and find another all-in-one solution that includes a fully featured looper that is operationally useable in terms of the tap dancing required (good luck with that!).

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Would love to return to the initial point of this thread - that the Looper on the Helix is just plain inadequate (and IMHO I couldn't agree more, it's very disappointing on a high end unit like this)

 

The simple question is, can that be 'upgraded' at all with a firmware release, or is it hardwired - so best wait until Helix 2 comes out (10 minute looper, touch screen, etc etc :) )

The short answer is that the sort of system architecture needed to create a more complex looper is different than what’s used for creating a multi-FX pedal like the Helix. Look at the Axe FX III that was recently announced. It has a ton of raw processing power, but its max loop time is 44 seconds, iirc.

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It's up there for me with the lack of an Aux-in socket... (we're not all writing our own material, some of us play in cover bands, so an aux-in would be really really useful for working out guitar parts/tweaking patches specific to particular songs you are covering...)

Hi,

I think the comments made by “silverhead†are totally correct. Helix is what it is, it can never be all things to all men. That’s precisely why many users also have one or two Eventide H9 or a Big Sky in the FX Loop, for example. If you require a specific type of looper, just patch one in - it’s simple.

As for “Aux Inâ€, well, by that I guess you mean a 1/8†stereo input socket for a CD or MP3 player? If so, this idea has been discussed at great lengths in other threads. Helix is regarded as Pro Audio kit and as such the notion of having a low quality 3mm socket on there is mad. If you want to play along with backing tracks for learning songs etc., most people here would use the USB option. Should you feel that you really must have an MP3 player hooked up to the Helix, why not get hold of a suitable stereo mini jack to 1/4†and patch in to one of the many send and return sockets provided?

Hope this makes some sense to you.

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But the whole point of the Helix for me is that it's a one-box solution, and I've deliberately purchased it to slim down my rig. So I don't want extra gear plugged in to it

And when I was a kid, I wanted to play center field for the Yankees...nobody ever gets everything they want. You may as well resign yourself to the fact there is no such thing as an all-in-one solution to anything, anywhere on this earth, no matter what the ad copy says, or what you've decided some device "should" be capable of. It's never going to be possible for any one device to satisfy every need, desire, and whim of all who acquire one...nothing's that good, and no two user's needs are identical. Don't care what you buy, there is always gonna be some feature that you wished was different/ better/ chartreuse/ or smelled like rose hips instead of lavender.

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Although there are probably a lot more rockstars using the Helix than loop wizards...I fall into the later camp. I am an acoustic player for a duo that uses quite a bit of looping to fill out our mix (nothing overly complicated, just multiple layers). I was hoping the HX Effects was more of a stand-alone looper and effects piece of equipment. From the sounds of it, it is probably not the case. Although it seems really incredible, alas, my external looper would still have to remain. The loop time is fine for me (even though more is always better), it is really the ease of use for live looping...all the modes and switching mentioned above makes it seem unlikely.

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But the whole point of the Helix for me is that it's a one-box solution,...

 

 

It can be a one-box solution, but it's very very specifically designed to be ultra-flexible and interact with all your other boxes. So, no. That's the whole point for some users, not all.

 

A "high end" looper built-in? Probably never, because I suspect Line 6 knows that the vast vast majority of users don't need it, and they know that many if not most of the "high-end" looper users are going to just prefer a dedicated looper like the excellent Boss unit.

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Note that getting 120 sec from the Helix looper has two compromises:

 

1. Its mono - this doesn't work well because the looper often should be at the end of the signal chain, recording all mono before the amp effects, the amp and cab models, and all stereo after the amp effects. Then when you play over the loop you can change anything for the layered parts or while playing.

 

You can't put the looper in mono in front of the amp model unless the model is very clean. Otherwise the distorted amp will distort the sum of the looper output and what you're playing. That won't sound good as the loudest signal will effectively duck the other signal.

 

 

I haven't played with the looper very much at all so I don't know but wouldn't putting the looper in parallel with the guitar signal solve this problem?

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And when I was a kid, I wanted to play center field for the Yankees...

 

 

Not only was Bernie Williams (guessing at your age) a better centerfielder than any of us...

 

He's probably a better guitarist than many of us!

 

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Not only was Bernie Williams (guessing at your age) a better centerfielder than any of us...

 

He's probably a better guitarist than many of us!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KdVmqbEGX0

Lol...indeed. He's a super nice guy too. Met him at an open mic in NY last summer. He's no slouch...studies a lot of jazz.

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For my purposes, I wouldn’t expect the Helix’s built in looper to get any better than it is. I already want something from dedicated loopers that I may never get - a dry kill switch. When I use my RC-20XL with my Helix, the looper’s dry signal mixes with the signal that the Helix is already passing through and causes some phase cancellations. If I had a dry kill switch on the RC, this wouldn’t be an issue.

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I had always hoped for a fully-functioned looper in an "all-in-one" floor pedal by Line 6 and other manufacturers, but they always come up short. And that's OK. I love my Boomerang III; it's a power-house of a looper and simple to patch into Helix. 

 

Don't expect Helix to be a useful performance looper — you'll be disappointed. But the built-in looper sure comes in handy when tweaking presets, or noodling on a new song.

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10Mb/min for 44.1kHz in stereo (for .wav file type)! It would not be to hard on the internal resources to extend the maximum a bit?

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10Mb/min for 44.1kHz in stereo (for .wav file type)! It would not be to hard on the internal resources to extend the maximum a bit?

Either there is spare unused memory in Helix to be allocated for this purpose, or there is not. If so then by all means allocate it to some useful purpose - and an extended looper is one of many options. But if there is no available free resources what would you be prepared to give up for an extended looper?

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10Mb/min for 44.1kHz in stereo (for .wav file type)! It would not be to hard on the internal resources to extend the maximum a bit?

These are always the type of things that make me think that if were a simple thing to do, it probably would have been that way since the beginning. I mean, I imagine there’s some technical reason for the limits they went with out of the gate.

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Either there is spare unused memory in Helix to be allocated for this purpose, or there is not. If so then by all means allocate it to some useful purpose - and an extended looper is one of many options. But if there is no available free resources what would you be prepared to give up for an extended looper?

 

I'm just stating facts to give a relative sense of memory needs nothing more. You have smartphone with 64Gb that cost 500$ now.

 

There's always weird modulation effects that very few  uses....

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These are always the type of things that make me think that if were a simple thing to do, it probably would have been that way since the beginning. I mean, I imagine there’s some technical reason for the limits they went with out of the gate.

 

Probably right! 

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But the whole point of the Helix for me is that it's a one-box solution, and I've deliberately purchased it to slim down my rig. So I don't want extra gear plugged in to it -

 

Then why did you buy a unit with 4 external effects loops? That, in fact, makes it EVEN MORE of an all in one solution. Being able to utilize other units with it is a massive benefit, not a detriment.

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Thanks for all your opinions guys. I have to say I'm always a bit bemused by how many people on these forums go on about how the Helix is high-end pro-musician kit and use that to justify why it doesn't have several really useful 'everyday' features - but how many of us play in front of 20,000 or more every time we use it? Not many, I bet. And if the Helix did have a longer looper, and some other consumer-user conveniences, I don't think you'd actually complain about it, you just might not use them - but at least you have the choice. The acid test is what Helix 2 has - and I'll be amazed if it doesn't have a longer looper amongst other improvements...

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Then why did you buy a unit with 4 external effects loops? That, in fact, makes it EVEN MORE of an all in one solution. Being able to utilize other units with it is a massive benefit, not a detriment.

 

I didn't - I bought a unit with a huge number of internal effects of a very high quality. The FX loops were in no way a part of the decision making process for me...

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And if the Helix did have a longer looper, and some other consumer-user conveniences, I don't think you'd actually complain about it [...]

Right. Guess I wouldn't have bought it...

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I didn't - I bought a unit with a huge number of internal effects of a very high quality. The FX loops were in no way a part of the decision making process for me...

Now you really have me confused 😠.If your statement regarding those FX loops which “were in no way a part of the decision making processâ€, then why not buy a Helix LT? That model has exactly the same audio engine with exactly the same “huge number of internal effects†(and looper). Plus it is aimed at a user who doesn’t play to 20,000 people on a regular basis (which most of us don’t) and does not require all those “high end†pro features? You appear to have spent a heap of cash on a device that has lots of ins and outs that are no good to you and will never use. If you don’t intend to use any of those on-board options then I guess you made a bad purchasing choice. For the record - it’s not digital snobbery - it a fact.Here’s an interesting quote from a Line 6 product manager, about why there are no 1/8†audio in sockets on Helix. It was his response to this statement: “Because it's the next generation and I want all of the improvements that brings.â€

<p><p><p><p><p>To be fair, one of those improvements was to replace the 1/8" TRS jack (always more flimsy, especially when dealing with drunk fans) with more robust 1/4" jacks. :)But it really depends on what you're connecting:

  • Apple/Google smartphone or tablet, Mac/PC, iPod Touch, or anything else supporting class-compliant audio—Just connect it via USB and Helix will route it directly to its outputs with no additional D/A/D conversion (plus it sounds better!)
  • Portable CD player, iPod Classic/Mini/Nano, Minidisc player, or Zune (more rare these days)—The only difference is that you'll need a different cable—1/8" TRS > L/R 1/4" as opposed to an 1/8" TRS > 1/8" TRS. Neither cable is typically included with a playback device; you'd need to hit a music store or Radio Shack anyway
  • Component CD player, Minidisc player, or DAT machine—Save as above, except you'd need a L/R RCA > L/R 1/4" cable as opposed to a L/R RCA > 1/8" TRS, neither of which are included with the player

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Because the Helix LT didn't exist when I bought the Helix...

Fair comment, can’t criticise that - no available alternative.

 

Just got to say, that for you to resurrect a thread started in early 2016, it must have taken quite a while to decide that the Helix looper and lack of Aux In was inadequate for your needs. Many users have come up with really good work arounds for both of your issues, but you have chosen to dismiss those ideas. That’s O.K.

 

Good luck, while you wait for Helix 2 with the 12 hour Mega Looper baked in.

 

Oh, yeah! I must visit IdeaScale and put in a request for Helix to be improved by the addition of several really useful everyday consumer-user conveniences. How about we start the list with a bottle opener and some nail clippers?😜😎ðŸ˜ðŸ¤ª

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