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Variax Questions (yup Helix related, well one)


regalpierot
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Ok, clumsy title for sure. Basically last night I got the first chance to really sit down with my new JTV59. All I'd done to date with it (it just arrived last week) was played through the VDI cable into helix, which was nice for sure. Two gripes on that workflow is the VDI cable just doesn't have the weight\tension and length to be useful to be on stage. Fine for desktop use or in studio but its is in effect being tethered to a network cable that's quite rigid. Second is, that fricken connector that goes in on the guitar end is awkward, not super easy to maneuver in and out with that odd clip mechanism so swapping guitars quickly aint as...well 'plug and play'. So I want to switch to the phono input (losing the POE so need that battery unless I purchase that additional power injector thingy but so be it).

 

 

So - helix related question - does anyone at all have a suggestion for a good Preset (factory or CUSTOMTONE) for any of the following.

 

- Acoustic 6 string

- Acoustic 12 string

- Banjo

- Resonator

- Sitar

 

Obviously cannot be Variax specific as they will only run through VDI. And I've found that while I love the Glenn Delaune Acoustic preset, it's obviously one that simulates an acoustic on an electric guitar so once you come out the piezo already dialing up a Martin or the likes from the Variax the combination is odd.

 

Bonus:

Just for the JTV59 owners. Has anyone adjusted, or had professionally adjusted, the action. Would like to take it down a notch as the neck is a chunker, but I've heard mixed things about moving it from factory because it can goof with the emulating of thing if even the slightest buzz is introduced. Would love to hear someone elses experience.

 

 

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Bonus:

Just for the JTV59 owners. Has anyone adjusted, or had professionally adjusted, the action. Would like to take it down a notch as the neck is a chunker, but I've heard mixed things about moving it from factory because it can goof with the emulating of thing if even the slightest buzz is introduced. Would love to hear someone elses experience.

Some "official" proclamations notwithstanding, action adjustments on a Variax are no more mystifying than on any other guitar. Yes, too much fret buzz might introduce some unwanted artifacts when using the models, but then again fret-buzz generally sucks anyway, and should be minimized on any instrument if you want it to play well. Lowering the action shouldn't be a big deal as long as the strings aren't sitting on the frets. If you like your action super-low, you'll probably have to give the neck a bit more relief to compensate...which is also no more of an ordeal on a Variax than on anything else. If you're comfortable doing set-ups yourself, then you should have no difficulty with this one.

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If you are using the little cable that comes with computer interface, stop now. You should have a real VDI cable and they are as long as typical 1/4 inch guitar cable. The real VDI cable has the proper connector so it doesn't damage the connector on the guitar, for the same reasons don't use a regular CAT 5 cable either.

 

-Max

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Thanks for responses all.

 

Hey @maxwell, when you say the cable that comes with the computer interface. So what I got with the Variax is a dingle that us USB on one end and the RJ-45 sized port on the other. Then there was  separate RJ45 male to RJ45 male cable, which I assumed was the VDI one. There's just an extended black plastic clip over the normal clear clip (presumably to assist with releasing the thing around the hard to reach guitar input once the cover is open.

 

Are you saying there's a different type of VDI cable?

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Sorry, shoulda just googled it. OK, see what you mean. Kinda annoying to spend $1000 on a guitar and they don't include one of those cables in the box, bit nickle and dime. Was wondering how the hell people used these things on stage as it is awkward. Was going to grab one of the boxes that sent power up a TRS cable ($99) but as helix will power over this that might be the perfect solution. Certainly realized when playing I really don't want to be getting into the headache of having to keep checking the battery level and charging it before gigs, enough PITA dealing with my phone in that regard (not to mention, maybe it's just me but that battery insertion is just not hugely intuitive. Had to reseat it a number of times to get a proper signal).

 

Right, $30 on a proper VDI cable I guess. Thanks again

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....

 

 

So - helix related question - does anyone at all have a suggestion for a good Preset (factory or CUSTOMTONE) for any of the following.

 

- Acoustic 6 string

- Acoustic 12 string

- Banjo

- Resonator

- Sitar

 

Obviously cannot be Variax specific as they will only run through VDI. ......

 

Not sure what you mean about Variax specific running only through VDI. The Variax models run out of the 1/4" output as well when selected.

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Sorry, shoulda just googled it. OK, see what you mean. Kinda annoying to spend $1000 on a guitar and they don't include one of those cables in the box, bit nickle and dime. .....

 But not all Variax owners also own a Line 6 VDI-equipped processor like Helix, which are the only devices that cable is used with. In fact I would guess that the majority don't. So including that for everyone would be a waste and an extra cost for at least a large segment, if not the majority, of Variax buyers.

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Good point Silverhead, I did forget that the VDI specific is limited to certain processor owners, so that's fair enough. Do you know if there's a way of charging the battery when in the guitar or do you always have to put it in that charger.

 

And, duh, now I see what you mean. I'm guessing that I'm not hearing sound when I go to those presets I have that were Variax specific because that's the input configured for each, so if I change that it should resolve things. Was thinking certain ones only worked down VDI port for some reason.

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I have a Variax Standard I use with Helix. Its great for fast switching to different guitars, pickups and tunings. But I don't love the models. I hope Line6 doesn't abandon this technology and there's be some refreshes on the models at some point.

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I have a Variax Standard I use with Helix. Its great for fast switching to different guitars, pickups and tunings. But I don't love the models. I hope Line6 doesn't abandon this technology and there's be some refreshes on the models at some point.

 

I particularly hope they eventually improve the acoustic models. I find the electrics passable and some quite good.

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I get really good acoustic tone with my JTV's and the Helix, also with my 500(X). Found a patch on Custom Tone a few years ago for it. I reproduced it in the Helix. Has the LA studio compressor, parameteric eq, hall reverb. I set up a patch for the Martin 6 and one with the 12 string, with the mags on the other path so I can switch between acoustic and electric for a lead. Have gotten complimented by the sound men on it.

 

Dave

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Also want the HD Work Bench to work with Helix sooner rather than later. Also want to be able to update the Variax firmware via Helix (hoping they keep advancing the ball on Vax FW). Everybody vote it up in Idea Scape!

 

Dave

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Oh, and one other Q, if you'd be so kind

 

So I run OS 1.12 (will do the upgrade when I get my hands on some anti anxiety medication :) . Assuming I had a proper VDI cable and routed into Helix, and have piezo engaged.

 

Lets say the guitar's dial is physically on, I dunno, custom 1 which lets assume is a Martin 6 string. I'd like to be able to, mid song switch to a lead tone just using the Helix, so it would change the guitar to say s Strat neck pickup even though I havent touch the dial on the guitar so physically it remains static throughut

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....

 

Lets say the guitar's dial is physically on, I dunno, custom 1 which lets assume is a Martin 6 string. I'd like to be able to, mid song switch to a lead tone just using the Helix, so it would change the guitar to say s Strat neck pickup even though I havent touch the dial on the guitar so physically it remains static throughut

 

Yes - that's no problem. You would have to use 2 different Helix presets OR 2 different Snapshots within the same preset. Your choice.

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Thanks @silverhead. I can't seem to find anywhere on a Helix patch that I define the Variax tone to use, looking through the input block pages primarily. Must be somewhere that the Variax dial (e.g. Custom 1) and subsequent slot (akin to pickup switch position to specify model to use) are defined

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Select the Input block in the preset. Its edit page has a number of parameters including one named Model. This is where you select the Variax model that you want to use in the preset. You also need to have the Settings parameter set to Preset, not Global. Having done that and SAVEd the preset, the chosen model will be selected in the Variax automatically each time the preset is loaded.

 

If you want to be able to automatically switch models within the same preset you have to use Snapshots. In that case you will have to assign the Model parameter to be controlled by Snapshots. You use the Assign Controller page for this. Then you are able to select a different Variax model for each snapshot.

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Also want the HD Work Bench to work with Helix sooner rather than later. Also want to be able to update the Variax firmware via Helix (hoping they keep advancing the ball on Vax FW). Everybody vote it up in Idea Scape!

 

Dave

 

Ideascale ;) :

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/JTV-Variax-Workbench-HD-using-Helix-VDI-as-interface/789597-23508

 

I know, I know... it's not really proper to post links for ideascale that way and (screaming out 'VOTE').

The reason I did it anyway: There are lots of entries concerning (almost) the same wish.

Guess that the L6 crew noticed this already...

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Select the Input block in the preset. Its edit page has a number of parameters including one named Model. This is where you select the Variax model that you want to use in the preset. You also need to have the Settings parameter set to Preset, not Global. Having done that and SAVEd the preset, the chosen model will be selected in the Variax automatically each time the preset is loaded.

 

If you want to be able to automatically switch models within the same preset you have to use Snapshots. In that case you will have to assign the Model parameter to be controlled by Snapshots. You use the Assign Controller page for this. Then you are able to select a different Variax model for each snapshot.

 

So, before 2.0, you had to change presets to change Variax models?

 

If so, Snapshots are a sea change for Variax people.  Like me - I just got one.

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Select the Input block in the preset. Its edit page has a number of parameters including one named Model. This is where you select the Variax model that you want to use in the preset. You also need to have the Settings parameter set to Preset, not Global. Having done that and SAVEd the preset, the chosen model will be selected in the Variax automatically each time the preset is loaded.

 

If you want to be able to automatically switch models within the same preset you have to use Snapshots. In that case you will have to assign the Model parameter to be controlled by Snapshots. You use the Assign Controller page for this. Then you are able to select a different Variax model for each snapshot.

You don't have to do it only with snapshots, I set it up with a foot switch control in the stomp screen, then had it change state with the snapshots. I set a banjo in drop Db with my acoustic fx, then changed to a drop Db on the lester model, turned off the acoustic stuff & kicked in the Uber in a heavy distortion setup. The banjo is just for the intro. Used to have to use two patches side by side. Much easier and seamless now.

 

Dave

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Yes I will - I noticed you said you have a Mac. I use Win8.1 Can you accept zip files? PM me.

 

Dave

Hi there! I too would love these patches and am on Windows 7 - zipped is fine, I will PM you

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Oh, and one other Q, if you'd be so kind

 

So I run OS 1.12 (will do the upgrade when I get my hands on some anti anxiety medication :) . Assuming I had a proper VDI cable and routed into Helix, and have piezo engaged.

 

Lets say the guitar's dial is physically on, I dunno, custom 1 which lets assume is a Martin 6 string. I'd like to be able to, mid song switch to a lead tone just using the Helix, so it would change the guitar to say s Strat neck pickup even though I havent touch the dial on the guitar so physically it remains static throughut

Regalpierot -- I just noticed you might not have updated to the latest Helix FW... Umm, the patches I sent you are from FW 2.01 and may make your Helix choke... I have snapshots on them, and also can switch with a footswitch in the stomp mode... They also switch the JTV via the VDI cable....

 

Dave

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I just thought of something with regard to the patches I sent. Make sure you set your input block to switch the JTV from "Don't Force" to "Per Preset" on the preset. Otherwise, you won't get the acoustic patch on the JTV. Just a thought to pass on... In my opinion, this setting should have been in the global settings, not in the preset...

 

Dave

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Going to try to attach the zip file right here....

 

Okay, seemed to work. I can never tell what's going to and what's not. I included the Acoustic 6 & 12, plus a variation with the mags into my go to clean amp, then I think particle verb, into a leslie for a background organ type of sound. A fourth patch demonstrates changing JTV models and parameters, these last 2 are for specific songs of the same titles.... I use that "organ" type of background on a couple of songs. The acoustics sound really good (to me) through FRFR, and the PA. My JTV is the JTV-69S, I also have a 59, and I love them both, but I tend to play the 69S more, after 40+ years of being a Fender guy, just feels right in my hands. One thing to note, with my 69S, I roll my tone way back on my bridge, like just above the mud of full, so if you try the electric and it sounds overly bright, either roll back or adjust the amp tone to suit. If you have a 59, I use the same patches, but add a gain block set to -8.2 dB at the beginning of the electric signal path as that guitar's humbucker output is significantly higher than the 69S's single coils.

 

This and the caveats in earlier posts about per preset settings in the variax input block....

 

Let me know what you think.

 

Dave

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