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DT series AMP Integration and Helix revisited


spikey
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L6-link Integration. Those are the "key" words here. There are many very helpful people who have written up steps and made videos on how to "get around" the lack of integration that Helix lacks (and the older HD-500 has), and there are many reasons given as to why that was and is. And yet, there are A LOT of people (me included now as I just scored a Brand New DT50 head for 4 bills out the door) who are keeping this amp, not just for its stand alone tone and value, but for the hope/wish/wait of a new update that will allow the same kind of integration once touted as revolutionary and a named part of the "Dream Rig". So pardon my bluntness once again when I ask the following questions (and revisit questions on the "work-around" in setting up the DT amp) for Helix.

 

1. What is the current status if any, on the upgrade regarding integration between Helix and the DT series Amps? Yes I know in general you either cant (or wont) say what is in the next patch upgrade or even when, but I thought for once there might be an exception ( or even a hint maybe?). If I don't ask this then I wont get an answer, even if its no. So here's wishing.

 

2. Many use DT-Edit software for changing the midi settings inside the DT amp. I understand that once they are changed they stay in that configuration. Did you use a midi interface to make this happen? Is transmit AND receive used in DT-Edit, so that you can see the changes made?

 

3. Some say that only a midi cable is needed, while others mention using a L6-Link (XLR) cable as well as the midi cable. Now then, thats midi OUT from Helix to midi IN on the DT amp? Once the midi changes are made inside the DT amp is there then a reason to keep the midi cable in place? 

 

4. Is there a step by step configuration process for 4 year olds (like me) available on this "work around",  without assuming I have a degree in fortran or C++? Or,  is the November timeframe for a real fix close and still accurate so I just need to take a chill pill and wait a bit?

 

Without asking for too many specifics, a simple "wait a bit longer" from DI is really all I am hoping for here. If not that, then a big Thanks for any and all help guys!  :)

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Spikey, i feel your pain brother, as being someone who came from the HD500/DT to a Helix/DT, DT integration is definitely at the top of my Christmas list this year.  I'll do my best to answer the questions I can for you and as far as the ones on development, maybe someone from L6 (*cough* Digital Igloo *cough*) can throw us a bone as to what's going on with it.

 

2. DT Edit is one way of changing parameters in the amp but it is not necessary, all the your changes can be done via the Helix and instant messages in the Command Center.  Really it all comes down to how comfortable you are with doing basic Midi programming.  The nice thing about using DT Edit is that it reduces all those lovely numbered commands to pull down menus, toggles and an Apply Changes button.  And yes, once you send a change to the amp it stays that way until you send a new command re-configuring the setup from there.  As far as using DT Edit, I used a Midi interface (Roland UM-ONE) but you maybe able to use the Helix as your interface for the program as well.  Hopefully someone with a little more knowledge can chime in on that point with some  clarification.

 

3. Really the Midi cable is only necessary if you wish to be constantly sending commands to the DT, ie. adjusting the power amp parameters as you switch through each different pre amp model in the Helix.  But if you looking for a more streamlined approach, some people have have just setup their DT with a generalized power amp section that works well with all of their presets and carried on from there.  If the latter is more to your speed, once you have made the initial changes in the DT, you would not need to have a Midi cable hooked up anymore unless you wished to change something again.  And yes you are correct, it would be Helix Midi out to DT Midi in.

 

As far as L6 Link, right now it is just a glorified amp input that is no different than running a 1/4" line out to the FX Return with one key difference.  If you use the L6 Link you still have use of the amp's master volume control, if you use the FX Return you will bypass the master volume.  Now if you do decide to use the L6 Link then you will need to make sure that you Midi program the amp to bypass all of the internal preamps otherwise you will end up running the Helix pres into the Dt's pres.  But if you decide to just use the FX Return, then you really don't need to worry about doing any programming as this bypasses the amp's pres and goes straight to the power amp already (as it would with any regular amp).

 

4. As far going through this process yourself, there's lots of great info in this thread on these various setups:

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/18843-helix-dt25-worthy-of-more-exploration/

 

If you have any more questions or need anything further elaborated, don't hesitate to ask myself and a few others would be more than happy to help you through it.

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2. Many use DT-Edit software for changing the midi settings inside the DT amp. I understand that once they are changed they stay in that configuration. Did you use a midi interface to make this happen? Is transmit AND receive used in DT-Edit, so that you can see the changes made?

 

3. Some say that only a midi cable is needed, while others mention using a L6-Link (XLR) cable as well as the midi cable. Now then, thats midi OUT from Helix to midi IN on the DT amp? Once the midi changes are made inside the DT amp is there then a reason to keep the midi cable in place? 

 

 

 

#2.) yes - I connect MIDI in and out from my DT25 to my rather old but still works M-Audio Delta 1010 soundcard. It's been the easiest way I've found thus far to 'prepare' DT for use with Helix. I think Radatats ended up doing something similar; prep the DT using DtEdit, then connect Helix using MIDI cable. The L6link is actually optional at that point however; to date, it doesn't transmit data to the DT, just audio!. I never actually got around to using the MIDI from Helix to DT though..

 

3.) yes - you just need one MIDI cable going from Helix to DT to trigger changes in the DT. At the moment, there is no support for MIDI from DT to Helix. You can then use either a 1/4" send from Helix or L6Link- in this case, they function virtually the same, as that connection is passing the audio and the MIDI cable is handling the data / DT change commands.

 

Here is the basic way to think about it:

 

1.) use DtEdit to 'blank' your DT50. By this I mean, choose no amp model, no cab model, no mic model, no reverb in all four voicings of both channels A & B.

 

2.) use DtEdit to 'prep' your DT50. By this I mean, that I set up each voicing I-II-III-IV on A&B in DT to match the corresponding topology I-II-III-IV. That setting is the main one you cannot toggle using physical switches on the DT. There are also some other DT50 specific parameters that you can access using DtEdit that are NOT in DT25.

 

One quirk I noticed, is when connecting L6Link from Helix to DT, the I-II-III-IV voicing switch on the DT is inactive on channel A - BUT it is active on channel B. SO I ended up just using channel B, and manually toggling between the topo settings, using the I-IV voicing switch. Since at this point you have disabled and bypassed all DT amp and cab models, this ONLY changes the power amp setting when toggling between the four voicing switches.

 

If you are going the extra step to use MIDI, I don't think it would matter as much to only use A or B, since you are controlling that voicing change using MIDI. Again, pretty sure Radatats got this reasonably well sorted out, so I want to give him credit where it's due!

 

By pre-prepping the DT in this way, apparently it makes the MIDI programming on Helix far simpler - you only need to make DT change the voicing rather than do multiple MIDI cc commands. The reason I mention start with doing it using DtEdit and then manually toggling on channel B when L6Linked, is that gives you a really good sense of which topology you will like with the various Helix models. You can try to compare the 'default' DT amp model settings to the amp models that have some overlap from to DT to Helix as a starting point - IE, set the Fender models the way the DT sets them, set the Marshall models, etc.

 

But yeah, well worth the experimentation!

 

And, last note - using the 'low volume mode' when you have the DT blanked and prepped like this functions purely as a volume pad - it doesn't lower the wattage or do any funky digital overlay as it does with the HD500-DT connection, so it's a useful feature in that sense! 

 

I was liking full amp and cab model presets with it; and Radatats mentioned that he vastly preferred the full Helix amp models, as opposed to just the Helix preamp models. There are major volume differences in the preamp only models that are smoothed over using the full models.

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Thanks Colonel and Symp!!! for all the info. I will visit the link you provider. Im still a little confused on blanking out the DT amp. Is it obvious if you wanted to go back to the original settings whet they are, or would you just do a factory reset on the DT?  Also, in the last part about using the full amp models, do you mean using the amp and cab/mic from Helix? Because my DT is running into a Marshall 1960a cab. If I use the cab & mics from Helix on top of the 1960a cab, wouldn't that become muddy?

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Thanks Colonel for all the info. I will visit the link you provider. Im still a little confused on blanking out the DT amp. Is it obvious if you wanted to go back to the original settings whet they are, or would you just do a factory reset on the DT?  Also, in the last part about using the full amp models, do you mean using the amp and cab/mic from Helix? Because my DT is running into a Marshall 1960a cab. If I use the cab & mics from Helix on top of the 1960a cab, wouldn't that become muddy?

 

I used the M-Audio Uno as a MIDI interface to configure the DT with DT Edit.  DT Edit has a great graphical interface that makes it a snap to use.  I believe DT Edit needs 2 way communication with the amp because it comes up with the current amp configuration loaded.  I used it to turn off all of the modeling in the DT, including the mic and cab.  I set each voicing on both channels to Topology I, II, III and IV.  Now I can use the Helix with a single MIDI cable to select the topology, per preset, that I want to use.

 

If I want to restore the DT back to factory, all I have to do is use the M-Audio Uno to reload the original firmware.

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OK Guys I have downloaded and set my DT amp up using DTedit for the mac. I set the preamp voicing on both channels A & B, to 1,2,3,4 to match the PowerAmp Topology 1,2,3,4. 

 

Now comes the midi setup inside Helix. That may be an issue for me, but I did see a video on it- just have to find it now. ALSO, DarrellM5 states (thanks BTW) he is just using a midi cable, and NOT a L6Link cable. Im still a little confused about using "Full amp and cab" setting while running thru a Marshall (or any cab) 1960a. Running the full amp/cab settings from Helix does not muddy up the cab tones you are using? Or are you just running the Amp by itself and Im confused (again) ?

 

Thanks again guys!!!

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Thanks Colonel and Symp!!! for all the info. I will visit the link you provider. Im still a little confused on blanking out the DT amp. Is it obvious if you wanted to go back to the original settings whet they are, or would you just do a factory reset on the DT?  Also, in the last part about using the full amp models, do you mean using the amp and cab/mic from Helix? Because my DT is running into a Marshall 1960a cab. If I use the cab & mics from Helix on top of the 1960a cab, wouldn't that become muddy?

Spikey, the factory reset doesn't blank the pre amps it just sets them up to the factory defaults, you will at the very least need to set that up via Midi. As far as your Helix presets, you don't want to be running any HX cabs or IRs, as you are correct in that it will muddy the sound. But if you do read through the thread I linked, I do outline a method that I use to utilize both the Helix cabs/IRs plus my guitar cab at the same time for a live or recording setting.

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Thanks SD. Yes the factory reset is what I will use to reset the D50 factory default settings (including midi settings) when needed. I have used DT-Edit to zero/clear all of the settings in the DT50, it was easy with DT-Edit (and after reading the links you and others provided). I also found this video by Gary Mathis which stepped me thru the midi setups in Helix. That really helped me too! Im really digging the tones thru the Marshall 1960a cab even with the cab emulation on in Helix. I ran one midi out from Helix, and for audio I used L6-Link.

 

So Im just guessing here after setting up one preset (midi and sound via Helix), I will need to setup each and every preset/patch for the rest of sounds if I want to use the DT amp with Helix, including the midi settings. Thats not a big deal if Im using say, 10 presets with snapshots. But more than this and it will become time consuming. But, it is a workaround. What I don't understand (thinking out loud again) is why this would be a big deal for a good programmer. Yes I know what Im doing is nothing compared to full integration, but If I can in one day figure this out manually (far from knowing everything however), then a seasoned programmer could/should be able to knock this out relatively quick. Where am I wrong here? And thanks again guys!!!  :D

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Here's those posts from Radatats:

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/23030-helix-and-dt-amp-integration/?do=findComment&comment=175178

 

Step 1

- choose a Channel and voicing in the DT (or all of them) to use specifically with the Helix.

- Use the first 4 midi commands as necessary ONE TIME to select your choice, turn off the amp and cab and optionally turn off the DT reverb. 

- It will stay this way unless you change it again with midi or do a factory reset.

- now you have a dedicated slot in the DT for using with Helix.

 

Step 2

- in your Helix patch use instant commands to select the same Channel/voicing, Class A or AB, Topology I-IV, and optionally Pentode/Triode.

- now when you select that patch it will change the DT to the right slot and configure the power section for you.

 

My Preferred Method

- I used Step 1 to configure all 8 slots in the DT for use with Helix.  I don't use my DT for anything else. 

- I changed Channel A, I-IV to be Class A, topology I-IV and Channel B, I-IV to be Class AB, topology I-IV. 

- I set them all to Pentode.

 

(As far as Pentode/Triode, I use Pentode for all models and only use the physical switch to select Triode if I want to play at lower volumes at home.  I can't remember for sure but I don't think any of them were Triode in the HD500.)

- This was a ONE TIME deal.  You don't need to do it again.

- now in my Helix patch I ONLY use a midi command to pull up the right slot for the amp model since it is already configured.

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/23030-helix-and-dt-amp-integration/?do=findComment&comment=175119

 

Helix - HD500X Settings for DT Series Amplifiers.pdf  

 

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/23030-helix-and-dt-amp-integration/?p=174960

 

using midi with Helix works the same as using DT Edit.  The DT will remain in the last configuration you set.  Knowing that, I found the best way is to choose a voicing in the DT to always use with your DT and turn off the internal DT amp and cab modeling.  Then you can use specific midi commands in your patch to configure the DT the way you want it.  However, for me since I don't use the DT for anything else, I turned off all the modeling and cabs in all 8 voicings in the DT and configured channel A to Class A, topo I-IV and Channel B to Class AB, topo I-IV.  Now I only need a midi command in the patch to select the right DT voicing and its already configured.

 

Midi CC 122, 0-3,     selects Ch A, voicing I-IV

Midi CC 122, 4-7,     selects Ch B, voicing I-IV

Midi CC 12, 0           selects no amp/cab

Midi CC 36, 0 or 65  DT reverb On or OFF

Midi CC 73, 0 or 65  Class A or Class AB

Midi CC 77, 0-3        Topology I-IV

Midi CC 75, 0 or 65  Triode or Pentode

 

Remember that the switch on the amp says Topology but really just changes the voicing or preset.  The midi command actually changes the topology (negative feedback loop configuration) of the power section.

 

You can use either full amps or preamps in Helix with the DT.  Personally, I find the full amp models MUCH better than the preamp models.  There is a huge swing in preamp model volumes and the full amp models just seem to capture more of the flavor of the originals.  You can use Helix cabs or IRs even with a real guitar cab.  Just adds a tone variation that you may or may not want.  Totally up to you.

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By "midi command to pull the right slot" , I assume you mean topology correct?

Yes; I think that's what radatats was saying( those are all his threads and comments that I just copy pasted in that last post)

 

Idea being, once you have voicing I, A set to topo I, and any other specific power settings, the only midi command you need to send is for DT to change voicing, rather than telling it to change topo, class, pentode, etc. One midi cc instead of several?

 

Radatats, chime in brother! We need your expertise!! :)

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Deeper DT integration is still toward the top of our list, but L6 LINK implementation is tricky—it was literally months of work in HD500 and almost no one took advantage of more than 10% of it. I think the number of users who regularly daisy-chained more than one DT over L6 LINK was in the single digits.

 

It might also help if DT users specify what they'd like to accomplish via L6 LINK. Helix and POD HD have completely different architectures, and some of HD's L6 LINK implementation doesn't apply in Helix-land, like linking model bypass to DT channel selection, WYSIWYG control on/off via MIDI channels, tapping off specific amp blocks mid-path, and other stuff. I have a Helix <—> DT50/25 spec already written; it'd be nice to know if we're on the right track.

 

Feature priority is based largely on how big a demand there is, how many users it benefits, how much buzz it'd generate, and most importantly, how much development work it'd be (that is, how many other features have to be pushed down the list to accommodate it). That said, at no point have we ever thought "yeah, we'll likely never get to full DT support." It's always been in the gargantuan Wish List.

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DI, I think the main thing people want is the ability to use the L6 link and get the topography to change with the amp model. :)
That was always the big selling point of the amplifier to the consumer. It was like "magic" or something...lol

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It might also help if DT users specify what they'd like to accomplish via L6 LINK. Helix and POD HD have completely different architectures, and some of HD's L6 LINK implementation doesn't apply in Helix-land, like linking model bypass to DT channel selection, WYSIWYG control on/off via MIDI channels, tapping off specific amp blocks mid-path, and other stuff. I have a Helix <—> DT50/25 spec already written; it'd be nice to know if we're on the right track.

 

What I want to see with Helix - DT integration over L6 link:

 

1. DT recognizes Helix connected over L6 and turns off all internal amp and cab modeling.

2. DT power section configures itself correctly for the Helix amp/preamp model.

3. DT physical knobs to control the corresponding settings in Helix would be nice.

4. Updated cab models in DT would be a huge bonus to use with DT transformer tapping.

5. Helix editor section for custom DT power section configurations like HD Edit.

6. Power section reconfigurable in snapshots.

 

The HD500 patches just reconfigured the power section without changing the saved voicings.  Helix should do the same.  How about a Line 6 app to configure the DT itself?  DT Edit is awesome but it is a 3rd party app.  Why haven't you released your own?

 

I agree nobody gives a crap about daisy chaining multiple DT's, well maybe 3 people in the world, but not the rest of us users.  One working properly would be fantastic.

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Personally I'm looking for single cable connection and control, not unlike the JTV Variax I just acquired. I could see DT controls on the digital output block of Helix similar to controls in the Variax input block. The "Force" and "Don't Force" logic on the Variax block could make sense for some DT functions. An option to select the Helix amp/preamp default settiings or override could be logical.

 

It might also be nice to have the option of selection and control of the HD DT amp models as well.

 

I don't think we necessarily need to control the Helix amps with the DT controls, but it would be a nice-to-have.

 

Probably need to have dual mono, stereo or WDW options. But like DI said, there may not be many running multiple DTs. I won't be with my DT50, but two DT25's in stereo might be nice for some. WDW with Stage source might be nice, but not really practical for live use.

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Wow, just read radatats mention of updated cabs...yes please!

 

Routing of that DT XLR out back to Helix mic in just to get a cab model on it and back to another Helix output just to get a true representation of the overall Helix/DT rig is a pain.

 

I would give up all of the HD models in DT for the option to load an IR for the transformer tapped XLR out. Helix HX cabs would be fine to.

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That said, at no point have we ever thought "yeah, we'll likely never get to full DT support." It's always been in the gargantuan Wish List.

 

Thanks for that clarification DI! 

 

I don't care much about daisy chaining either. But everything that radatats mentioned would be wonderful. 

And to do it "ALL" with a L6-Link cable (and without midi cables) would be fantastic.

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Midi CC 73, 0 or 65 Class A or Class AB

That midi command does not seem to be working for me. I do not know what Im doing wrong. The others seem to work fine.

 

I have blanked/zeroed out all in DT-Edit on both channels too... If I leave it set to AB, all is well. When I change say a Vox amp to Class A, this setting is erratic, as in sometimes it might switch, while at other times it might switch another patch to Class A that was supposed to be (and is set to) Class AB. Weird.... Anyone noticed this?

 

Edited: FYI- When using DT Edit from my Mac/Midisport interface, the Class A to AB switch works every time with the DT 50 head. This issue points then to Helix causing this issue. Is there a setting in Helix to slow down the midi send rate? Could that be the deal???

 

 

Edited: See below- Its was NOT a Helix issue after all...

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It might also help if DT users specify what they'd like to accomplish via L6 LINK.

 

What I want to see with Helix - DT integration over L6 link:

 

1. DT recognizes Helix connected over L6 and turns off all internal amp and cab modeling.

2. DT power section configures itself correctly for the Helix amp/preamp model.

3. DT physical knobs to control the corresponding settings in Helix

4. Updated cab models in DT would be a huge bonus to use with DT transformer tapping.

5. Helix editor section for custom DT power section configurations like HD Edit.

^ + 1 this is what I would want. Except #3 for me is a must, or at least them be disabled so I they would either intergrate or at least not mess me up. I don't care about multiple DTs. The tube poweramp section and solid solution to get the DT amp sound to the PA (I could live with micing the amp if I had to) are the strength of the DT in live situations. I've never heard a FRFR solution live that didn't sound sterile, heard a Helix recorded and live with FRFR, the recorded tones where great, the live ones were bland IMO. Not trying to knock anyone that likes the FRFR setup, just not my flavor.  I was pretty much ready to go back analog and forget modelling until the DT came out. 

 

Live on my HD500x:

I use one amp model per patch.

Couple of the effects models.

L6 link into the DT25.

DT DI out to the PA.

 

I know I could get a Helix and do Midi but that;s more setup/more cables etc... more things to mess up or go wrong or things I have to worry about besides playing guitar. So while some of Helix upgrades from the HD are inviting. Not enough to move without the basic DT integration or good DT replacement for Helix. Of course at the price point of Helix itself if a DT replacement gets the same price increase from HD to Helix, I would seriously have to weight that vs. just going back analog as the bang for the buck in modelling might be lost.

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So, apparently I'm one of almost no one who uses 2 DT amps with my POD HD 500X.  I use it to support stereo out primarily, with 2 of the same amp model for the most part.  I do have a few patches that use 2 different amp models (the AC30 with the Bassman is a great combination).  So, my list, by priority, would be as follows.

 

1. Configure the proper power amp configuration for the chosen pre-amp(s), for both left and right, while bypassing the DT pre-amp(s).

2. Separate left and right audio paths.

3. Ability to adjust tone, volume, etc. from either the DT or the Helix.

 

That's pretty much it.

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Wonder if it could help DI if he posted his working integration items list with associated effort (man hours, difficulty levl, etc) and we could respond by listing them in a priority order to us.

 

Maybe DI could start a survey (survey monkey etc.), post the link on a sticky thread, and set a response deadline for us. Line 6 could get some real metrics he can use to prioritize the items.

 

We use this approach a lot in my company for IT projects (hardware, software, training, infrastructure, etc.) prioritization based on user feedback.

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Welp, I got 3 patches setup and saved, and they sounded good to me using Helix, the DT-50, a L6-Link cable and a midi cable.

Couldn't get midi to toggle A to AB with Helix all the time, so just set it at AB.

 

Then I tried what others suggested, going out of Helix 1/4" mono out and into the DT-50's "return" jack.

That was OK, except I had a bit of ground noise and prob. need to use some ground isolation.

 

Now I think I'll wait for DI to kick some L6 programmer nerd-ends and get that patch out we all want!  ;)

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Here's my recent experience with this forum and attempting to do DT integration.

 

I initialized the DT amp properly as was recommended on this forum, and then I tried hooking up the L6-Link and a midi cable from the Helix to the amp. 

 

I received a lot of valuable guidance in this forum on how to set up each helix model amp, how to initialize the amp beforehand, and what midi commands to send each time I choose a tone through helix.  It seems that as I sent more and more tones, I believe the dt amp was not flushing the system of prior tones and the sound got worse and worse.

 

Although I posted a couple of additional entries into the specific forum for the exact midi commands needed, and asked why I saw in other topics, other midi commands that were used, I was never able to successfully get the two to integrate properly and no one provided examples based on the commands I used, what I was doing wrong.

 

I put my dt amp back into the original, normal mode, and then hooked up the helix to the amp again using the l6 link cable and no more midi commands or cables.  I realize that the link cable is sending a non digital signal but with the amp's drive turned all the way down, the combination of the two sound fantastic on each of every tone (clean, some overdrive, lots of distortion, etc.)

 

And as a bonus, I don't have to worry about programming commands, or whether I made an error on my conversion charts (helix amp model to specific dt settings), and I can shape the overall desired sound using the amp's bass, mid, treble, presence and reverb easily on the fly based upon the room acoustics when I play out.

 

Seems like a win-win situation for me.

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Nice alternate method talonmm. Reminds me that sometimes we have opportunity to come up with better tones with the Line 6 tools thinking outside the box.

 

Yes!  And coming from the POD HD500 and 500X, it seems to me the Helix plugs in with much less tweaking than the POD's.  The POD's never seemed to go into a pa system sounding good without lots of modifications.  The Helix so far sounds great in a pa system, into the DT amp I described, and into my home set up with zero modifications needed!

 

Although the combination of the dt amp and a POD was an amazing combination.  I will be thrilled if and when Line 6 incorporates Helix integration into the DT series.

 

Last, I hope my long entry before this one, is not taken to mean I am disappointed with any lack of answers or help in my situation.  I am grateful for this forum and the help I always seem to get.

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Thanks, guys. All good stuff.

 

Regardless of what we do, it's never going to work like it did with HD500. And it shouldn't. Flexibility for flexibility's sake—at the expense of people actually using the feature—is the wrong path. That's why we spent so much time on snapshots; they needed to be dead easy and really fast to use, otherwise no one would use them and we did all that work for nothing.

 

POD HD500 <—> DT implementation was INSANE to develop and debug. And almost no one uses it. Helix <—> DT deserves a serious rethink.

 

The one feature that I'm not too keen on is automatic syncing of topology with the Helix amp model. I mean, which amp block gets synced? Helix has up to four and they can be freely added, moved, deleted, and swapped. (HD had two static amp block locations.) Plus, aside from tempo, there are decidedly no preset-level parameters that aren't part of an existing block; POD's Setup menu behavior (where some parameters are global and others—like DT routing and MIDI channel assignment—are per preset) is off the table. Personally, the most transparent and elegant solution is probably similar to how we accomplish remote Variax parameters, except from the Output block instead of the Input block.

 

L6 LINK isn't dead either; we'd like to add it to future products. It's just an expensive protocol—both parts cost-wise and development time-wise—so we have to pick our battles carefully.

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Thanks, guys. All good stuff.

 

Regardless of what we do, it's never going to work like it did with HD500. And it shouldn't. Flexibility for flexibility's sake—at the expense of people actually using the feature—is the wrong path. That's why we spent so much time on snapshots; they needed to be dead easy and really fast to use, otherwise no one would use them and we did all that work for nothing.

 

POD HD500 <—> DT implementation was INSANE to develop and debug. And almost no one uses it. Helix <—> DT deserves a serious rethink.

 

The one feature that I'm not too keen on is automatic syncing of topology with the Helix amp model. I mean, which amp block gets synced? Helix has up to four and they can be freely added, moved, deleted, and swapped. (HD had two static amp block locations.) Plus, aside from tempo, there are decidedly no preset-level parameters that aren't part of an existing block; POD's Setup menu behavior (where some parameters are global and others—like DT routing and MIDI channel assignment—are per preset) is off the table. Personally, the most transparent and elegant solution is probably similar to how we accomplish remote Variax parameters, except from the Output block instead of the Input block.

 

L6 LINK isn't dead either; we'd like to add it to future products. It's just an expensive protocol—both parts cost-wise and development time-wise—so we have to pick our battles carefully.

 

Thanks for the reply and for sharing you and your company's philosophy.

 

I'm having trouble believing your comment is factual:  "POD HD500 <—> DT implementation was INSANE to develop and debug. And almost no one uses it."

 

I am having trouble believing the "And Almost no one uses it" part.

 

I hear there were lots of PODs sold over the years and the enthusiasm on the HD500 forum for the implementation of the POD at DT amps was off the charts.

 

If you have some customers who are basically novices compared to your engineers, and the customers are able to program midi commands and have mapped out how each amp model should be programmed for the dt system, then your engineers should be able to come up with a relatively simple enhancement in the next firmware upgrade to help.

 

We're not asking you to reinvent the wheel, just add some midi codes automatically to help those of us struggling to get the two units to work together.  Your customers that have done this successfully, rave about the results.

 

I may not be a business guru, but having a company's products continue to be outstanding and bend a little to accommodate existing high end amps is always a good thing.  That's why customers stay loyal.

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The one feature that I'm not too keen on is automatic syncing of topology with the Helix amp model. I mean, which amp block gets synced? Helix has up to four and they can be freely added, moved, deleted, and swapped. (HD had two static amp block locations.) Plus, aside from tempo, there are decidedly no preset-level parameters that aren't part of an existing block; POD's Setup menu behavior (where some parameters are global and others—like DT routing and MIDI channel assignment—are per preset) is off the table. Personally, the most transparent and elegant solution is probably similar to how we accomplish remote Variax parameters, except from the Output block instead of the Input block.

 

 

 

Maybe you could just address this with in the Helix amp model list table by adding columns for the corresponding DT class and topo or a Helix DT Implementation supplemental doc.

 

What do you think about a dedicated DT output block, similar to the dedicated Variax input block?  This block would host all of the DT settings, similar to the Variax input block.  Seems to align with current Helix IO logic.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing a mix control on the DT output block to allow blending of the power amp section of the Helix amp model with the DT power section.  The DT power section is a little too dominant using Helix preamps only IMO.  Helix full amp models full on into DT isn't ideal either.  Maybe the Helix amp models could feature a power section mix control to optimize use with real tube amps, power-amp-baked-in IR's, and DT amps.

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If you have some customers who are basically novices compared to your engineers, and the customers are able to program midi commands and have mapped out how each amp model should be programmed for the DT system, then your engineers should be able to come up with a relatively simple enhancement in the next firmware upgrade to help.

 

We're not asking you to reinvent the wheel, just add some midi codes automatically to help those of us struggling to get the two units to work together. Your customers that have done this successfully, rave about the results.

Sure, and that implementation wouldn't be overly complicated. It's all the other block syncing and MIDI channel WYSIWYG stuff from POD HD that doesn't really apply to Helix. We'd rather understand the problems and design elegant solutions to solve them than just check a bunch of boxes.

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Sure, and that implementation wouldn't be overly complicated. It's all the other block syncing and MIDI channel WYSIWYG stuff from POD HD that doesn't really apply to Helix. We'd rather understand the problems and design elegant solutions to solve them than just check a bunch of boxes.

 

I'm just a simple man, so I honestly do not understand your last reply completely.

 

I would rather you design elegant solutions to solve these matters too, but in your first post, you stated that this was a complicated situation, and you hinted that it probably was not worth the company's time due to limited demand for integration. (limited demand I feel is not true, but that's a different story).

 

That's when I mentioned how some on this forum found the ability to get a working solution rather easily without an engineering background or full-time employment with Line 6, while myself and others struggle to make the midi commands work. 

 

I suggested and still do that if your company can't or won't invest the time in this enhancement, that a simple one as I described would be better than nothing.

 

I hope your posturing is not a sign that Line 6 has elected not to integrate the two systems at this time.

 

PS - If DT amp resale prices dive, how does that look for line 6, and those who may be contemplating purchasing future tube amps from Line 6?

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Maybe you could just address this with in the Helix amp model list table by adding columns for the corresponding DT class and topo or a Helix DT Implementation supplemental doc.

 

What do you think about a dedicated DT output block, similar to the dedicated Variax input block?  This block would host all of the DT settings, similar to the Variax input block.  Seems to align with current Helix IO logic.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing a mix control on the DT output block to allow blending of the power amp section of the Helix amp model with the DT power section.  The DT power section is a little too dominant using Helix preamps only IMO.  Helix full amp models full on into DT isn't ideal either.  Maybe the Helix amp models could feature a power section mix control to optimize use with real tube amps, power-amp-baked-in IR's, and DT amps.

 

 

The document you describe exists and I have seen it.  Sorry, I don't recall where on this site it is located, but hopefully someone else can point you in the right direction.

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The document you describe exists and I have seen it.  Sorry, I don't recall where on this site it is located, but hopefully someone else can point you in the right direction.

 

I've seen the DT MIDI Implementation doc and some user created docs.  I am referring to a table of all Helix amps and their corresponding DT settings.  This could simply be additional DT settings columns next to the Helix preamp and or/amp models listed in the Helix manual.  Something official from Line 6...ya know

 

From DI's response, it doesnt sound like they will be automating the DT settings in Helix based on the amp model(s) in the preset as there are up to 4 amp models and you would have to determine the one that drives it.

 

However, if there were a setting in a Helix DT output block to select a Helix amp model just for basis of DT settings, independent of if that amp actually exists in the preset,  this would be perfect.  You would of course want to be able to select "Manual" in that list to allow custom DT settings.

 

So a dedicated Helix DT output block with selectable Helix-amp-basis-of-DT-settings, WITH option to Manually set DT settings would work perfectly for me. This should work great with Snapshots too.

 

I would be nice to have a power section mix control on the Helix amp blocks for many reasons including DT amp use, but that is really a separate item from DT integration.

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I'm just a simple man, so I honestly do not understand your last reply completely.

 

I would rather you design elegant solutions to solve these matters too, but in your first post, you stated that this was a complicated situation, and you hinted that it probably was not worth the company's time due to limited demand for integration. (limited demand I feel is not true, but that's a different story).

 

That's when I mentioned how some on this forum found the ability to get a working solution rather easily without an engineering background or full-time employment with Line 6, while myself and others struggle to make the midi commands work. 

 

I suggested and still do that if your company can't or won't invest the time in this enhancement, that a simple one as I described would be better than nothing.

 

I hope your posturing is not a sign that Line 6 has elected not to integrate the two systems at this time.

 

PS - If DT amp resale prices dive, how does that look for line 6, and those who may be contemplating purchasing future tube amps from Line 6?

 

Apparently my posts were clear as mud. Sorry 'bout that; let's try bullets:

  • We absolutely can improve Helix <—> DT integration and have several ideas mapped out already (actually, they were largely mapped out before Helix was even announced)
  • More robust Helix <—> DT integration continues to be on our gargantuan list of things to do; its priority is largely determined by user demand
  • More robust Helix <—> DT integration, if or when implemented, will not be like POD HD <—> DT integration, because POD HD <—> DT integration:
    • doesn't apply to Helix's architecture
    • takes forever to implement and debug, and diverts resources from features with bigger ROI
    • is needlessly complicated for our users
    • includes a ton of features for daisy-chaining more than one DT—and almost no one daisy-chained more than one DT. There may be only one or two people worldwide who daisy-chained more than two

Believe me, any DT integration we provide wouldn't be to push DT sales, as all DT50 SKUs have been discontinued. We'd do it because X number of users ask for it. We move features and models up and down the priority backlog every day.

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