Jump to content

DT series AMP Integration and Helix revisited


spikey
 Share

Recommended Posts

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.

 

Thank you for the clarification.  I had heard that the dt50 was discontinued, but hopefully the head and dt25 will continue.  I have both a 50 and 25 and love them both (just not the weight of the 50).

 

It's exciting that line 6 is thinking and/or planning how to come up with a simple integration of helix to the dt series. 

 

And congratulations on the helix - it is an amazing product and has brought a lot of satisfaction to me and plenty of users!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Thanks for the info DI, but I have to ask this cause it sticks out to me after looking at it for a bit. If Helix and the DT series amp integration was always in L6's gargantuan list of things to do, then why in the Helix manual is there so little an amount of midi expansion slots listed? Was it a time or memory constraint? I counted less than 35 midi CC's (including the cute CC 128 OH_NOOOO) in Helix, when the legacy DT amp itself has at least 25 CC's (and many values) per channel? Not trying to lollipop you off DI, Im just asking cause it seems that there should be more midi content for expansion there than shown on paper. And I did even include the 7 "global" ones listed. And as far as Helix having different architecture compared to the HD-500 firmware, I do understand very little on that part, sorry. That said midi is still midi, is it not? And I can send midi out now from Helix and change things on the DT amp from what little I know now.  So thats got to be child's play for an L6 engineer. So if midi is still midi then adding to the L6-Link software is the issue?. Just trying to understand. I do appreciate your info and content as always.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 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.

 

1. Using the Output block for DT configuration similar to the way the Input block works with Variax is brilliant.  That would work fine for me.  Force/ Don't Force, pick the amp from a list or manually configure would be perfect.  That would also allow the DT settings to be controlled by snapshots!

- Q. Would the DT just configure for that patch without affecting the loaded voicings?

 

2. It has never been addressed or confirmed by Line 6 that the Helix signal over L6 link is applied along with the DT amp/cab modeling unless one specifically turns it off via midi.  That seems to be the only reason the knobs work until the modeling is turned off since we know for a fact they aren't controling the Helix parameters.  It also sounds MUCH better with them turned off IMHO.

- Q. Can you confirm this operation and will this be fixed in any new Helix implementation?  (if not, it's hardly worth the effort.)

- Q. How would LVM work in this setup?  (is it even necessary?)

- Q. Any chance of upgrading the transformer tapped signal for feeding the PA?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

 

 

Oh good Lord I'm sorry DI, I didn't even get to your last sentence of your post about a DT Output block like a Variax input block when I replied.  I was skimming this while I was at work.

 

But it's good to come to the conclusion separately and just reinforces your concept!!!   Seems like a no-brainer.  I hope it's not too much trouble.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI GUYS-

On an earlier post I mentioned having midi switching issues from Helix to the DT-50 amp, and now I think I know why.

 

As far as setting up the DT amps MIDI with Helix, here is what I have found out by trial and error. Now some of you may already know this but "I" did not, and could not (at first) get Helix on some patches to switch the DT amp properly while other patches worked. It was a simple thing really, just be sure load in the GLOBAL midi Parameter settings  listed in the "DT series Midi Implementation guide" first, and then the Channel A & B settings after. I think ( and don't know this for sure yet but it makes sense now) that Helix reads and transmits midi messages/settings in the Helix command tab/block from "left to right", serially speaking. So if the Globals are listed 1st, it sends them 1st, and then the other parameters after. I do know that after I set it up like this in Helix, my weird problems of some patches not switched correctly on the DT amp from Helix was completely gone! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

that's why I stopped putting the configuration commands in the patch.  I just configured the DT itself on all 8 voicings, channel A is Class A topo I-IV and channel B is Class AB topo I-IV.  Now I only have to put the midi command to pick the right channel and voicing.  One command.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So lets say you are in Class AB topo 1( Fender), and you switch over to Class A topo III (Vox). How do you do that with just one midi command rad?

 

If you set your DT up like I described then you would use MIDI CC 122, 2.  That will switch the DT to Channel A, voicing III.  To go back would be MIDI CC 122, 4.  Remember that is only choosing the right power section configuration.  The amp sim is in the Helix,

 

See the DT MIDI Implementation Guide, page 2-2.

 

Global Parameters Parameter & Description MIDI CC Value Voicing

Directly selects the DT amp Channel and Voicing position (I, II, III or IV) 122 0 = Channel A Voicing I

1 = Channel A Voicing II

2 = Channel A Voicing III

3 = Channel A Voicing IV

4 = Channel B Voicing I

5 = Channel B Voicing II

6 = Channel B Voicing III

7 = Channel B Voicing IV

 

 

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

DI, here is what I would love to see DT-Helix integration-wise, based on my own usage. Thanks radatats for saving me the work of coming up with my own list, I'm going to shamelessly plagiarize yours. :)

 

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

          Definitely. I would very much prefer to use the Helix models over the DT's.

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

          Power section means several things to me

          - Pentode/Triode, not necessarily. This is something I would do manually and I can't think of an amp that has triodes on the power stage.

          - Class A/AB switching,yes, match the Helix amp model... be prepared for massive volume changes, lol

          - Topology... I'm torn on this. On the HD, topology changes always resulted in a loud click on the output while the internal power amp circuit reconfigured..

             not sure I want the same on the Helix, but I would still want the option to do it via instant CC, in case I decide I want it. Maybe make it optional in settings?

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

          - Yes, this would be nice to have, though not a showstopper. To those of us with lower backs that are not getting any younger, it is easier to reach down

             to the ampamp. versus reaching all the way to the floor. I know I can edit ia the expression pedal,but I just want to reach and turn, not to setup which

             knob I want to tweak one at a time.

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

           - Nice to have, I can still live with the Helix cabs and bypass the DT ones.

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

           - Yes, all DT integration should be mirrored to th4 Helix editor app.

6. Power section reconfigurable in snapshots.

           - Yes, with the same caveats as #2 above. The whole purpose of having snapshots is to eliminate the gap or noise between changes, the topology click

             would drive me up a wall.

 

The HD has several options  for daisy-chaining. I would think "most" people who actually daisy-chain would be interested in stereo only. (i.e one left, one right). The rest of the daisy-chaining options would be nice to have, but I think most would be willing to wait longer for that as long as they had stereo working.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just have 3 patches (saved & setup) on "User-2" in Helix, with my DT-50 head into a 1960a cab. AC-30 Topo III Class A, , Fender "Tweed" using  Topo II AB, and a Fender Deluxe, I, AB.  I played for over an hour just switching back and forth....., damn..... it sounded so good! 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just have 3 patches (saved & setup) on "User-2" in Helix, with my DT-50 head into a 1960a cab. AC-30 Topo III Class A, , Fender "Tweed" using  Topo II AB, and a Fender Deluxe, I, AB.  I played for over an hour just switching back and forth....., damn..... it sounded so good! 

 

I might have to bring my DT25 home from the jam spot and plug it into my new 2x12 cab, test some of this out!

I'm glad we got Radatats to chime in on this; I knew he'd get you sorted out..

 

cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just for the record, I was one who highly valued and used the HD500 to DT50 integration ( as did Steve Howe if I am not mistaken).  I bought the Helix in the hope that I could use it in a similar manner without a lot of complexities.  Ultimately, I bought an L2t as an FRFR solution for the Helix. It is a great combination for my purposes.  I thought about moving my DT50 along.  But, I love the amp.  I am hoping, like others, for an integration between Helix and the DT50 that is both simple and useful.  So, I am hanging on to the DT50 for now.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

I have two DT50's and a DT25 and would LOVE to daisy chain them, as it is the reason I wanted two.  I attempted it with my HD500X and nothing worked, as expected (very long story).  Ended up having to send both my DT50's in for repair.    

 

Now I have the Helix and I am excruciatingly frightened to use the DT EDIT software to blank out the amps/cabs/mics in one of the channels of the DT50, or any of the other methods.  I don't want to use Frfr, yet.  With as much $ as I've put into the DT amps, and reading about successful DT/Helix integration, and how amazing it sounds, my preference is to do precisely what I'm afraid of.  Since they have returned from being repaired, I haven't even hooked my amps up via MIDI to utilize the DT EDIT software for fear it was what jacked the amps up to begin with.  

 

Would love to have to expert guidance/encouragement to move forward from those of you in this thread.  

 

I'm not at all concerned with changing topologies/configurations, etc., on the fly.  I use one preset.  I want my Helix to sound amazing through this one preset, with my DT50 set at one static state.  Just need help getting the DT50 in the proper state.  All of the info I've read has my head spinning.

 

Hope y'all are still following or still get notifications for this post, since the last reply was almost a year ago.

 

Help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now I have the Helix and I am excruciatingly frightened to use the DT EDIT software to blank out the amps/cabs/mics in one of the channels of the DT50, or any of the other methods.

 

 

Don't be afraid, you are just setting midi info to other settings (off) per channel. That's all ( and, you wouldn't have to even do that if L-6 Link on Helix worked like it was supposed to). Yea and if frogs could fly... Anyway just use DT-Edit and it works. To redo it back to normal, just hold/pinch the topology (I-IV) and the Pentode/Triode switches together and power on, hold until the channel light comes on and yer reset.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

i also have a pair of DT-50's which with 2.0 really DO sound exceptional. But, back to topic.

I have a helix and have only connected it to the 2 dt'S via Analog connection. Trying the typical (and NOT so typical) Helix Stereo Send (pre of the amp models of course) to the front of each DT50,,which, realistically as much as you're gonna' hate to hear it-gives the best sound IF YOU SELECT THE RIGHT PRE EFFECTS.

WHen I tried to go to STEP 2 {aka} bringing the DT50's SEND back INTO the HELIX STEREO (one DT50 per side L and R) Return to POST effect processing ie. Delay, Reverb, Cabinet IRs, etc. and then take a another set of SENDS panned L and R and placed at the very end of the line, and sent those to each DT50's effect RETURN, and then letting it go into the TUBE section and then out to each DT50's 4x12 Cabinet. IT WORKED...BUT...it became very difficult to get gains throught the Helix set to a POINT that didn't cause TOO much noise (even with noise gate right before the Helix's final OUTPUT) and the other end of the spectrum was squealing from too much gain going into the Power amp Buffer stage.

Oh, and by the way, if you're curious why I used a set of SENDS to go out to the DT50s instead of the Helix's Main outs? I suggest YOU try that for yourself.  You will NOT be happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
On 4/2/2018 at 4:44 PM, Randalliser said:

Is there still no proper L6 Link integration for the Helix and DT25? Was beginning to toy with the idea of upgrading from my hd500x, but won't bother if it won't work properly with my DT.

 

 

NO..... And Shhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

 

Yer not supposed to mention that ! ; )

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi there! Any news on this? I´m seriously waiting for a proper integration - bought the DT25 funToy not that long ago (and it´s not that cheap, ladies & gentlemen @line6 ;)). So please - an update (at least a statement) would be very much appreciated. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

I´m seriously waiting for a proper integration 

 

My view is I'm afraid is not going to happen for Helix. They've moved on to other things and this isn't on their back burners now. I know how much you wanted this as many of us did as well, and there are workarounds if you search for the old posts. But in the end, I sold my DT amp because of no support in-sight with Helix and it. It's a shame really, and rogue and misleading because it has what looks to be and is labeled the "same" port as the HD series has, but does NOT act the same midi control wise. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey spikey! :) Thanks for your reply! :)

 

That´s actually what I expect as well - just thought I should keep this request alive, as the DT series is still in stores (e.g. Thomann) and besides, I actually am that amazed by my DT25 that I would prefer to keep it instead of selling it due to the lack of a (so to say) "simple" integration to my Helix :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have any insider information on this, so this is just speculation, but I wouldn't say all hope is gone for this. Line 6 has pretty much affirmed that they're adding control to the L6 Link connection for the Powercab, so if they're adding that control component, I would think it would be a relatively minor thing for it to work for the DT amps as well. It won't ever be as integrated as it was with the HD series, I'm sure, but I think there's a good chance there could be something.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

It won't ever be as integrated as it was with the HD series, I'm sure, but I think there's a good chance there could be something.

For the most part, I still love my Helix Phil. And I do hope that you are right about getting this fixed, even if its just a little more than we have now. I don't have an issue with it not being as integrated as it was with the HD series Phil. What I had an issue with (and still do) is naming the port the same trademarked name (L6-Link) as the HD series had, and using the same kind of port hardware wise so it looked the same, and then not saying a "thing" about it not having the same capability  midi control wise as the HD series until after multitudes of Helix units were already sold. I know you will never call that kind of thing a form of used car salesman bamboozlement Phil, but I hope you won't mind if I do, K?  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have to agree that going forward if something is labeled "L6 Link" wherever possible it should be able to communicate, preferably bidirectionally to as full an extent as possible with other Line6 devices. Much like the unification of the codebase for the HX products, the codebase and communications protocol for 'L6 Link' should be somewhat standardized across products that possess it so they can leverage as much functionality and synergy as possible. In way of an analogy, when you have a USB port, other than perhaps transmission speed you expect most USB devices to be able to be fully functional and usable with it, even if they need to take advantage of backwards compatibilty between USB versions.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/31/2018 at 6:58 PM, jmp22684 said:

Soooooo.... what does the L6 link on the Helix actually do right now? Well that a standard audio jack doesn't do.

 

Nothing a standard xlr feed doesn't do on the powercab either.

 

You're right, there's a lot of potential there right now but not a whole lot of functionality that has been provided. On the Helix it does seem to solely provide a digital audio feed which is not the same as just using the D/A converted XLR connection, but that seems to be about it. Maybe the L6 Link also allows chained dual StageSource speakers used with the Helix to set them self up as left and right, don't know as I haven't tried it. On the M20d Stagescape mixers the L6 Link actually provided a graphic EQ mix if you used StageSource(L2 or L3) speakers. The graphic EQ on the mixer did not work however without Line6's L6 Linked speakers. If you did not use Line6 Stagesource speakers with your M20d mixer this was a huge drawback rather than a benefit. Would like to see better use made of the L6 Link in the future, otherwise they might as well just supply an AES/EBU connection and be done with it. Hopefully we will see some integration of the controls between the Helix and the PowerCab which would be a definite step in the right direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...