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Use editor without plugging in Helix

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I have been a very happy owner of Helix in more than a year, but i still can't get my head around why we can't use the editor alone. 
 

I have the experience to be able to make the sounds I want without checking the result all the time. And I dont see why we cant write a patch and then just load it to Helix later. 

There was a lot of talk about this when the Editor first arrived but I dont see a lot about it anymore ? 
Has anyone gotten an explanation from Line 6 that makes sense as to why this is not an option ? 

Best regards

Magnus

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Well if you want to make the argument that creating patches while effectively "deaf" is some sort of intellectual exercise, OK...but it serves no practical purpose, and as such I doubt it's high on anybody's to-do list over at L6.

 

If Michaelangelo had tried to paint the Sistine Chapel blindfolded it would have looked like a comic strip. They'd have burned him at the stake, and hired somebody else...;)

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That is not my point - It would be nice to be able to set up setlist AND copy/past blocks and setup the basic routing for new ideas in new patches. 
Personally i have a lot of time on the train that could be used on work like this. 

 

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I don't know - sounds pretty useful to me.  I can think of a lot of times when I'm away but have my laptop and a little time.  It'd be great to be able to pull up the editor, create a patch, and save it to load into the Helix later.  The suspense for what it sounded like would be killing me. :)

 

I'm betting the reason though, is that the editor just serves as a front end to the Helix hardware through an API and it'd be a major undertaking to make it completely stand-alone.

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I too would like to use the editor with having my Helix connected. It'd be great to do reorganization and housekeeping chores on the living room couch.

 

But as I understand it, that's not going to happen, because the editor is fundamentally a remote control for the physical device, not a standalone emulation of it.

 

 

I've considered building an emulation myself (I'm a mostly-web programmer professionally), and a lot of it is quite straightforward -- just controls for editing different parameters. But there's a lot of proprietary info that you'd have to suss out on your own, and that info does or could change over time (new models potentially file format changes, etc), and I'd hate to be responsible for the integrity of other people's patches. Watching the recent headaches L6 has gone through lately migrating patches from one firmware release to the next reaffirms the wisdom of not going there IMO.

 

But I might anyway, among other reasons because there are some easy things missing in the current ecosystem, like a quick way to know which IR slots aren't used by any patches. A while ago I built a thing to count all the block types and IRs used by all the individual patches in a directory full of patch files. Blocker to making it publicly available is that ideally it'd work on whole setlists, and I haven't figured out how to unpack the zip format they use.

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But as I understand it, that's not going to happen, because the editor is fundamentally a remote control for the physical device, not a standalone emulation of it.

 

Correct. The editor is constantly polling the hardware to update its myriad states. Without hardware, the editor can't do anything and doesn't know anything. Plus, it was important for the Helix app to support multiple products instead of having to download a dedicated editor for each SKU.

 

There are other reasons, but we can't talk about them right now.

 

But never say never. If enough people demand standalone operation, it's something we'll consider. Just know that it's a big effort and requires close to a complete overhaul. Think of all the other stuff we could do with that time and those resources.

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I am no way near a saftware engenier. That might be why I have no idea what an SKU is. 

And I will admit that I cant estimate how much time it would take for you to make this possible. But a naiv idea may be that it was possible to make a "virtual helix engine". 

After all the presets contain nothing else than commands and values (I know that it might not be that easy, but it is my hope that it might be possible!) 

 

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SKU meaning unique inventory item - for instance, the editor is savvy enough to know that it's working with Helix floor, or Helix Rack, or - ?

 

It's always interesting when DI drops a little 'teaser' like the above; gives a nice sense of things going on in planning and implementation phases for the Helix user base, and that's always great news.

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I would love the heck out of an editor that can be run standalone. However, I wouldn't trade "other cool stuff" for it.

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[...]

 

Just know that it's a big effort and requires close to a complete overhaul. Think of all the other stuff we could do with that time and those resources.

My vote would be for the "other stuff", every time.

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I hope everyone realizes that there are some of us that barely ever use the editor, right?  My only use for it is to export and import presets, so users like myself would gain absolutely no value at all from a massive investment of time and energy into a restructuring of the Helix app.

 

Personally I didn't invest in the Helix to have a cool app on my PC.  I already have plenty of those.  I want cool stuff like amps and effects in my Helix.

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I hope everyone realizes that there are some of us that barely ever use the editor, right?  My only use for it is to export and import presets, so users like myself would gain absolutely no value at all from a massive investment of time and energy into a restructuring of the Helix app.

 

Personally I didn't invest in the Helix to have a cool app on my PC.  I already have plenty of those.  I want cool stuff like amps and effects in my Helix.

 

"I want cool stuff like amps and effects in my Helix".

 

That gets my vote!

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I would like to have it all !  :D

 

Meaning yea, an editor that works independently sounds good....

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This has been my only complaint about the Helix since I've owned it.  Before for an editor not being available - and after for an editor that is practically useless.  There's no reason for not being able to open the editor without being chained to the anchor.  I would love to sit back in my easy chair and study others presets and the differences between them, compare my amp/effects settings to others to learn what makes them tic, or to upload/download presets and IRs wherever I and my laptop happen to be at the time, or to organize my setlists, or to pre-load amps/effects into a particular preset to be ready for real-time editing later.  This is not rocket science.  I already can do all these things and more with my Line 6 Amplifi and cell phone app.  This topic has surfaced on the board numerous times and I have yet to hear a single real technical reason for why Helix editor can't do the same thing.     

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I hope everyone realizes that there are some of us that barely ever use the editor, right?  My only use for it is to export and import presets, so users like myself would gain absolutely no value at all from a massive investment of time and energy into a restructuring of the Helix app.

 

Personally I didn't invest in the Helix to have a cool app on my PC.  I already have plenty of those.  I want cool stuff like amps and effects in my Helix.

Well stated! I never intended to use my Helix for use while connected to a computer. Updating or backing up is an entirely different matter. For that, I'd love to be able to accomplish those housekeepig tasks via an Android Tablet. Either way, I favor Line 6 allocating their program develpment resources on Helix's stand alone features and functions.

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I would love to have a standalone feature but only if I could be sure that offline changes would be absolutely assured of syncing properly when the Helix was reconnected to the Editor. I would hate to have some glitch or corruption of the standalone Editor corrupt all my presets. I think an automatic prompt asking you if you wanted to backup your presets/setlists first would be almost compulsory before the Editor synced back to the Helix.

I also have to agree with others here. The amount of work a standalone Editor might require, not only initially but in terms of maintenance when there were firmware updates takes a huge backseat to a laundry list of features and fixes I would rather see happen first. Additionally, I would hate to see firmware updates become fewer and further between, perhaps with some features not making it in due to having to modify the standalone Editor every time to stay in step with the updates. Overall great as it would be to have I not want to see resources pulled away from other efforts.

I do agree with those who have been saying from the jump that they would have liked a Bluetooth or WIFI wireless tablet Editor in addition to the PC Editor but I would have been perfectly happy to have it require wireless connection to the Helix and not be a standalone. Again though, this is yet another piece of software that would have to be maintained. Awfully convenient for changing settings from a music stand or iPad holder on stage though.

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I would think that may be a preset reader/editor that could be done in HTML or something like that. I am not a programmer like Zoe but you could possibly have something that you could load a preset into and edit it to be able to load it into the Helix through the current editor when you got to your helix, I guess some type of pretty GUI is what people would probably want though which would take a bit more time to set up I would opt for more amps and effects vs offline editor. I know from using the Behringer x.18 it has an offline editor but that graphical interface is what controls that unit so I can see how that would already be and I guess I can see from Line 6 standpoint that if you made something that was basically the operating system for the Helix it would possibly be giving away proprietary software or something.

 

Not sure if I made that clear what I'm thinking of would be a preset and setlist editor not a helix editor.

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Could be useful sometimes...
Maybe checking the CPU limit without the CPU connected would be tricky?

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Not tricky, impossible without internal info we don't have.

 

And many dropdowns have a text value you see, and another value you don't that's what actually gets stored in a preset.

 

And presets saved in earlier releases need to get mapped to the current equivalent, not trivial, as we've seen with recent upgrade migration problems.

 

The basic concept of reading a JSON file (the low-level format for preset files) and displaying its contents in one or more web forms isn't rocket surgery. But the devil's in the proprietary, or at least undocumented, details.

 

If Line 6 would make the relevant info public, and commit to maintaining it going forward, I bet I'm not the only one who would jump on building out an offline preset file editor.

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Here is what I posted on idea scale.

 

If you have the time to setup presets without the editor connected to Helix, than why don't you have the time to setup presets while connected to Helix? I don't understand this unless its a file management thing, and in that case I still think the time it would save is very minor, like less that a minute for an hours worth of use when connected? Setting up tones and patches in Helix requires listening to them, at some point. So wheres the time value added here?

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We think we may have a solution for this, but it's nothing like what's being suggested. Could be way more elegant.

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Ooooo. That sounds promising. I find myself wanting to use the editor without turning Helix on often.

 

But if it's too much work for your team, and costs development in other areas, I'd be the first to say drop the idea. It'd be a nice feature to have, but completely unnecessary. On the other hand, if you were to drop that next amp you guys are working on...

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....On the other hand, if you were to drop that next amp you guys are working on...

 

I have dropped amps before and in general I don't recommend it, they make a most unpleasant sound when they hit the concrete... :D

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A

 

...à propos editor: what about the Workbench HD integration? ;)

Silence is deafening .

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Four whole minutes of silence? It's coming.

 

Nice to know its coming... Sometimes you need to be a squeaky wheel to get the grease.  ;)

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Well Worth quoting, with emphasis added

<Snip>I would love to sit back in my easy chair and study others presets and the differences between them, compare my amp/effects settings to others to learn what makes them tic, or to upload/download presets and IRs wherever I and my laptop happen to be at the time, or to organize my setlists, or to pre-load amps/effects into a particular preset to be ready for real-time editing later.  This is not rocket science.  I already can do all these things and more with my Line 6 Amplifi and cell phone app.  This topic has surfaced on the board numerous times and I have yet to hear a single real technical reason for why Helix editor can't do the same thing.

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In the HD500 days and before (all the way back to original POD with Emagic SoundDiver) I used "offline" editing for two things:

 

1) To answer questions on forums. People are always asking about certain params, or how to route something, etc. It's so handy to be able to open the editor to answer those questions. Offline mode is important there because then you can have the editor installed in many locations and still answer when not at your computer.

 

2) To inspect downloaded presets. People post their latest youtube, soundcloud, etc. and say, "here is the preset file I used!" It's awesome to pop that sucker open and see what they did to get that awesome sound without having to turn on your unit or even be in the same physical location.

 

It's fun stuff. For *my* purposes, an "offline" mode is about being able to open files or double-check my memory on something. It need not be able to guarantee there's enough DSP or any of that jazz.

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Well, maybe its just me then (very Possible).  :P

 

My parody is, I love new autos/vehicles. But what good are they to me if Im blind?

 

Thats kinda the way I see this without the sound reinforcing from the editors settings. Why? Because you can have the most elaborate patch ever made, that could (and very well does) sound like crap because you cant hear the results. And hearing the results from the editors settings is the bottom line.

 

Id rather Line 6 work on HD Amp (L6 Link control) integration, Workbench integration, New amps and cabs integration. As always YMMV. 

 

Oh, and Merry Christmas :D !! 

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Even though it kinda seems like a fun thing to build myself, I have to admit that an offline editor for individual patches does seem to have limited usefulness.

 

There are a couple of larger-scale patch management abilities that would be very handy though...

 

- Reorganizing/reordering patches

 

- Figuring out which IRs aren't used by any patches

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In this regard I think one of the most useful things L6 could do would be to openly document the format of the patch files so people could develop their own utilities for offline management.  For example one could build a utility for determining your most used amp as well as amps you haven't used.  Or find consistencies in how you set up certain effects or amp settings.  And of course determine what IR's you have loaded that are never used.  I could easily think of about a dozen more without even scratching the surface of what might be possible.

 

Obviously, those formats could change, but by carefully constructing the code it wouldn't be that much of a problem to fix things from version to version.  I realize L6 isn't known for revealing such things, but opening up the architecture to outside contributors is, after all, what allowed Microsoft to dominate the market.  As they always said, "capture the hearts and minds of developers and the rest of the world will follow":

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I agree that documenting the patch and setlist file formats would quite likely lead to a variety of useful tools.

 

Thing is though, for that info to be actionable, it has to be well explained, and consistently supported as things change. IOW, either the code responsible for transforming a v1 patch to a v2 patch has to be publicity available in some common programming language, or the logical steps required need to be documented clearly enough that devs can write their own version and have it just work.

 

Publishing this sort of thing would be great, but essentially that would make it a public API, putting Line 6 on the hook for education, developer support, etc.. I'd love it, but it's a real commitment on their part.

 

 

The thing I built a while ago gives counts of both block types and IRs use in a directory of patch files. As I've said though, it only works on individual patch files, not setlists, which would be much easier to use. I'm sure the compression used in setlist files is some variation of standard stuff, I just haven't had a chance to try to suss it out in a language I'm familiar with.

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Four whole minutes of silence? It's coming.

 

This is like very nearly almost a christmas present to me ;) !!!

My Variax is to be at the ready...

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To say that an off-line editor is useless without being able to immediately 'hear' the results in order to improve their working knowledge of the Helix is like saying a Dr. should only learn their craft from a direct working experience with a human body without need of a textbook.  No, learning to be a Dr. and learning to use the Helix are not equal - but the Helix 'is' a pretty deep well and my point stands.  And I hate to start an argument - BUT!  I can't understand how so many think an off-line editor is not of much use (I didn't get a single vote when 'I' posted it on ideascale months ago), yet are constantly chomping at the bit for more amps/effects on the forum/Facebook/etc. and often even criticizing Line 6 for not being faster about delivering them.  In my opinion, if you can't get your sound with what amps/effects are already in the Helix at this point - you ain't gonna - and your problems probably stem from something other than a perceived lack of amp/effect options in the Helix.  Improvements to existing amps/effects - perhaps, or even yes in some cases.  More - no thanks.   

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To say that an off-line editor is useless without being able to immediately 'hear' the results in order to improve their working knowledge of the Helix is like saying a Dr. should only learn their craft from a direct working experience with a human body without need of a textbook. No, learning to be a Dr. and learning to use the Helix are not equal - but the Helix 'is' a pretty deep well and my point stands. And I hate to start an argument - BUT! I can't understand how so many think an off-line editor is not of much use (I didn't get a single vote when 'I' posted it on ideascale months ago), yet are constantly chomping at the bit for more amps/effects on the forum/Facebook/etc. and often even criticizing Line 6 for not being faster about delivering them. In my opinion, if you can't get your sound with what amps/effects are already in the Helix at this point - you ain't gonna - and your problems probably stem from something other than a perceived lack of amp/effect options in the Helix. Improvements to existing amps/effects - perhaps, or even yes in some cases. More - no thanks.

 

I would like to add to your quote. Those such people probably don't know how to use the Helix as well as they should and an offline editor would absolutely help them be able to spend more time with it without having the Helix on their hip ie: at work at lunch wherever they might be without the helix....

 

 

Now okay THIS IS for Line 6!!! LISTEN UP HERE BOY'S ( you can thank me later) The offline editor would also be a great sales tool!!! You know not many music stores (if any) stock a helix that you can go up to and check out if you wanted to... You have to buy it and they order it and you get it and then you can try it out....

 

But if a potential customer were able to download and mess with the interface on thier computer they would see how easy these things are to do, the routing the opions etc... the things that we've that own one have noticed and that would definitely boost sales of units. The sales that would provide you hiring more technicians that can make more amps effects and cabinets...

 

I can guarantee you that me being able to download that Behringer x18 software and mess with it on my computer, cell phone, tablet, even without it being hooked up to the x18 intrigued me quite a bit, so much so that I had someone by one. I own a line 6 m20d and I can tell you if that was available at the time I purchased my m20d I probably wouldn't have the m20d. Simply because I was able to test it out even without sound.

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To say that an off-line editor is useless without being able to immediately 'hear' the results in order to improve their working knowledge of the Helix is like saying a Dr. should only learn their craft from a direct working experience with a human body without need of a textbook.  No, learning to be a Dr. and learning to use the Helix are not equal - but the Helix 'is' a pretty deep well and my point stands.  And I hate to start an argument - BUT!  I can't understand how so many think an off-line editor is not of much use (I didn't get a single vote when 'I' posted it on ideascale months ago), yet are constantly chomping at the bit for more amps/effects on the forum/Facebook/etc. and often even criticizing Line 6 for not being faster about delivering them.  In my opinion, if you can't get your sound with what amps/effects are already in the Helix at this point - you ain't gonna - and your problems probably stem from something other than a perceived lack of amp/effect options in the Helix.  Improvements to existing amps/effects - perhaps, or even yes in some cases.  More - no thanks.   

 

I won't say it would be of NO use, but certainly of limited use at this point.  There are times I would like to quickly check what amp and IR I used on a given patch.  Pulling it up from a file would be handy.  But it think it's pretty naive to think the drive for more amps and effects is only because people can't find the tone they want.  I suspect people that fit into that category might be significantly less than you think.  I've never been a big pusher of a whole bunch of new amps, but even with the delivery of the small additional pair of amps in the last update I found a use for them.  Simply because in certain situations of type of song and type of guitar being used, they provided elements that were better than what I was using.

 

I agree I don't need a whole bunch of amps, but I would like to begin seeing some re-working of the older ported amps because I think they've learned a few things now and could probably do a much better job on them (particularly the Fender amps).  Some of those I don't use because they aren't up to the standards of some of the built from scratch amps.  Given a choice between those two things, the rebuilt amp models would be FAR more useful.

 

The fact that something doesn't get votes on Ideascale isn't necessarily because the idea has no merit (although some of them qualify in that regard).  At least in my voting I understand the limitations of time and resources available for such things, so unless the usefulness has some immediacy in my world I'm not likely to vote for it.

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