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tagmusenmagnus1

Use editor without plugging in Helix

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... 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.

 

Some of the amps in Helix are ported? Ported from what? As far as I know, there are no modeled amps in Helix that are from previous modelers.

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I would consider that last addition of amps as being quite significant it has become my go-to amp. the archon is great and I love being able to have a lead tone I don't even need a distortion box on. And knowing that if I had to make the choice between the editor and that and I would have chose that but we don't know what's to come and Line 6 is not in the habit of telling you much about what's to come.

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Some of the amps in Helix are ported? Ported from what? As far as I know, there are no modeled amps in Helix that are from previous modelers.

 

I had always understood many of the HD models had been ported over to the HX system early on.  I guess the fact that I saw no real improvement in certain amps like the Fender amps reinforced that idea.  Regardless, they've certainly improved the accuracy and dynamics of the newer models I assume due to things they've been learning along the way.

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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.

 

You might have looked already, but the preset files are human readable json format.  I've done what you suggest above.  Some languages, like Python, make it very easy to load a helix preset and programmatically examine and update them, then write them back out.  That's how I keep my IR order in sync with my preset slots - with a program I wrote that operates on an entire directory of presets, resetting the IR indexes within all the patches at once to match updates to my IR list loaded in the Helix.  And also tells me which IRs I have loaded that are unused, as well as for each IR, which preset uses it, the most-used IRs, etc.

 

It's not too hard if you are willing to experiment a little, and most of the fields are self-explanatory.  The preset files are practically self-documenting.

 

I know I'm at the mercy of the next update - the format might change and I'll need to update my program to match.  No worries.

 

But once Line 6 documents and publishes it, they'll be locked into the format and it could hinder their ability to redo it.  For example, like with the introduction of snapshots, which necessitated updated data structures and fields.  Either that, or they then have to document the changes between preset file format versions, and so one.  More work for Line 6.

 

As a programmer myself, I find it easy enough just to dig in and see what's there, essentially reverse engineer it.  And as far as a reverse engineering effort goes, the helix file format has to be one of the easiest.  I don't think they're trying to hide anything.  The preset files and formats are practically self-documenting.

 

Anyway, that's what I did to write the utilities I mentioned above for my own use.

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You might have looked already, but the preset files are human readable json format.  I've done what you suggest above.  Some languages, like Python, make it very easy to load a helix preset and programmatically examine and update them, then write them back out.  That's how I keep my IR order in sync with my preset slots - with a program I wrote that operates on an entire directory of presets, resetting the IR indexes within all the patches at once to match updates to my IR list loaded in the Helix.  And also tells me which IRs I have loaded that are unused, as well as for each IR, which preset uses it, the most-used IRs, etc.

 

It's not too hard if you are willing to experiment a little, and most of the fields are self-explanatory.  The preset files are practically self-documenting.

 

I know I'm at the mercy of the next update - the format might change and I'll need to update my program to match.  No worries.

 

But once Line 6 documents and publishes it, they'll be locked into the format and it could hinder their ability to redo it.  For example, like with the introduction of snapshots, which necessitated updated data structures and fields.  Either that, or they then have to document the changes between preset file format versions, and so one.  More work for Line 6.

 

As a programmer myself, I find it easy enough just to dig in and see what's there, essentially reverse engineer it.  And as far as a reverse engineering effort goes, the helix file format has to be one of the easiest.  I don't think they're trying to hide anything.  The preset files and formats are practically self-documenting.

 

Anyway, that's what I did to write the utilities I mentioned above for my own use.

 

Actually, no I hadn't looked.  But it doesn't surprise me.  I figured it would be something like that or XML.

 

Maybe one of these days when I get ambitious enough I'll track down some libraries for handling JSON objects and come up with a reader that populates a database for easy reporting and querying.  That assumes, of course, that I'll actually get ambitious......miracles do happen sometimes though.

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Yes I've looked at the files, that's how I wrote that inventorying utility, and you're right that they're mostly self-documenting. The main dev environment I work in is ColdFusion/Lucee, and it parses JSON natively.

 

Some things that seem possibly non-trivial to me...

 

- Have you compared the firmware 201 version of a preset with the 211 version of the same thing? Clearly each object type has a schema that defines its fields, and those schemas change across firmware versions. Ideally utilities working with this data would read and write "all" firmware versions, whatever that means. Or more likely, only work with the most recent one, and recognize and refuse.to open others. Has to be kept up to date.

 

- For some parameters, the displayed values don't correspond directly to how they're stored. Those enums would have to be sussed out wherever they're relevant, now and in the future.

 

- To make this a sharable tool, it'd either be written in a language that could generate standalone apps for Windows and Mac, or it'd be a web app. ColdFusion (and me) are best suited for web apps. In that context, working with individual preset files is a drag, because they'd all have to be uploaded. Viewing an individual preset, sure, but the kinds of reorganization and inventorying tools we've talked about make much more sense for setlist files. The hang for me, so far, is that they're compressed using zlib, and my quick initial explorations didn't figure out how to handle that with the tools I have handy. ColdFusion can use Java easily, so there's probably something out there that would work, needs investigation.

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You know what would be a great middle ground?

 

Make a helix editor emulator that can save output files that the helix could load.

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Yes... YES! Run a fake emulated editor instead of the real editor, for the emulated amps and cabs! 

Then just run dual monitors, and both programs and once and viola!  EMULATION at its finest!

 

Like the IRs theres No imports after patching of course, yet...

 

We could call it..., Felix, like the cat!

 

Helix and Felix    ;)   :P

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I heard you like emulators so we put an emulator in your emulator so you can emulator.

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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.

 

It's not really necessary. The patch file format is straight JSON and totally easy to understand. Crack one open in a text editor. Any engineer could easily read/parse it visually and just as easily write code to interact with it. I already made an open source utility for sorting patches by amp. It looks at a directory of presets and sorts them into sub directories with one dir per amp model. So you get all your Archon clean in this dir, all your Archon lead in that dir, all your Mark IV lead in that other dir, etc. I haven't used or updated it in awhile but it exists here http://www.benvesco.com/blog/vescos-helix-patch-sorter/

 

I originally did a lot more parsing and modeling of the data schema because I was building my own editor. Line 6 finished theirs first so I scrapped that plan. There's a bit of cruft in my schema modeling. Also, Line 6 keep changing the data schema and the way things are stored. This is fine, but makes it a pain for a one-man OSS team.

 

The main point being that it is totally easy to reverse engineer the file format and write software against it. That patch sorter was probably an hours worth of work to get v1 up and running.

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I heard you like emulators so we put an emulator in your emulator so you can emulator.

+1 but only an emulated one. 

 

The main point being that it is totally easy to reverse engineer the file format and write software against it. That patch sorter was probably an hours worth of work to get v1 up and running.

 

 

Very nice. Now please do one for sorting IRs and replacing them in correct slots back into Helix.

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Hey Ben, have you tried to unpack setlist files? I built a thing to inventory the IRs and amp models used in a directory of patch files, as a web app. I'd make it publicly available if it was more practical to use, which IMO means handling setlist files -- one upload. My app is Cold fusion, could use Java easily of you had that decompression worked out.

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I haven't tried to work with any files other than the presets themselves because those are the only files I ever use.

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Ah, understood. I was just thinking about a web-based tool along the lines of the ones you and I each made, and making people zip up their preset directories and upload is less handy than just uploading setlists. When I have a chance to explore further I will.

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Browser-based and web-based are two different things. You could make a browser-based tool that interacts with local files much easier than a web-based tool. Since the preset files are JSON it makes a javascript tool quite achievable.

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I can see both points in where musicians could benefit or not benefit from the offline editor.  I do think it would be a great benefit for traveling musicians that use the Helix professionally in their rigs, and fly dates.  I often travel between venues and while I know the songs, tempos and values for my time-based effects, I have to waste time after I arrive doing all that programming because there is no AC available during transport and time is extremely limited from the time the musicians are ready for line/sound checks until the performance.  Being able to, as others have mentioned, set these things up in-route, and simply connect and sync back to the Helix would cut between 15 and 30 minutes off my setup time for each performance, which is to the benefit of the FOH and monitor engineers, and while playing, I can be confident that when I hit the next snapshot or preset, I have the exact sound and time-based effects fully in sync with the click track and/or drummer.

 

I think Line 6 really has a solid justification for expanding their development staff to further cater to their valued customers, especially after the pre-Helix nightmares a lot of musicians had around reliability and product quality during times when the company was too focussed on other musician products (i.e. wireless systems, PA systems, and of course the dreaded effort spent pushing L6 Link and Variax features in order to get sounds anywhere close to what the Helix is capable of.

 

In the end, my vote is 75% interest in offline editor/preset-snapshot manager, and 25% for more bells and whistles inside the Helix itself.  Its already possible to fairly easily exhaust both CPU's if you are running a stereo rig with a center dry setup, managing effects toggles through snapshots (I run Helix with 8 snapshots, 1 preset per song).

 

Hopefully others share my opinion on this topic, but either way, I felt it worth making my opinion known.  Thanks for the ability for this to be possible, Line 6.

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I would use it when I'm on my lap top. All we need is a small audio sample of a few chords and a few lead licks and be able to play the lick thru the HX editor when we hit a keystroke and be able to save the patch for later export to helix. Seems pretty simple to me!

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Actually, I began working on just a program. I've had limited time to work on it. Wouldn't require the hardware for use. I had planned on it being capable of creating a patch and save the file as a hlx file. Im told Line 6 regularly updates the file format. That's a big problem.

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I would use it when I'm on my lap top. All we need is a small audio sample of a few chords and a few lead licks and be able to play the lick thru the HX editor when we hit a keystroke and be able to save the patch for later export to helix. Seems pretty simple to me!

 

Helix Native is what you're looking for. To do that in the editor you literally need to have ALL of the FX/AMPS/CABS algorithms in the computer anyways. At that point it's not longer an Editor, its a standalone processing program.

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I really REALLY want this!!! Oh dear god.

 

It has nothing to do with editing while deaf. That's a rough assumption sir!

 

I run 4cm, I just switched amps, editing midi in command center to my amp gizmo, pulling reverb blocks to use amps tank, making little edits that I know are needed after testing on a couple songs, helix for effects only. I run 60 patches for ONLY the reason of streamlining our sets, most patches are nearly identical. I just spent the past 1.5 hours making the same change over, and over, and over.....

 

I would have enjoyed at least sitting on the couch, nice and comfortable doing this on my own time rather than in the studio!!

 

I miss having this, like I did on my hd500 + dt50 rig. :(

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On 12/20/2016 at 5:13 PM, tagmusenmagnus1 said:

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. 

Couldn´t agree more. 

I´m migrating from a classic pedal-chain to Helix. To be able to set up blocks, inputs, outputs, snapshots.. without the helix would be a great elp. Like you mention, you could do this in the train... Work on a song you know has comp-chorus-delay-whatsoever in the verse and then fuzz and paricle reverbs in the chorus.... you could setup that chain as a starting point, program all snapshots, assign foot pedal... all those things you don´t need the helix for and it´d save a lot of time. You get to the rehearsal place, plug it in, upload and tweak... You also read about chains and settings in forums, dfferent ideas you want to try out... you could program a preset then and test it later.

Big question is. Why not?. I don´t see any technical issues... a preset is basically a text file in some sort of json format.... 

 

Actually you could edit this with a text-editor given you are scaringly freakish... Why not with the program that generated it?.

"dsp0": {
                "block1": {
                    "MicLine": true,
                    "@type": 1,
                    "Low Pass": 20000,
                    "@path": 0,
                    "@enabled": true,
                    "@bypassvolume": 1,
                    "Output": 0.59,
                    "@position": 2,
                    "Hi Pass": 10,
                    "Polarity": false,
                    "@model": "HD2_PreampVintagePre",
                    "Input": 0.61
                },
                "block0": {
                    "@path": 0,
                    "@enabled": true,
                    "@stereo": true,
                    "@type": 0,
                    "Level": 0,
                    "Mix": 0.9,
                    "Gain": 0.7,
                    "Type": false,
                    "PeakReduction": 0.9,
                    "@model": "HD2_CompressorLAStudioComp",
                    "@position": 1,
                    "Emphasis": 0.09
                } ....

You could actually do an online preset editor/generator given you had no life and were eager enough to study every possibe parameter, option, etc... But my point is, again, why not???

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One more for the road.... And i mught be wrong....

Copying whole paths or having the option to say "copy path 1A from preset 3D" ... That would be a huge timesaver. Technically, again, i don´t see any reason why it can´t be done... It should be as simple as copy object "dsp0" from A to B. When you copy a block it´s basically copy "objX" from A to "objX" in B... basically the same. 

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3 hours ago, tahiche said:

Technically, again, i don´t see any reason why it can´t be done...

Technically, there's no reason why all sorts of things can't be done. The question is, and always has been, "is the effort required to do X worth shifting time and resources from Y?" Items designated as Y are taken directly from IdeaScale, so that's always your best bet.

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If you are creating patches in Helix Native and wanting to put them on a Helix unit - you can't assign switches in Native - but you can in Edit - but it's useful for example to be able to create a patch - assign switches and have it so when I open it on my laptop to load to HX floor unit - I then don't have to assign the switches to the effects .... 

 

So for example - my Stomp is sat on the floor in the studio - and I am at home editing my sounds before I go in tomorrow - using native ... but will have further work to do when I arrive at the studio tomorrow - where they charge me by the minute - when I could do it at home on EDIT if it would let me work offline. For Free.

 

We used to do this using Gearbox on old Pod setups.

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1 hour ago, majn said:

If you are creating patches in Helix Native and wanting to put them on a Helix unit - you can't assign switches in Native - but you can in Edit - but it's useful for example to be able to create a patch - assign switches and have it so when I open it on my laptop to load to HX floor unit - I then don't have to assign the switches to the effects .... 

 

So for example - my Stomp is sat on the floor in the studio - and I am at home editing my sounds before I go in tomorrow - using native ... but will have further work to do when I arrive at the studio tomorrow - where they charge me by the minute - when I could do it at home on EDIT if it would let me work offline. For Free.

 

We used to do this using Gearbox on old Pod setups.

 

To assign a block to a footswitch in Native, right-click on a block and choose Automation Bypass > Switch number.  

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16 hours ago, majn said:

So for example - my Stomp is sat on the floor in the studio - and I am at home editing my sounds before I go in tomorrow - using native ... but will have further work to do when I arrive at the studio tomorrow - where they charge me by the minute - when I could do it at home on EDIT if it would let me work offline. For Free.

 

The answer to this is directly above by "lungho".... but I have to add a saying that I live by... on BOTH sides of the statement. 

 

"failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part"  or in reverse "my failure to plan is nobody else's problem"

Seriously.... you knew you had work to do and didn't think you could do it all within Native.... why didn't you just take the Stomp home instead of demanding Line 6 change something for you?

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On 12/22/2016 at 4:00 PM, Digital_Igloo said:
On 12/22/2016 at 1:46 PM, spikey said:

Silence is deafening .

Four whole minutes of silence? It's coming.

 

I have always wished for, from the first Variax and POD XT/Vetta series, a total Variax integration. I am hoping that is what this means. And I'm talking about being able to save custom Variax guitars on a per patch level. I've never the used Variax to it's fullest potential because it's too difficult to keep track of any custom guitar's I create. If I do create a custom guitar it is only to essentially customize the guitar that's already saved in that slot. Like, I would only save a customized strat with a neck pickup in that slot. If this means I can save Variax guitars on a per patch basis that would be a dream come true. If I can at least read what I named my "custom" guitar (which I believe you can on the Helix itself but not in HX Edit) it would help a lot and I would do more custom stuff. For now I only have Strats in the strat bank, Les Pauls in the Lester bank, etc. Can't wait to see exactly what this means.

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