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mgamache

Variax interface recommendations for hacking?

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I am interested in hacking an old Pod (or whatever) to provide a simple 1U (or smaller) unit that can be midi controlled. Basically it's a way to build my Variax VDI Idea so I don't have to wait for Line 6. What is the smallest / most hackible Variax controller that can work with my JTV and output both mags + model? Can you order just a mainboard from Line 6? 

 

This would be just for controlling the models and providing both feeds as inputs to another system.   

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Also, has anyone reverse engineered the VDI spec? It's most likely AES/EBU audio + MIDI + power, right?

 

Power = 2 wires

Midi = 2 Wires

AES/EBU 2-4 Wires

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Countdown to thread being locked: 3....2....1....

 

That would be unfortunate.  There's really no good reason to keep the spec closed (unless it uses a proprietary technology that Line 6 doesn't own).

 

possible objections:

  • Losing control of the VDI spec -- possible, but unlikely unless the Variax & Processor market explodes bringing another player to the market that is bigger than Line 6. They can, of course, always choose to ignore any changes they don't create. 
  • Fewer processor sales. Un-bundling the Variax full functionality from other Line 6 products (Helix / HD500x etc...) might reduce the sales of those products. But, how many Variaxs could Line 6 sell if we could use all it's features with other units (like Kemper or Bias)? I don't know the margins for each product so I can't say what is better for Line 6. 
  • Support -- if people start playing with the VDI interface they could damage the Variax or processor. Maybe, musicians are pretty dumb, but this doesn't seem to cause problems with the other AES / Midi ports that are on the Pod/Helix units. 

 

Anyway, I am not sure I'll have the time to mess with it,  First step would be re-boxing an older unit like the Pod LiveXT into a smaller package. 

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Just a reminder that Line 6 does not support modifications or self-repairs. Proceed at your own risk.

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Just a reminder that Line 6 does not support modifications or self-repairs. Proceed at your own risk.

 

 

Thanks for the warning. I've already replaced my neck (Warmoth) and pickups (Lace Rainbow) on my JTV. I might have already invalidated any support :). I think the chances are good that I might fry the guts of the Variax (esp if I get the power wrong). This is strictly an experiment that could go horribly wrong.

 

I have the dream rig (Variax => HD500x => L2T) and I really like it, but I've been messing with a more traditional pedal setup. Pedals that Line 6 doesn't model (EP Boster, Plim Soul + Zvex Mastertron etc..) and also paring it with my VoiceLive 3. The VoiceLive has really good time based effects (reverb / delay / trem) + talkbox and synth engines.  The whole thing is getting out of hand (and not very portable). I am just looking for a way to keep some of the Variax features if i move away from the Line 6 floor controller as a way to shrink the setup. I will probably wait until the Helix Native release to get serious.   

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two unanswered questions for me:

 

I suggest that you ask on that forum - I am fairly sure Elantric is a member here as well, but if he is then his name is different and I can't remember what it is.

 

It is worth joining it anyway because there is a lot of other information about variax and a patch exchange area which Line 6 haven't given us - so if you want a PRS bank, a bouzouki, a set of volume levelled standard guitars or loads of variations such as "super strat" then that is where you find them

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I suggest that you ask on that forum - I am fairly sure Elantric is a member here as well, but if he is then his name is different and I can't remember what it is.

 

It is worth joining it anyway because there is a lot of other information about variax and a patch exchange area which Line 6 haven't given us - so if you want a PRS bank, a bouzouki, a set of volume levelled standard guitars or loads of variations such as "super strat" then that is where you find them

 

You are probably right, that forum is a little more focused on these sorts of issues. Thanks again.

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