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How best to connect GR55 to Helix

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Greetings,

I've been using my guitar synth in my rig along with an HD500 sending both to an L2t, then the mix out to the PA.  Simple, effective, and I control the balance to the mains between the two.  I got a Helix and want to do something similar but now there are several options.  There are times I want just the Helix/guitar in the mix, times when I want just the GR55 in the mix, and sometimes both, along with switching between these three in a single song.

 

I've been looking at:

   *  using a return and setting up a block as 'guitar synth' using an effects return into the path which allows turning the return on and off

   *  using the AUX in and using the upper paths for guitar, and the lower paths as the synth path, this allows expression to fade between, and I can set up on/off switches for each path.

 

This is for live applications so I won't need a stereo send for my mix to the board.  Anyone else doing anything similar, or have other options I should consider?  Any ideas/help greatly appreciated!

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I would suggest that unless you plan on running a lot of effects post GR55, I would dedicate the entirety of path 1 and also 2A to regular guitar and path 2B to the GR55. I would think setting up path 2B with an FX return would be ideal that you could feed from the GR55 output and then you could even run it to separate outputs from your guitar on the Helix for mixer separation in the PA when performing live. Coupled with a Midi cable you should also be able to set your presets/snapshots to trigger your patch changes for you on the GR55 also so you'd only have to focus on one board.

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I never use the GK Selector switch.  I keep it on mix.   The channels that I want to use guitar on, have guitar only going out.  The channels with synth only...are made for only synth.  The mix are made for only synth.    I feel you will be wasting DSP trying to get multiple inputs into your Helix if you could have sent them via one line...   Up to you though...

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I use mine separately! One stereoout from the Helix and one from GR55. These into a mixer and then out to the L2ms!

Easy and good sounding!

 

D

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Thanks for the thoughts and experiences.  I failed to mention I'm running a Variax into the Helix, what a multitude of possibilities!

 -  Tim

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I use a GP-10 instead of GR-55 but the situation is similar. In my opinion, speaking as a keyboard player, the GP-10 is more like a Synthesizer while the GR-55 is more like a Workstation, just a matter of tastes. However.. I usually plug the 1/4" jack of my Godin XTSA to the Helix and the 13pin to the GP-10; the GP-10 is connected to the FX Loop 2 of my Helix with mix at 100%. Helix Send to GP-10 Guitar IN and GP-10 Out (L/Mono) to Helix Return. This way I can easily use the GP-10 as a regular block. 

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I failed to mention I'm running a Variax into the Helix, what a multitude of possibilities!

isn't running a CAT5 cable along with a 13pin GKC from your guitar too cumbersome? besides, I thought the GR55 did PCM, multi-chain FX and everything the Variax did (independent tunings, pickup simulations), I could be wrong though.  

 

I use a GP-10 instead of GR-55 but the situation is similar. In my opinion, speaking as a keyboard player, the GP-10 is more like a Synthesizer while the GR-55 is more like a Workstation, just a matter of tastes. However.. I usually plug the 1/4" jack of my Godin XTSA to the Helix and the 13pin to the GP-10; the GP-10 is connected to the FX Loop 2 of my Helix with mix at 100%. Helix Send to GP-10 Guitar IN and GP-10 Out (L/Mono) to Helix Return. This way I can easily use the GP-10 as a regular block. 

 

You raised a few questions. How exactly is the GP10 like a synth? I've never used one of those. Why do you run two cables from your Godin when the guitar out on the GP10 outputs a true-bypassed signal that you can use to plug into the helix? I have a GR20 rompler and similarly to the GR55 they don't have a 1/4 guitar in jack so its not possible to hook them through the send/return of the Helix. how do you route the GP10 to process the GK3 signal from the guitar plus the send/return?

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1) Don't give too much importance to my comparison between GP-10 and GR-55. I mean, GR-20 has a little set of pre-made sounds with few possible editings, GR-55 improved this condition by including PCM Synthesis which is model based (pre-recorder base sound to be threated with a simil-synth architecture). GP-10 is the first one who let you start building your sounds from 3 oscillators like in the most common subtractive synthesizers architectures. I think it's just a matter of taste.




2) Most of the time i only use a wireless jack to connect to the Godin XTSA to the helix. When i need Synth functionalities i connect the 13pin cable.





3) Something like that :

Helix Send 2 -> Guitar IN GP-10

Mono OUT GP-10 -> Helix Return 2




FX-Loop2 Block is used as the Synth sound. Eventually, if you are using only the 13pin cable you can connect as follows:

Guitar OUT GP-10 -> Helix Guitar IN




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that's surprising, I had the impression (from skimming over sample videos) that the purpose of the GP10 was compete with stuff like Variax: independent tuning for each string, pickup simulation and a few effects here and there. Having 3 fully tunable oscillators is way powerful, I hate the GR20 for its lack of tuning capabilities and stacking of timbres. The GP10 seems to have more in common with the SY300 and the Variax than the others.

 

Does the GP10 or the GR55 allow panning of strings? ie. 6th all the way to the left channel, 1-5th to the right. or effects assigned specifically to a string (clean -12 to the 6th, distortion +12 to the 5th)

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I am using virtually the same setup: Variax JTV-69s, Helix floor, GR-55 and 3 EHX pedals. I will attach my final wiring diagram as pdf below. This details every connection I used in my pedalboard setup.

 

Here's a description of how I am using it.
 
I currently have my Helix patches configured as four parallel stereo paths:
• Path 1: JTV-69 Magnetic pickups (via VDI cable) -> EHX LesterG rotary pedal (via FX send/return 3&4)
• Path 2: JTV-69 Variax models (via VDI cable) OR used as a "1B' path inserted from Path 1.
• Path 3: EHX Key9 pedal set to Suitcase Rhodes (via FX send 3, return to aux input)
• Path 4: GR-55 guitar synth (vix FX return 1&2)
(Note: I have FX send 4 feeding an EXH B9 pedal patched into a HACKED guitar INPUT on the GR-55. I also have the Helix AMP control out patched into a HACKED input for remote toggling of the GR-55's CTL pedal.)

• Expression 1 = Gtr volumes
• Expression 2 (switched internal) = Wah or other special effect
• Expression 3 = LesterG variable rotary speed (pedal's Exp. IN)
• Stereo Volume 4 = path: GR55 -> iC Audio4+ -> Vol pedal -> FX ret 1&2.
 

Thus I have four different signal paths going at once, each with their own choice of Helix FX.

• The  iC Audio4+ allows me to add 2 additional audio inputs if desired, plus use direct lightening I/O connections to my iPad or iPhone. It also provides extra MIDI I/O as wells USB.

• I pulled two 4 point TRS I/O modules from a studio patch bay, velcro'd them to my pedalboard and used them to provide remote access points to Helix I/O.

• Similarly, I used extension cables to provide access to the Helix's XLR outputs and the USB port.

The Helix is VERY powerful.

 

Here's photos of my pedalboard (as well as under the hood). 

 

Helix Pedalboard planning-v4.pdf

post-1721546-0-00884800-1501144835_thumb.jpg

post-1721546-0-73947400-1501144848_thumb.jpg

post-1721546-0-67265100-1501144860_thumb.jpg

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I'm running my GR-55's stereo outputs into a stereo return on my Helix, and the GR's guitar output into the aux input on the Helix.
The GR-55 has 4 layers of sound, two PCM, one regular guitar layer (that's your guitar's pickups signal, travelling through the GK cable and getting processed by the GR, although I never use that layer, because I prefer to do that directly on the Helix) and one modeling layer, which can be different types of guitar, a sitar, basses, synth and organ sounds. It's not like this layer lets you sculpt your tone as you would on a synth, but the available control is enough for me, and for most people. Let me repeat that idea: that's a modeling layer, not PCM, and it produces guitar, bass, synth, etc.
There's an option on the GR-55 that lets you choose what goes out the "guitar out" jack, and the options are "guitar" (the actual tone of your guitar, directly fed from its pickups), "modeling" and "both" (though the names may not be exact, the content is)
I run those three outputs separately from the GR to the Helix because sometimes I want a PCM pad (for example) along with some modeling, and being two very different kinds of timbres, I'll probably want to process them separately.
From the modeling side of the GR, I use mostly synth sounds, but I'm using some sitar and acoustic guitar sounds for layering too.
Also, I'm controlling the patch changes from the Helix and, in the past, I've even used the HD500 to control parameters on the GR, via MIDI CC messages, which is nice if you want to control something on the HD500 (or now the Helix) and at the same time, with the same expression pedal, control something on the GR.

Inside the Helix, I process the parts I'm using in different ways:
-If it's a modeled guitar, I obviously process it as a guitar, and run it through amp modeling and whatever else. I could also try something else, but so far...
-For modeled synth sounds, which I'm using as leads, I usually run them through amp models as well, and treat them as if Keith Emerson was covering some Motörhead or something :D
-Some other modeled synth sounds, I may run as regular synth voices, and process them together with any PCM layer I use on that patch, and that´s normally "post" amp. That means I run guitar sounds through whatever is on the Helix patch, and the GR's return normally comes in after amp modeling, just before modulation, delay, reverb... y'know... so every bit blends better.

There's info here that addresses different posts by different people, not just the OP.

I hope I've managed to get the ideas across.

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I am using virtually the same setup: Variax JTV-69s, Helix floor, GR-55 and 3 EHX pedals. I will attach my final wiring diagram as pdf below. This details every connection I used in my pedalboard setup.

 

Here's a description of how I am using it.

 

I currently have my Helix patches configured as four parallel stereo paths:

• Path 1: JTV-69 Magnetic pickups (via VDI cable) -> EHX LesterG rotary pedal (via FX send/return 3&4)

• Path 2: JTV-69 Variax models (via VDI cable) OR used as a "1B' path inserted from Path 1.

• Path 3: EHX Key9 pedal set to Suitcase Rhodes (via FX send 3, return to aux input)

• Path 4: GR-55 guitar synth (vix FX return 1&2)

(Note: I have FX send 4 feeding an EXH B9 pedal patched into a HACKED guitar INPUT on the GR-55. I also have the Helix AMP control out patched into a HACKED input for remote toggling of the GR-55's CTL pedal.)

• Expression 1 = Gtr volumes

• Expression 2 (switched internal) = Wah or other special effect

• Expression 3 = LesterG variable rotary speed (pedal's Exp. IN)

• Stereo Volume 4 = path: GR55 -> iC Audio4+ -> Vol pedal -> FX ret 1&2.

 

Thus I have four different signal paths going at once, each with their own choice of Helix FX.

• The  iC Audio4+ allows me to add 2 additional audio inputs if desired, plus use direct lightening I/O connections to my iPad or iPhone. It also provides extra MIDI I/O as wells USB.

• I pulled two 4 point TRS I/O modules from a studio patch bay, velcro'd them to my pedalboard and used them to provide remote access points to Helix I/O.

• Similarly, I used extension cables to provide access to the Helix's XLR outputs and the USB port.

The Helix is VERY powerful.

 

Here's photos of my pedalboard (as well as under the hood).

 

Are you just running a 1/4 in -into your modified GR-55 jack?  Does your variax have a gk 13 pin output?  your image looks like you are still running the 13 pin.

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I would suggest that you check out the VGuitar Forum (all things Roland synth(s) with all kinds of Boss, Line 6, Digitech, etc. gear and how it may relate to Roland synths). Head over there if you are not aware of the site and if new - sign up, introduce yourself and ask some questions from GR aficionados http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php

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Are you just running a 1/4 in -into your modified GR-55 jack?  Does your variax have a gk 13 pin output?  your image looks like you are still running the 13 pin.

The Variax guitar signal feeds the Helix via VDI input. Look at my pdf diagram. From there, the Helix' FX send 1 passes through the EHX B9 organ pedal and then is routed into the modified 1/4" input to the GR-55. Therefore, I use the GR-55's "Normal Pickup' signal path to control and process that signal. That way I can add an organ layer on top of the two PCM paths in the GR-55. This setup also allows me to apply pre/post signal processing to that send within the Helix.

 

Yes, I am also using a GK-3 13 pin to drive and control the GR-55. The guitar's 1/4" output is NOT connected to the GK-3.

 

Hope that answers your questions.

 

In this way, in a single patch I could have:

• VDI 1 - Variax input - Acoustic 6 string feeding Heilix path 1  (sent via Aux send 2 to EHX K9 pedal)

• VDI 2 - Variax Mag input - single coil electric feeding Heilix path 2. (sent via Aux send 1 to EHX B9 pedal then to GR-55 guitar in)

• GR-55 - 

             PCM 1 - Rhodes piano (for example)

             PCM 2 - String section (for example)

             NORMAL GUITAR - B9 Organ pedal (through guitar amp and rotary Multi FX)

             MODEL GUITAR - acoustic guitar (in 12-string or 8va mode to layer with Variax acoustic)

  ------> GR-55 output into Helix FX return 1&2 feeding Heilix path 3 (then receiving additional Helix processing).

• EHX K9 pedal with a Electric Piano sound into Helix Aux input feeding Heilix path 4 (then receiving additional Helix processing).

 

As Iknowathingortwo points out, you can further control the GR-55 via CC#s and 'assigns.'

 

I can then use a combination of Helix Snapshots and HR-55 CTL functions to bring parts in and out.

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As Iknowathingortwo points out, you can further control the GR-55 via CC#s and 'assigns.'

 

Those are titles, my friend, indicators of how much you post in the forum, not names ;-)

Forum names are just above those titles, on the pale blue bar.

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Guest abonica

Amor4jc-2, awesome rig! Do you have any videos or sound samples of how you're using your setup? Thanks!

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