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Preset Viewer


jonandtice
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Is there a way to visualize presets without using the HX Edit application?  Sometimes I just want to review a preset without having to connect the Helix to the computer.

 

UPDATE:

The solution to the original question is this website: https://dbagchee.github.io/helix-preset-viewer/ It does exactly what I wanted.

The other more recent development is this Customtone alternative: https://www.fluidsolo.com/patchexchange/ It has the beginnings of a preset viewer but needs some work.

 

I will try to keep this updated with new alternatives.

 

Edited by jonandtice
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Is there a way to visualize presets without using the HX Edit application?  Sometimes I just want to review a preset without having to connect the Helix to the computer.

I may be missing something here, but can you just look at the Helix screen to visualize the preset? Are you using a Helix LT?

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I may be missing something here, but can you just look at the Helix screen to visualize the preset? Are you using a Helix LT?

 

For example, if I am browsing through CustomTone, I basically have to have the Helix right there and connected in order to use HX Edit.  It would be nice if HX Edit had a "view only" mode or if CustomTone showed what the preset would look like on the Helix or in HX Edit.

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No - Customtone does not have a preset preview feature. You need to download the preset and view it in HX Edit. I don't think you need to have the Helix device connected to do this; just With your Helix device connected via usb, open HX Edit and drag/drop the downloaded preset file into any preset slot in the HX Edit window.

 

EDIT: correction to earlier statement that Helix does not have to be connected; apparently it does (according to the manual).

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Just purchase Helix Native, import the presets from your Helix, and view them offline to your heart's content. The one caveat is that Helix Native is not supporting snapshots yet although it is supposed to in the hopefully near future. This means that whatever snapshot is currently active in your saved preset is the one that will get imported into Helix Native and comprise the entire Helix Native preset. Again, Native does not have snapshots (yet).

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EDIT: correction to earlier statement that Helix does not have to be connected; apparently it does (according to the manual).

Yep, it does. HX Edit is just an "extension" or "viewer" of sorts. Not stand alone. Native is stand alone and you can preview presets with that, but it is not free. 

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I used to play a game called EVE Online.  It's a spaceship MMO and you can buy different ships and fit them with different equipment.  There are websites where people can share their ship fittings (think presets) for different ships.

 

Example: https://o.smium.org/loadout/142969

 

I don't want to download a preset and load it on the Helix just to find 80% of the time it isn't actually what I wanted.  I'm going to submit the idea on ideascale but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing an existing tool that I wasn't aware of.

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Why can't we have this feature for the Helix editor? It was possible with the HD500's editor.

 

I sold my HD500 but I can still see my custom presets in the old editor, so if I want to rebuild them I'm the Helix I can still see them as a reference of what was used.

 

I vote for the idea.

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Why can't we have this feature for the Helix editor? It was possible with the HD500's editor.

 

I sold my HD500 but I can still see my custom presets in the old editor, so if I want to rebuild them I'm the Helix I can still see them as a reference of what was used.

 

I vote for the idea.

 

There's several of these ideas on ideascale. On one of them,  https://line6.ideascale.com/a/idea-v2/813697, Digital_Igloo commented on why no offline mode:

 

Offline mode wasn't omitted as much as it's indicative of how Helix and the editor communicate with one another. Without the hardware, the editor has no idea what's going on—no information on models, paths, parameters, etc. Nearly all data is being sourced from the hardware in real time.

 

To support offline mode, we'd literally have to create a duplicate Helix engine for both Mac and PC. Not impossible, but certainly a notably larger scope than any editor-related requests we've received.

 

So I guess the answer is, as pointed out above by HonestOpinion, that there is an offline editor and it's Helix Native. I get that that's not exactly what people are wanting, but I wouldn't hold your breath for a free, standalone, offline preset viewer.

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.......Offline mode wasn't omitted as much as it's indicative of how Helix and the editor communicate with one another. Without the hardware, the editor has no idea what's going on—no information on models, paths, parameters, etc. Nearly all data is being sourced from the hardware in real time.

To support offline mode, we'd literally have to create a duplicate Helix engine for both Mac and PC. Not impossible, but certainly a notably larger scope than any editor-related requests we've received.....

..... anyway I wanted just to say that I find it hard to believe what was affirmed by Digital Igloo (as reported by duncann above here), which does not seem to make much sense in this case ..if you can use offline the editor of the HD500, I see no technical reason you can not do the same with the editor of Helix ...

Note: the first quote was provided by Duncann quoting Digital_Igloo.

 

I think DI and you agree, Hurghanico, on the technical facts. HX EDit could have been (and still could be) designed for offline mode. But I think the reason for not doing so has more to do with architecture, as DI says, than your premise of preventing sneak peeks into preset structure. You know, as an HD500X user, that the editor and the device can easily get out of sync, with undesirable results. As I understand it that's because HD500X Edit maintains its own view/workspace of preset details, as described by DI. But with Helix the situation has improved. There is no possibility for Helix and HX Edit to get out of sync because there is no 2nd copy of the details. All preset details are maintained only in Helix and HX Edit directly manipulates that data. Hence no architectural possibility (without a rewrite) of standalone operation.

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Note: the first quote was provided by Duncann quoting Digital_Igloo.

 

I think DI and you agree, Hurghanico, on the technical facts. HX EDit could have been (and still could be) designed for offline mode. But I think the reason for not doing so has more to do with architecture, as DI says, than your premise of preventing sneak peeks into preset structure. You know, as an HD500X user, that the editor and the device can easily get out of sync, with undesirable results. As I understand it that's because HD500X Edit maintains its own view/workspace of preset details, as described by DI. But with Helix the situation has improved. There is no possibility for Helix and HX Edit to get out of sync because there is no 2nd copy of the details. All preset details are maintained only in Helix and HX Edit directly manipulates that data. Hence no architectural possibility (without a rewrite) of standalone operation.

 

But it would still make sense to have a READ-ONLY offline mode for HX Edit.

 

What I am suggesting though is that the Customtone website have a viewer built into it and displayed for each preset.  It really shouldn't be too hard, looking at the hlx files.

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L6 could release a free unlicensed (edit and playback disabled) native version available that can only be used to view tones and patches.

They could go 1 step further and make a low-cost version that just supports tone modelling w/o edit (like a sample player does not support sample generation and change).

There are lots of options now that they have the basic pieces.

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But it would still make sense to have a READ-ONLY offline mode for HX Edit.

 

That would still require an architectural rewrite. Not likely, HX Edit currently cannot read anything without Helix connected.

 

Besides, as has already been pointed out, Helix Native provides an offline (though not standalone) full Helix editor. Yes I know it must be purchased, even at discount rates for Helix owners, but it exists. As MartinDorr suggests there are other more direct paths to the desired outcome than rewriting HX Edit for offline operation.

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L6 could release a free unlicensed (edit and playback disabled) native version available that can only be used to view tones and patches.

They could go 1 step further and make a low-cost version that just supports tone modelling w/o edit (like a sample player does not support sample generation and change).

There are lots of options now that they have the basic pieces.

 

There are some things Native wouldn't show, like Variax settings.

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So, basically, when the time comes to part with the Helix, current users won't be able to have a reference from the possible thousands of presets and IR combinations previously created? Unless that is, ones buys the Native version. Start to wonder if tha latter isn't the real reason for the lack of the missing feature.

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It does seem that a "Viewer" would be able to just read the .hlx file and display the blocks.  The info and parameters are all there, just no engine or ability to save etc..  

 

Why you might ask...    Just an example.. you remember using a preset that has a certain delay you really liked.   The viewer would allow you to view that preset and see the parameters.  Another example would be you hear a great preset...  you just wanna see what amp it uses...   or maybe what IR it uses to see if you already have that IR...  

I can really see a lot of uses of a preset viewer.   Native is my viewer now..  

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  • 11 months later...

Im wanting to rebuild some rack/lt presets for my hx stomp but as i dont own a rack/lt model hx edit wont even let me view them. that was one cool thing about axe edit was the ability to open and view the presets and settings without actually having to have an axe fx II rebuilt some presets that way for my ultra. I dont really wanna buy helix native just so i can see some settings. would be nice if hx edit would let me open those presets being that they are identical just limited dsp, It is what it is though haha

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Dipendra Bagchee is working on software to do exactly what you want.  His desire to accomplish this stems from wanting to document and recreate some helix tones onto the HX Stomp.

 

Currently his amazing program works on single tones, and the project is a work-in-progress.  I had asked him and he's looking into setlist backup files as a possible enhancement.

 

Check out his website:  https://dbagchee.github.io/helix-preset-viewer/

 

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Sorry I am going to call BS on the whole can’t thing. Why did line6 put out the Hx stomp, because people wanted something smaller less expensive. I was one of them, I loved my Helix it just became too big and too much for my needs. Most of my patches were 6 blocks or less and I needed something smaller. So I sold it and went to atomic hoping maybe someday a smaller version would come out. Now we have a smaller unit and line6 did not think people would buy it wanting to import old patches, stupid. That’s what people like myself  immediately thought of doing. I figured we are being told it’s basically the same unit but only one processor so only one signal path. Now we find out we can’t import old patches even if they are 6 blocks or less, so my question is why can’t we. There has to be some way and I hope line6 finds it.

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  • 6 months later...
On 11/11/2018 at 6:41 AM, talonmm said:

Dipendra Bagchee is working on software to do exactly what you want.  His desire to accomplish this stems from wanting to document and recreate some helix tones onto the HX Stomp.

 

Currently his amazing program works on single tones, and the project is a work-in-progress.  I had asked him and he's looking into setlist backup files as a possible enhancement.

 

Check out his website:  https://dbagchee.github.io/helix-preset-viewer/

 

There is a new preset sharing website out there https://www.fluidsolo.com/patchexchange/

See https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/attention-helix-hx-stomp-owners-a-new-place-to-share-patches-is-here.2030409/

If it has very basic preset viewing functionality but if the two projects could merge...

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There's no trick to examining the contents of any preset stored on your disk drive.  Just google "JSON viewer" and you'll find plenty of them for free or at a minimal cost.  It won't be pretty or slick, but it will let you see what's in it.

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On 5/16/2019 at 4:52 AM, DunedinDragon said:

There's no trick to examining the contents of any preset stored on your disk drive.  Just google "JSON viewer" and you'll find plenty of them for free or at a minimal cost.  It won't be pretty or slick, but it will let you see what's in it.

Yes, I use Notepad++ for that purpose.  Not really a good way to browse through a bunch of presets.

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  • 4 weeks later...

There's absolutely no reason why the Helix Editor can't work standalone. 

When plugged to the helix it reads content from the Helix. 

When not it can read and write content from files. These are just Json files.

 

The "only for Helix owners, you need a helix". Makes no sense. What would you do with presets and no helix?.what use would it be?. It's no a "propiatery" or "top secret" thing either. You can read the content of the Json files with a notepad. And pretty understandable too. 

An online editor wouldn't be that hard technically. The only thing is getting all the possible configurations documented and accounted for. That's a huuuge task. 

As for possible problems... So you open the editor, it sees no Helix. It warns you. Let's you work in read & write Json files mode. If you're going to quit without having saved patches (just like export) it warns you. 

Line 6, come on... 

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On 12/6/2017 at 12:49 AM, duncann said:

Without the hardware, the editor has no idea what's going on—no information on models, paths, parameters, etc. Nearly all data is being sourced from the hardware in real time.

This is not true. The information is in the preset files that are just json files. I bet my Helix that the Helix unit actually stores patches in the same format. 

I own a Voicelive 3. Some guy, frustrated by the editor, made his own version and sells it. It's much better than the original. 

Now here's an idea... Why not open source?. If Line6 provided the block options, mappings... It wouldn't be hard to customize your editor. That would be groundbreaking, modern and very forward thinking. They sell Helix, not editors. They wouldn't need to provide any fancy info, just all the parameters and options  available, how the json is read, etc... Again it's just fancy editing a text file. 

 

Straight away I'd do:

- copy path from preset (simple foreach loop copying blocks on a path) 

- favourite setting per block (change default). 

All these could be "plugins". Atom editor, Microsoft Code... These are good examples of javascript based apps that allow for custom plugins and all sorts of enhancements. 

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2 hours ago, tahiche said:

 

An online editor wouldn't be that hard technically. The only thing is getting all the possible configurations documented and accounted for. That's a huuuge task. 

 

And therein lies the problem.  HXEdit doesn't need to know anything about all the possible configurations, nor does it need to keep track of DSP usage for adding blocks or managing splits and merges, and so forth and so on.  That's because it's written in a function/response format (similar to HTML) and relies entirely upon the Helix unit for the enforcement of logic.  If that logic changes, HXEdit isn't affected because it doesn't know or keep track of anything.  It simply reflects the results of the action to the user.  The only real logic HXEdit is responsible for are interactions with storage such as exports or backups, etc.

Of course it's possible to do what you're talking about, but that means the logic rules in the Helix unit have to be duplicated within HXEdit, which is a time bomb waiting to happen should they get out of sync, and architecturally speaking a very bad design.  Fortunately HXEdit does have the ability to identify when the logic of a preset doesn't match up with the rules of the Helix.  It's called a "bad preset" error...and those are lots of fun to try and track down and correct.  Ask anyone whose had one.

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