Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
zolko60

Helix Native and Reaper - working floorboard live rig!

Recommended Posts

Here is description how to make working live Helix Native 1.5 rig using laptop. I hope it will help someone. Operating system is Windows 10, Reaper 5 (64) is hosting Helix. Midi floorboard is Vox Tonelab LE. Four bottom switches of ToneLab are switchable to send either Program Changes or Control Changes. There is one Expression Pedal. MIDI OUT from Tonelab is conected to MIDI IN in NI Komplete Audio 6 interface on 64 samples buffer, 48kHz, 10ms Round Trip Latency. Laptop is equipped with two core i5-2430M CPU, 16GB RAM. Heavy presets using all HxN power are giving about 15% of CPU load monitored by Windows Task Manager. Tonelab controls HxN automation Knobs, Switches and Snaphot Indexes by assigning Track FX/FX/Param//FX Parameter List/Learn. This is described in this video:

Preset Change's can not be assigned to ToneLab Program Changes using that method, but there are also Reaper "FX Presets" you can store and load. There is "+" menu and "Link to MIDI Program Change"/Channel 1. To switch presets on HxN audio track you have to create another MIDI track. It is described in this video:
Incoming MIDI events for that MIDI track 2 must be routed to Track 1. Notice that Preset Changes are causing audio gap. This is why to archive gapless "pseudo amp channel swiching" with adjacent stompboxes and even cabs during playing, HxN snapshots just work better. One floorboard toogle switch sending off/on (0/127) Control Change value can switch between 1st and 8th HxN snapshot. Maybe Reaper "Actions" and "SWS Extensions" can be also helpful but I have no experience using them. I connected only MIDI out of my floorboard so switching it's toggle switches (and their diodes) state backwards is not possible. If you do your setup and save - it is "set and forget". Reaper (unlike eg Pro Tools) stores track arming and starts with last file loaded. Having it working from switching laptop on takes less than one minute.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are welcome!
I was trying to get rid of that second track for midi program changes routing but it seems one track can not record (handle) midi and audio input at once.

Another thing that matters: If you look at HxN window upper right corner between "Param" and "UI" buttons there is 2in 2out button. Disabling 2 to "Stereo in R" ensures what comes into plugin is what comes from A/D converter and not doubled (6dB up) even when HxN track is "Forced mono" to Input 1.

Vox Tonelab LE used an MIDI floorboard is very basic midi controller. There are no presets. Switches can send only 0/127 Control Change value. To make Expression Pedal swith on and off (like wah pedal) I have to double that switch with "regular" one.  Some serious MIDI switcher could have much more options like transmitting CC of programmed value what would be useful for HxN snapshot switches.

Another useful complement would be backward switching of florboard switches state cause after changing snapshot there is a bloody mess :D I do not know it it possible at all. Plugins should be transmiting automation data to host to translate it back to midi, don't they? But what if HxN transmits only one snapshot index?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem. Just like any other automation item. Assign whatever you want in HxN to "Knob 1" and make your host "Learn" to assign your pedal to that knob. "Pedal" is a tool to turn a "Knob" which moves HxN "Slider"  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still in shock how nice it works!
Looking for workarounds of some drawbacks I have mainly due to my floorboard limits I have found these plugins: http://thepiz.org/pizmidi/
I have not tried them yet but they promise to translate various midi (or audio) actions to different ones. If you can imagine for example changing any HxN wah to autowah using Audio2CC 

Free, vst host and OS independent (most of them) http://thepiz.org/plugins/?p=pizmidi

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tap Tempo in Reaper with midi CC switch:
- Open "Actions" menu
- In "Filter" field type "Tap" and choose "Transport: Tap tempo"
- Presss "Add"
- Tap your MIDI Switch, click OK
- Press "Run/close"
- In HxN upper right corner change bar icon (Per Preset) to watch icon (Host Sync)
- In delays you want to tap, change "Time" to "Note Sync by pressing watch icon
- Use dotted 1/8 to mimic The Edge ;)

DONE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a litlle drawback in using Reaper "FX Presets". They are in fact "snaphots" of the plugin and instead of loading HxN patch they load saved plugin state.
It means if you make any changes within a patch and save them in HxN, you have to save Reaper FX Preset one more time.
Take care!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can send variable CC signals then you can get snapshots to work easily.

EG: sending a CC Val of 0 sets the snapshot index to 1, sending a CC Val of 15 sets the snapshot index to 2 etc... 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure but only variable CC device I have in TLLE is one pedal which I need for other functions. No problem - two snaphots by toggle switch are good enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi guys,

This thread has been extremely helpful.

 

I have just recently forayed into playing guitar live using Reaper and Native on a laptop running Windows 10.

 

I'm happily using Native with a line6 FBV shortboard running in Reaper. as VST host. The button assignment can be done using MIDI learn followed by the "Automation/Controller Assign" tab.

I am able to :

1. change presets by using Reaper's preset list - unfortunately the Native presets need to be saved into Reaper's User preset (.rpl) and the sound cuts out on preset changes though.

2. control snapshots - I have currently setup the FBV for only 6 snapshots because of limited number buttons on the board. Each button has the same MIDI CC with different value range assigned to it. (as mentioned by Cruzfolmli)

3. assign buttons to turn blocks on/off.
4. assign button to tap tempo in Reaper - Native  syncs to it.

5. select/arm/unarm tracks in Reaper.

 

The functionality is limited by the number of buttons available.

Currently I only use either the snapshot mode or the stompbox FBV setup.

Floorboards with dual expression pedals (older Line6 model or the Behringer) would give more functionality  especially for controlling some effects parameters like rate/depth/mix which are knob assignable.

 

Hope this info is helpful.

 

Does anyone know  if Mainstage has a Windows version.. that may help me cut down on a few buttons' usage.  8-)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want completely gapless, for the REAPER Live Pedalboard project we've been working on a bunch of plugins and scripts which (hopefully) can now all be found on the ReaPack system.

 

Daniel Perry made a fader crossfade script and Michael Schnell made MIDI Fade X JS plugin which can crossfade between channels in different ways. If they dont show up in ReaPack, they're on the project page http://pipelineaudio.net/2018/04/12/the-reaper-live-pedalboard-project/

 

LOTS more info at https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=202979

 

and https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=202857&highlight=fade

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, can you help in changing snapshots in Helix Native?
I set my HxFX to send the cc messages, Reaper can receive it properly as I can see, but nothing happens in Helix Native.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, but what exactly does not work when you try to set it up following my first post?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hello

 

I can't change snapshots.Via Reaper, when using the Snapshot index I can mannually change the snapshots, moving the knob in the track...

But when trying to use Hx Effects to be my midi foot controller, It doesn't seem to be "communicating" with Repaer properly...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi l_sap120394,

The footswitches and knobs on your MIDI controller must be programmable to asign MID CC# and value for each footswitch.

If HxFx board doesn't allow you to reprogram the CC# assignments for the knobs and switches then you wont be able to change snapshots with it.

i use reaper+line6 FBV shortboard and can change snapshots.

i just posted a reply to rsvette12 regarding how to program his Rig Control floorboard.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really.  In my method MIDI CC# are maped to Helix plugin automation by Reaper. Reaper learns what you teach him. It was 1.5 version of HxN with no midi support. It is however good to know if and what CC data are transmitted from floorboard. For this purpose I use small, old Midiox utility. There should be some alternative for Mac users as well.
HxN v1.6 and up brings more (redundant to my method) possibilities by adding MIDI control directly to the plugin.
In my case changing snapshots with built-in midi does not work cause my floorboard switches can not transmit CC values other than 0 or 127.
I thought that maybe built-in MIDI could be transmitted out of the plugin for changing fb switches state (reverse action and ilumination) after changing snapshot or preset but manual states that all "Command Center" functionality is disabled :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi l_sap120394,

After reading "Command Center" in page35 of the HxFx manual, it looks like it has some degree of programmability:

"Each of its Stomp mode footswitches ... can be used to send a variety of MIDI or External Amp commands to your guitar amps, vintage pedals, synths, or even other modelers."

 

See if you can assign a fixed MIDI CC number & value to the stomp footswitches you want to use for snapshot changing in Native and then assign the appropriate values for each footswitch.

e.g assign footswitch1 to MIDI CC# 71  and value =1; footswitch3 to MIDI CC#71 also & value=31. 

If need be, set min and max value of the stomp footswitch to be the same.

Each snapshot is represented by a value interval of 15

 

If it works, footswitch1 will select snapshot1 and footswitch2 will select snapshot3.

i suggested using MIDI CC#71 because the manual says that those are not being used/received by HxFx.

Then MIDI learn  "snapshot index" in reaper - which you probably did.

 

I don't own a HxFx but you might want to give it a shot to see if it works.. good luck!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The HXFX sends CCs just fine .... use the Command Center to set what each button sends, and make sure you have your Global Settings for MIDI set correctly. It doesn't matter which CCs you send from a given button, because you end up mapping them in your DAW.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×