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Expression pedal reaction question, possible stupid question...?!?


themetallikid
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I already opened a ticket with the L6 powers that be...as I just can handle the inconsistency I get from the expression pedal travel...which I've created threads about....I wont reiterate those details again....but it got me thinking while I was making dinner...

 

This is possibly a dumb question, so I'm asking those that know/understand more than I do about this....dont banish me to the bowels of the forum for asking, lol....

 

 

when you hook an external expression pedal up to the Helix, is there any sort of power that is needed for the Helix to read the pedal correctly?  I know that sounds like a dumb question on its own, but hear me out...

 

I only seem to have the problems with the on board/external pedal not reading the full 100% outside of my home...basically gigs and my drummers basement (where I get a decent buzz that I dont get at home).  I'm wondering if there is a hierarchy of how the power is distributed internally with obviously the processors getting the most priority...but maybe expression pedal response on the lower end of the priority....(again, I get how rediculous this line of thinking may be)

...the trickle down effect would be that when I bring my Helix elsewhere where power may be questionable...it doesnt read the on board/external pedals with 0-100%...

 

feel free to comment on whether this is plausable or not....or just my crazy line of thinking...its all fair game.  Thanks as always.

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Thanks for the awareness of the possibility of things... :)

I would guess only the Line 6 engineers could really answer your question, as it sounds like you're asking about the specifics of how Helix reads, interprets, and calibrates an external variable resistance. If you could find the answer to that, you might be able to figure out why your pedal isn't always the same. Maybe it's just a crappy potentiometer in your pedal, or external environmental conditions affect things. If it's not big range, I wouldn't worry about it.

 

 

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well, the issues, are unpredictable....they work all the time at home (mostly, I've rarely had the issue at home).  But when I program a wah to turn on at 97%, and when I get to the gig and have 30 presets with wahs, and now its reading 95% max....that means I have to go edit the bypass trigger point of the auto engage on 30 presets... if it was just consistently going to 95% I'd just adapt and set my auto engage to match that....but its 97%, then the next time its 95% or 98%.

 

One time while playing Crazy Train, my other guitar player and I were looking at each other like WTF is going on....something was out of tune....after both checked our tuning and we couldnt figure out what was out of tune....I stopped the song....we checked again, and pinpointed it was my guitar....I checked my preset and I had a pitch block set to whammy....again, auto engage at 97% (thats what was working great all week) that was now reading 91% with the toe all the way down.  So my guitar was being pitch shifted to whatever 91% of standard tuning was.  Sounded great, lol. Delete the block, everything was fine, but I had no whammy effect.

 

I would consider the pedal the problem, but it does the same with the 2nd pedal of hte same model....tried different cables....even used the onboard pedal and got the same issue. worked great for the week at home, took it to the gig and that was when the whammy issue above happened.  Which makes me think its something internal...

 

Only thing that would contradict my thought is that the onboard is an optical pedal, which I could possibly handle power or reading the pedal travel differently than the regular expression pedal...again, above my head of knowledge. 

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I have had an issue with external pedals when plugging into my rack controller. The percentages vary and can cause an issue with the controller sometimes sticking and not changing presets. When I plugged the pedals directly into the rack, everything works fine which led me to question if there was a power issue aswell, with not enough power getting through the rack controller ethernet cable to recognise the external pedals? I'm not too sure if it would affect them but have been thinking of getting a power adaptor for the controller to see if the extra power helps. I usually use two external pedals, when i once tried three the controller froze and wouldn't do anything. 

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Hmm, that sounds kinda similar....maybe we are on to something.  I havent gotten a response yet...but I'll mention my thoughts here to them and see what they say.  

 

To be clear on the power I'm plugging into...

 

1) my house - is over 100 years old...I do not know when the power was last run, but I'm in our laundry room, and have no power issues with anything else plugged in.  TV, laptop, xbox. No lights dimming when things like the washer/dryer kick in or anything...

2) my drummer (practice space) is a master electrician....which makes me chuckle a bit that I get a bit more buzz at his place, no matter what outlet I plug into, lol...but he has used that room for various bands over a long period of time and no one has had power issues.....although.....now that I think about it....my other guitar player does have a rack power unit that reserves power and will go into a battery mode if the power does dip a bit where it isnt seeing what it would like to see.....it does beep a few times during practice which may mean that there is a lack of power being supplied to the outlet he is using as well.  He also runs direct with a rack preamp, so no real 'power hogs' like we were using full amp heads....

3) the gig where the whammy/pitch issue happened is a venue that only opens Friday/Saturday for live music...they open at 7, both nights. and host bands pretty much every night they are open...I have not heard of others having power issues, and they usually provide a backline to any regional/national type acts that perform there...but maybe the Helix is just more sensitive to that and again, internal wiring may add to that if my thought process is correct.  

 

 

I know ME makes a special L6 pedal....I'm curious to know what makes that pot different than the regular one...I dont know if I'd be able to get the specs to see if that has a different power draw or something like that.  

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I’m not sure what goes into the onboard pedals photoreceptor, but there sure isn’t much juice required to evaluate the resistance across the pot in your external pedals. And there is nothing special about the pots in a Line 6 specific pedal other than that it is 0-10k ohms. I built my own expression pedals with run-of-the-mill pots from Dunlop and they perform without any issue. If you have a multimeter it might be an interesting excercise to see what kind of resistance it’s reading at heel-down and toe-down when it’s working and when it’s not. You should be able to do this by measuring from tip to sleeve on your pedal’s cable. Appropriate readings should be 0 ohms at heel-down and 10k ohms at toe-down. It the resistance of the pot is consistant but the position interpreted by Helix differs that would indicate pretty strongly that Helix is the problem. The fact that the onboard pedal suffers the same affliction already indicates that pretty heavily in my opinion... I’ll be interested to hear what Line 6 has to say! I use two external expression pedals and the onboard routinely and can’t say I’ve ever encountered this behaviour...

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I"ve had issues where if I did not move the expression pedal on boot up, I could NOT store the preset after Helix comes up (in edit mode). But once I move the pedal, all is well and it "never" does this again until I turn "OFF" Helix and then turn it back on. If that was a bad pot, it would read bad more times than not. No, this is and has been how Helix reads the pedals setting when it 1st boots up.

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I get what both of you are saying, and I'll see if my drummer can bring a multimeter saturday and see if we can determine that...

 

 

On another side note....maybe this should be lumped into symptoms of the same issues I'm fighting or not....but when I save the presets, I always save the presets with any block that is autoengaged in the 'off' position.  This comes from my experience with Boss/Fractal where if it was saved with the effect 'on', it would always be on when you call up that preset.  

 

With the Helix, I've got 3 banks of 8 presets (dance,80's, hard rock banks - 4 presets, 4 lead versions of those) all have a wah/gain block auto engaged, but the preset is saved in the off position.  At this last practice, I went through half a dozen songs in the Dance/80's banks all is fine, when I turned on the Hard Rock-Rhythm preset, it had the wah engaged and that is where I noticed that it was set to 95%.  

 

This makes me question 2 things...there is a setting that I'm never really sure how I should have it set...I get the meaning of the parameter, but not sure what the effect is if I change it...i know that sounds stupid as well...Global Settings>EXP Pedals >EXP1/EXP 2 Pedal position> Global/Per Preset/Per Snapshot.  I have both set to Global...

 

Could that be causing an issue when it boots up, if I dont use the pedal right away and change presets without 'moving' the pedal?  Maybe its not calibrating right away for some reason?  Would this be better set to per preset being the presets are always saved 'off'?

 

side note #2 - just fired it up at home since it freaked out a practice again so I could check that setting I just mentioned...and checked what the External/Onboard pedals were reading and they are both reading 0-100% again at home.  

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Also, there is a global setting in the 'Preferences' tab that gives the option of EXP 2/EXT Amp and it can change from EXP 2 or EXT Amp Out....its set to EXP 2, which I'm assuming would be correct...not sure why it would need to be different...but not sure what this controls.  

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I do not have one, but...I may plug into my other guitar players to see if I do not have the issue at the show. 

 

I got an initial response on my ticket to "Loosen the allen screw"....I fail to see how this would result in it reading the toe down position correctly...but advised I would try it.  I do have the on board one set a little stiffer, but my Mission pedal feels like a typical Crybaby resistance...not too stiff or loose.  It feels to me like its just tight enough to not fall into the toe down positon from its own weight.  

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I have the Floor model, and I did loosen the allen bolt a little within the first few days of getting the Helix. It was very stiff and if I remember correctly, the toe up position sometimes did not get to 100%. 

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I included my thoughts above on the situation, and the response back was again to loosen the allen screw.

 

I fail to see how loosening the screw on the L6 Onboard pedal will resolve the issues with my Mission Engineering pedal...but whatever I guess. 

 

Also, they are saying that sometimes the chassis can become bent due to use.  I've never used the onboard pedal except for the time that I mentioned above, so I doubt its bent, unless I got some sort of resealed used unit. But I doubt Sweetwater would've done that to me.  So I guess my options are to try and 'trust' this again, by loosening the screw....then send it in, and hope that I get something back before my 5/5 gig or I'd have to use my Boss GT. 

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49 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

 

I fail to see how loosening the screw on the L6 Onboard pedal will resolve the issues with my Mission Engineering pedal...but whatever I guess. 

 

 

I missed that part in your posts where it is the external pedal you are having issues with. If you have an issue with the Mission pedal, then you may want to reach out to them, not Line 6. 

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1 hour ago, jbuhajla said:

I missed that part in your posts where it is the external pedal you are having issues with. If you have an issue with the Mission pedal, then you may want to reach out to them, not Line 6. 

 

The issue when present though is involving both the External Mission Pedal (both pedals I have tested when this happens so its not related to just one of them malfunctioning) and also the on board one. 

 

Its something internal with how its reading the information being received from the pedals.  Which is what made me think power related as its both pedals and doesnt happen while I'm at home, only when I'm at practice or at a gig...

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