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Helix with Variax input setting - Multi? Variax? Variax Mags?


bc05
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Hi there

 

I track my JTV 89 Variax into the Helix using the VDI cable only. Which is the correct input setting to have the ability to switch between the Variax models and the natural "real" magnetic pickup sounds on the fly?

 

Sorry if a silly question!

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Just now, cruisinon2 said:

"Multi" if you want to use both.

Just to confirm, this will only track ONE of the signals, not both? IE the Variax models if engaged on the Variax OR the Mags if switched off?

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I don't think you want Multi as I think you'll get both the Variax output and the Variax Mags combining.

If you select "Variax", you'll get either models or mags depending on what mode the guitar is in. i.e. you can switch on the fly.

You also have an input called "Variax Magnetics" which are the magnetics only. You can't switch to models but you could use it to blend mags in on another path or track the mags separately.

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1 hour ago, Mturner said:

I don't think you want Multi as I think you'll get both the Variax output and the Variax Mags combining.

 

No, you won't... the "multi" input setting means any of Helix's various inputs (VDI, 1/4" guitar in, aux, etc. ) will all be recognized by the patch, but it's not controlling the Variax output. The guitar won't combine the mags and models unless you've created a custom model in Workbench that deliberately the blends them, and then saved it to one of the "custom" slots in the Variax.

 

I suggested "multi" because it's the default with a blank patch, so there's nothing to change, and he doesn't have to think about it. The "Variax" input setting will also allow either the mags or the models to be selected, but you can't use anything but a Variax with that setting. If you were to plug another guitar into the 1/4" input, you'd hear nothing, as everything but the VDI input is being ignored. 

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I understand that Multi can use any of the inputs and you are right, it's a good starting point because you'll get sound no matter where you plug in. My concern with using Multi is blending in the Helix, not in the guitar.

 

There are two Variax inputs via the VDI cable on the Helix. One is "Variax" and the other is "Variax Magnetics". Variax guitars feed two separate channels out over the VDI cable simultaneously (it is a 2 channel AES feed); one is based on the mode of the guitar (model or mag) and the other is magnetics only. If the input is set to Multi, then how does the Helix determine which VDI source it will use since both are always active?

 

I tend to specifically select the input because I'll often have a guitar plugged in to Guitar In, another in the Aux In, and a third in the VDI input. My presets choose the appropriate input so I can quickly mute the others and select only the guitar I'm using. 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Mturner said:

If the input is set to Multi, then how does the Helix determine which VDI source it will use since both are always active?

 

 

 

The "multi" input block setting does not determine the Variax output. The guitar does. You will not get blended mags and models unless you have created a custom model to do exactly that, and save it to the guitar. Period... try it for yourself if you like, but it won't happen. I've never bothered to change the input block to anything but "multi", and my Variax sees daily use. There is no blending of mags with the models.

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I'm not talking about controlling the Variax output. As I said, there are always two outputs from the Variax via VDI. It may very well be that Multi only uses the mode driven one in which case you are 100% correct.

The Helix manual says "Multi Guitar, Aux, and Variax inputs are all active simultaneously. Normally, you should choose Multi."

It's the "all active simultaneously" part that was/is my concern. 

Your way works. My way works too.

 

It is possible to blend magnetics without using custom models just like this guy did.

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Mturner said:

So you're saying I cannot create a preset that has two paths, one using "Variax" as the input and the other using "Variax Magnetics" as the input?

Like this guy did? 

 

 

 

No,  I'm not saying that at all. Obviously that configuration is possible... there it sits, in living color, lol. In fact, I have a few similar patches myself... one path for an acoustic tone, and the other with the mags for crunch. One path forces the acoustic model, and the other recognizes only the mags... however, that has nothing to do with the current discussion. We're talking apples and oranges here.

 

A simple patch, using a single path, and the input block set to "multi", you are not going to hear both mags and models simultaneously. You just won't...it doesn't happen. I don't pretend to know why... but it doesn't much matter. The behavior is what it is. If you save the patch with a model selected, then it'll recall that model the next time that patch is selected. You can still override it from the guitar, too... select another model, or switch the modeling off altogether, and you'll hear the mags..... but no matter what you do, you won't hear them both simultaneously just because the input block is set to "multi". You have to create a custom model to do that.

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20 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

A simple patch, using a single path, and the input block set to "multi", you are not going to hear both mags and models simultaneously. You just won't...it doesn't happen. I don't pretend to know why... but it doesn't much matter. The behavior is what it is. If you save the patch with a model selected, then it'll recall that model the next time that patch is selected. You can still override it from the guitar, too... select another model, or switch the modeling off altogether, and you'll hear the mags..... but no matter what you do, you won't hear them both simultaneously just because the input block is set to "multi". You have to create a custom model to do that.

 

 

^^^ THIS! THIS! THIS!

 

It's obvious from that screenshot that there are 2 paths, one plain Variax and one Variax Mags. Nowhere does that illustrate a single Multi Input would have the capability to split regular Variax and Mag pickups.

 

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16 minutes ago, datacommando said:

 

It's obvious from that screenshot that there are 2 paths, one plain Variax and one Variax Mags. Nowhere does that illustrate a single Multi Input would have the capability to split regular Variax and Mag pickups.

I think you may have missed my point. That link was meant to illustrate you can mix models and mags without doing it in the guitar.

That was in response to the comment from cruisinon2 that said "There is no blending of mags with the models." I misunderstood that what he meant was there was no unintentional blending of mags with models when using Multi as the input source. 

 

My concern with using Multi was the unintentional mixing of several sources (like having a guitar plugged into Aux and another plugged into Guitar at the same time).

Since the Variax has two outputs via VDI, I was afraid both would mix when using Multi but as crusinon2 says, Multi ignores the Variax Magnetics input.

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The Multi setting includes the Variax input, which is either a Variax model or the mags - not both. Specifically, the Multi input does NOT include the Variax mags. The only way you get the Variax mags with the Multi input is if you have the Variax guitar set manually to mags ( i.e. turn the modeling off).

 

The Variax Mags is a separate Helix Input setting. It always selects the mags as the input regardless of whether the Variax modelling on the guitar is on or off.

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17 hours ago, Mturner said:

I think you may have missed my point. That link was meant to illustrate you can mix models and mags without doing it in the guitar.

That was in response to the comment from cruisinon2 that said "There is no blending of mags with the models." I misunderstood that what he meant was there was no unintentional blending of mags with models when using Multi as the input source. 

 

My concern with using Multi was the unintentional mixing of several sources (like having a guitar plugged into Aux and another plugged into Guitar at the same time).

Since the Variax has two outputs via VDI, I was afraid both would mix when using Multi but as crusinon2 says, Multi ignores the Variax Magnetics input.

 

O.K. Maybe I misconstrued the object of that link, and like “crusinon2”, I also have several presets similar to the one shown.

What had thrown me off track was your first comment at the top of this page regarding the Multi input.

You seemed concerned that using Multi would be a bad thing to do! 

What could possibly happen?

Helix is designed to accept a variety of input sources - it’s not likely to get damaged, or that option would not even be there. 

The easiest way to check out what you were getting confused about would be to put the input on Multi and connect the VDI to a Variax with pickups.

Oh, what a surprise - it works just fine - no problem.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 7 months later...

I am not sure what the actual electronics behind the settings but when I have the input set to multi it sounds like something is wrong when I set the input to variax it sounds better so unless my observation (my ears) are wrong, I think there is a difference. I just thought of it as I am composing this response. The null test might help to see if my ears are wrong. Not at home now so have to try that in a couple days. If anyone else can do it that might help get a faster response 

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