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Line 6 - Please Fix the Legacy Workbench Problem

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I see threads from both Windows and Mac users of older Variax guitars who need to use the legacy (non HD) Workbench for editing. Workbench doesn't just "work" anymore — you have to jump through some hoops to get things to work. I managed to get it working on my Mac, but I had to do some studying on various forums first.

 

Line 6 - could you please either 1) fix Workbench so it works on today's computers and keep it updated, or 2) revise Workbench HD so a subset works with legacy Variax, or (at a minimum) publish a step-by-step installation guide as a workaround.

 

Case in point: on just the first page of forum threads, there are seven posts from people struggling with getting things to work:

  • Variax 700 not compatible with Workbench HD?
  • Variax 300 - MacOS High Sierra - Options
  • Workbench 1.75 will not istall on my iMac running OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
  • Unable to install workbench on mac
  • Variax 500 and Workbench on Windows 10
  • Variax 500 not found by Line 6 Monkey
  • Problems downloading Workbench HD to Mac OS 10.13.4

 

*********UPDATE**********

Months later and the forum continues to populate with folks having non-HD Workbench problems. In my opinion, Line 6 customers shouldn't have to resort to keeping an old computer or performing Java workarounds just to use their trusty old Variax guitars with Workbench.

 

There are a few things we can do to pressure Line 6 to update Workbench so it works with recent computers and operating systems:

 

1) open a support ticket here https://line6.com/support/tickets/add.html and the more the merrier. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

2) be vocal on these and other forums

3) vote for support in Line 6 Ideascale right here. You'll need to register for Ideascale if you haven't already. (In my opinion, the lack of legacy Variax support shouldn't require an "idea" for submission. But sometimes you gotta approach a problem from all angles.)

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Line 6 - I would like to second Soundog's motion for a solution to this problem. Unlike other tech where obsolescence is an accepted norm, guitar players expect their guitars to be playable forever. It would send a strong message to future customers of current product to know that you will always take care of your legacy players. Knowing that you might not support your product 10 years from now might make people rethink buying a new JTV or Shuriken. 

 

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Yeah, continued computer support in some form would be welcome.  I know guys who've dumped Variax altogether because they can no longer edit their guitar.  Why buy into JTV if in 10 years, Line6 kicks it to the computer curb?  

 

My 500's are still very useful value but only if I can edit them via Workbench.  Sucks to maintain an older computer or jump through all the hoops to work with newer OS X.  

 

 

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Yes same here , have been waiting for the Variax Work bench to work on Mac OSX for ages , it must be a simple fix?

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I can't speak for MAC's, but on the PC the program works just fine - it's getting it installed properly that is the problem. 

 

L6 just has to change the JAVA pointer in the installer, and allow the old version of Workbench to show as an option with a Windows 10 search. There is NOTHING difficult about either of those and I agree, they should provide the solutions.

 

Here are the steps I use to install Workbench on Windows 10 in case anyone needs it.

 

1: Go to JAVA.COM and download/install the latest stable version of 32 bit JAVA

2: When downloading Workbench from the L6 site, the older Workbench will not show as an option for a Windows 10 search, you need to set that to Windows 7/8. No worries, the version that shows is still the one you need for Windows 10.

3: When installing Workbench.... uncheck the box to install JAVA (you already have it step 1). 

 

 

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On 10/27/2018 at 4:10 PM, sledgehammer said:

Is a problem with java, the updates doesn´t support line 6 programs, uninstall java and install this older version wich isn´t at the offical java website

jre-8u151-windows-i586-iftw.exe

 

MAC or PC? 

I run the latest versions of JAVA on my PC and it is fine! You just have to install it manually. 

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All very good info here but — at the risk of sounding like a broken vinyl album — Line 6 should either fix legacy Workbench so it just works, or provide updated support notes to show users what they need (Java, OS versions, or whatever) to get it working.

 

Yeah, its working for me (though it wasn't obvious, took a lot of online digging and some trial and error) but I have no idea if it will still work after a next OS or Java security update.

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I eventually gave up and got an old PC laptop running an old version of Windows, and everything works fine now.

 

HOWEVER, as much as I love my old Variax Acoustic 700, I won't even think about getting anything newer simply because there isn't the Legacy support that there should be. I would love to get a JTV-59, but I don't want to run into these same compatibility issues 10 years from now.

 

We expect obsolescence with computers, but guitars are something we want to treasure and pass down. With the Variax being both, I recognize the problem Line 6 has, but likewise, they have to acknowledge the problem we have with that as consumers. There might not be any money in fixing the software now, but if it impacts future product decisions, isn't it worth it?

 

 

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On 11/28/2018 at 1:04 PM, Bob2point0 said:

I won't even think about getting anything newer simply because there isn't the Legacy support that there should be.

 

I won't say "never"... but it does make me think twice about upgrading to a new Variax.

If they aren't supporting the old ones, the writing is on the wall in regards to what the support will be for the newer ones. 

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Exactly. Am I investing in a guitar I can use for many many years, or a computer that is obsolete in ten?

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Help Guys/Gals,

I have tried a number of items mentioned in this thread but I still get an error when trying to install the workbench software..the error is "The server has not found anything matching the requested URI" when trying to install the Java runtime environment as requested as part of the install.  I have installed the latest version of Java, I have installed an older version of Java as mentioned in the thread, still no joy, same error. Tried installing on my windows 8 desktop and notebook, same problem. Also bypassed the request to install the Java runtime in the workbench install sequence, it finishes and says setup completed successfully but it  did not install.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Dave

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Hopefully a Windows user will chime in here .... sorry I can't help.

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For both Windows and macOS, legacy Variax Workbench wants 32-bit Java 6.

Here is a procedure for getting 32-bit Java installed on Windows 8 - 10:

MarcusNielsen's post

 

Unlike Microsoft, Apple has completely dropped 32-bit support.

macOS High Sierra broke 32-bit Java 6 for non-HD Workbench;  a macOS 10.12 installation can be made to work

https://line6.com/support/topic/43267-macos-sierra-for-java-6-and-variax-workbench/

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I highly recommend that everyone with a legacy Variax save a backup installer of...

  1. 32 bit Java... I always use the latest version, but some people have better luck with older versions. 
  2. The latest version of Workbench

You never know when JAVA will no longer offer a 32 bit version and/or will remove all archives from their site. Same applies to Line 6 and workbench. 

 

On 3/27/2019 at 11:53 PM, dcmatley said:

"The server has not found anything matching the requested URI" when trying to install the Java runtime environment as requested as part of the install.  

 

As long as you have successfully installed Java ahead of time simply ignoring the process should work. It barks and complains, but it should still work :) I agree with the above... you may be auto installing the 64 bit version of Java in error... you need the 32 bit version.

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I have Windows 10 at my workstation, Workbench HD works fine. Make sure you are not using a USB hub,

it just confuses things in the data stream.

 

Variax 700 not compatible with Workbench HD?--- Different older data blocks than HD blocks, so there's  no portability.

Like transferring 16mm film print to 70mm,... it doesn't work well. Going to a higher resolution or HD, from a lower resolution,

leaves a certain graininess in the audio, that interpolation techniques will not totally solve.

 

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6 hours ago, psarkissian said:

I have Windows 10 at my workstation, Workbench HD works fine.

 

Speaking of confusing things in the data stream.... this is the forum for LEGACY Variax Guitars (Original, 300, 600, 700) and none of those work with Workbench HD... so why are you telling us that Workbench HD works fine with Windows 10?   (I get the latter part of your post, it's just this part I quoted that I don't understand the relevance)

 

We are all hear trying to keep our legacy products alive, including the original workbench. 

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11 hours ago, psarkissian said:

Different older data blocks than HD blocks, so there's  no portability.

 

OK, @psarkissian, so if the #2 solution to my original post won't work, what about #1? Please fix Workbench so it works on today's computers and keep it updated.

 

I'm not sure you realize how many Variax Origianls, 300s, 600s, and 700s are still being used out here! 

 

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I still have a 300 electric myself, and still do some servicing on the older series,... I know what you mean.

Active electronic guitars has become a whole different world than passive electronic guitars.

 

Old Workbench with today's computer OS',... an Idea Scale posting.

 

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Instead of searching for that perfect pickup wind, effects pedal and/or Telefunken preamp tube - now we’re dealing with ancient software to satisfy our tone  needs/desires.  Haha...

 

More things change the more they stay the same...

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4 hours ago, psarkissian said:

Old Workbench with today's computer OS',... an Idea Scale posting.

 

That should bury it with the Helix meters :) 

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19 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

That should bury it with the Helix meters :) 

 

Agreed. The problem isn't a cool new IDEA for submission, its LACK OF SUPPORT.

 

FYI, there is a four-year old Ideascale for legacy Workbench/Variax fixes, and its here: https://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Support-for-Workbench-under-Mac-OS-Yosemite-and-beyond/707300-23508#idea-tab-comments

 

May as well vote on it, folks. But I think an avalanche of support tickets, and pitchforks and torches on the forum are more direct avenues of change.

 

 

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Bugger - I just bought a Variax 600 second hand - but spent all evening trying to install it on Win 10 without any success. I can't even get it connect to the USB interface :-(
I don't have any old legacy machines to try it with.

Have I been ripped off?

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On 9/10/2019 at 9:30 PM, paulfrindle said:

Bugger - I just bought a Variax 600 second hand - but spent all evening trying to install it on Win 10 without any success. I can't even get it connect to the USB interface :-(
I don't have any old legacy machines to try it with.

Have I been ripped off?

 

Here is a copy of an earlier post in this thread about getting a Legacy Variax (such as the 600) and the legacy Workbench (not HD) working on Windows 10. 

A few months ago I got a brand new Windows 10 machine and needed to get workbench working again... all I did was follow these steps and it worked. 

------------------------------

  1. Go to JAVA.COM and download/install the latest stable version of 32 bit JAVA
  2. When downloading Workbench from the L6 site, the older Workbench will not show as an option when you choose "Windows 10" as the OS, you need to set the OS Version to Windows 7/8. No worries, the version of workbench this search will display is the one you need for Windows 10. Install it!   (Remember, you DO NOT WANT WORKBENCH HD! 
  3. When installing Workbench.... uncheck the box what would install JAVA (you already have it step 1). 
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