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velaramon

Helix for Visually Impaired User?

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I’m thinking of getting a Helix. However, I have limited vision and have had a really hard time with product screens in the past (like the screen on a TC Helicon Play Acoustic).  The Helix screen looks like it uses light text on a dark background, which is best for me.  So I may be able to read some stuff.  But there also seem to be small letters, small icons, or different color schemes that may prevent me from seeing other stuff.

 

I'm also wondering whether the foot switches may be too close together for me to use most of them effectively.


So, I have five questions:

1. How much setting up can you do via an iMac?  I assume tweaking tones is possible.  But what about stuff like setting up MIDI for use with an iPad?

 

2. If one can set things up on an iMac, is Helix then useable w/o much screen interaction?

 

3. How does setting levels and mixing work, if for example I were to go Helix Floor and run guitar + mic?

 

4. Would the scribble scripts help?  I will definitely not be able to use them "live", since I won't see them while playing.  But are they helpful in other ways?

 

5. Are the foot switches on Helix Floor noticeably further apart than on Helix LT?  That would be a good thing for me.

 

Any other advice folks have would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

 

P.S. in case anyone saw it, I asked a similar question on the Fractal forum regarding the AX8, but on further YouTubing the screen on that unit seems really problematic for me so I decided not to risk it.

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24 minutes ago, velaramon said:

I’m thinking of getting a Helix. However, I have limited vision and have had a really hard time with product screens in the past (like the screen on a TC Helicon Play Acoustic).  The Helix screen looks like it uses light text on a dark background, which is best for me.  So I may be able to read some stuff.  But there also seem to be small letters, small icons, or different color schemes that may prevent me from seeing other stuff.

 

I'm also wondering whether the foot switches may be too close together for me to use most of them effectively.


So, I have five questions:

1. How much setting up can you do via an iMac?  I assume tweaking tones is possible.  But what about stuff like setting up MIDI for use with an iPad?

 

2. If one can set things up on an iMac, is Helix then useable w/o much screen interaction?

 

3. How does setting levels and mixing work, if for example I were to go Helix Floor and run guitar + mic?

 

4. Would the scribble scripts help?  I will definitely not be able to use them "live", since I won't see them while playing.  But are they helpful in other ways?

 

5. Are the foot switches on Helix Floor noticeably further apart than on Helix LT?  That would be a good thing for me.

 

Any other advice folks have would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

 

P.S. in case anyone saw it, I asked a similar question on the Fractal forum regarding the AX8, but on further YouTubing the screen on that unit seems really problematic for me so I decided not to risk it.

 

1) You can set up pretty much everything with a computer if you want to... with the possible exception of some of the global settings, global EQ, etc... not entirely sure if all of those things are accessible via HX Edit. The edit software won't work on mobile devices, however. You might be able to rig up MIDI control from an iPad... though I've never tried, so I honestly don't know.

 

2) As long as you can see the footswitches clearly enough to select what you want, yes...I hardly look at the screen at all. 

 

3) Never ran a mic into mine,  as I have no need... nobody wants to hear me sing.  ;) But it can be done... somebody will chime in. 

 

4) You can use the scribble strips to label things any way you want... but if you can't read them while playing, I can't imagine they'll help or hinder you one way or the other.

 

5) Never seen the LT in person... no clue. 

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2) Yes you can have both a guitar and a mic on separate paths and control their relative mix.

3) I'm almost totally sure the footswitches are the same distance apart.

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9 hours ago, sue_75_12345_30 said:

hello, I'm also visually impaired and wonder if I should risk buying a helix. thanks

 

There will really be only one way to tell if it will work for you or not. Buy from somewhere with a decent return policy, like Sweetwater (I'm unaffiliated, just a customer)...30 days, no questions asked. 

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Easy to do all editing on a Mac, though you may have problems adjusting settings on the fly at a gig, the screen on the floor is still pretty big though.

Scribble strips would probably not be advantageous to you .

I went from a TC G-System to a Helix, and the footswitches on the TC are way better, nice and big, the helix ones are tiny by comparison, and i have on a few occasions hit the wrong switch.

There are switch toppers you can get to fix to the existing switches which would give you a bigger target to hit though, so that could make things a bit easier for you.

 

 

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IMO... for the Visually Impaired I believe the "Performance View" on the LT is a nicer option than the scribble strips on the full version. It's big, bright and colorful... & colors can be altered for those that have various forms of color blindness. 

 

As for HX Edit on the computer. It's easy to use but I'm not sure how accessible it is. Maybe others can know these answers.

  • Can it be scaled larger? 
  • Can the contrast be changed?
  • Can font size be altered?
  • Is it friendly with screen readers? 

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hi, I've watched various videos on the helix and have a few questions. I'm assuming the screen is a touch screen?

is there more than one way to do certain tasks, set parameters etc. so a visually impaired person can find work arounds.

unfortunately music stores don't stock these things as they are expensive bits of kit.

otherwise I would try it out hands on.

   

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7 minutes ago, sue_75_12345_30 said:

hi, I've watched various videos on the helix and have a few questions. I'm assuming the screen is a touch screen?

is there more than one way to do certain tasks, set parameters etc. so a visually impaired person can find work arounds.

unfortunately music stores don't stock these things as they are expensive bits of kit.

otherwise I would try it out hands on.

   

 

No, it's not a touchscreen... there's a joystick to navigate around the signal chain blocks, and up/down through various menus. Also a handful of physical knobs and buttons to change parameters, enter other menus, access global settings, save, etc. etc.

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OP here.  Thought I’d report back since others have posted.  Got the Helix Floor and have used it some, though not extensively.

 

My thoughts are that, if you can see well enough to read standard print, you should be able to use the screen (unless the dark background is a problem).  This is not super comfortable, since you may need to get your face close to the screen, but doable.  HX Edit is also usable if you can use other software visually, but you may need to play around with the computer’s color scheme because HX Edit uses a reverse color theme that may not work for you if you already use a reverse theme for the OS.  Also, both in the unit and HX Edit, there are icons that may be difficult to see, but this seems like an inconvenience, not a deal breaker.

 

Regarding the scribble scripts, I like them because they may help me see the switches when playing, though I can’t read them.  They also help in seeing what’s assigned to what when tweaking.

 

Finally, I was able to get up and running much faster by purchading a couple of third party presets, in my case from Worship Tutorials (no affiliation, commercial or spiritual).  Now, bear in mind that I’m no tone purist who absolutely must tweak everything to express my unique creative essence — I jist want stuff that works.  If that’s you, these presets make life much easier for newbies who don’t see too well.

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I don't know if you noticed or it has been mentioned before, but you can change the color of the footswitches. I'm not sure about in regard to effects, but I change the colors of the footswitches for my snapshots. Each snapshot's switch is a different color. Easier than trying to quickly read the scribble strips. Also I have gotten these footswitch toppers which are much less expensive than the aforementioned toppers.

 

https://www.amazon.com/GETMusic-Plastic-Bumpers-Footswitch-Protector/dp/B075TXX5LQ/ref=sr_1_18?keywords=guitar+effects+footswitch+topper&qid=1550752851&s=gateway&sr=8-18

 

They aren't metal so you lose the capacitance option on the switches but I don't use it that much anyway. One of my concerns was how long they would last. Well it's been two years and so far they haven't popped off or anything.

 

EDIT: Since I got those toppers there are now many toppers that are less expensive than the Barefoot buttons and have a set screw which would allow the capacitance option on the footswitches to work

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Thanks for the info.

 

Your mention pf capacitance reminds me — that may be a problem!  I found that when I brought my face close to the screen, my shoulders or chest were inadvertantly triggering the switches.  That seemed risky to me.  Fortunately, you can turn off this feature to avoid any accidental changes to a preset.

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I'm not sure, but I believe that many of the toppers are made out of aluminum which won't allow the capacitance feature to work but the set screws do conduct. So you pretty much have to touch the set screw itself to use that feature, thus avoiding any accidental changes.

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hi, sounds like my friends rack effects unit which used the up down left right arrows to move from screen to screen. I haven't come across any blind or visually impaired users on line who have demonstrated how difficult or how easy it is to use the helix with little or no sight. hmm I'd like to pull the trigger on one of these. just as an aside I was revisiting the pod xt live and found that the way it is set up is very intuitive and easy to use. thanks        

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On 2/21/2019 at 8:37 AM, velaramon said:

Thanks for the info.

 

Your mention pf capacitance reminds me — that may be a problem!  I found that when I brought my face close to the screen, my shoulders or chest were inadvertantly triggering the switches.  That seemed risky to me.  Fortunately, you can turn off this feature to avoid any accidental changes to a preset.

velaramon,

I use these  MOOER Guitar Effects Pedal Footswitch Toppers MOOER SHROOMS
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F2ZZ3NT/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I was 1st worried before I bought them that they might come off not having a set screw.. but they were so affordable, I couldn't go wrong for trying.
Almost a year and they have not fell off. and for the capacitance, I just put my finger underneath the Mushroom top and touch the metal and the edit comes up on the screen, I like that I don't have to find the set screw to touch. I like to play barefoot a lot especially at home and in studio, so they work great for not changing my screen.. 
I also purchased the clear so the color I choose via Helix works great!!!

Colors may be the best for you, I use the colors.

I use in Global Settings: Stomp/Snap and 10 Switches.
 So the Snapshot on bottom line, i.e. Clean, Rhythm/Crunch, lead 1,  lead 2 for most of my presets.
And top line pedalboard for specific pedals, and All my presets are generally the same, and color coded, I usually use the same that are default, Distortion/OD Orange, Delay Green, etc..

What I love about the Helix is the Snapshot idea, as I can step on the Mode button 1 time and be in Pedalboard mode! I love that!!!! Every pedal in the same place!
I don't like to put on my glasses when playing live, and like you said bending down so close the the pedalboard to see the script, so colors help me, and having every pedal I use in the same place.
I hope this helps!
 

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