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AndyDuncansLunch

HX Stomp Shortcomings?

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Hi Guys, very impressed with the HX Stomp! Most definitely will be buying one when it hits the stores here in Surrey, UK. One ‘gripe’ (hardware) and two suggestions (hardware & software). The suggestions follow on from the gripe! It’s all about what I think is the most important element of any such unit (apart from the sounds, of course!): the ease with which to switch complicated sounds during a gig.

 

Ext Pedal port: shame only 1 port included. Frustrating not to be able to have at least 1 EXP plus FS4 & FS5 for e.g. up/down toggling of presets, side to side shifting of pages, etc to get instant access to multiple presets and snapshots on the fly. Two ports would have made the machine phenomenal and there might have been space to shift the USB to the MIDI side to allow for a second Ext port on the back? (but doing so would have taken it too close to the LT?) ;-) Obvs there are workarounds: a) external MIDI controller for preset selection, b) external Wah plus FS4 and FS5, but it would have been nice to have it all on the HX internally as standard.

 

Hardware suggestion: with one TRS port, I can do 6 customisable things with my Switch 6 on my Helicon devices. Could Line 6 produce a dedicated switching box to enable a greater number of switching possibilities?

 

Software suggestion: in the four Play View Modes, there are various functions that are activated by pressing two buttons together (FS1+FS2, FS2+FS3), but these don’t seem to appear as functions that could be assigned to FS4/FS5. I hate trying to press two pedals together in a gig and I’m sure most people would agree. Would it not be possible to allow a single press of either FS4 or FS5 to access these extra functions, e.g. toggling between Preset and Snapshot, queueing next/previous Presets, etc? Would this not allow almost instant access to 9+ sounds on the fly? More than enough for nearly any song, I grant you, but very useful!

 

Reply from Line 6 Techs gratefully received.

 

Thanks a lot,

 

Andy

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So you want more full Helix functionality at 1/3 the price in the Stomp?  I'm thinking there may be a problem with that.  You get what you pay for.

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2 hours ago, AndyDuncansLunch said:

oftware suggestion: in the four Play View Modes, there are various functions that are activated by pressing two buttons together (FS1+FS2, FS2+FS3), but these don’t seem to appear as functions that could be assigned to FS4/FS5. I hate trying to press two pedals together in a gig and I’m sure most people would agree. Would it not be possible to allow a single press of either FS4 or FS5 to access these extra functions, e.g. toggling between Preset and Snapshot, queueing next/previous Presets, etc? Would this not allow almost instant access to 9+ sounds on the fly? More than enough for nearly any song, I grant you, but very useful!

 

You can assign FS4 and FS5 to function like the Page < and > buttons so you can scroll through the different footswitch modes in Performance View.

 

0a1b4b2c-a125-42b9-98f7-6bff68e027f9.png

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phil_m, thanks, I am aware that you can use FS4 and FS5 in that way. That is exactly the way I will set it up when using an external wah pedal. My suggestion, one example of which might be a toggle function between say Preset and Snapshot modes would free up one switch for an expression pedal to control wahs and lots of other parameters from within the HX Stomp.

 

DunedInDragon, of course not! Yes, the extra pedal port might have pushed the machine too close to the LT. Only Line 6 can confirm if this was a strategic decision. My suggestions, however, I'm thinking could easily be realised: either a dedicated switching box or some minor modifications to software (these functions are already in the machine, just not available to FS4/5). How you managed to read my post in that way is beyond me, but thanks for your input.

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Considering they have only just released the product after (probably) years of development, I don't think they are going to be making any hardware changes. Having said that, there isn't much need for them to add more jacks or develop their own foot controller when there are many MIDI controllers that will do the job quite well. You could get a Behringer FB1010 for pretty cheap and have all the footswitches you need. What would be cool, though, is if the Helix Control could work with this. But that relies on L6 Link, so probably not likely unless they make a new version or a converter for MIDI.

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Njglover, thanks and yep, I wasn’t really criticising, I think this is a great machine. I’ve been on the phone today with my local store to reserve the first one they get in!

 

For me, the footprint of my rig(s) is paramount (the smaller the better), hence I wouldn’t be interested in the FB1010 (or any of the larger Helixes, for that matter - the Stomp is perfect). A MIDI Mouse would sort out Preset selection on my small rig and I use a Soleman for my larger rig. It just seems to me an easy fix to make available onboard the e.g. Preset/Snapshot toggle and other already available functions for e.g. FS4 - the next firmware update could see to that.

 

The replies underline how differently everyone uses these things! For me, just having ‘more’ switches is counterproductive. It’s about doing more effective switching with less switches. Every time you have to think about which pedal to press mid-song, it detracts from the performance, however minimally (I am playing and singing, switching vocal harmonies as well as guitar sounds). For every song I just want to know I can go: initial set-up (Preset selection) > Snapshot 1 > 2 > 3 (and if necessary) Next Preset > SS1 > 2 > 3 etc. Minimal thinking = maximum performance.

 

Cheers guys.

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If you want to have access to more buttons and expression pedals, you might want to look at the Disaster Area Designs DMC Micro:

DMC_micro_angle-300x300.jpg

 

You could program the two switches to do a number of things. If you wanted one to toggle between Stomp and Snapshot you could. Or you could program them to be Page < and > switches. It can also send MIDI clock. Additionally, you can plug and expression pedal into its expression input and emulate EXP1 on the Stomp. That would free up the Stomps EXP/FS switch to do other stuff.

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57 minutes ago, AndyDuncansLunch said:

The replies underline how differently everyone uses these things! For me, just having ‘more’ switches is counterproductive. It’s about doing more effective switching with less switches. Every time you have to think about which pedal to press mid-song, it detracts from the performance, however minimally (I am playing and singing, switching vocal harmonies as well as guitar sounds). For every song I just want to know I can go: initial set-up (Preset selection) > Snapshot 1 > 2 > 3 (and if necessary) Next Preset > SS1 > 2 > 3 etc. Minimal thinking = maximum performance.

 

Cheers guys.

 

Actually it's interesting you say that. I've recently been on a kick to move all my patches to using snapshots so that I don't have to remember to press the mode switch for different songs (I use one patch = one song). But I am now finding that I have to rethink my stomping because I can't just hit the same button to turn something on and off, I have to hit the correct snapshot button. I'm sure I'll get it sooner or later, but it's confusing for the moment...

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4 hours ago, phil_m said:

If you want to have access to more buttons and expression pedals, you might want to look at the Disaster Area Designs DMC Micro:

DMC_micro_angle-300x300.jpg

 

You could program the two switches to do a number of things. If you wanted one to toggle between Stomp and Snapshot you could. Or you could program them to be Page < and > switches. It can also send MIDI clock. Additionally, you can plug and expression pedal into its expression input and emulate EXP1 on the Stomp. That would free up the Stomps EXP/FS switch to do other stuff.

Thanks Phil, I’ve never seen anything so compact that does MIDI Macros! I use them on the Soleman (Source Audio) in my bigger rig (controlling H&K TM36, Nemesis, PitchFactor, NovaDrive, G-Major II), but I’ll definitely look into these.

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4 hours ago, njglover said:

 

Actually it's interesting you say that. I've recently been on a kick to move all my patches to using snapshots so that I don't have to remember to press the mode switch for different songs (I use one patch = one song). But I am now finding that I have to rethink my stomping because I can't just hit the same button to turn something on and off, I have to hit the correct snapshot button. I'm sure I'll get it sooner or later, but it's confusing for the moment...

Yes, it takes a little mind-set-alteration moving from stomp-box style (one button = one effect) to presets/snapshots, but the latter makes all the difference to me. Always using left to right sequential switching means it doesn’t matter if the change is only turning one pedal on/off, or whether it’s changing lots of parameters in one go. It can be done using external MIDI macro (multi) messages (see phil’s msg and my reply above) or snapshots (basically on-board MIDI macro messages). All the prep is done beforehand so there’s no thinking involved while performing the song (except knowing when the next change needs to occur - I don’t yet have a guitar & FX tech to do this for me!). Incidentally, I use the vocal FX (Helicon) in the opposite way, i.e. one button = one function, because I’m nearly always using momentary switching for harmonies etc, rapidly bringing them in and out instead of having them on constantly (as with any FX, less is always more). Obviously, we could use computers and click tracks to automate every change, and play every part, then we could prepare some life-size cardboard cut-outs of ourselves and never actually need to take to the stage!

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My only disappointment with the HX Stomp is that the inputs are only switchable - unless someone can tell me I'm wrong.  My old Boss ME50 (which was inferior in EVERY other way) allowed me to Line IN an mp3 player on the 3.5mm jack and mix that with my bass signal so I could practice playing along with stuff on IEMs. The HX Stomp can't seem to do that though. 

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3 hours ago, bassbikemike said:

My only disappointment with the HX Stomp is that the inputs are only switchable - unless someone can tell me I'm wrong.  My old Boss ME50 (which was inferior in EVERY other way) allowed me to Line IN an mp3 player on the 3.5mm jack and mix that with my bass signal so I could practice playing along with stuff on IEMs. The HX Stomp can't seem to do that though. 

 

I'm confused here. What's wrong with using the Stomp's auxiliary ins for practicing to?

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13 hours ago, bassbikemike said:

My old Boss ME50 (which was inferior in EVERY other way) allowed me to Line IN an mp3 player on the 3.5mm jack and mix that with my bass signal so I could practice playing along with stuff on IEMs. The HX Stomp can't seem to do that though. 

 

None of the Helix products have a simple "Stereo Aux In" for this purpose... it's not just the Stomp.

However every HX product has at least 2 mono returns (2 mono returns = 1 stereo return) to work with as @Kilrahi mentions above. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

None of the Helix products have a simple "Stereo Aux In" for this purpose... it's not just the Stomp.

However every HX product has at least 2 mono returns (2 mono returns = 1 stereo return) to work with as @Kilrahi mentions above. 

 

 

 

Yeah I guess that may be a hidden feature.

 

I bought this little baby to retain stereo: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00ZKM3S4S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_LeczCb2GB3HJ8

 

Then I go into the global settings and change the send returns to auxiliary ins.

 

With a PC connected as well both will send sound. Last night my phone was playing the music while the PC had a YouTube tutorial going.

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32 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

Then I go into the global settings and change the send returns to auxiliary ins.

 

Forgive my ignorance on the STOMP... out of curiosity, 

  • If you change the returns to AUX IN... do they still consume a return block? 
  • If not, where do they insert in the chain... at the "input" or "direct to output"

I know other Line 6 units with an AUX become another source of INPUT... and will follow the effect chain. That doesn't work well with things like MP3 Players unless you give it a dedicated path. Other units (eg: Boss) send direclty to output uneffected. That works great for things like MP3 players, but can't be used as an additional input(s) on the unit. It's always a trade off. 

 

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35 minutes ago, codamedia said:

 

Forgive my ignorance on the STOMP... out of curiosity, 

  • If you change the returns to AUX IN... do they still consume a return block? 
  • If not, where do they insert in the chain... at the "input" or "direct to output"

I know other Line 6 units with an AUX become another source of INPUT... and will follow the effect chain. That doesn't work well with things like MP3 Players unless you give it a dedicated path. Other units (eg: Boss) send direclty to output uneffected. That works great for things like MP3 players, but can't be used as an additional input(s) on the unit. It's always a trade off. 

 

 

It's a good question. I think the difference with the Stomp is that Line 6 seems to have recognized that this was a deficiency and design flaw with the original Helix and actually worked to follow the example of Boss and others as the Stomp's manual specifically encourages it's use for an audio player.

 

With the Stomp, once set to an auxiliary in, it does not use any blocks and is not part of the signal path (i.e. it remains an unprocessed signal). 

 

The only oversight, which hopefully they'll rectify, is that it still sends the signal out the main left/right outs which I can see someone wanting sometimes, but other times that would be a no.

 

Over all though, it works amazingly well for this purpose.  

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51 minutes ago, codamedia said:

 

Forgive my ignorance on the STOMP... out of curiosity, 

  • If you change the returns to AUX IN... do they still consume a return block? 
  • If not, where do they insert in the chain... at the "input" or "direct to output"

I know other Line 6 units with an AUX become another source of INPUT... and will follow the effect chain. That doesn't work well with things like MP3 Players unless you give it a dedicated path. Other units (eg: Boss) send direclty to output uneffected. That works great for things like MP3 players, but can't be used as an additional input(s) on the unit. It's always a trade off. 

 

 

If you set the Returns to be an Aux In, no, they don't use a block. They just pass audio straight to the outputs.

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12 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

None of the Helix products have a simple "Stereo Aux In" for this purpose... it's not just the Stomp.

However every HX product has at least 2 mono returns (2 mono returns = 1 stereo return) to work with as @Kilrahi mentions above. 

 

 

Thanks @codamedia and @Kilrahi. This is the first Helix product I've had so I'm really just still getting to grips with it... I actually tried using the Aux In 1/4" jack before I posted (just trying to get a mono signal out of the L channel to get started) but didn't get any audio through into my IEMs... Your responses made me go back and have another go.  After some changes in Global Settings (Ins/Outs page) making sure that "Send/Return L" and "Send/Return R" = Line level and "Return Type" = Aux In (this was set to Return before), I now have it working correctly, so I'm made up. Now to get a Y lead 3.5mm stereo to 1/4" mono, like the one @Kilrahi linked to above. Even better that you can stream digital signal eg a Youtube clip into the Stomp and have that coming into the mix on the IEMs too! Thanks guys. 

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Hi Guys, I didn't expect any more discussion on this topic but it's interesting to hear other people's takes on the Stomp. Despite my first comments on this topic I still think this is one of the best things Line6 have come up with to date. I never use it in the way this last discussion suggests (aux in for practice, etc).

While here I thought I'd demonstrate the Stomp's place in my 'baby' board. Along with the TC-H Play Electric, the Stomp gives me everything I need on a 1 Preset = 1 Song basis (using Snapshots). I use an acoustic guitar through this set-up direct to PA. The Wah is just a wah for now (see posts on DMC MIDI box above), on the lower rung of the board the 2-way switch is Stomp Page < and Page > and the 3-way is for vocals. The Jamman and assocaiated 3-way switch is just a bonus. Haven't started using it yet!

SmallBoardAngle.JPG

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