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Remote control for Helix floor, you know, like a TV remote!


katerlouis
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TL;DR:

I want an external controller to mimic the controls surrounding the display (the 6 parameter knobs, the big joystick-twisty-knob, the bypass and action buttons and so on) - any Ideas?

(Inspired by this video)

 

 

I absolutely love the Helix and just don't stop learning new and exciting things about this incredible piece of gear. Yeah, the "software" sounds great, but the whole experience with the hardware, the unit itself, is why I would choose Helix over AXE FX or Kemper anytime. Ironic negative point: the Helix gets so much right, that my imagination goes crazy and often hits a wall like: "Nice! But how cool would it be if it could go this one step further and do this and that and yadaydada"

 

The new HX Edit is great, but I find myself editing patches on the unit itself way more often than on my computer. I seem to prefer knobs and dials over dragging sliders with my trackpad; and setting up foot switches is also faster on the unit with the capacitive foot stomps.

 

So... you all know what comes next... I either have the unit on my desk and press the muddy foot stomps by hand (eeewwh!) or embrace the backpain with an moany exhale (come on! you know this weird sound people make when they become older and try to tie their shoes!) everytime I bow down to Hail the Tone. 

 

Yes, I know about the edit mode and it's freakin awesome-... for finetuning an already set up patch. But inserting, deleting or moving blocks is just impossible.

 

Changing a blocks parameters with an external MIDI controller using Helix command center could be a workaround, but it's quite tedious to set up, limits your external controller to only these specific parameters and inserting, deleting or moving blocks is impossible. 

 

Maybe MIDI is an option?

The manual (this is a link) says on page 57, that Helix is able to listen to external MIDI and has CC# reserved for specific global settings. Cool! 

But apparently it doesn't offer CC# for the main controls? Please correct me if I'm wrong! (Oh man, how I hope I'm wrong here...)

If not, I ask you to protect me from looking like a fool on ideaScale and tell me if you think this is even possible to implement via firmware update.

 

Yeah, I hear you! Maybe a Helix Rack + foot controller would be better for me. But.. then again.. naaaah- Helix Control lacks the expression pedal and the great portability aspect is gone aswell.

 

 

Thanks!

 

Louis 

 

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Not sure what ALL you're after doing.

Outside of HX Edit,  assigning and moving blocks is always going to require  the joystick.

If you want to control amp/fx parameters from an external controller, you'd first need to find one with enough rotaries/sliders AND old fashioned MIDI DIN connectors for your needs. The only ones I can think of are the Behringer BCF/BCR2000 controllers. Big and bulky, but lots of rotaries/sliders. Also, I think they've been discontinued, so you'd need to find one used, not usually a problem on eBay.

You might also use a Korg nanoKontrol2 (small and light, 8 rotaries/8 sliders or original nanoKontrol [discontinued] if you can find one, 9/9 x 4 scenes=144, way more than you need), but it's USB, so you'd need a MIDI HOST device like the MIDX20 between the nanoKontrol and Helix.

The external MIDI device needs to be transmitting on the Helix Base Channel. Then just select the parameter (either on the Helix or in HX Edit), press and hold the corresponding rotary on the Helix (or right click the slider in HX Edit, select MIDI CC), then set the MIDI CC# and Range. Consult the Helix manual for RESERVED CC#s.

DON'T FORGET TO SAVE!

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Thanks!

If I read you correctly, your explanation recreates the scenario illustrated in this video, right? 

 

Binding a knob to a specific parameter of a specific block is a cool option, but not what I'm looking for. I mainly want to have the Helix still at my feet, but not having to bow down all the time I want change settings via the rotaries or insert / delete / move blocks. Having those "general" controls on the desk or on a stand would make trying out many different things way easier. So I'd bascially like to rip outthe joystick, the 6 rotaries, the bypass and action button and put them on a table ;)

 

From what I've seen in the manual, that is currently not possible.

I am just starting to get into MIDI and therefore don't quite understand if this would be possible via a firmware update; But in my mind it should be possible to block a few more CC# for these controls. I mean.. "Joystick right" is just one command, right? So my layman eyes don't see why giving access to these commands via MIDI shouldn't be possible.

 

For a midi controller I also found the nanoKontrol 2, or maybe this: https://www.thomann.de/de/native_instruments_traktor_kontrol_x1_mkii.htm

 

Are you sure a USB Host is required? The manual says on page 51:

Midi over USB: When on, Helix receives and transmits MIDI data via USB in the same capacity as its MIDI jacks.

The korg for example sends MIDI over mini USB, and the Helix receives MIDI over USB-B. I found a cable for that, so I figured it works? 8)

Bildergebnis für mini usb to usb b

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2 hours ago, katerlouis said:

I'd bascially like to rip outthe joystick, the 6 rotaries, the bypass and action button and put them on a table

 

I get it now (I think). You want the visuals of HX Edit, but don't have a touchscreen attached to your computer, therefore want knobs?

 

You can do everything from the HX Edit screen with a touchscreen monitor, but even though I have one ( 17" laptop with touchscreen), it's easier (for me) with a mouse. If you have an iPad, that video shows how to do it, but I'm imagining trying to read and manipulate the controls on that tiny display. If you DON'T have an iPad, a touchscreen monitor would probably be cheaper than buying one.


I may have given you some bad info on the nanoKontrol. Since it requires a Korg driver, it won't work except when attached to a computer, and I don't think there's an iOS driver, so it wouldn't work with the iPad. Nor would a MIDX20 work, for the same reasons. I tried getting it to work with HX Edit directly (not thru the Helix) , but no go, HX Edit doesn't see the nanoKontrol. Even if it didn't require a driver, it takes it's power over USB, and Helix USB doesn't provide power over the USB, so the cable you mentioned won't work.

 

So a touchscreen seems to be the only way to go.

 

 

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Okay, now I have seem to confused the situation even more. Sorry for that! One last try: 

 

Forget about the video. This video just got me inspired to control the Helix with a MiDI controller in the first place. 

 

I do not want to control HX edit remotely. I want to control the "actual Helix interface" remotely. Imagine it this way: I want to rip out the knobs, joystick, bypass action and pages buttons and put them on my desk or a stand, while the footstomps ans cables etc remain on the floor. I do NOT need a display on my desk! looking down on the Helix is fine for me. All I want is navigating, arranging the blocks and adjust parameters via knobs, while standing.

 

I hope things are clear now!

Sorry again for the confusion.

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4 hours ago, katerlouis said:

I want to control the "actual Helix interface" remotely. Imagine it this way: I want to rip out the knobs, joystick, bypass action and pages buttons and put them on my desk or a stand, while the footstomps ans cables etc remain on the floor. I do NOT need a display on my desk!

 

OK!

 

IF (as I believe to be the case) the BCR/BCF2000 does NOT require a driver (except for USB), then you can control everything EXCEPT the joystick, page, global and bypass/action functions (other than the basic bypass ON/OFF) from a stand. AT PRESENT, the only way to control the joystick (and other mentioned) functions remotely is with HX Edit, which would require a laptop. ANY controller which DOES NOT require a driver AND/OR USB power can do this. I tested this by assigning the DRIVE function of an amp to the Expression Pedal of an FCB1010, using the 5  pin MIDI DIN plug on the Helix. I DID NOT test this using USB, because ALL USB MIDI interfaces THAT I KNOW OF require a driver.

 

ALSO, keep in mind that the MIDI settings CAN NOT be assigned GLOBALLY. EVERY preset would require setting ALL of the MIDI assignments INDIVIDUALLY. BIG PITA!

 

BOTTOM LINE - to do what you want in a practical manner, your best solution for LIVE use is a laptop on a stand. If you're only needing this solution for programming (not LIVE), you might as well put the Helix on the stand and clean the yucky buttons as you go.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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