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HX Stomp and MIDI - some insights

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Hmmmmm. I don't think Helix Floor/Rack/LT or HX Effects were ever intended to be a MIDI controller either. They are intended to be guitar-effects-stomp-boxes. However, the code needed to grant them MIDI controller powers were included in the firmware. Alas, the poor li'l old Stomp guitar-effects-stomp-box simply didn't get that chunk of code. 

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21 hours ago, soundog said:

Hmmmmm. I don't think Helix Floor/Rack/LT or HX Effects were ever intended to be a MIDI controller either. They are intended to be guitar-effects-stomp-boxes. However, the code needed to grant them MIDI controller powers were included in the firmware. Alas, the poor li'l old Stomp guitar-effects-stomp-box simply didn't get that chunk of code. 

HX Stomp's lack of a Command Center has to do with two things:

  1. It's first and foremost a stompbox for use on pedalboards, perhaps one that already has a MIDI controller (like a BOSS ES-8 or Morningstar).
  2. It only has three footswitches.

It has nothing to do with the manual being too long, although I do hate unnecessarily long manuals. The biggest effort to add Command Center to HX Stomp would be the massive test matrix, but again, we've been hesitant adding robust controller functionality to a box that was designed to be a compact stompbox. Helix Floor, Helix, Rack/Control, Helix LT, and HX Effects were designed with master MIDI controller capabilities because they're intended to be the centerpiece of your rig.

 

We're still looking into it. Stay tuned...

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Thanks for clarifying, DI ... I worked in product development at HP for many years, so know about the tradeoffs that come into play with product intros. And the testing involved with feature adds.

 

FYI, my solo singer/songwriter setup uses an HX Effects as my guitar processor and MIDI controller (controlling an external vocal FX unit and digital mixer routings). I normally only use one HX foot switch for the external MIDI control stuff. The Stomp would be a much better fit for my setup (smaller footprint + amp/cabs), so that's why I sometimes whine (gently, I hope) about the Stomp not having Command Center stuff. I'll keep my fingers crossed high.....

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Just give me 6 snapshots per preset on my Stomp so I can stay on one preset in the Helix Stomp with my Morningstar MC6 midi pedal  :)

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I'm trying to set up a OneControl Basilisk to change patches and snapshots on my Helix Stomp. How do I do this?

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Hey, guys!

 

Posting one more question here, again about expression pedal.


After a lot of thinking (and some $$$) I bought a BOSS ES-8 to mount my pedalboard.


Through it, I can have the expression pedal through MIDI, but then my questions about HXS started.


On ES-8, I can define a CC# 1 message which is what the HXS waits as an emulated EXP (EXP1 for example is emulated by a CC#1 message). But, unfortunately, when I do that I lose the function of toggle EXP with the "toggle exp" function of the HXS. As I fixed which EXP I am using with the CC # message (CC#1 -> EXP1 for example), even if I do toggle EXP on HXS, I will always be with EXP1.


Can any of you think of a way around this? It would be very interesting if at HXS there was this possibility of receiving a CC # message that emulates not one of the EXP, but the exact function of the EXP input.


Unfortunately the ES-8's EXP TRS output is not compatible with the HXS, or that would be my most obvious choice. I haven't given up on that last option yet, but some conversions are needed that I haven't stopped to do yet ...

 

Regards!

 

Luis

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1 hour ago, zelasa said:

Hey, guys!

 

Posting one more question here, again about expression pedal.


After a lot of thinking (and some $$$) I bought a BOSS ES-8 to mount my pedalboard.


Through it, I can have the expression pedal through MIDI, but then my questions about HXS started.


On ES-8, I can define a CC# 1 message which is what the HXS waits as an emulated EXP (EXP1 for example is emulated by a CC#1 message). But, unfortunately, when I do that I lose the function of toggle EXP with the "toggle exp" function of the HXS. As I fixed which EXP I am using with the CC # message (CC#1 -> EXP1 for example), even if I do toggle EXP on HXS, I will always be with EXP1.


Can any of you think of a way around this? It would be very interesting if at HXS there was this possibility of receiving a CC # message that emulates not one of the EXP, but the exact function of the EXP input.


Unfortunately the ES-8's EXP TRS output is not compatible with the HXS, or that would be my most obvious choice. I haven't given up on that last option yet, but some conversions are needed that I haven't stopped to do yet ...

 

Regards!

 

Luis

 

If I understand the MIDI on the ES-8, you can plug an exp pedal into it and assign it to send a CC out the MIDI OUT port. If you connect that to the Stomp MIDI IN, you can then assign that CC to control most any parameter. You don't lose the ability to toggle anything. You can then attach a 2 button switch to the Stomp to emulate FS4 and FS5 and use them to toggle whatever. 

 

Or am I misunderstanding what you're after (or how the ES-8 works)?

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

 

If I understand the MIDI on the ES-8, you can plug an exp pedal into it and assign it to send a CC out the MIDI OUT port. If you connect that to the Stomp MIDI IN, you can then assign that CC to control most any parameter. You don't lose the ability to toggle anything. You can then attach a 2 button switch to the Stomp to emulate FS4 and FS5 and use them to toggle whatever. 

 

Or am I misunderstanding what you're after (or how the ES-8 works)?

 

You almost Understand.

 

HXS only toggle the exp direct attached to the exp1 input. It do not toggle exp sent through midi CC# message.

 

When I send from es8 I send the exp trough Midi CC#1 wich is the CC that emulates exp1 in the HXS. My toggle switch is direct attached to HXS but when I hit it, no exp toggle.

 

One solution for this issue would be If when i toggle, it could invert the cc messge for each exp, so exp1 is now CC# and exp2 CC#1.

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8 hours ago, zelasa said:

I lose the function of toggle EXP with the "toggle exp" function of the HXS

 

Because that function is not MIDI.

 

8 hours ago, zelasa said:

Can any of you think of a way around this?

 

Yes, in theory, provided the ES-8 can:

  • Assign effect 1 to Exp1 on HXS
  • Assign effect 2 to Exp2 on HXS
  • Assign a toggle bypass of both effects to a switch on the device of your choice (easy to do on HXS)
  • If technically possible on ES-8, assign both CC#1&2 to your expression pedal.

The pedal would then send both CCs simultaneously while one of both effects would always be off.

If technically possible…

Just a thought experiment. :)

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2 hours ago, lou-kash said:

Just a thought experiment. :)

 

Hm, perhaps I was "experimentally thinking" too far:

You can actually assign both effects on the Stomp to CC#1 – i.e. Exp1, since CC#1 is reserved for this – and to a toggle switch. The pedal will then constantly affect the parameters on both, but that doesn't matter because only one effect at a time will be on, the other one bypassed.

Unless you need to "freeze" the affected parameter on one of those effects while altering the other one – as it would when "non-MIDI" toggling between Exp1 and Exp2. Then it may not work as desired.

 

But I'm using an expression pedal in the HXS Exp jack via Y cable as it's more flexible. Nonetheless, I have set up quite a few presets where I have assigned two effects to Exp1 and alternatively toggling between them. Usually it's a combination of two from Wah, Tremolo Speed, Chorus Depth or Delay Time, i.e. my pedal either affects e.g. Wah or Tremolo Speed. Using the Exp Jack has also the benefit that you can assign the Bypass to Position 0% and thus save a switch.

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2 hours ago, lou-kash said:

If technically possible on ES-8, assign both CC#1&2 to your expression pedal.

 

Experimentally thinking even farther …

If this would be even possible, then the built-in HX Stomp toggle for Exp1/2 could actually work.

Edited by lou-kash

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It sounds like you want to use one pedal to alternately control two functions such as Volume and WAH. Basically, doing what the Floor and LT do with their built-in exp pedals. The HXS is designed to do this, and this is the only way I know of to accomplish it:

 

https://missionengineering.com/shop-2/products/expression/specific-use-exp/sp1-l6h/

 

It works because it was designed for the job.

Any other workaround ultimately gets down to pressing a switch and then moving your foot to operate the pedal. Clunky and un-natural.

 

No matter how you work it, you give up one of your 6 blocks to the WAH, and a second block if you use a Volume block.

 

The most efficient way to do it (IMO) is to use a traditional WAH before the HXS (what I do). You can then add an exp pedal attached to the HXS for Volume, etc, assigned to the Output Block Level for Volume or to whatever parameter you want to control in a given preset.

 

Alternately, you could get a dual purpose WAH/exp pedal to put before the HXS, but the cheapest one I know of is the HOTONE (ewwww) for $110 vs $150 for the Mission. Other, better quality combo pedals cost as much as or more than the Mission.

 

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26 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

Any other workaround ultimately gets down to pressing a switch and then moving your foot to operate the pedal. Clunky and un-natural.

 

Works fine if you don't need to switch from Exp1 to Exp2 back and forth between each verse and chorus. :)

 

26 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

No matter how you work it, you give up one of your 6 blocks to the WAH, and a second block if you use a Volume block.

 

If you have a block that remains active all the time, you can use its Volume parameter instead.

Or, if you don't use a parallel path in a preset, you can actually create a fake one, bypassing its clean path and use the Mixer – which you can place at any position in the chain you need – as a "free" volume pedal block.

 

The HX Stomp is astoundingly flexible in creating workarounds to compensate for its limitations. I'm still overwhelmed. :)

That said, recently I added a DMC.micro to my otherwise simple setup (Exp1 and FS5) for more flexibility, especially for bands where I'm playing guitar. But when playing bass – except for one group where I'm playing several special effects on the bass – I don't even need any external switches or pedals.

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6 hours ago, lou-kash said:

Because that function is not MIDI.

The toggle is a switch connected to the input in HXS. The expression is sent by midi, but is do not toggle in real. Only if the expression is connected in the input of HXS.

 

6 hours ago, lou-kash said:

If technically possible on ES-8, assign both CC#1&2 to your expression pedal.

I did. It works, but I want the toogle because I want to freeze one of the EXP when I toggle. This way both exp will be always working, but I need to be careful when I toggle to have the pedal in the correct position. If don't, When I toggle to the Volume block, for example, there is a risk that I am in the zero position of the pedal. But, for mosto of the situations, I agree, it works well.

 

Thank you! 

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4 hours ago, lou-kash said:

Unless you need to "freeze" the affected parameter on one of those effects while altering the other one

 

Its exactly what I want to.

 

Sending both CC#1 and CC#2 to HXS works on the blocks with this controller assigned. But I want to the system works the way it works when EXP pedal is direct attached to HXS.

 

The 0% "trick" is a great function! Thanks! :-)

 

Luis

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4 hours ago, lou-kash said:

If this would be even possible, then the built-in HX Stomp toggle for Exp1/2 could actually work.

 

It doesn't work. Both EXP are always working this manner.

 

Luis

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42 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

It sounds like you want to use one pedal to alternately control two functions such as Volume and WAH. Basically, doing what the Floor and LT do with their built-in exp pedals. The HXS is designed to do this, and this is the only way I know of to accomplish it:

 

I have the EP1-L6, that I modified to work exactly as the sp1-l6h and a last mod I did is a third output to work with the ES8 :-) Not at the same time, but now I can choose to use the pedal direct with the HXS OR with the ES8, for example. And, I just added the Toggle switch. Its like a sp1-l6h PLUS, lol.

 

Luis

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1 hour ago, lou-kash said:

If you have a block that remains active all the time, you can use its Volume parameter instead.

Or, if you don't use a parallel path in a preset, you can actually create a fake one, bypassing its clean path and use the Mixer – which you can place at any position in the chain you need – as a "free" volume pedal block.

 

Cool! I did the volume control with an amp volume instead of a volume block. But the fake paralel chain is awesome! Thanks!

 

Luis

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