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captainnemo70

Helix floor / Variax custom tuning glitch

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Hi guys, 

 

in  our band myself and the 2nd guitarist use 2 helix floor and a USA tyler variax and a 69s respectively, 

 

on a cpl of songs we have patches set up for alternate tunings, generally a 1/2 step down or one song is  a full step up.

 

on a cpl of occasions now both units have shown the same glitch, in that when you switch patches they dont tell the variax to change tuning, one of the units changes fine maybe but the other doesnt, 

 

this has only happened 5-6 times in 2 years, BUT its 5-6 times too many, as its happened mid gig, generally crashing the song and the band having to breakdown, switching patched back and forth hasnt corrected it, ive had to turn the unit off and on again to recover it. this happened to the 2nd guitarists unit twice on Fridays gig. it was like a car crash.

 

anyone else come across this?, its making things hard for me as the 2nd guitarist is a purist and getting him to use digital was a task, hes gonna end up ditching it if it keeps happening.

 

is this a known fault ?, any recommendations ?

 

we have resorted it both having a strum and making sure were both in the same pitch before we try an alt tuning song, which makes us look a bit amateur.

 

hope someone can help

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On 4/10/2019 at 9:07 AM, captainnemo70 said:

Hi guys, 

 

in  our band myself and the 2nd guitarist use 2 helix floor and a USA tyler variax and a 69s respectively, 

 

on a cpl of songs we have patches set up for alternate tunings, generally a 1/2 step down or one song is  a full step up.

 

on a cpl of occasions now both units have shown the same glitch, in that when you switch patches they dont tell the variax to change tuning, one of the units changes fine maybe but the other doesnt, 

 

this has only happened 5-6 times in 2 years, BUT its 5-6 times too many, as its happened mid gig, generally crashing the song and the band having to breakdown, switching patched back and forth hasnt corrected it, ive had to turn the unit off and on again to recover it. this happened to the 2nd guitarists unit twice on Fridays gig. it was like a car crash.

 

anyone else come across this?, its making things hard for me as the 2nd guitarist is a purist and getting him to use digital was a task, hes gonna end up ditching it if it keeps happening.

 

is this a known fault ?, any recommendations ?

 

we have resorted it both having a strum and making sure were both in the same pitch before we try an alt tuning song, which makes us look a bit amateur.

 

hope someone can help

 

Sorry no overriding insight on figuring out what is causing the glitch such that you can rely 100% on the tuning being correct. One basic tip is to make sure that the second page of the Variax input block parameters has 'Variax Settings' = 'Per Preset' and that all the alternate string settings are dialed in. I know your current workaround is less than satisfactory but I think you have it right and should continue engaging the tuner in mute mode quickly before tunes requiring the Variax so the audience can't hear your string check. Hitting one string on for example one of the detuned strings should confirm things. 

 

My keyboardist who was a mad scientist when it came to preset design was forever quickly auditioning his patches in his IEMs before launching into a tune and many a guitarist does a quick strum after switching patches before starting the next number. You're right, perhaps not the most professional process but not uncommon. Hope someone else can help provide a more elegant solution that better ensures reliable alternate tuning switches. One thing I would suggest, you may already be doing this, is testing the Variax alt tuning presets EVERY time during soundcheck before the gig. Although I know many use the Variax as their main axe, for me it is used infrequently for alt tunings, songs that require acoustic and electric, and alternate instruments (e.g. banjo, 12-string, etc.) Soundchecking my other guitars and neglecting to do so with my JTV Variax is definitely something I have done on more than one occasion to my detriment. Every once in a while you find yourself having to unplug and replug the Variax as you pointed out to get everything working correctly.

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Not sure how old the OP is as the date stamp is without the year but I have had the same issue with my JT-69 and Helix Floor.  Never had a problem with my old HD500X.

 

The latest episode was at a gig last night where I have a patch setup for acoustic intro and then an electric solo section which is switched via snapshots.  Have used it before successfully and also have had glitches with random tuning.  For some reason the acoustic snapshot at the intro of the song was de-tuned a whole step and then when I switched to mags for the electric solo it was of course in standard tuning.  The other band members didn't readily notice because there's no other instrumentation at the very beginning of the song.

 

I've had this happen several times before where it seems as if the Helix or Variax is remembering commands from a prior patch from previous use and then when the unit is powered on again it's somehow misplaced or not reset.  What's weird is that I had at least 10 other patches and multiple snapshot changes prior to the event in question.

 

I play in a Pink Floyd tribute band and these types of things are disastrous to our show.  Beyond cringe.  We were cruising along just fine until this happened and it really killed the momentum and energy pretty much the rest of the night.

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