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rbedsaul1

Helix: Dead Space Between Patches...how to fix?

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I'm running my Helix in 4CM.  I have it configured whereby I'm using a bank of presents for a 'song', and the patches saved within the bank are for different sounds within the song (such as a solo boost, etc...).

 

Problem:  I switch from one patch to another and there is a 1/4 second of silence during the switch - a complete dead spot with no sustain, etc...  Is there a setting or switch that I can enable to stop this from happening?

 

Incidentally, I started using a single patch for a song, and set up the snapshots for the different sounds within the song.  That didn't have the same issue, but I found that configuration more time-consuming to set up and maintain - as well as less user-friendly.  I would like not to go back to that configuration.

 

Would appreciate feedback on this!  Thanks!

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Snapshots. No extra options available.

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Strange... I am long time Helix user and had never that behavior. 
There are a few possibilities for your issue. Let‘s collect the thoughts...

Maybe the Helix is on it‘s CPU limit?

I would make a backup, reflash it and restore the backup. 

Next to test is: Use HX Edit, save your patches, one by one and reset the Helix. Then restore just one patch and test it. 

If it does not work out, note ALL settings from the patch and create a new patch... different name, different bank and use the settings again. 

It‘s hard to say what to do... maybe a more experienced user have other hints to try?

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Its all in the manual.


“Why should I care about snapshots?
To be honest, maybe you shouldn’t. Ask yourself these questions:
Hey self, when performing live, does the small gap when switching tones drive me nuts?
• If my delay repeats and reverb trails don’t seamlessly spill over when switching tones, does it drive me nuts?
• Do I secretly wish I were an octopus, so I can constantly change amp and ef- fects settings throughout a song?
If you answered “M’eh” or “Huh?,” stop reading this now, go play guitar, completely ignore the camera icon, and you’ll never have to worry about snapshots again. Seri- ously. However, if you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, keep reading.
Okay, I’m still reading
There’s always going to be a small audible gap when switching presets in any box with the Helix device's level of dynamic model allocation and routing complexity; that’s just how advanced DSP works. However, snapshots allow for a surprising amount of tonal control from within the same preset, and every change happens instantly and seamlessly.”

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There"s a momentary audio drop between PRESETS. That's normal, and the length of the dropout depends on how long it takes to load the new preset - how DSP intensive it is.

That's why there's snapshots, and once you get used to using them, it's actually easier. The limitations are that you have to use the same amps and effects, so if you absolutely must change from a low-gain amp to a high-gain amp and you don't have enough DSP in the preset to include both, then you need to account for the audio drop on preset change in the phrasing of your playing.

 

Compromises. Life's like that!

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Yep, get comfortable with Snapshots. If you need different FX in each song, change presets between songs. With presets the device has to virtually dump your whole setup and load a whole new one. Snapshots are actually way more fun (for me anyways) because you can do stuff where you take a parameter like delay time, and assign two different values in different snapshots, then when you switch you get cool noises like if you turned the knob on the pedal. 

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2 hours ago, rbedsaul1 said:

I'm running my Helix in 4CM.  I have it configured whereby I'm using a bank of presents for a 'song', and the patches saved within the bank are for different sounds within the song (such as a solo boost, etc...).

 

Problem:  I switch from one patch to another and there is a 1/4 second of silence during the switch - a complete dead spot with no sustain, etc...  Is there a setting or switch that I can enable to stop this from happening?

 

Incidentally, I started using a single patch for a song, and set up the snapshots for the different sounds within the song.  That didn't have the same issue, but I found that configuration more time-consuming to set up and maintain - as well as less user-friendly.  I would like not to go back to that configuration.

 

Would appreciate feedback on this!  Thanks!

 

There is absolutely zero doubt this behavior has always been the case when switching presets.  That's because the blocks in the current preset have to be unloaded and the new blocks in the next preset have to be loaded.  It does take a moment and there is no carryover trails because they are two separate memory images.  That's been the behaviors since the beginning.  Snapshots were introduced very early after the Helix was introduced to get around such limitations.  Until that happened you still had the alternative of assigning multiple effects to a given stomp button and you still can.  However, if you think snapshots is less user-friendly you certainly won't like multiple assignments.  At least snapshots give you visual feedback about what is assigned and what settings are being changed within a snapshot.  It may simply be that you don't understand how simple assigning snapshots is.  And for that I'd refer you to Jason Sadites YouTube video on understanding snapshots.

Like you I use a song per preset.  I don't use snapshots in every preset, but for certain complex arrangements and needs it's by far the simplest and most powerful way to implement and maintain these more complex setups.  I reserve my upper row of stomp buttons for snapshots and my lower buttons for individual stomps and I've yet to run into anything that needed more.  For example, I just finished a new preset today where the intro is a clean guitar with no reverb, then the song generally uses a mid-gain "Joe Walsh" style tone in the verse, chorus and bridge with some light plate reverb, then a lead using a tube screamer block and adds in a delay with the reverb.  At certain points within the chorus, bridge and on the lead I'm using a second harmony guitar.  All of this complexity is afforded using three snapshots (clean, crunch, lead), and a separate momentary stomp that controls the Twin Harmony effect in both the Crunch and Lead snapshots.  All of this took about an hour to layout...and a little more to refine.  But without snapshots that would would be a nightmare to try and control live.

I suspect once you watch how Jason Sadites explains, sets up and uses the snapshots they likely won't seem as much a mystery and will become a very useful feature in your arsenal for building presets.

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4 hours ago, rbedsaul1 said:

Problem:  I switch from one patch to another and there is a 1/4 second of silence during the switch - a complete dead spot with no sustain, etc...  Is there a setting or switch that I can enable to stop this from happening?

 

Just to echo all the sentiments above... the answer is no. Switching patches will always have an audible gap... it's the nature of the beast, and there's no getting around it. Snapshots are the only remedy.

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Not to pile on... but the Helix is not the only multi effects unit to suffer from this audio gap when changing presets. They all do it to varying degrees. It's one of the reasons the Helix has "snapshots" while others have "scenes". 

 

16 hours ago, rbedsaul1 said:

I started using a single patch for a song, and set up the snapshots for the different sounds within the song.  That didn't have the same issue, but I found that configuration more time-consuming to set up and maintain - as well as less user-friendly. 

 

Embrace the change... I can't speak for everyone but once I got used to using snapshots I found it much more flexible. They take a little more time to setup (initially) but I find them much faster and easier to maintain. 

  • Presets: Loads a pedal board layout and amp(s) choice... 
  • Snapshots: These are your tones created within that layout. 
  • Stomps: Manual on/off control of a select number of effects within that layout.

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17 hours ago, rbedsaul1 said:

 

Problem:  I switch from one patch to another and there is a 1/4 second of silence during the switch - a complete dead spot with no sustain, etc...  Is there a setting or switch that I can enable to stop this from happening?

 

 

AFAIK - I am only aware of a few products with the ability to perform "gapless switching", they are the Digitech RP-1 or the Headrush Pedalboard/Gigboard. G-Force and G-Major had their own bit of jiggery pokery to do it by having similar FX blocks in each of the paths. And of course the GigRig G2 can do it except it uses regular stomp boxes.
How can they do that?
Easy, at the expense of using a DSP to do only that job - i.e. maintain the current sound while swapping a new set up into memory. 

 

Snapshots are the way to Nirvana!

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Thanks for the replies.  It seems clear to me that I need to go back to a 'snapshot' oriented set up.  It's not the end of the world and I'm sure I'll get used to it.

 

I used Boss GT pedals for years and always used 1 patch per song and the A,B,C,D as my song parameters such as A=Intro, B=Rhythm, C=Lead, D=...an acoustic passage or whatever else might be a unique sound for the song.  There was no audio gap between patches and I got good spill over for reverb and delays.  'Snapshots' were not a thing on those units, so I got used to this format.

 

Anyway - I'll start changing up my Helix to use Snapshots.  Thanks for all the feedback! 

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14 minutes ago, rbedsaul1 said:

Thanks for the replies.  It seems clear to me that I need to go back to a 'snapshot' oriented set up.  It's not the end of the world and I'm sure I'll get used to it.

 

I used Boss GT pedals for years and always used 1 patch per song and the A,B,C,D as my song parameters such as A=Intro, B=Rhythm, C=Lead, D=...an acoustic passage or whatever else might be a unique sound for the song.  There was no audio gap between patches and I got good spill over for reverb and delays.  'Snapshots' were not a thing on those units, so I got used to this format.

 

Anyway - I'll start changing up my Helix to use Snapshots.  Thanks for all the feedback! 

Up until the GT-100 there was only spill over if you had the same reverb/delay in the next patch, and there was actually a gap, it was just shorter. I was heavy Boss GT-X user up til the 100. The only unit I've tried that didn't have an audible delay was the Zoom G7/9 and those DID have a delay but depending on the patch it was sub-7ms and nearly undetectable. I'd say the modeling fidelity alone makes dealing with snapshots versus patch changes worth it.

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If you've just updated Helix, make sure you let it rebuild your presets. If you don't, the gap will be significant. With 2.71, the gap between presets should be between 50 and 120ms, depending on the source and destination preset—far less than a quarter-second.

 

It also helps to not look at the display, as redrawing the screen does sometimes take longer than a quarter-second and it may affect the perception of preset switching time.

 

For all others, there's snapshots. Once you understand them, they're WAY faster and easier than managing a bunch of separate presets.

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23 hours ago, codamedia said:

Not to pile on... but the Helix is not the only multi effects unit to suffer from this audio gap when changing presets. They all do it to varying degrees. It's one of the reasons the Helix has "snapshots" while others have "scenes". 

That's not really true, many multi effects have a "usable" preset switching (aka no noticeable gap)

 

I started on the zoom g7, then used a boss gt100. Both had no (noticeable) gap. 

Kemper and atomic both "merge" the sound of the preset into the newly selected one, which gives you a seemless switching too.

 

Snapshots are great, preset switching would be even better. But it is the price we have to pay for the 100% parametrable signal path we have in the helix

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