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Pullmanite

Control Helix with MIDI controller

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Okay, this is a weird request for an interface for the Helix.

 

I'm a traditional pedalboard guy who liked to tweak settings on the fly with the edge of my shoe on various pedal knobs (usually with EQ, delay and reverb settings) and I'm looking for a way to do that on the fly with my hands.  I have a bad back and can't bend down much and I'm thinking of using this primarily during rehearsals to tweak a patch but also use it live (need a little more mix and less feedback on my delay, so I'll play a chord, and quickly tweak it by hand.)  I could do this with snapshots, with my bare feet to use the touch-sensitive switches, use an expression pedal, but I'm looking to potentially change any one or two of several parameters on multiple effects as needed.

 

I could hook up a Win 10 tablet or laptop to do just that and run HX Edit, but I'm also curious is there is a way to assign knobs on a physical MIDI controller that I can connect directly to the Helix via MIDI or USB.

 

Something like this would be amazing: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MPKmini2BB--akai-professional-mpk-mini-mkii-keyboard-controller-limited-edition-black-on-black

 

Any thoughts?  It's a crazy request, but anyone willing to think of a possible solution?

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Helix responds to traditional MIDI CC and Program change messages from an external MIDI device.

This allows you to recall setlists, presets and snapshots, and you can control the looper, the EXP pedal and the footswitches (stomp mode) via an MIDI controller.

(>last pages in the manuel). But I think it's not possible to tweak a patch via MIDI.

 

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On 8/18/2019 at 11:06 PM, Pullmanite said:

Okay, this is a weird request for an interface for the Helix.

 

I'm a traditional pedalboard guy who liked to tweak settings on the fly with the edge of my shoe on various pedal knobs (usually with EQ, delay and reverb settings) and I'm looking for a way to do that on the fly with my hands.  I have a bad back and can't bend down much and I'm thinking of using this primarily during rehearsals to tweak a patch but also use it live (need a little more mix and less feedback on my delay, so I'll play a chord, and quickly tweak it by hand.)  I could do this with snapshots, with my bare feet to use the touch-sensitive switches, use an expression pedal, but I'm looking to potentially change any one or two of several parameters on multiple effects as needed.

 

Either I'm missing something here or everyone else is. You want to tweak settings as you're playing, right? Why go to the trouble of using a midi device? Why not just use the Helix's on-th-fly edit facility? On my LT I just push the MODE button and hold to edit the preset. It will enter the edit mode and then you edit each of the blocks in your preset by simply tapping on a footswitch and perhaps using the expression pedal to adjust a setting. Easy-peasy and great when playing live.

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Another way to go would be a second Xpression pedal dedicated to tweaking. You can pretty much control any parameter with a pedal like tremolo speed, gain, compression, etc.

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8 minutes ago, Thark said:

 

Either I'm missing something here or everyone else is. You want to tweak settings as you're playing, right? Why go to the trouble of using a midi device? Why not just use the Helix's on-th-fly edit facility? On my LT I just push the MODE button and hold to edit the preset. It will enter the edit mode and then you edit each of the blocks in your preset by simply tapping on a footswitch and perhaps using the expression pedal to adjust a setting. Easy-peasy and great when playing live.

 

For someone like the OP who has a bad back, your suggestion has merit. However, the number of steps and difficulty of getting precise settings quickly with the expression pedal, while do-able in a pinch, is still less than ideal in a live performance situation.

 

What OP doesn't realize is that there are a LOT of parameters, and a MIDI controller with 128 rotaries would be a nightmare both due to size and trying to remember which knob controls what parameter. Combined with the inability to make Global assignments making it necessary to program the controller for each preset....

 

I speak of this problem from experience. My first amp sim was Amplitube, and even with a BCR2000 it quickly became apparent that it was a fool's quest!

 

Hopefully, HX Edit on a big screen tablet will solve his problem.

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I’ve used my Helix’s on-the-fly editing while playing with my band without any problems. It’s great for tweaking a sound during a tune and also having a funky back myself I really appreciate it. You can change a parameter rapidly with the expression pedal (which, as you say, is a bit tricky to use for precise settings) or incrementally via the footswitches (which allows very precise setting).

 

Wouldn’t using a tablet mean not playing while tweaking? Surely you could only use it between tunes. Perhaps this is what the OP meant?

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I don't have a bad back, but the reason I bought the Helix Rack is so I would not have to bend over to change things. I love having my rack at shoulder level on my rig....I just reach over and tweak away.

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14 minutes ago, Thark said:

I’ve used my Helix’s on-the-fly editing while playing with my band without any problems. It’s great for tweaking a sound during a tune and also having a funky back myself I really appreciate it. You can change a parameter rapidly with the expression pedal (which, as you say, is a bit tricky to use for precise settings) or incrementally via the footswitches (which allows very precise setting).

 

Wouldn’t using a tablet mean not playing while tweaking? Surely you could only use it between tunes. Perhaps this is what the OP meant?

 

3 minutes ago, rwinking said:

I don't have a bad back, but the reason I bought the Helix Rack is so I would not have to bend over to change things. I love having my rack at shoulder level on my rig....I just reach over and tweak away.

 

A combination of the two approaches will likely be ideal for OP, but if I had a bad back, I'd have definitely gone with the Rack!

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