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waymda

Helix (etc) offline patch library manager

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This is something I've been thinking about for a bit.  I don't think its something for IdeaScale as it seems more a utility that a developer could create independent of Line 6, and not something I'd want Line 6 to be distracted creating and maintaining over their other work.

 

I'm not a developer so no idea what's involved but would love to have something like this to allow me to create setlists from a known set of good patches whilst maintaining a standard workflow within Helix Edit to create and maintain the patch library.  For context I've been working in coverbands recently and use a patch per song and now have a couple of hundred in various states of disarray.

 

If someone is into looking at it fantastic.  If other have ideas that could enhance this likewise. If you're a developer I'm a windows user :).

 

Description
 
A utility that allows offline management of a master library(ies) of patches and creation of set lists from the master(s).
 
 
Requirements
 
The Master Library would need to reside in a folder on a device to be read by the manager, created through exporting from the Helix device. 
 
The application can be directed to the Master Library to be used for setlist creation through a path selection dialog. This can be changed during the session to enable creation of set lists from multiple libraries. 
 
The application lists all patches in the selected folder in an alpha-numeric order based on the patch name.  The patch name is taken from the patch metadata - not the filename.
 
The end-user requests creation of a new set-list, and the application creates a new list pane with an editable list name - default name determined by developer.
 
The list has visible 'slots' numbered 1 through 128.
 
The end user can drag patches from the library to any of the slots.  Alternatively patches can be 'sent' to a numbered slot through a dialog.
 
Once in a slot, the patch can be dragged up or down the numbered slots. 
 
If a patch is dropped or sent into a slot that is not empty the user is prompted to "overwrite"/"reorder"/"cancel".  Overwrite copies the name over the existing name.  Reorder forces all slots below down one and allows the name to enter the current patch - if 128 slots are full warn the user that slot 128 will be removed with OK and cancel.
 
Once the end user is happy with the set list they 'commit' the list (save whatever).
 
Committing a setlist:
  • creates a folder with the same name as the setlist
  • copies the patch files to the folder named with leading zero xxx sequential numbering to determine ordering
  • pads empty 'slot' names with a file that can be imported in the Helix device as an empty slot
Setlists may be recommitted if changed.
 
Additional setlists can be created and managed at the same time as the primary in different windows.
 
Once created, setlists are imported into the Helix as per normal Helix processes.
 

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1 hour ago, waymda said:

I'm not a developer so no idea what's involved...

 

 

Me neither, but I think you'll have a hard time convincing a developer that there's any money in it. I have no idea what Helix's market share is, but there are only so many guitarists out there, and this is but one of a million amplification options. Some might be willing to fork over money for such a utility, but in the end I suspect only a small percentage of Helix-ers would bother. I just don't see rearranging set lists in HX Edit as being arduous enough to make folks willing to pay money for additional software that does the same thing. Just my 2 cents...

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I haven't absorbed the details of this request but I have two questions:

 

1 - why the need to be offline? You need the Helix to Export the presets to the Master Library in the first place, and then to import the setlists produced by this utility. Why not just use HX Edit? I understand that you don't always have your Helix with you (traveling, etc.). Do you really think it's  worth the effort? Of course, it's not your effort you're talking about .... -:)

 

2 - Helix Native already provides most of your main requirements. Why not get it?

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1 hour ago, silverhead said:

 - Helix Native already provides most of your main requirements. Why not get it?

 

I don't think Native is a stand alone program. I think you have to run it as a plugin. Like in a DAW.

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2 hours ago, silverhead said:

I haven't absorbed the details of this request but I have two questions:

 

1 - why the need to be offline? You need the Helix to Export the presets to the Master Library in the first place, and then to import the setlists produced by this utility. Why not just use HX Edit? I understand that you don't always have your Helix with you (traveling, etc.). Do you really think it's  worth the effort? Of course, it's not your effort you're talking about .... -:)

 

2 - Helix Native already provides most of your main requirements. Why not get it?

 

The idea behind being offline is about:

  • ease of program-ability (ie not having to understand and deal with the Helix USB interface and comms protocols) 
  • maintaining an offline library, as files, which I back up to the cloud - this i do through exporting master and setlists regularly already
  • forcing some discipline around workflow and maintenance of the master library - ie I sometimes edit when I'm creating lists and then forget if it was the version in the setlist or the "master" (my problem)
  • simplicity of function and speed of use
  • if I could program it I would as on the  surface its seems similar to other metadata and file management tools and known patterns - for example mp3 library managers

Why not HX Edit:

  • I find managing setlists from a master incredibly clunky and slow - note this is my opinion
  • I can't easily drag and drop between lists
  • the interface often lags as it waits for the Helix to accept changes
  • the scrolling on a long list can be terrible - especially moving patches from the bottom to the top, and copy pastes over the slot
  • I want to be able to play with what's in a set list super easily as I back and forth with band members, without having to fire up the helix, and then upload it

Helix Native:

  • I have it
  • I've hardly used it
  • don't know about its librarianship abilities
  • will check it out

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1 hour ago, brue58ski said:

 

I don't think Native is a stand alone program. I think you have to run it as a plugin. Like in a DAW.

True, but it still meets the 'offline' requirement which I interpret to mean 'no Helix device connected'.

 

24 minutes ago, waymda said:

 

....

Helix Native:

  • I have it
  • I've hardly used it
  • don't know about its librarianship abilities
  • will check it out

 

Helix Native operates much like HX Edit so you will probably have the same issues.

 

Suppose someone could develop what you want - how much would you be willing to pay for it?

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For me that'd be worth $20-$30, knowing that that makes no sense commercially for a one off.

 

Something more 'fully featured' that maintained a database of other attributes from within the patch, and allowed maintenance of additional metadata for searching, categorisation etc, probably $50-$100.  This bit sounds like an offline customtone thing with the ability to generate set lists.  Having that with the ability to integrate with customtone to auto collect new tones, and keep my own separate and/or in synch as well as librarianship would be very cool.

 

 

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Since you've said you're not a developer and hence aren't going to do this yourself, seems to me you have a choice. Either:

 

- continue to keep this thread alive and hope someone someday will see a business case in this and develop it, or

 

- explore your entrepreneurial self. Do your own business case analysis and determine whether it makes sense for you to hire a developer and retain ownership of the product. A key part of a business case is determining the sales and marketing channels. In this regard you may have a good answer already - persuade Line 6 that this would be a good product to add to the Helix Marketplace. That would give you instant exposure to the Helix user community with a built-in e-commerce mechanism. (And don't forget to include ongoing maintenance activities and costs in your analysis.)

 

If that sounds daunting to you it probably would to anyone else you're hoping will pick up the torch. And then the idea will probably die right here.

 

So, are you a budding entrepreneur?

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If you're really serious about this I'd encourage you to look into the vast area of version control systems already out there.  They seem to do most if not all and more of the same things you want this to do.

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