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Why isn't the Helix displaying the PowerCab+ IR names?


HonestOpinion
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Know I'm late to the party but I just received my PowerCab+. Upgraded the firmware to the latest(2.00.1) and I am on HX Edit 2.82, firmware 2.82. connected by Helix via L6 Link. 

 

When you scroll through the IRs on a Helix IR block the names of the IRs are displayed. This does not seem to be the case with the IRs stored on the PC+. All I can see on the Helix or in HX Edit is the numbers of the IRs on the PC+.  Not very useful having a mystery number and no IR name when you are trying to select an IR. Is this the current state of affairs or is there a way to show PC+ IR names on the Helix? If not that really throws a monkey wrench into using the Helix to select the IR on the PC+. Are people keeping a spreadsheet with slot numbers and names of the IRs on their PC+, or maybe checking the screen on the PC+ for the IR name and number and flipping back to the Helix to select it?

 

Also, I know there has been much discussion regarding it but I don't even begin to comprehend why you can't select PC+ presets from the Helix via L6 Link. Seems like the first feature you would want when controlling the PC+ remotely. I bring it up because seeing as you can't switch PC+ presets from the Helix, making the IR names visible from the Helix becomes even more essential to a one-stop selection of the PC+ setting from the Helix. Otherwise there is a whole lot of manual cross-referencing going on. Maybe I don't have some option set properly but if that is the case I can't find it.

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I'll start by stating/assuming the obvious that   A)you have both the Helix and PC+ turned on when trying to edit your preset and   B) you have the 'output' block selected/highlighted on the Helix chain (circled arrow out) and then the Powercab tab selected when looking at your Edit program (I assume its the same on the physical unit as well, I've never tried).  With that out of the way, then yes, it's a bummer that just the number of the IR shows up.  Very confusing and inconvenient (outside the fact that "Helix" and "inconvenient" is really an oxymoron).  However, if you have the L6 LINK system connected correctly with a correct/compatible cable you absolutely can switch PC+ presets via the Helix.  Trouble is that by default, the change doesn't physically show up on the PC+ menu strip - but it IS changing.  As I've had it explained to me, if you open the PC+ App on your computer, you can see the change happen within the app when you change your setting in the Helix (or Edit).  That said you should also be able to 'hear' the difference - but if your just exploring the system without actual play (like I was) it can fool you.  I think someone posted elsewhere on how you can make the PC+ scribble strip physically show changes on the fly, but I've never felt the need once I realized everything was working.  I THINK you have to create a different Helix 'preset' for every PC+ preset you want.  I've not yet tried creating multiple/footswitchable PC+ scenes within the 'same' Helix preset via snapshot mode.  'Might' be possible - I don't know.  But the two units definitely communicate and switch via L6LINK otherwise.  P.S.  An alternative to making an IR list on paper, The IR "names" do show up on the PC+ app if you want to keep it open when constructing presets.  Just know that, when switching IRs in the 'PC+App', you have to "choose" your IR from the dropdown menu on the 'right' - NOT from the column on the left.  If I understand correctly - 2x clicking on the left column will 'change attributes' you may have made to a particular IR previously (like treble/bass cut etc.) and you will get a warning message.  The dropdown on the right simply (and correctly) 'selects' and applies a desired IR.  My advice is to keep both Edit and PC+ App open while you work/edit until you are comfortable and realize that Helix/Edit will suffice for most everything.

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On 11/13/2019 at 10:45 AM, JLondon said:

I'll start by stating/assuming the obvious that   A)you have both the Helix and PC+ turned on when trying to edit your preset and   B) you have the 'output' block selected/highlighted on the Helix chain (circled arrow out) and then the Powercab tab selected when looking at your Edit program (I assume its the same on the physical unit as well, I've never tried).  With that out of the way, then yes, it's a bummer that just the number of the IR shows up.  Very confusing and inconvenient (outside the fact that "Helix" and "inconvenient" is really an oxymoron).  However, if you have the L6 LINK system connected correctly with a correct/compatible cable you absolutely can switch PC+ presets via the Helix.  Trouble is that by default, the change doesn't physically show up on the PC+ menu strip - but it IS changing.  As I've had it explained to me, if you open the PC+ App on your computer, you can see the change happen within the app when you change your setting in the Helix (or Edit).  That said you should also be able to 'hear' the difference - but if your just exploring the system without actual play (like I was) it can fool you.  I think someone posted elsewhere on how you can make the PC+ scribble strip physically show changes on the fly, but I've never felt the need once I realized everything was working.  I THINK you have to create a different Helix 'preset' for every PC+ preset you want.  I've not yet tried creating multiple/footswitchable PC+ scenes within the 'same' Helix preset via snapshot mode.  'Might' be possible - I don't know.  But the two units definitely communicate and switch via L6LINK otherwise.  P.S.  An alternative to making an IR list on paper, The IR "names" do show up on the PC+ app if you want to keep it open when constructing presets.  Just know that, when switching IRs in the 'PC+App', you have to "choose" your IR from the dropdown menu on the 'right' - NOT from the column on the left.  If I understand correctly - 2x clicking on the left column will 'change attributes' you may have made to a particular IR previously (like treble/bass cut etc.) and you will get a warning message.  The dropdown on the right simply (and correctly) 'selects' and applies a desired IR.  My advice is to keep both Edit and PC+ App open while you work/edit until you are comfortable and realize that Helix/Edit will suffice for most everything.

 

Not having any problems technically switching things on the PC+ from the Helix. The PC+ is a brilliant piece of kit, but the "ecosystem" connectivity using L6 Link between it and the Helix is just not there yet and I wonder if it ever will be. I love that they gave comprehensive control over many of the PC+ parameters on the Helix but to leave out the ability to change presets and then on top of that to have us requiring spreadsheets listing the IRs, doing lookups in Powercab Edit, or alternately having to scroll manually through the PC+ for IR names, and then go back to the Helix or HX Edit to program them is a disappointing implementation.

 

The lack of ability in the Helix interface to either list IR names or allow presets to be changed from the PC+ seem related to me. They both would involve either populating some kind of list(array?) on the Helix that had the preset names and IR names from the PC+, or alternately a dynamic connection that retrieved the preset or IR name as you scrolled through them from the Helix.  Additionally, unless it is a rumor, I have seen it posted that DI has announced that you will never be able to select PC+ presets from the Helix. This indicates to me that there is at least currently some technical obstruction to this because I can see no practical reason for this basic remote interoperability to have been left out.

 

With a 128 possible IRs selecting them by number only is just impractical. Reminds me of the bad old days before equipment started having alphanumeric screens of adequate length. Everything was limited to two or three digit displays. Modelers and other equipment required a paper cheat sheet because it was impossible to remember what was in more than a few presets as all they had in the display was a number.  Hang on, let me comb my mullet before I program this thing, grin. The user community should encourage Line6 to go the last mile and link the PC+ and Helix up properly. There is enormous potential there, it is just not fully realized yet. If I have to use a spreadsheet to program the PC+ from the Helix I will, and I am certainly happy to see any connectivity at all between the two but a couple of basic tweaks would take this ecosystem over the finish line. I hope they can improve things in an upcoming firmware version.

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10 minutes ago, HonestOpinion said:

The lack of ability to either list IR names or allow presets to be changed from the PC+ seem related to me. They both would involve either populating some kind of list(array?) on the Helix that had the preset names and IR names from the PC+, or alternately a dynamic connection that retrieved the preset or IR name as you scrolled through them from the Helix.  Additionally, unless it is a rumor, I have seen it posted that DI has announced that you will never be able to select PC+ presets from the Helix. This indicates to me that there is at least currently some technical obstruction to this because I can see no practical reason for this basic remote interoperability to have been left out.

 

No technical reason for the preset selection thing other than the fact that's it's not really necessary. What advantage does it give you? If you can store every PC+ parameter as part of the Helix preset and change them per snapshot, why would it be any easier to change the Powercab presets remotely?

 

This is DI's post on TGP that you're referring to: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?posts/28932164/

 

" We'll never add PC+ preset selection from Helix over L6 LINK, because we actively don't want users doing it that way. "

 

I would imagine displaying the names of the IRs in the PC in the Helix is probably doable.

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11 hours ago, phil_m said:

 

No technical reason for the preset selection thing other than the fact that's it's not really necessary. What advantage does it give you? If you can store every PC+ parameter as part of the Helix preset and change them per snapshot, why would it be any easier to change the Powercab presets remotely?

 

For one thing, if you could select PC+ presets you wouldn't have to use some kludgy method for looking up IR numbers. :-)  I have seen this rationale batted around and it has some merit but ultimately makes no sense to me. It's fantastic that the capability to dial in all the PC+ parameters(except sadly presets, and obscured IRs) from the Helix is there at all(that's the merit part). But why force the user to dial them up every time in each Helix preset/snapshot? Isn't that the whole point of a preset, any preset? Find the combination of settings you like and save it for easy retrieval.

 

The Helix and HX Edit are ideal tools for remotely setting the PC+. They offer one place to potentially comprehensively dial in everything in your signal chain from the Helix to its final delivery by the PC+. That goes to the heart of the brilliance of providing L6 Link connectivity from the Helix to the PC+.  I  would rather not get embroiled in the religious debate as to whether or not PC+ preset selection should be allowed from the Helix (I believe it should); it seems self-evident to me. Let's put that aside for the moment though. As always there may be sound technical reasons for not doing it that have not been disclosed. It is the cumulative effect of not allowing PC+ preset changes and also not displaying IR names that is hamstringing the current PC+ remote control implementation on the Helix and making it more difficult than it needs to be. It was literally the first thing I noticed when I hooked up my new PC+.  It was only after determining to my chagrin, wow, they really did do it this way, that I began to enjoy what an awesome cab they had developed. Hardly even seems worthy of debate, there is clearly a better way to do remote connectivity between the PC+ and Helix and Line6 excels at innovative and intuitive UI implementations. IMHO they are really close but not quite yet up to their usual standards for the remote connectivity here..... but it easily could be and hopefully will.

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I apologize that I evidently misunderstood your OP and went to such great lengths to 'preach to the choir', so to speak.  That said, I'm still totally confused as to what you mean when you say " Not having any problems switching things on the PC+ from the Helix" while then going on to say " but to leave out the ability to change presets on the PC+".  My thinking is that they are one and the same - are they not?  This is the root of my misunderstanding and incorrect lengthy attempt to be helpful (grin).  Using, perhaps, different terminology than used previously - what exactly is it you are referring to that you can't change on the PC+ from the Helix?  I'm not aware of a single PC+ setting that I can't adjust directly from the Helix.  Again I'm in total agreement about the inconvenience of the PC+ IR names not being visible on the Helix.

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8 hours ago, JLondon said:

I apologize that I evidently misunderstood your OP and went to such great lengths to 'preach to the choir', so to speak.  That said, I'm still totally confused as to what you mean when you say " Not having any problems switching things on the PC+ from the Helix" while then going on to say " but to leave out the ability to change presets on the PC+".  My thinking is that they are one and the same - are they not?  This is the root of my misunderstanding and incorrect lengthy attempt to be helpful (grin).  Using, perhaps, different terminology than used previously - what exactly is it you are referring to that you can't change on the PC+ from the Helix?  I'm not aware of a single PC+ setting that I can't adjust directly from the Helix.  Again I'm in total agreement about the inconvenience of the PC+ IR names not being visible on the Helix.

 

I can see where the way I put that might have been a little confusing or appeared contradictory. I was just trying to express that I am not having any issue that I am aware of getting the PC+ and the Helix to communicate with each other properly.  At least to the extent they are capable of presently Just that the way they do it right now is still difficult to navigate when some of the requisite data, e.g. PC+ IR names, is not being populated on the Helix.  I thought all of that would have been remedied in the latest update enabling L6 Link communication.

 

The L6 Link communication is two-way. Very cool! Settings on the Helix do change when you manually modify a setting on the PC+ and vice versa. That along with phil_m's comment above tells me that there is at least the possibility that more information could be communicated from the PC+ to the Helix to truly enable elegant and comprehensive remote functionality. It would require at a minimum that the IR names be displayed though, at least in HX Edit if not the Helix, and adding the ability to change PC+ presets would be very desirable but not critical. Either one of these capabilities would suffice to vastly enhance interoperability between the two. Both would be ideal, at least from the view in the cheap seats.

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4 hours ago, chasingMango said:

FWIW I'm pretty sure you can still change presets via MIDI.  I have not figured it out yet though.

 

Good point but it just seems like it would be a shame to have to have both L6 Link and MIDI hooked up to get basic functionality that should be happening through just the L6 Link.

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2 hours ago, chasingMango said:

 

You can send MIDI messages through L6 Link.

 

Was not aware of that. Thanks! Excellent piece of general information. The fact still remains unfortunately that what could be a simple menu driven process from the Helix would still remain a tedious MIDI programming task requiring manual lookup of preset names with no visual feedback as MIDI does not provide any indication of the PC+ preset name on the Helix. Good to know that option is there though. I still hope Line6 changes their decision and includes preset changes along with displaying the presets names. Also the  PC+ IR names definitely should be displayed on the Helix. Would really make the Powercab+ a home run.

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35 minutes ago, chasingMango said:

 

You can send MIDI messages through L6 Link.

 

Well apparently you can't send MIDI via L6 Link right now and maybe ever but I love it as an Ideascale entry. Of course it would have to be enabled in both of the devices on either end of the link.  :-)

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Sorry guys, I misunderstood the Powercab manual, differentiating between commands to control the PC+ through L6 Link which apparently is non-MIDI, and actual MIDI commands.  After I went back I see that it differentiates between the two.  Sorry for any confusion but thanks for helping me understands... I guess that's why I couldn't get it to work lol!

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Surprised to basically be hearing crickets on this topic. Has it been beaten to death already elsewhere? Not enough folks with Helix and Powercabs using L6 Link yet? Maybe other users have a workflow that makes them not care about this. At the risk of belaboring the subject, just to be clear, even though there is an L6 Link connection from the Helix to the PC+ you cannot switch presets on the Powercab+ at all from the Helix and the PC+'s IRs are shown only by their numbers. I can't be the only one who thinks this is not a good thing? Anyone remember what they have in slot 22 in their PC+'s IR list? 53? 128? Better keep a cheatsheet, onscreen list, or have one hell of a memory

 

On the plus side it sounds amazing. For anyone who has struggled getting their EQ right on the Helix here is an instant fix. Just get a Powercab! They should sell them bundled with the Helix to new users. Great sound within minutes of setup. However, gotta rabble rouse for Line6 getting the Helix interface right. Throw me a bone Line6, hey that one just missed my head. Is a better PC+ interface coming to the Helix?

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