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MIDI loopback tricks (e.g. 2Switch looper, switch wah from footswitch)


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As many users are already aware there are some interesting ways you can use the existing footswitches on the Helix by looping a MIDI cable from the Helix's MIDI IN to the MIDI Out. Handy if you don't feel like adding an external MIDI switcher. This allows you to assign switches to make changes on the Helix that aren't necessarily available through the HX interface. Here are a couple, hope folks on the forum can add a few more. Wouldn't be surprised if some of these commands end up in the HX interface eventually, but for now... 

 

#1 -Turn the 1Switch looper into a 2Switch looper

Puts the 'Stop' function for the 1Switchlooper on a second switch so it no longer requires a double-click to stop.

 

  1. Set 'Global Settings' --> 'MIDI/Tempo' --> 'MIDI Thru' = "Off"              This prevents runaway infinite loop MIDI funkiness when you are looping MIDI back into the Helix
  2. Set up a MIDI cable from your Helix MIDI output and loop it back to your Helix MIDI input
  3. Go to the Command Center and set the following parameters on the switch of your choice: "Command"='MIDI CC', "MIDI Ch"='Base', "CC#"='61', "Value"=0.  This will now be the footswitch you use to stop the looper.
  4. Assign the 1Switch looper to the footswitch of your choice.
  5. You now have a two switch looper and the 'Stop' command no longer requires a double click. You can stop the looper with the switch you assigned the MIDI command to and as you would expect use the switch you assigned the 1Switch looper to for other looper operations(play, erase, etc.).

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2- Assign wah to a footswitch

Allows you to switch the wah from a footswitch so the volume setting on the expression pedal doesn't change when switching to the wah as it does using the toeswitch

 

Download and modify template - the easy method

Download and modify the template preset below to your needs or you can set this up manually yourself.

https://line6.com/customtone/tone/4397153/

 

If you use the preset do these two steps first

  1. Set 'Global Settings' --> 'MIDI/Tempo' --> 'MIDI Thru' = "Off"              This prevents runaway infinite loop MIDI funkiness when you are looping MIDI back into the Helix
  2. Set up a MIDI cable from your Helix MIDI output and loop it back to your Helix MIDI input

 

Set it up from scratch

Instructions below use HX Edit for several steps but they could also be done from the Helix directly. You can substitute the references to footswitch#11 for whichever footswitch you prefer to use. Please let me know if I omitted anything or got it wrong but my preset appears to work correctly.

  1. Set 'Global Settings' --> 'MIDI/Tempo' --> 'MIDI Thru' = "Off"              This prevents runaway infinite loop MIDI funkiness when you are looping MIDI back into the Helix
  2. Set up a MIDI cable from your Helix MIDI output and loop it back to your Helix MIDI input
  3. Add your wah and volume block using the Helix's default settings for your volume on EXP2 and wah on EXP1. The volume block should be active, wah should be bypassed, and the text above the expression pedal should have EXP2 highlit.
  4. Use HX Edit and go to the 'Bypass Controller Assign' tab and change the assignment for your Wah block for the 'Bypass' parameter to the footswitch you want to switch from volume to wah. In this example I will use footswitch#11.
  5. While you are still on the 'Bypass Controller Assign' tab clear the assignment for the Volume block's 'Bypass' parameter. So now you should be looking at three assignment entries only for both the volume and wah blocks - Wah Position = EXP1, WAH Bypasss = Footswitch#11 (used in this example) and Volume Position = EXP2
  6. Now go to the Command Center (where you set up your MIDI commands) and set up the following values in the parameters for Footswitch#11(used in this example)
    1. Command = "MIDI CC",  MIDI Ch = "Base",  CC# = 59,  Value = 0
    2. The Helix uses the CC# "59" to switch between EXP1 and EXP2 on the expression pedal. Handy as we will no longer be using the toe switch. It is this capability that allows the expression pedal's control to be passed from the volume to the wah pedal without turning the volume block off. This preserves the volume pedal's last setting.
  7. As we are using footswitch #11 in this example which is on the bottom row next to the  tuner switch, you are going to need to have your global settings set for Stomps on the bottom row or you need to switch into Stomp mode so you can use footswitch#11.
  8. You are done. Use footswitch#11 to switch between volume and wah. Don't use the expression pedal toe switch! Now when you press footswitch#11 (used in this example) the expression pedal will control only the wah or only the volume. Also, when you switch from volume to wah your volume will be retained at the same level without maxing out.

 

  •  

VolWah on FS#11.hlx

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Here is a link to an excellent "unofficial" MIDI guide compiled by Stoopalini over on the Gear Page.  It has a chart full of MIDI codes for the entire line of HX devices including some/all(?) of the looper commands as well as lots of other great MIDI information and tips.

 

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?posts/26700425/

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  • 3 years later...

Another trick with midi loopback I have found is that you can customize foot switch assignments per snapshot in a preset.  There are limitations but it is workable and makes the snapshot feature even more powerful.  

 

Limitations I have encountered:

  1. The midi assignment type needs to be the same across each snapshot.  You cannot have a MIDI CC selection in snapshot 1 and then CC toggle for snapshot 2.  
  2. LED color assignment cannot be customized across snapshot.  If FS1 is yellow on snapshot 1, then it will be yellow on snapshot 2 and snapshot 3.
  3. Footswitch naming cannot be customized across snapshots.  If FS1 is set to "Boost" in snapshot 1, then it will also appear as "Boost" in snapshot 2 regardless of the midi assignment.  I choose to use generic names like PARM1, PARM2, etc... or you can stack them like BST-DLY-RVB so that you know snapshot 1 is Boost, snapshot 2 is Delay and snapshot 3 is Reverb.
  4. Certain midi assignments need to be the same or it will act up.  For example, when I try to assign FS4 to toggle between snapshot and stomp mode  in snapshot 1 but then try to set FS4 to go directly to snapshot 1 from snapshot 2 and 3 (using CC toggle 69/dim(0) ), it freezes up.  

 

My current setup that is working:

 

  1. Snapshot 1 (Heavy):
    1. FS1 - Set via CC toggle to turn an overdrive block on and off
    2. FS2 - Set via CC toggle to turn a reverb and a delay block on and off
    3. FS3 - Set via CC toggle to turn a chorus block on and off
    4. FS4 - Set via CC toggle to switch between snapshot mode and stomp mode
      1. Sometimes you have to hit the foot switch 2x to get it to work
  2. Snapshot 2 (Clean):
    1. FS1 - Set via CC toggle as a momentary switch to change parameters on the delay block
    2. FS2 - Set via CC toggle to change parameters on a delay and a reverb block 
    3. FS3 - Set via CC toggle to turn a chorus block on and off
    4. FS4 - Set via CC toggle to switch between snapshot mode and stomp mode
      1. Sometimes you have to hit the foot switch 2x to get it to work.
  3. Snapshot 3 (Aux)
    1. FS1 - Set via CC toggle as a momentary switch to change parameters on a tremolo block
    2. FS2 - not in use currently
    3. FS3 - not in use currently
    4. FS4 - Set via CC toggle to switch between snapshot mode and stomp mode
      1. Sometimes you have to hit the foot switch 2x to get it to work.

 

Hopefully in future releases, line6 will add foot switch customization per snapshot so that you don't have to work around the limitations.  In the meantime, this solution works perfect for me as I don't necessarily want to add a bunch of extra midi foots witch controllers.  5 is the sweet spot for me and customization per snapshot provides a lot of flexibility. 

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