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ckbcowboy

Help! Will the Helix Looper sync with an external MIDI Clock?

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First of all, thanks for reading. I've searched throughout this forum, youtube and google in general, but haven't found an answer to my question.

 

Most of the posts I've seen are about MIDI sync for effects, like delay tempos. I see that in FW 2.20, a "Global Settings > MIDI/Tempo > Receive MIDI Clock" option was added to allow Helix to receive a MIDI clock, which I can see working in this youtube video.

 

However, what I'd like to know is if the built-in looper can sync with the incoming MIDI clock. That would mean that the looper's start/stop/overdub controls would lock to the nearest incoming MIDI clock pulse, so that the recorded loop would stay perfectly in sync with MIDI. This would allow a tight integration between a loop in the Helix with other external sequenced music that was providing a MIDI clock. Other dedicated loopers such as the Pigtronix Infinity Looper, Boomerang |||, Electro-Harmonix 2880 and EHX 45000 can all do this.

 

Does anyone know if this is possible? Can anyone connect their Helix via MIDI to an external MIDI clock generator (most MIDI-capable keyboards, sequencers and DAWs can do this) and see if the looper timing can be synced to the MIDI clock without any drift? Bonus points if there's a youtube video showing this working :D :D

 

Not knowing this is the only thing keeping me from buying a Helix!

 

Thanks,

Cowboy

 

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No, the looper has no sync feature like that. It's totally independent from any of the tempo/BPM settings in the Helix.

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Just out of interest: Does any of the top tier modelers have a looper that you can sync to MIDI clock? I don't think so. Out of interest I looked into the Headrush manual, as the HR possibly has the most advanced looper of the bunch, couldn't find anything about MIDI clock sync.

So, if this is keeping you away from buying a Helix, what would you get instead?

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6 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

Just out of interest: Does any of the top tier modelers have a looper that you can sync to MIDI clock? I don't think so. Out of interest I looked into the Headrush manual, as the HR possibly has the most advanced looper of the bunch, couldn't find anything about MIDI clock sync.

So, if this is keeping you away from buying a Helix, what would you get instead?

 

I'd just stick with my Boomerang III looper, separate effects pedals, amp and cabs. I was hoping to get rid of all of that and use just the Helix with a PA, but it only makes sense for me if I can get rid of everything all at once. We each have our own personal requirements :)

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I just recently bought a helix presuming in such a beast the looper would obviously be able to midi sync for use with my beat Buddy and it doesn't.
Also you cant have snapshots on the looper screen. Totally useless! Such a great big expensive piece of kit and they put a dud looper in it!
Now I don't know what to do. I bought it second hand at a good price so might have to just sell it and re asses the situation or integrate a separate looper.


 

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I got tired of waiting. So this happened.... Infinity is in the FX loop of the Stomp so it can be placed anywhere in the chain.

smol bored.jpg

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Boomerang III and Infinity loopers synch to midi clock. I don't know why the Helix products won't. Its a simple thing.

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I got the distinct impression that if MIDI tempo sync wasn't designed in at the outset it was a lollipop (female dog)  to add it retrospectively - this from another similar product...

I put this in as a feature request as soon as the Helix was released. No joy. But I could still really use it.

Headrush has MIDI sync in and out but its more of a Headache than a Headrush.

Boomerang sounds best option but its a little limited to live performance with no ability to save & recall.

One day the perfect Looper will appear but it doesn't seem to have shown up just yet. 

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Fwiw, after all, I think if I was into looping a bit more seriously (which actually might still happen one day...), I would just buy a laptop or a 2-in-1 convertible. In case you're only using them for looper stuff, even rather inexpensive ones should do a decent job and you'd likely just need one of the light versions of Ableton Live, which can be had for peanuts.

The additional advance being that you could as well use plugin-based reverbs and delays, so you'd even free up some Helix resources.

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Well, I've been around the block a time or two with all sorts of setups and loopers for solo performances. At one time I had a laptop-based setup using Mobius (a software looper) and midi pedals. It all worked great at home BUT if things went south at a live gig it was a (female dog) to recover from or troubleshoot. I nixed it for live use. 

 

Boomerang III is the best looper I've found for live use. Yeah, you can't save or recall. But I'm OK with that. Pigtronix Infinity had better MIDI support, but was too constrictive for live on-the-fly use. 

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Check out the Aeros Loop Studio. I just bought one, and it's fantastic.

 

https://singularsound.com/product/aeros-loop-studio/

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10 hours ago, ckbcowboy said:

Check out the Aeros Loop Studio. I just bought one, and it's fantastic.

 

https://singularsound.com/product/aeros-loop-studio/

 Some very mixed reviews by actual owners (Thomann)  but room for some optimism that this may yet develop into a decent product.

The now ancient RC-300 still is in many ways best all-rounder IMO.

 

ckbcowboy - I am VERY interested to hear how you get on with the Aeros - any pros & cons as you get familiar with it?

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The (expensive) Aeros looks promising, though I'm not sure how it will be for live, on-the-fly, impromptu looping --- its hard to tell without some use time. Such looping requires predictable and precise button response, and the ability to use the pedal with minimal visual feedback. And, there is nothing on the website or in the manual that indicates you'll be able to control the Aeros via MIDI CC commands (a feature I'm shopping for now based on current wants).

 

There are pros/cons when it comes to any looper, and most players have different looping needs. You really have to spend some time with each (and the manual) to figure out which one is best for you. There are $100 loopers that will meet the needs of some players.

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Yep this ^.

I have tried many & considered all. The HeadRush might if revised thru firmware get there but there are timing anomalies and something unintuitive about it as it stands. The hardware is good (if you are OK with big) but its not there yet.

I am not sure I am yet ready to gamble again but am watching this Aeros closely. 

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The reviews on the Sweetwater site for the HeadRush were revealing...I learned a lot there.

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3 hours ago, soundog said:

The reviews on the Sweetwater site for the HeadRush were revealing...I learned a lot there.

 

Yeah, but I have seen worse. LB specs out well but just doesnt yet work intuitively to be a serious live device. I like to be able to retain my loops (so not happening on a Boomerang) but also need it to not totally  wipe out the creative process.

The LB has had one firmware upgrade plus a beta that adds a great deal but it still feels unfinished and somehow clunky. I guess if I really worked at it I might get some satisfaction but its a fight I cant yet be bothered with.

If however HeadRush put some serious work into it it could be fantastic - concern is that the reviews have already buried it.

Consequently I am not rushing into an Aeros - need to see some consistency but as agreed there is nothing like (trial) ownership to really know if its right.

A looper seems to be such a simple thing but botched more often than not.

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Agreed! If we could Frankenstein features of each, we could design our perfect looper. In the meantime, I have to settle on "the best I can find for what I need to do." I hope you get the firmware update(s) you want!! 

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