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"Live" aka "performance" mode on Helix: to lock all unnecessary controls - does it exist?


theElevators
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Hi there.  I just got the Helix yesterday.  Many other units and keyboards have a way to lock all the presets and controls for live performance.  When the unit is "locked" for live performance, the musican cannot accidentally adjust any parameters in the heat of the battle.  Boss MS-3 has this lock feature if you press and hold the "save" button for 3 seconds: all knobs and mini buttons become unresponsive, until you unlock the unit.  Does something like this exist in a Helix?  

 

PS: yes I am quite clumsy, and have to play a complicated set that has frequent sound changes, and the last thing I need is to accidentally start editing my patch during an important solo while people are holding up their cell phones ....  or something :)

 

Many thanks in advance,

d.  

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I've got some big feet, size 13" to be exact, and not very graceful tap dancing on or around a pedal board and I've never had any issued accidentally bumping a knob.  The only knob that might be in question (for me) would be the big volume knob, which I setup (through global settings) to only control the 1/4 outs to my monitor.  That way I never mess with the house, plus the house is getting a strong signal at unity.

 

If you are that worried about bumping one of the little knobs that adjust block parameters, setup the bottom row of buttons to either be your snapshots or stomps....which ever you use the most during a gig.  Lastly, as a fail safe, I would save your main preset(s) to another bank.  Just in case you do screw up something beyond fixing.  That way you can simply recover at the gig somewhat quickly.

 

But seriously, I'm confident you won't mess up anything unless you're in a KISS tribute band and wear huge stacks.

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It doesn't, but you can lock the Main Volume knob, which is what most people don't want messed with.

  1. From the Global Settings > Ins/Outs menu, press PAGE> twice to view page 3.
  2. Turn Knob 3 (Volume Knob controls) to something other than the outputs you're using. For example, if you're using both XLR and 1/4" outputs, choose "Digital."
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IMO... I can't imagine "accidentally" adjusting the helix during live use. The large volume knob getting caught by a cable is about the only thing I can think of, which is easy to disable as outlined by Digital_Igloo above. The Helix doesn't have "auto save" so even if you did inadvertently kick a knob into oblivion a simple recall of the preset clears it.  

 

That said... there are times when the touch buttons become too sensitive (I assume it's humidity conditions), and my feet (always in shoes) would set them off in unexpected ways. Easy fix.... I leave "touch" turned off, and only turn it on when I am doing a lot of editing. 

 

I'm not against having such a feature... especially if it solves a problem for others. I just can''t see myself ever having this problem. 

 

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  • 1 year later...

WELLLLL, I just realized I have re-calibrated the Tuner to be at 436 Hz, didn't even realize this..... As I just finished recording a bunch of songs....  There needs to be a way to lock all of these settings. I hate this latest trend of being able to make changes without any "are you sure you want to save? y/n" confirmations.  Apple started this. 

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6 minutes ago, theElevators said:

WELLLLL, I just realized I have re-calibrated the Tuner to be at 436 Hz, didn't even realize this..... As I just finished recording a bunch of songs....  There needs to be a way to lock all of these settings. I hate this latest trend of being able to make changes without any "are you sure you want to save? y/n" confirmations.  Apple started this. 


I don’t know about that... I can’t recall any multi-FX processor that ever had any sort of prompts like that for changing various settings. Usually, you just set them, and that’s that.

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30 minutes ago, phil_m said:


I don’t know about that... I can’t recall any multi-FX processor that ever had any sort of prompts like that for changing various settings. Usually, you just set them, and that’s that.

 

Also would be EXTREMELY annoying lol...

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1 hour ago, theElevators said:

..... I hate this latest trend of being able to make changes without any "are you sure you want to save? y/n" confirmations.  Apple started this. 

 

34 minutes ago, PierM said:

 

Also would be EXTREMELY annoying lol...


The annoyance factor is exactly why the ‘latest trend’ began many years ago now. 
 

Helix does require a 2-step SAVE procedure for presets, and provides an indication that a preset has been changed so that you won’t switch presets without saving unless you want to. Surely you don’t want the confirmation prompt for every change, like changing an amp’s drive value, any more than you’d want to be prompted every time you enter a new character in a text editing program.

 

So what sorts of changes do you want to see specific prompts for? Apparently the tuner offset is one. Others?

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1 hour ago, theElevators said:

WELLLLL, I just realized I have re-calibrated the Tuner to be at 436 Hz, didn't even realize this....


WELLLLL, I just realised... that is known as “pilot error”. 
 

Good job you don’t fly!

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2 hours ago, silverhead said:

 


The annoyance factor is exactly why the ‘latest trend’ began many years ago now. 
 

Helix does require a 2-step SAVE procedure for presets, and provides an indication that a preset has been changed so that you won’t switch presets without saving unless you want to. Surely you don’t want the confirmation prompt for every change, like changing an amp’s drive value, any more than you’d want to be prompted every time you enter a new character in a text editing program.

 

So what sorts of changes do you want to see specific prompts for? Apparently the tuner offset is one. Others?

I specifically don't want to be able to make global setting changes on the fly.  I don't want to be able to set the global tap-tempo vs. per-snapshot vs. per-preset setting.  I specifically don't want to calibrate my tuner.  That about covers it.  These are settings that should not be tweaked on the fly at a gig.  These settings should be set once and never messed with again. 

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1 hour ago, theElevators said:

I specifically don't want to be able to make global setting changes on the fly.  I don't want to be able to set the global tap-tempo vs. per-snapshot vs. per-preset setting.  I specifically don't want to calibrate my tuner.  That about covers it.  These are settings that should not be tweaked on the fly at a gig.  These settings should be set once and never messed with again. 


Yes, all these changes should only be made very intentionally. All of them (except tuner access) require you to specifically press the MENU button and then choose a submenu. You can easily avoid doing this during a gig. Since it’s done so intentionally an extra prompt to make sure you mean it seems superfluous.
 

As far as the tuner goes, you can access it with a HOLD of the Tap Tempo / Tuner switch. Again, a very intentional action. How does one manage to change the tuner calibration by accident? It requires you to not only intentionally access the tuner but then to rotate one of the encoder knobs. Your foot is nowhere near those knobs when you press the switch. You would have to do it by hand methinks. Again, a very intentional act during a gig and easily avoided.

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2 hours ago, theElevators said:

I specifically don't want to be able to make global setting changes on the fly.  I don't want to be able to set the global tap-tempo vs. per-snapshot vs. per-preset setting.  I specifically don't want to calibrate my tuner.  That about covers it.  These are settings that should not be tweaked on the fly at a gig.  These settings should be set once and never messed with again. 


As already mentioned, I don’t see how anyone could accidentally change those global settings at a gig, as they require multiple button pushes just to get to the menu. It would mean they were trying to change some other setting, and in the process changed something else, which even if that were the case, having a settings lock wouldn’t really help them...

 

As far as the tuner reference pitch, I suppose it’s within the realm of possibility. I’ve seen it mentioned maybe three or four times over the last 5 years that someone accidentally changed the reference pitch. I’m not sure why your foot would necessarily be near that knob while tuning; though.

 

Anyway, I don’t think it’s something that’s going to change at this point. It seems that making changes to the basic operation and use of a device after it’s already been on the market for five years isn’t all that likely.

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18 minutes ago, phil_m said:


As already mentioned, I don’t see how anyone could accidentally change those global settings at a gig, as they require multiple button pushes just to get to the menu. It would mean they were trying to change some other setting, and in the process changed something else, which even if that were the case, having a settings lock wouldn’t really help them...

 

As far as the tuner reference pitch, I suppose it’s within the realm of possibility. I’ve seen it mentioned maybe three or four times over the last 5 years that someone accidentally changed the reference pitch. I’m not sure why your foot would necessarily be near that knob while tuning; though.

 

Anyway, I don’t think it’s something that’s going to change at this point. It seems that making changes to the basic operation and use of a device after it’s already been on the market for five years isn’t all that likely.

You can touch the tap tempo button and the tap tempo/per snapshot/per preset setting pops up.  As a matter of fact, I own 2 Helixes, and during regular rehearsals, I constantly see the tap tempo setting flash, probably due to static electricity or whatnot on the floor.  So it's not having to press the menu button.  My question is -- why?  why do you want to give users an ability to tweak this stuff on the fly?  Why can't you disable the capacitance of the switches?   Lock that stuff up. 

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1 hour ago, silverhead said:


Yes, all these changes should only be made very intentionally. All of them (except tuner access) require you to specifically press the MENU button and then choose a submenu. You can easily avoid doing this during a gig. Since it’s done so intentionally an extra prompt to make sure you mean it seems superfluous.
 

As far as the tuner goes, you can access it with a HOLD of the Tap Tempo / Tuner switch. Again, a very intentional action. How does one manage to change the tuner calibration by accident? It requires you to not only intentionally access the tuner but then to rotate one of the encoder knobs. Your foot is nowhere near those knobs when you press the switch. You would have to do it by hand methinks. Again, a very intentional act during a gig and easily avoided.

Here is a scenario:

1. you go into the tuner. 

2. you tune

3. You go into a snapshot on the upper row, next to the knobs, and you accidentally turn those knobs that are in the way.  You do realize that you can exit the tuner by immediately going into a snapshot.  I do that all the time. 

 

This whole thing would not happen on an HD-500, because the knobs are not exposed.

 

another one:

1. you touch the tap tempo button, or the menu simply gets triggered by itself, as it does all the time whenever I rehearse due to static electricity

2. Immediately after you access a snapshot on the upper row next to the knobs, and inadvertently change the setting from: per snapshot to per preset

 

This results in an embarrassing situation where you change your settings and imagine if you have some kind of a delay solo, it can sound like a pile of garbage.  . 

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9 hours ago, theElevators said:

Why can't you disable the capacitance of the switches?   Lock that stuff up. 


You can - it’s not a secret  - here’s a quote from the Helix Owner’s Manual - Rev E, Page 66, Global Settings > Footswitches.

 

If you don’t want this “touch” behavior (such as if you play barefoot!), set this to “Off.” 

 

“PierM” pointed this out in the earlier comment above, also by “codamedia” back in Dec 2019. Seems simple enough to me.

 

Although, I’m intrigued by the statement that you are rehearsing in an environment full of static electricity? You do realise that electronic components are prone to failure when subject to large static voltages. Maybe you ought to have a look at getting that taken care of.

 

Shocking, truly shocking.

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9 hours ago, theElevators said:

   ..... Lock that stuff up. 


I presume the Global Settings would be locked up with a Global Setting of some sort? Which, itself, would then be locked? Interesting Catch-22!! Of course in the world of computer security this is usually solved by requiring a password to unlock it. Easily done, I suppose..Because... well .... what if someone else decided to unlock your settings to cause you havoc and chaos?...  ;-)  (jk)

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27 minutes ago, datacommando said:


You can - it’s not a secret  - here’s a quote from the Helix Owner’s Manual - Rev E, Page 66, Global Settings > Footswitches.

 

If you don’t want this “touch” behavior (such as if you play barefoot!), set this to “Off.” 

 

“PierM” pointed this out in the earlier comment above, also by “codamedia” back in Dec 2019. Seems simple enough to me.

 

Although, I’m intrigued by the statement that you are rehearsing in an environment full of static electricity? You do realise that electronic components are prone to failure when subject to large static voltages. Maybe you ought to have a look at getting that taken care of.

 

Shocking, truly shocking.

We are going in circles lol.  There is no way to turn it off.  The capacitance is always enabled.  And that menu always pops up when touching the tap tempo/tuner button.  For such a serious and global setting, I still don't understand why it's so exposed.  I never want to change how my delays operate during a gig. 

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4 minutes ago, theElevators said:

We are going in circles lol.  There is no way to turn it off.  The capacitance is always enabled.  And that menu always pops up when touching the tap tempo/tuner button.  For such a serious and global setting, I still don't understand why it's so exposed.  I never want to change how my delays operate during a gig. 

 

You can turn all the Stomp touch OFF in the Globals. Only one that stay active is the tap tempo FS, which I do agree is annoying, but all the others are OFF.

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8 minutes ago, theElevators said:

.....  I never want to change how my delays operate during a gig. 

The way to draw this feature request to Line 6’s attention is via Ideascale. This discussion won’t change anything.

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11 minutes ago, silverhead said:


I presume the Global Settings would be locked up with a Global Setting of some sort? Which, itself, would then be locked? Interesting Catch-22!! Of course in the world of computer security this is usually solved by requiring a password to unlock it, because... well .... what if someone else decided to unlock your settings to cause you havoc and chaos? Easily done, I suppose.....  ;-)  (jk)

The whole thing about these menus is that if you don't know what you are doing you can accidentally change something without knowing that you did.  Even when you scroll through settings, it's possible to accidentally change something.  A solution is to "duh, know what you are doing".  But, it's not good user interface.  For global settings, there should be a way to revert your changes, or confirm that you in fact willingly made that change.  Call me old-fashioned.  I always look at a piece of equipment from the angle of a user experience and preventing an ability to screw things up.  If you are onstage during a show and you realize your setting got changed and all your delays don't work as they have been previously saved, you will start to panic.  How do you prevent such situations?  By making it slightly more hard to make drastic global changes, that you ordinarily will not be tweaking daily.  These settings should never be touched once you determine how you are using your Helix.  Yet, these settings are available through unneeded shortcuts, without pressing the menu button.

 

When I play guitar onstage, I have to constantly switch my sounds as my band relies on all these bells and whistles.  One of the songs for example uses every single one of the snapshots in the preset.  The bottom line is that it's already enough of a tap dance + having to sing backup and play guitar too ;)  And the last thing I need to think about or have in the back of my mind how I have to watch where I step, or else I can change my settings.  That's why I still think that from the hardware point-of-view, HD-500 was a way better board: the back row was on a step, there were guard rails around the knobs for a reason. 

 

Cheers.

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I do understand what the OP is worried about and have experienced it to one degree or another through the years.  Not during performance but often when I'm working on a preset at home.  I do 90% of my changes on the Helix itself and there have been times when I'm using one of the knobs that I accidently turn it while trying to navigate which results in a change.  I've never really worried about it because I save my presets often during and after I finish with them so if I inadvertently change something I simply move to a different preset then back to the original preset which will be the last saved version.  I might have to re-do a couple of things, but that's pretty easy since I just did them them before the incident happened.  Granted the tap tempo can be a problem and it would be nice to lock/unlock it on a preset basis, but that's the only situation I could think of that would be of benefit.

To me that's no different than any other computer or device I've ever owned.  If I make a mistake, I back out and then come back into it which reflects the state prior to my changes.  I'd rather do that than have to deal with constantly turning protection on and off.  It works the same but without the hassle.

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Whether there needs to be a more comprehensive way to lock global settings and if so how to go about it is up for debate. Frankly in years of gigging with the Helix I never once found it to be an issue. Still, I can see why some users might find being able to totally lock down certain settings valuable, particularly in the studio.  Don't know if there are enough who find this an issue though to give the idea any real momentum.

 

One thing I agree on though with the OP and DunedinDragon is that the 'Footswitches' --> 'Stomp Select' setting should have an option added that includes turning off the touch/capacitance sensing on tap tempo and the tuner.  There should be at least one option("Off" being the obvious choice) on this setting that guarantees absolutely nothing will be activated by touch although I suppose some users wouldn't mind having an additional option(s) that retained the current behavior where only the tap tempo and/or tuner remains touch sensitive.

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