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Qu13tus

Need assistance on where to begin...

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Greetings,

I used a POD XT Live with a Variax 300 for a few years and I remember using my PC to create my own tones, including a custom metal tone, 12 string acoustic tone, and a sitar tone.  The Pod came with a physical manual that was easy to flip through, and I had no problem editing things with the PC for both the POD and the Variax.

The Helix Floor and the Shuriken are different beasts, and I am experimenting with the software and trying to compare it to the Pod/old Variax stuff.  There are many new options and features that I need to learn about, and I find it easy to get lost in the options, or add something that mucks up the tone.  I was in a motorcycle accident which messed with my memory a little bit, and I can't recall exactly how I used the old software as far as combining my Variax edits with the POD edits.

Other than reading through the PDF multiple times, what are some good sources to learn about each feature of the Helix?  I will be looking to create a unique metal tone, a couple of good acoustic tones, and will make a sitar tone, to start with.  I am also looking to experiment with alternate tunings. I will be looking to record with the Helix, and I want to learn about using the MIDI capabilities.  I am going to be getting MIDI software which will allow me to play different instrument sounds with the guitar, and I am wondering if I can somehow implement such software with the footswitches on the Helix.  I am also wondering if it is possible to record what I play on the Shuriken/Helix into a *.mid file for further editing, or to import them into Powertab or some other tablature software.   I have a Roland UM-One USB/Midi cable, with the in and out connected to the Helix.  Any resources to help a newbie would be greatly appreciated.  

Many thanks!

 

Quietus

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YouTube. Hundreds (thousands?) of videos on every aspect of Helix, MIDI, synths, audio to MIDI, whatever you want.

There's also many Facebook groups. And don't forget, Google is your friend!

 

All the MIDI messages that can be used with Helix are in the MIDI section of the .pdf.

How to use them is in the Command Center section, and in the MIDI sections of the manuals for the HW and SW tools that you want to control..

Specific questions can be asked here or over on The Gear Page, where you'll also find sub-forums on some of the other topics you're interested in.

There's also Gearslutz but, warning, I find Gearslutz to be extremely toxic. YMMV.

 

MIDI recording methods and capabilities vary from DAW to DAW, so once you've found out what you CAN do, you'll need to research different DAWs to find the ones that will be the best tools to actually do what YOU want to do. Some DAWs are more MIDI-centric than others. There's user groups for most, if not all, major DAWs.

 

The field(s) you're asking about are enormous. You've got your work cut out for you. What little I know has taken years to accumulate.

One suggestion I can make is, create a detailed list of what you want to do. That will help focus your research.

Also, as you're researching, TAKE NOTES, and create a file of helpful links. You WON'T be able to remember it all!

 

Good Luck, and Have Fun!

 

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8 hours ago, Qu13tus said:

Any resources to help a newbie would be greatly appreciated. 


Hi,

 

Welcome to Helix world.

 

Those ideas given by ”rd2rk”, in the post above, are a really good place to start.

 

For a little more in-depth info about the models that are included in the hardware, this is a really good source.

 

https://helixhelp.com
 

Bookmark this one - you will want to keep going back.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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Thank you for the information.  I get overwhelmed with the amount of info out there, though I haven't found answers about using the midi out to record to *.mid file.  I need to learn more about what I can do, as I don't understand what everything means when I am editing my tones.  One of these days, I will spend the entire day watching tutorial videos.

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2 hours ago, Qu13tus said:

I haven't found answers about using the midi out to record to *.mid file.


Hi again,

 

If you are referring to SysEx and MIDI, then the simple answer is you won’t. There is a thread around here somewhere where the reasons why it isn’t available are explained. Do a search for it.
 

Also, if you are thinking of the sort of .mid files that are used as MIDI song files, well, no that’s not what Helix is for. The MIDI in Helix is purely for sending and receiving Program Change/Control Change and MMC commands.

 

Time that you had a read through the Owner’s Manual. See page 47 about the Command Centre

 

https://line6.com/data/6/0a020a3e07b158e5548ea50d4/application/pdf/Helix LT Owner's Manual - English .pdf

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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8 hours ago, Qu13tus said:

Thank you for the information.  I get overwhelmed with the amount of info out there, though I haven't found answers about using the midi out to record to *.mid file.  I need to learn more about what I can do, as I don't understand what everything means when I am editing my tones.  One of these days, I will spend the entire day watching tutorial videos.

 

In brief:

 

You need to use Command Center to assign the proper MIDI messages to the switches.

 

CC#s 49-54 = FS1-FS6.

 

Snapshot Changes are accomplished by setting the Instant Commands to Send the Snapshot MIDI - CC#69 with values of 0 (snapshot 1) to 3 (snapshot 4).

In Snapshot 1, set IC 1 to CC#69 with Value 0.

In Snapshot 2 set IC 1 to CC#69 with Value 1.

etc.

 

In Global Settings>MIDI/TapTempo you need to set USB MIDI, PC TX and PC RX to ON.

Then, when you record, record both an Audio (Drums) and a MIDI track.

 

Playback will send the proper MIDI signals back to the HXFX, in sync with the recorded Drum Track.

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Hi

As an addon to above, some  starting points

Take care... /Per

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On 10/10/2020 at 3:26 PM, datacommando said:


Hi again,

 

If you are referring to SysEx and MIDI, then the simple answer is you won’t. There is a thread around here somewhere where the reasons why it isn’t available are explained. Do a search for it.
 

Also, if you are thinking of the sort of .mid files that are used as MIDI song files, well, no that’s not what Helix is for. The MIDI in Helix is purely for sending and receiving Program Change/Control Change and MMC commands.

 

Time that you had a read through the Owner’s Manual. See page 47 about the Command Centre

 

https://line6.com/data/6/0a020a3e07b158e5548ea50d4/application/pdf/Helix LT Owner's Manual - English .pdf

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.


I'm not sure what these things mean exactly, but I will be searching.  I just want notes I play on guitar to end up in a midi file, somehow.  I have to tab out my music so that I can review it like a map, in case I forget how I played something.  I don't want to stop to tab out everything that I come up with in a jam session, or I will have to keep interrupting the flow.  I can import midi files into the tablature software and it will auto-tab out the music, and I can then listen to it and copy-paste the good stuff and delete the no-so-good-stuff.  I also play complex melodies that I may not remember how to play, because my fingers sometimes do their own thing, so a map of the notes helps me to learn how I am doing what I do.

 

On 10/10/2020 at 10:05 PM, rd2rk said:

 

In brief:

 

You need to use Command Center to assign the proper MIDI messages to the switches.

 

CC#s 49-54 = FS1-FS6.

 

Snapshot Changes are accomplished by setting the Instant Commands to Send the Snapshot MIDI - CC#69 with values of 0 (snapshot 1) to 3 (snapshot 4).

In Snapshot 1, set IC 1 to CC#69 with Value 0.

In Snapshot 2 set IC 1 to CC#69 with Value 1.

etc.

 

In Global Settings>MIDI/TapTempo you need to set USB MIDI, PC TX and PC RX to ON.

Then, when you record, record both an Audio (Drums) and a MIDI track.

 

Playback will send the proper MIDI signals back to the HXFX, in sync with the recorded Drum Track.


Thank you, I will research these things.
 

On 10/11/2020 at 5:42 AM, PerS said:

Hi

As an addon to above, some  starting points

Take care... /Per


Thank you! 

To review - basically, I want to connect the Helix to my PC with the USB, and I also have the Roland USB midi adapter.  I am going to install a DAW, though I don't know which one yet.  I am also going to purchase Jam Origin Midi Guitar 2, which has a DAW plugin.  I want to use the Helix for my tones and to have it work alongside the DAW and record audio tracks and somehow have everything that I play end up in a *.mid file that I can import into tablature software.

I will keep searching for midi information and watching the tutorial vids while trying to accomplish these goals, while also trying to create a unique tone with the Helix.  I will eventually buy a Roland drum kit and upgrade my keyboard and buy a bass, and I hope to be able to capture everything in midi format for tabbing out and for reviewing/editing/arranging, and create audio tracks for distribution/burning to CDs..

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I just read that I may be able to record midi simply with Jam Origin Midi Guitar 2, so I suppose that I will have to continue to research things until I buy that and choose a DAW that it is compatible with (and with the Helix.)  I may also use the Variax 300/POD XT Live for one of the guitars, and the Shuriken/Helix for the other guitar, just to create a mesh of sounds, since I never recorded anything with the old set up, and I had purchased the metal pack. 

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3 hours ago, Qu13tus said:

I just read that I may be able to record midi simply with Jam Origin Midi Guitar 2, so I suppose that I will have to continue to research things until I buy that and choose a DAW that it is compatible with (and with the Helix.)  I may also use the Variax 300/POD XT Live for one of the guitars, and the Shuriken/Helix for the other guitar, just to create a mesh of sounds, since I never recorded anything with the old set up, and I had purchased the metal pack. 


Hi, again,

 

Now I have a better idea of what you are wanting to achieve, but first you need to understand a few things about MIDI.

 

Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 works as a plugin in a DAW. Jam Origin can then analyse your guitar signal and (hopefully) convert it into a stream of MIDI data that can then be used to trigger other MIDI instruments. Your Shuriken/Helix and Variax 300/POD XT Live cannot generate MIDI note on/off, pitch bend and modulation data, only Control Change and Program Change commands via MIDI.

 

The only way to do what you want is to play your guitar into a DAW (example Logic, Cubase) and use the audio to MIDI conversion through the plug in. I had an early version of MIDI Guitar installed and never really had much success with it, although I understand it is much improved in tracking and response. 
 

I cannot understand why you imagine that Roland UM-One USB/Midi cable is going to be any assistance with either the Helix or XT Live (I own both). I think if you are hoping to remotely play a Synthesiser with this cable - then prepare to fail - without a MIDI pickup it will not happen. Somewhere around here I still have a Roland GR-33 Guitar Synth and GK-2A Pickup system which is more like the sort of thing you need. I gave up with it because I could never really get it to work as I wanted - expensive mistake. Have you considered buying a MIDI capable guitar to do what you are describing, it would probably be a great help, because I seriously doubt that you will do It with the items you have now. The Jam Origin and a free DAW may be a way in, but you may be disappointed or delighted. You need to try it out.

I realise that you are only interested in capturing guitar notes to use as .mid files and generate tablature, but there lots of issue about tracking and how true the conversion is. If you lose only one note from 100, that may be the most important one.

 

I really think you need to do some very serious research about this stuff.

 

Here’s a video about MIDI guitar and synth - a little insight,  please take note about bends, muting etc. So you can probably forget shredding.

 

 

 

Hope this helps/makes sense

Edited by datacommando
Added vid

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On 10/16/2020 at 6:42 PM, datacommando said:


Hi, again,

 

Now I have a better idea of what you are wanting to achieve, but first you need to understand a few things about MIDI.

 

Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 works as a plugin in a DAW. Jam Origin can then analyse your guitar signal and (hopefully) convert it into a stream of MIDI data that can then be used to trigger other MIDI instruments. Your Shuriken/Helix and Variax 300/POD XT Live cannot generate MIDI note on/off, pitch bend and modulation data, only Control Change and Program Change commands via MIDI.

 

The only way to do what you want is to play your guitar into a DAW (example Logic, Cubase) and use the audio to MIDI conversion through the plug in. I had an early version of MIDI Guitar installed and never really had much success with it, although I understand it is much improved in tracking and response. 
 

I cannot understand why you imagine that Roland UM-One USB/Midi cable is going to be any assistance with either the Helix or XT Live (I own both). I think if you are hoping to remotely play a Synthesiser with this cable - then prepare to fail - without a MIDI pickup it will not happen. Somewhere around here I still have a Roland GR-33 Guitar Synth and GK-2A Pickup system which is more like the sort of thing you need. I gave up with it because I could never really get it to work as I wanted - expensive mistake. Have you considered buying a MIDI capable guitar to do what you are describing, it would probably be a great help, because I seriously doubt that you will do It with the items you have now. The Jam Origin and a free DAW may be a way in, but you may be disappointed or delighted. You need to try it out.

I realise that you are only interested in capturing guitar notes to use as .mid files and generate tablature, but there lots of issue about tracking and how true the conversion is. If you lose only one note from 100, that may be the most important one.

 

I really think you need to do some very serious research about this stuff.

 

Here’s a video about MIDI guitar and synth - a little insight,  please take note about bends, muting etc. So you can probably forget shredding.

 

 

 

Hope this helps/makes sense


Thank you!  This is the sort of info I was looking for.  I may look into a midi guitar at some point.  I have been looking at one from the 80's (Casio DG-20) and will probably end up with one of those, though nicer guitars are really expensive. I may buy Midi Guitar 2 and try out some free DAWs in order to experiment before investing in a DAW.  I keep googling info about the helix, midi, DAWs, recording, etc.  

I didn't know if the Roland cable would be of any benefit; I mentioned it just to provide info on everything that I have here at my disposal.  I usually use it to connect an old Roland MT-32 to my PC.  Though you are correct that I need to conduct serious research.  I was just getting lost and frustrated in trying to find the answers. 

I can fill in the blanks in the tracking when I shred.  I often continue to compose music within Power Tab after writing the base music on the guitar, and then later learning how to play the finished product or further refine the tunes on the guitar.  The idea is to make it easier to add riffs and licks to my catalogue for later arrangements. 

I wish that Line6 would add more MIDI capabilities to the Helix and the Variax guitars...

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10 hours ago, Qu13tus said:


I can fill in the blanks in the tracking when I shred.  I often continue to compose music within Power Tab after writing the base music on the guitar, and then later learning how to play the finished product or further refine the tunes on the guitar.  The idea is to make it easier to add riffs and licks to my catalogue for later arrangements. 


Hi, again,

 

Here’s a follow up for you regarding Jam Origin MIDI guitar plug in. 
 

Yes - it works!

 

Although, I had  better qualify that statement. I saw some videos of the JO software in action, and it looks very impressive, especially the demo done by the young guitar player in ELP Legacy, who took it on tour. I grabbed a copy of the demo and loaded it into Logic on my Mac. Set it to listen to a dry guitar signal from my Helix, and had it trigger an electric piano in the next track, so I  could just hear the EPiano an no guitar. Then I selected a picked bass software instrument and played a fairly simple bass line. Seemed to sound decent enough, so I set the track to record an 8 bar section and played it back. Mmm... it seems that somehow I was getting some false, or  rather double, triggering in the MIDI recording. Easy enough to clean up, but it must be a sensitivity setting in the app, although my short time with it hasn’t revealed where it is in the plugin. I would avoid trying to get this to function properly with a Death Metal tone hitting it - no, no, no. It will need to be pristine, crystal clear, and no sympathetic string noises whatsoever.

 

Going back to that demo video you can see that Paul Bielatowicz has the shredders favourite string damper on the nut of his guitar. The feed to the plugin running on his laptop is very, very clean and his guitar tone comes from his pedalboard, amp and speakers. You should download a freebie DAW and the JO plugin to see if you can get it to work for your needs. I costs nothing but time.

 

Also, on another video on YouTube, someone asks why they cannot achieve the same clean triggering - (there must be more going on than we can see).


Hope this helps/makes sense.

 

Here’s a link to the video - look in the comments for the one from “Jesus”.

 

 

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On 10/19/2020 at 8:16 AM, datacommando said:


Hi, again,

 

Here’s a follow up for you regarding Jam Origin MIDI guitar plug in. 
 

Yes - it works!

 

Although, I had  better qualify that statement. I saw some videos of the JO software in action, and it looks very impressive, especially the demo done by the young guitar player in ELP Legacy, who took it on tour. I grabbed a copy of the demo and loaded it into Logic on my Mac. Set it to listen to a dry guitar signal from my Helix, and had it trigger an electric piano in the next track, so I  could just hear the EPiano an no guitar. Then I selected a picked bass software instrument and played a fairly simple bass line. Seemed to sound decent enough, so I set the track to record an 8 bar section and played it back. Mmm... it seems that somehow I was getting some false, or  rather double, triggering in the MIDI recording. Easy enough to clean up, but it must be a sensitivity setting in the app, although my short time with it hasn’t revealed where it is in the plugin. I would avoid trying to get this to function properly with a Death Metal tone hitting it - no, no, no. It will need to be pristine, crystal clear, and no sympathetic string noises whatsoever.

 

Going back to that demo video you can see that Paul Bielatowicz has the shredders favourite string damper on the nut of his guitar. The feed to the plugin running on his laptop is very, very clean and his guitar tone comes from his pedalboard, amp and speakers. You should download a freebie DAW and the JO plugin to see if you can get it to work for your needs. I costs nothing but time.

 

Also, on another video on YouTube, someone asks why they cannot achieve the same clean triggering - (there must be more going on than we can see).


Hope this helps/makes sense.

 

Here’s a link to the video - look in the comments for the one from “Jesus”.

 

 


Awesome, thank you!  I am definitely going to check it out.  I also want to "play other instruments" with midi, but with the guitar so that I can add some crazy and epic layers to my tunes.  I practice muting techniques to try to avoid sympathetic string sounds as the way I shred can make it a problem, but filling in the blanks should be easy.  My girlfriend (who sin gs and jams a little) was watching me use power tab after listening to me jam, and she can also help me with things.

I found the VST version of JO somewhere cheap ($99 for the whole thing!)  I just have to pick a DAW...

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2 hours ago, Qu13tus said:

I found the VST version of JO somewhere cheap ($99 for the whole thing!)  I just have to pick a DAW...


Hi Qu13tus,

 

The Jam Origin website sells the full version of MIDI Guitar 2 for $99 plus not only is it a DAW plug in, but also a stand alone program. The reason you need to get a free DAW to run the plugin is because is the stand alone item doesn’t have the option to record the MIDI directly to a file. Go for it - it could be fun.

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20 hours ago, datacommando said:


Hi Qu13tus,

 

The Jam Origin website sells the full version of MIDI Guitar 2 for $99 plus not only is it a DAW plug in, but also a stand alone program. The reason you need to get a free DAW to run the plugin is because is the stand alone item doesn’t have the option to record the MIDI directly to a file. Go for it - it could be fun.


Thank you!  I'll check to see if the plugin is still available.  The full version lacking a midi recording option seems strange and too expensive for lacking such a feature.   Being able to record anything I can to midi is going to be amazing and save me a lot of time and prevent MANY awesome riffs and licks being lost to memory...

I am researching free DAWs and trying to pick one that has the most features with ease of use, and that accepts plugins.

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