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Gone2Gig

Using Helix during live performances--Song Mode

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Newbie here considering getting a Helix and looking for input/suggestions, specifically on the workflow and management of using specific presets and/or snapshots as they pertain to any particular song, and collectively to a large repertoire of pretty diverse genres.  I've been looking at the Helix floor and rack closely as well as the other top modeling amps on the market. 

 

Here's what I'm trying to achieve:

- The ability to assign presets, or perhaps snapshots or a combination of both, to each song by song title.

- Then have the ability to quickly scroll through a list of 100+ songs via the footswitch, which could be broken up into setlists for speed and efficiency, but probably ordered alphabetically rather than by song performance order since our setlists change from gig to gig 

- Be able to scroll through these songs using just the footswitch and referencing the display.

- Have the ability to choose any particular song as the next song to play while still playing on the last preset of the current song.

- Being able to do this with a maximum of 3 or less stomps (one being a long stomp to scroll through and view songs from the master song list).

- Once I find the next song in the list to be played, be able to select it using my feet

- Once selected, have however many switches available to choose the sounds for that particular song.

- A few songs only require a single sound, but most could need from two to six-ish different sounds that I would like to have a switch for each. I prefer to actually have a switch for each sound vs just having a next and previous switch for moving through sounds for any given song.

- Then repeat for the next song, etc.. 

- The ability to do this all with my feet, without having to bend down to scroll, make a selection, or change footswitch modes, all within 2-3 stomps very quickly is a must.

- During performances, I don't need the ability to make edits to the sounds, occasional use of an assignable expression pedal is great to have though. 

 

In short, I want to work out all my sounds like amps, cabs, effects and parameters for each song ahead of time and tweak at rehearsal when needed. But once it's time for the first downbeat during live performances I want to focus on what I'm playing, crowd interaction, and the overall experience, not be concerned with which amp model, effects, parameters, routing, banks, etc., that I'm using. At that point, I really don't even care if any of that information is reflected on the display. Just a song title and a small description on each scribble strip would be ideal. But then the need to find the next song quickly (hopefully without having to change modes on the footswitch or Helix engine between tasks) is important.

 

We use a format and have the same requirements that many cover bands have. We play one to four sets a night with a dozen or songs per set. So lots of very different kinds of songs, with lots of diverse sounds needed from song to song, and even within a single song at times. I do reuse some of the same presets in multiple songs, but if there's very much change in a preset for another song, I generally edit it and save it as a different preset number. I did guitar and amp repair for a music store for a few years and have had dozens and dozens of guitarists and keyboard players ask for recommendations on equipment to meet very similar needs to those I have outlined. I have struggled to come up with any great suggestions for a turnkey solution, especially as most modeling amps and equipment is laid out either physically or virtually in 'Banks' (the bane of my existence in live performances) and often do not match up very well with with 'song' organization (i.e. a song may only need one or two different sounds but the modeler has tied the number of presets in a bank to the number of foot switches available or visa-versa. I usually referring them to a third party midi controller. I had a GREAT one years ago that was made by a very small company. I was SO spoiled by its elegant implementation and ease of use relating to these requirements!! 

 

 I understand that Helix is built for MANY applications by a large diverse user base and I am blown away by its huge feature set. I am hoping that with all it's capabilities, there is an efficient way of being able to meet the needs I've outlined above for live application using just the Helix. It would be a crying shame to drop almost $2K on a Helix that can do so much and still have to throw out a few hundred or more on an additional external midi foot switch just to be able to use the Helix efficiently for live performances as related to songs. With everything that can be done by today's equipment, having to use a spreadsheet on stage to keep track of a song list and map the presets to each of the songs, then have to do the footswitch hustle on a foot controller between each song seems to be such a waste of a powerful modeling amp with built in multi effects and foot controller at ones reach... and kind of missing the whole point behind this technology!

 

I've been through the manual, combed through posts, and watched about every video I can find related to the Helix, especially in live performance, but most of those videos and posts address the physical setup (i.e.Helix -> PA/power amp [cabs] -> mic -> PA) and not so much tracking and moving from song to song with large setlist implementations. Although I have seen several similar questions with similar needs, but none with compelling responses. So I am really hoping some of you folks on the forum that have had some great hands-on experience using it can give me some viable options. If I could find viable answers and solutions to these questions, I would buy one today!! 

 

Sorry for the long post, but it seems easier to try to give you full details to my needs rather than going back and forth several times providing additional information.

 

Thanks in advance!!

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You're going to need MIDI to accomplish all of what you've described. You should look into small MIDI controllers like the Morningstar MC6/MC8.

You'll need to familiarize yourself with the MIDI commands required to do these things in the MIDI CC section of the Helix manual.

Most of it should be doable, but you're asking a lot, and will have to prioritize your needs, experiment and think outside of the box to get there.

There's no modeler I know of that will do all of what you're asking natively.

 

Last thought - when I played in cover bands (back in the stone-age before modelers), we had setlists. They usually went out the window when we got to the gig.

You may still need to fall back on that spreadsheet once in a while.

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7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

- The ability to assign presets, or perhaps snapshots or a combination of both, to each song by song title.

Check. You might want to make sure you understand what "Preset Spillover" is, because whether you use it will have an effect on how you build your patches to transition between songs. With Preset Spillover enabled, delay and reverb trails will continue after you have changed Presets, and there will be no audible gaps between Presets, at the cost of only being able to use one Path per Preset (it loads the selected Preset on the free processor while leaving the previous Preset running on the first processor until the next Preset is loaded and all trails have stopped "trailing" on the previous). In your case of nightly changing setlists, it might be advisable to enable Preset Spillover. If you had the same setlist every night, you could use Snapshots to cover a few songs at a time (Snapshots enable and disable Blocks and change Parameters within the same Preset, so there are no gaps and trails keep on trailing), but trying to do that with an ever changing setlist would require essentially building new Presets every night.

 

7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

- Then have the ability to quickly scroll through a list of 100+ songs via the footswitch, which could be broken up into setlists for speed and efficiency, but probably ordered alphabetically rather than by song performance order since our setlists change from gig to gig 

Check. Each Setlist has 32 Banks of 4 Presets = 128 Presets. Snapshots make it so that you will rarely need more than 1 Preset per song, so 128 should be fine.

 

7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

- Be able to scroll through these songs using just the footswitch and referencing the display.

Check. Press either the ^ or v switch to bring up the Preset menu. Use ^ and v to scroll through Banks. It displays 2 banks at a time.

 

7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

- Have the ability to choose any particular song as the next song to play while still playing on the last preset of the current song.

Check. The display stays in the Preset menu until a Preset is selected. Audio is not affected by entering the Preset menu.

 

7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

- Being able to do this with a maximum of 3 or less stomps (one being a long stomp to scroll through and view songs from the master song list).

Check. I can confirm that pressing and holding the ^ or v switch displays, after a short delay, the Preset menu and scrolls through the Banks until the switch is released.

 

7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

- Once I find the next song in the list to be played, be able to select it using my feet

Check. The Presets displayed in the Preset menu correspond to the 8 middle footswitches.

 

7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

- Once selected, have however many switches available to choose the sounds for that particular song.

Check. Pressing the Home button toggles between Signal Flow View and Performance View. Performance View has two Modes, selected by the Mode switch - Stomp Footswitch Mode and Preset Mode. However, in Global Settings > Footswitches > Preset Mode Switches, you can actually set Preset mode to display almost any combination of Presets, Snapshots, or Stomps. Personally, I have them set to display Snapshots, as accessing the Preset menu is just a press of the ^ or v switch away.

 

7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

- A few songs only require a single sound, but most could need from two to six-ish different sounds that I would like to have a switch for each. I prefer to actually have a switch for each sound vs just having a next and previous switch for moving through sounds for any given song.

Check. That's exactly what Snapshots are for. However, keep in mind that if you're going to use Preset Spillover, you only have access to half of the Helix's processing power for each Preset. In most cases this won't cause an issue but if you have a song that has, as you say, 6-ish wildly different sounds that require the Preset to have many DSP-intensive Blocks, you might have to split the song into more than one Preset. On the other hand, since you're using Preset Spillover, you have the ability to seamlessly change Presets anyway, and using Control Panel, you can assign one of your Stomp Mode switches to call up a specific Preset. Stomp Mode is actually really versatile because in addition to the Stomp switches enabling/disabling Blocks, you can also have them modify parameters, call Snapshots, call Presets, send MIDI commands, etc., and many times you can do a bunch of those things at the same time using a single footswitch.

 

7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

- The ability to do this all with my feet, without having to bend down to scroll, make a selection, or change footswitch modes, all within 2-3 stomps very quickly is a must.

Check. You may have to bend over at the beginning of the night to press the Home button to put the unit into Performance Mode, but from there, it's all done with the feet.

 

7 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

At that point, I really don't even care if any of that information is reflected on the display. Just a song title and a small description on each scribble strip would be ideal.

Performance Mode doesn't display anything about Blocks, routing, etc. It basically tells you what the footswitches will do.

 

8 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

I have struggled to come up with any great suggestions for a turnkey solution, especially as most modeling amps and equipment is laid out either physically or virtually in 'Banks' (the bane of my existence in live performances) and often do not match up very well with with 'song' organization (i.e. a song may only need one or two different sounds but the modeler has tied the number of presets in a bank to the number of foot switches available or visa-versa.

That's kind of what's great about Stomp Footswitch mode. Certainly the Helix having 4 Presets in each Bank is tied to the fact that it has two rows of 4 middle footswitches, but with Stomp Footswitch mode you can mix and match what the footswitches do, so you can have, say, 3 switches with Presets, two with Snapshots, and three that control stomps or whatever works for you. And if it makes any difference, you can have the Presets listed numerically (1-128) instead of alphanumerically (01A-32D).

 

8 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

With everything that can be done by today's equipment, having to use a spreadsheet on stage to keep track of a song list and map the presets to each of the songs, then have to do the footswitch hustle on a foot controller between each song seems to be such a waste of a powerful modeling amp with built in multi effects and foot controller at ones reach... and kind of missing the whole point behind this technology!

You won't have to use a spreadsheet - every Preset is named.

Honestly, there are a few shortcomings to the Helix in terms of control (for instance, it's possible to have the bypass state of a block ignore Snapshots using an option called Snapshot Bypass, but if you have a Stomp footswitch set to control a block's parameters, there's no way to have the parameter ignore Snapshots), but I have to say that I think it's the best multi-fx designed yet in terms of in-performance control. I'm not seeing anything in your description of what you want to do that makes me think you can't use the Helix to do the job.

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Agree with Rd2k on using midi to make life easier.

 

I used to manage a library of song patches in one bank and drag and drop to dated set list banks - managing it that way is doable but remembering to only tweak your base library is a disipline I was poor at.

 

I now use Midi via an android device and Bandhelper as the app. Heaps easier.

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What you're describing is more appropriately a tablet-based software solution than a hardware solution which, as mentioned previously, could be easily implemented for almost any modeler that supports MIDI.  Certainly there's got to be some enterprising software company that's addressed this need somewhere. From the looks of it the performance tools offered in Bandhelper might be the right tool for what you want.

 

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As long a you're asking, why not see if you can get a lifetime supply of tuna sandwiches with your purchase? ;)

 

But seriously I'll echo what's already been said... you can do all of that and more, but it's gonna be a reach (and probably more tap dancing than you'll want to do) if you're relying on nothing but the Helix hardware to accomplish it all. I have a buddy who uses an iPad on his mic stand to do just about everything you describe, plus pulling up lyrics and chord charts for each tune... all he does is swipe to the next tune on the setlist, and voilà... preset changes, MIDI commands for everything under the sun.

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Thx to everyone that has responded with suggestions and great information. I have been looking into different midi pedals on the market and specifically their support for song mode. There are quite a few out there and pretty sure I could find one to meet my needs. I actually even have a line on possibly buying a replacement of my old Midigator RFC1 by Lake Butler. It does this stuff so easily and is built like a tank. Just hasn't been in production for 20 years or so.

 

I appreciate your suggestions for ways to accommodate this within Helix natively. That would be the best option if I could get it all sorted out. I really would rather spend more time practicing than programming as well (along with the tuna sandwich! :)). I am aware of the tails issue. Again, something I was kind of spoiled with my older and existing rig. I can simply turn them off or on without any performance impact or limitations. Preset changes are almost instantaneous as well.

 

You are correct in stating that none of the modeling amps do this type of song mode particularly well, if at all. Those that take a shot at it aren't very elegant nor easy to use in this fashion. I'm amazed at all they can do and do a lot VERY well,  but this seems to be way down on the list of requirements, if at all! Yet I've found lots of folks on various forums trying to achieve the same things or very close to it.

 

I have also looked at midi software to achieve this. But I may have to dig into this a bit more as well. I already have an iPad next to me for personal monitor mixing. One challenge to any of these methods is not actually owning and being able to put my hands on the devices. I prefer to do my homework first, then purchase, rather than purchase, realize it doesn't fit the bill and then return it or have to sell it. I may just have to bite the bullet though to really fully understand and try out the mechanics and practical application.

 

Thx again for all your input and suggestions. I welcome any additional ideas. You all rock!

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I've used Set List Maker for years (the same guy makes BandHelper). I run it on an iPad mini. When I tap a song from my songlist on the iPad, it sends MIDI commands to all my equipment (including Helix) to put everything (mixer, etc) into the perfect state with any presets for the song. Highly recommended and easy to use.

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15 hours ago, soundog said:

I've used Set List Maker for years (the same guy makes BandHelper). I run it on an iPad mini. When I tap a song from my songlist on the iPad, it sends MIDI commands to all my equipment (including Helix) to put everything (mixer, etc) into the perfect state with any presets for the song. Highly recommended and easy to use.

I've taken a look at both of these but haven't used either, but until now, have never had the need to. The band has always prided themselves on not using any music stands or devices to help with sheet music, charts, lyric sheets, etc. Everything has always been memorized with the exception of song list order. We are even struggling a bit with having a device for each member to tweak personal monitor mixes. It is nice to have this capability, but it adds yet one more device to one's setup. For years we have had 3 monitor mixes and everyone has had their personal sounds with volumes and EQs setup in advance so that once we had decent monitor mixes at the beginning of the gig, we seldom had to tweak after the gig started. Now we are running the X32 mixing console and have this capability, a great board for live use and nice additional features, but we had really gotten things down with our old board and now I'm looking at stirring things up with a new rig myself too. Having lost my old midigator footswitch, things were going to have to change anyway.

 

One thing about using a device and software to accomplish this song and settings, is the disadvantage is not having my hands available to look through and find the next song while playing the existing song. To say we use setlists is even inaccurate, for most of our gigs we have never even used set lists. There are 3 of us that pretty much call the next tune up in a different order every single night based on the gig, crowd, etc. This made having a complete listing of all our tunes at my feet to be able to browse the list while playing the current song especially useful. Fast songs were alphabetized in set 1, ballads in set 2, with set 3 I eventually broke the fast set in half and had songs m-z and a few common sound combinations for requests in set 3. If someone else called the next tune, at the most it took me 2-3 stomps to find it and one stomp at the end of the current song to arm all my settings to start the next song. This could all be done within 5 seconds max, so with even 5 seconds advance notice, I could play the end of one song and still be ready to start the next song with no break between songs.

 

It was really slick and so easy to setup before performances. I could add a new song into the footswitch in less than a minute once I had my presets configured and identified. Most of that time was simply entering the song name, which during performances was all that showed in the 16 character display with HUGE one inch characters. Very easy to see the song name and which setting within the song I was on from even 10' away in any lighting. I seldom made sound edits during a gig, but if required, my rack sat about waist high directly to my right. It was nice not having too much info on the display or several lines of small text to search through to find the song name. A real issue with today's midi FW's and modeling amps during live play for me today.

 

So do you use Set List Maker to find the correct song (unless you are using a structured setlist, in which case you would simply swipe to the next song in the setlist I'm guessing) and use it to call up your Helix settings to start the song,  then move through the rest of the songs settings via the Helix foot controller or do you use a different method for making preset/stomp/snapshot changes within any particular song if more than one sound is required?

 

Thanks so much for your suggestion and specifics on how you use it. It's amazing what some of the midi software can do running from a mobile device these days!

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I basically just scratch the surface of all the things a helix can do - but the op brought up a great idea.  It would be awesome someday if helix had a "song mode".  Something like snapshots, but you would use it for a single song. 

 

Such as in this example - "Stairway to Heaven".  You start out in a very acoustic like setting, and then maybe the next stomp button takes you to 12-string, then to a little more drive, and then finally to the guitar solo, and back to acoustic guitar.  Like snapshots, you would need to have all your effects and amps, etc in each snapshot, but you would control what is on/off and some settings.

 

Come to think of it, is there a way you can set up the helix that once you enter snapshots, and choose a snapshot (or the default one) that the helix continues to show you all the available snapshots, you can choose, but when you exit snapshots, it defaults back to showing 8 tones at a time?

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, talonmm said:

I basically just scratch the surface of all the things a helix can do - but the op brought up a great idea.  It would be awesome someday if helix had a "song mode".  Something like snapshots, but you would use it for a single song. 

 

Such as in this example - "Stairway to Heaven".  You start out in a very acoustic like setting, and then maybe the next stomp button takes you to 12-string, then to a little more drive, and then finally to the guitar solo, and back to acoustic guitar.  Like snapshots, you would need to have all your effects and amps, etc in each snapshot, but you would control what is on/off and some settings.

 

Come to think of it, is there a way you can set up the helix that once you enter snapshots, and choose a snapshot (or the default one) that the helix continues to show you all the available snapshots, you can choose, but when you exit snapshots, it defaults back to showing 8 tones at a time?

 

 

 

Helix already has such a thing.  It's called Command Center and it can do everything you just described within any preset. I now normally operate the Helix in  all stomps mode and I assign snaps, stomps, and MIDI commands wherever I want them on my board for each song (preset) using the Command Center with little to no limitations.

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So @DunedinDragon brings up a good point: Helix Command Center will send most any MIDI you need from a preset, etc.

 

My solo live setup is a bit complicated (solo performance, playing looper, guitars, sax, foot percussion, harp, etc; and I have no sound man, so need to use MIDI control to call up a digital mixer's routing, Helix presets, drum module presets, external fx modules, looper settings, lights, etc). I didn't want Helix presets to dictate my settings via Command Center (I needed more flexibility). So I ended up figuring out on paper the smallest number of MIDI "scenes" (dedicated to a specific sound (so, for example, a blues song with sax, acoustic guitar, distorted lead tone, harmonizer on sax). So these scenes could be called up generically (using a name such as "Blues Sax #3" in Set List Maker), and I could also apply the scene to any specific song title if I wanted. I ended up with about 10 basic "scenes" which could be applied to about any song I performed.

 

I usually play from a set list, but this set up also allowed me to play any song I wanted (request, improvise, etc) without looking for the song title .... I could simply select a "sound" scene from Set List Maker, and all devices were configured at the tap of a finger. I only have to look at my iPad for a split second to make a selection. The beauty of Set List Maker (or BandMaker) is that you have a lot of flexibility in setting up how you want it to work. The app is quite deep, so you do have to spend some time with the manual and learn your way around. If you need more support, the developer (Arlo) hosts an online forum. He's always open to suggestions and evolving the software.

 

So, yeah, Helix Command Center may do what you want. But I recommend that you first think through what you need to control via MIDI, and how you want to call up stuff when you are performing. Footswitch? iPad? Telepathy? The great news is that there are a lot of amazing options available.

 

 

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7 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

Helix already has such a thing.  It's called Command Center and it can do everything you just described within any preset. I now normally operate the Helix in  all stomps mode and I assign snaps, stomps, and MIDI commands wherever I want them on my board for each song (preset) using the Command Center with little to no limitations.

 

Thanks!  I have seen others discuss Command Center - I had no idea what it is or does.  Thanks for the tip!  I will look into it!

 

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On 3/26/2021 at 1:44 PM, soundog said:

So, yeah, Helix Command Center may do what you want. But I recommend that you first think through what you need to control via MIDI, and how you want to call up stuff when you are performing. Footswitch? iPad? Telepathy? The great news is that there are a lot of amazing options available.

 

I think you misread the OP. He doesn't want to control external devices with MIDI. He ultimately wants to do everything with the Helix, and MIDI only became part of the conversation when it was suggested that an external MIDI controller might be the only way to have things work the way he wants. So yes, Command Center might be the answer, but more for setting up Stomp Footswitch mode to call Snapshots or even other Presets, not necessarily for sending MIDI to control external devices.

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A lot of great ideas and comments. My overall objective here is to simplify my rig, not cimplicate it further. And, have an easy way of managing the various sounds for each song within a single unit that I can configure all the sounds for each song before the gig and come gig time be able to find any song quickly and have its sounds, and only it's pre-configured sounds available to me all via the foot controller if possible. The example of stairway to heaven by talonmm is a great example! That is right on fhe money! Now just multiply that need x 100+ songs played in any order! Keeping track of and quickly accessing all those different settings across many songs can become quite the task.

 

Sure one still has to think in terms of each of those individual amps, cabs, effects, routimg, and parameters while configuring for a gig, or even working in a studio, etc. But for the first time in history, one can have almost any (great) sound available with the press of a single switch! This opens the door for the possibility during a performance to not have to think of all those individual pieces that make up a sound. In live performance, the most common organizational element in playing music by a LONG shot is the 'song'.

 

I used to use multiple amps and multiple effects and having to to think in terms of every parameter and amp type and settings, it was a real challenge needing to change, turn off or on almost every part of the rig depending on what the next sound I need is, then one had to be physically able to make all those changes via sstomp, turns of dials n pushing buttons for each. An unbelievable logistical nightmare if one wants to copy sounds and effects pretty closely with that type of rig, even with just a few songs.

 

Along comes modeling amps with multiple FX that can be pre-configured and save practically any combination of elements that make up a particular sound to a ssingle preset. Great! Goodbye multiple amps and each of their controllers and goodbye to lugging around a huge pedal board or rack and having to control each of them individually every time I want to change ssounds. Plus no more having to make 6 adjustments to get a completely different sound!

 

Presets are one common element in all of today's modelers and multi-effect units that allow one to virtualize (to use a tech buzz word) almost any combination of sounds and organize them for quick access with a single switch! For the first time in history, a guitar player might not have to think of each of these individual parts that make up a sound during live performances! This is even more powerful as one uses more unique sounds within a large number of songs in a setlist.

 

If working in a studio,  writing music or while preconfiguring presets, etc., one still has to think about all those eelement.  Understandable. But in live performance, the most common unit of organization in performing live music is the 'song', by a long shot! Regardless of instrument or supporting gear.

 

It blows me away that with all the capabilities of modern modelers, that I can't create a virtual organational units called a song, name it by the songs name and assign any number of sounds (ie presets, snapshots, programs, etc) to it and be able to find and quickly access any given song and its related sounds with a quick switch or two. Especially given the all the featues that are offered in today's modelers. 

 

I saw a YouTube video where the product line manager was talking about how versatile and powerful the Helix is, especially with the inclusion of the Command Center. One can literally check their email spam folder and delete emails with this feature according to the video. I understand the power to be able to send practically any commands to any number of devices with a single switch. But again I come back to my original point, I'm trying to simplify my rig by getting rid of as many different pieces of equipment as possible. I believe the Helix has pretty much all the amps n effects I really need in one unit and an incredibly powerful and easy to use foot controller... especially during the configuration phase of building sounds. Now I'm just trying to find the easiest way to organize these sounds into 'songs' and quickly access them, hopefully without having to use a single preset per song where I may have to throw every amp, cab, effect, etc, and the kitchen sink into a single preset if all if those elements are required to create a variety of sounds for one song. Then (under this approach) having to physically name that particular preset with a particular songs name, making it more confusing if I wanted to use that particular preset in other songs as well. 

 

It would be so much easier to create a preset for EACH given sound in a song, be able to create a 'virtual folder' called a song and assign whichever presets (sounds) required to that particular song and have a switch assigned to each preset to be able to switch through the sounds within that song. Find the next song, repeat This is the next best thing to having a guitar tech back stage making all your switches for you for every song during a gig!  Perhaps this is an issue of symantics to a certain degree. Perhaps one 'preset' could be equal to one 'song' in the Helix 'file system' (for lack of a better word). If so, I'm still not quite seeing it yet. 

 

The Helix is SO close to being able to do this as far as I can tell. The scribble strips are genius in terms of providing an editable visual description of each switch's function. It could have either the name of the preset or the description of which part of a song its being used for, etc. It's just the ability to create songs, name them, find them quickly and access them with their respective sounds,  independently from which bank they live in, which presets or lists the belong to, and being able to see clearly that I am still struggling with.

 

All of those things (ie presets, snapshots, setlist,  banks) are programmable, virtual 'folders' for organization within the Helix (well, maybe not entirely virtual as there seems to be some strings attached in these assignments) . I'm just trying to find one I can use like a 'song'. But that may be a bridge too far for the Helix by itself today. Yet, I'm guessing I could probably program it via command center to dim the lights, turn on the fireplace, play some music, and maybe even make some toast in a single stomp! Lol

 

Please know that this is not a rant. Far from it. I am just trying to explore its capabilities and how they might match up to my needs BEFORE going out and dropping almost $2K. There are lots of musicians out there using competing products wanting to do the same thing at a song level and not finding an elegant solution without having to add another footswitch, device or app. But if Helix could do this, I believe there would be a fair amount of Fractal, Kemper, and Headrush users that would jump to Helix in a heartbeat. I've read a lot of posts in their forums and other equipment blogs that are looking for very similar capabilities in their native modeler or in conjunction with other misc rigs and trying to do it with with other devices. Given the massive features that Helix has included, being able to create, manage, and quickly access a song and a collection of songs (of course along with their related sounds) seems like it would be relatively easy to do in comparison with many of the things that have already been built into it. Especially when one considers just how ubiquitous the 'song' is to music itself. Even more so when making and playing it. It seems like a logical evolutionary step... and would make life a whole lot easier for gigging musicians!

 

I really appreciate everyones input and help! Great input and suggestions! Keep it coming!

 

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Sorry for the duplications during that last post. I wrote it over 3-4 days on my mobile and it was struggling. I even thought I lost a section and then it reappeared when I actually posted it.

 

Time to reboot and clear my cache! Lol.

 

Thx again to everyone that's contributed or following along!

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I think I get what you're saying. You want another organization level ABOVE Presets, where a Song could potentially call up any number of Presets, and a single Preset could potentially be assigned to multiple Songs, and making changes to that Preset would carry over to ever Song that uses that Preset. I love it, but...

 

At the risk of insulting the typical user here, I'll say that the kind of control you're talking about is not likely to happen. The features included in the Helix are largely dependant on the collective wishes of the users of this forum, and even more so the "voting public" on Ideascale. I've submitted a few of my own "control-centric" ideas and haven't received nearly as much support as things like "more, better reverbs" and "polyphonic shift" (I will admit I'm glad that got done) and "this amp model" and "that amp model". So those are the kinds of things L6 prioritizes, as they should if they want to keep the majority of the user base happy. 

 

What I'm saying is that the Helix is flexible enough to do what you want, it's just not going to happen the way you think it's going to happen. I also play in a cover band that plays a bunch of different songs by a bunch of different artists that often have multiple discrete sounds per song, and we also don't really use a predetermined set list. Your idea would really benefit me, but it's not gonna happen so this is what I do. 

 

I have one Setlist that I use for building Presets. In this Setlist the order doesn't matter because I don't use them during a performance, only when I'm tweaking on my own or during rehearsal to make sure they sound the way I want and because I have more time to get from song to song. Now, because of the pandemic I haven't gigged with my Helix yet (got it in November I think?), but the plan is, once I'm happy with the Presets I've built, I copy them to another Setlist that is for live performance. Whether they're sorted alphabetically or some other way (we do 3 or 4 song "mini-sets" of songs by one particular artist, one after another quite often), they're renamed as I copy them to this new Setlist so that they have some context to the actual performance (could be a band name, could be a song name), rather than the name I use as I'm building them, which usually has more to do with what's going on "Block-wise" in the Preset. The Presets in the "build" Setlist will often be copied to multiple Presets in the "performance" Setlist. If I need to make changes to a Preset, I make changes in the "build" Setlist then copy and rename them to the "performance" Setlist. So ya, in terms of what I have to do during non-performance time, what I'm doing takes way longer than what you're suggesting, but in-performance it works exactly how you describe: I have a bunch of different Presets that represent songs that are ordered in some way that makes it easy and fast to find the next Preset I need, whether it's been decided beforehand or not.

 

I think this is the best you're gonna get with the Helix, without some piece of external equipment. You can sign up for an Ideascale account and submit your idea and I'll vote for it (please post a link if you do), but in my experience this kind of "control-centric" idea doesn't get far in the community.

 

Hope this helps. 

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You have the concept down perfectly zappazapper. Out of all the modelers I think Headrush has the closest implementation. At least they have a song mode that one can assign rigs and scenes to and then place songs in setlists. Even with that it's not as elegant as I would like to see. But it really may not get much better either when a single footswitch controller is being used in so many different ways.

 

Unfortunately, I also have to agree with you about having little hope for such a native implementation coming in the future for L6. I realize the need to prioritize and listen to users. They have a good thing going on Ideascale. One problem with this feature is the ability to describe it succinctly in a small paragraph, so it has to compete for votes against ideas like you mentioned-- support for x and y pedals and amps, etc. Features that can be read, understood, and up-voted by the masses in 30 seconds.

 

I really do believe it would be a popular feature if implemented well. Having actually used something like this in the past, it's hard to wrap my head around going back to keeping track of and accessing things differently. I also don't think it would be all that hard to implement, but that also depends largely on how they coded and built their core architecture. L6 could be hard wired to their current structures.

 

I found an older video of Bradshaw giving a demo of a foot controller he built and put into limited production years ago. Kind of a poor man's version of the controller behind one of his custom Bradshaw racks that were all the rave during the 80s and into the early 90s (pre-grunge and a return to all things simple. A single amp and a couple of pedals days... also the return of the Les Paul and all things vintage. I remember in the mid to late 80s when you literally almost couldn't give away a Les Paul! My have we went full circle again! lol, but I digress). Song mode was one it's main features, just like it also was in his custom racks at the time. Years ahead of its time.

 

I REALLY appreciate your detailed description of how you are using your Helix to achieve the closest thing to a true song mode. Really great stuff! Good luck with your endeavors there. Let me know how it works in practice once you get a chance to use it when you start gigging again.

 

I bit the bullet and bought a Helix floor today. I'm excited for many of its features, but hope I don't regret the purchase in the long run. Time will tell.

 

Amazing how a single piece of gear from 40 years ago spoiled me and insulated me from all of these workarounds in work flow, organization, and tracking in live performances. The ole Midigator RFC1 was such a godsend, and I only used a small number of its features, but those were right up front and center! Much of what it could do is now being re-released in the Command Center and being rediscovered by new generations.

 

Thanks so much for your post!

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32 minutes ago, Gone2Gig said:

Unfortunately, I also have to agree with you about having little hope for such a native implementation coming in the future for L6. I realize the need to prioritize and listen to users. They have a good thing going on Ideascale. One problem with this feature is the ability to describe it succinctly in a small paragraph, so it has to compete for votes against ideas like you mentioned-- support for x and y pedals and amps, etc. Features that can be read, understood, and up-voted by the masses in 30 seconds.

I'm sure that's part of it, but also I think modelers appeal to a bunch of guitarists that would never have thought to use a multi-fx before but are intrigued by names of amps and effects they know and love, and so they want more of those things. And so do I, but it's just that, even though I came up in the grunge era, I was always intrigued by multi-fx units and got my first one as soon as I could afford it, while all my friends were doing the pedal thing. So I was exposed to the paradigm of Presets and assigning controllers to things and all the versatility that comes with that, while maybe a lot of users just can't wrap their head around the idea that THAT BUTTON DOESN'T DO THE SAME THING ALL NIGHT?!!? And so something ABOVE Presets wouldn't make a lot of sense to them when maybe they're not even using Presets all that much. I've seen many posts where people say they use a single Preset for everything. And fair enough. But it's almost like they should have also put out a full-sized, 12-button and expression pedal unit with all the same amps and effects, but just a SINGLE PRESET available, for those players that are looking for all the colors on their palette but are just painting one picture, and then put a little more into organization and control for the flagship unit to satisfy those of us who have been using multi-fx units for years and have expectations, not only of the way they used to work but also innovations.

 

And to be quite fair, there are innovations, but I've found a few cases where they conflict (can't have a parameter ignore Snapshots when you assign it to a footswitch like you can with a bypass) or don't behave in a consistent manner (can assign a footswitch to bypass two or more different blocks opposite of one another [one on, one off, and vice versa], but can't do the same with an incoming MIDI CC...  you can assign as many blocks to the CC as you want but they'll all turn on or off together). But there's little appetite in the community to look at these things because generally I don't think people use these features that much, and most of the ones that do just dip their toes in the water and use them in a very basic way, so never come across these barriers. The barrier they have is that the Helix doesn't have a model of the 1176. And fair enough. My most popular Ideascale post has 10 votes, compared to over 2500 for the most popular one, and I can hardly argue with those numbers and a company going to such great lengths to make as many of their customers happy as possible. And despite my own priorities, I'm also very happy with my Helix, because one thing I think all long-time multi-fx users know is that there's always something they DON'T do, and it's just a fact of life that you have to wrestle with them to get them to do things you want.

 

1 hour ago, Gone2Gig said:

I really do believe it would be a popular feature if implemented well.

Ha. I don't think 1% of users would even bother with it. I love it, but I can't see it. Post it on Ideascale and you'll see how popular it is XD

 

1 hour ago, Gone2Gig said:

I bit the bullet and bought a Helix floor today. I'm excited for many of its features, but hope I don't regret the purchase in the long run. Time will tell.

I don't think you'll be disappointed if you're realistic about what it does and what it doesn't do. First off it sounds fantastic. All this talk of organization and control means nothing without that. And you'll find a way to make it work for live performance, even if getting there is a little cumbersome.

 

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be seeing you around the forum, and don't forget to post your idea to Ideascale. I'm jumping into bed but when I get a minute I'll link some of my own ideas and you can look them over and decide if they make sense. 

 

All the best. 

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As someone who, for the last six years, has operated successfully in live performances with the Helix using presets as the functional equivalent of a song, I can't really say it's been deficient in that role.  It may have been harder in some cases in the past and has gotten much easier over time with the addition of snapshots and more recently the Command Center, but it still works incredibly well for my needs.  Granted I have the advantage that my current performance setlists are fixed for each performance and don't change.  In that regard I now have well over 300 "songs" or presets I've built in my repertoire of songs. So from my perspective the only thing that would be necessary to accommodate what you've been discussing here would be a layer of functionality that simply allows one to easily and quickly identify and navigate to any specific preset in real time.

As has been mentioned previously in this post there are already 3rd party tablet-driven offerings that make this quite simple such as On Song or Bandhelper which is where I would go if I needed that functionality.  That's not what Line 6 does.  Line 6's corporate proficiencies are in modeling and (increasingly) integration, all of which apply across all user boundaries whether you're in live performance, in the bedroom or in the studio.  What I would be concerned with is diluting their development resources by trying to do something outside of their expertise that doesn't fit their business model nor does it address the broadest needs of their user base.

From my perspective as someone that uses the Helix in the manner I do, there are still some glaring deficiencies in the base capabilities such as a way to more easily integrate the concept of Snapshots with the ability to include multiple integration actions with the outside world such as through MIDI or CV.  Case in point, I've integrated a BeatBuddy drum pedal into our live performances that automatically makes my Helix "songs" work with my BeatBuddy songs, and would like to take the next step of integrating a looper as a way of adding backtracked additional instruments into any given song along with synchronized lighting control.  The Helix is very close to being able to do all of that with the functionality they have other than they don't have any way of incorporating multiple MIDI commands along with normal Snapshot functionality executed through a single footswitch.  That definitely falls within their wheel house of proficiencies.  I'll take it upon myself if I need to integrate some other 3rd party component to better manage my songs in a live performance because that functionality isn't something I want to do with my feet anyway, and there are a number of solution already in the marketplace to do it.

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13 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

 they don't have any way of incorporating multiple MIDI commands along with normal Snapshot functionality executed through a single footswitch.

Couldn't you do that with the Instant Commands? I have a 2-button footswitch that is controlled by MIDI to switch channels and enable the EQ on my amp (ExtAmp never worked in that capacity for me), and I'm able to change the CC value being sent via changing the Instant Command value for different Snapshots. Maybe I'm not understanding the functionality you're describing?

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1 minute ago, zappazapper said:

Couldn't you do that with the Instant Commands? I have a 2-button footswitch that is controlled by MIDI to switch channels and enable the EQ on my amp (ExtAmp never worked in that capacity for me), and I'm able to change the CC value being sent via changing the Instant Command value for different Snapshots. Maybe I'm not understanding the functionality you're describing?

 

While using multiple Instant Commands allows for sending multiple MIDI commands on preset load and snapshot changes, a single Stomp Footswitch can send only one MIDI command at a time.

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6 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

While using multiple Instant Commands allows for sending multiple MIDI commands on preset load and snapshot changes, a single Stomp Footswitch can send only one MIDI command at a time.

What if you used Command Center to have the Stomp Footswitch call a Snapshot?

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You'd need to loop the MIDI I/O, which might work (I'm on the road without a MIDI cable. Try it!), but what would be the point? Just assign a Stomp Mode switch to call the snapshot.

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5 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

You'd need to loop the MIDI I/O, which might work (I'm on the road without a MIDI cable. Try it!), but what would be the point? Just assign a Stomp Mode switch to call the snapshot.

But correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't calling a snapshot execute ALL the instant commands.  To my knowledge you can't just call Instant Command 2 and 4 only, right?

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3 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

You'd need to loop the MIDI I/O, which might work (I'm on the road without a MIDI cable. Try it!), but what would be the point? Just assign a Stomp Mode switch to call the snapshot.

Sorry, I'm having trouble understanding what you're suggesting, and I think it might be because I didn't do a very good job of explaining my own suggestion.

 

Example Preset (defaults to Snapshot 1)

In Command Center:

Instant 1:

  • Command: MIDI CC
  • MIDI Ch: Base (or whatever)
  • CC#: 0
  • Value: 0

Instant 2:

  • Command: MIDI CC
  • MIDI Ch: Base (or whatever)
  • CC#: 1
  • Value: 0

Footswitch 8:

  • Command: HX Snpsht
  • Behavior: Press/Release
  • Press: SNAPSHOT 1
  • Release: None

Footswitch 9:

  • Command: HX Snpsht
  • Behavior: Press/Release
  • Press: SNAPSHOT 2
  • Release: None

Press Footswitch 9 to call Snapshot 2

In Command Center:

Instant 1: change Value to 127

Instant 2: change Value to 127

 

Use joystick to highlight Instant 1

Use Footswitches 8 and 9 to toggle between Snapshots 1 and 2 - Value of Instant 1 should toggle between 0 and 127

Use joystick to highlight Instant 2

Use Footswitches 8 and 9 to toggle between Snapshots 1 and 2 - Value of Instant 2 should toggle between 0 and 127

 

Multiple MIDI messages being sent with single Stomp Footswitch

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12 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:

But correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't calling a snapshot execute ALL the instant commands.  To my knowledge you can't just call Instant Command 2 and 4 only, right?

You are able to have Snapshots change the MIDI Ch and CC# parameters as well as the Value, so theoretically you could use those parameters to send messaged to either a MIDI channel or CC# that's not being used for the Snapshots that you don't want messages sent to your original intended MIDI channel/CC#.

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18 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:

But correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't calling a snapshot execute ALL the instant commands.  To my knowledge you can't just call Instant Command 2 and 4 only, right?

 

Correct.

 

4 minutes ago, zappazapper said:

You are able to have Snapshots change the MIDI Ch and CC# parameters as well as the Value, so theoretically you could use those parameters to send messaged to either a MIDI channel or CC# that's not being used for the Snapshots that you don't want messages sent to your original intended MIDI channel/CC#.

 

Again, not much point, as you could just set up another snapshot.

 

22 minutes ago, zappazapper said:

Use Footswitches 8 and 9 to toggle between Snapshots 1 and 2 - Value of Instant 1 should toggle between 0 and 127

Use joystick to highlight Instant 2

Use Footswitches 8 and 9 to toggle between Snapshots 1 and 2 - Value of Instant 2 should toggle between 0 and 127

 

Multiple MIDI messages being sent with single Stomp Footswitch

 

That's still using two footswitches (8 and 9).

Unless you're talking about using Toggling CCs, which you can't do with Instant Commands.

To toggle two Snapshots from one switch you'd use Snapshot Press/Hold, with press assigned to one Snapshot and Hold assigned to the other.

 

In any case, this is a very static solution to a very variable problem, and I don't think it relates to what DD or the OP were looking to do.

 

I could program an FCB1010 with UNO2 chip to do a LOT more than Helix is currently capable of, but with 100-300 songs, that would be one heck of an algorithm!

 

This sort of MIDI functionality is way outside of the mission parameters of the Helix. It's never going to be everything to everybody.

 

Modern society was made possible by specialization of tasks. 3rd party solutions are sometimes less than optimal, but necessary.

 

To put it another way, I'd hate to see Helix become a Jack of all trades, Master of none.

 

And I still want my pony! And the coffeemaker! Priorities, people!

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2 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

Again, not much point, as you could just set up another snapshot.

 

1 hour ago, DunedinDragon said:

But correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't calling a snapshot execute ALL the instant commands.  To my knowledge you can't just call Instant Command 2 and 4 only, right?

I interpreted @DunedinDragon's comment to be concern over unintentional MIDI messages being sent when calling Snapshots. Like if you had an Instant Command set up to send a MIDI command upon Preset load, you might not necessarily want it to keep sending that same MIDI message every time a Snapshot is called that is changing other unrelated MIDI messages. If my interpretation is incorrect I apologize.
 

6 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

That's still using two footswitches (8 and 9).

When you press Footswitch 8 to call Snapshot 1, both CC#0 and CC#1 send a Value of 0. Two MIDI messages, one footswitch.

When you press Footswitch 9 to call Snapshot 2, both CC#0 and CC#1 send a Value of 127. Two MIDI messages, one footswitch.

I set the example up with two Snapshots on two Footswitches so that the user could highlight the two Instant Commands and see their respective Value parameters changing as they toggled between Snapshots.

 

10 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

Unless you're talking about using Toggling CCs, which you can't do with Instant Commands.

Correct, the "Toggle CC" Command doesn't exist as such for Instant Commands but as my example demonstrates, you can use the "MIDI CC" Command to not only toggle between two CC values, you can actually toggle between EIGHT values because there are 8 Snapshots available.

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16 minutes ago, zappazapper said:

I interpreted @DunedinDragon's comment to be concern over unintentional MIDI messages being sent when calling Snapshots. Like if you had an Instant Command set up to send a MIDI command upon Preset load, you might not necessarily want it to keep sending that same MIDI message every time a Snapshot is called that is changing other unrelated MIDI messages.

 

Once a MIDI message is sent on an IC, that IC will not send again unless a different Snapshot uses it to send a different value.

SS1 IC1 = CC0; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC2

SS2 IC1 = CC3; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC4

SS3 IC1 = CC5; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC6

 

When the preset loads, CC#s 0,1 and 2 are sent

When Snapshot 2 loads, CC#s 3 and 4 are sent

When Snapshot 3 loads, CC#s 5 and 6 are sent

 

SS1 IC1 = CC0; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC2

SS2 IC1 = CC3; IC2 = CC7; IC3 = CC4

SS3 IC1 = CC5; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC6

 

When the preset loads, CC#s 0,1 and 2 are sent

When Snapshot 2 loads, CC#s 3,7 and 4 are sent

When Snapshot 3 loads, CC#s 5,1 and 6 are sent

If you then reload SS1 or SS3, only CC#s 0 and 2 or 5 and 6 are sent.

CC#1  (IC2) won't be resent on SS1 and SS3 until  after you again load SS2 (IC2 = CC#7).

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2 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

But correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't calling a snapshot execute ALL the instant commands.  To my knowledge you can't just call Instant Command 2 and 4 only, right?

 

1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

Correct.

 

11 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

Once a MIDI message is sent on an IC, that IC will not send again unless a different Snapshot uses it to send a different value.

SS1 IC1 = CC0; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC2

SS2 IC1 = CC3; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC4

SS3 IC1 = CC5; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC6

 

When the preset loads, CC#s 0,1 and 2 are sent

When Snapshot 2 loads, CC#s 3 and 4 are sent

When Snapshot 3 loads, CC#s 5 and 6 are sent

 

SS1 IC1 = CC0; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC2

SS2 IC1 = CC3; IC2 = CC7; IC3 = CC4

SS3 IC1 = CC5; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC6

 

When the preset loads, CC#s 0,1 and 2 are sent

When Snapshot 2 loads, CC#s 3,7 and 4 are sent

When Snapshot 3 loads, CC#s 5,1 and 6 are sent

If you then reload SS1 or SS3, only CC#s 0 and 2 or 5 and 6 are sent.

CC#1  (IC2) won't be resent on SS1 and SS3 until  after you again load SS2 (IC2 = CC#7).

In your original answer, you suggested that it would send all CCs. I assumed it would also, which is why I suggested the workaround.

In your latest answer, you're saying it only sends the ones that change. Thanks for clarifying. That makes much more sense.

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4 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

Once a MIDI message is sent on an IC, that IC will not send again unless a different Snapshot uses it to send a different value.

SS1 IC1 = CC0; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC2

SS2 IC1 = CC3; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC4

SS3 IC1 = CC5; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC6

 

When the preset loads, CC#s 0,1 and 2 are sent

When Snapshot 2 loads, CC#s 3 and 4 are sent

When Snapshot 3 loads, CC#s 5 and 6 are sent

 

SS1 IC1 = CC0; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC2

SS2 IC1 = CC3; IC2 = CC7; IC3 = CC4

SS3 IC1 = CC5; IC2 = CC1; IC3 = CC6

 

When the preset loads, CC#s 0,1 and 2 are sent

When Snapshot 2 loads, CC#s 3,7 and 4 are sent

When Snapshot 3 loads, CC#s 5,1 and 6 are sent

If you then reload SS1 or SS3, only CC#s 0 and 2 or 5 and 6 are sent.

CC#1  (IC2) won't be resent on SS1 and SS3 until  after you again load SS2 (IC2 = CC#7).


This appears to have turned a light on in my brain.  I've never really run into this scenario simply because I never use HX Edit to define my snapshots, I just do it from the Helix itself and it's not as obvious there.

So if I'm reading this correctly, let's say have my IC that I want to fire off when I initially load the preset assigned to SS1 (assuming SS1 is active when I save the preset).  After that I could use any another SS (let's call it SS2)  to redefine different IC's so that they'll fire off when I select SS2.  If I re-select SS1, CC1 will not fire because it hasn't been changed by any other snapshot,  But what happens when I re-select SS2?  Will those CC's be resent?  I'm assuming by the logic you're describing they won't be sent because they haven't been changed by any other preset and were previously executed by SS2.

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3 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:


This appears to have turned a light on in my brain.  I've never really run into this scenario simply because I never use HX Edit to define my snapshots, I just do it from the Helix itself and it's not as obvious there.

So if I'm reading this correctly, let's say have my IC that I want to fire off when I initially load the preset assigned to SS1 (assuming SS1 is active when I save the preset).  After that I could use any another SS (let's call it SS2)  to redefine different IC's so that they'll fire off when I select SS2.  If I re-select SS1, CC1 will not fire because it hasn't been changed by any other snapshot,  But what happens when I re-select SS2?  Will those CC's be resent?  I'm assuming by the logic you're describing they won't be sent because they haven't been changed by any other preset and were previously executed by SS2.

I haven't had the chance to test out @rd2rk 's example but it looks like that's how it works. Also, I seem to remember that there was a setting related to this, or some mention that the behavior was changed in one of the updates. I can't seem to find it in a brief look at the manual. I could be wrong or thinking about something else. 

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3 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

But what happens when I re-select SS2?  Will those CC's be resent?  I'm assuming by the logic you're describing they won't be sent because they haven't been changed by any other preset and were previously executed by SS2.

 

In the second example I gave, because IC1 and IC3 are different in each Snapshot, they're always sent. If the 3 Snapshots were loaded consecutively, and you then toggled between 1 and 2 or 2 and 3, all ICs would send their messages, because they're all sending different messages in each Snapshot. Only if you toggled between 1 and 3 would IC2 not re-send.

 

25 minutes ago, zappazapper said:

I haven't had the chance to test out @rd2rk 's example but it looks like that's how it works. Also, I seem to remember that there was a setting related to this, or some mention that the behavior was changed in one of the updates. I can't seem to find it in a brief look at the manual. I could be wrong or thinking about something else. 

 

Because I won't be fooled again, I used MIDI OX to test this as I typed it, and I'm on v3.01.

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And I thought my request was difficult to communicate succinctly! Lol. Integration is always a can of worms, yet one that has to be opened in today's world of multiple devices. The struggle for manufactures is as soon as a feature is created, users will undoubtedly find many different ways of applying it. The list of requests for fixes and enhancements is endless. Plus, the manufacturer has their own vision for their product lines with new products and new innovations. Each also spawning their own respective requests for fixes. Everybody wants their own pony, coffee maker, tuna sandwich, etc.

 

Having worked in hardware and software most of my life and developer programs for both as well, there are always more requests than resources. And yes, priorities have to be set. 

 

I am under no illusion about my hope for song support. Compared to many of the features already within the Helix, it seems a rather simple request by comparison, yet realize that may not be the case when matched up with the existing paradigms already established. It seems ironic to me as pretty much everything we as musicians perform are songs. Yet every musician has a different approach to getting all of their sounds for any particular song. Each approach is dictated largely by the feature set within the equipment they use combined with their specific application.

 

As for Helix being a jack of all trades vs a master of none, even that is determined by the same user criteria and expectations of its user base. That ship may have already sailed depending on ones view. I don't know that there are right or wrong approaches.

 

I certainly hope you can find a solution to your snapshot and midi issue. It's great to see so many jump in and help out!

 

 

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5 hours ago, Gone2Gig said:

 

As for Helix being a jack of all trades vs a master of none, even that is determined by the same user criteria and expectations of its user base. That ship may have already sailed depending on ones view. I don't know that there are right or wrong approaches.

 


Just to clarify one thing.  It's actually rare that the user base defines the limits or extent of any corporation's strategic stated direction.  Many, many moons ago there were several key success factors that were generally accepted by most corporations based on observations about what had caused companies to fail.  Among those key factors was the idea of "sticking to your knitting" which basically means, corporations that tend to define and closely manage their area of expertise are more likely to succeed over the long term, and those that don't tend to have more problems and ultimately have more failures.

This is one of the key reasons you don't see Intel trying to break into the software development arena, and you don't see Microsoft joining into the fray as a big time computer manufacturer.  Apple has certainly been successful as both a hardware and software business, but they tried and spectacularly failed many times to be more than a consumer market provider and break into the larger corporate computing environment because that's well outside of their area of expertise. Some of these lines have greyed a bit and have become more flexible, particularly in times where there are large scale upheavals in changes in the way people do things.  For example, streaming is where a lot of these expansions of strategic business definitions are beginning to flex as it pertains to media companies such as Disney or Paramount for example.  But it's HIGHLY unlikely you'll see either of those companies expand into Internet access.  Likewise internet providers have attempted many times to expand into becoming media providers but none have had any great success and there are a number of great failures.

Line 6 is a very small fish in a sea of some pretty big whales.  Although they are a part of Yamaha, Yamaha has a much broader scope in it's strategic direction and expects Line 6 to provide only a more specialized portion within that strategy.  Even when Line 6 did deviate to explore new areas of the market such as with their live PA system offering, it was a problem because they began to cross over into an ocean of some more HUGE whales that are in that business including Yamaha and QSC to mention a couple.

This is a key reason why I have faith in Line 6 because they seem to know where their expertise is and seem to be carefully managing it.  That means they should be around for a very long time.

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9 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:


...they seem to know where their expertise is and seem to be carefully managing it. 

 

Yup... it's virtually impossible to be awesome at everything. I'd love to be able to play multiple instruments equally well... hell, even passably well, lol... but in the end I'd rather be really good at one thing, than half-a$$ my way through a dozen different pursuits. 

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My point about that ship possibly having already sailed was from a user's perspective.

 

To the person that's using L6 for only a couple of effects in a a rig made up of tube amps and a huge pedal board of other effects, etc., and who might not touch a modeling amp if their life depended on it, to them it may appear that L6 is trying to be everything for everyone. I've even heard amp manufacturers refer to companies that build multi-fx amp modelers as exactly that.

 

Obviously someone using L6's flagship model as the heart of of their rig and using a lot of the features in that platform is going to have a different perspective on what L6 is and what their focus is.

 

Just reading the different posts in this thread, it's interesting to see the differences in how people are using this product. Reading more posts just to get a better feel for the product, it's obvious there are differencess of opinions as to what  is, or should be priorities, and have more or less focus for L6. To one person, a particular feature is 'obviously' square in L6's wheelhouse and should have been fixed or included yesterday, to the next person it can be something quite different. With agreements and disagreements being non-existent to quite heated on this issue as it pertains to different features.

 

But then I've also seen panels at conferences with tech companies like those you mentioned erupt into near fist fights during those discussions and actually end up in fist fights later that evening in the Hotel bar!

 

We all lobby for features we want and often have differing opinions. Plus, L6 most likely has their own product road map. It's all good.

52 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

Yup... it's virtually impossible to be awesome at everything. I'd love to be able to play multiple instruments equally well... hell, even passably well, lol... but in the end I'd rather be really good at one thing, than half-a$$ my way through a dozen different pursuits. 

 

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Similar to the OP I have also been requesting and hoping for a better method of song management for years now. I also see this as one of the important areas of functionality to incorporate into a device intended for live performance. It is an area that has been overlooked in the past by many/most of the modelers available. Probably viewed as a minor clerical function unworthy of hardware or development resources, or at least low on the list of priorities. That appears to be changing though(e.g. Headrush and potentially the Quad Cortex) and I hope that Line6 will address it at some point.

 

The ability to integrate an entire "ecosystem" into the HX architecture is a L6 core competency. At the lower level this applies mostly to things like DSP optimization and hardware integration, e.g. incorporating external pedals/racks into loops, MIDI control, impedance matching, CV triggering, L6 Link, Variax, PowerCab, etc.. At a higher level we start to look at features like streamlined upgrades, backups, preset import/export, UI/UX development, ease of use, modeling accuracy/authenticity, block, snapshot, and preset management, etc.. Song and setlist management deserve more focus along with those other areas of development - the ability to search, sort, swap, and quickly and easily edit presets in one place across ordered setlists.

 

Perhaps this might include a more sophisticated approach that included virtual pointers to songs that allow a setlist to consume minimal storage rather than containing the presets themselves.  Another option is a (standalone?) setlist manager integrated into HX Edit. I just see more robust setlist/song management as a capability that will eventually be completely standard and expected in any modeler intended to be used live. Without it your modeler might well be considered to be better suited for studio use where setlist management is far less important. I say this realizing many users including myself have gotten fairly able at managing setslists as things stand now but I also see where this could be improved.  Ultimately there are plenty of other features in a modeler that trump good setlist management but it would be ideal to have that as well.

 

Hate that I am using this as an example but look at the success of Apple products, grossly overpriced IMHO but their knack for appealing design, ease of use, and the level of integration they offer with various hardware and software products has kept them at the front of the pack. Still, if you had an iPhone and it lacked a core function like the capacity to simply and easily manage your phone contacts, you would want that area of functionality bolstered. That is somewhat vaguely analogous to how I view song management.  I would prefer this get addressed before many/most other items on my wishlist.  A wishlist that has shrunk dramatically with so many amazing additions to the firmware over the past few years. COVID19 and the lack of live performance opportunities has probably reduced any sense of urgency for developing setlist/song management but I hope it remains on L6's radar.

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5 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

Similar to the OP I have also been requesting and hoping for a better method of song management for years now. I also see this as one of the important areas of functionality to incorporate into a device intended for live performance. It is an area that has been overlooked in the past by many/most of the modelers available. Probably viewed as a minor clerical function unworthy of hardware or development resources, or at least low on the list of priorities. That appears to be changing though(e.g. Headrush and potentially the Quad Cortex) and I hope that Line6 will address it at some point.

 

The ability to integrate an entire "ecosystem" into the HX architecture is a L6 core competency. At the lower level this applies mostly to things like DSP optimization and hardware integration, e.g. incorporating external pedals/racks into loops, MIDI control, impedance matching, CV triggering, L6 Link, Variax, PowerCab, etc.. At a higher level we start to look at features like streamlined upgrades, backups, preset import/export, UI/UX development, ease of use, modeling accuracy/authenticity, block, snapshot, and preset management, etc.. Song and setlist management deserve more focus along with those other areas of development - the ability to search, sort, swap, and quickly and easily edit presets in one place across ordered setlists.

 

Perhaps this might include a more sophisticated approach that included virtual pointers to songs that allow a setlist to consume minimal storage rather than containing the presets themselves.  Another option is a (standalone?) setlist manager integrated into HX Edit. I just see more robust setlist/song management as a capability that will eventually be completely standard and expected in any modeler intended to be used live. Without it your modeler might well be considered to be better suited for studio use where setlist management is far less important. I say this realizing many users including myself have gotten fairly able at managing setslists as things stand now but I also see where this could be improved.  Ultimately there are plenty of other features in a modeler that trump good setlist management but it would be ideal to have that as well.

 

Hate that I am using this as an example but look at the success of Apple products, grossly overpriced IMHO but their knack for appealing design, ease of use, and the level of integration they offer with various hardware and software products has kept them at the front of the pack. Still, if you had an iPhone and it lacked a core function like the capacity to simply and easily manage your phone contacts, you would want that area of functionality bolstered. That is somewhat vaguely analogous to how I view song management.  I would prefer this get addressed before many/most other items on my wishlist.  A wishlist that has shrunk dramatically with so many amazing additions to the firmware over the past few years. COVID19 and the lack of live performance opportunities has probably reduced any sense of urgency for developing setlist/song management but I hope it remains on L6's radar.

I think your analogy of the iPhone is very apropos. The iPhone revolutionized not only cell phones, but also the way we consume music, video, take and use photos, etc, etc.. It broke down many boundaries and opened the door for so many new uses for a person device... even recording music. Many manufacturers are riding on the back of those innovations today and competing head on with iPhone. Yet for all their success, lack of a user-based file management system has not only kept them from consideration for many consumers, but has also been a feature requested by their own user base since the beginning. Obviously this goes much deeper due to their closed architecture, but they finally got around to building one (and it's still not great!). 

 

Having an incredible modeler like Helix, even with all of its great features (that I am yet to skim the top on), for a musician where live performance is almost the entire reason for owning any gear, having limited support for accessing all of these great sounds and features quickly and easily live--without having to make all kinds of compromises (like one preset per song as a workaround appears to be from my reading without having hands on yet ), seems a bit like owning your favorite high dollar sports car and only ever sitting in the driveway listening to the stereo because when you want to drive it down the road and enjoy all that's been included in it, you can't find or get it into the right gears! They are in there but without the mechanisms in place to access them as you need. Sure you can drive around in first all day or find a way to get it down the road, but not in a very pretty way. Lol.

 

Before the iPhone, if a user was wanting to listen to music or take pictures, many cell users might have suggested 'if you want to do that, go buy a camera or an audio playback device.' Especially if the cell phone they had wouldn't roam correctly. First things first! Thank heaven that Apple had the vision for innovation that they had and refused to compromise! We are all reaping the rewards today whether using an iPhone or another device.

 

Guitarists have been creating workarounds since the beginnings of the electric guitar for live usage, and other applications. We are so used to doing it that it's simply become a way of life for almost all of us. I really want to use a lot of what Helix is offering. I just opened the box on my first one! But if I can't find a way to use it live in my application without having to use too many workarounds or not be able to access what I can create within it quickly in a live environment, what's the point of owning one for me unless I can justify its cost with some other use?

 

I realize it has MANY uses in many applications.. Mine just happens to be live and evolve around songs with extreme sound changes in many of  those songs. I'm trying to find a way to make it work for me. Probably no big deal to anyone else if I can't find that. I really appreciate all those that have pitched in with great suggestions and otherwise, especially those that are really trying to help, even in the workaround space. Great things come into existence because someone asked.. How can this be done or why can't it be?! 

 

I also realize that even playing live music with others musicians is not the end all it once was.  It's great that people can do more with music creation all by themselves in their home studio or even just on their iPhone! Lol. Helix appears to be trying to appeal to a very broad audience and being quite successful at it. It really seems to a spectacular platform.

 

I will stay tuned as I start to get my hands dirty now.

 

 

 

 

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