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Help using Boss Sy1 in Helix Lt Loop


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Long time member but first actual post!! Can't seem to figure out setting up the SY1 into Helix Lt Loop. 


Want to be able to use SY1 with only added reverb and delay but run the dry signal into the loop so I can add fuzz etc from. The Helix to only the dry guitar tone.


So that I can blend in the distorted dry signal into the synth only sound via the blend control on the SY1. 


Just not sure of the exact cable running order to achieve the above. 


Basically I want to:

1: run dry signal into dist, mod, dly, reverb etc via loop/s


2:have  Sy1 synth sound only run into Helix and only use revb and delay. 


3: Be able to blend in effected dry signal from loop into synth sound via Sy1 blend control. 


So I can hold a synth sound and use my dry signal with whatever effects I choose to play over the synth sound without affecting the synth sound. 


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I've got it setup as below, which seems the logical route( I'm using fx loop 1 of helix already, hence why I'm using fx loop 2 for the below) 

Gtr - Sy1 input

Sy1 output - Helix LT Gtr input 

Sy1 send - Helix LT return 2

Helix LT send 2 - Sy1 return (to complete loop) 

Outputting stereo from Helix Lt in two separate amps via 1/4 helix outputs. 


I'm only using Helix as a pedalboard for this preset and 2 valve amps for my base tone. 


I just can't get my head around which blocks, ie send and rtn or fx loop 2 block and where to input them in the signal chain. 

Want full run of effects for dry guitar signal via the Sy1 loop, and Sy1 synth sound going thought some verb and delay. 

All of which I can blend dry and synth via blend control of SY1 


Thanks or taking the time to help buddy, I thought I knew my way around the Helix after all these years but apparently not! Lol

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I have two solutions for you. The simplest one first:


Guitar>LT Input>A/B Split>PATH A>Guitar FX>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Mix Block>Output

                                               PATH B>LT FX Loop1 Block>Synth FX>^


Use the IN/OUT jacks on the SY1 (not the SY1 FX Loop) with the LT FX Loop set to INSTRUMENT.

Path A will be carrying the guitar signal with FX, Path B will be carrying the SY1 signal with FX.

In Path B, you can put the FX Loop anywhere - first, last or in between for FX before and after the SY1.

The mixing happens at the Mix Block.


The SY1 FX Loop is unnecessary for this configuration, unless you have a third FX Processor that you want for the SY1 signal only.


The better way to do this would be to dedicate each main path (1 and 2) to guitar (Path 1) and SY1 (Path 2).

In this configuration, you'd use an external A/B Box, take A to the LT Guitar Input, and B to an LT Return (Return 1 in the attached example) .

The Input Block on Path 2 would be the Return (1) from the A/B Box.

The SY1 is configured as above, only using FX Loop 2 in Path 2.

You'd set the levels for the mix separately at each Output Block.

I've attached an example preset to illustrate what I'm talking about. I have the "mix" assigned to Exp Pedal 2.

Toe Down is mostly Guitar, heel down is mostly synth. The actual max/min synth level sent to your LT is set on the SY1. Just the mix is adjusted with Exp2.



Stereo FX for both instruments

More DSP for both Instruments

Ability to use parallel processing of FX for both Instruments - delay combined with reverb sounds MUCH better this way IMO



Added external A/B Box - you've already got the SY1, a small A/B box shouldn't be a problem

A/B boxes have 1M input impedance, which defeats the automatic impedance function of the guitar input. Not an issue unless you MUST use those few FX that require loading the guitar pickups at a lower impedance for "classic" tone. Can be worked around by adding an eq with a hi-cut before the "classic" effect.


FYI - I don't have an SY1. I used Reaper with ReaTune set to send MIDI to Dimension Pro, and put Reaper (using a Scarlett AI) in the FX Loop 2 of my Helix Floor. Essentially the same configuration as what I described for you to use with the attached preset, just trickier in that I created a faux SY1.





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Wow.. Thankyou so much for taking the time to explain this, very much appreciated. 


I'll try your suggestions tomorrow when im at my board n amps. 


I've got a wee fender ab somewhere, just need to dig it out the hoarde of guitar it's n bobs I have. 


I'll report back tomorrow, but I'm sure your signal flow will work. 

Thanks again, take care 

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I just realized that I solved all but your last requirement - playing over a steady synth sound.

The only way I know of to do this is to use a FS to send a MIDI ON note message (latching) to a real synth. It sends OFF on second press.

The SY1 doesn't have MIDI.

So, unless somebody has a better idea, either get a MIDI Synth Module to add to your rig, or use a laptop with a Standalone Synth or a DAW/VST HOST with VST Synth plugin.


One advantage of this setup is that you can create more sophisticated loops than the Helix Looper allows, and do all sorts of crazy stuff.

I'm not really a synth guy, but in the course of working on this for you I had all sorts of fun creating loops with the guitar/synth, sending drones to a second Synth plugin with footswitch generated Notes, then adding pads on a third, all from Helix!


Crazy what this thing can do!


I need to play some simple blues now, before I start having acid flashbacks!

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Ahh MIDI. Me and MIDI dont get along,fell out with it years


Should I disregard your earlier post with the two setup suggestions in light of the MIDI limitation you mention?


I can get lost in big reverb drone sounds for hours with some nice guitar on top.


The Helix is a constant learning curve for me even after 4 years of non stop use.


Thanks again mate for taking the time to look into this.



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1 minute ago, LWYLIE said:

Should I disregard your earlier post with the two setup suggestions in light of the MIDI limitation you mention?


If you're happy with your current setup, sure. If not, try the second solution.

MIDI is not a mystery to me, and I'm happy to help.

How are you doing your drones now?

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I'll give them a go tomorrow when I'm at the Helix, sure I'll learn a few things from alternative setup options. 


Up until I'd posted this question I was simply running SY1 into Helix input, which sounds good but the limitation with that series setup is that if you hold a particular chord to play guitar over then your stuck with a dry guitar tone unless you want any OD or Dist totally fuzzing up your nice drone effect at the same time. 

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