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MikeMcK

LT - Any way to output a patch list?

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I got my first Helix (LT) yesterday and spent some hours moving the presets I want to use to a USER setlist and then tweaking them.

 

Is there any way to output a patch list from the unit or from HX Edit? Like "01A, DlxRvb..."" etc? The idea is to bring a printout until I start to remember which patches are where. It would be even better if it could include some info as to the FX in the patch. I exported the setlist and a few patches to see if I could make sense of what was in there, but no dice. I can't be the first one to ask for this, but I couldn't find anything on the forum or in the FAQ.

Edited by MikeMcK
Typo in the title

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You could screen shot the librarian view (presets tab, obv) in HX Edit, paste it into a word processor, and print it out.

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Thanks for the help here. I wound up copying the patch names from HX Edit (it saved as a single string) then using formulas in Excel to break the string into separate patch names. It saved time over typing the whole thing out, but I still wish there was a more automated way to do it. Eventually I'll settle in on the handful of patches I use on gigs and then I'll be able to remember them.

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the files are a json file, so technically someone much smarter than I could pull the names from there.

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21 hours ago, PaulTBaker said:

the files are a json file, so technically someone much smarter than I could pull the names from there.

Because JSON files are plain text files, you can open them in any text editor, including:
  1. Microsoft Notepad (Windows)
  2. Apple TextEdit (Mac)
  3. Vim (Linux)
  4. GitHub Atom (cross-platform)

I'm not smarter than you but Google is smarter than us both.

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On 10/19/2021 at 11:05 AM, jgrnfld said:
Because JSON files are plain text files, you can open them in any text editor, including:
  1. Microsoft Notepad (Windows)
  2. Apple TextEdit (Mac)
  3. Vim (Linux)
  4. GitHub Atom (cross-platform)

I'm not smarter than you but Google is smarter than us both.

That they are, and I got frustrated enough to look into trying to code something myself. Once upon a time it would have been fairly straightforward to parse the .HLX files, I think, especially with some kind of JSON library, but I last wrote code decades ago. And from what I read, the .HLS (setlist) files are just zlib-compressed collections of HLX files.

 

I definitely appreciate the effort of those who came up with the graphical HLX viewers. It'd be ideal for me to output a spreadsheet-like printable table that I could laminate and gaff to stage... something like:

  block0 block1 block2 block3 block4 block5
EJ-CliffsDover PanVol LAStudioComp Minotaur Brit2204 IR 1024 PingPong
THE Sound Brit2204 IR 1024 RetroReel TubeComp SimpleDelay Glitz

 

Maybe I'm asking the wrong question... for anyone who gigs and has "fluid" set lists, how do you deal with finding the right patches quickly?

 

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On 10/28/2021 at 11:15 AM, MikeMcK said:

Maybe I'm asking the wrong question... for anyone who gigs and has "fluid" set lists, how do you deal with finding the right patches quickly?

 

The first thing you should think about is finding a way to do more with less presets. Snapshots are an incredibly powerful feature of the Helix that are probably not really demonstrated very well by the factory presets. I just did a 3 hour gig with a 90's Rock cover band a couple weekends ago with 4 presets, because I was able to use a combination of Snapshots, Bypass and Controller assignments, and using split blocks controlled by footswitches to give me a few different options for distortions or specific effects for specific songs for each preset. If you're new to the Helix then using factory presets as a starting point is a good way to get over the learning curve but at some point you'll want to start tweaking those presets to get more out of them. Then if you have less presets to navigate, the problem of keeping track of them isn't as big of a problem. 

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15 hours ago, zappazapper said:

 

The first thing you should think about is finding a way to do more with less presets. Snapshots are an incredibly powerful feature of the Helix that are probably not really demonstrated very well by the factory presets. I just did a 3 hour gig with a 90's Rock cover band a couple weekends ago with 4 presets, because I was able to use a combination of Snapshots, Bypass and Controller assignments, and using split blocks controlled by footswitches to give me a few different options for distortions or specific effects for specific songs for each preset. If you're new to the Helix then using factory presets as a starting point is a good way to get over the learning curve but at some point you'll want to start tweaking those presets to get more out of them. Then if you have less presets to navigate, the problem of keeping track of them isn't as big of a problem. 

That makes sense, and I went through some of this when I put a Mobius on my regular board years ago. I spent some time tweaking presets and moving them to the first 10 or so banks, and eventually memorized the locations after a couple of weeks.

 

The issue for me is that I regularly gig with 4/5 acts, plus I do a lot of pickup gigs and sub in for people in a variety of genres. Even the guys I work with a lot don't stick to set lists and will tailor the set to audience response. Sometimes I don't even know going in whether it's half acoustic or all electric (I got a couple of 3Sigma IRs so I can use the Helix for acoustic instead of setting up a separate DI). That's why I got the Helix, so I don't have to load in an amp, electric pedalboard, acoustic, acoustic pedalboard with looper, etc.

 

I did spend some time setting up USER1 with the patches I thought I'd use, but that's still a lot to keep track of. If a singer takes a request for "Money For Nothing", it's frustrating to know I have the perfect patch in there...somewhere, or to know I'll want a wah on a solo or a Leslie on a chorus, but not remembering which patches have them. 

 

For now, my low-tech approach was to type out a spreadsheet and laminate printouts, but I know my USER1 is going to change. It's awesome that a couple of people have reverse-engineered the L6 JSON schema to the point where they could code the graphical tools linked by @Hey_Joe above. But I could really use a subset of that so I could print some text data. 

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Maybe the solution is to start off REALLY simple and just use the Helix to sort of replicate your two pedal boards, like with just one preset for electric and one for acoustic. And then slowly add more specific presets over time. Like, even if you know what preset is perfect for Money For Nothing, if you have 10 banks of presets it's still not going to be very easy to navigate to it. If you were playing in a band that had a predetermined set list then it might make sense to have that many presets but for your situation I think you just want something minimal that will cover everything the same way your pedal board did, at least to start. The Helix offers a butt-ton of power and flexibility, but with that comes the risk of absolute disaster, and when my own band was just rehearsing, ya, I had a ton of presets that were designed to NAIL the tones on the records, but when I was confronted with the reality of having to play in front of people and not having the time to navigate 30 presets, I knew I had to simplify, and actually I'll probably just use those presets even in rehearsal from now on because it's just so much easier to deal with, and it still sounds really good. 

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On 10/31/2021 at 12:10 PM, zappazapper said:

Maybe the solution is to start off REALLY simple and just use the Helix to sort of replicate your two pedal boards, like with just one preset for electric and one for acoustic. And then slowly add more specific presets over time. Like, even if you know what preset is perfect for Money For Nothing, if you have 10 banks of presets it's still not going to be very easy to navigate to it. If you were playing in a band that had a predetermined set list then it might make sense to have that many presets but for your situation I think you just want something minimal that will cover everything the same way your pedal board did, at least to start. The Helix offers a butt-ton of power and flexibility, but with that comes the risk of absolute disaster, and when my own band was just rehearsing, ya, I had a ton of presets that were designed to NAIL the tones on the records, but when I was confronted with the reality of having to play in front of people and not having the time to navigate 30 presets, I knew I had to simplify, and actually I'll probably just use those presets even in rehearsal from now on because it's just so much easier to deal with, and it still sounds really good. 

 

That was the plan, but because I need the flexibility my main pedalboard is pretty large... multiple drives, delay, the Mobius as several mod pedals. Even then, I swap pedals in and out to match the gig, i.e. if it's an 80's band, I'll replace an OD with a Rat. I know I'll be winnowing down the number of patches I actually use, but that's another reason to wish I could quickly output a list of patches & footswitch assignments from a setlist file. 

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53 minutes ago, MikeMcK said:

That was the plan, but because I need the flexibility my main pedalboard is pretty large... multiple drives, delay, the Mobius as several mod pedals. Even then, I swap pedals in and out to match the gig, i.e. if it's an 80's band, I'll replace an OD with a Rat. I know I'll be winnowing down the number of patches I actually use, but that's another reason to wish I could quickly output a list of patches & footswitch assignments from a setlist file. 

Got it. Honestly, unless you're really up on what you need to do to manipulate the JSON file, it might be quicker and easier to just make a spreadsheet from scratch. 

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4 hours ago, zappazapper said:

Got it. Honestly, unless you're really up on what you need to do to manipulate the JSON file, it might be quicker and easier to just make a spreadsheet from scratch. 

 

I agree and that's the plan for now. I did post it on the ideascale page. It does seem like the L6 coders, who already have the JSON HLX schema defined in code and also have code to decompress HLS files into HLXes could crank out an HLS-to-CSV thing in no time at all. Might be an ideal challenge for an intern if they have them. 

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