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coachz

Helix send returns behaviour

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Can any of you nice guys please tell me that if I make a preset with an enabled send/return block but nothing plugged in, will it still pass audio  through or will it block audio because nothing is plugged into the send/return? 

 

I'm considering the option of using the 4 cable method to use my real tube amplifier but having the option for a fly gig of being able to simply drop-in a amp/cab simulator pedal and have it automatically jump into the effects send return block.  Thanks !

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22 minutes ago, coachz said:

Can any of you nice guys please tell me that if I make a preset with an enabled send/return block but nothing plugged in, will it still pass audio  through or will it block audio because nothing is plugged into the send/return? 

 

I remember the X3L worked like that. The manual proudly stated that the unit was "smart" enough to detect if there was nothing plugged into the loop and bypass it. I'm assuming that the jacks were the kind where connecting a plug broke an internally wired connection from the send jack to the return jack. It's my feeling that this probably doesn't exist on the Helix because of the multiple loops, and I don't recall ever reading anything in the manual about it, and I've used 4CM from the day I bought my Helix so I've never tried to insert a Loop block without having anything connected. Maybe someone who's not sitting in a bar inhaling stouts will test it out and chime in. 

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2 minutes ago, coachz said:

I guess if not I could always just plug some jacks to connect them

That would certainly work. Shorter the better. 

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Or, you could just use a FS or Snapshot to turn it on/off as necessary.

You can also create the preset with a Helix amp/cab/ir and do the same with those.

No need, really, for an extra pedal in the FX loop unless you prefer it.

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Thanks for the ideas. The reason I'm thinking to use the extra pedal is because normally I will be using a tube amplifier and would not want to waste blocks with Amp and cabinet resources when I'm not using them and then have to go to all of my presets and turn them on. 

 

Another alternative seems to be to make duplicates of my presets and add the amp and cabinet to all of them but that would require me to maintain two sets of presets. This idea of just being able to plug in an amp and cab pedal seems like a really easy way get the best of both worlds, by using my tube amp 4 cable method and then when not using that amp to be able to easily have lamp and cab at just the right points in the signal chain. I'm open to any other ideas and thanks

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If your 'fly rig' was a Stomp then you could stay in the same ecosystem, learn about the amps and cab blocks in the Helix as you set-up the stomp, use a consistent editing tool etc.

 

It sort of sounds counterintuative to do that given you have the Helix, but I'm also pretty sure you could control the stomp with the Helix to change amps and cabs (or anything else in the chain).

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Sorry, I didn't catch on to the fact that you were going to use a separate amp modeling pedal. I think that would be a shame, since I doubt the models would be as good as the Helix models. Are your presets so DSP heavy that having an AMP&CAB block not being used would prevent you from doing all the other things you want? Because here's what I would do. 

 

I run 4CM myself and I use an external footswitch to switch amp channels that actually sends and receives MIDI, so typically my presets will have a distortion pedal that is activated whenever I switch to my lead channel. My approach to presets is to try and cover as much as possible with each preset so I often do this trick to be able to have 2 different distortions that I can choose from. Both are activated at the same time I switch to the lead channel but they run in parallel with each other using a Split A/B controlled with a Helix footswitch that controls the Route To parameter to select which distortion i want to use. 

 

So you could run the Loop and an AMP&CAB block in parallel using a Split A/B and just assign a Helix footswitch to select which one to use. If you're changing presets during the same song and you're not using an external expression pedal, most people don't know that you can plug a standard footswitch into the expression pedal jack, and it will toggle between values of 0 and 127, and most importantly it will maintain its status between patches. So you could set it to control the Route To parameter to select either the Loop or the AMP&CAB block and it will maintain that selection between presets. There might be an option in Preferences that needs to be set to operate based on the status of the expression pedal jack and not the value the preset was saved with. 

 

Anyway, assuming it works (not at my Helix to check), that's probably how I would solve that problem. 

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The Stomp is an option but it only has 8 of the 12 blocks the full Helix has if I'm correct.  I would likely have presets that wouldn't work on it.

 

I like the footswitch idea.  Thanks.  Could you use command center to send instant midi commands with each patch to control your amp channels ?  That's what I intend to do if I get a Helix.

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34 minutes ago, coachz said:

Could you use command center to send instant midi commands with each patch to control your amp channels ?  That's what I intend to do if I get a Helix.

You could, but be aware that not every amp works with the EXT AMP function on the Helix. For example, my amp's 5-band equalizer doesn't fully disengage when switched from the Helix (I know, it sounds weird, and I can't explain it either). That's why I bought the AMT FS2-MIDI. The benefit with this unit is that it gives me two dedicated buttons for my amp's channel and EQ functions, can be controlled by the Helix via MIDI and can control the Helix via MIDI. I use Instant Commands on every preset to select my amp's channel and whether the EQ is on or off, and then when I use Snapshots I can use those same Instant Commands to switch channels or turn the EQ on or off PER SNAPSHOT. 

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I see. That makes sense.  With my DSL40CR I only send PC 0-3 to tell it which of the 4 channels to switch to so Instant Midi should work great stored in each preset here.

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