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Problem switching between some Helix patches using Variax - next patch is silent


steve_marsden1
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Hi,

 

I use a Helix LT and Variax Standard upgraded to 3.15 and have recently purchased a set of MBritt patches, and damn good they are too.

 

But, I have a minor problem when switching between many of these particular patches - when I select the next patch via the Helix foot switch it seems to lose the Variax guitar connectivity and the sound of that next patch is not there. I can get it back but only via what seems a random fiddle with either the guitar selector knob push on and select any guitar or sometimes via the pickup selector, again selecting a guitar model. So I am guiding the switch of thes patches at the Helix end is disconnecting the Variax too?
 

I don’t get this issue with any other patches and am hoping it’s just some simple setting I need to change on the patches as they probably weren’t all created with Variax in mind but they are set as Multi on the input so I wouldn’t expect this.

 

any ideas ?

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If you are using a VDI cable, check that all the presets input blocks are set to either Multi or Variax (I would set this if you only use a Variax guitar). If they are set for Guitar or others inputs, then you won't get any sound.

 

PS; don't know those presets, but I'd also check if they have some aggressive noise gate cutting the signal when you jump into them with a variax model, which typically has a much weaker volume than a real guitar pickup.

 

 

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Thanks Pier, yes using VDI but I’m sure I checked the input was all set to Multi else I wouldn’t be able to select them at all I assume as not using guitar in. But I’ll double check that and your other suggestion. Many thanks

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On 3/23/2022 at 9:00 AM, steve_marsden1 said:

...

I use a Helix LT and Variax Standard upgraded to 3.15 and have recently purchased a set of MBritt patches, and damn good they are too.

....

I also purchased a set of MBritt patches - there are 32 of them. I think this is the set you have also. I am looking at them now in HX Edit, with my Helix Rack and Variax JTV-59 connected via VDI. I agree - they are good!

 

As you say, the Input on all of them is Multi so your Helix LT should be picking up the signal from your Variax Standard whether you are using the 1/4' or VDI cable. By the way, you shouldn't be using both. I assume you have also installed the MBritt IRs as documented. Even if not, you should still get a signal - not silence. The Noise Gate in the Input block is OFF so that shouldn't be the issue.

 

I see a couple of possibilities:

- some patches have the Variax Vol knob set to 0.0 while others have it set to Don't Force. If your Variax settings are Per Preset, the 0.0 setting would explain things in itself. Try using your Vol knob as the first attempt to produce sound from the silent patches. If that's the issue and you want it to disappear you'll have to Edit and Save each such patch individually.

- each patch uses a VOL pedal with two controllers: Toe Switch for Bypass and EXP2 for level. Experiment to see if you can find a pattern re: what happens when you move your EXP2 pedal.

 

Otherwise I can't explain the issue you're having. I suspect an intermittent problem with your cable from Variax to Helix; try using different ones.

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Pier,

for info the MBritt patches I got used to be available on Line6 Marketplace but they don’t all seem to be there now, I think I heard about them on this forum somewhere but I got them direct from his own website. Not intended to be a plug just friendly info share.

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Silverhead,

 

Thanks I’ll also check out this later - when I think about it, your suggestions make good sense - kinda - why didn’t I think of that!

 

I’ll let you guys know how I get on

 

many thanks

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Guys - just checked this and now working my way through fixing all.

 

Gold medal goes to Silverhead - seems like it’s the Variax Vol set to zero by default on some of the patches, I set these to ‘Don’t Force’ and that does the trick, well when I remember to save the patch after making the change!

 

Silver medal goes to PierM - who also tried to help with good suggestions and to be fair was 1st off the blocks.

 

Much appreciated guys, respect to you both and to this forum, I’ve now set myself up with a regular email feed to posts on the Helix and Variax areas of this forum just on the off chance one day I may be able to help others out at some point.

 

all the best

 

 

 

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On 3/23/2022 at 9:03 PM, steve_marsden1 said:

Silver medal goes to PierM - who also tried to help with good suggestions and to be fair was 1st off the blocks.

 

Im allergic to Silver. Can I have Bronze? :)

 

(glad you sorted out)

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On 3/23/2022 at 4:03 PM, steve_marsden1 said:

…… it’s the Variax Vol set to zero by default on some of the patches, I set these to ‘Don’t Force’ and that does the trick, ….

 

Just some further thoughts on this, in case you’re still monitoring this thread…..

 

1) While you’re visiting presets to adjust the Vol knob setting check the Tone knob setting as well. I seem to recall some of these were set to 0 too.

 

2) Personally I avoid using the Don’t Force setting because I find it can cause confusion. That setting does exactly what it implies - it does not change the current setting on the Variax. Specifically, it does NOT mean that the current physical position of the Vol knob takes effect. Here’s a scenario: imagine you are using the Preset knob to progress through a range of presets one at a time. As you rotate the knob each preset is loaded in sequence and based only on the preset name that is displayed you decide to try it out or simply move on without hitting the guitar strings at all. Now imagine that one of the presets you bypass has the Vol knob set to 0. On the next rotation you land on a preset you know you like because you remember that this preset is one of the ones where you had changed the Vol knob setting to Don’t Force. You start playing but surprisingly there is no sound. You check, and sure enough - the setting is Don’t Force. Can you explain what’s going on?

 

Of course this scenario is just an example. The situation can occur in many more common situations such as using the Variax Vol or Tone knobs intentionally to establish a unique and unusual setting for a given preset. If the next preset you load has a Don’t Force setting you can find yourself surprised and wondering why it doesn’t sound as expected.

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Just an FYI. The Variax tone knob has an issue with Helix. If you set the Variax tone knob on the Helix on a patch to anything between .1 and 9.9, when you switch to another patch, the previous patches' tone setting will remain. The patches tone setting will reflect the tone setting saved with the patch you are on and not the actual tone setting the Variax has from the previous patch but the tone setting will be from the previous patch. If you press the same patches' button a second time, it will then switch to that patches tone knob settings. It is a known issue. It is a pain and has been this way for way too long.

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Yeah I did notice similar on tone, some set to 10 etc. I kind of agree and set to don’t force for the lot, since as you say if you switch through any with zero set to get to the one you want to hit the strings on, you’ve already killed the variax connection it seems, so even if the one you land on is also set as don’t force your in off mode and nothing will happen.  I’d only use these settings if I intended something specific to happen be that volume or but I’ve not got that sophisticated yet, give it a few decades! 
 

Maybe the answer to all this is to get used to double tapping the Variax selector knob just in case, so it makes it into muscle memory!
 

The possibilities though seem outstanding with the Variax and helix combination if you have the knowledge, experience and imagination. I’m scratching the surface only and see the potential minefields this opens up also but in doing so am learning a lot from all you guys, thanks again.

 

 

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