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Midi switching with DSL40C


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Hello, would there be anybody on this forum that could help with detailed instructions on how to set up midi switching between my Helix Floor and a Marshal DSL40C.   I would like to be able to use all 4 modes on the amp in conjunction with the Helix Floor without using the Marshall footswitch.  Thanks in advance.

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Not sure how much detail you require, but the general method would be to use the Helix Command Center to send the appropriate MID commands at the desired time (loading a Helix preset, or snapshot, or stomping on a footswitch). The Helix manual describes that. And the manual for your Marshal amp details the exact MIDI commands it needs to receive for switching modes. Start there and if you have specific questions come back and ask.

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Per the MIDI implementation chart on the last page of the DSL40 manual:

Channels 1-4 = PC#s: 0-3;4-7;8-11 etc - every 4 PC#s.

 

If you're using snapshots -

 

Snapshot 1 = Channel 1

Instant Command 1 = PC# 0 or 4 or 8 etc

 

Snapshot 2 = Channel 2

Instant Command 1 = PC# 1 or 5 or 9 etc

 

Snapshot 3 = Channel 3

Instant Command 1 = PC# 2 or 6 or 10 etc

 

Snapshot 4 = Channel 4

Instant Command 1 = PC# 3 or 7 or 11 etc

 

 

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You need to "initialize" the DSL to receive MIDI commands.   Please see the instructions below.

Since the DSL40CR clean is much quieter than the crunch, I have it assigned to a different Master volume.  The channels are PC commands & the Masters & FX loop are CC values.  Please see the patch below.

The attached patch is for A HELIX RACK w/ foot controller.

On the DSL each of the 4 channels clean, crunch, OD1, OD2 are assigned in a loop to every four MIDI program change messages and can’t be changed e.g.

PC 00 = CLEAN
PC 01 = CRUNCH
PC 02 = OD1
PC 03 = OD2
PC 04 = CLEAN
PC 05 = CRUNCH
PC 06 = OD1
PC 07 = OD2
PC 08 = CLEAN etc.

Connect the MIDI controller to the DSL – MIDI Out to MIDI In. Multiple equipment can be connected using MIDI thrus where available. Always ensure each piece of connected equipment is set to a different MIDI channel.

1. Set the receive MIDI channel on the DSL, this only needs to be done once.…

Press and hold the Loop On/Off switch (Front Panel Function #23) while powering up the amplifier to activate MIDI waiting mode.

The LED will flash until a valid MIDI command is received.

Send a MIDI PC command on the required MIDI channel from the connected controller to the DSL

The MIDI receive channel on the DSL will now be set.

2. If the user just wants to recall one variation of each channel, they can select each channel in turn from the front panel and set the state of the FX loop and Master (the switch settings are remembered per channel). They then only need to set their MIDI controller to send the appropriate program change message to recall that channel on the DSL.

3. If the user wishes to have multiple variations of each channel recalled e.g. Clean with FX Loop on and Master 1 and then clean with FX Loop Off and Master 2. They will need to set their controller to send a program change message to select the DSL’s channel and then MIDI CC messages to set the state of the FX Loop and Master.

For example:

Clean with FX Loop On and Master 1 – Send:

PC=00 [DSL Clean Channel]

CC=13 Value = 1 [DSL FX Loop On]

CC=14 Value = 0 [DSL Master 1]

Clean with FX Loop Off and Master 2 – Send:

PC=00 [DSL Clean Channel]

CC=13 Value = 0 [DSL FX Loop Off]

CC=14 Value = 1 [DSL Master 2]

dsl40cr control.hlx

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On 5/2/2022 at 7:54 PM, tmingle said:

You need to "initialize" the DSL to receive MIDI commands.   Please see the instructions below.

Since the DSL40CR clean is much quieter than the crunch, I have it assigned to a different Master volume.  The channels are PC commands & the Masters & FX loop are CC values.  Please see the patch below.

The attached patch is for A HELIX RACK w/ foot controller.

On the DSL each of the 4 channels clean, crunch, OD1, OD2 are assigned in a loop to every four MIDI program change messages and can’t be changed e.g.

PC 00 = CLEAN
PC 01 = CRUNCH
PC 02 = OD1
PC 03 = OD2
PC 04 = CLEAN
PC 05 = CRUNCH
PC 06 = OD1
PC 07 = OD2
PC 08 = CLEAN etc.

 

Thanks for this post. Many have asked about this, and I could tell them the basics, but I always wondered why Marshall did it this way. Since I don't own a DSL40 I never dug into it, and no one ever got back with further questions. Your post will help lots of people down the road! 

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Sorry to be such a nube.  My options in the Command Center under Instant 1 are:

MIDI CC

MIDI Ch

CC#

Value

Waiit Time.

 

Not sure what to put for each one of these.

 

Also,  I tried to download the patch but this is what Helix says.

 

image.thumb.png.8baf1564e8c6af6bd9e25eb64abe5f82.png

 

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Update your Helix to v3.15.

To do this, start by performing a backup of your presets, then update HX Edit to the latest version (3.15).

HX Edit will then offer to update your Helix.

FOLLOW ALL OF THE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY!

WRITE THEM DOWN IF NECESSARY!

DO NOT SKIP ANY STEPS!

 

Once you've updated, in Command Center, the little lightning bolt icons are the Instant Commands.

One of the options is "Bank/Prog" (third option using knob 1: None-MIDI CC-Bank/Prog). Set MIDI CHANNEL to the Channel you want to set your amp to using the directions given by @tmingle. I recommend that you use Channel 2 so that you're NOT using the Helix default Base Channel(1). If you choose to use the default Base Channel (prevents having to set the channel for each Command Center command), then in Global Settings>MIDI/TapTempo set "MIDI PC Send" to OFF. This prevents Helix from sending the default PC# when you load the preset.

The rest of the Instant Command parameters for Bank/Prog can be ignored except for PROGRAM. Set that as described in tmingle's directions. Set the other Instant Commands per his directions. SAVE. On to the next Snapshot.

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I am running firmware 3.15  

PC 00 = CLEAN
PC 01 = CRUNCH
PC 02 = OD1
PC 03 = OD2

CC=13 Value = 1 [DSL FX Loop On]0 [DSL FX Loop Off]
CC=14 Value = 0 [DSL Master 1]1 [DSL Master 2]

 

It was confusing & took me a while to grasp it. 

It is under the command center.  I highly recommend doing it in HX edit. 

The patch should be in the back row & the 4 snapshots in the front row on the foot controller. 

 

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I've updated to 3.15 on both the Floor and Edit.  I copied dsl40cr control to the Floor (thank you tmingle).   In HX Edit I can see everything and I can see dsl40cr control on the Floor but no sound comes out (changed the ouput to multi) and I can't see the snapshots or anything on the footswithes.  I initialized the DLS 40 to recieve midi commands and loop on/off is blinking.  I restarted everything and still nothing.   Thoughts?

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I DL'd the preset.

To see the Snapshots you need to have PRESET Mode set to show Snapshots or press the UP/DOWN switches to go into Snapshot Mode.

 

From the DSL Manual:

 

The MIDI receive channel is factory-set
to channel 1. In order to set a different
channel, press and hold the Loop On/Off
switch (Front Panel Function #23) while
powering up the amplifier to activate
MIDI waiting mode. The LED will flash
until a valid MIDI command is received.
The MIDI receive channel will be set to
the channel of that command.

Note: When the 2-way footswitch is
connected the amplifier will not respond to
any MIDI messages.

 

In the preset, the MIDI Channel is set to MIDI Channel 1. This is the default for both Helix (BASE) and the DSL.

I couldn't find the specifics in the manual that I have, but if the DSL works like other MIDI amps, You'll need to manually put the amp into the channel you want, put the amp into RECEIVE mode, then load the Snapshot that sends the PC# you need for that Amp Channel, and repeat for each Amp channel.

 

I assume (there's that word) that when the amp is in RECEIVE Mode the audio is OFF.

 

@tminglePlease jump in if I'm wrong about this or I've left something out.

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ADD INFO: Don't forget to turn OFF MIDI PC SEND in Global Settings>MIDI/Tap Tempo to prevent transmitting the default Helix Preset PC# when loading the preset.

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There are 2 FX loops in use in my patch.  Try removing the 2nd loop from the patch. The 1st (Loop 1) is for the 4CM with the DSL.

The 2nd loop routes the signal through an external MXR 10-band eq pedal.  I find the external EQ is more effective & a lot easier to adjust than the EQ's in the Helix.

 

 

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I've had the 40CR for a little over a year & also have a 40C & DSC1CR for lower volumes.

I created the patch out of curiosity & to re-enforce my knowledge of the Helix.  I have yet to find a setting on the Marshall preamps that I can't replicate or surpass by simply using the Marshall as a power amp.  If you like the 40C tones, I suggest you try the Placater dirty.  I find that the initial gain settings on almost every amp in the Helix to be cut back by 30-60% to be usable. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry this is so late.  I just got off the road gigging.  I can't seem to get this to change any channels on the amp.  I have the amp in MIDI waiting mode with a midi cable attached to both the Helix and the Amp.  The 2 button switch is not hooked up.  I can see the dsl40cr control on the top row and can see Clean (1) Cruch (2)  OD1 (3) and OD2 (4) on the bottom.   None of the snapshots change the amp channel.  

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Attached is the preset with mods.

I have tested this with a MIDI Monitor.

If it doesn't work on your DSL you need to find someone locally to help you, as between this thread and the manual you have all the instructions required.

 

@tmingle said:

On 5/3/2022 at 12:14 AM, rd2rk said:

Since the DSL40CR clean is much quieter than the crunch, I have it assigned to a different Master volume

 

I've set SS1 (CLEAN) to Master 1. The others are set to Master 2.

To change this just reset the VALUES of the second Instant Command - 0=Master 1; 1=Master 2.

The DSL's FX Loop is enabled in all Snapshots.

 

dsl40controlMod.hlx

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