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Confused about snapshots


gswartz
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I watched a couple of videos on using snapshots which made it seem very impressive and appealing.  In my case I have a very simple setup.  A gate, compressor, distortion and amp/cab as well as a delay and verb in path 2a.  I have snapshot 1 set up without the distortion patch on.  On snapshot two it's on.  However since snapshot 2 is my lead channel I want to have the distortion on (which works) and also have the volume higher and a slightly different delay setting.  But whatever parameters I change in the amp or delay (in my case channel volume in the amp and mix and feedback in the delay) it just then transfers the same settings to snapshot 1.  I thought the whole point of snapshots was to be able to have different amp volumes, eq settings, effect parameters, etc.  They sound cool from what I've seen but I can't get them to work as expected and if this is how it has to work, quite frankly it sucks.  Am I missing something here on how to set them up correctly?  Thanks.

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Make sure you have assigned the parameters you mention to the Snapshot controller. You can do that that by pressing and quickly rotating the parameter’s control knob on the device. After doing that you will see the parameter values highlighted by white brackets. Then change the values as desired in each snapshot and save the preset before moving to another snapshot. 

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Unlike the Block Bypass, you have to specifically assign the parameters you want to control to Snapshots.

Then when you change those parameters in any Snapshot and SAVE before leaving the Snapshot (If Global Settings>Preferences> Snapshot Edits = Discard) those settings will apply in THAT Snapshot, leaving the others as is.

 

See the SNAPSHOTS section of the manual for whatever version of Helix you have.

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I think the picture of the octopus sums it up perfectly. 

 

Unlike your regular hypothetical pedal board where you have a bunch of pedals, if you want to go from clean to psychedelic distortion solo, you'd have to turn on like 4 different stomp boxes.  So instead of turning on a bunch of pedals, you have just 2 snapshots: "clean rhythm" and "wild psychedelic solo".  Instead of having to turn on/off a bunch of pedals, you have 2 snapshots that do that for you.  That is the best example IMO. 

 

Each preset is your hypothetical pedal board.  A snapshot saves the state of your pedal board: what is turned on/off and where all the parameter knobs are set.  That's it!  Isn't it convenient?  Instead of having to reach down and changing the stomps' parameters, turning off/on pedals, you can save the states of all or your blocks.  You can change the parameters of your blocks, but that can get confusing pretty fast--I recommend having an additional block with a different set of parameters, rather than changing the values on a single block.... otherwise you can save over your preset/snapshot and lose your settings.  If DSP allows for it, just add an additional block....

 

 

Essentially, imagine your pedal board of 20 different stomp boxes: you can decide what things are turned off, what things are turned off and where all the knobs are set -- those are snapshots.  Save where all of those knobs are set, and whether blocks are turned off/on. 

 

So in my case, I have snapshots that take me from: clean, dirty, solo, feedback,solo + wah.  It's very convenient to be able to completely switch out your sounds with a the press of a single button, as opposed to 4+.  Plus with snapshots, there is no audible silence when you turn things on/off.  I

 

I highly recommends using the "preset-per song" approach.  Within each preset, snapshots are all the various sections, e.g.: intro, verse,

chorus, solo, feedback, coda. 

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Thank you.  Assigning the parameter to the snapshot controller was what I was missing.  I'm using the Helix floor and the editing software.

 

Another question.  Going off of theElevators suggestion to have an additional block with different settings.  If I try to create another amp+cab block after the existing one so that essentially the first one is off and the new one is on for the lead snapshot (not that I'm going to do that since the snapshot controller works), I found that for the new block most of the amps are greyed out.  Any idea why that is?  Screenshot attached.

 

And finally, when I got my helix, the wah pedal was extremely tight to the point it's almost unusable.  Is this also common?  If so, is it able to be adjusted easily?  Thanks

helix.PNG

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On 9/27/2022 at 4:24 PM, gswartz said:

Going off of theElevators suggestion to have an additional block with different settings.  If I try to create another amp+cab block after the existing one so that essentially the first one is off and the new one is on for the lead snapshot (not that I'm going to do that since the snapshot controller works), I found that for the new block most of the amps are greyed out.  Any idea why that is?  Screenshot attached.

 

 

Yes. This is because the first DSP processor is almost out of juice. You don't have enough processing power for the greyed out amp models. 

 

 

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I wouldn't use two of the same block, IMO/IME it's a waste of DSP. If you're worried about losing your settings, export the preset to a backup folder.

 

Amps use a lot of DSP. Each Path - 1A and 2A - is supported by it's own processor. The only time I use two (or even three) amps is when I'm trying to get both (or all three) channels of an amp into a single preset. I'll usually (depending on the other FX involved) put CH1 and CH2 in parallel paths with an A/B Split on PathA and the third channel with cab/IR on PathB with the time based FX (delay/reverb). The reason for putting the two amps in parallel is that leaving them ON and using the A/B Split to route the signal makes switching quieter. For some reason the noise I'm referring to doesn't happen when the third amp is on PathB. I use a regular FS to route CH1/CH2 and a Snapshot to bypass those and activate CH3. There's probably other ways, but that works for me. At any rate, the point is to split the DSP load between the two processors/paths, making more amps/FX available within the paths' DSP limitations.

 

If you bought your Helix new then there should be a Hex Key in the box to adjust the bolt on the right side of the exp pedal.

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Additional ways to save DSP if you're committed to this approach: Instead of trying to cram in two amp/cab blocks try using seperate amp and cab with one cab shared between the two amps. Then, you can have the cab on the second processor with the two amps on the first processor and utilize @rd2rk's ideas about running in parallel if you like (which, FYI, I also prefer over the same path but your mileage may vary). Or, you could have one amp on the first processor and the second amp and cab on the second processor. 

 

The point is those are your most DSP intensive blocks right there so try to break the workloads up. 

 

An even better idea (IMO) might be to see if you can find an amp that can do both sounds you're trying to achieve, and use snapshots to change their parameters (i.e. adjusting drive, treble, channel volume, etc. with the push of a button). To me, this is usually where I found what I need and it saves way more DSP.

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One point of caution, again! about the expression pedal--loosen it by a hair at a time.  Loosen, check, loosen, check.  Otherwise, you may be in a situation where you need to open up the Helix to tighten the nut inside (happened to me). 

 

 

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On 9/27/2022 at 7:32 PM, rd2rk said:

As I said in my previous post, there should be a hex key in the box.

I don't know what size it is.

The adjuster is on the right side of the pedal.

Sorry about that, I missed that part.  Thank you!

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snapshots are great and easy, however, you can also use the stomp button to change amp assignments.  One button can change multiple settings on a block or multiple blocks.  I have one setting the changes the delay time, mix, and the reverb settings.  It is a little wonky doing it this way (snapshots are easier), but it can be done.  I normally have my amps settings tied to a button so I can have clean/dirty settings on the amp with stomp button.  I use this with snapshots.  My snapshots usually set delay and reverb settings, then in stomp mode I can get clean or dirty or crunch or coffee ( :) ) ... 

 

also agree about SMALL turns with the foot pedal key... took me awhile to get it right.

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