Jump to content

Powercab MIDI question


rwinking
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have my Helix Stomp XL running into my PC and it sounds amazing, I have run into one issue. I have it set up so that for example, when I go to my twin model on the Stomp it will switch to the Lecto EV speakers on the PC. The first time I hit the FS it goes to New Preset 117. If I hit the switch again it then goes to the correct preset PC speaker which is 010. It does this with every patch I set up....always to New Preset 117 then hit the button and it goe to the correct preset. Any ideas on this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

this may be a different issue, however, there were threads awhile back that talk about what shows on the PC screen.  It had something to with the correct speaker would be selected, however the PC screen may not change to a different preset when changing the speaker from the helix.

 

Bottom line was you get the speaker you want and just disregard what the PC screen says.....at least that is what I took away from that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. However the issue is that I don't get the speaker that I want until I hit the FS the second time. The first time I go to my Deluxe preset, it goes to New Preset 117 on the PC. The second time I het the FS it actually goes to the correct speaker, 003. It is not just the PC screen. It is the actual preset. Weird. It does not do this with my Quad Cortex at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/23/2023 at 10:55 AM, rwinking said:

Thanks. However the issue is that I don't get the speaker that I want until I hit the FS the second time. The first time I go to my Deluxe preset, it goes to New Preset 117 on the PC. The second time I het the FS it actually goes to the correct speaker, 003. It is not just the PC screen. It is the actual preset. Weird. It does not do this with my Quad Cortex at all.

 

In Global Settings>MIDI/Tap set "MIDI PC Tx" to OFF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the stomp.

What's strange here is that you said EVERY HXS Preset first goes to PC Preset 117.

That makes no sense. That should only happen if you're loading Preset #117 on the HXS.

If changing that setting doesn't work, you may need to perform a Factory Reset on the HXS.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I looked on the HX Stomp Globals and could not find anything resembling MIDI/Tap set on the MIDI tab so then I couldn't find MIDI PC TX to turn off. Not sure if it makes a difference but I have the HXS XL. I know what you mean about it not making sense. It seems to have something to do with the footswitches. If I really hit them with a kind of harder step and hold it, most times it will go the assigned preset. It is almost like there is something wrong with the switch. However all four switches on the HXS act the same way. If I go to stomp mode all of those same switches go on/off like they should, I thought it might be my footswitch toppers so I took one off and the same thing. And I don't have a clue why it would got to preset 117 if I hit the switch in a normal fashion. Like I think I mentioned earlier it usually defaults to #117 and then if I hit it again it goes to the correct preset or like I just said, if I hit it a little harder and then hold it briefly. The same switches will switch scenes with no issue. It only seems to be something with the HXS and the powercab and MIDI.

and BTW, thanks for all of your help on this!

rick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Global Settings has 6 sub headings, one of which is MIDI. On the Helix Floor it's MIDI/TAP, on the HXS and HXSXL it's MIDI/Tempo.

On the third page according to the manual you should see MIDI PC Tx.

 

Did you buy this thing used? I'm starting to think that it has somebody's custom presets on it.

Maybe you should do a backup, then perform a Factory Reset by rebooting while holding C+D.

Instead of restoring the backup, make a couple of SIMPLE presets that ONLY call Powercab presets.

If they work, then you've found your problem.

 

I'm also going to make the suggestion that nobody ever wants to hear:

 

READ THE MANUAL!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rd2rk, thanks for all of your help. I appreciate your suggestion to read the manual. However, the manual takes a level of expertise that I don’t have. There is a language to it that I sometimes miss. Once someone has the patience to explain certain things to me, I can then then go back to the manual and it’s like “Oh, that is what they mean….” I am somewhat an expert in another field. If I gave you certain theory and composition books they might make no sense to you. I could then explain the concepts and then you could go back and read the books and understand them. I once tried teaching guitar and had a young student who did not understand what a harmonic minor scale consisted of. I grew up in a musical family and knew about harmonic, natural and melodic minor scales were when I was 10 years old. I had a hard time getting that someone could play guitar for a few years and not know what they were.

I apologize for trying your patience. If in the future I ask questions that you think are stupid, I would appreciate it if you would ignore them and maybe someone else could answer it in a kinder way. I’m a guitarist that has worked with people  a lot of guitarists could only dream of working with. That is what I do. For years I plugged into an amp and analog FX. This is fairly new to me. I hope you can understand that there are others on this forum like myself.

Believe it or not, I learn from folks like you. I plan on being more patient than I have when others have questions, so thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/24/2023 at 12:46 AM, rwinking said:

I apologize for trying your patience. If in the future I ask questions that you think are stupid, I would appreciate it if you would ignore them and maybe someone else could answer it in a kinder way. I’m a guitarist that has worked with people  a lot of guitarists could only dream of working with. That is what I do. For years I plugged into an amp and analog FX. This is fairly new to me. I hope you can understand that there are others on this forum like myself.

Believe it or not, I learn from folks like you. I plan on being more patient than I have when others have questions, so thank you.

 

I wasn't being mean. No one reads the manual cover to cover and instantly understands everything. However, there are certain sections that are indispensable. Global settings for starters. And I MEAN for starters. Even if you don't fully understand everything, familiarity with terminology starts there. Command Center is another. "Why does the FS do one thing when I press it, and something else when I hold it?" Having the knowledge of music theory you seem to have is amazing to me. Though I played in bands for years, opening a book about music theory caused my eyes to glaze over in seconds. But I knew I needed to understand it to accomplish my goals, so I kept at it until today I employ scales and modes without thinking about it. The point is not to sell yourself short. Learning to use devices like Helix is NOT Quantum Physics. Or even advanced music theory!

 

Also, no question is "stupid". Ask away. But at least make an effort to understand the basics. "The manual says blah blah...WTF does that mean?" is an entirely reasonable question. Expecting us (the many helpful people on this forum) to re-write the manual for you starting at page 1 is not reasonable. If you've seen some of my other posts, you know that I spend a great deal of time explaining concepts and presenting examples because, like you, I learn better if I start there. So, if you want to do something, start with the manual, but if you don't "get" something in the manual, don't feel like we'll think you're stupid for asking. There's a cure for ignorance, but laziness is stupid, and there's no cure for that.

 

On 1/24/2023 at 9:57 AM, rwinking said:

Turning MIDI PC TX off did the trick. Thanks!

 

Glad I could help! Although that's in that indispensable section of the manual called "Global Settings", it's not really explained anywhere!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind reply. Like you trying to understand theory/compostion, it does not happen overnight. During the 80s, when MIDI came out I didn't think as a guitar player I would ever need it. Therefore, I am what is called a Midiot. In order for me to understand the MIDI menu, I would need to take a few courses in MIDI. I mean I understand the concept of what MIDI does but the terminology like MIDI PC TX is, at this point, over my head (Although I do know that PC stands for Program Change.) I know where to put the numbers in order to change preamps on my Synergy rig and presets on my Power Cab. I am a lifelong student. I am still learning Quartal Harmony and am learning how to explain it to others. If you know any tutorials for explaining MIDI terminology and process, I am all ears.

There is a book called Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns by Nicolas Slonimsky. Go to page 111 and read Ultrapolation of Two Notes or Infrapolation of One Note. I get completely lost. Hopefully there will be someone out there in musicland that might enlighten me on what the f*ck that means!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had to look up "Quartal Harmony". I stacked G-C-F. It sounded familiar. I tried dropping each note a half step, and when I dropped the F to E, it was a song!

Damn if I can remember the name of the song, but it'll come to me eventually.

So thanks, you taught me something just by naming a theory!

 

The thing about the MIDI PC Tx setting is that it's not something you'd learn from a study of General MIDI. It's totally a Helix thing, and therefore it's on L6 to properly explain it. I figured it out because there's also a MIDI PC Rx setting. Since a MIDI device either SENDS (transmits) or RECEIVES messages...

 

MIDI is a deep subject, and very little of it is of consequence to the average guitarist. Most BASIC MIDI links I've found are intended for synth players and contain way too much info that's irrelevant to guitarists. Here's the basics:

 

MIDI Channel: there are 16 MIDI Channels. These allow multiple MIDI devices in a chain to LISTEN for and RESPOND TO only those messages intended for them. A device can also be set to listen for ANY message on ANY channel (OMNI). You can't (normally) SEND on all channels. Helix family products (and MOST other MIDI devices) default to MIDI Channel 1. When you set the BASE channel on Helix (Global Settings>MIDI) you're telling Helix to SEND and RECEIVE on that channel. The SEND Channel can be changed in CommandCenter on a per command basis.

 

Preset, Patch, Program: descended from the days of hard-wired synthesizers, these are all names for the same thing, a collection of parameters that result in a sound.

In General MIDI, a BANK consists of 128 sounds, usually numbered 0-127. To make it more logical for midiots, some devices use the 1-128 numbering, but behind the scenes are actually using 0-127. In devices such as Helix Floor/Rack/LT and most synthesizers there are multiple BANKS of 128 sounds accessed by first sending CC#0 and/or #32 (device dependent) with a VALUE for the BANK # to select the BANK, followed by the PC# (0-127) of the preset within that BANK. For instance, to select the 9th preset in BANK 4  on Helix you send CC#0 VALUE 3 followed by PC#8. To select Preset #9 you send PC#9. See the difference between the 9th preset and Preset #9?

 

Continuous Controller (CC): the commands used to set the parameters within a preset. The CC# (always 0-127) can be viewed as the street address, and the VALUE as the apartment #. Practically speaking and in relation to Helix (or Native), your OD BYPASS might be assigned CC#111. A Value of 127 turns it ON and 0 turns it OFF (see below).

 

There's three types of CC. Simple (sends one VALUE); TOGGLING (sends alternate VALUES) and CONTINUOUS (sends a RANGE of Values).

 

An example of a SIMPLE CC is sending Snapshot Change messages. CC#69 with a VALUE of 0 selects SS1. A VALUE of 7 selects SS8.

 

An example of a TOGGLING CC is BYPASS messages. Standard usage is a VALUE of 127 = ON; 0 = OFF.

 

The term "Continuous" comes into play when using a Volume, WAH or Whammy, or when using an expression pedal to control a parameter such as delay length. You set a MINIMUM (HEEL DOWN) and a MAXIMUM (TOE DOWN) to specify the RANGE. MIN might be a dotted 1/8th and MAX might be a WHOLE note.

 

There's not a whole lot more that's relevant to guitar players. If you're using Command Center to set up DAW controls (if there's not already a template for your DAW) or to trigger a synth (useful for playing to drone type sounds) you might use NOTE messages. NOTE ON and NOTE OFF work like Toggling CCs, and each NOTE in every octave has a specific MIDI number. There's two standards for how those numbers are assigned. Here's a link to an explanation:

 

https://computermusicresource.com/midikeys.html

 

Here's a suggestion if you want to use MIDI regularly. Get a MIDI Monitor program. If you're using a PC the best is MIDIOX (FREE!).

A proper MIDI Monitor will have a RECEIVE pane and a SEND pane. You select a SOURCE for the RECEIVE pane and a DESTINATION for the SEND pane, and you can choose whether or not to forward the messages from the RECEIVE source to the SEND recipient. Using the monitor, you can play with all of the MIDI settings in Command Center and see EXACTLY what they do.

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR COMMAND CENTER

 

There's a bunch of little rules. InstantCommands execute on Preset Load and Snapshot Change.

They execute consecutively - IC1 then IC2 etc.

A specific IC can only send one type of command, and after setting it in any SS will default to the default for that command in EVERY other SS.

Therefore, it must be set SPECIFICALLY in EVERY SS. 

 

Example: SS1 IC1 set to BANK/PROGRAM PC#13. IC1 will default to Bank/Program with all VALUES OFF in all other Snapshots.

 

If IC1 in SS1 sends PC#13 and in SS2 also sends PC#13, when you switch to SS2 PC#13 will NOT re-send, nor will it re-send when switching back to SS1.

If SS2 sends a DIFFERENT PC# on IC1, then when switching back to SS1 PC#13 WILL re-send.

 

This rule applies to ALL message types.

 

Toggling CCs and NOTE messages also execute on Preset Load and SS Change.

They send whatever the DIM message is, and are subject to the previously stated rule.

 

Example: SS1 FS1 assigned to CC#2, DIM VALUE 0. SS2 FS1 assigned to CC#2 DIM VALUE 127

 

SS1 sends CC#2 VALUE 0; SS2 sends CC#2 VALUE 127.

 

OK, now I'm tired of typing. Hope this helps.

 

Questions?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! Thanks! That gives me a lot to work on. I am going to print out your "tome" and read it a little bit at a time. You are right....most of the MIDI stuff I have looked at was for synth/drum machine stuff which I am into learning more about. But for now, guitar and Helix/ Quad Cortex style MIDI is enough for me to digest.

If you want to check out Quartal stuff, here is a Miles Davis tune that is a great example. Bill Evans is playing piano. It begins with a bass solo (snooze) for only about 30 seconds and then the tune begins. Check out the piano during MIles' solo and the stacked 4ths Bill Evans is using. The challenge is how to get away with using them in a rock, americana, C&W, or R&B band and have it not sound weird and keep your gig. 

If anyone is concerned that this thread is getting hijacked, I started the thread so tuff sh#t.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hands down my all-time favorite jazz album. Always wondered what was going on in the background. Something for me to work on!

Yes, using those sounds at a Blues jam would NOT be practical unless there happened to be someone else there who knew what was going on.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...