Volume pedals before a DI, and recording expression data from Helix

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Volume pedals before a DI, and recording expression data from Helix

Post by Fishnish »

Nowadays I usually record guitars with a split so I can have both the amp signal and a dry one for any re-amping. The "amp" is often a Line 6 Helix Rack and the reamping is Helix Native, although I do have real amps, mics etc. if I want to go that route.

With a console steel I'm using a DI box as a split to get the dry signal then playing into a clean amp and I have a foot constantly on a (passive Boss or Ernie Ball) volume pedal before the amp.
Is there any reason why I shouldn't put the VP before the DI box so the swells will get printed onto both wet and dry tracks?

PS. Slightly unrelatedly, if anyone can explain to me how to record the expression pedal data from the Helix so it can be replicated or edited in the Helix Native plugin, that would be really helpful! Again it's often, but not exclusively an EXP pedal used as a VP. I managed to do it when using the Helix as a USB interface but don't remember how (I think it just happened by magic). However when using my regular setup with a Steinberg Audio interface, Cubase and a MOTU MIDI interface I'm struggling. Everything I've read on the L6 support forum seems to talk about scenarios where the Helix is acting as a USB interface....
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Re: Volume pedals before a DI, and recording expression data from Helix

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Fishnish wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 9:07 amIs there any reason why I shouldn't put the VP before the DI box so the swells will get printed onto both wet and dry tracks?

None at all.

Slightly unrelatedly, if anyone can explain to me how to record the expression pedal data from the Helix so it can be replicated or edited in the Helix Native plugin, that would be really helpful!

Can't really help you with that one I'm afraid, except to say that you'd have to connect the expression pedal directly into the Helix. When used as a separate volume pedal it doesn't generate any data.
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Re: Volume pedals before a DI, and recording expression data from Helix

Post by Fishnish »

Thanks Hugh, I couldn't see any problem with the pedal in front of the DI as it is basically just doing the same job as a volume pot on the instrument, but then I got to overthinking it!

I'll keep tinkering with the EXP pedal issue. It's a separate dedicated exp pedal and works fine on the Helix unit but I just can't seem to get the generated MIDI CC data sent out into Cubase. I'm currently suspecting there may be a dodgy midi cable in there somewhere as I now notice I'm not seeing any MIDI in activity from the Helix on the MOTU's display. Looks like bit of Sunday grovelling under the desk + behind the rack is in order.
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Re: Volume pedals before a DI, and recording expression data from Helix

Post by Music Wolf »

You need to open Command Centre in HX Edit, select the expression pedal and set command to MIDI CC in the pull down menue. The pedal should still work as a volume pedal in Helix and transmit MIDI. I've just set up a patch this way using the built in expression on a Helix Floor.
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Re: Volume pedals before a DI, and recording expression data from Helix

Post by Fishnish »

Music Wolf wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 5:41 pm You need to open Command Centre in HX Edit, select the expression pedal and set command to MIDI CC in the pull down menue. The pedal should still work as a volume pedal in Helix and transmit MIDI. I've just set up a patch this way using the built in expression on a Helix Floor.

Thanks for the reply, I'd just this minute cracked this more or less as you were posting! I'd been looking in the Global settings for EXP pedals and MIDI but had yet to get to the Command Centre..... Easy once you've found the right page!
Thanks again.
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Re: Volume pedals before a DI, and recording expression data from Helix

Post by Music Wolf »

I spend a lot of my time in Command Centre as live my Helix is also controlling other, external, MIDI devices.

The other way to achieve what you are after, without using MIDI, would be to place an effects send block (not a send / return) after the volume pedal block and record the send output along with the main. The same as using an external vol pedal but neater.
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Re: Volume pedals before a DI, and recording expression data from Helix

Post by BigRedX »

Your basic questions have already been answered, but can I ask why you are not using the Helix as your audio interface for this task? Unless you are sending the digital output(s) to your Steinberg interface, you will get the benefit of one round less of D/A A/D conversion and a slight reduction in latency. Channels 7 and 8 will record the direct sound of your instrument before it is processed by the Helix hardware.
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