C4 synth and Line 6 Helix compatibility

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Obigibo, Sep 3, 2020.

  1. Obigibo


    Sep 3, 2020
    Hi folks.

    I'm tying to unlock the potential of my Source Audio C4 by accessing all its presets via my new purchase, the Line 6 Helix Effects. The latter has the capability to send out midi PC and CC changes to all midi devices to control them and changes presets....in theory, the two should be compatible, but then there's the annoyances of in between boxes and leads....

    I trying to work out the following Q's and wondered if there were any Bassist Midi wizards on here?

    1) Whether it is possible to control presets on the C4 via the Helix Effects box?
    2) Whether the C4 can even accept PC messages? (some year-old posts on here seem to suggest it can only accept CC messages, which seems really odd)
    3) Whether I need to purchase another blumin' box - either the Neuro Hub, or a Disaster Area midi box such as the MicroGhost or similar?
    4) Whether I could avoid the box and cable up direct via USB - Helix to the C4 (utilising a mix of USB-B and mini-B adapters and leads)?

    Obviously, im fast approaching a 1k now for this solution, would LOVE not to make more mistakes on what I need if anyone can help?! I also wish to avoid taking C4 usb into my laptop as I run various synths and devices through there and Ableton for a live set up and it creates really bad ground noise making it an unviable way to route midi and use PC messages.

    Many thanks for your help!
  2. Stomp can only send out a pc when changing a preset. But it’s said stomp is getting midi command center in the next update...
  3. Dbss


    Jan 28, 2020
    I have this same setup, I asked a similar question and got some answers. I have not tried it yet since I need to get either the neuro Hub or DMC Micro...
    Check this link maybe it´s helpfull....
    source audio c4
  4. Which Helix device do you have? The Rack/Floor, LT, Effects, or Stomp? The first 3 have more options of sending Midi PC and CC. As stated above, the stomp cannot send CC

    To answer your questions:
    1) Yes it is possible to control the C4 with the HXFX.
    2) The C4 running the most recent firmware can receive PC and CC.
    3) You will need another box. The Hub or the MidiGhost would both work
    4) You cannot just go from HX to the C4 over USB because you need a midi host.

    I'm currently using the HXFX with the C4 and Hub (and other pedals) successfully. I also use Ableton to send Midi clock to the HXFX over USB and then over midi cables to all my other devices.
    Obigibo likes this.
  5. Dbss


    Jan 28, 2020
    Since you already use it...I have some questions for you.
    Are you able with your setup to permanently configure two switches from the HXFX to scroll presets on the C4 or the patch changing from the HX to the C4 has to be linked to and actual preset inside the HX?

    Let´s say

    HX Footswitches

    2 switches for C4 Scroll
    6 switches for HX (Snapshots or banks or presets)

    I hope I made my question clear...

    jasonmitsch likes this.
  6. I have never done this, but it sounds like a great idea.

    I use my C4 as a core tone, and my HX to manipulate that tone.
    I use the HX to send On/Off cc and preset specific PC to the C4 from 1 button in each preset. This way I still have 5 buttons to apply any effects to the C4 preset I have selected. I have a couple presets with snapshots set up, but I admit I have not spent a ton of time working with them.

    Assigning a button to scroll up and another to scroll down sounds great to control the C4, but I think it seriously hinders the HX capabilities since it reduces the options available. I'd personally rather buy an external Midi controller to send messages to both the HX and C4 and leave all buttons on the HX dedicated to HX sounds if I was to go this route.

    The way my brain organizes effects doesn't really jive with what you're trying to do, but I think you could do it. You might just feel limited by the number of buttons.
  7. Dbss


    Jan 28, 2020
    Many thanks for your input!

    Your setup seems like a good idea also for me...just want to be shure I undestood your workflow...still scratching my head to figure out If I´d better get the SA HUB, DMC Micro or DMC Ghost. I´d like to integrate the expression pedal to this setup to be used with both devices...

    So some more questions...:(

    1) This 1 button assigned to C4 recalls lets say preset nr 10 inside C4. So I need to have one HX preset for each C4 preset I want to recall right? So if I want to be able to recall 10 different C4 presets I need to make 10 new presets on the HX to recall this especific C4 patches? In this scenario I will have the rest of the HX switches to assign HX FX to add on top of the C4 core sound. This sounds great so far, need to make many HX presets but once settled it´s good workflow...

    Maybe setting up snapshots to scroll C4 presets is possible?
    Snapshot 1 default C4 preset
    Snapshot 2 Scroll Up
    Snapshot 3 Scroll Down
    In this way still have your same workflow but with the option of simply scrolling if needed thru snapshots?
    Maybe is not possible and I´m just making it to complicated :(

    2) Having the DMC micro will give me two independent buttons to scroll the C4. May I also connect the expression pedal here to control both devices if needed?
    Not using other SA pedal makes me think going the DMC micro route...but not 100% sure if Exp pedal willl work with both devices...

    Thanks for your help!!!
  8. Obigibo


    Sep 3, 2020
    Thanks for your assistance and experience folks, its been very useful. In the end I have plumed for a Kenton USB host box (very small, lightweight, cheap) which is literally just converting the Din midi to USB midi so that the HXFX can talk with the C4.
    In regards to HXFX layout and practical use, I still haven't nailed that yet, but I have a suspicion that I will have a different foot switch layout for practise / writing than I do for performing.
    For now I have opted to plug the C4 (and a few other trusty pedals that sound much better as a standalone than the HXFX digital emulation) in via the FX send and return loop. I have one footswitch assigned to 'FX Loop' on/off, which affectively turns the C4 'on', and then 5 switches free for my favourite C4 presets. However, this does take up the entire 6 switches and leaves me no room for other effects etc.
    As we build our repertoire of songs, I think I will know which presets, drives, tone shapers I'll want in each song and I can map them accordingly to a preset, for performing. However for practise / song writing, I would like access to some staple effects as well as C4 presets....is there a better more footswitch efficient way of running the C4 rather than in the FX loop and losing a button to 'FX loop on' - just run it inline before the HXFX I suppose? My board pic below (sorry for blur - awful camera phone!)

    Attached Files:

  9. TheLowDown33

    TheLowDown33 Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    SW Connecticut
    Okay, I run a very similar set up, with a Stomp and C4. I think your best bet is to put the C4 first in the chain and either use the C4 foot switch or the hx effects to send a cc message to the C4 to bypass/engage. The C4 works best at the very beginning anyway, since it has to track the input signal.

    What I do is run the C4 into my Stomp and then use a Morningstar MC8 to control both, with a Disaster Area micro ghost in between the MC8 and C4. Works like a charm and affords me the most flexibility over a relatively simple setup. The way I have it programmed is anytime I have a preset that doesnt have the C4 on, I send a CC message to bypass it. Say I want a filter sound though, I send the CC message to the C4 and then I send a PC and CC message to the Stomp to pull up my basic clean patch. Doing it this way means I never have to step on two switches to get to a sound. You could very easily do this all on the HX effects, but the C4 needs to be fully integrated into your setup.
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Bumping this thread to ask a question. I'm a complete neophyte with MIDI, but I'm wanting to do something similar. If I'm reading this right, I can run a MIDI cable from the Helix (floor in my case) MIDI out to the DMC.micro, and the USB cable from the micro to the C4 and use the Helix to send program change info. Is that correct?
  11. Dbss


    Jan 28, 2020
    Hey Mate,
    That is correct, there are also other midi usb host options similar to dmc micro that do the same job but cheaper. I got one from Alibaba in china, pretty cheap, works great!
    Pacman likes this.
  12. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Bumping this again….

    If I wanted to control both an SA C4 and an SA Ultra Wave with my Helix Floor, would I need to pick up 2 of the Micro Ghosts?

    Out of the Helix, into the first micro.ghost to the C4, then out of that into the second micro.ghost to the Ultra Wave?? Or is there a better way to be able to use the Helix to switch presets on each unit?
  13. benevan

    benevan Supporting Member

    May 2, 2002
    If you have more than 1 SA pedal it is best/more cost effective to use the SA HUB for midi to the C4 and UW.
    Ryan L. likes this.
  14. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Doh!! I suppose that’s basically exactly what the Hub is designed for….Some day I’ll get up to speed!

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