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Helix Midi control...few questions

Started by themetallikid, July 06, 2019, 08:28:16 PM

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Ok....So I found an older MidiPlus 2x2 that should work, I'll have have one of the midi in/outs not connected....for now its great. 

However...few questions....

I have my Helix setup now so that I have 4 snaps/4 stomps.  The 4 stomps I have labeled as prev/next song (2) and scroll down/up (2). 

I have them programmed in the Helix sending 80-83 respectively, sending a message of 127 (?) as a latching button as a MIDI CC.  On the Bandhelper App, under Settings > Remote Control - I have Previous/Next Songs as 'General Button 3/4 82/83' and Previous/Next Song as 'General Button 1/2 80/81'....this part i'm not sure is right.

When I step on my stomp buttons I do not see any interaction with the Bandhelper App

I'm not sure if that part is right, but it feels's been awhile since i've used MIDI between devices. 


If you click the remote control button (foot switch icon) in the top toolbar and then send the remote control messages, what do you see in the activity log?


I dont believe the Midiplus 2x2 is working right, or its not sending/receiving information correctly.  There are 5 lights: red, yellow/green, yellow/green.  The red I believe is just a connection status (I could be wrong), and each yellow/green set is for indicating transmission of signals on each pair of in/outs.

I'm not getting anything when I push one of my stomps for any of the 4 buttons, so regardless of how BH is setup, it doesnt look like its receiving info from the Helix.  I think I need to start there first and solve that issue....

To answer your quesiton though Arlo, I'm not seeing any anything in the Activity Log or anything under Paired Devices, which makes sense given my above statements. 


First thing to check is the obvious - cabling. Seems silly to say, but it's caught me out a few times... Cables need to be fully seated, and the Helix OUT goes to the 2x2 IN. And if that doesn't work, try a different cable.

Also, check the Helix's MIDI settings. Make sure the Helix is set to send MIDI over the DIN, not just over USB.


Iguana, that makes sense...and now that you mentioned it, I think I made that mistake often when plugging things in years ago when I was in a hurry....I did the in>in and out>out/thru.....thinking they were labeled with where they go, but really its what the Midiplus wants to see... so Helix In>Midiplus Out and Helix Out>Midiplus In....

That should solve the 'connection' issues....and allow me to see information being sent and triggering the lights.  I'll try this when I get home....later.

As long as the functions I'm trying to set up are needing 'CC' and not 'Program change' messages I should be all set then. 


Ok, I swapped cables on the in/outs...connected to my tablet...just for testing I pushed a stomp and saw the yellow light flicker when button was pushed.....yay!!......But hold on....I get no change in BH when that happened.  I proceeded to push the buttons for my prev/next song and also my page/screen up/down and I got it scroll down slightly once, but can't duplicate it.  I checked my CC's and button labels on my helix to make sure i've got them not conflicting (up/down with the same CC) and I'm good that way...

I seem to be stuck again.


I think the issues may be with my tablet.  I connected the Midi/USB to my laptop and i get no stoppage of the lights flickering after I change songs on the BH website and such.  So I may just have to go via laptop possibly as a workaround.  I dont know why the tablet is stopping the connection or not talking.  I tried changing the channels of Midi to 1 on both and still same issue. 

On the PC i'm not getting the movement of the songs or pages/screens like I should, but I think thats expected with the website BH right?


Yup, the website is just for editing. You need to be using the BH app on iOS or Android to get MIDI control.

Have you set up a setlist with your songs in it, and are you viewing that set list as if you are performing? Can you see events happening when you bring up the MIDI log?


yes for right now I have setup an 'Acoustic Potential' setlist that has all songs I tag with 'Acoustic'.  These are any songs I feel would/should work acoustically....once I go through them with the lyrics/chords and am comfortable with everything, I will create an actual peforming setlist "Acoustic - Solo".  But both should function the same with what I'm trying to get setup at this point.

I do see there is lights flickering on the MidiPlus' display R/Y/G/Y/G colored lights.  Red is for connection on both ends to a device...always had this, even when the Midi side was plugged in backwards.  Once I corrected the In/Out that you pointed out I get flickering on the one Yellow when I stomp on it....however the difference between the PC and Tablet is that the PC always flickered when I stepped on a button, the tablet did once, but the didnt any further. 

That makes sense then why I've seen some people download/install an Android clone type program to run BH within...which I may end up doing if my Tablet wont respond how it should.  I got it on sale via a department store a rediculously cheap price as a way to see if we would even like tablets...Its become a decent band aid, however, I can definately see how upgrading would help its performance for sure.  Just not sure if the MIDI issue is tablet or idiot related, lol


The first thing I'd check is if MIDI is getting through the 2x2. On your PC, download a program called MIDI-OX and have it log the incoming MIDI from the 2x2. That will tell you if the MIDI from the Helix is making it through the 2x2 properly.

How is that MIDI interface powered? I went to the MidiPlus website, and it looks like it gets power over USB? If so, there may be an issue with how much power the tablet can supply over it's USB ports.

Another thought - the Helix is a class-compliant MIDI device. I've never tried this on my rig, but you should be able to hook the Helix directly to your tablet using a USB cable. And as long as the Helix is set to send/receive MIDI over USB, it should work without needing the 2x2. I think...

And in BH on the tablet, what does the MIDI log show? Also, there is an Android MIDI utility - Midi Commander - that you can use to watch incoming MIDI without going through BH.

I've tried running BH in an emulator under Windows. It runs OK, but I was never able to get MIDI connections to work. Didn't seem like the emulator passed MIDI at all.

I've tried three different SBCs (Pi, LattePanda, Odroid) running Android and they all run BH well enough, with functioning MIDI via a Mio USB interface. I'd be surprised is your tablet wouldn't support MIDI.


ok, this is getting frustrating (i'm not giving up though)

I tried the 2x2 in both devices with the programs you mentioned.  Maybe I'm not using the programs right, but I went through menu options and tried different things in case it wasnt plug and play like it seemed.  I dont get any 'info' on either device.  On the tablet the screen that starts up shows that note/pc/cc/other are all checked, and when I stomp my buttons I see no data under the 'Receiving Midi Input:" title.  When I plugged the helix directly in using the USB cable it did recognize the Helix and ask me to allow it to access that device which I did. 

On the PC side, I tried the 2x2 and direct USB as well, and the MIDI Ox from what I could see also did not show any traffic.  Both times on the 2x2 the yellow light did flicker when I stomping buttons, but I did not see any reporting on either device.  I'm about ready to just order a blue tooth device and say screw it...but this should work I feel. 


Quote from: themetallikid on July 11, 2019, 04:29:28 AM
...but this should work I feel.

Yes, it should!

The fact that the 2x2 blinks when you step on the Helix says that the Helix is sending out MIDI data. And that means you should see something on either MIDI monitor.

The simplest case should be connecting the Helix to your PC via USB and using MIDI-OX. In MIDI-OX, View->Input Monitor brings up the window that shows you incoming and outgoing MIDI events. Its been a couple years since I got my rig working, can't remember if there was any configuration needed to view the correct MIDI input ports. And my rig isn't at home right now, so I can't plug it in and test, sorry.

IIRC, there was a glitch with Midi Commander on Android if you were running BH and then switched to Midi Commander. The apps were fighting for control of the MIDI device (unless Arlo has made some changes since then) and things were a little flaky.  Reboot the tablet and run Midi Commander without opening BH.

And you've set the Helix to send and receive MIDI over USB, right?

Can you post a screen shot of your Helix command center showing the MIDI CC assignment to one of the buttons?


Ok, progress....finally...sorta.....

I updated my Helix to v2.8, yay.....not that that had anything to do with it.

I tried using USB cord to laptop and the MIDI tracking for the laptop/windows and couldnt get anything to show up in the MIDI logs....using the USB cable or the Midi 2x2....

Thought I'd try the tablet and see what I get.  Tried the Midi link and USB with the BH app open, and got no response within the app....

Then I tried the MIDI Commander app and once I got the right screen up, I'm getting some sort of feedback (visual, not audible...)  when I cycle through the 4 stomp buttons I have setup....I get messages that state the same thing except for the 'Function' number changing to the CC number I had chosen.  The message is stating,

"ControlChange cable: 0, channel: 0, function: 83/82/82/80, value:127"

My only thought would be the value of 127 is incorrect maybe?  or i'm not choosing the right CC#'s. 

Any help?  I have recently converted all my songs/chords/lyrics to .pdf files and would like to reverse/advance songs with 2 buttons and also scroll down/up with the other 2 stomps I have available. 


Finally got my rig home today and updated to 2.8, too! Looking forward to using the KoT...

So here's how I've got thing set up:

In the BandHelper App: (not the website...)
- in your project Setting/Remote Control:
    -- MIDI Input Channel - this can be set to any allowable value, but all messages destined to BH must invoke this value. In my case, I use channel 5
    -- And then set Previous Song/Next Song/etc to CC 80, 81, etc.

In Helix, in your preset, go to the Command Center:
    -- for each button, set the MIDI Channel to whatever value you picked above. In my case, 5.
    -- CC # will be 80, 81, 82, or 83
    -- Value will be 127
    -- Switch LED and name will be whatever you want.

I have my Helix connected to my PC, and using MIDI-OX:
    -- First in the Options menu, select MIDI Devices. Under MIDI Inputs, "Line 6 Helix" should be listed. (There might be a number before it, like "2- Line 6 Helix")
    -- Click on that input to highlight it, then click OK
    -- next, under the View menu, select "Input Monitor..."
    -- press the Helix button. You should see something in the Monitor window. DATA1 should be 50-53 (hex values corresponding to decimal 80-83). DATA2 should be 7F (decimal 127) and CHAN should be, in my case, 5.

This will tell you that your Helix is sending the right data.

With the Helix connected to my Android device through my MIDI interface (I don't have the right USB cable to connect the Helix to the Android directly), the MIDI Commander MIDI Monitor window shows:

"ControlChange cable: 0, channel: 4, function: 82, value:127"

In other words, exactly what you see, with one critical change - the MIDI channel.

** MIDI Commander counts the MIDI channel from 0, whereas BH and Helix count from 1, so what MIDI Commander says is channel 4 is actually channel 5 for everyone else in the equation...

So, this is a long way of getting around to saying that I'm pretty sure all you need to do is configure BH with a MIDI channel, and then specify that MIDI channel in your Helix command center programming.

And to test it, I got out of MIDI Commander, ran BH, opened up my set list to the first song, pressed the Helix button - and it works as expected.

Hopefully, the attached screenshot makess the Helix setup and MIDI monitor (on my PC) clear. Sorry, not sure how to show the screenshots from my Android.


Hey Iguana,

thank you again for the detailed help.  It doesn't sound like your doing anything different than I am.  I will follow your instructions, including the midi channel setting and see if I can duplicate.  I know in the Midi program you told me about those menu options sound familiar but maybe I missed something on the pc side of it.  ON the android side I was getting those CC messages so I think that parts right. 

hoping to get it all hammered out tonight finally.  Acoustic show Thursday for 2 hours and my Wednesday is a mandatory after work-work meeting, limited time or its manual for another show.