Thanks you to Shannon D. for this contribution on using OnSong and a Line 6 Helix together with MIDI.
I wanted my guitar and vocal effects preset on the Helix to change depending on the song currently displayed on my iPad. So, Song #1 on my iPad would have a preset attached to it and when I flipped to Song #2 on my iPad, the preset would change on my Helix automatically.
I have an iPad running OnSong, a Line 6 Helix on the floor and an iRig BlueTurn foot pedal for flipping pages. I also have a USB cable connected to the Line 6 Helix with an Apple-branded USB camera connection kit adapter so I can plug it into my iPad using the Lightning port. This creates the MIDI connection between the Helix and my iPad. I could also connect MIDI a number of different ways.
Enable MIDI in OnSong
Another important step is to ensure that you have MIDI enabled in OnSong. If you don't have MIDI, make sure you have an OnSong Premium subscription which enabled MIDI and other advanced features. You can check to see if MIDI is enabled by going into the Utilities Menu by tapping on the gear icon in the Menubar, and choose Settings. Next, choose MIDI Settings on the left and ensure that MIDI is enabled at the top of the screen.
Enable MIDI in the Helix
Now go into the Global Settings panel on the Helix and ensure that MIDI is being sent through the USB as well as the MIDI channel that you want to use to send commands from OnSong to the Helix.
- Go to your Preset List page by pushing down on Preset knob and select the preset you want to synchronize to OnSong.
- Take note of the MIDI information displayed. There should be 3 groups of numbers. For my example, Semi-Charmed Life's group of numbers read CC32: 003 | PC: 045 | CC69: 000
- CC32 is the control channel number that represents a Fine Bank Select (LSB) in MIDI. 003 is then bank or folder. Because MIDI starts counting at zero and humans start counting at one, this is labeled 4 FD in my Preset List.
- PC is the program change. 045 is the Program, or in my case, the song Preset number.
- All of these settings are distributed through MIDI Channel 5 which was established earlier in the Enable MIDI in the Helix section. You can choose any channel you wish. Just set that channel on the Helix.
Take note of all the above parameters as you will be referencing those in the OnSong Setup section.
- Go to the song you want to synchronize within your OnSong app. For reference, mine is Semi-Charmed Life.
- Press and hold on the title of the song until the Section Mapping menu appears with the MIDI tab selected.
- Add a MIDI command by tapping on the "+" button in the bottom right corner of the menu.
- Choose the Program Change type.
- Increment the Channel to match the channel you have configured on the Helix.
- Under Program, choose program 45. This will show as "5 - Electric Piano". Don't worry about that, it's just what General MIDI calls it.
- In the Bank section, skip the Bank MSB section and set Bank LSB to 3 to match what was displayed as CC32 on the Helix.
Set up those parameters for a couple songs and flip through your songs on your OnSong App. The corresponding Helix preset should change along with it. Once you get the hang of the settings, adding multiple songs becomes quite effortless.