Request for “live snapshot” mode

I am trying to use the Dwarf instead of my Helix floor for gigs, but I have problems with the midi implementation (or my knowledge of it) to make a midi floor footcontroller workable in real life situations. For practice in the band I use the Keith Macmillan Softstep2 and for gigs the Nektar Pacer. Both in about the same setup. I have setup the Helix in such a way that I can manage almost the whole setlist with only one preset (including snapshots for lead, drive, clean and stomps for delay, chorus, etc. plus a +3dB volume change for leads).
Before I start a song, I select the main snapshots I use in the song and add per snapshot the necessary effects (e.g. Lead +3dB and Delay), Clean with Chorus. The addition of effects varies from song to song. Now the Helix reacts in such a way that when I switch from Clean to Lead, these stomp settings are automatically remembered and applied. This allows me to just press exactly one switch when I change snapshots in Chorus or Verse. At the moment I see no way how I can mimic this in the Dwarf. Using snapshots in the dwarf changes, given the previous example, from Lead to Clean, but than I have to press additional switches each time to add the Delay, +3dB, etc. just as in the old fysical pedalboard times. This is very inconvenient for me. Does anyone know whether this behavior can be realised in any way in the Dwarf, so that it will be usable for me in gigs?


  • I know that you can make a long list of snapshots for all the different variations, but than I really miss a lot of midi switches on my footcontroller :slight_smile:
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Hi Rob

In these sorts of issues - its usually just a case of applying different techniques and terminologies to achieve the same results. From reading your post I am not sure how many different “states” there might be in the one song - you talk of clean, lead, as two states, but then also mention delay and+3db - which are they independent of the two (clean/lead) states mentioned earlier, or actually define them? Maybe write it as a table

state fxs
clean 0db
lead delay, +3db
state3 etc etc
state4 etc etc
Then we can understand exactly what you are trying to do. I am also presuming you are only using the (B) and (C) buttons on the dwarf itself - is that the case?

Hi Steve,

I use:

Lead, Drive, Clean as base snapshots and depending on the song I add (just before performance by using a midi switch) to each:

  • delay

  • wah

  • univibe

  • chorus

  • vibrato

  • +3dB

  • sustain/compression

  • tremelo

Which makes up: 3x9=27 combinations (including none). But, this is a static calculation, even within songs I vary with Clean + Chorus or just Clean or Clean with + 3dB. This gives endless combination possibilities with only a few key presses. The point is that Helix has the option to remember the previous altered state in a snapshot during a life session when you stay Ín the snapshot. This will only go to the default saved versions of each snapshot when you navigate to another preset and back again (so reload the preset).

And, by the way I do not use the stomp switches on the Dwarf.



So this sounds like a kind of “live state” vs “saved state” of a snapshot.

I imagine a feature where you could toggle “live” mode in MOD, and then it will always keep a kind of “live” version of the snapshots in memory, and switch to this live state rather than the saved state when you move between snapshots.
After the OS is reset these states would then be lost and you go back to selecting your saved states and build up from there.

Is that the kind of behavior you are looking for?

Yes, exactly! I just checked the Helix manual, and it is part of its global settings. It is the following option:

Snapshot edits
Determines whether any edits made to a snapshot (block on/off, parameter control, Command Center, tempo) are remembered when returning to that snapshot. When set to “Recall,” any snapshot edits are recalled when jumping from snapshot to snapshot and appear as you last left them. When set to “Discard,” any snapshot edits are discarded when jumping from snapshot to snapshot and appear as the preset was last saved. If you want to save changes made to a snapshot while Snapshot Edits is set to “Discard,” press SAVE twice before selecting another. The camera icon on the home screen shows you the Snapshot Edits setting at a glance—When set to “Recall,” the camera is gray; when set to “Discard,” the camera is red. At any time, hold BYPASS and press SAVE to toggle this setting. Also, see “Determining Snapshot Edit Behavior” (below).

Determining Snapshot Edit Behavior
Say you’re on Snapshot 2 (VERSE), and you change a few things—switch a delay block on, switch a mod block off, tweak an Amp’s Gain parameter from your Variax’s Tone knob, etc. If you switch to Snapshot 4 (CHORUS) and then back to Snapshot 2 for the second verse, should Helix LT recall those changes or return Snapshot 2 to its state when the preset was last saved? There’s no right answer. Therefore, Helix LT lets you choose.

Turn Knob 1 (Snapshot Edits) to set snapshot edit behavior:
• Recall—Your snapshot edits are recalled when jumping from snapshot to snapshot and appear as you last left them (the default).
• Discard—Your snapshot edits are discarded when jumping from snapshot to snapshot and appear as you last saved the preset. If you want to save changes made to a snapshot while Snapshot Edits is set to “Discard,” press SAVE twice before selecting another snapshot. The camera icon on the home screen shows you the Snapshot Edits setting at a glance— When set to “Recall,” the camera is gray; when set to “Discard,” the camera is red.

In addition to this, it also has the following option in the global settings:

Snapshot Reselect
This additional “Global Settings > Preferences” > Snapshot Reselect parameter adds even more flexibility to the Snapshot footswitches. For example, say you’re playing along on Snapshot 2 (VERSE), then you press the Snapshot 4 (CHORUS) to load it. What should happen if you press the Snapshot 4 footswitch again? With Snapshot Reselect set to the default “Reload,” Snapshot 4 is simply reloaded again. But when set to “Toggle,” it will now load the previously loaded snapshot (Snapshot 2, in this example)—and successive presses of the Snapshot 4 footswitch then continues to toggle between Snapshot 2 and Snapshot 4.

I consider these options (especially the first) very important for the use of Dwarf in real live situations.


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This sounds like it could be an excellent extension to snapshot behavior that could really make it work well for the live musician.

Now we just need someone to go through the code and work out the technical details :thinking:


Yes this could kickstart the use of Dwarf for live musicians! Given the sound, especially with AIDA-X, it is a very good alternative for Helix and Quad Cortex. In addition to the above, it should really also be tested in live situations. I am ready to help. This will not only include the functions as described above, but also the feedback given from the display of the dwarf (which midi/CV options are currently on or off), I think this would also require a ‘live’ display like the Helix LT has.

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Be careful, this now quickly turned into feature creep which means likely nothing will get done.

It’s is better to focus on a very specific and condensed feature, like “live snapshot state”, and not put a bunch of things on the same pile.

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Not trying to detract from a meaningful feature suggestion that would be very valuable to a lot of people, but the title of the thread isn’t totally fair—not everyone uses snapshots (hi there) and some of us find the Dwarf a dream to use live, with MIDI.

I haven’t played a gig in the past year without it, and I control it from my Morningstar MC6. MIDI works fine. Granted, I’m a bassist so I’m not doing super fancy switching with it like a lot of guitarists, but I do also use it to control sound effects for certain songs in addition to controlling each effect (or effect group, with CV) separately.


Yep, same here, no problem to use the Dwarf on stage with morningstar midi controller since nearly 2 years now ! I use the Morningstar to do multiple switching at once, so since each effect (mainly CV buttons in my case) is assign to a midi message, the MC6 can do whatever I need.

Should we modify the title ? Like Request for “live snapshot” mode ?


Good suggestion your title: ’ Request for “live snapshot” mode’. Of course the old title refers to my personal situation as a guitar player using Helix Floor and the issues I have to make a transition to Dwarf.

Note: I am unable to change the title, can a moderator do so?

Done, also moved it to feature requests section :slight_smile:


I’ve got to ask, why not just use the Helix?

It sounds to me that this could just be solved by creating banks of pedalboards and in each pedalboard creating the snapshots for that song - since you wont be (i’d imagine) traversing the whole 27 combinations in one song - then surely its just a case of creating the subset of snapshots per song - it might be tedious to do that but it only needs to be done once. Progressions through snapshots can be controlled by midi program commands and also moving through banks of pedalboards can be done so (there is one channel for snapshots and one channel for pedalboards - have a look at the documentation on that - Device Settings - MOD Wiki).

Yes, that is what I did in the past with another modeller, but this is really hard to maintain over time, because achange to any part, needs to be reworked in all the pedalboards. Believe me, in the past I have spend hours and hours getting this done.
Look at the advantage of the helix approach with live state memory:

  • you create just one pedalboard for the majority of your songs. We play at the average about 70 songs, replacing 5 of them each month.
  • when you practice a new song for the first tme (we sometimes do this just in the practice room reading from paper), you do not first have to setup a pedalboard for that song, or think about the type of board switching needed: you can start directly and easily.
  • when improvising during solos, you can easily and spontaniously add effects to the base snapshot, eg univibe or wah to a crunch/drive sound. Or, next time again change this.
    Furthermore, a concern is that when you have to change pedalboards within a song you have delays because of load times. This is what I also experienced in the past: unworkable in practice.
    Hope this helps to give some more context. And, to add again. I really like the dwarf in many aspects and hope to use it as my main modeller. However, I noticed the usability in some aspects needs to be improved, and I am providing you some feedback about my findings instead of leaving it aside. Keep up the good work😀

Changing pedalboards within a song is definetly the wrong approach with the mod devices!

Thanks to portal plugins and switches it is easy to build really flexible pedalboards, with lot of effects and no xruns also at 128ms, so it is absolutely feasible to have just one pedalboard for (group of) songs

Apart from some specific songs, i.e. requiring complex CV elaborations, In use only this one. For new songs I start with a “generic” and well recognizable snapshot (i.e. acoustic, clean, crunch, “smoke-on”, “comfortably-dumb”, “dotted delay”, …), do some tweak and store in a new snapshot if needed.