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Variax Wireless and Vetta - A guide to Wireless Communication... 01-11-2006

vetta upgrade 2.5variax logo

In the latest Vetta II update, Version 2.5, a new unplublicized feature was added at request of some high profile artists. This feature allows a Vetta II ampliflier to cummunicate with a Variax guitar wirelessly with some special cables, an off the shelff MIDI wireless system and an audio wireless system.


If this is what you would like to experiment with please read on.

Wireless communication between a Vetta and a Variax falls into the category of an "unsupported, use at your own risk" feature. (it's a category of one!)

Note: There is no intension on Line 6's part to offer a commercial solution for wireless communication between Vetta II and Variax guitar, however in the spirit of supporting the needs of our community Line 6 decided to share this bit of information with you.

While a VDI cable provides bi-directional communication between a Vetta and a Variax, the wireless link described on these pages and document provides one-way communication from Vetta to the Variax. This solution simply transmits Guitar Model patch change data, as well as tone pot data to the Variax, as they were programmed into the Vetta's patches, which must be done with a Variax connected to a Vetta with a VDI cable.


How / Why it works:

When the Variax is physically connected to the Vetta via the VDI cable, the Vetta reconfigures to accept digital audio and digital audio sync from the VDI interface. Vetta also recieved patch, patch name and tone pot information from the guitar whenever somthing is changed, that way it can store and recall the appropriate Variax information within it's own patch structure. Variax W/L (wireless) mode allows the Vetta to operate, (internal sync, analog input) without the Variax connected to the VDI connector, howver it still send the Variax patch information out via the VDI connector whenever a Vetta patch is recalled.


Programming patches for use in the Variax W/L mode:

  1. You must build your Vetta / Variax presets with the Variax W/L mode off, and with a VDI cable connecting the two products.
  2. Once you presets are built, you can disconnect the Variax, connect up your wireless rig, and enable the Variax W/L mode.


How to set up your Vetta II and a Variax Guitar to operate wirelessly.

First you're going to need some things to get this all together. Here's a shopping list:

  1. Vetta II with V 2.5 frmware and a Variax.
  2. A Wireless MIDI solution, Line 6 tested the system with the MIDIJet wireless transciever from Organworks. They also have a pro version with a longer range. Also CME recently announced the WIDI-X8.
  3. Two special cables to adapt the MIDI cables to the VDI connectors on the Vetta and the Variax (schematics provided). You may want to ask your techie friend to help you out with this one. Basically, start with a Ethernet cable, a MIDI cable, a few simple electronic components ( 1x 1N5231 5.1V Zener Diode, 2x 220 Ohm 1% resistors) and a soldering iron...
  4. An audio wireless to get audio signal from the Variax 1/4" output to the Vetta Input.
  5. Loads of batteries for your Variax, the audio wireless pack, and the MIDI wireless transciever.


Tech instructions:

Build the cables, mark the Vetta side cable with the extra electronic components: Vetta, mark the Variax Cable as well. The cables are not revirsible, so please mark them to avoid confusion at critical moments in your performing career.

Vetta and Variax Wireless Diagram 1
  Vetta & Variax Wireless Diagram 2
Diagram 1
Diagram 2

Click on the pictures to enlarge

Putting it all together:

  1. Connect the Vetta VDI to the MIDI wireless Transmitter with the VDI to MIDI adapter cable.
  2. Connect the MIDI wireless reciever to the Variax with the MIDI To Variax VDI cable that you build.
  3. Connect the wireless audio transmitter to the 1/4 connector on your Variax, and the audio wireless tramsmitter reciever to the 1/4 input on the Vetta.
  4. Power it all up.
  5. Set the Vetta's Variax W/L parameter to On, and you're all set.


So there you have it, everything you'll need to get your Vetta / Variax rig up and running wireless at a gig.

Note: This is an "unsupported" feature in Vetta, and yet it is something Line 6 wanted to share with the Vetta community.

A great source for advanced Vetta capabillities is the Vetta community that largely resides on the Line 6 forums, Institute of Noise and and sites. Thanks go out to Line 6 for going the extra mile on this one.

Oh, and you want a .pdf to make your personal wireless system, no worries, just click here to download


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