Which Master Volume are you talking about? The description in the manual refers to the knob on the top/face of the HD device. This is the device Master volume and does not affect tonality of the sound. The other Master Volume is seen in the Amp Edit pages. It controls the Master Volume of the full (not pre-) amp being modeled and this setting does affect tonality.
Which are you referring to?
Currently Being ModeratedMay 20, 2012 11:22 AM (in response to silverhead)Re: Pod HD Master Volume
I am talking about the Master Volume knob on my pod HD desktop,
I am testing it now with headphones in Studio/direct and it sounds much better, but it appears again when I hit the strings harder.
I tried to record the problem but usb recording playback sounds right.
the problem I have is when I am running my pod with my amp,
my amp is set in clear channel and bass/mid/tremb in positions that fits pod's Combo Front output default settings.
Maybe it is the focus, I tried it though...
I've had that same issue. Recently, I saw this video from Glenn Delaune, explaining how he uses his HD only for effects with an analog rig (which is one of the ways I use mine):
Last two comments are mine, as I had read in this forum that the Master Volume had to be at maximum. Look what he answered me: he has his Master Volume at 2 o'clock.
I've tried mine at 12:00 o'clock in studio/direct mode, mixer at 6 db panned center (volume B muted), input 1 guitar and input 2 guitar (another thing which theoretically is wrong) and signal/noise ratio is almost perfect, noise almost zero.
So the answer is no, not always the best signal to noise performance is with Master Volume at maximum, try other settings and you may be surprised.
If you're talking about plugging the POD into a channel strip on a mixer or recording it directly, turning the master volume knob as high as you can without clipping whatever you're plugging into will give you the best signal to noise performance. This is really the same sort of principle you get when plugging anything into a mixer. When you apply gain to a signal, your amplifying the entire signal. The parts that you want to hear get louder as well as the parts you don't want to hear.
When it comes to plugging the POD into a guitar amp or other sort of preamp, it's a different ballgame. What you're after there is unity gain or something close to it. Meaning that you want the strength signal coming out of the POD to be roughly the same as what it is when it goes into it. If you run a really hot signal into the front input of a guitar amp it can lead to quite a bit of extra noise.
I say all of this to say that the advice to run the master volume as loud as you can isn't really wrong. It just doesn't apply in all situations, especially when you're using the POD with a guitar amp.
Interesting. I think the advice to run the POD HD at 100% is generally good alongside a guitar amp and maybe less so with a studio/direct type hookup.
I always run at 100% with my guitar amp setup (effects only/amp modelling patches/4CM) but then you need to be very clear on levels. I think Siakas is running Combo Front (if I read it correctly) and that is definitely somewhere that can get overdriven easily if the output is too hot.
It may be better though to leave the Master at 100% and instead use a combination of the Mixer and the patch volume control to bring things into the right level but there are no rules so by all means, turn the master down if you do not hear any additional noise or tonal degradation.
Phil's point on 'Unity gain' is absolutely valid. Try creating a completely empty patch (without amps) and then setting it up so that you cannot hear any difference in the levels when the Pod is plugged in or a guitar only. It may be easier to do this by adjusting the gain on your amp so that it is just starting to dirty up when you play your guitar only, hard - then it will stand out more when you plug in the pod. Adjust the levels on the mixer within the patch. Then save that patch and use it as a reference point .... your other patches should not be any 'louder' than this if you want things to be clean.
Also, if an HD500, check that your output switch is set to 'amp' not 'line'.
the MASTER knob only affects analog outputs - it has no effect on USB or other digital outputs.
At higher MASTER levels, the Pod can certainly clip an amp or other analog gear it is fed to. I suppose this can be partial to the tone you feed this gear, rather than just the volume, as you describe the problem happening on verbs and delays rather than your dry tone, but usually such effects do increase the overall volume. Try backing off of MASTER and seeing if that cleans it up. I had to do this for my Spider Valve Mk I when feeding the Pod into its effects loop return.
Not using MASTER at 100% isn't so horrible. You don't get the absolute best SNR, but a little noise is better than some craziness that sounds like an amp is getting fried.
thank you everyone for your help.
I have managed to record the problem with a mic and I wanted to upload this audio file so you can hear exactly what I mean, but I can't find a way to upload it here...
My pod's HD (desktop/bean) outputs set up, is set to COMPO FRONT, Lows and Highs to -50 as deafult, and in this mode there is the FOCUS parameter which seems to improve the noize problem at it's maximum level (2.50 khz). Default focus level was about 540 hz.
It sounds much better now with the Focus at maximum, Lows and Higs as prefered and master volume back at almost maximum!
I had done this setting a while ago, but it seems it come back to default after the flash or the driver update.
If I find a way to upload the audio file that I recorded the problem I will let you know... it is terrible noise.
I don't know what it is but nothing is clipping, notice that the distortion is more on the reverbs and the delays.
I have now set my pod's Focus to 2.30khz which helps that problem, but all the other sounds now can hurt your ears if loud enough...
I have to do a lot of tweaking
Maybe somethings wrong with my pod but I wouldn't want that,
Maybe there is an invalid patch inside because my pod had been stuck one day... and after some help from here, I was told and I held the right nav key to set it back to life..
If you could figure out the problem, please let me know...
So what is this...?
Is it a matter the amount of the effects I use? It sounds like confusing by to many effects,
I don't know, but it is a problem... I believe nothing is clipping, what you hear is the sound from my amp in clean chanel and real low volumes (about 9-10 o clock amp master), then just turning on the master volume on the pod more than 12 o clock and gzzzhhxx...
any help yet?
POD HD bean is different than the HD500 in regards to the output level...It's basically line level all the time...Having to run it below noon to keep it from clipping the front input of an amplifier is not surprising at all to me. What kind of amp do you have? does it not have an FX return or power amp input?
Yes I dont have an FX loop, but I am up to for another amp.
I use my spider II 212, clean chanel with no drive, it sounds really good even if I play audio files from there.
My pods output goes to the jamman looper pedal, which has a red led that indicates you when your signal is clipping, I make sure that it is not clipping, then the jamman output (not clipping signal) goes in front of my amp...
I tried it though to plug my pod direct to my amp input with not the jamman in the chain, again is the same...
The same thing I can hear with headphones too, even in studio direct mode I can notice it...
what a pitty...
it's definitely your amp clipping, which can sound very strange depending on the amp and the components the signal hits that are driven past their threshold of cleanly reproducing the signal. I run my Pod into my Spider Valve's fx loop return and I can't set the MASTER knob past about 65-70% before it starts to get all weird sounding. It certainly can be dependent on the signal sent, not necessarily the level, because of the way analog components respond to a hot signal. A basic clean tone may sound mostly normal, but adding delay or reverb might screw it all up. Changing peak frequencies can also cause it to start sounding weird.
I can't imagine using a lower MASTER knob setting makes the SNR unusably bad, unless you've got the USB cable plugged in and are getting some kind of ground loop.
I dont think my amp is clipping, I am sure I can hear it with haedphones too...
I used only for the recording that low master setting just to prove that nothing is clipping,
This clipping noise can be heard even if my amp plays too low.
It is only avoided when pod's master is at 12 o clock, no matter where the amps master is..
As I have said earlier, the focus 2.50 khz cleans up a lot of this mess
I can upload the preset if you would like to check it out.
I am thinking of remaking the exact same preset from the begging just to see what happens,
one thing to keep in mind is that the headphones output expect a high resistance headphones - i think 250 ohm. Most headphones are like 64 ohm, so there's a mismatch that can cause distortion - that might be the issue with the headphones, but I cannot tell for sure.
As for the amp, what you are saying is what we'd expect - using a higher MASTER knob value on the Pod will distort the front input (or even other inputs) of an amp.
There is also the possibility that there's something physically wrong with the analog amplifier driving the analog outputs on your unit. If you can try another pod or amp to eliminate variables, that's what you'll have to try to know.
And now I have another issue,
I have the POD HD Edit open, I load a sound that has that clipping problem,
then I go to the next sound and then the next .... but when I go again to the first sound with the clipping problem, I got this message "This patch overloads the DSP on the POD HD and was not sent to the device"
so I am starting to believe I was right, there is an invalid patch inside although I have the latest updates for my pod...
What am I supposed to do to 'clear' my pod?
Yes you are right, I should try another pod to find out what is going on, that's for sure....
I know what you mean with the headphones but unfortunatelly no, it is the same problem.
I don't believe it is my amp, I suppose what you are telling me could cause clipping even when I playback other audio from my amp (computer usb pod to amp), but I can do that as loud as I want with not that problem.
i've had that crap - it didn't affect the tone in my case but was certainly annoying.
what I had to do was first disconnect the usb. using the pod's onboard editor, i would scroll over the empty effects blocks - some of them would have an effect category and model, even though the block appeared to be empty. I had to change the effect type to none. Then save the patch. When you load it back into edit you shouldn't have the problem any longer.