my guess is something in the chain right after the amp model is doing it...One trick is turn the channel volume down enough to stop it and use the mixer to make up the difference...sometimes on a single tone patch, having the second input set to Same can cause a doubling up that can cause some FX to clip...Tape Echo is pretty sensitive to this...
thanks for your response. i will give this a try. that's what i'm doing I thought regarding turning the channel volume down. Is the mixer something different than the master? I will check out the Same second input. that makes sense. I forgot to mention but I'm using the HD500
Just to clarify, the channel volume is just a straight up boost, it doesn't color the tone at all, so turning down the channel volume shouldn't cause you to lose any balls. If you have any post-amp effects though, turning down the channel volume reduces the signal that those post effects receive, so something might be happening there, but we don't usually place effects in post when they affect the ballsiness of the tone, generally speaking.
The mixer is that skinny thing with the volume and balance controls for each path (A and B)...If you have post effects that are clipping, you need to move them between the amp and the mixer...center the pan to get you stereo back if you need it...You can do some really neat parallel post stuff with this and get the levels just right...
hey pete - i have experienced a lot of this. I find most of the EQ's are usually the culprit. I have found myself clipping them directly on the input from my guitar, as well as behind my amp block.
The Mid-Focus EQ seems to be the most sensitive, followed by the Parametric. The Graphic is also sensitive.
The Studio EQ is NOT as sensitive as the others, AND it has a Gain parameter that has no effect on the frequency response. This makes it valuable for boosting the signal level.
The Mid-Focus EQ has a similar Gain parameter. While it is sensitive on input, I find I can boost the Gain up to around 75% without it clipping.
So the Studio EQ's and Mid-Focus EQ's are great for boosting volume - they are transparent to the tone more or less when you are not clipping them. For dropping volume, I find the Volume effect works best - it consumes less DSP and preserves the signal better than anything else. For a direct input signal and my pickups (Steve's Special/Air Norton), I find I need to set the Volume at 40% for a Mid-Focus EQ and 70% for a Parametric EQ. I keep my Ch. Vol/VOLUME knob around 50% or lower for each amp.
here's the clipping section I've written of a guide for the pod hd:
also, here's stuff on the EQ effects:
This may well be clipping within the unit, as most folks are suggesting, but I wonder whether it could relate to the headphones themselves? Line 6 recommend high impedance headphones for the Pod (150-600 Ohms - http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-4695) and the RP-21s are just 32 ohms.
Do you have any other amp/outboard gear you could plug into for testing? If you have a patch that clips on the headphones then it would be interesting to see if it clipped on the other gear also.
Just a thought.
Thanks for your responses and I know it's been a while. So, you'd think I would have figured this out yet? Not really. I thought your advice on the post eqing and effects would do it because I had some things after the amp. It helps for sure.
I tried using patches from the community and some are good but I still feel that there is something in the way of my tone sounding clean and sounding fizzy or distorted (in the wrong way).
I'm close to pulling the trigger on higher impedence cans but if I do and I still get this, I will go apeshit. Do any of you recommend using a mixer or headphone amp that would go well with lower impedence cans? I'll buy the cans if I know it will work, but they can be as expensive as mixers and headphone amps. The reviews on the RP-21s (aside from impedence) are very good.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, again,
If you can hook the HD up to a signal meter or a DAW via USB, check that no effect or amp input or output exceeds -12dB. Can't comment in general on most effects or amps but the 5 amps I checked and Studio and Mid Focus EQ all start to compress, then soft clip and finally distort if you violate that rule of thumb. Channel Volume is only tone neutral if you do not violate this rule for the amps I checked, but granted it's not a whole lot i measured ... may be worth trying though (I checked the BF's and Soldano's).
The Mixer seems to be an exception and can boost levels higher than -12dB w/o impacting the sound (maybe its +12dB upper limit is a hint of where the signal should normally be ;-), but watch out if the Mixer is not last because every effect that follows may cause the fizzy/distorted sound you report if the Mixer pushed the signal above -12dB. Someone mentioned that before. Move the Mixer to the end if you want to max out the output level.
By the way, lowering Channel Volume from 100% to 50% reduces the output level by about 12dB (that's a little more than half the volume in practical terms, 10dB is the common half/double volume guidance that works for most people). Going down to 25% cuts it about another 12dB, and so on ... The exact numbers depend on whether you already are in compression territory (above -12dB) when you start.
If you can't measure levels I'd go for the listening test in step by step fashion: Go from input to output: Set Input 2 to something w/o a signal to cut it by 6dB and stay on teh safe side. Disable all effects and the amp and set Mixer to 0dB gain, channel A Center, channel B muted. Listen to your raw guitar volume. Should be very clean. Turn everything on 1-by-1 and listen after each effect or amp you enable. If volume changes turn gain or Channel volume down or up. Check groups of 2 or 3 at a time later to make sure you are not consitently guessing on the high or low side and redo the individual step adjustments as needed. Once you hit the end you should be around -20 to -10 dB. If Mixer is at the end use it to adjust to what you need to max out volume or stay sane at home ;-).
If everything is to your liking (missing fuzz or unwanted distortion) and you want a little more volume go back to your first effect and slowly raise the gain (you might have had headroom below the -12dB 'limit'. You may have to reduce the Mixer gain to prevent digital clipping from it. I think this should give you the best leveled signal path w/o measuring anything.
Obviously this is not perfect ... and on't forget the headphone thing mentioned above. You don't want to go through the level matching hassle if its just the cans.
This is pretty technical. You're way more knowledgeable than I am. I just ordered a headphone amp with an overall input gain control and individual volume controls for headphones. My phones are 35 ohms. This is a stab, but would you set the channel volume on the POD at 50%, and keep the master relatively low, then decrease the input gain on the heaphone amp about 50%, and use the headphone volume as the main volume control?
Again, this is a complete guess, but my main question without being as technical is how would you recommend setting volumes now that I will have channel and master on the PODHD, and input master and volume on the headphone amp to get them most out of my setup?
The simple answer is that there is no absolute 'good' Channel Volume setting. What's good depends on your Amp input signal level, your Amp selection, your Drive and other tone stack settings, what Cab you model and what Mic you model, and finally what output mode you selected. And all this does not even include any effects.
To try out your headphones and check for headphone related distortion I would go as simple as possible: Start with a new tone or remove all effects and amp(s). Set Input 2 mode to something that does not produce a signal and set the Mixer to channel A Center 0dB gain, channel B Muted. Listen to your playing starting with a low Master Volume. It should be very clean and it should stay very clean propobably to the point that you can't stand it anymore (don't blow your ears!) as you raise Master Volume. If it is not clean at the level you think is reasonably load for practical use try other headphones.
Before I forget, use a MP3 or CD player tobing in a stereo signal and see how that sounds on your headphones. This should check the headphone impedance compatibility w/o even sending anything through the HD's digital signal path.
Hope I did not miss something as I just describe this away from the HD. Once you know your headphones are good or replaced go back to the listening approach I layed out above. Sooner or later you need to understand how to work your way through a tone and change it to your liking. Most defaults that come with the HD are not that usable in practice. They are more of a show off what you could do .
Good luck, Martin