Currently Being ModeratedDec 20, 2012 2:18 AM (in response to mentals)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
The most obvious thing that I am going to ask is, are you using the full Amp Models (and not the Pre's)?
Currently Being ModeratedDec 20, 2012 3:30 AM (in response to Octo777)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, I am!
Currently Being ModeratedDec 20, 2012 6:24 AM (in response to mentals)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Have you updated your HD500 to the latest firmware?
Currently Being ModeratedDec 20, 2012 9:57 AM (in response to mentals)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Over the years I've seen lots of different people use this term "fizz" and it seems like nobody has the same definition, except for "something in the sound I don't like." So people go on forums and see reports of others describing problems as "fizz" and they assume that it's the same thing they're hearing and think "Me too!" ... But it may or may not be. So, a few questions to try to pinpoint what you're experiencing:
- What are some of the (more successful) strategies you've used to eliminate what you describe as fizz? (What EQ settings, etc.)
- Can you provide a more detailed description of what the sound is that you don't like? (If you can, name specific frequency ranges)
As far as practical suggestions:
- Are you certain that you're compensating for the just-plain lower volume level of the HD500's output? Sometimes low volume creates an extremely convincing illusion of poor tone, and even at max Master Volume, my HD500 is MUCH quieter than my XT Live. I have to boost the gain at my PA input.
- Ensure your Output Mode is on Studio/Direct.
- If you're using high gain, check out meambobbo's Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide: http://line6.com/support/thread/71651
Hope that helps.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 20, 2012 10:02 AM (in response to mdmayfield)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Thinking about this a little more...
Since you mention compression as a way you've made it sound better, my instincts are pointing toward the simple-but-easily-overlooked issue of sheer volume level. Most of the reason compression makes (or seems to make) things sound better, even when it damages the dynamics, is that it makes them LOUDER... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ)
So crank the HD's output and turn up your input gain, and see if that makes a difference.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 21, 2012 1:42 AM (in response to mdmayfield)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Thanks a lot for all your thoughts, questions and input!!
My output mode is studio direct, Master level at max. I have not touched the mixer within the POD.
To answer/echo some the points mdmayfield raised:
When I speak of fizzyness, I (think) I speak of high frequencies that make the simulated thing particularly sound unconvincingly harsh compared to a real amp. I know this by no means an exact description of the issue. Sorry, I can't really be more specific than that, I'm simply not knowledgeable enough.
As far as EQ-ing goes: I have tried and... failed. With previous units I found it relatively easy to use the EQ to adjust the sound (cut a bit of low frequencies, add a bit of upper mid frequencies) to make it cut through the mix. I know eliminating fizzyness is described in meambobbo's guide. I was not really successful but then again the time I had on my hands to try was limited.
my instincts are pointing toward the simple-but-easily-overlooked issue of sheer volume level. Most of the reason compression makes (or seems to make) things sound better, even when it damages the dynamics, is that it makes them LOUDER...
Thanks a lot for pointing towards this. Since you mention it, it dawns on me that this could be a/the reason. Is it a known fact that the volume of the POD HD 500 is lower than of other units? I was maybe mistakenly assuming that this unit - as similar units - is operating at "line level", which in my book is something like a standard.
I am fully aware of the fact that using a compressor is basically the wrong thing to do. What is striking, though, that using compression seemed to eliminate not just the volume issue but also provided me with a warm and convincing sound...
Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts - I'll eventually get there!
Currently Being ModeratedDec 21, 2012 6:08 AM (in response to mentals)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
. Is it a known fact that the volume of the POD HD 500 is lower than of other units?
The 1/4" Unbalanced outputs can run at instrument level (~10dBV) or line level (+4dBu). However, the XLR Outputs run at Mic Level, not line. Mic level is variable but is a generally somewhat lower than either instrument or line level and needs a mic pre-amp to bring the level up to line level. Usually this boost is available from the mixing console in the form of input gain controls.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 21, 2012 9:04 AM (in response to jimsreynolds)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
You're right; technically the HD500 is at line level... But as you'd expect, with real-world musical material that has dynamic range, "line level" is a general "neighborhood" of signal levels, rather than one specific level in dBu / dBV as it is with test tones. At least comparing the ones I own, the HD500 is much quieter at max volume than the XT Live at max volume.
I don't remember exactly, but I think it's at least a 10 dB difference.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 21, 2012 9:06 AM (in response to mdmayfield)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Actually, I may have spoken too soon; I just remembered that I always set my own custom patches lower than the presets so I have room to boost them when volume-matching tones. Jim, have you ever had a chance to compare the two, and if so, did you notice a difference?
Currently Being ModeratedDec 28, 2012 2:30 AM (in response to mdmayfield)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Matt, this is going to sound fatuous but I didn't actually listen to the custom patches for about a month after I got the unit because I was working on getting an effects only rig. Since then I have skimmed through them a couple of times out of curiosity but I don't use/clone them and I don't use custom download patches. I am DIY all the way so I am afraid I don't really have a reference ... sorry!
What I was trying to get to before is that the output from the XLRs is a heck of a lot lower than line so if the OP is using and expecting line level from those outputs then that may be the problem. From a pure voltage perspective, using standard reference voltages:
Level Voltage Professional Line Level, +4 dBu 1.23 Consumer Line Level, -10 dBV 0.32 Instrument/Amp Level, -20 dBV 0.10 Dynamic Mic Level, SM58, -54.5 dBV
(1 Pa = 94 dB SPL)
I take your point re the reference levels being ballparks but the difference here is dramatic enough that it counts.You can see pretty quickly that Mic voltages are way below the levels of the other outputs so yeah, an XLR connection from the POD into a line level connection at the other end is going to be quiet and would need nearly 60dB Boost to match a line level connection. I dont think we have a precise output level for the XLR connections other than 'Mic' but I understand that it is comparible to an SM58.
Edit 28/12: Though Instrument/Amp level is usually considered to be around -20dB, I am inclined to agree with lukegeis, in the post below that 'amp' and 'stomp' levels on the Pod are at -10dB.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 22, 2012 12:39 PM (in response to jimsreynolds)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
OK now I see - we were talking about different things. I know exactly what you mean with regard to the different mic vs. line levels, but that wasn't what I was referring to earlier - I was comparing the HD500's 1/4" outs (supposed to be line level, but at least on my setup, quite low) with the XTLive's 1/4" outs (also line level, and on mine, much hotter than the HD500).
But I suspect that it's just that I'm setting my patch levels with much more headroom on the HD500 than I did on the XTL. I never used the presets either, which was why I was so surprised when I called one up and it was much louder than any of my own patches.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 26, 2012 5:39 PM (in response to jimsreynolds)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Your absolutely correct on the outputs of the different types. The 1/4" line outs on the pod are much hotter ( obviously +4 dbu ) than the other such outputs. In the amp ( little switch that says line / amp ) setting my guess is that it is a -10 db setting to accomodate the standard -10 db in most guitar amps and the XLR outs on the pod are sent at MIC level. This is meant to be sent directly to a mixer where it will be gained up to unity. As a goal for setting up things this way, I use this approach.
1. Most mixers show you were the theoryetical unity gain is achieved. I set the HA ( head amp ) gain knob to that spot.
2. I then turn the channel volume ( The actual knob with volume written under it ) down after the effect is chosen. I mean on the POD, not on the mixer. This level should already be down.
3. I bring it back up while playing with the PFL switch on the mixer engaged and stop when the level reaches unity.
For those less knowledgable about pro audio I will explain a bit. Unity is the expression used to descibe that there is neither attenuation, nor amplification of the incoming signal. The HA ( head amp ) is a fixed gain potential device. That means that the knob is mearly an attenuation knob. The strength of the incoming signal will determine the position that that knob will be when UNITY is acheived. In other words a low signal will require less attenuation and the HA gain will be turned pretty far up in order to achieve unity gain. This is why I set the HA gain knob to it's unity gain position ( if you mixer shows you that ). I do this because this setting is the optimal position for the most amount of gain and least amount of noise. The Unity position marked on most mixers is mearly the spot were unity gain would be achieved if the incoming signal was at unity it'self. That means that the reference signal coming in at unity ( or essentially 0 db ) would be unity at that HA gain setting as well. To achieve unity gain simply PFL the repective channel ( to see it's signal strength prior to the channels fader ) and adjust the HA gain until the meter blinks to 0 db. This is the optimal way to achieve low noise and good channel fader resolution. You will also notice that the level meter on the side has numbers and at zero or 0 db it says normal. This is the unity gain level and is the level at which you should get all inputs to be at when they are PFL'd. There is another type of metering called AFL, or After fader listen. If you use AFL your meter level will be what the channel is at including it's fader position. I.E. if the fader is all the way down you will not see any level at the meter. Unity gain on the channels fader is that larger white line in the lightly shaded area. It should also show a zero or a U. Refer to the picture and you will see the U located at the 12:00 position on this particular mixers gain knob and the U located on the channels fader. The norm or 0 db is located on the last green led of the level meter.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 20, 2012 10:13 AM (in response to mentals)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Also, I find the volume levels are rather low compared to the previous devices. The work around as it seems, is to compress the sound. I've found that some good patches I downloaded use compression quite heavily, too. I have now even managed to create patches that I like and I can build on. But they use heavy compression which audibly reduces the dynamic of the playing.
Is it the HD 500 or is it me? Do I have to compress the sounds heavily in order to achieve great direct sounds?
Are there any "reference" patches for "direct use" that you can recommend?
Yes, you have to use (at least) a compressor or boost the input to have a decent volume when playing direct. Now, if the amps had a compressor in the deps...
Currently Being ModeratedDec 20, 2012 11:36 AM (in response to Akeron)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Yes, you have to use (at least) a compressor or boost the input to have a decent volume when playing direct. Now, if the amps had a compressor in the deps...
It sounds like you're talking about two different things here:
- Input level to the amp model (controls how much distortion)
- Output level from the HD500
But you're trying to boost one to affect the other.
If the issue is that you're not getting enough signal to the PA, you'd be better served by simply increasing the HD's output and/or the input channel on the PA, rather than inserting a compressor at an earlier point in the signal chain than where the problem is. Or am I misunderstanding what you meant?
Currently Being ModeratedDec 20, 2012 1:04 PM (in response to mdmayfield)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
By "playing direct" I meant "in Studio/Direct", not connected to a external power amp and\or cab but, as in my case, to a Hi-Fi stereo and stereo speakers. Without a compressor or two, even a at 100% with the Plexi, I get very little distortion. With a compressor, I can have the Drive on 50% on the model and have natural distortion, more ore less like if it was the real amp. The same if I connect to an analog mixer and then to the POD and rise the input volume (where the guitar jack is) on the mixer.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 20, 2012 5:05 PM (in response to mentals)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
Well the compressor before the amp will cause it to break up more since most of the compressors in the POD are make up gain style. The Plexi isn't exactly a high gain monster either and I am guessing that you want even more despite the fact that the DEP settings for the amp master volume is 100% ? If it is a matter of I just need more volume and not more crunch, I would simply turn up the mixer on the POD. It can do plus 12db on both channels. Should only need +6 db to get what you need?
More on the actual amp models. The amp has the gain ( like on any amp ) and a master volume is located in the amps DEP function. I'm not sure but some of the amps that are modeled are not master volume amps. The Plexi is one such amp as well as a coupel others in teh list. But the amps still have a master volume in the DEP functions. May want to play with those and see what you can get. I know that I can get plenty of gain out of a JCM 800 by pinning everything to 11!!!!! I don't mind the more dynamic quieter levels from the POD, I just simply get a level at the mixer and place it where I want it in the mix.
All that compression does in general is reduce dynamic range. It is an anti dynamics tool, so I wouldn't ask much more of it. With subtle compression you can increase the average listening level a little bit, as you get more extreme and closer to limiting, you get to zero dynamic range and a much higher listening level. I prefer the natural low compression myslef.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 21, 2012 3:23 AM (in response to mentals)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
I do not really know what you mean with "fizzyness", sorry but I'm only a stupid german ;-)
I used several gears for several years and allways found a way for good sound, even with the HD 500.
First of all I will say: high compression is no good solution, because it will affect to the dynamic of your playing.
I sometimes use it for special countrystyle sounds or to give a little more sustain zu high-gain sounds.
Reading your post, it is not quite clear to me where the unwanted sound is generated. Guitar amps have no fullrange frequenzy, so that you don't hear all noises.
It should be clear what is "fizz"? Distortion (to much gain on the input amplifier of the mixer) or noise (like a defect cable or bad tuned radio)?
BTW: I found out, that if you use in the input configuration input1 "guitar" input2 "guitar" oder "same" and you go through mono-fx like noisegate or even input of an amp model you will get disharmonious distortion.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 22, 2012 9:34 AM (in response to EKuchelmeister)Re: POD HD 500 / Direct to P.A. / Heavy compression needed?
I have an HD300 and if the master volume in the patch parameters is cranked you will hear nasty speaker breakup which I personally do not like. Remember these cabs are modeled to the finest detail and speaker breakup in the cab is part of it.I lower the master to around 60 or 70 per cent(full amp model enabled) and pretty much use only the Fender 2x12 cab model. This gives me more consistency for live direct tones and levels things out.The Fender is really the only clean cab model in the HD300. I think for some of these things they used very old cabs with raggedy worn out speakers as their sample. Lots of players like that. I don't like speaker distortion so I worked around it in this way. Compression is something to be careful with and not add a lot of. Good Luck!