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Pod Hd 500 - 500x *new* Routing Schematics

routing signal routing effect block gain input settings hd500 hd500x mono summing unity gain

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#1 perapera

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 05:38 AM

I posted this in the old forum months ago,

since many peole found it useful I thought I could re-post it here:

___

 

I really think these are important things not stated (or in some cases not clearly stated) in the manual, that you need to know to start seriously programming your POD HD
 

I ran some serious tests on my Pod HD 500 and here is what I found out (I made my tests on a POD HD500 but this is valid for HD500X and HD Pro and is very similar for the "bean" version too),

I'll try to be as synthetic (but complete and clear) as possible, but this is going to be a long reading so sit down and take your time or just go surfing somewhere else

 

§§§
 

In short: the "famous" [input-1: guitar / input-2: variax] setting gives you different levels of signal depending on the position of the first *mono* effect block you use (amplifiers included), in particular you LOSE 6dB in the "pre" path in comparison to the path A/B or post path

(note that this is not the same as saying that you gain 6dB with input-2 to "same", read on).

 

[ if you don't know what I'm talking about just go and read this thread:

http://line6.com/sup...tart=0&tstart=0

then come back here to hear a different opinion on the matter]

 

first of all, try it out:

- connect a guitar to the guitar input and the Left output to a full-range linear amp (or use your headphones)

- recall a "new tone" default blank patch

- set input-1 to Guitar and input-2 to Variax

- set mixer channel A fader to unity (0.0dB) and pan to center

- set mixer channel B fader to mute

- setup a noise gate* with the threshold set to 0% in "pre" position

(with this setting this IS a unity gain mono fx block)

- play thru it

- now if you bypass it, you'll hear that it looses 6dB of level when it's active (I initially thought this was noise gate's fault, but it's NOT)

- now re-activate the noise gate and move it in A or "post" path

- now if you try to bypass it you'll hear that it does NOT loose any dB

- try moving the block back and forth between pre and A or post paths and you'll hear more level in path A or post than in pre

 

this was already found out at least by hurghanico here: http://line6.com/sup...e/403287#403287

but it's so important that needs a dedicated and more detailed thread.

 

[* you can repeat the experiment with other mono effects instead of a noise gate but keep in mind that, if you want to clearly hear a level difference, you need a mono unity gain (www.music-dictionary.org/unity_gain) effect, for example:

- a tube comp with thresh 100% & level 2% settings will work just as the noise gate above

- an fx loop block with a mono cable connected between send and return will work just the same (but also read point 2 below)

- do it with an amp with medium-low gain and, moving it between pre and A or post paths, you'll hear a significant difference in gain/ovedrive/distortion, not only level difference]

 

§§§
 

OK now that you heard it, let's see it in detail;

 

these are the REAL schemes of the pod and fx blocks routing, yes it's done by hand and I love it ;-)

 

pod_routing_%26_fx_blocks_graphs.png

 

As you can see the pre path is a "dual-path"

while A, B and post are all stereo paths;

at the splitting point, where the path A and B are born,

the signal coming from input-1 is splittted to the Left and Right channels of the path A

and the signal coming from input-2 is splittted to the Left and Right channels of the path B;

 

furthermore all fx blocks have TWO inputs and two outputs and the mono blocks do attenuate by 6dB and sum their inputs, then process the result and then split their mono output to both outputs of the block;

 

for those who don't know, notice that:

- "splitting" means duplicating one mono signal to two "routes"

- and summing those two identical signals means doubling the level of the original signal (which equals to 6dB more)

 

[and some side-notes:

- the "stereo dry & mono wet" effects are for example the pitch effects and the "dry" type delays, I'm not considering this type of effects in this post, but they work as expected from the scheme you see above;

- you can find a list of all the fx blocks divided by type here:

http://line6.com/sup...e/380853#380853

where "stereo dry & mono wet" blocks are called "Stereo Thru/Mono Effect" which I personally find less clear

- the mixer control named as "pan" is actually a "balance" control because if you move it to one side (e.g.: left) it acts on the stereo or dual mono signal by doing NOTHING on that side (left) and ATTENUATING the opposite side (right)]

 

§§§
 

So, summarizing, if you only activate input-1, in the pre path, the first mono effect is attenuating the input 1 and 2 and summing them, but, since input-2 is actually silence, you loose 6dB;

in A, B and post paths the effects are receiving a doubled signal on L/R, so the mono blocks, attenuating and summing the two signals, receive the right signal level to process

 

so using "same" or "guitar" for input-2 does not mean to gain anything, but having a constant doubled signal wich is compensated by a 6dB attenuation in each mono summing it encounters in his flow

please note that I am NOT saying that using only input-1 is wrong, you just need to know that this can give you different gain results depending on the position of the first mono effect

 

with only input-1 active (Guitar/Variax) and the same parameter values, this:

rout-1.png

 

is giving you more distortion than that:

rout-2.png

 

now, if you use those two setups with "Input-1: Guitar / Input-2: Same", you get EXACTLY the same sound with both

 

and this is something that can not be ignored

...don't know how to be more clear than that


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#2 HarryN

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 10:12 AM

Good post. The unholy mess that is POD HD signal routing drove me potty for the first year of owning the thing.

 

I gradually worked out how best to use it - for me. As I never bother with dual-amp patches I put all effects and amps in the A path and mute the B path from the mixer. The mixer stays at the end of the chain with all effects before it.

 

As your routing guide shows this is a much more consistent approach. L6 made quite a mess of the signal routing in POD HD and back when the company could be bothered to post on the forums gave the impression it didn't understand what was happening. Which implies the signal routing wasn't exactly planned this way.


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#3 hurghanico

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:12 AM

with only input-1 active and the same parameters values, this:

rout-1.png

 

is giving you more distortion than that:

rout-2.png

 

and this is something that can not be ignored

...don't know how to be more clear than that

 

IMHO this thread should be pinned, but this will never happen because they are afraid that it can be frightening to potential buyers

 

this was already found out at least by hurghanico here: http://line6.com/sup...e/403287#403287

but it's so important that needs a dedicated and more detailed thread.

 

unfortunately the link above does not work anymore, but thanks for quoting me ;)


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#4 perapera

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:34 AM

 

unfortunately the link above does not work anymore, but thanks for quoting me ;)

 

yes, they recently moved the old forum and didn't bother to set up some kind of redirection to make the old links work...

(of course when I posted this it was working...)


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#5 meambobbo

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:09 PM

i am meambobbo and I approve this post!

 

another main thing to take note of -> every "line" in the onboard display, or in the HD Edit software on a computer, is a STEREO/DUAL signal.  Towards the beginning of the signal, it's connected to the inputs, so it can seem to be more about dual mono tones, or getting the levels right for your needs, as said above.  If you are using a single amp, it's all going to get mixed down to mono.  Past the amp block and where you'd typically use stereo effects, the lines are more like a traditional stereo signal.  But for dual amp tones, or times when you want to do a wet/dry thing with the two channels, it's important to realize EACH channel is also stereo.  So it's 4 distinct signals at that point.  You can take advantage of that by sending one side out via the fx loop send, which is actually a TRS connector, and can be separated out to stereo.  Or do cab/mic on one side and not the other, and send the no cab version to a real power amp and cab.

 

Also, the "pan" control on the mixer, is more accurately called "balance".  full L or R isn't pushing both of the stereo signals into one of the outs; it's muting the other field.  Full L means Mute R.

 

here's my guide on routing:

http://foobazaar.com...e/setup#routing


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Pod HD Tone Guide and Patches


#6 brue58ski

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 12:41 PM

So just so I'm clear, if I want to NOT have to worry about the 6dB loss I need the inputs to be the same?


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#7 hurghanico

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 03:09 PM

So just so I'm clear, if I want to NOT have to worry about the 6dB loss I need the inputs to be the same?

 

yes, if you don't want the 6dB loss you need the inputs to be the same, except when you use a separate path A (or/and B )


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#8 perapera

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:37 AM

i am meambobbo and I approve this post!

 

another main thing to take note of -> every "line" in the onboard display, or in the HD Edit software on a computer, is a STEREO/DUAL signal.  Towards the beginning of the signal, it's connected to the inputs, so it can seem to be more about dual mono tones, or getting the levels right for your needs, as said above.  If you are using a single amp, it's all going to get mixed down to mono.  Past the amp block and where you'd typically use stereo effects, the lines are more like a traditional stereo signal.  But for dual amp tones, or times when you want to do a wet/dry thing with the two channels, it's important to realize EACH channel is also stereo.  So it's 4 distinct signals at that point.  You can take advantage of that by sending one side out via the fx loop send, which is actually a TRS connector, and can be separated out to stereo.  Or do cab/mic on one side and not the other, and send the no cab version to a real power amp and cab.

 

Also, the "pan" control on the mixer, is more accurately called "balance".  full L or R isn't pushing both of the stereo signals into one of the outs; it's muting the other field.  Full L means Mute R.

 

here's my guide on routing:

http://foobazaar.com...e/setup#routing

 

thanks Bobbo!

 

you're right, in the pod LCD and Editor screen the single lines indicate stereo/dual signals;

 

I'm writing this note just to clarify and help people who are reading my schematics and these posts:

all meambobbo wrote in his post above is written and drawn in my original post/schematics

 

in my schemes above every line is a single signal, so they are a lot more accurate than the Edit software or LCD representation, that's one of the reasons I drawn them.

 

just by understanding and reading them you can really master the routing inside and outside the pod,

in fact I personally look at them everytime I need to do some complex routing

 

following the signal through them you can come to a lot of conclusions that unfortunately are NOT explained in the manuals including the so called "advanced" guide

 

peace

Lore


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#9 perapera

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:57 AM

yes,brue58ski

correct

if you connect to guitar input and leave the default input setting (everything/same) [or maybe opt for guitar/same to avoid any possible noise from the mic in]

you have nothing to worry

 

yes, if you don't want the 6dB loss you need the inputs to be the same, except when you use a separate path A (or/and B )

 

what hurghanico adds is that if someone wants to use two instruments/sources with two separate paths

they of course have to set different sources in the inputs settings (e.g. guitar/mic),

and they also have to avoid mono effects in the pre-path or the separation is gone...

 

this way they do not have to worry about any signal loss too


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#10 sjnewbold

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:53 AM

Great post.  I've been running my HD500 into the FX in on my amp and I noticed that an empty patch would get quieter as soon as you added an amp into the signal chain (in the default position).   I want to go back and check how 

my inputs are setup and see if they are "1:Guitar 2:Variax" or "1:Guitar, 2:SAME".


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#11 Brazzy

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:30 PM

I love this post it's a reminder of how little I understand about this device's routing. I still manage to get some good tones with it though, gotta try different settings to know what works and what doesn't.


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I mostly play at home and my own music which is more of a bluesy Jazzy Rock mixture as I'm still learning how to play guitar so when I post a reply to try and help give ideas you know where I'm coming from. In a nutshell I'm always learning and having fun doing it. Rock-On!! Oh, and if I don't respond promptly I'm probably playing guitar or my computer locked up from multitasking 'cause I'm using Gear Box, HD500 Edit, Audacity and tab filled browsers all at the same time, Hahahaaaa. Surprisingly enough my 'puter handles the load more times than not.
 

DT50_and_DT9901.pngStrat_X3Pro.pngBerm.pngThe_Arsenal.png


#12 perapera

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 07:04 AM

thanks guys!

it's good to know that I can be helpful to you!

 

and to sjnewbold:

 

check the input settings, but I don't think this is the case:

the bypassed-amp vs active-amp level match is independent from the input settings

and depends on the "channel volume" of the amp model (of course the master volume and drive affect the level too, but they also affect the tone)

 

anyway, in my opinion, it's not something so important to care about: normally you do not "bypass" your real amp ;-)

 

in your "guitar > pod > amp return" configuration the only thing that matters level-wise is that the return gets the right level for the power amp to work correctly (expecially if it's a valve power amp and you want to push it to get it's sound)

 

so you just have to roughly match the level of your amp's preamp with the pod (with an amp active)

 

example:

 

- match a clean pod amp level with your amp's preamp clean channel

(to do so use the channel volume of the amp model and the pod's analog output level and 1/4" out switch)

 

- do the same with a crunch and lead tone (using only the amp model channel volume)

 

- experiment with the output settings (Combo or Stack should be the way to go but only your ears will tell you)

 

- then start building your patches in relation to that level

 

bye

Lore


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#13 cz-milan

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 12:49 AM

Hello "Perapera",
I have been translating almost all Line 6 manuals from English into my native Czech language for local country Line 6 distributor.
I would like to use your schematics for the Czech manuals of POD HD 500/X/Pro family.

I beg for your kind permission for sharing the schematics.

Have a nice time. 
cz-milan


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#14 perapera

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 03:52 AM

Hi Milan

wow, I'm really pleased by your offer!

yes of course you can

You just have to mention me as the author

I think you can write <<original schematics by Lorenzo Sempio, "perapera" on the Line 6 forums>>

 

I'm particularly pleased cause I've been many times in czech touring as a sound engineer

and I found many kind people, friends and music lovers

 

ahoy!

Lorenzo


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#15 cz-milan

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:39 AM

Hi Lorenzo,
 
Thank you very much for your prompt response and your kind permission. :)
 
I shall mention you as an author, of course, exactly by your wish.
 
I will redraw your sketches into publishable form.
 
Ahoy
 
Milan


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#16 edstar1960

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:45 AM

Thanks very much for posting this very useful information. I am still struggling to get my head around the routing of the HD500, but this thread certainly explains a lot of things and why certain things I have encountered have occurred.

 

I have a question which I can't figure the answer to.   When creating a new patch or when tweaking an factory provided setting, I have noticed that the MIXER is set as 100% LEFT and 100% RIGHT.  As I play live in MONO, I take both the L and R XLR outputs with a Y lead and connect them to a single XLR lead to run to the mixer and then on to a powered speaker.  I always struggled to get my sound to punch through in a band setting and discovered that if I used MIXER values of 0% for both L and R values that I would get a louder fatter sound than using the default of 100% LEFT and 100% RIGHT, even though I was manually summing the signals with my Y lead external to the HD500, the 0% settings produce a fatter sound and drive the speaker better (or so I thought).  I had often wondered why this was the case because I thought both scenarios should effectively be the same but from your diagrams it would seem that using the default values (100% L+R) means you MUTE the other half of the signal from that path, but using % for both means you keep both L+R signals from both paths, which means I am doubling the signal output.   Is that correct? 

 

What is the recommended/best way to use the mixer?  Is it best to use the defaults 100% L+R or to modify to 0% L+R?    Which option will produce the best final output sound?  

I am concerned that what I thought was an obvious way of getting a stronger signal (ie: 0% L+R) is just producing a level that is overpowering the end of the signal chain and therefore creating a harsher tone rather than a fatter warmer tone that I am trying to create, and therefore, maybe I should be going back to the default setting to get a better end sound.  Your advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.


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#17 edstar1960

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:07 AM

For a MONO setup - I would also like to understand the difference between placing the AMP before the SPLIT Paths and placing the AMP after SPLIT paths after the mixer?

 

I experimented this morning, trying the same amp before and after the split paths and also with mixer L+R values at 100% and then at 0%.

With amp before and mixer L+R at 0%, I get lots of volume. If I swap mixer L+R to 100% then I get reduced volume.

If I move amp to after mixer and have L+R at 0% I get reduced volume in comparison to having amp before split.

If I move amp to after mixer and have L+R at 100% then volume seems to be similar but the amp gets driven more.

 

Again, I would appreciate recommendations for where is best position to place amp for a mono setup.  Where will it provide most realistic (best) modelled sound?  Default seems to have amp always in front of split path - so is that the ideal position?  Is that scenario where the best sound will be generated?

 

Thanks in advance.


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#18 perapera

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:23 AM

hi Milan

 

I'd like to check your re-drawings before you publish them

 

and I'd like to use them in this thread (of course with credits to you as the "digital artist" ;-) )

 

Hi Lorenzo,
 
Thank you very much for your prompt response and your kind permission. :)
 
I shall mention you as an author, of course, exactly by your wish.
 
I will redraw your sketches into publishable form.
 
Ahoy
 
Milan


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#19 perapera

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 11:30 AM

hi edstar1960

 

I'm sorry I don't have a lot of time to answer you in these days

I'll try to be as clear and synthetic as possible

 

first, you're gonna have to follow me on my schematics while you read here;

second, what I'll write here is referred ONLY to the type of mono setup you described in your posts,

which I think is the most commonly used by guitarists:

guitar > POD HD500 > mono "monitoring system" (whichever you use)

third, since you're using XLR outputs I will not consider the jack outputs

 

let's start with a configuration that uses only one amp (no fx, nothing)

starting from a default "new tone" just choose an amp model of your choice

 

what happes is that at the split point the mono signal coming from the amp is splitted in FOUR identical signals which go to the left and right channels of path A and to the left and right channels of path B

now if you leave the mixer at the default (100% L/R)

and connect for example only the left XLR to a monitoring system

you get EXACTLY the original "single" signal which is coming out of the amp model

 

if you have followed the signal in the routing schematics you should agree

 

the consequence is that, externally summing the two XLR, is giving you a doubled signal

 

(BUT I must say that "Y cables" used for summing are everything but ideal;

see here:

http://www.gearslutz...al-y-cable.html

and here

http://www.rane.com/note109.html )

 

AND if you turn the pan pots into the pod's mixer to 0% you'll get another doubling of the signal

 

now remember that our hearing system is NOT linear: an increase in level is perceived as a sound with more lows and highs and this is often described as "fuller", "warmer", "more open" but it's just level, my friend

(and of course if it gets too much it can clip and become harsh)

 

http://en.wikipedia....Munson_curves

_________

 

frome here, if you add effects, things can be more complicated...

...but less than one can think

 

for example (always follow me on the schematics):

 

problem: if you leave the mixer at default and put effects on path B they will output only their Right signal to only the Right XLR which in our case is disconnected

solution: turn the B pan-pot to 100% Left too!

 

this "looses" the Right signal but this could only be a problem for some effects (ping pong and stereo delays, auto-panners, etc) which a person who wants a mono signal should't use, should he?

___________

 

sorry there is no "best" way to use the mixer

I can only suggest to start from the default and experiment and listen...

 

...just like you did with the "amp pre-split vs post mixer" experiment:

- you heard that at default settings (L/R 100%), it's the same

so your choice should be based on if and where to take advantage of the parallel paths for special fx combinations

- with the the mixer's pan-pots at center (0%) if A-Left, A-Right, B-Left and B-Right are all carrying the same signal and you put the mixer's pan-pots at center (0%) you'll double the signal,

so moving the amp pre-split gives more level ONLY IF YOU SUM the L/R XLR's but not if you use the left only,

while moving the amp post mixer gives more gain (distortion)

_________

 

I'm sorry if I didn't discuss all possibilities but this should give you a lot of material to think about ;-)

 

bye

Lorenzo

 

p.s.

wow that wasn't exacly "synthetic", was it? :)


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#20 edstar1960

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 01:42 AM

Thank you very much Lorenzo! I really appreciate all your time and effort in giving me such a comprehensive reply.  I have clicked on the links you gave me about Y cables and now understand that I have been doing the wrong thing!  In fact I am now concerned that maybe I have damaged my gear because of this misuse of the Y cable - I hope not.  I have also read your other thread where you and hurghanico describe in great detail the difference between the balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (jack) connectors on the back of the HD500.  And I have also read through the HD500 ADVANCED GUIDE V2.10 specifically looking at detail about signal paths and also the connectors.  I think that finally I understand the signal routing paths of the HD500.   If it was not for your post here, I would never have got to the bottom of it, so thank you very much for sharing and for answering my questions!

 

Today, I will put into practice everything I have learnt, and will hopefully get a great sound out of my HD500 at GIG volumes with any gear.  I will rework my powered PA speaker connections (STOP USING Y CABLES!) and then rework my HD500 patches to work with the correct connections.  I will then repeat the process with my other patches for direct amp connections and for DT25 with L6Link to ensure the signal paths are correct.    UPDATE: Removing the Y cable and taking the L/mono jack unbalanced out from the HD500 into my mixer channel, plus on HD500 setting using Global Option STUDIO/DIRECT and for each patch setting mixer pan controls to 100% for L and 100% for R, made a big difference. Everything sounds much better already!  :)

 

Background:

Why did I start using a Y cable in the first place?

I had a V700 and an X3L.  The X3L never cut through at gigs - always sounded very thin when amplified at volume. I thought it was because I was only using one half of the output signal, so decided to try using a Y cable to capture both L+R outputs and it certainly did seem to improve things, however, it still did not provide sufficient signal level to drive my STUDIOMASTER GX12A powered speaker at sufficient volumes to compete with the band at gigs. So I then introduced a BEHRINGER B105D, and took this combined XLR L+R signal and put it into one of the mic/line inputs. I only had to boost that signal by a few db's, with the trim control on the channel set to between 8 and 9 o'clock. The THRU output from the B105D was at line level and went into the input of the GX12A and bingo, I had the gig volume I needed and depth of tone I was after, although it was still not perfect and compared to a real guitar through an amp did lack depth and punch - in other words still sounded "thinner".  I then got my JTV59 and used the same setup, and everything was improved with the better sounds produced from the JTV59.  Then I got the HD500, and it took me many months to migrate from the X3L to the HD500. Many many hours of tweaking etc., and I am still doing it now as I have just bought 2x BEHRINGER B210D active powered speakers, so needed to get the sound adjusted for them. The HD500 seemed to have an even weaker output than the X3L when using the same PA setup, so I carried forward the idea of using the Y cable to capture both L+R outputs to avoid a thin "live" sound and also found that the HD500 output still needed a bigger boost before heading to the powered PA speakers to generate the correct volumes. So, I started using my XENYX 802 for this purpose. The XLR outputs from HD500 went into a Y cable and then a single XLR went to the XENYX 802 into a mic channel with trim set to about 9 o'clock - and then a little adjustment on the HIGH and MID EQ controls, set the CHANNEL volume to 0db (12 o'clock) and the MASTER mixer output to 0db (12 o'clock) - take both L+R master outs (jack connectors) combine with yet another Y lead (oh no!) and then into a jack to XLR converter and then XLR into the B210D and then link that to the next B210D with the THRU connector and another XLR.  Both B210D's had their trim control's set to 9'oclock.  That seems to produce a nice loud volume that is OK for home usage but will not be loud enough for gigs. However, I still have the ability to turn up the MIXER channel volume, the MIXER MASTER out and the B210D trim controls which should get me there, BUT, I have not had the chance to try that yet.

What now?

After reading all your information I now realise that ALL of what I have done to overcome the "live" thin sound of the POD at GIG volumes is WRONG!  I will have to start again from scratch with the correct knowledge of how the HD500 signal routing works and work at getting a good "full" tone from the POD at gig volumes using other means! 


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: routing, signal routing, effect block, gain, input settings, hd500, hd500x, mono summing, unity gain

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