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Variax Ghost Notes?


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#41 bclarke675

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:39 AM

Have any of you having problems tuned your guitar to an alternate tuning BEFORE using the control on the guitar to achieve the change?  I read somewhere else on this forum that it was causing issues with the 12-string modelling, as well as alternate tunings.  Probably not applicable here, but wanted to note.


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#42 spmartin

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:21 PM

I'd like to thank everyone for giving your viewpoints and suggestions. I have opened a support ticket with line 6 early (EST) on Monday, Sept 2nd. I have not heard a word from them yet. I may direct them to this thread so they can see that there are other owners with similar problems.

 

I also purchased my guitar from Sweetwater, and they had done the latest firmware update before shipping it to me. Because I had the problem from the start (with alternate tunings), I downloaded the firmware again and re-flashed the guitar. All went smoothly, but it did nothing to resolve the problem. BTW, I had a bear of a time with the registration process at Line 6's site. I had registered my guitar the day it arrived. That registration was in their system, however, when I went to re-download the firmware, it somehow still thought that I had an unregistered guitar. So, I had to re-register it, then delete the earlier one. What's up with that? Major PITA.

 

So, when I hear from Line 6, I will share whatever I learn here on the forum. I'm hoping that they can direct me to download a newer beta upgrade of the firmware that just magically fixes it. I would be seriously unhappy to have to send the guitar back to them after owning it for a week!!


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#43 phil_m

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:53 PM

I had registered my guitar the day it arrived. That registration was in their system, however, when I went to re-download the firmware, it somehow still thought that I had an unregistered guitar. So, I had to re-register it, then delete the earlier one. What's up with that? Major PITA.

 

 

I believe sometimes there can be a lag in the system. One thing, though, is that you don't actually have to register the guitar to install the update. You can always hit the "save for later" (or whatever the specific wording is) option on Monkey.


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#44 spmartin

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 01:14 PM

I believe sometimes there can be a lag in the system. One thing, though, is that you don't actually have to register the guitar to install the update. You can always hit the "save for later" (or whatever the specific wording is) option on Monkey.

Thanks. I seem to remember that. But as I recall, if it did not see that I had a registered JTV, it would not show the new firmware download. I may be wrong, as it was late at night and I was tired!!


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#45 Kcharriq

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:04 AM

sorry to hear that, i think your guitar needs service. but i might try version 1.83 (because i hate giving up easy...)

1.83 made some structural changes in the software... (required for the hd acoustics), and maybe these differences will matter? maybe not?

but it's something to try until line6 gets you're guitar into service.

Re-flashed to 1.83, no luck still having the same issue.

I should have returned it to MF during the return period, but had already returned one with a broken truss rod.


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#46 spmartin

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:17 AM

Re-flashed to 1.83, no luck still having the same issue.

I should have returned it to MF during the return period, but had already returned one with a broken truss rod.

If you like the guitar, demand that Line 6 make good on providing you a guitar that does what you paid for. That is their responsibility. I will let you know what I find out. Keep the faith!


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#47 TheRealZap

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:40 AM

Did you set up a support ticket? I'm sure that Line6 will take care of you if it's in warranty.

 

Re-flashed to 1.83, no luck still having the same issue.

I should have returned it to MF during the return period, but had already returned one with a broken truss rod.


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#48 herimusic

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:43 PM

This is my first post in this forums - I never had any problems with my variax, but last week it started to drive me crazy...

 

I have a JTV-89 with fixed bridge, purchased December 2011 and I really love this Guitar, but since I started to try different tunings naturally (not modeled within the variax) the sound got terrible. The deeper I go naturally (I love low drop tunings) the more problems I get when I switch on the Variax electronics. As mentioned above, these problems are ghost notes or bad resonances or whatever you wanna call it, when I switch to different tunings or to a 12-String model. It sounds like the modeled tone is a half or full step above the note i am playing.

I tried reflashing, rollbacks etc and had no luck. I cleaned the bridge and did a completely new setup (with extra high action so no fret buzz can occur at all) and had no luck. I also tried the factory reset directly on the guitar (holding down model poti while putting 1/4 cable in etc.) with no luck... The next step I want to try is to restring this beauty with stock gauge 10-46 and see if the problems still occur (I still have to order a 10-46 Set since I play in Drop C with very thick strings  and don't have normal gauges at home). I am 1000% sure these ghost notes weren't there when I made the purchase. I recorded demos and played it in many sessions (using 10-46 strings in standard tuning, sometimes a half step down) while always using the variax electronics with different models, virtual tunings and 12-Strings and there NEVER was anything like that! 

It's been a few weeks since I played my variax and I can't tell exactly when these ghosts came in my guitar because I play it in the natural tuning 90% of the time. Then I picked it up last week (before I made the HD update) and I noticed these strange notes as I wanted to try a 12-String in open A - this was the first time I noticed it. I hoped the HD Update would fix this but... you know...

I don't know if this is a help or something, but maybe it has to do something with different naturally tunings or the string gauges...  I opened a support ticket as well two days ago.

what do you think about this point? Do you others that have the same probs play in different tunings or with different string gauges?


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#49 silverhead

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:52 PM

Usually when people report hearing this it ends up simply being the natural resonance of the standard-tuned string that they are hearing, which creates dissonance with the alternate tuning. The human ear can pick up the natural note/pitch at surprisingly low volumes relative to the amplified sound of the alternate tuning. Note that the natural string vibration is only a couple of feet from your ears, while you amp/speakers are relatively much further away.

 

There are three ways to test for this:

- turn your amp/speakers up VERY loud to completely mask the natural vibration. Usually not practical because the volume required bothers the neighbours.

- use closed headphones to block out the natural vibration. Again, not conclusive but can be highly indicative.

- make a recording of the sound direct to your DAW - not through a mic'd amp. The natural string vibration is not passed to the JTV outputs and hence cannot be recorded.

 

The third method is the most reliable because it is conclusive. If you don't hear the dissonance in the playback of the recording, then what you are hearing, as surprising as it may be, is the natural acoustic pitch of the standard-tuned string(s).


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#50 herimusic

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:57 PM

This was the first step I was trying out last week  ;)  No, I dont hear it acoustically (closed phones) and it is noticable in a DI-track as well.

Thanks for the fast reply  :)

 

 

Usually when people report hearing this it ends up simply being the natural resonance of the standard-tuned string that they are hearing, which creates dissonance with the alternate tuning. The human ear can pick up the natural note/pitch at surprisingly low volumes relative to the amplified sound of the alternate tuning. Note that the natural string vibration is only a couple of feet from your ears, while you amp/speakers are relatively much further away.

 

There are three ways to test for this:

- turn your amp/speakers up VERY loud to completely mask the natural vibration;

- use closed headphones to block out the natural vibration; or

- (most reliable) make a recording of the sound direct to your DAW - not through a mic'd amp. The natural string vibration is not passed to the JTV outputs and hence cannot be in the recording.

 

The third method is the most reliable because it is conclusive. If you don't hear the dissonance in the playback of the recording, then what you are hearing, as surprising as it may be, is the natural acoustic pitch of the standard-tuned string(s).


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#51 guitarno

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 04:10 AM

I was looking around the forum trying to find more info, resources, and opinions on the "Ghost Note" issue we've been discussing. In another thread I saw a reference to a procedure to reset one or all of the alternate tunings on a variax. This is out of Rev.E of the Variax Pilots guide (2013). It sounded like it might be a good way to eliminate possible problems with the alternate tunings.

 

The procedure in the guide is:

 

To Reset one or all of the Alternate Tuning presets:
First, set the Pickup Selector Switch to it’s middle position, then press
and hold the Guitar Model Selector knob while you plug in a 1/4” cable to
power up the guitar. Your Guitar Model Selector LED and Alternate Tuning
LED will both flash red. Switch the Alternate Tuning knob/roller to any
new position - the Guitar Model Selector knob will no longer be lit. To restore
all Alternate Tunings, now select MODEL on the Alternate Tuning knob. To
restore only 1 preset, select the desired tuning on the Alternate Tuning knob.
Once you’ve made your selection, press and hold the Guitar Model Selector
knob. Guitar Model Selector knob will flash red, rapidly 3 times, indicating
all 10 Alternate Tunings or 1 selected Alternate Tuning are now restored to
factory settings. Guitar will now return to normal operation.

 

I tried doing this several times, but absolutely nothing happens. No lights flash or even light up. I believe I was doing the procedure exactly as stated. Is this procedure obsolete? Should my Variax respond to this? Has anyone successfully done this?


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#52 spmartin

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 04:49 AM

I was looking around the forum trying to find more info, resources, and opinions on the "Ghost Note" issue we've been discussing. In another thread I saw a reference to a procedure to reset one or all of the alternate tunings on a variax. This is out of Rev.E of the Variax Pilots guide (2013). It sounded like it might be a good way to eliminate possible problems with the alternate tunings.

 

The procedure in the guide is:

 

To Reset one or all of the Alternate Tuning presets:
First, set the Pickup Selector Switch to it’s middle position, then press
and hold the Guitar Model Selector knob while you plug in a 1/4” cable to
power up the guitar. Your Guitar Model Selector LED and Alternate Tuning
LED will both flash red. Switch the Alternate Tuning knob/roller to any
new position - the Guitar Model Selector knob will no longer be lit. To restore
all Alternate Tunings, now select MODEL on the Alternate Tuning knob. To
restore only 1 preset, select the desired tuning on the Alternate Tuning knob.
Once you’ve made your selection, press and hold the Guitar Model Selector
knob. Guitar Model Selector knob will flash red, rapidly 3 times, indicating
all 10 Alternate Tunings or 1 selected Alternate Tuning are now restored to
factory settings. Guitar will now return to normal operation.

 

I tried doing this several times, but absolutely nothing happens. No lights flash or even light up. I believe I was doing the procedure exactly as stated. Is this procedure obsolete? Should my Variax respond to this? Has anyone successfully done this?

I was on the phone with Hugo at Line 6 Tech support last evening. He said the above procedure stopped working after the 1.8 firmware update. He said the manuals have been rewritten to reflect that, but the old manual is still being distributed with guitars that are in the supply chain. So to repeat, the above procedure no longer works on guitars with recent firmware updates. All resets must be done through the Workbench.


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#53 guitarno

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 05:47 AM

Thanks for the reply.

 

   I was beginning to think my Variax was deffective (still not positive it isn't). I tried reloading (re-flashing) current firmware but still the same. I've listened through headphones, and on some altered tunings, it sounds OK, on others not so good. I haven't recorded to a DAW yet, so that will be next. Also maybe re-flashing to a previous version. I may have to open up a support ticket if I find the DAW test confirms what I am hearing through headphones.


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#54 johnnyayyy

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:11 AM

This is my first post in this forums - I never had any problems with my variax, but last week it started to drive me crazy...

 

I have a JTV-89 with fixed bridge, purchased December 2011 and I really love this Guitar, but since I started to try different tunings naturally (not modeled within the variax) the sound got terrible. .

what do you think about this point? Do you others that have the same probs play in different tunings or with different string gauges?

 

 

Usually when people report hearing this it ends up simply being the natural resonance of the standard-tuned string that they are hearing

 

 

This problem has been documented here: http://line6.com/sup...tle-experiment/

 

Line 6 has said they are working on it.

 

I have always tuned my Variaxes and JTV down to DGCFAD and never experienced this problem until I installed the 2.0 firmware. I believe anyone with 2.0 firmware will experience this problem when downtuning the guitar - there is a simple test devised by McLeninson, select Chime 2 Rickenbacker 12 string and:

 

"1) Tune your "D" string down to a "C" (no need to tune down other strings)

2) Pluck the second fret of the "D" string and immediately pluck the "D" string open

pluck other frets on the "D" string, then open for different pitch clashes"


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#55 spmartin

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:56 AM

Update on my Ghost Notes with Alt. Tunings.

I had a good conversation with Hugo from Line 6 last night. He was responsive, and listened to the recording I posted on SoundCloud. He acknowledged that there was a definite problem. He suggested that I reflash the guitar with the 2.0 Firmware twice in a row. Each time being careful to choose NOT to keep the current patches when it asks. I did that. No change in my problem.

 

I also went back to the previous Firmware, installed that, then upgraded twice to the 2.0 firmware. No fix.

 

I have updated my support ticket and Hugo has said he will "take this on". I will keep you updated as I work with him to find a fix. I will also encourage him to do a post about it here on the forum when a solution is found. That way everyone will be getting it "straight from the horses mouth".


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#56 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:48 AM

Great!  I am glad you are getting a positive response.  This is how we will get improvments for our JTV's!


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#57 Kcharriq

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:56 PM

I've done some additional tests.

When I hook the guitar into a Boss BR800 and play through a house amp it sounds much much better. When recorded and played back it sounds fine.

 

When I go through an amp (DT25) it sounds horrible.


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#58 TheRealZap

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 04:13 PM

sounds like you are probably in the studio out mode...

feeding that into a guitar amp usually sounds horrible...

(because it has all the mic emulations etc that you'd usually feed to a PA)

 

I've done some additional tests.

When I hook the guitar into a Boss BR800 and play through a house amp it sounds much much better. When recorded and played back it sounds fine.

 

When I go through an amp (DT25) it sounds horrible.


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#59 Kcharriq

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:07 PM

sounds like you are probably in the studio out mode...

feeding that into a guitar amp usually sounds horrible...

(because it has all the mic emulations etc that you'd usually feed to a PA)

My HD500 has a studio out and live mode.

 

Are you saying the Variax has a studio out mode? If so how do I control it?


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#60 TheRealZap

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:33 PM

yes i was talking about the 500... sorry came in late to the thread if thats not what we're talking about


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