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Variax Ghost Notes?


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#81 broker2

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 10:55 AM

I changed strings to fender super bullets 10's and set intonation .I will record with the variax on fri.13th. and see if i still have the same problem if i do i will reflash to 1.9 and check it again  cal. When i was in 1.7 i know when i turned the amp. way up the ghost note went away but since i upgraded to hd2 they wont go away no matter how loud the amp. is.This just happens in alt. tunings all the models work great in standard tuning.


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#82 SLIDER90

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:10 PM

I have the JTV-69 which I purchased this past week. I found the same issue with the alt tuning.

I have connected the guitar using a 1/4" Neutrik cable and also the RJ45 cable from Line 6 to the USB

interface and all appropriate updates.

The guitar is first connected to a tuner the output is to an Acoustic amp when using the Acoustic models.

The alt tuning switch is on custom and the Pickup selector switch is on the 3rd switch.

This is a 1995 Gibson J-200 and I have it tuned to E and the sound is muddled. The g string is trying to sound the g and the g# at the same time through the amp. The tuner indicator is dropping towards the g note. When testing the note on each string in E you can hear the difference in the 5b,4e,3g# strings and when playing on the 15 and 17th fret it is quite noticeable.

I also have an PODHD500 and have tried every different connecting configuration that has been suggested and its the same result.

As a side note I changed the strings to super bullets #10. The tuners were loose and had movement and needed a 1/4 turn so they were not moving. 

 

 


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#83 Kcharriq

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 04:49 PM

Ok, did some additional tests.

1. Recorded with Garageband 1/2 step down and full step down. Results: Recording played back perfect.

 

2. DT-25 --> Weber Mass --> headphones. No problem could not hear the ghost notes.

 

3. HD500x --> headphones . I could hear it some, but when I increased volume I no longer heard the ghost notes.

 

I'm amazed at how amplified the natural string note is, and how you can hear it.

 

Conclusion thus far, nothing is wrong with my guitar :).

 

I may not be able to use it for drop tuning because the natural string sound will drive me nuts.

I'll just retune another guitar or the JTV.

 

* Next test - Have someone play the guitar w/drop tuning in another room, while I listen to the amp!


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#84 silverhead

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:01 PM

Oh, that is so strange. I recorded the guitar through a digital interface (Apogee Jam) directly into Garageband. The ghost sounds are loud and clear. This is using no magnetic pickups at all. What a mystery!! We might have to acknowledge that there is more than one phenomenon happening.

I agree - more than one phenomenon. In most cases I have seen (like the immediately previous post) these ghost notes end up being the natural acoustic vibration of the string. This is surprisingly easily picked up by the human ear, and the amplified sound has to be very (very!) loud to overwhelm it.

 

However, the pitch of the natural vibration is not transmitted over the analog outputs of the JTV (or the VDI connection). So if this is how you recorded the sound through your Apogee into Garageband then you definitely have a real issue. If, however, you recorded a mic'd amp into Apogee it is still possible that your mic picked up the pitch of the natural string vibration.


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#85 spmartin

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:11 PM

O.K. let me preface this with - this is just a preliminary, but very positive, report about a fix for my ghost notes.

 

I read on another thread in this forum that some problems arose in the past with bad VDI cables, and that essentially the VDI cable is just a fancy ethernet cable. Well, I have lots of good ethernet cables around, so I hooked one up and re-flashed my guitar with the 2.0 firmware.

So far I would say the ghost notes, while in alt. tunings, are gone!!  I checked in about 5 alt. tunings and I am NOT hearing the ghost notes any longer! I'm going to do some more testing, but I am kinda astounded that it may actually be fixed. In my case it really seems that the VDI cable was screwing up the firmware installation.

 

Any others with a similar experience? I will run this by Hugo at Line 6 tech support on Monday and see what his opinion is. But for now, YIPEE!!


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#86 Stuartwho

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:15 PM

I'm hesitant to share this but.....
I got open g and open e to work properly on my 89 ( a bargain for sweetwater a few weeks ago, the 89 doesn't have those turnings so you have to put them in), using the virtual capo by starting from the high e string and moving progressively down to the low e instead of the other way round (which was natural for me).
Given all the other acrobatics some of you are going through its worth a 5 minute shot.

As a guitarist I suck, but I've 40 plus years of software development and management experience, and whether the failure is in the chips or the code ( firmware) the system is clearly unstable. If your system is working , great.... My 10 cents is don't touch it,but if it isn't then you have to go through this process of throwing mud at walls randomly in the hope some of it sticks and fixes the issues.

All the little dances recommended for upgrading by line 6 show they know the software is unstable, they just don't know where gremlins live (otherwise they'd fix it, these guys are not dumb) but business is business and they need/wanted to get the code out to the customer base. This is not a condemnation of line 6, its real life in the software business.... Remember vista v 1 ( and about half the versions of oracle ever released).

Stu
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#87 silverhead

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:16 PM

That's very good news, for you and for others who might be experiencing symptoms of flaky firmware issues. Let's hope this ends up being a fix!


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#88 Stuartwho

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:23 PM

A bad cable would do it.
Stu
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#89 spmartin

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 06:00 PM

I'm hesitant to share this but.....
I got open g and open e to work properly on my 89 ( a bargain for sweetwater a few weeks ago, the 89 doesn't have those turnings so you have to put them in), using the virtual capo by starting from the high e string and moving progressively down to the low e instead of the other way round (which was natural for me).
Given all the other acrobatics some of you are going through its worth a 5 minute shot.

As a guitarist I suck, but I've 40 plus years of software development and management experience, and whether the failure is in the chips or the code ( firmware) the system is clearly unstable. If your system is working , great.... My 10 cents is don't touch it,but if it isn't then you have to go through this process of throwing mud at walls randomly in the hope some of it sticks and fixes the issues.

All the little dances recommended for upgrading by line 6 show they know the software is unstable, they just don't know where gremlins live (otherwise they'd fix it, these guys are not dumb) but business is business and they need/wanted to get the code out to the customer base. This is not a condemnation of line 6, its real life in the software business.... Remember vista v 1 ( and about half the versions of oracle ever released).

Stu

Thanks Stu. That is a valuable perspective. I also monkey around with some coding and I understand the pressures of getting something to market, then fixing it based on customer feedback. You're never going to ship perfect code, but I don't like relying on the customers, who have paid good money to be our "beta testers". I think this product should have gone through more extensive QC testing before shipping. Imagine how pissed you would be if this was happening to your USA Variax and you had a full schedule of gigs to play. But, maybe those customers get treated differently... who knows?


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#90 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 06:57 PM

I do code for a living and I have never seen a system where reflashing changes anything.  It either works or it doesn't.  Any decent system does at least a checksum of the downloaded code before burning it to the flash.  I would be very surprised if two downloads of 2.0 yield different results if they complete successfully.


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#91 Mr_Arkadin

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 10:50 PM

Imagine how pissed you would be if this was happening to your USA Variax and you had a full schedule of gigs to play.


If you had a full schedule of gigs to play then you'd be foolish to update any part of your rig until a quiet period. Any pro knows that.
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#92 Crusty_Old_Rocker

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 11:18 PM

I do code for a living and I have never seen a system where reflashing changes anything. It either works or it doesn't. Any decent system does at least a checksum of the downloaded code before burning it to the flash. I would be very surprised if two downloads of 2.0 yield different results if they complete successfully.


The firmware update procedure is a bit unique in that the main part of the firmware (the “application” so to speak) is updated, separately to the models. You can have a state were the guts of the firmware will update but something could go wrong with the models. Typically, there would be an error reported late in the update process and reconnecting the guitar to Monkey will show the updated firmware version, giving the impression that the update was successful, but the modelling side of the firmware could be messed up.

It's a good idea to make sure that the update process completes both stages fully without any errors by ensuring that Monkey reports that the update has been successful. If you don't get that message from Monkey, then the firmware upgrade may be incomplete.

I had this problem occur when updating my JTV69 using the Workbench interface. Using the POD HD Pro for the update worked (even though Workbench HD only works using the interface). So, if Monkey isn't reporting a successful firmware installation, try using another device as the interface for the firmware.

Cheers,

Crusty
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#93 snhirsch

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:03 AM

I do code for a living and I have never seen a system where reflashing changes anything.  It either works or it doesn't.  Any decent system does at least a checksum of the downloaded code before burning it to the flash.  I would be very surprised if two downloads of 2.0 yield different results if they complete successfully.

 

Well, I'm glad to hear someone finally say that.  I have many years of software development background - including embedded systems - and have always had trouble accepting reports to the effect that "..doing it second time fixed things".  Nothing is impossible, but I agree that any robust environment would run a checksum (if not actual CRC) on the image and throw an error on miscompare.  Beyond that, I suppose it's possible that a BSS data area (i.e. not incorporated in the firmware image) somewhere is not getting updated or cleared properly at runtime.   You cannot completely disregard the amount of anecdotal evidence that cycling down to a backlevel version and back changes the results.   


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#94 TheRealZap

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:17 AM

My guess is it's not really the equivalent of regular programming code... it's more the equivilent of a sysex/midi install.... and i've seen midi uploads and dumps work less than great at a single pass...

 

I think the structure of that data changes sometimes between versions, and that's another reason that the flash sometimes works by downflashing then upflashing... because the structure to be updated needs "repaired"

anyway... that's my elementary understanding and fill in the gaps guess... not based on anything other than my personal experiences though.


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#95 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:56 AM

Then that's plain old bad design.  Downloads through any kind of interface are subject to errors.  The Download process should check and make sure that everything gets downloaded without error before updating the flash.  Everything I have worked on does this.


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#96 phil_m

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:01 AM

It does seem to me that Zap is on to something. I have run into the same sort of anomalies with other manufacturer's stuff, too. Namely, I've seen some of the Strymon product have the same sort of hiccups. They're doing all their updates via sysex files and MIDI.


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#97 guitarno

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:45 AM

   Well, I just opened a support ticket for this issue. I am still weeding through all the comments on this thread. There are some very interesting points being brought up by various people. Thanks to the Original Poster "spmartin" for starting this discussion. :) And for posting the audio samples! :)

 

   This is really a maddening issue. I really love the guitar models & the fact that you can have alternate tunings instantly available. I really want to make this work & be practical for live performance. In my case, for the altered tunings at least, I would be playing them in very small venues where extreme volume levels are just not practical.

 

   I also recorded samples to document this problem. I did some recordings direct to a DAW, trying to document this, but the effect is significantly less apparent when recorded direct. I was amazed at how much less actually, because it is so apparent, even at relatively loud volume levels in the room. On at least a couple of recordings, on some tunings, you can hear that when playing one string, there are multiple notes being produced. The 2nd (note other than the intended “Altered” note) is at a lower volume but still audible.

 

  This issue is more pronounced with some tunings, and also more of an issue with certain guitar models more than others. It also seems to be more apparent in the upper 2 strings (Top “E”, and “B” strings).

 

  There may be other factors at play here also. Maybe there are sympathetic vibrations & resonances happening that are reinforcing the “bad” notes making them louder than they would otherwise be.

 

  I have rolled-back the firmware version to 1.7, and am trying to see if this is less apparent in earlier firmware versions. I don’t know if this is a software, or firmware, or hardware issue at this point, or if there is a possible solution or not, but I wanted to be on record that I am having an issue with it. I will have to try to see if the "VDI Cable" is an issue. I ordered a homemade flexible VDI Cable built by Dunkin_Dal on this forum. Maybe that will make a difference. So using a better cable when you do the firmware update is the key? I'll have to re-read that post.

 

   I was also concerned that maybe this particular JTV is defective. I just bought this JTV from the local GC, and with their 30 day return policy, if I have a defective instrument, I was thinking maybe I should return it. I really don't want to though. I love the guitar and the models. I also love the tunings, but they won't be practical until this issue gets resolved.


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#98 guitarno

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 07:24 AM

O.K. let me preface this with - this is just a preliminary, but very positive, report about a fix for my ghost notes.

 

I read on another thread in this forum that some problems arose in the past with bad VDI cables, and that essentially the VDI cable is just a fancy ethernet cable. Well, I have lots of good ethernet cables around, so I hooked one up and re-flashed my guitar with the 2.0 firmware.

So far I would say the ghost notes, while in alt. tunings, are gone!!  I checked in about 5 alt. tunings and I am NOT hearing the ghost notes any longer! I'm going to do some more testing, but I am kinda astounded that it may actually be fixed. In my case it really seems that the VDI cable was screwing up the firmware installation.

 

Any others with a similar experience? I will run this by Hugo at Line 6 tech support on Monday and see what his opinion is. But for now, YIPEE!!

I will definitely have to try this. I will swap out a regular ethernet (cat5) cable and try re-flashing the firmware tonight. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed till then. :unsure:


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#99 spmartin

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:06 AM

I will definitely have to try this. I will swap out a regular ethernet (cat5) cable and try re-flashing the firmware tonight. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed till then. :unsure:

Good luck Guitarno. I bought mine from Sweetwater, who has the same 30 day return policy. I have been in touch with my rep. I've had it about 10 days. I think Line 6 will step up and make sure we have guitars that work - whether that means swapping out parts, or providing a new guitar. I just hope they do it soon!

An update. My guitar sound much, much better, but I still hear some faint ghost notes in some tunings on the high B & E strings. But, it is very minor and I could probably live with it. The concern I have is that the system (software or hardware) is flaky, and what is going to happen during the next firmware update??


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#100 guitarno

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:25 AM

Thanks! I appreciate all your input & posting your findings here on the forums. Hopefully my results with the new cable will mirror your own.

 

   I know what you mean on the concern about a "flaky" system. You always want as solid & trustworthy a system as you can put together for performing. I have enough to think about with the music. I don't really want to have to worry if something is going to go wonky with the gear in the middle of a song. I actually was debating putting together a completely computer based system, but I wasn't confident in depending on a laptop computer not to freeze up at an inopportune moment. Somehow I feel better about a dedicated piece of musical hardware, but it's kind of the same thing, the HD500X is a specialized computer in a box. Now we even have the computer inside the guitar! It's a brave new world! Hopefully in the long run, this will all work out to be pretty stable & dependable.


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