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Help! Hd 500 Is Too Complicated!


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#41 jcosta_sr

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:55 PM

Here are a couple of hints:

 

1.  Use HD Edit.

2.  Do what you normally do.  It sounds like you like tube amps and a few fx.  Well select an amp.  The last time I looked all of the amps are modeled tube amps. WHen you look at the pics of the amp, Click on the various noobs, until you get a sound you like. (Overtime you will start to understand the amps.)

3.  Select an fx - play with the noobs

 

Its only difficult and complicated if you allow it.......And please stop whinning........:-)


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#42 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:37 PM

 

What are noobs????? :)


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#43 devilshockey

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:39 PM

I think of my HD500X as more of an art form than a simple "set it and forget it" tone generator.  You definitely need to go in with a lot of patience and willingness to learn and make mistakes.  In the end it will be worth it, and you will have a greater understanding of things such as gain staging, frequency response, ect.  I can say for sure I've made a lot of really bad sounding patches, but I've also made that one patch that is MY tone.

 

Take your time with it, make mistakes, have fun. 


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#44 gigisama

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:54 PM

As a lot of people have said so far, using the HD Edit program is by far the easier method when compared to using the physical interface. It takes out a LOT of the weirdness of cycling through options and objects with just a few hat-buttons and some knobs.
I know that when I first sat down with my HD500, I felt like I was staring at a rocket-launch console.
I think that it's the tiny LED screen that presents the biggest mental obstacle, to be honest. ;p

But anyway, once you're in the HD Edit menu, it's pretty simple to see what's going on. You've got your presets to the left, which you'll want to make sure are the USER sets, and not just the presets that are set up as demos on the unit.

From there, you pick an amp (or two, if you want to go for a dual-tone setup). I find that, a lot of the time, picking the right amp already drops me pretty close to the desired tone.
BUT if the amp itself doesn't sound quite right to you, fiddle with the cab and mic settings. They're sometimes subtle differences, and sometimes they blow away your perception of a certain tone achieved by an amp... Typical stuff.

After you've got your Amp, Cab and Mic (which I'd explain more about, but it's pretty much right there in the open in HD Edit), that's when you set up the little stomp-like effects and pedals to achieve whatever you desire.

The HD500 is a disgustingly powerful tone-shaping utility. Like... I had a general idea of how awesome it was before I bought it, but when I actually sat down to play with it, I actually decided that the slogan was really well-deserved:

"If you can hear it, you can have it."

The problem with the HD500 is that you need a lot of patience, if you're like me--I have only general ideas of all these options, so it's a project in cycling through everything to find the sounds. Even in HD Edit, there's a lot of material to play with, but the computer-based interface is a world less frustrating than the LED screen on the unit itself.
 You'll get it in time. Daunting, maybe, the HD500 can be... but it's like any other tool, right? Learn it and it will serve you well.
Tone-searching quickly becomes a Zen-art. lol

Good luck, happy playing (and preset-tweaking!).


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#45 bignath

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:25 PM

^ What he said.


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GEAR STUFF:

PRS Custom 22 w/Birds - MIM 60's Players Strat - Fender Hot Rod Deluxe - POD HD500X - Ungodly amount of stomps....

 

"1 - Cut a hole in a box. 2 - Put your junk in the box. 3 - Make her open the box......and that's the way you do it" - D!#k In A Box (The Lonely Island)

 


#46 AndyParedes

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:31 PM

Hello,

  Here is a group of videos that may help getting you started writing your tones:

 

Brian May:

 

Brian Setzer:

 

Jimmy Page:

http://youtu.be/T1t0FYTu5RM

 

Keith Richards:

http://youtu.be/lB6zAWv0wuQ

 

Andy Summers:

http://youtu.be/04KAI2RPw4s


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Regards,
Andy

@line6aparedes

#47 bvaladez74

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:41 PM

sell it and move on...

LOL...YES!


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#48 hurghanico

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 04:40 AM

Hello,

  Here is a group of videos that may help getting you started writing your tones:

.............

 

+1

 

Nice job Andy Paredes, much appreciated

 

Your clips are very well made and interesting

 

Keep it up!

 

You should have a channel all dedicated to your work on this site

I'm sure you would have plenty of followers

 

PS.

the Brown Sugar customtone link is not clearly visible (maybe http://line6.com/cus...ne/tone/251984/), and in general all the custom files you uploaded have the .l6t file extension, and they need to be changed in .h5e to work with a HD500 Edit program.. I don't know which should be instead the right extension for the HD500X Edit


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#49 AndyParedes

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:31 AM

Hi Hurghanico,

  Thanks for calling this out - I will connect with the CS team and ask them to look into the situation further. 


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Regards,
Andy

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#50 gckelloch

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 01:11 PM

I actually don't own a POD HD500, but I convinced my brother to buy one and have had the pleasure of experimenting with it a few times. I use PC amp modelers now and have used amp modelers since I bought a Boss GT-5 back in '96. If I wanted a hardware unit, the HD500/x would be my first choice. There is a steep learning curve, but as you gain clarity on the basic functioning, everything else will be much easier. If you don't get the basics down, you will remain confused and frustrated as you attempt to program new sounds. Others have already covered the GUI, so I won't go into it, but will concentrate on some basics, and how to get approach getting the sounds you want.

 

An oft overlooked aspect of learning new digital gear is the internal level structure. It's really important to get a handle on how the volume levels function from input to output, and to leave ample headroom when driving external gear. You can probably leave the "Guitar In" pad switch off. Keep in mind it will affect the preset inputs if changed. The input level to the amp model is very important regarding attack character. You might want to run an eq b4 the amp as a "trim" adjustment b4 the amp. Seems to me that should be included at the beginning of the signal chain anyway. I find that the peaks of saturated sounds should be at least ~6dB below the full output level, so clean sounds will have enough loudness in comparison. I imagine it is quite possible to distort the HD500 output stage as well as any external gear it goes into. Check the internal HD500 software mixer levels, and I'd keep the Master hardware knob on ~12 o'clock so you don't overload external gear. It's important to note that setting both input paths to the same option and running mono FX will increase the input signal 6dB -- as will setting both software mixer knobs to center, potentially overloading the output. It's something to experiment with and set accordingly for each preset. It would be great if they implement M/S knobs in the software mixer so when you run two amps: one can be focused in the center of the mix, and the other at the sides.  If there is a stereo house mix, it's better for the off center audience members not to run paned stereo signals.

 

One thing you need to really learn to listen for with amps is the response, or "feel", as well as the overall tone. The response has to do with how the tone is shaped over time. It's been the biggest complaint with modelers since the beginning. Good sounding tube guitar amps usually create some treble ducking when turned up loud and your picking attack is strong. Different tube types also have different gain envelope shapes from a smoother to harder breakup and varying degrees of generated even and odd harmonics largely depending on the operating class mode: A (even and odd) or AB (harder sounding odd only). 

 

Beam tetrode power tubes like the KT66 used in the Marshall S100, JTM45 & Route 66 amps, the 6V6 in the Fender Deluxe, and the 6CA7 in Hiwatts generate much less 3rd order harmonics than pentode tubes like EL34 or EL84, but the 3rd harmonic in the guitar string will still be accentuated as any amp is pushed harder.  Still, they tend to break up sweeter, but require a negative-feedback "Presence" control from the transformer to damp intermodulation distortion.  Another thing that tube amps exhibit is a type of S-curve gain recovery created by the rectifier, output transformer and/or power supply. It's what gives it that certain sponginess that we call "feel".

 

Someone mentioned trying the preamp versions of the amp models. Certainly, you can get some good tones with the preamps, but they won't have the sponginess and harmonic richness of the amp models with the amp DEP Master level set up high. They will however generate both even and odd harmonics, being that preamps are class A and don't cancel the generated even harmonics like class AB amps do. Nor will class A mode generate the hasher random harmonics that crossover distortion in class AB mode does. The guitar speaker should generally filter out some crossover harshness, so it's often not a problem -- too many factors to give a definitive answer. These factors can all be adjusted with the DEP settings. I think there should be some better descriptions of the DEP controls. Below is my interpretation of the factors they affect:

Master: sponginess and harmonic richness

SAG: sponginess

Bias: boldness and generated even harmonics.

Bias X: gain compression linearity = smoothness of breakup.

 

You may want to adjust the Master DEP and/or the Channel Output after adjusting the Bias or Bias X, but the SAG is also part of the equation. Once you grasp what they all do, you can start to really make use of them.

 

The Speaker Cab DEP descriptions seem adequate and are a really great addition. The Decay control is actually speaker damping. It can roll off the highs as well as affecting the tightness. You probably want to set up the Amp DEP first, then fine tune with the Speaker DEP. Strong cab resonances and loose speaker damping can mask the amp response/tone. What can I say, you'll get to know the cabs as you try them. Open backs generally have less bass and looser response than closed.

 

It's difficult to describe the mics, but they all have frequency and subtle resonance characters. The SM57 is the "go to" guitar mic. It accentuates 4-6 kHz, so be aware of that. The ribbon mics are more neutral and nice to start with. Ribbons have fast transient response, so they can be a bit crisp on bright high gain tones. The U67 Tube condenser can smooth out those tones. The Dyn 409 is bass heavy, and might be best for really heavy metal tones. The Dyn 421 is another go to, but it's a bit sharp in a certain way in the high end for my tastes.  I usually avoid on axis mic positioning, but it can sound right for certain crisp tones. Maybe they should have included more mic positioning ability, but things are definitely more manageable without it. I've gotten lost in positioning mics with PC modelers. Hours pass wholly unaccounted for.

 

Another thing to know is that guitar amp tone stacks are calibrated for a few reasons so that the bass and treble are boosted and the midrange is dipped with the knobs set flat. The presence knob normally smooths out amp resonances, but it may just be another eq point depending on the amp model. It's worth experimenting with turning the mids up, and turning the treble, presence and maybe bass down depending on the gain level and your pickups/pot/guitar cable combination. You can get some really sweet creamy tones with such settings -- particularly with a low C cable and good low H pickups.

 

As far as where FX go in the signal chain, mainly be aware of whether the FX are stereo or mono. I usually run modulation pedals b4 the amp and sometimes b4 distortion pedals, but there are no set rules. A delay b4 an amp will have a less linear decay as the amp gain recovers. Running two or three modulation pedals in series can be really cool. Arrange the order to what sounds right to you. Reverbs are usually best after the amp, but keep in mind that spring reverbs are wired in between the preamp and amp -- if run b4 the amp, it might sound better if there isn't much preamp gain. Experiment.

 

Well-calibrated guitar tone is a matter of understanding the contribution of everything in the signal chain, including the pick shape/material and strings. After 20+ years experimenting with various materials, I've finally gone back to Acetal for my standard flat pick. Steel guitar strings can sound harsh or thin. I prefer nickel-based alloys. Thicker strings can sometimes actually sound harsher, because the transverse waves in the attack can fall in the harsh ~3kHz region. It depends on the scale length and string material. If the strummed attack is too hard sounding, you might want to change string gage or material.


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#51 RIblues

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 05:09 PM

Welcome Gckelloch and hell of a first post! Very informative and enjoyable read, please stick around.


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#52 smrybacki

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 12:51 PM


My second best tip:  Use the looper to build your patches.   Record a phrase, put the looper in the front of your signal chain and then you can just go to town editing with both hands on the POD or computer.  This makes building a tone much faster and you can get to writing/playing quicker.

 

Awesome idea right there...thanks for the tip!


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#53 gckelloch

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:21 AM

+1 on recording loops for tone editing.

 

Thanks for the welcome, RIblues.  The Amp DEP parameters might actually do something more, or a little different than what I wrote, but it gives you the basic idea.  Bias X seems particularly hard to really discern, especially if it's adjusted with a whole lot of gain in the sound.  Although, you do need some amp gain to tell. I think the Bias X adjusts how abruptly to smoothly the sound breaks up -- which is normally an inherent trait of the tube type. So, it's like changing the tube types in a way.

 

The Sag would normally be more a function of the amp rectifier and/or transformers and PSU. A very "saggy" PSU would actually damp the whole signal during the attack -- as was the case with the underpowered PSU on the early Marshall S100 amps. Not sure how the Sag is implemented here. It might actually damp the whole signal at extreme settings, or it might just serve to increase the transformer type S-curve, or something similar. Experiment.

 

I forgot to mention that it's probably a good idea to use some type of limiter, preamp and/or tape saturation after the amps.  Not only will it guard against possibly clipping the output D/A, but it will sound more like a real recorded guitar sound.  The Vintage Pre might have some nice gain limiting traits. Realistic tape saturation is all the rage in modeling now...and for good reason.  You might be able to use the Tube Echo, Tape Echo, or Echo Platter as a tape saturation effect with the Delay Time and Feedback set to 0. I don't know if the Drive parameter creates smooth fat tape type saturation, or if it just drives the input circuitry. Guess it's all in what sounds good to you.  You might want to disengage the post limiting effect when you edit the amp tone.  I do that with modelers.

 

This may seem obvious, but remember the Fletcher Munson loudness curve.  It's a good idea to figure out how to monitor at ~85dB RMS, so the curve flattens out a bit.  You can monitor at that level for ~8 hours.  It's harder on the ears through headphones, so be careful.  Stop when you start to feel ear irritation.  Find and post up a dB listening level/time graph and follow the recommendations.

 


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#54 edstar1960

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:49 AM

Thank you once again gckelloch.

 

Here is a useful link for hearing safety and appropriate db levels:    http://www.gcaudio.c...s/loudness.html

 

And this: http://www.noisehelp...noise-dose.html


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#55 joel_brown

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 05:52 AM

Two of the DEP controls I use the most is Low Freq Cutoff and Resonance.  The first one if obvious and I usually set it to around 140hz.  Resonance seems to be more of a High Frequency adjustment.  It combined with Presence seems to really help me dial in a tone.


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#56 gckelloch

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:40 AM

Two of the DEP controls I use the most is Low Freq Cutoff and Resonance.  The first one if obvious and I usually set it to around 140hz.  Resonance seems to be more of a High Frequency adjustment.  It combined with Presence seems to really help me dial in a tone.

The DEP features you mention are for the Speaker Cab.  The Thump value adjusts the bass resonance, while the Resonance value adjusts the entire frequency range. 140Hz cutoff seems pretty high for guitar.  I'd think something down around ~80-100Hz might be more standard.  Maybe you have the Thump set too high?  Decay adjusts the speaker damping from tight to loose.  Loose speaker damping may result in some high end attenuation.


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#57 medievil1

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:50 AM

Look at your first post in this thread and let's see who's trolling. 

I('d have to say the OP was correct.. he was obviously frustrated with eh HD.. As many of us are because it isn't straightforward to get the tone you want... way too much tweaking of controls that have no set meaning or description is required. It could be done so much simpler.. we don't need to have all the cab edit parameters.. a simple visual, mic you move around in front of a speaker to dial in the sound would be much more helpful, it VISUALLY tells you what you are doing, instead of trying to figure out confusing knobs that you'd never have in real life. Anyway.. instead of being snarky and bashing someone for being frustrated with an overly complicated device.. next time try being a little understanding instead of the lollipop int eh room.


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#58 arislaf

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:08 AM

The op was correct, the way he said, was not.Description when the OP started the thread, there was, by Meambobo...


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#59 gckelloch

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 11:33 AM

I('d have to say the OP was correct.. he was obviously frustrated with eh HD.. As many of us are because it isn't straightforward to get the tone you want... way too much tweaking of controls that have no set meaning or description is required. It could be done so much simpler.. we don't need to have all the cab edit parameters.. a simple visual, mic you move around in front of a speaker to dial in the sound would be much more helpful, it VISUALLY tells you what you are doing, instead of trying to figure out confusing knobs that you'd never have in real life. Anyway.. instead of being snarky and bashing someone for being frustrated with an overly complicated device.. next time try being a little understanding instead of the lollipop int eh room.

OK, but the device operates the way it operates.  No one forced him to buy it. Adapt to the way it works.  Trust me, moving mics around seriously complicates things and doesn't provide the same results as the Speaker Cab DEP parameters.  Set up the Amp DEP and fine tune with the Speaker DEP.  Not to worry, just leave the DEP's at default if you are confused.  They are ideally implemented AFAIC.  Deal with them after you grasp the way they work.


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#60 joel_brown

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 12:34 PM

To gckelloch,

 

I'll try your suggestions with Thump and Decay versus Low Frequency Cutoff.  You never know what may work better when you move few knobs.

 

Thanks...


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