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Pod Hd500x Direct To Powered Speakers Or Pa


Best Answer gunpointmetal , 27 December 2013 - 02:14 PM

My experience is the same as OP....tried some cheap FRFR monitors (Harbinger), tried some expensive FRFR monitors (Mackie), tried some mid-range FRFR monitors (Behringer/Mackie), but for live volumes I couldn't get anything useable...the mid-range and low-end monitors had zero mid-range presence and couldn't even get over the drummer (all were tried in stereo with two 12" or 15" speakers) and they sounded like lollipop and balls at gig volumes. Yes I was setting up my patches at gig volumes, as well. I would need at least a stereo 31-band rack EQ to make them useable, but I can get recording tones easy, and I get compliments every time we play on my live tone which is Omen 8->HD500->Crate Powerblock-> 4x12 Grundorf Frankencab w/Bugera drivers. I can do awesome ethereal cleans and "just-broken-up" blues through the FRFR stuff no problem.

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#1 bvaladez74

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 12:15 AM

Hey there...

 

A little background.  I'm incredibly familiar with the whole range of POD series.  Esp the HD series and the X3 series.  I've always been able to dial in really really amazing high gain, full round, huge sounding, real world...usable live tones.  I've been able to always configure my POD's for full blown big rock band original and cover band situations.  I've always used a POD with a tube power source, whether it's 4 cable method to a tube head, or using the amp sims and using a tube head as just power or more currently using my Matrix GT1000fx.  I'm really proficient with use of the different output settings, the different input settings, getting the most out of punchy loud, usable tones with the mixer, etc, etc.  

 

So w/out getting into the A, B, C's of the most basic common sense suggestions....is it possible that the HD's really, for the most part....short of over tweaking and having to go to extremes....that they sound like "lollipop" overall going direct into powered speakers or PA's?  I'm 95% speaking of high gain tones.  I've tried this for hours with my HD500, My HD Pro and now my 500x.  

 

Right out of the gate, and I know most of you who have tried this...know this....the higher gain tones or any subtle use of gain or drive....sound brittle, harsh, overly out of control.  The tones are cheap sounding and not meant for practical use in a pro situation.  Even after EQing the crap out of everything, even on direct output, even using stack out and dialing back the global highs and mids....on full amps and pre's...mixer in front and back of the amps, after relfashing a few times, after resetting....the high gain tones....running direct....just suck overall.  Does anyone have anything they've done to make these usable running direct?  I'm not talking your bedroom, blues, clean guitar....tele/strat guy.  Those tones are easy to achieve.  I'm talking any of the amp models that are higher gain...looking for that fluid, gain, pro level, big, round, brown...smooth overdrive.  

 

My rig is simple....my pod pedal board into a Matrix....and either a mesa 4x12 or two Orange 1x12's....with some analog pedals mixed in...and "yes"...I've done the physical troubleshooting w/out pedals or anything in the way.  I DO NOT think there's anything wrong at all with my 500x...I guess effortless amazing high gains tones running the pod into my Matrix or any amp.  Again, this has been the case of all POD's I've ever had, running into all kinds of PA's, or powered/active speakers.  

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thank you.


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#2 gckelloch

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 06:06 AM

Assuming you know that to compare the sound you need to set the 1/4" output switch on the front to Line and the internal out to Studio Direct when going to a PA, you won't hear the full range sound coming out of your guitar cabs unless they are pointed directly at your head.  12" speakers don't disperse much above ~1kHz.  4x12" cabs are even more notorious for a "beaming" affect. 

 

What you miss in the Studio Direct sound is the added compression and subtle complex smoothing resonances of the real guitar speakers.  PA speakers (particularly the tweeters) have a much higher damping factor and better transient response to better convey everything going into them.  I don't think the Pod models include natural guitar speaker compression.  There should be a Drive Cab DEP knob if they did.  They also may not really capture the complex high end smoothing resonances, which can be somewhat comped by increasing the Cab DEP Res, Thump and/or Decay (damping factor). 

 

With a tube amp as you monitor amp, you also get some transformer, rectifier and/or PSU sag along with fattening tube compression, depending of how much you drive the amp.  The Vintage Mic Pre or Tube Compressor run after the amp models might cover that aspect, as well as keep the the cab resonances under control, evening out the level and sustain. You might like the tone more with the IN-Z set to 230k (essentially the same as turning the guitar tone knob down a bit), as there will be less preamp hash.

 

In order to really hear what is going into a mixing board from the Pod, you need to monitor with accurate full range studio monitors when you set up your presets.  You could also use quality full range headphones if you have a studio monitor simulation device.  There are some apps available for PC, but I've seen a headphone amp with such a feature.   Of course, make sure you aren't getting any internal Pod clipping or driving your PA into clipping.  

 

To hear what can be achieved direct to a mixer, listen to the sweet fat tones in this guy's video demo.


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#3 bvaladez74

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 11:48 PM

gckelloch...

 

Ya I hear ya.  There are a couple things you can attempt, as you mentioned.  All have been attempted.  My switches are set to "line" already, being that I'm usually running line level into a power amp.  I'm aware of how tube amp compression works in terms of the different result in smoothed out tones.  In inZ setting doesn't really make a noticeable difference either.  I'm aware of all the technical results with those different aspects.  Greg D's tones on his vid's so far, are either direct into the clean channel of a tube amp, in the loop return of a tube amp or into an interface...to his computer.  I'm talking usable tones into a live PA or PA/active monitors-speakers....as I've heard people speak on it in terms of achieving usable tones...but most are not speaking in terms of high gain...most or all.

 

More background...I'm ONLY looking to achieve this as a back up scenario...if for some reason I were to lose signal on my power amps.  I'd obviously have a bank of patches configured for the back up scenario. 

 

I do have full range headphones....and I do start there...and it's similar harsh result...unless you really pull down most of highs...resulting in a smoother yet muffled tone.  I'll tweak some more, but really the reality is, achieving realistic high gain...full bodied tone isn't entirely possible unless you really cut things or add things EQ-wise in extreme ways....to get maybe half way there.  

 

I probably shouldn't have even posted this.  I'm pretty much highly proficient in these HD500 and X units enough.  I was just 2nd guessing myself.  "If" very high end full range active monitors make that much of a different, then that would be literally the only solution short of running your HD so extreme with EQ settings...still giving you a generally crap tone.  Maybe I'll just buy a 2nd Matrix power amp.  Ugh, another $800.  It's an amazing flat EQ'd powerful power amp.  Really brings out the best in the HD series.  My tube heads and power amps are sitting gathering dust right now cuz of the Matrix's tone.  

 

Anyway thanks.


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#4 stumblinman

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 09:47 AM

For direct tones I put a graphic EQ at the end of my patches to fill in the weird frequency loss. It works well to fatten it back up when running in studio/direct mode. You're setting up your direct tones on the same PA at gig volume, right? I think it's humorous you say the bluesy sounds are easier to tweak. I found the chainsaw chugga chugga stuff way easier to set up. Maybe build new tones from scratch for PA.

Find a high gain amp you like, put EQ knobs at noon and flip through speaker cabs until you find one with the frequencies you want to accentuate. Then pick a mic that makes that cab/amp combo more articulate. Make sure your PA is set flat and your channel is too. Then begin to tweak your EQ on the pod until it's close to what you want. Add an EQ in the last effect block and tweak your overall tone there so you have a master EQ at the end depending on venue. Hope this helps! If not, maybe it will help someone else reading this topic.
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#5 radatats

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 10:20 AM

Let me see if I understand what you are trying to do here.  As is stands now, you are able to get a good high gain tone using your current rig into the Mesa 4X12 or Orange 1X12 cabs?  You are now trying to get a similar high gain tone as a backup in case your Matrix fails and you have to rely on the PA/FOH or powered monitors?  Do I have that right?

 

It probably would help if you posted one of your "good" patches to CustomTone for us to work with before spending a lot of calories trying to do stuff you have already considered.  For instance, are you using pre or full models?  Are you fully using the DEP parameters? There will probably be a great deal of differences between a patch that works well with your amp and guitar cabs to one that works with a PA/Powered Speakers.

 

If you post one I, and others I am sure, would be glad to help where possible...


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#6 gunpointmetal

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 02:14 PM   Best Answer

My experience is the same as OP....tried some cheap FRFR monitors (Harbinger), tried some expensive FRFR monitors (Mackie), tried some mid-range FRFR monitors (Behringer/Mackie), but for live volumes I couldn't get anything useable...the mid-range and low-end monitors had zero mid-range presence and couldn't even get over the drummer (all were tried in stereo with two 12" or 15" speakers) and they sounded like lollipop and balls at gig volumes. Yes I was setting up my patches at gig volumes, as well. I would need at least a stereo 31-band rack EQ to make them useable, but I can get recording tones easy, and I get compliments every time we play on my live tone which is Omen 8->HD500->Crate Powerblock-> 4x12 Grundorf Frankencab w/Bugera drivers. I can do awesome ethereal cleans and "just-broken-up" blues through the FRFR stuff no problem.


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#7 bvaladez74

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 02:23 AM

gunpointmetal hit it right on the head.  

 

Like I said above...I tried full amps, pre's.  Yes there's a difference in comparison to one another, but not a difference in achieving anything usable.  Yes, you can add an EQ to the end of the block and...again...a difference...but ONLY in high gain modes or even AC/DC gain modes...the tones aren't realistic or anything usable.  The additional tweak settings beyond the amp modeal's EQ...like DEP and damp...etc....again....slight difference...but anything with higher gain...sounds plastic, harsh and brittle.  

 

PA channels were always flat, tones were always started from scratch.  

 

In response to stumblinman...not humorous with it being easier to achieve clean or bluesy tones...cuz if you notice, this thread is based ONLY around tones with more gain/distortion/drive.  Clean and a bit of break up...that's cake....in this set up.  That's where the lack of capability comes in direct to a PA.  That's where a guitar speaker and guitar amp or power amp smooth and flatten those frequencies out.  Now, "obviously".  

 

Thanks everyone for responding.  I was just looking for something or anything that maybe I haven't tried or heard of.  Shot in the dark.  The HD series is a great tool and works very very good in a pro live or gigging situation, used with a quality amp or power amp....into a guitar cab...with the ONLY exception of high end FRFR drivers.  Direct to PA in this set up requires too much of an extreme EQ "band aid" to use in comparison to a POD/amp set up.  That's a fact.  

 

All good...thanks guys.


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#8 Akeron

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 03:23 AM

Try putting the EQs (you probably need two at least) on the blocks before the amp model. That seems to "work" with my Yamaha HS5 studio monitors...


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