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How Has Greatly Improved My Use Of The Hd500

hd500 input settings single input approach

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#1 hurghanico

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:36 AM

I promised to return to this topic in more depth, and here I am..

between my instruments that I use most often, there is a Variax 700 and an HD500, being both Line6 we could easily expect them to be made for each other, ok .. and then linking them together you theoretically should easily be able to get excellent results .. maximum compatibility ..

The Variax 700 is a great guitar, very versatile and offers a wide palette of typical guitar sounds, and it is quite faithful to reality..

I connected it to some normal standard amps and it works great, but connected instead to the HD500 leaving the default input settings, and also using the default settings of the models (which theoretically should be the most typical) doesn't give definitely the same best first impression, and immediately you feel that you have to work on your POD to get something good .. same impression I got by connecting other non-digital normal standard guitars to the HD500..

based mainly on reasonings of pure abstract logic, for a long time I forced myself to take for granted the default setting of the inputs of the HD500 (ie without never change them) thinking that in that way I would have gotten the more standard response behavior from the models .. and also I have deliberately ignored what is written in the rectangle on page 54 of the Advanced Guide, thinking it was just a little tip without great importance..reported below here:

 

"Note that when utilizing both Inputs 1 & 2 (or when using “SAME” for either of these Input options) the two Input signals are combined to allow them to be fed into any Amp or mono FX Model within the Pre position, which can result in a hot signal level. Reduce your instruments’ volume as needed to avoid overloading your Pre-positioned Models."

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continuing on that route, over time I've noticed a series of issues:

- the feeling that there is always a sort of strong compression that crushes the sound..

- the timbre too easily and more than normal loses definition and dynamics when you push a little more the drive ..

- in a few cases you can hear the typical crackling noise of the digital clipping ..

- often distortion, bass and treble response are too exaggerated..

- sense of frequency response not well balanced..

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furthermore I noticed that unlike some people who have an HD500, those who have a 300 or a 400 never complain of the sounds they get, but maybe only for the reduced flexibility..

I also discovered that the models of the 500 sound like those of the 300 and 400 only if you use just one HD500 input and you put them in pre position ..

if you have both devices available you can try them side by side, if it is not possible, you can watch this (a little boring) video and try to make your comparisons:

 



in this clip the guy plays all the HD300 models leaving them at default settings (only in one case there is an added chorus) alternating the use of the humbucker pickups, both splitted as a single coil and as full HB..

with my Variax 700 if I use the Telecaster and LP models I get almost 100% identical results of the video with my HD500 in single input mode, if I switch instead to the default double input mode I get much more distortion and worse sounds compared to those of the clip..

I also remember very well that some time ago "Silverhead" (known expert in this forum) confirmed to me that the input of a 300/400 corresponds to the single input of the 500..

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in addition to note the things described above, I noticed a big difference in the sound quality by passing from the HD500 default setting with 2 equal inputs to a single active input.. by switching mode all the issues described near the beginning of this post went away..

unfortunately, perhaps for demonstrating the great flexibility of the HD500 over every other aspect, and maybe impeded by NDA, this fact has never been faced and explained as perhaps it should, but the fact is that at least for me all the models sound much more naturally and pleasantly by using just one input in pre position .. and everything becomes much easier in getting the various sounds that can be needed..

the technology of the 300/400/500 is the same and the models are the same identical in all 3 modelers, probably they have implemented them as they are with the same default settings on all three devices, but with the 500 in order to have also 2 completely independent chains they had to add a second input (otherwise would not have been necessary), which has messed up a little this beautiful modeler that otherwise would have been almost perfect..

so in order to implement this feature of the dual-channel, they sacrificed the quality of the sounds that are obtained with the default settings, which indeed allow you to have two independent channels ready to go..

I highly recommend you to make the change as I mentioned above, it is absolutely worth it! ..

and if by chance you plan to use only the path A as an alternative, be aware that you will not have the same beneficial results, because when isolated, path A behaves like the pre position with 2 same active inputs..

so try it, if you want!


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#2 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:33 AM

I want to make sure that I understand what you are recommending here.  You are saying that I should always select something for the Second input that is not connected?   I always use my VDI Variax connection to input #1.  Many of the patches that I have downloaded from Customtone have the input2 set to Same.  I changed most of them to Aux because that seems to be fairly quiet.  Too bad they did not have a NONE option.  Do I have this right?????


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#3 hurghanico

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:39 AM

I want to make sure that I understand what you are recommending here.  You are saying that I should always select something for the Second input that is not connected?   I always use my VDI Variax connection to input #1.  Many of the patches that I have downloaded from Customtone have the input2 set to Same.  I changed most of them to Aux because that seems to be fairly quiet.  Too bad they did not have a NONE option.  Do I have this right?????

 

yes, you have understood very well!

 

just when I use my Variax, I prefer to set input 2 to "guitar" as it seems the less noisy solution..

if instead I use a standard guitar I do the opposite setting: guitar/variax

 

but remember that if you change the input settings of the patches you downloaded from Customtone, you'll get different results from what was intended by the author if they were based on a double input, and probably you'll have to compensate with some more drive and somewhat different amp eq settings


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#4 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:41 AM

I wonder if the inputs are "Shorted" when nothing is plugged in?  If so, then it probably doesn't matter too much what we select on the unused Input2.  (Mic may be bad since it has a higher gain preamp).


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#5 phil_m

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:50 AM

I wonder if the inputs are "Shorted" when nothing is plugged in?  If so, then it probably doesn't matter too much what we select on the unused Input2.  (Mic may be bad since it has a higher gain preamp).

 

Well, if you don't have anything plugged into the Aux in, input 2 can still be active in your tone. It all depends on what you have it set to. The default is "Same", and that may or may not work out for you. If you truly want to ignore input 2, change it to an input you're not using.

 

I really don't think it does a whole lot of good to focus on what the "correct" setting should be. It really just depends on what sounds the best to you. Even if you're dealing with a real amp setup, the input you having going into the amp is hardly a static thing. It changes depending on what pickups are on the guitar, what pedals you have in front of the amp, etc. A lot of guys like to have a boost pedal always on when using a tube amp, for instance, because they like the sound of the preamp tubes being pushed a little. The way I see it, Line 6 simply gave a lot of options to choose from. It does no good to talk about which one is best or most correct. Just use what you like.


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#6 hurghanico

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:00 AM

.. A lot of guys like to have a boost pedal always on when using a tube amp, for instance, because they like the sound of the preamp tubes being pushed a little. The way I see it, Line 6 simply gave a lot of options to choose from. It does no good to talk about which one is best or most correct. Just use what you like.

 

theoretically you'd be right..

 

but for some reason with the POD if you need a stronger input to push more your models you don't get the same results using the doubled input, or using a single input and boosting it with some effect, the second solution gives always much better results..

 

..Just use what you like...

 

certainly yes, but possibly knowing what you are doing


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#7 RIblues

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:51 AM

Line 6 is quite clear in their manual stating that if you use "same" on the second input that you may experience a hot signal, because both input signals will be combined. So, theoretically they are explaining how the inputs works. 

 

Would it be software possible for the HD500 to automatically switch to only one active input when a user selects a single amp and then automatically activates the second input if the user introduces a second amp in the patch? Future firmware maybe?

 

The HD500 truly is a device that you need to explore and there are no hard and fast rules. Setting input one to guitar and input two to same and running that "hot" signal into the Blackface Lux can sound awesome, so using the two inputs is not always a bad thing. 


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#8 hurghanico

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:57 AM

..I really don't think it does a whole lot of good to focus on what the "correct" setting should be...
 
I would like to clarify that I have not talked about what should be the "correct" settings, I talked about my experience, my observations and my conclusions,.. if interested, everyone decides by himself what is "correct" or not, I'm much more interested in finding out what sounds better rather than what is more "correct", and in my case I think I've figured out how to..
 
just sharing my point of view ;)

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#9 hurghanico

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:16 AM

...Setting input one to guitar and input two to same and running that "hot" signal into the Blackface Lux can sound awesome, so using the two inputs is not always a bad thing. 

 

surely by using the two inputs is not always a bad thing.. I agree

 

I did some recordings with the Blackface Lux using that default input setting, the results are not bad at all, in my Soundcloud account I have some tracks recorded with that amp model, in particulary "room 335" by Larry Carlton is recorded with the double input setting, not bad, but I think that it could be even better using the single input approach, but I didn't tried again..


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#10 RIblues

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:23 AM

Are you saying that the same amp models sound different on the HD500 than the Hd300/400? And it is because of the second input?


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#11 hurghanico

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:31 AM

Are you saying that the same amp models sound different on the HD500 than the Hd300/400? And it is because of the second input?

 

yes, if you use only 1 input with the amp model in pre position on your HD500 they sound exactly the same..


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#12 hollis1003

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:37 AM

I just want to say thank you, hurghanico.  Thank you!!


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#13 hurghanico

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:01 AM

I just want to say thank you, hurghanico.  Thank you!!

 

to you and the other guys who may find those infos useful: you are welcome!

 

I'm always happy to give my little contribute to the community when I feel I have something good to share with.. :)


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#14 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:04 AM

My "shorted" question is just a noise issue.  If you select "aux" for Input 2, then any signal on that input is going to be summed in.  This might add to the noise if nothing is connected to aux.  If the jack Shorts the input when nothing is plugged into it (like all amps do) then it should be quiet.  I am surprised there isn't a NONE option for the input2 though.


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#15 RIblues

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:12 AM

"None" or "Bypass".

 

I'm sure this was discussed during development and I imagine someone noticed the "hot" signal when using only one amp model. Evidently the final thought was that it was probably not a big deal, but if the amp models are altered tone and signal wise in comparison to the HD300/400, then I would say that's a boo boo.


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#16 arislaf

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:13 AM

to you and the other guys who may find those infos useful: you are welcome!

 

I'm always happy to give my little contribute to the community when I feel I have something good to share with.. :)

Very kind and helpful, thank you Nico :D


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#17 hurghanico

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:18 AM

.. I am surprised there isn't a NONE option for the input2 though...

 

I agree, but anyway I found that the 2 combinations guitar/variax or variax/guitar (depending on what are you connecting to the POD) are very quiet and not noisy..


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#18 hollis1003

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:18 AM

Hurgo, I think we've discussed this here before but do you use the 4CM method and if so what is your preferred way?

 

I use the input method you have above and I do the following:

 

Dual amp path with both amps off. FX loop located before the amp in path A.  Path A set for 0% panning  and 0db and Path B set for mute.  

The switches are set with the FX loop on Line and the 1/4" output on Line.

 

i like this set up because there is no loss of signal and I don't have to attenuate or boost the signal anywhere.

 

For the clean channel I have it set up differently because I want a less hot signal going to the input of my amp and I boost the signal going into the FX loop of my amp at the mixer in the POD.  The amp is off and I just put the FX loop before the amp.


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#19 hurghanico

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:28 AM

..Hurgo, I think we've discussed this here before but do you use the 4CM method and if so what is your preferred way?..

 

I have nothing to say, I don't use the 4CM, my HD500 is directly connected to the computer when I record, and when playing live is connected to the FOH mixer and to my keyboard amp..

 

my name is Nicola, hurghanico is a nick that I invented for internet use when I was playing in hurghada several years ago..


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#20 Metalchef

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:07 PM

Dig the name Bro. Thanks you as always I've often wondered why it seems I can push some models just right and some just seem Mehhh..... For some reason I am at a loss on some models to me the Plexi is just so so and maybe my signal is too hot we shall see. Thanks for your time. Record some Methany and you've got a gretsch model on that variax right? Shame not to hear any Cult...
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