Jump to content


Photo

Variax Ghost Notes In Alternate Tunings With Newest Workbench.

variax alt tunings workbench

  • Please log in to reply
57 replies to this topic

#1 dkeefer

dkeefer

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Registered Products:4

Posted 21 February 2014 - 08:35 PM

Hello,

Im interested in seeing if anyone else is having these problems. I've seen some older posts but no answers.

I have a couple of variax guitars, a 300 and a 700 that have worked flawlessly for years. When I upgraded workbench (I had to for OS 10.8 mac) I went in and edited some alternate tunings on both guitars. Now both guitars are sounding ghost notes (I'm hearing the altered pitch and the regular string).

 

I am absolutely positive that I am not hearing the strings from the guitar itself as I cranked it through headphones and also recorded direct.

 

  I contacted Line6 but have not heard back (it's been a few days). They said they had to research and get back with me. In the meantime they told me to re-flash one of the variax. This didn't solve the problem.

It seems to me that it is a software issue as both guitars started mis-behaving only after editing with the upgraded workbench.

I tried to open an older workbench but it freezes up.

 

Has anyone else had this problem. Any fixes?   Thanks!

 

Variax 300

Variax 700

throughh pod xt live

Mac intel OS 10.8.5


  • 0

#2 65jaguar

65jaguar

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 11 posts
  • Registered Products:2

Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:40 PM

Hello,

Im interested in seeing if anyone else is having these problems. I've seen some older posts but no answers.

I have a couple of variax guitars, a 300 and a 700 that have worked flawlessly for years. When I upgraded workbench (I had to for OS 10.8 mac) I went in and edited some alternate tunings on both guitars. Now both guitars are sounding ghost notes (I'm hearing the altered pitch and the regular string).

 

I am absolutely positive that I am not hearing the strings from the guitar itself as I cranked it through headphones and also recorded direct.

 

  I contacted Line6 but have not heard back (it's been a few days). They said they had to research and get back with me. In the meantime they told me to re-flash one of the variax. This didn't solve the problem.

It seems to me that it is a software issue as both guitars started mis-behaving only after editing with the upgraded workbench.

I tried to open an older workbench but it freezes up.

 

Has anyone else had this problem. Any fixes?   Thanks!

 

Variax 300

Variax 700

throughh pod xt live

Mac intel OS 10.8.5

Variax 600 through Pod/xt Pro win XP  I gave up trying to solve this problem in Sept 2011. I got tired of arguing about whether or not i was hearing the unamplified strings through my headphones even when the sounds were blasting away in my ears. It is a sometimes its there sometimes it's not problem. I just don't used the alternate tuning that day and maybe the next time I try it it works without the ghost sounds. Or I use a real kapo when I want  it.  

What version of Workbench are you using? Are you usiing OS Mountain Lion? The reason I ask is that I just got a new Macbook Pro and from what I have read here it seems workbench will not work in Mavericks. in another thread i received a response saying there would be no further development of workbench to work in Mavericks. I am unhappy!!!  

 

 

 

 

 


  • 0

#3 dkeefer

dkeefer

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Registered Products:4

Posted 08 April 2014 - 10:06 AM

  I am using mountain lion. 
The trouble started when I upgraded to workbench 1.75 .I tried to go back to an older version but it would not work.  

   It seems I may have found a solution for now. I borrowed a friends PC and installed an older version of workbench. So far it seems like it's working but to tell the truth I have become so annoyed with it I haven't sat down and  tested it.

  I used to be a big fan of Line6. I own 3 variaxes and a pod xt and enjoyed using all of them without a problem.

The main reason I use them is for the alternate tunings so I guess my "old technology" is destined for craigslist.

One variax is listed on ebay right now.

 

 


  • 0

#4 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:50 AM

I am having the same problem with a Variax 700.  I was trying to enter a Drop D tuning with both E strings.  Curiously, there's a ghost note of the original E only on the high E string, but not on the low one.  I'm using a Mac with Mavericks.  If it's true that there will be no Mavericks upgrade, that would be a lousy move on Line 6's part, in my opinion.  The Variax guitars are not THAT old that they deserved to become unsupported.  I hope help is on the way.


  • 0

#5 eenymason

eenymason

    Iknowathingortwo

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 330 posts
  • LocationOrstrayia
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:46 AM

I have the same problem - two distinct notes being heard on only the first E string. Not THAT discernable when playing a chord, but absolutely distinct when playing only the first E. I don't use alt tunings THAT much, but it's definitely an issue.

In the past I don't recall it being an issue, but recently (since latest workbench update), I am conscious of it. I have a couple of transplants (from both 300 and 600), and they both display the same problem.


  • 0

#6 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:02 AM

Correction: there are ghost notes on both the high and low E strings, and I checked the default open tunings, and it doesn't seem to matter which string: if the string is tuned to anything other than the standard note for that string, you get the ghost of that standard note along with your alternate tuned note.

 

I was able to find an old version of the Variax Workbench software, but it didn't fix the problem (still running off of Mavericks, though).  Both the old and new versions of the software use the same modeling files, it seems, so maybe the problem lies there?  I don't want to go too far out on that limb, since I don't know what I'm talking about.  I would like a fix, though, because the alternate tunings are now completely useless.  Can't say I'm happy about that.


  • 0

#7 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:41 AM

Now I've also reflashed the 700, but to no avail: ghost notes are there on the alternate tunings on Custom 2.  This is very frustrating. It would be nice if Line 6 would come online and at least acknowledge the problem and assure us that a fix is on the way.


  • 0

#8 cruisinon2

cruisinon2

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4872 posts
  • Registered Products:4

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:00 AM

Now I've also reflashed the 700, but to no avail: ghost notes are there on the alternate tunings on Custom 2.  This is very frustrating. It would be nice if Line 6 would come online and at least acknowledge the problem and assure us that a fix is on the way.

 

I sympathize...the only thing I can offer as a suggestion is to check and see if perhaps the mags somehow got blended with the models accidentally in Workbench. I suspect that those who have this problem, even if Workbench indicates that no blending is going on, I think that's what's happening in the bowels of the electronics anyway. Obviously this is not the user's fault, but it's the only explanation that makes any sense to me.

 

With alt. tunings I absolutely hear my strings ringing acoustically, even with headphones, esp. with a clean tone (I have open back cans, which let a lot of ambient sound in...you could easily have a conversation with them on your head when nothing's playing) If I blast myself into next week with the volume, then it will drown it out...JTVs really ring like a bell. I've also recorded in the alt tunings, and there's never any obnoxious dissonance in the playback, so what I'm hearing is definitely the gutiar itself.

 

Would be nice if this got sorted out somehow...but I'm not entirely sure anybody really knows what's causing it.


  • 1

#9 silverhead

silverhead

    Uber Guru

  • Line 6 Expert
  • 15738 posts
  • LocationOntario, Canada
  • Registered Products:15

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:04 AM

This thread talks about the older Variax models - the 300/700. They have no magnetic pickups - just modeling.


  • 0
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
.... John Lennon

#10 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:07 AM

Thanks for the note, cruisinon2, but you lost me with "mags somehow got blended with the models".  Do you mean magnets?  What  magnets?  I'm not a tech, I just play the thing.  

 

I have isolation headphones, I don't hear much of anything with them on, so I know that I'm not hearing the strings ring acoustically.  In addition, I had someone pluck the strings while I was standing about six feet away from the guitar, and the ghost notes were in the headphones.  Acoustic ringing is most definitely not the problem.

 

Again, thanks for taking the time to give me some thoughts on the topic. Cheers.


  • 0

#11 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:08 AM

Ah, silverhead shines some light into a dark corner: the JTV's have physical pickups in addition to the models, hence the magnets reference.  Thanks!


  • 0

#12 cruisinon2

cruisinon2

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4872 posts
  • Registered Products:4

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:10 AM

Ah, silverhead shines some light into a dark corner: the JTV's have physical pickups in addition to the models, hence the magnets reference.  Thanks!

 Sorry...you did say you have the older Variax...my bad, I ran right past that.


  • 1

#13 Charlie_Watt

Charlie_Watt

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2515 posts
  • Registered Products:6

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:21 AM

I doubt that it's a FW problem since not everyone is complaining about it.  These are obsolete products so Line6 is unlikely to release any changes to them.


  • 0

#14 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:25 AM

I'll add that I bought this guitar in 2007 and was perfectly happy with it.  I had one custom tuned guitar set up, and it worked beautifully all these years.  Then I tried to add another this week, and that's where things took a turn for the worse.  Now all the alternate tunings, including my custom one and the factory ones, have the ghost notes, rendering the alternate tunings portion of the guitar useless to me.  I can still use the different models, as long as they do not vary from the physical tuning of the guitar.  But one of the main reasons I used the guitar was for the quick switch to alternate tunings.

 

So what changed in the setup?  Well, the operating system on the Mac, and the software supplied by Line 6.  Everything else is the same.  Now I know that Mavericks (the latest operating system incarnation) changed some things about how audio is handled on the Mac, making some software like Wiretap Everywhere give up the ghost, but I'm not sure if that's what the issue is.

 

Next up is to try the approach taken by dkeefer, above: find a PC and an old version of the software.  I can find the former, where do I get the latter?

 

Thanks to everyone (but Line 6) for the help and thoughts thus far. Cheers.


  • 0

#15 Charlie_Watt

Charlie_Watt

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2515 posts
  • Registered Products:6

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:35 AM

Go back to your old FW and SW and see if they go away.


  • 0

#16 silverhead

silverhead

    Uber Guru

  • Line 6 Expert
  • 15738 posts
  • LocationOntario, Canada
  • Registered Products:15

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:36 AM

.....

 

Next up is to try the approach taken by dkeefer, above: find a PC and an old version of the software.  I can find the former, where do I get the latter?

 You can still download the software from this website, under the Support -> Downloads tabs. Just select Variax (or Variax 300/600) as the Product.


  • 0
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
.... John Lennon

#17 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:41 AM

 You can still download the software from this website, under the Support -> Downloads tabs. Just select Variax (or Variax 300/600) as the Product.

Thanks, I'll do that.  Once I have tried it, I'll post how it went and whether it fixed the issue.


  • 0

#18 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

I have now spent all day reflashing, reinstalling, using different combinations and versions of the firmware, Workbench, and the Mac operating system (haven't gotten my hands on a PC yet), all to no avail.  I rolled the firmware back to version 3.05 (next version is the current 3.10, apparently), I used Workbench going back to version 1.51, and Mac OS X back to 10.6.8

 

I have done all I can, I think.  Even the factory default alternate tunings on Custom 2 have the ghost notes, where they did not before.  And no, they are NOT acoustically ringing (I used the isolation headphones).

 

I bought the 700 in 2007, and have had no problems with it at all until now.  I like playing it, and hope functionality regarding the alternate tunings will be restored soon via a firmware update or something.

 

I'm open to suggestions at this point. Thanks to everyone posting here.


  • 0

#19 Charlie_Watt

Charlie_Watt

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2515 posts
  • Registered Products:6

Posted 26 April 2014 - 10:06 AM

If the old FW does it and it was fine before it's not a FW problem!  Line6 isn't going to ever release new FW for a 700.  You can send it to them for repair since something has gone wrong with it.


  • 0

#20 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:05 AM

The old FW doesn't do it (at least the 3.05 didn't).  I just found a CD with the 3.0 firmware on it, I'll give that a try.


  • 0

#21 Charlie_Watt

Charlie_Watt

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2515 posts
  • Registered Products:6

Posted 26 April 2014 - 12:45 PM

Then you will have to use the old FW that doesn't do it.


  • 0

#22 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 27 April 2014 - 12:03 AM

What I meant by "doesn't do it" was "doesn't alleviate the problem", not "doesn't exhibit the problem".  I should have been less ambiguous.  Meanwhile, the flash memory indicator in Monkey says "Unknown" under the installed column, and it won't update the flash anymore, saying that a timeout has occurred.  Grr.


  • 0

#23 Charlie_Watt

Charlie_Watt

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2515 posts
  • Registered Products:6

Posted 27 April 2014 - 05:55 AM

You are the one that said the old FW doesn't do it.  I assumed you meant that it doesn't have ghost notes with the old FW.  If that is not the case then a FW fix isn't what you need.  You need a HW fix.


  • 1

#24 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 27 April 2014 - 09:18 AM

You're right, Charlie, I said it, and I noticed after your comment that my statement about "doesn't do it" was ambiguous, and could be interpreted another way, so I wanted to clear up what I meant.  The FW rollback to 3.05 did not fix it, nor did the rollback to the 3.00 version.  And now the Monkey says the FW version is "unknown", and the guitar has a single crappy sounding model available, and I can't update the FW at all.  You may be right, it may be a hardware issue at this point.


  • 0

#25 roger111

roger111

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 17 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:55 AM

I've tried pretty much everything now to get my 700 running again: different computers, different versions of the operating system, different cables, different versions of firmware and Monkey.  The only thing left is the interface.  I have a USB Variax interface.  Can anyone tell me if I can hook up a 700 to the computer through an HD 500 and/or 500X?  I'd be willing to invest in one, since I was considering getting one anyway.  Thanks in advance for any replies.


  • 0

#26 markhughes2000

markhughes2000

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Registered Products:2

Posted 08 October 2014 - 01:40 AM

Hi

Funny thing -I now have exactly the same problem only using PC windows vetta.

Guitar was fine last week i wanted to load the default patches so I loaded the latest 3.10 firmware including factory patches and  to be honest I thought is was ok after that .  Next time I went to play ( may have been next power up off variax ) all alt tunings were giving ghost notes.  If look in string volume set up the  E string is being bled by D string piezo and vice versa

 . eg When you go to drop D tuning the D piezo picks up the original E string and both notes ring

The A string piezo volume also bleeds th E string though

Ive stripped the guitar and added grounds to piezos on the flex ribbon ( graph tech fitted) reflashed but havent tried going back to 3.0 yet 

 

I assume it wa a hardare prob but the fact that you now have the same problem leads me to think it may be something more sinister

 

Im wondering if ti is a software/firmware issue  issue- I did notice a few peices of solder splashes shorting some of the PC pins so  i cleared them and assumed the problem would go away Nope  

Ill try and find an old XP laptop and try the retro load

Please let me know how you get on

 

Mark


  • 0

#27 RiffRon

RiffRon

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 10 posts
  • LocationCape May
  • Registered Products:5

Posted 08 October 2014 - 04:10 AM

I put three black rubber grommets, available for cheap in any hardware store, between each set of two strings to dampen any false vibrations.  So one goes between the high-E and B strings, one between the G and D strings and one between the low-E and A strings.  These are placed between the nut and the tuners.  1/4" grommets seem to work well.  Don't get them too big or they will affect tuning.


  • 0

Riff Ron


#28 markhughes2000

markhughes2000

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Registered Products:2

Posted 08 October 2014 - 04:17 AM

Hello,

Im interested in seeing if anyone else is having these problems. I've seen some older posts but no answers.

I have a couple of variax guitars, a 300 and a 700 that have worked flawlessly for years. When I upgraded workbench (I had to for OS 10.8 mac) I went in and edited some alternate tunings on both guitars. Now both guitars are sounding ghost notes (I'm hearing the altered pitch and the regular string).

 

I am absolutely positive that I am not hearing the strings from the guitar itself as I cranked it through headphones and also recorded direct.

 

  I contacted Line6 but have not heard back (it's been a few days). They said they had to research and get back with me. In the meantime they told me to re-flash one of the variax. This didn't solve the problem.

It seems to me that it is a software issue as both guitars started mis-behaving only after editing with the upgraded workbench.

I tried to open an older workbench but it freezes up.

 

Has anyone else had this problem. Any fixes?   Thanks!

 

Variax 300

Variax 700

throughh pod xt live

Mac intel OS 10.8.5

 

I just read that similar problems have been found with the new JTV

 following any adjustment or edit of altered tuning patches  in Workbench

Someone has solve problem by trying a different VDI cable!!!

Others by down flashing and up flashing

Just for the sake of trying I will try new VDI and USB cables and do another flash


  • 0

#29 markhughes2000

markhughes2000

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Registered Products:2

Posted 09 October 2014 - 02:30 AM

Hello,

Im interested in seeing if anyone else is having these problems. I've seen some older posts but no answers.

I have a couple of variax guitars, a 300 and a 700 that have worked flawlessly for years. When I upgraded workbench (I had to for OS 10.8 mac) I went in and edited some alternate tunings on both guitars. Now both guitars are sounding ghost notes (I'm hearing the altered pitch and the regular string).

 

I am absolutely positive that I am not hearing the strings from the guitar itself as I cranked it through headphones and also recorded direct.

 

  I contacted Line6 but have not heard back (it's been a few days). They said they had to research and get back with me. In the meantime they told me to re-flash one of the variax. This didn't solve the problem.

It seems to me that it is a software issue as both guitars started mis-behaving only after editing with the upgraded workbench.

I tried to open an older workbench but it freezes up.

 

Has anyone else had this problem. Any fixes?   Thanks!

 

Variax 300

Variax 700

throughh pod xt live

Mac intel OS 10.8.5


  • 0

#30 markhughes2000

markhughes2000

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Registered Products:2

Posted 09 October 2014 - 02:37 AM

I have custom variax 500 with graph techs and switchable mags fitted

Everything was fine until I reflashed the software in order to save a copy of the factory settings.

Following the download everything seemed great and all alternate tunings sounded good with no ghosts or warbles

 

I was so pleased that his led me to experiment editing some of the custom tunings and 12 string parameters, Body shape, tunings, detune settings etc.

Following this the ghost note problem seems to have set in and I cant get rid of it. Sounds familiar?

 

Curiously although the two acoustic 12 strings now sound unusable but the Rickenbacker 12 strings sound ok. All the factory custom alt tunings are unusable. It was the acoustic 12 strings which I was editing the parameters of.

 

I assumed this was a hardware/wiring problem and checked the piezos ground connections thinking I must have lost one but all seems ok. I added a new ground to the flex cable but this did not help.

 

When in drop D tuning the ‘ghost’ sound or unaltered sound from the Bass E string seems to be being picked up by the adjacent piezos/circuits. I thought at first that the ground to the main board was bad and the piezos were somehow working in series through the ground loop; the second (non alt tuned) picking up a proportion of the unmodified first string channel but the wiring checks out ok. Graph tech say that slight pickup may be possible from adjacent pickups if they are touching but it does not account for why the D input “circuit” is picking the E up louder than the B ( see below test )

 

I am leaning toward the conclusion that something in the guitar has somehow been reset when using the workbench editing software ,which manifests itself above and this is not being cleared when the flash is reloaded. I was convinced it was a bad piezo/ground connection but after reading other people having similar issues after loading editing  values I am now convinced it is a firmware  or non some volatile memory setting which is being corrupted during edit.

 

 

I did a check on individual string volume and crosstalk and found the following results

  • String volumes all set to Zero
  • Bring each string volume up separately to confirm each string volume is changing- OK
  • Reset all String volumes  to Zero
  • Set Low E slider to 50%  ok - no ghost tone even when set to drop D
  • Bring up D volume- play E string( dropD) ghost E is also heard at 30 volumer
  • Reset all string volumes to Zero
  • increase  A string volume  - bass E tone heard approx. 20% volume of E  slider
  • Reset all string volumes to Zero
  • Set D string volume to 50%  ok –
  • Bring up bass E string volume- play D string –volume increases-indicating ghost
  • Reset all string volumes to Zero

In summary of above

  • With D string volume at max and all other at min the  bass E string is being heard at about 30% vol
  • With A string volume at max and all other at min, the Bass E string is being heard at about 20% volume

 

This is curious and I am wondering if this 20-30% level is related to the level of the octave setting in the Acoustic 12 string set ups.

 

I also read that Line 6 claim the magnetic poles of mag pickups can affect the Piezos. So does this problem only manifest itself with only JTV/Hybrids/Transplants. it seems not!

I’ve read similar problems on other forums both Variax 500  and JTV so there maybe some common use of coding. The ‘storys’ are the same, everything was ok until downloading new Workbench and editing the tuning. Is it possible that the later workbench versions which include more complicated edits in particular for alt tuning on 12 strings for JTV are allowing us to corrupt previously ‘locked’ parameters

 

I presume that many guitars have been returned to Line 6 with this problem, so Line 6 must know what the solution is following investigation and repair. Do line 6 know about this and keeping quiet?

 

I get the same problem on both VDI and analogue outputs.

 

Looking at the schematic, the strings are A/D and D/A processed in pairs. Ch6,Ch5 being one route and Ch4 Ch3 being another. These equate to strings 6,5,4,3 etc. Ch 6 (E string)uses the left channel of one converor through a series of preaamps.  channel 4 ( D string)also uses the Left route but on a seperate preamp converter path It is difficult to see how any crosstalk would occur but the string volume  presumably adjusts the gain of these preamps to each convertor but it appears that the individual string volume software is adjusting more than one string when it adjusts the D string volume. 

 

Some suggestions I have heard to solve this were

  • down flash and up flash workbench/vax s/w to try and clear embedded anomaly – I will try this but why should this make a difference- What is being left behind when you reflash the latest version!
  • Try using a different VDI cable -  a strange one but it did nothing for me
  • If the original cause (as some JTV owners have indicated) was  editing alt tuning parameters  is it possible to ‘track back’ and make similar changes to reset what may have become corrupted?
  • I will try adjusting the 12 string octave levels and see if this changes anything wrt crosstalk levels
  • Increase height of saddles/lower pickups  to minimised magnetic pull of pickups on piezos???eh no

 

Also can you confirm my assumptions below for correct functionality

  • does use of non-coated strings make difference? – No
  • Does the string need to be earthed as there is no guarantee that as it passes up the bridge  cavity and over the piezo elements that it will be in electrical contact with the bridge/earth. No
  • Do the rear string guides need to be earthed/ connected to bridge? No

 

Enough for now-  spent too much time playing and thinking of all this!!

Ill double check everything tonight and raise aticket with line 6


  • 0

#31 mdmayfield

mdmayfield

    Gear Head

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 648 posts
  • LocationSaint Paul, MN
  • Registered Products:6

Posted 10 October 2014 - 08:27 AM

I believe that these problems are the result of mechanical crosstalk or resonance, resulting in the physical vibrations of one string being picked up through a different string's pickup.

 

On my own transplants, I've seen this happen when two saddles were allowed to physically touch each other. It can also happen through other physical paths.

 

 

In summary of above

  • With D string volume at max and all other at min the  bass E string is being heard at about 30% vol
  • With A string volume at max and all other at min, the Bass E string is being heard at about 20% volume

 

Those results are consistent with the idea that it's a physical hardware issue, where one string is being picked up by another piezo saddle.

 

Unless new evidence comes up, such as the problem going away after a reflash or version change, I'm convinced that software/firmware has nothing to do with this.


  • 0

#32 Charlie_Watt

Charlie_Watt

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2515 posts
  • Registered Products:6

Posted 10 October 2014 - 10:15 AM

I agree.  It's not going to be a reflash fix.  I get real tired of that being the first fix we are told to do.


  • 0

#33 TheRealZap

TheRealZap

    Uber Guru

  • Line 6 Expert
  • 17765 posts
  • LocationClemmons, NC USA
  • Registered Products:17

Posted 10 October 2014 - 10:48 AM

always try the things that don't cost money first...

plus getting that possibility out of the way can save you alot of frustration if it were to work...

maybe tired of hearing it...

but i still think that's one of the appropriate early troubleshooting steps.

 

I agree.  It's not going to be a reflash fix.  I get real tired of that being the first fix we are told to do.


  • 1

#34 Charlie_Watt

Charlie_Watt

    Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2515 posts
  • Registered Products:6

Posted 10 October 2014 - 01:29 PM

Maybe so but firmware should not require reflashing.


  • 0

#35 TheRealZap

TheRealZap

    Uber Guru

  • Line 6 Expert
  • 17765 posts
  • LocationClemmons, NC USA
  • Registered Products:17

Posted 10 October 2014 - 01:53 PM

if it were a true firmware, as in hardcoding to internal chips that would make sense...

but when you view it more like a midi sysex dump... those aren't always as straight forward...

and although i don't have any sort of confirmation that this is 100% the way it is...

i strongly suspect that it is...

other device behave the same way when a midi update gets interrupted...

seems logical to me.

would be great if it weren't that way...

but it's worked too many times for too many people to discount it as a valid troubleshooting step.

 

Maybe so but firmware should not require reflashing.


  • 0

#36 markhughes2000

markhughes2000

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Registered Products:2

Posted 14 October 2014 - 12:25 AM

I believe that these problems are the result of mechanical crosstalk or resonance, resulting in the physical vibrations of one string being picked up through a different string's pickup.

 

On my own transplants, I've seen this happen when two saddles were allowed to physically touch each other. It can also happen through other physical paths.

 

 

 

Those results are consistent with the idea that it's a physical hardware issue, where one string is being picked up by another piezo saddle.

 

Unless new evidence comes up, such as the problem going away after a reflash or version change, I'm convinced that software/firmware has nothing to do with this.

I guess eery transplant is a little different. I had to repair my flexi cable and hot wire the D saddle to the track as it was shorting out to the inner ground plane. ( I stupidly made a cut in the ribbon to allow sace for the wire to come through.

 

Yes I experienced what you said with the G string saddle physicalyy touching the D. I got considerabe beakthrough but after moving one slightly the crosstalk disapeared. . I can understand adacent saddle breakthrough but not from D to E and vic versa. I tries moving th E string saddle away form the A but irt made no difference. You say it can also happen through different paths but, the only path is through the flex cable to the card and the three channels are electrically isolated. It is also difficult to ensure the saddles not to physically touch. What confused me is my problem suddenly appeared after no physical changes and when I read of other people experiences with 'edit' I began to consider non hardware possibilities. I will keep you guys posted on the outcome


  • 0

#37 markhughes2000

markhughes2000

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Registered Products:2

Posted 14 October 2014 - 10:33 AM

I loaded an old XT laptop with all the old variax/workbench softtware with the intention of downflashing and up flashing in an attempt to clear this problem

 

He is the strange sequence of events which happened

 

plugged guitar imto XT Live via VDI

plugged output of XT into amp

Plugged in old crappy dell laptop via usb

 

As the laptop was 'powering up' i was getting noise spikes being picked up from the usb port

I disconnected the usb cable and the noise cracles and spikes disapeared from the XT O/P

 

I switched to the default altered tuned patched and hey were all clear!!!! No ghosts (well hardly)

I plugged in my normal PC and I opened up workbench ( latest version and checked the string cross talk

All cleared!!!! no bleed from D/E/ A/E or any of them.

I am deleighted but being an engineer of 35 years or more i am a little bemused and can only offer a number of logical explanations for this

 

1. The noise spikes somehow got into the variax and by magic cleared the previously corrupted setting.

2. I have an intermittant hardware problem

3. I have a bad VDI cable causing an intermitant problem

4. I have been imagining hearing ghosts all this time

 

Maybe a noise spike is how it all started i.e plugging in the variax whle xt/usb is powered and we just assumed that editing a alt tuning patch after this corrupted it.

 

I should point out that whilst the alt tunings sound ok on chords and open tuning I have noticed "reverberant ghosts" on the E and A string. If I damp or touch the other strings the ghost disapears. If play the B string on 5th fret by itself, the open A string is seen slightly vibrating causing some sort of harmonic type overtone. If I palm mute it, it stops, so there is some acoustic resonance being picked up here which may be easier to solve. Maybe this is the magnetic pole peices of the guitar transmitting to the other strings. Line 6 May be corect here. When the chords are played the resonent vibrations from the open strings are minimised. Maybe someone with a stock Variax 500 can confirm that this does not happen on theirs.

 

I think this as good as it gets. Mine is much better now  but there appears to be  two distinct variations of this ghost notes issue.

1. The Resonant ghost  though open string ringing and consequential pick up from other piezos

2. The bad ghost which make alt tuning unusable caused by Peizo Crosstalk possibly created by a hardware (cable) or software bug

 

I now understand why someone recomended putting rubber grommets  between the nut and the pegs to minimise string vibrations but surely a good normal electric guitar will be better for having this resonance. This is why sometimes you here natural reverberation from the guitar when playing single strings. Problem is with alt tuning thishas a detrimental effect. If you were playing a block of wood with the resonace of a 'brick' you woud not notice it so this problem is likley o vary a lot between guitars.  As we all tend to use alt tuning for chords and usually palm mute the strings when playing lead solos e.t.c. i think the issue can be eliminated by technique to a degree. So either using left or right hand to mute the open strings will minimise the ghosts on E and B strings. If you play them hard and let the other five string ring open youll always have problems.

 

Try playing your note which your ghost note appears on then put a capo on the first fret and try it again. The ghost will move

 

It may also be of interest that I have added a 100k blend pot to my variax 500 electrics which effectivly shunts the analogue output of the mags across to the analogue vax output.

When on max attenuation I get just the mags and when on min (short) the drive of the vax output overpowers the pickups and I get the  predominant variax. This was a quick knock up but it works well on the rick 12 giving it a softer edge when blended with the mags.  Also the level of the Vax (alt tuning) signal wrt the mags depend on my string volume slider - The higher slider the stronger the blend effect. I have sett he sliders mid way for grapgh tec peizos. The VDI output is still fine and relativly free from Ghosts.

I'm enjoyin playing these strange tunings again.

 

     What the!!!   After two hours of fun hooked up through the XT Live ---the ghosts have suddenly reappeared- totally unusable

I think The laptop noise issue was a red herring as I cant get it to repeat the fix. looks like a hardware problem.

 

I powered the guitar/xtlive down for half an hour, Powered back up  and suprise suprise -no ghosts! Hm something is strange here.I something getting warm/overheating or being trigged by a specific event. l left it on for another hour and it was still ok . This is weird. Now a power reset from cold clears it!!

Need to go to bed and rethink this one again.

Its nearly getting time for clutching at straws

I am now thinking the obvious  and wonder if using a screened Cat6 cable which has better crosstalk and speed would give more consitant results.

 

Taking a step back, Ive never used alt tunings or VDI connection in anger (only drop D) and have always used the same short 1M cat5 cable as it was a nice unkinkable blue type which i fitted metal shrouds to. I am now starting to think that maybe this may be faulty and I have had this problem on and off all the time but it only manifested itself with the 12 strings sometimes sounding a bit warbly noisy. Previously i've used the guitar on battery or line 6 XPS power supply through the 1/4 jack and have not noticed  the problem until starting to connect and use alt tuning with the  VDI.

 

I powered up the system this morning and the ghosts have still nowehere to be heard

The fact that my problem returned whilst only connected via XT VDI when I changed patches  makes me think the problem was not the fault of workbench but the data connection to the guitar via it so by altering values using workbench with an old possibly damaged unscreened Cat5 cable may have caused the same problem. I beleive the Line 6 cable is very long 25M so will have a greater impedance. than my 1M shorty. Maybe the short cable is not ideal

 

I read on another thread that someone solved their ghost  problem by replacing the VDI lead so this is maybe not such a wild possibility. Line 6 say Cat 5 is ok but I think Cat6 would be better. I imagine most people use a bog standard ethernet patch cable as it was always seemed to work and they are always readily available. But we are talking twighlight zone stuff here -often the cause is something simple.

 

So maybe the noisy usb dell computer was a red herring but maybe it highlighted the fact that noise on the VDI lines during data change or power up can effect parameters inside the guitar.

 

 

            Powered up last night and ran allnight on XPS box  for 4 hours - no sign of the ghost reapearing

            I have sinece replacing the VDI cable and used it all week using this connected to XT Live and the ghosts have   not  returned.

 

Dont we have fun !

Hope all this ranting helps some of you guys out there


  • 0

#38 markhughes2000

markhughes2000

    Just Startin'

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Registered Products:2

Posted 14 October 2014 - 10:43 AM

I am a new Variax (59) and HD500X user. I bought the variax mostly for the guitar emulations and alternate tunings. All the alternate tunings sounded pretty good in the store. When I got the Variax set up at home, it was at ver 1.7. I updated it to the current version (2.0), and now I have the same problem you have described. Pretty much makes any alternate tuning it happens on useless. Absolutely can't have the original non-altered notes bleeding through. In my case it is definately NOT the acoustic sound of the strings, the original notes are being amplified through the system somehow.

 

   I barely know how to use the Variax workbench yet, but I tried to check if the "Mag Pickup Blend" feature was somehow getting turned on for the alternate tunings, but so far I haven't found that to be the case, but as I said, I don't know my way around that piece of software yet.

 

   You are definately not alone on this problem, and I am really looking for a resolution to this as the alternate tunings are important to me. Hope someone finds an answer, or it turns out to be a glitch that gets fixed in an update soon. The "Mag Pickup Blend" is a great feature as it adds a  little more realism to the modelled emulations, but absolutely should not happen if using an alternate tuning.


  • 0

#39 silverhead

silverhead

    Uber Guru

  • Line 6 Expert
  • 15738 posts
  • LocationOntario, Canada
  • Registered Products:15

Posted 18 October 2014 - 11:20 AM

Can you post a recording that contains the ghosting? Make sure you are capturing only the modelled sound, not also capturing the mag pickups simultaneously (a POD HD as well as Workbench will allow you to capture/record both).

This will confirm that the ghost notes are, in fact, being produced within the modeling software and are not simply the natural acoustic vibrations of the string. In my experience with the Variax JTV you do, in fact, need to have the amplified sound very loud to completely overcome the natural acoustic sound. However, the acoustic sound will not be passed to your DAW. A recording is the definitive way to rule out the acoustic sound as the cause of the ghosting. If you hear it in a recording then the modeling is at fault; if you don't hear itin the recording then it is the acoustic sound that is the cause, despite what one may think.

Please note - I am not claiming that you are hearing the acoustic sound. I'm simply saying that a recording will give a definitive answer about it.
  • 0
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
.... John Lennon

#40 clay-man

clay-man

    Power User

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1964 posts
  • Registered Products:3

Posted 18 October 2014 - 11:43 AM

always try the things that don't cost money first...

plus getting that possibility out of the way can save you alot of frustration if it were to work...

maybe tired of hearing it...

but i still think that's one of the appropriate early troubleshooting steps.

 

I have to agree with Zap, there's plenty of times when a reflash WILL fix it and you just have to keep trying. 


  • 0

For a minute there, I lost myself.

Radiohead_bear-728286%5B1%5D.png 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: variax, alt tunings, workbench