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Problems finding usable tone - is it me or duff unit???

pod hd500x tone amplification monitoring

Best Answer joel_brown , 15 May 2014 - 05:49 PM

Guitar In-Z settings helped me get rid of the thin tinny tone.  I use 32k instead of 1M and set Input 2 to something other than Guitar.  I also use Studio Out into the FX return of a tube amp.  Not that I think this is better than other methods, it just happened to be the one I prefer.

 

I will say it took me several months to get the tone I was looking for and was a very frustrating process.  But in the end I was very happy with the tone and especially the flexibility the PODHD has.

 

This is a common thread for people when they purchase the PODHD.  Fortunately there's a lot of knowledgeable people here that will help you find what you're looking for.

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#1 Elwyn

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:33 PM

Hi Folks,

 

I have recently purchased a POD HD500x as I am in a Pink Floyd tribute band and need to be able to dial in a range of FX without the outlay on all of David Gilmour's gear!

 

I have tried this unit through headphones direct, through headphones via a headphone amp, through in ear monitors connected via the balanced XLR and the line outs; through a 50 Watt all tube combo Hiwatt using the front in and 4 cable method plus just using the power amp, through floor monitors and direct into the desk and PA speakers.  To date, I haven't been able to get a satisfactory tone through any of these.

 

I have been starting with just the empty patch to get levels right, then dialling in either an amp model and cab, amp model w/o cab or preamp model depending on connection method.  They sound just about ok albeit a bit dull before an amp selected then with an amp/preamp sound ok for some basic picking and arpeggios but chords sound terrible.

 

When I dial in some compression and reverb and use the neck pickup on my strat I can get a nice Shine On intro lead tone but then when switching to the triads and power chords it all goes to pot. If I try and add any kind of distortion it just sounds terrible.

 

I have linked below to a sample of me just playing through each of the pickups with basic chord progressions.  I would be interested to know if people think it should sound like the samples or that sounds a bit off.  I've never had any issues with the guitar through my UX2 and Pod Farm or direct into my Hiwatt Combo.

 

If people think it sounds wrong I will contact Line 6 support and ask what options are to get it checked out.  

 

https://soundcloud.c...st-tone-example

 

Thanks


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#2 silverhead

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:42 PM

Have you experimented with different Output Mode settings? The Studio setting is best for headphones, monitors and PA while one of the Live modes (e.g. combo front, ...) are recommended when connecting to amps. The basic idea is that you match your Output Mode to the external equipment.

 

Also, assuming you have Input1=Guitar, experiment with Input2=Same vs. Input2 = something else to which there is no physical input connected.


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#3 Elwyn

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:43 PM

Update - have contacted support anyway but interested to hear any helpful advice - having scoured these forums I know there is always plenty available.


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#4 Elwyn

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:49 PM

Have you experimented with different Output Mode settings? The Studio setting is best for headphones, monitors and PA while one of the Live modes (e.g. combo front, ...) are recommended when connecting to amps. The basic idea is that you match your Output Mode to the external equipment.

 

Also, assuming you have Input1=Guitar, experiment with Input2=Same vs. Input2 = something else to which there is no physical input connected.

Hi Silverhead - thanks for the quick response.  Yes I have been through all of the different options for each configuration and read plenty of information on here about the best input combinations.  I just think the tone sounds very hollow (best I can describe it) and quite bright before any effects are added (important to have the base right I figure).  I've played around with EQ settings and pickup positions and different guitars as well to rule out the issue being guitar setup.

 

If I thought it was just the amplification options available then I would look to get some very good FRFR monitors for home and FRFR cab/wedge for rehearals and gigs but I don't want to spend a lot of money when the gear I have might actually be ok with a different Pod HD unit.

 

Thanks


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#5 duncann

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:52 PM

I didn't hear anything obviously wrong (broken) with any of the samples. It did sound to my ears a little bit thin, tinny, and/or harsh. Maybe too much in the upper mid range? But probably more important is how it sounds in a mix. I know that a hd500x can be a very frustrating piece of equipment to dial in. Keep at it and experiment. Trust your ears, but only to the point of ear fatigue. What sounds good to you is what will satisfy you.


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#6 Elwyn

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:04 PM

I didn't hear anything obviously wrong (broken) with any of the samples. It did sound to my ears a little bit thin, tinny, and/or harsh. Maybe too much in the upper mid range? But probably more important is how it sounds in a mix. I know that a hd500x can be a very frustrating piece of equipment to dial in. Keep at it and experiment. Trust your ears, but only to the point of ear fatigue. What sounds good to you is what will satisfy you.

That was recorded via ASIO into Ableton - it actually sounded a bit better on the recording when listening back via headphones from the PC soundcard compared to the live sound but what you hear - thin, tinny, harsh - is pretty much what I am hearing and don't like.

 

I have tried eq'ing out some of the brightness/harshness but even with the mid and treble completely dialled out it still has that harshness.  I will play around with filters a bit more - have to wait for feedback from support anyway - and I have read a lot on here about needing to bear with it but I have spent pretty much every evening and weekend for the last few weeks playing around with this.  If I had any hair left I'd be tearing it out now :D   


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#7 radatats

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:18 PM

have to say listening to it from Soundcloud through plain old headphones it sounds OK to me.  Nothing to write home about but not broken for sure.  All I can say is to keep experimenting with different amp/cab/mic combinations.  Sometimes the most unlikely pairings will give amazing results. Also you can try changing the guitar in Z in HD Edit to adjust harshness a little bit.  Don't forget the Deep Editing Parameters for the full amp models and the cabs. Pick one playback option - power amp, guitar amp, monitor, or headphone and set your POD up for that and stick with it.  Make all your changes with HD Edit one at a time and try to keep track of what each change does.  It helps to come back to certain settings later.  Try using dual amp tones too with either different amps or even the same amp with different cab/mic setups. There are lots of ways to fatten up the tone so keep an open mind and be willing to think outside the box.

 

Don't get discouraged.  We have all been down this road at one point or another.  It's worth the effort in the end...


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#8 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 05:13 PM

For Gilmour, you really need to put a compressor "the red one"  first in the chain. that will fatten the sound significantly...


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#9 joel_brown

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 05:49 PM   Best Answer

Guitar In-Z settings helped me get rid of the thin tinny tone.  I use 32k instead of 1M and set Input 2 to something other than Guitar.  I also use Studio Out into the FX return of a tube amp.  Not that I think this is better than other methods, it just happened to be the one I prefer.

 

I will say it took me several months to get the tone I was looking for and was a very frustrating process.  But in the end I was very happy with the tone and especially the flexibility the PODHD has.

 

This is a common thread for people when they purchase the PODHD.  Fortunately there's a lot of knowledgeable people here that will help you find what you're looking for.


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#10 brue58ski

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:40 PM

Two things I do when I get "close" to a sound is to then go through all the cabs and mics.  You can do this in HD edit by selecting any cab and then you can just use the keyboard up down arrows to go through them fairly easily.  You can do the same then for the mics.  Actually, you can do this for any parameter.  Select it and the use the keyboard up and down arrows to go through selections quickly.  Although I find it's only useful with mics, cabs and guitar models if you have a Variax.


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#11 Elwyn

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:23 PM

For Gilmour, you really need to put a compressor "the red one"  first in the chain. that will fatten the sound significantly...


Dean - yup - as I say with a bit of compression and reverb I can get an approximate neck pickup "clean" Gilmour tone. That does make it a bit more frustrating because after hitting that sweet spot - adding in drive or distortion, or switching to the other pickups gives a very unusable tone.

I guess my intention has been to get something that sounds good completely free of effects because that is the foundation on which to build. For songs like Another Brick In The Wall you should really be aiming for a DI sound with a little compression and flanger but with all amps and FX off, the sound is very different on the Pod to the sound I get straight into the desk so I guess my concern is that the Pod is adversely colouring the absolute basic tone of the guitar.

Really helpful comments though from everyone above - I'd be lying if I said I had explored every single combination so will keep plugging away following some of the above tips although I am going to try and do an A/B comparison for my own peace of mind.

The other thing that is tied in with this is that I would spend the money on FRFR gear for home and live if I knew I could get the tones I needed but that is a lot of money if ultimately I can't get the Pod to suit my needs and go back to a more analog rig.

There is some comfort in knowing that a lot of people have had the same frustration and got past it.

Thanks all.
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#12 hoodermaniax

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 12:54 AM

I think it's about compromise to be honest. Listening to your sound, that's the typical POD HD500x kind of tone, a bit thin and fizzy compared to a valve amp with pedals in front of it. In my (humble) opinion, when trying to get tones such as a hard working amp with a boost to the preamp section, the technology just isn't there yet. (If it was, players such as Gilmour/Beck etc would have switched to Line6 already). What you win in terms of flexibility and ease of use, you lose in authenticity.

 

Of course, always good to bear in mind that the audience don't give a toss :)


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#13 billlorentzen

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 04:17 AM

Nothing sounded wrong or broken to me. I'm not particularly a Gilmore expert, so I have no opinion about whether this is his tone or not, however I can give you some general tips for dialing in sounds.

The other day I was trying to get a particular Robben Ford sound, and playing along with one of his records, I thought I had it pretty close. So I recorded one of his melody lines over a few bars of the record before he came in. Listening back I was surprised how far off I was - really not there! It's very important to tweak in the context of the track itself. Frequencies are masked by other instruments in a mix and can disappear or be thrust forward by the other instruments.

Try this: create a loop on your daw of a section of the record, preferably a section without the guitar sound you're going for. Play a longish section of your guitar part into the looper, starting on a downbeat so you can restart it in in time. Place your looper before the amp. Listen and tweak the amp on the looper and check it for accuracy along with the loop of the record.

Another thing to keep in mind when tweaking is the Fletcher Munson curve. As volume goes up bass and treble are more apparent to the human ear. So don't tweak at too low a volume or you will be surprised when you turn it up. On the other hand if you tweak for long at higher volume you will have ear fatigue and not hear the highs properly, so when you come back to the sound after a rest, it will sound overly bright. A mix of soft and loud listening is best.
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#14 Elwyn

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 01:34 PM

Guitar In-Z settings helped me get rid of the thin tinny tone.  I use 32k instead of 1M and set Input 2 to something other than Guitar.  I also use Studio Out into the FX return of a tube amp.  Not that I think this is better than other methods, it just happened to be the one I prefer.

 

I will say it took me several months to get the tone I was looking for and was a very frustrating process.  But in the end I was very happy with the tone and especially the flexibility the PODHD has.

 

This is a common thread for people when they purchase the PODHD.  Fortunately there's a lot of knowledgeable people here that will help you find what you're looking for.

I'm still going to have to do a lot of tweaking but having followed your tip about guitar input impedance really helped take out those harsh tones I was hearing - I've found 22K is the sweet spot.  I've also borrowed a portable PA system from my work which helps to get some better reference for how it will sound at rehearsal and live where I am going to desk.  Thanks Joel and all others - you've probably saved a Pod HD from getting flogged in haste.


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#15 madguitar78

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 04:29 AM

If you want you could share your patch...I can try to modify in order to show you some improvements...I didn't hear anything of wrong on soundcloud.. but may be your did not use a good combination of parameters...Try to set the tone from headphones and to rec via USB...If you reach a good tone try to connect to external amps and adjust parameters to tune your patch for the amp that are you using...

There are a lot of thing that you should know in order to get a good sound on pod HD500x beacuse there are a lot of parameters that interact each others....

You could start to use pre-amps instead of full amps models because they are more easy to set ...then you could pass to  full amps and you should learn how to set master bias biasx shg etc etc..or cab parameters also...everything you use change drastically your sound..

I have the pod HD500x and I think it is the best multieffect processor and amp simulation for the money...I use in a mixer with my band and results are very very good...

Regards

 

Marco.


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#16 zaphodboy

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 02:11 AM

Once you have your tone 'almost there' I always find the best way to fine tune is by playing along to a decent backing track with the guitars taken out, that way you get to hear the tone in a mix. It's surprising how different your tone will sound 'in situ' rather than just hearing it by itself. The site I use for backing tracks is

 

 http://www.guitarbackingtrack.com

 

Hope that helps.


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#17 chimp_spanner

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 11:44 AM

Glad you've managed to find a decent tone. I will just add to this and say that for me the epiphany came when I turned the cabinet resonance down/off. I always found that the HD cabs were the weakest link in the chain (getting amazing results with IR's and even personal monitors with cab emulation like the new IRT-X). However, as soon as I took the resonance off I got rid of the shrill top end and the quack/honk that a lot of the cabs seem to have by default. Tighter, more usable. I've gone from keeping my HD Pro in the corner of my room to having it as an integral part of my setup again!


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#18 JTSC777

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 10:43 AM

Great tip I shall try it!

 

Thanks!


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