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Pod HD: Raspy direct (recording) and headphone sounds

pod hd pod x3 pod 2.0

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#1 Tmidiman

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 04:45 AM

If been perplexed by this issue for months, trying to understand and fix it. Time to ask the experts.

When ever I try to use the Pod HD for recording in my studio and it sounds raspy and unusable. I've also noticed this when trying to use headphones. I've set the unit for "Direct", but it still sounds terrible.

For reference I have an original Pod version 1, a Pod Pro, and a Pod X3 connected to my Mackie board and they all sound great Direct and with headphones. Why does the Pod HD sound so bad?

I have tried all of the output setting with no success. If I plug the unit into and amp and set it accordingly it's a bit better, but has to be excessively tweaked to get it to sound right.

I have had better success turning off the Pod's cab emulation off and using one from another device. This seems to fix the raspy tone issue for direct recording and for going into an amp. While this was fine for experimentation I do not want to pull out 2 pieces of gear to do what one piece should be able to achieve.

So can you help me to get the Pod HD to sound as good as the original Pod and Pod X3 going directed and to headphones?

Thanks.
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#2 mbach72

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 07:19 AM

I'll be watching this thread with interest. I've only had my HD500x for a month, so I'm still getting acquainted with all the little nuances, but this has been  problem I've been struggling with too. It's not just a little raspy either, it sounds like I'm playing through a blown speaker. So far, this has made playing the HD through headphones totally unusable for me.

 

To me it sounds like real bad digital clipping, but I've tried everything to make sure I'm not overloading it anywhere. I see that the consensus about the HD's headphone amp is that it is less than ideal, and it also suggests really high impedance headphones(which I admittedly don't have.) I don't know if the lower than suggested impedance of my headphones is a culprit but I don't think that's completely it. Just like you, if I play a track into my daw and then apply a third party IR, it makes a world of difference. That leads me to believe that the cab simulations have something to do with it. 


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#3 duncann

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 08:23 AM

I use headphones daily and while I notice things I wish weren't there, they are things so subtle that they might as well be non-existent. One in particular is on a higher gain tone I use with the solo-100 overdrive amp, there is a kind of subtle sizzling (not fizz) that I can't seem to get rid of. I finally just gave up. A casual listener wouldn't even notice it. In fact, I can recall reading about this and came to the conclusion that it is part of the actual amp itself which the pod models. So perhaps that might be what you're hearing as compared to older generation pods? Higher resolution algorithms modeling not only the tone from an amp (older generation pods might stop here), but also the sound characteristics that might not be so desirable but may contribute to the 'feel' of the amp?

 

I should also mention that I don't use the headphone output on the pod. I use the digital output to an internal soundcard, and from there I use the analog headphone output. The headphones (sony mdr-v6) are low impedance (63 Ohms).

 

Anyway, maybe either (or both) of you could post a clip demonstrating the sounds you are getting. Or even better, post a patch for which you get quirky results.


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#4 Tmidiman

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 06:39 AM

Still no response?
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#5 duncann

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 08:17 AM

Still no response?

 

Somebody posted a response; see post number 3.


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#6 pfsmith0

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 07:00 AM

I fixed this by changing the two inputs to Guitar and Variax. I have no Variax so this setting basically turns off that input. I believe the default is Guitar and Same which, in effect, doubles the input signal hitting the first FX/Amp block. This was overdriving the Pod and caused all sorts of nastiness.


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#7 Tmidiman

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 07:09 AM

BTW, the latest firmware upgrades (the last 2) help make the unit sound 80% better! Not sure why Line 6 is not talking about this, but whatever. There is still a bit of digital fizz there, but there is a huge improvement.

Get the latest firmware folks!
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#8 Tmidiman

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 07:14 AM

Here is a link that compares the Pod 2.0 to the Pod HD300. It doesn't matter which HD unit you have it still has that nasty fizz. This is why some have gone back to the XT and X3 and why, IMHO, AMPLIFI uses algorithms for the X3 and NOT the HD gear.

Again, this is made better if you get the latest 2 firmware upgrades.


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#9 Digital_Igloo

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 09:13 AM

...and why, IMHO, AMPLIFI uses algorithms for the X3 and NOT the HD gear.

 

No. Now saved to a local text file, so I won't have to Google it again:

 

"AMPLIFi's engine is based on an enhanced, optimized version of POD Farm 2.5 because it gives us the widest variety of models that are the easiest and most predictable to tweak—not just for us, but for the tens of thousands of users publishing their tones.

 

By comparison, POD HD features what's considered a more advanced engine, but its depth, detail, and nuance (e.g. obsessing over bias excursion and cabinet resonance level) don't necessarily make it the best candidate for "grab a guitar from your couch and jam with Deftones between "Game of Thrones" and "Silicon Valley".

 

Sometimes I want to obsess over bias excursion and cabinet resonance level. Sometimes I just want to play "Minerva" while my girlfriend's grabbing popcorn."

 

Maybe try dialing back Res Level and Thump to 0%? Some headphones handle bass extension worse than others and will distort, which can be mistaken for digital clipping.


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#10 chuberto

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 09:45 AM

This stuff is always difficult to diagnose over the internet but there is one thing that I discovered with my HD500.

 

You can't just switch the output mode and expect that great tone you've dialled in to still sound great. I've used my HD500 in just about every way, front of amp, 4CM, FX return, direct, headphones and now L6 Link to DT amp and I've managed to coax great tones from every method but not one of the patches I created transfers at all well.

 

Create a great patch on headphones at home, run straight to the desk at band practice and it's horrid; and headphone vs DT amp is completely unusable. In fact, the amp models I use to my DT25 are usually completely different to those when going direct, let alone the EQ blocks.


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#11 Tmidiman

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 04:02 PM

If you run a HD unit into headphones or into a desk, yes it "used to" sounds pretty bad. The lastest firmware fixes a lot of that.

If you only run it into an amp it will sound a million times better. Why? Because the natural roll of of the speakers helps to remove and in some ways mask the harsh fizziness. That is one of the reasons why some people love the HD gear and others don't. If you never go direct or use headphone you most likely will not hear the fizz. I would even guess that was how the units were tested at L6 before they were shipped. I don't think they would haven elevated it if they knew how bad the sound was.

But that a bit in the past. Firmware update fixes most of the problem.
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#12 Tmidiman

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 04:13 PM

the clip you linked above is one of the worst ever made demos of an HD device and the old first bean..
on the web there are countless other demos which tell a much different story..
also, the above here is not a good demo even for the POD 2.0 itself, given that when changing the chosen model, many of its sounds seem like coming always from the same amp model..
 
Having had the POD 2.0 and now the HD500, I know very well that both of them con give much better results than those shown in the clip..
 
I still like some of the POD 2.0 sounds, but generally I much prefer the HD500 with its more faithful dynamics and possibilities to shape the sound as I like in more detail..
 
some POD 2.0 sounds are not bad, but are more preshaped and not so customizable as with an HD


Pod 2.0 was made to sound like a,....well...an amp. Same with XT and X3. Remember how amps work? Pretty much plug in and play. Maybe tweak a few tone knobs.

I would have been really awesome if the HD series was made to FIRST sound like an amp and THEN let you have the deep drive into settings. But that would not have made any sense. LOL

I feel positive that with the next release they will get it right. And if they do people will run from this generation of gear like the plague.
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