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Questions from a midi newbie... (HD500 help)
by Rockerbandit on 2013-03-20 05:56:43

As the question implies, I'm rather interested in using the midi functionality of my HD500, but havent really got any idea about it. I've had a look around a few sites and nothing really answers my questions (could be my dodgy searching skills...)

What I want to do is use my HD500 to switch the channels of my amp, an EVH 5150iii 50w. I understand it can do this without a problem.

I also want to be able to add the HD500 effects to the amps channel. So, for example, one footswitch (FS5) changes to the clean channel on the amp with reverb, chorus and some delay on the HD500, then FS6 changes to Channel 3 for rhythm without any effects, and FS7 is the lead with an EQ mid boost and delay, and so on and so forth, with the other buttons being able to switch off the effects if need be. Essentially I want to use my 5150 iii in place of the amp models in the HD500 unit itself with the effects the HD500 has to offer.

It would also help with the Volume changes between Ch 1 and 2, making my amp a more complete head.

Is this at all possible, or am I overestimating capabilities of midi?
And if so, how much will the HD500 colour the amps channels? Is it a true bypass?

Thanks in advance guys.

Re: Questions from a midi newbie... (HD500 help)
by jimsreynolds on 2013-03-20 06:25:58

Hokay.  You can do what you want to do but you need to get your head round the basics first .  I will show you two ways.

I am referring to page 6 of the EVH manual here -->


Startwith a Midi cable between the Midi Out on your HD500 and the Midi In on your EVH.

You need to get both devices talking on the same Midi channel (there are 16).  By default, the POD talks on Midi channel 1 (this can be changed in system settings if need be. The EVH 'learns' which channel you want to use when it is in Midi learning mode.  In short, you should not have to do anything here ... it should just be ready to go.

Right, now you are ready to assign presets to amp channels.

Channel changes when you  change POD HD Preset

Follow the section in the EVH Manual entitled "To set up and use MIDI for channel selection:"  Basicly;

A)   Enter Midi 'Learning Mode' by pressing both amp channel select buttons at the same time.

B)   Select the preset on your HD that you want to associate with a given amp channel (using the HD Footswitches).

C)   Press the amp channel select button that you want to associate with the HD Preset

D)   Exit the MIDI learning mode by pressing both amp channel select buttons again.

You can assign  bunch of presets by repeating steps B and C until you are done, then doing step D. 

Understand this though:  each preset in an HD setlist is numbered from 1-64 (1A = 1  16D = 64).  When you do step B, you are sending that number as the value in the program change message from the HD to the EVH ,  The EVH then associates the channel selection with that number.  This is relevant to the next section ....

Channel changes within a POD HD Preset

This is a little more tricky.  Now you must program footswitches on the POD to send MIDI commands to the EVH.   Also, you

Basically setup the process goes.

1)  Choose the preset that you want to mess with on the HD.

2)  Run up  HD Edit to go to the 'controllers' page

3)  Within the 'MIDI Assign' window pane:  Choose the footswitch that you want to assign

4)  Select the message type as 'Prog Change'

5)  Select the Midi Channel as 01   ... (as per the notes above)

6)  Select a Program # that is greater than 64

7)  Save the preset  and now do steps ABCD  from the previous process.  For step B though, press the footswitch that you just assigned at step 3 above.

The reason I say to use a Program # greater than 64 is that this avoids you overwriting the assignments that you made when you did 'Channel changes when you  change POD HD Preset' previously.  It is up to you though to remember what number you assigned to what channel.

This all probably sounds pretty complicated .... and it is to start with.  Set aside some time to fiddle though and it will all make sense.

Also, if you want to just use the HD for Effects only and use your amp tones then check out what 4CM has to offer in the docs here and here .  4CM is also a little complicated though so perhaps nail MIDI and then thing about whether 4CM is something you want to try.  Too much change is overwhelming !!!

Re: Questions from a midi newbie... (HD500 help)
by phil_m on 2013-03-20 06:28:16

Basically, yes, I think you could do what you want to do with the HD500 in one way or another. I'm not sure how the 5150 is setup to work with MIDI, but when you select a preset on the HD500, it sends the MIDI program change command associated with that preset from its MIDI out. Some amps have a "learn" feature so they can be programmed to go to a certain channel when they receive a certain MIDI program change command. If this is the case with the 5150, then you could have certain channels on the amp associated with certain presets on the HD500. The other thing you can do on the HD500 is program MIDI commands to its footswitches within a preset. So if the amp doesn't have the learning capability I mentioned earlier, you could still switch channels from the HD500.

As far the sound quality, the HD500 isn't true bypass. Personally, I don't think you'd want it to be if were the only thing you had between your guitar and amp, because that would mean you would actually be losing quite a bit of the upper end of the signal because of cable length. I won't say their is no tone loss with the HD500, but personally, I don't find it to be that noticeable. Other people will say it is. I suppose, like anything, it depends on how picky you are.

Re: Questions from a midi newbie... (HD500 help)
by jimsreynolds on 2013-03-20 06:30:23

... and yes, search on this site is a little odd for reasons of meh!   Try this -->


The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.