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HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by Hydrophish on 2010-12-23 14:58:45

Hi,

I've been running my HD500 direct to the board for some time now with success, but I wanted to experiment with using it as an FX-only pedalboard for use with my Mesa Boogie Subway Rocket.  So I'm using the 4CM: POD FXSend-> Amp FXReturn, Amp FXSend -> POD FXReturn, guitar -> POD, POD -> front of amp.  I've created a new empty patch without an amp model, which only includes an FX loop and a delay after the loop.  Output mode is set to Combo power amp (I've also tried Combo front) and FX level is set to "line" instead of amp (I've tried both with no success).  The problem is when I enable the FX loop in my patch, my amp squeals like a stuck pig until I reduce the volume on my POD to about 9:00.  However at this level I have no distortion or dynamics.  I tried adding a noise gate, but that only further supresses my dynamics.  When I roll back on the gate threshold, the squeal comes back.  I've also noticed that my distortion goes nearly completely away, it's like I'm playing on the clean channel of the amp.  Not sure what I'm doing wrong.  The FX loop on my amp has a mix control and I've tried it at all positions with the same issue.

It would be really unfortunate to have to go back and buy a bunch of FX to use with my amp when I thought the POD would give me those!  Appreciate any help.

Thanks,

phish



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by spaceatl on 2010-12-23 15:14:45

I don't have an HD500 (400)...But I don't 4CM outboard preamps that way....The HD loop is set PRE...This approach allows you to put FX before an after the outboard preamp...I disable the amp modeling in my HD400...

  • GTR->HD400 GTR Input
  • HD400 FX Send->AMP GTR Input (Make sure the HD FX loop is set to stomp level)
  • AMP FX Send->HD400 FX Return
  • HD400 Left 1/4 out->AMP FX Return

You can do the same thing with the 500 and have even more control than I have with the 400....I think you are cabling it up incorrectly unless you are wanting only post preamp FX...Gain stomps, gates and wahs tend to worka bit better for me when they are before the outboard preamp I might be using...



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-12-23 15:15:52

Hi

Your description of your 4CM connections looks wrong to me.  It should be:

Guitar > POD Guitar input

POD FX Send > Amp guitar input

Amp FX Send > POD FX Return

POD output > Amp FX Return

Place your wah, gain and distortion FX before the FX loop in the HD500.  Place your delays, modulations, reverbs etc..  after the HD500 FX loop.

Set the Amp/Line switch on the POD to LINE

You may need to tweak the Send and Return levels in the HD500 FX loop to ensure that when you A/B the amp with and without the HD500 the gain remains the same in that part of the signal chain (without any FX being switched on in the amp.

Also if using the 4CM then you don't actually need any amp modelling active in the HD500.  If by not incorporating an FX loop in your preset, you will bypass your amp's pre-amp and in that scenario you do need amp modelling (try the PRE models) with your amp.

HTH

Regards

Nick



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by Hydrophish on 2010-12-23 16:24:36

Okay, I switched the cables around and that fixed the squealing, but I'm noticing a couple issues.  First, my sound is really muddy compared to if I run direct into the amp or direct through the pod.  Still not using any amp modeling.  I'm also noticing that when I switch the FX loop off on the POD, I'm still hearing the effects (delay, reverb) that I placed after the loop.  Shouldn't turning the FX loop off disable those FX?  Do I still have something miswired perhaps?

Prior to trying this, I was messing around with some different settings and I found one that I actually really liked.  I was using the old connection setup I described above and simply rolled back the FX send level on the POD.  When I did this it sounded fantastic with some distortion, but then I noticed that the only way I could control my overall volume was with the distortion model's gain setting.  I had the amp volume completely turned down and the master on the POD turned down and it was still really loud, but it sounded awesome.  This setup didn't work well with either the looper or the tuner though.  If I used the looper (PRE or POST) the looped sound was awful.  I also noticed that I had to crank my delay mix to hear it at a normal level (like 70%).  I'm guessing this setup somehow bypasses the preamp of my amplifier?  Anyway it sounded pretty kick-butt, but just not really practical because of the limitations.

Thanks,



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by spaceatl on 2010-12-23 16:47:19

It's the other way around...the  FX loop turns toggles your outboard preamp in and out of the chain....In this setup you can use your preamp or the HD500 preamp...To get it to work is all in the programing...The use of the HD500 becomes more like a traditional pedalboard where you turn the FX on or off and you need them...switch patches and you have a new set of FX....The loop in the HDs is parallel...to make this work you need to make the loop serial...On the 400 you do this by setting the mix of the loop to 100%...not sure what the deal is on the 500 but I know there is a similar thing there with the loop...maybe it's a serial parallel switch or a mix parm like the 400...not sure...sounds like you are getting closer...This kind of setup takes quite a bit of tweaking...It's actually quite simple on the 400...The 500 is a bit more complicated I think,



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by olerabbit on 2010-12-24 00:59:22

@spaceatl + Nickmattocks

Neither of the 4CM setup described above is faulty, both are right because of the different fx send outputs on the 400 and 500:

HD 400     has 2 Send Outputs: Send L/Mono + Send R

HD 500     has 1 Stereo Output.



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-12-24 01:58:16

Hi Gunter

This is what the OP was doing with his HD500 and amp (I've pasted his signal chain from his original post here but to make it easier to read in terms of signal path I've put it in a more logical order)

Guitar -> POD

POD -> front of amp.

POD FXSend-> Amp FXReturn

Amp FXSend -> POD FXReturn,

This is not correct for normal 4CM connectivity, but could still produce output as the OP was finding, but he would have been loading the front of his amp with everything from the POD thereby inducing the feedback squealing he was getting.

Yes - you are correct that the HD500's FX loop outputs it's dual signal paths from a TRS stereo jack and the returns are two jack sockets.  This would possibly/probably cause problems in a fully stereo rig if using a mono patch, but with a mono rig with standard mono guitar amp + FX loop and using a single 1/4" output socket from the HD500 where everything is summed anyway it should not make much difference (I have to say that I haven't done any direct comparison of using the stereo FX loop output with two cables against just using the one mono cable.  My gut feeling is that it won't make much, if any difference, but it is possible that the sound may be a little thicker if using both sends/returns I guess).

Space's initial reply indicated pretty much the same kind of signal path to the one I suggested, so I wouldn't have any reason to argue with that either as that's exactly as I'd have done it with an HD400 too.

Merry Christmas

Best regards

Nick



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-12-24 02:30:15

Hydrophish wrote:

Okay, I switched the cables around and that fixed the squealing, but I'm noticing a couple issues.  First, my sound is really muddy compared to if I run direct into the amp or direct through the pod.  Still not using any amp modeling.  I'm also noticing that when I switch the FX loop off on the POD, I'm still hearing the effects (delay, reverb) that I placed after the loop.  Shouldn't turning the FX loop off disable those FX?  Do I still have something miswired perhaps?

Prior to trying this, I was messing around with some different settings and I found one that I actually really liked.  I was using the old connection setup I described above and simply rolled back the FX send level on the POD.  When I did this it sounded fantastic with some distortion, but then I noticed that the only way I could control my overall volume was with the distortion model's gain setting.  I had the amp volume completely turned down and the master on the POD turned down and it was still really loud, but it sounded awesome.  This setup didn't work well with either the looper or the tuner though.  If I used the looper (PRE or POST) the looped sound was awful.  I also noticed that I had to crank my delay mix to hear it at a normal level (like 70%).  I'm guessing this setup somehow bypasses the preamp of my amplifier?  Anyway it sounded pretty kick-butt, but just not really practical because of the limitations.

Thanks,

No - your wiring is correct as per normal 4CM connections.  However anything in the HD500's signal chain will naturally still be active and if you have a delay in there, you will hear it whether it's pre or post the HD500 FX loop.  If you want the delay to switch off when you switch the FX loop off then you could assign the same footswitch as a multi option to turn the loop and delay off (plus any other FX) at the same time in one hit.

The muddiness in your sound is a bit more of a concern and may have several causes one of which might be level matching in the FX loop(s) of the amp and HD, but might just be due to the reverb and delay you're using.  Some experimentation will be necessary I'm sure.  When experimenting just with the HD500 and moving delays from pre to post amp modelling and vice-versa it is sometimes quite dramatic in terms of signal clarity as to how it can sound. You could save and post your preset here and a few of us could take a look at it with our own amps and maybe post some suggestions.  I don't have the ame exact amp as you but I do have a MkIII Boogie combo and several Marshall amps as well as several Line 6 amps with FX loops which should act in a similar fashion.

I think whilst the HD500 is an extremely complex and flexible unit with loads of options for connecting it in different configurations, we have to remember that nothing is for free so to speak and some configurations may require a bit of a trade-off.  Again if you want to post your killer patch here, perhaps a few of us could take a look and have a play with it to see what we can make of it.  There's been some extremely clever presets from some extremely clever guys who participate here.  The thing with the HD500 in particular is that if you can think outside the box a little and forget how things had to be achieved with previous PODs etc.. there is usually a way to achieve pretty much what you want to do - not always perhaps, but more often than not in my experience you can. 

Best regards and Merry Christmas

Nick



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-12-24 02:42:22

spaceatl wrote:

It's the other way around...the  FX loop turns toggles your outboard preamp in and out of the chain....In this setup you can use your preamp or the HD500 preamp...To get it to work is all in the programing...The use of the HD500 becomes more like a traditional pedalboard where you turn the FX on or off and you need them...switch patches and you have a new set of FX....The loop in the HDs is parallel...to make this work you need to make the loop serial...On the 400 you do this by setting the mix of the loop to 100%...not sure what the deal is on the 500 but I know there is a similar thing there with the loop...maybe it's a serial parallel switch or a mix parm like the 400...not sure...sounds like you are getting closer...This kind of setup takes quite a bit of tweaking...It's actually quite simple on the 400...The 500 is a bit more complicated I think,

Yep - in the HD500 youachive the serial FX loop by means of mix parameters.  Still pretty simple though in this respect



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by olerabbit on 2010-12-24 02:56:55

Thanks for your chistmas greetings, Nick.

I wish to you - and of course to all the users in this community - a peacefull and stress-free christmas.

If possible enjoy these days together with all you have in your heart.

And maybe there is some time left for some who have music in their hearts to mess around with some gear

Günter



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-12-24 03:05:00

Hey Gunter

Oh - yes.  Just having taken delivery of a new and different music related toy 20 minutes ago, I can assure you I'll be doing some serious 'messing' over the next few days LOL

Yep - stress free is what it should all be about, and that's what me and mine intend the next few days to be.    All the best once again to you and yours and to everyone in this community.

Best regards

Nick



Re: HD500 in FX Loop of Amp Squeals Badly
by Hydrophish on 2010-12-24 11:49:29

Thanks for all of the great advice guys!  And merry christmas to all of you as well.

I found another setup that seems to work pretty well.  I was reading my amp's manual and stumbled across the fact that the amp's FX loop return sits between the amp's preamp and poweramp sections, so anything plugged into there acts as a power amp only input.  So I tried just running the mono out from my POD into the amp's FX loop return and guitar into the POD and it sounds pretty good.  I took out the FX loop model from the patch and selected combo power amp as the output setting and it sounds pretty good, still not quite as good as my original (incorrect) 4CM, though.  Wish that was just a bit more usable

Thanks again for everyone's help!




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