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Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by MarcelV91 on 2011-04-12 06:39:02

Hi All

I am strongly thinking about buying one of the HD pod`s. After doing a lot of research on the HD pod`s a few questions raises up to me. And after searching for answers to these questions only more questions come up:)

I`m not an expert on amps, pod`s and speakers so i really hope someone can help me making things more clear. (btw, English is not my first language so i hope you all understand me). So now my questions:

I have an gutair amplifier at home (simple Roland 20w amp, with a few build-in effects, aux in and headpohone out). Now i have done research on how an amplifier works, do in understand it correctly if a guitar amplifier works as follow?:

- The guitar has an pre-amp, power-amp and speaker. Pre amp brings it to line level, power amp booms it up and speakers monitors the final signal to what we can hear. To bypass the pre-amp you can connect your device (for example mp3-player) directly to the aux-in. Then the signal from the mp3 (which is already line level?) goes directly to the power amp and speakers which results in less coloring.

The above is really important for me to understand correctly if i want to figure out how my HD should work with my Amp.

Now about the pod HD. I already figured out that the best option is to put you pod directly into allround speakers (like PA system) and let the Pod do all the work.

Now i have read that the Pod is doing a few things with your guitar signal. Can someone explain me how this works? (what does the pre-amp simulation do, what does the poweramp-simulation and what does the cab-simulation do?) (I dont even know what cab-simulation is, but read about it. Is cab simulation just another naming for power-amp simulation?).

And the remaining important question: how do i connect my Pod HD optimal to my Guitar amplifier. I don`t want my pod to color the sound with the power amp simulation and i dont want my guitar amp to color the sound with the pre amp, because i want this be done by my Pod. What seems to work to mee (but i would not be suprised if i`m wrong about it), is that i have to bypass the power-amp simulation on the HD Pod and connect the HD Pod to the aux-in on my guitar amplifier?. And if this is really the best solution as long as i work with my simple guitar amplifier, what options does the HD Pod me allow to select? Because the HD500 is little too expensive for me, so the HD400 would be the best option for me. But i heard things about that the HD500 will be able to bypass power-amp simulation and the HD400 is not able to?

Well, as you can notice i really stuck with a lot of questions. I really hope someone can make it clear.

Many thanks for any help in advance!

Btw, fyi: i`m playing on an Fender Strat. and using the Roland Cube 20x as amp. ATM my budget don`t alow me to buy expensive things like another amp or poweramp, etc. Even the HD500 is little out of my budget..



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by Rowbi on 2011-04-12 07:02:36

MarcelV91 wrote:


I have an gutair amplifier at home (simple Roland 20w amp, with a few build-in effects, aux in and headpohone out). Now i have done research on how an amplifier works, do in understand it correctly if a guitar amplifier works as follow?:

- The guitar has an pre-amp, power-amp and speaker. Pre amp brings it to line level, power amp booms it up and speakers monitors the final signal to what we can hear. To bypass the pre-amp you can connect your device (for example mp3-player) directly to the aux-in. Then the signal from the mp3 (which is already line level?) goes directly to the power amp and speakers which results in less coloring.

The above is really important for me to understand correctly if i want to figure out how my HD should work with my Amp.

well what you've said is true, but not all amps are created the equal.  Which is the point of amps.  LIke a solid state amp doesn't sound the same as a tube amp.  and 2 tube amps wont sound the same as each other... not will 2 tubes, or 2 speakers.  so you've got the basic idea correct, but there's just so much more to it than that.

MarcelV91 wrote:

Now about the pod HD. I already figured out that the best option is to put you pod directly into allround speakers (like PA system) and let the Pod do all the work.

actually that's the 2nd best way.  the best way is into a DT50 amplifier, but I think that will be out of your budget too.  But don't confuse a PA system with the term FRFR (Full rance, flat response) as the 2 aren't actually quite the same.  most PA systems sound slightly different.

MarcelV91 wrote:


Now i have read that the Pod is doing a few things with your guitar signal. Can someone explain me how this works? (what does the pre-amp simulation, what does the poweramp-simulation and what does the cab-simulation?) (I dont even know what cab-simulation is, but read about it. Is cab simulation the same as power-amp simulation?).

the cab simulation is emulating a specific speaker in a specific speaker cab.  so like a 4x12 cab with Vintage 30's in it, will sound different to a 1x12 with a Vintage 30 in it.  also the cab simulation also includes a microphone, just like when you record a guitar amp for a record.

the power amp simulation captures the sound that the power amp tubes give to the overall tone.  power tubes add sizzle (some times people call it fizz) to the tone.  listen to something like Whitesnake Fool for your lovin or the Scorpions rock you like a hurricane.  their guitar tone is great, but is more on the side of sizzling.  I kinda like it, some others dont.  but it's different on all amp models so don'[t be put off by these comments.  I'm just using them to explain what part of the sound comes from the poweramp.

MarcelV91 wrote:

And the remaining important question: how do i connect my Pod HD optimal to my Guitar amplifier. I don`t want my pod to color the sound with the power amp simulation and i dont want my guitar amp to color the sound with the pre amp, because i want this be done by my Pod. What seems to work to mee (but i would not be suprised if i`m wrong about it), is that i have to bypass the power-amp simulation on the HD Pod and connect the HD Pod to the aux-in on my guitar amplifier?. And if this is really the best solution as long as i work with my simple guitar amplifier, what options does the HD Pod me allow to select? Because the HD500 is little too expensive for me, so the HD400 would be the best option for me. But i heard things about that the HD500 will be able to bypass power-amp simulation and the HD400 is not able to?

the HD400 can totally turn off the power amp simulation, there's 2 sets of the same amp models in all POD HD's.  the full amp models (with poweramp) and the pre amp models (without the pwoeramp).  you just use the pre models...

BUT you're forgetting that the poweramp simulation is simulating a tube poweramp.  your roland cube is a solidstate poweramp and wont add any tube tone goodness to your signal.  I would suggest you run the full amp models and use output mode set to line (not amp) one from one of the live outputs switch to studio direct on your 400 or in the system menu on the 500 select studio direct.  then using a dual 1/4" mono to 1/8" stereo cable, connect to your aux input, which will bypass all your rolands built in FX and amp models.

hopefully that's what you need to get started.

Rowbi



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by MarcelV91 on 2011-04-12 07:58:59

Many thanks for your fast reply, it is much clearer for me now! I just got a few questions with your last part. (explained below)

Rowbi wrote:


actually that's the 2nd best way.  the best way is into a DT50 amplifier,

Okay, i didn`t know about the DT50, it sounds great, but for now it is far out of my budget indeed:)

Rowbi wrote:

the HD400 can totally turn off the power amp simulation, there's 2 sets of the same amp models in all POD HD's.  the full amp models (with poweramp) and the pre amp models (without the pwoeramp).  you just use the pre models...

It is great to hear that the power amp simulation can be turned off.

Rowbi wrote:

BUT you're forgetting that the poweramp simulation is simulating a tube poweramp.  your roland cube is a solidstate poweramp and wont add any tube tone goodness to your signal.

What do you mean with that a solidstage poweramp wont add any tube tone to my signal?  What is the differnce between an tube poweramp and an solidstate poweramp?

Rowbi wrote:

use output mode set to line (not amp) one from one of the live outputs switch to studio direct on your 400 or in the system menu on the 500 select studio direct.  then using a dual 1/4" mono to 1/8" stereo cable, connect to your aux input, which will bypass all your rolands built in FX and amp models.

So on my pod, i can set the following options:

- output mode: line/amp -> what does the mode 'amp' do? because it seems that amp mode is developed for plugging into an guitar amplifier. Or is this if you plug in directly into your main input instead of aux in? If i understand correctly is line the way to go because so my guitar amplifier retrieves an line signal and my roland cube`s power amp boosts that signal?

- An live output switch with an option to switch to studio? What is this, what does this do with my signal? Or did you mean something else?

You really helped me a lot, but i had little trouble understanding your last part. I hope you can make it little more clear.

Thanks again!

Marcel



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by Rowbi on 2011-04-12 08:13:50

MarcelV91 wrote:

Many thanks for your fast reply, it is much clearer for me now! I just got a few questions with your last part. (explained below)

Rowbi wrote:

BUT you're forgetting that the poweramp simulation is simulating a tube poweramp.  your roland cube is a solidstate poweramp and wont add any tube tone goodness to your signal.

What do you mean with that a solidstage poweramp wont add any tube tone to my signal?  What is the differnce between an tube poweramp and an solidstate poweramp?

it starts to get technical, so if you want to know more google for more info as this is the same for all tube amps vs guitar solid state amps.

a tube does things to the audio signal when it starts to get loud.  that's part of why we like the way tube amps sound.  solid state amps (like those in a PA amp too) are usually just making a sound louder and not changing the tone at all... so to put it in a different way tubes colour the tone in a good way.  solid state amps dont colour the tone at all.  the power amp simulation in the POD emulates the tube poweramps.  the poweramp in your cube wont do that, so you'll have no poweramp simulation.  that's why I suggest you use the full amp models.

Rowbi wrote:

use output mode set to line (not amp) one from one of the live outputs switch to studio direct on your 400 or in the system menu on the 500 select studio direct.  then using a dual 1/4" mono to 1/8" stereo cable, connect to your aux input, which will bypass all your rolands built in FX and amp models.

So on my pod, i can set the following options:

- output mode: line/amp -> what does the mode 'amp' do? because it seems that amp mode is developed for plugging into an guitar amplifier. Or is this if you plug in directly into your main input instead of aux in? If i understand correctly is line the way to go because so my guitar amplifier retrieves an line signal and my roland cube`s power amp boosts that signal?

- An live output switch with an option to switch to studio? What is this, what does this do with my signal? Or did you mean something else?

You really helped me a lot, but i had little trouble understanding your last part. I hope you can make it little more clear.

Thanks again!

Marcel

the line/amp setting is not about that you're plugging into an amp or not, it's the signal level.  line level is to go into a poweramp or a line level input.  amp or instrument level is very low level, like connecting to the front input of a guitar amp.  so you need to use line as you're connecting to an aux input which is line level on your perticular amp... but there's no hard rules, if it sounds bad try the amp level.

the live output thing.  on an HD400 there's a switch on the back of the POD for live or studio outputs more.  then in the setup menu you select which live output mode.  this is hard to understand but it's about filtering the POD output to make it work with different amps.  the same settings on the HD500 are in the system menu and not on a switch.  i suggest you use studio direct, but you could also try live output mode and combo poweramp also to hear the difference and decide for yourself.

if you don't understand still, then it's time to read the manual, as some of what you've asked is actually all in there and probably explains it better than I can: http://line6.com/support/manuals/

comeback if you're still stuck and the manual doesn't help you understand.

Rowbi



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by MarcelV91 on 2011-04-12 08:37:08

Thanks Rowbi, it`s total clear now.

Tube amps against guitar solid state amps is very interesting! never known about these differences:)

Now i know that the amp/line output only is about the signal level i understand why you recommend me to use line output when connecting to aux in. And further i have to figure out which settings will be the best for me (like the live output settings) but i`m sure i can get started with the Pod now.

Cheers

Marcel



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by guitars69 on 2011-04-12 12:03:51

The studio versus live output:

studio output-the sound of a guitar amp, cabinet and microphone in a room.  Good for recordings, or playing through a FRFR system like a PA or Hi Fi stereo

live output-the sound of a guitar amp and cabinet.  I don't know if the mic is enabled or just changed.  This sound is designed to be played through a real guitar cabinet.  A real cabinet will color the sound, usually by cutting the treble or high end.  In order to "fix" this problem, the live output of the pod will have more treble and be "fizzy" sounding if you plug it into a PA or Hi Fi stereo.

The live output has different settings to work best with combo amps or heads and cabinets.  There is also a setting for plugging into the front of the amp (through the preamp and poweramp) and plugging into the FX return or AUX input (going through only the poweramp).

To expand on tube vs solid state:

Solid state is "clean" sounding.  It simply makes whatever you put in louder, up until the point where it clips like a square wave and sounds horrible.

Tube amps are colored sounding.  They make things louder, but add some harmonics to the sound as they get louder.  When things are really loud and they start to clip, they round off the edges of the square wave, making the clipping sound more pleasant than a solid state amp.

About the cabinet emulation:

As pointed out, a 1x12 will sound different than a 4x12 cabinet.  Also, an open back cabinet like a fender will sound different than a closed back cabinet.  The emulation works in a few parts basically:

1) The preamp models emulate the sound of the various amplifiers preamps.  If you're plugging into a real tube amp like the DT50 or a Marshall for example, you may just want to use the preamp models because your real amp will already have tube power amp color.

2) The full models emulate both the preamp and power amp of each amp.  The next update will let us adjust the master volume in these as well as the gain which we can do right now.  This means you can modify the patch to have mostly preamp distortion, or mostly power amp distortion, or both.  Right now you get whatever Line 6 chose for us.  These models are best for PA speakers or hi fi setups.  A real tube power amp can also work, but you'll be getting extra tube color from the amp.

3) The cabinet/mic emulates the sound of the appropriate speaker cabinet with the various microphones placed in front of them.  These are ideal for studio recordings or FRFR setups like the PA.  You can turn off the cabinet emulations completely if you want.  This way you can emulate having your desired guitar head, on top of your real speaker cabinet.



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by meambobbo on 2011-04-12 14:17:23

Listen to Rowbi.  I definitely agree about the full amps.  I have a tube poweramp with lots of headroom, and I use the full amp models anyway.  My tube amp doesn't color the tone much, but I like the way the amps that Line 6 modeled have power sections that clearly affect the tone.  And soon you'll be able to adjust exactly how much of that you want.

This does bring up some interesting questions, however.  With the new power amp volume parameter coming soon, I have to wonder about the speaker simulations - will the power amp volume setting affect the amount of speaker distortion simulation occurring?  What about mics?  Things are getting complex!

I feel like I have a good grip on the pre-amp and power amp simulations, but the cab and mic simulations I'm unclear about exactly how they function - ie - were they modeled at a high volume only, so some speakers are pushed further past their breakup point than others?  Same question about the mics.



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by guitars69 on 2011-04-12 15:28:58

I imagine that the cabinet sims are set with a consistent volume.  Even if you change the Master Volume you would presumably use the same overall volume live.  Of course, you could just crank everything and blow everyone's ear out. 

Someone commented on a dual mic setup on some thread.  That would be wicked!  You can technically do the same with 2 amps but it'd be awesome to throw two mics up and play with the comb filtering without the DSP load of 2 amps.



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by MarcelV91 on 2011-04-13 01:46:05

Thanks for your explanation guitars69! Things getting more and more clear.

guitars69 wrote:

The emulation works in a few parts basically:

1) The preamp models emulate the sound of the various amplifiers preamps.  If you're plugging into a real tube amp like the DT50 or a Marshall for example, you may just want to use the preamp models because your real amp will already have tube power amp color.

2) The full models emulate both the preamp and power amp of each amp.  The next update will let us adjust the master volume in these as well as the gain which we can do right now.  This means you can modify the patch to have mostly preamp distortion, or mostly power amp distortion, or both.  Right now you get whatever Line 6 chose for us.  These models are best for PA speakers or hi fi setups.  A real tube power amp can also work, but you'll be getting extra tube color from the amp.

3) The cabinet/mic emulates the sound of the appropriate speaker cabinet with the various microphones placed in front of them.  These are ideal for studio recordings or FRFR setups like the PA.  You can turn off the cabinet emulations completely if you want.  This way you can emulate having your desired guitar head, on top of your real speaker cabinet.

It seems that the Pod is very flexible in choosing which emulation parts u want to use, so it won`t be hard to get a great sound for me from it. But does also the HD400 support al these features like turning off the Pre-amp, full-amp or cabinet emulation, or does only the 500 support this (i have read something about that the 400 will be less flexible in this)?

You also said that in the next update we will be able to adjust gain, master volume, etc. But you mean in the next software update, so we can change it with the digital settings? Or do you mean in an new serie of the HD pod`s (for example HD Pod Plus:))?



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by guitars69 on 2011-04-13 08:09:11

The next firmware update 1.3 will supposedly add 6 new amplifiers models and other parameters such as sag, bias, bias excursion, hum and master volume.  So you'll be able to change how the amp you're using really works.  Only Line6 knows when this is coming out, but it's supposed to be part of the desktop HD model and it's been announced.

I don't know about the HD400 and 300 capabilities as far as amp models.



Re: Questions about HD: amp simulation, cab simulation, and others
by meambobbo on 2011-04-13 09:04:13

I saw something that said v1.3 was SUPPOSED to be released this month.  I believe the Pod HD desktop isn't on sale until 5/31.




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