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Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by steveconrad on 2012-02-18 06:35:59

I have gained some great information from this forum (thanks all) and wanted to see if I could give back...

Like many, I was ready to give up! I just could not get the tone I wanted out of the HD500. I also have the HD400 and was getting killer tone out of it but for some reason, the HD500 seemed less responsive, no attack, no push - just could not get anything happening that made me want to use it. I use mostly clean tones, classic rock and country (so not sure about high-gain).

So I decided to start from scratch - creating a new patch to see if I could figure out what was wrong, and I did the following:

1. Created a totally new blank preset. No effects.

2. As others have suggested, I set the input 1 = Guitar, input 2 = Variax (this  helps)

3. Went to the mixer and set the Path A PAN to "center" (this is for single amp mode, not dual amps)

4. I cranked the PATH A volume LEVEL to 12 (I know... this is a bad... but try it!)

Result: WOW! Massively more dynamic, responsive tone! Higher volume levels, more gutsy tone without distortion (that's the shocking part). I tried it mostly on the clean amps and it worked for all. Make sure the DRIVE setting on the amp is not distorting the tone (unless you want that) and the VOLUME level and PRESENCE on the amp are not too high. After setting this up, I was able to add FX and they responded totally different - more like real FX pedals, not soo mushy and non-destinct.

Not sure anyone has tried this, but am very interested in your results and ideas.

Lessons learned - LIVE vs Studio use:

First, I think there is a big difference between playing the HD500 LIVE and using it in the studio. Maybe one reason more people don't use the HD for live performance is that its really hard to tune/modify multiple presets (that sounded good at home) in the context of different venue accoustics every gig (that was my challenge). After all, you only get a couple hours to setup, tune, dial in the PA, etc. before a show and sometimes less! I've heard of guys playing the same church every Sunday taking weeks to get just a few presets dialed in for that auditorium. So maybe setting up dozens of presets which can be used in different rooms/halls each week is unrealistic (at least for me )

For live applications (my primary use), I find that starting out by just selecting one or two amp models (one clean model like an AC30, and one crunch like the Park 75) is best. I can go into a venue, fine tune just those two amps (just as I would if I used a real two-amp rig), then start adding distortion, setting that, then modulation  and delay at the end of the chain - maybe just three pedals - making sure they sound good, and then saving those as presets FOR THAT GIG (maybe I can use them again the next time).

I know this is totally under utilizing the many great features of the HD500 (esp. the ability to mave multiple presets i.e. for cover gigs), but it just really works for me! I have too many other things to worry about (like trying to sing, entertain the audience, and not mess up - a huge challenge for me) than trying to fine tune dozens of presets in a unfamiliar room every show . KISS (keep it simple stupid) is my motto.

Or... If you need more variety, try just selecting 1-4 amp models for a show, adjust those to the room, and use physical FX pedals in front of and after your HD500 (or use the FX send/return) - using the HD as just an amp simulator works great! I can physicall reach down and make adjustments to my pedals as the accoustics in the room change (i.e. more people , temperature, ears going bad over the couse of the night). Most of the HD amp models play well with pedals and it is easier to make adjustments on the fly (example chain: Guitar - > TS9 pedal - > ProCo Rat pedal - >HD500 - > Delay/chorus -> Amp and PA). I then use the lower row of HD switches as amp selectors (A = AC30, B= Fender BF, C = Park75, D=Hwy100), volume/wah, and looper. If I use  FX pedals I can adjust them easily in the midst of a show. You can try using the Line 6 FX and if they sound good, great - if not, use the real pedals!

So, I would say that the secret to the HD500 is to get a clean, solid amp tone first and then add  one FX at a time after the amp tone sounds good by itself in the room you're playing (that's key) both through the PA and on stage - just like I would with a micd tube amp. Also, just like a tube amp, some effects just don't "play well" with sertain amps - as is the case with a normal tube amp. But basically, it seems that less is definately more. When I dumbed down what I was trying to do, took it a piece at a time, and then added only effects that improved the tone one at-a-time (rather than trying to force an effect to work with an amp.. i.e. tube screamer sounds good in front of most Fender models, not some others IMHO),  I was able to get some very gigable sounds. So it's signal chain (see above ideas), pure amp tone, effect settings, output setting... done!

Does any of this make sense/work for gigging dudes out there?  - Thx, sorry for the long post



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by spikey on 2012-02-18 09:11:21

As long as the mixer is the last in the chain... I read (i think it was iambobo's guide) where if there are effects after the mixer you could clip their input...

Be glad to stand corrected here... ; )



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by phil_m on 2012-02-18 09:18:10

It is possible, especially with some of the EQ effects and depending on where the amp block channel volume and mixer boost/cut is set to. But it's not necessarily something that is going to happen all the time. I've actually never had it happen with any of my tones.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by dschaaf on 2012-02-18 10:15:33

Thanks for the great info...and yes, this forum is absolutely a wealth of knowledge

When you say for a "single amp" setup you Pan channel A to center and boost the mixer up to 12db, are you leaving channel B panned something other than center AND are you leaving channel B at 0db in the mixer? Also, where are you placing your amp and mixer block? Is the amp in front of the mixer or within the mixers 2 channle path...but just on channel A?

Thanks,

Derek



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by steveconrad on 2012-02-18 10:43:32

By "single amp setup" I mean not dual tone. What I did waas set both PATH A and PATH B to PAN center. I am setting both channels to +12db. I am placing the amp/mixer block (since I gather they are inseparable) before any stereo efffects so they remain stereo. So my currrent preset is:

- Volume setup using the volume output on the amp rather than a block (see Glenn's video below)

1. Wah Block

2. Boost Compresson block

3. Open block (unassigned)

4. Distortion Block - Tube Drive

5.  Mod block - Analogue Chorus

- Amp/mixer Block

6. Delay Block - Digital Delay

7. Delay Block - Analog Delay/Mod

8. Reverb

One thing I didn't realize is that these amp models are in stereo!  I think what makes them sound better than the old PODXT/3 series is that they have a fuller sound due to stereo sampling. So what we really have is a dual path stereo mixer in the HD500 (IMO). SO setting the  PAN at center on channel A brings both sides of the stereo amp simulation together then you are running a single vs. dual amp preset. I have a POD XT and it sounds great when you record one track, pan it left, then duplicate that track and pan it right. This creates a concurrent stereo mix that sounds identical (almost better in some ways) to the POD HD amp models....


Glenn DeLaune  suggests panning the PATH A at 60% left for the fullest tone (great video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP-AkfWsZnw) and setting the PATH B to 100% right. He raises the volume on both channels to +4db which sounds good. What surprised me was how much better everything sounds when you go up to +12db. Also was shocked that it doesn't cause distortion - at least with my passive tele pickups (active pups may cause clipping/orverdrive the channel)

Thanks for you questions!



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by steveconrad on 2012-02-18 10:46:41

Great point! Thanks



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by dschaaf on 2012-02-18 10:47:36

excellent, thanks



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by DeanDinosaur on 2012-02-18 14:14:07

My experience has been very similar to yours.

I concluded that boosting the mixer Paths and lowering the amp chanel results in much better sound. It's a little trickier when you have effects after the mixer but the sound seems bigger and clearer.

Anyone can try that on any patch by simply lowering the guitar channel volume and boosting the mixer paths regardless of how you have your mixer paths (centered, hard left right or anywhere in between).

In the case of having efffects after the mixer, clipping those effects is a possibility but clipping can result in very desirable sounds sometimes. We're not talking digital clipping here. Put  a tube compressor after the mixer and instead of using the threshhold to get compression leave the threashhold at 100 and instead boost the mixer to push the compressor to compress. The result to my ears sound more transparent compression with less artifacts than lowering the threashhold on the compressor. In conclusion in the real world pushing mixers have been used to get amazing tones, the solo to another brick in the wall part II by gilmour, Revolution by the beatles. So if the mixer simulation is doing its job, cranking the mixer can be add a night and day difference for specific tones.

The only logical explanation to this would be lowering the AMP channel is preventing the amp from pushing or compresssing the mixer muddying the sound. The difference is is really worth trying.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by spikey on 2012-02-18 14:39:24

What is numbing to me about all of this, is that there are so many ways to get so many different tones out of the HD, how in the world can we ever say that "this way is the better way" or end all be all way to do this?

Its like a puzzle with different picture outcomes, depending on how you put the pieces together.... Yes, Sometimes that a good thing. Other times it just complicates what you are trying to do.  All I wanted was a good sounding setup. Not a good "complicated" sounding setup... Yea I know- its as complicated as I make it. But still, this many changes to get the unit to sound better makes me wonder why these same changes were not the factory settings when we 1st powered up the units in our studio in the 1st place. I like Options that you can trace back to a reason for why this does that, from a time tested standard like way of doing things. Like a reason as to why you might put the compressor before the amp, for example...  I know thats pretty simple but still, the same rules apply. That is, until we get to the HD.

With this unit, its neverending ways to change the flow/design/signal path (because we can) of what was intended (supposed by me) to work well "out of the box". Ive seen more split signal chains and input and output changes and tweaks per week than any unit I have ever owned, and it seems to make it sound better most of the time. Please follow me now..... I mean, someone finds a way around how to change the units "seemingly normal" factory setup for a better (or worse) setting and sound to try out every week. Not that you guys arnt savy enough and or appreciated, but what im asking is, Is that a good thing for us in the long run? Are we to continue this forever? And the obvious question which stings a bit, is are we that much better at setting up our units than the maker of the unit was???  Shouldnt it be the other way around? Understand that I think options are great, but options that we are mostly able to wrap out heads around. Options that make sense as to why it was designed this way to allow this setting to do this sound, in the first place. Options that dont take away from the standard, the K.I.S.S. techniq (and still sound great of course), or the way a regular amp/cab/ efx loop is supposed to act, and has always worked... In other words, I dont wish to be an engineer. I just wanna play guitar ; ) .

Are we sure all this tweaking we have to do on the HD was intended by Line 6 at release, just to make it sound better for us?  If it was, then can someone point me back to home plate please? I admit, this concept for me seemed to have been lost between 2nd and 3rd base...



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by steveconrad on 2012-02-18 15:58:19

That's what I want to know... why doesn't this thing work right out of the box and sound reasonably good? I am on my second HD500 now after returning the first one cause it sounded aweful. I have spent countless hours trying to get good tone out of this thing. I am about ready to just go back to my Fender tube amp, a couple of stomps, SM57 and "away we go" (to quote Billy Gibbons).

But, back to your point, Simplifying is what I am suggesting. If you just pic one HD500 amp, say a Fender Twin. Get the mixer and amp volumes set corretly for the room you are playing, and then add one or two effects tastefully- you have a workable/gigable solution.

We guitar players are renoun tinkerers/noodles and I'm sure one. But at the end of the day, I have to have a solution I can walk into any room with, plug in, and sound good through ANY PA (one that WORKS  with any soundguy at that venue).

So what I am saying is that I use the HD500 as a simple amp simulator with a looper and a volume pedal. I plug my guitar into a tube screamer, go from that into the HD, select the amp I have adjusted to the room, and I'm ready to rock!

It's been my experience that way-most of the people who come to hear a band can't tell a Marshall from a Crate and don't care. They just want to see passion, energy, and some musical expression they can connect with!

Not to offend, but I think sometimes we are gear snobs/junkies always looking for that elusive tone that we never achive. As players I meet get older, they toss all that gear and go with simple rigs that sound good. I saw a guy one night play everything from AC/DC to John Denver with nothing but a Strat, a Fender Deluxe, and an overdrive pedal - the crowd went wild!

The Edge runs an old POD Pro to the front of the house and also uses a cab enclosure with a single 12" speaker, and the sound guy blends those to get his huge stadium tone. I decided to run my HD500 direct to the PA, and also mic my Fender Deluxe, and then blend those together - it sounds awesome!

So, anyway, thanks for your thoughts!



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by silverhead on 2012-02-18 16:16:03

The HD500 can certainly be complicated with all the flexibility and options. The HD300/400 are designed for much simpler "out of the box" playing. Many users choose that route - that's why those products exist.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by DeanDinosaur on 2012-02-18 16:20:14

Are we sure all this tweaking on the HD was intended by Line 6 at release, just to make it sound better?  If it was, then can someone point me back to home plate please? I seemed to be lost between 2nd and 3rd base...

I hear you , but....Do you think the real amp makers intended their amps to be pushed and abused the way guitarist play them.  A friend of mine won't let anyone put a distortion or drive pedal infornt of his twin reverb because he thinks it would damage it...Even if that was true, you can do that in the digital world and experiment to infinity!

The home plate is this for me:   Line 6 modeling is to accurately duplicate the equipment behaviour nuts and bolts as best as they can, desirable or undesirable, that's why they model "HUM" and remove the mix setting from certain flangers or Phasers. Some other manufacturers don't model the hum! So I treat the POD Amps by what I know about them and how I expect them to behave in the real world and I'm quite thrilled that the results are almost always similar to real world behaviour.

If you're after a specific sound it's worth knowing or even researching how that sound was achieved.  You want gilmour Wall sound, then use Fuz Pi into Hiwat>Rotary>AnalogCorus>Cave Reverb> analog flanger and within a short time you will have a convincing Wall tone.  You can still use other amps to get similar results, because in the end of the day, guitar amps are not that vastly different than one another and many can get very similar tones. The proof of that is known guitar players almost always sound like themselves even when they use different amps on different records.

You want a good Marshall tone ? Don't use distortion boxes to push any of the marshalls, it didn't give good results in the real world, use an overdrive instead. Ok you want a distortion infront of a marshall to sound good, then lower the AMP gain to mininmum and Master volume to max or close to it, now put a distortion box and you might get decent sound.  All that is true to real world applications from my experiecne because I owned alot of the amps and effects! It was no picknick getting a good tone from the real amps, you had to find the right dirt box.  In a nut shell, I treat every simulation by what I know about it and if I don't I experiment. I hear a lot of complaining about cabinets being bassy. Any one who owned a 4x12 can tell you that many guitarists had to lower the amp bass to zero (Toni Iommi, etc, etc) to tame the bass. I never met a single player who played 4x12s and cranked the BASS in the amp head! So why should I expect the POD 4x12 to sound anything but bassy!

I'm quite happy with the HD series.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by Ax3M4n on 2012-02-18 20:12:23

Sympathising with Spikey.

I think in the real world, with enough cables and enough cash to buy any effect or amp you wanted, you could re-arrange everything you own in an infinite number of random ways, and in some cases stumble upon a seriously good tone. You may even get a platinum record sales with that tone and decide to keep it your "little secret".

But for me, I like my modelled world to be logical and ordered and established. To illustrate my point, with an imaginary example. If my Tube Screamer Model directly into my AC30 model sounds shit, I want to know why it sounds shit, because I know it sounds great in the real world. I don't want to hear suggestions that I should try putting the Tube Screamer after the Amp Model, and hammer it all out with a Tube Comp and a Studio EQ.

I was reading back over some comments of one of my very first posts about delays, where someone replied that "having a delay before the amp is very unusual" and therefore it would seem the root cause of my problem. I had to pinch myself and check I was still in the real world and not like Tron living inside a Line 6 chip.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by meambobbo on 2012-02-18 21:47:56

Well, there are some things I think Line 6 did well, and some other things I think they didn't do well.

The input selections I think Line 6 did as well as they could.  The impedance choice gives you the "auto" setting (which I believe is the default).  As far as the Input 1 and Input 2 defaults, Input 1 all inputs and Input 2 same actually makes the most sense as a default - you can plug anything in and it'll work as expected for both single and dual amp tones.  If they defaulted to Input 1 Guitar, then people plugging in a Variax or Mic or Aux input would be like WTF.  This might mean if you just use guitar you're getting additional noise, but it makes sense to prefer extra input noise than for it to simply not work.  Input 2 Same is necessary to route tones to Channel B so dual tones work.

Contrary to what some people say, Input 2 Guitar/Same doesn't add additional noise, it just adds volume to the signal hitting the amp in a single amp tone (or first mono FX block).  The only reason this became an issue is because the cleanest amp in the unit doesn't have as much headroom as people would like with its default settings.  The real issue is the amp model, mainly its defaults, not the input selection.  I'll get to this in a second.

Routing I think they implemented correctly; however, the documentation and display isn't informative enough and can be confusing.  It makes sense to have mono FX, and they'd have to mixdown the stereo signal to work, then split the signal back to equal stereo.  Theoretically they could have treated mono FX as 2 separate mono FX operating in parallel, one on the left side and one on the right side of the signal.  The downside - this uses much more DSP.  Plus it could introduce its own confusion.  I think they should simply have some indication that every line in the unit is a stereo signal, and it shows what happens to the signal for each effect.  For example, just make the lines doubled up like =, then if the effect is mono in, where it's going to mix-down the signal do like =>- going into it, and if the effect is a stereo out, just have two lines coming out of it.  If it outputs mono which then is split, put a -<= coming out of it.  Simple but makes sense.

Here's where I think Line 6 messed up.

I like the mixer, but it's basically makes the amp volume knob redundant.  This is also confusing because it doesn't affect the amp's tone like a real amp's volume knob would. I'd rather just have the Mixer Channel Level controls, then have a single patch volume knob at the VERY END of the signal chain.  All the amps should output the same volume, regardless of where you set the Master Volume DEP.  This lets you mix the relative volume of two amps for a dual amp tone, but if you want to level your patches, you only have to tweak one knob per patch, not dig into the mixer and adjust both sides, or change both amp's amp/channel volume setting.

Also, the default values for some of the amp models are poor.  The Blackface Dbl is downright stupid.  The cleanest amp in the unit and you default the Master Volume DEP, which casual users don't even know how to get to, TO 100%?!?!?!?!!?  SRSLY, WTF?  Moving it down to 20% and Bias X to 80% cleans up the amp a good bit without sacrificing virtually any of the tone.  Given the amount of complaints about this amp's headroom, just change the defaults in the next firmware!!! It wouldn't change the tone for users' patches who already dialed in their patches, only those tweaking new tones.  There are other such examples - Line 6 Elektrik Master Volume at 100%???? It sounds like absolute arse at that setting - it certainly isn't the setting baked into the v1.1 Uber, which it was based off of (cloned more like it).  Also, I feel like the Marshalls should have Bias set lower, but maybe that's more accurate.

The cab/mic simulation I think was implemented a little unwisely.  It sounds like they were created with cabs/mics being pummeled with volume, forcing them to drastically alter frequency response.  I understand you want to do that to get more of the nuances of the gear, but then any engineer is going to have to EQ the resulting tone to get it to sound back to what the desirable frequency response is.  So either model the cab/mic combinations at lower volumes or EQ them a bit after the fact to make them more consistent.  The difference between the SM57 on and off axis is too drastic, as is the difference between the XXL and Treadplate cabs.  This results in having to EQ the tone heavily, and given the EQ options on the HD, you're likely to have to use a bunch of them in a single patch to get it where you want it, but even then the tone ends up sounding a bit washed out at certain frequencies.

Another point of confusion is the output modes and the "live-voiced" cabs (output modes other than Studio/Direct with a cab selected). This shouldn't be called "cab simulation" - it's really more of a cab match EQ.  But in this case you still need to know the actual speakers being used.  IE, if you're using an actual Mesa Recto cab with V30's, selecting Treaplate 4x12 shouldn't change your tone at all.  And for this mode, it should indicate that the mic is disabled instead of having it appear it is still active as you're editing.  So it gets really confusing.

Here's a better way to do it.  Ditch output modes all together.  Separate the amp/cab/mic block into separate amp and cab/mic blocks.  If you want the simplest setup of sending the pod tone to a real amp, just disable the cab/mic block altogether.  Turned on you have two modes - match cab or cab/mic modeling.  Match cab has desired tone and actual cab used selections, which works as described above.  cab/mic modeling requires the selection of both a cab and mic, the combination of which loads the IR used to recreate that cab/mic simulation.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by meambobbo on 2012-02-18 22:12:15

In response to Spikey's initial complaint, I don't agree about the input "tricks" or think it vastly improves the unit's tone.  Sure you can reduce noise by only selecting Guitar, but i'm not sure how to please all users equally with a better default or process to select their desired input.  the input 2 "trick" i don't think improves SNR, just reduces volume, which helps with headroom, but i don't think is necessary given different settings on the amps.  I suppose the Pod could analyze your signal chain and determine whether to double/or halve the volume to keep the same levels hitting the amp(s), but that itself could be confusing.  I think the eaiest thing would be to have good defaults for the DEP's so you can just adjust drive depending on input settings and you're set - you don't have to dig into the input settings to dial in the tone you want.

I think the main problem is default values, not the models themselves, and this could be easily changed.  I can't say this is a true deficiency though.  If you plugged into an amp that had crap settings previously put into it, it would sound horrible.  The only complaint here is that the DEP's aren't obviously available to some users.

As far as system menu options, I think the whole output modes idea introduces too much complication to a basic user, and it is more hidden in the 500/desktop/pro to the casual user, but is a bit more apparent in the 300/400.  I also think the "live-voiced" cabs are confusing and should be implemented in a way that makes it clear exactly what they're doing.

Input routing, as I said makes sense - it just needs to be communicated to the user better.

I do have to resort to a "trick" to get the best direct tones from the unit because of the severely different frequency responses of the cab/mic modeling, so I end up mixing two together to get one "complete" tone.  So there's room for improvement there, but I think it mostly applies to high gain tones, not all tones.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by aeugle on 2012-02-19 03:39:55

Dear meambobbo:

Two question:

"Separate the amp/cab/mic block into separate amp and cab/mic blocks."

How can this be done with a POD HD500?

BR

Thomas



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by DeanDinosaur on 2012-02-19 06:43:47

Here's a better way to do it.  Ditch output modes all together.  Separate the amp/cab/mic block into separate amp and cab/mic blocks. 

I agree with you butI see the problem started when originally AMP simulations were intended for recording and then guitarist decided to use them LIVE, FOH, through full amps, Power amps. I say give me a good unit that focuses on recording because no matter what anyone does, AX!!, KEMPER, PODs, Soft sims etc, for a live sound,  a good guitar amp will be untouched by a simulation period, so this attitude of expecting one box to do it all had to lead to all this new unecessary complexities and options. I'm all for listening to customer feedbacks and what they want but companies have to make a decision that one box will never do it all no matter how hard they try.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by catalano on 2012-02-19 08:27:01

Hmmn, your link doesn't go where you think.  It's going to a line6 video on creating a preset.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP-AkfWsZnw



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by phil_m on 2012-02-19 09:20:54

I agree with you butI see the problem started when originally AMP simulations were intended for recording and then guitarist decided to use them LIVE, FOH, through full amps, Power amps. I say give me a good unit that focuses on recording because no matter what anyone does, AX!!, KEMPER, PODs, Soft sims etc, for a live sound,  a good guitar amp will be untouched by a simulation period, so this attitude of expecting one box to do it all had to lead to all this new unecessary complexities and options. I'm all for listening to customer feedbacks and what they want but companies have to make a decision that one box will never do it all no matter how hard they try.

I don't agree that the POD is unnecessarily complex, really. It just that there are so many different ways people want to use their gear, it will get complicated. It's not there aren't guitarists who have incredibily complicated live rigs already. Look at all the time and effort required to setup a rack/pedal system with a MIDI controller. There's a lot of crap guitarists go through simply because the think it will make them sound better and give them some sort of convenience in changing sounds quickly.

The fact is that it's really hard to please everyone. There's people who think the POD offers too much complexity, and then there are people who want more options. Ask a group of 10 guitarists the same question and you'll get 20 different answers.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by DeanDinosaur on 2012-02-19 12:13:57

phil_m wrote:

I agree with you butI see the problem started when originally AMP simulations were intended for recording and then guitarist decided to use them LIVE, FOH, through full amps, Power amps. I say give me a good unit that focuses on recording because no matter what anyone does, AX!!, KEMPER, PODs, Soft sims etc, for a live sound,  a good guitar amp will be untouched by a simulation period, so this attitude of expecting one box to do it all had to lead to all this new unecessary complexities and options. I'm all for listening to customer feedbacks and what they want but companies have to make a decision that one box will never do it all no matter how hard they try.

I don't agree that the POD is unnecessarily complex, really. It just that there are so many different ways people want to use their gear, it will get complicated. It's not there aren't guitarists who have incredibily complicated live rigs already. Look at all the time and effort required to setup a rack/pedal system with a MIDI controller. There's a lot of crap guitarists go through simply because the think it will make them sound better and give them some sort of convenience in changing sounds quickly.

The fact is that it's really hard to please everyone. There's people who think the POD offers too much complexity, and then there are people who want more options. Ask a group of 10 guitarists the same question and you'll get 20 different answers.

Maybe I used the wrong term when I said complexity. What I meant to say is that the POD HD is trying to please everyone and be one box solution, for live and recording. If they take the "LIVE" out of the equation and try to focus on getting it to sound good recorded without worrying how it will translate in every possible scenario and venue, how it will sound thourgh power amp, AMP, I believe the product would end up sounding better recorded. Most known guitarists used different gear for recording than live for good reason. A great amp for recording doesn't necessarly sound good live and vice versa.  Who used or still use 4x12s for studio work?! I personally can't think of anyone who really mattered to the world of guitar who actually used 4x12s in the studio! So to please everyone, line 6 is expected to dilver 4x12s, that sound great in FOH, transform your 1x12 combo to sound like a 4x12 and still sound like 4x12 when recorded an if it fails at one of the above then Line 6 has to please that segment of guitarists and modify the unit etc etc. It can't be done, I don't care what company or who's doing it. I love the HD for recorded sound and that's good enough for me and it actully works quite well live FOH, but I think it can be made better if they stopped trying to make it a jack of all trades because they risk making it master of nothing.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by spikey on 2012-02-19 13:44:15

meambobbo wrote:

In response to Spikey's initial complaint, I don't agree about the input "tricks" or think it vastly improves the unit's tone.  Sure you can reduce noise by only selecting Guitar, but i'm not sure how to please all users equally with a better default or process to select their desired input.

How about just not changing the damn tone or signal at all,  when hooking up guitar inputs to different outputs for one. Radial has been able to do this for years...  http://www.tonebone.com/tb-switchbone.htm">http://www.tonebone.com/tb-switchbone.htm">http://www.tonebone.com/tb-switchbone.htm



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by jimsreynolds on 2012-02-19 15:37:26

DeanDinosaur wrote:

... it can be made better if they stopped trying to make it a jack of all trades because they risk making it master of nothing.

Hmm but then they would have to either climb into the recording box, the live box or create two parallel product ranges.  All of that risks confusing the punters or making them feel like they are paying twice.  It's a no win !

My ten cents:  Most people seem pretty happy with the HD in the studio context, after the initial learning curve.  Hookups supporting live seems to be the rub.

I think you can fulfil both roles with the HD pretty well but pragmatism is needed .   I don't think one can expect to rock up at an unfamiliar venue, jack the HD into the PA and sound awesome  ... well maybe some of us can but I am guessing that their ambition for the pod is pretty basic and they strive for that.  Every  venue/PA has its quirks and it just isnt practical to deep dive into your tones and yank them into shape for one location.

Instead, it seems better to run the HD into either an FRFR setup or a good guitar power amp, ideally with a good EQ (hint hint !) and then hook that up to whatever PA is out there.   It means that you retain control over most of your tone and it is up to the local sound people to fit you into the room and mix ... old school!



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by steveconrad on 2012-02-19 15:42:23

Sorry ... here is is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6I6WCufEtk">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6I6WCufEtk">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6I6WCufEtk

Also can be seen at:

    Line6 POD HD 500 Tips & Tricks by Glenn DeLaune

http://www.glenndelaune.com">http://www.glenndelaune.com">http://www.glenndelaune.com



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by meambobbo on 2012-02-19 17:25:44

Thomas, I think you misunderstood - I was saying this would be a better design for the HD 500.  You can't do what I'm talking about with any of the firmware releases in the Pod HD - maybe they'll change it later on but I doubt it.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by meambobbo on 2012-02-19 17:45:10

DeanDinosaur wrote:

Who used or still use 4x12s for studio work?! I personally can't think of anyone who really mattered to the world of guitar who actually used 4x12s in the studio!

......................................................what........................................................?



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by spikey on 2012-02-19 19:54:52

Dean, Have you ever heard the "Bridge of Sighs" album ?... Robin Trower used a large room and stacked 4x12 cabs, in making what still is one of the best guitar albums of all time...



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by spikey on 2012-02-19 19:59:20

jimsreynolds wrote:

Hookups supporting live seems to be the rub.

Yep... I do wish we had a way to have seperate multi outs without having to pan and split amps and remove mic and speaker emulations to get there....

jimsreynolds wrote:

Instead, it seems better to run the HD into either an FRFR setup or a good guitar power amp, ideally with a good EQ (hint hint !) and then hook that up to whatever PA is out there.   It means that you retain control over most of your tone and it is up to the local sound people to fit you into the room and mix ... old school!

Welp, the Pod HD was designed to work in tandem with the DT-25/50 amps via the L6-Link function. What they (yea, Line 6) forgot was that if I have this amp on stage too, then I have to pan and split amp signal paths and remove mic and speaker emulations in order to run BOTH the DT amp and into the board with the correct outputs from the HD. That is a hassle,  and poorly thought out and engineered to put it bluntly....



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by aeugle on 2012-02-20 01:37:05

Hi meambobbo,

understood, thanks.

I also tried your recommend setting (DEP) for the  Blackface Dbl (Master Volume down to 20% and Bias X to 80%)

May I ask you what are your recommended settings for the other amps (the ones you optimized).

what do you think of starting a list: "best DEP settings"?

Thanks a lot, you are great.

BR

Thomas



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by jimsreynolds on 2012-02-20 02:29:06

Nice idea.  There has been a thread around for a while that lists 'Tips and Tricks' but having one that focusses on 'alternative' DEP settings and how they may benefit some amp models would be good.  



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by dschaaf on 2012-02-20 04:14:17

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing as well....that would be awesome!! :)



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by stumpsout on 2012-02-20 10:07:17

spikey wrote:

jimsreynolds wrote:

Hookups supporting live seems to be the rub.

Yep... I do wish we had a way to have seperate multi outs without having to pan and split amps and remove mic and speaker emulations to get there....

jimsreynolds wrote:

Instead, it seems better to run the HD into either an FRFR setup or a good guitar power amp, ideally with a good EQ (hint hint !) and then hook that up to whatever PA is out there.   It means that you retain control over most of your tone and it is up to the local sound people to fit you into the room and mix ... old school!

Welp, the Pod HD was designed to work in tandem with the DT-25/50 amps via the L6-Link function. What they (yea, Line 6) forgot was that if I have this amp on stage too, then I have to pan and split amp signal paths and remove mic and speaker emulations in order to run BOTH the DT amp and into the board with the correct outputs from the HD. That is a hassle,  and poorly thought out and engineered to put it bluntly....

There are XLR outs on the DT amps. They slay



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by phil_m on 2012-02-20 10:18:57

As Stumpsout noted, there are XLR outs on the DT amps, so you don't need to go through all that hassle. Or you could simply mic the amp. I've always thought if you're going to have the volume source of a real amp on stage anyway, you might as well mic it. That way you know that what you're hearing coming out of the amp is what the sound guy is getting.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by jimsreynolds on 2012-02-20 10:34:16

phil_m wrote:

you could simply mic the amp. I've always thought if you're going to have the volume source of a real amp on stage anyway, you might as well mic it. That way you know that what you're hearing coming out of the amp is what the sound guy is getting.

Yup ... that is the winner for me.  You do your bit and you get to paste the sound guy if he doesn't do his .



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by spikey on 2012-02-20 12:09:46

jimsreynolds wrote:

phil_m wrote:

you could simply mic the amp. I've always thought if you're going to have the volume source of a real amp on stage anyway, you might as well mic it. That way you know that what you're hearing coming out of the amp is what the sound guy is getting.

Yup ... that is the winner for me.  You do your bit and you get to paste the sound guy if he doesn't do his .

Yep I guess so... Ive "always" used a real amp on stage for stage volume. Tried the other routes and they just didnt work for me. Simply mic the amp he says, while staring at all those multi preamp out ports just gathering dust as the idea floats into his head,  and the little voice says, its hard to beat perfection...... sigh... 



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by steveconrad on 2012-02-20 12:22:38

I am running the HD500 into a small volume control box, then into the "power amp in" on my Fender Deluxe and it sounds great on stage.

I also run XLR out of the POD direct to the PA. Then I mic the Deluxe with a 57 off axis, blend the two together and it sounds fantastic for some reason.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by MerlinFL on 2012-02-20 12:37:24

Does anyone who starts posts regarding the POD HD500 bother to search first for posts already written about the same or similar topics?  Based on what I've seen, the answer seems to be no.  I strongly suggest that anyone coming to any Line 6.com discussion or tech site do a good search using as many "keywords" as possible that relate to the problem or info you are wanting answers to or help with.  This site is like 1,000 jigsaw puzzles all with most of the same pieces yet none are complete.

Now onto what I've read here.  Lots of good suggestions and helpful info.  I've takenit a step further for all POD HD500 users who are pissed off, upset, confused, no happy, can't figure it out, understandably hating the factory pacthes and wondering why Line 6 chose to put such lame crap on the unit to start with, etc., etc.  I created my own Start-Up guide to help all of the above.  I too was pissed, frustrated, and confused with how this unit is designed.  It took me the better part of a year, but now I feel like I've gotten into it pretty well and can help those who felt as I did.

This link will bring anyone interested to my document.... http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-2638 

I hope this will help those who want to get the most from their POD HD500.

Take care,

Neal



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by meambobbo on 2012-02-20 14:43:34

This was partially why I wrote my guide.  I wanted to just directly link people to the answer, so we can get these threads closed and move on to posts that help us discover real bugs with the unit or not-so-obvious ways to improve it.  everyone tells me thanks for being selfless when I was actually being self-serving.  Mwahahah



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by aeugle on 2012-02-21 00:04:52

Dear experts, especially meambobo,

can you pleaase start a list with "optimized DEP settings" for the amp models.

thanks alot

Thomas



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by meambobbo on 2012-02-21 11:19:02

well, I touch upon how I commonly use the DEP's for each amp in the amps section of my guide: http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/amps.html">http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/amps.html">http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/amps.html.  But I don't give firm numbers - I just describe what I hear from my experiences. 

They make adjustments to the tone that are subjective.  What's optimal for a Periphery tone might not be optimal for some other artist.  For example, I have two Meshuggah patches, which are nearly identical.  However, the Chaosphere one uses Master Volume up to like 80%, and uses a bit less Drive, while the Obzen one uses Master Volume at like 45%, and I use more pre-amp Drive.  Which is optimal?  I guess that depends on which Meshuggah tone you prefer.

As far as cleaning up full amps, I've only dialed in the DEP's for the blackface double.  It's the only amp I use for "100% clean" tones.  I actually have patches that use no amp, just using compressor and EQ effects to simulate a "100% clean" amp.  In general, turning down Master Volume and turning up Bias and/or Bias X will clean up the power sections of amps.

Also, depending on settings, the DEP's may behave a little differently.  For instance with the Fireball, if you crank the Master Volume, Bias changes the character of the tone from kind of loose and dirty with low settings to tight and sharp with high settings.  With the Master Volume at like 30%, it has more of an effect on how much mids are in the tone than shaping the the distortion character.

Lately I've been mucking around more with Hum. Sometimes it has only a very, very subtle effect on the tone.  Sometimes it really changes the distortion character.  And where most of the controls are at least somewhat continuous in what you can expect (IE - you get more and more power amp distortion as you turn up Master Volume), Hum seems almost cyclical - the sound can go in a completely different direction from 60-70% than it did going from 50-60%.  You have to experiment a lot.



Re: Don't return your HD500! Try this...
by aeugle on 2012-02-23 00:06:56

Hi meambobbo,

thanks for your information. .

You make the HD500 much more valuable for me as "out of the box".

Great, great, great.

Best regards

Thomas




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