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Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by boerdi on 2012-03-20 02:41:21


I am a vocalist in a Death Metal band and I am thinking about going wireless.

Is the XD-V75 able to handle growls and screams without distorting the voice?

(I do NOT cup the mic!)

My current mic is a wired Shure Beta 58A (perfect allrounder for my voice). Some time ago I was able to directly compare my mic to the analog wireless PGX version of the Beta 58. Let's say that the results were very disappointing. Even after playing around with different EQ and gain settings on our mixing board, the sound was very muffled and even distorted.

Now I am looking for "field reports" of vocalists who dwell in the realm of extreme music and who have experience with the V75.


Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by RonMarton on 2012-03-20 04:37:00

Oh yeah !

My comments arise from using four of the Line 6 THH-12 modeling hand-helds in question, "on the road", since the beginning of the year. (Click on the pink pic at left for details of my rig.)

I followed the link in your profile which allowed me have a look (and a listen) to your performance  in the "Kraton" clip.

Even though it was the bulletproof cabled Beta 58, you sure look after it, taking it further away for the big "ballsy" bellowing and bringing it close to enable the proximity effect to give "punchy" bass in the growls.

If only all vocalists did this !

All this expertise notwithstanding, it's my firm opinion that there's NO way you'd be happy with ANY analog wireless handheld, regardless of price. The reason is the ever-changing eq (pre-emphasis/de-emphasis), compression and expansion (companding) that they're forced to use in an effort to "squeeze" the sound through the limited analog system. It's pretty much "fighting" you all the way.

Not so with the digital data stream from the THH-12.

NO pre-mixer processing of your sound.

Nil, zero, zilch, none.

Just the sound of whatever mic model you've dialled in.

Unplug the output of the XDV receiver, replace it with a cabled version of the model you're using and you'll hardly need to change a thing at the mixing desk. An almost identical sound. The main change is that the "one size fits all" Line 6 capsule (head) can't exactly mimic the pick-up patterns of all the models.

In practice, vocalists who regularly use the 58's and Beta 58's seem happy to "work" the THH-12 version exactly as they're used to doing. In my experience so far, regular users of other models may need a short period familiarisation and adjustment. A really pleasant surprise was how happy my only condenser user (usually a Neumann KMS 105) eventually became with Line 6's "own" model.

As for distortion or overload, none at the output of the receiver. Never.

Nonetheless, a word of warning. As there's no "gain-riding" in the signal path, the XD-V's will faithfully pass whatever sudden sharp peak level (transient) that "hits" the mic's diaphragm.

Analog wireless will "round it off" in a manner that's more friendly to mixer inputs. This means that the XD-V's may reveal headroom limitations in gear "downstream", ...limitations previously masked by the "upstream" limitations of analog gear.

Yep, in the weird world of audio, two "wrongs" can occasionally seem to make a "right".

Rest assured, that sort of "right" would never be right for you and me!

Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by boerdi on 2012-03-20 07:06:14

Thank you so very much for this avalanche of information!

The info about the proper/clean digital transmission is what I wanted to hear

The best thing about the Beta 58 is that I don't need to EQ anything! I just plug it into the mixing board, switch on the Low Cut, dial back the bass to 9 o'clock and I'm done. Mids and Highs remain neutral. That's why I'm thinking about maybe getting a real Beta 58 capsule later on. (If the L6 capsule doesn't satisfy me on the long run)

I heard and read about some sort of environmental filters that can be switched on and off. Would it be the best course of action for this kind of music/vocals to completely run the mic/receiver with neutral settings?

Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by dboomer on 2012-03-20 07:48:13

Generally the only time you can "hear" the filter working is with very quiet passages.  You always have the option to switch it to "off".  It is there to handle stage rumbling and other unwanted sounds.

Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by RonMarton on 2012-03-20 13:02:42

While a "real" Beta 58 screw-on replacement head is the only way to get the exact pick-up pattern and characterstics of its cabled counterpart, I'd strongly recommend some listening tests in rehearsals before parting with the extra cash.

In typical Line 6 fashion, Don B and his team are being very modest in calling their "Environment" system a "filter", but I'll be blowed if I can think of a better term for this bit-mapped magic.

To my ears, its "Music" mode behaves a bit like the combination of a noise gate (expander) with an intelligent, superhumanly fast operator who's winding-in an amazingly steep low cut filter whenever there's no musical contribution coming from the mic.

Result: ...cleaner, transparent "isolation" of individual mics.

The harsher "Speech" mode allows a typical "MC's" or "Announcer's" THH12 to be left open and unattended in a high-powered PA, with the effect of unseen hands both "opening the fader" and removing a huge bass cut whenever a voice is at the microphone.

I have found, however, that the "Speech" filter setting doesn't "like" the fast top-end transients passed by condenser mics (such as my AKG C747 lectern goosenecks) via battery phantom supplies into Line 6 TBP12 belt-pack transmitters. It seems that it's "trying" to individually "switch" every transient, which gives an uncomfortable, almost clipping-like "edginess" to sibilant "esses".

No such problems with either THH12 hand-helds or the "Music" setting for my lectern condensers via their TBP12 belt-packs.

Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by boerdi on 2012-03-20 13:37:43

Listening tests and A/B comparison (with the wired Beta) under rehearsal conditions would be the first things on the "to do" list. And I think that I would simply switch off the the environmental filters. Never had any problems with handling/surround noise and no feedback issues either.

I am happy as long as the V75 comes as close as possible to the audio characteristics of the Beta 58 and transmits the signal in a clean and unprocessed fashion like a cable. And maybe even switch off any modelling if the L6 capsule sounds good by itself. (A separate capsule from Shure would be a luxurious addition in the far future. When the bank account allows that investion.)

I guess my question has been answered and I want to thank you all for the tips and informations that you provided!


Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by RonMarton on 2012-03-20 15:27:02

I'd suggest starting with a direct comparison of your wired Beta 58 to the "b58" model in the THH12 handheld.

After that, I reckon you'll have lots of fun experimenting with the other mic models and the "environment" settings at the receiver.

Enjoy !

Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by boerdi on 2012-04-01 13:01:20

Alright, now I am able to give an answer to my own question: Yes, it can!

I got the system yesterday and it had to pass its baptism of fire (live Metal concert) on the same day! Luckily I was able to compare my wired Beta 58 directly with the V75 in our rehearsal room before the gig. I set the modelling of the V75 to Beta 58 and what can I say? The sound of the V75 was 98% identical with my wired Beta! (If I can trust my ears! )

I got what I wanted: A clear and clean signal just like my wired microphone. No artifacts, no distortion. The EQ and gain settings on the mixing board were also absolutely identical. No problems during the gig. I could not test the maximum range since the venue was just a small bar

At the moment, I am very very satisfied and I hope that the system's performance will stay stable and reliable in the future! (I will definitely keep good care of the unit)

Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by RonMarton on 2012-04-01 17:19:06

Woo-hoo !

...As you mentioned taking care, you might find one of these handy:

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Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by boerdi on 2012-05-22 06:13:21

Well, here is my humble self in action with the XD-V75.

Capsule is a Shure Beta 58A. All filters off. No problems at all.

Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by RonMarton on 2012-05-22 10:42:39

It's a shame that it's so hard to get a mixed feed to hand-held cameras at gigs, Boerdi...

Nevertheless, you taking the time and trouble to post this proof will be really helpful to anyone who's considering the XD-75, especially anyone with doubts about using original Shure radio mic capsules as a direct screw-on replacement for the Line 6 original.

A further benefit of buying the Beta 58 capsule is that, in the (unlikely) event of it failing, for example by being wet, the "b58" model of the Line 6 original is a viable back-up that'll have you up and running in minutes.

By the way, some time ago, I took delivery of a V75 (with its own THH12 handheld) to use as an update path for my V70 gear as well as being a handy stand-alone kit.

I'm really delighted with all aspects of its performance and especially the way it travels in its $60 (30 Euro) padded Gator GM-1WEVA carry bag. (My previous post.)

What's not evident in any of Gator's sales material is the ease of deployment.

Not only does it accomodate the easy folding up of XD-V antennae from behind the bag's full length, (unlike the shorter Audio-Technica, Sennheiser and Shure, for which the bag has additional packing and individually zippered access for their whip antennae) ...but also the bag's end-caps fold right under it to form a stable, elevating stand.

Really handy. 

Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by boerdi on 2012-05-22 15:58:25

I tried the Gator bag, but I needed more storage space for batteries, backup wired mic, flashlight and an extension cord for the power supply.

My current setup is this:

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When the V75 should fail, I simply pull the XLR cord from the back and connect my wired Beta 58. No further adjustment is needed, since the wired Beta and the Beta capsule on the L6 handheld deliver exactly the same signal to the mixing board.

Re: Is the XD-V75 able to handle guttural vocals? (Growls and screams)
by RonMarton on 2012-05-22 17:49:59

Once again, Boerdi...

Heartfelt congratulations and thanks for posting detailed info that I'm certain will be much appreciated by those who may be unsure about implementing this type of equipment.

Your mention of a flashlight prompted this thought...

I regularly employ a headworn "miner-style" LED flashlight. It allows full freedom of movement, it's amazingly bright (they're becoming brighter and cheaper every time I look) and many also feature flashing and colour-change modes.

Aside from lighting the "bump-in and bump-out", several of them could could complement your music by providing a really cheap way to obtain original, "in your face", "strobing beam" visuals that'll "punch out" over the crowd.

They'd be easy to mount anywhere, or be mobile, (worn by performers and/or "planted" in the crowd?) or both.

Keep up the great work.

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