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FX Send Level Problem in FW 2.02
by HarryN on 2012-04-22 16:15:01

I was wondering if any of you have had any problems with the FX send level on the POD HD500.

I'm trying to get a good four cable methed (4CM) set up but the issue I'm running into is the huge volume drop between the POD HD guitar input and the POD's FX send. I've spent a lot of time today trying to match the volume on my amp of the guitar going straight into it, and the same volume going into the POD HD and then out of the FX send into the front of the amp. The default result is that running through the pod results in a big volume drop.

One can tackle this. I placed a Studio EQ effect before the FX loop block on the POD and raised the overral gain. My fatigued ears struggled to correctly match volume levels so I've just been trying the same setup running into the front of my Presonus USB audio interface, then monitoring the incoming signal with one of the analyser effects in my DAW - Reaper. This more scientific method paid off - especially as I used an external loop pedal to ensure the same volume was used for each test.

The result of this was that to get the same volume level out of the POD FX send as going straight into the amp, I had to boost the POD level using the Studio EQ before the FX loop by 14db (or at least 14.0 on the POD HD screen - assuming it's db). That's a heck of a lot isn't it?

What is the purpose or reason for this massive volume drop from the POD's FX send? Is this a bug, or is this by design? Is this something to do with using a mono cable in the FX send (which I know is stereo)?

It's annoying enough to have to use an effects block for the loop without the extra annoyance of having to put a boosting EQ block in from of it.

Re: FX Send Level Problem in FW 2.02
by HarryN on 2012-04-23 06:06:40

Going to reply to my own thread here, to help anyone else struggling with this issue.

Having spent more time tinkering with the POD and my amp (Laney Ironheart IRT60H) I've finally solved the problem and in a much more simple and elegant way than messing around with EQ blocks and FX block levels.

I assume you know the accepted wisdom is to turn off one input when using the amp modelling? That stops you clipping the input of the modelled amps. And when just plugging a single instrument into the POD HD500 that's what I've done.

However -

I believe this has been the root of my problem when trying to use the POD for effects only, whether wholly within an amplifier's FX loop, or in the more complicated four cable method (4CM).

This morning I tried the setup with both inputs enabled - Guitar/Same. And this is what solved the problem. So both inputs on. And with the mixer block at the end of the signal chain, both channels on and both panned to the centre (I'm using a mono signal chain/amp here BTW).

With these settings I got a very transparent tone with no effects enabled. I alternated with the my amplifier's FX loop on and off and made small changes to the POD mixer to get the bypassed and loop tone at the same volume. On my amp that meant a 1.5db cut to both A and B channels on the POD via the mixer.

Not only did this result in better volumes through the whole signal chain - especially the real physical pre-amp, the effects actually worked better. They seem to really work better with both inputs running into them. It's especially easy to hear the difference when using reverbs.

Having got this setup sorted I moved over to the four cable method. This was just as easy. Kept all the settings the same from above and just added an FX block on the POD and changed the cables around. Again a slight adjustment was needed on the POD mixer to get the levels right. The stereo output of the POD HD FX loop wasn't a problem either, with both inputs armed the FX send summed these two to mono, I checked by running a stereo delay before the loop. So the whole signal - retaining the higher volume compared to my struggles in the previous post - ran all the way through the POD HD.

And there we go, problem solved. Hope that helps other struggling with the POD as an effects-only unit.

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