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Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by pir8matt on 2012-04-23 09:14:19

Hi there! I'm a new HD500 user and a n00b to modeling in general. Up until now I've been a real pedals-and-amp kind of player, but have been making a go of using the HD500 for my cover band duties.

I had started out using the HD500 in the ABCD mode, and assigned a different amp model (multi-amp, actually) to each stomp, and then replicating my most commonly used effects along the top row. This didn't really work for a variety of reasons, so I changed my thinking and switched to the FS mode, used a single amp model (Vox) and then added all the FX I would need in the course of a usual night in cover band land. This usually means a decent clean, light gain, high gain, delay, trem, chorus, wah, and a solo boost.

The patch in question is called "Cover Me" and is in this bundle (sorry I didn't separate it out, but there a couple of other custom tones in there, along with the patches I was using for the ABCD setup - feel free to check those out too if you like). I've used it a couple times now and it's worked reasonably well, but I'm sure the gurus here could find ways to improve it. So I submit it for your scrutiny and look forward to any constructive criticism that you might be able to offer.

style="text-align: -webkit-auto; background-color: #f5f5ff; font-family: verdana, geneva; color: #000000;">I can't figure out this iLok thing here so I just zipped up the file and posted it on my own server. Hopefully that's ok. Seems odd that you can't post the .H5s file here, but whatever.

I'm just basically looking for input on how these patches might be improved, or glaring issues with my methodology used in the way things are laid out, etc.


EDIT: I've attached the setlist here as a JPG so it would let me upload it. Just change the extension back to .s5e if you download it to make it work. Thanks. 


Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by pir8matt on 2012-04-24 10:20:14

Anyone? Anyone?

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by malnack on 2012-04-24 11:46:25

Sounds similar to the approach I'm taking now. When I originally got the HD500 I set a different patch for each song in our setlist. It was too much for me to think about on stage. I've since gone down to 3 patches, a clean, a crunchy and a distorted. I've mapped the chorus, flanger, and delay to the same footswitches so that I can quickly activate what I need. I added a DT25 Combo a few months back and this setup is pretty manageable during a show.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by litesnsirens on 2012-04-24 11:54:34

Hey Matt, it would be helpful if you can tell us what you are running your HD500 through, (guitar amp, FRFR system) and what guitar your playing, single coils or humbuckers etc.  And then finally how do you have your inputs and outputs setup on your HD500.  There are so many things outside of the actual model settings that can really affect the tone.  It's impossible to fairly assess your patch without all of this other information.  The output setting is global so if you have yours set up one way and I'm trying your patch another, it won't work.  The input setting can be global or set on a patch per patch basis but it also has a huge affect on the tone.  For instance try this, assuming you are using a regualr guitar and not a variax, pull up your patch and go to the input settings (hold down the view button for a few seconds to enter global settings) then scroll through the pages until you get to the input.  Make sure input 1 is on guitar, then listen to the change if you put input 2 on same or put it on mic.  This will be a good demonstration of how much of a difference other parameters make.

It will also be a good idea to just upload the single patch you are working on.  I mean you asking someone to load up your patch and work on it.  If you upload an entire set list then someone has to have a blank setlist available to overwrite on their HD500.  Or they have to go through the trouble of saving one of their setlists and then overwriting it with yours just to get to one patch and then load their own back in when they are done.  I think the easier you make it for people the better chance someone will take a stab at it. 

I would take a look at it if you are playing through a FRFR system but if your playing through a guitar amp there's really no point.  However if you do provide your settings I can probably tell you some things you may need to change.  The HD500 is really versatile and can fit into a lot of situations but you have to congigure it to your set up to get the most out of it.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by pir8matt on 2012-04-24 14:04:19

Hey there litesnsirens, thanks for the reply. Yeah, I'm doing the FRFR thing. I run direct to the board and then back out from the board to the PA and then to a Mackie SRM-450. I do it this way rather than daisy chain it so that the monitor volume can be changed independently of the level in the mains.

Inputs I have everything set to guitar only and 'same', based on some advice I read about here. I don't own or plan to use a Variax. Output is set to studio/direct.

Guitars are mostly LP style with humbuckers, though I have coil taps in a couple of them and occasionally use them tapped to get single coil tones.

I'll go back and grab the single patch I'm mainly looking for feedback on. I had saved the entire thing earlier and didn't have access to the unit because it was at our practice space, but I should have it later tonight so I can export just the one patch independently of the setlist.

Appreciate the response and I'll have the single patch up here later tonight.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by litesnsirens on 2012-04-24 14:57:44

OK I'll download it and change my unit to FS 1-8 as opposed to A,B,C,D mode and check it out.

Can I ask why you got away from the preset mode?

If you were running through an amp and primarily wanted to use this unit as an FX board I could see it.

But there are so many really good sounding amp models that you can coax great tones out of, it almost seems like a waste.

I do kind of what malnack is doing, I have my main bank with my bread and butter tones, then a few patches in another bank for specialty stuff.

I always try to keep a system in which any OD/Distortion is on FS1, any modulation effect is on FS2, Delay on FS3 and boost is on FS4. 

That way I never get confused. I run a short cable from the FX send to the FX return on the HD500 and then use the FX loop block as a clean boost.

I just adjust the FX return parameter for how much of a db of boost I need for the patch I'm on.

From the flavour of your post I'm getting that you are pretty happy with the sound you have, your just wondering if it could be tweaked a little better. 

It sounds like you've done some research so I can assume that you have the output mode to studio/direct and your rig sounds like it should work really well.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by pir8matt on 2012-04-24 16:18:42

Ok, the patch on its own is here:


Toanswer your question, I only even really considered using a modeler in the first place because my bandmates were getting on me about stage volume. I maintained that I really wasn't that loud (like most guitar players), until we finally got to the point where I tried putting my amp UNDER the stage at our regular gig and just mic'ing it. It worked well. So well, in fact, that I started to wonder why I was bringing an amp at all, really. If that was how things were going to work best, why not just leave the amp and pedals at home and bring out a single device?

That said, when I got the HD500, my original goal was to use different amp models for my basic tones, dual amp models even. That idea really appealed to me, but it didn't work that well in practice. Within the full setlist you downloaded, theres a 'clean' (which really isn't that clean), a 'light gain', 'heavy gain', and I think one other (can't remember). I tried assigning the same FX to the top row, like you outlined above, but in practice it just didn't work out that well. I used the 'looper trick' to try and get the patches balanced out volume-wise at practice (through an FRFR rig, but not the exact same one at the venue in this case), but I found that switching between them in a live setting would cause EQ variations that would either make me way too loud or way too quiet. It just didn't seem to work.

So I backed up a bit and just tried to treat the HD500 like a single amp + pedals. I chose the Vox because it sounded to me like one of the better basic 'clean' tones, and then added drives, delay, trem, chorus, and a comp for boost, and then set up the wah. This covers probably 90+% of what I need for a regular gig, and I just made a couple other song-specific patches for stuff that needs real high gain or specialized FX (pitch glide/auto wah). As long as I don't have to stray too far from my 'main' patch I don't find it too confusing.

But yeah, the tradeoff seems to be, at least from what I've found, the amp models sound way better than the drive stompbox pedal models. In 'real pedal' land, my go-to drive stack is a Fulldrive II into an OCD, and that's kind of what I tried to replicate here, but the two drives don't combine together very well. They work ok on their own, though. The gains I'm using in this patch aren't great. In fact, by themselves they don't really sound very good at all. But I trusted the EQ'ing tips I read here and tried to keep the mids very high, and this did seem to work reasonably well once I used them in a full mix. The stuff that doesn't sound that great just kind of disappears and what you're left with isn't too bad at all. I didn't get any compliments on my tone, though, so I'm betting they can be improved.

The one I really can't get sorted is the wah. I can't find one that works worth a crap for me at all. I've tried the throaty and the fasel and the vetta and none of them seem very pleasing to me. If there's a magic bullet wah setting out there, I'd love to know what it is.

Thanks again!

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by pir8matt on 2012-04-24 16:29:18

Ideally I'd like to use individual amp models, but I just wish there was a little more DSP overhead so I could try something someone told me about. They used two amps in the chain (like an AC-30 and the Park 75, for example) and assigned the FS to blend between the two, so if you wanted clean, you just back it up to the heel position, and if you want mid gain, go halfway, and full on high gain, move it to the toe position.

Of course you'd have to add another EXP pedal if you wanted a wah, but the unit has an additional output for it, so its not too big a deal.

But for the FX I'm running, I can't squeeze two amp models in there. Maybe if I pulled out my comp boost and used the FX loop like litensirens suggested, though I was actually hoping to eventually use the loop for an acoustic emulator pedal. I guess if I did that I could also add a boost, but then I'm just going down the rabbit hole of having a huge pedalboard again...

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by samuelito2011 on 2012-04-24 17:51:36

i want to share something

Im been doing patches since 5pm and now is almost 9pm anyway, i discover something since now i got my roland kc300 and im been ordering and fixing my patches.

one thing i notice was all of most of my patches sound too treble like too way bright... so I Add a mid EQ after the amp.. and MAN!!! the sound comes more real to me like more like a real amp...

let me try to explain. Line6 simulate Amps right but most of them sound bright and even we the cab parameter still sound bright mut when you add that EQ the sound come warmer and more crunchy.... one thing i was dealing today is that you must match the same amount of output if you want to add some distortion/OD... I did it and my sound did really improve...

In another Words.... YOU MUST TRY THE EQs they might help you out a lot....

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by litesnsirens on 2012-04-24 18:10:15

I'm at work right now but when I got home I'll download it and try it out.  I know it can be a bit of a pain to try to get the levels of different patches matched up.  In fact it kind of makes me scared to try introducing a new patch into the line up.  But I am getting pretty decent at being able to level at home and have it work live.  I tend to tweak to kind of what I like at home and then crank it for a few mintues to see what Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Munson are going to do to the tone.  Then I make the necessary adjustments to the EQ etc so that it will work live.  I've also gotten pretty good at quickly bending down adjusting the amp volume knob and then hitting the save button twice while playing live (if I'm not going to change patches during the song I just save at the end of the song).  I know that's a really awkward way to do it, but it's effective.

Of course I want to get it perfect but if it's gonna tip the scales I'll shoot for it to lean a little towards the louder side.  Then I assign the exp pedal to the amp volume and set my new value as the highest value and set the lower value at about 10 - 15 less than what the max is.  This is just because I prefer to have my pedal resting in the toe position.  If I find that it's a little too loud in a certain song or situation I can roll back a bit using the exp pedal.  The sweep is really subtle but it's a lot easier to control when you have a long sweep on that small parameter differential.  And the tone stays the same which is better than using your guitar volume.

The fact is, there are lots and lots of guys on here using this thing live and managing to get matched levels, so it can be done but I think it really comes down to getting familiar with the gear.  It certainly wasn't an overnight process for me, and I'm still working at it.  It just seems that now I'm able to get sounds I like a lot faster.  Truth be told when I first brought this unit home I thought I'd made a huge mistake, now I think it's the ultimate tone machine.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by litesnsirens on 2012-04-24 18:23:29

Good point samuelito2011, I kind of go through phases with the EQ.  In the end I just try to think of it the way I would in the real world.  When I had my Mark V there were a lot of amp voicings in which you would have the treble up to 2:00 to 2:30 and the bass at like 9:00.  Seems wrong to have such a disperity but that's just how it worked with the Boogie amps.  With the HD500 depending on the model I'm using sometimes drastic settings with the bass, middle and treble are required.  I tend not to worry about what the settings look like and try to use those controls to dial in the sound and avoid putting an EQ in the chain unless I have to.  Of course the presence also plays a huge part in this especially if you are getting harsh sounds.  If you have just moved from a guitar amp to the KC300, that is exactly the experience I would expect you to have. I have gone to the mid focus EQ, don't get me wrong it can be just what you need.  I'm just saying don't be afraid to bend the tone controls on the amp before you pop an EQ in the mix.  That said, It also could come down to the type of music you are playing, for some tones there may be no other way but to use the EQs.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by samuelito2011 on 2012-04-24 18:49:49

i mean litesnsirens, we play a lot of different styles of music in my church, from rock to Merengues and cumbias... its a lot of variety and thats why i bought the pod hd500 for the amp modeling... The other thing i want to share i have been using a marshall mg100dfx as power amp only and the sound come out really nasty, nothing expecting from my headphones but now im not quite sure if i made a mistake buying the roland kc300 cause i did never use Eqs like now with the marshall but yeah the sound come out like the headphone when im editing patches... you might be right, we might now always need EQs but for me there is huge diference and this method might be my favorite now, putting the Mid EQ after amp... honestly im not finish experimenting, tomorrow i will see the results playing loud at church and hopefully everything will come out as i expect it...

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by litesnsirens on 2012-04-24 19:38:33

In the end my friend you do what you gotta do to reach your goal.  I was only suggesting to trying to get there using the tone controls on the amp first.  In my opinion it's not a mistake with this device to go to a FRFR like the KC300 but it is a whole new method of crafting tones that you have to get used to. 

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by samuelito2011 on 2012-04-24 20:09:32

yeah thats true and yes is definely a totally new setup man... im scare and im exciting about tomorrow man....

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by malnack on 2012-04-25 06:36:25

Prior to getting a DT-25, I tried using the FR setup and I kept a monitor on stage for reference. The problem I had is that a lot of the places we play, they provide a house soundman and most of the time they aren't real attentive. So if my patches had significant level changes I couldn't trust them to level them out. It was hard for me to notice the level difference on stage.

When I added the DT25, I was able to take the time to get my levels pretty even between my 3 main patches. I've mapped the volume to the expression pedal just in case I need a slight adjustment (down). We record every weekly rehearsal and I use the game tapes to further evaluate my tone and levels.

I agree with litesnsirens, I initially thought I may have made a mistake because of the learning curve and the differences between using the HD for recording versus a live setting. I was sold on it for recording immediately but it took a while to come around as part of my live rig.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by litesnsirens on 2012-04-25 11:16:17

Hey Matt, I downloaded the file.  I spent the morning tweaking but there is more to do and I had to go to work.  I have been using my Variax initially on the Les Paul model (just because it was already plugged in) but I want to finish tweaking using my Paul Reed Smith which has humbuckers (with coil taps) so that I can make sure it's something that will translate to what you are acutally using.  I want to create a balanced tone that will give you options in all pickup positions.  Hopefully I can finish it tonight or tomorrow morning and post it up for you to try out.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by samuelito2011 on 2012-04-25 20:29:18

i just came from church and im was thinking to post the results with my new keyboard amp

Most of my patches sound much better some of them are really bright while other are warm... i might need to tweak it more but Man eveyone at church was in love with this amp (even my girlfriend LOL) honestly i think is was worth it to buy it... everyone notice the clarity and much better sound of my guitar...

Tomorrow im playing live so i dont know if this is going to change over but i dont think it will

I Love my amp FOR NOW!!! lol

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by litesnsirens on 2012-04-25 21:58:22

Great to hear my friend, and just think this just working with it for a short time.  Wait til you really get used to it.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by samuelito2011 on 2012-04-26 04:39:01

thanks bro! I will i know I will

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by pir8matt on 2012-04-26 06:54:17

Hey there, did you ever get a chance to evaluate this patch? Thanks!

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by meambobbo on 2012-04-26 07:59:53

I've been using a lot more Mid-Focus EQ lately, and it is really necessary to get a real-sounding amp tone.  I like to keep the Q values fairly low (0-25%) and set the hp frequency anywhere from 0-15% and the lp frequency around 60-75%.  Keep in mind I typically use the SM57 on axis mic, which needs the most high end roll-off of all the mics.  For the 57 off axis or others, you don't need to trim the highs as hard.  I also like to start with it's gain at 0%, which is near unity, then start turning it up.  I usually use it as the last piece of my patch, so it serves as a patch final volume control.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by litesnsirens on 2012-04-26 08:30:00

Hi Matt, I tweaked your patch.  There's some significant changes I made but I left the basics the way you had them set up on as far as what footswitches do what. The reason for the changes is just basically because I have an idea of what works together for me when I'm trying to get a particular sound.  So I switched to the Divide By 13 amp as the base and changed the ODs to the screamer and the classic distortion.  You had the effects set up with pretty dramatic settings (at least how it sounded on my system) so I went for a little more subtle approach and I made a few changes there as well because I was going for certain sounds.  You didn't have any reverb on your patch so I assumed you didn't need it and I swapped out the EQ you had at the end for a noise gate at the beginning. I have the Divide By 13 set for the clean but there is just an ever so tiny bit of hair on it.

FS1     =     Digital Delay (formerly analog delay with mod - I just couldn't get it to sound sweet enough)

FS2     =     Optical Tremolo (a lot like you had it some real minor tweaks)

FS3     =     Analog Flange (formerly chorus, this was really dramatic I made the flange subtle but it really adds something whether you are clean or overdrive)

FS4     =     blank

FS5     =     Screamer (formerly Line 6 drive?  The screamer works nice with this amp to give you a nice crunch kind of a Marshall sound)

FS6     =     Classic Distortion (fornerly Line drive? This will give you kind of a dual rectifier tone for a heavier sound)

FS7     =     Tube Comp (formerly Boost Comp, the tube comp actually works better as an over all boost you can use this to solo clean or either or both of the distortions)

FS8     =     blank

EXP     =    Throaty Wah this just sounded the best to me with the rest of the settings

So as far as the boost goes I wasn't sure how much you need.  You can dial it in on the tube comp "Level" parameter.  There's a fair bit there, you may have to dial back but there's lots of room to go the other way.

There's great sounds to be had on all pick up positions even the coil tapped single coils.  The delay is set for a nice solo sound but also works nice clean with or without the flange on either the middle postion humbucker or neck pickup coil tapped.  The two distortions compliment each other and can be used together for even more gain.  Anyway I'll let you experiment with it and see what you think.  I'm just saying try every combination you can think of I was kind of going for lots of options from clean to blues to high gain.

Just change the extension back to .h5e

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by samuelito2011 on 2012-04-26 12:29:53

hey Bro! your guide had help me to understand most of the things in the Pod but honestly i love the way it sound with the mid eq at the end... to me sound like more full and just use the amp without any EQ!

what others Eq do you use personally? how do you combine them?

a good tip will not be bad for me!

Specially from someone like you with a lot of knowledge!

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by pir8matt on 2012-04-27 10:06:23

Very cool, thanks. I'll load it up and give it a spin this weekend!

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by meambobbo on 2012-04-27 13:42:44

I agree about the mid focus at the end.  that's a must-have.

For most of my tones, rather than try to EQ them where they need to be, i use a dual amp/cab setup.  I use the same amp on both, but different cabs/mics.  This helps get a great response across all frequencies with high signal-to-noise ratio.  Then you don't need as many EQ effects - you can get by with just the amp EQ controls.

For single amp/cab patches, I tend to use a lot of Parametric EQ's.  I may use one with a narrow (high) Q to suck out a nasty spot, or I may want a wide boost or cut, typically to accent or de-emphasize some part of the mids.

I also like to use EQ's in front the amp to fine-tune the distortion tone.  I use the mid-focus EQ to trim mud and grit from the low and high-end respectively, and sometimes i boost with a Parametric EQ to make the distortion a little thicker, or fuzzier, or bitier.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by samuelito2011 on 2012-04-27 13:51:40

thats a nice tip bro!!!

i think you are right the mid EQ is a must have!

I havent try the dual amp yet but i will try it... The only thing, that way use all DSP and you are not going to be able to add FX you know

Im also wonder when are you going to do another PDF update it... I have the old one you did but i checked your website and has more new and plenty staff... I think most of the people like me will you like to have it so can ready offline and like i said before it will be a good help from you...

if you can also give us new tips for the new update 2.0 on the same PDF that will be fantastic!


Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by meambobbo on 2012-04-27 14:48:18

hey the pdf and doc versions are fully updated as of yesterday.

as far as dual cab/amps, yeah it uses up most of your DSP.  I mainly go for distorted rhythm tones, which usually don't use lots of effects.  If I want a patch that's going to use more than 1 or 2 effects other than EQ, I use a single amp patch.  i definitely don't do the whole pedalboard type thing, where i can toggle effects on or off.  my patches might have one effect per patch designed to be toggled, but most of the time they dont' have any.

Re: Help me improve my HD500 patch(es)!
by samuelito2011 on 2012-04-27 14:55:35

could you post me the link please? i cant find it


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