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Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by maxrichard on 2012-10-20 21:48:56

So I'm a big Line 6 fan, have many of their products, but must admit that I've never used my L6 stuff Live. For practice I'm using a POD 2.0 with the latest firmware and it sounds fantastic run straight to the board with 1/4 cables (stereo). For live work I use my "big rig" which consists of a Tube amp and a ton of rackmount units. For control I'm using a GCX.

I REALLY want to upgrade (like tomorrow) to the HD500, BUT, I keep thinking of all the cable runs back and forth??? Let's do a cable count and you guys tell me where I'm wrong or how you get around these things. I'm gonna do a simple version (not the 4 cable method because I'm going to use a 2 channel power amp to power 2 2 x 12 cabs for left and right. I DO however, intend to utilize at the least, my TC Electronics GMajor 2 FX processor, for it's great intelligent harmonizer, rich tri-chorus, and it's OUT OF THIS WORLD Univibe - you can control every parameter down to the speed of each fan with an expression pedals (I use two, the other is to set my delay length (feedback) which I jack up for solos or in some patches pan my sound left and right to freak people out lol). Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_njX52NyaA">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_njX52NyaA">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_njX52NyaAFrankly, it does some effects a lot better than Line 6, so I guess I would be using the HD500 primarily for it's awesome preamp models.

This would be for a medium size stage (15' max between me and my rig) - I dunno what I'd do on a bigger stage?

Cable runs back and forth:

- The HD500 needs power                                                                                                                                                           Power Cable =1

- Wireless unit in my rack               Only thing I can think  of is run a 20' cable from the out of the wireless to the IN on the HD500.     20' Cable #1

- HD500 Send to Return of my rack                                                                                                                                             20' Cable #2

- Send from my rack to Return of HD500                                                                                                                                      20' Cable #3

- 1/4" HD500 Right out to power amp Right                                                                                                                                  20' Cable #4

- 1/4" HD500 Left out to power amp Left                                                                                                                                       20' Cable #5

Then there's the control cable...     7 cables total!!     I can image quite a bit of signal loss over those length runs.

I'd run the XLR outs (L and R) straight to the board, but I'm not worried about those cause they'll go to the snake

Have I got it all wrong? What do you guys with racks and a wireless unit do? I considered getting HD500 PRO, but I love the layout of the HD500 board, especially the looper controls.

Considering the looper, I'd have to have a million buttons to acheive all this with another foot controller, Plus, I'd have to set all of that up manually and I don't even need to tell y'all how crazy that would get.

Also, I dunno too much about cables, but wouldn't I have to use instrument level cables, like a guitar cable for all these runs or can other kinds of cables (that have less signal loss for longer runs) be used?

Please advise - any and all comments are appreciated

Thanks!

Max



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by davidb7170 on 2012-10-21 20:54:29

Don't have a rack anymore, all my stuff is in the HD500. I use my JTV via VDI cable to the HD500, then run a line level out to my stage amp (Crown XLS 1000), XLR to the FOH sound man via the snake. The HD500's XLR's are at mic level signal (not line), the 1/4" to the Crown is running at line level. If you're running long lines like you described, definately run your HD500 1/4" outs at line level as long as your power amp accepts it, will reduce loss and cut low level hums. I use a heavy duty guitar cable that is a 20 footer from HD500 to Crown power amp, as placement of the Crown depends on the setup at each gig. Consider moving your wireless receiver next to your HD500 on the stage to avoid that long run completely.

My 2 cents...

Dave



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by jimsreynolds on 2012-10-22 00:37:45

A few stray thoughts,

  • Most people would create a snake when working with that many cables.  The cables would all be bundled together and taped/secured.  This doesn't cut down on the number of cables in the hookup but makes them easier to manage (with proper labelling).
  • The expression pedals should not be counted as part of the signal chain as the signal does not pass to them ... just control voltages back to the POD.
  • If you were to go with an HD Pro and Midi Controller then you would have just the Midi controller at front of stage ( 1 x Midi + 1 x Power).   Everything else would be back of stage and could be connected to your amps using short cables. Yeah, it means you have to go through a learning curve with the foot controller but it is the only practical way to cut down the cables to front of stage.
  • You could consider going with an HD500 and a Midi controller.  Then only use the MIDI controller when you are on larger stages. 

Cheers



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by Rewolf48 on 2012-10-22 05:05:15

+1 especiall for the last two options

If you use the HD500 as a controller it is a bit more expensive, but it does give you a backup of using the HD500 should the PRO have a problem, or should the whole rack go down it can probably do a reasonable job by itself.

The "FBV Shortboard Mk II is the best controller to use for the POD HD Pro" according to Line6 Hugo http://line6.com/support/message/343223

Anotheroption (No. 5!) is to link a HD500 to and HDPRO via an optical link and get double the processing power, with the PRO and TC linked together.



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by maxrichard on 2012-10-22 17:57:43

Yeah, not a bad idea. I mean, the whole goal of me getting the HD500 is so that I don't have to break my back for $800 split 4 ways. It's worth it to me to run a stereo system, so there's extra "bulk" there. but I think to start out I'm going to find presets I like, tweak them, and forget about "the Rack" For now at least. I dunno what I'm doing with the HD500 yet anyway, so these first few months are "experiementation" 

Couple of things: Certainly I will run XLR L & R to the board, but for my stage sound I could:

a) use my Peavey 50/50 to drive 2 --- 2x12 cabs (One a Mesa Boogie slant (Oooold school, gotta love it) and a custom oversized 2x12 called "Fred Sez". I bought it from fellow musician Eric Essex because he got a full Boogie Ride, but it is honestly the best sounding cabinet evah!!! Prolly cause it's oversized. More abt that later.

b) purchase two powered speakers or monitors - sure would make it a lot easier, but I've been out of that game for awhile. Somebody give me their thoughts/experiences regarding brands, sizes (10" vs 12" vs 15") and how that's worked out for you.

The last thing is the good suggestion about moving the wireless receiver next to the hd500. I mean, I did think of that, but thought it would look incredibly stoopid. I'm now thinking that if I take off the rack ear things (it's an Audio Technical) and can find a hard case that will house the HD500, wireless receiver, small power strip for power to POD & wireless, and an extra expression pedal, that might just git it.

Thanks guys - Very helpful already! I know me, and I will do all the other stuff at some point, but for now, just start with the HD500, see what is lacking (or not), and go from there..

Max



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by maxrichard on 2012-10-22 18:04:05

See my reply to jimsreynolds, I'm gonna start with just the 500, but yes, while at the store (I did get it yesterday btw), the $100 savings (for purchases of $599 and over) was basically "get $100 worth of whatever you want for free!" went toward a 13' 8 way snake, and a couple of "phrase by phrase" DVD's (VH and Metallica). I'm gonna get comfortable with the 500 and go from there...

Thanks again guys!



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by maxrichard on 2012-10-22 18:10:29

Yep, that would be the ideal way to do it (and I may some day), or hell, I've got a Bradshaw RSB18 that does more than any of those footswitches! This would get very costly in a hurry though, and I need to be saving up for a more reliable car or truck.  BTW, I didn't see a "mark as helpful" button on yours Redwolf (maybe bc yours was a reply to a reply), but you have been helpful!!

I'll post in a few days, and at that time I'm sure I'll have more questions for you guys. Thanks a TON!



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by jimsreynolds on 2012-10-23 05:53:12

Don't forget:  the HD500 responds to Midi in the same way that that HD Pro does so there is little to stop you using it as a 'Brain' at back of stage managed by a generic Midi controller up front (e.g. Behringer FCB1010). This is what I was suggesting

I hadn't actually considered using an HD500 to control a Pro but yeah, that is a tasty idea too and has some great perks.



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by lukegeis on 2012-10-25 19:27:00

Things to consider. If your using a power amp and speaker cab as you monitor you can run up to 300' of xlr cable before you even begin to notice signal degradation. If you are plugging into a guitar amp via 1/4", then you may want to keep the runs below 20' or so. After that you can start to notice signal degradation. This is because the send is meant to go into a high impedance device like the front end of a guitar amp. There is an option to send the signal out of the 1/4" out at line level, but it doesn't work the same I believe. Line level and amp level are just a reference level. Amp level is probably referenced at -10 db and line level is probably referenced at +4 dbu? But I don't believe the POD actually goes through a buffered line level stage when you switch it to line level?  I feel you must run a TRS  ( Tip , Ring, Sleeve ) connection in order to actually have line level benefits, otherwise there is no noise cancelation and the signal will not be balanced. The only way to see is to test with a long guitar cable or couple several together. If you start to loose high end after 30' of guitar cable it is not a buffered line level send. It is simply just a hotter signal going out of the 1/4" jack. The XLR outputs will be a mic level send, but will be low impedance for sure. Which means it can run hundreds of feet before signal is comprimised.

After that I would consider finding a cable that suites most of the connection needs in one run. You may find that a network cable can do several runs and work well. In the sound industry we use network cable to make snakes that carry up to four connections down the line. It is a passive system, is cheap to do and works well. It won't work for your high impedance guitar signal, but everything else it will. If you really want length you can convert your guitar signal to low impedance by using a D.I box. You plug into the in on one box side and use an XLR cable with two female plugs on it. You plug the other female end into another D.I and then use another short length of guitar cable to reach the desired input. This can allow you to run several hundred feet without issues.

Your big dillema is that you want to run XLR and 1/4" to the different scources. I would run 1/4" to the sound guy via a D.I. and use XLR for my personal rig. As for wireless and control I would look into using midi control over the POD and simply run one midi cable back to the amp and POD rack.



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by davidb7170 on 2012-10-25 22:32:02

Should mention that the HD500 XLR outputs are not switchable between mic level & line level like the 1/4" outputs. The XLR outs are only mic level which is great for mixers via a snake, but is not what most power amps need, they usually need line level on either the XLR or 1/4" TRS inputs. I tried it both ways with my HD500 & my Crown rack mounted amp. I could not provide enough signal level via the HD500 XLR's, and found I needed to run 1/4" set to line level. Although the amp 1/4" input is TRS, the 20' TS guitar cable I use gains no noise or degredation of signal. I do wish the 1/4" outputs of the HD500 were TRS balanced, but have found no mention of it in any documentation. I understand the HD bean 1/4" outs are TRS balanced, but also work withTS unbalanced, which I would gather that unit is most commonly used.

Dave



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by lukegeis on 2012-10-26 14:27:50

maxrichard wrote:

So I'm a big Line 6 fan, have many of their products, but must admit that I've never used my L6 stuff Live. For practice I'm using a POD 2.0 with the latest firmware and it sounds fantastic run straight to the board with 1/4 cables (stereo). For live work I use my "big rig" which consists of a Tube amp and a ton of rackmount units. For control I'm using a GCX.

I REALLY want to upgrade (like tomorrow) to the HD500, BUT, I keep thinking of all the cable runs back and forth??? Let's do a cable count and you guys tell me where I'm wrong or how you get around these things. I'm gonna do a simple version (not the 4 cable method because I'm going to use a 2 channel power amp to power 2 2 x 12 cabs for left and right. I DO however, intend to utilize at the least, my TC Electronics GMajor 2 FX processor, for it's great intelligent harmonizer, rich tri-chorus, and it's OUT OF THIS WORLD Univibe - you can control every parameter down to the speed of each fan with an expression pedals (I use two, the other is to set my delay length (feedback) which I jack up for solos or in some patches pan my sound left and right to freak people out lol). Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_njX52NyaAFrankly, it does some effects a lot better than Line 6, so I guess I would be using the HD500 primarily for it's awesome preamp models.

This would be for a medium size stage (15' max between me and my rig) - I dunno what I'd do on a bigger stage?

Cable runs back and forth:

- The HD500 needs power                                                                                                                                                           Power Cable =1

- Wireless unit in my rack               Only thing I can think  of is run a 20' cable from the out of the wireless to the IN on the HD500.     20' Cable #1

- HD500 Send to Return of my rack                                                                                                                                             20' Cable #2

- Send from my rack to Return of HD500                                                                                                                                      20' Cable #3

- 1/4" HD500 Right out to power amp Right                                                                                                                                  20' Cable #4

- 1/4" HD500 Left out to power amp Left                                                                                                                                       20' Cable #5

Then there's the control cable...     7 cables total!!     I can image quite a bit of signal loss over those length runs.

I'd run the XLR outs (L and R) straight to the board, but I'm not worried about those cause they'll go to the snake

Have I got it all wrong? What do you guys with racks and a wireless unit do? I considered getting HD500 PRO, but I love the layout of the HD500 board, especially the looper controls.

Considering the looper, I'd have to have a million buttons to acheive all this with another foot controller, Plus, I'd have to set all of that up manually and I don't even need to tell y'all how crazy that would get.

Also, I dunno too much about cables, but wouldn't I have to use instrument level cables, like a guitar cable for all these runs or can other kinds of cables (that have less signal loss for longer runs) be used?

Please advise - any and all comments are appreciated

Thanks!

Max

You are correct about the xlr output being only mic level. I should have added that sending to a power amp will require a mixer of some sort to bring the xlr signal to a level that the power amp can use. This is honestly a prefered method over using the 1/4" plugs. A TRS connection is superior to a simple TS connection. I don't believe that the POD HD series sends out the 1/4" via a buffered send? But I could be wrong? It very well may be and it simply uses a -10 / +4 reference switch for line and amp level? In either case if it is not a TRS connection, it will not be balanced, can introduce noise over long cable lengths and will increase the impedence of the cable run making it loose signal quality over longer lengths.

My rig using all the stuff mentioned above would consist of a small rack mountable mixer to delegate all the incoming signal. It would run XLR from pod to rack mixer, then to power amp. The 1/4" send either from mixer, or pod would go to house PA system via D.I. and I would run a midi cable to play position back to POD for control over patch changes. The wireless system would be integral to the rack and it's input would go straight into the POD.



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by maxrichard on 2012-10-30 16:27:07

Very good information, thanks to everyone. I still haven't made it through all the patches yet because work has kept me very busy. My setup here at home where I'm playing with it is also not ideal. I've got two small 8" combos (a Marshall and a Crate) so I don't get a true idea of what it would really sound like. And... as we all know, everything changes as you increase the amplitude, and living in an apartment, can't really do that.

You've all given me a lot to think abt, and I'll be back to re-read what you've written about inputs, and probably ask more questions. I'm really surprised to hear, "I could not provide enough signal level via the HD500 XLR's, and found I needed to run 1/4" set to line level." I learned all this stuff years ago, but I always thought XLR provided a significantly "hotter" signal, like 30db over 1/4". I guess that depends on what you feed it though.

Y'all are great and have been a big help! You ARE appreciated!



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by maxrichard on 2012-10-30 16:33:16

Oh, and am I correct in saying that mic level = instrument/guitar level? Is that a hotter signal than line level? I'm seeing that there is the obvious amp/line switch on the pedalboard itself, but within the preset there are options for Combo input, Combo power, Stack input, Stack power. How are Combo input be different from Stack input. I was thinking that Line 6 was thinking preamp vs no preamp, but how are all those settings different? Sorry to be a noob. I think my "sometimers" disease is kicking in because I used to know all of this stuff very well, but I guess if you don't use it you lose it...



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by maxrichard on 2012-10-30 16:35:44

I marked lukegeis' response as correct, thinking I could mark more than one because really, every response is correct and adds value to the thread. Is there a way to do that?



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by jimsreynolds on 2012-10-30 17:48:49

Nope ... apparently there can only be one right answer and two helpful folks on this planet.  Just like in real life ....



Re: Medium/Large Stage Cabling and Wirless Systems
by davidb7170 on 2012-10-30 21:07:29

Line level is higher (hotter) than mic level. The combo vs stack vs combo power amp vs stack power amps have different preset eq's. The level line vs mic (instrument) is levels of signal only. I use line level out my 1/4" jacks to my Crown power amp, and I set the output to studio, so what I send the amp is what the FOH mix soundman gets via the XLR (mic level outputs). I want to hear what goes out front. My power amp does not color the sound further, like a guitar amp does. The amp is basically what many sound engineers use for amplifying their mixers -- very transparent. That was my goal.

Others have other opinions....

The 4 cable method does not apply in my case as I am using the HD500 for the total tonal coloration, not going in through a guitar amp preamp back to the HD500 then back to the guitar amp power section. I get very good tone from guitar => HD500 => Power Amp => Speaker. I use the KISS concept, and my rig fits in my car, provides me with 215 watts, 430 watts if I plug in my 2nd speaker... My speaker weighs 16 lbs, my amp & soft side carry rack case weigh about 16 lbs. 3 trips to my car and I'm done. Bada Bing Bada Boom...

You gotta find what works for you -- each has their own idea of what's right -- and they all are. Find a sound that makes you smile and say -- THAT'S IT! I've been working at it for years, keep getting closer, too...

Dave




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