Jump to content
endyamon

Pod HD500X Feedback Issues in live setup

Recommended Posts

Hello everybody,

I have a problem with my Pod HD500X patches while using it during a live gig. When I need loud sounds for live situations (master volume at 2 or 3 o'clock) I have feedback issues and I cannot mute strings properly without larsen or high feedback sounds even if I am quite far from my cabinet. I am not trying to replicate a wall of sound, I only need the right amount of volume to be heard over the drummer in a gig in pubs or small/medium venues without cabinet amplification. 

I know that there are other similar topics in this forum, but all solutions suggested seems to fail.

 

Here is the detail of my configuration:

Guitar (Ibanez RG970QMZ) -> POD HD500X -> Rocktron 300 Poweramp (or EHX 44 Magnum poweramp) -> MesaBoogie 1x12 200W Cabinet

 

All my cables are brand new (I already tried to change all of them, without resolving the issue). During gigs I use a mic for the voice, but I tried to turn it off and it doesn't resolve the issue. I already reinstalled firmware and Edit software. Input1 is Guitar and Input2 is Guitar globally set (I have both single and dual patches). Output is set to combo power amp. The problem occurs only with high gain patches (no problem with clean sounds).

 

Here is the patches (generic scheme):

Hard Gate -> Screamer (gain around 30-40%) -> (eq eventually) -> Uberschall / Treadplate (gain around 60-70%, channel volume at 90%) -> mixer (pan centered, levels at 0) -> eq -> delay / reverb.

 

As soon as I approach the strings to the pickups it starts the squeaks and while playing I cannot make any pause.

I also tried to insert two or three more hard/noise gates in the chain but no changes.

If I deactivate the screamer the issue problem persists. The only way to solve it is to lower the patch volume.

I would really appreciate any suggestion to resolve this annoying issue.

Thank you very much and sorry for my rusty english (hope you understand anyway).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could try setting Input 2 to variax which will lower the input gain. Go here for a real good analysis: http://line6.com/support/topic/4586-pod-hd500-hd500x-input-settings-phase-issue-myth-and-facts-single-input-vs-both-inputs/

 

Another good one:

 

http://line6.com/supportarchivenew/thread/74045

 

Have you tried the PAD setting or changing the Input 1 Z? - but look at where it is set and increase it but watch for a drop in sustain.

 

Another thing to look at would be the EQ if you are fighting the drums (cymbals and kick and/or bass guitar). At home I can dial in a real nice scooped sound but in a band mix things have to go to ear splitting volumes to get that EQ curve to be heard. So with the band the scoop goes to a bell shape to pump up the mid range which is where the guitar owns the MHz without the volume otherwise needed.

 

Just some ideas and welcome to the board!

Bill

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your quick reply and suggestions! I will read the useful threads you posted!

I already tried switching input2 to variax. The feedback is slightly lower, but it is still there and I have problems with dual patches (I should switch settings from global to patch dependent maybe...).

 

Didn't try the pad setting or the input Z... good suggestion, will try asap and let you know!

 

Yes, you are right about the eq, I am aware that the mid frequencies are so important. I have a mid boosted live sound indeed, but maybe the problem is still in the eq section (I read somewhere that I should try to modify the eq in order to eliminate the feedback frequencies... Simple to say, but practically quite hard for me).

 

 

Has anyone tried some pedal like ISP Decimator? (even if it bothers me to buy an external noise gate when I already have the pod spaceship!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may be obvious, but you might have far too much gain in the patch, so turn down the amp or distortion gain.  

 

If you programmed the patch at a bedroom volume level to feel like it sustains forever, then when you ramp up to gig volume you will have far too much and it will feed back with the slightest trigger. If you really listen to most high gain guitar sounds you will hear subtle changes in tone that indicate they are nowhere near as high gain as they appear.

 

Set up your patches at full gig level and start with a low gain increasing it until you get the feel/sustain that you need, but not so much that you can't control feedback by simply damping the strings or turning down the volume knob a bit

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are right. It's an obvious observation, but it's often ignored (and maybe it's my case). It's not so easy to obtain the same good punchy and fat sound you hear at home volume when you are at gig volume.

Actually I am wondering if I have too much gain on my patches and the answer is... Well... yes. The mislieading thing is that when I crank up the pod master volume at home (with earphones or a power amp at very low volume) no feedback occurs, so I assumed that raising the power amp volume in a gig won't generate any feedback. It seems I was wrong.

Even if I tried to get not too far with gain, my patches are all high gain, so they are really in the "easy feedback" zone. I think the problem is the various "gain stages" of my chain (as explained in the meambobbo hd guide).

I mean, a chain like this [screamer -> eq -> amp -> eq again -> delay] has a lot of gain stages. Just think about the amp (Uberschall, a really high gain one): my drive is set to 68, presence and channel volume to 80 (I'm using full amp without cabinet, not the pre model, sounds better to my ear). This amp has in input the screamer (so a sound already distorted) with drive around 35% and output quite high (another important gain stage). And after the amp I use mid-eq or other eq effects to raise the general patch volume (other gain stage). Quite a lot of gain uhm....

 

I noticed that if I turn down the volume on my guitar (about a 20 - 30%) the problem disappear, so the gain is absolutely the reason of the feedback problem.

 

But how can I lower the gain without losing the punchy and creamy metal distorted sound? 

Tweaking at gig volume is surely a good suggestion, but I usually use the HD Edit software and I am not so quick when tweaking directly on the pod. I cannot keep that volume at home, so It should be useful a trick to replicate the gig volume feedbacks in a home environment without blowing up neighbourhood's ears (Or simply going in a rehearsal studio with a laptop...).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Again,

 

A few ideas if you are going to tweak your patch. Copy that puppy to another slot so you keep the original intact. Try running the TS with 0 gain but leave the volume cranked to feed the preamp model. Second assign amp gain to the exp pedal so toe down is at your max it should be easier to find that balance point and at the least avoid bending over to twist knobs :)

 

-B

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like you already have what you need here, but just some other thoughts that maybe can assist.

 

1. Feedback is caused by a key frequency that looping in the sound system, guitar amp in this scenerio. If you can find the frequency with graphic EQ with narrow Q setting or better a parametric where you can narrow it down you can lower just the one frequency. Finding the freq is the hard part. If you parametric EQ you can set the Q pretty narrow and set the level to a full cut and roll the freq knob around until it the feedback disappers. Then bring up that same frequency back to 0 level, feedback should come back. Now lower just enough for the feedback to go away.

 

2. Try pointing the speaker away from the guitar some. Idea to move the direct sound away from the pickup so to avoid the feedback. This rarely works but worth a shot.

 

3. Got a noise gate on the patch. Set the gate to close quicker, nasty side effect is this kills your sustain though.

 

4. Can you try a different guitar and still get the same sound? Might be the pickups, espcially if the pickups became microphonic, e.g. are malfunctioning in some way. I see that model of guitar should have wax potted pickups but for the benfit of anyone that reads this later, non wax potted picks just feedback like crazy on high gain settings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys, thanks for the support!

 

@BillBee: good idea! I will try that way!

 

@Palico: As you said, the frequency to reduce is hard to find, but worth a try. I will put a parametric eq in the chain as you suggested. Should I put it before or after the amp for better results?

In my patches I have 2 hard gates, one as first fx and the other just after the mixer. They surely help, but not resolve the issue. I also tried different guitar and pickups. I use an Ibanez Rg970 (DiMarzio/Ibz pickups) and also a Dean MAB1 (EMG81/85 active pickups). Both guitars squeal like hell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Palico: As you said, the frequency to reduce is hard to find, but worth a try. I will put a parametric eq in the chain as you suggested. Should I put it before or after the amp for better results?

 

 

After. Altough if you can find it either should work. 

 

Following a rather long video on the topic, althought for a PA and he is attempting to flatting a PA sound, but the concept is the same. He is using a 31 band to accomplish the same thing.

http://youtu.be/DGgaEVMBmno?list=UUVUNmx8TvewLgEr-XsdUrZQ

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could try setting Input 2 to variax which will lower the input gain. Go here for a real good analysis: http://line6.com/support/topic/4586-pod-hd500-hd500x-input-settings-phase-issue-myth-and-facts-single-input-vs-both-inputs/

 

Another good one:

 

http://line6.com/supportarchivenew/thread/74045

 

Have you tried the PAD setting or changing the Input 1 Z? - but look at where it is set and increase it but watch for a drop in sustain.

 

Another thing to look at would be the EQ if you are fighting the drums (cymbals and kick and/or bass guitar). At home I can dial in a real nice scooped sound but in a band mix things have to go to ear splitting volumes to get that EQ curve to be heard. So with the band the scoop goes to a bell shape to pump up the mid range which is where the guitar owns the MHz without the volume otherwise needed.

 

Just some ideas and welcome to the board!

Bill

 

It could well be the EQ settings. I had a similar problem with feedback until I read a thread on the L6 forum about the mid focus EQ. I dialled that in to some of my higher gain patches, turned DOWN the overall volume and I found I was cutting through the mix much better with no feedback. Using the mid focus EQ is a bit counter intuitive though because your tone will sound a bit harsh when you are playing by yourself but will sit in a mix much better.

 

It worked for me, good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That could be another problem! I usually use the mid focus eq just after the mixer to raise the general patch volume (without using the mixer) and so being quite confident to be heard in the mix. Maybe I am using in the wrong way. Do you suggest to eliminate the mid-focus eq or only to turn down its gain?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some things I did that helped me in this situation is:

 

1) Tone control on the guitar itself.  Turn it down instead of wide open.  It's surprising how different every guitar is with tone caps.

2) Changed capacitors on the tone pot in the guitar.

3) Lower guitar pickups slightly.

4) Lower input Z to 32k.

5) Input 2 set to something other than Guitar or Same - need this for everything.

 

You'll get there.  Just keep tweakin'...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That could be another problem! I usually use the mid focus eq just after the mixer to raise the general patch volume (without using the mixer) and so being quite confident to be heard in the mix. Maybe I am using in the wrong way. Do you suggest to eliminate the mid-focus eq or only to turn down its gain?

I think you may be better served with getting a second cab!  If volume with the band is the real issue its better to get a second cab instead of trying to push your patch levels to the point of excessive gain and feedback.  Doesn't matter how strong your amp is, a single 12" cab is only going to go so far...

 

Another option is of course to mic your guitar and get it into the FOH mix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't believe no one has mentioned this:  Put the noise gate AFTER your pedals

 

That being said, your gain is too high.  There's plenty of ways to get the tone you want without putting both the pedal and the amp up that high.

 

Along that vein, as others have mentioned, your tone knob on the guitar might help get the tone you want without all the gain.  Depends on your axe though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've tried a decimator in front of the POD.  It's fine but it works no better than the gate in the POD IMHO,  plus the Decimator is really made to be run after your pedals, not as the first thing in the chain.  Check the instructions on their website.

 

Really hi quality gates will have two ins/outs.  You'll run into them at the front of your signal chain and then back into them after the distortion pedals, then to the amp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys! Yesterday I started some quick tests on my patches.

In particular:

- I turned down the gain on the screamer (about 25 - 28% max)

- turned down gain on the uberschall (about 48 - 54% max)

- Turned down the mixer (-3db)

 

With these tweaks the feedback were a bit reduced, but a real improvement has come with:

- reducing the screamer gain (22%), bass (50%) and high (45%).

- inserting a second HARD GATE (the first is in first position) just after the amp (I use only hard gates, they do not suck the tone like the noise gates, but kills the sustain a bit, so I assigned it to a pedal in order to deactivate it when I need sustain and there are no pauses)

- inserting a MID FOCUS EQ at the very end of the chain: it completely changed my tone, but after some time I could add some punchy bass (LP around 25%) and some bright with the HP. I found it really useful to shape my tone (even if it is completely unfriendly).

- Global setting set to Patch dependent, input 2 set to Variax (only for single patches, for dual I keep Guitar for both inputs) and Input Z set to a lower value than 1M (I tried 230k)

 

Now I still have feedbacks sometime, but much less than before, so I am confident this is the right way and now I should only test these parameters in all configurations and with gig volume.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One the biggest things that helped me is lowering the guitar pickups slightly.  At least for me, a very small adjustment made a big difference without sacrificing tone or sustain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One the biggest things that helped me is lowering the guitar pickups slightly.  At least for me, a very small adjustment made a big difference without sacrificing tone or sustain.

 

I will try that too (they could be quite high actually). Tone or sustain do not suffer, but do you notice some change in the dynamic while playing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it didn't change anything except reduce feedback.  But I only had to lower them a very small amount to fix my feedback issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC that Ibby model had IBZs by DiMarzio and should be pretty hot too :) Love the Super Ds myself but man do they like to squeal.

 

PUs do a mag field (kind of like a flame dancing above a wick) and you can vary the strength of the fields effect by adjusting the point of where the strings pass through it. Too high can pull too much and actually lessen sustain just like way too low won't have enough. But you can drop them to lower the intensity without killing the tone or sustain (noticably). Keeping the strings in the sweet spot with minor adjs.

 

I wouldn't change too many things at one time though as you will drive yourself crazy. FWIW I would keep reducing the gain on the TS but keep its volume up. There will be a point where you can't get further reduction then you should look at trying addition steps.

 

-B

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider getting rid of the gate at the beginning of the signal train.  I doubt that it's doing much except helping to kill your sustain.

 

In my experience, gates at the beginning of the chain are good for reducing 60hz hum (in Italy I think it's technically 50hz hum) his and general noise when you want silence.  Not so good a stopping feedback.  The old Vetta had a specific hum canceller, slightly different from a gate, for that specific purpose (why do they get rid of good ideas when they "improve" the product line?).

 

If you don't have feedback with the screamer off, I'd consider putting a gate right after the screamer, not after the amp.  You can even make your foot switch turn both the gate and the stomp on at the same time.

 

Volume out on the POD to your power amp could be an issue too.  Maybe reduce the POD output and increase your power amp output?

 

Good luck.  I have one specific EVH type patch that I've been having trouble with too.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really good advices guys, thanks!

I have to say that I changed my cables recently buying very low noise cables ("Reference Labs" cables, italian made high end cables, so damn expensive but really good for noise reduction and dynamic) so the gate at the very first position could be unnecessary. Good idea to shift it after the screamer.

 

For the volume... I noticed that (for feedback) it's better to have the pod with max master volume and a lower power amp output than viceversa. It can be an impression of mine, but also the manual says that at maximum volume there is the better SNR. Maybe I have to find a compromise between the two volumes (I would like that in a live situation the volume is the only real variable for my chain).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ehi everybody, just a little update for the feedback problem.

I found that the main issue was the eq effects I had on the chain. Eq effects (I use both mid-focus and studio eq or parametric eq) add a gain stage that has to be leveled really accurately.

I didn't understand why I was having a huge distortion with a patch with less gain than another patch which had also a screamer in the chain! Then I began tweaking with the mid-focus eq effect. The mid-focus BEFORE the main distortion is the key! It can REALLY change the behaviour of the chosen amp or distortion effect. Setting it up in a particular way I found I can obtain a really good, warm and fat distortion only with the drive of the amp. If I add a screamer then the distortion goes in the brutal zone with high gain amps (anyway I don't need it with Treadplate or Uber).

It is important to keep the gain of the eq effect quite low otherwise there will be a lot of feedback (no matter how many noise gates you have), so it is important to level the eq effect low enough to give the right amount of bite and distortion without the feedback issues (so it is better to tweak it after having set the amp drive at the desired level -more or less-).

After this, to be sure to eliminate any feedback, I reduced the guitar-z input to 230k, shifted the hard gate right after the screamer and before the amp and finally I lowered a bit the pickups.

Tried yesterday and, even if the sound needs some other adjustments (it was right at low volume, but a bit muddy at high volume... still need to change some eq maybe), there were no feedbacks!

Thanks guys for all the support!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...