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HD500X disadvanteges


muech011
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Hi all.

 

The advanteges of the hd500x have been discussed in several threads. Maybe it's time to talk about some disadvanteges. All of them are the result comparing the setup of my old Rack (Marshal JMP1, BOSS GX700 and TC G-Major) with the "all-in-one"-solution HD500X.

 

First of all: The sound is great.

 

Now the disadvanteges:

1. Switching time and "noise": Switching from one preset to another takes too long and produces noise on both outputs (line and XLR). This has been a suprise because switching the presets on my old stuff (which is in fact a program change on three somewhat old devices) is not noticable. Even switching to the same sound (e.g. from 8C to 8C) causes the interrupt and crackle. That's the major weakness. Still searching for a solution on this.

 

2. MIDI-Controller: Our Band-Setup is all done by the stage sequencer. Here it sends CC 7 and CC 11 for the volume-pedal and a global value for predefined effect values. The HD500X is only capable of receiving CC 1 and CC 2, which is usually Modulation Wheel and Breath Controller. Even this does not follow MIDI-Standard it would cause a lot of effort to re-programm the sequenzer and would make it afterwards unusual for my old setup. I ended up with a MOLTON VOLTAGE OSMOSIS, which translates the incomming controller 7 to 1 and 11 to 2.

 

3. No Volume-independant XLR: There seems to be no way to make the XLR-Outputs independent from the master-knop. This implies that every time I got the feeling, that my stage sound is to loud or not loud enough our mixer gets a problem. Realy love the JMP1 for that feature.

 

If anyone has a solution or tip for No. 1 it would be highly welcome. Still hope I can get the baby running.

 

Chris

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1. "noise": 

I DON'T LIKE THE NOISE EITHER. BUT I ALSO DIDN'T USE TUBE AMPS AS MY MAIN SETUP, SO HEARING THE HUM WAS NEVER AN ISSUE WITH ME. 

BUT, IF YOU TWEAK YOUR SETTINGS ENOUGH, YOU CAN MAKE THE NOISE SOUND LIKE IT IS 'REAL'. 

 

2. MIDI-Controller 

MIDI HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PAIN IN THE TUCKUS. THE PROBLEM WITH SENDING OUT ONES AND ZEROS IS THAT IT ASSUMES ALL THINGS ARE EQUAL (GENERAL MIDI). IN THE OLDEN DAYS, YOU COULD MAKE A BEAUTIFUL MIDI SEQUENCE, AND THEN PLAY IT BACK ON A DIFFERENT INSTRUMENT, AND YOUR PIANO SOUNDS LIKE DRUMS WHILE YOUR DRUMS ARE VIOLINS. 

AND THE SAME APPLIES TO THE PODS. PUTTING AN AMP IN, AS EXAMPLE, BLOCK 4 INSTEAD OF BLOCK 5 MEANS THAT YOUR STANDARD LIST OF 'CHANGE BLOCK 5' DOESN'T APPLY TO AN AMP. YOU JUST HAVE TO PROGRAM IT WITH MIDI THE SAME AS YOU PROGRAM YOUR EFFECTS. 

 

3.  that my stage sound is to loud or not loud enough our mixer gets a problem. 

THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PROBLEM. ONCE YOU MIC YOUR AMP, YOU CANNOT ADJUST THE VOLUME, OTHERWISE THE SOUND GUY GOES BALISTIC TRYING TO READJUST YOU. THAT IS WHY YOU USE AN AMP THAT IS SEPARATE FROM THE MIC'D AMP. USE IT AS A SELF-CONTROLLABLE MONITOR.  

 

 

 

 

​DISADVANTAGES: 

 

1. When going straight to the PA, I lost my Talk Box. It requires a powered signal, so it gets plugged in between the head and the cab.

Using one of the new models that powers itself involves using an fx loop in my pod which means reprogramming my pod instead of just being able to turn it on at random. 

 

2. Volume levels of the Vocoder. I feel it is fairly useless in live applications because it has no volume. In the studio, I can record a vocoder track separately and therefore adjust the mixer volume way up. But live, due to the excessively low vocoder volume, I need to design a patch solely for its use with all levels jacked up (and it is still too low). It is a big disadvantage to switch between patches when I should be able to turn on an effect instead. 

 

 

 

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Now the disadvanteges:

1. Switching time and "noise": Switching from one preset to another takes too long and produces noise on both outputs (line and XLR). This has been a suprise because switching the presets on my old stuff (which is in fact a program change on three somewhat old devices) is not noticable. Even switching to the same sound (e.g. from 8C to 8C) causes the interrupt and crackle. That's the major weakness. Still searching for a solution on this.

 

If anyone has a solution or tip for No. 1 it would be highly welcome. Still hope I can get the baby running.

 

Chris

 

Regarding the preset switching, can you explain a little more what you mean by crackle? A small interruption is expected, but there shouldn't be any crackles or pops. I suppose if you are changing presets while you are in the middle of playing, it could be pretty abrupt. But you shouldn't be getting any extraneous artifacts.

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If anyone has a solution or tip for No. 1 it would be highly welcome. Still hope I can get the baby running.

 

Chris

 

This can be solved to a degree with dual amp paths within the same patch. Here's the Cliff Notes version: You can morph between two completely different tones with the expression pedal. Seemless fade out / fade in.

 

Each patch can have 2 completely isolated signal chains.  If you're editing on the POD itself, with the amp block selected, hit the UP arrow, and you will see the amp icon move up, as the signal chain splits. You can now add another amp block beneath it. The upper path is Path A, and the lower one Path B. Assign the amp block to either Exp1 or Exp2 the same way you would assign an FX block to a footswitch...then double click 'enter' (I think it's enter...I'm not in front of the POD right now) and you should be able to toggle between the various amp parameters. You can assign any of them to the expression pedal...for this you want to select channel volume, and assign it to either "Min" (heel down)  or "Max" (toe down), depending on which one you want clean or dirty. Repeat for the other amp block, with the opposite Min/Max setting.

 

More involved discussion in this thread recently:

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/13371-how-to-make-a-good-sounding-distortion-on-a-fender-amp/

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Regarding the preset switching, can you explain a little more what you mean by crackle? A small interruption is expected, but there shouldn't be any crackles or pops. I suppose if you are changing presets while you are in the middle of playing, it could be pretty abrupt. But you shouldn't be getting any extraneous artifacts.

 

Hi Phil. It sounds like there is one change (a short interrupt) and after that the newly selected sound has again a short outage. The first outage would be somewhat acceptable, but the second one makes the complete programm change to exceed a full second (which is not ignorable). I told you, it's my main problem.

 

For the other replies: I am aware of the "trick" with Amp A and Amp B. But that would imply to make changes to our stage sequenzer (different setups for JMP1/GX700/G-Major with one setup and HD500X with the other one). All future changes would require changes in both setups. That was not the intention when buying the HD500X. After the OSMOSIS solved the problem with the CCs of the pedals, the switching problem was getting more and more obvious.

 

Anyway, thanks for your replies guys.

 

ChriS

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Hi Phil. It sounds like there is one change (a short interrupt) and after that the newly selected sound has again a short outage. The first outage would be somewhat acceptable, but the second one makes the complete programm change to exceed a full second (which is not ignorable). I told you, it's my main problem.

 

For the other replies: I am aware of the "trick" with Amp A and Amp B. But that would imply to make changes to our stage sequenzer (different setups for JMP1/GX700/G-Major with one setup and HD500X with the other one). All future changes would require changes in both setups. That was not the intention when buying the HD500X. After the OSMOSIS solved the problem with the CCs of the pedals, the switching problem was getting more and more obvious.

 

Anyway, thanks for your replies guys.

 

ChriS

 

Well, the dropout shouldn't be anywhere near a second... I echo Silverhead's comment - are you attached to your computer when doing this? There will be a longer than normal delay when changing patches then. Otherwise, it's pretty fast. You're not using one of the DT amps are you? That's the other thing I could think of. If you're going to a different topology with a patch change, that can cause a longer delay.

 

EDIT: I went back and read your first post, and it appears that perhaps you're switching presets on the HD500X via MIDI. I have read of people having issues with a delay like this with some MIDI gear.

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Disadvantage -

1) no indicator of digital clipping. This should be a FX block that you can move around to see where/if digital clipping is occurring after any of the other FX blocks.

2) patch switch time is ~5msec, which is clearly audible each time I've tried it. It's made me go to FS1-8 mode, which is more limiting. ABCD just takes too long.

3) give me some time, I'll think of some more.

 

Still, I wouldn't give up on this unit for anything. Beats lugging around all the equivalent equipment I'd need.

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1. The expression pedal can't be assigned user defined or modulated curves, it's only linear.

 

2. It has coaxial digital out, not optical.

 

3. The floor model doesn't have digital input.

 

4. It's got a wall-wart.

 

5. It doesn't have a network interface.

 

6. And because of number 5, it's not capable of streaming videos to my tv.

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1. The expression pedal can't be assigned user defined or modulated curves, it's only linear.

 

 

Are you talking about the on-board pedal? Its' taper is actually more like an audio taper. The external pedal's taper is dependent on the taper of whatever pedal you use. The Line 6 EX-1 is linear, I believe.

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Are you talking about the on-board pedal? Its' taper is actually more like an audio taper. The external pedal's taper is dependent on the taper of whatever pedal you use. The Line 6 EX-1 is linear, I believe.

 

Yes. The on-board pedal. Thanks, did not know that.

 

But it still can't be user modified.

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Of the suggestions over, I have no interest in besides the Optical output. I would have apreciated  one :)

 

The disadvantage as I can see (whole HD series) is the lack of multi USB channels like the former X3 series had. There should really be a possibility to add through USB (dry+wet output)

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Basically agree with pfsmith's input.  Although I've always used it in FS1-8 mode and only switch patches in between songs.  After playing this way for some time, I think I'd go crazy trying to change patches mid song.  FS1-8 mode just seems so much easier and obviously more like a true pedal board.

 

Another disadvantage:  No simple solo "boost" button.  Sure you can use various methods of accomplishing this, but it takes up an effect spot when it doesn't on many other multi effect units.  And I've had a hard time dialing in one that sounds decent without clipping, but I'm sure that's just me not doing it right.

 

One more - volume pedal takes up an effect spot as well.  Seems it could be implemented where it wouldn't take up a spot.  I suppose linking it with the amp's master volume is the answer for this, but that can be a bit tedious and seems like an unnecessary step.

 

Really little gripes though, and the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of lugging around a whole pedal board and amp setup!

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Well, the dropout shouldn't be anywhere near a second... I echo Silverhead's comment - are you attached to your computer when doing this? There will be a longer than normal delay when changing patches then. Otherwise, it's pretty fast. You're not using one of the DT amps are you? That's the other thing I could think of. If you're going to a different topology with a patch change, that can cause a longer delay.

 

EDIT: I went back and read your first post, and it appears that perhaps you're switching presets on the HD500X via MIDI. I have read of people having issues with a delay like this with some MIDI gear.

 

First of all I got another advantage of the Line6 stuff: It has a living community. Thanks.

 

For me there seems to be no remarkable difference between the time when connected to the PC or not. The symptoms are the same. I will check about the midi later. Got to tell you I didn't use the ABCD-Buttons so far. MIDI makes guitarists lazy. Our live setup is driven by a MIDITEMP (20 years old but still number 1 in reliability) and at home I am using CuBase. I can't even remember when I did a manual switch the last time (It's even worse, usualy I don't remember the preset numbers). To summarize: Yes, I am using MIDI to switch the presets. Thanks for the tip, will start another search in the forum/google.

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I use a direct box to split my signal and run one line to the house mix and one to my keyboard amp or powered speaker.I can turn my powered speaker up or down and it does not affect the signal to the house coming from the D.I.Solves issue number 3 for you.

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Thanks, so preset selection is identical regardless of  FS1-8 or ABCD mode, its just that   5,6,7,8 revert to fx selections once a preset is locked in.  Seems like there would be a mode where "bank down" or "bank up" takes you directly to the next preset with one click.

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No custom loading I.R. 

 

Biggest problem.

 

That's a bit like ordering a hamburger and saying its biggest problem is that it isn't a cheeseburger, isn't it? Sure it would be nice if someone gave you some free cheese, but that rarely happens in this world... ;)

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That's a bit like ordering a hamburger and saying its biggest problem is that it isn't a cheeseburger, isn't it? Sure it would be nice if someone gave you some free cheese, but that rarely happens in this world... ;)

True! It's not an axe after all ;)

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why not?.. good idea ;) .. put it on ideascale

 

it could be called FS UP-DOWN PRESET MODE as another option into the global settings..

 

I use FS 5-8 MODE all the time and the above option could be useful when I need just 2 or 3 presets

I used to imagine how cool it would be to play through your whole set and only have to touch one button the entire time to change presets. but that was assuming that each preset would be similar to other presets before it was just some minor changes.

 

and you'd have to have presets in your set list that look quite redundant because if you were to go from dirty to clean to dirty again and then back to clean you would have setlists that look like:

 

Clean

Dirty

Clean

Dirty

Clean delay

Dirty

Clean

Etc..

 

And just push one button. I'd call it the Next button.

 

but that's more of a pipe dream then it is a disadvantage.

 

but I'd say a disadvantage is its power supply and the fact that there's no on or off switch.

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Disadvantage:

 

Despite being the top dog effects/amp box from Line 6, there is no way to assign the expression pedal to the looper volume. Strangely, the DL4 and M-series can do this. There is even a parameter for this in the HD500. They just forgot? They don't want to 'open' legacy code? Who knows. This is why the DL$ or M9 are the one I bring to gigs. 

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Disadvantages.

 

1. No Optical SPDIF.

2. Mono looper.

3. No I.R. loading.

4. Volume pedal takes up an FX block. (wtf)

5. FX Loop takes up an FX block. (wtf)

6. No metronome.

7. No clipping indicators.

8. No new FX since release. (I think)

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4. Volume pedal takes up an FX block. (wtf)

 

This can be fixed if they would allow the pedal to control mixer level. Currently, to free up an extra block, you can set the pedal to control amp volume, and adjust max volume either by changing pedal toe-down value, or adjusting the mixer. Mildly annoying.

 

Another annoying thing is that I can't resize the window on the Edit software. Things are really small and hard to see on a high-res monitor. I imagine it would be horrible for people with 4k monitors.

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I use a direct box to split my signal and run one line to the house mix and one to my keyboard amp or powered speaker.I can turn my powered speaker up or down and it does not affect the signal to the house coming from the D.I.Solves issue number 3 for you.

 

My powered speaker has the volume on the back and when on its side as a monitor is really not that easy to get to - or are you saying that your Direct Box has volume controls on it?

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I'll take what I see as the biggest disadvange of the POD and not really something Line 6 can fix, it's more of a problem of the technology. Option overload, you can spend way too much time tweaking instead of just dealing with the minor things instead of playing.  Old school setup you had to deal with it or spend a good bit for $$$ to get a different setup. If it wasn't perfect it just wasn't perfect.  I try to keep my mindset on that with the POD as well and not worry about the minor stuff as long as the overall tone fits what I need.

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I'll take what I see as the biggest disadvange of the POD and not really something Line 6 can fix, it's more of a problem of the technology. Option overload, you can spend way too much time tweaking instead of just dealing with the minor things instead of playing.  Old school setup you had to deal with it or spend a good bit for $$$ to get a different setup. If it wasn't perfect it just wasn't perfect.  I try to keep my mindset on that with the POD as well and not worry about the minor stuff as long as the overall tone fits what I need.

 

+1000

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I'll take what I see as the biggest disadvange of the POD and not really something Line 6 can fix, it's more of a problem of the technology. Option overload, you can spend way too much time tweaking instead of just dealing with the minor things instead of playing.  Old school setup you had to deal with it or spend a good bit for $$$ to get a different setup. If it wasn't perfect it just wasn't perfect.  I try to keep my mindset on that with the POD as well and not worry about the minor stuff as long as the overall tone fits what I need.

Yep, someone wrote a book about this (not about the POD, of course, but about being overwhelmed by options) called The Paradox of Choice. Basically, the more options we have to choose from, the more likely it is that we will experience regret, i.e., buyer's remorse, after making a choice. It's easy to get caught up in the cycle of always second guessing yourself and trying find a more perfect option. Guitar players are funny that way, because when you actually listen to many of the guitar tones in a lot of classic recording, they really aren't that spectacular. Sure, there are some great ones, but many of them are pretty simple, and a lot them would probably be ridiculed as really bad if people put them up as examples on different forums today.

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My powered speaker has the volume on the back and when on its side as a monitor is really not that easy to get to - or are you saying that your Direct Box has volume controls on it?

Yeah my powered speakers are a pain to adjust because of that reason too. Currently I am experimenting with a passive FRFR speaker(Alto 10 I modified to be passive after it croaked) with an EHX 44 Magnum power amp.Turning up or down is easy doing it this way.So I split with the D.I. box /send the HD500 line to the house/dont touch HD volume after it is set and turn my little speaker up or down as I please using the volume on the 44 Magnum. Works well so far.The only direct box I know of with a volume control is a small mixer which I carried around for a few years to mix my Boss GT-10/GR55 rig. Also I only use this setup in small bars/restaurants etc...for corporate casuals etc... I bring more gear. This is my light and easy in and out solution. I have to say I like the HD500 with the little 44 Magnums tone.At moderate volume it works well.If you play in a band that does the volume war thing it wont work though.YMMV.

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also, generally I am very satisfied with my HD500, and also of other instruments that I own..

 

This does not mean that in a forum (where people like to communicate with each other) we can not peacefully talk about what could theoretically be improved..

 

 

Yes, I have satisfied with my HD500 and DT25 as well. The capabilities are quite amazing.

 

And I also agree it doesn't mean we can't talk about what could be improved. This tread was mostly about it's disadvantages, that is the one I have to watch out for. I'm pretty good about not over tweaking it but it was something I got a bit lost in a first until I learned to tame myself with it.

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Hi all.

 

The advanteges of the hd500x have been discussed in several threads. Maybe it's time to talk about some disadvanteges. All of them are the result comparing the setup of my old Rack (Marshal JMP1, BOSS GX700 and TC G-Major) with the "all-in-one"-solution HD500X.

 

First of all: The sound is great.

 

Now the disadvanteges:

1. Switching time and "noise": Switching from one preset to another takes too long and produces noise on both outputs (line and XLR). This has been a suprise because switching the presets on my old stuff (which is in fact a program change on three somewhat old devices) is not noticable. Even switching to the same sound (e.g. from 8C to 8C) causes the interrupt and crackle. That's the major weakness. Still searching for a solution on this.

 

2. MIDI-Controller: Our Band-Setup is all done by the stage sequencer. Here it sends CC 7 and CC 11 for the volume-pedal and a global value for predefined effect values. The HD500X is only capable of receiving CC 1 and CC 2, which is usually Modulation Wheel and Breath Controller. Even this does not follow MIDI-Standard it would cause a lot of effort to re-programm the sequenzer and would make it afterwards unusual for my old setup. I ended up with a MOLTON VOLTAGE OSMOSIS, which translates the incomming controller 7 to 1 and 11 to 2.

 

3. No Volume-independant XLR: There seems to be no way to make the XLR-Outputs independent from the master-knop. This implies that every time I got the feeling, that my stage sound is to loud or not loud enough our mixer gets a problem. Realy love the JMP1 for that feature.

 

If anyone has a solution or tip for No. 1 it would be highly welcome. Still hope I can get the baby running.

 

Chris

 The disadvantage is your not in a room with a half stack moving the hair on your arms. But not many of us can (or want) do that. It solves more problems than it creates.

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To elaborate more on the lack of a power button, I've noticed when I plug my adapter into the power input sonetimes I see some sparkage inside before it plugs in all the way.

 

I suppose this could be remedied by plugging the adapter into pod BEFORE plugging the adapter into an outlet, but it's easier the other way..

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yes, by linking the pedal to the amp volume parameter is a good way to save a FX slot, but as you said you have to set the pedal max value for the specific amp model, whereas if you use the volume FX theoretically you do not have to set anything ..

 

but unfortunately the pedal has only a single fixed response curve that is linear, which is fine for many parameters which should change linearly, but it is not ideal to change the audio volume, which would require a logarithmic (I believe) response curve to be able to use all the physical action range of the pedal in a very gradual way..

 

currently when the pedal is used for the volume, the first part of the excursion of the pedal does almost nothing, and consequently the reduced remaining useful part acts too quickly ..

 

as a workaround you can set the minimum value reached by the pedal to a value higher than zero..

 

but the ideal solution would be to have the option to set at least one more response curve for the pedal, or alternatively that the dedicated volume FX responded logarithmically

Actually, if you’re talking about sound pressure, if the taper is linear, you’ll have the opposite effect to what you’ve described; at heel position, changes would be drastic, while at toe position, almost nothing happens.  

 

Let’s look at a simple example.

(All log have base 10).

 

Let x be the volume pedal position (0 = heel, 1 = toe).

Let y be the sound pressure ratio [p/(reference p)], such that log y = 0 is the minimum volume, and log y = 1 is the maximum volume.

When x=0, log y = 0; when x=1, log y = 1

 

For an audio (logarithmic) taper:

y = 10^x

log y = x

 

For a linear taper:

y = 9x + 1

log y = log (9x + 1)

 

As you can see, both equations are calibrated to have the same min & max levels.

 

Since the human ear perceives loudness in a more or less logarithmic manner (for simplicity’s sake, I’ll not go into the details), the slope of the audio taper should be (more or less) constant in a plot of <log y> against <x>.

 

Audio taper slope:

 

log y = x

Let Y = log y:

dY/dx  = 1

 

Linear taper slope:

 

log y = log (9x + 1)

Let Y = log y:

dY/dx = (log e) (9 / (9x + 1)) = 3.909 / (9x + 1)

 

Solving this equation of slope of the curve for x = 0:

dY/dx = 3.909

 

Solving for x = 1:

dY/dx = 0.3909

 

Solving for dY/dx = 1:

x = 0.323

 

Conclusion:

1) In this example, initially when in heel position, sound pressure level (SPL) will be 3.909 times more sensitive to pedal position for the linear taper, compared to the audio taper. Recall that the slope of the audio taper curve is 1 (constant).

 

2) This sensitivity drops hyperbolically when the pedal is pushed down. When the pedal is at position 0.323 (32.3%), linear taper and audio taper has equal sensitivity. After this position, linear taper has lower sensitivity.

 

3) At maximum toe-down position, linear taper is 0.3909 times as sensitive as audio taper (or 2.56 times less sensitive).

 

From my experience, it seems like it’s pretty close to, if not exactly an audio (logarithmic) taper. Please correct me if there’s anything wrong with my lunchbreak math  ;)

 

Edit: http://www.docdroid.net/ywak/sound-pressure-level.pdf.html

Graphs are worth a thousand equations =)

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LOL. I think your entire post was mostly details!

Added graphs to show just how simplified this example is.

 

The details can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness

 

As you can see, it's way more complicated than the smooth curves and straight lines in my example, and the pattern differs across the frequency spectrum.

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