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Fundamental question on the use of presets, amps and effects


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I really enjoy building great, weird and huge sounds using my pod hd500 and m5, but I feel like I am not as ‘free’, creatively speaking, as I’d like to be. 

I love the variety of sounds that fx modelers offer, but amp-wise, I mostly use just 3 sounds; clean, crunch and high-gain and I am happy with the settings I have for the amp models right now.

However, the most important part of my sound comes from effects, using big reverbs, delays and often strange combinations of filters and modulation. These, I want to dial in fast.

In this regard, I feel that there are two factors that sort of hold me back. Firstly, for every quick idea for a new sound, I have to spend some time getting the amp model right, either by copying an existing preset, or building a new amp, which holds me back from focusing on the core of my sound which, for me personally, are the effects.

A second factor holding me back is the fact that as I set a new effect, all standard settings are used, so I cannot have my personal settings for certain effects that I often use. I would like to be able to call up effects on the fly as I like them.

Basically, how I imagine it, my perfect setup would involve a pedalboard that is way too big, but with effects at my disposal, whenever I feel like using them.

I am asking you for your advice on how to achieve the flexibility I am looking, by using the presets in a different manner, by using the fx-loop differently, by adding an m13, or some other advice that might change the paradigm through which I look at building sounds.


My set-up: jtv59 -> pod hd500 -> mackie th12

(btw: I recently started using the pod hd edit software on my macbook, which does deliver a large part of the flexibility I am looking for)



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I have a screen grab of HD500 Edit showing my favourite effects settings and keep them in a folder on my desktop. I use the snipping tool in Windows, I'm sure your Mac has a similar function. When I want to build a new patch I refer to these screen grabs. Yes, you have to dial them in manually but it only takes a few seconds per effect.


Works for me.

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I've been building some "base tones" (preset amps and EQs) and just load them when needed so I can change the FX as needed.


If you just started using edit then you have been missing being able to do that.



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