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Set up assistance requested-HD500x


Neven
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I've put this unit on the shelf for a while but I'm trying to work it again.  My goal is to use my tube amps tone, but to have the effects needed available at my feet.  Perhaps later, I'd like to have the 500x's clean tone set on a patch.  One thing at a time) I tried the 4 cable method, channel 1A, removed all pedals, inactivated the "amp icon" on the display and the first thing I heard was NOT the amps tone but a clean tone.  Once I reactivated the amp, I had all the possibilities of amps that are offered, but I wanted MY amp's tone.  Only trying to do effects here.  So I have questions...

1. Is my set up incorrect?

2. Within the Settings, I have 1 set to "Guitar", the 2nd is "Same".  Is this correct? Why is there a second amp option, and how/should I remove it?

3. Is the 4cm the ideal way for me to go? 

4. If I use the 4cm, how do I get my amps tone on everything except maybe 1 single preset to use for the cleans offered by the 500x?

Any other tips or suggestion are appreciated.  Cheers.

 

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I've put this unit on the shelf for a while but I'm trying to work it again.  My goal is to use my tube amps tone, but to have the effects needed available at my feet.  Perhaps later, I'd like to have the 500x's clean tone set on a patch.  One thing at a time) I tried the 4 cable method, channel 1A, removed all pedals, inactivated the "amp icon" on the display and the first thing I heard was NOT the amps tone but a clean tone.  Once I reactivated the amp, I had all the possibilities of amps that are offered, but I wanted MY amp's tone.  Only trying to do effects here.  So I have questions...

1. Is my set up incorrect?

2. Within the Settings, I have 1 set to "Guitar", the 2nd is "Same".  Is this correct? Why is there a second amp option, and how/should I remove it?

3. Is the 4cm the ideal way for me to go? 

4. If I use the 4cm, how do I get my amps tone on everything except maybe 1 single preset to use for the cleans offered by the 500x?

Any other tips or suggestion are appreciated.  Cheers.

 

1. Maybe, hard to say as you did not tell us what your amp is....Maybe you have a parallel loop? That would be a problem.

2. If you use a conventional guitar set the secone one to Variax.

3. Probably if you want FX in front of your amp (wahs, screamers etc...) and after your amps preamp (delay, verb etc...)...Not sure of another way based on what you say you want.

4. Use tones with no amp model and make sure the FX Loop Block is always on for your amp tone....Make another patch with no FX Loop Block and pick the amp model you like...

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Amp is an ENGL Blackmore.  It has a series loop.  I tried the 4cm and all I got was a clean tone and I know the head was set to dirty.  I unplugged and went to the head directly and it was crunchy and nice.  I ran it back to the 4cm and the HD500x seemed to  just give me clean.  How do I use my heads dirty tones with just effects?  Yea wah, screamer in front.  Delay, Reverb in the loop.

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4. Use tones with no amp model and make sure the FX Loop Block is always on for your amp tone....Make another patch with no FX Loop Block and pick the amp model you like...

 

 

 I ran it back to the 4cm and the HD500x seemed to  just give me clean.  How do I use my heads dirty tones with just effects?  

 

As spaceatl said, you have to use the FX Loop in your patch. Not only do you physically hook up the cables, you have to insert the FX Loop block in your patch. Think of it as using a POD pre amp, just not the PODs pre amp. This pic has an amp in the patch but you can select no amp you you have already.

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So where do you recommend that I put the FX loop in the signal? In the screen shot you provided, you have the FX loop icon 4 positions to the left of the amp icon.  Should I place it to the left or right of the amp icon in my situation? 

Once I do that, are there internal settings within the FX loop that I should edit?

Thanks for all the help btw

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So where do you recommend that I put the FX loop in the signal? In the screen shot you provided, you have the FX loop icon 4 positions to the left of the amp icon.  Should I place it to the left or right of the amp icon in my situation? 

Once I do that, are there internal settings within the FX loop that I should edit?

Thanks for all the help btw

 

Typically, folks place the FX Loop where it will be most effective for them, depending on what they have in the loop.

 

In your case, if all you want in your loop is your ENGL pre amp, you could place it near the center. Since you are not using an amp in the AMP block (at this point), you could just leave it in the default location and place your FX Loop block just in front of it (the block to the left of the amp block) This way you have space before and after for other effects you want to add. The beauty of it is, no matter where you place it at first, you can drag the blocks to whatever position you want after you add them. This is an easy way to hear the difference in tone in your effects chain. For example, if you want to place a phaser before or after a distortion pedal, etc. 

 

You said in an earlier post, "Yea wah, screamer in front.  Delay, Reverb in the loop.". So I just want to say that the FX Loop you are using in this particular setup is different that an amps effects loop. What you place after the FX Loop in this configuration is going to sit between your pre amp and your power amp, effectively becoming your ENGL amps effects loop. That being said, I will say what you probably already realize. For a "typical" signal chain, you will place your noise gate/Wah/overdrive/distortion pedals in the blocks before the FX Loop block (which is your pre amp only) and time based effects after the FX Loop block before it is fed into your power amp.

 

Hope this helps.

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So using the 4CM I put a FX Loop in my signal chain to the right of the mixer with no amp model going. I got my ENGL's tone going.  I noticed that the signal and tone was hotter than if I just plugged into the head alone.  What is causing this increase in signal? Is it the send and receive levels of the FX Loop itself? 

After messing with this for a bit, I wanted to try just plugging into the head directly and using the 500x as effects only but I get real low volume, barely any at all.  It might be me but the manual doesn't give me much to look at if you want to run it as effects only going into the head.  Can you recommend the set up for cables for this?  I tried going from the send of the head to the FX Return L Mono of the 500x, then from the FX Send of the 500x back to the Return of the head and it wasn't good.  I also tried the 1/4 inch L Mono out and still got nothing. WTF? Arrrgggggh.....

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So here is one of the best images I have found describing the 4cm wiring layout...

4-cable-method-hd500x.jpg

 

You will more than likely need to adjust the HD500X FX LOOP Send and Return levels levels going to the INPUT of your amp, and to your amp's RETURN to keep the sound consistent.

 

This is also a good guide...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZtY8bS-GQ0

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I can do the 4CM.  What about if you only want to plug directly into your amp and use the HD500x for effects only? 

 

Like how it was done in 'the old days'. With everything running in one straight line. 

 

 

You can easily do that. It makes total sense to do it that way. And I hate when everyone insists that the only way to do things is the most complicated scenarios. As if it is some sort of magical experience the unit provides.  ~~~~~ look at me, my unit is special because it requires a bunch of wires running all over the place. 

 

HOWEVER 

The drawback to doing this is exactly the same as it was in those same very 'old days'. --- your signal chain. 

There is a reason why I used to own 2 and 3 of everything. Sometimes I wanted wah before distortion. Sometimes I wanted it after distortion. It gives a different sound depending on where you put it. Echo - do you want to distort the echo or do you want to echo the distortion. 

 

So, plugging it in the old fashioned way gives those same dilemas. 

Your amp will always be last in the chain. 

Which is fine, if that is the way you intend on using it. Because you would design your patches to accommodate the way you use it. 

 

But it is often easier to have the option of having some effects pre amp and some post amp. 

Which is one of the nicest uses of the unit. Run it straight into the PA. Forget your own amp. Every patch can become a total invention of your mind. Amp here amp there. Echo this and delay that. There is no signal chain issue, because there is no physical signal chain to cause issues.  

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Yea I hear you.  But this unit (and others like it) should be able to do what I'm looking for.

I normally use a Digitech 1101 rack unit.  It has some amp tones in it, and a bunch of effects.  I plug into the head directly, and the Digitech goes through the effects unit.  It's nice and simple and sounds great. 

I was trying to lighten the load of carrying a 6 space case around, so I thought the HD500x would do everything and more that the Digitech does.  So far, it's been complicated, I'm spending more time trying to get all the details figured out than I am playing. 

So here's the deal...  My guitar into a Wah, into the front of the amp.  All other effects to go through the loop of the head.  I should be able to set the volume on each channel to my liking, so I could solo boost, and It should sound the same as using pedals.  I could combine effects together and store them into a single patch so you don't have to hit them individually.  That's what I do now with the 1101.

When I tried the 4CM, I had to turn the gain down on the head because somewhere, something was making the signal hotter than if I was going to the front of the head directly.  It kind of colored the sound in a way.  It was close, but not like going straight in.  I was thinking it's the FX loop block I placed to the right of the Mixer in the HD500x signal chain. 

So I think going guitar straight to the head gives the best sound. All I need to do is to get the effects to work.  

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It can be done - absolutely. 

You just have to figure out the way you want to run it and program it accordingly. 

 

The first thing to do is figure out how you want to run it and set the system settings appropriately. The same patch sounds very different, even when played through the same speakers, depending on if you have the unit set for studio/direct/stack/combo and whatever other options there are. 

All of my stuff is set for direct usage. 

 

 

 

Yes, anything that the Digitech can do, this can do. 

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Yea I hear you.  But this unit (and others like it) should be able to do what I'm looking for.

I normally use a Digitech 1101 rack unit.  It has some amp tones in it, and a bunch of effects.  I plug into the head directly, and the Digitech goes through the effects unit.  It's nice and simple and sounds great. 

I was trying to lighten the load of carrying a 6 space case around, so I thought the HD500x would do everything and more that the Digitech does.  So far, it's been complicated, I'm spending more time trying to get all the details figured out than I am playing. 

So here's the deal...  My guitar into a Wah, into the front of the amp.  All other effects to go through the loop of the head.  I should be able to set the volume on each channel to my liking, so I could solo boost, and It should sound the same as using pedals.  I could combine effects together and store them into a single patch so you don't have to hit them individually.  That's what I do now with the 1101.

When I tried the 4CM, I had to turn the gain down on the head because somewhere, something was making the signal hotter than if I was going to the front of the head directly.  It kind of colored the sound in a way.  It was close, but not like going straight in.  I was thinking it's the FX loop block I placed to the right of the Mixer in the HD500x signal chain. 

So I think going guitar straight to the head gives the best sound. All I need to do is to get the effects to work.  

 

In the 4cm, the FX Loop block is the gateway to the input on your amp and the FX that go in the physical FX loop on your amp:

  • Any effect blocks you place BEFORE the FX Loop block (on the HD500x) are going to be IN-FRONT of your amps input (Wha, Distortion/OD, Compression) – just as they would in real life.
  • Any effects block you place AFTER the FX Loop block are going to be in the physical FX loop on your amp (between the pre-amp and power amp). Typically you would put your delays and reverbs here.

 

If you dig the sound of your guitar going straight into your amp, then don’t put any effects BEFORE the FX Loop block. More than likely, you will still need to adjust the FX Loop SEND volume to make sure you aren’t overloading the INPUT on your amp. Look up section 5*4 in the Advanced Guide for how this works.

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If you just want to use the HD500X in your amps physical FX loop... then just use 1/2 of the 4cm setup.

 

  • Guitar in to your amp.
  • Amp FX Send --> HD500FX Return
  • HD500X Mono Out --> AMP FX Return.

Put the FX Loop block first in your HD500x chain, and then anything after that will be in your Amps FX loop.

 

I don't use the 4cm personally, so someone should verify my directions for accuracy.

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