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How to get a good live POD HD500 Tone


tpawlowskis
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So for years now I've been dissatisfied with my Pods it an extent when played live. When I was a kid I used to run my X3 live into the PA's at my church and not even run a monitor that's how low budged it was. When we used to play with monitors It was a touch better but it was so frustrating. I couldn't follow anything I was playing. I eventually bought 2 harbinger 1x12 floor wedges that were active so I could just plug them in and that was better, but still very frustrating to hear in a mix. There was no attack and no pick noise. Then It kind of occured to me, Monitor wedges aren't speaker cabs. They don't push air like a speaker cab does.

The only solution I have found to getting my pod to sound just the way I want it to live, is to run in-ear monitors.

 

A POD sounds like a recorded guitar amp, not a cab, and it would be highly impossible to make a cab IR that could make every monitor wedge sound like a v30 for example.

My research concludes if you want a POD for use as a silent solution, the only way to utilize it to it's fullest extent is to put in ears on. If you don't mind a cab on stage, it isn't so bad in combination with a wedge on the floor because you have the natural cab attack to produce the feel and response one needs to play accurately once volumes become too high to hear your strings on your guitar.

MANY articles of research online agree, digital modeling does compare to tube tone today, and many agree there is no difference. I think I just needed to clarify my research on here for anyone interested in learning to make the most of their pod if they're dissatisfied with it. Good luck.

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I'm not sure I understand what you're looking for in sound but for the last 8 years or so I've played live using modeling either in amp form and now with the HD500X and I've encountered none of the limitations you're talking about.  In fact I just recently changed my rig so that I'm sending a direct line to the PA mixing board, and a 1/4" output to a powered monitor speaker onstage and I couldn't be happier with the result.  You're right in saying a monitor doesn't handle sound in the same way as a guitar cabinet.  Acoustically speaking it handles it MUCH better.

 

Guitar cabinets are designed to not be full range flat response (FRFR) speakers.  They're designed specifically to accentuate certain frequencies associated with electric guitars.  That's fine if all of your effects and mic'ing of the cabinet are done externally.  But a POD is a self-contained unit that provides a virtual signal chain, which includes a guitar cabinet and various mic's in various positions.  To push that through yet another limited range cabinet and mic after the completion of the signal chain only serves to color the sound further.

 

I understand if you're working a silent stage why in-ears would be necessary.  And for the most part in-ears provide a fairly flat and full range duplication of the POD's signal chain, unless it's colored by the person running the monitor mix.  If you're not running a silent stage as we do in my band, a decent FRFR powered speaker is  the best solution I've found for giving me a true representation of my guitar's tone mixed with the rest of the on stage instruments and voices and what it is sounding like to the audience once it all comes out of the PA.  Maybe I'm old school in this regard, but I expect all of the musicians in the band to be professionals and control their volumes and listen to how they're mixing with everyone else, not just listen to themselves.  And this is the problem I see with in-ears.

 

In-ears can easily decieve your impression of what the band sounds like overall.  Since in-ears are a separate mix from the FOH mix you have no idea what you're sounding like to the audience, and given the lack of skills I've witnessed in most people running a sound board, I'm in no hurry to trust the fate of the band's overall sound to them.

 

The simplest and best solution if you're having problems hearing your guitar attack is to have the offending parties who are too loud to grow up, be professional, control their volume relative to the rest of the band, and listen to the whole band and the part they play in it so that it sounds like a true band, and not a bunch of individuals pounding out noise that somewhat resembles a song.

 

While it's true there are many articles about tube amps being superior to modeled sound, I would hesitate to call them research.  True research would indicate they used a double-blind test, which they don't do.  They just depend on their own purely subjective opinion.  The question is, how are you going to compare a tube amp's open air output to an output from a POD that is simulating (at a minimum) a guitar cabinet and specific mic?  The POD outputs a studio-ready signal, the stand alone amp does not.  The only viable "researched" way to do this would be to record both the POD's recorded output and the tube amp's recorded output which duplicates the amp and mic'ing technique used on the POD, then have objective, independent listeners determine (without knowing which is which) what sounds best.  There a countless numbers of these type of double-blind tests on YouTube, and there is NO consistency in how people vote on which sound is tube and which is modeled.  Which tells you the "researched" articles you've seen are pretty much baseless and totallly subjective.  That's hardly science.

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Is this a question? Is this a solution to a dilemma? I'm not sure what the point of this thread is but eye can tell you..

 

if you want to create tones for live playing, you should tailor those patches on a similar setup (PA speakers or what have you) amplified at said live setting volume.

 

As far as monitoring, whatever floats your boat really.

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I'm not sure I understand what you're looking for in sound but for the last 8 years or so I've played live using modeling either in amp form and now with the HD500X and I've encountered none of the limitations you're talking about.  In fact I just recently changed my rig so that I'm sending a direct line to the PA mixing board, and a 1/4" output to a powered monitor speaker onstage and I couldn't be happier with the result.  You're right in saying a monitor doesn't handle sound in the same way as a guitar cabinet.  Acoustically speaking it handles it MUCH better.

 

Guitar cabinets are designed to not be full range flat response (FRFR) speakers.  They're designed specifically to accentuate certain frequencies associated with electric guitars.  That's fine if all of your effects and mic'ing of the cabinet are done externally.  But a POD is a self-contained unit that provides a virtual signal chain, which includes a guitar cabinet and various mic's in various positions.  To push that through yet another limited range cabinet and mic after the completion of the signal chain only serves to color the sound further.

 

I understand if you're working a silent stage why in-ears would be necessary.  And for the most part in-ears provide a fairly flat and full range duplication of the POD's signal chain, unless it's colored by the person running the monitor mix.  If you're not running a silent stage as we do in my band, a decent FRFR powered speaker is  the best solution I've found for giving me a true representation of my guitar's tone mixed with the rest of the on stage instruments and voices and what it is sounding like to the audience once it all comes out of the PA.  Maybe I'm old school in this regard, but I expect all of the musicians in the band to be professionals and control their volumes and listen to how they're mixing with everyone else, not just listen to themselves.  And this is the problem I see with in-ears.

 

In-ears can easily decieve your impression of what the band sounds like overall.  Since in-ears are a separate mix from the FOH mix you have no idea what you're sounding like to the audience, and given the lack of skills I've witnessed in most people running a sound board, I'm in no hurry to trust the fate of the band's overall sound to them.

 

The simplest and best solution if you're having problems hearing your guitar attack is to have the offending parties who are too loud to grow up, be professional, control their volume relative to the rest of the band, and listen to the whole band and the part they play in it so that it sounds like a true band, and not a bunch of individuals pounding out noise that somewhat resembles a song.

 

While it's true there are many articles about tube amps being superior to modeled sound, I would hesitate to call them research.  True research would indicate they used a double-blind test, which they don't do.  They just depend on their own purely subjective opinion.  The question is, how are you going to compare a tube amp's open air output to an output from a POD that is simulating (at a minimum) a guitar cabinet and specific mic?  The POD outputs a studio-ready signal, the stand alone amp does not.  The only viable "researched" way to do this would be to record both the POD's recorded output and the tube amp's recorded output which duplicates the amp and mic'ing technique used on the POD, then have objective, independent listeners determine (without knowing which is which) what sounds best.  There a countless numbers of these type of double-blind tests on YouTube, and there is NO consistency in how people vote on which sound is tube and which is modeled.  Which tells you the "researched" articles you've seen are pretty much baseless and totallly subjective.  That's hardly science.

 

I think you just taught me some things I didn't know. Thanks!

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well, depending on the genre u r playing, u may find of use some of the classic rock example patches contained in the "using the hd500 live" playlist...

Ah exactly what I was also looking for! I'm going to rent a powered speaker this weekend to try to get this setup better for a PA environment since my computer speakers aren't the way to go. Be cool to have some of these as a reference to what sounds good live in a mix. Thank you!

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How to get a good live POD HD500 tone ?  Keep tweaking.  If it doesn't sound good yet then you need to make some adjustments.  The unit is more than capable but it's not simple or fast to build a tone, atleast at first. 

 

Not the same thing I know, but I'm a long time POD XT user (bean style). May sound terrible, but using that I felt I could get the guitar to talk under my fingers though not great tone

 

I struggled there as I do now to get those dynamics I'm seeking under your fingertips. Best example I can think of is like an Andy TImmonds sound or a sweet home Alabama type where you just have the right amount of breakup going on, but the tone still pops.

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I thought the op was making a statement, not asking a question. 

But, since it has since turned into a discussion by others, I thought I would throw in my two cents. 

 

 

How do I get a good live tone -----

 

 

I PLAY. 

 

 

 

Sure, I get it. I am not oblivious to the fact that some of you guys are more concerned about what it sounds like in your bedroom because you only play in your bedroom. And then, maybe once in a blue moon you play with actual people. 

But me, I play. I play live. I play in the studio. I play. This isn't a hobby. 

 

If it sounds bad, I change it. 

 

That is really the only way to get a good [fill in the blank] tone. 

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I don't think is so hard to have a decent live sound with Pod hd500

the first thing is to try to reproduce the sounds in your head of real amps that you had dial in the past 

For example, during many years i played a jcm 800 modded so when i started to dial with the pod , this was my base to reproduced that real sound in Frfr..

So the "plexi" was the best for what i seraching for , after i make a screamer for more sustain and ...etc .. step by step :-)

 

I think to approche real sound you have to cut some bass (120hz) and bright (presence) (6khz) 

in real amps + real cabs with mics you don't have so many low bass and harsh bright

You have to boost med (700hz) because modelisation didn't have anymore medium

 

The problem with all modelisation processors is tweakin, tweaking, tweakin duurrinngg maaannnyy timmmeeee !!! :-)

 

Here is an example of what i did with the POD HD500 in Frfr :

 

 

Good Luck :-)

 

Bertrand

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  • 2 months later...

I'm not sure I understand what you're looking for in sound but for the last 8 years or so I've played live using modeling either in amp form and now with the HD500X and I've encountered none of the limitations you're talking about.  In fact I just recently changed my rig so that I'm sending a direct line to the PA mixing board, and a 1/4" output to a powered monitor speaker onstage and I couldn't be happier with the result.  You're right in saying a monitor doesn't handle sound in the same way as a guitar cabinet.  Acoustically speaking it handles it MUCH better.

 

Guitar cabinets are designed to not be full range flat response (FRFR) speakers.  They're designed specifically to accentuate certain frequencies associated with electric guitars.  That's fine if all of your effects and mic'ing of the cabinet are done externally.  But a POD is a self-contained unit that provides a virtual signal chain, which includes a guitar cabinet and various mic's in various positions.  To push that through yet another limited range cabinet and mic after the completion of the signal chain only serves to color the sound further.

 

I understand if you're working a silent stage why in-ears would be necessary.  And for the most part in-ears provide a fairly flat and full range duplication of the POD's signal chain, unless it's colored by the person running the monitor mix.  If you're not running a silent stage as we do in my band, a decent FRFR powered speaker is  the best solution I've found for giving me a true representation of my guitar's tone mixed with the rest of the on stage instruments and voices and what it is sounding like to the audience once it all comes out of the PA.  Maybe I'm old school in this regard, but I expect all of the musicians in the band to be professionals and control their volumes and listen to how they're mixing with everyone else, not just listen to themselves.  And this is the problem I see with in-ears.

 

In-ears can easily decieve your impression of what the band sounds like overall.  Since in-ears are a separate mix from the FOH mix you have no idea what you're sounding like to the audience, and given the lack of skills I've witnessed in most people running a sound board, I'm in no hurry to trust the fate of the band's overall sound to them.

 

The simplest and best solution if you're having problems hearing your guitar attack is to have the offending parties who are too loud to grow up, be professional, control their volume relative to the rest of the band, and listen to the whole band and the part they play in it so that it sounds like a true band, and not a bunch of individuals pounding out noise that somewhat resembles a song.

 

While it's true there are many articles about tube amps being superior to modeled sound, I would hesitate to call them research.  True research would indicate they used a double-blind test, which they don't do.  They just depend on their own purely subjective opinion.  The question is, how are you going to compare a tube amp's open air output to an output from a POD that is simulating (at a minimum) a guitar cabinet and specific mic?  The POD outputs a studio-ready signal, the stand alone amp does not.  The only viable "researched" way to do this would be to record both the POD's recorded output and the tube amp's recorded output which duplicates the amp and mic'ing technique used on the POD, then have objective, independent listeners determine (without knowing which is which) what sounds best.  There a countless numbers of these type of double-blind tests on YouTube, and there is NO consistency in how people vote on which sound is tube and which is modeled.  Which tells you the "researched" articles you've seen are pretty much baseless and totallly subjective.  That's hardly science.

t

 

 

 

 

Hey DD well written dude

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here's a question for ya with regards to using an active powered monitor as a stand alone unit , I want to use a powered monitor as the only source of my sound , no amp no line to the desk - how would you set up your patches and have you managed to get convincing tones using your monitor behind you at gigs - yes genre etc etc gear etc etc but have you managed to get a satisfying tone at a good live volume and if so what did you do to get it ?

 

I've been getting great tone and volume out of a powered Mackie and Ampro monitor - I guess my direct question is this - how do you achieve the desired gig volume when setting up your patches for live application ?

 

I realize this is a very general question but do you good people have any good tips , how do I increase the volume of say patches that are low in volume on my POD that I've saved? ? yea I know this looks kind of silly when I read back what I've written but it is a genuine question

 

Cheers

 

Ps for dirt tones

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I use a Yamaha DXR12 powered monitor as the only source of my sound.  Although I also normally run a line out to the mixer in addition to the monitor, I have more than enough headroom left on the monitor that I could use it standalone in a small venue and it would work just fine.  The DXR12 is "realisticallly" rated at around 800 watts so it has the horsepower.  To be honest though, if our normal stage volume isn't enough to fill the space I would likely opt to go direct into the PA rather than turn everyone on stage up.  That just creates more problems than it's worth trying to hear everyone and blend together.

 

As far as the volume for my patches I set everything  up using the same DXR12 monitor.  I set my master volume control of the POD at a specific level and tweak each of my patches until I have them all at the same relative volume.  Once I get to rehearsal I adjust the POD's master volume to mix with the rest of the band and all of the patches go up the same relative amount.

 

I build all of my patches from scratch rather than use the ones that came with the POD or ones that are downloaded.  I pretty much depend on a handful of specific amp models for my different base tones, but because there's a fairlly wide range of volumes between some of the amps, if I can't even them out just using the channel volume or mixer volume I'll sometimes use the Studio EQ as the last effect in the signal chain and bump up the volume to match the other patches.  This is fairly rare since I often use a compressor in my signal chain which is enough to level out the volume.  All of these adjustments are done at home outside of rehearsal/performance, so by the time I show up with the band it's simply a matter of adjusting my POD's master volume to match the levels of the rest of the band.

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I use a Yamaha DXR12 powered monitor as the only source of my sound. Although I also normally run a line out to the mixer in addition to the monitor, I have more than enough headroom left on the monitor that I could use it standalone in a small venue and it would work just fine. The DXR12 is "realisticallly" rated at around 800 watts so it has the horsepower. To be honest though, if our normal stage volume isn't enough to fill the space I would likely opt to go direct into the PA rather than turn everyone on stage up. That just creates more problems than it's worth trying to hear everyone and blend together.

 

As far as the volume for my patches I set everything up using the same DXR12 monitor. I set my master volume control of the POD at a specific level and tweak each of my patches until I have them all at the same relative volume. Once I get to rehearsal I adjust the POD's master volume to mix with the rest of the band and all of the patches go up the same relative amount.

 

I build all of my patches from scratch rather than use the ones that came with the POD or ones that are downloaded. I pretty much depend on a handful of specific amp models for my different base tones, but because there's a fairlly wide range of volumes between some of the amps, if I can't even them out just using the channel volume or mixer volume I'll sometimes use the Studio EQ as the last effect in the signal chain and bump up the volume to match the other patches. This is fairly rare since I often use a compressor in my signal chain which is enough to level out the volume. All of these adjustments are done at home outside of rehearsal/performance, so by the time I show up with the band it's simply a matter of adjusting my POD's master volume to match the levels of the rest of the band.

Hey Dunedin Dragon once again thank you for your response , I've had my HD for a couple of months now and realistically I've just been doing the research and reading a tonne of stuff and really just playing with the presets and downloading stuff for a bit of a play

 

Initially like all newbies it was an absolute mindfcuk lol how ever I did persevere , for me as an old school player it was more of a mind set and attitude adjustment with regards to what I can achieve with this unit and I have to say I'm blown away with the tone coming out of my powered monitor at home at volume and figure if this is anything to go by I must surely be able to achieve usable high volume live gig tone .

 

I'm keen to use this unit live as a stand alone unit though I'm happy to also run a line out to the desk as well , at first things just weren't falling into place , problems at the time - very low volume through the monitor and uneven volume between patches how ever after a wee bit of tweaking I'm sold on what I've managed to squeeze out of this unit

 

I saw a local covers band last week doing an outdoor gig , big stage , and the guy there was using an HD500X through a powered monitor into a desk , this 5 piece covers band blew the roof off the stage , I can only say he and the band sounded fantastic - words that come to mind ..... Organic ,warm unbelievable tone . I was fortunate enough to have a chat with him while they were on a set break and quite frankly I was blown away by the simplicity of his set up , as he put it , provided his patches are set up prior to the gig , a little tweak here and there but that's it , nice guy too very chatty and helpful

 

I have seen a couple of local Covers bands using the HD500X , 1 band in particular I did catch , the guy was using a powered monitor on its own and the Pod straight into it no line out , the sound was nothing short of awesome

 

Once again DD thank you for your help

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No problem StrayFalcon.  We've all been through the same learning curve.  I've been using modeling in one way or another for several years now and most of what I struggled through in learning to tame it translated over when I went to the HD500X.  So just know that the things you're learning now will serve you well in the future no mater where you may go with modeling technology.

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  • 1 year later...

Hate to reopen an old thread, but I thought I would share my reasoning for buying a HD500x, with the intention of both using it as a home recording device and playing shows. My favourite band is Thrice and for quite a while their lead singer/rhythm guitarist Dustin Kensrue was rocking a Pod HD500. The tones and sounds that Dustin was able to get out of the HD500 was phenomenal and behind my reasoning to persist with trying to learn and understand how to get a good studio/live tone (it is possible). Worth noting that Thrice at times are heavy, but their modern sound from the last few albums is rock.

 

The one thing people need to understand about the HD500 or any digital effects modeler is you need to put the work in to understand how the modeler works, it's caveats and how you can work around them. If you're listening to your patches through cheap computer speakers, your live sound is going to sound nothing like it. PC speakers will colour your sound, whereas monitors and PA speakers will sound completely different because they're not colouring your sound.

 

The most important thing you have to remember is that depending on the venue, the PA system at the venue, who is at the mixing desk and other variables will affect your sound. In my experience it is rare you can show up somewhere and just have a set of patches that immediately sound good, you'll have to tweak (this is why a sound check is VERY important). Show up early and make sure you're happy with the sound before you play. And this is why it is important you learn every knob, setting and effect on the Pod, particular parametric equalisers to clean up your sound (especially hi-gain).

 

Now, here are some performances where Dustin of Thrice is playing through his HD500. The studio ones are being mixed (obviously) but it shows you the kind of sound that you can get if you work at it, I think these sound great and seeing Dustin play the HD500 was why I took the plunge into Line 6 modelers.

 

(I love the dirty tone Dustin gets out of his guitar here)

 

 

 

 

Then for the heavier oriented players, you have bands like Twelve Foot Ninja who are a bit of a fusion, but have progressive/djent style roots. Their guitarist Stevic has been a Line 6 player for a while now, but their debut album and for quite a while he was playing a JTV with a Pod HD500x in a live setting and also recording. To get that djent sound, it is a pretty stated fact that you have to use digital amp modeling because the djent sound is notoriously digital. If you look at some live performances around 2015, you'll see Stevic's Pod in action.

 

TL;DR anyone who tells you that you can't get a good live sound out of the HD500/500x has never tried, it's more than possible and has been done. Tweak, tweak and tweak some more. Don't expect the HD500 to sound good out-of-the-box.

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