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jackhammer111

Patch Volumes to P.A.

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What is the best way to normalize all my patches going directly to a P.A.? I'm sure this has been addressed before but I can't seem to find a thread.

My pod hd500x is direct to my mixer into 2 channels panned 100% L/R respectively. My PFL gains are all over the map with each preset. My thought is to edit volume of each preset to normalize manually but which parameter is best to use to globally match output from the pod for each preset without affecting the characteristic of the preset itself?

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There is probably a better answer than this but........... I use the mixer in HDEdit and "earball" the levels per patch. When I run a practice I will record it and take note during playback. I find that percieved volume can vary depending how I have the EQ setup and affect how I lay in the mix with the rest of the band. That's it on my end as the patch levels through the cab are then set. I am at the mercy of the soundguy for the PA volume after he mics the cab and let hime do his thing for PA mixing (volume). 

 

Some people use a db meter to check and set patch levels.

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Thanks for your input BillBee. Looking at many presets in my edit window I can see that most of them have certain FX after the Mixer in the signal chain. I'm worried that changing the mixer will affect any FX that are down the line. Like a reverb or a delay for exmaples. I know that if these were physical componenents in a real FX rack it would certainly affect the input gains on anything downstream.

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First thing, is to create a 'baseline' result. 

For me, I plug an mp3 player into the mp3 jack and I play the same file at the same volume. 

Then, using the same patch every time, I adjust the master volume of the pod until I have my volume where I need it to be... 

 

Once you have that set, you can match all of your patches to that one particular patch. 

Whether you want the volume to be the same or different, at least you have that baseline to start with. 

 

 

As noted above: 

Actual volume will vary from perceived volume. Also, performance volume will vary from bedroom volume. But, ultimately, I use the mixer controls as needed for final adjustments. Obviously, it may not be ideal in a 'live' situation or even in a '30 minutes to showtime' situation, but you do what you gotta do. 

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Thanks piano guys. I'm looking to play live and I want to avoid any drastic changes in volume in the mix as I change presets from song to song. As it stands some of my presets will rip my head off while others are way too low. BillBee's suggestion could work but could also affect the nature of the tone if the internal (virtual) pod mixer isn't at the end of the signal chain. Which is the case in most of my presets. So I'm looking for the best way edit and save each patch volume at the end of each signal chain. Not sure if this clarifies my question.

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Personally, I simply modify the "volume" parameter for each amp as this does not color the sound (outside of normal Fletcher-Munson perception changes other others have mentioned). The only effects I run after the amp are delay/reverb, so the amp volume doesn't really modify the characteristics of those effects anyway (unless you're running a tube delay, in which case the drive may be modified by the amount of signal hitting it...)

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Personally, I simply modify the "volume" parameter for each amp as this does not color the sound (outside of normal Fletcher-Munson perception changes other others have mentioned). The only effects I run after the amp are delay/reverb, so the amp volume doesn't really modify the characteristics of those effects anyway (unless you're running a tube delay, in which case the drive may be modified by the amount of signal hitting it...)

Thanks for the reply. The tube delay example seems to be my dilemma. Many of the paches I've downloaded are running FX after the amp and ARE indeed affected (outside Fletcher-Munson perception) when I adjust the amp volume. So I'm looking for a way to adjust and save the volume after all fx without resorting to adding a volume pedal at the end of each signal chain as the last block. There must be an easier way to do it.

 

I tried adjusting patches via the know labelled MASTER on the floor unit itself and subsequently saving the patch but quickly found out that is the GOBAL master output volume for the unit.

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I tend to rely mainly and more quickly on my ears to find the right balance between the levels of the different tones/patches in order to save them..

 

but as an help it's possible to use also external levels measurements tools: watching the levels in your DAW is quite useless, what instead really works quite good is by using a "loudness meter" which is based on the human hearing loudness perception characterstics..

 

many loudness meters are not free, they are often used for radio broadcasts to make sure every audio source is properly leveled..

 

however I discovered a couple of free loudness meters, one of them is called "Orban Loudness Meter" http://www.orban.com/meter/

 

 

loudness-meter-2.7.png

 

it works also standalone..

 

all you have to do is: to select your POD as the audio interface, turn on the meter and play each patch for some seconds and watch the value shown in the black rectangle labeled as "LKFS" at the end of the "short term" bar..

 

I change the patch output volume until I see a value around -16-17 for each patch, and I save

Thanks for the reply. Very useful tool. I was balancing by ear and the meter of my FOH console but the loudness meter looks like an awesome tool to use.

 

What exactly do you use to change "the patch output volume".

I've tried "ch. Vol" in the amp tab of the edit window but that seems to be for the amps volume alone and seems to affect any fx down the signal chain. Like I mentioned in the previous reply I've also tried adjusting the "MASTER" knob on the floor unit itself but that thing is global.

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Thanks for the reply. The tube delay example seems to be my dilemma. Many of the paches I've downloaded are running FX after the amp and ARE indeed affected (outside Fletcher-Munson perception) when I adjust the amp volume. So I'm looking for a way to adjust and save the volume after all fx without resorting to adding a volume pedal at the end of each signal chain as the last block. There must be an easier way to do it.

 

I tried adjusting patches via the know labelled MASTER on the floor unit itself and subsequently saving the patch but quickly found out that is the GOBAL master output volume for the unit.

 

I see what you are trying to do - unfortunately, there isn't really a good way of doing it outside of adding another effect. Volume pedal would be the obvious one, otherwise you could also use an EQ or anything that has a drive/output control. As you learned, the "master" knob on the unit is the overal global volume level of the unit itself and applies to every patch based on the current physical setting.

 

One last thought - are you running a stereo patch? If not, you can try moving the mixer to the very end (i.e. move all of the other effects in front of the mixer) and then you can adjust the mixer levels on each patch.

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Having done this with various modeling amps over the years, this is always a constant battle because amp models vary so much in the way they respond to volume and drive.  The only consistent way I have been able to do it is by ear patch by patch.  In time you get a feel for how each amp model is going to respond to volume and gain, so you can pretty much begin to predict where it will come  out.

 

But as was mentioned before, perceived volume and measured volume are very different, so I've been a lot more successful using my ears as a gauge.  A patch that's overdriven will often be perceived as louder than a clean patch with more mellow effects such as a chorus even when they're pushing the same SPL.  As I lay out my patches for a performance I switch between them from patch to patch (song to song) making minor adjustments in either the volume or drive on the amp, or within the effects like the compressors or overdrive pedals until they all to line up pretty well volume wise to my ears.  I then save that patches so that when I need something like it again I already know it's pretty well gain staged.

 

The end goal is to ideally set my master volume on the POD at a set level that blends with the rest of the band and I can gain stage with the FOH sound check on pretty much any of one patch and the rest of the patches will all come out pretty close.

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Thanks again for the info guys. I'm learning a lot about the unit. Looks like moving the mixer to the end of each chain is my best bet so far. Just seems tedious for a problem I imagine is common enough. The only other problem I could foresee is not having enough open blocks in the signal chain to pull it off. I might send in a suggestion for some kind of patch volume. After all if they can add a global EQ the latest firmware update I'm sure they could pull off a patch volume. Or even a normalizer to get them in the ball park of each other.

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First thing, is to create a 'baseline' result. 

For me, I plug an mp3 player into the mp3 jack and I play the same file at the same volume. 

Then, using the same patch every time, I adjust the master volume of the pod until I have my volume where I need it to be... 

 

Once you have that set, you can match all of your patches to that one particular patch. 

Whether you want the volume to be the same or different, at least you have that baseline to start with. 

 

 

As noted above: 

Actual volume will vary from perceived volume. Also, performance volume will vary from bedroom volume. But, ultimately, I use the mixer controls as needed for final adjustments. Obviously, it may not be ideal in a 'live' situation or even in a '30 minutes to showtime' situation, but you do what you gotta do. 

 

 

I do something similar, but in my DAW.  I always create my presets based on my "perceived" needs, but then make the final changes/edits against backing tracks in Pro Tools.  I'll tweak everything from effects paremeters, mix levels, boost level for solos, eq, up to the final preset output level.  I have a few banks of "Control" presets, that I start from and never change, then I copy them according to song needs to different banks, make the edits in their new location.  I use song titles for specialized functions, like presets with effects that are song specific, or I'll use a title like "Stock Crunch" or "Stock Clean" or similar.  I keep all of my presets backed up on the cloud, my iMac, as well as a thumb drive for any "on the spot" saves or uploads that need to take place.

 

9 our of 10 times, FOH only has to set up a unity gain signal, give me what I need in my monitor or "in ears" and I'm good to go.  They seldom do any final eq adjustments, and if so, it is to make it work best in that room, but once they've done that, all of my presets usually work for that room.

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That is one thing to mention is "if" you set everything up with a FRFR system be sure to tell the sound dude to leave the eq'ing flat (or at least start that way). Some guys have their pet eq curve and haven't met a lot running full modelers.

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That is one thing to mention is "if" you set everything up with a FRFR system be sure to tell the sound dude to leave the eq'ing flat (or at least start that way). Some guys have their pet eq curve and haven't met a lot running full modelers.

Any sound engineer who has had professional training already defaults to the board being "zero'd" or all knobs set to their neutral positions.

 

That being said, most sound guys in dive bars & clubs, are not professionally trained.  They just made the stereo sound good one day and the bar owner promoted them to the club soundman, and it went their head.

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If your tube delay at the end of your chain has a level control then use that to equalize the levels.

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I want to give a tip of the hat to Hughanico on his advice to use a Studio EQ at the end of the chain.  I used that little trick today as I was setting up for a performance this weekend and that is by FAR the easiest way I've ever found to normalize volumes between the patches.  Not to mention it's quite handy at compensating for the characteristics of different guitars that may need some adjustment in low or mid/high frequency gains on output.  That's an awsome little tool for those final finishing touches on a patch to get it right where it needs to be both volume-wise and tone wise in a very clean way before sending it off to the FOH.

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Studio EQ wprks at the end of the signal chain to normalize patches. Howevwr for some reason if I change my set up from plugging straight into FOH to plugging into my little tube combo , the patches aren't even anymore. I of course also swith the outputs from studio/direct to combo front.

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That wouldn't surprise me at all.  The profile and response characteristics of a guitar amp is completely different from that of a FRFR speaker arrangement.  I would imagine the difference you're hearing is from the restriction of frequency response in various areas of the frequency range, and the added coloration a guitar amp adds in other frequency areas.  This is one of those either/or situations...you gotta choose one or the other.  This is why I only use FRFR setups for setup, practice, and gigging.

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That wouldn't surprise me at all. The profile and response characteristics of a guitar amp is completely different from that of a FRFR speaker arrangement. I would imagine the difference you're hearing is from the restriction of frequency response in various areas of the frequency range, and the added coloration a guitar amp adds in other frequency areas. This is one of those either/or situations...you gotta choose one or the other. This is why I only use FRFR setups for setup, practice, and gigging.

Well that breaks my heart!

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That wouldn't surprise me at all. The profile and response characteristics of a guitar amp is completely different from that of a FRFR speaker arrangement. I would imagine the difference you're hearing is from the restriction of frequency response in various areas of the frequency range, and the added coloration a guitar amp adds in other frequency areas. This is one of those either/or situations...you gotta choose one or the other. This is why I only use FRFR setups for setup, practice, and gigging.

Well that breaks my heart!

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the only output mode that uses the L6 cab/mic IRs is the studio/direct, all the other modes use instead live-voiced cabs which are different, not affected by mic selection, and are not IRs..

 

in studio/direct mode each cab/mic IR has a different volume, and the live-voiced cabs in the other modes have also different volumes

Ok here's a newbie question. What does IRs stand for?

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the only output mode that uses the L6 cab/mic IRs is the studio/direct, all the other modes use instead live-voiced cabs which are different, not affected by mic

selection, and are not IRs..

 

in studio/direct mode each cab/mic IR has a different volume, and the live-voiced cabs in the other modes have also different volumes

Ok now that I understand IRs, let me ask if there's any way to manipulate the IR volume itself in the edit software?

By the way, things are beginning to make sense.

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the cab/mic combinations (IRs) have not a dedicated volume control, their volume is fixed..

therefore you have to use the amp model volume control case by case to find the right setting

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the cab/mic combinations (IRs) have not a dedicated volume control, their volume is fixed..

therefore you have to use the amp model volume control case by case to find the right setting

I'm thinking I might have to make 2 separate setlists with the same presets one normalized for stidio/direct and one normalized for combo front. Tedious but it should get the job done. Thoughts?

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