Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
clay-man

Signal-to-noise Ratio Of A Pod Hd500?

Recommended Posts

Hi. I was wondering if anyone knows the signal-to-noise ratio of a POD HD unit.

 

I have an M-Audio Fast Track Pro, and the signal-to-noise ratio isn't the best in the world, and requires use of noise gates when using high gain amp software.

 

I was hoping the HD500 has a good signal-to-noise ratio for clean noiseless backgrounds when I'm using compressors or distortion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does have a good SNR, but I can't quantify it.  The biggest problem is that if you are using high gain effects/amps then most guitars are a very noisy source and you get noise. So the HD500 has a choice of Noise Gates as effects that you can place where you want in the chain either to reduce noise or as a deliberate effect.

 

Ignoring these the lowest Noise levels are achieved by following the obvious rules:

 

1) Use a really clean source - you can get stupidly high gain settings with almost no noise by using a JTV with a VDI connection as the whole input chain is digital from just after the piezo pickups, Some active pickups might be quite quiet too.  Use a single coil cheap Strat next to fluorescent lights with a dodgy choke and you will be lucky to hear the guitar at all. 

 

2) Using high quality cables

 

3) Changing the Input setting from the general "anything that is plugged in" to just single inputs as each physical input adds its own little bit of noise.

 

4) Not using more Gain than is really needed in the effects/amp chain; many people use way too much gain just because it is available

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does have a good SNR, but I can't quantify it.  The biggest problem is that if you are using high gain effects/amps then most guitars are a very noisy source and you get noise. So the HD500 has a choice of Noise Gates as effects that you can place where you want in the chain either to reduce noise or as a deliberate effect.

 

Ignoring these the lowest Noise levels are achieved by following the obvious rules:

 

1) Use a really clean source - you can get stupidly high gain settings with almost no noise by using a JTV with a VDI connection as the whole input chain is digital from just after the piezo pickups, Some active pickups might be quite quiet too.  Use a single coil cheap Strat next to fluorescent lights with a dodgy choke and you will be lucky to hear the guitar at all. 

 

2) Using high quality cables

 

3) Changing the Input setting from the general "anything that is plugged in" to just single inputs as each physical input adds its own little bit of noise.

 

4) Not using more Gain than is really needed in the effects/amp chain; many people use way too much gain just because it is available

 

I've been using a Variax 600. I know the Variax is virtually noiseless, but it's my interface's fault when it comes to noise.

There is noise even with moderate levels of gain, so I usually always have a noise gate on my guitar channel.

The noise floor is about -80db on my M-audio fast track pro, and it rises up pretty bad when I add gain effects.

 

Even if I have absolutely nothing plugged in to that input, there will still be a noise floor of about -80.  I want something quieter than that. One of the main reasons I got an interface in the first place is to try to lower the noise floor, but sadly I didn't do enough research before buying an M-Audio, and I'm sometimes disappointed with it. Nice features, bad noise/signal ratio.

 

I was thinking of getting an HD 500 for Variax features and maybe as a better interface, knock 2 birds out with 1 stone I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I connect my JTV via VDI as input 1 and set input 2 to Aux with nothing else connected, no amp or effect models and mixer set to 0dB I can measure a noise floor of < -92dB via USB.

Like Rewolf said, a lot depends on your input signal quality and level. I don't think the HD unit itself has any inherent noise level that would prevent you from getting very clean output. But having this out of the way, there are plenty of possibility to bring in or produce noise throught inputs, effects loop, or just bad amp and effect model parameter settings.

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I connect my JTV via VDI as input 1 and set input 2 to Aux with nothing else connected, no amp or effect models and mixer set to 0dB I can measure a noise floor of < -92dB via USB.

Like Rewolf said, a lot depends on your input signal quality and level. I don't think the HD unit itself has any inherent noise level that would prevent you from getting very clean output. But having this out of the way, there are plenty of possibility to bring in or produce noise throught inputs, effects loop, or just bad amp and effect model parameter settings.

Martin

 

I usually put my gain at like 6-7 on high gain. I never overkill on gain, cause it sounds awful if you do.

I know there's always gonna be a little bit of noise, but I look at others and they always have a nice setup that sounds noiseless.

 

I try to use the preamp a bit on my M-Audio but it'll clip if I put it too high.

 

Speaking of preamps is there any preamp stuff on the POD HD, and does it have a limiter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had problems with noise on my HD500 too. A friend has an HD400 and we compared side by side and with same guitar, leads, amp. But the 500 kept have a far poorer S/N output for all the same settings. I finally found the problem, input source 2 was set to mic, I changed it to guitar - the sound of silence!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes the Mic input with nothing plugged in can produce some noise especially if the Trim is set high.  I know that the HD500 defaults to most of the inputs active, but you really want to reduce this down to just the input(s) you are actively using on each patch in order to keep the noise down

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But doesn't input 2 guitar, also produce that noise? 

 

You really should be turning input 2 to the digital option of variax. 

 

 

Also, setting input 2 to guitar/same will change the sound of your patches because instead of having one input it will be having two. 

That's why you don't get clean sounds with two input sounds.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The mic input has a lot more gain the the aux/gujiar inputs. This is why the mic input has more noise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SNR can be a somewhat arbitrary so we have to be careful. It's signal to noise ratio, right? The noise floor is easy. Don't hook up anything and measure the level coming out. Signal is something else. What signal level do I use. I an make the input be a number of different levels and get whatever SNR I want. For a digital system the best SNR usually occurs when the signal gets close to 0dBFS (i.e., fullscale). Is that appropriate here? For the HD500 that means a signal much larger than typical guitar levels. Does anyone know if there's a "standard" signal level for SNR measurement in the guitar market? Next time I take my HD500 into the lab (to measure more amp tone control responses) I'll measure SNR as well.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't heard this term since the ferric tape days when it was enough level to overcome the hiss and noise floor of mics in a room.

There is self noise of the equipment itself. As in Microphone recording chain will have a self noise especially tube mics and preamps.

The sound in the recording space usually acoustically deadened to lower to self noise of the room. Outside rumble or from Air Con  getting in the mic. Mics have a high pass to combat this.

 

The idea to lower the noise floor of the mic in a room when compressed to increase signal to tape would also raise

the noise floor. Thus many studios of the late 70's and 80's were completely lifeless and life was added by the new expensive digital FX overriding any god forbid room ambiance. LOL

 

The point was the room even now has to minimize outside noise from getting in (sound proofing)and how the sound in the room bounces around (acoustic treatment)

 

On the HDs the pre amps are the modern cheap but clean design. The self noise of the unit is excellent but add to it an unheralded guitar and the pickups pick up stray electromagnetic fields from the HDs. Electronics, Guitar Amps, TVs, computers, dimmer lights all induce electronic noise into the system and to minimize it you have to shield the guitar.

 

When I first got my HD the noise was unaccepable especially on high gain amps and FX until I shielded all my guitars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...