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DaveLeeNC

Pure Newbie Questions WRT signal routing/other

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I am just returning to guitar and am the 'ultimate newbie' in that I haven't played since the early 80's until the past month. And even back then it was purely acoustic guitar. E.G., I have never intentionally over-driven an amp, never used a foot-pedal, until last week I had no idea what a 'Chorus' is, etc. 

 

I just bought a HD500X as my 'first amplifier' played through a FRFR monitor speaker in my (small) bedroom. Much of my confusion is probably related to my complete lack of experience with any guitar amplifiers. Here are my questions. 

 

1) I have one signal going into my POD (ignoring for now anything coming from my laptop hosting the Editor) and one output (single speaker). But I often see a single amp with two outputs (in the typical preset these outputs just go to a Mixer). What is going on here? Is there some implied stereo path (left input/right input) implied by the signal path to the left of the amp and right of the Mixer? Or ?? 

 

2) I have been told a number of times that many of the HD500X effects 'are best in stereo' - referencing my choice of a single speaker (which will be changing down the road when/if I get serious about recording or maybe depending on the answer to this question). So for the case of a single input (just a guitar, no accompaniment) what exactly does this mean? I can imagine a number of ways of splitting up a signal into two different signals (where the sum = the original signal), but what exactly am I missing here in my single speaker setup? 

 

3) Is the cabinet not shown and at the end of the chain? I often see effects 'after' the amplifier and this just seems odd (since to me amplifier implies the existence of a cabinet). Is it simply something that can easily be done in modeling so why not (where in a real/physical situation you would not run a 100W signal through an Effects Pedal - I assume??). 

 

4) I often see a "E.R." knob in the editor. What is this? 

 

Thanks for the help.

 

dave

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I am just returning to guitar and am the 'ultimate newbie' in that I haven't played since the early 80's until the past month. And even back then it was purely acoustic guitar. E.G., I have never intentionally over-driven an amp, never used a foot-pedal, until last week I had no idea what a 'Chorus' is, etc. 

 

I just bought a HD500X as my 'first amplifier' played through a FRFR monitor speaker in my (small) bedroom. Much of my confusion is probably related to my complete lack of experience with any guitar amplifiers. Here are my questions. 

 

1) I have one signal going into my POD (ignoring for now anything coming from my laptop hosting the Editor) and one output (single speaker). But I often see a single amp with two outputs (in the typical preset these outputs just go to a Mixer). What is going on here? Is there some implied stereo path (left input/right input) implied by the signal path to the left of the amp and right of the Mixer? Or ?? 

 

2) I have been told a number of times that many of the HD500X effects 'are best in stereo' - referencing my choice of a single speaker (which will be changing down the road when/if I get serious about recording or maybe depending on the answer to this question). So for the case of a single input (just a guitar, no accompaniment) what exactly does this mean? I can imagine a number of ways of splitting up a signal into two different signals (where the sum = the original signal), but what exactly am I missing here in my single speaker setup? 

 

3) Is the cabinet not shown and at the end of the chain? I often see effects 'after' the amplifier and this just seems odd (since to me amplifier implies the existence of a cabinet). Is it simply something that can easily be done in modeling so why not (where in a real/physical situation you would not run a 100W signal through an Effects Pedal - I assume??). 

 

4) I often see a "E.R." knob in the editor. What is this? 

 

Thanks for the help.

 

dave

 

Probably a good portion of your questions can be answered in detail in the following PodHD guide by MeAmBobbo 

http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/setup

 

1) I have one signal going into my POD (ignoring for now anything coming from my laptop hosting the Editor) and one output (single speaker). But I often see a single amp with two outputs (in the typical preset these outputs just go to a Mixer). What is going on here? Is there some implied stereo path (left input/right input) implied by the signal path to the left of the amp and right of the Mixer? Or ?? 

 

The POD is essentially a stereo device, but it only really affects you if you are using stereo effects.  At the point you're at I wouldn't worry about that too much and just concentrate on the basic functionality.  Suffice it to say if you've plugged your single speaker in the left (mono) output the stereo lines are summed and sent mono, so the only thing you're missing is the stereo separation of a stereo effect.

 

 

2) I have been told a number of times that many of the HD500X effects 'are best in stereo' - referencing my choice of a single speaker (which will be changing down the road when/if I get serious about recording or maybe depending on the answer to this question). So for the case of a single input (just a guitar, no accompaniment) what exactly does this mean? I can imagine a number of ways of splitting up a signal into two different signals (where the sum = the original signal), but what exactly am I missing here in my single speaker setup? 

 

It depends on what your use is.  For live performances, probably not much since most folks running PA's aren't too keen on separating stereo since it's not very effective unless you happen to be the small number of people perfectly positioned between the two main speakers.  For recording purposes it might be useful to you depending on the style of music you play.  As mentioned above the stereo lines are summed to the mono output of the board if that's where you're plugged in.  Personally I only use a single speaker and perform weekly with no problems.

 

 

 

3) Is the cabinet not shown and at the end of the chain? I often see effects 'after' the amplifier and this just seems odd (since to me amplifier implies the existence of a cabinet). Is it simply something that can easily be done in modeling so why not (where in a real/physical situation you would not run a 100W signal through an Effects Pedal - I assume??). 

 

The cabinet model being used is part of the amp block.  There some deep editing features of the amp block that include the cabinet and microphone parameters.  All explained in the documentation for the POD.  The effects positioned after the amp block behave in a manner similar to an effect loop in that they are applied after the pre-amp generally.  You'll note that many of them behave quite differently pre and post amp block.  Again your documentation explains this all pretty well.

 

 

 

4) I often see a "E.R." knob in the editor. What is this? 

 

I'm assuming this is early reflections..a cabinet parameter.  Again detailed in your documentation.

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Thanks for the very useful information. FWIW, the ER knob in the editor is Early Reflections. FWIW, this knob is only referenced in the 'native' HELP file accessed from the POD, and (AFAIK) is not referenced anywhere in the online help resources. That is probably true for a lot of stuff, BTW. 

 

I think the foobazaar website is going to be a game changer regarding my learning curve (although I have only had time to scan it thus far). But a big thanks to both you for pointing this out and Meambobbo for putting it together. 

 

I did notice a statement that when using a single (balanced) TSR output the stereo paths are summed to mono. When using (balanced) XLR outputs they are not. Since I am using XLR to my FRFR speaker, I am guessing that this probably presents a more serious problem than you might guess. I am also wondering how this affects the case where my POD/speaker is connected and turned on and I stream music through it from my laptop (where the POD is now acting as my sound card). My guess is that I am only hearing the right (or left - don't recall what I did here) channel. I'd be interested in comments on that.

 

dave

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I did notice a statement that when using a single (balanced) TSR output the stereo paths are summed to mono. When using (balanced) XLR outputs they are not. Since I am using XLR to my FRFR speaker, I am guessing that this probably presents a more serious problem than you might guess. I am also wondering how this affects the case where my POD/speaker is connected and turned on and I stream music through it from my laptop (where the POD is now acting as my sound card). My guess is that I am only hearing the right (or left - don't recall what I did here) channel. I'd be interested in comments on that.

 

dave

 

Again, you won't notice anything as far as the guitar unless you use a stereo effect.  I output from my left XLR to the mixing board at gigs all the time and there's no problem.  But I don't use stereo effects because it would be a waste of time in a live setting.  It may be a problem with music streams, but you should be able to tell if that if so.  If in doubt route the speaker out of the mono 1/4" output rather than the XLR.  That's how I run my output to the FRFR speaker on the HD500X.  I also have a HDProX for the studio but that's routed via XLR to 2 studio monitors.

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Or I could use this as an excuse to buy a second speaker RIGHT NOW  :D

 

dave

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Or I could use this as an excuse to buy a second speaker RIGHT NOW  :D

 

dave

As an acoustic player, you never used stereo before, so let's not start now. Learn the mono paths first. 

 

Sure, right now, you are using some of the factory patches. But, ultimately, you are going to be designing your own patches. So, the stereo sounds that are currently in the machine aren't going to be used anyhow. 

 

If you don't design them in stereo, they aren't going to sound stereo -- plus, as previously mentioned, stereo doesn't do well live. 

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Pianoguy, those are valid points. OTOH, I do stream music through my laptop and now that I own a nice speaker(s) it would be nice to use it for that application. But if I do the thing that is physically the easiest to do (just stream to the speakers through the USB connected HD500X) I lose a channel. I haven't found a way to 'induce a mono signal' into my active sound card, but maybe there is a way. Or some other/additional physical connection from my laptop to my speaker.

 

dave

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And just so you we're clear... 

 

Mono can run in two speakers. Just as stereo can run in one. 

If you bought that 2nd speaker, mono would simply have the same thing coming out of both of them. Stereo would have something different in each. 

****your pre-recorded music could benefit from having the 2nd speaker, if you are listening to stuff that is recorded in stereo.

 

---------------------------------------

The biggest benefit of stereo is the separation effect. Being able to separate left and right, and even creating a middle. Most people put two speakers side by side and call it stereo --- and it may be stereo, but because there isn't really any space between them, you lose the separation.

 

My father showed me this when I was young when we were re-designing the hi-fi system/room. He put on an old 'sound effects' record (actual vinyl).  

He had the speakers together and played a train sound. Big friggin deal. I can hear a train anytime just by going outside.

 

But then he put the speakers far apart. He had me sit in the middle. And I could really hear the train-a-comin'. Started far out in the distance on the left, almost ran my lollipop over in the middle, and then disappeared out of the right. 

 

One of those moments, where, as a child, you're like "can't I just go watch my cartoons, why do I have to listen to this useless album". 

But, as an adult, I carry that useless knowledge around with me so that I can say useless crap to other people about it. 

 

 

 

****post was already started before your reply

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Pianoguy, those are valid points. OTOH, I do stream music through my laptop and now that I own a nice speaker(s) it would be nice to use it for that application. But if I do the thing that is physically the easiest to do (just stream to the speakers through the USB connected HD500X) I lose a channel. I haven't found a way to 'induce a mono signal' into my active sound card, but maybe there is a way. Or some other/additional physical connection from my laptop to my speaker.

 

dave

 

Are you sure you lose a channel when you come out of the POD?  I would think the 1/4" Left (Mono) output would sum the two channels even if it came in through the sound card of the HD500X.

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Are you sure you lose a channel when you come out of the POD?  I would think the 1/4" Left (Mono) output would sum the two channels even if it came in through the sound card of the HD500X.

 

Per the incredibly useful stuff from Meambobbo, 

 

  • The 1/4" outputs will sum to mono if only one of the two outputs is being used. In contrast, the XLR outputs will never sum to mono.

I am using an XLR cable right now and don't have a second 1/4" TR/TRS to try. But I did use the audio test on this website

 

http://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_stereo.php

 

and verified that I am getting only one channel.

 

dave

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FWIW, I ended up getting a 1/4" cable to replace the XLR that I was using. The configuration that I am using really is a problem. Assuming that there is no mono effect in the post path, I am just not getting one of  the channels. While (as a newbie) I am unlikely to be doing anything truly stereo (in the near term), a really natural thing to do for a newbie is to load up existing pre-sets to see what they sound like - and possibly as a basis for building your own tones. And with my configuration they may well not sound like they were designed. 

 

I guess that my configuration was a bit unusual (although to me it is quite natural if you bought a 500X to use as the front end of a guitar amplifier). The design obviously was assuming a conventional 'DAW or other stereo' application when using XLR cables (which I chose simply because it is the only balanced speaker output available). But given this problem I am surprised that I have never seen it clearly stated in all the reading that I have done. 

 

dave

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while in a live situation mono may be the way to go, in the bedroom you dont have 1000 watts. thats where that stereo will produce sound and fill the room,

this will easily show using headphones, 1st one can on one ear only, then both for stereo with some of the factory presets

. will help with the decision to get that 2nd speaker.

a surrounf processor can open yet another dimension, at the cost of an extra 2 or 5 speakers

the pod is a stereo device - with some limitations

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go to the mixer block and Pan both left and right channels to Center. see if this helps. Also switch your inputs if you haven't already, input one to guitar and input 2 to Variax.

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