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noticeable difference in HD500 amp patch levels


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 I bought this HD500 about 8 weeks ago as an upgrade to my POD-XTs which have been extremely serviceable for touring purposes. The sampled sounds in the HD sound like they are certainly improved but I miss a couple of the built in effects such as the default compressor/noise gate and a couple of others that had not been implemeted in this model.

The problem that I notice most is the imbalance between the default volume levels of different amps models especially in PRE mode. For instance, the Blackface Deluxe is much louder. than the Blackface Twin (ie: double verb), the Marshall 100 is much louder than the 45, the Vox AC30 is louder than the Vox Fawn, etc. The XT was much less variable.


So ...

(1) Is this common amongst these models?


(2) Is there away of resetting the unit to defaults?


(3) Would a reflash of the firmware possibly fix this issue?




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1 - Yes

2 - Yes, but the default values are the way you describe them.

3 - No


The differences reflect the real life situation. Some amps are louder than others. You need to manually balance the output levels among presets using the controls, especially Channel volume.

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PianoGuy gave us a pretty useful method of normalizing patches using an MP3 player. (Hope I get this right :) ). Using a MP3 player play a track into the aux in of the HD then you adjust the individual patch volumes to the volume of the track being played. That should get you in the ball park.


Some amps just have that extra oomph.


Hope that helps.



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@Bill - Close enough for a first attempt. I will expand on that later... 


As far as using the factory patches -- I would never (as an example) use C3PO, Spring Bass, and Enter Sandman in the same show, so who really cares what the volume differences are. And if you are using EDIT to make your patches, everything defaults at 0. So, again, it really isn't a problem with volume between amps and patches. 

You are going to just have to manually adjust them. Ultimately, not many of us are using the default patches. So, again, it isn't that big of a deal to us. 



But, what Bill was talking about is mostly for creating a baseline. A baseline that you will then compare everything against. 

I plug my mp3 player in the cd/mp3 jack (not the aux jack). The mp3 jack is not controlled by the unit at all. Even the HD500 Master Volume has no control over what plays through the mp3 jack. That jack is completely independent of the unit. 

So, I have a file I use (pick a song, any song, but use the same one everytime).

I set the mp3 player volume to the same volume level every time. 


But here is where it gets tricky... 

I have a patch that I use. Same patch, every time. 

And the reason I said it gets tricky is because you have to have one patch created before any of this other stuff applies. How you make it is up to you, you can use a default patch or download one from CT, or just twist some random knobs to make your first patch. But whatever patch you have, it must already exist and you must use it ALL THE TIME for things to be equal all the time. 



So, now, with the patch selected and the mp3 playing... 

I play guitar. Also, I use the same guitar at this stage almost all of the time. It is impossible for me to always use it, but I try.  

While playing along with that file, I adjust the HD500 Master Volume to be equal to the mp3 file. 


Once you have done this properly... THAT is your baseline. It is the value that all other things are going to be compared to. If you want to make a new patch, you can compare it to that baseline. 

Do you want the new patch louder then the original - maybe like a solo volume - well, adjust accordingly.

Do you want a patch with more delay? The only way to truly know how long an echo will sustain is to compare all things equal - so, you compare it against the baseline. 

Don't know how to set the volume for a 'clean' patch because distorted guitars naturally sound louder even though they aren't - you have that baseline to compare and contrast. 



You need a baseline. How you create that initial patch or what song or what volume to set your mp3 player at --- these things are up to you. But once you create the baseline, you must always use that baseline. So make sure it is a song you will listen to for the rest of you life. 


Frequently asked questions: 

-Why do you use the same guitar? Because, unlike some people I use different guitars because they have different personalities. Some people make patches per guitar to "even out" the sound. Not me, I have that one guitar that I use as a baseline, and then I pick up this other guitar knowing that it is really hot and my sound will be really hot in comparison. Or I pick up this other guitar because it has more twang to it. That baseline result allows those guitars to be part of the expression I perform. Whereas other people have the same monotone sound because they make a patch with less bass for the guitar that adds bass. Me, when I play a guitar with more bass, it is because I want the more bass to appear. 

-Once you have the patch made, why do I have to use the mp3 player all the time? Because, even though this is digital, you still have things like Fletcher Munchausen. Your patch isn't going to be exactly the same with the master volume at 10 when you made it with the master volume at 5. The echoes that I mentioned are a good example - you won't hear them as they drift away. But if the master volume somehow gets turned up a notch, they will appear to echo longer because it takes longer to have that "drift away" sound. You want all things equal. 

-Why are you such an lollipop? If I am not the "smartest guy in the room", I will shut up and listen so that I can learn. If I am speaking, it means it is time for others to shut up and listen. That doesn't make me an lollipop. That makes me a success. 

-What song/patch/guitar do you use? None of your business. That is MY baseline. You need to create your own. I am giving you the tools to create that baseline. But the baseline, itself, has to be something you invent. I mean, I played guitar for Alice Cooper. Certainly, having a "hard rock" baseline isn't going to fly for someone who plays with Carrie Underwood (I also played with her, lol). But those differences is the very reason why you need to create your own. Do what works for you. The method works for everyone, but the details only work for the individual. 

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thanks to all for your repliesand a special thank you to pianoguyy for his heads up on setting up patches. I went and looked back at my pod xt and the default amp levels were all over the place there as well. I'd forgotten how much time i'd put into getting the patches on that model set up.The more I mess with this unit the more the features i find, and the quality of the sounds has certainly improved.


I miss the built-in default Comp/Gate and the Sine Chorus from the XT's FX models but I guess there are replacement options available.


Thanks for everyone's help.

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I miss the built-in default Comp/Gate and the Sine Chorus from the XT's FX models but I guess there are replacement options available.


I also miss the Auto-Wah. Even when it's the same based model (Mu-tron), tends to sound very different. 

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I also miss the Auto-Wah. Even when it's the same based model (Mu-tron), tends to sound very different. 


I also think the Line6-Edit GUI was better set out for the AMP & FX adjustments. The dark colours of the HD500 editor are not as easy to see even on a MAC notebook, the lighter colours of the Line6-Edit interface were a lot easier to see.


I also think if I could find some digital electronics genius to patch an aux send/return style FX loop into my POD XT I would keep using it with the express floorboard. Having the XT unit at waist height made it a lot easier to make changes on the fly in live situations.

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