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Is my POD HD 500X clipping or is there something wrong with my bass?

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Hello!

 

I have a problem that's driving me insane! I´ve been using my pod hd500x with my bass for about a year now and I´m having some sort of clipping. It´s mostly when I´m plucking the low B string and I get a real nasty distortion. The bass I´m using is a cheap Sterling Subray 5 and it´s famous for its crappy HIGH output electronics. However, I just changed out the pre to a nice Seymour Duncan smc 3M3 active preamp, but the problem´s still there.... I even lowered the pickup so it´s flat with the body but still clipping... The pad switch helps some but not enough.

 

Now I´m wondering if it might be the pod that´s clipping? I curently have neither another bass/guitar to try in my Pod and no other amp to test my bass in (going to the music store tomorrow), so maybe someone of you guys could be kind enough to try one of my patches to see if you got the same problem?

 

I would be really thankfull for help!

 

ps. I have been reading Meambobbo's guide about clipping and tried it all...

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I get a similar prob when monitoring on small speakers and it is a recording concern that the low end not be too heavy on the bass in a mix. So going into line level devices the bass has to be managed. Lower it. The cab resonance in the Amp edit page really effects the level so too the thump, Dial those down.

 

Mostly turn up your monitors to get the loud you like.

 

Another issue is the added gain structure with going out the XLRs into another preamp like a mixboard. It effects things. You might have to shelve the low end.

The line outs might be better.

 

Once you have the offending lower bass frequencies tamed your speakers and playback devices will handle it. 

So too a small bass amp.

 

Assuming the bass guitar is in perfect playing condition, no rattle, knocks, buzz etc.

 

What you going into after the HD?

 

Finally, try going into your Bass Amp head as the pre amp and line out of it to the HD FX return.

If you listen to the line out of a Amp head it is usually a DI and much like going in direct on a mix board,

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I get a similar prob when monitoring on small speakers and it is a recording concern that the low end not be too heavy on the bass in a mix. So going into line level devices the bass has to be managed. Lower it. The cab resonance in the Amp edit page really effects the level so too the thump, Dial those down.

 

Mostly turn up your monitors to get the loud you like.

 

Another issue is the added gain structure with going out the XLRs into another preamp like a mixboard. It effects things. You might have to shelve the low end.

The line outs might be better.

 

Once you have the offending lower bass frequencies tamed your speakers and playback devices will handle it. 

So too a small bass amp.

 

Assuming the bass guitar is in perfect playing condition, no rattle, knocks, buzz etc.

 

What you going into after the HD?

 

Finally, try going into your Bass Amp head as the pre amp and line out of it to the HD FX return.

If you listen to the line out of a Amp head it is usually a DI and much like going in direct on a mix board,

Hm... The thing is, that I mostly play using headphones (not very loud) and also have a Alto 15" powered monitor, but it´s hard to turn it up since I live in an small apartment. Don´t know, but using a tube comp att 42% threshold and 0% volume helps alot, but compresses the tone to much.

 

Also, when using an empty patch i get way more less clipping. Same thing with tuner. Maybe something with the Cougar 800? Have tried lowering master DEP and nothing. I run the contour at 50 %, but if i turn it to 0% the clipping is much less, but tone sucks.

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Do you have a way to record the bass thru the Pod's USB, say into Audacity (it's free)? Looking at the waveform it should be easy to tell if it's clipping since the peaks will all be flat at the same level.

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Do you have a way to record the bass thru the Pod's USB, say into Audacity (it's free)? Looking at the waveform it should be easy to tell if it's clipping since the peaks will all be flat at the same level.

I do have reaper. And let us say that i get those typer of waves, then what? Since i only have the Pod as my recording interface i can only know if there is clipping, but dont if its from the bass or Pod itself?

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The thing is the low end energy will be felt with the alto 15" more so than the headphones; no low end felt in them.

What I'd look at is the low level clipping in the chain, turn the headphones up a bit using the master knob and lower the levels into and out of the amp.

 

Bass lives around the 41hz for the fundamental low E and the harmonics above in muiltiples 82hz etc.

The low B is about 31hz as it's fundamental and multiples above that for harmonics of it. 62, 124hz etc.

Problem with those lower fundamentals is they aren't heard but felt.

 

Most speakers won't reproduce that low until you get to a 15" or a couple of 12"s.

So when you listen on headphones or small monitors you hear the harmonics of the fundamentals more so than the actual fundamentals of it.

 

When recording, you mix on subs to feel the low end is there and where to shelve it so listening on a home HiFi or NS10s etc the low end doesn't fart the speakers.

This is usually the issue; low end energy that is there that you can't hear but effects the level causing distortion.

Also, a good idea is to monitor with VU meters for this reason as low lows will swing it wildly but not heard. Shelve this wasted energy. But how much is why Engineers will listen on different sized speakers.

 

When mixing a CD, the trick is having enough low end in there to be available for Subs but does'nt fart a 2" clock radio speaker or nowadays earbuds. This is a real skill!

 

There are tools in plugins like Waves Renaissance that enhance the low end fundamentals not there much during the filtering of the recording and mixing. Filter a lot but not completely out.

 

In the days of vinyl the low end energy would cause the mastering needle to jump out of the groove when cutting a record and needed attenuating. The bass won't be heard on vinyl until turned up loud on large speakers. Not heard on a clock radio speaker excepting the mixed in attack. This is less of an issue now with CDs but allowing for what small speaker it is heard on is one of the arts to mixing.

 

A bit long winded but, there is also gain staging as the next and covered by meambo. applies.

Basically, rolling off earlier in the chain low end energy and increasing the output of the harmonics to make up the difference. 

 

I'd recommend trying your Global EQ on a patch that has the tone you like to lessen the low end energy that the h'phone speakers won't handle well. But it may be internally clipping still. Insert an earlier in the chain EQ to be sure as no way except by ear to hear within the HD if any clipping.

You might find that the global EQ or another EQ later in the chain, being closer at the output might be good to boost a shelf slightly, to bring back some tone now we aren't clipping earlier in the chain with wasted low end energy.

 

The HD input preamp: it is not a high end DI that is for sure.

It is more optimized for guitar. Might be worth trying the Aux in for Bass (just thought of this and will try it myself.)

 

I find that on cheaper preamps the bass swings wildly with certain notes while others are too low. Often a compressor is used to tame it but a good preamp with input and output transformers (iron) smooths out the bass beautifully and preferable to modern clean, and cheap to make preamps.

Try a good DI. Cheap versions that are good are the Golden Age Projects 1076. Based off a Neve input channel.

 

Most Engineers will also compress on the way into the recording medium to smooth the response and add more punch to make up for the loss of low end energy from low cuts.

 

Vocals need this as well as it is another instrument that swings the meters on the way in.

 

Meantime, the only way to tame it on the HD is to lower the low end level so the low end aint farting.

 

A cheap DI box into an analogue compressor, then into the FX return of the HD would suffice and bypass the HD as a bass DI.

 

I have often thought about just wiring in a good transformer that doesn't step up or down (1:1 ratio) but just runs the signal thru some iron. I swear I will do this and put it in a box on the FX loop. Doesn't resolve the actual HD preamp though!

 

Usually I record the bass via my own chain as I find the bass modulates enough as it is without FX but times are a changing and I have had fun using some of the models and FX in the HD.

 

PS, The tube comp should help in the FX loop. But watch the return level. Even a cheap analogue comp gives a more fluid result but compress ratio needs to be lowish only to smooth the lumps.

 

Setting a compressor is a real art. I crank the ratio full to start to exaggerate the attack and release. Open up the threshold a lot temporarily to hear it.

Set the release about 50% or higher so you can concentrate only listening to the attack for now and adjust it for the bloom of the note not so much the pick of it. Unless you want it attenuated by the comressor. On an acoustic this equates to the strum leaving you with the chord unless you want the strum tamed.

 

With fingering the bass, acoustic or vocals just kiss the peaks and smooths the lumps.

 

Next, bring the release to where it nicely uneffects the note: that is your envelope exaggerated by the high ratio.

Lastly, lower the cranked ratio so it blends well. Should hardly be noticed unless in bypass the lumps come back.

If you go for too much punch at this stage you can't undo it later and you loose the dynamics of your playing (might as well play bass with samples on a keyboard) but it is easy to add later if needed.

Just smoothing the response is the target on the way in.

 

Oops, I just released a secret! Too many beers!

 

This might be the beers talking but with modelers like the HD you have tones that have already been engineered. It actually includes work an engineer would do already in the box. We just got to make it fit out needs.

That then begs the question! Does Line 6 employ audio engineers! The beers are really effecting me noew! LOL

 

First is; I presume you play well; secondly, the bass is set up and functioning perfectly! Those are the prerequisites before you enter the HD!

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The thing is the low end energy will be felt with the alto 15" more so than the headphones; no low end felt in them.

What I'd look at is the low level clipping in the chain, turn the headphones up a bit using the master knob and lower the levels into and out of the amp.

 

Bass lives around the 41hz for the fundamental low E and the harmonics above in miltiples 82hz etc..

The low B is about 31hz as it's fundamental and multiples above that for harmonics of it.

Problem with those lower fundamentals is they aren't heard but felt.

 

Most speakers won't reproduce that low until you get to a 15" or a couple of 12"s.

So when you listen on headphones or small monitors you hear the harmonics of the fundamentals more so then the actual fundamentals.

 

When recording, you mix on subs to feel the low end and where to shelve it so when listening on home HiFi or NS10s etc the low end doesn't fart the speakers. This is usually the issue; low end energy that is there that you can't hear but effects the level causing distortion. Also a good idea to monitor with VU meters for this reason as low low will swing it wildly but not heard. Shelve this wasted energy. But how much is why Engineers will listen on different sized speakers.

 

When mixing a CD, the trick is having enough low end in there to be available for Subs but doesnt fart a 2" clock radio speaker or nowadays earbuds.

There are tools in plugins like Waves Rennaisance that enhance the low end fundamentals not there during the filtering of the recording and mixing.

In the days of vinyl the low end would cause the mastering needle to jump out of the groove when cutting a record and the bass wouldn't be heard until turned up loud on large speakers. Not heard much on a clock radio speaker.

 

A bit long winded but, there is gain staging as the next and covered by meambo. Basically, rolling off earlier in the chain and increase the output to make up the difference.

I'd recommend trying your Global EQ on a patch that has the tone you like to lessen the low end energy that the h'phone speakers won't handle well. But it may be internally clipping still. Insert an earlier in the chain EQ to be sure as no way except by ear to hear within the HD clipping. You might find that the global EQ being at the output might be good to boost a shelf slightly to bring back some tone now we aren't clipping earlier in the chain with wasted low end energy.

 

Finally, the HD input preamp. It is not a high end DI that is for sure.

It is more optimized for guitar. Might be worth trying the Aux in for Bass(just thought of this and will try it myself.)

 

I find that on cheaper preamps the bass swings wildly with certain notes while others are too low. Often a compressor is used to tame it but a good preamp with input and output transformers (iron) smooths out the bass beautifully and preferable to modern clean and cheap to make preamps.

Try a good DI. Cheap versions that are good are the Golden Age Projects 1076. Based off a Neve input channel.

 

Most Engineers will also compress on the way into the recording medium to smooth the response and add more punch to make up for the loss of low end energy from low cuts.

 

Vocals need this as well as it is another instrument that swings the meters on the way in.

 

Meantime, the only way to tame it on the HD is to lower the low end level so the low end aint farting.

 

A cheap DI box into an analogue compressor then into the FX return of the HD would suffice and bypass the HD as a bass DI.

 

I have often thought about just wiring in a good transformer that doesn't step up or down (1:1 ratio) but just runs the signal thru some iron. I swear I will do this and put it in a box on the FX loop.

 

Usually I record the bass via my own chain as I find the bass modulates enough as it is without FX but times are a changing and I have had fun using some of the models and FX in the HD.

 

PS, The tube comp should help in the FX loop. But watch the return level. Even a cheap analogue comp gives a more fluid result but compress ratio needs to be lowish only to smooth the lumps.

 

Setting a compressor is a real art. I crank the ratio full to start to exaggerate the attack and release. Open up the threshold temporarily to hear it.

Set the release about 50% or higher so you can concentrate only on the attack for now and adjust it for the bloom of the note not so much the pick of it. On an acoustic this equates to the strum leaving you with the chord unless you want the strum tamed..

With fingering the bass just kiss the peaks and smooths the lumps.

 

Next, bring the release to where it nicely uneffects the note: that is your envelope exagerated by the high ratio.

Lastly, lower the cranked ratio so it blends well. Should hardly be noticed unless not there in bypass the lumps come back.

If you go for too much punch at this stage you can't undo it later and you loose dynamics of your playing (might as well play bass with samples on a keyboard) but it is easy to add later if needed. Just smoothing the response is the target on the way in.

 

Oops, I just released a secret! Too many beers!

 

This might be the beers talking but with modelers like the HD you have tones that have already been engineered. It actually includes work an engineer would do already in the box. We just got to make it fit out needs.

That then begs the question! Does Line 6 employ audio engineers! The beers are really effecting me noew! LOL

What freq would i have to dail out and what eq would be the best and where in the chain? I have a mid focus last in the chain now.

 

How do you put the tube comp in the fx loop, or do you mean that an external comp would solve the clipping? If I bought an external di and then go in to the POD, would that solve it?

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OK, I see your bass has active electronics. If the Pod is clipping it'll clip at 0dBFS, That is, fullscale. If it's the bass' active electronics clipping then it'll clip at some value lower than this. With Audacity you can tell where fullscale is. I'm not sure about Reaper. I use Sonar and I'm not sure about that either. If you can dual in the pads and gain to 0dB then it should pass thru directly to your Reaper meters. 0dBFS in = 0dBFS out. f you see clipping at 0dBFS then it's probably the Pod.

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Generally you low shelf at about 30hz for just about any track in a mix. Higher for other instruments apart from kick and drums.

Or, HPF the bass from about the first harmonic 82hz or slightly lower. Not all the way down leave a bit.

For mix friendly bass use your focus EQ with a wide Q at about 300hz slightly attenuated. This will tighten the tone and handle the tubby sounding bass.

The attack and pick of a  bass is generally near 2 to 3 khz depending fingers or pick and this is a narrow EQ boost.

Finger noise is around 600hz to 1khz and this should also be attenuated a bit.

Above 3 or4 khz is wasted on bass and is better shelved or LPF'd out below 4 or 5khz slightly boosted in lieu of an attenuated high shelf.,

This is basically the EQ curve for a standard Rock Bass in a mix.

 

All guidelines as a start and depends on bass etc The low shelf can be Q'd higher than 30hz and depends on how steep the shelf Q is.

 

An overall low shelf boost is sometimes used after the carving to bring up the overall bottom if needed or a boosted LPF Q'd above or below finger noise as mentioned above.

 

There are a few options there to apply this to your HD. Even on a great Bass Rig EQ is necessary

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Generally you low shelf at about 30hz for just about any track in a mix. Higher for other instruments apart from kick and drums.

Or, HPF the bass from about the first harmonic 82hz or slightly lower. Not all the way down leave a bit.

For mix friendly bass use your focus EQ with a wide Q at about 300hz slightly attenuated. This will tighten the tone and handle the tubby sounding bass.

The attack and pick of a  bass is generally near 2 to 3 khz depending fingers or pick and this is a narrow EQ boost.

Finger noise is around 600hz to 1khz and this should also be attenuated a bit.

Above 3 or4 khz is wasted on bass and is better shelved or LPF'd out below 4 or 5khz slightly boosted in lieu of an attenuated high shelf.,

This is basically the EQ curve for a standard Rock Bass in a mix.

 

All guidelines as a start and depends on bass etc The low shelf can be Q'd higher than 30hz and depends on how steep the shelf Q is.

 

An overall low shelf boost is sometimes used after the carving to bring up the overall bottom if needed or a boosted LPF Q'd above or below finger noise as mentioned above.

 

There are a few options there to apply this to your HD. Even on a great Bass Rig EQ is necessary

thank you very much! Do you mean the mid focus eq? should I put it last or first? Any tips on EQ settings? Stupid %....

 

I removed all the effects and put only tube comp first in chain and a mid focus with HP freq 0%, Q at 40 % and LP at 72 %, Q at 36 %. Is this a good place to start? Now I think the clipping is gone... Might be some of the effects that caused the problem?

 

ps. I Hade the cab res set off. If set it to 50 % the distortion is less but the tone gets dull.

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OK, I see your bass has active electronics. If the Pod is clipping it'll clip at 0dBFS, That is, fullscale. If it's the bass' active electronics clipping then it'll clip at some value lower than this. With Audacity you can tell where fullscale is. I'm not sure about Reaper. I use Sonar and I'm not sure about that either. If you can dual in the pads and gain to 0dB then it should pass thru directly to your Reaper meters. 0dBFS in = 0dBFS out. f you see clipping at 0dBFS then it's probably the Pod.

Okey, I will try this!

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Ok, so I have been testing a few things out. First of, it seems like the bass has some insane high output pickup in it!!! It was clipping about -9 dbFS. Perhaps a new pup is in order? Secondly, I moved the tube comp first in the chain and changed the input 1 to guitar/aux/variax and 2 to same. If I now play like that with the pad i am quite good to go (I think). So new pup and maybe a external comp is the next thing a buy...

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I could of saved my rave if I spoted the "powered pups first. LOL.

 

First un gang the input from same or guitar to aux. Put impedance to a meg.

 

Distortion results if the input impedance isnt at least many many times greater then the output. I forget exactly how many times it needs to be.

 

Best consider Active pups as already "preamp'd".

 

You might find just go in the FX return and put it, the FX block in the front of a patch. 

 

PS Was talking about external comp as I thought you were going into one prior to the input. You could if you have one go into it and put it on the FX return.

 

The EQ info was more for bass in a mix to sound good on small speakers. With that viewpoint it can be applied a few ways in the HD. DEP has a HPF. There are a number of  EQs including a parametric and the global EQ.

 

The game is to use the least amount of processing with EQs, FX etc to get the sound you want. 

To me not just in the HD but even in DAWs the more digital processing is applied the more it degrades.

 

It is best to consider the recorded tracks as in the purest form and everything you do with plugins etc a degrade after that. The trick and game is to make the least amount of changes possible to make the adjustment that is needed.

 

I believe this is why digital gets a bad name and we have analogue v's digital debates. It is mind boggling the amount of processing alot of engineers will do including well known good ones so it is only my opinion.

It is an easily proved opinion. 

 

Have you ever made a recording and threw up a rough mix of levels and somehow it sounded better than "your mix" which took hours. Well it was! Just refine it enough to be well balanced etc.

 

I am an advocate of making decisions and getting the tone you want on your tracks while recorded rather than more indecision and Reamping later. You soon learn that you need way less distortion on guitars in the mix than the player likes at the tracking stage. 

Reamping is a solution and the HD makes a great tracking device but a real amp moving air picked by a diaphragm the size of a coin does sound better to me. S'time the HD will produce a keeper.

 

I am not saying no processing, it is just the viewpoint that you have infinite things you can do or try on every track and bus it is easy to get lost in the amount of choices available. 

 

Even if you cant hear the degrade it is sometimes good to have a limiting factor to help get from A to B.

 

The first thing you do is clean up all the audio tracks to remove extraneous noises and listen under a microscope. If a track needs a retake best done before your halfway thru a mix as the buffer size changes etc.

 

The HD can be acceptable but distortion has to be eliminated at every stage in the chain just like in the studio.

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I could of saved my rave if I spoted the "powered pups first. LOL.

 

First un gang the input from same or guitar to aux. Put impedance to a meg.

 

Distortion results if the input impedance isnt at least many many times greater then the output. I forget exactly how many times it needs to be.

 

Best consider Active pups as already "preamp'd".

 

You might find just go in the FX return and put it, the FX block in the front of a patch. 

 

PS Was talking about external comp as I thought you were going into one prior to the input. You could if you have one go into it and put it on the FX return.

 

The EQ info was more for bass in a mix to sound good on small speakers. With that viewpoint it can be applied a few ways in the HD. DEP has a HPF. There are a number of  EQs including a parametric and the global EQ.

 

The game is to use the least amount of processing with EQs, FX etc to get the sound you want. 

To me not just in the HD but even in DAWs the more digital processing is applied the more it degrades.

 

It is best to consider the recorded tracks as in the purest form and everything you do with plugins etc a degrade after that. The trick and game is to make the least amount of changes possible to make the adjustment that is needed.

 

I believe this is why digital gets a bad name and we have analogue v's digital debates. It is mind boggling the amount of processing alot of engineers will do including well known good ones so it is only my opinion.

It is an easily proved opinion. 

 

Have you ever made a recording and threw up a rough mix of levels and somehow it sounded better than "your mix" which took hours. Well it was! Just refine it enough to be well balanced etc.

 

I am an advocate of making decisions and getting the tone you want on your tracks while recorded rather than more indecision and Reamping later. You soon learn that you need way less distortion on guitars in the mix than the player likes at the tracking stage. 

Reamping is a solution and the HD makes a great tracking device but a real amp moving air picked by a diaphragm the size of a coin does sound better to me. S'time the HD will produce a keeper.

 

I am not saying no processing, it is just the viewpoint that you have infinite things you can do or try on every track and bus it is easy to get lost in the amount of choices available. 

 

Even if you cant hear the degrade it is sometimes good to have a limiting factor to help get from A to B.

 

The first thing you do is clean up all the audio tracks to remove extraneous noises and listen under a microscope. If a track needs a retake best done before your halfway thru a mix as the buffer size changes etc.

 

The HD can be acceptable but distortion has to be eliminated at every stage in the chain just like in the studio.

I consider your rambling great information and im very thankfull that you are putting effort in trying to help me. And you are ringt that its to easy to get stuck in a limbo of different settings and forget all obout playing!

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Hello!

 

I have a problem that's driving me insane! I´ve been using my pod hd500x with my bass for about a year now and I´m having some sort of clipping. It´s mostly when I´m plucking the low B string and I get a real nasty distortion.

 

Hi DannedB

 

Sorry to arrive so late to the discussion.

 

It's probably a good idea to set up a completely fresh, new test patch from scratch, with nothing but your preferred amp in it. No FX, nothing else.

 

Make sure the following things are done in the freshly-created brand new patch:

 

- Input should be [guitar] and [aux]. This is very important where clipping issues arise.

 

- Amp Drive at 30%

 

- Amp Master at 50%

 

- Amp Channel Volume (CH VOL) at 50%

 

- Mixer Path A Center Pan

 

- Mixer Path B Level MUTED

 

How does this affect the clipping issue?

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Hi DannedB

 

Sorry to arrive so late to the discussion.

 

It's probably a good idea to set up a completely fresh, new test patch from scratch, with nothing but your preferred amp in it. No FX, nothing else.

 

Make sure the following things are done in the freshly-created brand new patch:

 

- Input should be [guitar] and [aux]. This is very important where clipping issues arise.

 

- Amp Drive at 30%

 

- Amp Master at 50%

 

- Amp Channel Volume (CH VOL) at 50%

 

- Mixer Path A Center Pan

 

- Mixer Path B Level MUTED

 

How does this affect the clipping issue?

I tried that first of and hade some clipping but Will try to change input settings again when i get home. The wierd thing is that i dont seem to get clipping when using tuner or completely empty patch. If its the bass, it should clipping that aswell?

 

PS i use dual amps with both channels panned to center...

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I tried that first of and hade some clipping but Will try to change input settings again when i get home. The wierd thing is that i dont seem to get clipping when using tuner or completely empty patch. If its the bass, it should clipping that aswell?

 

PS i use dual amps with both channels panned to center...

 

Simplicity is the key with fault trapping - maybe best to start with just one amp, set up as suggested.

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>>I tried that first of and hade some clipping but Will try to change input settings again when i get home. The wierd thing is that i dont seem to get clipping when using tuner or completely empty patch. If its the bass, it should clipping that aswell?

 

No clipping with tuner and empty patch suggests that the problem(s) lie in the way you have set up the patch. That's why it might be best to strip this right back to the axles and build it back up from scratch.

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>>No clipping with tuner and empty patch suggests that the problem(s) lie in the way you have set up the patch. That's why it might be best to strip this right back to the axles and build it back up from scratch.

Hm i do think its the gk cougar 800 with the 8x10 thats clipping. Gain is @ 32 volume @50 and master @100 %. The cab DEP is set to RES @ 0 % and The rest normal.

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Hm i do think its the gk cougar 800 with the 8x10 thats clipping. Gain is @ 32 volume @50 and master @100 %. The cab DEP is set to RES @ 0 % and The rest normal.

 

Well for starters, having the Master at 100% will cause the power stage of the model to distort. Can you set up a basic new patch as suggested above and let me know how it sounds.

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>>Well for starters, having the Master at 100% will cause the power stage of the model to distort. Can you set up a basic new patch as suggested above and let me know how it sounds.

 

Okay, I'll walk that back :-)  I'm a guitarist, but I've dug out a (4 string) bass with an active preamp and Bartolini Mk 1 pickups and with this, at least, the Cougar 800 amp isn't clipping with Master Vol cranked to 100%

 

I've touched nothing - controls are as they load when you pick the amp model for the first time. Switching cabs from the default 410 Rhino to the 8x10 SV Beast doesn't cause any problems - again I've touched nothing, cab DEPs included. However, I'm using a 4 string bass.

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>>Well for starters, having the Master at 100% will cause the power stage of the model to distort. Can you set up a basic new patch as suggested above and let me know how it sounds.

 

Okay, I'll walk that back :-)  I'm a guitarist, but I've dug out a (4 string) bass with an active preamp and Bartolini Mk 1 pickups and with this, at least, the Cougar 800 amp isn't clipping with Master Vol cranked to 100%

 

I've touched nothing - controls are as they load when you pick the amp model for the first time. Switching cabs from the default 410 Rhino to the 8x10 SV Beast doesn't cause any problems - again I've touched nothing, cab DEPs included. However, I'm using a 4 string bass.

Interesting.. What happens if you try my patch that i posted at the top?

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Interesting.. What happens if you try my patch that i posted at the top?

 

DSP overload. I don't have 500X.

 

Why are you using two amps? There is no obvious tone advantage. What happens if you set up exactly as suggested above, in all details? What do you hear?

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DSP overload. I don't have 500X.

 

Why are you using two amps? There is no obvious tone advantage. What happens if you set up exactly as suggested above, in all details? What do you hear?

I use the Cougar as my main clean tone and more treating the second high Gain amp as a distortion pedal, as needed, thus retaining my low end from the bass amp.

 

Its a clipping type of distortion when only using the single bass amp (as far as i can hear and quite wierd now when thinking about it) and is most noticed when playing the low b string harder, but also accurs on the other lower strings.

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I use the Cougar as my main clean tone and more treating the second high Gain amp as a distortion pedal, as needed, thus retaining my low end from the bass amp.

 

Its a clipping type of distortion when only using the single bass amp (as far as i can hear and quite wierd now when thinking about it) and is most noticed when playing the low b string harder, but also accurs on the other lower strings.

 

 

You really, really don't need to use a high gain amp model as a distortion pedal...

 

But, back to the clean tone clipping. Can you make up a quick single amp patch with just the Cougar, all settings as described above, and let me know what you hear?

Thanks!

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Its a clipping type of distortion when only using the single bass amp

 

I recreated your clean channel (Cougar only) exactly as you have it in your patch and immediately noticed the unpleasant clipping. I got rid of the clipping by setting the INPUT 1 SOURCE to [Guitar] and [Aux] not [Guitar] and [same] as you have it. The input setting you are using overdrives the amp's front end in a bad way. I hope this helps.

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I recreated your clean channel (Cougar only) exactly as you have it in your patch and immediately noticed the unpleasant clipping. I got rid of the clipping by setting the INPUT 1 SOURCE to [Guitar] and [Aux] not [Guitar] and [same] as you have it. The input setting you are using overdrives the amp's front end in a bad way. I hope this helps.

Thank you so much! Will try this when i get home!

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Ok I Didnt have much time yesterday but did as you guys suggested and changed to input 1 guitar and input 2 variax (thought it sounded clearer that aux) and everything sounds a lot better! However i still get some distortion when not having the tube comp on (first in chain) so either the bass uncompressed is to much for the Cougar with curent settings or something else is overdriving it in the chain. I have yet hade the time to test it out in a clean patch with Cougar only.

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Using dual amps panned center will increase the level. It might help a lot to spread these two amps out a bit.

 

I agree with bdd to just get the Cougar working first.

The powered pickups are already making the input hot so any effect will need to keep it from being too hot into the Amp.

Could be you are taming it with the comp which is a good thing.

 

There are two into the HD and if you choose same or guitar it will increase the level including noise as it has both inputs the same. Set the second to Aux or Variax so you are only loading one input to the two paths.

 

Also the Master out can be backed off a bit in case the hot input is distorting the modeled power amp stage.

 

The Cougar Gain has a big impact on clipping if already too hot.

The is also the mixer block for level matching between a no amp or FX path to a loaded path. But no clipping is needed before it.

 

What to expect! I think the tone you get for the bass will sound quite thin once it is not clipping internally.

It might take an EQ or two. These are dissappointing in the HD and the Global is more standard and should be a model imo.

The Graphic might be the way to go.

The Global EQ being post to bring out some bottom end into your h'phones.

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Ok I Didnt have much time yesterday but did as you guys suggested and changed to input 1 guitar and input 2 variax (thought it sounded clearer that aux) and everything sounds a lot better! However i still get some distortion when not having the tube comp on (first in chain) so either the bass uncompressed is to much for the Cougar with curent settings or something else is overdriving it in the chain. I have yet hade the time to test it out in a clean patch with Cougar only.

 

That's very good news. Now you've nailed the worst of the clipping you can fine-tune the amp pre gain and master volume to get rid of the rest, as bjnette suggests above.

 

I still strongly urge you to build that fresh, single amp patch to work the bugs out of your signal chain by rebuilding it one block at a time, always keeping it clean and free of clipping. Sit down, crack a beer and spend a little time on this - treat it as fun rather than a boring job :-)

 

And of course you should pay careful attention to your STC 3M3 preamp settings as well. Start at the very beginning of the signal chain! Often you do not want everything on the guitar preamp turned up to the max. You may need to reduce the output level a little bit and perhaps do some EQ shaping too. Watch the midrange in particular.

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The Looper is a tool you can use to free your hands while tweaking.

Put the looper pre and play some down low riff as a loop, some sustained notes and a fast attack passage.

Have it playback.

Tweak the areas mentioned.

Get the amp model and cab sounding good first.

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Okey, so now I have put a lot of time in troublesolving this clipping issue and I have tried all your suggestions (and I am very thankfull for the time you have put in my problem). As mentioned above, The clipping is far less when using the tube comp and correct input settings. However I did not seem to get rid of the clipping even when changing the amps drive knob (still clipping when going through effects loop). So then I checked the action of the bass and starting to adjust the pickups and the are HOT!! and behave quite strange. When lowering them just a few mm it could go from distortion to more distortion, even when lowering them!? Efter a few hours i ended on having the pickup like flat with the body and turned the bass down 1/3 and treble up 1/3 on the preamp and now it sound a lot better!!! I can even turn of the comp when playing REALLY soft. Might to but some fresh string on to tell 

 

This problem was not as noticeable before the new preamp but still there and had to have pickups low. I now think that either the new pre is more powerfull or the pickup is defect or somehow missmatched with the new pre.... 

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Okey, so now I have put a lot of time in troublesolving this clipping issue and I have tried all your suggestions (and I am very thankfull for the time you have put in my problem). As mentioned above, The clipping is far less when using the tube comp and correct input settings. However I did not seem to get rid of the clipping even when changing the amps drive knob (still clipping when going through effects loop). So then I checked the action of the bass and starting to adjust the pickups and the are HOT!! and behave quite strange. When lowering them just a few mm it could go from distortion to more distortion, even when lowering them!? Efter a few hours i ended on having the pickup like flat with the body and turned the bass down 1/3 and treble up 1/3 on the preamp and now it sound a lot better!!! I can even turn of the comp when playing REALLY soft. Might to but some fresh string on to tell 

 

This problem was not as noticeable before the new preamp but still there and had to have pickups low. I now think that either the new pre is more powerfull or the pickup is defect or somehow missmatched with the new pre.... 

 

Maybe there is some issue with the guitar preamp. Why not take it to a music shop and get it checked out? Increasing distortion when *lowering* the pickup does not sound right at all. I think it is unlikely now that the Pod is the source of the problem (now the input issue is resolved).

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Maybe there is some issue with the guitar preamp. Why not take it to a music shop and get it checked out? Increasing distortion when *lowering* the pickup does not sound right at all. I think it is unlikely now that the Pod is the source of the problem (now the input issue is resolved).

Hm might be a good idea. Allthough i do have a memory of the same thing with the previous preamp, like if the pickup has super strong magnets or something. Most of the People on talkbass seem to change it out.

 

But dont Believe this has to do anything with the Pod anymore so think you so much for the help!

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>> But dont Believe this has to do anything with the Pod anymore so think you so much for the help!

 

A pleasure. Good luck fixing the remaining issues - I'm sure you will sort it out eventually. One thing I might try would be to remove the battery from the guitar preamp and see if the problem goes away when you are running passive guitar electronics. It may be that your setup will not allow you to do this (no battery = no signal at all) but if you can, then see what happens.

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Hm might be a good idea. Allthough i do have a memory of the same thing with the previous preamp, like if the pickup has super strong magnets or something. Most of the People on talkbass seem to change it out.

 

But dont Believe this has to do anything with the Pod anymore so think you so much for the help!

 

 

I've been experimenting with the preamp on my bass using the SVT bright, SVT normal and Cougar amp models. I can make *all* of them clip unpleasantly by boosting eq alone for each pickup. Try reducing the bass, mid and treble boost on your guitar preamp and find out which of them is making the HD amp model clip. Build your tone from there.

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I find on my Ibanez bass I have to keep the active EQ basically flat even when going in a 1073 direct or HD.

I can usually up the bass knob just a bit to increase bottom. Any more it goes into distortion.

 

It is well known the neck pup on guitar has to be fairly low down enough to pick up the bloom of the string; you get a better defined bass sound.

 

It is apt for bass as too close to the strings all you get is the attack and the low end isn't actually being picked up.

 

The string cuts the magnetic field of the pickup as it vibrates causing a voltage to be induced. This is then amplified by your amp.

 

On a neck pup the movement is much less and can be closer to the string.

 

Back in the early 80s Bass Amps were monstrous things that were designed for passive pups. The active bass got that slap pop tone and made it a style.

Even so, the actives could cause distortion if too much boost applied to an already turned up amp but they were deafening before that.

 

Those old Amps are what is in the HD!

 

It is more likely the HD's input preamp Just can't handle a driven input.

I prefer to use a passive on my HD.

On the Cougar there is Master , Boost in the DEP as well as Res and Thump. All effect the gain in the model.

 

The tuner or no Amp FX chain should be too quiet to want to use or notice distortion from.

 

Do not put on a tube comp yet.

 

Put in an amp in the block turned off and raise the mixer levels and see if you can make it distort.

You should be able to make it distort. Increase your bass controls if you want.

 

Lower on the bass controls so it doesn't distort. Mark the controls for future reference.

Put mixer volume back and turn on amp and tweak away.

 

Realize you can make it distort.

Can you make it not distort? 

Lowering the pups etc tells me you are working on it!

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I've been experimenting with the preamp on my bass using the SVT bright, SVT normal and Cougar amp models. I can make *all* of them clip unpleasantly by boosting eq alone for each pickup. Try reducing the bass, mid and treble boost on your guitar preamp and find out which of them is making the HD amp model clip. Build your tone from there.

Thanks, I tried that aswell and got the same results, the only difference that i got it clipping even with preamp eq att center or slightly cut (mostly bass).

 

 

I find on my Ibanez bass I have to keep the active EQ basically flat even when going in a 1073 direct or HD.

I can usually up the bass knob just a bit to increase bottom. Any more it goes into distortion.

 

It is well known the neck pup on guitar has to be fairly low down enough to pick up the bloom of the string; you get a better defined bass sound.

 

It is apt for bass as too close to the strings all you get is the attack and the low end isn't actually being picked up.

 

The string cuts the magnetic field of the pickup as it vibrates causing a voltage to be induced. This is then amplified by your amp.

 

On a neck pup the movement is much less and can be closer to the string.

 

Back in the early 80s Bass Amps were monstrous things that were designed for passive pups. The active bass got that slap pop tone and made it a style.

Even so, the actives could cause distortion if too much boost applied to an already turned up amp but they were deafening before that.

 

Those old Amps are what is in the HD!

 

It is more likely the HD's input preamp Just can't handle a driven input.

I prefer to use a passive on my HD.

On the Cougar there is Master , Boost in the DEP as well as Res and Thump. All effect the gain in the model.

 

The tuner or no Amp FX chain should be too quiet to want to use or notice distortion from.

 

Do not put on a tube comp yet.

 

Put in an amp in the block turned off and raise the mixer levels and see if you can make it distort.

You should be able to make it distort. Increase your bass controls if you want.

 

Lower on the bass controls so it doesn't distort. Mark the controls for future reference.

Put mixer volume back and turn on amp and tweak away.

 

Realize you can make it distort.

Can you make it not distort? 

Lowering the pups etc tells me you are working on it!

That does make some sense. I Have a cheap sterling stingray (SUB) with just one single MM style pickup at the bridge. I now have it set all the way down in the body and don't get clipping unless i play really hard. With tube Comp on there´s no clipping at all. The problem is that it doesn´t sound good at all having the pickup this low - it´s really bassy, flat sounding, no dynamics and the preamp eq doesn´t seem to do much at all. Really getting frustrated now... 

 

So your idea is to have a clean patch with just the same cougar settings, turn it off and the see if I can get it to clipp while raising the mixer? Should it be panned center and channel B at mute? Should I now try to raise my pickup at this point and how do I know if it´s right (aside clipping everything)? It´s FAR below factory specs. If I understand you correctly, if I know when it distorts by using this method (and hopfully how to make it stop) it´s all about adjusting the Cougars settings? I have played around with its settings some hours yesterday and got it to clip with the gain really low. The master didnt do much and the boost mostly just lowerd the volume. 

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