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Bass - HD500X effects only into front of amp w/o fx loop


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I've got a bass guitar, POD HD500X, and GK MB210-II (no fx loop, will be delivered next week).  Below is what I think I should put the settings and/or questions about creating patches when using the HD500X for effects only (no amp modeling).  If anyone could say if these are right/wrong or provide insight, I'd appreciate it!


1) Output mode: Combo Front

2) Set 1/4" out switch to "AMP"

3) Make sure no amp model is selected; amp is set to "OFF".

4) Master knob all the way up.

5) Does it matter where the amp block is located in the chain?  I know it's off, but there's still a place for the block.

6) Should the mixer always be the last block in the chain?

7) Any other settings that I need to check?

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"right and wrong" is never a musical answer. 

The only correct answer is - do what you gotta do to get the tone you need. 


What you listed may be suggested starting points, but they are in no way a definitive guide to sound. 


For example:

Prior to Jimi Hendrix, feedback was a bad thing. The "rule" was don't have feedback. He took the rule and tossed it out the window. He took that dreaded feedback that everyone was so afraid of, he grabbed the whip and made feedback his lollipop. 


Where would music be had he eliminated feedback from his tone because "hey man, there's a rule"

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For me, personally, I don't use an amp. Nor am I a FT bass player. So take what I have to say with a grain of salt. 

I have found that it works out much nicer to set the global settings first, and then design patches. For me, I put it in studio/direct mode and never change it. I then design individual patches around the situation - patches for live. patches for studio. patches for amps. patches for bass. etc

But I don't fiddle around with anything other than the patches. It becomes to much of a hassle if I try creating patches for studio/direct while going direct and then switching to combo and flipping the switch and making patches without amp models. Nah, I just have one set of global settings and then make the patch work. 




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Volume, however, is something that I do have a suggestion for. 

If you are using an amp, I would not suggest starting out with the Master Volume at max. If you were going to a pa, sure, max out if you want. But not for amps. 


(One of these days I am going to write a good version and then copy it as needed, instead of always needing to manually type it.) 


Phase one involves knowing that the HD500's cd input is not controlled by MV knob. 

I have an mp3 player. I use the same device, file, and volume all the time, otherwise the entire process is pointless. I found a comfortable volume setting when using headphones because "if it doesn't hurt my ears, I know it isn't going to hurt my gear". So, I use that same volume number when plugged into the Pod. 

The song then comes out of the amp. 

THAT is the volume you want your guitar to be. 


Phase two gets a little more complicated if you don't already have a patch made.  

You have the Master Volume knob. You have the mixer volume. You have (modeled) amp volume. You can even toss in volume pedals and any number of options. 

The combination of those can make any patch really loud or really soft. That is why there is no "right" answer to the MV, but there is a right final result. 

The goal is - using the same patch every time, match your master volume knob to the volume coming out of the mp3. 


So, sure, if you want to turn the MV up, it makes it quite easy to remember where the position is - turn it until it doesn't turn any more. At least you won't need to do the mp3 portion for every sound check. 

But then you need to turn down all of the volumes that are within a patch to make sure you aren't overdriving anything. 

That is why I said there should already be a patch made. How you make it is up to you. But that one patch and that one mp3 player becomes your baseline. You use that baseline for everything. You use that baseline for volume leveling, be it live, in studio, or for patch creation. Your tone is based on the combination of all things between your fingers and your ears. You must establish the baseline, and then use that baseline or else every thing changes.   


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I appreciate the extremely detailed response!  As with most things musical, I guess it boils down to "if it sounds good, it is good."


I'll definitely keep your cd/mp3 baseline idea in mind when setting levels and creating patches.  If I understand correctly, I need to figure out the comfortable volume using mp3 with headphones.  Then I set my master to where the guitar matches the mp3 when both are coming out of the amp.  Keep master at that value, then tweak future/other patches to maintain proper volumes (depending on the needs of whatever I'm playing).

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when your live sound and the pre-recorded sound are the same volume - that is where you want the volume. 


And it doesn't need to be some brilliant sounding patch or the latest hip hop jam. It just needs to be something. Anything. But whatever you pick, you then need to use it all the time. 



Oh When the Saint Go Matching In by Kidz Bop played against "new tone". 

In a gadda da vida with 60's wetrock bass


whatever your want. no right or wrong. 

think of it as "testing testing check 1 2". You use it to start the night to get everything worked out. Then never again - until the next night. 

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