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tcamuso

HD Pro-X Cannot get a clean tone, all amps are low volume

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All the amp models in my Pro X have very low volume output, and what little volume they have is hideously muddy.

Right now the only thing in my signal path is the amp, any amp, and they all sound crappy and have no volume.
Some amp models have no detectable volume at all.
Doesn't matter what I do with the drive, volume, and master knobs.
What am I doing wrong?

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We can never been entirely sure without a deeper explanation of your set up.

 

However, I was finding a similar level when I first got my 500X and my HD500 Pro. What I did to better set up my patches was use a Boost, Studio EQ, or Vintage Pre in my first slot and use the gain on those to get more push of the front of the 'amp.' I went back and forth between all three of them and eventually settled on the Boost Comp.

 

My experiment was my real Fender Twin Reverb '65 RI vs the Twin sim. If you don't have a real amp that is modeled by Line 6 that's a little harder. Anyway, I ended up pushing the front of the chain with the Boost Comp by 12db. That made the amp sim MUCH more responsive to the Hum, SAG, blah blah settings. It was a lot of work and I am not sure why it is set up technically how it is (I'm sure the electronics whizzes can help provide a better picture). But I was never happy with my results until I pushed things harder at the front with my various guitars.

 

I hope that helps. This may not be great advice for everyone but it's what worked for me.

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Too low volume level affects badly the human perception (see fletcher munson curve) of the tone, and consequently it affects badly also the human efforts to make a device like the POD working as it should.

 

On the rear panel of your HD Pro X make sure that the OUTPUT LEVEL switch of the connection type (XLR or unbalanced jacks) you are using is set to LINE in order to get a strong LINE level signal. (Otherwise if set to MIC or AMP the signal level is low at MIC level and needs to be connected to an input set for MIC signals in order to preamp the signal accordingly).

 

3f1be320-36e0-4dc0-9914-728c678cbce1.jpg

 

Also FYI if you connect the POD to your monitor system by 1 jack the LEFT and RIGHT sides of the POD (dual mono/stereo) signal are automatically mixed/summed in 1 signal, where instead if you connect just 1 XLR you lose the side (LEFT or RIGHT) you are not connecting, unless in your patch you pan both sides of the POD signal to the same side you are going to connect to your monitor system.

 

Obviously when you lose 1 side of the signal, you lose not only that side data but also part of the total volume of the original full signal (dual mono/stereo).

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

All about POD HD500/X

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On 5/27/2019 at 12:43 PM, stormstudios said:

We can never been entirely sure without a deeper explanation of your set up.

 

The setup is guitar in to the Guitar jack on the front panel.

The signal strength of the amplifier models is very weak, regarless of whether the output is 1/4" front panel headphone, back panel 1/4" or XLR (stereo), or USB to my DAW.

The only amp models with any appreciable volume are the Line6 ones. All the others are barely audible.

 

On 5/27/2019 at 12:43 PM, stormstudios said:

 

However, I was finding a similar level when I first got my 500X and my HD500 Pro. What I did to better set up my patches was use a Boost, Studio EQ, or Vintage Pre in my first slot and use the gain on those to get more push of the front of the 'amp.' I went back and forth between all three of them and eventually settled on the Boost Comp.

 

My experiment was my real Fender Twin Reverb '65 RI vs the Twin sim. If you don't have a real amp that is modeled by Line 6 that's a little harder. Anyway, I ended up pushing the front of the chain with the Boost Comp by 12db. That made the amp sim MUCH more responsive to the Hum, SAG, blah blah settings. It was a lot of work and I am not sure why it is set up technically how it is (I'm sure the electronics whizzes can help provide a better picture). But I was never happy with my results until I pushed things harder at the front with my various guitars.

 

Ok, THAT's very interesting. I will try using a Boost Comp with 12db in front of the amp models. That's a significant boost, by the way, and I'm surprised that it is necessary.

 

On 5/27/2019 at 12:43 PM, stormstudios said:

 

I hope that helps. This may not be great advice for everyone but it's what worked for me.

 

Many thanks for the response!!

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On 5/28/2019 at 6:42 AM, hurghanico said:

Too low volume level affects badly the human perception (see fletcher munson curve) of the tone, and consequently it affects badly also the human efforts to make a device like the POD working as it should.

 

On the rear panel of your HD Pro X make sure that the OUTPUT LEVEL switch of the connection type (XLR or unbalanced jacks) you are using is set to LINE in order to get a strong LINE level signal. (Otherwise if set to MIC or AMP the signal level is low at MIC level and needs to be connected to an input set for MIC signals in order to preamp the signal accordingly).

 

3f1be320-36e0-4dc0-9914-728c678cbce1.jpg

 

Also FYI if you connect the POD to your monitor system by 1 jack the LEFT and RIGHT sides of the POD (dual mono/stereo) signal are automatically mixed/summed in 1 signal, where instead if you connect just 1 XLR you lose the side (LEFT or RIGHT) you are not connecting, unless in your patch you pan both sides of the POD signal to the same side you are going to connect to your monitor system.

 

Obviously when you lose 1 side of the signal, you lose not only that side data but also part of the total volume of the original full signal (dual mono/stereo).

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

All about POD HD500/X

 

Yes, I have both set to LINE. I get the same results whether I use headphones connected to the front panel headphone jack, or the USB to my DAW, or 1/4" backpanel output, or XLR backpanel output.
As I said to stormstudios above, the only amp models with any appreciable volume are the Line6 ones.
Hmmm....

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39 minutes ago, tcamuso said:

 

Yes, I have both set to LINE. I get the same results whether I use headphones connected to the front panel headphone jack, or the USB to my DAW, or 1/4" backpanel output, or XLR backpanel output.
As I said to stormstudios above, the only amp models with any appreciable volume are the Line6 ones.
Hmmm....

 

Ok..

 

At this point, check if the Global EQ is active and if yes check its settings, some Global EQ settings might affect a lot the signal level and frequency response.

The Global EQ on/off switching and settings are reachable only directly on the device, not through the Editor..

 

If also by switching off the Global EQ you get no difference, then for me it means that your unit needs to be serviced, since what you described in your first post is not normal behavior at all.

 

I never had low volume issues with any of the available models.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

All about POD HD500/X

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On 5/27/2019 at 12:43 PM, stormstudios said:

-- snip --

Anyway, I ended up pushing the front of the chain with the Boost Comp by 12db. That made the amp sim MUCH more responsive to the Hum, SAG, blah blah settings. It was a lot of work and I am not sure why it is set up technically how it is (I'm sure the electronics whizzes can help provide a better picture). But I was never happy with my results until I pushed things harder at the front with my various guitars.

I did this, and it seems to work. The Boost Comp, however, lists its controls as percentages, not as db. I would find db more useful. Perhaps that's a global setting somewhere.

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On 5/27/2019 at 8:47 AM, tcamuso said:

All the amp models in my Pro X have very low volume output, and what little volume they have is hideously muddy.

 

This is user error, or a faulty unit. If it were designed this way, nobody would have gotten any use out of it. 

  • Did you buy this Pod Pro NEW or is it used?
  • How long have you had it?
  • Did it just start doing this out of nowhere?
  • Did it ever work?
  • How to you monitor the POD? IE: What do you hook it up to in order to hear it?

 

22 hours ago, tcamuso said:

Ok, THAT's very interesting. I will try using a Boost Comp with 12db in front of the amp models. That's a significant boost, by the way, and I'm surprised that it is necessary.

 

It's not necessary... some people prefer to do that as part of their tone.... and to push the amps harder, but you do not NEED to do that to get enough volume/gain from the amps. 

 

If you cannot get unity gain out of your POD with any amp model, something is wrong with your POD. From everything you say I am thinking it's an "input" problem, but that is just an assumption.

  • Try a different guitar cable or at least verify the one you are using gets a strong enough signal straight into an amp.
  • Make sure the guitar pad is not turned on 
  • Here is a test you can try to see if the guitar input is actually getting the proper signal
    • insert the LOOP at the beginning of the chain
    • Set the loop to "Stomp Level"
    • Plug your guitar into the RETURN and turn the loop on. Is that any better than the guitar input? 
  • Have you done a factory restore... or at least a "global settings" restore.

    Pod HD/HD500/HD500x/HD Pro/HD ProX

     

    Global Settings Reset:
    Hold down the left arrow on the navigation button while powering the unit.

     

    Factory Reset:
    You must reinstall the firmware, when Monkey prompts you if you want to keep your existing presets, hit no.
    Video Tutorial

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1 hour ago, codamedia said:

 

This is user error, or a faulty unit. If it were designed this way, nobody would have gotten any use out of it. 

  • Did you buy this Pod Pro NEW or is it used?

New

 

1 hour ago, codamedia said:

How long have you had it?

About 2 months.
 

1 hour ago, codamedia said:
  • Did it just start doing this out of nowhere?
  • Did it ever work?

No, the amp models never had any volume from day one, except for the Line6 models

 

1 hour ago, codamedia said:
  • How to you monitor the POD? IE: What do you hook it up to in order to hear it?

All of the following:

* Headphones via the headphone jack on the front panel

* Plugged into a Vox VT40+ amplifier via 1/4" output jack.
* Plugged into a mixing board via both XLR (stereo)
* Plugged via USB into a DAW running on my W10 desktop.

 

1 hour ago, codamedia said:

It's not necessary... some people prefer to do that as part of their tone.... and to push the amps harder, but you do not NEED to do that to get enough volume/gain from the amps. 

 

If you cannot get unity gain out of your POD with any amp model, something is wrong with your POD. From everything you say I am thinking it's an "input" problem, but that is just an assumption.

  • Try a different guitar cable or at least verify the one you are using gets a strong enough signal straight into an amp.

I've tried this with no joy.

 

1 hour ago, codamedia said:
  • Make sure the guitar pad is not turned on 

What is "guitar pad"?

 

1 hour ago, codamedia said:
  • Here is a test you can try to see if the guitar input is actually getting the proper signal
    • insert the LOOP at the beginning of the chain
    • Set the loop to "Stomp Level"
    • Plug your guitar into the RETURN and turn the loop on. Is that any better than the guitar input? 

I will try this today, when I'm off work.
If I get better results with this test, what does that indicate?

 

1 hour ago, codamedia said:
  • Have you done a factory restore... or at least a "global settings" restore.

    Pod HD/HD500/HD500x/HD Pro/HD ProX

     

    Global Settings Reset:
    Hold down the left arrow on the navigation button while powering the unit.
     

  • Factory Reset:
    You must reinstall the firmware, when Monkey prompts you if you want to keep your existing presets, hit no.
    Video Tutorial

I haven't tried the resets, yet.
I'll try them today and let you know.

 

1 hour ago, codamedia said:

 

MANY thanks for the helpful response!

 

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10 hours ago, tcamuso said:

What is "guitar pad"?

 

"guitar pad" = "input pad".

On the front of the POD pro... I think it is right beside the 1/4" guitar input on the front and is labeled "pad". 

 

10 hours ago, tcamuso said:

I will try this today, when I'm off work.
If I get better results with this test, what does that indicate?

 

If you get better results then something "may be wrong" with the guitar input of the device. It's just part of troubleshooting. 

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9 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

"guitar pad" = "input pad".

On the front of the POD pro... I think it is right beside the 1/4" guitar input on the front and is labeled "pad". 

That button is pushed in. I don't know if that means ON or OFF. The only place I can find it is in the Pilot's Guide. It says to push it if you have hot or active pickups, but it doesn't really say what it does with the button IN or OUT.  It only says, "Use what sounds best."
 

9 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

 

If you get better results then something "may be wrong" with the guitar input of the device. It's just part of troubleshooting. 

I had to rehearse last night, so I didn't have an opportunity to perform the loop test. I'm cubicle bound today, so I'll try it when I get home.

 

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1 hour ago, tcamuso said:

That button is pushed in. I don't know if that means ON or OFF.

 

Apart from the suggestion given in your device pilot's guide, what that PAD button really does when pushed in is cutting about 6 dB from the input signal coming from your guitar, ie it cuts the signal about half way, and that could well be the reason of the issue reported in your first post.

 

Kudos to "codamedia" for the good suggestion.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

All about POD HD500/X

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2 hours ago, tcamuso said:

That button is pushed in. I don't know if that means ON or OFF.

 

In means it is on... and as stated above, it is attenuating your input gain by 6db. Disengaging that may help a little... but there are still a few other things to consider.

  • Not discussed yet... but please make sure your guitar volume is FULL, at least for testing purposes.
  • Not all amps are the same in regards to volume. Just like the real world, some amps are louder, and some are quieter.... Do not expect them all to be the same. 
  • Use the CHANNEL VOLUME (labelled volume on the HD Pro) to LOWER the high output amps or RAISE low output amps. You should be able to balance all of the volumes of amps using that one control. Keep in mind... if you run a loud amp with a high channel volume, you will NEVER get the quiet amp loud enough. You need to balance patch to patch.
  • On the HD Pro... there is a MIXER block that is always there. You can use that to further raise or lower volumes if you need to. Read up on the mixer block and use it to your advantage, it's a great resource on the HD series. 

This is all part of gain staging and preset balancing. Players naturally do this with pedals, but it often gets neglected with modelers and multi effects. 

 

If "gain staging" or "unity gain" are new terms for you... or if you are not familiar with them, you should take the time to understand them both. 

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On 5/27/2019 at 8:47 AM, tcamuso said:

Doesn't matter what I do with the drive, volume, and master knobs.

 

Do you know what each of these does? If not, you are just twisting knobs and hoping for the best. 

  • Drive = input gain. Turning this up will generally make an amp dirtier but keep in mind, some amps may never get dirty when you turn this up, some many never get completely clean when you turn this down... that's how the amps work in real life as well.
  • Volume = channel volume. Once you get a tone you like on the amp model, use this control to balance it with the other presets.
  • Master = HD Pro Master Volume. This controls the overall output of the entire unit. This is NOT part of individual presets. Normally you would run this fairly high... but it is meant to run in conjunction with your monitor device. EG: when running headphones, this is your headphone volume control. When running into a mixer with XLR, you normally want this full.  

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