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Why is 1 slot always occupied with an EQ?


olerabbit
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Hello L6ers,

 

as I’m just starting with my new Pod Go there is a really big point I really don’t understand.

 

If I load a new preset to create one from scratch there is always 1 slot occupied with an EQ.

I cannot load another FX into it, I only can deactivate it. 

It’s always there as a „must have“ and reduces the flexibility of sound design in my opinion.

 

Before buying a Pod Go I tried the Hotone Ampero in AB comparison.

Its editor does not have such restrictions and is more flexible for 100 bucks less.

So Hotone proved: it's possible to offer multi purpose slots without any restriction.

 

Is this a bug? Or at least a known issue?

Will this be fixed with a future firmware update?

Is there a secret trick to solve this EQ-slot problem?

 

If not: can somebody please explain what L6 wanted to achieve with such a strong restriction?

 

Thanks in advance for your kind help.

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It's always best to research gear before you buy as your question suggests you haven't seen the Line 6 videos, or read the reviews, manual or read the FAQ's here.  Pod Go is designed for simpler operation. It's specifically designed with fixed blocks and user blocks. Amp, Cab, EQ, volume, Wah are in every patch. You can turn them on or off and you can select any version available ie you can replace your EQ, Amp, cab, volume and wah with a different type of  EQ, Amp, cab, volume and wah but you can't replace these blocks with something different. ie you can't change EQ, volume, wah etc to a distortion or modulation pedal.  In addition you have up to 4 user blocks.  Pod Go uses dynamic DSP, so from time to time if you are choosing amps, FX that are high in DSP usage you might find some options are restricted.

 

There are a lot of videos, and a lot of posts and FAQ's here that provide a ton of info,  You need to do a bit of reading/watching.  EG:

 

 

 

 

 

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The Ampero has a similar sort of semi-fixed chain as the POD Go. It has EQ, delay and reverb effects that are always in the chain (as well as the amp and cab), and you get three wildcard slots. I don’t know if the Ampero allows you to use multiples of the same effect in those slots or not. The POD Go has fixed volume, wah and EQ blocks and four wild card slots. The EQ uses almost no DSP, so removing it wouldn’t really give you any more useable DSP for anything else.

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Hello voxman55 and phil_m,

 

thanks for yor replies, they are very much appreciated.

 

I know the processor overflow problem from POD HD. This was years ago and the reason why I didn't buy one, to be honest.

Ok, if Pod Go’s processor power might reach its limit then I understand that a fixed EQ slot is safety measure.

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31 minutes ago, olerabbit said:

...

I know the processor overflow problem from POD HD. This was years ago and the reason why I didn't buy one, to be honest.

Ok, if Pod Go’s processor power might reach its limit then I understand that a fixed EQ slot is safety measure.


Every processor has a limit. That’s a fact,  not an ‘overflow problem’. The manufactures of audio signal processing devices handle this in one of two ways: they use static DSP management to constrain the device so that it’s DSP limitation is never encountered by the user, or they use dynamic DSP allocation which permits the user to take advantage of all available DSP meaning the the device limits become visible to the user.

 

Most recent Line 6 guitar processor devices since the POD HD series have used dynamic DSP allocation, including the POD Go. It’s not a problem, it’s a design decision that benefits the user. It places DSP management in the hands of the user and allows the device to be used to its full potential. The POD Go could have been designed to exclude some heavy DSP FX blocks,  and/or to limit the flex FX blocks to 3. Seems the Ampero device did this which is both why you don’t encounter its DSP limits and why you can’t use as many FX blocks as you can in the POD Go.

 

I fail to understand how the benefits of dynamic DSP allocation can be perceived as some sort of problem or fault in the design of the device.

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50 minutes ago, silverhead said:


Every processor has a limit. That’s a fact,  not an ‘overflow problem’. The manufactures of audio signal processing devices handle this in one of two ways: they use static DSP management to constrain the device so that it’s DSP limitation is never encountered by the user, or they use dynamic DSP allocation which permits the user to take advantage of all available DSP meaning the the device limits become visible to the user.

 

Most recent Line 6 guitar processor devices since the POD HD series have used dynamic DSP allocation, including the POD Go. It’s not a problem, it’s a design decision that benefits the user. It places DSP management in the hands of the user and allows the device to be used to its full potential. The POD Go could have been designed to exclude some heavy DSP FX blocks,  and/or to limit the flex FX blocks to 3. Seems the Ampero device did this which is both why you don’t encounter its DSP limits and why you can’t use as many FX blocks as you can in the POD Go.

 

I fail to understand how the benefits of dynamic DSP allocation can be perceived as some sort of problem or fault in the design of the device.

 

Dynamic DSP just takes a mindset change if you're used to static DSP.  I had to make the adjustment having been used to my Vox Tonelabs, but I now see the benefits. There are always different options you can use if needed and rarely am I not able to use all 4 user blocks with some sensible compromises. 

 

My only 'beef' is that Line 6 has not provided data for users to help them see the DSP heavy amps and effects, and it took a non Line 6 person to create and share a brilliant comparison table and video on the topic (see Benvesco.com). 

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10 years ago I had a Pod HD400 for a 30 days money back testing period.  I liked the sound but I too often got a system overload warning when creating sounds.

After about 1 week the usb connection failed to top it all. So I sent it money back.

 

Since then I used a vave amp with an pedal board.  For several reasons I would now like to replace my analog rig by a digital floor modeler.

So I actually have a Pod Go again for 30 day money back at the moment.

 

Don’t get me wrong:

My Pod Go sounds really good even going direct into the band’s PA mixer.

The handling concept is easy, perfect the multi coulour pedal board mode.

The unit is robust and suitable for the stage. Until now I never got a system overload warning.

The workmanship is a good compromise between light weight (plastic) and heavy weight (metal).

So I will keep the Pod Go. It will be replace my old rig now. So far so good.

 

For me an EQ is just a very ordinary FX. Some gitarists use it, others don’t - like me.

So isnt't it up to the musision to decide to use an EQ or not?

I have the PA mixer’s EQ, 6 PU positions on my guitar (and a tone knob, haha).

And a rig behind me with adjusted EQ settings just beforehand.

 

So for me it seems that this EQ slot is just an optical filler to enlarge the signal chain. 

If this fixed EQ slot is designed to avoid system overload then this concept works.

 

I would have payed some bucks more if L6 had built in a stronger processor to make this slot flexible, too.

I prefer sufficient processor power to fully be able to meet the offered sound design features.

Maybe it's a compromise between pruduction cost an targeted market price point, don't know.

 

Surely it is L6's decision as manufacturer alone to do so.

If I buy a Pod Go I accept this strategy. But it doesn't mean that I as a user of age enjoys the concept behind it.

 

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"For me an EQ is just a very ordinary FX."

 

Then I suspect you might not be that familiar with what an EQ can do. Having been playing for almost 50 years, I can share with you that an EQ is arguably one of the most under-rated and single most important FX on a guitarists pedal board, and can be a vital tonal 'secret ingredient' because (used properly) it can help sculpt your tone in a way that no amps on-board EQ can.  It's also incredibly versatile as depending on where you place it in the signal chain you can use it as a clean volume boost or a gain boost,  or both, to scoop mids, add high and/or low frequencies, to shape your cab tone, fx tone etc.  If you're not using the EQ in your Pod Go you are missing out and I strongly recommend you spend some time with the models and experiment - the 10 band & parametric versions in Pod Go are particularly good.  The EQ slot in Pod Go uses very little DSP so there would be no benefit in removing it as a 'fixed' block because it wouldn't release anything like enough DSP to use somewhere else - think of it as the EQ's DSP use being equivalent to a tennis ball, and all other amps/fx being at least the size of a soccer ball!  

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3 hours ago, olerabbit said:

...

I prefer sufficient processor power to fully be able to meet the offered sound design features.

...


That could be a good definition of static DSP management, and there’s nothing wrong with preferring that. 
 

But here’s an analogy that perhaps illustrates the difference clearly. Consider the amount of available DSP in a device as a budget limit similar to having an amount of cash in your pocket. Imagine you have $10 to spend and that you are choosing between one of two stores to spend it in.

 

Store #1 has what some might consider to be a very attractive policy. You can choose any 5 items in the store for $10. Anything - no restrictions. There are no prices associated with any item. Just pick any 5 you want. What’s implied of course is that no single item is worth more than $2. Otherwise they couldn’t have that policy or they’d lose money. So your $10 is ‘fully able to meet the offered features’. This is analogous to static DSP management.

 

Store #2 has a different policy. It offers all the items that Store #1 offers, but it offers other items too. It also associates a price with each item. Many of the items in this store cost more than $2, and there is no limit to the number of items you can purchase. You just have to keep the total cost to no more than your $10 budget. If you want a couple of expensive items you may not be able to afford to get 5 items. This is analogous to dynamic DSP management.
 

You might choose Store #1. I would choose Store #2. Nobody’s right or wrong - just different policies.
 

 

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6 hours ago, olerabbit said:

I would have payed some bucks more if L6 had built in a stronger processor to make this slot flexible, too.

I prefer sufficient processor power to fully be able to meet the offered sound design features.

Maybe it's a compromise between pruduction cost an targeted market price point, don't know.

 

No matter what size processor you have, there's always going to be a limit to what you can. The POD Go uses a 400MHz SHARC chip. The Helix uses two 450MHz SHARCs. It's still totally possible to hit the DSP limit on the Helix. Depending on what you use, it can happen pretty quickly. It just depends on what you want to do. The POD Go is designed so that the DSP limit doesn't become something that most users see that often, but it's still possible to hit it.

 

6 hours ago, olerabbit said:

So for me it seems that this EQ slot is just an optical filler to enlarge the signal chain. 

If this fixed EQ slot is designed to avoid system overload then this concept works.

 

Pretty much. The EQ, Volume and Wah block are all things that use very little DSP. So having them always in the chain makes it so the chain will always look a certain way.

 

Basically everything about the POD Go's design was very purposeful. It was trying to squeeze the most performance out of the price.

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As a gigging player (well, not at the moment sadly due to Covid in the UK) I actually like that the Volume, wah and EQ are in every patch.  I own two Vox Tonelabs and in these you have to manually set Wah in a patch. There are 11 options inc wah, compressor, distortions, uni-vibe in the pedal section. But you can only select one pedal per patch. The TLSE has two expression pedals so you can have one for Volume and one for wah/expression. The TLLE only has one expression pedal.  The TLSE/LE had no EQ pedal option although the TLLE gave you EQ controls in one of its global Line-outs.   Where Tonelab was good is that its static DSP meant you could always have: 1 amp, 1 cab, 1 reverb, 1 delay, 1 modulation, 1 pedal, noisegate, and volume expression control in every patch. 

 

The Zoom G5n that I had for while was a pain to use. It was advertised as offering up to 9 different amp/cabs/effects in a patch, but it's grossly misleading.   If you wanted to assign volume control, wah, and add a noisegate, you had to do this per patch & each would use up one of its 9 slots. An amp model uses up 2 slots, a cab one, and certain effects and EQ's also took up two slots each. So you could use up your 9 slots very quickly. It was also a pig to tweak because of its long scrolling menus but it did have an extra screen to see the effects chain.   So, if you chose one amp (2 slots), one cab,  a noisegate, volume and wah control on the expression pedal, and added a simple EQ, that's 7 of your 9 slots gone leaving you room for just two effects! 

 

With the Pod Go, noisegate, volume pedal, wah, EQ and cab are all available globally in every patch without impacting on your 4 user slots - these alone would take up 5-6 of the 9 slots in the Zoom G5n (the Zoom G3n only gives 6 slots!).  In Pod Go I can kick in a wah on every patch without having to program one in, and the cab is linked to the amp model so the cab doesn't take up a user block.  

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Thanks for your hints, voxman55.

 

With my fresh Pod Go I indeed tried the EQs in some factory presets by activating/deactivating them.

To my old ears the result was not very impressive, I could not hear any sigificant different in tone.

That’s why I sked my EQ-slot question.

 

On the other hand EQs are indispensable in a studio situation where they indeed play a outstanding role.

But this will be done by the producer/sound engineer and not by the guitaist himself as far as I know.

So no need for a fixed EQ neither. <smile>

 

To me as a guitarist playing in a band the influence of the EQ is at best marginal in band context.

I got my best sound results without any EQing. This sound is fresh, more natural and sits in the mix.

The amp models are too good and don't need any EQ.

 

The only thing I did - before using my Pod Go the first time in rehearsal - was to modify the global EQ setting.

A low cut at 80 Hz should give more room to the bass man and the kick drum to avoid a muddiy band sound.

I will check if a low cut at 100 or even 110/120 Hz even works better depending on the result.

 

So this fixed EQ slot does not work for me definitely. Always deactivated. Worth for nothing.

But maybe other Pod Go users are happy to have it.

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One thing to think about with the EQ block is that even if you don’t want to use it is for EQ, it’s a quick way to get volume boost for solo or lead parts. You can always just turn the gain up and leave everything else flat.

 

Beyond that, if you don’t want to use it, just leave it off. You don’t have to leave assigned to a footswitch, either, you know. You can remove that assignment and use that footswitch for something else.

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I should NOT open the Email link to answer a post when there meanwhile have arrived posts after that.  Sorry I will correct my mistake now.

 

@silverhead

Thanks for your explanation. It made clear L6’s policy. I understand your intention.

It’s confincing – I replaced my old rig with Pod Go. Great unit for sure. And easy to use even for as a guitarist.

 

@crsistt and phil_m

Thanks for your hints. Yes, the EQ solot is deactivated and set to none footswitch. It only exists as a picture in the signal chain.

 

For a clean volume boost I set my volume pedal 70% min (rhythm) and 100% max (solo).

This gives me a solo volume that works, at least with distored sounds. And I have the volume fully under control.

 

I am also experimenting with the Kiky Boost directly after the cab slot. Drive 0, boost and bright on. I couldn't find e clean boost model with level control.

It works for clean solos but is sometimes too loud for distorted sounds just because I can’t level it.

 

Ok: I will create a preset with an EQ set neutral and only pushing the output level. I think every EQ model should fit, does it?

I would place the EQ directly after the cab (just like the kinky boost) to avoid additional drive. Correct?

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2 hours ago, olerabbit said:

Thanks for your hints, voxman55.

 

With my fresh Pod Go I indeed tried the EQs in some factory presets by activating/deactivating them.

To my old ears the result was not very impressive, I could not hear any sigificant different in tone.

That’s why I sked my EQ-slot question.

 

 

 

The factory EQ settings are pretty much neutral. You need to tweak these just as with a physical EQ'. They can make a huge difference and location in the chain is very important. You might hear the biggest impacts at the front and/or end of the chain.

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