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videoman77

Bypassing Compressor For Delay And Stomp Box Theory

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Hey everyone i've had the pod hd500x for about 6 months and i love it! But I'm also always flip flopping in my mind about whether i should have gone with individual stomps instead of this unit.  Anyway...on to my question...

 

Is there a way to use the compressors for drives, boosts, amps, & perhaps mods, but not use it for the delay?  Would putting delay after compressor do this?

 

I've noticed in may stomp box rigs that delay is outside the signal chain of the compressor.

 

Back to my flip flop comment...every stomp box player i talk to always says the same thing, individual is the most natural sound and best option. But all those same players are also running real amps too.  In our setup we are not able to put amps on stage, and we don't have anywhere "backstage" to put amps and run cables to the stage...so a amp modeler is really the only option i have i think.

 

I would love just a real basic method of assembling my effects in the POD HD500x.

 

Thanks!

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You could probably do what you want by making use of both signal paths, but any compressors, drives, boosts, etc. could not be in the pre-position (see attached picture), and make sure the mixer pan controls are both centered. Some of the compressors placed after amps don't sound very good. Plus you're probably limiting yourself in what you can do.

 

There are also delays that aren't supposed to color the dry signal (tube echo dry, tape echo dry, etc.), but if I understand what you're asking, that isn't exactly what you want. You want the actual delayed sound to not be compressed?

 

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Thanks for replying!  Well i've just noticed that several stomp box only users put compression inthe main chain of all their effects, then they run delay after the fact somehow ( i really don't understand how they all chain together...but I'm learning) and i've been searching and learning all morning about compression.  Seems that a delay in of itself already sustains with feedback, so why would you want to compress it?  Does that make sense?

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Sort of unless that's the way your cookie crumbles so to speak. See here in POD world we are not governed by the rules. One is set free to explore the sonic soundscapes as he (or she) sees fit. But definitely keep pursuing knowledge of fx it helps. But is no substitute for experimentation and the best tool of all your ears. I've used some pretty raunchy fx placements in my journey. Always tweak the parameters of every effect in the pod. Default is usually At Fault for some Crappy sounds.

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I'm with you on not really understanding the probably many ways real stomp boxes can be configured. Never owned any. But we're in the digital realm, so it's always very easy to just try something and see how it sounds. Learn by experimentation.

 

On some patches I make, I use compression to flatten out the dynamics of a signal. Makes it more uniform. But compression can also alter the amp tone. For higher gain patches, I tend to use the Soldano model, which when combined with a tube drive, has plenty of sustain with no extra compressor. Keep in mind, a tube drive will provide some compression, as well as the power amp section of the amp.

 

As for a delay effect, I look at that as something added after you're satisfied with the tone you make. It adds dimension. Reverb would be the same sort of thing. So to be honest, I wouldn't worry about having/wanting an uncompressed delay effect.

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As for a delay effect, I look at that as something added after you're satisfied with the tone you make. It adds dimension. Reverb would be the same sort of thing. So to be honest, I wouldn't worry about having/wanting an uncompressed delay effect.

 

It doesn't matter whether you are digital or analog, if you compress the signal early on, your delay will be working on that compressed signal.  What you are seeing or think you are seeing with the pedals is a type of 4 cable method where the compressors, distortions and overdrives are in front of the preamp and the delays and reverbs are between the preamp and the power section.  Even in that setup the delay is working on the previously compressed signal.  To me a compressor works best in the very beginning before the signal hits the distortion or amps but it can go anywhere.  Just understand that it will sound very different when placed at other points in the signal chain.

 

Typically, delays and reverbs are the last signals in your chain, they tend to sound best there.  But as stated above, try moving them around and see what they sound like for yourself.  Try the delay before the preamp/amp block and the compressor after the reverb.  Find out for yourself what it does to the sound.  You may stumble on something useful or you may find things you want to avoid.

 

Stop worrying about digital vs analog.  Treat everything inside the POD as if it was the real thing at your feet.  It's just a hell of a lot easier to move around and configure.  If you use your ears and a little bit of time and patience, you will find some pretty amazing tones can be achieved with this rig.  Avoid the temptation to turn everything up to 10, especially with compressors, and just spend time learning what each effect brings to the table so you can add a little here and there to get what you want.

 

Bottom line, don't worry about what you don't have, have fun with what you do have right in front of you!

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I don't think i've ever seed the Soldano model. Where is it located?

 

Duncann in your first reply you have a picture that shows the delay on the "B" channel i thought that could only be done with amps :) LOL.  Also i notice that you have not been swayed by the Input 1 Guitar Input 2 Variax Source topics?  

 

What do you guys use for a good boost?  I've tried several things but not really getting the desired outcome. One thing i tried was making and FX LOOP patch and taking a short 1/4inch cable and going from FX Send to the FX Return, but i don't notice much boost and it created a hiss.

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I agree with radatats whole heartedly on placing the comp first in the chain and I agree with the delay placement in the post position EXCEPT FOR the Echoes when I use them for a boost of sorts.

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Thanks everyone! Sorry radatats i didn't see your message till after i last posted ;) but thanks!  I'll keep on rocking with this...not that have dough for anything different anyway LOL.  Its just so hard to talk shop with other bands when they are all using individual stomps and speaker cabinets....you mention you run a multi effects and they roll there eyes and start squirming like they are about to offend me...its kind of funny actually. If i had the extra money i'd buy stomps too and play around with both systems...but those guys would never do the same...its analog or nothing with them.

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Duncann in your first reply you have a picture that shows the delay on the "B" channel i thought that could only be done with amps  :) LOL.  Also i notice that you have not been swayed by the Input 1 Guitar Input 2 Variax Source topics?  

 

What do you guys use for a good boost?  I've tried several things but not really getting the desired outcome. One thing i tried was making and FX LOOP patch and taking a short 1/4inch cable and going from FX Send to the FX Return, but i don't notice much boost and it created a hiss.

 

For input sources, it kind of depends on the patch. For higher gain stuff, I find it sounds better with both inputs the same. For clean sounds, I'll disable the second input.

 

I think there's a current thread titled 'solo boost' about getting a boost.

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so revenge is so much sweeter then... keep working on a great tone and when you are lip locking the chicks and sipping a cocktail while they are still trying to get their pedals dialed in they might just begin to waver...

 

Believe me, you can match pretty much anything they can put together if you really work at it...

 

Its just so hard to talk shop with other bands when they are all using individual stomps and speaker cabinets....you mention you run a multi effects and they roll there eyes and start squirming like they are about to offend me...its kind of funny actually.

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they roll there eyes and start squirming like they are about to offend me...its kind of funny actually. If i had the extra money i'd buy stomps too and play around with both systems...but those guys would never do the same...its analog or nothing with them.

Who cares? The more they rant and rave about tubes and pedals, the worse they play. I've seen guys with 10 grand worth of gear who can't play a lick. My old man said it best...'Never educate a chump'.

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It sounds like what you are referring to, in terms of real pedals and amps, is the difference between putting a pedal after your guitar, but before the amp front input vs. putting a pedal in the amps FX loop.

 

For example, wah, then a tube screamer followed by a Keeley compressor, then into the front jack of the amp. FX loop send, into a delay pedal, into a noise gate, back to FX return.

 

The manner in which the HD500 could emulate this, is what Rads referred to as "pre" and "post", meaning, all the FX blocks that are assigned "pre" (before the amp model) could be considered similar to the stomp boxes and pedals placed after the guitar and before the amps front input.

 

All the FX blocks placed "post", or after the amp model, are comparable to pedals /fx placed into that FX loop chain. I play with a guy in our band, and I use an HD500+DT25. He uses about 10 analog pedals, various drives, wah, compressor (keeley), and delays, and a noise gate. His signal chain looks like this:

 

guitar>wah>drive1>drive2>compressor1>amp front input,

amp FX Loop send>keeley time machine (drive/boost)>delay 1>delay 2>keeley compressor>noise gate (ISP decimator)>FX return

 

His setup takes about a half an hour. Mine takes about two minutes, whether I am using the DT25, or running direct to the PA.

 

He has actually come to realize and appreciate the benefit of having your sound in a more portable, flexible configuration - stomp boxes have knobs that can be turned by accident, and you cannot "save" your configuration. He was actually enjoying playing my strat through my Eleven Rack, into an L2t the other day, and said he would definitely use the 11R if we ever had to play without amps - because when you take amps out of the equation, it makes using those stomp boxes *really* difficult.

 

That's one of the shining points in favor of the HD500 - it's total flexibility with output configurations. Direct to PA, 1/4" to fx return of amp, 1/4" to front of amp, or Line6Link to a DT amp or an L2 or L3 speaker system. Plus you can dial in some ideas for patches at home, with headphones, and easily tweak them for live or rehearsal volumes.

 

Now don't get me wrong, in the end, the entire existence of the POD gear is based on the value of actual pedals and amps that this gear tries to emulate. If there were no pedals and amps, there would be no POD!

 

Definitely try that dual amp configuration as well, that gives you parallel signal processing options. What that does, is sets up dual "pre" and "post" positions that happen before the signal mixer. If you panned them in stereo, chose two different amp models, and sent that in stereo to a PA, or out to two guitar amps or powered speakers, you would have two totally different signal chains.

 

I get the impression, that what you were talking about though, is closer to my first example, which essentially places the delay pedals after the amp tones, allowing the delay a clean path to the power amp - the distorted / compressed / amp growl goes into the delay, and the repeats are "clean" copies of the tone going in. Placing a delay pedal before an amp, sends the delay source and the repeats into the crunch of the amp, and can often render unwanted results.

 

As far as accomplishing this with the POD / HD, that just means place reverb in the post amp postion, followed by any stereo FX, like chorus or stereo delay,

 

My typical HD500 patch looks something like this:

 

wah > drive > compressor > amp model > reverb 1* > reverb 2* > delay

 

I typically set the footswitches to be:

 

FS1 = drive

FS2 = compressor (sometimes I reverse these in position and pedal assignement)

FS3 = reverb toggle. I use reverb 1 as the '63 spring verb, with a light mix, reverb 2 as a hall or large reverb for "effect". In that config, there is always reverb on, it's just far more subtle when verb 1 is on.

FS4 = delay. Sometimes I also put a chorus or some kind of modulation effect, and if I need additional footswitch control, I take the FS from one of the reverbs or the drive/comp pair. Sometimes I set the drive and comp as a toggle similar to the dual reverbs, where pressing FS1 toggles the comp off and the drive on, or vice versa.

 

A note: when using stereo FX make sure they are last or near last, and make sure no mono FX happen after the stereo effect.

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Iknowathingortwo Thanks so much for sharing with me your setup and all the info! i really appreciate it.  when you say stereo effects do you mean like stereo delay? like a ping-pong that goes from left to right?  Im outputting into house via both xlr's but I'm not sure the sound man is running me in stereo.

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The pedal compressors work best before amps or over drives, the LA2A sounds great after the amp. I sometimes use both a pedal comp up front and an la2a after the amp. There is an engineer trick of having a series of compressors with low compression settings to subtly squeeze the signal. Also some studio compressors are actually two in-series compressors in one box.

 

I would put modulations, delays and verbs after the amp, and in that order, although that's not a hard rule as to mods.

 

As to settings for all these things, that can be tricky because the settings in percents on the effects is not very intuitive and there are no meters. I suggest playing something in the Looper and then experimenting with your patches as the loop plays back.

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Who cares? The more they rant and rave about tubes and pedals, the worse they play. I've seen guys with 10 grand worth of gear who can't play a lick. My old man said it best...'Never educate a chump'.

 

I've been using an HD500x into the front of a Morgan AC20 Deluxe, and couldn't believe the tone suck at first with the HD in front of the amp.  I had to use the AC30 amp model just to get close to the sound of the Morgan when plugged directly into it.  At rehearsal on Thursday, our other guitar player (Matchless Lightning 15 tube amp, very nice stomp box setup... oh, and he can play, probably one of the best players I've ever known) tweaked my Morgan and POD and got very close to the sound of his rig.  The biggest difference is the clarity and thickness of his delayed signal and the lack of digital color on overdrive sounds (he uses a Timmy).  

 

I play P&W, and played lead today on two songs.  The 2nd song has a sustained high F and Bb played together on the 18th fret of the 1st and 2nd strings at the end of a chorus... it hangs into the next verse, and I got two full bars of sustain while fading out with the volume pedal over 8 counts at 62 beats per minute.  I never got that kind of sustain with the DT.  The DT is a great amp, that is easy to dial in, but I'm convinced now that it can't match the feel of a real tube preamp.  Playing the POD into a tube preamp is totally different than playing into a DT25.  The touch dynamics alone were worth the switch.  

 

Setup is Blue Comp>Screamer (30% drive)>Screamer(50% drive and slight boost for leads)>AC30 Amp Model>Analog Delay w/Mod(1 in each path both with heavy trailing modulation, left set to 8th, right set to .8th almost always use one or the other, rarely both at the same time)>Bias Modulation (for a chorus/tremolo effect without the pitch change)>Hall verb (not used much)>Octo Verb (used on both light overdrive and clean sounds to add a little sparkle)>AC20 Deluxe head>Morgan 1x12 cab loaded with an Alnico Blue.    

 

I add this to say that the POD into a great tube amp can get very close to stomps into a great tube amp, but the POD WILL mask your sound in a way that stomp pedals won't.  If the POD was true bypass, with a more powerful DSP (needed to uncompress the overdrives and distortions) it could compete head to head with a stomp rig.     

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Let me tell u this I have and have had countless fx. I would go as far to say that at one time I was an fx lollipop willing to plug into anything that graced my doorstep. Also I've had many many costly amps. Still with all that I never had the versatility and wonderful Tone Base as I've found via my pod 500 / DT 50 2x12 set up has given me. I am guilty of adding some outside stomp boxes but very few and only if absolutely required. Now lately it's been a Fulltone Ocd Overdrive and MXR 6 Band Eq. All in the pod fx loop. With wonderful results. Eric johnson said it set in order to get a good Overdrive tone u must have a great CLEAN Tone.

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Let me tell u this I have and have had countless fx. I would go as far to say that at one time I was an fx lollipop willing to plug into anything that graced my doorstep. Also I've had many many costly amps. Still with all that I never had the versatility and wonderful Tone Base as I've found via my pod 500 / DT 50 2x12 set up has given me. I am guilty of adding some outside stomp boxes but very few and only if absolutely required. Now lately it's been a Fulltone Ocd Overdrive and MXR 6 Band Eq. All in the pod fx loop. With wonderful results. Eric johnson said it set in order to get a good Overdrive tone u must have a great CLEAN Tone.

 

Totally agree on the versatility point... that's the one thing that is keeping me from going to stomps right now.  I love being able to tweak, and change the chain-placement on the fly.  But I have to disagree from a pure tone perspective.  The ability to get a great clean tone is largely dependent on being able to truly bypass the effects in the chain, or the pedalboard itself, which can't be done with the POD.  If it could, it would be close to perfect for it's price category.    

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I guess that is where I fail sometimes to remember not everyone is running through a DT 50. But I have been able to achieve pretty solid clean tones going studio direct without the DT also. It's all in the tweak. I have made many a convert amongst my friends who are tone snobs and covet nothing but high quality tube amps. It will usually start with me taking oh about 10 min. To their 30min to set up while they are wrestling power cords and batteries on their boards. Then it's "well is it going to match my Divided or Marshall or my Bogner" then after the shock that Bogner had a major hand in my amp I tell them I may not be playing through a real Mesa or Marshall or what have you but I always win the bet that I can make mine sound just as good if not better than their rig in a fraction of the time and if I have to switch genre at a jam session so be it.... I ain't skured.

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