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Dilemma, Pod hd On PA , lottery?


guilhordas
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I've been using the pod hd 500 (and Variax JTV) for 3,4 years , do gigs every weekend, I'm a professional musician and just run my pod directly in the mixer
What puzzles me too and I want to share this with you is how the sound of pod changes so much  according to PA, is unbelievable, there are days where the sound is great, but there are days that is the worst sound in the world, simply horrible and there is nothing that can be done, because this very day the sound of the band is great and just the guitar is  horrible,
I use in ear and usually on my phone the sound is very good, but when I go in front of the PA hear sometimes is horrible, very bad, what dilemma, what to do? Sometimes I have the impression that depending on equalizing the PA ,only the guitar is reached, perhaps by poor equalizing the middle frequencies, I do not know if I'm right, I ask the soundman to leave the track  of my guitar on mixer totally flat and  even so the sound is very bad,there are situations that do not have how to improve my sound, because if everything  was sounding bad it would be easier, but mostly it's just the sound of guitar, and I do not change anything in my configurations, simply run the mixer and it happens, like a lottery, and I do not change anything in my configurations, simply run the mixer and it happens, like a lottery,

when I go to gigs I'm always wondering if my guitar will sound good
and when the guitar is sounding bad there is not what to do. sad

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Am I correct in thinking you are talking about house p.a.s varying from venue to venue or are you talking about your own p.a.?

 

If you mean a house p.a. I know that in theory a p.a. should produce a flat response but in my experience frequency response can vary massively from p.a. to p.a. Logically if the signal being sent through to front of house is identical from gig to gig (which it is if you are using a variax and pod) the sound variations must be coming from the p.a. itself. If the 'flat response' of the p.a. is actually cutting mids a little you could end up with a muddy sound that isn't cutting through the mix as much as you would like.

 

How you remedy that is pretty difficult unless you have different set lists EQed differently according to how the house p.a. is behaving. I have come across a couple of guitarists who do exactly this but personally I have never really found it a problem.

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I mean PA`S varying from venue, place from place , not my PA

Am I correct in thinking you are talking about house p.a.s varying from venue to venue or are you talking about your own p.a.?

 

If you mean a house p.a. I know that in theory a p.a. should produce a flat response but in my experience frequency response can vary massively from p.a. to p.a. Logically if the signal being sent through to front of house is identical from gig to gig (which it is if you are using a variax and pod) the sound variations must be coming from the p.a. itself. If the 'flat response' of the p.a. is actually cutting mids a little you could end up with a muddy sound that isn't cutting through the mix as much as you would like.

 

How you remedy that is pretty difficult unless you have different set lists EQed differently according to how the house p.a. is behaving. I have come across a couple of guitarists who do exactly this but personally I have never really found it a problem.

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Thats a tough one, but don't feel bad, it happens to use guys who use power amps and cabs with our PODs, too! My rig is a 4x12 with a power amp and it sounds awesome in our rehearsal space, and venues where at least a little bit of thought was put into the stage layout, room configuration, etc, but some places where there is just a square hall or small boxy places, it sound flat, sterile, feeds back (which never, ever happens in practice, even with my gates off, and I basically face my amp)..I'm thinking about getting a dual 15 band EQ since I'm running stereo and just keeping it set flat unless its one of those occasions like we're talking about, then I can EQ for the room instead of having to futz with each patch.

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i believe it is a matter of "master equalization", meaning that the pa MUST be equalized according 2 the venue sound "signature".
if this is not done, overall sound is crap.
u can check that by feeding the pa with a simple mp3 track. if it sounds good, then ur pod will also sound good.
usually if this is the case and ur patches r well designed, u shld ask the sound guy 2 have both ur 2 channels flat.

gunpointmetal is absolutely right:

...I can EQ for the room instead of having to futz with each patch...


bear in mind that with bad master eq in a bad sounding venue with glass windows 'n other sound reflecting areas it really doesn't matter whether u play direct or with a tube amp; ur sound will b nasty...

so I don't thing this is a dilemma 4 pros, go direct 2 pa: playing "wise" means u will not have 2 worry about tubes shorting out or carrying tube amps/cabs in and out of venues...

check out this one, JTSC777 nailed it:
http://line6.com/support/topic/7292-so-i-finally-jumped-ship-dumped-my-hd500-and-the-last-of-my-line-6-gear/page-4?do=findComment&comment=56923

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i believe it is a matter of "master equalization", meaning that the pa MUST be equalized according 2 the venue sound "signature".

if this is not done, sound is crap.

 Bonozi! Every room is different and you would be amazed when you put pink noise though a PA system and then look at it on a spectral analyser how much variance you can get from one brand/ type of speaker. In using a house PA you are also at the mercy of the sound engineers ears. Everyone hears things a bit differnetly and certinally has different taste in music. Most any of them are going to try to make you sound your best to THEIR ears, not yours. And the others are right the same thing can happen to amps from venue to venue as well. That POD has High, Mid, and Low knobs on it. If you switch patches a lot I know that don't help much though.

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 ..Every room is different ...

 

Correct! That's why I recommend "master equalizing" the pa with an mp3 track which by default is mastered @ the studio prior release...

 

but i repeat, this has nothing 2 do with the q "direct or use tube amp?"

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The PA should (a good one anyway) will have a 31 band EQ on each side of the system. Overall this should be adjusted to fit the room so that the response in the room is flat. And Jandrio pointed out follow up with a solid sanity check to make sure the system sounds good. Often times though most PA's EQ is adjusted way to randomly based solely on a track and not really leveled first and the sound guy may know what he is doing but not have all the equipment he/she needs and is just doing the best he/she can.

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That's why sometimes I think it seems that the PA or eq  is poorly equalized just the frequencies that most affect the guitar, it can only be because if was not, the whole band was sounding bad,

and when I say that this guitar sounding bad, it's really bad, especially in drives, like a guitar running through old zoom pedal and straight into the mixer hahaha

and curiously  my ear is almost always sounding good, I think it might be because  in ear not pass by equalization that goes to the PA

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That's why sometimes I think it seems that the PA or eq  is poorly equalized just the frequencies that most affect the guitar, it can only be because if was not, the whole band was sounding bad,

and when I say that this guitar sounding bad, it's really bad, especially in drives, like a guitar running through old zoom pedal and straight into the mixer hahaha

and curiously  my ear is almost always sounding good, I think it might be because  in ear not pass by equalization that goes to the PA

I'd would be willing to bet if you got a look at the PA you would see a 2 (or double unit) 31 band EQ on the FOH but nothing on the monitors. That would be typcial setup, althought sucks because with a 31 band on the montors you can tweak out the feedback out of the monitors and then turn them up almost all you want.  You might also consider what else they have on the FOH line. Could be something like those BBE sonic maxiimers. I have not idea what they would do to POD output but I'm sure it would effect it, all they really do is EQ and supposely phase correction for the speakers themselves.

 

And I bet the EQ on the 31 bands are set in a general notched mid pattern (where it's likely to affect the gutiar the most), not always the best but you'll see people do that with graphic EQ all the time.  When you detect that in the mains, all you can do is up the mids on your POD (or amp) to compensate and just know it sounds good to the audience but sucks where you standing. The concept of the main stage EQ should be to compensate for deffiecients in the room and/or the speakers. All too often People have no idea how to set them, even well intentioned ppl.

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Sometimes the sound in the PA is so different than I'm used mainly in drives that I think changed the studio / direct to something else, but after checking I see not.
You talked external equalizer 31 band, it would be useful, since you know exactly how to operate the frequencies and what to do with them, because if not, it may even get worse.

 

but why do you think that in certain occasions only guitar sounds bad?, it would be because it operates on a different frequency of the other instruments and  this frequency is precisely which is not well equalized?

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you are right about having equalizer in PA and nothing on the monitors, but I think that is precisely what saves time in my ear, dwarf standing (barely) equalized it sounds better than the the PA.
In my band we have an inside joke, when the pa is not sounding good, we all looked at each other and talked, the in ears are better than pa

 

I'd would be willing to bet if you got a look at the PA you would see a 2 (or double unit) 31 band EQ on the FOH but nothing on the monitors. That would be typcial setup, althought sucks because with a 31 band on the montors you can tweak out the feedback out of the monitors and then turn them up almost all you want.  You might also consider what else they have on the FOH line. Could be something like those BBE sonic maxiimers. I have not idea what they would do to POD output but I'm sure it would effect it, all they really do is EQ and supposely phase correction for the speakers themselves.

 

And I bet the EQ on the 31 bands are set in a general notched mid pattern (where it's likely to affect the gutiar the most), not always the best but you'll see people do that with graphic EQ all the time.  When you detect that in the mains, all you can do is up the mids on your POD (or amp) to compensate and just know it sounds good to the audience but sucks where you standing. The concept of the main stage EQ should be to compensate for deffiecients in the room and/or the speakers. All too often People have no idea how to set them, even well intentioned ppl.

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but why do you think that in certain occasions only guitar sounds bad?, it would be because it operates on a different frequency of the other instruments and  this frequency is precisely what is not well equalized?

 

Most guitar sounds are going to sit the middle of the frequency range. The EQ on POD or the even a normal guitar amp is not going to work the same way it does on Graphic EQ. The controls don't have the same range as full EQ, which is why most professional PAs use a 31 band on each side of the stereo field. 

For example push too much in the 250hz range and your gutiar is sound can turn to mud. The same area can also add Fullness if applied to something that not very full. This is why the EQ on the FOH and monitors should be set so that response is flat out of the system, then you EQ each instrument on the channel strip as needed. 

 

My suspicion (and it is just that a suspicion) is that FOH main EQ in those cases is just set to way that makes your POD not sound good to you, although other things that could be in the chain PA such a preamp (assuming there isn't a line level input) etc... could all affect it. I wouldn't put 31 band on my rig to offset them, too hard to know what and how the PA was set to. I would just adjust the controls on the amp or channel on the PA. For those that like to swtich patches a lot a external EQ down stream of the POD might actually be useful, althought I would probably go with a easier to use one with less bands, maybe a parametric EQ where you control the frequency Q(width) and just boost or cut certian ones might fit the bill. Again only if it really was a big enough problem. 

 

Personally althought I think POD units sound best straight into the PA, I use a DT25 amp and will just mic when needed. If the sound guy can't seem to get me good sound or doesn't seem to care, I got a volume knob. When I turn it up seconds before I play he will care then.

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Another thing that sometimes afflicts me, to use in ear, is having to take care not to alter many of the parameters for based on what I hear in the in ear, because the response of the in ear is totally different from the pa, and in my conception, the most importantl is sound good in PA for the audience, sometimes you think the drive is high, but in fact, is only high because you're with the r guitar right in your ear, but it is not this high in PA,

you need to take all these variables into account when adjusting the pod

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I still keep a Boss GT10 around for this reason. It does have global e.q. I play with 6 different bands some of whom do shows with house P.A. gear so I understand your pain. If I know I have a gig using a house/provided P.A. I will use the Boss unit or sometimes I will run my POD HD500 or GT10 into a small Behringer mixer so I have some way of compensating for the crappy P.A.(that usually comes with a sound man with a tin ear LOL). The little mixer can also be used to do a mix with your in-ears if the sound man can give you a drop(line) from the monitor mix.I then mix that with my POD in my in-ears and it works well. Although this is a bit oif a problem IMHO it is way way worse when using a conventional guitar rig.Tube amps always sound /behave differently from venue to venue and mic.ing an amp in a situation with house PA is something I don't miss at all.(To the OP)-you will have to experiment a bit and perhaps carry/setup a small mixer to get it figured out. 

 

Good Luck!

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thanks

you touched on an important issue, I used amp in my whole life, but I realized that in most situations I could a nice sound on my amp, but when I walked in front of the pa sound, seemed another sound, another tone completely different, I noticed that I did not have any control over my final sound, so I started using the pod directly into the mixer, at least is less thing to worry about

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thanks

you touched on an important issue, I used amp in my whole life, but I realized that in most situations I could a nice sound on my amp, but when I walked in front of the pa sound, seemed another sound, another tone completely different, I noticed that I did not have any control over my final sound, so I started using the pod directly into the mixer, at least is less thing to worry about

This used to drive me nuts. My solution ended up being to tweak my settings sitting on the floor in front of my 4x12 so I was hearing more or less what the soundguys microphone would be hearing. Sometimes it sounds a little "flat" in a dead room out of the cab, but the mic'ed sound is usually better. There's not much you can do to compensate a soundguy with a tin ear, unless you can request someone else or bring your own. I really hate that most of them seem to think they know everything about everything and won't listen to anything. We are an instrumental band and it drives me nuts when I step out front and the whole thing is still mixed around a singer thats not there......

 

side note:  Played a show last weekend with a soundguy who didn't get paid....moderate sound on the first band, we had awesome sound, then he was too drunk/stoned to be bothered to even connect the next four band's DI gear, fell asleep ON THE BOARD during the last band's set...then bitched at them that they "didn't even pull the mics or wrap the cables"....

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... There's not much you can do to compensate a soundguy with a tin ear....

absolutely true!

in these cases, during sound check prior the show, try feeding the pa with a couple of mp3 studio-mastered tracks of the songs u r gonna play and tweak the "master" eq till u get acceptable results...

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