Jump to content
cjb2002

Is my HD500X broken? Low-volume distortion fizz

Recommended Posts

Hi, this is a new thread based on a post on another thread, because I think that the explanation could be that my POD is not working properly, rather than 'normal fizz'.

 

Hear the attached MP3. This is with this patch http://line6.com/customtone/tone/478652/ and with the guitar volume knob at half, while playing softly. The way that the fizz goes away as the distortion cleans up is not pleasing for the ears (at least mine).

 

I am wondering whether other people have similar issues or if my unit is somewhat defective (that I got 1 week ago, new).

 

Thanks.

testhd500xfizz.mp3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can hear what you mean in the clip, especially on the first chord. I also tried the patch (every effect disabled) on a jem 7v and hd500x and can hear what I think you mean, just not as pronounced as in the clip. Honestly, I think this is normal,  whether it be wanted or not. I've noticed this on both an hd500 and hd500x and for a long time tried to dial it out, always unsuccessfully. I've kind of trained myself to ignore it.

 

You could try the pad switch on the unit. See if that makes any difference. Another thing is try changing input 2 from variax to same (extra signal might react someway with the amp to help 'cover up' the unwanted distortion).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, unfortunately it seems to be very difficult to remove it :(

 

I am already using the padded input, with half my guitar's volume, plus playing softly.

I will try using 'same' as input 2, but my guess is that it won't change much the fizz.

 

My main concern is that it is then difficult to create smooth sounding low-gain tones, because that annoying fizz breaks the atmosphere I am trying to create.

I also own an RP2000 (digitech, 15-year old unit) which doesn't do it at all, even with a high gain amp), so it is particularly noticeable to me.

 

My intuition is that the fizz comes from the way Line6 models the amplifiers, as there seems to be a harsh boundary between fizz and no-fizz sounds, rather than a smooth one (if fizz was to be there).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree that the higher resolution modeling algorithms would be the main culprit. A good question would be, would the actual amp being model exhibit the same sound characteristics?

 

For a lower gain tone, try a different amp than the treadplate. The unwanted fizz might be gone or a lot less?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my own idea of this using the saying "There's no replacement for displacement" this pertains to amps in a very similar way. Meaning that if you want clean go with an amp designed for clean and if you want dirt go with an amp designed for dirt. Athough I've been able to get some clean tones from high gain amp models and other times not in a couple cases I was able to Gate & /or EQ the fizz out, if it was actually the fizz, lol. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all, thanks for your answers and suggestions.

 

I tried the soldano models and the fizz is still very annoying, even with low gain. I adjusted the bias and bias X parameters, which alleviate it, though it is still there.

 

Now I tried some simple things as in the recording I posted above, again with the HD500X (treadplate/soldano), Digitech RP2000 and finally TH2 (vst plugin). Both TH2 and RP2000 sound very good (particularly TH2), especially when the distortion cleans up, very smoothly. On the other hand, everytime I hear what the POD does, I cannot believe how come there isn't an easy solution for that.

 

I am 90% convinced about returning the HD500X to replace it for the (half priced) RP1000 or something else.

I love the effects, looper and flexibility, but the amp/cabinet simulation was one of the main motivations for getting it.

 

I know many will say this is a question of taste, but if you want to try it out, just download the TH2 demo from Overloud and give it a chance, you will probably feel the difference (make sure you put your POD in bypass mode before). You can use the POD ASIO drivers so you don't even need an extra soundcard.

 

Thanks again,

Carlos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before you give up turn the cabinet resonance parameter in your patch all the way down.I turn all of them off in every patch.Reduces fizz.My Fender Twin patches are ice pick clean and that is what I use for clean on my HD500.A lot of these high gain amp models in the HD series are gainy/sizzly /fizzy etc...even with the pre amp gain almost off.The real amps are that way too.I tried for years to get my old Laney combos to do pristine cleans and finally realized I needed a clean Fender amp to do those sounds.This was before modelling was around.I have a lot of tube amps (Fender BDRI/HRDLX/Egnater Tweaker/Marshall JCM800 etc...) and much to my horror when exploring this modelling "fizz" issue many players post about found that my tube amps all have a little fizziness to them especially when notes trail off.When I hear it from one of my tube amps it seems normal.When I hear it from a modeller it seems weird but I think it is  there to be as accurate amp modelling wise as possible.Even a Fender Twin makes some strange noises after you play it a while at high volume.Go down to the music store and play one loud for about an hour. It will make noises too.Line 6 even models the "hum" of these amps for realism.I am an old tube amp guy and I am having a great time with my recently acquired Line 6 HD500.

Stay with it a bit longer before you give up.

 

Good Luck!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before you give up turn the cabinet resonance parameter in your patch all the way down.I turn all of them off in every patch.Reduces fizz

 

The Resonance turned to 0 does make a big differance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, thanks for the suggestions again. I tried them and they help reduce fizz, but the dynamics of how it decays remain almost the same.

I am attaching two examples with soldano crunch and treadplate at low gain, doing some simple chords with the bridge pickup. This is with resonance set to zero and also adjusting the bias and bias X parameter.

 

Another thing I noticed is that increasing the bias parameter reduces fizz at lower gains, but it seems to make it clean up harsher, I don't know how to explain it.

 

I think this discussion is similar to the one started by Bluebrain here http://line6.com/support/topic/3508-apparently-this-is-how-its-supposed-to-sound-i-think-its-unusable-id-appreciate-second-opinions/ . My conclusion is similar to his: you can get used to the fizz dynamics, and maybe you like it, but since you can't get rid of it, it can be very limiting in terms of tone possibilities.

 

I made some sounds for clean (fender twin) and heavy (petrucci/vai-like) rythm/solos, and I like them. The fizz is there for the latter, which is normal for that style. The problem for me is finding something in between. 

 

I am then considering other alternatives like Boss and Digitech. I would appreciate if anyone has opinions on those as well.

 

EDIT: forgot to attach the files, now fixed

 

Thanks once again, I very well appreciate all your suggestions,

Carlos

hd500x-soldano-crunch.mp3

hd500x-treadplate.mp3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think when you turn the resonance to zero, you are giving up too much to get rid of (or minimize) something that most people probably don't even hear. What you're giving up is the deep low-end richness of the cabinet (as well as a lot of other harmonic and dynamic frequency components). By turning this to zero, you're basically neutering both the thump and decay controls because these two parameters are dependent on the the cabinet resonance.

 

Maybe the unwanted fizz is coming mostly from the cabinet modeling? In which case if you use the pod for recording, you could try an IR plugin and set the pod cabinet to none to see if there is any improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the problem is actually in the amp modelling stage. I tried recabinet, and it seems to reduce slightly the fizz decay sound with some cabinets, but I am not an expert with recabinet. Still, you can hear the weird decay without the cabinet.

 

Maybe someone can recommend me a patch to try out, to achieve some smooth distortion without the fizz? so far I am clueless and it seems like it is not possible to get rid of this.

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So back in the days of the PODxt, the topic of fizz caused a lot of debate on the forums. I was actually just starting to get involved then, but I remember reading the pages of discussion. If I remember correctly, Line 6 eventually stepped in and did some A/B testing in the way of recording clips of real amps and comparing them to the XT clips. The takeaway was that the fizz was there in the real amps and what was in their models accurately reflected reality. It didn't really make everyone believe them, though. But anyway, with all the clips posted above I don't really hear anything that objectionable. I do not think anyone would ever notice anything in a mix.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, phil_m that this fizziness doesn't equate to any real problems and there is plenty of good music out there that supports that. It doesn't bother me the slightest as there is plenty of sonic adjustments available in these devices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Played my HD500 through the effect return of my JCM800 1x12 combo with a 1x12 ext. cab for a three hour club gig that requires lots of mid gain tones(think Fleetwood Mac/Blondie/The Cars/Jewel etc...) and it was pretty darn good.Seemed less fizzy than when I played through my FRFR(Alto powered cabs or Atomic Reactor) amps.Of course in a club with people dancing and making merry you can't hear much in the way of fizz anyway.I think this is probably very apparent when using the HD500 etc..for recording or listening through good headphones or in-ears.I don't record with multi-effects though I only use them live.Under a microscope fret wear/intonation/fizz/reverb quality etc...all become problematic. I know as I recorded television and radio commercials for 15 years in sanitized studios.I had to take my wedding ring off to record an acoustic guitar part at one session because it was making a tiny clicking noise on the back of the guitar neck. It took the engineer and producer three hours to figure out what was causing the noise while I composed music to a voice over on the spot.I play more these days than I worry about stuff so once again good luck and if you have to try a Digitech/Boss unit more power to you. I keep several of those around. Whatever it takes to get you playing and enjoying music do it.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all again,

 

after a few months of trying things out, I thought it would be worth sharing my 'findings'.

 

With respect to the HD500X itself:

 

    --- Studio/Direct mode: I found out that I cannot stand the 'fizz' of the pod when in Studio/Direct output, no matter what cab I choose, when I try to get slightly saturated sounds. This may be due to the way that Line6 simulates tubes and other non-linear components in software. Cliff, from Fractal Audio, has some thoughts about that too here , when he talks about Triode Modelling.

 

    --- 'Amp' mode: Favorably, things change slightly if I disable Studio/Direct output and pass the POD output through an active circuit I made a while ago, that basically is a particular lowpass, and then feed it to a Roland Cube40 in the clean channel. After some EQing from the POD side, I get some very nice tones.

The fizz is still there, but somehow hidden because of the EQing and the angle at which I listen to the Cube40 (~45d degrees).

To be clear, again, this is not optimal, the fizz is still there, but when playing with a band it is not noticeable (probably in a mix it wouldn't either).

 

 

Other modellers:

 

    --- POD Farm: POD Farm seems to have the same issues, which suggests that there is an issue with the core modelling part in both products, not just the HD500X.

 

    --- Overloud TH2: I also gave TH2 a try, running its standalone version. Guitar directly into a soundcard, and then the output directly to speaker monitors.

The difference in quality is enormous!! I was impressed, particularly about how the distortion cleans up and it gets smoother for amps such as Soldano.

Another thing in terms of dynamics is how TH2 reacts with pick attack, which helps give a lot of 'personality' to the sound if used adequately.

 

 

 

My verdict so far:  I like the HD500X and some of the sounds I get, but not for direct recording. I think the issue is in the amp stage. For live settings, through an amp such as the Cube40, it produces some very nice rich sounds. I guess that the situation is different for high-gain Djent/Metal sounds, because the dynamics I am looking for are typically not as important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be wrong but my experience has been that the fizziness is an integral part of the overall tone and practically goes away at volume.  Often what sounds like crap to me at low volume is undetectable when I turn it up loud.  I think it is comparable to trying to get a tube amp to sound the same at low volume as it does at high volume.  It may be due to the HD modeling itself being too realistic.  If the fizziness was not there the high volume signal actually driving the physical speakers would not be the same.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be wrong but my experience has been that the fizziness is an integral part of the overall tone and practically goes away at volume.  Often what sounds like crap to me at low volume is undetectable when I turn it up loud.  I think it is comparable to trying to get a tube amp to sound the same at low volume as it does at high volume.  It may be due to the HD modeling itself being too realistic.  If the fizziness was not there the high volume signal actually driving the physical speakers would not be the same.

 

Not only this, but some character of fizziness can be a component part of the tone when in a mix.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that fizzness is necessary. My point, as shown in the attached sound files in the first two posts, is that the fizz dynamics do not sound like anything I've been using so far. Not the fizz itself, but how it comes in and fades away with intensity, as I am playing.

 

I think the best way to try this out is to do it yourself. For example, you can download the TH2 demo from Overloud's webpage and give it a try.

This subtlety might be the difference between the HD500X and more expensive units, though I am not sure, I don't have anything like an Axe Fx or Eleven Rack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all again, a year after :)

 

I finally got annoyed enough with the fizz and weirdness of the amp modelling in the HD500X. Even after the firmware update to 2.6.

 

So I got a Boss GP-10 and I'm super happy about it: it sounds very good, it is small, I can bring it anywhere, it doesn't have that fizzy sound.

(plus it has a synthesizer if needed). I suppose the GT-100 would be a better option for effects and amp modelling-only, and more footswitches.

 

Anyway, I don't want to start another war here about Line6 vs Boss vs Whatever, but just share my experience for those who feel the same way.

 

I hope the fizz issues have been solved in the Helix, though I am far from trying it, particularly for the price.

Thanks again for everyone in the forum, it has been very helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I wasn't a fan of the fizz. Then my pod broke and I went back to using my amp head for a while. Fizz was very present there as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree that the higher resolution modeling algorithms would be the main culprit.

Interesting and plausible theory. I've always wondered this myself as I've always struggled to dial fizz out of the POD HD, and could

explain why the fizz is less noticeable on lower res units that are able to mask the fizz to a reasonable degree. Makes me wonder if

the Helix suffers from this even more seen as tho its res would be at-least equal or better compared to the POD HD one would assume.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting and plausible theory. I've always wondered this myself as I've always struggled to dial fizz out of the POD HD, and could

explain why the fizz is less noticeable on lower res units that are able to mask the fizz to a reasonable degree. Makes me wonder if

the Helix suffers from this even more seen as tho its res would be at-least equal or better compared to the POD HD one would assume.

 

I think people typically talk of two or more types of fizz. That one that is kind of natural to the amp, and the one that sounds as an artificial residue of digital  modelling.

The issue is that both seem to be very subjective.

 

Personally, what bothers me the most is the 'attitude' of the fizz. From the audio examples I posted above, you can hear that the decay sounds 'disturbing' (ok, at least to me). Even though some would question the amp model quality of other units, such as my old RP2000 or the GP-10, the behavior of the fizz is closer to what I expect in the latter. This is why I switched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So back in the days of the PODxt, the topic of fizz caused a lot of debate on the forums. I was actually just starting to get involved then, but I remember reading the pages of discussion. If I remember correctly, Line 6 eventually stepped in and did some A/B testing in the way of recording clips of real amps and comparing them to the XT clips. The takeaway was that the fizz was there in the real amps and what was in their models accurately reflected reality. It didn't really make everyone believe them, though. But anyway, with all the clips posted above I don't really hear anything that objectionable. I do not think anyone would ever notice anything in a mix.

 

In respect to A/B tests where the algorithms reflect the same fizz in modeled amps, whats you take on the

Line 6 amp creations that weren't modeled on any specific real world amp ? Wouldn't it be desirable for

them to take the opportunity to create those algorithms with none, or as little fizz as possible ? 

I don't think I, or anyone has ever said to themselves "hmm, this tone requires more fizz" lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In respect to A/B tests where the algorithms reflect the same fizz in modeled amps, whats you take on the

Line 6 amp creations that weren't modeled on any specific real world amp ? Wouldn't it be desirable for

them to take the opportunity to create those algorithms with none, or as little fizz as possible ? 

 

It would be a good opportunity to do so. But I believe there is a limitation in the model they use to simulate the amp, which 'struggles' when transitioning from low distorted sound to almost undistorted. This is my impression from paying attention to letting a chord decay in intensity after plucked.

 

Maybe this was improved in the Helix. I hope, since for that price it should work very well.

 

On the other hand, if you haven't yet, give Positive Grid Bias a try. I am still very impressed, I even bought it (the desktop version).

I haven't tried the iPad one, not sure if it is as good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think people typically talk of two or more types of fizz. That one that is kind of natural to the amp, and the one that sounds as an artificial residue of digital  modelling.

The issue is that both seem to be very subjective.

 

I agree, digital algorithms seem to introduce their own kind of fizz apart from the natural fizz you would expect, and i would

find it hard to believe anyone that made the claim "digital modeling has %100 conquered all things analogue". There are 

still improvements to be made as digital hardware specs are increased in the future.

 

I started a thread a while back you might find interesting. It was just meant as a general discussion around the

digital vs analogue debate, and not entirely applicable to this subject. 

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/12197-will-digital-modelling-ever-replace-analogue/

 

 

On the other hand, if you haven't yet, give Positive Grid Bias a try. I am still very impressed, I even bought it (the desktop version).

I haven't tried the iPad one, not sure if it is as good.

 

I've tried pretty much all the VST type software modeling, and they are about as superior as you can get in a studio situation.

The DSP chips installed in these pedal modelers just don't have a chance at competing with desktop or laptop computers

and their sheer processing potential, but a completely different story when it comes to live practicality unfortunately. 

 

Its good that you have found your solution even if it isn't gear from Line 6. Personally being a metal guitarist, I find myself

scrutinizing gain and distortion more than any other effect in my signal chains, and have found Zoom to hold my subjective

approval of what I consider satisfying distortion, regardless of its cheaper price point. Each to their own as they say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I got a Boss GP-10 and I'm super happy about it: it sounds very good, it is small, I can bring it anywhere, it doesn't have that fizzy sound.

(plus it has a synthesizer if needed). I suppose the GT-100 would be a better option for effects and amp modelling-only, and more footswitches.

 

Boss is using the same COSM algorithms for decades, they only add more processing power to their units. I switched from my GT to the POD because the GT is capable of decent effects and clean amps, but COSM totally sucks at high gain amps. If you aren't into high gain amps, the GT may be for you, otherwise run away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...