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Adding EQ effect in post adds distortion - POD HD500X

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I've been trying to EQ my patches by adding some EQ effects after the amp. However, I hear noticeable distortion being added to my tone when I add one. Is this behavior normal? Or just because the EQ effect is clipping?

 

As far as I know, I've set the volume of the mixer and the channel volume within normal range. (I check the dB of my patches in my DAW via USB audio.

 

Thanks a lot.

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I've been trying to EQ my patches by adding some EQ effects after the amp. However, I hear noticeable distortion being added to my tone when I add one. Is this behavior normal? Or just because the EQ effect is clipping?

 

As far as I know, I've set the volume of the mixer and the channel volume within normal range. (I check the dB of my patches in my DAW via USB audio.

 

Thanks a lot.

 

This is the main reason I really try to avoid using EQs post position. I believe it is clipping. And it happens way too easily. I suppose turning down the amp volume sort of works, but the clipping, although decreased, is still there when you compensate for the loss of volume by turning the gain on the EQ up or the mixer. And this whole notion of trying to avoid the clipping with a dual amp setup is particularly nightmarish. One of the more undesirable 'features' of the HD series that should be at the top of the list to fix.

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You said you checked levels via USB.

What was/is the level you see before going into the EQ?

If you want absolutely no compression/distortion from Studio or Mid Focus EQs make sure your input AND output peak does not exceed -12dBFS. Other EQs are likely similar.

Martin

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try to consider EQ as a way to CUT frequencies rather than boost...its a bit of a mental shift, but worth it.

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try to consider EQ as a way to CUT frequencies rather than boost...its a bit of a mental shift, but worth it.

 

That's what I've been trying - to reduce the fizz from my patches. Thanks for the inputs!

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You said you checked levels via USB.

What was/is the level you see before going into the EQ?

If you want absolutely no compression/distortion from Studio or Mid Focus EQs make sure your input AND output peak does not exceed -12dBFS. Other EQs are likely similar.

Martin

 

Isn't -12dB too low? I set my patches level to -3dB.

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The HD series allows for many effects to be overdriven just they could be in the real world, and they have modelled the resulting effect whether compression, distortion or both.

 

Which is great for realism and very useful if you really want the effect of overdriving a Tape Echo, but a right pain if you were not expecting it as your signal suddenly gets distorted or gets the wrong sort of distortion, especially if raising the gain pre-amplifier causes effects post-amplifier to start distorting. Hence gain staging for the HD is critical unlike many other effect units where each effects I/O is "normalised" and can't cause unexpected distortion.

 

It isn't officially written down anywhere, but -12db appears to be the maximum signal level you can get away with for an absolutely clean path 

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Isn't -12dB too low? I set my patches level to -3dB.

 

I started there as well expecting no distortion and/or compression till the signal clips.

This is NOT how it works. Any model I checked (all preamps and a few effects) shows the same behavior.

If the combination of input signal level and model setting causes an ouput level above -9dBFS you can hear in most cases noticable compression and soft clipping. If you measure and compare transfer curves (e.g., how Drive affects output level you can see the effect usually somewhere just above -12dBFS.

My conclusion: Unless you want to measure every time, stay away from levels above -12dBFS unless you actually want the effect.

I believe you cann boost the signal cleanly above the -12dFS with the mixer if you can live with the mixer at the very end of your effects chain, i.e., single amp / path tones.

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I started there as well expecting no distortion and/or compression till the signal clips.

This is NOT how it works. Any model I checked (all preamps and a few effects) shows the same behavior.

If the combination of input signal level and model setting causes an ouput level above -9dBFS you can hear in most cases noticable compression and soft clipping. If you measure and compare transfer curves (e.g., how Drive affects output level you can see the effect usually somewhere just above -12dBFS.

My conclusion: Unless you want to measure every time, stay away from levels above -12dBFS unless you actually want the effect.

I believe you cann boost the signal cleanly above the -12dFS with the mixer if you can live with the mixer at the very end of your effects chain, i.e., single amp / path tones.

 

How can I move the mixer to the end of the chain without putting all the pre and post effects and amp to Path A (or B )? Will it be enough if I reduce the channel volume of the amp, put the eq after it, and then finalize my patch level using the mixer? I don't feel the need to adjust my pre amp effects as the signal feeding into them is not loud (the guitar input), right? 

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How can I move the mixer to the end of the chain without putting all the pre and post effects and amp to Path A (or B )?

 

> You don't have to move the pre effects and can only move the post effects to path A or B. If you had all your post effects after the mixer you will find the input level to those effects may have dropped by 6dB because you may no longer combine the path A and B signals before routing them to the effects. You can use the Amp's channel volume to make up for it unless you want to lower your peak level anyway to the -12dBFS max i mentioned earlier. There is no difference other than possibly level from moving effects from a post mixer to pre mixer position unless you use both path A and B ... and you where already in the soft compression territory when the effcts were post mixer.

 

Will it be enough if I reduce the channel volume of the amp, put the eq after it, and then finalize my patch level using the mixer?

 

> Yes unless you have more post mixer effects. Those will probably also cause compression/distortion if the mixer pushes your signal significantly above the -12dBFS. If you want more than -12dBFS out of your HD while keeping all level driven distorion and compression out of the internal HD paths I'd recommend to put all efffects before the mixer. Keep the effects output peaks below -12dBFS and crank the mixer +9dB.

 

I don't feel the need to adjust my pre amp effects as the signal feeding into them is not loud (the guitar input), right?

 

> Don't know what guitar/pickups you have and what input setting or IO you use. Some of my JTV guitar models come in almost at -12dBFS peak. I would check my guitar level with an HD tone w/o effects and the amp in bypass mode and a mixer setting with no gain to get an idea what you starting with.

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How can I move the mixer to the end of the chain without putting all the pre and post effects and amp to Path A (or B )?

 

> You don't have to move the pre effects and can only move the post effects to path A or B. If you had all your post effects after the mixer you will find the input level to those effects may have dropped by 6dB because you may no longer combine the path A and B signals before routing them to the effects. You can use the Amp's channel volume to make up for it unless you want to lower your peak level anyway to the -12dBFS max i mentioned earlier. There is no difference other than possibly level from moving effects from a post mixer to pre mixer position unless you use both path A and B ... and you where already in the soft compression territory when the effcts were post mixer.

 

Will it be enough if I reduce the channel volume of the amp, put the eq after it, and then finalize my patch level using the mixer?

 

> Yes unless you have more post mixer effects. Those will probably also cause compression/distortion if the mixer pushes your signal significantly above the -12dBFS. If you want more than -12dBFS out of your HD while keeping all level driven distorion and compression out of the internal HD paths I'd recommend to put all efffects before the mixer. Keep the effects output peaks below -12dBFS and crank the mixer +9dB.

 

I don't feel the need to adjust my pre amp effects as the signal feeding into them is not loud (the guitar input), right?

 

> Don't know what guitar/pickups you have and what input setting or IO you use. Some of my JTV guitar models come in almost at -12dBFS peak. I would check my guitar level with an HD tone w/o effects and the amp in bypass mode and a mixer setting with no gain to get an idea what you starting with.

 

 

Does the -12dB as reported in the DAW equate to the same dB level when I crank the master volume all the way up? I'll be hooking the output of the POD to the input of the M9. I'll use the FX loop to put my distortion pedals in pre position and use the M9 for my delays and reverb.

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It depends on how you have the HD500 hooked up to your DAW. If SPDIF then no, the master volume has no effect on the SPDIF signal. If you're coming out XLR or 1/4" then yes, it will. The Master volume controls the gain of the HD500's analog output amplifier, which feeds both the XLR and 1/4" outputs. The SPDIF signal is tapped off before that, while the signal is still in the digital domain.

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I started there as well expecting no distortion and/or compression till the signal clips.

This is NOT how it works. Any model I checked (all preamps and a few effects) shows the same behavior.

If the combination of input signal level and model setting causes an ouput level above -9dBFS you can hear in most cases noticable compression and soft clipping. If you measure and compare transfer curves (e.g., how Drive affects output level you can see the effect usually somewhere just above -12dBFS.

My conclusion: Unless you want to measure every time, stay away from levels above -12dBFS unless you actually want the effect.

I believe you cann boost the signal cleanly above the -12dFS with the mixer if you can live with the mixer at the very end of your effects chain, i.e., single amp / path tones.

 

 

 

I just did this on one of my patches. I managed to dial the amp at almost -12dB level. However, the sound is not full compared to when the post amp effects are after the mixer. I cranked the mixer +9dB but it doesn't sound the same. Less thump or bass, or whatever. Less low punch I guess.

 

My setting is input 1 guitar, input 2 variax.

 

Any thoughts?

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"I cranked the mixer +9dB but it doesn't sound the same. Less thump or bass, or whatever. Less low punch I guess."

 

Most likely less compression because you are no longer overloading those post-amp effects. 

 

You could add a compressor to the end of the chain before the moxer

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 This clipping thing seems like an easy fix, i dont understand why line6 don't do anything about it ,i guess is already to late.  Some cabs like the  treadplate clip even at low volumes. Also some units clip with eq at different volume levels, my friends pod hd pro clips in the same way when adding post eq but with the amp volume set at 70 (same preset than the one i use) , mine for example start distorting at 40-45(treadplate cab). And by watching some youtube videos,some units doesn't clip at all,so weird.......

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"I cranked the mixer +9dB but it doesn't sound the same. Less thump or bass, or whatever. Less low punch I guess."

 

Most likely less compression because you are no longer overloading those post-amp effects. 

 

You could add a compressor to the end of the chain before the moxer

 

Will it help if I use the full models of the amp instead of pre and tweak the DEP? I cannot add a compressor as my effect blocks are all used already.

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 This clipping thing seems like an easy fix, i dont understand why line6 don't do anything about it ,i guess is already to late.  Some cabs like the  treadplate clip even at low volumes. Also some units clip with eq at different volume levels, my friends pod hd pro clips in the same way when adding post eq but with the amp volume set at 70 (same preset than the one i use) , mine for example start distorting at 40-45(treadplate cab). And by watching some youtube videos,some units doesn't clip at all,so weird.......

 

It's really frustrating. I don't even know if the mid-focus EQ in the M9 will behave the same way.

 

I'm using the mid-focus EQ as a low pass filter at around 10k because some of the amps are just so fizzy.

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"Will it help if I use the full models of the amp instead of pre and tweak the DEP? I cannot add a compressor as my effect blocks are all used already."

 

Maybe. Full Model includes the power amp which will potentially compress and add back the missing "punch", but it can also introduce power amp distortion which has similarly been faithfully modelled. And it will use more DSP which might be a problem if you are using all 8 FX blocks.

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