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Helpful Hints, Tips, and Reminders


bjnette
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I thought a place to put up your tips and tricks. Simply stuff you found that works or successful.

 

Lets keep it short and sweet to the point unless instructions are also needed then one instruction one post.

 

I'll go first;

Long posts don't get read as much. LOL

 

When tweaking a POD HD take a leaf out of the recording engineers book; change only one thing at a time and toggle the change to hear if it sounds better.

 

Don't be fooled by a volume increase as automatically sounding better; gain match the change to hear it. ( unless the change is increasing the volume)

 

Don't forget to save.

LOL

 

Cheers

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When tweaking a POD HD take a leaf out of the recording engineers book; change only one thing at a time and toggle the change to hear if it sounds better.

 

Don't be fooled by a volume increase as automatically sounding better; gain match the change to hear it. ( unless the change is increasing the volume)

 

 

That first thing is excellent info and can apply to a lot more than just guitar tone. I've tried to learn this over about the past year for guitar tone and recording in general, but for some reason I say to myself, "!@#! You!" and proceed to change more than one thing. :lol:  I don't know why this is.

 

That second thing is something devious and can mess with you're ear/brain processor big time, especially for stuff lower on the frequency spectrum.

 

If you're a perfectionist type of personality and record stuff that has to be exactly this way (the way you hear inside your head), I find that recording in chunks is a big time saver.

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When using HD Edit to make changes, do not also make changes using the HD device. This can cause 'lost updates' due to a loss of synchronicity between the device and the Edit program. Rule of thumb: avoid even touching any knobs on the HD device when the Edit program is running.

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"That first thing is excellent info and can apply to a lot more than just guitar tone. I've tried to learn this over about the past year for guitar tone and recording in general, but for some reason I say to myself, "!@#! You!" and proceed to change more than one thing.  :lol:  I don't know why this is." Dunncan

 

There is also knowing your tools so well you don't have to think about it and that is fine too!

 

It is true the advice is also apt to fixing something, anything. Make one change at a time, otherwise which change fixed it?

 

The sound engineer in reality applies this idea more at the mix and in particular to EQ changes or compression changes. Sounds louder but does it sound better at matched gain.

 

 

The template is a good idea billbee,

 

And true about touching the device in EDIT mode silverhead!

and "send' to the HD unit

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Spend a good amount of time with each patches cab model.After thinking that the cab models were not very good and dumping them for a while and using my HD500 into my tube amp(s) effect returns(which sound really good by the way) I went back to the drawing board and just worked with two cab models for about two hours taking breaks of course.I now have much better FRFR lead tones which is why I wanted an HD500 in the first place. I was spending too much time on the front end instead of the back end as it were.Also for live playing crank your FRFR speakers up for patch tweaking and don't use headphones except for building patches initially.All your final work should be at VOLUME!

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If using a budget "FRFR" (PA Speaker) you will need EQ to tame the high-end fizz and overwhelming bottom end.  These speakers often "enhance" the top and bottom end as that sounds good for full range music such as DJ use - not at all good for Guitar Amp Modellers though.

 

Line 6 modelled the Amp/Cab/Mic block exactly what you would hear on the Mic a few inches from a speaker, directly in line with the power amp on full, any Sound Engineer will immediately set the channel eq on the desk to Cut a lot of top and bottom end before letting that signal anywhere near a PA speaker. But many HD500 FRFR users expect it to be perfect as is. On other forums you will find that Axe FX FRFR users typically start before tweaking with a Low Pass Filter at 5K, but how to do that on HD500?

 

You have to use an FX slot with an EQ, and then learn how to use the thing. The one that I have finally found to be easiest to use is Vintage Pre for the very simple reason that it has EQ values in HZ.  It isn't always considered as Meambobbo didn't like it much so it didn't feature in his guide, and many people when they first try it get a nasty distortion from the default settings assume it is rubbish and then ignore it.

 

Don't - Line 6 added it in as part of the later revisions because it really does fill in a hole combining EQ and Valve Compression and when you are going into FRFR you need both. Try as a starting point: 

 

LP Freq = 5.5KHz

HP Freq = 100 Hz

Output to Max

Input to a level where the bypassed and direct volume are similar - this will be a surprisingly low setting

 

This will cut the ice-pick highs and the really boomy bottom, and add a little subtle warmth and minimal compression. Then you can increase the Input and lower the Output until you get a compression level you want, but only push it into distortion (which it will do) if you really want that effect.

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If using a budget "FRFR" (PA Speaker) you will need EQ to tame the high-end fizz and overwhelming bottom end.  These speakers often "enhance" the top and bottom end as that sounds good for full range music such as DJ use - not at all good for Guitar Amp Modellers though.

 

Line 6 modelled the Amp/Cab/Mic block exactly what you would hear on the Mic a few inches from a speaker, directly in line with the power amp on full, any Sound Engineer will immediately set the channel eq on the desk to Cut a lot of top and bottom end before letting that signal anywhere near a PA speaker. But many HD500 FRFR users expect it to be perfect as is. On other forums you will find that Axe FX FRFR users typically start before tweaking with a Low Pass Filter at 5K, but how to do that on HD500?

 

You have to use an FX slot with an EQ, and then learn how to use the thing. The one that I have finally found to be easiest to use is Vintage Pre for the very simple reason that it has EQ values in HZ.  It isn't always considered as Meambobbo didn't like it much so it didn't feature in his guide, and many people when they first try it get a nasty distortion from the default settings assume it is rubbish and then ignore it.

 

Don't - Line 6 added it in as part of the later revisions because it really does fill in a hole combining EQ and Valve Compression and when you are going into FRFR you need both. Try as a starting point: 

 

LP Freq = 5.5KHz

HP Freq = 100 Hz

Output to Max

Input to a level where the bypassed and direct volume are similar - this will be a surprisingly low setting

 

This will cut the ice-pick highs and the really boomy bottom, and add a little subtle warmth and minimal compression. Then you can increase the Input and lower the Output until you get a compression level you want, but only push it into distortion (which it will do) if you really want that effect.

 

Thanks for this advice.  Where in the HD500 chain do you suggest is best to place it?  Thanks.

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Last thing in the chain - it is conditioning the final output to fix some of the weakness of direct to FRFR without having a mixer in the way.

 

Think of it this way, if you have a real Amp (studio or live) then the Sound Engineer shoves carefully positions the microphone up against the speaker, not because it necessarily sounds best there (personally I would prefer that the mic is where my ears were when setting up the sound!), but because this offers the best isolation from the other instruments and from the room. That signal is what the output of the modelled Amp is in the HD500 chain.

 

In a big stage live situation assuming that post-amp FX (delays, verb, etc) are in an FX Loop, that signal goes to the main desk where it is EQ'd and Compressed a bit using a Mixer Channel Strip (aka Microphone Pre amp) so that it sounds acceptable when it comes out of the main PA.

 

You can't insert FX in a virtual Amp FX Loop on the HD500 (unless L6 give us separate Pre, Power and Cab options in future), so you have to place them post amp, but in the FX Loop they would have treated the full range signal and therefore I allow them to do the same, and place it last in the chain.

 

If it is any consolation for the lost slot it replaces an end of chain Volume, Valve Comp (mild settings) and Mid Focus EQ

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Last thing in the chain - it is conditioning the final output to fix some of the weakness of direct to FRFR without having a mixer in the way.

 

Think of it this way, if you have a real Amp (studio or live) then the Sound Engineer shoves carefully positions the microphone up against the speaker, not because it necessarily sounds best there (personally I would prefer that the mic is where my ears were when setting up the sound!), but because this offers the best isolation from the other instruments and from the room. That signal is what the output of the modelled Amp is in the HD500 chain.

 

In a big stage live situation assuming that post-amp FX (delays, verb, etc) are in an FX Loop, that signal goes to the main desk where it is EQ'd and Compressed a bit using a Mixer Channel Strip (aka Microphone Pre amp) so that it sounds acceptable when it comes out of the main PA.

 

You can't insert FX in a virtual Amp FX Loop on the HD500 (unless L6 give us separate Pre, Power and Cab options in future), so you have to place them post amp, but in the FX Loop they would have treated the full range signal and therefore I allow them to do the same, and place it last in the chain.

 

If it is any consolation for the lost slot it replaces an end of chain Volume, Valve Comp (mild settings) and Mid Focus EQ

 

Thanks for the clarification - that makes perfect sense to me.  I will give it a go.

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I have a problem here, you guys sure that the best thing to do is put the vintage pre at the end of the chain? here sounded horrible like this, it sounds quite harsh, but at the beginning of the chain sounded fine

 

I have not tried it yet.  Did you use the settings for Vintage Pre suggested by Rewolf48?   And are you running the HD500 direct into a powered FRFR speaker or into something else?

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the tone sounds completely different, harsh , it doesn't depends of the gain, but in the beginning of the chain sounds very good

 

That's good to know it works very well in front of the chain.   But I don't understand why it sounds so bad at the end of the chain. From Rewolf48's description it should work because it is effectively modelling a mixing desk, and the signal created by the POD is designed to go into a mixing desk, so the fx should work well.

From your description of what happens when you place it last, it sounds like you are over driving the effect causing it to clip - have you experimented with lowering the VOLUME setting on the amp model that you are using?  Also are you using Output mode Studio/Direct or one of the other modes?   Thanks.

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From your description of what happens when you place it last, it sounds like you are over driving the effect causing it to clip - have you experimented with lowering the VOLUME setting on the amp model that you are using?  Also are you using Output mode Studio/Direct or one of the other modes?   Thanks.

 

This sounds like what is happening. I've noticed this about the pods, especially with most of the EQs placed after the mixer block. Trying to compensate with a volume reduction can help somewhat, but the 'clipping' is still there if you listen really really close. It also depends somewhat on what and how something is being played. I wish there were internal clip meters (in and out) for each effect block. That would be most useful in cases like this.

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yeah the meters or even an overload peak LED would be great.

 

On the FRFR, I have one but it is so heavy I got a couple of amps instead.

 

I wish that the shelving and focus EQ on the Combo & tone stack  was on the Studio Direct or another setting as they are tone controls.

 

If you consider the FRFR a speaker in a cabinet  the Studio Direct output is adding the cabinet and mic placement as if it is recorded.

 

Thru the PA it could be made to sound like a mic'd up Amp. PA console to roll off the harsh

 

There could also be cabinet resonations as well as speaker resonations in your FRFR which could use EQ

 

I'd suggest a hardware EQ. Even a line level one would work.

 

But do try the output mode of Amp stack and use the shelving and the  focus. There will be some volume loss to be made up in the power amp. To me if you roll off the high shelf alot and lower the focus it sounds better then Studio Direct alas you also loose the cab and mic modeling. It might work for your setup it might not.

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With respect to distortion of Vintage Pre - as part of my instructions I missed that in order to avoid overloading any effect that I try to keep a unity gain structure along the chain - that is the final volume of the whole chain and each component, and especially the amp has the same level as guitar with no processing. I might raise the gain of an overdrive to overload an Amp, but the output of that amp with overdrive will still be the level of the guitar with nothing in chain. 

The PA Speaker can do over 120 DBA at 1m which is more than enough for monitoring! 

If you are running the internal chain at a level much above -12db then you are potentially overloading lots of the effects, so this is another one of those useful hints!

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Along the lines above of getting unity gain, use meters in your DAW.  I use to always just use my ears and try to hear what I liked and my tones are ok BUT when I ran them through the meters I was really surprised at how all over the place I was.  It is a PITA to go through and redo them all but it really is sounding better.

 

I run my POD into the DAW using the USB and place a big meter in each channel.  I am using the Brainwerx ones but I am sure others will do.  I keep the DAW output off and listen through the POD.  At the same time I open HD Edit to work with the amp and FX.  With the guitar volume off and all amp and FX blocks off, I strum hard to get my peak and average levels. Same thing with individual notes.  Then turn on the amp and adjust so I get very similar levels.  Now one at a time add the pre FX like compressor and distortion and adjust to keep levels the same.  If I really want a boost here I can actually see it on the meters instead of trusting my ears. Finally add all the post FX and check levels are good.  When done my final patch levels are close to my plain guitar levels, peak and average.

 

Quite a difference.  I was able to remove the noise gate on a lot of patches just by going through this process.  This has made the distortion FX much better for me too.  You don't need an expensive setup to do this either.  There are good free DAWs out there to use.  Give it a try, it may save you a lot of grief... 

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With respect to distortion of Vintage Pre - as part of my instructions I missed that in order to avoid overloading any effect that I try to keep a unity gain structure along the chain - that is the final volume of the whole chain and each component, and especially the amp has the same level as guitar with no processing. I might raise the gain of an overdrive to overload an Amp, but the output of that amp with overdrive will still be the level of the guitar with nothing in chain. 

The PA Speaker can do over 120 DBA at 1m which is more than enough for monitoring! 

If you are running the internal chain at a level much above -12db then you are potentially overloading lots of the effects, so this is another one of those useful hints!

 

Thanks for the advice Rewolf48.  I tried it out and I found that it does add a beneficial effect to the sound as described, and I didn't have any issues with clipping or overloading - so I must be setting my patches up with chains close to unity gain.  I found that an input gain of 35 for the Vintage Pre was the level that matched the signal level if the Vintage Pre was switched off.      :)      

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Vintage Pre has HZ instead of Percentage ????????????????????????????????????????  It sure as hell does....................................

 

ok Line6 that answer about it being too difficult to do HZ because of the chip set architecture is !@#$#$%.  I want a REAL EQ and I want it now.......................

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When creating a patch, remember that there is no right or wrong way of achieving the tone you are after.   There are many configuration and parameter settings but they all just result in end tones that you either like or dislike.  There are probably many more combinations that you won't like - which is why it's so easy to generate a sound you just don't like or just does not work for you.   First of all, spend time to understand the configuration and routing options fully and then experiment with the configurations options.

 

Keep it simple at first and as you understand how each piece effects the tone then move on to more complex patches.

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Vintage Pre has HZ instead of Percentage ????????????????????????????????????????  It sure as hell does....................................

 

ok Line6 that answer about it being too difficult to do HZ because of the chip set architecture is !@#$#$%.  I want a REAL EQ and I want it now.......................

 

I guess he was only referring to the effects that were in the M series

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Ahh cut up some fridge magnets for labels. 

I haven't used the looper, ever, apart from a try out.

The print fades and is so small I can't read it so I cut up some fridge magnets, an old calendar

and put these on HD.

They move around a bit  but stay put . 

Now I know whats what I can do without them.

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That reminds me - a very old Helpful Hint that is one of those that "everyone knows" (which means that anybody new doesn't) is to the use the Looper when setting up sounds.

 

Move the Looper to the Pre position so it records the inputs, record a few key phrases into the loop, and then set the loop playing - now you have both hands free to tweak patches and hear the results in real time; can save lots of time.

 

However there at least one potential "gotcha" - the looper is mono :( so it will be output as if it was both Input 1 and Input 2 at the same time which could cause problems with dual path patches

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Here are my "best practices & undocumented features" I've been collecting through time:

 

System set-up

- Input mode: make sure you have input 2 disabled (unless you use it), by setting it to "Variax". Don't set it to "Same", as this will add extra gain & noise on your presets
- Output mode: make sure your output mode corresponds with your output device: use studio/direct if you connect to a computer via usb or when going straight to the studio mixing board. Use "Power amp" if you connect to a power amp, etc...
 
 
Test mode
Switch off the device and switch it on again while pressing on the right arrow off the four-way navigation switch (on the right hand side of the display). The only feature in test mode that is documented is "Pedal calibration" (see Quick start guide). But there are various other options: "Buttons", "Flash", ... Press the View button to select one of the options. I'm not sure how to work with this further, but maybe it is useful for debugging when the POD behaves strangely.
 
Factory reset
Switch off the POD, press on the left arrow of the four-way navigation switch while switching it back on.
 
Set lists
You can use the POD HD Converter tool to batch edit all the presets of a given set list. For example, to change all the Amps to PreAmps, or to set all the cabinets to None. This is useful to convert a Studio set list to a Live Performance set list (= when you use a power amp for live shows)
 
Presets
To copy a preset, open the set list in the Line 6 POD HD 500X Edit software. Click on the preset while holding the CTRL key and drag the preset to an empty preset ("New Tone"). You can also move presets within a set list by drag & drop, or copy presets from one set list to another one.
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Test mode
Switch off the device and switch it on again while pressing on the right arrow off the four-way navigation switch (on the right hand side of the display). The only feature in test mode that is documented is "Pedal calibration" (see Quick start guide). But there are various other options: "Buttons", "Flash", ... Press the View button to select one of the options. I'm not sure how to work with this further, but maybe it is useful for debugging when the POD behaves strangely.

 

anybody knows something abt those undocumented features?

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Buttons just displays indicators when Button On and Off events are detected - it is a way to test that the buttons are working properly as the display should change as you press and release every button (first time).  Just a diagnostic tool and no use unless you think your button is broken. But you can play the game of trying to find them all...

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  • 5 months later...

When creating a patch from scratch that is using a modelled amp + cab and DIRECT/STUDIO mode output, turn the cab DEP parameter RESONANCE to 0 first.   This will get you the pure IR sound without any enhancement from the RESONANCE effect.

 

Once you have set the modelled amps tone controls as you like and played them at volume, then try adjusting the RESONANCE parameter a little bit at a time to see if you like the effect. 

 

NB: The higher the RESONANCE value the MORE the THUMP and DECAY parameters take effect and the LOUDER the patch will sound, so as you increase RESONANCE you may also need to turn down THUMP and/or decay.

 

I have found it easier to dial in a live tone this way and now only add a relatively small amount of RESONANCE (20-30%) - to my live tones.  For me it helps to cure high end fizz end low end boom and avoid muddiness.  YMMV.      

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