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Proper settings for POD X3 live in effects loop
by Toxicon on 2010-04-11 19:30:49.3800

Hi there,

First of all I've looked to these forums for advice on several occasions.  Second of all I'm a bass player.  Third of all I'm not sure if the question I'm asking is even going to matter.

So here I go.

I play a bass with an active pickup running to a mesa bigblock 750watt head with a sansamp rackmounted pre-amp and a BBE sonic maximizer in the fx loop.  Recently I've brought my x3 live (birthday gift) to jams in order to best get my use out of it's delay and reverb effects in a live setting, not so much the amp+cab modeling effects.  I've put the X3 after the sansamp and before the BBE in the fx chain.  So far I'm happy with the way it sounds but I still want to confirm.

The X3 is set up as follows.

mesa fx send to sansamp input

Sansamp output to X3 guitar input (yes I blend the preamps, this is intentional)

X3 output to BBE input

BBE output to mesa fx return

the X3's amp/live setting is on AMP.

the X3's guitar pad switch is ON.  Is this correct?

the master volume is set to full (I've swapped the X3 Live in and out of the chain and there doesn't seem to be a major difference in volume [if there is a difference at all])

I'm not sure what my onboard output setting on the X3 should be set to.  Should I set it to stack pwr amp, match studio/direct, or what?

Sorry if I'm sounding like a dolt on these forums but nothing I've come across really explains to me what these settings should be to dial in the proper levels the way it's hooked up.

Any help is appreciated.

Re: Proper settings for POD X3 live in effects loop
by tommasi on 2010-04-12 00:55:26.7350

If this setup works for you, there's no right or wrong, so go for it. Putting the X3 in the FX loop is perfectly legitimate, though using it this way, for delay and reverb only, is fairly restrictive. As for the settings, the guitar pad is appropriate if your bass has very high output. Since you bypass amp&cab, I would say that studio/direct is perfectly fine as an output setting mode.

Re: Proper settings for POD X3 live in effects loop
by Toxicon on 2010-04-12 04:30:10.7330

Thanks for the help!  I know the way im using it is a bit restrictive, mainly cause buying separate effects pedals for my rig isn't justified when I can utilize the X3's effects that are just as good if not better.  Being a bass player, the X3's uses are already restrictive compared to 6-tring guitar.  The X3 works killer when I'm practicing at home or recording a riff to my computer but for a live setting, the bass amp models don't sound near as good as my mesa.  Though the reverb and delay effects, even the chorus sound awesome in the fx loop.

One of the reasons I was asking about the Pad switch is cause my mesa already has an active/passive selector switch on the input, which is a pad in itself when in the active position.  So I guess that would be padding the signal twice?  Wouldn't that degrade the signal a bit?

Re: Proper settings for POD X3 live in effects loop
by tommasi on 2010-04-12 05:08:09.9590

Actually, the pod is in the FX loop, and it doesn't get the bass signal directly (my mistake, I was distracted...). Since in the amp's FX loop the signal has a much higher level than instrument level, I'd say the pad is even MORE appropriate. However, to ensure there is no signal degradation, I would suggest using the pod's FX loop return as input (and you can configure the fx loop as pre to have more choices for what effects to activate). The FX loop sensitivity level can be adjusted, so you can have a good signal and no degradation. The pod's live out is perfectly fine to use.

Re: Proper settings for POD X3 live in effects loop
by Toxicon on 2010-04-12 11:08:29.3790

Hey thanks for the suggestion!  I'll give it a try.

But so it's 100% clear, I set the fx loop to pre?  Is that all I have to do?  Or is there any idiot-proof instructions you can give me.  Being that it's a Pod X3, I have very little experience using it JUST for it's effects.  I know most users bypass their amps preamp entirely making it's mechanics a little more straightforward in terms of setup since they use theirs like it's own pre-amp and fx unit.  So lastly before I close the threat can you explain to me how exactly to set it up that way like the dumbass bass player I am? LOL

Re: Proper settings for POD X3 live in effects loop
by tommasi on 2010-04-12 16:19:37.7410

No problem. You might want to check out section 5.17 of the manual, which is fairly clear on the FX loop.

By setting it to 'pre', you are placing the FX loop AFTER the stomp slot, but before the amp+cab. When you set it to post, you are placing it AFTER the amp+cab. Since you are going to bypass the amp simulation, I guess post or pre would not make difference.

However, in the loop's configuration, apart from the post/pre switch, you can also control the sent and return levels. The send level is not your concern (as you will not send anything from the pod's fx send), but with the return level you can control the signal level in a finer way than you would with the pad switch. You should set that value so that when you bypass the pod, you get the same level out of your amp.

Finally, there's the mix. You definately want 100% there, as the FX return is the only signal that will feed your output.

Re: Proper settings for POD X3 live in effects loop
by Toxicon on 2010-04-12 18:32:44.6840

Okay I'll give it a shot!  Thanks a ton, you've been a big help!

The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.