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Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-09-23 07:15:45.7400

I have made a rather detailed web guide to dialing in high gain tones on the Pod HD.  I know it's a bit long, but it consists of numerous independent sections - you can probaby skip most of them) to getting the most out of your Pod HD, in regards to achieving high gain tones.  I'm not sure if I want to expand on it any further or not, but I figure it's close enough to being done to go ahead and post.  Here is the introduction:

"The purpose of this guide is to basically provide the details Line 6 failed to provide, mostly geared towards getting high gain tones with the Pod HD 500.  It also applies to the Pod HD 300, 400, Desktop, and Pro; however, there may be a few things here and there impossible to do on the 300/400, or that don’t make sense on the Desktop.

It may seem like I’m treading a lot of ground that the manual covered, but while I’m covering the same topics, I’m providing details on these topics that were not clearly spelled out, which I’ve learned through personal experience or from other members on this forum.

I primarily focus on high gain tones, but I also like some nice clean, classic rock, and blues tones.  Some of the artists I've sought to emulate include SRV, EVH, Satch, Vai, Petrucci, KSE, Periphery, Meshuggah, Metallica, Randy Rhodes, AC/DC, and Opeth. If you can dial in all those sounds, you should have no problem dialing in almost any rock tone you want.  I use all of the traditional rock and high gain amps, with the exception of of the JTM-45."

It also includes sections on guitar setup/hardware, hooking up the Pod in various configurations, defeating clipping/harshness, and various other tips/troubleshooting.

Hopefully this helps some of you out.  If you see any errors or disagreeable content please let me know.

I have made a webpage with sample clips and patches attempting to somewhat emualate some metal/shred artists.  Some are a lot closer to the actual artist's tone than others.  I really just wanted to use all the amps and demo some of my tone-building techniques referenced in the guide.  I am currently in the process of finalizing my latest patches and recording clips for them.  I try to keep the latest versions available for download as I go along.  They should be finalized by the end of April 2012.

Dec. 2012 Update: I have "finalized" (9_9) my patches, but have little time to record a new patch demo.  See the link below for my latest patches.">">

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by greghall on 2011-09-23 08:33:36.8500

This is brilliant - a very interesting and helpful read, Thanks for taking the time to share your insight and experience.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Ax3M4n on 2011-09-23 08:54:09.2930

I read it.

Dude - you're a Good Egg!!! 

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Texxxxx on 2011-09-23 09:17:35.2900

Damn!  That is really great, meambobbo.  Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven't had a chance to read it entirely, yet, as I am at work.

I guess I will be the 'Hooking It Up' I don't believe you mention that you can run the HD straight into a power amp for 'live' use.  In my case a stereo Mesa 50/50...

Good Work!!!!!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by qwpeoriu on 2011-09-23 11:07:27.2680

I just wanted to express my appreciation for this guide. I downloaded it this morning (I converted it to PDF though, don't have MS Office). It comes off as an excellent complement to the instruction manual. Most of my experience on guitar is with an acoustic, so I admit to feeling completely overwhelmed with the HD500.

This guide looks like just the thing I needed. Not to explain exactly how to get the perfect tone in 10 easy steps, but to give me some context, point me in the right direction and let me do the rest. Thanks!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-09-23 11:26:47.9180

Nice one

Good stuff.  I think you are going to be Mr Popular for putting this together.

I like the way it's presented and the way it's been put together.  It is the kind of thing that newcomers to guitar and those of us that have been playing quite a while can dip in and out of, and there's some good clues in it which should help users find their own sound.

Well done from me - and thanks from me for putting in the considerable amount of time and effort that you must have in putting this together.  

Best regards


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by dschaaf on 2011-09-23 11:51:07.1520


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by lef38 on 2011-09-23 12:35:50.2510

Great ! Thanks. Have you uploaded some of your tones ?

Here is the PDF version of your guide: (click Regular and wait 15 sec)

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by mmurph on 2011-09-23 14:13:03.0780

That's just great! There's a lot of stuff in there that Ihadn't really thought about and hadn't really considered. You can bet I'm going to be considering the gain staging of the signal chain as well as trying some of your eq hints. Very cool.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by silverhead on 2011-09-23 14:34:38.2380

An excellent and very useful piece of work!

Many thanks for the endless hours this must have taken you. Much appreciated.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by DeanDinosaur on 2011-09-23 19:38:59.3110

Thank you very much. I just read the whole thing.  Very helpful and makes me want to go play so I can try many of things you suggested. Excellent insightful and useful information there.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by sean106ESP on 2011-09-23 21:35:25.9360

Well done sir. I just downloaded it now and can't wait to deep dive into it tomorrow. From skimming the high gain amps I love the key advice to getting great djent tones. Thanks!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-09-23 22:31:13.1440

hey Texxxxx - actually that's section III.B.iii (it's how I run my amp):

"Simple setup for amp with effects loop: the simplest setting is nearly the same as above, but you run into the effects loop return (power amp in) on the amp. Use "Combo Power Amp" or "Stack Power Amp" output mode (or "Studio/Direct" and "no cab"), and set the line/amp switch to line.

Here you bypass your amp's pre-amp completely, and you will use the Pod's amp modeling instead. The downside is that you do not have the option to use your amp's pre-amp. If you want that option, you have to use the 4 cable method, described below.

Guitar > [external effects >] Pod guitar in
[Pod effects loop out > external effects > Pod effects loop return]
Pod unbalanced out > [external effects >] Amp effects loop return (power amp in)

This is how I run the Pod to my Spider Valve combo."

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-09-23 22:33:07.5820

I'm very pleased so many people are enjoying this guide.  Thanks Lef38 for the .pdf conversion - I added it to my site and edited the thread to include the link.

Be sure to let me know if you have any questions - I hope to add some sound samples soon to demonstrate exactly what I mean, as well as patch files.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by porcytree on 2011-09-24 07:02:21.8500

Cheers for all the hard work Meambobbo...........excellent document.

Had a little "play" with a few of your ideas last night........particularly liked the idea of using the Tube Screamer in front of the P75 amp model.Got some really nice tight gain tones using that.......also got good results using the Tube Driver,Classic Distion and Overdrive models with this amp also.

As an aside, I tried the same technique into the JTM 45 model and found I got the best results using the Classic Distortion and Overdrive models.(not going for "metal" tones with this model just tighter/fuller crunch/drive tones as I find this amp model to be to "bassy")

Am I right to assume that raising the gain slightly on each of the OD/DS sims will add some compression to the tone (in the same way as it does for the Screamer) and if I raise the gain on the OD/DS sim ( to 10, for example) do I also need to lower the output volume of the OD/DS........or does this negate the added compression??

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by pratikb on 2011-09-24 12:10:30.7150

Excellent Stuff...You have a heart to do this for others you dont know.

Thanks, Pratik

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by lef38 on 2011-09-24 13:37:41.4130

I used bullzip PDF printer, it's free, download from

Once installed, just print the .doc and select bullzip PDF printer instead of your regular printer.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by relayerjb on 2011-09-24 16:54:00.0040

Great stuff, thanks!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jerjer84pod on 2011-09-24 17:17:22.6080

Meambobbo, Very nicely done dude. I downloaded it, i'm reading and taking it all in. i thank you for it to as we all seem to be doing. Can't wait to try out some of your custome tone patch files once you get the chance to upload. But for now take a breather and take in the internet round of applause for a job well done.



Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by duey101 on 2011-09-24 22:57:55.1630

Thanks for folks like you... this is really a great guide in general and is very useful in understanding setup with the HD 500.  Thanks a lot ofr making this guide, just great!

I already used some of the info to do my first POD HD 500 video.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by eenymason on 2011-09-25 03:37:57.7420

A massive effort massively appreciated! If only there were more people happy to share knowledge like this....

This post should be linked somewhere on the site as a "must read" before newbs starting to ask the same questions time and time again. In fact I reckon just about every guitarist visiting the site could learn something to help them on the road to improving understanding of "tone" and how to get closer to the sound you're looking for.

Thanks meambobbo for all your effort and for sharing!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-09-25 08:54:02.0450

Hey I've had some requests to link to the guide from other sites, etc.  I just wanted everyone to know that's perfectly fine.  I'm not looking for credit or anything like that.

You can even edit the doc and repost it if you want.  Just please make a note in the beginning of the document that it is an edited version.  And please make a post in this thread letting people know if you have something to add or believe there's an error in the document.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-09-25 19:55:56.0620

yes - using a bit of drive will get you compression before distortion on the "distortion" effects.  as far as compensating volume, you may or may not have to - it will depend on how much pickup output your guitar has.  my advice is to turn off the amp model, and dial in the amount of compression you want with ONLY the distortion effect on.  then toggle it on and off, comparing the volume level, and adjust it until it is basically volume neutral.  then turn your amp model back on and dial in your tone.

awesome name by the way - can't wait for grace for drowning!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by xCaptainx on 2011-09-26 03:48:51.8740

Great read, thanks for sharing. The HD500 is great for high gain tone, I use an HD500 and Rocktron Velocity 300 for my metal bands All songs recorded here were with the HD500.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by porcytree on 2011-09-26 06:04:00.7170

cheers for the info mb.

yup.......Grace for Drowning should be pretty cool, judging by the few clips posted on the GfD mini-site.Much as I love the Prog/Metal stuff Wilson does in "the 'Tree" i really dig his more ambient and experimental solo stuff (also the Blackfield stuff too)

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-09-26 07:31:29.3490

i agree - insurgentes was his best album, imo.  and don't forget no-man!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by relayerjb on 2011-09-26 09:36:39.4060

Here's another vote for the more ambient stuff...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-09-26 13:22:52.2640

I have made a webpage with sample clips and patches attempting to somewhat emualate some metal/shred artists.  Some are a lot closer to the actual artist's tone than others.  I really just wanted to use all the amps and demo some of my tone-building techniques referenced in the guide.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by lef38 on 2011-09-27 11:26:44.4180

Thx a lot ! Will try them as soon as possible. What guitars/pickups did you use for the samples ?

BTW you might want to have a look at this page:

Tutorials and tips / Getting metal tones out of Line6's POD HD500

These are tips at how to use double amps for metal tones.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-09-27 12:05:06.1130

for the rhythm tracks in E or drop D, I used my EBMM John Petrucci signature. It's the first model, which had Dimarzio pickups.  I think they're custom, but people said the bridge humbucker is most similar to a Steve's Special.  I don't use the neck pickup at all.

for the ones in B or drop Ab, I use a Yamaha Pacifica with a Seymour Duncan AHB-1 Bridge Blackouts humbucker.  I have the heavier strings from a set of 7 strings on them - I think it's .013-.058.

for the lead clips, I use a custom guitar I've been building - custom-made Jem body with an RG neck and AHB-1 Blackouts pickups.  I put the neck pickup in the neck position, bridge in bridge.

I checked out that guy's dual amps tips.  There is one suggestion that I really like, which is setting one amp to your desired tone, and one amp to "amp disabled", then blend them so that you get a little more definition to your tone.  I'm not sure why I never thought of that - I don't think it involves any DSP cost, like dual amps usually do.  One guy used to always tell me how much better a distorted tone will sound if you blend in some clean guitar just a bit.  To be honest, I don't think I ever tried it to the point where I can make a firm conclusion on it.

The other suggestions I find I more-or-less covered in the guide.  You can get good sounds from them if you make a completely stereo patch, but for live use, if you have to go into a mono track on the mixing board, you're screwed, and if you want to record, why not record each amp as a separate track?  I find the upside is quite limited while the DSP trade-off is huge - it's simply not worth it IMO.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2011-09-30 00:46:11.4240

Very nice work Meam.   You have put a lot of work and thought into this and it's great to see someone elses tone building process laid out so well - It forces you to think through your own.  For beginners it is a fantastic jump start.  For the rest of us it is food for thought (banquet!)

I for one will recommend.

Thanks mate

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Jerkon on 2011-09-30 11:33:11.5680


Nice job!! congratulations!!

I have not had time to read it, but is very useful.

Currently in my POD HD 500 I am using the Flash Memory v1.31

But, for high gain sounds I enjoyed it more  with the old Flash Memory v1.22.

So, what do you think about?

Should I return to v1.22 ?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-09-30 12:18:26.0280

I like the latest firmware.  It's been so long since I used v1.22 I can't make a direct comparison, but I remember most people dreaded it for high gain because of the drastic changes to the Uber from v1.1.  Anyway, v1.31 is great because it includes the v1.22 Uber AND v1.1 Uber (renamed to Line 6 Elektrik).

Anyway, I'm not sure if Line 6 changed anything in the high gain amp's algorithms from going to v1.22 to v1.31.  If you felt there were negative changes and want to revert; however, there's no real reason not to, UNLESS (a) you use the deep editing parameters (master volume, sag, hum, bias, bias excursion) or (b) you use the Line 6 Elektrik amp model.  v1.22 does not include these features.

Also, in regards to v1.1 vs. v1.22, if you like the way the Uber sounded more in v1.1, I think you should get v1.31 because that version of the amp is included as the Line 6 Elektrik model, plus you have the DEP's to help refine its sound.  You'll notice the default "master volume" on the amp is 100%, which I think sounds horrible.  I turn it down to 50%.  In v1.1, I bet it's modeled at 100% and there's no way for you to adjust it.

Finally, even if the amps are slightly different in 1.31 vs 1.22, you can probably dial out the changes.  In the guide I made, see the "getting the right distortion" section on how to change the way an amp's distortion sounds.  if you click on the link for the tone demo, you'll notice the Metallica Puppets/Justice, Opeth, Dream Theater (80's), Vai, and Petrucci tones all use the Uberschall from v1.31, but I dial out the muddiness.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by godoyrafa on 2011-10-02 11:34:48.4450

Nice work, congrats man!

I have a HD300 and was trying to adapt the tones to it, and I noticed the lack of gain in Metallica tones, that punch is missing, know what I'm saying??

So I added a compressor for rythim and a tubescreamer for solos, as Kirk uses one...

Do you have any other suggestions?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-10-02 16:31:21.4260

I've made a few updates to the guide.

There is one major change - the "mic selection" section:

I used to always use the SM-­‐57 on axis for any patch with distortion. It really captures the high-­‐end sizzle cleanly. But something about this mic makes the tone sound like a modeler and not a real guitar tone. I’ve moved towards the SM-­‐57 off axis. Going from one to the other means some EQ adjustments, and I find I generally have to boost the highs to get the same tone. This means the highs are a little less clean – they sound a bit noisier, and maybe a bit fizzier. I find the sacrifice is worth it.

I occasionally use the 87 Condenser as well. It sounds “squishier”. You get less high end definition, but the overall sound is a bit smoother. It works well for Metallica tones but not so well for Periphery or other modern metalcore-­‐type tones, which often are a bit grittier. For vintage tones, the 409 Dynamic works well. I use it for some AC/DC tones.

Some people may initially gravitate towards the other mics – some of them have a more scooped sound or more bass. But the same principle applies to mics as to cabs – you want the nuances, not the general EQ. You can adjust the general EQ for the mic, but you’ll never be able to dial out a nuance you don’t like, or dial in one you do. Thus I like the SM 57 off axis because it sounds most natural to my ears as to what a real mic’ed cab actually sounds like, or at least how I’d want it to sound. The other mics simply don’t.

If you’re just trying to create your own tones, I recommend using the SM 57 off axis exclusively. If you’re trying to emulate an artist’s tone, you may find you just can’t get there, even after finding the best cabinet and EQ’ing your

ass off. In this case, I recommend trying different mics. Don’t rely on memory to dial in tones if you’re going for a direct match – A/B them. You simply cannot remember the nuances that you’ll need to dial in.

And again like cabs, if you find you don’t have enough effects blocks for another EQ to get the EQ you want, you may want to use a different mic to get that EQ even if you sacrifice the nuances of the current mic.

Other changes include a better organization of the EQ section and various additional details here and there.  I also expanded the introduction to better describe the guide's organization.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-10-02 16:36:06.1030

I hope to redo the tone demo with the SM57 off axis patches, which I find sound much better.

Then I'm going to do some clips demonstrating some of the principles involved.  Then I'll add some pics as well.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-10-05 15:44:29.6060

ok, the tone demo is updated.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Texxxxx on 2011-10-05 17:14:53.9750

My son and I just listened to the tones, and once again I have to say..WHAT AN AWESOME RESOURCE!!!!!!

Very, very helpful, meambobbo... 

Thanks for all your work and this really useful guide!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jerjer84pod on 2011-10-05 19:53:58.2130

Whats up meambobbo,

nice work on the updated demo page. Have one question though,your (Petrucci clean jpg) has no amp,mic or settings and wanted to check with you on that. Unless it's just something happening on my end??

Thanks dude


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-10-05 22:35:51.7950

you noticed correctly - i did that on purpose.  Petrucci likes a sparking clean and so do I.  All the amps/pre-amps on the Pod HD tended to color the tone a little too much for my taste.  So I used a compressor and some EQ's to simulate a very clean amp.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by RICHJONES on 2011-10-12 11:42:21.2440

That Petrucci clean tone sounds dead nuts.  Nice work. 

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-10-12 13:34:37.5740

I think I got another major update coming.  I keep jumping between mics now.  Sometimes I like the 57 on axis, sometimes the 57 off axis, sometimes the 87 condensor, sometimes the 421 dynamic.

hopefully sometimes next week I can post a new demo with all 4 mic variations on each patch.  They all have intracacies that are drastically different and cannot be replicated with EQ.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Meljin on 2011-10-12 14:28:04.3680

meambobbo, did you try to record one pan in 57offaxis, and one in 57onaxis ? I tried it yesterday, and it sounded awesome.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by wickedcold on 2011-10-22 10:10:15.5560

Thank you so much for this!  I built a few of the presets you had on your site on my Pod HD desktop (everything seems identical to the HD500, I wonder why they don't make a uitility to import/convert presets), in particular the Meshuggah, Korn, and Periphery presets.  It was an epiphany hearing these "clean" sounding high-gain and metal tones.  They are so much tighter and cleaner than what I had put together myself, yet they sound just brutal at volume when you're chugging/galloping through a riff.

Everything you wrote about the EQ stuff makes a lot of sense after using these presets.  They make a world of difference.  Now I'm of the mindset that Line 6 really needs to make a two or four band parametric EQ effect so that we don't need to eliminate all the effects slots to get the right EQ.  I love the Meshugga sound, but I'd love to add a touch of Chorus.  But to do that I have to kill an EQ.  D'oh!!! 

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by vidaljuanes on 2011-10-22 14:43:30.5150


desde Chile...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-10-23 12:13:23.3510

glad you have found it helpful!  i am 100% with you on the 2+ band parametric EQ.  I would really like to know what the max requirements are for the unit per effect.  Obviously a 2 band parametric EQ shouldn't use more DSP than the smart harmony or pitch glide or spring reverbs...  So I can only wonder if there's a limit to the number of tweakable parameters.  I can swear some effects have 6 parameters though, which is all you'd need for the 2 band parametric EQ - just drop the "highs" and "lows" parameters and add another set of freq, Q, and gain.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Rewolf48 on 2011-10-26 06:02:03.8460


Great guide - lets hope the next HD update gives us a decent eq.

Just thought I should mention something that I looked into a year or more ago which you might want to mention in the guide and perhaps try yourself - I did.  You wrote:

"Also, many amps, particularly 1x12’s, are really bright directly in front the amp.  You could try to use something like a beam blocker to even out the sound, or just stand slightly off center."

The latter solution if of course fine for you as the guitarist, but is not so good for the audience who are getting "beamed" by the ice-pick highs that you don't hear as you are off-axis.  This problem is why many bands especially those that only use backline often sound rubbish to the audience - the audience gets a completely different sound to the musicians.

An alternative option is the "Mitchell Doughnut" which is a thin flat doughnut shaped disk of acoustic foam placed in front of the speaker.  In the most simplistic terms the hole in the middle acts a bit like a smaller speaker for the frequencies that are blocked by the foam - this means that high frequencies get a higher dispersion pattern resulting in much more even sound everywhere.

Jay Mitchell really knows what he is talking about here; the fix is very cheap, reversable and most importantly it does work.  Jay wouldn't like my quick description as it is technically incorrect, but his version takes a lot more words; he also proves that beak blockers don't work in the way that you might expect...

He wrote an article about it here: and there are a lot of forum threads that also go into it in a lot of detail if you search for "Mitchell Doughnut".


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Kurisu2 on 2011-10-26 08:08:50.4640

I'm unfamiliar with this whole Line6 community/corporate interaction thing -- how do we make a formal request for a 2+ band eq? 

Eq's are likely near the lowest cost in terms of DSP, and I see no reason why we can't have a multiband EQ in a single slot.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Rowbi on 2011-10-26 08:29:49.7180

Kurisu2 wrote:

I'm unfamiliar with this whole Line6 community/corporate interaction thing -- how do we make a formal request for a 2+ band eq? 

Eq's are likely near the lowest cost in terms of DSP, and I see no reason why we can't have a multiband EQ in a single slot.

click the contact us link at the bottom of the page, select product feedback, and in that feedback form, use the dropdown menu to select new feature, and ask for what you want.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Kurisu2 on 2011-10-26 08:38:25.1250

Rowbi wrote:

click the contact us link at the bottom of the page, select product feedback, and in that feedback form, use the dropdown menu to select new feature, and ask for what you want.

Great, thanks! I sent off a request just now. Perhaps others can too and we'll get some critical mass?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-10-26 12:37:48.3550

Matt, thank you very much for the link and info.  I spent a bit of today reading about the two approaches, and I have to say the "Mitchell donut" sounds like a much better approach.

For those of you unfamiliar with each approach, the Weber Beam Blocker or a homemade "beam blocker" is a round piece of paper or plastic that gets placed in front of the center of the speaker.  Whether it is flat or curved makes no real difference.  It will reflect much of the sound back into the speaker, which relfects it back outwards, and so on and so forth until it eventually finds its way out to where you can hear it.  The higher frequencies often end up radiating outwards at a wider angle than the typical "beam", so you get the brightness of the speaker tone at a wider angle.  Additionally, the "beam" effect is diminished, in comparison to wider angle listening.  So you get slightly less highs on axis but more highs off axis.

The "problem" with this approach is that by reflecting the sound back into the speaker, you are combining refections of prior sound with the direct sound from the speaker, resulting in various interference patters.  Certain frequencies may sound out of phase whereas others sound even louder.  And certain frequencies may be being "beamed" outwards directionally, albeit not necessarily directly in front the speaker on axis.  Essentially you are turning the area inside your speaker cone into an acoustics mosh pit.  And while the on axis beam effect for all high frequencies may be diminished, you get various beams at different angles for smaller frequency spectrums.

The "Mitchell Donut" on the other hand, uses a piece of 3/4" or 1/2" absorbant foam placed directly in front of, but not touching the speaker, with a 3" hole cut into it directly in front of the speaker's center.  The foam will absorb but not (significantly) reflect all frequencies above 1 kHZ.  Given that most of the high frequency response is not actually coming from the speaker's center but various parts of the cone all the way to the edges, much of those high frequencies are being absorbed rather than beamed directly outwards.  The 3" hole allows these high frequencies to pass through.  Because it is in the center, while most of the high frequencies are created off-center, they can only emanate through the hole in an off-axis direction.  Thus, it essentially eliminates the on axis beam effect while having little effect on the rest of the tone, other than a slight darkening and decrease in volume.

Most people tend to say the "beam blocker" technique results in making the off-axis tone sound brighter, while diminishing the brightness of the on-axis beam, but it comes at the price of comb filtering and other acoustic interference.  The "Mitchell Donut" technique results in a less bright tone across the board; however, it mainly soaks up highs inside the on-axis beam, resulting in a more consistent tone at all angles.

I believe that you'd want to dial in brighter tones with the "Mitchell Donut" to get the sound you want; however, you won't get a beam, plus you won't have to deal with any unwanted phasing/filtering effects.

Another thing to consider is close mic'ing - both techniques would change how you would close mic a speaker.  I would recommend you take off not only the beam blocker or Mitchell donut to do so, but the speaker grill itself.  If you have to use your cab as a reference but also need to mic it for the PA, i'd recommend leaving the beam blocker or donut on all but one speaker, and try to point the mic'ed speaker so that the beam is inaudible to both yourself and the audience.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by relayerjb on 2011-10-26 12:56:04.8420

Rewolf, thanks for the tip on Jay Mitchell...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Rewolf48 on 2011-10-27 04:56:15.5130

No problems. 

I tried it on my rig which is currently HD500 into a Marshall 8008 into a pair of 1912 (1 x12") cabs and it makes a lot of difference - the beaming effect is substantially reduced and the sound is a lot more consistent.

Some of the forum discussions do go into the practicalities of miking up a doughnut equiped cab, but I haven't played anywhere big enough to require miking of the backline.

That said I am currently, and not as patentiently as a I might be, waiting for delivery of a pair of FBT MaxX2a that I hope will replace the Marshall stuff.  I just feel that I can't get the right sound for an open back Fender amp simulation or for an acoustic from the closed back Marshall cabs - so I am going FRFR and as long as it works properly I won't have this problem any more. It will also allow me to mix in a bit of keyboards into a single monitoring solution.

The delivery is scheduled for today, but the tracking says that although collected on time 2 days ago they are still at the wrong end of the country....  come on.... come on....

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by relayerjb on 2011-10-27 12:02:26.5650

If I decide to try it out I'll have to search for some of those discussions since we do mike our gear at most shows.  Fortunately my cabs aren't too directional, not like the Twin I used to own... 

I'm wondering why wouldn't you just mike it in the center, maybe w/ the mike off-axis?  Is it too bright or something right there at the opening?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-10-27 12:41:37.5610

it really shouldn't sound any different micing it if you are stick the mic INSIDE the donut hole.  Remember, all parts of the cone are generating sound.  If the line of sight from any part of the cone to the mic is blocked by the foam, those high frequencies are going to be absorbed.  With the mic inside the donut hole, all parts of the cone have a direct line of sight to the mic and no sound is being absorbed.

So the difference is going to be if you are micing it further back (even 2 inches off your grill) or pointing it towards the foam.  Then it's going to sound darker than usual.  Of course, with the donut, you might be dialing in tones a little brighter than before, so it might all even out.

With close micing, the brightness you get when putting the mic dead center is that all parts of the cone's high frequencies are hitting the mic at the same time.  When you move slightly off-axis, because the high frequencies wavelengths are so small in size, they hit the mic at different time points, causing destructive interference, resulting in less brightness.  The lower frequencies are larger and thus require larger distances to get destructive interference.

I would start by placing the mic inside or as close to inside the donut as possible.  If the tone is too bright, try moving it to the side a bit or angling it.  If it's still too bright, try backing it outside the donut and repeating, each time moving further and further away until you get the right amount of brightness..

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by relayerjb on 2011-10-27 17:43:47.5630

If only our soundman had any interest in this much detail...   ;-(

Since the grill will still be on the cab, the best I can get would be right up against the grill.  I guess I'd try maybe right about the edge of the donut hole...

Thanks for the ideas!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by neo10neo on 2011-11-23 12:41:15.5730

Love this thread! Any new tones/updates?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-23 15:21:01.1120

I hope to have a revision and tone dump next month.  I got really set back because the guitar with all the low tunings I used I just found out the signal is really bad (either a bad pickup or bad wiring/tone-pot), so the patches are all set up for a guitar that has a completely unnatural sound (they sound good ONLY for that guitar).  So I have to fix that before I can dial in my good Periphery, Meshuggah, and Scar Symmetry tones.  I have 2 incredible Petrucci tones.  And I'm close to getting Metallica Justice and Black album tones.

As a couple quick updates...

I've given up using the XXL cab altogether.  I EQ the hell out of it to get a tone that I ultimately still don't like.  So F it.

I've given up trying to use the Uber in amp any sort of metal fashion.  The only place I use it now is for my Vai patch.  It does Legacy-type breakup.  It's not djenty at all but with a overdrive pedal it isn't really muddy either.

I've been using the Line 6 Elektrik a lot more - basically everywhere that I formerly used the Uber, except the Vai patch.

I've found that v1.4 seems to feature more power amp distortion (or maybe I'm going crazy), especially on the Line 6 Elektrik.  I've turned down the Master Volume parameter on most of my patches.  L6 Elek is at like 10-25%.  Mesa Recto I keep around 20-40%.  ENGL Fireball I keep around 50% or higher.  This amp gets more of a mids-boost/compression type thing rather than that "dink dink" splatty type distortion in the upper-mids/presence spectrum.  Marshall J800 depends on target tone.  Lower values can sound too much like a cheap stomp box distortion, but too high and it gets real dirty.  Sometimes you want a smoother distortion, but other times you want the dirt.

For most of my really heavy rhythm tones I use a dual amp setup - 2 amps with the exact same gain and EQ settings and the Recto (Treadplate) V30 4x12.  I use the SM57 mic on one of them, and the 4038 Ribbon on the other.  Then I put the SM57 amp volume at about 50% and the 4038 at 35-50%, depending on how bright vs. midsy I want the tone.  Try it - it sounds amazing.  The downside is that you will hit DSP limits if you want much else in it.  So I mainly use it for rhythm tones, but you can get a very basic lead sound out of it if you're willing to sacrifice.  Using this approach, I find I don't have to use as many EQ effects to get the tone I want - I can generally use the amp's EQ controls, as well as varying the amp volume levels.

For most of my leads, I've switched to the 87 Condensor, which I think might have the cleanest mid-range response.  You have to boost the highs to get it to sound like a complete guitar sound, but I find this sounds better than boosting the mids with the SM57 on axis.  Also, mids are generally more important that highs for a good lead tone.

Also, I have given up using the Screamer entirely.  If you use it on a completely clean signal, even with drive at 0%, it still causes the tone to break up a little.  I don't want that - I want it to mainly EQ the tone, and maybe compress it a little - no breakup.  So I've been using the Classic Distortion instead.  It stays clean and gets me the tones I want.

If I can get the pre-distortion tone I want with EQ's, I'll use that instead of the Classic Distortion.  The Distortion effect seems to suck some of the tone out the signal.  I get a richer tone using EQ.  I generally set pre-distortion EQ by putting a parametric EQ in front the amp and setting the Q to like 75% and the gain to like 80%.  Then I'll record a bunch of muted power chords, unmuted power chords, and single notes in the looper.  I let that play back as I sweep frequency between 35 - 70%.  There should be one spot that really brings out the djent around 50-55%.  35% is generally used for reference - it makes the tone more "honky" and like a dog choking on something.  I am failing to describe it well.  At 70% or higher, you really don't hear much effect on your tone - it might smooth out the distortion more, but you don't get that insane djent sound.  I am for right above the spot where you get the choking dog sound.  Then I'll widen the Q and start playing with the gain.

Sometimes you have to go the other way and suck out some of the "dog choking" lower mids to get the tone to get that crispy dirty sound.  So I do the same thing but put start with gain at like 20% and frequency between 15 and 40%.  Usually it's around 30%.

Finally, if the bass is a little flubby or muddy, suck out some bass with the "lows" parameter.  Suck out JUST enough to dial out the flub.  You might think the tone is thin afterwards.  If so, add some bass in after your distortion, with the amp's controls or with another EQ effect.

I set the new variable Z parameter to auto, which usually means it's 1M, as I hit an EQ or amp first.

The new hard gate is incredible.  Wikipedia "noise gate" if you don't understand what the new controls mean.

As a final piece of advice, you can really get a good metal tone by setting up your patch for the neck pickup.  It's not the one you'll be using for your tight metal rhythms, but if you can get it to sound good, your bridge pickup will sound incredible.  Usually the neck pickup has a bunch of bass/mids but not enough presence to dial in that sweet but dirty sound.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Apologist on 2011-11-24 05:56:07.8200


Ya I have found sometimes that what sounds good to me on the neck pickup for a lead tone sounds incredible for rythyym when the verb and delay are adjusted or removed.

BTW I loved your take on Rhoads using the  JCM800 .. I did a few eq adjustments and added some sag and it was perfect to my ears. Sounds even bettter after update for some reason.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Gandalf5150 on 2011-11-24 13:14:13.5110

Absolutely brilliant work. Just shared the thread with the TGP community. Hope you don't mind.

Edited...@ meambobbo. I can't access the audio on your website usin Forefox, I just get a rectagular grey shape covering the play section.

I can manage a work around usin IE.I get the message: Your browser does not support the audio element, but I do get the option to divert to source, which takes me to Quicktime player. Just thought I'd let you know, as others may have the same problem

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-24 16:14:26.1200

I'm using HTML 5 audio tags for the site audio. I put it together quickly so I didn't bother to try to make it super compatible. When I get more permanent tones I'll use yahoo music player and maybe YouTube vids as well

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-24 17:32:45.3890

what versions of firefox/ie are you using - i thought the latest IE and FF should support audio tags...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-24 17:33:53.7660

glad you liked the rhodes tone.  i actually have two now - one for the blizzard of oz and one for the diary of a madman tone.  the diary tone is a bit more modern sounding, which i like more.  i'll try to post them soon.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Apologist on 2011-11-24 18:20:40.1550

Yes the diary sound seems to have more high end mids and more "loud" like buzz saw gain then the more tamed rounded sounds from blizzard.

Its like he just turned the amp up louder and and added more front end push from the MXR and did some eq adjustments to sound brighter in the mix.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by PitbullTodd on 2011-11-25 00:17:21.1970

this thread should be made into a sticky. nice work meambobbo!!!   

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Gandalf5150 on 2011-11-25 01:59:00.2560

@ meambobbo...I'm running FF 8.01 and IE 8 which are the latest for XP

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by MadWerewolfBoy on 2011-11-25 09:40:19.7350

i have been checking the studio EQ out because a few people over at tgp said it isn't a shelf. reading the effects model gallery, it seems that the studio EQ is of a constant Q, so i reckon it can't be a shelf type of EQ. looks like the only shelfing EQs are the parametric and mid focus. can anyone confirm?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by REDSKYMETAL on 2011-11-25 10:44:25.7140

This is a nice tutorial if you want to EQ the sh*t out of stuff, but it would be better to have the actual amp modeled. Often times you can get lost eq'ing a Recto or an Uberschall when what you want is a Mesa Mark amp.

While I'm not convinced that the tones are accurate, I guess it's better than nothing.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by DarthHollis on 2011-11-25 12:35:07.8150

I've read through the guide and his information is very thorough and correct to best of his knowledge.  There are still alot of questions that Line 6 needs to answer and we have to just assume. (What cabinet model and microphone is the direct out of the DT-50 using?)

I think there is too much emphasis on EQ'ing also, but I like the amps the way they sound.  Having said that, I do find that the cabinets color the sound of the amps too much, so for someone that does lots of recording, using EQ after the cabinet is a good solution.  Everyone's uses are different.

In a real studio, micing a real cabinet is an artform and it is not easy to simulate that with just a few parameters.  Just as an example, it's been noted that Eddie Van Halen actually walks around the room while playing to find a good spot to put additional microphones to try to pick up what he hears in that spot. Other engineers and guitarists do the same.  This makes sense to me.  Also, if the cabinet got moved or other objects are in the room, the sound of the room will change significantly.  Reverb also changes tone a bit.  I stopped using reverb altogether (except for clean sounds) because it can muddy things up easily. 

Bottom line is that the amps in the POD are modeled the best they can and they are very, very accurate.  If you need more "realistic" recorded guitar sounds then you would probably want to use the DT-50 or another amp and use several expensive microphones and mix them together.

If you still need something in one package that will do what you want, get the Axe-FX for $2000 and the controlling pedalboard for $750.  Let's see....  $2750 vs $500.  I'm sure the Axe-FX is awesome but I can't afford that and most normal musicians can't.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Gandalf5150 on 2011-11-25 13:05:28.5710

Yeah there's an awful lot of talk over on TGP about the EQs offered in the HD500. It has suggested that the cab sims are just too bassy and the EQs available just can't cut it when it comes to cleaning up the bottom end. A couple of the EQs can be used as a sort of HI/LO shelf, but they still don't do a proper job.

I believe the general concensus is that one decent EQ would solve most/all the complaints and in fact one of L6s own has suggested that a global EQ is VERY high on the aganda for a future update.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2011-11-25 19:37:16.8240

One suggestion only about the delivery of the info.  You should put the doc on google docs so that people don't have to keep downloading a new version or worry about if they have MS Word installed.  You can edit it right on google and anyone can read it there.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-25 21:45:17.4000

maybe it has something to do with xp then?  i'll do an update that should be more compatible in a month or two.  thanks for letting me know.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-25 21:55:34.9290

the studio EQ is supposed to be a shelving EQ, and from what I can tell it behaves as such.  It does have a constant Q, and i'm not sure exactly how it is set but it seems "medium" (seems neither steep nor gradual but in between).

I definitely don't think it acts like a hump or valley - like it would if it was a fixed Q parametric EQ.

See this (  The shevles diverge from the baseline on curves, and the frequency range it takes to get from the baseline to target output level is determined by the Q.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-25 22:05:46.6780

I gravitate heavily towards the Treadplate (Recto) V30 4x12 when I'm running "direct".  It's the only cab I think is without all that bass.  The XXL V30 4x12 is pretty much unusable, even with heavy EQ'ing.

I find there's often a big bass spike right around 120-140HZ.  With the parametric EQ set to 13% and Q to 90% and gain to about 10% you can get rid of it.  However, my monitors (M Audio BX8) naturally have that same spike - on the low B on a 6 string.  So I had to use my headphones to figure out if the bass spike was coming from my monitors or the Pod.  A lot of the bass I originally attributed to the Pod was actually the monitors' fault.

I'll also use the studio EQ with the low freq at 75HZ and low gain at like -2db for a more general very low end cut.

A global EQ would mainly be useful to help adapt all your tones for a room or particular external gear or soundman.  As for getting the best sound out of each patch, it'd be nicer to have better EQ effects - more parameters and such.  Visulazation in Edit would be great too.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-25 22:06:03.6550

good call - will do on next revision

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-25 22:23:16.8890


This is a nice tutorial if you want to EQ the sh*t out of stuff, but it would be better to have the actual amp modeled. Often times you can get lost eq'ing a Recto or an Uberschall when what you want is a Mesa Mark amp.

While I'm not convinced that the tones are accurate, I guess it's better than nothing.

But that's the whole point - the Pod HD doesn't have a Mesa Mark II or Mark IV.  It doesn't have a 5150.  Or a Laney or Carvin Legacy.  No Diezels.  And the amp models it does have are only models, and some are definitely closer to the source material than others.

So you could always say buy the exact rig for each tone you want, but you'd spend a fortune.  most ppl bought the pod HD because the other options were more expensive.  for the money, the pod is pretty incredible IMO.

The best we've got to emulating amp models not offered are to pre-eq or maybe even slightly distort the signal sent to one of the included amp models.  this WILL change the distortion signature acheived.  and it can often be done in a way that emulates other amps.

ultimatately i was never trying to say, "these are authentic tones for __ artist(s)".  I was just using the artist tones as a versatile swath of targets and seeing how close I could get with the Pod.  Most people have told me they don't even want to emulate any artist, but just want a sweet metal tone.  Well, you can use my tones as a starting point to getting your own tone.  The real reason in trying to emulate artists is so that people know what to expect the sound to be like out the gate.  "Metal" covers a wide range of tones.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2011-11-26 00:28:38.9370

Don't you need a google account to access google docs?  Not a big deal to create one but it seems a little unnecessary if you don't already have one (I do btw but just saying ). 

There is always the option to simply post it up as a 'document' on this site directly.  I did this with some info around 4CM here for example ... --->

Anyone can post a document and make it public.   As with google you get the direct editing capability.  You also get version management and it keeps the old ones for reference.   Actually quite a good facility on this site and very underused.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by DeanDinosaur on 2011-11-26 03:32:53.4160

MadWerewolfBoy wrote:

i have been checking the studio EQ out because a few people over at tgp said it isn't a shelf. reading the effects model gallery, it seems that the studio EQ is of a constant Q, so i reckon it can't be a shelf type of EQ. looks like the only shelfing EQs are the parametric and mid focus. can anyone confirm?

Going by what I hear , the studio EQ doesn't sound like a shelf. Still Shelf EQ can sometimes have a Q, in general it's not common, but some provide the Q to furhter shape the slope of the curve before it becomes constant.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2011-11-26 06:18:25.0810

XP has nothing to do with it.  HTML5 audio shuld work in FF8 as well as Chrome if you wanna try that.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2011-11-26 06:22:39.6600

No, you don't need a google account to read a public, view only, document.  Just like someone can read this forum without logging in.  For instance, you can view  meambobbo will need one to create a doc, though.

Posting as a doc on the Line6 site sounds like a good option, too, since we all obvioulsy have line6 accounts .

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Meljin on 2011-11-26 08:59:05.1020

Global question : Can you give me some advices on how to use the hard gate ? I'm French and have a hard time understanding the Wikipedia's Noise gate english page, even if I'm somewhat good it gave me headaches.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-26 10:27:08.9010

Sure. Open threshold is the signal level fed to the gate required to make the gate open and let sound pass through. Once it opens. It won't begin to close until the signal level dips below the close threshold. Hold time is how long the gate will wait before closing once the close threshold is met. And decay is how quick the signal will drop from its current level to silence. So you want the open threshold higher than than the close threshold and if you want it super quick and punchy set hold time and decay to 0. I like to increase decay up to 500-1000ms in normal circumstances just to make the transition a bit more natural.

And to really maximize what you want play with open close settings. You want the open high enough so that you can trigger it with the softest note you intend to play but not random noise or random times your fingers touch the strings. Set close low enough so that your notes sustain for as long as you want but you can easily close the gate by muting the guitar.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Meljin on 2011-11-26 14:47:58.7790

Thanks, it's really helpful !

If I understood :

A sound is going through the gate at 100 db. The open threshold is at -60db, the close threshold to -80db, the hold time to 100ms, and the decay to 500.

It'll enter at 100-60 = 40db and stay for 100ms, and then will be at 100-80 = 20db for the next 500ms and the rest is silence ?

By the way, that sounds very interesting to study, I'll try to tweak it !

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-26 15:56:55.6740

Hehe. No sorry I think you've got the wrong idea. The gate isn't going to subtract volume. Think of it like a physical gate - its either gonna let the signal through or completely block it. The only time this isn't the case is when it is closing. If you specify a decay time other than 0, it will diminish the signal volume over the time specified instead of blocking it immediately. The thresholds only specify the volume levels that must be met to own or close it. For opening it must exceed the threshold. For closing it must be under the threshold. And the hold time just keeps the gate open for that time after the close threshold is met in case you were just briefly pausing before another note that puts the level back above the open threshold.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by silverhead on 2011-11-26 18:38:02.6150

Like meambobbo says, think of it as a physical gate. Imagine the latch on the gate has a certain strength - it will stay closed against incoming traffic until the force of the traffic against the gate is strong enough to force open the latch. That is the open threshold. Then the latch breaks and traffic is allowed through the gate until the traffic decreases to a certain force/strength. That is the closing threshold, at which point the springs on the gate are stronger than the applied force and the gate begins to close. The decay time specifies how quickly the gate closes. Once the gate is closed it remains closed until the applied force reaches the open threshold again.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-27 17:34:45.8890

ok, i did some research on this...

first of all i was specifying a html 4 doctype, which definitely threw most browsers off.

the files themselves are mp3 files.  which firefox doesn't support, because it is a proprietary format.

there is no file type that all the major browsers support for <audio> tags.  IE 9 doesn't support .wav or .ogg, but it does support .mp3 like Chrome and Safari.

bottom line is that I have to make 2 different file types if I want to use audio tags.  I think I'll just do direct links to the .mp3 files for now, and eventually put the yahoo music player on here...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by mcolquitt on 2011-11-27 18:44:53.1100

um can't you use *.wma files?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2011-11-27 19:09:18.4160

wma is Windows Media Audio, also proprietary and probably only useful for IE users.  I'd say put em up in ogg vorbis. 

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-27 19:14:52.6870

not supported by firefox, which only supports .wav, .ogg, and webM files (Vorbis) in Matroska containers (.mka).

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-27 20:14:53.8700

IE doesn't support vorbis...

echos my sentiments

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2011-11-28 06:26:53.2520

Yeah.  I work in web development and I just don't go out of my way to support IE at all.  If people complain to me that a web page does not work correctly in IE, I tel them to install FireFox.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-28 06:28:30.3320

so what you're saying is you're part of the solution

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2011-11-28 06:30:15.0000

Yeah, html5 doctype is blissfully simpler than html4 permutations: <!DOCTYPE HTML>

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by TheRealZap on 2011-11-28 06:37:07.1780

grimm26 wrote:

Yeah.  I work in web development and I just don't go out of my way to support IE at all.  If people complain to me that a web page does not work correctly in IE, I tel them to install FireFox.

apparently a very poor web developer, with no regard for a diverse audience...

installing firefox for many is a complication not a solution...

i use firefox and am posting from it now... but it's 100% not neccasary to have it or use it... just a preference...

unless someone like you forces the issue on someone...

and they sued microsoft... puh-lease.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2011-11-28 06:42:06.3210

Sorry, this gas station only vends unleaded gasoline.  If your car sputters and chugs on unleaded, that's a shame

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by TheRealZap on 2011-11-28 07:11:05.0880

not even close... as unleaded gas is a standard....

the problem here is that there are no standards that work for everyone...

so you chose the path of exclusion for no other reason that it's easier for you...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by arislaf on 2011-11-28 08:22:26.5780


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-11-28 11:02:13.5680

ok - i tested the studio EQ using a spectrum analyzer and I'm 99% sure it is NOT a shelf, as noted above and on TGP.  However, it is a VERY wide Q, so for the low and high ends it may sound like or even function very similarly to a shelf. Don't expect it to be worth anything if you intend to use it to fine tune.

The main advantages of using it, as opposed to the parametric EQ, is that you can target 2 frequencies instead of one, and it reaches up to 8kHZ, whereas the parametric only reaches about 5kHZ.  The downside is that you can only use the specified frequencies and are stuck with a very wide Q setting.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Gessinger10 on 2011-11-28 15:23:49.5780

Hello Meambobbo, great job, liked the way it built its patches. You could build a Slash AFD in POD HD500? I made a few attempts, but I do not think I came close, if you want I can do my ulpoad patch. tanks

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by REDSKYMETAL on 2011-12-03 15:16:27.9390

I actually own all of the amps you listed there and one thing I have learned is that there are apples and oranges when it comes to amps. You cannot make a naturally fizzy amp sound tight and you can't get a tight sounding amp to sound fizzy without it sounding like utter garbage.

I'm finding the POD HD Pro is somewhere in between when you start looking at EQ as a pathway to generate an authentic tone.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2011-12-03 18:10:19.8380

Yeah. I agree. If i'm trying to get an amp tone that doesn't exist in the pod, I'll pick an amp it does have and I'll be realistic about how far I can coax its tone before making sound like anus. I def envy your amp collection. I have 0

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Christafa on 2012-01-10 17:21:57.3960

wow this guide is great! So extensive! I've been trawling these boards casually for a few days finding bits n pieces to help me on my way, that guide has just about all of those answer. How did you go with the extra patches you were going to make? ie Killswitch, Scar Symmetry, Lamb of God, Opeth, Metallica, and Nuno etc?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-01-10 17:55:04.5270

Mostly, yes.  Still no Nuno though.  And I've added Pantera to the list.

I want to start recording a new tone demo tomorrow.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by wickedcold on 2012-01-10 18:04:12.5210

PANTERA?  Please share that one soon!  I've been trying to dial that one in forever and it just ain't happening.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by masticscum on 2012-01-11 07:56:30.7150

WOW!!!!!! WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by mtnbkr123 on 2012-01-23 22:58:28.2480

Ho-lee crap. I was about to return my HD500 in 2 days. I actually pulled out the box and receipt. Then I stumbled across your guide surfing around last night.

Before I sunk into it, I couldn't dial up crap on my HD. I had spent hours and hours fiddling with it. I finally gave up last evening and tried to console myself with the thought of returning it, saving $500, and continuing to use my lowly XT which, although a little ghetto by today's standards, is not so bad for metal.

Well...things changed dramatically tonight. That guide is gold.

I wonder how many people - reasonably clever people - have given up and returned their HD, frustrated that they couldn't seem to share in the excitement everyone else appears to be enjoying. That was me last night. That Guide should be mandatory reading.

Well done my friend. Well done.

Damn I'm stoked. Could be an all nighter...

EDIT: Yup. All nighter in the works. #3 Steam Whistle cracked and going down smooooooth. DJENT...DJENT...DJENDJENT... I hope the popo don't come a-callin...

Speaking of which, that God forsaken screech happened again last night. WTF? No more USB until all that gets sorted out.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jungjung on 2012-01-31 16:16:02.7450

Absolutly awsome love it so glad to have stumbled on to this.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by inot1105 on 2012-02-01 01:44:59.5970

wow this looks very helpful & detailed... many thanks meambobbo.

BR & God bless

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by holeshot1982 on 2012-02-01 08:56:43.7260

WOW, can't wait to read this

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by ferrarimik on 2012-02-05 09:12:48.0930

Thanks!! nice guide

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-06 12:25:00.7570

Since so many people have found this guide helpful, I finally got around to making an HTML version:">">

Please let me know if there are any errors on the web version.  I did a lot of copy pasting.  There might be a broken link here or there.  Thanks.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2012-02-06 12:44:02.6070

"In general, single-coils are noisier and fatter (thicker bass and lower mids) than humbuckers."  I assume you mean the opposite of fatter.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-06 13:25:18.1660

I worded that poorly.  When I think of fat tone I think of SRV's clean tone for Pride and Joy.  It definitely isn't all bass and no mids.  The mids sound more warm than nasal.  So what I should have wrote is the midrange peak is lower.  Does that sound more accurate?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2012-02-06 13:48:23.2730

meambobbo wrote:

I worded that poorly.  When I think of fat tone I think of SRV's clean tone for Pride and Joy.  It definitely isn't all bass and no mids.  The mids sound more warm than nasal.  So what I should have wrote is the midrange peak is lower.  Does that sound more accurate?

I think that warmth/fatness is more a function of his heavy strings, tone control, and amp settings.  You can change the resonant peak not only variably with a tone control, but you can put caps and resistors in the signal path in the guitar besides the tone control.

If you want warmth, you generally don't start with a single coil.  I don't know that I'd describe that P&J tone as warm, anyway.  It was warmer than some, but still had that single coil bite underneath.  A single coil provides a pretty narrow, focused view of the strings which give them that glassier, brighter sound.  A humbucker's dual coils are seeing the strings at two different places and combining the opposing signals, giving a warmer, thicker tone.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-06 14:25:10.1510

I think what's throwing me off is the vast majority of my experience with single coils has been using them in the middle and neck positions, which are in and of themselves a generally fatter sound.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-06 14:33:01.0750

"In general, single-coils are noisier and glassier (have more shimmer in their high-end) than humbuckers.  That makes them great for blues and funk (and most "clean" tones), but poor for hard rock and metal, where their high-end shimmer makes for a gritty sounding distortion.  In contrast, humbuckers sound very nasal when used in a clean tone."

How's that?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2012-02-06 14:34:25.1930

meambobbo wrote:

"In general, single-coils are noisier and glassier (have more shimmer in their high-end) than humbuckers.  That makes them great for blues and funk (and most "clean" tones), but poor for hard rock and metal, where their high-end shimmer makes for a gritty sounding distortion.  In contrast, humbuckers sound very nasal when used in a clean tone."

How's that?

I'd agree with that except for the nasal part

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by MartinDorr on 2012-02-07 15:26:40.6230

As a beginner I have to say this is one of the very descriptions on how this works and why it works that makes sense, and not just for HD. Looks like this will be one of my treasured references to read over and over. Can't overstate what many said: Excellent contribution to the user community. Thanks ... and please keep maintaining it as you get feedback and find a topic worth expanding.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Siessi on 2012-02-07 15:44:19.6320

I just downloaded this and am really looking forward to reading it. I'm not a 'tone tweaker' by nature but I don't mind putting in a bit of time in order to get my own sound right.

I'll let you know how it works out!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-07 16:28:22.9150

Has anyone checked out the HTML version linked above. Looking for feedback

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by moogary on 2012-02-07 18:32:40.2960

I think you did a great job!  Good reference to keep (I added it to my favorites).  Per haps you could change the red color to something else.  It is a little harsh to read (especially in the ToC).  Thanks!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-07 18:41:33.5260

i changed it to a more pastel red, should be easier to read on the black background.  helps?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by moogary on 2012-02-07 18:49:10.9920

Much better.  Thanks,


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by mcolquitt on 2012-02-08 04:43:09.9000

meambobbo wrote:

"In general, single-coils are noisier and glassier (have more shimmer in their high-end) than humbuckers.  That makes them great for blues and funk (and most "clean" tones), but poor for hard rock and metal, where their high-end shimmer makes for a gritty sounding distortion.  In contrast, humbuckers sound very nasal when used in a clean tone."

How's that?

What about those of us that use strats with HS-3 pickups? I have 4 strats and all are loaded with HS-3's except my 62 reissue; It has YJM fury's in it. They are, however also "stacked" pickups


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jyflorida on 2012-02-08 05:07:13.8990

The HTML version is great!  Much easier to click on a hyperlink & bring up the info instead of scrolling through a Word or PDF version.  Thank you!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-08 06:47:36.8370

what about size and spacing - easy to read on everyone's different computers and mobile devices?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-14 14:57:15.3050

all of the pages have been updated in the web version.  address is

.doc and .pdf versions are discontinued to maintain consistency.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-02-14 15:03:17.1560

Awww I liked the offline versions.

See your point though.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-14 17:10:43.0640

Maybe I can write a feed to pull them into a single page or setup a mail merge or something

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Dudeism on 2012-02-15 05:15:20.4240

Thanks a lot for this detailed guide.  Cheers

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by innovine on 2012-02-17 22:26:09.3160

Font size was absolutely gigantic on my netbook,and I had to reduce it.

Thanks for producing this by the way, it's really helpful!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-02-18 22:14:28.1680

i reduced it a little.  seems to be a good size now - easily readable on large and small displays.  easily readable on my iphone.

also added an input routing section to help explain some of the things going on in the input routing thread.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-02-19 01:43:42.0880

Haha!  Good call

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by sakisep91 on 2012-03-13 13:00:48.9250

  meambobbo               THANK YOU!

Great work!  you helped me to see with a different eye my 500$ unit

Thank you!!

P.S. im reading the forum a long time BUT you are the reason for my first and maybe only post. (i could not use your knowledge without giving you my respect)

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-03-13 14:06:57.1670

YOU'RE WELCOME.  99% of my demo tones are ready.  recording clips this week and the demo page should be up by the end of month.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by nexbot on 2012-03-17 15:16:54.2990

Thanks so much for the guide, man, this should be official Line 6 Documentation!

Quick question, when you say to "mute Channel B in the mixer" for mono patches, do you mean lowering the volume of Channel B in the mixer all the way down, or is there another way to mute it?


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-03-17 15:23:16.5800

Lower it all the way down.  When the fader gets all the way to the bottom the description changes to 'Mute'.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by nexbot on 2012-03-17 15:34:28.4580

Ah, thank you very much!

I've just started posting here and so far the L6 community seems to be very helpful. I have a feeling you guys have breathed new life into my enjoyment of my HD500!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-03-26 12:59:37.3780

hey everyone - major update to the guide regarding cab/mic selection.  I've found the Hiway 4x12 rules all other cabs.  see the change log for details.

New and Improved Tone demo is coming along.  Still shooting for end of this month.  Got kind of set back by this Hiway discovery.  Not sure how I overlooked it to begin with.  Anyway, been retro-fitting all my tones to use it and have started recording clips.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Apologist on 2012-03-26 19:42:56.1630

"Unfortunately there are no time-delay controls to possibly correct phasing issues or make them less noticeable. We also have little control over mic positioning. You just got to do what you can with what you've got."

From your guide.

Agreed this cant be solved during live applications but there is a workaround (outside the pod itself) for this.

When I record in my DAW I simply set up a DAW audio channel for channel A and one for channel B.

I then set  both tracks to record and during playback I usually keep channel B centered and channel A panned 100% Left. I also adjust track volumes and nudge one track or the other until I get the sound I want ... which usually means nudging channel a about 10-20ms

I do the same thing for  second rythm track with one track panned 100% Right this time ..

I then can split, cut, paste, nudge, adjust volume etc... with four separate tracks to get impact I am looking for. Some times a phrase sounds cool only using the two hard panned tracks ... sometimes just centered 1st rythm or 2nd rythm take. Some times just one hard panned track ... but I have all the options to mess with

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-03-30 08:48:08.3300

Major update to dual cab section.  I have discovered two things - first that the reason many dual cab/mic combinations don't sound good is because they are slightly out of phase creating comb filtering, which takes a huge toll on the high end of the tone, making it full of dead spots.

But even better, I have discovered a way to correct the phase by using EQ effects.  Even with completely neutral settings, as long as they're turned on, they introduce a slight delay to the tone.  Applied behind one of the amp/cabs before the mixer, you can time-smudge the tone enough to correct the phasing.  The tone becomes brighter, richer, and fuller.

The 2.0 update hasn't dropped yet, but I hope that the mic pre-amp's phase parameter can do the same thing with more accuracy and be placed anywhere in the signal chain.  That would be a better solution.

However, I can't state how much of a difference this makes to dual amp tones.  I am now retro-fitting all my patches with this technique.  Was shooting for this weekend to release the tone demo, but now I may push it back a week.  If Line 6 can do it, so can I ;-).

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by L6JMan on 2012-03-31 07:59:48.9290

Mr Meambobbo - first off, thank you for your great work!  I literally went through all of your patches the other night.  I'm not really knowledgable about EQ's and all that stuff, so when I first starting using your patches I thought they sounded funny.  THEN I A/B'd my patches and yours...and that was the end of that haha. 

Anyways, I have a quick question regarding making tweaks to your patches.  I'm assuming you probably use a beefier guitar than what I play with.  I use a SG Faded w/ stock pickups so I'm probably lacking some low end from your side of things.  Also, some of the patches are a little to bright/sparkly for my tastes (and I like a bright tone).  Where would the best place to start to tweak that?  I tried doing a few things already and I couldn't reallly nail it. 

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Apologist on 2012-03-31 10:58:10.6030

Just a quick note.

It is a common mistake, most players make, when creating tones or messing with real world amps, to make their sound too heavy on the bottom end or thick ... probably because we imagine the fuller sounding multi tracked quitars and bass and so on when going for a certain sound ... I suppose that's okay for jamming at home ..

In playing with a band or recording .. trust me .. his tones (Meambobbo's), though at first to your ears they may sound thin or too much high mids, do indeed sit well in a mix and cut through in a band setting a loud volume.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-03-31 13:39:33.7100

Apologist is certainly right about a mix, but I want to point out most of my old patches use the Tread V-30, which is extremely thin, or the Greenbacks, which has a funky, droning tone in the low end.  I'm now using the Hiway 4x12, which seems to have a more natural tone, and better response across the entire frequency spectrum.

To make up for the lack of bass in the Tread V-30, I've often resorted to mixing the Tread with the XXL.  This combo is better, but I've sinced discovered the Hiway has a better bright response than the Tread V-30, the 57 off axis can be dialed in for a better bright tone than the 57 on axis, and you can use EQ's to phase correct phase inaccuracy between two patches.

Please be a lil patient.  I have revamped ALL my patches, and will be posting them either tomorrow or next week.

In the meantime, for the dual amp/cab patches, MAKE SURE INPUT 2 IS NOT SET TO VARIAX.  If you do so, you're probably muting the amp that uses the XXL cab, and these patches are EQ'ed expecting to mix Channels A and B.  Without channel B they will be EXTREMELY thin.

As far as boosting bass in general, you can't EQ in frequencies that never existed.  If you do, you just get a droning, noisy bass response.  The Tread V-30 has basically no bass, and trying to dial it in will sound like poop, especially with the 57 on axis.

As far as dialing in bass with dual amp patches - you have 3 choices - boost the bass on the amp EQ's, boost the amp volume of the amp using the XXL, or boost using an EQ effect after the mixer.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Apologist on 2012-03-31 21:47:42.5480

So in your upcoming patches ...what would be the equivalent setting I should adjust for with my HD Bean? I guess Input 1 (Guitar) Input 2 (mic) or (same)?

I prefer to set Input 2 to (mic) on my own patches because it seems to allow for more "clean" headroom as one is not hitting the Pod with as strong of an input signal which seems to help with clipping and harsh digital noise that seems to occur when a signal that is too hot hits the pod.

Seems more pronounced on some amps than others ..

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-01 00:00:43.1000

I would use per patch input settings.  For all the distorted tones use Input 1 Guitar Input 2 Same/Guitar.  For the clean tones where you are having issues pushing the amps into clipping AND the patch is a single amp tone or has a mono effect before the path split, you can use Input 2 Mic.  Input 2 Variax should be a tad quieter than Mic for those who have the option, but there's probably not that much difference.

Now let's take a step back and discuss Input 1/2, input signal levels, and clipping.  There are 4 separate sources of clipping that can potentially occur in the Pod.

You can clip the input A/D convertor with a hot signal from the guitar.  You cannot dial this out inside the Pod.  The Pad switch might help, but I never found it very useful.  The Input Impedance options might help reduce the level if you use lower settings, but this is also changing the tone.  The best way to fix this is by lowering your guitar pickups.  You can tell if this is the source of your distortion as opposed to other sources by using a patch with absolutely no amps/effects enabled and mixer levels set to 0 and each channel panned hard left/right, or by using the tuner.  Test with headphones, so you are sure you're isolating the issue.

The next thing is clipping the internal digital signal resolution.  This can occur if you boost with the Mixer or the amp model or some other effect in the signal chain.  I try to keep the mixer around 0 db and the amp volume around 50%.  As soon as anything boosts past the max resolution anywhere in the chain, you get clipping, even if you lower the level later in the chain.  See if backing down some of the levels inside the chain cleans up the tone.

The next is some effects will clip on a hot input, particularly the parametric EQ.  I like to put parametric EQ's behind my amp model, but if I set the amp volume much higher than 50%, they will clip.

The last thing is the crossover distortion modeled in the power section in some of the class A amps.  You can tell if this is the case if you don't get clipping when using the pre-amp only version of the same amp.  There's a couple ways to dial this out.  The simplest is to reduce the pre-amp drive of the amp model.  Or you can reduce the input level before you hit the amp model - the tone should be relatively similar as reducing the pre-amp drive.  One way to do this is to use a Studio EQ and turn down the Gain parameter.  The other way is to set Input 2 to something other than Guitar or Same - the best part about this solution is that it doesn't use any effects blocks or extra DSP.  I also like to use the DEP's to dial out the crossover distortion.  Reducing Master and Raising Bias and/or Bias X should reduce or eliminate the distortion.

For more on all this, check out this section of the guide:

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-01 15:32:16.6140

Dude (meambobbo), I've read through your site a few times now and have also passed it on to a friend who also just purchased an HD500. I must thank thee for thou hath done a rightous thing. Seriously man, this really shed some light for me and I'm now using my Tread amp with the Hiway cab. One thing though, I really, really like the tone I hear with this combo using the 67 condenser mic. I usually record 2 rhythms tracks and hard pan them but I like having a slightly different tone for each. So 1 track I used the 57 off axis and the other I used the 67 condenser. Of course my EQ settings were slightly different on each as well. I tend to like darker tones. I also use the 67 consender for my leads which I find to be really smooth and tight.

Here's a clip using these combos:

I have these tones in the Custom Tones too (all are using the Treadplate amp with the Hiway cab):

Uncle_Jasons_Metal_Rhythm_Tread3 (using the 57 off axis)

Uncle_Jasons_Metal_Rhythm_Tread4 (using the 67)

Uncle_Jasons_Metal_Lead_TreadHwy (lead tone using the 67)

I'm pretty happy with these, so again, thank you for taking the time to put something out there. It's been extremely helpful.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Apologist on 2012-04-01 16:43:32.0830

Thanks for the info bro ... gona mess with the hiway cab myself tonight on some of my own patches where I had previously been using one of the V30 cabs ... your attention to detail and time you put into sharing info is appreciated.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-02 07:45:25.6150

Well, let me scratch the Hiway cab with the 67 condenser mic; sounds good through my KRK's but once I dumped it and listened to it on my mp3 player and in my car, I didn't care for it. Sounds too 'airy.' But I DO like the track with the Hiway cab and 57 off axis mic (hard panned left). I just wish the 57 off axis sounded a little tighter. You seem to lose a little clarity with it.

I always do a sound test in multiple places outside of my studio: my car, my mp3 headphones, and my computer speakers (which I have a small sub). Once I have it sounding good in all places, I know it's done. I had tweaked my XT Live so much that I was able to get a really good tone and it sounded great with all sources. Unfortunately I sold it once I got the HD500. I know it just takes some more work and tweaking with the HD though; I'll get there eventually.

One of my issues is I like to have 2 slightly different tones hard panned. The task is to get them to sound good together in the overall mix. So I may keep Hiway/57 off axis panned left and maybe the Tread/421 or 57 off axis panned right. I like the tones of the 57 off axis (on axis is way too bright for me) but again, it seems to give up some clarity. I also like the 421 mic because it's darker and I tend to like darker tones anyway, but you really have to mess with the EQ to get a good sound with it because it can have a tendency to sway to the muddy side. I do like the 67 and 87 condenser mics for lead tones though.

Tone tweaking....aarrrrggghhh!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-02 08:34:56.2530

I hear ya, man.  It's tough to finalize a patch.  As soon as you think everything's perfect you find some small quirk to the tone and it's back to the drawing board.

In any case, I still think your track sounds pretty awesome.

In general I avoid the condenser mics.  I played with them a bit and was digging the sound, but they seem a bit too noisy and fizzy to me.  At first I thought I was just getting a huge midrange response, which I like; but when you play different notes or chords, the tone doesn't really change that much.  That indicates I'm actually hearing noise.

As far as 57 on/off axis, I go back and forth.  Depends on where I want the most clarity - if it's the mids I go off axis.  If it's the highs, I go on axis.  But you definitely need to dial back the high end with on axis or it gets harsh.  Also, I NEVER use the on axis by itself - I always mix it with another cab, which is always the XXL V-30, which almost always uses the 57 off axis.  So with both of them, I get a full sound.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Seabeast on 2012-04-02 11:06:19.5430


when I read your hi-gain tone guide first time (in december), I was impressed of your work and it helped me so much, but what I see now is really unbelievable!!! Stunning, I have no words to describe what your GUIDE means to me! You really worked hard and I am very happy, this could be a great book for all users. I only checked that your guide has a huuuuuge update from december and I'm going to get to it as quickly as possible. So thank you very much man!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-02 11:15:42.9520

Thanks man...I'm using that track as my testing ground for finding the tones I want so I'll probably update it again with a different tone tonight...I'm stuck behind my Office Space cubicle until 5. Yeah, the condenser mic sounded fine in the studio but it doesn't sound quite right through other output sources. I am now a big fan of the Hiway cab/57 off axis now though after reading through your site. And I like the XXL cab a lot too for heavy stuff. I need to re-read your part on EQ settings; you have a ton of great info on there man, and EQ settings has always been my weak point.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-02 11:51:49.5620

yeah - lots of updates - there's a web version now, which i recommend over the .doc and .pdf formats for easier navigation.  the downloadable formats are a straight dump of the site.  They are currently up to date and weigh in at a shocking 101 pages... sheesh...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Franzel on 2012-04-02 12:24:48.7330


just a little heads up: in your guide, section X.Cheat Sheet, N. Power Amp Parameters there's something wrong in your explanation of Bias. At minimum you get the "coldest" Class AB Bias, at maximum it gives you Class A operation, the other way around from what you have written.

Cheers, Hans

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Seabeast on 2012-04-02 12:36:56.4850

By the way, I read the wish list as well and I agree with that... I hope that Line 6 team checked it.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-02 13:40:12.6680

hans, thanks for the catch.  I adjusted that section and need to adjust a few other things.  It seemed to me that you can get a bit more distortion with lower Bias settings, which made me think the opposite of what is actually happening.  Normally Class A is associated with less headroom than Class AB.  On the other hand, the power amp distortion with lower Bias settings is smoother whereas the higher settings are splatty and gritty.  So that actually makes sense.  Perhaps the tonal aspects are modeled, whereas the headroom is not.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-03 06:33:07.4200

Alright, I went back to what I was using before but tweaked the tones a bit.

Lef Rhythm: Tread amp - Tread Cab - 421 mic - Screamer - EQ - Tube Compressor

Right Rhythm: Tread amp - Tread Cab - 67 condenser mic - Screamer - EQ - Tube Compressor

Lead: Tread amp - Tread Cab - 67 condenser mic - Screamer - EQ - Tube Compressor - Stereo Delay

Those are the basic specs. The gain on the rhythm tracks is around 65 and the Screamer gain is set to about 22. I have the gain on both a little higher for my lead track. I also threw in an EQ plugin on the recorded tracks before dumping the mix to mp3. The plugin is the Classic EQ by Kjaerhus (free plugin; I like this one a lot better than the more sophisticated EQ plugins). I like this EQ because it's a simple layout and you can easily adjust each frequency. I'm not a fan of the HD EQ's; I don't mean to sound like a little puta but I just find them very difficult to work with. The recorded tones sounded good without the added EQ plugin, but the added EQ does clean it up a bit.

Anyway, here's the redo (I threw this down real quick this morning before work so the mix isn't perfect):

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-03 09:18:44.6630

new patches are up:

Clips and Setting Pics coming soon.

I'll try to get them on customtone soon as well.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by fede17_dream on 2012-04-03 11:08:16.6230

Great tones!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-03 12:12:03.9980

ok, they're up on customtone:">">

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Seabeast on 2012-04-03 14:21:38.6390

Heeeey big day! The firmware 2.02 is up!!! I don't know how is it good (not tested deeply), but I'm very happy that we can tweak cabinets by four parameters!!!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-04 12:56:52.7490

guide has been updated to include the Plexi and Cab DEP's.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-04 17:18:20.5960

Man, the cabinet controls made a tremendous difference for my tones, and I just did a little tweaking, nothing major. Tread with the 421 and 57 off axis (panned) sounds great together now. The biggest thing I noticed is now my tones using the 57 off axis can be cleaned up a little by tweaking the cab controls.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-04 19:01:38.1340

i agree - the res level and thump really help to make the cabs go from squishy to crispy.  The tones I was having trouble getting there I am now satisfied with after some cab DEP tweaking.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-05 06:57:33.4460

I'm really enjoying the bass amp model too. Before I was using the Ampire plugin (that came with Studio One Pro) and I've used several other plugins for bass but it never sounded quite right. My mix sounds full now.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Seabeast on 2012-04-05 13:52:00.3560

Yep the bass amp is great, especially when you try to put the Vintage Preamp at the end of the chain. What you say about the Vintage Preamp guys? I'm trying it in my rhythm chain at the beginning of the chain and also at the end of the chain. I think it works good at the beginning much better than at the end for rhythm... but maybe it depends, I'm trying at the beginning and end both and also sounds great.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-06 07:35:38.5340

Man I haven't broke out the vintage preamp but I'm really excited about trying it out for vocals soon. I plan on using the HD exclusively for the album I'm working on (with the exception of drums). I may use some VST's for vocal effects so that I can tweak those after the fact. But the HD will be used for the guitar, bass, and initial vocal tracks.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2012-04-06 12:14:31.5490

Done just in time for 2.0 release

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-06 12:28:45.3000

yeah, i'm in the process of updating all the patches to use the new cab DEP's.  decided to hold off on recording clips until that's done.

i've actually tweaked about half my tones already to make use of the cab DEP's and I switched the few patches I have that could benefit from the Plexi to use it.

what I wasn't expecting was a lightning storm screwing up my PC (finally got it working correctly again last night) and a wiring issue popping up in one of my guitars, which I gotta fix tonight.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by dbagchee on 2012-04-06 14:30:40.5700

Wow still need to go through all the info you've posted but this is such a great contribution to the community. You rock!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by WarBonnet on 2012-04-07 04:32:19.2160

just wanted to say thanks for all that you've done to help out us line 6 users...I'm really impressed!!  Your tones sound great, very polished and so much like the artist...really don't think the engineers at line 6 could have done much better!  I've only had my HD (bean version for couple weeks and when I got it, found these DEPS and they are a new thing for me in tone control I mean no amp I ever had before ever had them so again, I say thanks as I VERY much appreciate you sharing your wisdom with us here. 

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-07 10:10:52.9280

just glad ppl have found it so helpful.  i know i take a shot here and there at line 6, but they really made an incredible product, especially given the price.  the problem more than anything is missing documentation, especially regarding the EQ effects provided.  ...then missing or awkward features...  if there was another product that was easier to dial in and was equally affordable, I would have told ppl to buy it instead.  but there isn't.  so i wanted to help ppl dial it in.  heck, i'm still learning myself.  but i really feel i've got 90% of the tones I want, and they're 95% as good as I want them to sound.

What I can't figure out for the life of me is why line 6 doesn't do the same thing that i'm doing - serving up a much more in-depth guide on the features they work so hard to create, and making lots of patches that try to imitate popular artists as closely as possible.  i'm basically groping in the dark to do it, whereas line 6 employees would have access to the engineers, etc.  we basically have to use analytical tools and trial and error to figure out what stuff is actually doing.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by daferalo on 2012-04-07 13:40:03.8270

meambobbo escribió:

What I can't figure out for the life of me is why line 6 doesn't do the same thing that i'm doing - serving up a much more in-depth guide on the features they work so hard to create, and making lots of patches that try to imitate popular artists as closely as possible.  i'm basically groping in the dark to do it, whereas line 6 employees would have access to the engineers, etc.  we basically have to use analytical tools and trial and error to figure out what stuff is actually doing.

Yeah Meambobbo, and your work and dedication is really amazing. Very good job!!!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-04-08 03:58:01.6610

meambobbo wrote:

What I can't figure out for the life of me is why line 6 doesn't do the same thing that i'm doing - serving up a much more in-depth guide on the features they work so hard to create, and making lots of patches that try to imitate popular artists as closely as possible.  i'm basically groping in the dark to do it, whereas line 6 employees would have access to the engineers, etc.  we basically have to use analytical tools and trial and error to figure out what stuff is actually doing.

I guess they figure that the whole subject of advanced tonebuilding is too subjective and don't want the ongoing hassle of justifying design decisions and recommendations  User support vs the back-end team, in public? .... nah !  Also, people have such different kit, hookups, expectations ... it is quite a minefield.

This forum (and the others) is a smart move but I think it is the work of people like you that really shines. The depth of information is intimidating but I reckon (hardware problems and  POD HD 101 issues not withstanding) that about 90% of the FAQ issues are covered in the guide now.

You are unaffiliated with L6 and can express objective (and subjective) opinions around what works, what doesnt, where the design holds up and where a fix is required.   You are also in  the thick of it with the forums and can see how things are developing.  You get the occasional challenge from other users that makes you reevaluate and improve your own work.  The end result speaks for itself now. 

To be honest, I think this hybrid support model is better ... and that people should click the paypal link on your Guide's homepage !

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Akeron on 2012-04-08 04:13:13.3280

At some point I've thought of put up a wiki site with all the tips collected from these forums and many many sites and also clear descriptions of the effects with the correct settings for having the original sound that are only described in the manuals of M13 and the older units like DM4. For example the correct setting of the "Fuzz Pi" is described only in the DM4 manual. Do you think there would be copyrights problems?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-04-08 04:31:13.0710

Akeron wrote:

At some point I've thought of put up a wiki site with all the tips ... in the manuals of M13 and the older units like DM4 .... . Do you think there would be copyrights problems?

Well strictly speaking the manual info that you want to reprint is copyright material (unlike Bobbo's efforts) .  WIth that said, Line 6 usually seem to be pragmatic about people re-publishing information previously published as long as it is accurate and people don't try and make money from it.  In principle:  you should be OK. 

If Line 6 ask you to take it down ... take it down.  Otherwise, it seems like a good idea.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Akeron on 2012-04-08 06:38:53.7100

Ok thanks Jim! I must add that (unless is my imagination) it looks like the latest advanced guide explanations are a little more clear than before. So that's good.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-08 09:17:58.3470

after 20,000 views, this thread is now stickied as FEATURED CONTENT.  YAYAYAYAYAYAY

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by sandman69 on 2012-04-09 06:54:23.4360

I have had my HD500 since a few months after it came out.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sit down and dive deep into it.  I usually grab some tones I like and adjust accordingly.  Though a few I have built from scratch.

I just found your guide and I must say, bless you!  That is amazing stuff.  Already I have learned so much more about the dos and don'ts.  Some of the dont's I was doing.  I can't wait to get back home and run through some of the pointers you give.

Really great work there!

Reading up on the live sound section, you do recommend no cabs in the Pod if one is using an external Poweramp (Carvin DCM200L) and a Cab (Marshall 1960a soon to be replaced with a Avatar 2x12). Also, you mention that when using a poweramp you use the full Amp Sim too.  I agree with this.  It seems it gets way too thin without that.  Though I figured that might just be my preset mistakes.

Edit : LoL! Right after I typed that,  I read the next line and you said it sounds thin to you too.  Guess it isn't just me...

Anyway thanks a TON for the effort you obviously put into this.  Can't wait to try some of your presets.

I guess I am REAL late to that party.  LoL!


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-09 07:16:49.8680

thanks!  you're definitely not late to the party - my patches haven't really been finalized yet.  i'm putting the finishing touches on this week and starting recording demo clips.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-09 08:31:51.3610

meambobbo, have you messed around with the bass cabinet yet to create a bass tone that fits with high gain guitars? The Ampeg amp/cab model sounds solid but I think I need to add a compressor to it and also would like a little distortion but not too much. I tried a few of the pedals but it didn't sound right. I haven't spent enough time with it though.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-09 08:50:20.4200

unfortunately not as I don't have a bass yet.  might be a few months before I get there.  lots of stuff going on in my life right now, and even if i could afford another instrument i can't spend the time to learn to play it worth a darn.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by sandman69 on 2012-04-09 09:53:57.1790

meambobbo, reading your amp section now.  Love the detail you go into each one.   Line 6 would definitely learn something from you

When you mention the Master Volume setting like in the Rectifier section "The most control over the distortion tone comes from the Master Volume parameter."

Are you referring to the actual Master on the POD, or the Volume that controls the volume on the amp?  Or are you talking about into the DEP of the actual poweramp?

I am guessing it is one of the latter two, as Line 6 says the Master controls output level but won't adjust the "tone".

Also, Line 6's quick start guide says the Volume Knob (to the left of the master) adjusts the output level of your selected amp without affecting the tone or distortion characteristics. 

Just was a lil confused and want to make sure I am not doing something basic wrong.  I generally get the tone I like and use the Master to give myself the needed headroom with the sound guy.

BTW, what is djenty? 

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-09 10:13:29.7440

i'm referring to the "Master" DEP for the full amp model.  it has a strong affect on how squishy vs. percussive and gritty the tone is.

I make it a point to always say "Master Knob" when referring to the knob on the unit that controls global output volume for the analog outputs.  For the amp/channel volume, I try to always refer to it as "Volume Knob", sometimes Amp Volume or Channel Volume.  Both of the two are designed to be tone-neutral, although there are some cases where their settings will affect tone, and almost always in a bad way.  i describe how to avoid this in the Setting it Up page.

so you've got it all right.  use the Master Knob to set your global output level in coordination with your sound guy.  Use the amp/channel volume knob and/or mixer levels to level your patches relative to each other, and make sure you aren't clipping the signal resolution by boosting them too high.

as for "djenty" that's an onomatopoeia for the tone of a guitar when you're chugging on palm muted power chords, usually between the low B on a standard-tuned 7 string to the open A.  It sounds like "djent djent djent djent".  It requires a pretty thick, saturated distortion and a focus on the mids to upper mids for where the tone is being distorted.  Rather than a fuzzy or muddy distortion, the bass is clean and tight.  Also there'e not much high-end grity or splattyness to the tone.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by sandman69 on 2012-04-09 10:19:36.4060

Thanks for the clarification.  I really need to look into the DEP settings more apparently. 

LOL! I get it now.  I was thinking it might be an acronym or something.  Got it!

Thanks again for the effort(s)!!!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by myrz on 2012-04-09 19:50:42.4560

forgive me if this has been already asked, but is there a way to convert the hd500 to pod hd desktop? I have visited the website with your tones, but your evh tones are only available by download. thanks

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-09 20:13:41.2760

you used to be able to just change the file extension part of the name, but i've heard you can't do that anymore.  soon enough i'll have pics up on the site so you can just dial the same settings in manually.  the only other way is to download the HD Edit 500 version to open the tones than manually copy the settings into HD Edit desktop.

definitely send L6 a feature request to auto-convert patches.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by hms666 on 2012-04-10 00:57:31.1220

Just download the setlist or patch(es) you like, and rename them.

********.h5s   to   ********.hbs


********.h5e   to   ********.hbe

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-04-10 01:56:51.7750

I think Big Chas may have a workaround for this that involves loading the 500 patch into HD Edit 500 and fiddling with the input settings.   From there you can rename the patch ...   Behold -->">">

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-10 07:01:22.6420

thanks for the link, Jim.  also, keep in mind that I don't think any of my tones use Input Variax/Aux or an FX loop, so you should be to just change the name.  I'll eventually post links for the 500, desktop, and pro versions so you don't have to do this, but it's a workaround for now.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by varmint on 2012-04-10 07:25:49.6910

On a Mac, renaming the file extension still works.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-04-11 11:26:49.8200

Accolades and major tip of the hat, 10,000 thank you-s and passage into Amida Buddha heaven for "MeAmBobbo" for his detailed work on the POD tone guide.

Some great insights and details in there that anyone of any level can gain some ideas and tips.

In my adventures, I had been doing some different things than "Bob" in regard to culling noise. I do find digital clipping to be a huge issue on the unit and a lot of hiss coming off of some effects. Some are jewels others are not. Keeping the unit on "auto" impedance seems to be the best result.

I also prefer more to be able to run true stereo feeds on L and R because I use a full on 2 channel stereo power amp source. I also use a line level rack BBE phase corrector unit which I just love on live sound sources. (use of the BBE is problematic to those recording as it works the best in phase correcting the normal frequency physics of all live speakers. It is not an "effect" per se' and should not be used more than 12:00 settings. I love it myself, this is my third unit, I had an earlier rack model, a pedalboard version and a new one for my POD rig. The added punch and clarity is just a leave on device for me. Anyone hearing my system wants to go right out and get one.)

I tried some of the combined amp presets and although they did not work for me I get the theory.

Just amazing insights into the use of EQs (obviously a studio type guy) which I had been weak in using and techniques.of EQ. I do get an extremely great tone for cleans using the Fender twin models as for me an essential part of the clean sound is that Fender treatment of the vibrant tube tone. Tubes have always been for me far beyond just distortion and clipping, one must consider the use of tubes in audiophile systems in their power amps made to reproduce clean reproduction. I also get really good results often using the PREamp models over the main amps, it just depends, when working on a tone I sort of work through all options trying to improve it. My high gains using the PREamp models are just astounding, the Bogner is a mind blower and I have all the high gains really sounding good. Using the full power amp on some is just too much more nasty digital clipping rather than tube sounding distortion. Power amp distortion to me can be heard in some of the small amp models where the low end bass notes just start to get this warm fuzz on the edges of the notes. A rather delicious tone. The uber amps to me sound better using the preamp at least for the level and tone of the distortions I need to please my ear. (And that is what it is all about, your ear, what you hear, what responds and works to your touch from the guitar. One reason why there is no magic preset or a magic "sounds like" preset, it is all so dependent upon your hands and technique.)

I did get a lot of noise on the dual auto input issues of the unit and to resolve that issue once and for all, I opted for a dual split feed of my primary signal into both the "Guitar" and "Aux" in-s. Seems to work the best, low noise, no digital clipping, and feeds for both sides of the true stereo signal.

Now the issue of phase using two of the same amps is worked out well by Bob in the rather ingenius use of EQs after one of the amps. The issues of using different amps can be a different animal, you might have one amp completely out of full phase with another type, one might be pushing and pulling the speakers opposite of the other. The new Vintage Preamp model as a 180 phase adjust that should fix this for those of you discovering the problem or being able to hear it. For many like SRV or Bonamassa, the use of different amps combining into the tone made for a wider spectrum of tones. We can only do 2 on the POD which is understandable because the DSP useage is tremendous.

I also prefer to run more hotter bias than cold on most of my amp models, and I find a lot of the Master (power amp) level way too high which gives a bad sounding distortion character in my view anyway. I tend to turn the sag down a little as well.

I do not find most of the preamp models too thin and they work out well after treatment in the chain. Sometimes the full on amp model is just too much.

I also like to add a little more thump and resonance on the cab in general. But it has to be slight or none at all because the BBE corrects the bass phase and makes for more punch on the tone, the high end is also has much more clarity which I do not need to enhance via EQ in the system. The BBE can really clear the mud in the bass punch gving a real strident full range heavy distortion quality. I love the BBE myself on cleans or dirt. Anyone I have demonstrated the unit on an A/B on my live rig goes out to get one.

Bob is also right that the Hiway 4x12 is a very true sounding speaker cab, but at times the coloring factor of some cabs works for the amp in question as well as different mics but in general the HiWay 4x12 and off axis 57 is a very true sonic bandwidth combination.

Bob has gotten me looking more into the use of EQ on the unit (which I feel could be better designed, a more traditional designed graphic EQ would be really cool.) I have suggested to Line 6 they do what they did on the amps. Less is more, a couple really well designed and optioned overdrives and a better gain would be much better than a bunch of small pedals I never liked to begin with.

All in all shows the HD POD to be an amazing unit but not a plug in and play tool, to get anywhere near the potential and sound quality that it is capable it takes a lot of tweaking and experimenting.

I still do not care for overdrives or dist pedal models. I find only the TS really usable with severe tweaks. The high gains are just way too buzzy for me and have a sound I worked to avoid on the pedals when I had them. The Metal Zone has a stacked 4 band para EQ which cannot be mimiked using 4 tone controls just no where near what the unit can sound like, sort of has the sound bad usage rendered. 

Some of the Compressor section and preamp models serve as better overdrive models. Having had a high end board I prefer to use my Wampler Compressor and Wampler Overdrive before the unit. I am spoiled on distortions, having used a million different pedals and selecting only a few. I merely rig a high gain amp model for high gains rather than opt for a dist pedal. My Wampler pedals give the amp a push to increase the gain and articulation when needed.

I gave up trying to use the loop, pedals just were not getting the same sound or integrating into the unit good enough to use. I tried many techniques and just decided to drop the attempt. Probably works fine on the 4 cable method as the effects are coming from the POD. I have a Wampler Pinnacle Dist which I love but despite this pedal seemed to sound good on anything it just did not come across in the POD loop no matter what I tried. Just was not the same, so I boxed it for now opting to try and use the POD to its fullest potential. If the high gain heads were not so good sounding I would be gravely disapointed.

I also should mention I hate noise gates, Bob does work to finely adjust them, but I really hate the effect of using them on the true dynamics of the guitar. Having one right after the guitar does little for the noise being generated down the chain by the effects or the pedals and it tends to kill the openness of my guitar. I find myself sometimes having to shunt the hiss of the POD putting one in front of the amp. Would be nice to have a model of the ISP decimator to mess with.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Siva_VJ on 2012-04-12 20:35:37.1360

First of all, that's one hell of a great work and great material that you made. I'm reading through it at the moment.

This is my concern with "Four Cable Method" as you documented in it.

I'm not sure if anyone have shoot this question either. Ok, just like many of you, my combo amp has both clean & dist. channel

and i use Randall Ninja V2. Currently I've connected the pod into the "FX In" behind my amp. which bypasses it's own pre-amp. The good thing is, I don't have to manually switch the button on the amp. to change from clean <-> dist. channel whenever i change the clean <-> dist. patch on the pod, yeah because  it bypasses it's preamp.

So if I am to use these 4 cables method, and to switch from "FSA(Clean)" to FSB(Dist) and vice versa on the POD HD500, will it change the channel on my combo amp too ?. This is for example if you are playing Metallica's.

I'm asking this, so I wouldn't waste buying extra cables. If some of you out there have tried and would like to share your thought, please do so.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by dbagchee on 2012-04-12 23:02:11.6370

No, the 4 cable method won't switch the channels on your amp (unless it happens to be one of the few amps that has midi switching). You can however usually leave it on one channel that you like the most (distortion for example) and still bypass it for clean sounds that will go straight through the loop. Personally I prefer the simplicity of just going into the fx return. Less cables and less programming to deal with and no ground loop problems.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-04-13 00:16:44.1630

+1 Dbagchee ... and I like the idea of using the amp distortion for dirt and the POD for clean where MIdi switching does not exist.  That is very practical. On some fenders, you might want to do it the other way around though with the amp providing clean ...

Alternatively, there are gizmo's that you can buy that convert a MIdi preset change (sent by the pod) into an amp channel switch using standard footswitch inputs on the amp e.g. this -->">">   Google for 'Midi Amp Switcher'.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Siva_VJ on 2012-04-13 01:14:56.4400

you are right dbagchee, the simplicity of just using the fx behind the external amp is the best ...anyway, my amp has 2 level dist. and they sound great when i turn on both and i wish i could experiment+utilize these function for dist. patch only that comes from the pod.

from what you guys said:


-"You can however usually leave it on one channel that you like the most (distortion for example) and still bypass it for clean sounds that will go straight through the loop"

-"using the amp distortion for dirt and the POD for clean where MIdi switching does not exist"


Please tell me how to you achieve these without midi switching ?.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-13 07:07:23.0560

Here's your 4 cables

  • Guitar > [external effects >]Pod guitar in
  • Pod effects loop out > Amp guitar in
  • Amp effects loop out > Pod effects loop return
  • Pod unbalanced out > [external effects >] Amp effects loop return (power amp in)

Set your amp to the channel you want using its channel switcher.  Then you can hide that or unplug it or whatever.

The Pod's "FX Loop" effect goes in your signal chain at the same spot you place your amp - either in front or behind the amp block.  When you have the amp model disabled and the FX Loop enabled, you are using your real amp's pre-amp.  When you have the amp model enabled but the FX Loop disabled, you are using the Pod for pre-amp tone, bypassing the real amp's pre-amp entirely.  So you can set up one patch to use your real amp's pre-amp, while another uses the Pod's amp modeling and bypasses your pre-amp.

To disable the amp model, you can either select a model, then toggle it to off, and make sure your "bypass volume" is set to unity. Or you can select "no amp".  To disable the FX loop, you can either toggle it off or leave it out of the chain entirely.

One last thing - when you are using the FX Loop, make sure the mix is 100%.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Siva_VJ on 2012-04-13 07:29:13.5910

Thanks man!...really appreciate that..gonna get more cables and test it out..will share with you guys with the results.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by billlorentzen on 2012-04-14 11:42:11.0610

I appreciate your obvious effort on these tones and the website, but to me most are too bright. For example, the brown sound is anything but brown IMHO. I'm wondering what kind of monitoring system you use when dialing in EQ?

I mainly use Mackie HR824, which are pretty flat. Most of these tones are extra crispy bright to me.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Apologist on 2012-04-14 20:05:13.4600

Sometimes we get so used to jamming with just a guitar we get used to our tones having more low end or thickness than they really should ... but when you use this same kind of tone with a band or full mix your guitar can and will got lost in the mix or not cut through in a band setting because you have too many lows in it from from jamming alone.

These tones may sound bright on their own but when you play in a full band or put it in a mix with bass and kick they cut through just right IMO.

To compensate for this when jamming alone you could just adjust the low end parameters of the cab now ... with the latest edit  patch which will give it a tad more bass and thickness and then .. if you play with band at gig volume just set it back to original setting.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-14 21:59:40.0440

as far as my monitoring goes, i have some m audio bx8a's and a pair of sennheiser hd280 pro's.  i use both and try to make them sound good on both, comparing them directly to the source material i'm trying to replicate (without any EQ or other coloration).  my room is definitely not optimal - there's definitely some crazy bass nodes going on - my low B's are real loud but everything else not so much.  so I trust the headphones more than the monitors.  i find the headphones have less bass than the monitors in general, though - but I make sure the bass response sounds good on both B's and non-B's, being aware that the B's are gonna be a lil lower.  my monitor switches are set to allow the most bass and treble.

basically i try to mimic recordings loud through the headphones.  If the sound is off, there could be something off on my end.  But my basic process is to find parts of songs on actual recordings where the raw guitars are playing or the guitars stand out more than anything else.  I know my monitoring situation isn't perfect, but if the source material had more or less bass I shoud hear it.

i have had some complaints that my tones are too bright.  but most of the complaints for the Pod HD i've heard revolve around it being too boomy.  i don't know - this is an issue where I can't please all the people all the time.  but if you agree with bill and think my tones are too bright, please let me know.  but everytime I try to adjust, I end up back where the balance currently is...

i think everything will be more easily comparable once I post clips.  for example, i'm comparing my VHI tone directly to Eruption which is almost entirely raw guitars.  I don't find that EVH's tone has lots of bass.  i've always had the impression that the brown sound wasn't about having enough low end to shake the poop out your bowels but that it sounded so awesome you completely lost awareness of your bowel control.

or am I misunderstanding the complaint - with the main problem being there's too much ultra-high end, not just the right bass response?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-15 00:06:46.3750

bill, I think I understand what you're saying now, and I agree with you.  It wasn't that there necessarily wasn't enough bass, but the high end gets too harsh and crackly like.  Now that I'm hearing what you're talking about, I am hearing it on most of my patches, and it is certainly unpleasant.  I've started to use a Mid-Focus EQ towards the end of all my patches (or where I can) to dial this out.  Please try out the EVH, DT, Vai, and Satch patches from this setlist and let me know if the issue is resolved.

One final note on the bass - my Meshuggah, Periphery, and Scar Symmetry patches definitely have less bass compared to the other patches.  I used my Ibanez RGA8 with Blackouts to dial those in, and it has much more bass than my EBMM JPM.  With the JPM, those patches sound thin.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by DropTheSun on 2012-04-15 03:32:56.4270


Since we finally got the bass amp for POD HD500, i'd like to hear some tips how to get good metal basstone. I'm very pleased to my guitar tones and i think HD500 is amazing peace of gear! But i really don't have a clue, where to start when it comes to basstone. I know what i like, but i don't know how to get there.


Here are my four demo songs that i've recorded with HD500. Only the bass track is recorded with POD Farm 2. I play Alternative/Progressive metal, so if that's your cup of tea then take a listen. Thanks

and big thanks to meambobbo, for making that exellent guide for everyone to read and sharing your tips!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Warfare on 2012-04-15 04:21:20.2220

Hi Bobo ^^

Do you think it'll be possible to modify patches in order to get a 'decent' overall volume ? I spent time to read your guide, but seems volume settings could modify patch tone.

Not so easy ... lol !

Regarding bass frequencies, I checked monitors settings and installation (my room is 40 sqm, and sound is soften by carpets), and I still feel sound is a bit to 'thin'.

Of course, incorporated into the mix with bass and drum, sound become better ... but when playing only guitar, in comparison to a real gear - especially with 4x12 stack -, something is missing ...

Any advices maestro ?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-15 09:37:25.9650

basically a few schools of thought on the bass tone.  you could go like john myung, who keeps a quite clean but maybe slightly compressed tone, and plays finger-style so he's just filling in the ultra low-end.  He doesn't need to fill in any more in the mix and likes the tight, punchy low-end from finger-picking.

Then there's pick bass - you can do the same kind of clean tone, and you get a little more brightness in the attack.  If it's to the point where you're getting a little fret buzz, this can make the attack sound more aggressive.  it can sound good when done right.  then you want to EQ to allow that to shine through.  Think how Fieldy of Korn's bass sounds.

Or you can go distorted.  Then you start getting into the punch section of the guitar, so you have to find a tone that mixes well, and you have to EQ both instruments so they're not fighting over those frequencies.  I think the most distorted bass in a metal mix I've ever heard is Meshuggah.

I don't own a bass, so I've never dialed in any of these tones.  My best advice is to consult Old Englund's video here:

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-15 09:38:13.3750

btw, kake i've heard many of your clips before.  you rule, man - songs and tone sound incredible.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by DropTheSun on 2012-04-15 12:13:43.5410

Thanks meambobbo!

I've looked Ola's youtube clips before too and i have to say that he makes great videos and they are fun to watch too. But i haven't seen this one. I think i'm going to adjust clean bass tone that sounds good when played with pick and double it (same track, not playing it twice) and add distortion pedal effect on that other bass track. That's something to start from.

I actually use this method on my demo songs also, but i've downloaded chimp spanners bass tone for Pod farm 2 that sounds great. On that double track i've used guitar amp (Peavey 6505 from Pod farm 2) that "clues" bass track(s) better in the mix. Now i think that it's time for me to cross that scary line and try to make my own bass tone... all by myself, oh man!

Thanks for the help!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-04-15 12:41:18.0500

Just an FYI, the EQ info on Bobbo's Tone Guide is most enlightening. I never used much EQ but on the POD it makes all the difference. Learn how to use more pre and post EQ, it makes a huge difference on your tones. He links to a great analysis video of the testing of some of the EQ models, very educational about the unit.

Paper on the site about using the 4 cable method and how to put some effects into the preamp and others to the power amp.

I have never tried this, I gave up on the POD effect loop for externals just could not get it to sound right, FYI keep the loop on by-pass or get hiss city. Might be fine on just piping it into an amp using its internals effects. 

I use a few pedals pre POD and I dual feed the POD inputs for Guitar and Aux much quieter and no internal overload issues or problems with dual amps, stereo chains which I like.

Get MeAmBobbo's Tone Guide asap ----

I find the output issues on the POD to be problematic. To me the best full fidelity and powerful tone of volume and depth is the out. I just wish one could have a "no mic" option to remove that aspect of coloring when you wanted just more pure amp tone like I try to get.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-15 13:17:54.7160

hey warfare,

i generally try to make my patches as loud as I can without clipping.  since I typically use a Parametric EQ after the amp block, I have to stay conservative with the amp/channel volume.  Since I additionally sometimes use dual amp patches and use such EQ's after the mixer, so I don't have to use 2 effects (one for each channel).  This means I have to keep the mixer levels conservative as well.  I usually try to boost the volume at the end of the patch using a Studio EQ (mid-focus works for this purpose as well).

the way I run my rig is either via SPDIF to my DAW and thus to my monitors or into the effects loop return of my Spider Valve Mk I via 1/4" unbalanced cable.  For the DAW, I am boosting my SPDIF send level in the system menu by 6 db.  For the amp, I actually have to turn down my Master Knob on the Pod to prevent overloading the amp - it must have some kind of buffer on the effects loop return.  volume is not an issue for me, but I understand some people do have issues with the levels on my patches.

Some of my patches simply don't have the DSP to fit a boost.  since i don't really have volume issues, i try to level all my patches to whatever the softest patch is - one where the EQ's were particularly sensitive to clipping and I couldn't fit any kind of boost to the end of the chain.  Then I additionally take a little volume off the rhythm patches so the leads are boosted.

So some of the patches you may find you can squeeze more volume from them.  I suggest trying to start doing this towards the end of the signal chain and then moving forwards listening carefully for clipping.  Some of them you may have to modify to include a Studio EQ or other kind of boost to boost the volume without getting clipping.  If you have any issues, let me know which patch you're dealing with and I can help.

how are you connecting to your monitors?  the xlr outs?  and you find you're not getting enough volume even if you max out the pod's Master Knob?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-04-15 15:50:49.8180

Say Dr Bob,

Any ideas on using stereo amps? I like using stereo imaging on some of the effects.

I've been experimenting with a clean amp in the preset and a high gain to switch over to for dist.

I get the mix to center as that always increases the overall strength but I do like the ability to splt amps or effects L/R.

I also find the stereo/direct out sounds the best but since I am not recording I do wish there was an option to not use a mic. The other outs just do not have the fidelity of the direct out. Any experiments using like the power amp stack out and beefing up the output via some of the EQ options?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-15 19:57:42.5850

I have never really gotten into using stereo amps.  Some people on have recommended mixing the J-800 and Treadplate models.  I can't get a great sound mixing amps together - they seem to "fight" each other too much.  Panning full left/right eliminates the fighting and can definitely add a little more flavor to the total mix, but then I think the tone would sound a little better if I double track the recording.  Live it could be useful, though.  But I generally use dual amps to use dual cabs.  If I used stereo amps, I'd basically lose that ability.  It's work great running into real power amps and cabs, but direct to PA I might feel a little thin.  The more classic metal tones fare better this way than the more modern tones, which need both the thick punchy low end and the searing top end.

As far as uing no mic, there's really no way to create an IR without using a mic (that I know of).  The best you can hope for is to use a very transparent mic.  i find using the dual cabs like I do gets as close as I've been able to dial it in.  That + the cab DEP's really get a great tone - it's not as transparent as the tone directly from a real 4x12, but it's better than any stock cab/mic's.  Maybe better than most of the 3rd party IR's I've tried out as well.

I read an interview with John Petrucci about their new album's guitar tone and mic'ing, and he says he dual mic'ed one cab with an SM57 on axis and a Shure KSM353 ribbon mic.  He said he basically plays with the position and his settings until his monitor is producing virtually the same tone as his actual cab:

ClarkKentJob has taken a different approach - rather than using cab/mic simulation at all, he match EQ's a tone from a real recording and uses that instead.  the results are impressive.

I haven't tried messing with the new mic pre effect yet, but it could help as well.  I'll eventually have to try messing with it, especially that I'm now ending up using lots more low pass to clean up the ultra-high end.  But at first glance, I like using the mid-focus EQ for this purpose bc I have more control over it with the Q control, and I can set the cutoff frequency even higher.

if you find any tricks please let us know.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by billlorentzen on 2012-04-16 13:23:49.9720

Hey Bobbo, thanks for taking my comment so well. You are correct-it's not that the tones need more bottom, but less top. Otherwise I think they are very well done. I'm super picky about tone, and I've been a recording engineer for 30 years, so I respect the tweaker's art.

I've found that many players use too bright a sound. Often this is because their speaker's direct sound is hitting their legs or midriff area. I always use an amp stand so I can hear the exact sounds the mic is sending through the pa.

In the case of EVH, I read that he got his"brown sound" by using a Marshal cab miced up inside a box, to ensure a repeatable sound quality.

Anyway thanks for all your hard work and very useful info! I look forward to hearing your new patches.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-16 13:39:11.8900

That's a feature I would really like to see if it's possible for Line 6 to add; the ability to use 2 mics, or the ability to use 2 cabinets without having to use dual amps. I'm thinking how the Recabinet plugin is setup. You can use 1 amp sim and run it through Recabinet which is 2 cabs (and you can use different mics on each cab).

In the case of the HD500, I'm using the same amp and cabinet for the 2 rhythm tracks (which are hard-panned) but using a different mic for each one. I find this enhances the overall tone rather than using the same exact tone for both rhythms. The problem I run into is there seems to be only 1 or 2 mics that work really well with each amp-cabinet combination (of course that's relative, and just to my own ears). For example, to my ears the ENGL amp and XXL cab sounds great with the 421 mic; the only other mic that I can a decent tone from with this combo is the 57 off axis; however, the 57 off axis grants a muddy tone. But I bet of you had the ability to use the 421 and the 57 off axis for the same cabinet, at the same time, it would sound a lot better. Maybe, maybe not. I know folks probably get great tones using other mics, but 'great tone' is always relative to the player.

On a good note I have found that the Tread amp with Tread cab grants a pretty cool tone with the 421 mic and also with the 67 or 87 condenser mic.

Here's a clip of the song I've been tone testing with:

Left Rhythm - Tread amp/cab with 421 mic

Right Rhythm - Tread amp/cab with 67 mic

Lead - Tread amp/cab with 87 mic

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-16 13:49:44.8290

i'm glad you pointed it out, bill.  once I heard what you were talking about I couldn't unhear it.  much more obvious when I put the volume at "ears-bleeding" levels.  have you tried the artist tones I mentioned on the new setlist I posted?  I haven't re-linked the demo page to it, but I was curious to get an early opinion on how well-corrected the tones are.

as for the brown sound, there's a WHOLE lot of rumors out there.  I read the exact opposite of what you just said - that he placed numerous mics all around the room - so he far-mic'ed as well as close-mic'ed his cab.  I've also read his 4x12's had half Greenbacks and half Jensen's.  Then there's all the stuff about his amps being modded or hot-biased.  I find the most important stuff is what he did BEFORE his amps - which was either the analog tape echo or the EQ, maybe both.  It seems he used one or the other for a strong mid-boost that really dialed in the distortion tone he got.  I've read the actual delay on the albums was done post-recording, not using the tape echo - it was just there for pre-amp tone.  after much tweaking I think I just gotta give it a rest and start playing more ;-)

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-16 13:52:04.1860

uncle jason, have you read this section of my guide about the phase issues that occur when using dual cab/mic patches?">">

I found this to be a godsend in getting certain cab/mic combinations to "agree" with each other.  It's not perfect - hopefully Line 6 introduces one more cab DEP - delay time, with a range of like 0.0 - 10 ms.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unclejason on 2012-04-16 14:10:06.0360

Thanks man, I'll have to try this when I get home tonight.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-16 14:25:54.9370

if you need examples - check out most of my dual cab patches.  I usually mix the XXL with 57 off axis with the Hiway with 57 on axis.  I find I need to put one EQ (either Parametric or Mid-Focus seems to work best) on the Hiway.  If you toggle it on/off, even with completely neutral settings, you can hear a dramatic difference in tone, especially in the higher frequencies.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by berkleegrad on 2012-04-17 05:02:11.6760


Outstanding work brother! Great info - digitally folded within your tone guide. A must read 'tut' for tone-hounds of all styles and really the missing manual for the POD HD500.

And I wanted to say "Thank You!" (and encourge those - who haven't already -to consider making a small donation to the 'MeAmBobbo's GAS Fund' via the doanate button on guide)

be blessed,   -Rick

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by billlorentzen on 2012-04-17 05:29:42.7780

Actually, I think the box setup was for live, presumably to ensure a consistent sound.

I'll check out your set lists.

There does come a time when you gotta stop tweaking and play!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-17 07:03:58.1970

That makes a lot of sense ab the box - not a bad idea at all.  This is the setlist I was referring to:">">

And it's only got the low pass for the "shred" section - EVH, Petrucci, Vai, Satch.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-04-17 16:28:15.8440

I would just like to get the fullrange and body sound of the direct/stereo out without having a mic color the amp. I am not recording and do not feed it to a recorder.

You can get a killer tone on one of the uber amps and using a different mic completely changes the tone. I would like to just hear the amp sound uncolored by a mic as I run into a power amp with a split 4x12 cab. I would actually mic that if I was recording as well as some of the better DI boxes to tap the speaker line feeds, I have always gotten good tones in the past recording using mics and speaker line taps.

I find the using two amps combined is just too much on my rig. Problems with combining amps is probably due to phasing on the different amps, it is possible one amp is different in its push/pull cycle and out of phase. Using the same amp probably eliminates that and combining them is probablly the only way it works well.

I do not always use dual amps as getting the balance between them is difficult. I think of my cab as having 2 speakers for an amp so it works well on the twin style amps. With a uber gain model I just work to get the best "djent" tones and find multiple amps self defeating to the main tone. The trick is the use of EQ for sure. You (bobbo) opened my eyes to using EQ as on my large tube amp board rig I never really needed EQ. It seems with the pod internal structure it is pretty important to the quality of the tone. Most of the time just kicking one on without really boosting or cutting anything actually improves the tone. Love your frequency list breakdown of what effects what, really useful. Cold and Hot Djent, what a cool term and it makes sense to the different types of metal tones and intense gains.

I find when it is all said and done I am never really able to use someone else's preset tones as on my rig w my guitars the EQ and frequency response.

Pretty much the myth of "sounds like" no way one thing can sound good on every rig with every guitar. Even EQ is relative to volume. I just look for ideas I can adapt to my own efforts.

Some of the compresor models make for better overdrives than the dist section. I am getting good results using my Wampler Compressor and Overdrive up front that is somewhat a hinderence if I need something before my drive but I find one of the things about the POD is some orders of effects work within it that do not sound very good using pedals.

Seems like they geared their pedals to a lesser experienced market that like buzzy tones. You listen to Eric Johnson or SRV use a tube screamer and it is not buzzy or fizzy. When SRV wanted fuzzy gain he used 2 TS units but not gained up. There could be a lot of improvements in the dist section on the POD, a lot.

For example you cannot mimic a Metal Zone, Hardwire or a Rocktron Metal Planet with having the special stacked 4 band para EQ they have. You cannot get the tones they can do with basic tone controls, maybe there is a means to use a para EQ after it to dial it in, Something I have not tried, but another idea to mess with. No need to worry about it much as the dists in the POD into a clean amp model cannot match what my other rig was getting and the uber amp models it has are far better than pedal gain.

I never was a fan of real gainy overdrives I go for more tone and push, of couse the issue is different on the POD not having the tube effect and one has to avoid digital clipping. Some of the user upload presets are complete digital clipping noise fests using a front end gate clamp to try and cut the noise floor. That is not a good tone from my years of experience maybe really cool to a teenager but it is what it is.

I wish the effects loop was better on the POD as I just have no luck trying to integrate some of my better pedals into the chain. I hope it works better on that 4 cable method, probably does as the effects are coming from the internal POD. I am enjoying the stereo imagining of some of the effects and delays and I am not sure I would ever me happy going back mono again, probably have to get another tube amp for L/R. As it is my ART SLA-1 power amp really sounds good w the POD, quite a nice power amp for little bucks and has more than enough wattage for my needs (100watt L/R @ 8 ohms ea) plus it is dead quiet and has its own cooling fan. I love my BBE unit as well, just improves the live sound. I know some recording guys do not like them but it is probably a misunderstanding of the usage and purpose. You can get a nice acoustic sounding presence recording an acoustic guitar w it but you cannot expect the speaker phase technology to function off a recorded signal much less running it back through the unit on playback. I dig it myself but it has to be kept on low settings it is not an effect per se'.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-17 18:16:23.4780

right on - i agree with all that.  especially about how you need to model the frequency shifts on the metal zone and others that use that.  That's always bugged me about the Line 6 modeling.  It's even more prevalent on the amp models - everything is stuffed into a Drive, Bass, Mids, Treble, Presence box.  I do applaud that they broke the mold a little on this product - for example the divided by 13 model.  But it'd be nice to have all the push/pull pots and bright switches, etc.

I get a little frustrated when people scream for the Mesa Boogie Mark amps.  To me, the most important aspect of these amps was that they had pre-distortion EQ as well as a 5 band post-distortion EQ.  AND they have all the push/pull and switches.  That made them so versatile.  If you're just gonna have the standard 4 EQ knobs act as the pre-distortion EQ, you still need at least 4 models to capture all the different combinations possible with the switches.  Every extra switch = 2x more models.  For an amp with 4 switches, that's 16 models...

I agree about using compressors as a boost - can really help keep your distortion from turning into mush but still being super responsive and thick.  I never really played with using boost pedals, so I can't comment on the quality of the pedals modeling; but it seems like it could be a lil better.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by singlecut69 on 2012-04-17 19:21:06.2900

Hey bobbo. I picked up the hd280 pro's yesterday. I wanted to hear how your set list sounded through headphones. On any of the high gain presets without a hard gate, I get a loud hum with the guitar volume up and the strings muffled. If I put a hard gate on it I can get it to be quiet. But as soon as I play, I can hear that hum in the background. Is that normal?  I also wanted to ask if you used the looper in pre mode to dial in tones.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-17 21:27:18.9780

i get a "normal" amount of hum for the level of gain I'm using.  The same you'd get with a real amp.  I find a gate isn't necessary on most of my patches.

i use my 280 pro's connected to my DAW's audio interface, not directly to the Pod.  not sure if that could be the issue.  I also noticed that when I have my USB cable connected and use the 1/4" out to my amp, the tone has a LOT of hum.  I can clear some of that up by turning up the MASTER knob on the Pod, and turning down my amp's master volume to compensate, which is good practice in general.  for headphones directly connected, it's not a great option though.  Try unplugging USB (if you had it plugged in) and seeing if that helps.  Also if you have anything plugged to the FX loop, disconnect it and see if that helps.

last week my 8 string was getting an AWFUL hum, but only when i selected my bridge pickup.  I tapped and pushed on the pickup a little and it went away.  Not sure exactly what the issue was - I can only guess one of the springs moved a little and was touching part of the circuit board (I'm using Blackouts - active pickups).

so i'd start looking for a ground loop, a grounding or electronics issue with the guitar, a sheilding issue with the guitar, or a bad cable.  hope that helps.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by singlecut69 on 2012-04-17 21:52:16.7180

Just guitar and headphones were connected. 5 different guitars including a 7 string with blackouts. A few different cables too.  I won't connect it to my desktop pc and amp at the same time anymore. I only connect it to the laptop while running on battery power when the amp is connected. Cures that ground loop problem. I'm sure my house doesn't have the cleanest power, it was built in 1950. With your audio interface, do you connect the pod to that or straight into your computers USB?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-17 22:06:55.8230

Sounds like you have most of your bases covered. I go straight to my interface via spdif but keep the USB connected to use edit. Oh and I do like to use the looper in pre to help edit patches

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-04-18 17:31:45.0020

Agree with that on the MESA. Everytime I hear of modeling an amp I wonder to myself who set the amp up and what aspect are they modeling. having pre amp post EQ plus push/pull options on the controls makes for a very long time curve tracing those reponses and interactions. At best they are mapping a setting on the amplifier which may or may not be optimal. We can only hope it is not a knobs on 12:00 crap picture. The models on the HD seem to be pretty good, certainly better than others I have tried, much better and way more amp like. I hope they continue to improve the unit, there needs to be some improvements done pretty soon just in minor fixes. Maybe a Fractal or something is better but they are also 6 times the money. Some of the HD amp models are downright great sounding.

Some fixes I find:

1.) The percent adjustment on the Pitch Glide controller model for the expression pedal prevent the pedal from being set at a precise 4th or 5th interval up or dwn, needs to be +/- 24 like the Pitch Glide edit knob. Calculations come out to decimals on percentage and being off .4 or .3 is enough out of tune to make you cringe.

2.) All EQs need to be expressed in db's not percentage. A little consistancy please. Improve the graphic, more bands, even if just a knob but db. All the EQ's could be worked a little better. They seem to be the most critical aspect of the POD. Not so much drastically adjusting things but just kicking them on can improve one's tone.

3.) For my use I would love a "no mic" option on the direct/stereo out to remove the drastic mic voice variable just for getting the true sound of the amp model to a direct power amp. The mics drastically effect the amp voice and tone. Not an issue for recording options but I need true amp voice to my system. I prefer the power, depth and dynamic of the direct/stereo out mode but it would be nice to bypass the mic as an option. 

4.) A serious error exists with the PC editor software, a saved "batch" or "setlist" file cannot be opened as designed, one gets a data corruption failure message and all settings dump and revert to "new tone". I discovered a way around the problem by going to the file directly in its folder and opening with the editor closed. A new edit window opens and the file can be recovered and reset into the POD. One needs to remember to plug in the POD after the editor comes up to prevent the auto upload into the editor which at times is what you want but not when trying to access a saved file. Plugging in the POD after the editor allows you to choose. I had to do this to bring in your preset list into my unit to sample them.

So far LINE 6 has nothing to say on this issue and another user also has the same problem. He is getting a replacement POD but it seems to me to be a flaw in the PC editor software not the POD. If the error occurs when the POD is not even connected or a part of the event it cannot do any good to replace the unit. It is a file save error which has remained for me through several updates and reloads of editor versions. You can make it work but it is a bit of a hassle. I created a desktop shortcut to get to my folder location so I can get at the files easier. Open them up without the normal editor and everything works. If this is how to get to a saved bundle or setlist file it should not be in the manual all you have to is open them like a preset file. (Which has no problem but the way one can save, send or recieve preset files with no issue.)

5.) I would prefer less effects and better designs for a few, sort of what Line 6 did for the amps, less and better is the rule of the day. I am sure the teenagers are impressed by over a 100 effects and 25 models but for me it sets off a bell that probably a 1/4 of them will be quality enough to use. Ring mods and things can be cool but the param controls have to be really good. 

Effects are all about params. If you are going to offer a Metal Zone or any of the pedals using the 4 para stacked EQ config, freakin' model it. I wonder at this point if we can EQ a parametric to adjust it, will not be the same but has to closer than what the present consists. I would like perhaps two really well designed overdrives, compressors and dist models, just a whole lot of them that are a buzz fest. Any esperienced player knows an experienced player goes for the overdrive tone that is not buzzy or fizzy, we can handle that on a uber gain amp but a light compressor or drive can tighten it up. Some accurately recommended that use a lower amp gain for articulation and recover the gain level with an OD, boost or comp will sound better.

In general prefer a compressor or a class A clean boost over a typical overdrive. The Wampler compressor has a blend control to bring in the straight tone of the guitar and reduce the compression effect, it is a very clean transparent unit. The Wampler Ecstasy Drive can be set in the open position which is very transparent, clean and not gainy. I was never a TS nut and my experience w that unit was more in the 80s and 90s w SRV and Johnson's useage, something I find the POD model does not get. I do not find any use for the dist models myself, some of the compression models are workable, a find the Vetta boost and Comp Boost to have merits. The tube compressor if set almost off offers a nice vol boost.

In general mastery of the HD POD unit is more about tweaking in the amps and getting the proper EQ for your rig. Your tone guide certainly went a long way in understanding the EQs and that youtube analyzer was really nice to see just how the controls respond. Makes me want to get one of those units. I would love to see the curve on my cabs.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by amcclintock on 2012-04-19 08:14:08.2000

I think your patches are extremely accurate. On my guitar they sound a little off. Almost like there is not quite enough gain. I think this is probably due to the fact that my guitars have passive duncan SH-4's in them. The outpt of these pickups seems to have a lot of mids and very little bottom end. I thnk with a little tweaking they wil be extremely useful. If you haven't already chec out the tone called SadButt by toelessfoot. This patch used to sound great but it sounds different on the more recent firmwares.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by singlecut69 on 2012-04-21 02:17:57.1870

Hey Bobbo,

I just hooked up the HD500 to my desktop pc via usb and ran the computer speakers directly to the HD500 and it sounds great!  No headphones, no amp, no annoying hum.  The speakers are the older Klipsch 2.1 setup.  I'm guessing they are not FRFR, but they sound really good.  I fired up itunes and played along with some old Metallica and Priest and I blended in really nice with the mp3's.  I then recorded a couple measures of a 2 chord progressiion with one of your clean patches, looped it, then picked a couple nice lead patches and practiced improvising over the progression.  I lost track of time, but i was playing for more than 2 hours.  Gotta love it!  I might make a lead player out of myself yet, thanks for the inspiration.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by krasnikpl on 2012-04-21 04:05:26.9640

( HD 500 ) .....Welcome . I'm looking for patches my favorite guitarists : Led Zeppelin-Jimmy Page Deep Purple- Ritchie Blackmore . Other than . Sorry for my english , please help .

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by thequietroom on 2012-04-25 15:59:59.0480

This is really good!  Thank you for taking so much time to do this!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jaredmkl on 2012-04-26 17:22:14.8590

Hey man you're part of the site with the periphery and killswitch patches and stuff doesnt work. I can't lod the setting pictures, or hear the samples. :/ it's bumming me out haha

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-26 19:23:04.0160

the view settings links aren't up yet - I am doing a final re-tweak to the patches, so I want to get that done and record new clips before adding the setting pics - they take a while to generate, so I don't want to take the time to make them while I know i'm changing them.  sorry for any confusion there.

i checked the audio clip links and they seem to be valid.  the <audio> tag from html 5 just seems to be a little finicky.  sometimes it plays and sometimes it doesn't.  maybe it's because i have so many of them on the page?  if you refresh the page it will likely work.

i guess i'm going to have use the soundcloud widget, which I wanted to avoid because they take up so much space on the page.  Or I have to spread them over multiple pages...

here's links directly to the clips - this should definitely work:

Keep in mind i'll have the new ones up hopefully this weekend.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-26 19:40:41.2290

hey - i added code not to pre-load the audio.  I think the server getting hit with so many requests for so many files from one IP address at once was causing it to fail to load some of the audio files.  I haven't had any more errors since adding that code.  let me know if you have more issues, and thanks for pointing the issue out.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-26 19:54:40.7030

blarg - that doesn't work very well in IE - stupid things stop showing up.

trying something else - let me know

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jaredmkl on 2012-04-26 21:08:24.4530

Can I get a screen shot of you're Periphery tones and KSE tones? I have a pro so I can't copy the patches I think. Those are great starters for the tones I want, I'd love to start with those and kinda tweek em around a bit

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-27 07:09:03.3740

I think you should be able to just change the extensions from .h5e to .hre and they work with the Pro.  If that doesn't work, here's the settings:">">

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-04-27 13:00:54.0720

Ok, I updated the tone demo page, making it into several pages now.  the main link brings you to a contents page - each genre gets its own page.

The contents page also has links to a no-text version and a single-page version.  There are actually two-versions of the no-text versions, which link back and forth.  Between the two of them, they should work for most browsers.  The single-page version is just the old version.

Let me know if you have any issues.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by AbortionMachine on 2012-04-28 00:49:35.1450

Thankyou so much, this is fantastic, I have ordered my HD Pro but it is yet to arrive. I have been skeptical of whether it could deliver good high gain tone without too much noise, but i'm convinced it'll do the job. Great work on the modern metal patches too! You've got a very keen ear for tone!

Thanks again mate.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-05-03 04:35:41.5120

The uber gain models just kill. I love the clean tones as well. The secret of the POD is the use of EQ models. Really brings the unit to its fullest potential.

Bobbo's high gains are pretty killer, hard to imagine anyone trashing the POD models after hearing them. Tweak them into your rig a bit and the tones are quite something. His hard gate settings don't work for me as they are tuned for his guitar and levels, I hate gates myself but that is all one has on the POD. I only use one when I just have to.  i have a few pedals in front of the POD so my set levels are much different to try and open and close a hard gate, I like the guitar to be more open and have a dynamic feel.

Some models are more noisy than others. You have to understand one does not goose the output on effects in the chain like pedals as you just tend to get digital clipping and noise. Noise is controlled for me by using a split feed "guitar" and "aux" input instead of the "same" setting which double the level and for me increases the digital clipping propensity. Keeping the levels at unity through your preset chain helps to control noise, use a final stage EQ like the studio EQ for an overall vol adjust and it is surprisingly quiet.

I have managed to get some good tones using just one amp model as well. For me it is all what you run the POD into. I prefer the main direct outs into my power amp and using a std 4x12 split cab. Hearing this puppy running 100 watts per side into 12" guitar speakers sounds so much like the amps as to be uncanny. I tend to keep the power amp down to about half as it is just bloody loud!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by hjshimdm on 2012-05-08 04:14:33.9300

HI, meambobbo,

I really appreciate your efforts.

I have been looking forward such kind of comprehensive manuals for POD.

Thank you very much.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by coachcleats on 2012-05-10 14:22:16.1060

Dude, this is sooo helpful, I don't know why Line 6 hasn't offered you a job as a tester ao at least the namual writer...Thanks for all your work!!!!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-05-10 15:31:54.6820

So true. I have downloaded and saved all the Line 6 material as well as anything else I could find, even outlining tips on videos that might be useful.

While I do not always agree with the layout or use of various effects Bobbo renders, his manual advice is sound and a must read for any avid user who wants to move past a preset player relying on what someone else has come up with. Anyone should be aware or get hip to the logical fact that no ones programming is going to be an optimum fit for your rig as different guitars and what you use for amplification are rather infinite not to mention your touch, style and ability. Anything must be EQ'ed to the guitar, amp and room plus the issue of volume as EQ is relative to volume level. Anyone should know this to be true and if not consider it a learning experience. While most manufacturers of various units probably depend heavily on the more teenage or inexperienced selling point of "sounds like" or an easy punch of a great similar tone, the results are problematic to the above factors and I would suspect leads to more unhappy buyers and bad reviews than the temporary sales volume will ultimately pan out, get a bad name and you have a bad product.

There are quite a few of us out there who have analyzed the aspect potential of the new HD POD capability and although there are basic minor updates we feel the unit really needs we also have gone futher into the deep programming potential of the unit learning its quirks and "sweet spot" issues.

The amp models are or at least can be extraordinary, and this depends upon the how and what you use to amplify the unit. It is a make or break issue. I cannot honestly tell anyone that using this unit with your guitar amp is going to create wonders of sound and tone. It might not. Feeding this unit into a small single speaker amp is just going to limit its potential and may be just too much for the amp. Probably the best route to attempt is the 4 cables hook up method using the amps loop which allows a split of front end effects to go in the amp in and others to be placed after the amp preamp to the power amp via the effects send.

Again depends on the amp/guitar interaction as the same with guitar pedals in general not all pedals work well with any amp or guitar, that is just reality.

The HD POD is a great unit, all things considered with a few minor fixes some of us would like to see that would be easy for L6 to do without reinventing the wheel. Think of the POD unit as a very sophisticated preamp and the amp models as a uber designed clean to uber gain incredible pedal, functioning as a "preamp". Obviously running a preamp into a preamp yields a not so great result except maybe overt gain which may not be all that tonal.

My advice to anyone is do not buy the unit for the advertised 100+ effects (more sales hype for the less experienced user), as much as I considered getting the M13 many times for all the effects, I am glad I did not. Being honest, some of the compressors are workable, a couple of the dist usable with EQ, most of the delay and reverb models are supurb as well as the modulation models, very good, some better or can do things one cannot get in a std pedal. BUT, the issue with this unit is the AMP models and if you give this unit a proper rig the results will floor you with the punch and power of the amp models clean to shall I say "djent" heaven.

The AMP models can and will produce some of the most vibrant glass cleans and intense unber gain that are articulate and "djent" beyond any pedal you could imagine. That is its high point so if you just want it for the effects, other than some good modulation, delay and reverbs you might be disappointed. This is a digital unit, not analog, so everything is a mimic of analog so that is not to say they cannot sound good, they can, but it is going to be tweak in city.

My problems with most of the effects is that there are too many models of not so great pedals I never liked much to begin with. I would prefer as they did with the amp models, fewer and more quality. Instead of a bunch of little pedal models of "vintage" old tech (never were all that great back in the day it's just all we had to use) boxes. How about model the hell out of a KLON overdrive or a Joe Meek or Wampler Compressor. Instead of noise gates which really have never liked or used (but in most cases on the POD you are going to want a noise gate), model the hell out of a ISP Decimator, HUSH, or the new Boss NR which are not just gates. Less options more tone is what we more experienced players would like to see. Like the present market direction of little watt amps and cheap mass produced guitars, a vast number of effects and punch up "sounds like" preset patches, things which run pale after you have a decade or so under your belt. Again the name and reputation sustains its lifetime. Line 6 has great potential but if they keep appealing to the teen crowd beginner players we vets will be returning to our pedal board rigs.

So word of advice LINE 6 listen to some of us who want the best out of this unit!

There are some tips any user should get hip to. If you are not the sort to bother reading manuals or documents on this unit then you will not be using to 1/10 its potential.

Hence probably a bad review or opinion of it which a few of us know not to be the hard reality of the issue. It is a mad scientist lab of major coolness that one cannot do or get on a std rig of amp and pedals and it allows you to do really stupid impossible things which I find delightful as options and capability is a good sign of a good design. This unit is fun and that is the whole point. Be prepared to hook up a PC to it for the obvious need to download and update the new software flash memory improvements (as it will not become obsolete but can be constantly improved). You will without a doubt want to use the PC editor software as it makes creating and editing preset sounds a breeze much less arranging set lists of tones for easy use and find.

Biggest tips I can offer which work for me and my guitar setup. Read Bobbo's tone guide and watch the various videos to be found, not so much of generic preset ideas but the really good sonic analyzer ones some cat did of the EQ curves on the various EQ units. Second tip is the use of EQ's on the POD which is the key to better tone on this unit, merely turning one on in various places improves the tone without having to get drasic on adjustment. This is due to the internal units circuitry as well as an EQ set flat creates a comb filter that does effect the sound. The POD likes EQ models before amps, after them a final EQ system out. I hated the mimic of the metal zone pedal as that unit has a 4 stack parametric EQ structure that mere tone knobs cannot get, a bad generic rendering of a great intense pedal. When I put a graphic EQ after it and used to to do what the real box EQ does the unit came alive with the intense fun tone I used to get out of the Keeley mod I had. One does not need an amp with that sort of intense gain and the ability of the POD to offer preamp models of its amps or even no speaker cab is tremendous. Note also the mic used on the main outs like I use seriously effects the tone. Again Bobbo's tone guide is great on the mic and cabinet tips.

I prefer to use both the "guitar" and "aux" inputs rather than use the "same" toggle as I get less digital clipping potential and the input response works well with my in front compressor and slight clean boost I use. You can get good results on the internals just work through which ones work for your rig, hit an EQ after them on my advice to tweak them in. Concentrate more on the amp tone and add what effects you can with the DSP usage there is left. Using a dual amp or a stacked amp thing will use up almost all the DSP. A couple of the delays, the script phase, and reverbs take just a little DSP as you will probably want a little something to kick on to change the color of the tone. I can get good full tones using a single amp model and sometimes I might just use the preamp model w a cab for EQ model and that allows me to use some effects a like. The Pitch Glide at a 4th/5th up/dwn can be quite dramatic on various amp tones (by the way do not try to play chords in a monophonic tracking effect and complain about the glitching or tracking). Effects and reponse are also variant to your guitar and rig.

At any rate the POD is not an idiot box for the non thinking plug and play crowd. If you want simple this is not the way to go. Unless of course you want to get 1/10 of what the unit can actually produce. Tweak it, EQ it, and learn how it works and most importantly run it into a amp system that can optimize its potential and you will not be disapointed in the results.

I was running and still have a killer 3 channel uber tube head and pedal board and I wanted to try the new tech out on the POD and just see how good the amps could sound. I was rather impressed with the results and not having to worry about replacing tubes is a nice change of pace.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Dizy83 on 2012-05-23 10:10:35.4360

a really superb work!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by JDerkT on 2012-05-24 07:40:54.5440

meambobbo, thanks!  I just picked up an HD300 about a week ago.  I've been having a lot of fun with it.  Your manual has been really helpful.  While I don't necessarily come to the same conclusions as you, the process and methods you outline have been helpful to dial in tones close to what I hear in my head.  So a big thanks for writing all this up and making it available.  It's a valuable resource I'm sure I'll continue to make reference to it.

I do have one question for you...with the HD300, the ability to use EQ is much more restricted than with the 500, even to some extent than the 400.  For example, I often use the screamer or tube driver in front of the Crunch and HiGain models and some others, and these effects are found in FX1.  But the EQ models are also in FX1, so it seems I can't use both, just one or the other.  Short of returning the 300 for the 500, (which I'm not interested in doing, since this is primarily being used with headphones late at night so daddy can jam while the kiddos sleep!), any other suggestions?  I think I can get tones I'll enjoy, even without being able to use both OD and EQ, but just wondering if you had any suggestions?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by TheRealZap on 2012-05-24 07:53:21.3960

if your primary use is headphones... i'd highly recommend the HD bean...

not sure you've given that any thought.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by JDerkT on 2012-05-24 08:06:49.3040

Had thought about that, but wanted the footswitches.  Already have a Toneport UX1 and PocketPod, wanted something that had on-the-fly flexibility without too big a price tag, and ended up with the HD300.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by TheRealZap on 2012-05-24 08:13:09.5510

cool, just an idea... i have all 3 of the available footswitches for other gear to use with the bean (express/short/long)

so that took that expense out of the equation... the 300 is nice, but it does have its limits (i have the 300 and 500 as well as the bean)

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-05-24 08:25:26.4790

Headphone impedance on the new POD is 150-600ohm, which is pretty high considering 98% of most cans these days are <100ohm, usually <50.

Amazing at times when many will use low Z cans and insist they work OK, "you just have to keep the level down". I suppose they have no concerns on amp and speaker impedance matching either. Like a 16ohm amp drive into a 4 ohm speaker, just keep the level down, really.... There is a right way and a wrong way to do something. wrong is not being inventive and experimental, most of the time it is just being stupid.

I use Byer Dynamics DT770 Pros which are 250ohm cans.

Setting up presets or tones in headphones is always problematic to a live source tone as EQ is all relative to volume and amp/speaker config. I am not sure which cans would provide a more realistic simile to what the recorder sees on the track, because, you cannot escape the variable nature of when you listen to it on monitor speakers or anything else, that is going to be different than the cans.

Helps a lot if the cans do not distort out from being the wrong impedance. I find when working on high gain tones, the cans just do not get me very far as the EQ must be set to the cab I am using.

Trying to set up presets w cans only gets you to a point because you will have to retweak everything on your live sound rig. Playing live also compounds the issues because of the speaker/amp interaction w the guitar whereas headphones are isolated from the feedback loop effect.

Headphones might serve as a recording monitor, but whatever you play back on or monitor for live sound is going to be different.

Pretty much in the same way goes the myth of using someone else's preset. Just no way to create a preset to sound the same on everyone's rig or guitar, just can't be done. Pisses me off when I read reviews someone has done judging the unit on some canned preset with whatever guitar or amp they are using to "test" the unit. Why it is so difficult to realize this is not in any sense an accurate rendering of what the unit really sounds like EQ'd and tweak for whatever rig it is played. How anyone just uses someone else's or a factory preset w no adjustment or editing is beyond my grasping of human ignorance. I thought it was a primary rule of thumb that anything is merely a proximity ball park rendering and one has to dial it in for their environment.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Akeron on 2012-05-24 09:08:00.9900

anglepod wrote:

Pretty much in the same way goes the myth of using someone else's preset. Just no way to create a preset to sound the same on everyone's rig or guitar, just can't be done. Pisses me off when I read reviews someone has done judging the unit on some canned preset with whatever guitar or amp they are using to "test" the unit. Why it is so difficult to realize this is not in any sense an accurate rendering of what the unit really sounds like EQ'd and tweak for whatever rig it is played. How anyone just uses someone else's or a factory preset w no adjustment or editing is beyond my grasping of human ignorance. I thought it was a primary rule of thumb that anything is merely a proximity ball park rendering and one has to dial it in for their environment.

That's because some people hate moving knobs. They want a good sound with no effort, so they desperately need a good preset. For me that would never work because what is supposed to sound "good" to some would probably sound horrible to me. All I know is that even when playing with real amps and effects I have to change a certain amount of things to reach the sound I have in my head. It's inevitable. I was lucky enough to be allowed to play with the parameters of my first POD (POD XT) for a certain amount of time before buying it. At first I didn't like the sound at all because of the stock sounds. Of course the same thing apply when trying to use someone else "custom" patch, because of different means of audio reproduction and\or different musical tastes.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-05-24 09:32:03.6950


The 300 is indeed quite limited EQ-wise.  For direct tone (PA, headphones, to DAW and not using external IR's), etc. I don't think you have much leeway here.  For heavily distorted tones, if you use the 57 on/off axis mics, you'll likely get a lot of high-end, which I like to roll off.  It might blend in in a mix, but it's best to get rid of it and not rely on having it drowned out.  You can reduce the amp's treble control, but then you're losing treble too.  Your best option to tame that is to use alternative mics.  I'd probably go with the 409 Dyn or the 67 Cond.

I don't think the 2.0 output is released for 300/400 yet, but that would help for any unwanted boominess because you can use the cab DEP's low cut and thump.  The other DEP's can similarly adjust the EQ.

For "live" tones (to a real amp or using an external IR), you can tame the high-end by choosing the right cab model.  I don't think "no cab" is an option for the 300/400, so there's already a bit of high-end rolloff no matter what your choice.  I wouldn't take the model names too seriously - they might give you some indication of how they'll EQ the tone, but ultimately experimenting with the models + using your amp's EQ controls to compensate can reveal similar overall frequency responses, but with different nuances.  So do a lot of experimenting there and you'll get where you want to go.

Otherwise, getting an external EQ might help.  There are the 5-10 band graphic EQ pedals, but those are generally either off or on so you don't have a lot of versatility.  There are some midi-controllable programmable EQ's, but they're more expensive, which kind of defeats the purpose of getting the 300.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by JDerkT on 2012-05-24 11:59:09.7540

meambobbo, thanks!  I do have a Boss GE-7 that I guess I could use...though would have to put it in front of the unit since there is no FX loop on the 300.  Of course, part of the appeal of these units is to not need anything beside the unit, your guitar and then cables!  But for the way I'm using it, I don't need the absolute perfect tone, so I'll make do! 

One more question after reading angelpod's post...why is the impedance of the headphone output so high?  Personally, I'm not going to spend $300+ on a set of headphones...maybe $100.  If you can build amplifiers with multiple impedance taps, it seems you could offer a couple of different options for headphones on these things!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Dizy83 on 2012-05-25 03:54:16.5670

hi, do you know how can i use your preset having pod hd standard ?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-05-25 09:15:29.0270

this guy wrote a translator:">">

most of the time I think you can just convert the extension from .h5e to .hbe

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Dizy83 on 2012-05-25 12:29:43.9850

very thanks!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by rpinon69 on 2012-05-30 16:00:12.1950

Cool beans! That translator let me access a lot of lost presets.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-06-02 22:01:54.1930

More like $200 for Hi-Z phones and you can find deals if you search around.

I got my BeyerDynamics on a trade in of excess pedals I did not need or planned on replacing later.

Worth it if you want to work on some tone ideas late at night or not driving anyone crazy noodling on a sound. Using impedance mismatch often sounds OK on clean with the level way down, but the high gains are awful and some digital clipping noises. You sort of have to make do at times if you have no bucks. Hi-Z cans are harder to find. Check out decent Vender has a 4 payment plan w no interest or qual, AMS has a 3 month deal, won't help you on phones and their selection is not huge but a great deal for the budget impaired. Making 4 payments on my HD500 allowed me to get a power amp and a new BBE unit for my POD rig. Cool for expensive gear you could never buy without saving up and we all know how that works out.

The idea behind Hi Z as I understand is better fidelity and headroom, beats me why there is not an option but it is what it is. I've been told the high end pro studio's use Hi Z.

By the way, a really great 10 band EQ pedal by MXR is less than $100, quality build and ten bands gives you a lot more control.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by guitarguy87 on 2012-06-05 13:12:38.2830


Man you did an amazing job, and I'm very grateful that someone with your calibre of knowledge has taken the time to help everyone out in this way. I've finally gotten a tone that I'm happy with to record and here's the results. No other IR's just eq and comp in my DAW.

I can't thank you enough!!!! I spent fking months and I didn't even get close to what you have shared with us.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-06-05 13:19:18.0790

The man got me into using the EQs which is the whole key to good tones on the POD. If you have not seen those cool youtube frequency analyzer clips of the EQ models, it is very, very cool to see how they function.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-06-05 14:11:03.4940


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-06-05 14:14:44.5640

excellent work - guitareguy, that tone sounds great - i don't think it sounds at all like you're using a Pod rather than a real amp and mic'ed cab.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by rpinon69 on 2012-06-05 20:16:23.4440


As the rest of the POD HD owners I much appreciate the work you put into this tone guide I have used some of your presets (especially the EVH ones).  Although, I do use them on my POD HD desktop so I would like to ask if you could exlain how we may not understand some of your work as stated on your original post,

Thank again

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-06-06 00:02:36.6630

Did not mean to imply you did the EQ analysis, but you did reference the URLs, so without your mention I would probably never have run across them.

Thanks Matt, whoever you are for the EQ work.

I would like to see what is going on in that loop circuit and what one has to do to flat response it.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-06-06 07:24:29.7590

What exactly do you mean? Is it what I put about not being able to do certain things with the bean? I just meant random stuff like using foot switches and effects loops. Or are you referring to converting patches? Or a more detailed explanation of the logic behind my patch creation?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by rpinon69 on 2012-06-06 07:35:52.4220

Well all the above actually.  I still haven't  begun to actually create patches I just take the factory and other user presets and tweak them to my personal taste, although I would like a brief walk through on your process especially the EQ frequencies.  I do have a FBV Shortboard MKII contected to the Bean although it doesn't give it all the functionality of the 500.  Or does it?   As for converting patches I been using that Java program you posted and really glad you did, because there so many presets I lost becasue of the incompatability with the last firmware update (thanks).  Allso, all the new presets that have been created especially the ones on your Tone Guide site.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-06-06 09:40:24.5950

To be brief...

I start with the amp model that I think I should use.  Usually it's the same one or the closest to what the artist actually used.  I set the amp drive around where I think it should be to get the right amount of distortion.

If it's a high-gain tone, that needs a thick tone more than it needs lush reverb or plentiful effects, I use a dual amp configuration instead of a single amp config (I use the same amp model for both).  I usually start with the Hiway and XXL 4x12's, usually with both using the SM57 on axis mic.  If i'm just using the single amp config, I almost always use the Hiway 4x12 with 57 on axis.

If the tone is a bit off, I'll try adjusting mics.  For dual amps, I generally like to keep the Hiway using the 57 on axis, because it gives a good presence and treble response - crisp, clear highs.  When changing mics, you have to watch for phasing between the two amps.  It seems the Hiway always needs a slight delay to keep its highs from getting decimated.  So I add a Parametric EQ with default (null) settings behind the amp with the Hiway.  I toggle it on/off and see if it improves the tone, particularly listening for the highs getting washed out.  For some mic/cab combinations, you may need 2-3 EQ's to get this right.  I generally first try the 57 off axis, then the 409 Dynamic, then then the 421 Dyn, then the 67' Cond.

Once I've got that sounding good, I try to tweak the amp distortion tone.  I'll either use EQ's or Distortion effects in front the amp(s).  I find I usually want to roll-off low-end and maybe some high-end, so I've got a nice mid-boost going into the amp.  Lows tend to get you a fuzzier distortion, and highs can be rattly or gritty.  The best EQ for this is the Mid-Focus EQ.  Occasionally I'll mix a Mid-Focus EQ with a Parametric EQ, using the Parametric to do a narrow boost or cut, generally in the presence/trebly area - this is useful if the tone is 90% there but isn't crispy enough or is getting a little crackly/rattly/splatty.  If I want more compression, or to make the tone even colder or warmer, I'll try a Tube Drive or Screamer instead of EQ.  The Tube Drive seems to make the tone warmer, whereas the Screamer colder.  The same EQ rules apply, but you have a bit less control, so these effects are only useful if they get a decent sound with default settings - you don't have tons of room to tweak.  However, the Drive controls can help add some compression to your tone.  I usually start with these at 5% drive and move upwards from there.  Occasionally, I'll mix a distortion effect and EQ - this is more about experimentation than simple logic.

Next, I'll set the amp EQ around where I think it should be.  For dual amps, this means experimenting with ratios between the two.  For example, one amp usually sounds better for a given control, such as bass, but it doesn't sound right to completely 0 out the bass on the other.  Since the cabs have different EQ responses, the controls don't exactly control the same ranges either.  Usually I end up using a lot of mids, medium/high treble and presence, and low bass on the Hiway amp.  For the XXL, I keep the mids, treble, presence around or slightly below 50%, and I set bass to taste, usually between 30-60%.  Then I play around and find little improvements.

Then I'll move onto Cab DEP's.  Generally I reduce the res level of the Hiway, and add a little res level or leave alone the XXL.  Reducing resonance seems to make the tone a little less warm but more crispy.  Then I play around with Thump to see if I can't get a little improvement in the bass.  I generally leave low cut alone (for now), and never touch decay.

Now I'll add a mid-focus EQ after the mixer to roll off the ultra high and low end.  I start with HP at 0% and LP at 100% so they're basically doing nothing.  I make sure the output level is 0%, which keeps the EQ from boosting the signal.  Then I turn the Q's down to around 15%, so the roll-off is fairly gradual.  I usually end up with HP at 5% and LP around 80%, and I usually have HP Q at 5-10% and LP Q at 0-20%.  If the bass response is still a little off, you can use the low cut Cab DEP's to try to clean it up.  So I might set the XXL at 60 HZ but the Hiway at 85 HZ or vice versa - just trying to make sure they don't interfere with each other in the very low end, which can make it sound boomy or droning instead of tight.

There's a few more EQ treatments we can contemplate, but they're usually not worth the DSP, if that is even available.  Basically, I'll use Parametric EQ's to do any further EQ'ing I can't get from the amp EQ controls.  For instance, I may want a small mids cut to get rid of some honk, or cut some warmth to make the tone colder.  Or there's a fizzy spot up high I want to eliminate.  Sometimes the entire tone is just a bit too warm or midsy, so I'll use a wide Q and cut, essentially flattening out the tone.

As far as amp DEP's go.  I generally don't mess with these TOO much.  It's more about experimentation than logic.  But if I'm using a JCM, I know I want the master DEP around 65% to get some power amp break-up.  Sometimes I want to boost or reduce master DEP to get more bite or make the tone smoother, respectively.  Occasionally, I'll mess with Bias, depending on how smooth I want the tone.  Also, I might reduce Sag a tad to make the tone a bit more percussive than spongy.  Hum I tend to only change on the Uber.  I bump it up just a tad to get a more Mesa Mark tone, and I bump it up to like 75% to get a more 5150 tone.  But anything at or above 60%, depending on how much distortion and how you pre-EQ (and how wet your effects are) can cause ghost notes to appear.  Almost like an out-of-tune radio - so beware.  For metal rhythm tones, you won't notice it, but for softer leads it quickly becomes apparent.

Finally, there's the effects.  The main ones are a noise gate, delay, and reverb.  Occasionally I need a mod, or a pitch shift.  Since DSP can be an issue, I add effects in order of importance.  I generally save the noise gate for last, unless it's an integral part of the tone.  For instance, Periphery/Meshuggah tones need actually two gates to get the tone REALLY tight and dynamic between playing and silence.  For space, I prefer reverb, but it can be DSP intensive, so sometimes I use two overlapping delays, or one short delay instead.  For reverbs, I prefer the spring verbs over the others, but if I can't fit it, chamber or hall works well.  I tend to use the digital delay, but the ping pong delay takes less dsp and can be set up to get a non-ping pong effect.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-06-06 13:00:21.3000

Sound advice (pun intended), everyone can learn some great tips and insights from Dr Bobbo. He got me into using EQs which I never really had a need for on my prevous pedalboard rig but in the POD they are the entire key to getting a great tone.

I might also add that any preset is problematic to one's guitar and amp. Anything has to be tweaked into their personal environment, touch and rig.

Your guitar or amp, even if close to what someone else uses, is still going to have a slightly different tonal spectrum. Much less everyone's hands are infinitely different.

If you want to learn how to design and build great sounding presets from scratch, MeAmBobbo, has it figured out.

His ideas on uber amp models just works, moderate adjustments to your own rig and room and man the POD kills.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by rpinon69 on 2012-06-06 13:10:13.9260


Thanks!!! That was brief but very insightful I'm anxious to get home to try out your guidelines for creating patches.


I agree the tones I have been using compared to the ones created by meambobbo really show up when I lay down a few tracks and take a listen I don't here as much fizz.  With that said I know tone is subjective but I can here the difference I'm guessing it's because the amount of equalization incorporated into each preset.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-06-06 13:41:15.0840

Definitely true. The problem with digital is digital artifact hiss and digital clipping.

I have found, I get less noise from the get go by running a split feed off my last upfront pedal into both the "Guitar" and "Aux" inputs which not only fully feeds any stereo split chain feed within the patch but I find it produces much less initial digital hiss from the start. Also as Bobbo has mentioned if you use the effects loop turn off the trails or it is hiss city. I find using the typical :"same" adds noise or setting the Aux to an unused input can limit the true stereo feed later on for some configs. Using the split feed works for everything. Also note the PC editor allows for a global fix on these settings for all future or existing presets.

Another very important issue on the POD unit is to forget the typical signal to noise ratio we all tend to use on pedals. Gaining the output on one effect to another within the POD merely creates digital clipping hiss and noise, it does not help your signal or tone. Strive for unity gain or even a little less at times and your preset will be much quieter as a whole. I have seen some user offered preset downloads with an OD turned full up on output killing the amp front end and using an overt noise gate to try and hold the wall of noise. That is not tone to me. The best notions I have gained from most user presets is more what not to do.

I only tend to use a noise gate when I have to and that is usually on the more uber gain models. Most of my cleaner presets I do not need a gate.

That is another thing I found different on the POD environment the use of noise gates. Using pedals I always thought a NR should go in the amp loop to kill hiss and noise at the final stage but on the POD up front is essential to noise cut. But I recommend putting the wah in front of the gate.

I also run several pedals up front of the POD as I could never get the effects loop to sound right for me.

I am happy to report that using a clean boost, compressor or overdrive up front hits the amp models very much in the same manner a real tube amp responds. I can roll the gain off a little on the amp in general then use my upfront pedals to push the amp harder which in general brings a more articulate and defined tone.

Just FYI for those who want to try and use other pedals:

I find the loop just does not sound the same on a basic A/B with some of my pedals I wanted to merge into the unit, so until improvements or someone like Bobbo comes up with a config EQ that works. I just deal with the issue and use a few pedals have and like up front of the POD as they were too high end to shelf and are better than the internals. Not that one cannot get some good tones on the internals but you need to EQ them to get them useable. Some of the compressors are quite good and make great overdrives.

Guitars>>>>>>>>>>Radial PB-1 (this is a high end buffer pedal, the load drag is set full open and the switchable class A boost is set moderate about half)>>>>EH Micro POG (simply a polyphonic tracking low octave and a weird upper octave organ mimic, which Deep Purple's your brain)>>>>Wampler Compressor (my fav pedal of all time)>>>>Wampler Esctasy Overdrive (now called the Euphoria, not gainy a more open drive Klon like)>>>Fulltone DejaVibe (just brings that real Trower pitch warble into feedback that reponds to the amp like the real deal, love it)

(I have a special dual plug on the Vibe which splits the output so feed the Guitar and Aux in-s on the POD.)

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by rpinon69 on 2012-06-06 19:00:13.1220


I see that you are using a Radial PB-1 have you heard of using the Radial "Tonebone" with the POD HD to adust for impedance such as you would do with a wireless system?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Dizy83 on 2012-06-07 03:05:05.5540

you have done a great work, perhaps do you know a preset like not of this earth of satriani? i like that sound, thanks the same

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Dizy83 on 2012-06-07 03:48:27.8640

i do the same question to other forum friends! thank you for answer!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-06-07 07:06:39.2040

i have a Satch Surfing with the Alien tone.  It's probably as close as I'll get to the Not of this Earth tone.">">

I have updated this tone, but haven't posted the changes yet.  I now use a Tube Drive rather than Classic Distortion.  I bet a Screamer might get you closer to the Not of This Earth tone.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by JDerkT on 2012-06-07 07:12:26.3440

Just wanted to post here that I've recently had good results with the Ribbon 121 mic, used in conjunction with the greenback cab for both the JCM800 and Park 75 models.  I'm a greenback guy...I use a 2x12 greenback cab with my Marshall JVM and also have a Warehouse Green Beret in a 10W, single ended JCM800-style combo amp I built.  So I've been bound and determined to get a good greenback tone with the HD300.  It hasn't been easy...that cab model seems prone to a lot of unpleasant high end and excessive high end compression with most mic models.  I suppose it might be possible to reduce some of that with EQ, but since I'm already using a Screamer with both amps as a boost (and also to reduce bass), I have no option for EQ with the HD300.

I could not get anything usable with the greenback cab using the SM57, despite the fact that is the mic I use with my actual Marshall amp and greenback cab. So I had been using the 87 Cond and 409 Dyn.  While these were improvements over the SM57, the high end compression and overall treble/presence still seemed excessive.  I reduced the power amp level, because high settings really seem to contribute to that as well...levels around 50-60% seemed much better, but still not where I wanted

So a few days ago I decided to run through mic models again.  I had pretty much written off the 121 Rbn, but when I tried it again, all the sudden the top end seemed EXACTLY like it should!  The compression was gone, the excessive high end was gone!  It does seem a little more scooped in the mids than I might prefer, but it's not bad, and so far the trade off has been well worth it.  Every day when I come back to it, it still sounds good...and that's usually the test...if it still sounds good in the next few days, then it IS good!

So I just wanted to put this out here...don't write off the 121 Rbn may be just what the doctor ordered!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Dizy83 on 2012-06-07 13:28:12.1140

very very thanks you are a friend!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-06-08 00:55:20.2630

The PB-1 is actually a high end buffer pedal that I was using on my mega pedalboard, it drops the impedance to low and it is a really nice buffer circuit. The class A clean boost it has is just a secondary thing for me. I bought it for its high end buffer quality. I keep the drag load adjust all the way open which has worked out well for me. I use the boost moderately, about half which responds to the amp models just like an amp. I can actually use all three of my clean boost, compressor and overdrive and they all sound great in front of the POD and better than any internals.

I was amazed the POD responds like a real amp to the hit of an OD or boost and my compressor adds that marvelous thickening quality.

Reacts just like a real tube amp. You can run the gain down a little on the amp and the OD or boost kicks it up w more articulation just like my amp head.

My Wampler compressor is just my fav pedal of all time.  I also report that using my Fulltone DejaVibe in front of the POD really hits the amp model just like it does on a real amp getting that cool warble pulse into feedback like I alway loved from Trower's cool tones.

The PB-1 is the only Radial unit I have had but I am most impressed by their build and quality. That little PB1 is so heavy, not just a hollow box with a few components in there, a lot of circuit and tech in that puppy.

Great pedal for a boost but I got it for the loading lift adjust and its buffer circuit which is always on. Made a huge difference on my pedal board and I just decided to use it on the POD and so far it has been great.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by JDerkT on 2012-06-11 08:03:42.7680

Just to update my experience with mic models with the JCM800 and Greenback cab here.  While I still like the 121Rbn, I actually discovered the 67Cond gets my boosted JCM800 tone much closer to what I hear with my Marshall through my greenback cab.  This was another mic I had kind of written off, but I think this set up is probably going to be my goto setting, since it gets pretty close to my amp/cab rig. 

When I need a little more gain, I'll go with the Engl model, which provides some very sweet tones! 

I'll still keep the JCM800 with the 121 Rbn preset and use it in some situations, as it is a pretty tasty setup!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by amcclintock on 2012-06-11 08:13:45.2510

I agree with you about the greenback. Sometimes I use the treadplate through it for some old school metallica tones. I also tend to us the 67mic. I have used the 121 with the j800 pre for a Danzig 1 tone.. Good stuff. Glad to hear someone else agrees with me. Since my pickups are really mid range intensive the scooping effect actually balances it out.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-06-11 16:52:17.4170

I started using the Ribbon mic on my JCM800 presets and other Marshall models where I am trying to get a heavy Robin Trower sound. Robin said the Bridge of Signs tones were done using a Ribbon mic. I do wish Line 6 would provice a "no mic" option just to have as they all color and effect the tone. I do not always like what they do and I always have to adjust accordingly. Sounds great do not get me wrong, just would be nice to have a "no mic" option.

I think I also like the Bogner model quite a but for uber gain and the ENGL always shines. Marshall's are more versatile for a range of clean to gain. DualRec is also great and I have actually tweaked in a Line6 Direck model which kills. I find all the amp models quite good, changing mics and cabs can make for some interesting variants. Even the small amps have their uses which is greta for me as I am just not the type to buy them so it is cool to be able to play with them inside the POD system. One can actually extend the tones of these smaller amps beyond the capability of the actual amp via farming out the wattage to an external source one does not run out of watts like the smaller amps can do and they just clip out. Nice to be able to push that tone and hold it it without overt breakup too soon. The HD POD is really a great unit, I find it is far better than the average user really gets.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-06-13 11:30:14.8760

I know a bunch of ppl were requesting lincoln brewster patches.  Well I stumbled onto a thread that said they got his HD500 patch from the bass player:">">

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Hopk1ns on 2012-07-06 01:38:08.2030

meambobbo, thanks for all the work you have done on this.  So far I have only spent about an hour reviewing choice sections and I am very interested.  I have recently purchased an HD 300 to replace my Pod (the original, although with the 2.0 chip upgrade!).  When I first plugged in the HD 300 I was surprised that the defaults for the high gain amps did not seem to as good as the defaults on the original Pod!  However, I was prepared for this, and after a couple of hours I got a cracking sound out of the Mesa with the default Tread cab and the 87 mic.  Now that things have settled down I am very much looking forward to experimenting with your cab and mic recommentations, among other things.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-07-06 07:45:25.6140

Being able to user define the default settings is one of the requests we have been asking L6 to do if possible. Seldom are the defaults close to a working setting most of us might use. Would be very cool to lock those in at least once to where we use an amp or an effect. No one seems to have any idea if L6 makes note of what the more advanced users request in the way of updates and tweaks as they just do not say anything about a list of what they are planning.

I like this unit (HD500) and I hope they continue to offer updates and fixes. A tremendous advantage to the POD series is the cool PC editor and update ability via the LIne6 Monkey.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by silverhead on 2012-07-06 09:46:34.6860

It would be nice to have user-specified default settings. But we can essentially do this by preparing and saving our own set of custom presets with our preferred settings for any amp we want, including our preferred set of FX and their settings, and copy these template presets to any new preset where we would otherwise call up the amp with our own specific default settings. For this reason I doubt that this feature is high on the list of priorities for Line 6 (but I don't know for sure).

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by arresta on 2012-07-07 12:09:06.9340

some high gain stuff

what if it was more realistic

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-07-08 02:02:06.8990

That is one way around it to build a group of templates. I have a couple with the array of effects I like and I just alter the amp model section.

It is so laborious setting up presets I burn myself out working on amps and have little left for formatting library. I've been meaning to go through all my set list groups and delete my earlier efforts and clean things up, regroup my "best" ones. You have to love the memory capabilty in the HD plus the PC ability to store infinite presets. Not to mention first unit I have ever had which let you erase and rename all factory samples.

One of the problems I have w L6 is that they just do not offer a clue as to what they have selected for updates and tweaks or what they might be adding.

I mean would that kill someone to drop a hint so we have some idea if the things we want or need are in the works?

If I had to pick one fix, I would like the Pitch Glide Controller params refined to either using +/- interval settings or adding a decimal fine tune on the percentage of pedal settings. It is impossible to set an expression pedal at an accurate in-tune interval. I tend to use harmonizer 5ths and 4ths quite a bit and I much prefer the Pitch Glide (Whammy Pedal) for this over trying to use the harmonizer effect, because the Whammy type harmonizer modes do not require a fixed key or scale which is very cool. When I was using my Whammy I used the harmonizer modes most of the time over the usual weeeooooooo thing. The new Whammy has been improved quite a bit w even polyphonic detuning ability, but it is $300, a ton of bucks. So if the Line6 cats would just tweak the Pitch Glide the world would safe once again for truth, justice, and the American way. If it is impossible to get that accurate of a resolution they could just say so.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by scarsick on 2012-07-12 09:02:33.7430

There are no words that can express our immense gratidude for what you' ve done, it really is incredible.

One thing though, all of your advice and patches use dual amp or dual cab settings which are only available through the HD500.

Do you think you can give some advice specifically for us using the HD300/HD400? I got pretty sad when i realized i can't use any of your wonderfull presets!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-07-13 11:23:28.2830

Hey Scarsick, unfortunately I'm not sure how helpful I can be in discussing the 300/400.  First of all I don't have one, so any advice is purely theoretical.  Second, there are a number of limitations that severely hinder my methodology towards dialing patches on those units.

Without the ability to use dual cab patches, I would stick with the Hiway 4x12 + SM 57 off axis, or the XXL V30 + 409 Dyn.  Those options sounded the most realistic to me.  I also like the Treadplate 4x12, but I found the Hiway just works better.  If you need heavier or thicker tones, the XXL cab works a little better.  I would advise staying away from the Hiway 4x12 + SM 57 on axis.  I love this cab/mic combo, but you need to use a mid-focus EQ to trim some of the high-end.  Since you can only use one EQ or Distortion effect, this would be a costly use of that block.

A lot of my tone comes from the Cab DEP's.  These change both the frequency response and thickness/crispness of the tone.  They can be used to fine tune the low end and some punchiness.  Without them, you have to rely solely on pre-eq'ing your amp model (or whatever you use for distortion).  This is not ideal.

For instance, on my Rhoads tone, I had to reduce the cab resonance to around 25% to get the almost harsh high-end crispness he gets.  I tried before the Cab DEP's to adjust EQ or distortion effects in front the amp.  No settings worked.  If I got the distortion tone right for rhythms, it was too thin and harsh for leads and not compressed enough.  If I got it right for leads, the distortion was too thick and fat without enough bite.

Let's hope Line 6 delivers those cab DEP's soon - they make a world of difference.

Without being able to use multiple EQ's, this also plays into how you set up your entire patch.  There are trade-offs between distortion tone and final frequency response that will have to be made.  For instance, pre-Eq'ing the amp tone might get you the searing, saturated, djenty tone you want, but now you can't trim the ultra-high end and the tone is a bit fizzy.  But using the EQ to trim the high end and not pre-eq the amp tone makes the tone a bit more "hard rock" than "metal" with a thicker, more-buzzy type distortion, and more percussive than djenty palm mutes.  I can't tell you the solution - it will vary from tone to tone.

Another approach to go about this is to introduce some external gear.  You can get a graphic EQ to place after the Pod or in its loop (for the 400) that trims some high end or other harsh/unwanted frequencies.  Then dial all your patches in with that in mind.  If you are going direct to DAW for recording, you can implement such EQ's in software, likely for free if you already have Cubase or whatnot.  On the front-end, you can get a good distortion stomp pedal that warms up the tone.  Anything from a Fryette SAS to a Tube Screamer or even a simple graphic EQ can help.  Then you can dial some tones in to use that, and others not to.  It's a bit more tap-dancing in practice, but it expands the functionality of the Pod.

I think most of the other advice in the guide holds relevant.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by scarsick on 2012-07-17 12:26:38.8470

Thanks for the extensive reply, I'm already trying a lot of things and I will certainly take your suggestions into consideration.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-07-18 01:12:12.7890

So far my fav EQ useage on just about any amp type is pan to center w a graphic on one side of the blend and a stereo EQ after the mixer for bass adjust or high end sparkle if needed, excuse me I mean djent, that combination seems to improve anything.

You could use differing EQs but the graphic in the one side of the split creates a comb filter effect and perhaps a slight latency effect which improves the sound quality. Bobbo sometimes tosses 2 or 3 graphics on one side. You're lucky to have any DSP left on one of Bobbo's amp presets, just a hint the dynamic delay and the script phaser use very little DSP and you can often squeeze those in just for a little color option. One guy offered that a pan on one side to 60% makes a better tone but I have not tried it yet.  I tend to run a stereo feed and do not want more on one side but I guess you can trim the output panner level down a little for balance. 

I like having some DSP left over for a decent effects array. But it is all what you are trying to build, so many storage slots and an infinite PC storage potential the POD is just amazing once you really get in there and figure it out.

I do hope LIne 6 is tweaking up a few fixes and maybe some more model goodies. Hey guys, get your hands on a KLON Centaur overdrive and model that puppy, you can toss a bunch of the other ones. I do hope they replace some of the effect models, the overdrives and gains are more or less pedals I never used much. The Tube Driver is not voiced right as if you know how Eric Johnson uses his that is the model curve to mimic (tones all the way down, gain down, uses vol level as a boost-you have to watch that on the POD or you get can get some nasty digitial clipping.).

Dr. Bobbo's tone guide is a must read for all serious HD users and far better than the LIne 6 which does not really get into preset constructions. I never used or needed EQs much before on my boards but on the POD they are a must for better tones. You have to rethink your methods of using effects and such on the POD it is just different and has its own interactions and response. Bobbo's tone guide helped me jump several months in learning curve and hit & miss tweaking. I have mentions his link on several blogs when talking about the HD POD. 


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by gareee on 2012-07-18 11:58:09.8880


If I were to want to us use your approach for tone building while using different inputs, what adjustment would I need to make to ensure that my guitar input level is appropriate?  From my understanding, having the second input set to same boosts the input strength, so what can I do to make up for the shortfall in input stregnth from setting that input to mic (for vocals)?

Also, If I wanted to use the tones along with a DT25, would you recommend just changing the amp from full to pre?


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-07-18 13:01:23.9350

The most appropriate way to make up the difference would be to boost the signal at the first gain stage available in the chain.  If you have a Studio EQ early on you'd just boost the Gain (which provides a clean boost).  If you had a Screamer you'd increase its Drive (which is a dirty boost, but approximates what the tone would be if it had a stronger signal sent into it).  Notice I didn't say boost the Ouput parameter - that would simulate a boost AFTER the Screamer where it sounds like you'd want the boost before.  If it's a compressor, reduce the Threshold or increase the Sustain.  If it's an amp model, boost the Drive.

I have not had any experience with the DT-XX amps, so this is pure speculation, but it depends on the patch.  For instance, if the patch needed tonal changes via the Amp DEP's that I couldn't replicate using the "pre" model and different combinations of the available options for the DT-XX, I would use the "full" model and probably turn down the Master DEP on the Pod.  For more basic patches, yes, I would use the "pre" model instead, but I wouldn't copy the same Drive and EQ settings from the "full" model of the amp - I'd start fresh and find the best values for them.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-07-20 00:53:30.1500

For my 2 cents worth.

While indeed using dual input set to "same" it increases the input signal level but for me the noise floor went up as well. Setting the second output to an unused input seems to improve the tone but it does lower the input fidelity. That is why I came to the solution of running a split input on both the "guitar" and "aux" input via a special spit jack on the output of my last "in-front" pedal. This seemed to provide a solution to all scenerios and it does not over do the level but sounds very natural and organic. I also use a 1m ohm input level for headroom.

The resulting straight in signal to my POD is just perfect and my external pedals work on the unit just like they did with my tube head. If you are using the POD for all your effect possibilties, I would spend some time just running through a bunch of them and see what floats your boat. I found several of the compressors to be the better overdrives and boosts. While you can get some intense pedal gains from the Metal Zone model one needs to use an EQ after it to try and get more of the parametric stacked EQ that unit actually uses. It's a very digital sounding gain structure while the uber gain amp models sound so much like tubes as to fool you. I cannot imagine how it all pans out using the DT amp has to be pretty damn cool. 

I tend to just use the cleaner amps or the versatile Plexi for clean tones and kick on a uber gain model for intense gain. They are quite good sounding. I do not think I have ever used a high end distortion pedal that can do the job the POD does on the intense djent gains. It is after all a processor unit and not a real amp or what one tends to think of it with the preamp/amp/cab scenes, it is basically a combination of EQ block sims and there is no wrong way to combine them. What is cool is it allows you to do things you would not be able to get away w on a typical pedalboard amp rig. Using a full amp model expands your tonal specturm over just a preamp and adding a cab adds more color. You may like them all, I find I build presets using all possibilities.

My in-front external array of pedals serve to add any amount of clean boost, compression or overdrive to my models without pushing too much db into the POD. I really do not like the internals much. Most do not sound like the pedals to my ear, like the TS. I think the compressors and boosters do a much better job for overdrive and have better tone. Reduce the gain on the amp and use a compressor/boost to overdrive the amp model. Do not over do it like some do on the user preset library. They often over gain the outout on an effect to push the amp and it creates some rather harsh sounding digital distortion they try to hide and cover with the over use of a noise gate.

I judge my presets by turning off the noise gate the noise floor should not be a hiss fest or your levels are wacked. Indeed higher gain amp models are going to be noiser which is expected.

But you do not need to think in the mode of overdriving the next pedal or amp model w db boost as you would do to real tubes. It responds quite well to moderate levels, in fact I find myself turning a lot of them way down. Put that tube compressor after a low level cleaner preamp model that has run out of output and you will have to reduce its levesl way down and it sounds great. You can remove most of the compression and just get a nice tube mimic clean preamp boost to bring the preamp level up.

When using the full model the power amp master can get way too harsh. I get great results just using preamp models. But I also have full amp presets as well. That is the beauty of this unit, one click and a whole different set list of different tones.

You have to readjust your method of thinking on the POD, it is not about how hard you hit the unit or overdrive on the sake of pure db drive. The unit seems to react and respond to moderate levels on the effects and an overt output lvel usually results in some nasty digitial clipping.

I have never tried one of the DT amps and they would seem to provide their own tones being an all tube amp should sound very good. I have not quite understood the redundancy of using a POD w the DT unless it is just to mimic the amp into sounding like other amps outside its typical range of tones Seems like a killer amp without a POD.

My advice on using a DT is see what it does by itself and build a series of different presets from full model to preamp. Since Line6 designed these puppies to interface together one would imagine there is a whole lot of cool options to mess with. I think the issue using a DT amp will to be not to over gain it too much and work towards more articulate and deeper tones.

I suspect it will sound good no matter what you come up with. Using the uber gain preamps will probably offer a intense high gain djent that the amp by itself will not reach. Seems like any sort of boost into the amp will improve its tone and gain structure. Using one of these puppies sort of gets you into an experiment mode which gets rather infinite. I tend to build a wide assortment of presets some using whole amps, some no cab, some just preamps, I cannot say any really rise as a fav over the others. I really cannot get a bad tone out of the unit. It is a real mad scientist lab of experimentation and having a DT interface no doubt adds a bazillion more possibilites of options.

Anyway, it is not going to sound bad. If you get noise or not so great results, rethink your approach and how you have the unit set up. I tend to think of the user library of presets about like I do the factory samples, not. The beauty of being able to erase all the factory slots and rename the preset lists is so damn cool.

Dr. Bobbo's presets are the only ones I found to be useful, most others are just not set up well. If you go w using 2 amps the DSP is going to be used up. I cannot see using a DT tube amp that one would need that level of intense or depth on the tone. 

I'd love to test drive one of those DT 2x12s, maybe next time I shop for an amp. Problem is I am sort of addicted to the stereo panning the POD is capable of doing. That is main reason I have not hooked it up to my amp head, going back mono is not as fun.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by vladimirddlc on 2012-07-20 19:03:42.4790

hi pls!! help mee!!  T_T

upgrade problems with the POD HD 400

the problem is that you begin to update and in the middle I get error like this:

(code 80009000) midi error. I only use the USB cable could help me please

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by vladimirddlc on 2012-07-20 19:05:17.6220

hi pls!! help mee!!  T_T

upgrade problems with the POD HD 400

the problem is that you begin to update and in the middle I get error like this:

(code 80009000) midi error. I only use the USB cable could help me pleaselinep.jpg

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-07-21 00:49:45.7770


This is not the place to request this kind of help !!  Please create a new post in the main forum and then someone will try and help you.

See this post too.">">


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by neerajan on 2012-07-21 10:48:44.3540

i am a HD400 user anyone ese having the following problem?? i just installed the flash memory and HD400 EDIT updates..after the installations are over, all of the tones that use the volume pedal have gone mute!!! only the ones that use wah pedal are still fine.! wtf :O after a bit of tweakin around , i found that the two knobs at the volume pedal in the edit software that is always set with the MIN being at minimum and the MAX being at maximum is what is creating this..if both the knobs are turned to maximum then the patches become audible again!! BUT..with this setting, the volume pedal becomes ineffective as it duzn matter whether u press down the volume pedal, the volume remains the same!!! so...  WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE??

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-07-21 11:02:26.8710


Again with the not the right place to ask for this kind of help!!!!   This is a thread about tone building, not fixing things.  You have posted the same issue on at least two other threads.  Please follow through on this in those.

Cross-posting will not get your problem fixedf quicker.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by neerajan on 2012-07-21 11:03:20.3080

sorry guys i just panicked...calibrating the pedal solves the problem !

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by neerajan on 2012-07-21 11:03:44.0560

sorry guys i just panicked...calibrating the pedal solves the problem !

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-07-21 20:26:22.1850

Anybody here know a good general contractor?  ;-) jk glad you got your issue fixed

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-07-26 00:05:02.7640

LIne 6 recommends to recal the pedal and reset the globals after a flash memory update.

I still have the weird problem of my editor not seeing the last driver files I installed, I end up reinstalling them at least half the time when I log in. Must be my PC so I just deal with it.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by symorian on 2012-07-28 17:06:53.8090

Thank you ver very much for this!

I should admit I've almost never done a donation in my entire life for such things on the internet but it really deserved it and I'm happy for trying to help you out.

It's nothing next to your work done there but hope it helps.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-03 12:12:41.0090

ok, I have finished the beta version of the reorganized guide.  This version has IMO a better organization that should be easier to jump into.  I also created a section called "Quick Guide" that is basically an abridged version of the guide, with links to the other sections.

There are lots of broken links and a few other known issues.  Please do not bother to point these out right now.  I am working on it.  I will also be recording clips and adding pictures when I get my computer at home back up.  I would like to finish this by month's end.

What I want to know from the community is whether the look and feel is more pleasant and the organization is better than the current version.  Also, most of the content is finalized and some is updated in comparison to the current guide.  I wanted to make this available ASAP to everyone, even if this version hasn't been fully polished yet.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by silverhead on 2012-08-03 15:25:05.9280


I haven't spent much time on this yet - I have just read the Introduction section and quickly scanned the Quick Guide topics. I can already see an improvement in the organization of the document as well as the overall 'look & feel'. I think the navigation is easier.

I want to thank you again for the many, many hours you must be spending on this for the benefit of the community.

I have made another donation to your efforts, and I encourage everyone who has received value from your work to consider making a contribution. A lot of small amounts will add up to a total that may encourage Meambobbo to continue his work.

Thanks Meambobbo.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by scarsick on 2012-08-04 06:27:35.1600

I was thinking about the problem of using the POD through an amp without effects loop, where there is only one "guitar in" and we can't avoid the colorization of the sound by the preamp since we can't bypass it. I was wondering if anybody has found an amp setting (drive, bass, mid, treble) that minimizes the interference and produces a good sound???

Then I came up with something else. I know it is highly unorthodox but it's all about experimenting, right? Most of the new small practice amps (e.g. Line6 Spider IV 15) have a "MP3/Line in" which is not affected by the amp settings. I connected the signal from the POD's "Phones" jack to the "Line in" of the combo amp so basically the amp served only as a speaker for the sound I normally get to my earphones! I know this is not in any way a proper or recommended way to connect your POD but I'm curious if anybody else has ever tried the same. The result was very loud (much more than the usual connections) which was not that big a problem but unfortunately the sound also had a lot (I mean A LOT) of bass and it was not particularly pleasant to the ears. Any ideas how the bass could be globally reduced so as to avoid having to manually alter every patch? Thanks!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Hopk1ns on 2012-08-04 18:47:37.3380

meambobbo!  I will check out the new guide ASAP - thanks again!

In the mean time, I have been experimenting with cabs in combination with the Mesa amp model (using the HD300) and I got a great tone with the Hiway.  However, I ended up switching to the Tread V-30 for the following reason: the Hiway (and also the XXL) both get "bogged down" by my tone.  I like the effect on distortion of having a slightly bassy input to the amp, courtesy of the active EQ on my EMGs.  However, the result through the Hiway is rather like a "duck" effect which muffles the next note.  It makes me wonder if the the Mesa cab was specifically designed to cope with the sort of brutal chugs that their amps encourage you to make!

Here are two audio clips to demonstrate what I mean.  Oddly, the effect sounds far less pronounced when you make a recording of it than when you are playing.  Weird!

The Tread clip sounds much smoother.  One thing I have not been able to try yet is to see how they  sound when ramped up in volume on a PA.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-08-05 01:31:19.7750

Just amazing work here from Dr Bobbo. Outstanding detail and insights !! Truely a must read and reference for any POD user !!

The notion he offered this free for everyone is just an outstanding contribution to the spirit of musicianship.

I urge thos of you who are able to toss a donation at this chap for his extensive and time consuming efforts.

My house payment is late so I cannot do it until I get the boat floating again.

Killer Bobbo, just killer. You 'da man !

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-05 21:12:24.9970

i have found success using the Treadplate cab if I turn down the Res. Level. This causes it to a lose a little midrange, so you have to adjust EQ accordingly.  And I'll often increase Decay a little as well.  The draw of the Hiway was that it was rather clean and had a good midrange without sounding either noisy or drone-like.  The Treadplate without adjustments has a little drone in my opinion.  But since I've gotten more in depth with the cab DEP's I'm using the Treadplate much more now.  And the Greenbacks.  I have made such adjustments to my guide.  Where I formerly praised the Hiway as fitting most hard rock tones, I'm now more balanced with other selections.  I think most of my patches uses the Treadplate 57 on axis + XXL V30 57 on axis combination.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by xCaptainx on 2012-08-06 14:49:45.7960

The pdf and .doc links are down, could you please fix them? wonderful guide btw, thank you for creating it!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by xCaptainx on 2012-08-06 14:53:07.0170

nevermind, the links on the top of the main page work. Thanks again! Wonderful reading.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-06 15:13:04.6520

i have not yet updated the .doc or .pdf versions!  keep in mind there will be some broken links in the beta version as well.  look at the URL - the "/wip/reorg" means I'm working in a work in progress space.  I'm doing my best to keep everything dated and there should be no broken links and updated .doc and .pdf documents when I move this to replace the main site that's currently up at

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-07 21:30:20.5710

ok, here's a pretty good collection - I don't have them all up as a setlist yet, but the zip file has my latest patches I think are worthy of release.  I didn't set up a page or anything, but I'll eventually replace my tone Demo page with these.  If anyone wants to help record clips, that'd be awesome.  Index of /podhd/toneDemo/patches  8-bit patches are included

The folders have my old patches - all the new ones are directly in that folder, and have the Genre as the first two characters of the patch name...

Ex. MM_Msh-Chs_0801 is the 08/01/12 version of the Modern Metal Meshuggah Chaosphere patch.  Make sense?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by coachcleats on 2012-08-10 11:34:13.2000

I love the new look and feel of the site. It is much more pleasing to the eye and easy to follow.

Great work man and I have been using your patche almost exclusively. I appriciate all the work you do
and I will donate very shortly..Thank ou very much and keep up the good work.

if it wasn't for you I woulndn't kn0w sqat about the POD HD500.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by dbagchee on 2012-08-10 12:00:57.5740

One formatting suggestion would be to adjust the text color from pure white to a slightly darker white/light gray (#DDD for example). The pure white with black background is a little fatiguing on the eyes when reading for long periods.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-10 12:29:42.1140

good call, but why would anyone read it for long periods at a time... ;-)

I'll try out the adjustment soon.

edit: it's in place and I like it - thanks for the suggestion

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-08-10 16:17:45.0780

So Dr Bob I do not suppose you have used or delt w the effect loop???

The level drops on the loop when trying to rig the 4CM method and I have tried the recommended added EQ block and 6db boost before the loop block, just does not do it. The effects loop seems to be pretty useless and they say recent updates have made the db drop even worse. I even tried placing a class A clean boost with no EQ or color 1st in the loop and got the level up to unity but the noise floor was unbearable and was not my pedal which is a high end buffer as well.

Line 6 just leaves this issue unfixed???? It is getting to be a game changer for me by the minute. Now I love this unit and the amp models into my studio grade power amp rig and split stereo guitar cab but trying to rig the unit with my half stack is a freakin nightmare.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-15 11:17:12.2280

i have not used the fx loop other than a test i did a while back to use it to attempt to do a clean boost using a patch cable.  it worked for me then to boost the signal level, and many others have said so as well.  i would think it would work the same for a 4 cable setup.  maybe there's something wrong with your unit?  i'll try to do some more tests with it when i have time, but my rig is kinda down at the moment so it'll take some time.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-15 11:20:24.0180

the reorganized version of the guide is now the official version.  thanks to everyone that gave me helpful feedback.  i'm liking the look, feel, organization, and content much better now.

Here is the gameplan for upcoming changes:

1) Add pics and clips to enhance the guide

2) Redo the Tone Demo page, so that (a) the clips work and (b) I actually post settings pics

3) Make a Youtube video series demonstrating popular tweaks for the Pod HD

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2012-08-15 11:21:29.1060

I used the fx loop for a 4cm setup for a few months now and haven't noticed an issue.  I run at amp level, master knob at full.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-15 22:00:14.1620

anglepod, you are correct.  in evaluating my tones on thegearpage, a forum member pointed out the way I was using Input 2: Guitar/Same seemed to produce a looseness and slight phasing to the tone.  This led me to test the Input choices VERY thoroughly, and eventually led me to test the FX loop.  Here is what I posted there (

There is indeed some sort of implementation problem with setting input 2: guitar/same. There is a slight delay or something in the tone - there's a BARELY noticeable effect to the tone, that sounds as GuitarKidd mentioned - a minor phasing type sound.

When using a mono summing effect in front of the channel split and using Input 2: Variax, this issue is reduced if not completely eliminated. I can't tell if it's perfect, but the tone is indeed slightly better.

So my challenge was to find a VERY LOW DSP cost mono-summing effect I could use for my patches where I had no mono summing effects. The simplest choice was a noise gate (and to set it to do nothing); however, there are numerous cases where I couldn't even fit that. My only option was...the fx loop...

The FX Loop, as others have described is noisy. So then I had to experiment with a way to make it less noisy. Boosting the signal before the Loop seemed to do the trick. The tone is still noisier, but only slightly moreso than normal.

To perform the boost I needed to use the Gain parameter of the Mid-Focus EQ I have before the amp. But this made me nervous - was I pushing the signal into clipping?

So I tested a patch with just the FX Loop and Mid-Focus EQ. The results were very frustrating. The EQ would clip simply on me strumming loudly over my bridge pickup, even without the complication of the FX Loop. To prevent it from clipping, I required to reduce the signal level before even hitting the EQ.

To reduce the level, I used a Volume effect. I had to set it to 40% to dial out all the clipping.

Here's where things get REAL strange. If I did Loop > Vol > EQ, the noise ceiling was the same as Vol > EQ > Loop, but there was less clipping placing the Loop first. If I went Vol > Loop > EQ, the noise ceiling was much higher to the point where the tone was unusable. I can't explain this.

The bottom line is I need to go Loop (0 send, 0 receive, 100% mix) > Vol (40%) > Mid-Focus EQ (Gain 75%). What a huge pain in the ass...

A forum member in the Line 6 forum has experienced all these problems. He has suggested the best route when needing to use dual inputs for cases of dual amps where you cannot use any mono effects before the amp is to use Input 1: Guitar, Input 2: Aux, and to split the guitar cable and run it into both the Guitar and Aux inputs. This is my next route - it seems simpler and probably better tone-wise.

Anyway, GuitarKidd, thank you for pointing that out - it's almost one of those things I wish I never stumbled upon, but now that I have, I think I can find a way to improve my tones... sigh...

Usually I defend many of Line 6's choices, but this is a bit ridiculous.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-08-15 22:22:24.2670

I have my inputs set to 1 = Guitar, 2 = Aux for mono-summed effects (i.e. usually where I have a noise gate), and 1 = Guitar, 2 = Same for stereo/dual cab effects with no noticeable phasing issue. If I set 2 = Same and mono-sum the effect, I get very bad phasing and some clipping.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-08-16 00:15:10.1160

There is no ability to boost or increae the send level so you must be increasing the return level. I use the same sort of thing on my secondary parallel loop for an additonal clean boos on my amp head.

Nothing wrong w my unit from what I can tell and there are a lot of comments across the forum pages of others sighting a problem in losing 6-10db on the loop output send. I tried the various fixes but none worked and when I tried to add a class A clean boost on the effect send out to raise the level, it got the level up to unity but the noise floor was also magnified. Running the out of the effects loop into several effects running to the amp in resulted in a 6db drop each time the loop is switched on, off unity, on drop, the drop is so bad you cannot drive the other effects at unity level.

Since I have brought out my tube amp half stack and the 4CM does not work for me I have resorted to just placing the unit in my amp loop and using it for some modulation, delays and reverbs. I think perhaps some have not noticed the level drop is because they are adjusting their amp level to compenstate from the lower effects loop send level and probably by not using their amp front end to create tube distortion it probably is not noticed using the amp models feeding the power amp.

Anyone able to put a meter on this, I'll bet the level drop is from 6-10db coming off the loop compared to straight feed. It is clear evident on my unit, loop block off no issue, loop block on to feed external compression, overdrive and other pedals before amp in, huge volume drop, plug the pedal line direct into the amp via guitar feed and perfect.

Others have commented that they thought a recent update actually made the problem worse.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Akeron on 2012-08-16 02:23:38.2930

I don't use 4cm so I can't comment on how all these informations are correct but on this subject there's this article

If all this is true, this is not an ideal setting...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-16 06:49:48.5940

I didn't notice that big of a drop when toggling the loop on/off, but I was using a distorted patch which would have compressed the tone.  I did notice a huge increase in the noise floor.  Boosting via the Gain parameter on a Mid-Focus EQ (I already had in the chain) before the loop seemed to reduce the amount of noise the loop put in the signal (as I could then back off some gain later in the chain).  But ironically, I was able to get a similar noise floor with the FX Loop first.  As mentioned, I settled with the patch being Loop > Vol > EQ.  The settings for each are above.

Astaroth, you are correct that the phasing is most noticeable when you have Input 2: Guitar/Same AND use a mono summing effect, but it's the same way if you don't have the mono summing effect.  You just have to listen VERY carefully.  It's difficult to hear for distorted rhythm patches, but you can hear it in the smoothness of lead tones about halfway up the neck.  With Input 2: Variax, the tone is also "tighter".

I may be missing a few things - I need to go back and re-evaluate.  It will be helpful to post patches and clips - I am getting closer to getting my recording computer set back up.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-16 12:45:45.7630

did a quick test at lunch - 8 hard gates with both thresholds minimized and hold time maximized.  So basically they were doing nothing.  But they definitely hurt the tone - I toggled them on/off with a noticeable difference.  The question is if this has to do with the mono-summing, or if the effects processing themselves are the problem.

I need to test Input 2: Variax, placing 1 hard gate in front the path split, 1 in Channel A, pan Channel A full left, mute Channel B, put 1 more hard gate behind the mixer.  Then it'd always be summing the left signal with a null right signal, so mono-summing shouldn't be any issue.

Can anyone think of a possibly more-transparent mono-summing effect?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by tdollaway on 2012-08-16 13:30:50.1670

So, if that's the case, would it be better to run input2 = Aux/Variax etc.. when running only one amp? I generally run only one for live application. Gonna have to experiment at practice tonight!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-16 13:38:47.3980

yes, that appears to be the case.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-17 07:09:08.5730

Yeah, so I went through almost all of my patches last night and am finding Input 2: Variax is definitely making things a little crisper.  I'm also noticing a lot of my patches that have EQ in front the amp are getting clipping on those.  I've been placing a Volume effect in front of them to attenuate the signal to keep from clipping.  Then I have to boost the signal and/or dime the gain.  Sometimes these adjustments were simply...sometimes I had to do weird things to get the gain staging necessary.

I'll try to get the newest version of the patches up today.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by joel_brown on 2012-08-20 13:58:59.1570

I have a PODHD Desktop.

After improving my sound with setting Inpu1t to guitar and Input2 to Mic, I found that lowering the Impedence on Input1 to 32k and boosting the AMP setting to about 65 or 70 helped me get a thicker tone while still having the definition I wanted.  I use Jackson guitars with DiMarzio Super Distortion pickups.  One of the guitars was fine but the other had a slightly thinner tone.  This trick helped the thinner sounding guitar without hurting the one that was good to begin with.

The PODHD series is amazing but you definetley have to spend a serious amount of time learning how things work.  I was almost to the point of giving up after a month of tweaking.  But then again, I spent a lot of time getting the old POD 2.0 sounding the way I want, and it is a LOT less complicated.

My rig is PODHD into the effects return of 2 Marshall JCM900 amps and half stacks.  I don't use the Marshall pre-amps at all.  I mostly play live in stereo with the amps spread apart.

Hope this helps someone else in the same situation.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by drbilldc on 2012-08-22 12:58:40.9740

YOU SIR!! are a freakin' tone GENIUS!!! love the website!! I will donate to the cause!!

Dr. Bill

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-22 14:00:23.9030

and there you have it from an expert!

The site is actually being prepared to enter Version 2.0 soon.  Pics and clips galore.  Maybe some how-to vids.

I've also found some new dual cab settings that blow the old ones away.

Usually I use a Hiway or Treadplate with 57 on axis and a XXL with 57 on axis.  Something about the 57 on axis tone just doesn't sit right with me, though.  It especially won't fit into a mix very nicely when I try to play over certain recordings.  I've found I can mix the Treadplate and Hiway both using 57 off axis produces exactly the tone I want.  The only issue is the Treadplate needs a Mid-Focus EQ behind it to get in phase with the Hiway.  But I need that anyway to trim the excessive highs off the Treadplate.  To tame the excessive low end, I use the Cab DEP's.

I'll have some patches and clips up this week.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-23 07:20:04.6950

here are some samples of the latest tweaks I've made:

Petrucci Mark II Lead:">">

Petrucci Mark IV Rhythm">">

Periphery Rhythm:">">

Vai Ultra Zone/Story of Light Lead:">">

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-08-24 16:50:26.2740

You get the best of all issues by using both the "guitar" and "aux" inputs via a split feed. The level is not doubled w additional noise floor like "same". It sounds better, simply A/B it. Using "same" increases the input level which may or may not be helpful when you do not want it. And the noise floor is worse on "same", again simply A/B it. Try not to make all tone judgements and tweaks using just uber gain tones which simply cover over most issues. Fine example is the noise gates, uber gain you do not hear how they are effecting the tone and bandwidth of the true signal.

The case of the 6 db drop on the loop is not noticed on the 4CM method because the gain level is hiding the drop. Any avid player should realize intense gain hides a lot of issues like levels.

If you run pedals in the loop you will find when engauged the level drops so much you cannot properly drive effects at a std level. You can try line level but w effects level pedals this is not cool, might help the amp but not pedals. Simply A/B on/off on a clean sound and there it is a level drop.

Prevented me from trying to use the POD on the 4CM, no matter the fixes rendered by several also seeing the problem, everything just served to increase the noise floor so badly it was not useable. I believe L6 has the loop level lowered because it has a high noise floor and they are trying to keep that unnoticed for those commonly using the 4CM. One might consider the effects loop has a return level increase "from zero boost" but the output is exactly opposite, comes up to a "zero db"  increase but that send level is several db lower than unity. Obviously if I am seeing it, it exists. I am not a teenager not knowing how to rig boards.

This became a deal killer for me on using the POD. While I consider the unit an excellent bang for the buck and perhaps an excellent fun recording tool. Several issues with the unit just built to the point I stopped using it as the basis for my tone.

Critical issues (of which Line 6 offers nothing or no hint if they intend to fix these issues or can)

1) Pitch Glide edit controller is set on percentage of pedal sweep w no decimal fine. It is impossible to set the pedal for a true in-tune interval like a 4th or a 5th up or down, like a REAL Whammy easily does.

2) Effects loop level suffers an apparent 5-6db drop. Various means to increase this internally and externally increase the noise floor hiss and do not sound natural. I put a transparent class A clean boost on the effects output and it brought the level up to unity but the noise was unuseable.

3) Digital noise floor hiss, can be pretty bad in this unit mainly caused by over pushing effect outputs and levels, which do not work the same as the physics of a pedal board signal to noise ratio. I never had to use a noise gate or NR pedal before I got the POD. While with cleaner amps and such it can be avoided, at some point one has to set one up to stop the noise floor of this unit no matter how well you control levels and work to get the preset quiet. Problem is noise gates are not transparent to the tone, not at all and again using intense uber gain covers up these issues but they are there in frequency response and bandwidth.

4.) the majority of effect models are just not that great and although one compensates and uses various tricks and mods inherent to the POD, anyone is kiddind themselves that these effects are as good or close to pedals, they are not. Pedals used in front of the POD work very well, no problems, OD, boost, compressors work well against the POD amp front ends. But the "effects loop" with pedals, seriously, does not work.

5) If you are using the POD for an effects bank it pales next to quality pedals, a mimic of a cheesey pedal is no less cheese. The PODs best ability is its amp models. If you avoid these there is little point to having the POD, sure an array of effects of some quality can run 4-5 times the cost of a POD or more so at best it is a no budget means to get some effects. Some are quite good, I like the wahs, turn down the level a little and they are fine, ODs no, Dist's hell no, Compressor models are pedals I never like much to begin with. Modulations, some are good, Delays fine, Reverbs good. That being said you CAN develop decent tones from this unit and if that is all youc an afford you use what you have. Myself I would rather see less effects and a few better models. Seems to be an option on the POD that trying to use 2 amps sucks up most of the DSP and leaves next to nothing for any effects, not a great trade off. Buying the unit for its AMP modeling, good idea, buying to for an effects bank and library, not so much.

----Big down for me is customer reponse and notification of issues, Would it kill them to respond and say hey we know about that and are working to update it or we cannot fix that issue. Instead of we cannot duplicate your problem or a host of fixes which have nothing to do with your problem. They never drop a hint as to what they are working on or planing or response to anything you suggest as a tweak or a needed fix. That is not cool and is terrible customer service. I am not some teenager to talk down to or act as if I must be imagining a problem. When you hit  a wall using a device you typically move on, you do not wait like a litle kid for christmas hoping santa got your letter and what you wanted. -----


1)Amp models are excellent of course higly dependent upon what you run the POD into or with. I got some amazing realistic superb tones avoiding the POD effects loop and using a std guitar amp by simply feeding the full range stereo 2 chain capable (HD500) signal into a full range power amp feeding a stereo split wired GUITAR cab. The real guitar speakers and transparent amp allowed the POD to sound like the real amps in some cases rather uncanny.

2) Pedals in front of the POD work well as long as you do not try to slam the input level w too much as the digital platform does not like excessive levels externally or internally.

3) Do not get me wrong, spend the time, learn the unit, read everything you can find about preset programming and tips and you can develop some great tones. The over used myth of thinking plugging in a preset of "sounds like" is going to make this unit easy and simple to use and "sound like your hero or tune" mentality is just a young players mistaken notion that copying someone's gear makes you sound like them. And seriously if that is all you do is copy and mimic while being fun in the short term that is not true music or creative muse. Learn to create and improvise or you remain a low fi mimic.

For those who refuse to read manuals or learn how a unit works or what it can do, the HD POD is not for you. It is not a plug and in and play and sounds like magic box, it is a tweakers mad scientist lab and can be a real hoot in recording or experimenting. Better than a well designed pedalboard, nope. The POd is limited to what you do with it and more importantly how you run it.

4) The ability of this unit to hold and externally store an infinite number of presets and tone lists is amazing. The ability to download software updates and tweaks is outstanding. Now if L6 would changed their policy of ignoring requested or needed fixes and offering no hints or mentions of what they plan, or can fix, is not something older experienced players have time to wait or the patience.

I have a special rig for the HD500 with a power amp which sounds amazing. But integrating it into my tube amp half stack was a disaster due to some of the limtations of the unit and no indictation anything is being fixed. So w my great sounding amp it is placed only in the amp loop and used for some modulatio, delays and reverbs, and just with that one can load a lot of options with the PODs switching ability and many memory slots. Have a great amp, you probably do not need a POD, have a crappy amp or a low powered designed clipping amp, no way the POD is going to make it sound like a ENGL or Marshall. Want to hear the stare of art in amp models feed it into something that allows it to do that.

That being said, I leave each of you to your opinions and what not. As you encounter some of the things I mentioned you will realize it was all true and factual.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-24 19:52:16.1590

The input 2 same issue for me isn't about noise or volume doubling. It's about the input 2 signal being slightly delayed compared to input 1. This makes comb filtering and a less tight tone. If you have dual amps and a mono summing effect before the split the problem becomes quite apparent.

Does anyone know if the pro has the same loop issues as the 500?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by HarryN on 2012-08-25 01:21:48.9320

I don't bother changing the inputs, I leave them at Guitar/Same..

Instead I put my whole signal chain in one path. I rarely use dual amps. So everything stays in one row, meanwhile the other signal chain runs unobstructed to the mixer.

At the mixer I mute the unused signal chain. The one I'm using I centre and raise by 2db at the mixer. All my amps/FX are before the mixer so there are no issues in doing this.

I find this a neater way of doing things.

I still find the HD500 a complete at utter pain - as you can see from the 4CM article I wrote that someone linked to on the previous page. I tend to use my Zoom G3 much more isntead. I think L6 has made a largely broken range in terms of the POD HD and we shouldn't need hundreds of posts while we work out how the damn thing actually works.

Message was edited by Harry Neary to add a screenshot.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by joel_brown on 2012-08-25 10:01:55.4980

Wouldn't doing that type of routing in the signal chain prevent any type of stereo effect ?  I play both in the studio and live and find that the stereo effect, especially live into two amps, really fills out the sound.  I do agree that it takes a lot of time to get the PODHD sounding correct and there's a few quirks that don't help.  But just like any software, I'd rather have options that take more time to configure than limits that make it easier but not quite what I want. 

My only wish for the PODHD is a normal 10 or 12 band EQ.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-08-25 10:42:31.6820

You can have stereo at any point after the amp using stereo-preserving effects (I believe there is a list of these either on meambobbo's website or somewhere on this forum). The amp block mono-sums. Anything after that can be stereo as long as you don't use any mono-summing effects. If you use HarryN's setup with stereo effects post-amp, and pan channel A to Center, your Left and Right outputs will send a different signal that you can send into two amps (or two channels on a mixing board if going direct). With this setup you also have to be careful that you don't place any mono-summing effects before the path split, because that would defeat the purpose of splitting the paths and avoiding the combfilter issue of Guitar/Same.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by HarryN on 2012-08-25 13:02:35.1250

Hi Joel. No my method still works fine with stereo effects.

Remember the A and B signal chains aren't two sides of a stereo channel - which I think is how a lot of people see them. Each is a complete stereo signal chain of its own. If they weren't, you wouldn't be able to pan them in the way you can.

So yes, any stereo effect you place in the chain will work as normal. Of course any mono effect will remove the stereo signal from any effect before it, but that's how the POD works even using both A and B signal chains. So if you put seven stereo FX (including the FX loop) after an amp block (amp blocks are mono) all seven will retain their stereo behaviour.

The ONLY thing you lose by my method is dual amps/dual parallel FX. I don't use these, so it's the ideal setup for me.

Try it.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-25 13:27:14.8920

That's absolutely right. Just pan the channel you use to center. Also note that the mixer's pan controls aren't "pushing" the stereo sound one way or the other. If you pan a channel full left, it simply drops the right half of that channel.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-08-25 15:05:03.8720

meambobbo wrote:

Also note that the mixer's pan controls aren't "pushing" the stereo sound one way or the other. If you pan a channel full left, it simply drops the right half of that channel.

Oh... I was not aware of this. This is pretty important. It's not a pan or a balance at all, then. It's some weird stereo trim. Why would it behave that way?!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by joel_brown on 2012-08-25 20:33:39.1320

Thanks Harry, that's great information.  I'll try this out right away.  I also just recently learned you can put the amp block after the mixer too.  Maybe doing what you're talking about with muting one channel on the mixer and panning the other to center then feeding into the amp is something try also.  That way you can control how hard or soft the amp input is being pushed.  I haven't tried this yet either but I'm curious as to what it may do.

I sure am glad we have a forum like this to share ideas and information.

I share your frustration but I'm still hoping in the end it's wortth it.  So far I'm happy with the HD but was close to giving up at one point.

Thanks again...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by HarryN on 2012-08-26 01:08:32.9210

Another thing to try Joel is adjusting the input impedence. The default for the amp blocks when set on auto is 1M, but I've found the whole HD500 sounds better if I set impedence (otherwise known as "Z") to 230K globally.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by joel_brown on 2012-08-26 19:56:49.0290

I set my impendance all the way down to 32k globally.  I'm using the ANGEL amp model and it seems to sound the best for me when I set the Z that low.  I'm using DiMarzio Super Distortation pickups running thru the effect return of a pair of JCM900 amps.  I don't use the JCM pre-amps at all.  I tried all the differant output settings and Studio/Direct still sounds the best so far.

I'm currently in a Black Sabbath tribute band.  I don't exactly mimic their sound I try to be somewhat close with a slightly modern flavor.  Atleast that's what I'm trying to accomplish.  It's never perfect...

I'm the gray haired guy on guitar.  Just having some fun.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grimm26 on 2012-08-26 20:01:15.3160

Hrm, my amp has a "normal" and a "high gain" input that add about 6db, so maybe I'll just use the high gain input for 4CM

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-08-26 21:06:16.9320

Awesome sound, Joel! Love that beefed up Marshall tone.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Akeron on 2012-08-27 03:12:39.0670

Very good sounds! I like the sound of the interaction with the Marshall (really close to the sound on Masters of reality) but it would be nice to know how good the direct sound is. Also I imagine you use the Angel F-Ball and not the Plexi or Jcm 800 emulation to imitate the Laney Supergroup of Tony Iommi because there's no direct Rangemaster emulation on the POD...

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-08-27 05:00:53.5800

Tony Iommi's tone has been all over the place, it's a bit frustrating actually for tone modeling junkies like us My Black Sabbath emulation just uses the JCM800 model at 50% drive, with an overdrive in front, and a 50% tube comp in post. It is supposed to sound like the song NIB, although now I realize that song was recorded with the Laney Supergroup. Sounds like Joel is using the Angel model though. I would LOVE it if you would post your tone(s) up on CustomTone, Joel. I use Studio Direct, but straight into a PA, I wonder whether I could get similar sound that you get out of your stacks.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by mmurph on 2012-08-27 12:44:52.3890

Very nice tone! I had to watch a couple of your videos as I am a huge Sabbath fan for many years now and thought your band was pretty cool! I would definitely check you guys out if I were in your neck of the woods! I love the tone you're getting with the gear you have. I have a similar guitar (Jackson Dinky, but with Seymour Duncan pickups- it's good for some things, not so great for others). The sound you were getting kind of renewed my faith that I can probably get what I'm looking for in terms of a convincing loud and gainy sound- where I get into trouble is in trying to balance that with getting a good clean tone- I haven't used it live for awhile, but I will be starting to play out soon. If I had my way, I'd use a 4x12 as well, but due to having to take equipment somewhere by boat to various gigs in the same venue, I use a small combo amp (Peavey Valveking 112) and I don't get a ton of volume from it. I get great tones jamming at home, but the live thing has eluded me thus far.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-28 06:50:24.3670

I have recently been having a lot of success with the Line 6 Drive Distortion effect.  The key thing to realize is that the Mids parameter is basically changing the distortion type dramatically.  At lower values, the tone is more farty and fuzzy.  At low-medium it is percussive and buzzy.  At medium it is the crunchy but still percussive kind of DS-1 type distortion.  At medium-high it gets djenty but still has a roundness and creaminess to it.  At high settings, it provides searing djent distortion.

I like to set Mids first, then adjust Bass and Treble to match.  I usually use 0% Drive, and sometimes even attenuate the signal via a Volume effect before it reaches this effect, to make sure it isn't distorting at all.  So I'm using it only as a boost/filter.  But sometimes if I want to add a bit more nastiness to the tone, I'll allow it to distort slightly and mix that with my amp distortion.

When I have spent a bit more time with it, I'll add it into the guide.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by sean106ESP on 2012-08-29 12:50:37.9120

Hi everyone! Hope all is well Meam, I was just trying to download some of the .h5e patch files and for some reason it says the link is broken. Is there a new page? Sorry if discussed already. Thanks!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-08-29 13:50:19.5800

Hey man, I moved some files around so I suspect there are broken links. Check for my latest. I'll get everything sorted out soon

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by sean106ESP on 2012-08-29 21:15:12.5770

Thanks man! Got it. Killer stuff! I am trying them all out and see which ones sound best in a band mix. You are the bomb

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by joel_brown on 2012-08-30 10:32:36.3270

I put my tone patches on CustomTone under PODHD.  There's only three of them and they all start with the name: JoelAngelHvy.  There will be some numbers at the end of the name for differant versions, which are just tweaks.  JoelAngelHvyV3-5 is the last one I did and it's doing what I want - finally.

The Marshall tube power amps and speakers do help.  Direct into a mixer or recorder it loses some of that power and feel but wasn't too bad.  Definetley play with impedance for your guitar, watch your levels, adjust the Delays if needed, etc.  I recently had someone come over and try their guitar with my setup and the Delays were over-powering.  I plug my guitar back in and they're hardly noticable.  The only differance I could think of was active versus passive pickups.  I don't think I'll ever figure this thing out completely.

Thanks to everyone for all their help and hard work.  I couldn't have got half this far without all the info being shared on this forum.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by joel_brown on 2012-09-07 19:56:28.2770

Wanted to pass this along as it helped my tone quite a bit.

Tone control capacitors seem to help quite a lot.  After pulling apart 3 of my guitars I noticed that none of them had the same capacitor pF rating.  I also found capacitor pF ratings are kind'a confusing.  For example a 472 and 473 cap is drastically differant.  Also trying to figure out that a 47000pF, .047mfd, and 473k are all the same wasn't easy either.  If you have a cap with 3 numbers the first two numbers are the rating andf the third digit is the x10 multiplier.  Example: 473 is 47000pF or .047mfd.  472 is 4700 or .0047mfd which doesn't do anything for your guitar.  Basically the bigger the number the more treble it can remove.  It's just a low pass filter.

Now that I've setup all of my guitars with the same .047 cap I now get a thicker smoother tone that the PODHD responds very well too.  I also went back to my JoelAngelV3 setting instead of JoelAngelV3-5.  I dial the tone control back from wide open to maybe 2/3rds open.  But atleast now I get the same results on all 3 guitars and I like the .047 cap with the Dimarzio Super Distortion pickups in my Jackson guitars.  I tried .033 and .02 caps but the .047 cap gave me the most adjustment and (atleast for me) the best tone.

I wanted to pass this along as it took me a couple weeks and several trips to Radio Shack buying caps.  I also researched forums about differant types of caps and, atleast for heavier tones, it didn't make any differance.  For clean sounds it seemed that some people could hear a differance and others said they couldn't.

I know I improved my tone substantially by spending a couple dollars on caps and a few minutes of soldering.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by dam777 on 2012-09-26 23:40:00.7170

@ meambobbo - Big thanks from the Czech Republic for your work

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-09-27 08:12:31.8440

it's crazy this guide has gone global.  I see it's linked to from russian, bulgarian, and portugese forums. Hopefully they are saying nice things! LOL

btw, preview of the revamped guide:">">

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2012-09-28 05:41:41.9360

This guide is very good stuff!  Lots to read and learn here.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-09-28 07:13:55.9660

btw, my friend did all the guitarist artwork.  if you like it, be sure to click on any of the images - it'll link you to his facebook.  leave him a comment saying that the pics look awesome.  he would certainly appreciate it.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by TheRealZap on 2012-09-28 07:22:29.8760

they are indeed awesome. talented friend.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by lvss on 2012-10-01 20:04:36.0030

Hey !!!! Great work !! Thanks a lot... Sorry Line 6, this was a better (and funnier) manual... Great images and great description... I don't know much about amps and effects, but now, I know a little more !! Thanks

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-10-03 04:10:52.5950

I still find the HD500 a complete at utter pain - as you can see from the 4CM article I wrote that someone linked to on the previous page. I tend to use my Zoom G3 much more isntead. I think L6 has made a largely broken range in terms of the POD HD and we shouldn't need hundreds of posts while we work out how the damn thing actually works.

Yeah, pretty much an infinite variability and so many ways to do things wrong I find it impossible to discuss issues.

I use my HD500 in one of two ways. With my half stack tube rig I use a modified 4CM but I do not use amp models with the amp, just does not sound all that great I should kill the preamp on the amp. Plus it is mono and the great ability of the HD500 is the stereo ability. Most important I have to bring up the effects loop send level to unity in order my external pedals sound normal and drive as designed.

If I really want to bring out the beast in models I run the HD into my power amp stereo feed into a split wired stereo 4x12, Now that sounds like the real amps in a manner few are "hearing". Plus being able to run stereo chain or effects even amps is a treat missed badly on all the 4CM amp tie ins. I suspect that is why many are not so impressed by the amp models running into their amp. The "dream rig", using a guitar amp. I do not think so. Use a fullrange power amp and allow the unit to recreate the full dynamics of the amp model in stereo feed. Using a guitar cab makes for heavy tone that needs to be heard and felt to appreciate.

HD500 has some very bad limitations, regarding just a few simple fixes, problem is I guess most "ear testing" does not reveal the nature of problems.

Line 6 likes to play the waiting game in the hopes some of the issues will be fixed in an update whenever in the hell that comes around.

No hint, no clues, no feedback of concern, "yeah we know about this issue and we can or cannot fix it or we are working on it".

Obviously they have no a care of what users think or real problems that exist. I guess I can understand that to an extent because most guitar players have the IQ of a house plant and the marketing of "sound like your hero or song" is a goose egg for the beginneer to grow out of. It's as if they packed a lot of potential sophistication into a unit they market as some sort of  "download-plug and play" unit.  Maybe some of use expect too much, but if they want more esperienced users to be able to use the unit and review it justly you need to fix a few things. Effect models are really bad in most cases and I am not deaf enough to pretend a dist unit model of a pedla that uses a stacked 4 band parametric EQ tone stack can be rendered with simple tone controls, or a "Whammy" pedal that cannot be set to intervals on the expression pedal males for a Whammy model. Take a look guys the new Whammy models now render polyphonic tracking. I know that is not possible(??) for LINE 6 but come on intervals on the expression pedal???

Using a 4CM thing one needs to mono out the signal as that is what you are doing anyway. Mute one side and hard pan the user one. a myriad of ways to do that.

Design of presets is rather infinite. I do like the ability to pipe some effects amp in and split to amp loop. If the effect quality was better it would be extraordinary.

Few effects I find really good many others useless. How about just one killer multi featured delay and reverb instead of so many quasi models which do not have the full range of the unit? Same with drives and gains, a couple really good beats a bunch of buzzy.

-if you use external pedals for drive, gains, compression etc., the effects send level drops like 5-6db. Most are not "hearing" it because they are gaining up the amp preamp level to compensate. Fix is a clean boost or the MXR EQ to raise the level up unity first in the loop chain. Line 6 needs to fix the effect loop send level. There is no internal adjustment and "zero" is not unity. It antenuates down but not up.

-Pitch Glide while being a really nice effect suffers some bad flaws to a real Whammy much less the new polyphonic tracker model. The Pitch Glide editor cannot be set to an in-tune interval of a 4th,5th. etc in order the expression pedal can be set up or full down at an interval instead of just an octave. The harmonizer effect of the Picth Glide ot Whammy pedal is its best feature over the worn out weeeeoooooo thing. As it is you have to hard set an effect block on the Pitch Glide to a set 4th or 5th up or down which works damn well but having the expression pedal is part of what makes the real Whammy great. Also FYI, the Pitch Glide set to a  +1 or -1 (bright or darker) detunes the primary tone and has movement, makes the best damn chorus ever! Again cannot set the expression pedal to do the +1 chorus setting at the top and a 5th harmonizer at toe down. Line 6 is missing the boat on this one as the new Whammy is vastly improved !

-A lot of yada about input selections, simple testing shows more noise floor and level increase using "same". Either mono split feed on guitar and auz works the best. Set the aux to an unused input when using mono and without the split feed. Sorry cats but it is quieter and sounds better. Some say that there is a slight delay effect between the "guitar" and "aux" input feeds, this is certainly not impossible due to circuit routing and whatnot.  I have used both on my power amp rig and it sounded pretty killer. I also use just the "guitar" on my 4CM and it works fine. "Same" is always more hiss in the signal. If you're one of those cats you hiss and fizzes the hell out of preset and chokes it to death using a gate then I doubt you will "hear" it.

-for proper 4CM you need to adjust the chain at the mixer, mute one side and hard pan to mono on the left for the best signal as you are using a mono setup. makes no sense for the unit to be putting out a stereo feed when not being used. It sounds better. BTW, "guitar" and an unused aux in makes for a lower noise floor and better signal than "same" which increases the level and hiss. Better ways to get the level sounding better at input. And seriously the guys who have their impedence set low at input global must like having their guitar tone control turned down all the time. 1m ohm is more headroom and dynamic range, use the tone control with that if you want rolloff. Again sounds better and if anyone hooks the unit up to a analyzer or scope you can clearly "see" the issues mentioned.

At any rate., for $500 it is a cool unit, some great features but some things need fixed. Amp models are great if you run them into something that can handle the full range. Recording tool is a lot of fun. Has limitations and issues that a higher end user will notice in time. Line 6 is slow to the punch to improve things that do not work like they should. If they come up with some fixes before I raise enough to redo my pedal chains again, I will keep it. It is always cool for the amp models but effects in general are poor. A few work well enough to use for some things. Hate to say it but they could lose a ton of them and do a few much better and have a great unit. None of the drives or gains are much good for me,. I use externals but the effects send level is a real pain.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by dam777 on 2012-10-03 22:38:06.6910

Greetings to all from the Czech Republic

POD Line6 hd Desktop  I bought on the recommendation from my friend - guitarist of the czech heavy metal group Arakain.

Here you can listen to - Jukebox (song Lucie Bílá & Arakain - V ruce svírám kříž) in time 2:55 solo, which he plays on POD  Line6 HD Desktop with FBV EXPRESS MkII.

How do you sound like? Me very much.

Sorry for my bad English.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-10-04 07:48:43.7210

sounds pretty sweet to me!!!  \m/

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by perapera on 2012-10-15 09:59:39.0540

anglepod wrote:

"if you use external pedals for drive, gains, compression etc., the effects send level drops like 5-6db"


I have firmware version 2.02 and here the fx loop is at unity

of course if you have the guitar input pad active that will give you -5/6 dB

if you put a single cable from send to return, you'll hear no drop in volume engaging the fx loop block

and if you connect to e.g. an amp input directly from your guitar [1] or through the pod in>send [2] you get the same result:

[EDIT: this point is WRONG, see my next post a few months after this and see this new thread I started]

[1] gtr > cable > amp input

[2] gtr > cable > pod guitar in [no-pad, impedance 1Mohm, only input-1 active (input-1 to guitar input-2 to variax)] > FX Loop block at default > send > cable > amp input

anyway, I agree that a send level that goes to more than unity AND a return level that can also attenuate could be useful


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-10-15 10:22:50.6380

yes, my loop has no volume drop as well - HD 500 with 2.02

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by anglepod on 2012-10-19 14:05:24.0150

As for not "hearing" the level issue, did any of you actually try driving a pedal from the effect send or use a meter to see the level?? I didn't think so, the amp compenstates for variance in signal drive you cannot tell as I stated you could not. My frustrations with Line 6 have sort of reached critical mass as they seem not to listen or care about as much as some on this "forum". I wonder if they are checking things with their ears.

You have to love when you report an issue only to have someone not hear it doing something different than manifests the problem.

Guitar>>>>POD>>>Effect loop send>>>guitar pedal set like to your amp by itself = not the same level or drive. The same as rolling off your guitar volume.

Now if someone wants to out a level meter on that effect send and measure it accordingly then I can rest solidly my unit is not functioning correctly, but the level drop IS there.

I just loaded in the latest update only to find that new amp models were added and NO fixes to any other issue that has been relayed to Line 6 many times.Many have expressed some minor fixes and updates in the effects portion and it seems they do not give a care to that direction. Many recording mavens submitted as I did many simple fixes to various EQs and whatnot that certainly would not have been reinventing the wheel. Apparently one gets no feed back on their problems or suggestions as it is a dead mail drop.

I have come to the resolve that the POD has some great amp models but issues with the effect side and LIne 6 seems to want to maintain a bedroom level neophtye player accumen. That is fine I guess as they like to market in that direction. I will use it for amp model experiments but anything effect wise not so much.

I suppose there is also no issue or "can't hear it" with the pitch glide controller edit not being able to adjust to an in-tune 5th, 4th or anything but an octave. You cannot get the expression pedal to set to an interval, which does not seem impossible to do seeing how it is there on the harmonizer model controller edit. Please look at that one and come back and tell me it gets a in tune interval.

Here let me do the math for you less you cannot "hear" a difference.

100% of expression pedal range = 2 octaves of 24 segments = 4.167 per interval segment, a 5th = 5 segments 4.167 x 5 = 20.835% a 4th is 4.167 x 4 = 16.668%

rounded  that is 20.8 for a 5th, or 16.7 for a 4th and that is using percentage of range which is a terrible means to order the expression pedal editor. Since you can only get 20 or 21, 16 or 17%, it is out of tune and I am sure someone will say "it's close enough or I can't hear the difference". 

The Harmonizer editor simply uses intervals 1,2,3,4,5, etc, which is simple and exact. Seeing how the Pitch Glide is meant to mimic a Whammy, the ability to set the pedal to intervals is a crucial issue of the whammy, the harmonizer mode on the whammy dies not require a fixed key or scale which makes the straight out harmonizer model a pain in the ass. The new Whammy now has polyphonic tracking further making it superior. Others have expressed frustrations in using percentages on the EQs and what not, a terrible meaure of adjustment.

The limitations of the POD I fear have rendered it not useable for me along many lines.

Maybe its because I am not just plugging into it using headphones and its internal effects. Nor do I have a crappy little amp to pretend sounds marvelous.

While I love the amp models the HD POD manifests, for the money it is certainly nice. They are only want you run them into. The POD screams for a stereo power amp  to allow its models to actually manifest a real amp tone in stereo no less. I think my problems with the unit arose when I tried to integrate it with my guitar half stack and revert back to mono. Time for me to either mess w the POD or the amp rig but not combined.

But the effect portion has some serious issues and after waiting a year on an update in the hopes some things would be addressed from EQ changes to levels to controller edit problems, I find perhaps that LINE 6 suffers from the "I can't hear it syndrome" which of course negates all sense of reality and measurement.

Line 6 cannot be that dense not to know of the issue, as one might ask how it is you can alter the level of the return feed but not the send??? Others have noticed it and tried to compensate by adding an internal boost or EQ right before the effect loop block, but that also takes up another block and DSP. I prefer to boost the level after the effect send out as I have the pedals to do it and I tend to use my blocks for various wahs, delays and reverbs.

At any rate best of luck with the unit, it has its moments but trying to use external pedals is frustrating. If I use models I prefer my fullrange stereo 2 channel power amp rig rather than pipe models into my guitar amp. Maybe if you have a crappy amp you can imagine a shoebox sounds like an SLO or a Bogner as I doubt if some can "hear" the difference.

I will just resolve to mess with the POD by itself through a power amp stereo rig or my guitar half stack pedal board by itself but I am pretty much done with trying to integrate it. At any rate it is what it is and I bought one so I have it, too much of a loss trading it off so I will just redo my pedals and keep the two as separate entities. And Line 6 can rest in peace never hearing any further inputs or reviews of the unit from this player.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-10-19 14:23:14.1870

I'm just saying that for my unit, there is no difference in the output signal level of the Pod via SPDIF whether I engage the FX Loop or not, and I have just a patch cable in there.  There very well can be a signal level drop from the Guitar Input of the Pod to the FX send.  I don't know - never tested that.  There may also be a drop from the FX loop to the Pod's output, but that's dubious since the analog and SPDIF outputs have a volume control on the output.  In general I do boost my SPDIF output, but that's so I can keep my EQ's clear of clipping by keeping volume conservative and just boost at the output.

And as far as noise, I find using the Loop adds a very minor amount of noise with just the patch cable in the loop, using the loop after the amp model.  I have had it in other locations and noticed considerable noise when turning it on, but 90% of my use for it has been relatively hassle-free.

As for your other points, about the EQ's, effects, and expression pedal's usage with Pitch Glide, I definitely and fully agree.

As for a real power amp and such, I can't say because I rarely use it like that.  I actually prefer my direct tones to my real amp/cab tones, but admittedly I've spent orders of magnitude more time on my direct patches.

I agree that Line 6 could take this product in a more professional direction.  A couple particular points of emphasis would be mod effects, a compressor with standard controls such as attack, ratio, sustain, etc., and user uploadable IR's.  Also, I can't vough for the Distortion effects as I don't have any for direct comparison, but most people who do directly compare the effects to the real deal seem to prefer the real deal consistently.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Seabeast on 2012-10-20 01:49:40.9000

Hi guys! What do you think about new models Line 6 Doom and Epic?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by PDKTDK on 2012-10-24 06:00:34.5600

I just have to chime in and say thanks(!) and that site you put together is incredible.

I cannot thank you enough.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-10-24 10:07:23.2590

I tried the Epic last night and can't say anything good about it.  Seems like another Elektrik - a beta version of a different amp - the SLO Overdrive.  Bass always seems wonky and farty, even when trying to EQ around that.  Also, seems like the power amp provides more distortion than the pre-amp - something very weird is going on with the balance of those.  I tried for a while and never got a good tone out of it.  It's always too thin or has broken up, clippy, splatty bass.

The Doom is pretty cool.  Kind of vintage sounding but can get quite high gain, and takes pedals very well.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by RhelmTrent on 2012-10-24 10:27:31.1730

Hey Bobbo,

I thought the same thing about the Epic model...that was until I used the preamp model instead of the full (by accident). What a great mistake that was truly Epic sounding for heavy riffs.

Just my 2 cents.

Great work on the guide btw!!!

Keep chuggin'


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-10-24 14:18:18.1570

Ok, gave the Epic one last go round, and I have found a tone I liked.  Here's what I had to do.

1) Turn down the "Drive" parameter to around 25% - the pre-amp distortion is horrible on this model.  It makes the tone splatty and farty, and has horrid bass response.  Turning drive anywhere north of here made me get poor pick response, especially on low notes, farty palm mutes, and volume spikes/drops.

2) Crank Master DEP to 100%.  This is where the gain comes from.  The power amp distortion is surprisingly smooth.  But your EQ choices on the amp will affect the distortion tone.  So I set these basically flat (50%) with a slight mids boost. As MFKitten mentioned, you'll get more compression than true distortion. So...

3) Use a Distortion effect in front of it, and use it to add a bit of distortion.  I like the Line 6 Drive, and I set the Drive to around 25%. Keep output conservative.

4) Whatever you put in front the amp, give it a nice, hard treble boost. I set my Line 6 Drive to 100% Treble.  This will give you more sizzling harmonics to the distortion.

5) I set Sag to 0%.  This seems to improve the response.

6) The amp is very mid-centric.  I used a couple post-amp EQ's to balance out the tone.

The end result is a very tight, punchy, yet not too distorted tone. It's fairly unique.  I find it would work well as an Opeth tone, or could maybe even get into that Autotheism range, although I need to see what room I have for effects.  I think it's got that death metal feel. Very thrashy, focused, and dry.  Dry would be the main word I'd use.  It does not feel organic at all, which can sometimes be a good thing.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by kmulvihill on 2012-10-27 10:59:08.4140

Appreciate the time you took to put this together and give it to the community. Lot of good, useful information there that will help me.

I would like to hear your thoughts on the various modulation effects, as you seem highly experienced with L6 products. But, regardless, what you've given us is very helpful. Thank you.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2012-10-27 13:48:46.9690

This is getting interesting.  I definitely get a huge drop from the loop send.  

Started to go to town on the whole FX Loop Level drop thing in the posts above but don't want to muss up the main topic here.  Opened a new thread here -->

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-11-02 10:33:20.3940

lil new trick I've found really makes a patch more natural sounding, but only applies when you are using "dual cabs".

On the "dark cab", bump the E.R. to around 10-20%.  I usually use 15%. On the bright cab use 0% E.R.  This is regardless if the patch is for lead or rhythm.

You don't get the between two brick walls feel that is normally associated with E.R. - that quick echo sound that's way too noticeable and artificial.  The highs stay crisp and tight.  And even though you're basically adding ambiance to the bass and warm mids, they don't sound ambient, just thicker and more natural.  Otherwise a tight tone sounds too tight and dry - like you're going DI rather than actually mic'ing something in a room.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by david_9 on 2012-11-02 13:00:57.4110

Hey Bobbo

I'm a new HD500 user and I have spent weeks reading up on the various treads and reading your high tone guide. I am interested in the dual cab idea that you mentioned and I can't quite follow you. If you can provide a patch that would be great. BTW, I have the HD500 in 4CM with a H&K Tubemeister 18 head and Marshall 1936 2x12 cab and a Clapton Blackie strat. I am amazed with the tones that I can get even with an amp model and studio/direct output, where nominally you would use a pre-amp block with stack power amp.



Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-11-02 13:26:38.3710

Hey David, "dual cabs" is really most appropriate for Studio/Direct tones, when you are not using a real amp and cab.  Essentially, it seeks to remedy the problems I have with the individual cab/mic options - that they sound deficient and/or noisy in certain frequency ranges but rich and high-quality in others.  So basically I'm making a franken-cab - combining cabs that sound good for the lower half of the spectrum with those that sound good for the upper half of the spectrum.

For using a real amp/cab, I would recommend using a non studio/direct output mode, preferably stack/combo power amp (as you have noted), depending on how much bass you want.  As for cab selection, that's really up to you.  In those modes, the mic selection does absolutely nothing, while the cab selection provides an EQ effect.  This is different from what the mic/cab selection does in Studio/Direct mode, where it actually simulates a true cab/mic, not only changing the frequency response, but changing phase relationships between frequencies, providing mild feedback/resonance/reverb, and otherwise altering wave-forms.  Two different cabs EQ'ed to be equal to each other frequency spectrum-wise still won't sound the same.  It'd be like EQ'ing an oboe to sound like a piano.

For a 4CM setup, as you said generally it's recommended to use a non-studio/direct different output mode.  But I wouldn't completely agree that you should usually use a "pre" amp model.  That would depend on the desired tone and the transparency of your real power amp.  See the full vs. pre section of my guide for more on this.  But given that you're saying you get good studio/direct tones from your rig, I think you might prefer the full amp models - they tend to have more punch and aggression to them.  And you can use the Master DEP to dial out or in the sweet spot of power amp emulation.  I think everyone should start there, and only switch to "pre" models if they find they prefer the Master DEP at 0%.  This can be tricky, because you have to compensate volume as you tweak, or you can be fooled to thinking low Master has bad tone simply because the volume is lower.

Also, using a cab in non-studio direct is optional as mentioned above but not much different from doing some EQ tweaking.

Keep in mind that studio/direct is identical to the other output modes when "no cab" is selected.

In my guide I mention the possibility that using studio/direct plus a cab/mic selection may sound better given your real gear (and ear) than the "appropriate" or "recommended" setup.  If you like the tone, then that's all there is to it.  However, I really can't go into any more detail there.  Without your gear at my disposal, I have no means to determine whether "dual cabs" is worth it or not.  It takes a high DSP toll, and I don't know if there is going to be a worthwhile tonal benefit if there is one at all.  What I like to use it for is to get a "fuller" frequency response from the built-in cab/mic models.  I can't imagine it being fuller than using a non-studio direct output mode and EQ'ing your tone to get to a similar place.

Where I find using studio/direct and cab/mic simulation through a real amp and cab works best is with Fenders, where the speaker tends to be brighter.  Otherwise, I find the tone gets overly processed.  You get a tight, chunky bottom end, but at the expense of an artificial high end.  Again, I'd just use EQ to get a bass boost and do other fine-tuning instead.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by unperfectcircle on 2012-11-02 16:25:22.6920

Just wanted to chime in to thank meambobbo for this amazing guide!

I got my HD500 a couple of weeks ago and your guide has been fundamental to understand this device; I'm surely not afraid of tweaking, but I admit that this thing is really tricky at first (especially for a Line 6 newbie like me), mostly because of the "side effects" you get along the signal chain, so your guide - and this community as a whole - has been the key to avoid the frustration you could easily get with a "non-plug&play" pedalboard like this.

Thanks a lot man!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by david_9 on 2012-11-02 18:55:18.4000

Hey Bobbo

Thanks for the detailed comments and suggestions. I need to go back now and work more with the DEP and EQ'ing the tone, trying out different cab's etc. Thanks again.  David

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-11-05 14:13:22.4220

i added sections for the new high-gain amp models and updated a few other things, including my E.R. trick for dual cabs.  Check the change log for more info.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Elbutcho1 on 2012-11-05 20:35:46.3300

Man can someone PLEASE tell me how to get real sounding amp tones out of this thing.....I just got the HD Pro and I'm using a Peavey IPR 1600 to push it through a Mesa 2 X 12 cab. First I'm coming out of the HD Pro Left Mono unbalanced output into channel A of the Peavey. I have the output level set on the HD Pro to amp on the back of the unit. In the set up on the HD Pro I have it set to studio/direct (a guy at line 6 said that using that Peavey I should use that setting since it's no coloring the tone. Anyway any of you Line 6 guys have any input on what I'm missing.....this thing sounds harsh and processed.......

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-11-05 21:06:33.2350

1) if you use studio/direct, better make sure your cab selection is set to "no cab".  Otherwise you're getting cab/mic simulation, which will definitely sound processed when going into a real cab.  I think you'd prefer to use stack power amp or combo power amp.  Then you can select cab models to act as a mild EQ effect.  What Peavey said would only apply if you were running into FRFR speakers.  You aren't.  See point 2 below.  Also, see here:">">

2) depending on your power amp operates, you may prefer the "full" amp models or the "pre" models.  I think the best idea is to start with a "full" model, and adjust the Master amp DEP downward while compensating volume.  If you get all the way to < 10%, then try the "pre" model.  given your amp is designed to be transparent, I believe you'll prefer "full" models.  see">">

3) if the tone is harsh, it may be due to digital clipping, even if it doesn't sound like digital clipping, such as when you run a digitally clipped signal into distortion.  see here:">"> Note that EQ's clip easily, so it's best to keep the signal levels conservative inside the digital signal chain, especially in front of EQ's.

4) if you have too much fizzy/harsh high end, try using a Mid-Focus EQ to trim some of that off.  Keep the Q's at 50%, set Gain and HP frequency down to 0%, and start LP frequency at 100% and slowly work down until the highs lose the fizz, harshness.  Once you find that spot, see if playing with the LP Q and making minor adjustments to the LP frequency improve things.  Don't go higher than 55% or you're boosting at the cutoff frequency.  See here:">">

5) try setting the amp/line switch to line and setting the MASTER knob to 100%.  That's going to give you the best SNR.  However, this amount of signal level may clip your amp's input.  If things sound weird maxed out like this, slowly turn down the Pod's MASTER knob until the tone cleans up.  See here:">">

Also, see here:">">

Make the adjustments and get back to us.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Elbutcho1 on 2012-11-05 21:19:49.4450

Holy crap that was a fast response.............Thanks......that's awesome..........I was on the phone with Line 6 today they didn't have much input a little.................thanks again I know this thing must good tones in it my other guitarist play a Line 6 Spider and it sounds pretty good.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-11-05 21:25:38.8760

yeah, what is confusing is there's so many different ways to run this thing, and a lot of setups, like yours, fall into middle ground.  usually you either use a guitar power amp and cabinet or a FRFR transparent power amp and FRFR speakers.  If you have FRFR power amp and guitar cab or guitar power amp and FRFR speakers, you have to do a little experimenting to find the sweetest way to set it up.  but I think it makes the most sense to use "full" amps to get tube amp simulation since your power amp is transparent, then no cab/mic simulation since you're running to a real guitar cab.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Elbutcho1 on 2012-11-06 05:39:50.4780

What is "adjust the Master amp DEP" not too sure what DEP is and what and where "HP frequency and LP frequency" is and what "SNR" is

Also do you recommend creating brand new patches from scratch or are the existing patches workable?



Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-11-06 10:33:38.3210

The amp DEP's are tweakable parameters that change the power amp simulation on the "full" models only (amp models that do not end with "pre").  The Master DEP acts like a virtual master volume knob, allowing you to "push" the virtual power tubes or not.  These are available to edit on the Pod itself by selecting the amp block with the cursor using the directional pad, double clicking enter (on/off) to bring up the edit page, then clicking the right key on the directional pad until you see them at the bottom of the window.  You'll see Master, Sag, Hum, Bias, and Bias X.  Or you can see them on the amp tab in HD Edit on your computer.

HP and LP frequency are parameters on the Mid-Focus EQ effect.  You will have to add one to your signal chain to see these parameters.

SNR is signal to noise ratio.  The higher your SNR, the more rich and vibrant (and modern) the tone will sound.

The patches that come on the unit aren't great - I started completely from scratch.  Of course, I have a large amount of patches available:">">

The last 4 digits in the patch name is the last modification date in MMDD format, so I'd advise you to download the latest version for each patch.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Elbutcho1 on 2012-11-06 17:08:05.8790


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Elbutcho1 on 2012-11-06 18:22:40.0130

Your mp3 samples sound great but the file extension for the patches are.h5e and mine are I not have the right software or need to convert them somehow?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2012-11-06 18:35:03.7970

Just rename the extension to .hre. Any .h5e file should work with the hd pro but not necessarily the other way around. With windows it may hide the extension for known file types which prevents you from changing it on a rename operation. So you need to disable hiding extensions which depends on which OS you use

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Elbutcho1 on 2012-11-06 19:17:53.8050

That worked.....this thing is starting to sound pretty freaking good................thanks!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Elbutcho1 on 2012-11-08 18:50:59.5500

Found out waht MOST of the harshness is / was.......that Peavey IPR 1600..........hooked up my old Halfer G150........ahhhhhh warmth of other suns

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by ciadude2 on 2012-11-19 21:10:40.4780

Your guide is pretty good for inspiration on tinkering around. Gotta be honest I didn't really try using dual amps at all before but now I use them most of the time for my high gain stuff.

Not going to lie, your patches themselves don't do much for me(difference of taste mostly) but you've given me some ideas on new stuff to try.

Like I just recorded a demo of a patch I came up with the Solo 100 Overdrive that I'm pretty happy.">">

No audio processing whatsoever and I'm happy with the guitar tone. Cheers.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by perapera on 2013-01-02 16:30:50.8860

dear anglepod I know I'm late, but I'm writing to apologize to you

you were right: the fx loop IS loosing gain at his send!

As I wrote you, at the time of my last post I tested it with a cable in the loop and this gave me unity because it's compensating the loss with a gain at the return

then i tested it with an effect thru the send/return but the effect wasn't gain-related, so I didn't notice anything

I've been doing other things in this months but in the last days I was ill at home so I decided to run some better tests on the pod,

please read this thread I started (specifically at point 2):

it not only explains the problem but gives a SOLUTION to it

sorry again, peace!



Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by hissingshark on 2013-02-01 14:38:13.6430

I'd just like to say a big thank you for your work (and the work of those you've referenced) in your guide.

Reading it within the first few days of getting my HD500 has skipped many teething problems and made my time more enjoyable and productive.

That's not to say I'm finding tone replication a breeze, but this has helped me in leaps and bounds.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2013-02-01 18:38:52.9070

you are most welcome - that's exactly why i did it!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by Astaroth_CY on 2013-02-03 09:10:40.9440

Hey Bobbo, I took out some of your patches for a spin on stage last night and they were fantastic. CL_Prph-Cln and CL_SpnkCln sounded awesome for this slow moody/doomy song we were playing that was all about dynamics. Perfect response from that AC-30 and awesome power from the Double Verb. Also tried out the AC/DC patch, had slightly too much crunch for older AC/DC tunes but nevertheless great.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2013-02-06 17:48:54.1390

EDIT : dedicated thread:">">


1) I have finally quasi-mastered my patches as gig-level volumes against the cd's used to dial them in.  So they should sound great at full volume as well as in mixes similar to those used as reference.  If you have a question about what was used as reference, please ask.

I had previously volume-leveled all my patches, but I probably screwed that up with the latest tweaks.  I won't have time to truly level them all again for a little while.  Sorry.  Also, I know the effects aren't always ordered the same way they appear in Edit - I blame Edit for that - it takes too much time to get them ordered correctly.  Also, I probably  don't have all the footswitches set up to toggle effects on/off like  I'd want to in a live situation.  I don't play live, so I don't have  that requirement.  I will eventually get around to it, but if you need  it now, you'll have to make the changes yourself. Soooorrrry.

Also, I now use a Crunch Lab and Liquifire in my JPM and D-Activators in my RGA8.  So they are dialed in for those pickups specifically (7S_* patches for the RGA8, everything else using the JPM).  Use that reference point to adjust.  The JPM seems to have a bit more gain and smooth crispiness to it.

Please give me some feedback as to how the patches sound.  I don't have awesome expensive monitors or a sound-dampened room to play in.  I just get the tone sounding good on my headphones and monitors and call it a day.  I tend to have made them a bit darker this go round...let me know  if I overdid it.

2) BY POPULAR DEMAND, I have made HD Pro and HD Desktop/Bean versions of my patches and setlists.  Keep in mind I don't own either device, so there may be a discrepancy here or there.  The common trick of changing the file extension and loading was not a 100% replication.  The input settings were always "off".  So I had to go back and manually set those up.  I cannot guarantee none of the settings got changed.  If something sounds horrible, let me know and I'll compare specific patches to the original HD 500 ones.

3) I will soon be posting requests for clips to put up on my site with a revamped tone demo section.  I'll take whatever you're willing to give me (solos/rhythm, solo/full mix, single-tracked/double-tracked, original  compositions/covers/random riffs or noodling), but I'm only going to  post stuff that I think sounds badazz.  You guys tend to exceed that  bar, so...

I will announce specific "prizes" to go along with those who can get me the best clips, but anyone featured on my site will get credit with their name, as well as a link to their page (or whatever you'd prefer). Would definitely be a good way to get exposure.

I won't be too rigid about what is allowable or not, but the ground rule is to not make heavy modifications to the patches or use a bunch of external gear.  And to please let me know how you've deviated from my stock patches.

Enjoy, humans!

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jimsreynolds on 2013-02-08 04:45:53.1850

So much for semi-retirement

Nice work bobbo!  Will test if/when I get time.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by vladolf on 2013-02-13 03:41:35.3250

Dunno why, but i can't make bobbo's patches sound as he does :/

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2013-02-13 19:31:12.9610

there aren't any clips of the new patches up yet, other than a few on by other people, and this one">">

keep in mind I had to re-tweak all my patches when I changed my pickups.  and the patches sound different from one guitar to the next.  i would definitely expect some tweaking, esp gain levels and pre-eq to get a sound consistent with others' clips.  and maybe even swapping pickups.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by svetlosivilo on 2013-02-18 01:43:58.5980


did anyone notice that Multihead Delays on POD HD are mono?

is that some kind of joke?

******* POD X3 and even XT have multihead stereo delays?

so are multihead delays mono or i am stupid ?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by vidaljuanes on 2013-03-03 09:40:33.7100

Gracias amigos por el interesante tema.

Thanks all for the interesting topic.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grandma on 2013-03-14 05:58:40.1380

Would anyone be willing to create a patch that sounds like Trey Anastasio from Phish? He's got such a great guitar tone for both clean and distorted songs.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by jmdandy on 2013-04-05 14:05:07.1700

Hey Meambobbo another fan of yours here! Incredible work! I have had my HD500 and DT25 about a week and I have greatly benefitted from your comprehensive guide to the HD500.

I have some patches that I have made and some I have modded to work. I am trying to get the rig ready for a band practice in a week and then a gig the next night. I have been using the mixer levels to equalize the patches as I am setting up the unit as ABCD and then FS1-4 to toggle f/x. I am also using patches in the same bank for leads in a song.

Now for my question: I am planning to fine tune my volumes to prepare for gigs at band practice using the mixer: is that the best way?

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2013-04-05 21:24:02.8320

hey jmdandy, using the Mixer will indeed work, but I would caution to make sure you do not boost it with reckless abandon if you have any EQ effects downstream of it.  A hot signal can clip the EQ's...possibly other effects.  If you are not using dual amps, the easiest thing to do is place everything in Channel A and mute Channel B in the mixer, then use the Channel A volume level to set the final patch volume.  If you use dual amps, it's a bit trickier.  You COULD use a copy of EQ in each channel behind the amps, so that none are behind the mixer.  Or you can stick a Studio EQ or Tube Comp last in the chain to clean boost the signal at the end where needed.

But the bottom line is just to watch out for clipping.  If you're not clipping, there's nothing to worry about.  The easiest option is to keep the Pod volumes conservative (so just cut at the mixer block, not boost), and run the DT25 up high.  But if you're maxing out the DT25 and still need more juice, then resort to the advice above.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2013-04-05 21:25:07.4880

hey grandma, i'm definitely no expert on Phish.  I do have some classic rock and clean patches - they might get you started in a good direction if you haven't already found something you're looking for.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by meambobbo on 2013-04-05 21:33:09.7710

new patches are up:

also, see the changeLog for recent updates to the guide.  Most importantly is the new section on how to use the Q Filter, which is extremely effective for pre-eq'ing amp distortion.

Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by StephenSLR on 2013-04-07 20:42:06.4460

It's an awesome guide, have been slowly reading up on each page.


Re: Pod HD High Gain Tone Guide
by grandma on 2013-04-10 05:55:49.6450

Thanks. Your patches are really awesome and have helped me immensely (as well as your guide)!

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