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Switching patches? POD HD500!
by mirflee on 2011-10-07 20:05:07.6030

Hello,  I know this might be a stupid question to ask but I'm still new to this fabulous unit. Anyway, I've made some cool patches but I can't find a way to switch between them. I could switch between banks with the footswitch but not for patches.

Any ideas? Oh yeah, one last thing. What do I do to save up on the DSP usage. I'm trying to run a delay as well as an echo reverb but the DSP limit message comes up.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Switching patches?
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-08 02:16:15.5470


I assume you are talking about the POD HD500?  But you may be talking about the POD HD Pro or the POD HD Desktop units.  The HD500 has a pedal-board included whereas the other two don't.  If you are using a POD HD Pro or a POD HD Desktop, you can use the front panel buttons or better still you can use a foot controller unit like the FBV Shortboard MkII.

Once connected to a POD HD or POD HD Pro, FBV Shortboard operation is pretty much the same as operating the HD500.

For all three units there are two ways to use the Foot Switches:  ABCD mode in which the rear 4 buttons control the switching on and off of FX within a preset and the front four buttons (A, B, C and D) which change between presets in the currently selected bank;  then there's  FS 5-8 mode in which the front row of buttons can also be used to switch individual FX on and off within a patch.

Footswitch mode is a Global mode so it affects all patches.  The default mode is ABCD mode.  You can switch between the two modes by entering the System Setup pages - hold down the View button and then  on Page 1 of 9 you will see 1 FS MODE: in the LCD on the lower half left of the screen.  You can change this to FS 5-8 by rotating the first encoder knob (#1 encoder) from the four below the LCD screen.

If you are in ABCD mode, and say on preset 1A (bank 1 preset A) and you want to go to preset 1C then just press button C

If you are in ABCD mode, and say on preset 1A (bank 1 preset A) and you want to go to preset 2D then just select the new bank (2) by pressing the Bank Up button once and then just press button D.

If you are in FS 5-8 mode and currently on preset 1A and still want to change to preset 1C then it takes two  button presses to change, so select the bank by pressing the Bank Up or Bank Down switch once and then press button C

If you are in FS 5-8 mode and currently on preset 1A and still want to change to preset 2D then it takes two  button presses to change, so select the bank by pressing the Bank Up switch twice and then press button D

DSP resources in any modeller whether it be from Boss, Fractal, Avid or whoever are always finite.  Some units may have more initial DSP resources in the first place and others may just restrict you in what you can do with those resources by limiting the number of times you can use a specific effect or where you can place it in the signal chain or what other FX you can team it with and that way you never see any hint of exceeding DSP resource limits.  Line 6 took the approach of allowing users to use their DSP resources much like the way we deal with our own finances.  The DSP resource is say the total weekly income or budget and what you spend that budget on is up to you.  Each item on sale in the bank of amp models and FX in the POD HD500 (inc POD HD Desktop and HD Pro variants too) has a price.  The problem for end users is that we don't directly know the price of each amp model or effect in terms of a percentage of DSP it's likely to use because there is no published table of DSP usage  and there is no DSP usage meter available in the unit itself unfortunately.  So, there is an element of intelligent guesswork involved.  Another user fester2000 did some investigative work in the early days of the POD HD500 and placed a couple of documents here which you may find useful: One of the documents maps approximate DSP usage of the variious amp models and FX.  However you need to remember that at the time these documents were created the firmware for the HD500 was a much earlier version and there have been some significant developments in general since then which may have altered some of the intelligent guesswork that went into the DSP usage document, so regard it as a useful pointer but not necessarily 100% accurate.

That said, remember just because you can have dual amp chains and up to 8 FX doesn't mean that you must use dual amp chains and all 8 FX slots   Just think what you would do with a real amp and an array of FX to get a good tone.  Note I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to use two amp models of your choice and 8 individual FX of your choice.  You can if you select the amp models and FX carefully, but it won't be possible to use high 'cost' FX and high 'cost' amp models in every instance.

Some high DSP usage FX include the reverbs which as you scroll through them starting at Plate Reverb, seem to get progressively more expensive.  Similarly the three pitch changing FX are pretty expensive too.  The delays tend to be moderately expensive with some delays being more expensive than others.

Some amp models are more expensive in DSP usage terms whilst others are less so.  Fester2000's table is still useful even though six amp models were added since he wrote the document.  

If you are going direct to PA or an FRFR type amplification system then you might want to use dual signal paths with dual amp models.  In this kind of scenario the FULL amp models (i.e. the ones which don't have the suffix 'PRE') will probably suit your needs better, but these will all be more expensive than their pre-amp only model counterparts (i.e. those which do have the suffix 'PRE').

If you are, on the other hand going into the power amp section of a single valve amp which you will mic up or take a DI feed from, then you would be better off in terms of saving DSP resources if you used a PRE model.  this is also true if you are using the power amp section of some solid state guitar amplifiers too.  there are no hard and fast rules - just guidance.  sometimes you may need to let your ears over-rule any guidance you have seen written down.

If you need reverb in your signal chain, then Plate Reverb is the cheapest in DSP resource terms.

If you need the same effect in both signal chains, but need to keep those signal chains completely separate then check out fester2000's other document which lists what he found to be stereo preserving FX against those that sum the result of the incoming signal chains to mono.  Using a properly stereo preserving effect shared between both signal chains, you may be able to reduce the demand on DSP resources.

The HD500 and POD HD Pro both have stereo FX loops into which you can insert external FX units - maybe like an old Alesis Quad GT (I still have mine LOL) or a Line 6 M13.  The Line 6 M5 which provides a single effect but which is MIDI controllable too can be a very flexible addition to the POD HD500 in this respect, so say you need a DSP intensive Spring Reverb effect a lot of the time and you're finding that it's that effect that's pushing you over the DSP limit you could off-load that effect to an external unit.  You can also insert external FX between the output of a standard guitar and the POD HD input and you can insert external FX between a 1/4" output of a POD HD (300/400/500/desktop/HD Pro) and the amp you are feeding. 

If you love the sound of your existing amp and only need FX for the bulk of the time you can turn off amp modelling entirely and have your POD HD500, HD Pro or HD desktop as an FX only unit. 

You can use what's known as the 4 Cable Method (4CM) of connection easily with the POD HD500 or POD HD Pro so you can place some FX between your guitar and your amp's front input and other FX in your amp's FX loop for some of your HD500 presets and then for others you can bypass your amp's pre-amp and use one of the HD500's amp models to act as the pre-amp without having to rewire.  It is also possible to press the POD HD desktop into use in the 4CM way of usage, but it requires a few adapter cables and is a little bit less obvious in how to do it, but another L6 Expert User, spaceatl has had a good deal of success with his method of using the desktop unit in a 4CM set-up. 

4CM  may change the sound of your amp slightly if using a POD HD500 (et al) as an FX only unit but in most cases I don't really notice any significant down-side personally, but you might find that your tone does change a little.  Personally I rarely bother with the 4CM as the HD 500 or HD Pro do a great job for me in providing good preamp tone for my Marshall heads or my DT50 but everyone's mileage may vary as their demands will be different.

Depending on what exactly you need to do, you might find that two similar but not identical presets set up in the same bank on the HD500 might allow you to have a lot of flexibility if say you already have a DSP heavy patch for the bulk of a song but for the main solo you need to use the intelligent pitch shifter (harmoniser) which would push the DSP limit over the top, so simply make a decision about maybe losing a spring reverb for the solo and replacing it with a less intensive big delay plus the harmoniser.  You'd simply have the meat and potatoes patch for the bulk of the song set up as preset 1A or whatever in your set list and the solo patch for the same song set up as preset 1B.

In sixteen months of using the POD HD500 I have found that there's pretty much a workaround for most scenarios with the device and I find the flexibility it offers - particularly at the price point it's at - as well as the overall quality of the amp and FX models - is very good.  There are few situations I've found myself in personally with the HD500 where I've found I can't make it do what I need.

You could argue as many have, that the HD500's DSP resources shoud be able to cope with any combination of the included amp models and presets that are included, so if for some reason you wanted to have a dual channel chain compised of two TreadPlate FULL amp models and eight instances of a Spring Reverb effect you could do it.  Obviously you can't do this with the HD500 so you as the end user need to make some choices and compromises.   The HD500 is not an Axe FX.  It is a much less costly device for starters.  Adding more raw DSP resource would bump up the price significantly, so a line had to be drawn I guess in what was possible within the amounts that most end users would be prepared to pay for the product in shops which here in the UK is £409 GBP for the HD500.


Re: Switching patches?
by mirflee on 2011-10-09 01:41:11.3310

Thanks so much for that whole piece of information. Was very very helpful although I've got a couple of questions.

Firstly, I've just tried it during rehearsal with my band on a Marshall JCM 800. As you might have guessed, I decided to bypass the modelled amps and use the FX with the amp. I did the 4CM method and it worked. However, I still have to wrap my head around the means of FX Loop and all the Sends/Returns stuff. The folks here mentioned that all the FX like the delay/reverb would be placed after the FX Loop. When I decided to hit the delay pedal in a part, it didn't turn on unless I positioned the delay just before the FX Loop. Why didn't it work when set after the FX Loop? I've wired the HD 500 to the JCM accordingly.

Secondly, I have a small practice amp at home that I used. It's a cheap Ibanez Toneblaster. No FX Sends/Returns as well as Pre-amps In/Power Amps. How do I wire it correctly to my HD 500 to turn on/off amp modelling and FX?

Lastly, is there a way to prevent the volume drops when I change from the amp models to my JCM 800 head?

Many thanks!

Oh yeah, I'm using the POD HD500!

Re: Switching patches?
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-09 02:43:33.2350


It might be useful if you post your HD500 patch because then it should be easy to a) try here, and b) to perhaps see where your routing or FX return mix levels might be incorrect. 

Both your amp and HD500 FX loop mix levels should be 100% wet when in use

1     Did you set the mix level in the HD500's FX Loop Return to 100%?

2     You can simply turn off all amp modelling in the HD500 on a per patch basis and then feedone 1/4" output from the HD500 to the amp's input, OR if you want to use the HD500 models, you should set your Ibanez practice amp to it's cleanest of clean and uncoloured by tone controls setting and feed one of the HD500's 1/4" outputs to the amp's input.  In both cases, set the AMP/LINE switch on the HD500 to AMP and particularly if you are going to try the HD500's amp models, set the HD500 output mode to Combo Front

3     You can compensate by adjusting the HD500 mixer block levels on a per patch basis by up to 12dB +/-

You may find that using the HD500's PRE amp models is better with your Marshall JCM800 head.  The PRE models are designed to work with valve power amp stages.  Make sure that the HD500 AMP/LINE switch is set to LINE when going in via 4CM or when going direct into the power amp stage and bypassing the real amp's pre-amp section.


Re: Switching patches?
by mirflee on 2011-10-10 05:47:07.3600

Hello again,

1. Oh, I totally miss that out. I'll be sure to set it to 100% now. What difference does it make if I place the reverb/delay/modulation effects before the mixer and after? I've tried it out through my headphones it's like a mono or stereo mix.

2. Missed that out too. Will try that now. On a side note, could you explain to me what each of the output options on the HD 500 means and which is best for which situation? Basically, I'm going to use the HD with either my Ibanez ToneBlaster practice amp or Marshall JCM 800 stack. I've checked the manual but was hoping for someone to provide a simpler explanation.


3. Got it, thanks.

On about the last point, I'm kinda lost with what you've mentioned here. It's best to use HD's PRE amp models so I'd control the knobs and stuff from my HD bypassing the JCM 800's head

I really really appreciate the help here. There's awfully alot to learn about this unit and I love it.

Thanks again!

Re: Switching patches?
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-10 07:27:56.9750


In a real amp situation with real stomp boxes, most people tend to put things like Wah, Overdrive/Distortion FX bnetween the guitar and amp front input and the 'clean' FX like chorus, delay, reverb in the amp's FX loop.  That's just a popular way of doing it I guess and the reason will be that doing it like that allows the FX to operate to their optimum.  However, you can of course do whatever you like, and breaking the 'rules' (there are no rules BTW) is what's basically led to new sounds being developed over the years

In the HD500, it's more about placing the FX before the amp and cab models or after the amp and cab models rather than before or after the mixer.  Placing FX like delay or modulation (chorus/flanger etc...) after the amp modelling will result in those FX being more effective/have more headroom (try it and see for yourself and you'll hear what I mean ).  Some FX are true stereo FX and others are mono FX.  Some will preserve a stereo signal, whereas some will just sum both incoming (stereo) channels to mono.  There is a table which a user called fester2000 put together over in the Pod HD user group under Documents (the Pod HD user group is a user run forum but it is a different forum to this one which confusingly is called POD HD and is a support forum ).  If you put a mono effect anywhere at the end of the signal chain in the HD500 it will sum the output to mono.

The output options on the HD500 are basically different EQ options pre-voiced to make the HD500 sound as good as possible depending on which type of amp or input you're plugging into.

  • Studio/Direct is considered to be best for plugging the HD500 into a PA or into a Full Frequency, Flat Response system like a powered full range speaker cab, or to a recording console.
  • Stack Front is considered best if you're plugging the output of the HD500 into a head + cab like your JCM
  • Stack Pwr Amp is considered best when plugging into a stack power amp section bypassing the amp's pre-amp
  • Combo Front is considered best when plugging into the front input of a combo amp
  • Combo Pwr Amp is considered best when plugging into the power amp section of a combo amp

It's about getting the best match of tone with a number of amplification and cabinet options.

Again - there are no rules.  If you find that Combo Pwr Amp sounds better through your stack, then use it

On the last point, basically you can use the HD500 as the pre-amp and you can avoid your amp's pre-amp entirely.  TBH that's exactly what I do 99.99% of the time.  I have a number of amps with three of them being Marshall, as well as a DT-50 and a couple of Spider Valve combos.  If I use the HD500 or POD HD Pro with any of them I invariably go from the POD 1/4" output into the amp's FX Return or Power Amp In socket. (except the DT-50 where I use L6-Link mode).  I know it seems like a bit of a waste perhaps to have a perfectly good real valve pre-amp such as in the Marshall JVM 205H or TSL100 that I own being bypassed in favour of the HD500 running a PRE amp model, but in all seriousness if I want a Marshall sound through any of my amps, the PRE modelling gets me into the right ball park every time plus I can switch to any one of the other PRE amp models and get pretty close at worst, and pretty much spot on for the rest to any other amp model. 

A lot of what you do and how you decide to do it is subjective.  Most of what I've written above is either my own opinion or it's based on how a lot of people tend to do things.   Some people do things differently and will have different opinions.  Remember above all there are NO rules!


Re: Switching patches?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-10-10 07:40:40.7080

nickmattocks wrote:

Make sure that the HD500 AMP/LINE switch is set to LINE when going in via 4CM or when going direct into the power amp stage and bypassing the real amp's pre-amp section.

Just be aware, if your FX loop is set to amp/stomp level (-10dBV) instead of line level (+4dBu) then setting the HD 1/4" amp/line output to 'line will give the JCM Power amp a very 'hot' input - about 4 times the voltage it would expect at stomp level.  I am not sure what the JCM800 expects so you should check.

This ain't necessarily a bad thing and is actually very useful if you are trying to match the HD's (sometimes wimpy) pre-amp model levels with those from your real amp in 4CM.  However, there will also be a big boost to the real pre-amp levels if you are running 4CM and  you will need to cut down the volume on down your 'real' preamp patches to their original levels using the mixer.  If you don't then you may be pushing the power amp too hard.  This will cause early distortion and may not be terribly good for the amp.  Suggest you set the mixer as the final effect and turn it down there.

If you are using 4CM, you can compare levels simply by turning the Amp Effects loop on and off .... if it can be switched on the JCM - sorry, a bit ignorant of the facilities.  If you don'have a switchable loop:  create two patches, one for line level (no change to the levels) and one for amp level (mixer way down).    You can then change the amp/line switch and the patch together to compare the two.

Sorry if this is bewildering!  Once you get into 4CM nothing is the same again

Re: Switching patches?
by mirflee on 2011-10-15 01:08:04.2490

Thanks so much for this. I've been going to and fro this thread to my HD500 to try things out. From what I hear, it's pretty badass. Thanks for the tip of using the pre-amp models instead of the full models. It sounds way better. One more question though, when I use the pre-amps, can I still use the 4CM method and switch between my JCM and the pre-amps?

I really apologize for the numerous questions, it's an awesome unit and I really wanna get my head around it.

Re: Switching patches?
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-15 01:17:14.6040

Dont worry about asking questions.  That's what the forum is for    Everyone has to start somewhere with this stuff


Re: Switching patches?
by mirflee on 2011-10-23 01:07:04.2580

Hello again, I think I'm missing something here because the 4CM and loop method isn't really working for me. I mean, I'm just using the HD 500's pre-amp as recommended above and wired it according to what you've said here but when I switch on the FX Loop, there's nothing coming out. It works fine without the FX Loop though. Tweak the Sends/Returns on the FX Loop but nothing really comes up.

Also, it would only make sense if I leave the EQ settings on my JCM all flat and tweak from the HD. Is that the right way to go for bypassing my amp's cab and using the HD's modeller?

One last thing, when I used the Stack/Stack Power Amp output mode, there's lack of lows/bass in my tone, is that perfectly normal?

Re: Switching patches?
by mirflee on 2011-10-23 02:09:13.1440

Oh yeah, is there a way that the HD 500 would save the settings once I've adjusted them automatically instead of always double tapping the save button? Let's say I have Patch A and B. During band practice, I wasn't happy with the settings thus adjusted the EQ and during the song, I had to change to Patch B. So when I reverted to Patch A afterwards, the changes I did weren't saved which is a bit of an inconvenience.

Re: Switching patches?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-10-23 02:23:49.8870

Sorry Fanir, there is no auto-save function available.   Double tapping save becomes second nature after a bit.   Its like with a word processor or something -  a habit that you are well advised to aquire.

Just make sure any assigned footswitch effect toggles are where you want them before you save !!

if you want to suggest and auto save feature to Line 6, you can raise a feature request.   If enough people put the same request in then they may choose to implement it in future firmware

Re: Switching patches?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-10-23 02:28:02.3590

I have a link here that explains 4CM so it may be worth checking that your connections are right

You also need to ensure that the FX loop on your amp is actually working and turned on.  The easiest way to do this is to just put some other pedal in the effects loop of your amp and see if you can hear it.  

Come back if this does not help.

Re: Switching patches?
by mirflee on 2011-10-23 03:25:07.8610

Alright, I'll try and wire it out again. Is it best to place the FX Loop block after the pre-amp or before?

Re: Switching patches?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-10-23 04:44:23.7920

At it's simplest:  it does not matter where you put the FX block, provided your 'front of amp' effects are before the FX block and your 'Amp loop' effects are after.  Just make sure that the HD amp model is turned off.

More realistically, the biggest headache with 4CM (after the mad cabling) is getting levels right within the setup.  Ideally, you want the JCM pre-amp and the HD Amp models to be feeding the JCM Power amp with the same volumes as if you were just using the JCM on its own.  This takes a little doing but as a guide, the setup for my JVM is a follows - from a post on the JVM forum.  This may need a little tweaking for your JCM and may vary depending on tubes etc.

As a reference:  this my 4CM standard setup now.

  • HD500 FX Level switch = stompbox level.
  • HD500 1/4"  output switch = Line Level.
  • HD500 Master vol=100% (or lower, if you don't care about power amp distortion benefits and want control of your amp from the floor) 
  • JVM Switchable loop level switch  = -10dBV.
  • JVM FX Loop Mix = 100% Wet
  • JVM channel volumes around 2-3 O'clock.   Clean gain around 2 O'clock, other gains to whatever. 
  • JVM Masters wherever suits you.
For an effects-only patch, using the JVM Pre-amp, my levels are set as follows.
  • Input 1 = Guitar.  Input 2 = Variax (for Noise reduction).
  • An FX Block in the middle of the patch.   Mixer at the very end of the patch.
  • Studio EQ just before the FX Block. No EQ set but gain raised by +6dB (if the guitar input level switch is set to 'normal') or +11.5dB (if the guitar input switch is set to 'Pad'). This compensates for a level drop between the HD Input and the HD FX Loop.
  • FX block return level set to +5dB.  This compensates  for a volume drop when the amp loop is switched on.
  • Mixer channel A set to -14dB.  Pan Centre.  Mixer channel B set off.  Note you may need to set channel B as per A if you use certain stereo effect blocks, or flip between real and modelled pre-amps. Orange/Red channel patches may need a few dB less again to balance output volumes across all channels.

The setup above uses amp level (-10dBV)  configured at the amplifier with Line Level at the HD output.  This compensates for the quietness of the HD pre-amps compared to some 'real' pre-amps.  The settings compensate but pulling down the levels from the 'real' pre-amp (using the Mixer in the last step) and this is one area where you are most likely to need to need to fiddle with your JCM. 

Keep your master on the JCM low while you are playing - assuming that the master control on your JCM is installed after it's effects loop.  If the master is installed before the JVM effects loop then you may need to turn the amp master way up and the HD master right down to compensate.  Sorry, you will have to figure this one out yourself.

One of the great things with 4CM is that you can use either the JCM or HD pre-amps without changing the wiring. 

  • The config for the JCM pre-amp is that described above in this post. 
  • The config for the HD amp is simple - turn on the HD amp and remove the pre-amp block.  

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