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Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by Hydrophish on 2012-01-17 22:52:55.4910

As the title suggests, been having a lot of issues trying to get a decent tone out of the PA in a live setting. I know all about Fletcher Munson and have followed all of the usual tricks: input 2 to Variax, Studio output mode, eq'ing patches at cranked volumes or with headphones, but nothing seems to work.  (quick aside: why doesn't Line 6 release an update that compensates for FM effect?) I can get clean patches sounding decent (not great mind you), but any amount of distortion results in a thin, fizzy, buzzy mess  with midrange honk, nothing at all what it sounds like in my Sennheiser cans or my Rocket RP 5s, or even my Tech 21 Power Engine, which I use as a stage monitor.  I play a lot of church worship music where a common requirement is no live amps on stage. The Pod would be great for that if it sounded decent through a PA or the in ear monitors (we use a Jam Hub with Shure monitors).  My favorite tones are mid-gain Marshall's and the Vox AC 30.  Think Andy Timmons or Joe Bonamassa tone wise.  I'd appreciate any help or insight you seasoned Pod pros can offer on this.  I've been using Line 6 stuff since the X3Live with good results, but the HD 500 has been very challenging so far in a live setting.



Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by jimsreynolds on 2012-01-18 00:34:54.8430

Hydrophish wrote:

quick aside: why doesn't Line 6 release an update that compensates for FM effect?)

I like that idea!  I saw someone suggest something very similar on another forum and (with my limited knowedge of how practical it would be) have just submitted a product feature request suggesting the same, at the link here">">

It seems like a really simple, effective idea and (based on what I know) quite simple to implement ... just some kind of eq curve affecting the high and low ends with a 'dB output level' parameter to allow you to adjust.   A global setting would be best ... I think :S.

Is it the same church each time?  Can you grab some time there  with the PA (outside of normal services) to try and get some tones dialed in properly?

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by harubert on 2012-03-07 14:23:58.8430

Hi ...

Excuse my poor English ... all you wrote describes also my experience. I still use my old POD 2.0 and was always very happy with it. The rich tube sounds of the HD500 impressed me. I used it at Home and was very happy with the sounds.

Plugged to a PA with following experience:

- Still good clean Sound

- light Fuzz, bad distortion Sounds ... also no good crunch Sounds.

- Horrible Noise useing some WAH effect on distorted Sounds.

- Same using the XLR or 1/4'' ...

What I would like is a set of good set (just a Handfull) presets using Wah and Volume Pedal as i am used to from the old Model. Also not found on the User Sounds at the community.

BTW: The PowerCord is horrible - almost not usable on Stage ... for more than 400 Bucks there could be a better Plug and Adapter ...


Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by philtno on 2012-03-09 03:44:30.2200

What are you plugging in at home?? amp??


Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by PedalTweaker on 2012-03-09 05:05:00.1010

I totally agree w/ this post. The POD DH500 sounds shrill and mid honky. I think no matter what kind of firmware ver. you put on it it will sound that way. The effects and amp models sound thinc. You can tell how the HD500 took away the bass of my string when on bypass or tuner mode. Just today I tried to create a clean sound (from scratch) w/ a slight chorus effect and so funny that I need to turned the "tone" all the way down "zero" just to get the warmness out of it. I'm not sure if "HD" means hi-definition. If that's true, well the intention is good but the results is not totally good. Gone are the days where Boss and other digital effects makers made a good sounding effects in the 80's used by artists like Lee Ritenour or Steve Lukather, etc... I THINK THE ISSUE OF THIS NEW LINE6 EFFECTS HAS SOMETHING TO DO W/ THE GLOBAL A/D D/A CONVERSION SAMPLING RATE. I THOUGHT THAT JUST LIKE NEWER ZOOM EFFECTS, LINE6 IS USING THE 96KHZ A/D D/A SAMPLING RATE. JUST A SIMPLE ANALOGY OF AN MP3 BIT RATE, IT EASY TO TELL THAT 96Khz sounds warmer than the 192KHZ or 196KHZ mp3 bit rate. I'M NOT TRYING TO BASH ON LINE6. I ALREADY OWN NOW AN HD500 AND TO A CUSTOMER/USER'S PERSPECTIVE, LINE SHOULD COME UP W/ A BETTER FIRMWARE THAT COULD FIX THIS ISSUE, CONSIDERING HOW EXPENSIVE THIS IS. THIS IS MY FIRST TIME I BOUGHT AN EXPENSIVE LINE6 MULTIEFX AND I WAS DISAPPOINTED. BUT I HAVE TO LIVE W/ MY HD500 NOW SINCE IT'S NOT EASY TO RE-SALE THIS THING HERE IN OUR COUNTRY. HOW I WISH THAT LINE 6 CAN MAKE A FIRMWARE THAT USERS LIKE US CAN ACCESS THE GLOBAL A/D D/A SETTINGS FOR ALL THE EFFECTS AND AMP MODELS AND CHOOSE BETWEEN 20KHZ UP TO 96KHZ. THERE'S A SAMPLING RATE PARAMETER FOR HD500 BUT IT'S FOR THE SPDIF OUTPUT. I TRIED MESSING IT AND I CAN TELL THAT THE SOUND FROM 44KHZ IT WILL BECOME SHRILL ONCE I REACH 96KHZ. BUT THIS IS FOR SPDIF OUTPUT. SO AGAIN HOW I WISH THAT I CAN ACCESS THE A/D D/A CONVERSION SAMPLING OF HD500.

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by greghall on 2012-03-09 05:59:37.4780


The HD500 can sound fantastic connected direct to a PA, and I have used it this way in a large church setting for over a year now. More recently I've combined it with a DT25.

With the HD500 direct, there are quite a number of things that could affect the sound though (apart from just the room and volume levels), like how you are connected to the PA (left and right XLR's?), DI box? use of stereo affects in your patches, panning of channels in the mixer, and the PA settings, e.g. line/mike level inputs, eq etc, if 2 channels are used on the PA are they panned or balanced. If you could provide a bit more detail of your set up, I'm sure there are many peope on this forum that could help.

I would recommend spending some time in the room with your sound engineer, to try and isolate the problem and to adjust your patches / volume to sound right "in the room"


Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by jasonbogen on 2012-03-09 07:09:53.3150

There's nothing in the original post to agree about.  The main intention of a POD is to be run into a PA.  The idea is that you are simulating a mic'd up amp going to PA.  The original poster realizes that people are getting great results and is asking how to do it.  As someone who has been doing this for 100s of gigs from the 2.0 to the X3L to the HD500 (I never even owned a real amp until I bought the DT25 a couple weeks ago) I can also confirm the HD500 sounds great out of a PA. 

It's a matter of setting it up properly.  Are the patches setup with full amp modeling, with cab models on?  Are they setup with pre's only?  If they are setup for a Power Engine, they will not sound good through a PA.  Also, the PA makes a difference.  I have used my PODS with 4 different keyboard amps (essentially standalone PA's) and have gone into several different PA speakers (Mackie Thump, QSC K series, EV Live X, and other various house systems.  The EQ's will be different with different speakers and especially different between 15's,12's and 10's for tops.  There are several tips for EQ'ing on these forums.  At one point there was a thread that had tips and tricks.  I can never find things using the search feature here, but it's worth looking for. 

I won't make believe it is as easy as it should be, but there are so many people getting great results through a PA with their HD500's, it's ridiculous to suggest that it can't be done.

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by phil_m on 2012-03-09 07:20:40.6340

Well, your experience doesn't match mine. The key is you can't depend on headphones to setup your patches, unless you have some very good flat response headphones. But even then, I don't know if I'd trust it. You really need to invest in some semi-decent studio monitors if you hope to create patches that will translate well to various PA systems. It's the reason you use studio monitors while recording. You need something that's not designed to sweeten what you're hearing in any way, because you want to as close as possible, hear what's really coming from the POD.

I've used my HD500 direct on several different sound systems now, and it worked really well. And actually, I let the lead singer in my band borrow mine for practice last week, and he was able use my patches without any trouble. Fletcher Munson effects can cause some difference, but I don't think they can be blamed for everything. If you're monitoring your tones at really low levels it will be a big difference, but at normal levels, it shouldn't make a huge difference.

I really just think that if you want to use the HD500 in a live environment going direct, you need to invest in decent monitors. If you're someone who'd doing anything with recording at home, it's something you should get anyway. They don't have to be the best of the best, but there's a lot available now for not a lot of money. I got a pair of M-Audio active monitors for not too much, and they work great.

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by meambobbo on 2012-03-09 07:25:57.1880

I understand your frustration.

It's not the A/D D/A converters.  Those are used in a number of pieces of high-quality gear that doesn't have this issue.

I believe the issue has to do with the cab/mic simulation.  It seems like none of the cab/mic combinations will get you anywhere near a full frequency flat response.  It seems like there are always frequencies missing or replaced by noise.  Sometimes these are in the low-end, sometimes in the high-end.

My solution has been to set up patches with dual cabs, you use one bright cab and one dark cab.  This requires you to use dual amps, which limits your DSP heavily, but I find the results are worth it.  You have to find cab combinations that work well together.  You also want to blend them together by tweaking the EQ on the amp models.  For instance, I'll often drop the bass to 0 on my bright cab, letting the dark cab fill that in.  If you mix frequencies from both, you get some comb filtering, and the tone sounds very lifeless.  You need to mix some in the mids, but if you minimize the interference, it should sound ok.

Another solution is to ditch the Pod HD's cab/mic simulation altogether.  You could run the output to a laptop used to run an IR, or get a DI box that has good cab simualtion, such as the H&K Red Box.  For a more expensive solution that actually uses IR's, Two Notes Torpedo line, including the pedal version is coming out soon.

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by meambobbo on 2012-03-09 07:26:22.1550

here's more info on the dual cab stuff:">">

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by jstock1 on 2012-03-09 08:23:21.5930

+1 greghall.

Absolutely you need to spend a plenty of time in front of the PA yourself working the patches.

At home I play through one of the PA cabs so I can work on new sounds, but still need some PA time for some final tweaks.

For me its a happy medium we play loads of different venues all with their own accoustic signature, so its very difficult to get the perfect sound. Most venues require a few tweaks of the EQ on the board, I never change my patches at the venue itself.

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by litesnsirens on 2012-03-09 12:38:30.7760

I have to agree with Phil, I can't imagine that setting up tones in the headphones will ever translate well to a live situation.  To me the headphone jack was put there so you can practice without disturbing the rest of the family.  Now the opposite seems to work, if I set up tones that sound good coming out of the PA I can plug in some headphones and they sound just fine, not exactly the same but good.  I find that the effects in the headphones sound more pronounced than they do out of the PA and some other subtle differences but that's probably because I HAVE THE SPEAKERS STRAPPED TO MY EARS!!  It's very different than listening through a live sound system. 

I use Bose L1 PA which is very easy to set up so whenever I want to dabble in creating new tones I set everything up and get to work.  Interestingly I find that I can run direct into a different PA and the sounds are still stellar.  There's no reason a person can't dial in great tones with the HD500 but admittedly, there are a lot of different little settings and switches that you have to get right before you even start.  As mentioned is seems a little more complicated than it should be but that's just so that people can use it in a bunch of different scenarios.

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by garethjag10 on 2012-03-18 03:46:26.4000

I totally agree with 1st comment! These people who have replied with positive comments with regard to the HD500 must be Line 6 staff or are playing music that is not that demanding in terms of required sounds! the clean sounds are okay, however the distorted lead sounds and Crunch sounds are so bad that I have found that is it effecting my ability to play live!! the Solo lead does not mix very well, when you crank up for a solo you get all these unwanted low end frequencies!! I have tried to continue the use of this unit for around two months but shall now revert to my trusted XT Live, I play direct in to a Nexo 5000 watt PA system with Crown Macro power amplifiers, which is the best you can get!! but still the sound from the HD500 is terrible! I have spent loads of hours downloading different leads sounds!! editing sounds to try to improve this unit, and they have sounded okay at home, but when used live they sound terrible; it is not anything to do with the sound on the particular patch, it is basically the main sound of the system is a mid honky sound and does not have a natural clear sound prior to process; as sated i have spent hours trying to get good sounds, and I am pretty good at editing sounds; i have worked all my life editing sounds for Keyboards, Guitar effects units and never ever previously had such problems trying to get good sounds!!! the unit should arrive ready for use!! the Presets are the worst I have ever!!! never mind the tones the presets are not normal Guitar sounds, they are mushy synthy sounds! truly the worst!!! but i have come across this before, and normally you just connect to the Internet and download sounds which normally make a dramatic improvement!! however on this occasion the downloaded sounds are proper Guitar sounds but still sound terrible through a PA!!!! if Line 6 Monitor these pages; please advise?  I have been a long time Line 6 user!! I have had nearly every Line 6 Product that has been made, but I am going to try Zoom, or Roland, Digitech, now; I use the Variax Guitar so my sound should have been perfect; but it the worst Line 6 Product I have ever had.

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by jimsreynolds on 2012-03-18 04:19:44.0190


I am going to assume that you have the right output mode set (Studio/Direct), are not overloading the Pod input etc.  Checkout Meambobbo's guide here if you need more info on this ==>">"> .

Just a thought:   sometimes people have an intrinsicly 'bad' sound because their unit is a glitchy afer a firmware upgrade and seems to favour certain frequencies.  This effects all of their tones..  Occasionally this gets sorted after a global settings reset.  If you have not already tried a global settings reset then I suggest that you do.  Procedure here">">

Re: Pod HD 500 - Sounds great at home, horrible through a PA
by litesnsirens on 2012-03-18 15:50:46.5340

I don't know what you consider required sounds. Admittedly I'm not a metal player but I do hard rock and do play high gain solo tones plus everything in between, blues crunch clean.  I'm not a Line 6 employee and unlike you, wouldn't even use Line 6 gear pretty much until the HD500 (I briefly used an M13 but that has no amp modelling).  For me this is the first modelling device that I actually thought sounded like an acutal amp, and just to be fair Fractal might be good but I'm not about to pay that kind of money for a modeller.  The point is there has to be something going on with your setup.  The other thing is just taste of tone.  I wonder if players that have primarily used modellers prefer that kind of tone to real tube amp tone, I'm just so used to tube amps that I go for that kind of tone but there are alot of ways to make a guitar sound.

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