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Dialing the harshness out of HD500..

DeeDub

Member
Messages
695
I picked up an HD 500 a while back, and finally had a chance to mess with it a bit. Running it through a QSC K10... and it had no life to the cleans, and a harshness to the overdrive/distortion sounds that I could not get rid of. To say I was unhappy with the sounds would be an understatement.

What's the secret to using these things direct? I tried setting up sounds before hand using headphones.. big mistake there, I'm sure... but it was all I had time for at that moment.

I have some gigs coming up where space is limited, and I want to give this thing another shot before it goes up on the auction block.

What are your secrets?
 

Jim Soloway

Member
Messages
14,619
I'm sorry to be too obvious, but to me the secret is to program it with the output device that you'll be using. We throw around the term FRFR quite freely bit the truth is that none of them really are or they'd all sound the same ... and they don't.
 

DeeDub

Member
Messages
695
Well.. I realize I should program with the K10, I just haven't had time. I suppose I'll have to make the time. I need a vacation!
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,446
That is truly the answer. If you're lucky, you can tweak it with the actual PA you're playing through... but a good FRFR that is the one you are actually using is a great start.

And... DO NOT USE HEADPHONES!
 

charley

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,528
I have actually had the most success with the cleans, it's the overdriven sounds that I have struggled with.

As far as OD pedals go, I find the treble to be a major source of fizz and unpleasantness. Dialing out a decent amount of treble has worked wonders for me on the Tube Drive......but my OD sounds are probably more like most other's clean sounds.

I really like the Twin Reverb model set clean, with the 409 mic, and 2 Tube Drives for various amounts of gain. I have been able to get a warm and creamy tone out if that setup best.

I also like the Dr. Z and JTM45 amps for the slightly hairier tones, but have had trouble getting them to sound "full" when I A/B them with my Twin patches.
 

rezidentura

Member
Messages
561
This whole deal is always a struggle many things add to the harshness cables strings guitars. The trick is get the combination that works for you. As far as patches try using the same cab and mic for your patches. If you can zero everything so to speak then tweaking treble and brightness may be more consistent for dialing out harshness. I usually stay with sm57 on access.
 

pureanalog

Member
Messages
126
that's the most annoying trouble I had with the HD500 and that's why I got rid of it. It was harsh and muddy at the same time. My advice is to change your modeler, if you can't easily dial out, you'll probably have it all the time to bother you.
 

randall d

Member
Messages
266
Are you relying on the amp model for your overdrive? I found the overdrive in the HD amp models to be fizzy, muddy and unusable (for my tastes). I ended up using the Tube Driver model for the majority of my overdrive, and only juicing up the amp model enough to get it to come alive.
 

Akeldama

Member
Messages
36
I've struggled with the HD500 ever since it was released. And while its effects have served me well, I've often hated the amp models.

But I'm finally getting to grips with it. I wrote about dialling out the harshness in this article - which sees me work out how to get much better tones than I'd previously managed..

Just a shame one has to jump through these hoops.
 

VCuomo

Member
Messages
16,687
You know, with all of the user comments about the HD500 and "harshness" and "fizziness" (I also think this is my HD500's major weakness), you'd think that Line 6 would already have an easy way to dial this out. In fact, I'd say they should fix this problem before they do anything else to this product - and I'm one of the guys that really wants the SLO model, but I'd like this issue resolved even more! :)

I play through a power amp (I'm not going direct) and I've tried every cab model there is, along with an EQ at the end of the signal chain, and have never been able to eliminate it. The low-end thump isn't hard to control with an EQ and the cab DEPs, but that high-end fizz is a b!tch...
 

eclecto-acoustic

Serial tree-hugger
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,886
The harshness will be there in spades going from headphones to FRFR. Headphones, even good ones, tend to exaggerate bass and, to a much lesser degree, treble. Naturally, you'll compensate by dropping the bass a LOT. Then you go play through something relatively flat, and probably louder which further diminishes how much bass you hear...and presto. Harsh and gross.

Honestly, this modeler is starting to sound a lot like pregnancy...everyone has their whiz bang theory on how to tell the gender, how best to prep for birth, what to eat, what medicines to take (or not), how much exercise to do, blaw blaw blaw.

The only real honest solid advice out there is check your global settings (input/output modes, etc), use your ears, and tweak. Great sounds are in there, and they aren't hard to find.

Case in point, I really don't like any of the OD/distortion boxes in there. I much prefer to get the amp doing the lifting in that department, and control the amount of dirt with a comp/boost and my volume knob. Sounds better to me, works for me...so I'll do it that way.
 

meambobbo

Member
Messages
493
http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/tipsAndPitfalls#clipping

http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/ampTone#pureClean

http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/eq#effects-mid

Make sure you don't have unwanted clipping as described in the first link. For many of the clean amp models their power sections model crossover distortion. The second link describes methods to reduce or eliminate such. The 3rd link describes how to operate the mid focus eq, useful for dialing down high end making the tone less harsh. Alternatively you could use te vintage mic pre effect which has a low pass filter. Also a lot of the compressors have low pass filters although they aren't adjustable
 

meambobbo

Member
Messages
493
I recommend using the mid focus eq with a low lp q setting. This lightly rolls off the highs for a natural sound. Try lp freq between 80-95 %
 

DRS

Member
Messages
12,354
Hats off to meambobbo for all the work he did on understanding the L6 HD500 - work L6 should have done and tweaked before they released it :dude
But

What does djenty mean?
 

meambobbo

Member
Messages
493
Hats off to meambobbo for all the work he did on understanding the L6 HD500 - work L6 should have done and tweaked before they released it :dude
But

What does djenty mean?
I see distortion in 3 main forms; however, there is a continuum between them and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The form of distortion is dependent on the peak frequency sent to the distortion. The peak is what distorts, while other frequencies simply compress.

Bass/Dark: Fuzz
lower-mids: crunch
upper-mids: djent

A flat response will be a combination of all of the above.

by djent, I mean the tone has a clean bass response - little distortion there, allowing palm mutes in particular to have a thick bass response without any percussive fartyness. At the same time, the upper mids distort, providing a mostly smooth, searing distortion. palm muted chords sound like "djent djent djent". Like if you try to say the sound it makes, you might spell it "djent".

I certainly didn't make up this word and I'm sure a quick google search will provide dozens of examples of what I'm talking about.

Compare such a tone to a more vintage-sounding crunch distortion. The crunch is more percussive and maybe even slightly farty in the bass. Listen to Page's palm muting in Communication Breakdown. It's percussive and slightly farty - not saturated and chugga-chug like Meshuggah, or even Metallica.
 

Will Chen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,049
I see distortion in 3 main forms; however, there is a continuum between them and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The form of distortion is dependent on the peak frequency sent to the distortion. The peak is what distorts, while other frequencies simply compress.

Bass/Dark: Fuzz
lower-mids: crunch
upper-mids: djent

A flat response will be a combination of all of the above.

by djent, I mean the tone has a clean bass response - little distortion there, allowing palm mutes in particular to have a thick bass response without any percussive fartyness. At the same time, the upper mids distort, providing a mostly smooth, searing distortion. palm muted chords sound like "djent djent djent". Like if you try to say the sound it makes, you might spell it "djent".

I certainly didn't make up this word and I'm sure a quick google search will provide dozens of examples of what I'm talking about.

Compare such a tone to a more vintage-sounding crunch distortion. The crunch is more percussive and maybe even slightly farty in the bass. Listen to Page's palm muting in Communication Breakdown. It's percussive and slightly farty - not saturated and chugga-chug like Meshuggah, or even Metallica.
I hate the term 'djent'. Always makes me think of Djin...but I guess its kinda appropriate. Your description is spot on though. Its the point at which palm mutes started resonating chest cavities. When I think of modern distortion tones, for me it started with Anthrax. When they hit the scene, their palm mutes were so damn tight compared to almost everything else out there until ...And Justice for All was released.
 

meambobbo

Member
Messages
493
I hate the term 'djent'. Always makes me think of Djin...but I guess its kinda appropriate. Your description is spot on though. Its the point at which palm mutes started resonating chest cavities. When I think of modern distortion tones, for me it started with Anthrax. When they hit the scene, their palm mutes were so damn tight compared to almost everything else out there until ...And Justice for All was released.
I was exposed first to Metallica but you're absolutely right. IT'S A MADHOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 






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