Some much needed POD HD500 help/advice

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Metallicdream91, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Metallicdream91

    Metallicdream91 Guest

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    I have had my POD HD500 for just about nine months now, and have spent the entire time experimenting and tweaking and re-tweaking my tones and I still cannot get the sound I am looking for with any of my tones. Whether it's my Blackface sparkling cleans to my Treadplate super leads or anything in between, there is just always something missing. I've tried doing just pre-amps, no cab sims, doing the full rig top to bottom, changing the mic's, adding pedals and all that jazz, but my tones only ever reach about 75-80% satisfaction for myself. I've also run a decent gambit on ways to amp it, using everything from headphones, computer speakers, my cheap SS practice amp, FRFR speakers and most recently a full-on tube amp (which is the best so far), but nothing is satisfying my tonal desires. The worst part is, I jump online and hear all these amazing clips of people getting these stellar tones to the point where I have to do a double take to make sure I actually do in fact have a POD HD500, because I can't believe the incredible sounds I'm hearing out there, but not in my own room. I'm heavily considering selling it, because I feel like I'm running out of options and not getting close to a solution, but the options available and convenience of having 16 amps, 100+ effects etc. in one unit is too much to just give up on. I could really use some suggestions/help from other HD500 owners out there...I don't want to call it quits yet, because I know this is a great piece of gear, but I just can't seem to find that magic tone, no matter what I do.
     
  2. GuitarKidd

    GuitarKidd Member

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    Put a patch on custom tone or put a screen shot of your HD Edit on a post so we can see how your editing your patches.

    Also, have you tried downloading any patches from Custom Tone. A great place to start is by looking for patches from Franzel. Great patches and a great place to start.
     
  3. HolyMuffDiver

    HolyMuffDiver Member

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    I don't know what others' experience has been, but I have never downloaded a tone that sounded good when I loaded it into my own HD500.

    The thing about the POD or any modeler is that it is not as simple as tweaking an amp. You have to tweak the amp model as part of the process, but you also have to consider all the other variables you have control over. Making a change in one spot will necessitate changes in other places, and if you change anything externally (amplification, room, listening volume, etc.), you might as well start tweaking from scratch.

    The way I see it, it's going to be impossible to get a tone that sounds perfect to you, no matter what gear you're using. It may sound perfect for a while, but give it a day or so and you'll be tweaking again. There are too many variables. I've learned to be happy with getting something that sounds good to me for longer than a couple of days, bonus points if it still sounds good at different volumes or through a different PA setup. (I even feel this way about actual amps. The same one can sound different to me every time I use it.)

    I suspect the problem with liking everyone else's tones better than your own is the same as an artist always hating his own work; it may be great, but he's aware of every tiny detail that could be improved, when other people will never notice those details unless you point them out.

    But on to some actual tips that may help. First, have you tried matching the master volume (the master amp volume in the preset, not the master volume on the POD) to what you'd normally use when playing through a real amp? A lot of these amps are dimed by default, and even the ones that default to 50% would be far too loud to play them that way in real life. At that volume, you're going to have to dial them in entirely differently than what you're probably used to. For example, if I set the Treadplate master volume to a moderate real-life equivalent of 30% (would still be pretty ******* loud on a real Recto), I can tweak the amp controls in the patch pretty much exactly as I would with a real amp in my room, making adjustments for mic and cab choices as needed. If you want to dime the master volume, you're going to have to really use your ears and forget the "proper" way to tweak an amp. You may find yourself turning the treble way down, or the presence completely off, or some other off-the-wall setting you've never seen in real life, because you've probably never had to tweak a 100-watt amp at full volume before.

    And then there are the usual tips: tweak at gig volume, try to stand at least 15 feet from your speaker when evaluating your sounds, go easy on the gain, set your second input to "aux" or "Variax," pan both channels dead center in the mixer, and other stuff you've probably seen in tons of other threads.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  4. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    One quick tip: In the mixer, don't set the volume at unity. Set it at between +7 and +9, run the master (under the amp parameters, NOT the channel volume) at full, and work from there.

    Another thing that's real important, if you're looking for the "amp in the room" feel. You are gonna need a bit of volume, plain and simple.

    Also, I have found with modelers that a lot of guys try and find a use for every amp in the box. Don't bother. I'm down to 4 or 5 that I use regularly. That's it. They work for my tone, I don't bother with the ones that don't. Which models are those? Only you will know.

    And, if you are using gain-ey tones, mess around with Bias and Bias X... don't just crank them up, the sweet spot for you might be somewhere in the middle...
     
  5. Excelsis

    Excelsis Member

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    I cant imagine how bassman model could not sound good. :?
    Try that mid focus eq thing, and as Pietro sad-crank it up for better feel. ;)
     
  6. vapor

    vapor Member

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    I think all the posts that have been made are right on target.

    The HD reminds me of my first Floyd Rose experience - one adjustment changes everything and it takes time to find the balance as HolyMuffDiver stated. Outside of no global EQ the tweaking maze is probably my biggest complaint with the HD.

    There have already been some great technical tips mentioned, but I will offer the KISS acronym. Keeping things simple always yields me better results. I start with amp/cab/mic/eq/low gain first. Effects are always the last thing I ever think about. Small changes go a long way. Let things sink in before any changes are made. This all may be elementary to you, but stripping things down and starting with a good foundation is what works for me. Franzel tones from CT are great, but have never downloaded a tone that I did not have to tweak. Oh, I can't stress enough the input 1 guitar input 2 variax / straight up pan deal. This in itself changed the entire experience for me.

    Keep us posted on your progress.

    peace
     
  7. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic Supporting Member

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    Pietro and HMD...

    Aren't you guys saying conflicting things about the master volume (AMP parameter) or am I reading that wrong?
     
  8. veus55

    veus55 Silver Supporting Member

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    The usual typical problems when people cannot get good tone have to do with some of these issues:
    1) Using the XLR output instead of an 1/4 output. The XLR output is too low.
    2) Selecting the incorrect output option. Need to select studio/direct for FRFR or Combo/Stack when using an Amp
    3) Selecting the guitar input mode as Guitar and the 2 input as Same. For some reason when you do this, the tone is muddled

    Just some suggestions.

    In my personal experience, I have found great tones in Custom Tone or at least great starting points. I run my HD500 with a DT25 and I have the best tone I ever had, better than my Axe FxII/ K10 combo (at least for live performances, not for the studio)

    Good luck,
    Dan
     
  9. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure what you guys are talking about with the XLR output being TOO low. Yeah, it is lower than the 1/4", but with my master dimed through the XLR out, there is some serious level reduction happening at the mixer. If I went 1/4" and tried that, the engineer would have me turned all but completely off.
     
  10. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    My steps to modeling happiness.

    1. Keep it real simple to start. Just find a basic amp model that works for you with out a lot of dressing up.

    2. Add changes in very small increments making sue you're happy with each change before you add more.

    3. Save each patch before you make changes so you can get back to where you were really easily.

    4. If make a bunch of changes and you hate what you've got, then go back to #1 and start over. It's usually easier to build a good patch than it is to fix a bad one.
     
  11. Dr.Fix

    Dr.Fix Member

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    I have no issues with input 2 as "same".
    Maybe because my strat input is low and the difference is not remarkable... anyway, anybody else experiencing this? I could make some tries
     
  12. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic Supporting Member

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    Not so much muddled tone, but definitely more noise if you don't change the 2nd input to something else (Variax is quietest). Just don't do that if you've got parallel signal chains...here I am wondering why my shiny dual amp tone sounds...um...skinny.
     
  13. Metallicdream91

    Metallicdream91 Guest

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    Thanks to everyone for the responses...I'm gonna keep on working. I think this was a late-night desperation post because I've been working on this one specific tone that I've head in my head for months and just can't nail it, and while writing last night, that perfect tone would have perfect the tone of the song for me. I'm not going to give up yet, as I went back this morning and realized I actually had a really good tone on my hands. I'll try out some of the suggestions and keep working on it. Thanks again!
     
  14. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic Supporting Member

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    The perfect tone will be elusive no matter what...some days it'll be right on, others not. Get what works, and FEEL it. Ears are silly.
     
  15. veus55

    veus55 Silver Supporting Member

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    Good luck!
     
  16. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    You might have better luck running into your tube amps FX loop.

    Treadplate, tubescreamer, post amp eq, stack poweramp, mixer at O pan.

    Through the right power section (you really need presence and reso) it can sound suprisingly good...but I personally find it unusable into headphones...I'd rather hook it up as above and run it at whisper volumes as at least then it actually sounds like an amp.
     
  17. Stratofuzz

    Stratofuzz Supporting Member

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    Today was a day that I got to play as loud as I wanted to so I compared the HD to my amps at volume. I started with the "real" stuff and was thinking that there is a difference; that I should just go back to amps (BTW I have an Allen Old Flame and a Tungsten Mosaic. These are good amps.) Then I plugged in the modeler and it sounds just as good. (Well, as good as I ever sound.) No matter what I am playing through I gravitate to the same harmonically full, gets dirty when you dig in, sound. Modeler or amp it always just sounds like me...

    What I am getting at is the tones are in there if you keep at it. It just may take some more efforts and forgetting any assumptions you may have. Play with it and only use your ears, not your eyes.
     
  18. Metallicdream91

    Metallicdream91 Guest

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    Thanks, I'll definitely keep working on it...I know I've got a great piece of gear on my hands!
     
  19. dannopelli

    dannopelli Member

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    I'd like to see the answer to that also...
     
  20. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    I'm talking about maxing the channel volume (the one on the amp) AND the "amp volume" (or whatever it's called), which is the new parameter in v1.4, both. It works for me, but I normally use cleaner amp settings. My point is, you want a good hot output coming from the unit, imho. Does that make sense?
     

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