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  • I really enjoyed Larry Lion's observations and respect his opinions. As far as HD500 goes- it does have a pretty steep learning curve, agreed. But the time was well spent for me, as it ended with really great tone after programming patches into the HD and adding the DT amp.



    Ultimately, we are all here for great tone... One way or another... Larry gets it with his JTV, pedal setup and specific amps. I too have some beloved pedals from which I just can't part. So, I have incorporated them in with my setup using the programmable effects loop(s) on the HD500.



    If I need an Electro-Harmonix Black Finger compressor, a TC Chorus, Radial Tonebone Classic Distortion or an Eventide PitchFactor, one pedal press and I am there. Changing JTV guitars, tunings, amp/ cabinet sims, Line 6 effects, DT amp analog qualities and any of my pedals preset in the loop - all controlled by one press on the HD500. I am delighted with the tone, the versatility and the convenience. Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

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    • Quote Originally Posted by DrFunky
      View Post

      Ultimately, we are all here for great tone... One way or another... Larry gets it with his JTV, pedal setup and specific amps. I too have some beloved pedals from which I just can't part. So, I have incorporated them in with my setup using the programmable effects loop(s) on the HD500.




      I agree that it's great having the "trap door" of an effects loop available. Perhaps Congress will pass a law someday that all digital guitar processors must have one
      N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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      • Oh, and regarding the DT25 update...as some of you might have suspected, yes, I did program a series of controller data to step through all the amp models automatically. If I sped it up, it was like a really sick sample-and-hold effect
        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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        • I had an insight that might help explain some of Larry Lion's experience with the Dream Rig, and that involves the documentation. Let me give an analogy.



          You buy a guidebook for New York called "Everything You'd Want to Do in New York" with detailed listings of museums, restaurants, historic sites, and everything--complete with maps on how to get there, hours of operation, tips, and more.



          But, you're in Boston, so what you really need first is information on how to get from Boston to New York. And I think that's the issue with Line 6's documentation. There are detailed manuals on Line 6 Link, the HD500, editor, and so on but there's no real document that gives the 10,000 foot view of the whole system.



          So, I'm going to try and give an overview of exactly what it means when you have an HD500, DT25, and POD HD500 software, with the HD500 and DT25 connected via Line 6 Link (we'll leave the Variax out of the picture for now).



          The typical guitar rig is guitar > effects > preamp > amp+cabinet. An HD500 emulates all elements of that chain, so you can send the output to a clean amplification system or mixer for recording.



          What Line 6 Link does is let you replace the amp+cabinet part of the chain with the DT25. Now, this in itself isn't all that remarkable; it's not uncommon to use sims to create effects and preamps, then go into something like a Fender Twin or Marshall stack. This gives you a "best of both worlds" scenario where the final, analog part of the chain imparts an analog character that "smooths out" and roughness inherent in the digital sound.



          But what L6 Link, combined with the DT25, brings to this concept is you're not limited to the sound of going through a "Fender Twin" or "Marshall Stack" because the combination of HD500 and DT25 provides a combination of preamp modeling and configurable analog amp+cabinet, with the DT25 amp+cabinet synched to what's happening in the HD500. In other words, if you choose a particular type of amp+cabinet in the HD500, instead of emulating it digitally the DT25 will reconfigure itself in the analog domain to provide that sound in the amp itself.



          You can prove this to yourself easily by plugging in headphones to the HD500. You'll hear a lot more high frequencies because the DT25's cabinet (not the HD500) is providing the cabinet characteristics, which generally roll off starting around 5-6kHz.



          So basically, the HD500 is the "brain" of the operation. When you select a sound in the HD500, the DT25 follows.



          However, there are two variations on this "brain" theme as there is some bi-directionality involved. Changing the tone stack controls in the DT25 change the tone controls in the HD500, and vice-versa (although of course, the DT25 knob positions don't change - they're not motorized, it's just the values that change). Also, the DT25's voicing, pentode/triode, and class (A/D or A) switches further tailor the DT25's sound, and if you save a preset in the HD500, it will store these settings as well. However, these are minor variations compared to selecting different amps within the HD500.



          The other bi-directional aspect involves the POD HD500 Edit program, as you can tweak the HD500 and available DT25 settings on-screen. So when you're developing sounds, the ideal setup for me is to have the HD500 linked to the DT25, and the POD HD500 Edit software up and running. Then I can do all the tweaking onscreen while playing guitar and listening to the DT25. When I get the sound I want, it's time to hit save.



          As to what this means to the tone, suffice it to say that the DT25 doesn't have to emulate a tube amp, because it IS a tube amp. The overlay of analog amplification, moving air, and the cabinet's "analog filtering" affect the tone coming out of the HD500 effects + preamp in a positive and pleasing way.



          I'm pretty sure I've gotten that overview right, but if I'm missing something, hopefully users like Dr Funky will chime in.
          N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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          • I wanted to come up with a lead patch suitable for going direct into a mixer...so here it is! The MP3 is an audio example using the patch, and the CA_SmoothLead.zip is a .h5e patch you can load into the HD500 Edit software



            There's no processing on the guitar part in the example and it was done in one take direct into the computer, so it's very representative of the overall sound.



            If you like this example/patch combination, I'd be glad to post more.
            N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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            • Craig,

              You really got the overview right! Which brings up a point that you made yesterday...Some of us have been following you through "school", the analogy of maybe the Kidneybean POD could be Kindergarden, and the Pod HD series could be like college. It is straight- forward for us to make sense of what you are saying. But many people have not been along for the whole ride, and can really benefit from you stepping back and reiterating the big picture.



              There is one thing that you seem to do better than just about anyone else... and that is to explain complex technical music related stuff in a coherent way that is pretty easy to understand. The big picture is always a good starting point! I'm sure that it is not so easy to keep sight of.



              If you ever collate your material- spread over countless issues of many magazines into one integrated volume... I suspect you would have the Ultimate Source Book on digital Mixing/ Recording, Synths, Sequencers and high-tech Guitar. Anyway, that would be what I would ask Santa to give us. (I forgot to add computers and software for music applications. Not a small chapter).

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              • Hey Craig,



                Thanks for a great review so far! I've just bought myself a JTV-59 in Tobacco sunburst and the DT25 head to complete my 'Dream Rig' with the POD HD Pro that I've had for a few months. I tried out the guitar and a DT25 combo in the store but since getting it home, hooking it all up with the L6 link and trying out a few basic patches I have to say I'm seriously impressed. The guitar is great - the setup out of the box was just fine for me. It plays like a dream and sounds wonderful even before plugging it in. However, the combination with the DT25 is in another world and I've not even scratched the surface yet. I've got the head driving a 2x12 cab and the range and quality of sounds is tremendous. I always used to warm the sound of my POD through the slave input of a valve head, but the adjustable topology of the DT25 really makes this dream rig for me. I just need to get on and craft some cool patches now...



                Cheers!
                Guitars:
                James Tyler JTV-59 Variax
                EBMM JP6 2007 Limited Edition
                PRS Mikael Akerfeldt SE
                Epi Les Paul w/Fishman Powerbridge
                Takamine EG440SC

                Rig:
                Line 6 DT25 Head
                Laney GH50L Head
                Ibanez 2x12 Cab

                FX:
                POD HD Pro

                Comment








                • Quote Originally Posted by wicker.man
                  View Post

                  I tried out the guitar and a DT25 combo in the store but since getting it home, hooking it all up with the L6 link and trying out a few basic patches I have to say I'm seriously impressed. The guitar is great - the setup out of the box was just fine for me. It plays like a dream and sounds wonderful even before plugging it in. However, the combination with the DT25 is in another world and I've not even scratched the surface yet. I've got the head driving a 2x12 cab and the range and quality of sounds is tremendous. I always used to warm the sound of my POD through the slave input of a valve head, but the adjustable topology of the DT25 really makes this dream rig for me.




                  I totally agree about the effectiveness of using the DT25 as the "back end" of the system, with the POD HD as the "front end." The way a real amp and cab shapes the sound pretty much takes care of those who want to like amp sims, but miss the "feel" and moving air of a physical amp.



                  It's interesting too how the HD500 patches are modified to work specifically with the DT25 when you have the L6 link set up.



                  As to the JTV-59, I agree with you there as well. All the songs currently on my YouTube channel (referenced in my sig) use the JTV-59. It wasn't a conscious decision, I've just been playing it a lot to check out the Dream Rig for this review, and just never stopped when it was time to record. It's a very sweet guitar but again, let me mention that the sound of the straight magnetic pickups is well worth checking out. It's not just about the emulations!



                  The freedom of having those tones is really something. I'm working on a song where I wanted some fairly bright, present rhythm guitars to drive the song. Tele emulation panned left, Guild acoustic 12-string panned right...done. When a distortion part comes in around the middle for emphasis, I dialed up the Les Paul emulation, then topped everything off with a JTV magnetic pickup-based lead. One guitar...isn't technology great?
                  N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                  • Hi,



                    hope some one can help with my 2/3 Dream Rig problem.



                    Has anyone else tried to use Variax Workbench using the POD as the interface between Workbench and the Variax. Whenever I do this it takes ages to sync the Variax and ages again if you want to make any changes, realy takes all the fun out of it.



                    Perhaps I'm doing something wrong.



                    Or how about an integrated editor, we sort of already have one with pod edit controlling the DT's and POD.



                    thanks



                    Frank

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                    • I have written about the JTV-69 and HD-500 on my blog; hopefully those links work. I also have the DT25, but I need to learn to play better before I am allowed to crank that up.



                      For background: I had acoustic guitar lessons as a child but never got very far because my teachers wanted to teach Greensleeves etc (and I wanted to play Dire Straits). At university I had a cheap, terrible, strat-clone which would not stay in tune under any circumstances. When I got a proper job I bought a second hand Mockingbird (Bronze Series, nothing fancy) and learnt a few riffs from tabs, but I never put the time in to get better.



                      This year Ubisoft released Rocksmith in my country and that has helped me a lot. I managed to convince myself and my wife that I was serious about guitar this time, hence I am allowed to buy the full dream rig. Had to be the JTV-69 in Red as I'm a Dire Straits/Hank Marvin fan



                      Incidentally, I am trying to switch from playing with my fingers to playing with a pick, because I couldn't play convincing palm mutes. If anyone else has had to go through this I would appreciate any tips.



                      Cheers,



                      Phil -- long time lurker, first-time poster.

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                      • Quote Originally Posted by fman67
                        View Post

                        Hi,



                        hope some one can help with my 2/3 Dream Rig problem.



                        Has anyone else tried to use Variax Workbench using the POD as the interface between Workbench and the Variax. Whenever I do this it takes ages to sync the Variax and ages again if you want to make any changes, realy takes all the fun out of it.



                        Perhaps I'm doing something wrong.



                        Or how about an integrated editor, we sort of already have one with pod edit controlling the DT's and POD.



                        thanks



                        Frank




                        Are you going through a USB hub? I've encountered all kinds of problems with a variety of gear when using a USB hub, and sometimes with audio gear, when using the motherboard's USB. One of the best investments I even made for my system was buying a PCI card with four USB 2.0 ports.
                        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                        • Craig,



                          thanks for your reply.



                          I don't think I have explained myself correctly.



                          When I have my Variax connected via the VDI cable to the Variax breakout box and then into my PC via a direct USB conection, the Variax syncs very quickly and any edits I make via Workbench occur quickly.



                          When I connect my Variax to the POD via the VDI cable and then connect the POD to my PC via a direct USB connection and launch Workbench whilst also running POD Edit it takes forever to sync the Variax and also takes forever for any edits I make in Workbench to be transferred to the Variax.



                          I hope this clarifies my problem.



                          Frank

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                          • Hmm...well, let's assign some values to the variables



                            From a cold start, since doing the latest updates it takes about 1:45 minutes for the Variax Workbench to load all the Variax patches. Changing bodies or pickups averages about 1-3 seconds. Level, switch, phase, etc. changes are pretty much instantaneous.



                            I do experience situations where Workbench loses contact with the Variax, and the Variax "sticks" on whatever patch I finished last. This is definitely somewhat flaky, and Workbench is flaky sometimes, but it doesn't relate to the speed of making changes.



                            Variax Workbench uses Java. You might want to check that you have the latest version installed, although one would think the application would check for that; try re-installing Workbench but when you have an opportunity to re-install Java, re-install that as well and maybe that will help. Also, don't forget you need to do a global reset if there's been a flash update (I do the reset before, as well): with power off, hold down the < left arrow button, then while holding it down, apply power.



                            I assume you've already make sure you've done all the necessary driver updates and such. Line 6 does a fair amount of updates, you want to make sure all elements of your system are on the latest versions so they can communicate efficiently.



                            Hopefully this will help. My overall impression is that HD Edit is more robust than Workbench, although I must admit that every time I open Workbench, I come up with something interesting
                            N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                            • Hi all great thread and I am really interested in this for a very specific purpose that you will probably all scorn! I cam to guitar after getting hooked on guitar hero and rockband. I have since been playing a lot of rocksmith, the game that lets you play real guitar on your console. What I tend to do is use a splitter to take the output of my guitar to my amp and the game at the same time as I get better sound that way. I want to be able to model the actual recorded sound better through my amp though so am considering getting the dream rig. I need to send a clean, unprocessed tone to the game via the standard guitar jack and then use the digital output to send to the hd 500 for effects and amplification. Is this possible? I.e can I output the mag pickups via the guitar cable at the same time as outputting the modelled guitar sounds from the other output on the guitar?



                              Thanks ion advance for the advice

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                              • Yes, that should work. I am experimenting with something similar to get around the HD 500's silly one digital output at a time rule. When I record, I disconnect the link cable and run the 1/4 inch jack to the amp, and then record the digital signal from the HD 500. So yeah, both outputs on the guitar work at once.

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