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NPD - will it replace my entire board? Possibly...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by scuzzy, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    A few samples posted here NPD - will it replace my entire board? Possibly...


    Got it in this past Thursday. Been reading manuls and tinkering since. I was really skeptical the first 24 hours, but this morning I was able to use my new knowledge and dial in a span of patches for my Ovation Magnum and I am left impressed. Pretty much working on a list of clean and gritty amp packages. Svt, B15, GK 800rb, HiWatt 100, Fender Bassman, Marshall Super Lead using different bass cabs and different mics. All of them sound great. It takes tinkering and work and the volume matching for the patches is tedious, but the tones are quite impressive. The high and low pass filters available are great and really cleaned up my sound. The tube comp is a very nice sounding compressor. Dual channel amping is quite easy and opens up nice opportunities for pitch shifting and delay/reverb for a nice rhythm guitar fill for those times I only accompany an acoustic but we need fullness and grit.

    The more I learn it, the more I like it. Truly a great sounding modeler, but you gotta work at it. Them tones don't come easy. I haven't put my stomp boxes up for sale yet, but a few of them are in danger of a departure. If anyone has any tips for use, let me know. I am working on three different banks for my 3 styles of basses right now. High output passive, high output active, and low output (nordy and Magnum). This seemed to be the best solution instead of manually tweaking each drive patch with each bass change.

    Now I'm looking into some affordable full range monitors for stage use at church. My amp may be sitting at home as well....
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  2. RexxRokket


    Apr 23, 2012
    Just for curiosity... Which pedals do you use? these sounds that you're talking about in here do feel ''real''? some of the sounds that I've heard before out of those units sounds too ''plastic'' for me. Also I've seen some of the new Line 6 Helix and they seem to provide a nice sounds of them.
  3. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    I have seen some bassist play into a multi effects units that I originally thought sounded bad, yet they worked with it to make it sound surprisingly good. It seems you are getting a handle on it and I think you will be successful with it. Enjoy.
    ObsessiveArcher and SteveBass5 like this.
  4. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I know exactly what you are saying. The presets are terrible. They sound very unnatural. My friend brought over his helix and we compared. The Helix is better, more versatile, and more powerful. BUT, The bass tones are not much different from what I was able to dial in on the hd500x though. It seems that it's much easier to get a good tone from the Helix, the hd500x just seems to take more work. I love to tinker, so I don't mind working for it.

    I use the vintage pre amp to start the chain. Tube Emulator with gain/output/hpf/lpf. I run the tube compressor on everything. The amps sound and respond a lot like their originals, very touch sensitive. I watched a lot of YouTube demos (Chicago music exchange, etc) and listened to lots of isolated bass tracks to get a realistic representation of what the amp should sound like. I am running dual channel on a few, but trying to keep my first round of settings like I am actually using that exact amp. I am also not trying to make every amp eq'd and sounding the same. The HiWatt sounds dramatically different from the B15. It should, they are very different amps.

    The cabs also greatly change the sound. I really had to educate myself on the included mic models as well, because it's another part that really changes the overall sound and feel. I landed on the EV412? (I think) For higher gain I am utilizing a noise gate at the end and I use the volume pedal as an end chain volume pedal. Boost pedals are foot switchable on my grit patches, for an extra boost when desired. The big muff is also on a few channels, and it sounds very nice with my basses. It is foot switchable as well. A nice fuzz sound.

    Being able to assign as many items within a patch to a single footswitch has been great. I can run dual channel with a guitar amp, delay, pitch shift, and noise gate, and turn them all on/off with a single footswitch to get some nice ambient swells, then directly back to a clean bass tone with no break/glitching.

    Once I get all my amp/grit/varieties dialed in, I will start working on some modulation and synth stuff. That could get fun. Could also get frustrating! The more I learn and use it, the more I like it. It's just a bit overwhelming at first.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  5. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I'm with you. When people know how to use them, and put the work in, they can sound great. Many just expect a plug in play. They simply aren't. I am doubtful that in a live setting with a frfr monitor, you would ever confuse this with a genuine svt with 8x10. But through a house system or a recording, I think in the right hands, it could easily fool most. The GK amp and the B15 fliptop sound so close to the original, it's kind of crazy.

    My first attempt at live use will be really telling. I can't say I'm not nervous.
  6. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    When I get some time, I will try to get some samples posted of the amps I have dialed in with my Magnum. Hitting the bourbon trail this week though, so it will likely be next week at the earliest.
    gregmon79 likes this.
  7. RexxRokket


    Apr 23, 2012
    That would be nice to listen indeed
  8. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Yes, the tube comp is really nice. Try using two or three in series with each gently compressing. It's that magical compression you can't "hear" but the vu meter tells you otherwise.

    On some patches, I have each of the three compressors on separate foot switches so I can adjust the overall compression real time.
    That's exactly what I do!

    Have you tried the "Heavy Distortion" "pedal"? It seems to retain a clean, compressed low end. It really works well on bass.

    For me, the key to getting killer sounds with the HD500X is to forget the preconceived notions of what each amp, speaker cab, and mic "should" sound like and just try various combinations.

    - John
  9. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Thanks for the tips, I will certainly give it a try!
  10. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    If you can make a multifx work for you then more power to ya. I've tried twice now (in the early 90's and then again about 5 years ago) and could just never get with it. I need my knobs because switching from a creative playing mindset to a logical digital menu system is a trick my brain can't do on the fly.

    However, that one might be one I could handle. Lots of knobs there.

    On a side note, I drove through Troy just the other day on my way back to Cape Girardeau. We were coming back from Cedar Rapids and stopped there at your local Jack in the Box. So *virtual wave*.
    scuzzy likes this.
  11. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    The difficulty of on the fly adjustments when creativity strikes is something I am a bit nervous about as well. As I get comfortable, it gets easier. Amp adjustments are pretty simple, effects take a few more clicks.

    Glad the trip was safe and eventful!
  12. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    @scuzzy I went from "rack system" to BassPODXTLive to HD500X to Helix. The HD500X has a octave box that is BETTER than the one they put in the Helix(so far). My primary use for the octaver is to avoid carrying a 5 string, just push it to 100% on the octave box tuned down 1 octave. My HD500X would track down to low G(below a B on a 5 string)....keyboardist called those the "notes that aren't real". Also useful for checking out function of PA subs.
    I kept my HD500X as the patches worked up were good and it is a backup in case the Helix craters or is damaged at a gig.

    At our "house gig", it's Helix > to FOH. Prior to that it was HD500X to FOH.
    My "amp" is a 4 channel mixer that I operate(FOH left, FOH right, Helix in, my vocal in) > brickwall comp limiter > stereo IEM.
    BrentSimons and scuzzy like this.
  13. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    I did the same journey with my Fractal Audio AX8. Steep learning curve, but great sounds. A friend of mine uses a QSC K-12 which sounds great. I use full range fEARfuls or go straight to FOH.
    Bassist30 likes this.
  14. jaysbass2002

    jaysbass2002 Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    Northern New York
    I ran a Boss GT6-B for many years. Often other players would come up and give me compliments on my tone. GT6-B directly into a QSC 2450 power amp, 2 DrBass 2x12 cabs. All my patches were programmed from scratch. When you spend some time and put effects in proper chain order, and make proper use of EQ one would be surprised of the results. I have my eye on the Line 6 HD.
    kringle77, BrentSimons and Bassist30 like this.
  15. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    It's cool to see someone dig in to this modeler like this. I'll admit I shied away from Line 6 products for the most part for years. When they came out with the Helix I was still very skeptical. But some good friends of mine got a Helix and swore up and down that it was the real deal. I got the newer HX and I was very impressed right off the bat. Then I dug in and found all the routing options, signal flow, blending, all the effects, it all sounded great. These older POD models always intrigued me but not enough to bite. But after reading all this, I'd like to try one haha
  16. Diegombass


    Sep 19, 2012
    I thought the Legacy Bass Octaver in Helix was the same Bass Octaver that the HD500X and the M5/9/13 has.
    TheLowDown33 likes this.
  17. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Good to hear that someone else is using the HD500X, and finds it to be a seriously good tool for the job. I keep looking at the Helix / Helix LT, but even if I could afford either, I'd be loath to let go of the HD500X.

    It is a shame that there are no more Bass specific amp & cab models in there, but, the models that are available are pretty darned good, though, as @scuzzy says, they do need some tweaking to get the best from them. IMO, that is time well spent, especially if you approach it as you would a new amp, cab & pedals setup.

    The HD500X Editor is good, but again, takes a bit of time to get used to, and isn't anywhere near as intuitive as the old Line6 Edit IMO. However, it really looks like Line6 either have already, or will soon stop supporting it. :(

    For use with bass, you most definitely need to get the HD Bass pack, but whether you choose to add the 2 other HD Guitar packs as well depends on how much you use it.

    FWIW: I do think an FRFR setup is potentially a waste of money if you already have a good bass amp rig.

    If you plug the HD500X into the Effects Loop return, you bypass the amplifier's Pre-Amp circuit and go straight into the Power Amp. All the tone shaping is from the HD500X, the power comes from the amp (again, controlled by the HD's Output knob), and the sound comes from your dedicated bass cab. Tweak your sounds to suit. Works for me.

    I've not had any detrimental comments regarding my sound from the rest of the band, and from people who've heard us, and the bass does play a very prominent role in the sound of the band.
  18. 4 Strings Good

    4 Strings Good

    Mar 6, 2014
    Curious to see how you feel about that unit after using it for a while. On the one hand I don't use a lot of pedals (in my main band I don't use any) and I don't have the patience for figuring out the modeling-preset-tweaking-calibrating biz that these things seem to require. On the other hand, if you can get it to do what you want and it's all self-contained in one portable unit, that's a very appealing option. So go ahead on and enjoy that. I'll just sit here and wait for an update.
    BrentSimons and Bassist30 like this.
  19. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    You and me both!

    I have my reservations, certainly. I will have to plan it and know what sounds I need going in to a gig, and make sure I have them saved as patches. As of right now, spontaneous on the fly stuff won't be likely. This one takes planning.
    BrentSimons and 4 Strings Good like this.
  20. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    A friend (also the guitar player in one of my bands) has the Helix. He owns some very high-end stuff. Man, it blew me away at a recent rehearsal. I was prepared to roll my eyes and left there with my eyes wide open. :wideyed:

    It sounds fantastic on guitar. He said I could borrow it whenever I wanted to check ok ut bass presets. I plan to soon.
    BrentSimons, scuzzy and gregmon79 like this.

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