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HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by birro on 2011-12-21 14:15:07.6020

Hey guys,

I sing the backing vocals on my band's songs and some I need to use harmonizer, delay or some other effects on my voice.

As well as I have a HD 500 with mic input, but it doesn't allow dual tones, here follows the question:

How in a regular guitar patch can I use the input 1 for guitar and input 2 for mic, separating the signals?

I was thinking in a VERY simple patch to start over. Give me a hand on my thoughts:

Input 1: Guitar:

-> Wah-wah/Volume + Screamer + Amp + Reverb

Input 2: Mic:

-> Amp (a different one) + Harmonizer + Reverb (a different one) + Delay

So... thinking of the effects/signal chain, could it be posible to think as a stereo preset, panning the guitar to the left and the mic to the right, then all the effects at the left would receive the guitar signal, process it and deliver them, and the same for the microphone, without interfering one effect on the other? For example: in this patch with distortion, would my voice signal pass away from the screamer and all guitar amp/fx and get clean through the amp (or if I use the XLR out, directly to the voice monitor)?

... after reading this all... IF I'm right with my thoughts, could anyone explain to me HOW to build a simple patch the way I need??

Come on... it seems a challenge and I'm pretty sure that people here would enjoy my idea!

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by silverhead on 2011-12-21 14:25:17.9180

I regularly use a dual path patch with guitar and mic processed seperately as you describe. Here is the setup:

- set Input 1 to Guitar and Input 2 to Mic

- split the path immediately in the signal chain; do not place any amp/FX before the path split. This is critical because this is what keeps the inputs seperate, with Input 1 going to Path A and Input 2 going to Path B. To do this, add a second amp to create Path B as usual, then disable the amp to save DSP. Move all FX blocks into either Path A or Path B.

- place your desired guitar amp and FX in Path A

- place your desired vocal FX in Path B; I find it best not to use an amp here - just EQ, comp, delay, as desired

- in the Mixer, pan Path A full left and Path B full right and balance the levels. Note: if you are sending both outputs to the same device (e.g. to a PA rather than guitar to amp and voice to PA) then you need not pan each full L/R; you can use a more balanced mix and also optimize use of FX by, for instance, putting a common reverb after the mixer so that both Paths use it.

- connect your Left and right HD500 outputs to your guitar and vocal destination device respectively.

For best results, I use STUDIO mode and send both outputs to my PA system. If you are using a guitar amp along with the HD500 output you may need to experiment with the Live modes.

Try this and let us know how it works out.

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by birro on 2011-12-21 14:39:06.2720

GREAT!!!!!!! Impressive.

I've just sent you a private message asking the possibility of sending me the patch for an example.

However I'm still not comfortable with the HD 500 edit (have the HD 500 since last week, used to have a X3 Live) and I don't know what you mean on step 2... how do I split the paths??

So you plug it right into your PA system. Does the mic sound goes out from the 1/4 Output or from the XLR output?

If it goes out from the 1/4 Output, you have to use 2 cables, as it should leave the unit as stereo, right??

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by silverhead on 2011-12-21 14:45:47.8520

In HD500 Edit you would go to the Amps page and select Disabled as the 2nd Amp. This should cause Path B to show in the display. Then click/drag on the FX blocks to move them into one path or the other.

I have used both the 1/4" Outputs and the XLR Outputs at different times and they both sound the same to me - probably because the distance is so short in my home studio. You're right - I use two cables, one for each of the L/R outputs to deliver a stereo signal to the PA.

I will post a sample patch or two later to illustrate.

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by silverhead on 2011-12-21 15:19:53.7740

Here is a sample patch I uploaded to CustomTone some time ago. The Comments on the Tone give a brief description of the setup.

To audition/view it in HD500 Edit:

- click Get Tone on the customtone page to download the tone to a folder on your computer

- open HD500 Edit.

- click/drag on the downloaded tone file and drop it into any preset slot in HD500 Edit

Attached is another one set up for electric guitar. This one uses a common reverb to save DSP, and also has an unused FX block for further processing if desired.

As a learning exercise, open the acoustic guitar patch. Activate the Digital Delay w/Mod FX block. Adjust its parameters so that you can clearly hear the effect it has on the guitar. Then move it to POST position (click/drag it to the right of the Mixer block) and hear how it now begins to affect the vocal as well. You can play with a delay (or any other) FX in this position if you want to apply the FX to both guitar and vocals without sacrificing one of the existing FX (note that the max of 8 FX are already in use).

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by birro on 2011-12-21 15:33:06.7400

Silverhead, thank you so much for this! There are some posts here that people couldn't do it and you have solved lots of users problems. I'll reply to them copying your answer.

A few more quests:

1) How do you split the paths at the beginning of the patch? I just can't split the line like you did and then at the end you come back to one signal path only. Did you made it through HD 500 edit?

2) You've set the mixer 48% left/right. Any problem on setting 50% left/right? (you have a home studio and you'd have tested and may give us a tip on this if it's a trick)

3) Nice job using the same reverb for both. Great idea!

Thanks again!

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by silverhead on 2011-12-21 15:41:35.2620

BTW, I have edited my last post to include an electric guitar patch as well as a little exercise to play with in the acoustic patch.

To answer your most recent questions:

1) In HD500 Edit, go to the AMPS page. Click/drag the amp icon slightly to the upper right, so that it appears at the top of the blackline rectangle in the signal path display, left of the Mixer block. You now see two amps in the display. Then click/drag/drop each of the FX blocks into one path or the other - in the top or bottom line of the rectangle.

2) No problem using whatever panning mix you want. I just wanted to seperate the guitar from the vocals slightly in the stereo mix. Just personal preference - you will find your own preference.

3) See the exercise I've added in my previous post.

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by birro on 2011-12-21 15:55:53.1820

The exercise really helped. Because the way I was thinking of arranging the paths would leave me out of blocks. However you've had the great idea to use some fx for both guitar and mic, saving blocks for other FXs. Great job!

About the answer 1, I knew how to split into two different amps. Just didn't think of dragging a block inside of the upper or the botttom path. Perfect!!

I can't say how delighted I am now with this. I was very disappointed leaving the X3 Live with the dual tone feature.

Thank you so much for this!

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by silverhead on 2011-12-21 15:59:48.0250

You're very welcome. Glad to have helped. That's why we're here.

Note that this doubling up of FX is only useful in POST-path position. In most cases as soon as you move an FX block before the path split you no longer have separation of the two Inputs, and each input gets routed through both paths.

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by silverhead on 2011-12-21 16:19:36.1980

birro wrote:

... I was very disappointed leaving the X3 Live with the dual tone feature...

Just one final comment on this.......

The X3 had a REALLY nice feature for singer/players - Lock Tone 2. That way (as I'm sure you know) we could set up the vocal tone just once and switch guitar tones at will. The HD500 has no analogy. We have to recreate the vocal tone in Path B of each guitar tone preset. And then when you decide you'd like a little more compression or tone adjustment on all your vocals, well.... you know what we have to do. Spend an hour or two editing every preset.

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by birro on 2011-12-21 16:44:49.1990

I completely agree with you. I'm a newbie with HD 500 but it doesn't seems easier or harder to tweak than the X3 Live. Just different, a completely new system... that I prefer using the HD 500 edit.

I never used the Dual Tone feature for using 2 tones for guitar. But I used like you said, for singer/player. It was WAY simple to do it and I only had to add the second tone. So I just created a regular tone for my voice and for all the patches I've just loaded this "standard mic tone" as a secondary for all and just saved. It took me about 20-30 minutes to tweak my voice tone and less than a minute to add it to all my patches.

Now, as you said, I'll have to tweak all my patches (regularly I use 2 guitars and around 8 patches for each guitar (16 different patches) in a gig) adding the mic path.

But... if it wasn't for you... I wouldn't be using some stuff I use on my voice that are really awesome playing live.

I have some other complains about the HD 500. But talking about the positive things, resuming the infinite list of amps into only a few, and a few VERY GOOD ones, are the highlights of this unit. In terms of sound, yes, definitely it's a huge improvement step.

(... but these black ugly knobs... the color of the LCD display that confuses my eyes at the dark with headlights on the stage... the missing chromed bars in front of the knobs and the leds on "Drive, Bass", "Mid"... people who went after the gigs to look around my gear got really impressed on how beautiful was my X3 Live. The HD500 seems like a midi controller for the ones who doesn't know it...)

Message was edited by: Birro

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by birro on 2011-12-25 12:04:18.2890


I still can't thank you enough for that. It's working perfectly and I'm working hard to prepare all my patches with the Guitar+Mic and also adjust some harmonies in order to use as if we have a second backing vocal. I'm delighted with your help!!

As you have a home studio you may help me with one more doubt or even get some new ideas from my doubt.

Imagine myself (or yourself) in a gig. So I plug my POD in front of my Fender Princeton.

As now I have both guitar+mic as inputs on POD, both my guitar and mic sound will go out of my Fender amp.

Would there be a way to split their outputs? I mean the guitar sound coming out of my POD's 1/4" out and the MIC coming out from the POD's XLR OUT, so I could plug only the guitar at my amp and plug the mic directly in the mixer??

It would also be pretty much easier to mix the volumes between the guitar and the mic. If the guitar volume is low I could just increase the amps volume, or if the voice is too loud, I could go to the mixer and decrease the MIC's volume.

... I told that this post would be challenging...

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by Robzebr on 2012-08-06 18:22:45.1960


Using this setup with the mic on the B Path with no amp.... just Vintage Pre, Eq and compresson...

One output of the 500 (A Path) would go to an amp or mixer or whatever....

The other output (B Path), the mic... would get routed to whatever the destination is....

In my case I want to bring the mic into the PC and be able to use it for webcasting, video calling etc...

My question is ... will the HD500 send the mic data down the USB to the PC so I could use the mic through the 500... to the PC....



Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-08-06 19:00:14.2050

Yes, you'd just select the HD500 as your recording device in Windows, and it'll use the whole signal. This means that if you're also playing guitar, that will also go through the USB along with the mic signal.

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by Robzebr on 2012-08-06 20:54:14.7930

Thank you...

So I should be able to create a separate patch with no guitar... just the mic for doing these calls...(?)

Start with a blank slate... Input 1 source would be mic set as a preset... (not global)  .... Input 2 would be nothing or whatever ends up being the quietest...

In the amp FX just specify no amp.... just Vintage Pre, Eq and compression... tweak it until satisfied...

Whenever I want to use the mic for a call I just select that patch from the setlist and thats it....

Does that sound about right?

.let's say path A... choose none for amp.... and then just create my own channel strip on the path....  for the mic....  so whenever I just need the mic to do a video call I just call up that patch on the 500 and its only the mic

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-08-06 22:05:27.5020

Yep exactly. Set Input 1 to Mic, and Input 2 to Variax. I wouldn't bother with the Vintage Pre though, it's a hassle and prone to clipping (see relevant thread currently on the front page of the forum). You should be fine with just the mic trim knob on maximum, then some EQs and other effects. I use (in order):

  • Studio EQ with just a 4 dB boost at 5kHz, and Gain at -4. The nice thing is you can use the Gain parameter in this effect instead of the Mic Trim knob, if you don't want to reach for it or just want to always have it at max. They'll do the same thing. I have the Gain backed off to -4 because there was some clipping, also to compensate for the boost. The 5k boost is for sibilance enhancement ("s" sounds).
  • Graphic EQ with 80Hz at -6, 220Hz at -1, 440Hz at -4, 1.1kHz at 0, and 2.2 kHz at +4. This takes away some of the boom and mud, and also enhances intelligibility at 2.2k ("sh" sounds).
  • Mid Focus EQ with HP FREQ at 5%, HP Q at 50%, LP FREQ at 90%, LP Q at 50%, Gain at 50%. I am essentially using this as a high pass & low pass filter, not really filtering off very much, just the edges of the spectrum.
  • Analog Chorus with Speed at 1 Hz, Depth at 50%, Tone at 50% and Mix at 50%. The chorus fattens up the tone a little bit, basically doing what a Pre would do but much cleaner. Play with Tone to get slightly different sound here, it's a very subtle effect.
  • Tube Comp with THRESH at 50% and LEVEL at 10%. Be careful with this one, if you have speakers on while using the mic and the mic is played back through the speakers, the compression could generate awful feedback. Either go with headphones, or start off with THRESH at 100% and slowly bring it down while testing it to make sure you can get to 50% without feedback.

The way I placed these was, the 3 EQs and the chorus go before the "amp" slot (which should be empty), and the Comp goes after the mixer. This should force the signal from left mono into stereo (the comp does that if you have a one-sided signal and you place the comp after the mixer). I advise against selecting Mic or Same on both Inputs, it gets very noisy as it just doubles the signal, just set one input to Mic and one to Variax. It could also be set to Guitar provided that you don't have a guitar or a cable plugged in that could potentially generate noise.

Keep in mind these settings are for a Shure Beta 58A, and the specific voice I'm working with. For your mic, you'll play around with the various EQ, and if it's a quieter or louder mic, you can use the Studio EQ Gain parameter levels to adjust things. Good luck, and please let me know if you come up with a better signal chain (especially if you manage to use Vintage Pre without any distortion)!

Re: HD500 - Guitar + Mic - A challenge!!
by Robzebr on 2012-08-07 09:27:59.9170

Hey,  Thank you very much for the explanation....   the mic I'm looking at is a Shure SM7b... it would be a first mic ... and I would be using it for everything... my mic for the video calls,  the occastional recording the guitar cabinets.... (this is just messing around at home, getting my feet wet....

I have a DBX 2231, 2 channel 31 band Eq.....the input gain goes from -12db to +12db....

What about running the mic through the DBX before connecting it to the HD500....

Does that buy me anything... ?

I'm wondering if the DBX is able to amplify the mic signal... or is it too low... and would need to go to something first like a pre amp first.......  if thats the case I would just go straight into the POD...

If it can see the mic signal and can act as the first link in the gain stage... ... I'm also wondering where most of the gain for the mic should come from.... the DBX Eq... or the HD500....(?)

Any thoughts?

Thank you...

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