Sunglasses for the HD500X

John at a Sunny GigMy band plays a number of outdoor gigs every year, and I usually need to wear sunglasses to survive the gig.

Aside from the sunlight-triggered-wah-freakout issue I wrote about last year, the HD500X works fairly well in the sun. The light rings around the footswitches tend to disappear in bright light, but the main display seems to maintain reasonable visibility.

HD500X screen distortion through polarized sunglassesHowever, I usually wear sunglasses (and a hat!) at sunny gigs.  My sunglasses are polarized, and this causes the HD500X display to show weird discolored bands, obscuring the display.

The picture at right was taken holding my sunglasses in front of the camera lens.  As you can see, weird stuff happens in the corners of the display.

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HD500X Train Wreck at Sunny Gig

Train WreckSo, I had my first train-wreck on stage with the HD500X. This was at the Twin Creeks Spring Carnival, so not exactly a high-pressure situation with a huge crowd, but still…

The first song in the set was Lonely Boy, in which I use a HD500X patch with the expression pedal as a pitch dive (heel original pitch, toe dive-bomb).

John at a Sunny GigThe pedal got itself into a state where heel was not the original pitch, so I was stuck in a different pitch playing off-key from the rest of the band.  I had to bail out of that patch (and all other use of expression pedal for wah/etc) until the break. 

Between sets, I frantically Googled on my phone how to calibrate the expression pedal. I went through the process(power cycle holding down the right arrow, choose Pedal Cal, etc) several times but the heel/toe values I was seeing were whack. I managed to get it close to correct (but still not the expected 0 and 255), and I got through the gig with it still acting strange.

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New Stage Rig

New HD500X Pedal BoardGig Command Center

Played a Christmas party on Friday night with the Drop Daddies and it was a blast!

My new stage setup worked out great. All that hard work paid off! The Blackstar Stage 60 sounded righteous, and the HD500X pedal board was perfect.

Enter The HD500X

Line 6 HD500X TopLine 6 HD500X Rear

I’m a couple weeks in with my new Line 6 HD500X, and I’m loving it. My band The Drop Daddies has a gig on Friday, and it’ll be the first with the new Blackstar Stage 60 and new pedal board.  So I’m getting up to speed building new presets for songs, and getting used to a whole new world at my feet.

I’ve retired the old pedal board, along with the Zoom G3X, the loop switcher and a bunch of pedals I won’t be needing anymore! And I’ve built a much simpler new pedal board, which I’ll describe in the next post.

But first, here are a few critical decisions and discoveries that I’ve made along the way with the HD500X:

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