the unfamiliar, the POD, it is a guitar amplifier simulator/cabinet
simulator/effects wrapped in one neat package. Designed by a company
called Line 6, the POD uses digital modeling technology to emulates
different guitar amps, a couple of tube pre-amps and a fuzz pedal.
It is fully MIDI compatible and its settings can be controlled either
through a MIDI controller (software or hardware based) or through
the optional FB4 floorboard controller. The POD is used for creating
quality guitar sounds directly into a recorder, mixer or an amp.
plugged a normal guitar distortion pedal directly into a mixer before
playing your guitar through it, you probably know it sounds nothing
like the pedal does through your amplifier. Instead, it sounds very
harsh and nasty and the sound you get when you try plugging
a guitar straight into a mixer is usually rubbery and dull. But, with
the POD, you actually get good, quality-rich sounds that sound remarkably
close to a well miced guitar amp.
will never replace a good amplifier or a good microphone. Any professional
audio engineer who has used the POD will tell you that. But it is
an acceptable alternative when a client comes in with a sub-par amplifier
or is short on recording time. Its also fantastic for session
guitarists who do commercial work and need to lay down some decent
sounding guitar tracks with a minimum amount of hassle. For the home
recording musician or project studio engineer who doesnt have
a huge range of guitar amps to choose from, the POD can, indeed, be
a very valuable tool.
a direct recording nut. I have quite a few devices that I use, including
a SansAmp GT-2, Digitech RP-10, Hughes & Kettner Red Box MKII,
Zoom 5000, Zoom 9150 tube pre-amp/DSP, ART Tube MP pre-amp, Ibanez
VA-3 Virtual Amp, and, lastly, the POD. Whats fun is that you
can often use different direct recording devices together to further
warm up the tone. For example, you can run something like a SansAmp
GT-2 into one of the PODs clean amp model patches and get some
very nice results that you couldnt get with either the POD or
the GT-2 by themselves.
the same goes for any distortion pedal. You can set the POD to a clean
amp model and run distortion pedals into it just as you would a regular
amp. This greatly expands the range of tones possible with the POD.
However not all amp models work well for this purpose. You have to
experiment a little with amp models, drive and eq settings before
you find just the right sound. And the POD isnt just for guitar.
It makes a killer bass guitar direct box, helping you get a really
nice fat bass track onto tape or disk using its general purpose "Tube
Preamp" model. The same model also works great for warming up
keyboards as well.
the POD comes with computer software that allows you to do a few more
tricks and a few more amp models that you cant access from the
POD itself. One cool feature is that you can mix and match speaker
cabinets with the various amp models. For example, you can match a
Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amp model with an 8" speaker (I wouldnt
recommend doing that, but it can be done). You also have a few more
drive and eq settings and greater control over some of the various
effects (Chorus, Reverb, Flange, Delay, Swell, Tremolo, Compression,
and Leslie). The software lets you store an infinite amount of user
settings on your computer, plus you can save those settings onto your
POD (replacing the presets, which mostly suck). That way you can take
your favorite sounds to your next recording or live gig.
using the POD for live performances, I highly recommend that you purchase
the FB4 floorboard controller. Then you can change to different patches
during your performance, leaving your hands free to play the guitar.
The FB4 has an expression pedal which gives you access to controls
over various parameters, and also gives you access to the PODs
wah effect (which simulates a late 60s Vox wah). When playing
live, if you use a guitar amp, you have to be sure to turn off the
speaker simulation by switching a small switch on the back from "Direct"
to "Amp". If you are running the POD directly into the PA
system then set that switch to "Direct". This will give
you the best quality sounds that way.
I think the POD is a fantastic tool for any home studio, project studio,
or for a guitarist that plays covers and needs a wide variety of sounds.
Even professional audio engineers find it quite handy in certain situations.
Gigging guitarists may however want to check out the Line 6 amplifiers
that also have most of the same amp models if not more.
like more details on the POD and other Line-6 products its best to
go to the source over at http://www.line6.com.
If youd like to hear some samples of the POD, I have some MP3
samples of the POD on my web page as well as some samples of the SansAmp
GT-2 and the Digitech RP-10. All of the samples were done using direct
recording methods. My direct recording page is located at http://www.onlinerock.com/musicians/chrisg/POD_Samples.html
excellent POD sample site, which also features MP3, Real Audio, .wav,
and AIFF formats, is at http://www.tonefrenzy.com/sound/line6
have any questions on the POD that Line 6 couldnt answer or
questions or comments about my Web site or this article feel free
to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
all on the OnlineRock Chat room!
The Line 6 Pod Now