What about the Line 6 Pod/ Amp Farm?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by dbeng@bellsouth.net, Jul 22, 2001.

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  1. I have always recorded using good guitars and amps (and players when we get them :roll: )so much so that we have a fairly nice collection of both here at the studio. But I have also been reading that the PT guys really like the Amp Farm. Assuming that the Pod is some what the same I am curious as to what everyone thinks about the Pod and what are some of the things you do with it.

    I was thinking of getting one to use mostly for getting "different" sounds.

    PS, I ask this question here and not in guitars because I wanted to hear what engineers and producers do with them not just players.
  2. Tony C

    Tony C Guest

    IMHO, there's nothing like the real thing as I'm sure you already know. However, the POD could easly be the next best thing, especially if you don't have a good room or the time to get a good sound with your rig. I have used the POD in sessions pretty effectively for a varity of sounds and I think the effects are really good for basics. I also like the sounds I can achieve by applying is live through a clean amp and speakers (easy to mike), lot of posibilities.
    One thing to keep in mind though, the POD is 20 bit and the POD PRO is 24 bit,
    so they say (I have never tested it).
  3. miketholen

    miketholen Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    nothing beats the real thing.
    so what if ity takes ten to fifteen minutes to set up.
    why are we always in a hurry anyway?
    doesn't PT save you enough time?
    I'm from the school of " take the time to do right or don't do it at all"
    I'm sure people have gotten satisfactory sounds from this $*^t but nothing compared to what they could have achived if they would've spent a little more time. :eek:
    I use great Guitars/Amps/Mics and a little bit of patience to get great results.
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    If you're just doing something like 'quick writing demos' they're fine. You can dial in a tone that's close enough, fast enough, so you don't lose the "idea" while you're dicking with the hardware.

    As for releaseable product, I find them both to be totally unacceptable. YMMV.
  5. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Originally posted by THE MIX FIX:

    And, as Dave Derr, Distressor/FATSO (H-3000/4000) designer notes, it's impossible to achieve any good harmonic distortion above 3 kHz, using digital means, with current sampling rates, without a digital artifact/byproduct that is within the bandwidth of Human hearing.

    Interesting. I just did a quick demo for a local band last weekend, and the guy came in and did all the guitars with the POD. It sounded passable, but the above statement may explain the EQ's I ended up with on almost every track.

    I had a long rolloff starting around 2K, probably -6 at 5K, and on down from there, coupled with a deep, narrow notch around 6K. Plus a low end rolloff starting around 100.

    Basically, I realized later I had made it look sort of like what a guitar amp is capable of, plus a deep notch where I found the most 'plastic.' Never could get the guitars out in front of the speakers, though, and I think that's what bothers me the most about these toys.

    OTOH, they're probably fantastic for a live cover band, where you may need to dial in fifteen different sounds quickly through the course of a set.
  6. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Bloomington, IL
    I've never recorded with a pod, but I used to sell them, so I messed with them a lot. They sound very one dimensional to me. It almost sounds like you are hearing a guitarist in the next room. I'd rather have a couple good amps than 30 half-assed "models."

    My $.02

    P.s. if you have one (or any other Line 6 product), you better hope it doesn't break. They're customer service is awful!
  7. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    Hi David,

    << I ask this question here and not in guitars because I wanted to hear what engineers and producers do with them not just players. >>

    I have Amp Farm and although I don't use it very often, I do like it a lot. However, I don't use it as a guitar amp! If I were after a guitar + amp sound then I would use a guitarist with a real amp. The last time I used amp farm I used it on a bus with an aux send from a recorded but greatly slowed down waterphone.

    In short, I like amp farm as a sort of harmonic distortion effect unit but not as a replacement for a traditional guitar amp/cab.

  8. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    The POD sounds really veiled, even w/o cheesy effects. I find the Sansamp gives quite a bit more presence in a mix, but I'm usually happier using it on stuff other than electric guitar. People who I've heard have compared the Amp Farm and POD are happier with Amp Farm, although it tends to get more Sansamp/Reamp use than as a replacement for a guitar amp for electric guitar.

  9. KyleSong

    KyleSong Guest

    For guitars, you are much more likely to get better results taking the time to choose the right amp, and use the right microphone. I think we all agree that for organic, real sounding guitar parts, real amps are best.

    I think it is important to say that many people don't have the space or noise ability to play and mic loud amps in their spaces. In this case, a POD is a lot better than most other amp simulations. It is king of the also-rans. I like the Amp Farm better than the kidney bean.

    For guitar parts, when you can't use an amp, the Pod is pretty good.

    The Pod also excels as the distortion generator in processed guitar rigs. Again, 'simulating' a real amp, but being inline with other effects as part of a session player's mobile rack for instance. For plug and play stuff.


    You said you wanted it for "different sounds" which I am assuming means bass, and drums, vocals and assorted general audio mayhem. In that case, I would recommend getting a SansAmp PSA-1 rackmount distortion generator. Its great for that application. I use mine on kick drum or bass a lot. Especially if the music is electronic and/or R&B.

    The PSA-1 is a pretty good guitar distortion box, although you will never mistake it for an amp. For "direct" tones that you can't get with an amp, I like the PSA-1. For the SansAmp PSA-1, I prefer the analog rack hardware unit to the plug in.

    So, IMO, For 'real' guitars, Amp is best, POD only when there is no amp for guitars, POD is ok in some processed guita rigs, and PSA-1 hardware for everything else.
  10. Kevin F. Rose

    Kevin F. Rose Active Member

    Feb 14, 2001
    I agree with Fletcher's statement about the POD and see one good thing about the POD pro. It allows you to split the signal three ways so you can go direct (reampable or rePODable), monitor with "a sound" and print a real amp if leakage isn't an issue. I would prefer to have the Little Labs PCP DI for these purposes but a monitor "play to it sound" is still necessary.
    I usually like to make decisions as fast as possible but limited "band" budgets it helps to get a passable scratch tone and tweak in overdub or reamp mode later. If Ampfarm, the POD and reamping were my choices I would go with a real amp, mic, pre and compressor any day of my life. Except maybe in the distant future.
    I have tracked entire songs without an amp, POD like device or any other standard guitar chain and those sounds worked for the tune but they were not organic by any means.
  11. Thanks guys for all the input!

    Of course I would never replace a real guitar sound with one of these simulators. We do have the space, amps and guitars to do the job.( I thought I was Clear about that in the original post! Sorry!) I just thought that it might have a use for adding to or reprocessing a guitar/bass/vocal just to get some kind of nasty weird sound. These punk/rock/metal guys are always wanting some un-heard-of sound put on their tracks.

    I have a DOD VOC-TEC that I use on vocals and these guys love it, you know that lo-fi sound.

    They (the Pod) are real cheap right now and if it could be used for some of this I would buy one.
  12. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001
    The biggest problem with the Pod is that its marketed as a SIMULATOR instead of a GUITAR EFFECT.

    If you buy it thinking "well, time to sell the AC30", you MIGHT BE disappointed.

    If you buy it thinking its a "neato guitar effect", you still MIGHT BE disappointed but your overall expectation will PROBABLY be less and you will use it for what it is...the aforementioned "guitar effect".
  13. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    I just thought that it might have a use for adding to or reprocessing a guitar/bass/vocal just to get some kind of nasty weird sound. These punk/rock/metal guys are always wanting some un-heard-of sound put on their tracks.

    I have a DOD VOC-TEC that I use on vocals and these guys love it, you know that lo-fi sound.

    My favorites for that right now are the little plastic 3x4" Fender guitar amp, and the Pignose. Stick them on an aux send and mic them with whatever during mixdown.
  14. darryl88

    darryl88 Guest

    What do you guys think of the POD when run through a good power amp and mic'd up? I found the J-Station sounds alright
  15. miketholen

    miketholen Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    :D why? :D
  16. Phil English

    Phil English Guest

    I've used all 4 ways (Amp Farm, Pod, Pod Pro and real amps) And there IS some thing like the real thing, the Pod Pro is really nice.
    The Pod and Amp Farm (esp. Amp Farm!) do ot stand up to much scrutiny. I would point out though that to get a good sound from the Pod Pro will save no time... only space and money!! (no need for a mic y'see)
    Also people need to remember to use them like an Amp NOT like an effect if they want to get a realistic performance sound.
  17. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    The Pod is totally dependent on the guitar player to first find the EXACT hair width wide perfect point in Treble, Mid & Bass settings, to OPEN UP the sound, and it's different on every guitar, and changes with different weighted strings somewhat. (Best done on a clean tone, especially those based on Fender's old Black Panel)Thereafter, any "other" amps chosen should keep those eq settings intact.
    That done, you now have a beautiful present, rich, reactive, highly adjustable sound with a compressor and delay that work well. If..
    HERE IS THE TRICK.. you have to run the sound out Stereo (as suggested in the manual)not the summed signal of just the left channel. This makes all the difference in the world.
    Also, using TRS balanced to XLR is important (and the thinner Monster StudioPro500 is 5 times more open, lilting, airy, and musical, than their heavier StudioPro1000 to the point of absurdity)for this purpose, yet the 1000 is better to feed the monitors from the converter analog out. I wouldn't blame any of you engineers for arguing this, but it's so to my ear.
    Finally, if you run these two cables into an Apogee converter psx100se (or the like).. and you don't think that's professional sound.. well, please let me know.. cause, hell..I quit.
    I play eveything from finger picking ballads to hard rock Hendrixee, Claptonee, Pauleeeeee(me), and the tones on this little Pod (set up like this) kick the ass off of my older Mesa Boogie, which never gets played anymore, except using the Pod as the head. Admittedly, you have to get to know the POD, and I want to try the new Fender (tube) when I have time, so I'm certainly open to better, or different, but just wanted to pass on the tricks that have helped me love this little wonder. Will soon upgrade to the Pod Pro, or Fender tube.. and let you know. Paul
  18. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    May 14, 2001
    Mogadore, OH
    I like the POD very much (don't waste your money with the J-Station or anything that Digitech makes, too processed sounding). The POD sounds very realistic to me and reacts alot like a good tube amp. I usually run my POD into a good tube mic/line preamp then into a Purple MC76 compressor, then to HD. Is it as good as a well miked classic Fender Twin? Probably not quite (if your using high quality mic pre's to mic the amp), but it's pretty close and a lot less hassle. Less time setting up and more time making music.
  19. WSpeckmann

    WSpeckmann Guest

    We used the POD for a recording session recently because the guitar player (a girl) wanted it.
    We ended up with no effects at all (of course) and a clean sound. Could have done this with a DI ...
    I use a Sansamp PSA sometimes (it's the special edition - looks so nice ...).
    All these gadgets sound similar in a way.
    I prefer a real amp if possible - it's always unique.

    Kind regards
  20. Brad Gallagher

    Brad Gallagher Member

    Jul 17, 2001
    I regularly blend two, sometimes three mics to acheive an electric tone. Why not try an emulator that costs less than many of those mics? The technology is not quite there to make it a stand alone, but that is no reason to discard it as a useful tool. For those of you that still have an open mind about the POD, do you have a "go-to" pre that you run it through?

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