The Next Step in Tone:
While the POD opened up the world of digital
modeling in 1998, things were good—users could
choose from 16 different amp models. While
those original 16 could be said to represent the
basic tones that guitarists always seem to be
searching for, the engineers at Line 6 have continued to track down more and more amps to
model, from the specialized to the esoteric. And
while the quantity increased, so did the quality;
advances in digital technology, and improved
analysis of tube amps combined to create more
authentic, nuanced sounds.
Digital modeling technology has the benefit of being able to take advantage of the
ongoing advances in memory, processing
power and speed that occur in our digital
society for computers, cell phones, gaming
systems, and so on. Our current flagship of
the POD family, the POD X3 line, has many
times the processing power of our original
POD without needing to cost many times
the price. These processing advances have
enabled us to continue to add more detail
and sonic nuance to our models, as well as
add more capabilities.
bilities for all settings within the product,
as well as offer computer-based editing
for those that want to see a more visual
representation of the settings. Computers
shouldn’t ever be required equipment for
our hardware-based PODs, but they are
great tools for deep editing and managing
large quantities of tones.
But it’s a long-held dictum that guitarists are never
satisfied. While the latest model in the POD line,
the X3, comes equipped with 78 amp models and
well over 350 presets to permit endless tweaking,
the problem remains that tones still need to be
dialed in, a process that requires time and patience.
If you wanted to recreate the massive chunk of a
James Hetfield rhythm or the crisp twang of Mark
Knopfler’s cleanest moments, you had to dig in and
do it yourself—a reality that kept many users from
fully exploring the POD’s capabilities.
What are the latest developments in the
POD line? What developments are in the
The rollout of Line 6’s customtone.com website
is the company’s latest salvo in the battle for digi-tally-savvy guitarists’ hearts and minds. Line 6 has
worked to populate this beta website with “
signature sounds of some of the greatest guitarists,
bands, songs and gear of all time.” And that’s really
not hyperbole; customtone.com provides POD
users with a central hub of operation, well stocked
with free, downloadable patches for almost every
With complexity of the POD increasing
with each release, how do you ensure
that operations remain user-friendly? Will
there come a point where a computer will
be necessary equipment to use a POD?
One of the best ways to keep complex
products simple is to provide a wide range
of presets that are easily accessible. We
include hundreds of presets, and also provide access to thousands more on our cus-
tomtone.com website. We also know that
different people want to work in different
ways, so we provide direct editing capa-
Our latest development in the POD line is
POD Farm, which brings us back full circle
in providing all of the modeling capabilities of our hardware POD family into a PC
or Mac for use with any recording software
platform. This can be used in conjunction with our hardware for a “best of both
worlds” setup or used with any other interface hardware via iLok authorization. At
the other end of the spectrum, we’ve just
launched the Pocket POD Express, which
is our most portable and affordable POD.
With these introductions, now great POD
tone can be accessible to anyone, regardless of their music creation environment.
Customtone.com looks to be a promising development in the evolution of the POD, and should offer
every level of PODite something useful. Power
users can share their highly-refined library of sounds
with the world; players looking for specific artist
sounds can find detailed, ready-to-play patches;
and non-tweakers can stock up on cool presets
for their next jam session. Downloading patches is
fairly straightforward, and you can even download
the original presets that came with your POD if you
get too crazy. Did we mention it’s free?
The POD finally hits the floor
with the release of the POD XT
Live. Packing in more effects than
ever before ( 95) and a ton of pre-
sets, live users rejoice heartily.
Line 6 releases the Floor POD and
goes back to basics, featuring only 12
amp and cab models and a built-in
expression pedal. Heads are scratched
around the world.
The POD X3 includes 78 models, 378
presets. Dual Tone allows playing
through two signal chains, and a new
preamp is ideal for vocals, bass. Also:
Pocket POD, a tiny, upgraded POD 2.0.
The newest and baddest addition to the line, the POD X3 Pro, shows up
with all the capabilities of the X3, plus software plug-in functionality for
use with DAW recording applications.