300 Tones to Go: A Review of Line 6’s Pocket POD
Gibson.com has just started a series of articles that will help you get the most out of your guitar using the newest digital software and hardware to shape your tone and record your music on the computer. Cool…here’s the first one.
[originally Jim Dalrymple | 02.20.2008 Gibson.com] – I spent years playing through various analog pedals and enjoyed every minute of it. Part of what I like so much about playing the guitar is the inspiration I get from different tones. Let’s be honest, it’s difficult to change from a hard-hitting Zakk Wylde tone to a bluesy tone with an analog setup. But with a digital setup, it’s as simple as hitting a button.
Enter a cool little device from Line 6 called the Pocket POD. The Pocket POD fits in the palm of you hand—or as the name would indicate, in your pocket—and is packed with over 300 presets already dialed in for a specific tone you may be looking for.
The Pocket POD has a very simple setup—a 1/4-inch guitar in, 1/4-inch out to an amp or PA system, a headphone jack, and an MP3 player input so you can plug in your iPod and jam along with your favorite songs. The Pocket POD runs off a 9V power supply or 4 AAA batteries, so it is very portable.
The beauty of the POD is the ability to create or dial in your own tones. With its USB connection to the computer and free software, you can actually create a tone that suits your particular taste. Pocket POD comes with 32 classic and modern amp models like the ’64 Fender Deluxe Reverb and the ’68 Marshall Plexi 100 watt. And you also get 16 cab models like the 1978 Marshall with stock 70s and the 1967 Vox AC-30. Add to that 16 effects and you are well on your way to creating whatever kind of tone suits your playing needs.
The Pocket POD allows you to browse the included presets or ones you make yourself directly from the front screen. Using a button on the front you can scroll through presets by Band, Style, or User, so you have three ways to quickly bring up a tone. It’s also got a built-in tuner, so you can check your tuning by holding down a button on the front panel at any time.
The Pocket POD also comes with a belt clip on the back. Using the clip, you can plug in your guitar to the POD and output it to your amp or PA. Clip the POD to your guitar strap and you can walk around with all your tones close at hand. Of course, using its headphone jack, you can also walk around and jam without disturbing anyone else around you.
Typically, I use my Pocket POD through my PA system instead of my amp, but that is mostly for recording into the computer. I have tried it in several of my amps and it sounds really good, but you’ll need to adjust your amp or the presets on the POD to work with your particular setup.
Creating digital tones from a device like the Pocket POD allows you to experiment with effects and amps that would cost you a fortune to buy separately. There’s a lot to be said for playing the original gear, but most of us can’t purhcase every pedal included in the POD.
If you have an audio interface connected to your computer, you can also record the Pocket POD into your favorite software, but because the POD uses mini-USB, you cannot record directly.
The bottom line is that you’ll be surprised with how much this little box can put out. And the fact that you can call up any tone you want anytime you want, makes the Pocket POD a very inexpensive ($129) way to enter into the world of digital music.
The Pocket Pod is available from Dolphin Music for just £64.99 (view page)
Watch Pocket Pod Demo Videos on You Tube:
Video 1 (very good!)