Pod Studio UX1
clear and blue, on november 04, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: £ 90
Purchased from: Anderton's
Ease of Use: This is my first delve into recording, computer based or otherwise, so I'm hitting it as a complete newbie. If youve done it all before, skim through but if you haven't some of this may help...
If you have some computer skills and understand what the box does (I read bit's of the manual etc whilst shopping around before I got it) then it is pretty straight forward. stick the POD farm disk in and it will install all drivers and ask you to plug the UX1 in to a spare USB socket when its ready. thats it!
The difficulty comes in all the options and different ways of setting it up and I see a few people having problems with monitoring etc. Since I don't have mixers or other outboard stuff apart from this, the UX1 is my main audio interface with the computer.
I plugged the audio outs from the UX1 into my stereo amplifier (hifi) and set the computer to use it as the main soundcard. This gives a far better sound than the computer's motherboard soundcard and means I'm not messing about switching audio sources. I set the ToneDirect buffer to as low as it'll go for no latency and wacked the ASIO recording buffer up to the highest it will go for the hell of it. This way it feels just like my tube amp in terms of immediate response and records without my computer feeling any pain. Just be sure to turn off the monitoring on the recording software or you will hear double.
Stupidly easy to use. At first there was a bit of a faff registering the box with Line 6 Monkey. Just involved sending me off to their website where I got a username and password in exchange for my email address. Going through the presets is good fun but it is so easy to get a setup going. Just a case of going through the pretty pictures till you find what you want and dragging it down onto your chain.
You can press the dual Switch at the top of the screen to split the signal in 2 to allow dual amp setups or whatever takes your fancy. Double clicking any bit of gear brings up the settings for it - knobs on an amp, face of an effects pedal etc. Really its a nice program and is intuitive to use.
If this is your first attempt like me, this will be the biggest hurdle. I spent a good few hours building projects just to find I couldnt get on with the DAW software. I went through various demo downloads and reaper etc and got stuck with all of them but I ended up sticking with Ableton Live which came with the UX1. Riffworks is more of a scratchpad really but probably a good place to start once to find your feet. There is a steep learning curve here but it isnt the UX1's fault. // 10
Sound: I was blown away in this aspect. I'm the type Who gets real anal about how an amp feels. I don't even like having true bypass pedals in a chain - any more than 1 cable seperating guitar and amp and I'm not happy - no matter how much I may want that particular effect.
That said, I was thoroughly impressed by the sounds on offer with POD Farm. For one I was able to use all these different effects in a chain without losing that responsive feeling.
one thing to bear in mind is that the sounds come through your hifi like a recording. in other words they don't feel like having amp X in the room with you but sound just like they would on a CD. This is not a bad thing. I have a nice little valve amp to play about on but to record - POD Farm can do much better than I could even if I had all these Vintage amps and effects.
Its a crazy feel if youve always played real amps. going through the preset (most are named after songs) and playing the song the preset is based on with the guitar they recommend and it WILL sound like the Original recording.
At "All right now" (Free) I was impressed. By the time I hit "Barracuda" (Heart) I had this huge grin on my face.
The amp sims (I stuck with the classics and haven't tried the metal ones much) are great and really have the character of the amps (deluxe reverb, bassman, plexi, 1974x, AC30 etc). They respond to picking dynamics and guitar volume just like real tube amps.
I like the effects. Never used a compressor before but the one included is really good (transparent too) and is good for getting a more finished sound. Reverbs are nice but need tweaking at high settings to keep things together. Same goes for having a very far microphone placement. The phasers and choruses are cool, as are the tape Echoes and delays. there's also a load of weird synth effects that I'm sure have their use... Somewhere.
Bass sounds are good too, if not so extensive and I'm looking forward to trying all the mic preamps when I get a mic. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Don't know what to say here. It involves a computer therefore unreliable? the unit itself is as reliable as any of its competitors are likely to be and although ive crashed ableton a couple of times, POD Farm has always kept running. // 10
Overall Impression: I play in a bluesy kind of style in terms of tone for the most part and this actually nails everything pretty well surprisingly. My preconceptions were that it would have good cleans and hi gain but be crap at in-between settings. Luckily I was wrong there and although the clean sounds are beautiful, the in-between stuff is superb. Never really used the high gain tones so I'm not much of a judge of metal tone. Sounds good to me though.
Overall it is probably the best 90 ever spent in the cause of playing guitar. Does so many things so well. If I didn't already have an amp, this would definitely do for playing at home/practice. Plus it has opened the doors to dabbling in recording.
As it is also about the cheapest of all comparable competing products I think I'd buy it again if anything happened to it. Gives a nice complete package and not, as I learned, at the expense of tone. // 10
Pod Studio UX1
alexdoabismo, on may 25, 2009 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Ease of Use: The software (POD Farm) included is relatively easy to use. The main screen is beautiful, with the illustration of your current amps and effects, brilliant eye candy. However, getting together proper presets can be hard, so for that you will want to use Gearbox. You can easily get a good sound if you tweak enough. There are at least 650 presets for both guitar and amps, and a lot more if you buy the additional expansion packs from Line 6. Overall, easy to use. // 9
Sound: I'm using it with my ever so trusty Fender Standard Stratocaster, and I play it through my bass amp using the Analog Out outs in the back. There are lots of amps, effects, overdrives, filters and tools for you to play with, The included preset are pretty darn good to begin with. There are bass presets, heavy metal presets, clean presets and crunchy presets. Using a Vox Ac-30 and a Tube Screamer, I can get any sound I want (expect Metal), which shows you how versatile this can get. There are Fenders for Cleans, Mesa Boogies for Metal (surprisingly good actually), Marshalls for hard rock, so you can get any good sound out of this if you try enough. The Overdrive effects are very good, especially the Facial Fuzz and the Tube Screamer. Fuzz Pi could have been better (too much gain IMO). Independent of which type of music you like, or what guitars you worship, this baby will have it in stock. ALTHOUGH, there is NO wah-wah! Even though the effects are there, you can't use them without a controller, and I am yet to figure out how that works out. // 10
Reliability & Durability: The hardware itself if extremely rough and sturdy. It seems extremely reliable ( I am yet to drop it ), but this is obviously not something that you would want to gig with. This is strictly home practice, and if you wanna big, get a POD X3. Overall, it seems reliable enough. // 10
Overall Impression: When I bought this, I wanted something extremely versatile, but still cheap, which could help guide into what kind of music I want to play. It helped me alot. I've been playing for almost 2 years now, and this (apart from my Strat) has been my greatest investment music-related. I do wish it had a wah though! If it was stolen, I would probably buy it again, or maybe something that could be gigged with. I really like the interfaces it comes with, as they are easy to use and can get you any sound you want. Also, it is also extremely easy to record with this (probably my favourite feature), so get ready to press that record button when you buy this. A great value for money indeed! // 9
Pod Studio UX1
falco.1993, on december 20, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Ease of Use: The initial setup was relatively painless. There were a few hiccups but closing and reopening a couple things sorted everything out. POD Farm 2.51 actually runs surprisingly smoothly on my low-end laptop. Playing around with the presets in POD Farm was pretty easy and tweaking things is very simple. However, getting EXACTLY the tone you want is gonna take a while, but that's to be expected really. // 9
Sound: I'm running an Ibanez RG350EX through the POD and it sounds pretty fair with all the models and presets. The presets in particular impressed me, especially the "Cliffs of Dover" and "Barracuda" ones. I play mostly prog metal these days (some might call it djent I guess) and I'm still trying to get a good tone for that, though it's getting there. It's a shame that this doesn't come with the Metal Shop model pack because I've heard some good things about the Big Bottom model in relation to my kind of playing, but it still works. One thing: these models are pretty true to the ones they're based on, so if you Pick a model that would be noisy in real life, it's gonna be noisy in POD Farm. The noise gate is your friend sometimes. The popular Insane model is here of course, though I find it works best in conjunction with another amp head, particularly the Chemical X. // 9
Reliability & Durability: The hardware seems like it'll hold up as long as you don't subject it to too much abuse (it's made of plastic). I don't gig, but I don't believe I'd let this see any action outside of home. It would just be too risky. Though I guess if you're really hellbent on gigging with it, you could fashion some kind of protective enclosure for it. // 8
Overall Impression: Like I mentioned above, I play prog metal, and though I'm still trying to tweak things to my liking, I think once I get what I'm looking for I'll be thoroughly impressed. I've been playing for a little over three years and have tried a few modeling amps, and none of them really compared to the versatility of the POD. One of the only drawbacks is that if you want to gig with it, you'll have to figure out a way to protect it so it doesn't get destroyed. Also, I'm still lamenting the lack of Metal Shop, but I'll get over it once I have the $25 to spare for it (which incidentally seems like a damn good deal to me). If my POD was lost, I'd search tirelessly for it for the remainder of my days until I found it. If it was stolen, god have mercy on whoever stole it because I will wreck their whole damn week. I love pretty much everything about it and hate nothing about it. My favorite feature is still the "Cliffs of Dover" preset. It gives me warm, fuzzy feelings inside. I actually tried a Boss modeling board thing (I can't remember what it's called) before I got this, and the POD just blows it away in my opinion. So yeah, I'm pretty happy with this thing. // 10