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Monday, October 04, 2004

DEBATE: 2004, THE AMP VS. THE POD

The Line 6 Pod has been around for a few years and has been selling like hot-cakes. George Vitray has one, so does Tony Alva, and Pat 'Mr. L Smart' Wilson. Basically it's every amp you'd ever want in a small football shaped box, ready to run direct into your board. It's versatility is without question, the question is, what's better, the Pod or the amp it's emulating. Andy Rock and Goerge Vitray had a debate about this on saturday, a debate I stayed out of because I wanted them to shut up and get on with the task at hand, namely laying in some awesome guitar tracks. Now both George and Andy know that a tube amplifier with a good mic on it will always sound better, Rock music needs air. At some point you need a speaker to push the air around, it's essential. Well, almost. George's take on this is that you can sit down in the control room with a guitar player and just dial in sound until you find what you're looking for. You save quite a bit of time by not having to set up a bunch of amps and mics, and in the studio, time is money in it's most absolute. At times George is willing to sacrifice some air, or character, for convenience. Andy's point is that he already has the sound he wants; his Les Paul through a Marshall with everything set at 10. I'm of both minds. Nine out of ten times, I know the amp I want, and have it; Fender Deluxe, Fender Bandmaster, or Marshall. There are times however that I will use the Pod. On occasion I might want a Vox AC30 sound, or a Roland Jazz Chorus, and if that's the case, I'll use the Pod, but this is always in the overdub satge. I would never use the Pod for a main giuitar track. Another occasion to use the Pod is when you are recording a live take with multiple musicians as we did this weekend. We wanted to keep the drums as clear of bleed as possible. Our live room is small, and in most live situations, you end up with guitar all over the drum tracks. Not, however, if you use the Pod. We tracked guitar, bass, and drums live, but the bass and guitar were going direct, no bleed. We re-amped the bass, and tonight we'll re-track the guitar with a 'real' amp. We'll retian the live feel of the take, and not have to sacrifice seperation. That is where the Pod is indespensable, because the players want to hear a reasonable facsimile of what the guitar will end up sounding like (in the headphones) as they are doing it. With the Pod, everybody can be made happy. Andy will never use one, and that's fine, Andy will never need to, he has a special relationship with his instrument and his tone, he knows what he wants, and it takes less than five minutes to set it up. In the end, the Pod is a great tool, the Marshall is a great amp.

Comments:
Live amps whenever you can, Pod for when quite and convenience is what you need.
 
PODs are a great tool, and totally serve a purpose. Like Tony, I would take my Marshall over a POD anyday.

But when I'm laying down rough tracks, or want to email an idea to someone, the POD is awesome.

The coolest thing about the PODs, it seems there a new sites everyday devoted to new cool tones and settings.

I think the best thing about the POD is playing through the ear-goggles when the kids are sleeping, or the wife is watching TV.

Keep up the good work...
hue
 
Ear goggles, I love that!
 
Very nice blog, hard to come by these days,

If you have a chance, can you visit my how to play guitar site

It has all guitar related stuff.

Thanks
 
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