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POD XT Live: it has to sound better . . ??

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by dankayaker, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    Just got one mostly for late night recording. Did the upgrade via the line 6 site.

    I'm in awe of how bad the stock presets sound. Honestly, I can't imagine ever using any of them. I know it can be made to sound better . . . .does anyone have an presets that really make this thing shine ? I read about the buffer in front of the unit, but frankly, I think anything short of a nice tube preamp first won't help that much . . . . any advise ????

    thanks
     
  2. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    You must take the time to "build" your presets - don't go for what makes sense to your head, use your ears alone. Build your tone with each component - try all the "amp" settings with all the "cab" settings and play with each variable. You can grab 1000's of presets from the Line 6 user forum, but they never worked for me. I have about 8 presets that I built for my own use, others try them and hated them. It comes down to using what you like... but you have to do the work. It is NOT a plug-n-play type of thing with the POD stuff IMHO. Buffers in front and all that are for the feel and response, not for tone IMHO.
     
  3. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    Have you tried using Line 6 Edit? It's a nice way to access a pretty good online library of patches. After failing miserably at trying to create a nice Dumblesque tone, I found one using L6 Edit that is pretty acceptable.
     
  4. exhausted

    exhausted Member

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    i've had an xt for a while and had a few basic patches that worked well for me. it look a lot of tweaking though.

    then i made the mistake installing the latest update which changed the sound of everything and sent me back the drawing board. dammit.
     
  5. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys,

    I'm going to start from scratch and give it a fair effort, if I can get two or three usable setting for late night recording I'll be fine with it. I have downloaded the software and might try that too. The feel thing is certainly an issue I'll have to address (being used to a great amp), but I'll wait to make sure this XT Live is a worthwhile investment. Has anyone tried a nice tube preamp in front ? . . .Like a Badcat Two-Tone or Boogie V-Twin ?
     
  6. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys,

    I'm going to start from scratch and give it a fair effort, if I can get two or three usable setting for late night recording I'll be fine with it. I have downloaded the software and might try that too. The feel thing is certainly an issue I'll have to address (being used to a great amp), but I'll wait to make sure this XT Live is a worthwhile investment. Has anyone tried a nice tube preamp in front ? . . .Like a Badcat Two-Tone or Boogie V-Twin ? I guess at a certain point it becomes a money pit.
     
  7. smalahove

    smalahove Member

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    I've used mine with my Orange AD1510 - and I like the sounds I get from it. Even some of the stock presets. However bare in mind in front of an amp, the settings are differents than used for direct recording.

    Some sounds/presets are crap to my ears - esp. distortion/crunch/fuzz sound a bit to digital for my taste when listening to it through headphones f.instance. But the recorded sound is more than useable for late night recordings.

    But generally, a digital amp sim is just that ;-)

    Oh, btw I've seen it used by several recording/studio guitarists that I respect (f.instance used with a TopHat amp) with great results - so it can't be that bad ;-)
     
  8. GuitarGuy510

    GuitarGuy510 Member

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    I would say you have to tweak it a bit. I had the XT Live for a while too and I really did like it for recording and stuff like that, you just can't use all of their presets. Also, there is a button for like the output or something to that extent... make sure it is set to like studio or direct in... they have a couple settings in there and if you are using the wrong one it changes the sound DRAMATICALLY. I had it set on studio when I was running it through my power amp one time and had no idea why it sounded so different... that was it! Check that out first, and if that's not it I say tweak away, Line 6 has some good tones in their stuff, they just make you work for it! ;) Rewards go to those that have patience! :rolleyes:
     
  9. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    We've had two come on for sessions. One was unusable, the other was barely passable. I didn't want to burst the guy's bubble, so I tweaked it for a minute or two and got something about half as good as I could've gotten from a real amp.

    We've had a little better luck w/the plain XT. It's got one setting - the Variac'd Marshall, which was actually OK. All the others needed a LOT of work at mixtime, to be acceptable.

    Loudboy
     
  10. Roodboy

    Roodboy Supporting Member

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    Not to steal the thread but maybe this would help, isn't it also important to use the cab models with full range speakers like a PA and turn them off for a guitar cabinet type speaker?
     
  11. svanangen

    svanangen Member

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    Wow, I gotta say that I have a real hard time believing that you guys that put this unit down have really put an effort in to get the hang of it. I have a couple of tubeamps (a silverface Vibrolux and a Twintone II) that I enjoy using for different gigs but when I know I need to keep my stagevolume to a minimum or go direct (which is preferred on some theatergigs) I don't hesitate to bring the Pod XT live out. I also use it for a lot of recording and I have no problem tweaking good tones out of it.
     
  12. TomK

    TomK Member

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    I know a few guys who really know how to use the XT Live and get some great tones. I have also heard Lincoln Brewster use it live a few times and there is nothing wrong with his tone.

    I've been using a plain old POD since the day they released it and I get compliments on my tones all the time. But on the other side I have given those presets to other guitarists and they just don't sound the same. So - whether digital, analog or both my take is that it is all in the hands. Some guys take to the digital stuff and some never do. Those that go in with kind of attitude expressed above....well I won't comment, but what would you expect to get out of it if you are closed minded?

    I have spent HOURS tweaking my patches but certainly spent no more time than I do trying various combinations of pedals and amps to get the various tones I hear in my head. I love the power of the L6 stuff.

    The XT Live is a tool - nothing more and nothing less.
     
  13. fiftywatt

    fiftywatt Member

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    I've spent many hours tweaking the XTL and have built some great sounding patches. I never even considered using presets or downloading stuff from the L6 site either. My experience in building tones comes from 20+ years of buying and gigging too many pedals, amps, and guitars to mention. I think this experience helps me with the whole metaphor of building tones with the XTL. I really do prefer it for late night direct recording, which I do alot of. I have plenty of great amps to reference, and the multitrack recordings I've done with the XTL sound pretty convincing. I've e-mailed mp3 files to a number of musician friends and they usually ask me what pedals and amps I used. Your mileage may vary greatly.

    I've had decent luck with it running into the front end of some of my tube amps, but not all of them. It sounds very fake and crappy run into the front of my Hall 36W TMB, but those same patches into either of my Tophats sound very nice. Go figure.
     
  14. jmadill

    jmadill Gold Supporting Member

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    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of the POD stuff, and just like everyone else, I have mine. I have owned just about every variation of the POD since its inception, and currently I own and use a PODxt Live and a PODxt Pro. Although I really don't like many of the presets, I have downloaded and created a few that I really like. I don't think in terms of whether I could tell the difference between the REAL and MODELED version, I care what it sounds like. As such, I tweak my patches all of the time, whether I created them or not.

    That being said, here's one big hint:

    Turn off the speaker cabinet emulation when playing live.

    You can do it by selecting "no cab" or another alternative is to set "room" to 0%.

    If there is any "room" in the setting, it is essentially bleed with all sorts of reflections of the sound bouncing back into the microphone from an imaginary room. This, combined with a real speaker cabinet will not only reduce the "real" sound of the speaker, but it will add fake room noise into your sound.

    The "AIR" stuff used for speaker mic and speaker emulation is cool for recording or playing through headphones, but is of little or no value for live performances.

    Email me if you want specific directions.

    -jm
     
  15. bailnout

    bailnout Member

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    I have one word to help you cut your tweaking time down for direct recording with the XTL... "REAMP"!
     
  16. Craise

    Craise Member

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    Easiest thing I've found to do is put it on the Fender Deluxe Reverb or Roland JC120 amp models turn all the effects and crap off and run my pedalboard though it... :)
     
  17. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    "Turn off the speaker cabinet emulation when playing live."


    I thought the speaker emulation is what got rid of the thin bright tones in the XTL ?

    Thanks for all the info/comments guys . . . .I'll spend some significant time this weekend tweaking (I really want to use this tool) . . . . . . this is basically going into a Protools set up and being used for low volume practicing running though a small combo at home also, so I'm hoping I find some settings I like (or can live with).
     
  18. AndyZ

    AndyZ Member

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    Ya all have valid points, but let me clarify a few things... The basic POD Presets you get on the POD have been around for ages and those were done, but the Line 6 staff. There were really intended to show off the variance of what you could do with them. It also gave novices a chance to get in the ball park of certain players without much work. Any serious player using this as a tool, will tweak his own patches. As far as the Model Packs are concerned, those were done, by many of the beta testers when those were tested and then released. Those were really geared more to tones developed by players rather than showing off what they could do on the POD. Granted what works for one, won't work for another. I always look at others patches as if there's an element of something I like in it, then start changing to my ears tasts and usage.

    These days I love to use my XT into 2 Atomics live. It really sounds killer! I have no complaints. In the studio I use a PODxt many times for preproduction and some base tracks, usually always changing my basic set of my patches for the song. Some tones do sound great, but since we layter many tones, I usually end up doubling the POD tracks with tube amps for a thick tonal palette. i.e. using my Marshall Plexi patch, then doubled up with the real deal Marshall.

    Here's a short sniped up clip of the Plexi patch and then an AC-30 patch. Even the bass was used on the AC-30 patch without the amp modeling. Just as a pre. You can't tell me those sound bad. These are pretty close withint 95% to the patches of mine in the model packs. No additional EQ added, right into ProTools. Sorry that one side of the clean channel accidentally and some runaway delay on a plugin that was still on.

    http://www.instituteofnoise.com/music/pod_buffer_clip_12262005.mp3
     
  19. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    I just got a Podxt for exactly the same thing. I too am a little worried by the fairly horrible presets that I played through last nite with headphones. I have high hopes however because of some of the recordings I have heard over at the sonar forum. There are a ton of good musicians and pro engineers over there who have experience with the pod.

    The prevaling wisdom seems to be to find a small number of amp models you you like (clean, dirty, heavy) and remove ALL FX and EQ from the patches with the exception of the cab sim. The less internal processing the better and the FX in most recording suites are MUCH better anyway. Also make sure you have the correct output setting - studio direct I believe.

    For maximum recording quality it is also suggested to take the ANALOG OUTS into a good Mic preamp or compressor - preferably a high end one with tubes and/or transformers.
     
  20. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Supporting Member

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    Hey, I resisted the lure of the dark side (DMAs) for many, many years. I am a tube amp snob.

    Does the PODxt Live sound as good as a top-notch amp with all the best goodies? Not even close.

    However, the PODxt Live does sound better when ultra-low stage levels are required. Personally, I've never been able to choke off a decent sized amp, have some clueless tech mic it up with a cheesy mic, mangle it further with ham-fisted EQing and have it sound any good at all. In those situations, handing the board a decent tone they can use flat is immensely useful. Oh yeah, I can show up with a fraction of the equipment I normally bring, sound good and save my back ;-)

    Also, the the PODxt Live's virtual mixing busses ensure that adding one or two pedals doesn't suck your tone (well, any further that is). Volume pedals and wahs are the biggest tone suckers out there. You can integrate those flawlessly into whatever patch you are using without further tone degredation.

    The only disadvantage I can think of is having to run AC out to the front of stage (hate that).

    I also echo what Scott said. The factory patches are designed to demo the unit's capablilites, not work in a mix. So wipe the factory patches and build your own. Also, don't run the output too hot (I've found that the last 10% of op amp stages can sound pretty nasty; don't clip the output IC's) and pay attention to whether you are clipping the input of whatever you are feeding. Solid state clipping just sounds nasty.

    When not going direct into the board, I also use mine with a Mesa 20/20 and two Avatar 1-12 cabs (G12H30s) and the tones are (at worst) at least workmanlike. Like I said, they beat mangled tube amp tones by a country mile. I think I have about six presets I use all the time. No, I won't tell you what models I use.

     

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