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Recording with POD XT- any tips/tricks?

Messages
402
I was wondering if anyone on here has been recording with the Line 6 POD XT. I'm using mine with a standard guitar cable into the instrument input on my Lexicon Omega. I'm having trouble getting a good signal when recording, I have the trim set very low and I'm trying to set the output and channel volume as high as I can from the POD (per the manual).

This is causing a few problems

1) The tone that I'm getting in my recording program is nothing like what I hear when I plug my headphones directly into the pod (and I do have the pod set for studio/direct mode). There is a significant lose of depth and high end.

2) I get some unwanted peaks while playing and they don't seem to be consistent with my playing (meaning they just don't happen when I playing heavy, they happen unexpectedly).

3) I can't track anything distorted when using my monitors, I get weird electronic feedback constantly.

If anyone has any tips on how to trouble shoot these problems or how to get good recording levels and decent tones with the POD XT, they would be greatly appreciated. I'm new to the home recording stuff, so please excuse my ignorance.
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
Although I'm unfamiliar with the XT I can tell you I had a hell of a time getting the right impedance match with the old Pod Pro. The hardware outputs were the worst designed part. If I cranked it too far it sounded like sh*t (meaning worse even than it was supposed to sound).

If your input gain on the Omega has to be ridiculously low that tells you something's wrong, in other words, the Pod's output is too hot for that input. Look in the XT manual and see what the impedance level of the output is. I'm guessing it's a -10 unbalanced line level. If so and if the Omega has a line level input, that's probably a better one to use rather than the instrument input. Though you might have to crank it quite a bit if the input impedance is +4 balanced, in which case you might also consider runnning it through a nice preamp first (what I do now whenever I use the Pod is run it through an Avalon tube pre which warms it up some, but those are not a cheap fix).

If the XT's output is in fact instrument level, try lowering it all the way, set the Omega input at unity gain, and slowly turn up the XT till you get it where it's supposed to be.

Anyway, a proper impedance match should solve your problem. If not, your XT's outputs might be defective.
 
Messages
402
The outputs on the POD are +4dBu balanced. The manual for the omega doesn't specify impedance level for the instrument or line level inputs, it says but it says the line level can accept both balanced (TRS) and unbalanced (2-conductor) audio sources. I tried a TRS cable from the POD into the line level input on the omega and I got a terrible buzzing sound. I don't know if it was the cable or the POD. I'll try your suggestions tonight and report back. Unfortunately, I don't have a tube mic-pre to run it through at the moment.

Thanks for the input!
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
The line input is definitely the right one to use, NOT instrument. You don't need a preamp at all.

Try lowering the POD's output, then try a different cable. Change one thing at a time till you find the cause of the problem.
 
Messages
402
Originally posted by MichaelK
The line input is definitely the right one to use, NOT instrument. You don't need a preamp at all.

Try lowering the POD's output, then try a different cable. Change one thing at a time till you find the cause of the problem.

Will do! I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks Michael.

Anyone else have any tricks/tips? I have heard some really great POD XT clips over on HC by I guy that posts as iAnders, I want to be able to get quality tones along those lines.

Here is a link to some of his clips:
http://home.online.no/~drevva/clips/
 
Messages
402
Hey Michael,

I tried your suggestions and I got a much better signal this time around. I still seem to be losing a little high end and a lot of depth compared to what I hear when I plug directly into the POD. I'll experiment some more and see what happens. I'd still like to get a little hotter signal but i have to keep the trim really low to keep it from peaking out. Using the POD into the line-level input is very touchy, just the slightest adjustment can make a huge difference. I can get a hotter signal running clean, but I'm worried that the distorted tones will just end up sounding to squashed/compressed comparatively.
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
All the things you're describing are exactly the way it is with my Pod Pro. There's no one spot where the ouput level works right for every amp model. I'm always moving it up or down.

Without real tubes you are going to get spikes sometimes. I don't think I've ever recorded the Pod without some kind of limiter or compressor. If you don't have a hard limiter, the best way to squash spikes without compressing the signal too much is to set the compression threshold high, the ratio fairly high like 5:1 or more, minimum attack time and quick release.

I also was ending up with a weaker recorded tone than what I heard through the headphones. Using the Pod Pro's digital output was the worst. Running the analog output through the Avalon helped (as would any good preamp), but upgrading my A/D converters helped most.
 
Messages
402
Originally posted by MichaelK
All the things you're describing are exactly the way it is with my Pod Pro. There's no one spot where the ouput level works right for every amp model. I'm always moving it up or down.

Without real tubes you are going to get spikes sometimes. I don't think I've ever recorded the Pod without some kind of limiter or compressor. If you don't have a hard limiter, the best way to squash spikes without compressing the signal too much is to set the compression threshold high, the ratio fairly high like 5:1 or more, minimum attack time and quick release.

I also was ending up with a weaker recorded tone than what I heard through the headphones. Using the Pod Pro's digital output was the worst. Running the analog output through the Avalon helped (as would any good preamp), but upgrading my A/D converters helped most.

Yeah I imagine my cheap home recording interface isn't making it any easier. I'll have to read through the software manual again to see what I can do in terms of compression/limiting.

Did you listen to the clips from iAnders? I'm wondering how he is getting that great of a signal.
 

MichaelK

Member
Messages
6,476
>> I'll have to read through the software manual again to see what I can do in terms of compression/limiting.

Real time compression while recording has to be hardware.

>> Did you listen to the clips from iAnders? I'm wondering how he is getting that great of a signal.

I dunno, ask him!
 

Goku13

Member
Messages
619
I run my POD XT into my Aardvark Q10, and haven't had any problems at all. I just do what the manual says to do....using the 1/4 inch outs, turn up the master output volume to 4 oclock, and trim the input gain on the computers software so that it doesn't clip, and wah-la. It definitely sounds better than the old POD.
 
Messages
402
I've been playing with the output and channel volume as well as the trim and trying to find a good balance. I can get some pretty decent sounds but the signal is just a little weak and I have to post it quite a bit when mixing. Still misses a little depth and high end. The trim on my Lexicon Omega seems to be very touchy and hair adjustments are all it takes to make the difference between peaking out and not peaking out.
 

advocating2

Member
Messages
1
The key is to use the headphone jack on the POD as the output, NOT THE USB or direct line, both of which sound like crap. The single stereo line out is connected to a 1/8" stereo female to two 1/4" mono (i.e. a "Y" connector with 1/8 stereo on one end, and two 1/4 monos on the other), which is then lined into 2 of the 1/4" inputs on the back of the Omega. Get ready for great sound using this setup.
 

ObiK

Member
Messages
205
Make sure to be recording at -18 to -12 tops in your DAW's meters. Then read this article to make it sound a bit more "real"
 

Tadams

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,498
I'm using a Pod XT live and a Lexicon Omega, and seem to have pretty good luck with it.
I use the line out, and turn the trim level fairly low (haven't tried the headphone out trick)

 

marshall2288

Member
Messages
1,101
The key is to use the headphone jack on the POD as the output, NOT THE USB or direct line, both of which sound like crap. The single stereo line out is connected to a 1/8" stereo female to two 1/4" mono (i.e. a "Y" connector with 1/8 stereo on one end, and two 1/4 monos on the other), which is then lined into 2 of the 1/4" inputs on the back of the Omega. Get ready for great sound using this setup.
I've had different results. I run my XT Live into my Mac via the USB and it sounds fantastic every time.
 

ricoh

Member
Messages
1,195
I have used a POD into a stand alne ART tube pre with great results. I believe I ran in into a passive direct box> Art > recorder.
 

marshall2288

Member
Messages
1,101
I have used a POD into a stand alne ART tube pre with great results. I believe I ran in into a passive direct box> Art > recorder.
Does the Tube Pre make any real difference? I have been looking into something similar or perhaps another pre amp.
 




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