I’ve taken advantage of Line 6’s free 14 day download of POD Farm Platinum 2.0 ilok version and have been working on formulating somethings for a review. I won’t be able to post a full review now, but I wanted to post a couple of brief observations.
1. The demo version was a little glitchy in standalone version, so I’ve been using it with AU LAB. For those of you who don’t know about it (I had to find out about it on the super looper forum) – AU Lab is a free app that comes with the OSX Xcode Tools. It was designed to test AU plug ins with but its a stand alone app with a fully configurable mixer ( inputs, outputs, effects busses) . It records output and even generates midi clock! Also it makes a very small cpu impact – so it’s perfect for hosting something like Pod Farm and say SooperLooper.
2. 2.0 supports midi – which means you can control it with a foot controller like the FBV shortboard MKII or the Behringer FCB1010. I didn’t get to work with this yet – but this brings the live laptop rig very feasible for me.
3. Stereo rigs which you can A/B/Y!!! which alone would have been really cool – but you can use multiple effects in the same rig – something you can’t do on the POD for example.
Here’s a screen shot of a modification I made on the Outer Space preset. I just added a preamp in the beginning of the chain.
So here is an mp3 of a guitar track I improvised with this setting:
This was made with a FNH ultrasonic guitar, Behringer FCA202, Macbook Pro (2007), and AU Lab. No post processing.
So this particular sample doesn’t sound very guitarish – but that’s part of the reason I really like this approach. You can create things that you never could create with pedals without a ton of gear and/or a ton of noise.
As with many other sims – getting usable clean tones is pretty easy and getting dirty tones that respond the way an amp would is a little trickier. But the presets on all of these models are light years away from older line 6 presets that I’ve heard. It’s pretty easy to get a tone in the ball park and tweak it from there.
Line 6 has some great audio/video demos on their site, so I wont go into too much here for demos as they’ve done it really well. Also the May lesson uses the same signal chain for all the mp3s that will be posted there.
I need to also give kudos in that all of the sounds on the sites are included in the presets and they have also noted processed vs unprocessed sounds. Yes there is a big difference between the two, and it’s important to note those differences so that when you dial up a preset you know what to expect.
The only thing I wish it had was a dedicated looper, but that’s not a deal breaker.
If you have an I-LOK I’d say to definitely check it out. It’s more flexible than the POD and does some very cool things.
For further applications of this set up you can also go here or here.