Saturday, May 21, 2016

Review: Pod HD

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are reviewing a Line 6 product, Line 6 Pod Hd Desktop!

This model is part of the Pod lineup, and it has been in production since 2012, although in 2013 is produced with the name POD HD X, because it has received a bump in the CPU specs in order to process better certain dual amp simulations that were particularly heavy in terms of resources.

The Pod Hd comes as usual in desktop version (this one in review), floorboard and rack version, and the difference between them is essentially in the amount of inputs and outputs.

This desktop version is really a swiss army knife: it can be used for the first time by two musicians at the same time, for example for a live acoustic duo with one guitar and one voice, and it has for the first time presets and amp models also for voice and bass (this is, in facts, the first generation of Pods that doesn't have a Bass Pod version).
The Xlr input has useful advantages, since it turns the unit finally into a full featured Usb audio interface that can finally be used for recording vocals, bass and guitar with good quality and low latency, also thanks to good drivers and a good managing software, that lets us also get into deep editing with relative ease.

The new hardware lets us enjoy great effect models and a good preamp section, although it's unexplainable why line 6 has chosen to not make the unit compatible with impulse responses, damaging the product when compared with an Axe Fx and Kemper, since we all know that the weak point of digital amp simulators has always been the speaker simulation section. 
Anyway the modeling is quite realistic, especially in the clean and overdrive area, in which for the first time in the Pod history we can really feel a good dynamic range and touch response.

The Pod Hd has also received through the year several firmware updates that has added more free amp and effect models, plus the support for additional paid model packs (a practice that to be honest we don't support, because we think that these software expansions should all be included in the price of the hardware unit).

The final judgement is positive, because the unit lets us (with a very good quality to price ratio) have amps and effects simulations, and a full featured audio interface good also for recording vocals and bass at 24 bit and up to 48khz. 

Specs taken from the website:

List of modeled amps:

  • Fender® Twin Reverb®
  • Hiwatt® Custom 100 (DR103)
  • Supro® S6616
  • Gibson® EH-185
  • Fender® Bassman®
  • Fender® Blackface Deluxe Reverb®
  • Divided by 13 JRT 9/15
  • Dr. Z® Route 66
  • Vox® AC-15
  • Vox® AC-30 (Top Boost)
  • Marshall® JTM-45 MkII
  • Park 75
  • Marshall® JCM-800 (2204)
  • Bogner® Uberschall
  • Mesa/Boogie® Dual Rectifier®
  • ENGL® Fireball 100
  • 19 delays (including cool tube and solid-state tape echoes)
  • 23 modulations (including both blackface-style opto and brownface bias-modulating tremolo, phasers, choruses and pitch effects)
  • 17 distortions (classic stompbox distortion, to vintage fuzz, to thick metal chunk)
  • 26 filters (including wahs and several exclusive custom filters)
  • 12 compressors and EQs (including stomp comps and studio tube compression)
  • 12 reverbs (from surfy springs, to studio plates, to cutting-edge digital room sounds)
  • 512 user-writable preset locations and built-in tuner with signal mute
  • Essential Project Studio ins and outs: ¼-inch input, XLR input, stereo balanced outs, phones, USB 2.0, S/PDIF out and FBV expression pedal control.

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