Well, 2014 is going to be a great year! For me, it means getting back into playing music after a relatively lengthy hiatus, and buying myself some new Line6 gear. Almost a year at the job now, and it's looking good for where things are going.
Very excited to add the third piece to the "Dream Rig", my JTV59 arrives tomorrow from Zzounds.. Here's to hoping to arrives all in one piece! And that the powers which be get the corrected HD firmware updated ASAP!
A little history - preceded by a horrible Boss ME50 pedal, I moved to the X3L, used it for years, then switched up to the HD500 when it came out. (I've had the HD500 since 2010).
Now, in 2014, I just added the DT25 1x12 combo last week, and when I saw the JTV's on sale, decided to go all the way down the rabbit hole. For what it's worth, Zzounds did price match the Guitar Center sale price, and they still offer the 8 payments plan. Added the Epiphone LP hard case to the order, so all in all, a relatively light monthly bill for the next 7 months to pay for the gear.
If you can put it all on a card you'll avoid some fees, since they all are offering interest free financing; though it would appear at least that Sweetwater will not price match (even though their price is $400 more than the guitar center sale price....) No tax with Zzounds either. G.C charges tax.
SO. Good timing with the arrival tomorrow, we have an after work jam scheduled for Friday, and Saturday I have off this week! Bammm! Psyched. Hopefully won't open the package and see a bent knob or some other horrible QC issue... Will keep ya'all posted tomorrow! Most likely also won't have time to update the firmware, though this is a new shipment that just arrived, so it's vaguely possible they already have 2.0 on it.
Anyhow, will have to get serious about learning how to program my patches on the HD500 now! I've always taken a minimalist approach to what I actually use on the POD. My thinking is now changing to the mode which sets all the FS buttons to control FX and amp parameters. I keep stepping on FS4 when I try to set the delay tap tempo. I may also set up some patches with the FS1-4 still doing patch changes, but make those four basically variations of a common theme / amp. As in, four duplicate Plexi patches, where the only difference is the amount of gain dialed in on the amp model. I'll need to spend some time testing out some ideas, now that I will have all three parts, and figure out what works best for my playing style and the type of music we'll do.
So, on that note, just yesterday had a thought about how I would describe what I play - in terms of role in the band. I would call me the "Synth Player". Yes, it's a guitar, and yes it emulates amps and guitars, and no it's not a keyboard - but more to the point, I wouldn't want to 'compete' with or attempt to match amp and guitar sounds being created by the other guy I play with. He's 100% analog - I actually just bought a used Keeley 4 knob compressor, and loaned it to him indefinitely to help his rig come together. Greatest analog pedal I have ever used! That thing in the FX loop of a nice tube amp is literally all you need.
I digress. My rambling goes to this idea: I am the keyboard player in the band. I just use a guitar to get the sounds.. Rather than being a "two guitar" lineup, I am thinking in terms of he is the guitar player, and I am the "synth" guitarist.
With the insane amount of variation available in amp models and guitar models, I would embrace the synthetic and digital nature of the sounds being created, and almost push them into less realistic tones - just sounds that are cool to hear, mix well with a guitar-bass-drums kind of funk/rock/blues/jam sound. I'd like to involve the looper as well, get into some exploration of space and breakdown the idea of "rhy guitar" and "lead guitar".
That's all for now. Just a though that hit me.. People always say "digital" with some derision or judgment or condemnation, but the reality is, most of what you hear at any big broadcast or concert or large scale music event involves a substantial amount of "digital". Whether it's the mixer, the amps, the PA, this that or the other thing - digital is not bad, it's just different.
You hear a keyboard do a guitar solo, and you think "Cool!". You hear a guitar modeller through an amp model do a solo, and you think "digital". For me, I'd like to make it sound like all the various instruments that the Variax can do; down the road, I'd love to have the ability to buy add on instrument models for the Variax - woodwinds, strings, keys, whatever. The JTV59 as a trumpet, or flute, or electric piano, or whatever! I realize that's more the MIDI world of triggers, and this is a different beast, but the two worlds are slowly coming closer.