Employee Spotlight: Andy Z., Product Design Manager
What do you do at Line 6?
Product Design Manager. I manage all the non-engineering aspects of the products including getting the product manuals written, the silk art created and the packaging scheduled.
How did you end up at Line 6?
Some friends who worked here got me involved on some projects on a per diem basis in 1999, then by initiating and running the external Line 6 Users Group. Later a position opened up that encompassed a lot of what I had been doing in music and the business world. That was over 3 years ago now.
What has been one memorable project or experience at Line 6?
That would have to be the groundwork on the HD modeling of POD HD and DT50. With my years of experience in the network and being involved with amp builders, I was in charge of the project to purchase and maintain the Line 6 amp collection—these are the amps the HD models are based on. It was great to play all the original amps and then hear them compared to the models in the final product. I was also able to navigate through the vintage amp market and locate what we feel were the best examples of each amp. Sort of like being in on ground zero of the amp modeling process.
Tell us about your band/group?
I am both a solo performer and I work with bands. In solo mode, I do a lot of additional music composing for TV/film. In fact, I just placed my 100th TV spot. The production company I work with has numerous shows in production and commercial extensions for a large music creative agency. I try to carry the things I’m doing with them into my songwriting, which works with the artists I produce or play with. A current band I’m working with called Curd is classic pop/rock where all the focus is on the songs—less on imagery and visual. Being involved with the leader Bill Curd has allowed me to co-write and work with members of classic pop/rock artists Gin Blossoms and The Rembrandts. Some examples can be found at www.instituteofnoise.com
What do you enjoy about playing live?
Developing new songs by actually playing them as a band. In today’s digital recording realm we are so often piecing together. Recording them live as a band lets it organically blend as much as possible. It helps find out what inspires your audience to listen more.
What Line 6 gear do you use playing live and how do you use it?
Live my setup of choice these days is a James Tyler Variax JTV-69 into a DT50. Depending on the complexity of the show, I’ll use a POD HD500 or a small pedal board consisting of a Relay G30 into a Tonecore RotoMachine into an M9. In many cases I’m the only guitarist so I use the effects to layer sounds and keep it full sounding. For recording I use POD Farm or the POD HD500 with the JTV-69 for most guitar tones. I still use the Acoustic Variax 700 and Nylon 300 for lots of other unique sounds they offer.
How has playing live helped you with what you do at Line 6?
I host a weekly jam where I always have my Line 6 rig. I let any guest player come up and use my setup when they sit in, then take the opportunity to get their feedback on it. It just helps build a better product or confirms just how great of a job we did making it!