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POD Basics for Dummies/Newbies


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I am new to the concept of Digital Modeling ... I used individual Boss pedals for years.


I understand the basics: Amp head, cabinet, effects paths, pre- and post-amp, etc.


I have searched Google and Bing to try and find an explanation for the basic concepts of Digital Modeling for use in live and recording environments. Yes, the search permutations were many and none with a satisfactory results.


Can anyone point me to a good article(s) for explaining the basics in using a POD: what is a 'bank' (a group of preset amp heads, cabinets, effects, and effects paths with similar characteristics?), what is a 'scene' (no clue); how are 'banks' and 'scene' groupings related and what is their basic usefulness (again, no clue) with respect to the old 'amp head with matching cabinet, Boss effect pedals, and the pre- and post-amp effects paths?


I am wholly aware this is a lame Dummies/Newbies question for nearly all in this forum, but I would have thought there would be at least one article somewhere across the net world-wide that would explain (in Dummies language):


1.  What is Digital Modeling, how it's done, and the reason it is a vast improvement over my old school rig?

2.  What is a 'POD'?

3.  What is a 'bank', what is a 'scene', how are they related in practical live and recording environments, and why is it of more benefit to have and use these tools vs. old-school?

4.  etc.


Many of us older folks can finally afford building our dream rig, but technology has passed us by to a certain extent. Like nearly all operator's/user's manuals - usually written in house by users - the information provided assumes a certain level of operator/user understanding...which is not always the best for new consumers of 'new' technology.


Line 6 has great products (!), but for the non-professionals who enjoy the art of playing and writing (and can afford the product lines [though your pricing is very fair!!!]), I am surprised there is not a comprehensive introduction to 'Digital Modeling and Application in Live and Recording Environments for Old-School Dummies'.


Seems this would be a great sales tool...and would save me (and likely many others) from the many unproductive hours of noodling just to figure it out the full concept and rationale instead of actually playing, writing, recording, and the occasional gig...then the operator's/user's manual might actually make sense...


I greatly appreciate any info/links/etc. that productively answers this topics questions :)





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Eeesh it would be shorter to ask what isn't digital modeling. :D


Basically, if you have the analog rig figured out (pedal order, pre amp types and cab differences) then you already have knowledge of what a modeler can do. It digitally emulates your input signal through what "the designers" have measured in the "high tech secret labs" would be if it was run through a "real World" rig.


Take the POD of any version edit it to have no fx just an amp and cabinet. Plug your guitar in, pop on your headphones and you now have say a "Twin Reverb" through a 1x12" in that POD. Here is the rub - YMMV, you may have to put some work in to get what you like.


Recording: Usually pod->mic'd cab or pod->direct but its whatever works. 


A POD is just one brand of modeler there are quite few out there.


The PODs offer great versatility and possibly portability (if you go ampless) - I would not say that it is better than a well done pedal board as it depends on what you want and where you want to go. My opinion.


A bank is just group of patches. Think of it like a calendar. Like each week has 7 days, and 4 weeks to a month. Pod V2 - 4 patches = bank ~ 32 banks while others have more. Just an example as it varies but is generally a variation of a theme.


I don't know how productive that will be but amp modeling has been around its not new Pod V1 ~1996 so its nothing new its just getting better.


I am sure you can google up a link and after reading a bunch you will have a concept of what it is enough to understand.



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To answer some of the questions... banks, patches, scenes, and etc -- they are all mean different things based on the device and the decade it was made. 


Modeling would best be described as - recording. but it is not the same as listening to KISS Alive! on 8-track. It is a high tech recording. More like a virtual reality, where you are living a live KISS concert in person. 



So, let's talk about the Pod. Specifically, the Line 6 Pod HD500



There is 1 bundle. This bundle contains 8 setlists. Each setlist contains 64 patches. You could, if I wanted to confuse the issue, say that each setlist contains 16 banks, and each bank has 4 patches. But we will just stick with the 64 patches (512 in all).


And since it all boils down to the patch, what is a patch? 

Well, look at your current rig. You have your amp and pedals and all of that --- each knob is at a certain place. You have it set the exact way you need to get the exact sound you want. That can be considered a 'patch'.

The difference, of course, is the fact that with analog pedals, once you change those knobs, you are never going to get that same sound again. Digital effects can recall those exact knob positions, which allows you to make more settings without fear of losing that perfect sound. 


How do you set a patch? 

The same as you would your current rig. But instead of having a physical amp that needs its knobs set, you have a virtual amp that needs its virtual knobs set. You put some virtual pedals in the signal chain. You set their virtual knobs too.

It really is no different than using your old rig. It is just done with virtual knobs instead of physical knobs.



Of course, in the real world, you do not have the flexibility that you do in the virtual world. I mean, you aren't going to travel with 60 amps. You will travel with one, maybe two. Nor can you change your entire rig from a mono setup to stereo on the fly, and back again. 

But the basic operation of the Line 6 Pod HD500 is the exact procedure that you would do with your current analog rig. 

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If you want to get beyond the basics and build you individual tone, you shoul quit job and put your nose into this lecture for some weeks...

Meambobo is definitely not "Pod for dummies"

It is the advanced user's guide. It is going to go over your head at this stage, and probably cause more harm than good. 


In fact, it isn't even the advanced guide. It is more like.... 

The Uber-geek's guide. 



Imagine Star Wars. The movies are plenty fun to watch. 

But once you start going to Wookiepedia, reading the expanded universe, and learning the Canon --- then you are no longer a fan of the movies, you are now the people that attend conventions in costume. 

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Modeling = Emulating.


Digital emulation of an analog amplifier, speakers, microphones, pedals, and so forth.


How? Math.


Scenes? Nothing to do with Line 6. That's Fractal jargon.


Preset = Patch = a snapshot of your entire virtual rig with all the knobs twisted the way you had them when you last pressed the SAVE button, like Double Y said above.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Digital Modeling is taking all the old pedals, amps, and speakers and putting them in a gizmo called PODHD.  Now you can push buttons and connect all of it together any which way you want. 


It'll take a while to get it sounding just the way you want.  But then again if someone handed you 100 pedals, 30+ amps and cabs, that would take a while to get it sounding the way you want also.

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