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People said they wouldn't record with Line 6, Pods, 500X, JTV etc. HA!


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 VOX "Night Train" Amp for Sale. Bought it because I was afraid Pod effects would never sound decent without tubes. Rarely used. Retail price offers only!


This (OC) demonstrates some of the tones and patches found with 500X, + JTV69 including down-tuned Tenor Acoustic, Sitar (Next to a real one), and Les Paul patches. If you are struggling to find a decent demonstration of the sounds out of the boxes, hopefully this is a helpful example.

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Yep, the rig is irreducible. It inspires the creative process by not interrupting it.  It really is amazing to have tech like this available. Love the in depth features sometimes for a Mic selection or just a go to patch that I know is perfect. I gush like a fan, but this is coming from someone who has a JTV on my knee right now, since I got it with the 500X 2 years ago.  So I am naturally an evangelist and wonder if there are others who feel like we struggled through, trying out all of these different effects for decades; patch cables, wall warts, no problems with testing a 9 Volt with your tongue etc. And now, to have what would have been a miracle back in the day right here available, it is almost like I am obligated to constantly create. What was that that Newton said about standing on the shoulders of great people? Just the Rain Song patch has inspired a continuous rehearsal of the song, along with the many other recognizable signature sounds.  The Back in Black, even Aint Talkin patch is right on the money. The 500X+JTV69 combo is indispensable.  Tried and tested, ten years on the kidney bean and now after 2 years with the dream rig of a few years ago, worth every shoulder. Well done Line 6.

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I was afraid Pod effects would never sound decent without tubes


35 years as a professional musician (which includes playing guitar for people like Alice Cooper, Meat Loaf, and Shania Twain), and I have never used a tube amp unless backlined.


People need to get over it. 

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So cool that you would chime in, (at 3AM) first, since I watched a brilliant scene from Vinyl (HBO) last night; Alice Cooper and Co. terrorize a record guy, and second I wonder if you experimented with having a MIDI file for a whole show? Honestly cannot imagine what that must be like to be in front of all of those fans and the only thing blocking your view, sometimes, is Shania Twain, or Alice Cooper? Nice. Or have you been recording more with these professionals? Would be very interested to hear how you do it. What's your rig?

I'd just get a laptop, an Old Macbook Pro, load up the full suite, go manual or MIDI and use the screen for a prompter.

Watching someone like EVH work his pedal bank all night is really amazing, but in the interest of money and efficiency and the lack of a guitar tech, HD500X solves the problem and they throw in an EVH 1/2 down patch for good measure. The trouble is, if the whole thing goes, well, you are hosed, I would suppose. If your Flanger goes, in Cheyenne Wy. that is the con and not the prose.

The other issue that seems clear is that if I am recording exclusively out of the same box, It must sound like its all coming out of the same box. When I was considering buying one of these units, and others will connect to your Android, there was a pretty defiant bunch that had nothing good to say about this instrument. They are still not "over it". So for variety of sound, I thought I would have to get an amp, etc., Even Page, I understand, would would borrow guitars for sessions. And the fact remains, there is a sound that is way better coming out of my VOX, to my ears than straight from the POD; the warmth, the brown, the complex undertones of distortion, Yadda yadda, it is true, all of those talking points are correct, but  to get a consistent sound, or instantly sound like any guitar, I cannot stop sounding like a plant for the marketing dept., but one show in Cheyenne Wy. covers the cost of another one for the road. So you know I'm not a plant, most of the acoustic patches only sound good with brand new decent gauge strings and a picking hand that is gentile and avoids adding a nasal tone with convex shape.

Wait you are a Piano guy? One of the "Piano Guys?" please elaborate on your thoughts, workflow and ideas. Thank you for thoughtful reply. Please listen to my songs and let me know what you think.

Definitely working in a vacuum w/o the tubes, so would love feedback.

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Unless backlined - My rig today consists of an HD500. Nothing else. Guitar to Pod to PA. 


Prior to switching to the Pod, my rig went unchanged for 20+ years. (unless backlined)

I used a Peavey Bandit 65 - not for tone. Just for volume and reverb. It had a great 80s reverb. 

My tone came from a Rocktron Pro GAP, Art SGE Mach II (two of them), and a Rockman Soloist. I had a few extra devices for special/specific things. But those 4 were the primary tone makers. 

Oh, and there were no loops/routing going on. Everything went in a straight line, one right into the next. 



How do I feel about MIDI running a whole show - I'm fine with it. In fact, when you do "musical theater" like Pink Floyd, Cooper, and Gaga, it is almost a necessity to have everything sync'd. 




Now, as to the physical amp vs virtual modeler issue - 

This has been discussed plenty of times. 

Ultimately, it comes down to two things - 

1. Need.

I played in a band called Dirty Looks. We had one sound. There was no need for 512 patches or a device that could do 512 patches.  

If I still played in that band, I would not need a Pod. I would need an amp. Sure, a modeler has its benefits but a $200 amp vs a $500 device that does 10,000 times more than what you need seems like a waste of money. 

Today, I need more than one tone. Not just more than one tone for one band, I need multiple tones for each of my multiple bands. 


2. Player tone vs listener tone.  

When you put on a VH album, what you hear is not what he heard. What you hear is the sound he heard which was changed by a microphone that sent the sound to a recorder, where it was manipulated over and over again to make sure it sounded good when played with all of the other instruments at the same time. 

We, the musicians, are not paying your bills. The audience is. You need to be more concerned with what they hear than what a couple "neighborhood axe slingers" think. 




There's a series of videos on YouTube called "Rig Rundown". A magazine asks the big stars what gear they use and techs spend 20 minutes wasting our time because it makes them feel important. Many of the videos that are recorded at a concert venue will show you that most guys don't have amps on stage. They have their gear back stage where the techs can manage it. The artists aren't hearing "same room" tone because they aren't in the same room. 


If you want a demonstration - 

I tell people to go listen to The Music of Nashville season 2, 3, 4, the Christmas album, and the live albums covering those seasons. 

There's many reasons I say to use that specific playlist. First, I can guarantee that there are Pods being used. But also because, it is a "various artist" album. There is not one specific tone for people to latch onto the way you would if you listened to, as example, a KISS album. 

You have numerous artists. Numerous backing bands/artists. Sometimes recorded "live" and sometimes done track by track. There are modelers (not just Line 6), there are amps, there are acoustic guitars, there are electric guitars. 

It is really just a big hodgepodge of recordings. 


The goal is to try to determine what are the physical instruments/amps and what are the virtual instruments/amps.  

And, then, the argument between what is a better item - the $2 phone app, the $100 computer program, the $500 device, the $3000 device, or the Fender amp or the Vox or the Marshall. 

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That is always the frustration, you have this great sound coming from an amp but it has to be translated to tape. Not getting the resonance from an electric guitar by being in the same room is a cardinal sin, but it is done all the time. Trade-offs! If we are not careful we sell off the most important asset, our ears tracking with headphones all day long. So modelers, are here to stay, and in a big way. Those top-shelf, pricy, modelers, Kemper?, gorgeous sounds but not sure if there are any tuning on the fly capabilities, like the JTV, but that sells it. Those preprogrammed tunings are right on, even when you dive on a whammy with a 12 string acoustic patch. Too good to be true and I have yet to find the catch.  I do wonder how folks capture and edit their MIDI performances with this particular box. It doesn't just 'show-up" like my keyboard in ProTools. Haven't had the need to explore so there's more drivers involved or something like that. Anyone have any luck with MIDI?

Once it is sequenced, you see, you should be able to use any midi sequencing app. on your Android which appears to be the footer for your messages.  I'll do a little sleuthing and I'll check out that Christmas album in a couple months. Sounds like you have some great experience and so I appreciate the chat. 

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Unless you are Jimi Hendrix and you are using feedback as a weapon - you don't need amps to be in the same room. 


In fact.... 

The next time you are on a stage.... 

You've got your stage sound worked out. Your volume is set for your little space for you to hear yourself over the drummer without drowning out the guys on the other side of the stage. They set their volume for their little space so that they can hear themselves over the drums without drowning you out.  


Now, assuming you use a long cord or a wireless unit... SWITCH SIDES. 

Go play in front of his stuff. Have him stand in front of yours. 

You can no longer hear yourself. What are you going to do? 

You're f'd if you think that you need to hear yourself in order to play. 



Or, imagine yourself standing on the stage of some auditorium or a stadium... 

You've got a 70 feet wide stage to fill (70 x 35 is 2450 square feet, which is the size of a small home). Are you going to stand in your little 4x4 area so that you can hear yourself, or are to run across the stage and slide on your knees 10 feet putting on a show for the audience. 


But what happens once you leave that itty bitty area of yours? 

You can't hear yourself. 

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