SMG Review: Line 6 POD Farm 2.5

YOU HAVE A CALL ON LINE 6…

Line 6 is recognized as a leader in sound modeling, accurately emulating a wide variety of amps, stringed instruments, and effects through digital technology. The men responsible for leading this charge are Marcus Ryle and Michel Diodic, former designers of the Oberheim synthesizer. While working at Fast-Forward Designs, a pro audio company they co-founded, they secretly worked on digital signal processing-based products for guitar. As there were only five phone lines in the office, “Line 6” was used by the receptionist as a code word for them to quiet what they were doing lest their confidential work be discovered by others. Officially launching in 1996, Line 6 proceeded to flip the music world on its head with a range of quality products that brought a whole new world of possibilities to musicians. As home computer technology and speeds improved, Line 6 wasted no time bringing their POD processing to the software market. Now up to version 2.5, POD Farm represents the best they have to offer in amp and effects modeling through software.

THE NUTS AND BOLTS (CHIPS AND TRANSISTORS)

For this review, I installed the standalone Platinum version on my 2.66 GHz iMac. My guitar of choice was a mid-80’s 1962 reissue Fender Telecaster and I used a PreSonus TubePre as the interface between guitar and computer. Launching the application I was presented with an interface that was simple in design, yet chock full of beautifully modeled (I’m talking graphics now) 3D representations of gear including amps, cabs, mics, and effects that would satisfy the most serious case of G.A.S. After a few simple adjustments to set my hardware preferences, I was up and running.

Everything necessary can be accessed in the main window which is divided into five rows:

  • • Levels and Tones (Preset, User Created, and File-based)
  • Noise Gate, Main Window View Select (Gear, Panel, Preset, Mixer, MIDI, Tuner), and Tap Tempo
  • Gear Selects (Guitar Amps, Bass Amps, Preamps, Cabs, Distortions, Dynamics, Filters, Mods, Delays, Reverbs, Wahs, EQ)
  • Main Window
  • Signal Chain Window

This version of the software offers every piece of modeled gear available from Line 6’s POD library. As a longtime user of the famous kidney-shaped POD XT, I thought I had all I could ask for until I stepped foot on the Farm. I pretty much stopped counting presets at a gazillion. Building your own sound is almost as much fun as playing through the models. The conservative and more logical way is to click menu-style through your selections. The fun way is to drag a speed-sensitive slider below the Main Window in Gear View, dynamically scrolling left or right through a virtual warehouse of gear while screaming, “WOO-HOO!” Seriously, it took me way longer to write this review than anticipated just because of all the “kid in a candy store” fun I was having. The selected gear is represented in the Signal Chain Window where a click of a button turns individual items on or off and simple drag-and-drops with the mouse rearranges elements within the chain.

 

LOOKS LIKE A CHICKEN, BUT DOES IT CLUCK LIKE CHICKEN?

Click here. Enough said.

I don’t know the details of Line 6’s recording techniques in creating these examples, nor do I know what guitars they used, but in comparing my setup with what is obviously their best representations, I was satisfied that what they’re advertising is indeed what customers can expect. Additionally, the great thing about the POD processor is how it sensitively reacts to the input. Whether it’s a different guitar, pickup settings, or tonal knob position, the software reacts as you would expect from the real deal.

 

THE FINAL WRAP

If software modeling never did it for you before, or if you have yet to give it a try, put on your riding boots and saddle up for Line 6’s POD Farm 2.5. The interface is intuitive and attractive, the sounds are damn good and there are a helluva lot of ‘em to satisfy any style and inspire others, and the response is tight. Different computer setups may result in various behavior but with my setup, I didn’t experience a single hiccup or issue with latency. Additional features worth noting are 64-bit support, compatibility with MIDI control as well as any USB interface, and a Dual mode allowing the combination and mixing of two independent setups.

 

WARNING: For those of you in relationships, I suggest you plan how to manage them before plugging in, because once you get started, you’ll be playing ‘til the cows come home.

 

Street Price – $299 Platinum, $99 Standard, $0 Limited free version

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  • I love the line 6 simple ux1 , it is KILLER ,, POD FARM 2.5 IS ADDICTIVE !

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