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  • #46
    Another point is that because I've spent so much time with software amp sims, people are always asking me "Which is best -- Guitar Rig, Amplitube, or GTR?" (In fact, the next HC Confidential newsletter -- sign up on the home page under newsletter to receive it -- compares all three). But the kicker is that they're as different as guitar amps. It's as if someone asked "Which is better, a Fender Twin, an AC-30, or a Mesa Boogie?" And the answer is...it depends. All were designed by different people, with different philosophies, and the same goes for software.

    I hope you don't think I'm evading your question. Let me make it perfectly clear I think the amp models in the Floor POD sound great, especially given the price -- listen to the examples! Better yet, I found them inspiring to play, which is the real bottom line for me

    Speaking of which, you didn't tell me whether you use Mac or Windows, or which browser you use, but for Windows and Internet Explorer here's the deal on downloading (it's similar for other browsers as well):

    1. Move your mouse over the link (like "classagreen.mp3").
    2. Right-click on it.
    3. Select "Save Target As..."
    4. A dialog box will open up that allows you to specify where you want to save the file. The desktop is as good a place as any.
    5. Click on Save.
    6. Go to the desktop and find the file; it will say "attachment.php." If you can't find it, search for "attachment.php."
    7. Change the file name by typing "mp3" instead of "php" -- there's no need for conversion software or anything like that. So now the file name is "attachment.mp3."
    8. Double-click on it, and whatever is your default player for MP3s (Windows Media Player, iTunes, whatever) should start playing it.

    Try this and let me know if it works for you!
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    • #47
      One more thing: I think a lot of the Floor POD presets are designed more to show what the box can do than anything else. Some of my favorite Floor POD sounds are just the amps, with maybe a little reverb. More on this later.
      N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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      • #48
        Also, I get the impression you can change the order of the controls and procesors, is this correct? Like can the vol pedal be "Post Amp" acting as a simple level output control, AND like a vol pedal into the amp, helping to control input level from the guitar?

        As far as I can tell (help me out Mike if I'm missing something), the order of all the effects and pedal is fixed. But given that limitation, I don't disagree with the choices. For example, the volume pedal goes before the delay line and reverb, so as you pull back on the pedal, the echoes continue to decay into nothingness. The wa goes before the amp sim, which is the way we hear most was.
        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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        • #49
          If the wah can be used with the amps, delay and reverb... then I will pick one up.

          Not sure what you mean by that -- do you mean like use the pedal to control delay mix or reverb decay? If so, the answer is no -- the pedal does volume or wa, but you can't assign it to particular effects parameters.

          My take is that Line 6 has already taken care of products that are "higher up on the food chain" and allow hardware parameter control, more flexibility, computer interfacing, etc. The Floor POD is clearly their attempt to make the POD technology available at a lower price point. It seems to me they made a design decision to keep the sounds and overall quality, but with the tradeoff of more limited programming and updating options.
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          • #50
            Speaking of which, you didn't tell me whether you use Mac or Windows, or which browser you use, but for Windows and Internet Explorer here's the deal on downloading (it's similar for other browsers as well):

            It should be noted that windows defaults to hiding the file extensions, so you would need to enable them (if they aren't already) before you would be able to change the .php to .mp3

            1) Open My Computer (or My Documents, or any explorer window)
            2) Click on "Tools" from the menu at the top, then select "Folder Options..."
            3) In the Folder Options window that pops up, select the "View" tab.
            4) Down in the "Advanced settings:" area of the window, there will be an option called "Hide extensions for known file types", if there is a check mark next to this option, uncheck it and click "OK".

            You should now be able to see file extensions and you can rename the .php file.

            And by the way, very nice review. I appreciate the focus on the duribility and the construction... I guess I must be a fellow nerd.

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            • #51
              Well, I got the sound clips working...thanks for the info! They sound great, too. Man, for the price it's a pretty tempting alternative to the big pile 'o pedals on a board, and the programability is a great thing in itself. How many user presets are there, and can you scroll through them easily?
              Excellent dealings with duderanimous, rushfan2112, johnrambo

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              • #52
                There are a total of 64 presets. They come loaded with factory sounds; you can overwrite any/all of them, as well as reset to the factory defaults.

                Program selection is done with up/down footswitches. There is no way to do random access, for example, jump instantly from preset 32 to preset 56. Each time you press a footswitch it increments or decrements one preset, or you can hold to scroll through them faster.
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                • #53
                  Regarding the sound clips...glad you got it working, and thanks Jonmatifa for the additional info.

                  Just remember that the clips are MP3, 64kbps, so the actual fidelity of the box is considerably nicer. However, I do think the examples gets across the "attitude" of the various models pretty well.
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                  • #54
                    Now let’s get to the other controls. We’ve already covered the Amp Model control, but there’s a cluster of controls immediately above it – click on the attachment to see them.

                    These controls all do double-duty. The default functions are Drive, Bass, and Treble, but if you hold down the Save button while turning the knob, they take on their “alternate identities” of Compressor, Mid, and Presence respectively.

                    The feel and sound of the controls is very much like the passive, analog controls found on older amps. In these amps, the tone controls were usually lossy, with gain being made up elsewhere. The filter curves were fairly gentle and broad; you didn’t get the “plastic” sound you sometimes hear with active, fairly resonant tone controls.

                    It did seem that the action of the controls varied somewhat with different models, but I couldn’t really tell if this was deliberate, or just a byproduct of how the amp model affected the tone (e.g., if the amp isn’t as bright, then it seems logical that turning up the treble wouldn’t produce as dramatic an effect). I know that with the “big brother” PODs, there’s a fair amount of attention paid to having the tone controls emulate the tone control action of the amps being modeled, so it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s a part of the Floor POD gestalt as well.

                    As to the tone controls, rather than provide audio examples – you probably know what turning up a bass or treble control does to a sound – we’ll look at frequency response charts that show where the action is happening, and to what extent. But first, let’s cover re-amping with the Floor POD, as that’s a vital aspect of conducting these tests.
                    N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                    • #55
                      For those who aren’t clear about the concept of re-amping, this is a studio technique that allows putting off decisions about tone until mixdown. Recording your guitar part used to set its sound in stone. Although you could add processors like EQ, reverb, decay, and the like while mixing, they altered the basic sound, but couldn’t provide an entirely different sound.

                      However, re-amping is a way around this. Maybe you wish you’d recorded through a more modern, overdriven sound than a “blackface” vintage type of sound: No problem. Although much re-amping is done these days with software, the technique had its origins in hardware, and the Floor POD is excellent for doing re-amping.

                      The basic idea is that while recording, you record the straight (unprocessed) guitar sound while monitoring through your processed sound (in this case, the Floor POD). Typically, you’d use a preamp or buffer to split off the unprocessed sound.

                      To change the amp sound while mixing, you feed the unprocessed track into the Floor POD, patch the Floor POD output to an open track, choose the sound you want, and re-record the processed sound to a separate track.

                      So why does this matter in the context of this review? Because I needed to use the exact same source signal in order to conduct valid frequency response tests. I didn’t trust myself to play the exact same riff at the exact same level with the exact same style each time, so I recorded my part with the Floor POD set to bypass (no amp model) into Sonar. The tone controls have no effect when the amp models are bypassed so I knew they weren’t influencing the sound.

                      I then routed the track out through the Floor POD (set to the Clean Red amp sound), and was careful not to clip any levels at any point in the signal chain. I then played back the Floor POD sound into a Sonar track using a particular tone control tweak, and monitored the results with Sonar’s Analyst plug-in to see which frequencies were being affected.
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                      • #56
                        Click on the attachment to see how the bass and treble controls affect the sound. The top graph shows a flat response, with the tone knobs and their “alternate identities” set to their mid-positions.

                        The next graph down shows what happens if you turn the bass control up full. The response is pretty much the same as the upper graph above 320Hz. There’s a bit of a boost between 160 and 340Hz, but check out the response below 160Hz: The response at 80Hz is almost 10dB above the flat response, and about 7dB higher at 40Hz. This is enough to give a really full, bassy sound if that’s what you want. Of course, this is at the maximum setting; turning down the bass control a bit trims these settings.

                        The bottom graph shows what happens when the treble control is up full. Below 640Hz, the curve is almost identical to the flat curve. Most of the treble-boosting action occurs in the region from about 1kHz on up, with the most dramatic increase occurring about 1.3kHz. Interestingly, even though the response is still boosted considerably at 10kHz, the sound doesn’t become shrill, just brighter.
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                        • #57
                          Click on the attachment to see how the mid and presence controls affect the sound. The top graph shows a flat response, with the tone knobs and their “alternate identities” set to their mid-positions.

                          When I first started experimenting with these controls, it became obvious why they were “alternate” controls: They don’t affect the sound anywhere near as much as the bass and treble. This isn’t to say you can’t hear the difference, just that it’s more subtle. They’re the kind of controls where after you’ve dialed in the model, bass, and treble, you might want to tweak the sound just a little more.

                          The middle graph shows what happens if you turn the mid control up full. This gives a fairly gentle lift (it appears to be a little under 5dB) in the 160Hz to 1.3kHz region; what I didn’t expect to see was the apparent lift above 5.1kHz. I’m not sure if these are artifacts, an actual intended effect of the control, or some issue with the way I did my measurements.

                          The lower graph shows the results of turning up the presence control all the way. This bears out what I heard with my ears: Not much difference, although you can see a little bit of a peak between 2.6kHz and 5.1kHz. I’m going to check out whether this has more of an effect with other models, but in my experience so far, it’s pretty subtle.
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                          • #58
                            Well, the mid and presence definitely have different effects with different models. For example, with Class A red, the presence boost doesn’t do much, but cutting presence does. With Class A green, the presence control seems to make no difference at all, but mid does.

                            On one hand, I kind of think the manual should have described what to expect in a little more detail. On the other hand, it seems that Line 6 has made some deliberate choices here, as the effect of the tone controls on the models can definitely make the sound “brasher,” “sweeter,” “fuller,” etc.

                            I think the bottom line is that it’s best to tweak things in the order that Line 6 has designed the interface workflow: Choose the model that comes closest to what you want, then tweak the bass and treble, and finally, put the “icing on the cake” with the mid and presence controls.
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                            • #59
                              As I was playing back guitar riffs into the Floor POD and adjusting the tone controls, I was again keeping things pretty basic -- just the amp model and tone controls, no additional modulation. And I was again struck by just how good the models sounded when stripped down to these essentials. It was really quite cool to be able to listen back to the track, and tweak controls in context.

                              I realize that Line 6 has concentrated on the live performance aspect of the Floor POD rather than the studio element, but it's a pretty cool studio tool for basic re-amping. It's not hard to do gain staging to interface the Floor POD with an audio interface.

                              (Detail: In case anyone wondered, I'm using the TC Electronic Konnekt 24D as the interface, because I'm also doing a Pro Review on that so it's set up and ready to go. The way I have it set up is with the Floor POD outputs patched into Konnekt inputs 1+2, and Konnekt output 3 patched into the Floor POD. The straight guitar track sends its signal to Konnekt output 3, and another track records from inputs 1+2.)
                              N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                              • #60
                                The Drive control does what you'd expect: Make the sound more distorted as you turn it up. But in the process of playing with it, I recorded something that I think really gets the point across about these models.

                                One of the hardest things for an amp sim to do is provide a smooth, convincing transition from a clean to overdriven sound. All sims have gotten better at this over the years, probably due to programmers getting more savvy, but also to them having more powerful DSP at their disposal. The Floor POD does an extremely credible job of providing this sound; download the attachment to hear a guitar chord go from clean to overdriven. As you'll hear, the transition is very smooth and convincing.
                                N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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