I have to state right off the bat that I really like the Line 6 effects modelers and use them all the time in the studio, but I don't really like their flagship product, the POD, for guitar tones. The sound seems to have some kind of "sheen" to it that I don't find pleasant, although I do kinda like it for screwing up vocals and drums sometimes.. But I have a few engineer friends (whose ears I trust) tell me that the Bass POD sounds really good, so I've been wanting to check one out. Good news, this thing sounds great! On some of the really effected tones, the digital "sheen" sound is there a bit, but 80% of the presets were totally usable with no unpleasant artifacts that I can hear. The other 20% are some pretty wacky effects programs that are pretty cool but won't get used every day. The Bass POD had been kicking around the studio for a bit, but it got its first real workout when we were doing basic tracks for the next 7 Seconds album. I gave the Bass POD to Steve, the bands bass player, with some headphones and left him alone with it while I mic'ed the drums. He was completely stoked on the POD, and we used it for tracking the entire CD. Happy clients are what we're after, right?. Most telling maybe was Steve saying, "I'm buying one of these the day I get home!"

There are 27 different amp models and 21 different speaker models. From Ampeg to Vox, you'll probably find what you're looking for. Sure I'd rather have the 27 amps and 21 cabs, but I can't afford them or the maintenance costs, and the POD fits in my courier bag and costs about 98% less. There are also a handful of effects from the Line 6 effects modelers, including reverbs, modulations, distortions, and delays. Factor in all the variations, and there are thousands of bass sounds to be had in this little box. Each model has four bands of EQ, drive, output and compression controls. There's MIDI I/O and a USB port, but the feature that engineers will find useful is the addition of an unaffected DI output, a feature not on the guitar POD. This is nice 'cause you can print a dry track to Reamp or run through the POD later. Another cool box from Line 6 that will sit next to my echo, modulation and filter modelers and get used quite often.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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