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THE TONE ZONE


    "NO PAIN, NO GAIN... (NOT)"  

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By Andy Z - January 2006

Gain or distortion has been one of those topics that us guitarists can never get enough of. We always want more! As if we didn't have enough distortion choices now in the PODxt, many of you have been trying to use external pedals in front of your POD's to get different gain structures pushed through your rig. So this month we'll take a look at doing just this. I'll be using some of the Line 6 Tone Core Pedals to demonstrate this. I'll be using the Crunch Tone and the Uber Metal pedals for the examples below. Some of the amp/cab models will require the FX Model Pack for your PODxt.

For the purposes of these examples, I'll be using a PODxt (with the free Version 2 firmware installed). I'm showing the settings using the Line 6 Edit software (currently at version 2.20.0). I've also included MP3's, so you can hear the references below. The audio samples were played on Line 6 Variax 500. The exact Variax model will be stated in each example below. All of the patches for this article are posted at the end of it.



In this first example, I'm using the Variax Semi (335) model on pickup position 5 (bridge pickup). This is an edgy cool blues tone that is very round sounding with a nice singing lead quality to it.

The Tone Core pedal is the CRUNCHTONE, set to the Blues mode and the Gate is set to 1. Here are the settings used on the pedal; LEVEL = 3, BASS = 8, TREBLE = 6, DRIVE = 7.

The amp model is the Plexi Lead 100 with the 2x12 Wishbook cab. All the post EQ settings are: Band 1=6.4db at 195hz, Band 2= -3.6db at 800hz, Band 3=3.9db at 3.9Khz, Band 4= 5.2db at 9.0Khz. The amp settings already have gain on them so we don't want to drive the pedal too much. The Crunchtone's Blues setting is the least extreme, so it's just adding a bit more gain while shaping the final result.


Click here for the PODxt Plexi Blues Crunchtone MP3 sample

PODxt Plexi Blues Crunchtone Setting...




In this example, I'm using the Variax Lester model on pickup position 5 (bridge pickup). This is hard rockin' all the way! It has that big fat grainy tone like it's about to rip paint from the wall!

The Tone Core pedal is the UBER METAL, set to the Insane mode and the Gate is set to 2. Here are the settings used on the pedal; LEVEL = 5, SCOOP = 8, DRIVE = 6.5, BASS = 7, MID = 7, TREBLE = 8.

The amp model is the JCM 800 with the 4x12 Brit T75's cab. All the post EQ settings are: Band 1=2.4db at 175hz, Band 2= -4.2db at 700hz, Band 3=5.6db at 3.80Khz, Band 4= 5.0db at 9.3Khz. The amp settings already have gain on them, so we don't want to set the overdrive to over the top on this one. The Insane setting is pretty heavy, so it's just adjusting the gain again while shaping the final result.


Click here for the PODxt JCM 800 Uber MP3 sample

PODxt JCM 800 Uber Setting...




In this last example, I'm using the Variax Lester model on pickup position 5 (bridge pickup). This time we're going to keep the amp as clean as possible and make the pedal do all the work. This one is super high gain with a bit of scooped mid!

The Tone Core pedal is the UBER METAL, set to the Pulverize mode and the Gate is set to 1. Here are the settings used on the pedal; LEVEL = 5.5, SCOOP = 6, DRIVE = 6, BASS = 7, MID = 5.5, TREBLE = 6.5.

The amp model is the Line 6 Super Clean with the 2x12 Class A cab. All the post EQ settings are: Band 1=3.2db at 160hz, Band 2= -0.4db at 700hz, Band 3=0db at 3.60Khz, Band 4= 2.8db at 8.7Khz. The amp settings already have little to no gain on them, so we want to set the Uber Metal to over an the top tone on this one.


Click here for the PODxt Super Clean Uber MP3 sample

PODxt Super Clean Uber Setting...




I know it may seem to be out of the box by not using everything in the modeler that has been given to us. But we're already thinking outside the box by moving into the digital realm. So bend the rules even more and try stuff like this. It just might enhance your tone or take you to new tonal ground. It's worth giving it a try, even if you hardly ever use stomp boxes like me. Now I've found a few that are keepers in my musical arsenal. So in this case, there is no pain in getting a whole lot of gain!

The patches for the sound bites and graphics in this article are below. The PODxt files can be loaded into the Line 6 Edit or GuitarPort software.

PODxt Plexi Blues Crunchtone file
PODxt JCM 800 Uber file
PODxt Super Clean Uber file


Go to the Line 6 CustomTone page.

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