XI. Wish List
If you agree with the suggestions I am making below, please send Line 6 product feedback letting them know you agree with my requests.
A. Output Modes, Cabs, and IR's
The whole Output Modes setting is confusing and unnecessary. The Line 6 forum sees countless posts solved by setting up the unit correctly - most don't know these settings exist, and when they select a cab/mic when setting up their patch, they expect cab/mic simulation OR they accidentally apply cab/mic modeling when running to a real amp, since by default when you select an amp it automatically applies a cab/mic combination. Get rid of output mode altogether and replace it with the following components:
- Global EQ - replaces the "front" modes which use EQ controls to adjust the EQ at the end of the digital signal chain. Adding a bass boost switch replaces the difference between Stack/Combo modes.
- Cab Voice EQ - replaces the "live-voiced cabs" in all modes other than Studio/Direct, which essentially applies an EQ curve to the signal.
- Convulution Reverb - replaces how the cab/mic selections operate in Studio/Direct mode, running impulse responses (IR's).
Allow the user to simply enable/disable these features and place them in the chain. For direct tones, you just turn on the convolution reverb. Otherwise disable it or remove it from the chain. This would also allow you to run a real pre-amp into the Pod just to use effects and guitar cab/mic IR's without having amp simulation enabled then run direct to PA or DAW.
Live-voiced cabs can be kind of confusing. If you're already running to a Mesa/Boogie Rectifier cabinet and select the Treadplate 4x12 on the Pod, it's not going to leave the tone unaltered. This feature should have a choice for the actual cab you are using and the desired cab tone you want to determine the EQ curve to apply to the signal.
Allow the convolution reverb block to load 3rd party IR's. If Digitech does it on a much cheaper unit, Line 6 should do it for their flagship line.
The mic choices are good. The mic options are not. There should be greater ability to virtually position and/or angle the mics.
It would also be nice to be able to set each output to apply or not apply cab/mic simulation. This would be simple if the cab/mic simulation is applied at the very end of the chain. Then you split the outputs directly at the end, so you have 4 signals - w/ cab/mic sims L/R and w/o cab/mic sims L/R. This would minimize any DSP hit that would otherwise occur if you split the signal before applying effects. Users can currently use a dual amp setup with full L/R pan in the mixer to get a single w/ cab/mic sim signal and a single w/o cab/mic sim signal, but this requires far more DSP and takes more time to match settings on both amp models...and you only get 2 mono signals. If the cab and amp blocks were separated, you could also use the FX Loop to send the dry signal and the main outputs for the wet signal.
I have noticed that when using dual amp patches, there can be some comb filtering due to the two signals becoming out of phase. If the cab DEP's included a short variable delay (0 - 10 or 20ms), this could be fixed. I am currently using EQ's to try to achieve phase correction which has very limited accuracy. See this thread.
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Separate the pre-amp and power amp components of the amplifiers into separate blocks. This would allow mixing pre-amps with other amps power amps, as well as being able to place effects between pre-amp and power amp (otherwise known as an effects loop).
Add some of the following high-gain amp models: Peavey 5150, Peavey 5150II, Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+, Mesa/Boogie Mark IV, Diezel VH4, Diezel Herbert, Soldano SLO-100 (available on 300/400 as of 7/18), Randall Warhead, Bogner Ecstacy, Krank Revolution, Carvin Legacy. The least you could do is port the XT/X3's "Mississippi Criminal" or "Big Bottom" models.
Level the amp models, so they have roughly the same output volume at default values.
Lower the default Master Volume DEP settings for cleaner amps that tend to exhibit crossover distortion. For instance the Blackface Dbl is defaulted to 100%, when it offers no tonal benefit to do so (unless you like crossover distortion). Especially change the Elektrik's MV off of 100% - it sounds like garbage at that setting.
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Include a clip meter for anytime the signal exceeds the max resolution in the chain or at the input, preferably indicating exactly where in the chain the clipping is occurring.
Include DSP management tools. Have a DSP meter display how much DSP is currently being used. When selecting a new effect, rather than put it right into the chain causing the DSP error message and blanking out the effect block, display how much more DSP it would take up before you actually add it to the chain.
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The routing is a bit confusing. There should be better care to document how it actually works. Additionally, it would be nice to display how the signal lines are actually stereo signals and are mixed down for mono effects. Or otherwise, indicate in either Edit or the onboard editor whether an effect is mono or stereo.
The mixer, the end of the signal chain, or even a separate effect should be able to set a very precise, short, and variable delay (0.00 - 5.00 ms)to each side of the signal. This would be useful to achieve phase correction and avoid comb filtering, due to delays introduced into the signals by using different signal chains. Or even add the delay into the biggest offenders, effect-wise. I imagine this would be the most DSP intensive effects, or the ones that require the largest discrete time samples.
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Have a dual Parametric EQ without the "lows" or "highs".
Include the EQ from the XT/X3 - two shelves, and two peak/valleys, all with adjustable gain and frequencies. If 8 parameters is not possible, do two shelves and one peak/valley.
Include a Mesa Mark graphic EQ: 80, 240, 750, 2200, 5500 HZ.
Include a notch EQ: 3 sets of frequency and gain to dial out narrow ugly spots in the frequency spectrum.
Always display frequency in HZ, not %. Similarly, display gain in db, not %.
Include a global EQ (possibly as mentioned in the Output Modes section above). Include a Fletcher Munson switch/dial to compensate for the varying frequency sensitivity the human ear has as different volumes.
Include a view in Edit and possibly in the Pod itself to sum the various EQ effects and display the resulting EQ curve dialed in, similar to how it was done in Gearbox.
Increase the headroom in the Parametric EQ (and Graphic and Mid-Focus EQ's), so it doesn't clip on hot input. Its headroom should be as high as the Pod's digital resolution.
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Allow footswitches to toggle effects between two sets of parameters, not just on/off. Similarly, allow footswitches to always turn effects on or off, independent of their current state, rather than just toggling them.
In addition to the expression pedal(s), include adjustable LFO's (frequency and waveform) that can be assigned to control parameters. For example, one could use this for auto-wah.
When assigning the expression pedal to a parameter, give us the choice for the pedal to follow a linear or logarithmic path. For instance, in logarithmic mode, if the pedal goes 0%, 25%, 75%, 100%, the actual values sent would be something like 0%, 50%, 75%, 87.5%, 100%. Thus, when controlling volume, the change would sound more like a linear movement, rather than the exponential movement it currently sounds like. If anything else, change the volume pedal effect to follow such a path. The current effect does not sound like a real volume pedal.
Allow the Pod to respond correctly to on/off Midi CC messages, rather than just toggling the specified effect.
More control over the footswitch "modes". For instance, I wouldn't mind an all-patch-switch mode, where all 8 footswitches change patches, FS1-4 access patches 2A-2D while FS5-8 access patches 1A-1D for instance. Also, allow the bank up/down switches to be used for next/previous patch, which would be really helpful in pedalboard mode, so you don't have to hit two switches to change patch.
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Spend some more time on the Screamer. It's not very accurate, and it's one of the most commonly used effects in the Pod.
There have been complaints about the mod effects, particularly the flanger, but also the chorus. While I don't think they're horrible, they do leave room for improvement. It would also be nice to have a basic mono chorus. The analog chorus can screw with the L/R balance - even if accurate, it's annoying not to have another option.
Add a mix parameter to the 80A and AC Flangers. I currently have to place my amp block before the mixer, and only place the Flanger in Channel B so that I can use the mixer levels to simulate a mix parameter. I don't care if it's not authentic. The Bass/Treble knobs on the Screamer aren't authentic either, but I'm glad they're there.
Allow daily trails through patch switches where enough DSP is available.
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H. DSP Saving Features
Have stripped down versions of effects, so DSP is not consumed for features that aren't often used. For example, have a Parametric EQ without the "lows" or "highs" shelves and have a delay without tone controls.
Have lower quality versions of effects, such as a reverb that uses the same DSP as most effects.
Separate the amp and cab blocks, so you can route 1 amp to 2 cabs or 2 amps to 1 cab - this should use up much less DSP.
If it will use less DSP, make mono versions of the stereo effects. This could particularly help with the Reverbs.
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Create a devkit for the community and developers to create their own firmware. I envision there would be two API's. One would be used to create and compile amp models or effects - anything that would be used to process the audio signal(s). This API would compile this code down to machine code and wrap it in an information and interface layer (to access data about the object and manipulate accessible parameters) used by the other API. The other API would handle the system-level functionality of the unit, including manipulating the display, controlling how footswitches and other user input are handled, routing audio signals, placing audio-processing-elements in the signal chain, etc. If done properly, Line 6 would not have to divulge its existing amp models' and effect models' code beyond at a machine code and interface level; but it would provide enough power to developers to implement all the requests listed above.
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