I know that most tone comes from the fingertips.
I know that most semi-decent amplifiers can produce most of the tones we desire, if only we put in the effort to understand/employ them.
A couple of months ago, I inhaled some gas and purchased a Helix Pod Go (one ring to rule them all ) and this week I’ve been taking a closer look under the hood, sampling the fx menu… and have run into an unexpected problem
I love the infinite variety of sounds it can produce, but am stumped as to the optimal ‘box’ the sound should come out of.
I normally play my guitar through my desktop Yamaha THR, which I’ve been very happy with, but it doesn’t ‘move a lot of air’
Running the Pod Go through it on ‘clean’ sounds a bit thin and tinny. The acoustic setting is much more satisfactory, but it had me thinking what’s the point of crafting a particular sound only to have it changed by the small amp you run it through?
I have a nice set of Bose pc speakers, but only with usb input and am struggling to get my guitar to run through the pc in ‘real time’ (without delay).
I’m wondering would it make sense to swap my Bose speakers for a pair of studio ones that I could use a pc speakers, but also wire the Pod Go directly into? Or a bigger amp like the Katana 50?
Am I missing an obvious solution? (apart from headphones?)
Any ideas @Majik or anyone else?
I know that most tone comes from the fingertips.
That does amp sim, cab sim/IR so you dont need a ‘guitar amp’ or speaker cab to some extent so yes pure flat broad frequency studio monitors and any hifi amp (or powered monitors) with line in should work
As Rob says, studio monitors will do it.
I use a pair of active monitors.
I don’t have an amp now at all.
Though I should rectify that at some point.
If I recall correctly some folk around here (maybe including @majik) use FRFR speakers.
I got an expensive FRFR branded speaker about a year ago. See here if you are curious (few were!
): NGD: Line6 PowerCab, questioning if it is working properly
I was not happy with them marketing it as FRFR when it clearly wasn’t. HOWEVER, I am very happy with the sound of it. I needed to flatten it myself with an IR, but that is fairly easy. but, I don’t use that except for very rarely. I notice that I prefer to use the built-in speaker models rather than the FRFR. I tend to only use about 3 of them depending on my goal, and I do not often use the cab models built into my processor. I rarely use it loud enough for folks outside to hear, but I COULD take it to a gig if I ever get that far in my playing.
I watched Justin’s video on his studio setup and he had a speaker on the floor that is a fairly inexpensive FRFR speaker - $200USD I think. It has a lot more power than I cared about but would have probably been just fine and saved me a fair bit of cash. see it at 1:40, the Headrush on the floor - I don’t recall him talking about it. https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/youtube-setup-a-tour-of-justin-s-studio-jr-002
One more thing - I have tried playing through a good sound system, surround system, small (4 inch) guitar speakers, the powerCab (12"), and a fender 12-inch cabinet. The ones I like best are the the larger diameter speakers designed for guitar use. Those sound right and create a more active ‘feel’ in the room.
Do you not have a “Flat” setting? I do on mine, and that’s what I use when I want to use a multifx unit.
No, the THR doesn’t move a lot of air, but it’s fine for my current apartment living situation.
Aside from the THR, I have used a multifx unit into the line-in on a Yamaha Clavinova to use the built in amp speakers on that, and also have used a Line 6 Amplifi TT unit on various hifi systems.
But I’ve never had a specific FRFR speaker.
I agree you don’t need a guitar amp, and could get away with a FRFR speaker or computer monitors. I would say the benefit of studio monitors is you can use with your PC, but the disadvantage is they aren’t very portable.
Ethan Winer, a well known Audio Engineer and musician (whose AES presentation of Audio Myths is well worth a watch) has used a DigiTech RP multifx pedal with an FRFR cabinet for performances:
If the Katana route interests you, for around the price of a new FRFR cabinet you can probably pick up a used Katana 100 and plug the Pod into the FX Return, or disable the Pod Go emulation and plug into the guitar input and use the Katana amp tones. That would also give you a guitar amp you can use without the Pod Go.
I’ve been kicking around the idea of getting myself a Hotone Ampero II Stomp and using a powered loudspeaker al la the Headrush FRFR. I’m looking at Alto, reportedly the makers of the Headrush units.
They offer quite a few options from 8 to 15 inches including subs if you want to go all in on a stereo rig. A simple 12", no Bluetooth, 700w speaker is just over $300 CAD.
If you’re just playing the guitar, a FRFR powered speaker is going to work, but that won’t help you with also using it as a PC speaker.
I noticed that bit as well - Windows audio has a delay in it, it’s extremely hacky to get rid of, the way to do it is to use an audio interface and have zero delay.
I think the path you might want to consider is an audio interface, and a pair of powered studio monitors hooked up to your PC & the Pod Go. I have a similar setup with my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 & JBL 305P monitors.
Brian, as I read this my thoughts were drifting in the same direction as JK’s share.
You could consider the Behringer UMC404HD (I just acquired one to upgrade from my 2i2). That GAS developed after acquiring the Trio+, so for OMs/AVOYPs and OBS I need … want … three inputs viz guitar, vocal, and Trio using the Trio’s amp output in the interface.
And if you acquired more mics then you would have more options when the family and friends are joining you for an OM. Hmmm … in your case maybe you’d need more inputs
Another alternative could be a powered PA system. I’ve not researched those but depending on things you may want to do in future it may be a good solution to meet the immediate need of better sound using the Pod (am I right in saying that is what @TheMadman_tobyjenner and Jason use?)
So as always a fun exercise to balance current and future needs with gear, budget, and affordability.
Hi Brian ,
Look what is coming your way
Have fun with searching
AI and Studio Monitors probably the best way to go Brian.
I have used the PODs Amp out and plugged it direct into the Mustang III and it worked fine. But that’s a much bigger beast than your THR.
Due to the situation here I am using headphone 85-90% of the time and given there may me multiple audio sources, it seems logical to use the AIs hp output that and declared the AI as the system audio when using the PC.
But you may recall I have now added these to the “studio”
Behringer Studio 50USB – Thomann UK
which take the AIs main out. At 150W and 149euros you get a lot of bang for your bucks and the sound quality is exceptional. The monitors are connected to both my Xenyx and UMC AIs depending which AI I am using.
So POD, Mustang, PlayAcoustic, Trio, JamMan looper, Mics etc all get plumbed into the AI(s) which is USBered to the PC. The AI is the focal point.
The POD’s USB connection is hooked up to the PC but only used if playing around with POD Edit.
Hope all that helps.
The only thing I would say is, if you are relying on an audio interface, it will normally only work whilst your PC is on and connected to the AI. This may, or may not, be a show-stopper.
Goodness, @roger_holland’s ‘black hole’ is scarier than I ever would have thought…
@RobDickinson Cheers, that was my initial thinking
@Richard_close2u My guitar guru doesn’t even own an amp? Oh, the shame
I obviously came across the FRFR options before consulting the community. Not only do they tend to be more expensive than my Scroogy-side would be willing to shell out, but I don’t really need 1000-2000 Watts in my study
I noted with interest they included the Katana 100 in their list. More on that below
Don’t confuse lack of comments with lack of curiosity I was one of the nearly 200 who read that thread and found it interesting although a bit too technical for my pay grade.
The Headrush 108 is the guts of £300 in the UK but as you say, has a lot more power than I would ever use.
Ta for the surround system recommendations
Haha, it’s always good value to tag @Majik when looking for tech opinions
Doh… My bad! Of course I have a Flat setting. I just never switched on to it before. (I think I recall one of the reviewers wondering why anyone would ever use it )
I gave it a quick test this morning and find it funny that I prefer the acoustic setting, possibly because it’s louder but probably also because that’s what my ears/brain have become accustomed to, even in this short time period
You should know better than to include multiple ‘interesting’ videos to someone lost in a rabbit hole! I enjoyed the Tchaikovsky guitar performance, but the only really useful bit of information I gleaned was that I now need a Telecaster (and perhaps an ebow as well)
I obviously had to google the Audio myths vid and although I’ve only watched the first half, it is right up my alley and made me laugh and cry at the same time. Fascinating!
Getting back to the Katana though…
I’m well aware of the benefits of the fx loop its younger sibling lacks BUT
the 50 does have a powered amp input at the back which you could run the Pod Go through which bypasses all the Katana modulation I gather.
I presume I could still run my Trio+ into the aux input as well if I wanted to use a looper function.
Am I missing something?
I’m mainly asking because this is more in line with the budget I was thinking of, (comparable to @TheMadman_tobyjenner’s Behringinger 50 USB studio monitors). There also happens to be a community member whose name I won’t mention (@SgtColon ) who I bumped into down this amp-rabbit-warren. He’s getting rid of his in order to run around an fx loop
@Richard_N Cheers Richard
Again, I’d be buying power I would never need or use. Sigh…
You, @TheMadman_tobyjenner and @DavidP are, of course, quite right.
And the day will come when I will venture down that path.
But today is not that day
I did borrow my son’s Focusright solo to connect the guitar to my pc, but couldn’t even get it to record into Reaper. (I can use the THR via usb for recording). Not sure what’s going on but I don’t really want to spend too much time on pc/software issues.
So, in a nutshell, my current thinking (for instant gratification) is to think about replacing my old unused Peavey Vypyr amp with Stefan’s Katana 50. (One additional benefit would be that would free up my THR to move into the living room for amplified sofa-lounging practice )
That leaves plenty of scope for further gas-fueled escapades in AI-land at a future date.
Are there any obvious flaws in my thinking?
If so, speak now or forever hold your peace
No, but I missed something…
The original Katana MK1 versions didn’t have this, but I missed that they have added it to the MK2. It’s a nice addition and means you could get away with a Katana 50 for your intended usage.
It sounds like a fine plan to me, and gives you lots of options to play.
On this specific point, I would put the Trio+ between the Pod Go and the Katana input.
No need to mess around with aux input hacks!
Should not be as scary as storming the forces of Sauron at the Black Gates.
Once you have the Focusrite ASIO driver installed and selected in Reaper in the Audio Devices options Preferences I’d expect it to work fine.
But for now I can appreciate that you may get more immediate mileage from a new amp. So a fine plan.
Haha, sounds like this thread was just so you could wrangle a reason to buy @SgtColon’s Katana Which is a great idea btw!
Although then, why would you need the Pod Go? Just use the Katana.
I’ve gone through a variety of setups and have used Multifx for a long time now. I’ve got the lot really Katana 100, 112 FRFR speaker, AI and Mixer. These have been added to over time of course as the setup has changed.
My daily studio setup is for the PodGo to go into the Mixer (which has a USB interface as well). The advantage of the mixer is that I can plug my studio speakers into it and as it’s a two way USB interface I can also plug into my laptop (and select that for the speakers/output if I want). The other advantage of a small mixer is that I can plug anything I want in as well (mic, trio etc) and use the onboard controls to pan and balance things so it sounds nice when I’m playing.
When out an about I use my 112 FRFR either as a monitor or a cab (depending on where I’m playing). The Katana now is just a backup should I ever need one. The disadvantage of a pure AI is that although I can plug my studio monitors into it there is no way to balance/pan the channels or eq them. It’s really just designed to get the signal into a DAW. I think you’d be disappointed if you just bought an AI.
Go for it Baldrick !
Shhhhhh JK, just go with it
Haha, remind me never to ask any of you to become my Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor
Yes, I had thought of that, but wasn’t sure whether the Trio would alter the signal coming from the Pod Go as it passed through. It would surely mean less faffing
You forget I have the One Ring…
Cheers for the mention of ASIO drivers though. I’m not going down that hole yet, but I did briefly go on line and download focusright drivers (no idea which ones, but should be worth the time spent when I do it, as no one else seems to have this problem
Tbh, I never needed the Pod Go in the first place. There are more tone possibilities on my THR than I will ever explore/use (once you go into the app/program), but ‘more is more’ and I like the concept of lots of easily accessable possibilities on a footswitch with a reasonable display
Cheers, Jason. That sounds like it would cover all the bases that I would ever need, but I’d have to invest in 3 or four bits of additional hardware (as with @TheMadman_tobyjenner). Bookmarked for ‘refueling day’
@SgtColon I’ll get my people to call your people