With the amount of guitar processing
units now available many musicians now find a vast array of
choices and features to decide upon when purchasing a multi
Having come a long way since they
first came out in the early 90s, most units now offer speaker
modelling, and different effects such as distortion, overdrive,
delay, reverb and others all in one convenient box.
This enables then to offer direct
recording possibilities without the need to use traditional
methods such as miking up an amplifier.
Most units are equally suited
to live performance, some by themselves and others with the
addition of external controllers.
Line 6 POD XT
Line 6 recently released their
latest version of the POD, the XT. With more sounds and speaker
cabinet models than ever, it is a popular choice for both
the studio and for live use with the addition of short board
I recently had the loan of a POD
XT for several days and I was very impressed with the variety
and quality of sounds, not only that but also those tones
that imitate guitar greats such as Stevie Ray Vaughan or Mark
Knophler are spot on.
The unit is very easy to use,
and the supplied presets are an excellent starting in to make
your own unique sounds.
Another option for those wishing
perform live is the Flextone III amplifier, which integrates
the POD sounds with a quality amplifier.
PC Software allows on screen tweaking
of sounds and sharing your patches with other users through
the Internet. A rack mounted version and a bass version of
the unit is also available.
The V-Amp is the basically a value
for money version of the POD.
It presumably uses cheaper components
and a plastic case instead of the metal case of the POD.
However this does not mean that
its sounds are low quality. It has speaker cabinet modelling
and many effects that are arranged into presets.
Also it is supplied (unlike the
more expensive POD) with a 2-button footswitch to change its
presets and a soft carry case for protection.
PC Software also allows on screen
tweaking of sounds and sharing your patches with other users.
A rack mounted version and a bass
version of the unit is also available. The perfect unit for
those on a budget.
unit follows a different approach to those reviewed above,
as instead of having the “kidney-bean” shape and being a desktop
modeller it is a self contained floor unit.
Clearly in this format it is aimed
at ease of use for live performance, with its sturdy metal
case and footswitches.
Switch-able cabinet modelling
is supplied for those who do not want to colour there amplifiers
sound plus an impressive array of effects.
The preset layout is also very
friendly as an A/B channel switch is available for each preset;
this means that a total of six sounds are present per bank.
A CD-Input and Phrase trainer
are also featured in the Korg unit. A number of other versions
exist including the popular portable Pandora units.
Although discontinued the J-Station
still has a great following, this is very evident by the large
number of musicians that use and recommend it on Internet
Clearly aimed at the home user
for recording it has a very small footprint and even boasts
a S/PDIF output for recording in the digital domain.
With a choice of 24 amp models
and many effects the J-Station is chosen by many especially
as remaining stock has been blown out at very reasonable prices.
Midi control and PC software are
also features of this great unit.
Hopefully this article will shed
some light on the amazing array of multi-effects on currently
on the market and help guitarists to make an informed choice
on which unit is best for them.
By Ernest H Slade