Line 6 POD Studio UX1 recording interface review
UX1 is a recording interface for guitarists. It's a black box with guitar input and USB connectivity. With UX1 you can record any music quietly at home. Included POD Farm software decently emulates real guitar amplifiers, cabinets, effects, microphones and more. It's possible to choose the tone after recording. ToneDirect monitoring makes it all easier for your computer's processor as it allows large buffer sizes for your DAW software while maintaining low latency monitoring via POD Farm application. You can expand tonal possibilities of POD Farm by purchasing add-ons from online Line 6 store. UX1 comes with FX Junkie model pack, I've also tried Metal Shop and I have to say it's interesting.
POD Farm 2 software with included FX Junkie model pack offer:
- 18 guitar amps with 24 cabs
- 5 bass amps with 5 cabs
- 64 stompboxes and studio effects
- 6 mic preamps
- guitar input
- XLR microphone input with gain control
- headphone output with volume control
- two line inputs
- monitor input
- two line outputs
- POD Farm 2 software with plug-in capability
- FX Junkie model pack add-on for POD Farm
- ToneDirect monitoring system
- Includes Ableton Live Lite Line 6 Edition and RiffWorks T4 software
Sound quality 9/10
There's a big difference in sound quality when changing from your computer's integrated audio to POD Studio. UX1 gives sound clarity, dynamics and pleasant lows. Inputs are practically noiseless, they seem to be well shielded. The guitar input is fixed as there's no input gain control. In comparison with other audio interfaces which offer input gain control UX1 seems just a little bit muddy yet still cool.
ToneDirect Monitoring is an effective latency killer - POD Farm 2 standalone measured processing time at 44kHz is 300 samples or less which equals 6.8ms round trip latency tops. That guarantees a pretty decent feel which in analog realm can be compared to standing approximately 2.3 meters away from sound source. That, of course, is with your headphones on, because sound waves travel through air with the speed of around 340 meters per second, so 1 meter of distance from speakers adds an additional delay of 2.9 ms. If, for some reason, you don't like or are bored with POD Farm tones you can play through guitar plugins and a DAW software. In this scenario POD Studio has a round trip latency of 15.4ms.
Ease of use 10/10
This product is well designed in terms of ease of use. I believe that anyone is capable of using it and benefitting from it's capabilities. Manual is well written and customer support seems to be helpful.
System requirements are very reasonable in this case, it says that your computer's CPU has to be Pentium IV 1.2GHz or better. I've tested POD Studio on a netbook equipped with Intel Atom N270 processor and it worked well, however reamping with POD Farm was not possible and ToneDirect & USB Streaming buffer had to be greater than "extra small".
You can record in 24 bits at 44.1kHz and 48kHz, 96kHz is in fact 48kHz with a sample rate converter. 100dB SNR or so, however Line 6 does not tell exactly.
- How to choose an audio interface for recording guitars
- Audio interface round trip latency database
- The lowest round trip latency audio interface for PC