on January 3, 2009
there's no telling how much cash i've spent over the years looking to create a simple home recording setup. i'm a musician, not an engineer, not a computer geek either. in other words, i needed something that would be easy and sound awesome. line 6 POD studio UX2 is it. it's a box that sits on your desk, comes with ONE CORD and four different programs. that's it. without even installing any of the programs, my PC (running vista) and my mac both saw the UX2 and i was able to use it with my existing recording programs like acid and garage band. BUT once installing the software it came with, it became hours of childlike euphoria. "POD farm" has hundreds of cool effects for the guitar that you can play in REAL TIME, and record directly to acid with (also worked with audacity, a free program). another disk, "riff works", lets you play along with surprisingly great-sounding drum tracks, record layered guitar parts and construct a song (also lets you export as wav file when you're done). the other two disks, "abelton live lite" and "reason adapted" are basic versions of very expensive popular recording programs, so if you want to get a taste of how they work, they are also included. but what i was looking for above all else was SOUND QUALITY, and this box delivers many times over. completely satisfied.
on April 8, 2010
First off, they have updated the drivers for use with both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard, so no worries there. I have tested it on both platforms and it works as expected.
This USB recording interface is exactly what I was looking for! Long gone are the days of attempting to sit in a quite room with an analog recording set up, or attempting to record only one input at a time when two would be fantastic. There are no latency issues, so worry not. The passive mic boost is very nice, because I only have a mic that requires the phantom power. Keep in mind that you can only record 2 inputs at once, but you can mix and match like Mic+Mic, or guitar+mic, or Guitar+guitar. The design is quite nice as well, and the analog dials look great in my office/"studio".
All in all, with the below caveats, this is a great plug and play USB audio interface. I would highly recommend this product, and in fact, because I liked it so much, I bought another and sent it to a friend/former band mate that lives elsewhere so we could both get recording again!
1 - You must install and run Pod Farm to get multiple inputs and effects first, before launching whatever recording software you're using. Took me awhile to figure out why I could only record one channel until I launched Pod Farm and selected "Dual".
2 - Speaking of software, the included software was fairly complicated and could be overwhelming for the new amateur recording artist. I'm learning Albeton, which is fun, but if you have software you already like, like Cakewalk or Garage Band or Logic, USE IT! You will be able to set the inputs without a hitch.
3 - Make sure to check settings in the following places, so you know where audio from what source is coming in and going out: a) windows/OSX sound settings, b) Pod Farm, and c) the audio I/O settings of your recording software. Most of my early frustrations were solved after checking those settings, especially with the audio out, which should default to the device's headphone jack and not your computer's/sound card's headphone jack.
4 - Other than headphones, the only way to get audio out from the device itself is to have powered external speakers. Shouldn't be a big deal though.
on July 9, 2013
I bought this device to record guitar tracks into Pro Tools. Upon plugging it in and installing the included Pod Farm 2.5 (not the full $300.00 version) amp modeling software, I was pleased find that the device delivered very nice sound for the price, and did so with minimal latency through Tone Direct. The version of POD Farm 2.5 that came with it was missing amp models and effects for most of the preset sounds (Line 6 wants users to buy Premium), which was somewhat irritating, but I was able to create nice sounding virtual amp setups with it nonetheless.
Unfortunately, when recording with any mainstream Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), Tone Direct monitoring isn't going to be available (unless one wants to deal with some annoying audio syncing issues that will ruin the recording unless manually fixed). Rather, when working with a DAW, the device must use ASIO drivers (or Core Audio on Mac), and do all monitoring through the program. This is where the UX2 suffered. The best round trip latency (the time it takes for the signal from a guitar to go through the UX2, into the DAW, then back out to the speakers) one can expect from the device is likely going to be upwards of 20 milliseconds, and that requires a 128 sample buffer, which is, unfortunately, the lowest buffer size the device supports and may cause annoying crackling and popping through the monitors.
For many people, latency this severe will make it very difficult to play in rhythm, and will result in recordings that never sound quite on time. This was the case for me, and I was forced to return the device due to it. To add to this problem, very few people on most audio forums own this device, making it incredibly difficult to find help when dealing with a difficult problem. For roughly the same price, I would recommend the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6, which is smaller, better looking, better built, comes with just as much or more free software, has much better ASIO/Core Audio Drivers, and can achieve sub 10 millisecond round trip latency. The UX2 is a decent device, but I couldn't possibly recommend it with so many far superior options on the market at similar prices.
on May 26, 2009
I picked up guitar after years of not playing. I was never very accomplished anyway but decided to pick it up again. I spent alot of time surfing the net to find software and/or hardware that could help me with learning and to make the learning process more enjoyable. While over at a friends house playing guitar he introduced me to the concept of a home recording studio. He's got a sweet setup, Pro Tools, multiple guitars, keyboards, moniters, the whole nine yards. Very nice and very expensive. I started researching DAW's and interfaces, my birthday was approaching and I figured I might be able to afford something, and that something was the UX2.
I got a gift certificate from my mother in-law for my birthday (Thanks again Peg!) and ordered the UX2. I ordered from AMS, recieved it the next day! My main concern at this point was my laptop, 5 years old, 512 ram, old processor..... All at the bare minimums for what a DAW would require.
Upon arrival I was braced to spend hours installing, uploading, and becoming frustrated. THIS DIDN'T HAPPEN! Installed the Pod software, uploaded the drivers, and plugged in! First time in my life I have gotten a hi-tech product and not had to seek anger management counseling! Even my wife was impressed, making a joke about not being on hold with support for hours, the general norm. Again, setup was a breeze! Even with my dinosaur of a laptop. As other reviews have stated, the unit itself isn't built very durably, it is very light and the knobs are kind of cheap. Definitly not something I see being banged up and surviving. I'm not going on tour anytime soon so I'm not too concerned.
The first few days I was just playing with Pod Farm, awesome! Literally thousands of options! From their presets to making your own combinations, enough to keep one busy for years. Good interface with revolving amps and effects, I was blown away. I had no issues with sound and/or latency. I also installed Gearbox and Riffworks. Briefly, Gearbox is an older interface which does basically the same thing as Pod Farm with a few added bells and whistles. You can import CD's and Mp3 to play along with. It also has Tone Port which is a Line 6 online lesson area. Riffworks is a drum and recording interface, with a few drum tracks and a very simplified recording interface, I didn't mess around with it too much. Also included is Reason and Ableton. I didn't install Reason because I installed Ableton 7 Lite. I have since upgraded to a full version of Ableton and it is way more than I can ever see myself needing. I'm not going to go into Ableton as DAW software is its own animal and very difficult to wrap your head around. If you think this review is long, I could write a book about Ableton and just scratch the surface. Though, again, installation and simple recording on Ableton was straight forward. I have only plugged in my guitar, so I don't know anything about the other features like mics and other instruments. More to grow on!
Okay, to make a long story even longer...... My old laptop was on its last legs so I purchased a new one...... Reinstalling was a breeze, even with Vista. Now, armed with 4g ram, I'm styling! I can have Pod Farm, Ableton, and any other programs up and running with no worries about slow downs and crashes.
To sum it all up, I'm very happy with my purchase! I know that there are several interfaces out there, most of them very expensive. for what I need the UX2 is perfect. I may be an exception but right out of the box I was up and running. The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is the light construction. Otherwise, when and if I decide to upgrade my 'home studio', this will do fine!
Again, I'm a relative newbie when it comes to the DAW world, but without hesitation I can certainly recommend the UX2. Especially if you're just starting out. As with any interest/hobby/passion there's a ton out there, I'm glad I chose the UX2 to start my journey. And with room to grow, I can see myself being happy for a long time to come. This here's a joy ride, so I say, enjoy!
on August 11, 2011
I've tried other Line 6 products and have been pleased with them, so I thought I'd give another one a try. This unit is great. It also comes with some excellent software as well. Pod Farm is the software you use to load effects presets and some of them are pretty good. I've loaded them, tweaked them a bit and saved them as my own. There are a lot of effects models, amp models and and cabinets to choose from. I like the fact that it has xlr inputs with a built in phantom power supply.
My primary concern was latency. That delay you sometimes have with the sound when running music gear into the PC. Let me tell you, there is basically NONE. No latency whatsoever. You can use a load of effects simultaneously and still have no latency. To be honest, I was skeptical regarding the latency issue. They advertise that there really isn't any and they weren't lying. I hook it up to my laptop and use it with cakewalk Music Creator 6, to have a portable recording setup. It works very well with Cakewalk. Sometimes when you buy things over the Internet that you haven't tried or know someone who has, you can be taking a bit of a risk. This was well worth the risk because it all worked out fine in the end. I'm happy anyway. Hope this review helps.
on June 20, 2015
I started with a GuitarPort and upgraded to the Pod Studio UX2. The DACs are much faster so I can increase the buffer size without any pick attack delay on a minimal laptop I am using. Before I had to run it at minimum buffer size which was inconvenient with aftermarket programs. The unit works with GearBox, Amplitube 3, Guitar Rig 5 in addition to PodFarm as tested. The sound is improved over a GuitarPort and it has very useful features. You can control the dual VU meters in "ToneDirect" settings to show Input, Output, Monitor, Send 1,2 and Send 3,4. The manual states that it outputs 24 bit S/PIDF always but you can change that to 16, 24 or 32 bit as well to use this with a wide range of digital recorders. I have mine set to 16 bit at 44100 to sync with my Fostex VF160EX and I can set the stereo channels to any of the 16 channels available. The S/PIDF Digital Output is 75 OHM coax so if you want to interface with either optical SPIDF or TOSLINK you will have to add a separate coax to optical adapter box. The 1/4" headphone jack matches all the other inputs and outputs as well vs the GuitarPort that only uses 1/8". Being able to plug in my MXL condenser mic without a separate power supply is a bonus. Recording via the analog outs or the S/PIDF out is a breeze and clean. The analog outputs are adjustable via a knob on top as are the two mic inputs. So far there are no Cons, only Pros with this device.
on February 3, 2014
Great product and even though I didnt expect too much from the amp sims I was pleasantly suprised by the tones I got after some tweaking. My only issue is that I like things that work right out of the box, Line 6 is one of those companys that are too worried about their licensing too much, before it will even work you have to create accounts, register units, update software, load drivers, then a few restarts in between all of that. Not too bad really but a pain in the butt because they are worried about their license BS. They should worry more about updating the amp models and letting us use our own cab impulses. Otherwise a great product.
on October 31, 2014
I mainly picked this up since I live in an apartment and don't feel right plugging into my actual amp, but I'd also like to start recording. Once you get it all set up and ready to go, it's basically like having a Line 6 Pod, but you control it with your mouse. The built-in sounds are fun to play with. Ultimately, I prefer making my own custom tones, for which this excels at.
On a side note: I'm new to the digital interface stuff... The sound won't feed through the PC speakers, and you'll need to unplug it any time you want your system sounds going through the PC and not the UX2.
on April 22, 2013
I bought the Line 6 UX2 for $200 dollars about 8 months ago. Let me start off by saying physically, this device feels pretty nice and well-built. You get a lot of features in a neat little package. However, that's about as good as it got for me. After completing the ANNOYING driver installation process under Windows 7 Ultimate x64, I was ready to start recording. I opened up my DAW (Reaper) and began creating tones and doodling around. Pod Farm is a pretty fun VST, and if you're patient, you can get some pretty good tones out of it! Don't expect Axe-Fx quality though. Just don't.
Alright, so the physical unit itself and Pod Farm are great ... now for the rest:
Drivers = horrible. After using the product for a few days, I found out that if I unplugged the device my laptop would get the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) and I would be forced to do a hard reset. How do I know it was the drivers? Never had an issue ever with my laptop (Sager NP9150) until shortly after the LIne 6 driver install. Still not convinced, I headed over to the Line 6 support "forum." To my surprise, numerous other people were having the same issues, in fact, TONS of people! All the Line 6 tech support people could say was "update your drivers" even though they were obviously up-to-date! Then their response was that they were flooded with support tickets (duh, look at all the issues the crappy drivers are causing) and were working on a fix. Ok, I thought, no problem they will have a fix. Well, almost a year later of owning the product, no fix. Mind you, now I'm on a MacbookPro (with Retina) running OS X 10.8.3 and the latest UX2 drivers. Guess what? Now I get a ridiculous crackling noise when I record and once again, if I unplug the product, I get a Kernel Panic (KP). For a $200 unit that is advertised as a high-quality recording device, this is BEYOND UNACCEPTABLE.
I am sad to say (especially since I have owned a Line 6 amp that has worked great for years and years) that I will never purchase a Line 6 product again. The tech support is abysmal and their ability to design proper drivers is, well, nonexistent.
Like I said, head over to the forums and you will see that Line 6's software drivers are PLAGUED with issues. Stay away unless you think you can handle the frustration.
I have always been a fan of Line 6, but after this bout of disappointment, I'm done.
I suggest looking at Apogee products -- numerous people on the Line 6 forums said that's what they're planning on switching to after their frustrations with the drivers.
Good luck finding your product and have fun playing guitar!
on June 12, 2015
I bought this as my first interface. When I started to use it, I noticed that there were strange pops and cracks in the audio output. As I started recording with it, those same pop and cracks WERE RECORDED along with my guitar tracks. About six months ago that problem miraculously disappeared, and I was able to mostly finish my EP. After moving our desktop, however, the problem immediately returned, putting my 99% done project at a complete stand still. That didn't stop me, so I figured. I would just start on some new rough projects in the mean time and see if the problem would disappear again. The problem is that the UX2 has actually begun SHOCKING ME THROUGH THE STRINGS. The UX2 apparently sends an electric current down the cable, and whether I have a lemon or not, the UX2 is sending a current powerful enough to be ejected from the pickups, into the strings, effectively shocking my fingers (quite strongly) when I try to fret my instrument. The same applies to my arm if I rest it over the pickups. I went on the Line6 website and their entire support community looks like a mess, not even worth dealing with. So now it's back to the garage for me until I can afford a new interface.
This is the most unreliable product I have ever bought: not only does it pop and crack, seemingly with a mind of its own, not only is the audio quality quite a few shots from par, but it has turned into an electronic hazard that I am actually scared to plug my guitar into. Do not support Line6 by purchasing the UX2. Rather, save your money a bit more and buy reasonable product with decent customer support.