I've been working and recording with the Line 6 Pod HD Desktop for a while. I noticed that the sound I'm monitoring directly over the output of the Pod, with studio monitors or headphones, sounds slightly warmer and better (closer to a "real amp") than what I'm recording with my audio interface (output of the Pod, plugged into input of the interface), which sounds cold and flat.

I see many people using Pods on YouTube, which all seem to get a qualitative sound, so I assume I'm doing something wrong when recording...

Is it possible that the audio interface is affecting the sound of the amp simulator when recording it into the DAW? If that's the case, what's the best approach to get the best sound possible out of an amp simulator?

  • Are you listening using the same headphones/speakers in both cases? Has your interface got any EQ settings or filtering, etc?
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 8:39
  • Same output for monitoring and recording. My interface is the Saffire 6 USB.
    – muffin
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 8:41
  • 1
    Does monitoring the interface live sound the same as recording and playing back? I don't know that interface but I see it has gain control and some other buttons. Have you checked the levels are decent - the input isn't too weak, you're not boosting the signal too much (e.g gain up high, speaker volume very low), etc? Finally, can you do a blind test with a friend to confirm it's definitely real - important in any audio setup really :)
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 9:58
  • Other recordings sound alright in my opinion. My monitors are set on a medium volume, which is already pretty loud, so I keep the audio of my computer down at 10-20, that could be an issue... I don't know much about gain, but my guitar tracks usually fill 3/4 of the audio level while vocals fill almost the whole. Blind test is a good idea, thanks :)
    – muffin
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 10:05

2 Answers 2


I've been going through the manual and the different settings of the Pod HD and I found out that you can change the output setting, depending on how you use it. My Pod was set on "Combo Front", which is good for amps but not really for direct recording. Changing the output mode to "Studio Direct" improved the sound quality significantly, which solves my problem so far.

If anyone knows more about amp emulators, I'd be glad you would post an answer that could help out other newbies with similar issues, thanks :)


It's possible that the headphone output is voiced to sound that way. If you're recording, try just adjusting your sound based on that instead! You should be able to monitor the sound when your track is armed for recording, so use that get the best sound possible before laying the track down! If you're using a software amp sim in the DAW, then remember you can always play with the sound later as well!

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