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I have a Line6 Pod XT that I connect my computer, guitar and speakers to. It is basically being used as

  1. Sound card to output sounds to speakers/headphones via USB
  2. Input for guitar to play using a software amp/cab/effects emulators

I am not using it as a portable guitar effects unit.

Question: Is there a better hardware that can serve both these purposes? The Line6 Pod XT is running too hot and I believe there can be other hardware devices that provides better sound capturing and output quality.

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I'd suggest looking at something like the Focusrite 2i2 Audio interface. It's designed to accept almost any audio source and feed it into a DAW on the computer. From there you can use Line 6's Pod Farm as a VST insert on the channel you record on within said DAW.

This also allows you to record the guitar clean/direct so if you later begin to be unhappy with Pod Farm's sounds (as I was) you can easily plugin a new VST (Guitar Rig for example) and change the effects as you see fit without having to re-record the entire part.

(I suggest Focusrite as their pre-amps are, in my experience, the cleanest and best for the price range. No affiliation with the brand.)

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    I think even if you take out the brand, audio interfaces are the way to go. Focusrite, M-Audio, etc... all provide this sort of thing. – Doktor Mayhem Aug 15 '16 at 10:04
  • I agree, any audio interface is a step up from the OP's situation, I just mentioned Focusrite as I've used a whole lot of interfaces, and this one is the best I've used. – Kyle Aug 15 '16 at 10:08
  • @DrMayhem Any recommendations in the sub-$500 price range? – Nyxynyx Aug 15 '16 at 13:18
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    All the usual names will be considerably better than your current setup. I like Line6 but I wouldn't use my POD500HD as an audio interface. Kyle's is a good suggestion, but just use Google to find ones in your price range – Doktor Mayhem Aug 15 '16 at 15:37

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