Line6 Guitar Port Review
|Date:||September 24, 2004|
"To a completely new musical experience for electric guitarists.
With amazing tone and world-class tracks, GuitarPort is a unique
combination of hardware and software tools that will connect you to your
PC and your guitar like never before." - Line6.com
Unless you have been living under a rock you have heard about the Line6
GuitarPort by now. You've seen it in the ads but what exactly is this
If you have been following the recording industry the last few years then
you have heard of a revolutionary product called Amp Farm. If not I'll
explain. Amp Farm is a software product that takes a clean digitally recorded
guitar signal and applies "amp models" in order to alter the clean signal into
that of a Marshall Plexi, Fender Super Reverb, etc. Think of it as a POD on
Why is Amp Farm important to the GuitarPort? The GuitarPort is nothing more
than a interface device between your guitar and a PC. The real power of the
GuitarPort is in the software which I believe has been adapted from Amp Farm
and given some additional functionality.
Let's get down to brass tacks
If you want the details on the GuitarPort you can get them from
Line6's website. What everyone
really wants to know is how does this thing sound and is the Internet
subscription worth it.
In short, yes. This has to be the coolest and most useful piece of guitar
equipment that I have even used. Can you use the GuitarPort live? Not hardly.
But for jamming at home, learning new tunes and recording it is absolutely
incredible. Do you need the subscription? Not really but it helps.
What have you done for me lately?
What have I done with the GuitarPort? Been learning a ton of Stevie Ray,
"Mary Had A Little Lamb" for one. I downloaded a re-recorded version done
by Double Trouble with James Santiago on guitar and Malford Milligan on vocals
which was re-recorded specifically for the GuitarPort. There are many others
including Hendrix tunes taken from the master tracks and worked over for the
GuitarPort by Eddie Kramer (Jimi's producer), along with many other artists.
The cool thing is I can remove the guitar and jam along with the original
Double Trouble. But wait there's more... the tone settings for the song are
already setup and they are optimized for both single and double coil pickups.
Line6 is still working on the tab for many of the songs, for instance there
is no Van Halen tab but... I loaded a MP3 of Jamie's Cryin and the
GuitarPort software automatically detected the song and brought up the correct
tones once again optimized for single or double pups. The other helpful thing
was the software then identified the different sections of the song (intro
first verse, 2nd verse, chorus etc.) and allows you to select sections
to loop through. So to learn the solo to Jamie's Cryin I quickly selected the
solo section, clicked the loop button and worked that section over and over
until I nailed it - you can also slow everything down to half speed.
If you haven't guessed by now I'm going nuts over this thing. Because of the
site and work I don't have much time to jam with real people any more so the
GuitarPort is the perfect device for my needs. It sounds incredible and with
the pre-recorded backing tracks and CD/MP3 integration I get a excellant sounding
guitar and backup through my headphones with a third of the equipment it used
to take (bye bye mixer).
How's the customer service? The original GuitarPort I had worked perfectly
but wouldn't connect to the Internet. The folks at Line6 support were answering
my questions on a Sunday and quickly determined the unit was faulty. A quick
run to Guitar Center and I was back in business. Support proactively followed
up a week later to make sure I doing OK.