C3 Hanau Guitar Rig

So this is what I use in the C3 Hanau Nightshift band: a POD 2.0 plugged straight into the PA, using a 15W Marshall practice amp as a monitor.

At first I had the POD switched to ‘amp’ mode and played through the front of the amp as per normal. I totally hated this sound and put it down to the POD sounding crap. But before writing it off I tried switching it to ‘direct’ mode and plugging it into the ‘CD In’ jack on the amp. This takes out the pre amp and tone stack sections of the amp and sounds more hifi. It sounds a billion times better in this configuration. I don’t even need a guitar amp for this style of setup, I could use a stage monitor or a keyboard amp and still get a good guitar sound on stage.

I plug the POD into a direct box, which goes straight into the mixing desk. On most direct boxes you will find a parallel output which sends the same signal that goes into the desk. In this case I plug it into the CD input jack on the amp and use it like a monitor. This way the amp doesn’t mess up my tone.

Another major reason for using this setup, apart from the fact that I dont have a functional amp right now, is that volume must be kept to a minimum. Our church auditorium carries sound quite well, and isn’t a particularly large venue. So this is a good solution for someone who cant afford an AC15 or the like right away and needs a decent tone before being able to sleep at night and feel at peace with the world. We are however designing a larger auditorium to sit at least 400 people. When we finally build that, the game will change for the better.

Here is a video showing some of the sounds I use, with the POD going direct into my laptop so you can hear what goes into the mixing desk. As explained, the sound coming from the amps is a parallel signal from the DI boxes and you cant hear them on the video, just the POD.


15 thoughts on “C3 Hanau Guitar Rig

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    1. Hi Pete!

      For the sounds on the video I am using the Brit Classic (Marshall plexi) amp with a 2×12 cab (I can’t remember if it was the Matchless or Vox cab). But that’s about all. I switch always to manual mode so I can add switch drive and delay for that 1 amp model. And that is pretty much how I use pods.

      I am now using a floor POD often at church, and I use the Brit Class A (Vox AC15) amp and I’m really diggin that tone.

      Anyway sorry for the late reply and I hope this helps 🙂

  1. Nice tone man! sounds really good! I am using the Pod X3 live, and I really dig it! the probelm I am having is finding that nice distortion for church….I am using the AC30, with the 2×12 cab, but the distortion effects are pretty lousy….the screamer and classic distortion are both not very good….I like the idea of adding distortion to the Vox amp, but I am starting to think I need to utilize the dual tone feature to add a completely seperate amp to get the distortion channel I want….although I loose that nice bite that I get from the VOX….? any suggestions? I too use my setup for church, so traditionally the tone is mid to bright, with lots of delay and reverb….the transitions from those clean tones to a legitimate distortion tone without soundind artificial, or having level issues is stressing me out! hahahaha! any tips! thanks agian!

    1. Hey Brian!

      I haven’t used an X3 before, and I think they are more complex than the pods. So I cant give you the best advice, but i would try a couple of things…

      1. My favorite amp tones usually come from the ac15 (I prefer it to the Ac30!), the Marshall plexi and Marshall JCM800. Then I have the choice of… More drive. You can choose pedals on the X3 here but I get whatever option the amp model setting has, but both the clean and overdrives sound good for me with these three amp models. This goes for my SG and my mate’s Strat.

      2. Don’t use too much gain. Whether its a pedal or an overdrive channel on the amp, keep the gain minimal especially on digital stuff like modellers and plugins. But i do usually have the clean tones breaking up at least a little, it’s rare that I enjoy a truly clean sound. And by the way, blasphemy or not, I have never gotten a tone I was really happy with out of a tubescreamer. I haven’t tried a keely mod though.

      3. Try ditching the reverb. It can be difficult to find a nice reverb that doesn’t ruin your tone (personal opinion) and could be a little too complex for the X3. Reverbs can colour the tone a lot. You may already do this, but when dialing in your sound, leave the reverb off. When everything is primo then try different reverbs. Or go without. I almost never use reverb live.

      4. Mixing amps? Could be good with the right combination but I would stick with one, especially when it’s for live not recording purposes. And then like you mentioned, you don’t loose some of the qualities of one amp to the competing sound of the other.

      5. Headphones. Get the best quality headphones you can, even if you just borrow them for dialing in sounds. I wouldn’t use a monitor, amp, or pa for creating sounds, I think headphones are always going to give the best results. Then your tones should have the best chance possible when coming trough the pa. Also, I plug the pod straight Ito the pa and use a little solid state amp through the cd input for monitoring from the parallel DI signal. The pods I have used never sound good in amp mode, either in the front input or in the effects loop of an amp, no matter how valve and awesome it is. Therefore I always have them switched to direct mode and have an amp or stage monitor purely for foldback, the tone tweaking is always done with headphones.

      So there you have it! Rock the church stage mate, and let me know how the tone hunt goes for you, I’m keen to hear what works for you 🙂

  2. Hey Thanks for the reply Aaron! yeah man I love the plexi too, haven’t experimented with the JCM yet, but maybe I will give that a go….I think the POD, and the X3 essentially use the same models….I am not sure if you have heard of Nigel Hendroff, but I noticed that he too uses the AC15….might have to give that a go. I do use a pretted decent set of Shure E2 headphones, and don’e really use any other form of stage monitoring. I go direct via the XLR outputs to the board, so no issue there….I see alot of guys using stomp boxes, and they all seem to have these VOX, Fender, or Matchless amps with some form of Overdrive to give that dirt to the song….usually very warm clean tones that transition at some point during a song to a mild overdrive, and then usually into a full blown overdrive for solo….seems like the standard MO for most contemporary church music…Haha. Anyway the Vox drive just really isn’t doing it for me, So I am thinking that because I have dual amp capabilites from the X3 that I can run a stereo mix, and pan one amp all the way left, and one all the way right, and swith between them, or run them together….not sure…anyway I love the Marshall tone you have, and I too am an SG player, I also have a strat, but my SG is my baby….I like the idea of ditching the reverb, but it seems like so much of what I have to learn, and am listening too is of course recorded with a ton of reverb…maybe I will play a bit more with the delay and see if I can air it out some…Anyway, thanks for the tips man, I really appreciate you taking the time to share them!! I know there are alot of guys looking for input on the line 6 pod series for tones in church, so this will be a big help to many players for sure!! thanks again!


    1. Hey SG bro, yeah I know of the infamous ‘Droff and i think his playing and tone are brilliant. There is definitely a standard MO for contemporary church guitarists and you know what – I have nothing against that 🙂 I would love to get a Deusenberg guitar some day, run it though an AC15 (or my HiWatt) and yeah, I would be living up to the MO somewhat hehe.

      Sounds like we are thinking the same with plugging into the PA, if I had XLR outputs I would be using them. Maybe you need to upload some sound samples from your X3 and share them with us some time?

      Cheers Brian.

      1. Aaron, wow man those are some really nice tones! I love that AC15 clean! sounds really nice! the Plexi with that delay is pretty sweet also!! I have some pretty nice sounding stuff using the AC 30 that I am really digging these days, I will try to get something up for you to check out, Also experementing a bit with this Line 6 model called “Mood” it’s pretty fat, and has some real cut through on the high end….How to you post those sound bites on here? I will see if I can put some stuff up, and or maybe try to put up the Line 6 Pod Files, for uploading…not sure how to do that either, but I will try and figure it out.. 🙂 thanks for the tips, I think you will dig some of these tones that I have put together also, I know they make my SG sound pretty sweet, or perhaps the other way around…hahaha! 🙂

      2. Hey Brian, glad you like my tonez… I post them by uploading the wave files to SoundCloud first (you can join for free) and then share the links… Would love to hear what you got there 😉

  3. hey Aaron are your tones posted on line 6 website? ive been trying to get good tones to be able to use in church, but there arn’t to many on there that work. most are to heavy

    1. Hi Aaron, unfortunately my POD is too old to interface with a computer so I have no possibility to upload the sounds, sorry mate 😦

      I may however be buying some HD300’s for church soon. If so, I will get some sounds together and share them. So stay tuned! For now the best I can offer is my ideas I wrote to brian in the previous posts.

  4. if the pod has the midi ports on it there is a midi to usb cord that an be used to connect to computer. mine is a pod 2.0 and once you connect it to the computer it can update the software to a 2.0

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