Interfacing a Line 6 Pod X3 Live to Reaper in OS X

Getting the drivers installed and having Reaper recognize my Pod X3 Live as the recording interface was easy. Translating the two stereo inputs on the X3 to available lines to record in Reaper isn’t straightforward.

The X3 is pretty neat. It’s a multi-effect guitar floorboard with two inputs that have their own separate effects chains, AND it acts as an audio interface via USB. I can plug in a guitar to input one and a mic into input two and each can have their own effects applied and can be recorded into separate tracks in Reaper (or your digital audio workstation of choice). The inputs can be remapped such that one guitar can be passed through both effects chains and you can get really interesting results.

A signal passed through an effects chain is called the “wet” signal, and the unaltered signal is called the “dry” signal. The X3 sends both the wet and dry signals via USB to the recording software which is really convenient if I want to apply different affects later to the dry signal (via software plug-ins).

For some reason when I interface the X3 to Reaper in Windows the available lines for recording are labeled in Reaper. If I want to record the left channel of the dry signal of the second input I can select exactly that. In OS X the lines aren’t labeled. You have Mono 1 through Mono 8, and Stereo 1/2 through Stereo 7/8 to choose from. I plugged up a guitar and microphone with some over-obvious effects (so I would for sure not get the wet and dry signals mixed up) and somewhat figured out what everything maps to. The documentation is vague, so here are my best guesses based on experimentation.

Mono 1: Tone 1 Wet Left Mono+ Tone 2 Wet Left Mono

Mono 2: Tone 1 Wet Right Mono + Tone 2 Wet Right Mono

Mono 3: Tone 1 Wet Left Mono

Mono 4: Tone 1 Wet Right Mono

Mono 5: Tone 2 Wet Left Mono

Mono 6: Tone 2 Wet Right Mono

Mono 7: Tone 1 Dry Mono

Mono 8: Tone 2 Dry Mono

Stereo 1+2: Tone 1 Wet and Tone 2 Wet (all mixed in stereo?)

Stereo 3+4: Tone 1 Wet (in stereo)

Stereo 5+6: Tone 2 Wet (in stereo)

Stereo 7+8: Tone 1 Dry (right channel) and Tone 2 Dry (left channel)

Ok, so this makes sense, I think. It matches completely what the manual says about the stereo signals, but the mono signal documentation is very confusing. Like for Mono 2 it says “the stereo tone with balance and mute Right” and for mono 3 it says “the stereo tone without balance or mute Left”. I have no idea what with/without balance and mute means.

Doesn’t matter I suppose. I like recording the wet and dry signals from each input and the notes above will let me do that.

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