POD X3 Live Tips and Tricks: Guitar and Vocals to Different Outs

The Line 6 POD X3 has the ability to function as two fully loaded and independent POD XT units. You can use your POD X3 to process two input sources and maintain individual control over the outputs. Here are a few basic and advanced examples of how to set up your X3 for this type of processing. You will likely have to use mono outputs for your two sources but this technique is most needed in live applications where stereo output is not typically desirable.

Panning your outputs

All of our basic examples (compatible with both POD X3 and POD X3 Live) will make use of panning alone to isolate the two outputs.

  • Press the Outputs button to view the output configuration
  • Turn both Tone1 and Tone2 ON
  • Set the Pan for Tone1 all the way to the left (counter-clockwise)
  • Set the Pan for Tone2 all the way to the right (clockwise)

Input options

Line 6 POD X3 provides a capable system for routing your inputs to the appropriate signal chain.

These settings are saved individually on each patch. It is possible to have different patches use different input configurations.

Press the Inputs button to get to the input configuration page. Each signal chain can be configured with the following settings.

  • Guitar to use the standard 1/4″ guitar input
  • Microphone to use the XLR input
  • Aux (POD X3 Live only) to use the second 1/4″ input
  • Variax (POD X3 Live only) to use the Variax digital input (VDI)
  • Guitar + Aux (POD X3 Live only) to allow both 1/4″ inputs in the same signal chain
  • Guitar + Variax (POD X3 Live only) to use both the 1/4″ and VDI inputs in the same signal chain
  • Guitar + Variax + Aux (POD X3 Live only) to use both 1/4″ and VDI inputs in the same signal chain
  • Same (Tone2 only) to use the same input source as Tone1.
    Note: You will never use the Same option when using dual input sources.

Basic guitar and vocals

  • Set the input for Tone1 to Guitar
  • Set the input for Tone2 to Microphone
  • Create your guitar sound in Tone1
  • Create your vocal sound in Tone2
  • The left output of POD X3 is the guitar only signal
  • The right output of POD X3 is the vocal only signal

Advanced guitar and vocals (POD X3 Live only)

Start with the same setup as the basic guitar and vocals above. Use the right XLR output as the vocal only signal. You get a bit more flexibility with the guitar outputs on the POD X3 Live.

  • Use the left XLR output for a fully processed, studio-direct guitar sound.
  • Set the 1/4″ output mode to Studio/Direct Tone1 to output the guitar sound in stereo over the 1/4″ outputs.
  • Set the 1/4″ output mode to one of the Live modes to output the guitar sound in mono to run into a guitar amp. You still have full studio-direct vocal and guitar sounds on the XLR outs to send to the PA.

Basic guitar and bass (POD X3 Live only)

  • Set the input for Tone1 to Guitar (guitar plugs into the 1/4″ guitar input)
  • Set the input for Tone2 to Aux (bass plugs into the 1/4″ Aux input)
  • Create your guitar sound in Tone1
  • Create your bass sound in Tone2
  • The left output of POD X3 Live is the guitar only signal
  • The right output of POD X3 Live is the bass only signal

Modified basic guitar and bass (POD X3 compatible)

  • Set the input for Tone1 to Guitar (guitar plugs into the 1/4″ guitar input)
  • Set the input for Tone2 to Microphone (you will have to do a 1/4″ to XLR conversion through something like a direct box to plug your bass into the XLR input)
  • Create your guitar sound in Tone1
  • Create your bass sound in Tone2
  • The left output of POD X3 is the guitar only signal
  • The right output of POD X3 is the bass only signal

Advanced guitar and bass (POD X3 Live only)

Start with the same setup as the basic guitar and bass above. Use the right XLR output as the vocal only signal. You get a bit more flexibility with the guitar outputs on the POD X3 Live.

  • Use the right XLR output for a fully processed, studio-direct bass sound suitable for the house PA.
  • Use the left XLR output for a fully processed, studio-direct guitar sound suitable for the house PA.
  • Set the 1/4″ output mode to one of the live modes to send the left and right 1/4″ outs to guitar and bass amps while still retaining the studio-direct sound on the XLR outputs.
  • Set the 1/4″ output mode to Studio/Direct Tone1 to output the guitar sound in stereo over the 1/4″ outs (bass remains available on the right XLR out).
  • Set the 1/4″ output mode to Studio/Direct Tone2 to output the bass sound in stereo over the 1/4″ outs (guitar remains available on the left XLR out).

High tech advanced dual tones for POD X3 (bean and Live)

As a POD X3 (bean) owner you may be feeling a little left out where the POD X3 Live owners get to have extra output options due to their additional XLR outs. If you are in the studio or on a very high tech stage you can still take advantage of the advanced routing techniques using the S/PDIF output. This gives your POD X3 the true capabilities of two completely independent POD XT beans as you get full stereo on both output signals.

  • Set the 1/4″ output mode to Studio/Direct Tone1
  • Set the S/PDIF output mode to Studio/Direct Tone2

Now you have your guitar being output in full stereo on the 1/4″ outs and your vocals (or bass) being output in full stereo on the S/PDIF out of your POD X3. This is primarily a studio technique as I don’t think I’ve ever been on a stage where they were using S/PDIF ins on their snake. There may be a few live situations where this would work if you are playing a venue with a digital board. You could position your POD X3 near the board and use wireless units on your guitar and vocals/bass. This would allow the digital connection in that situation. Even in the studio this technique only works if you are able to use a digital in to your recording console (DAW or physical mixer).

If you are able to use the USB outputs of your POD X3 you get even more flexibility with your tones. Here’s how they are mapped:

  • Out 1: your guitar sound in mono
  • Out 2: your vocal (or bass) sound in mono
  • Outs 3-4: your guitar sound in stereo
  • Outs 5-6: your vocal (or bass) sound in stereo
  • Out 7: your dry guitar input (before any processing, useful for reamping)
  • Out 8: your dry vocal (or bass) input (before any processing, useful for additional studio trickery)

Related product links

Here are some direct boxes that will work well with your POD X3 if you need to plug a bass or second guitar in to the XLR input.


Behringer ULTRA-DI DI400P
price check


Behringer ULTRA-DI DI400P Passive Direct Box

Whirlwind IMP 2
price check


Whirlwind IMP 2 Standard Direct Box

Line 6 POD X3 price check


Line 6 POD X3 Guitar Multi Effect Processor

Line 6 POD X3 LIVE price check


Line 6 POD X3 LIVE Guitar Multi-Effect Pedal
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3 Responses to “POD X3 Live Tips and Tricks: Guitar and Vocals to Different Outs”

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  1. Simon says:

    Thanks, I was looking for this kind of article, since I’d like to acquire an X3 live and wondered if I could use the vocal fx capability of the X3 while retaining the ability to control my amp with the POD indepently (I typically control my guitar amp with the POD and mic it on stage to send to PA since I want to retain the amp’s character, so I don’t want to send vocal signal there). I would plug my beloved SM58 stage mic in tone 2 and send XLR out for right channel to the snake. This proves it can be done easily. Thanks again.

  2. Benjamin says:

    Thanks man. very helpful stuff

  3. David says:

    Man, can do the stuff of the guitar and bass, i panned the tone 1 to left and the tone 2 to right and both keeps sounding using the left and right outputs

    please help me :( !!!