The Line 6 POD Farm 2 is a tone plug in, I have recently upgraded to POD Farm 2.5 after using Farm 2 for quite some time. Version 2.5 has some flexible digital processing that will give a wider and fuller range of tones when using it. The interface is not the easiest interface to use and it has took me some time to get use to it even when I was using the standard version 2 and just purchased it I was spending some time reading through the manual to get the swing of things before I just dove right in and started using it. But as far as the sounds that you can use, they are all set up in a simple easy to understand system that are categorized by source folders and then put into another window by “name” “Author” and “type”. There is even a search bar at the top where you can do a search to bring the styles you are looking for. There are not any small hard to read text and a bunch of sub menus.
Version 2.5 has allowed me to use it has a standalone version and not even have load up my DAW. I can just open up Farm 2.5 and start playing. I was very surprised on how well 2.5 has been on my CPU too. I can load up several different instances of it without having to worry about it getting slow or crashing on me in my DAW.
You can run Farm 2 or 2.5 on a Mac or a PC as a RTAS, AU, or a VST. Most of the time I use it it in Cubase 5 or Reaper, I have only used it in Logic 1 time and really didn’t like using it in that DAW so I never did it again though it did work fine and will work fine as long as you are using version 9.2 in Logic. If you are currently using Farm 2 I recommend upgrading to version 2.5 or Farm 2.5 Platinum!
Line 6 Pod Farm 2 is a software product that can either be used as a plug-in in a DAW or as a stand-alone application. I upgraded to Pod Farm 2 from Pod Farm 1 from Gear Box. Authorization is available with iLok if you purchase the software new rather than upgrading. I purchased the software with the Gear Box interface, so I have to use that as a dongle. It is kind of annoying, but it was cheaper for me to upgrade this way rather than upgrade to the iLok.
It is really easy to get started with the software when you open it up. Line 6 has updated the graphical user interface, so it is easy to drag-and-drop gear models into the signal chain.
I haven't come across any bugs in the software. It can be pretty CPU intensive if you load a munch of gear models across all the parallel processing chains.
Something that I like about the software are the plug-in 'singles. When I am tracking guitar into my computer, I want to run my DAW at a low-buffer setting (32 samples) to reduce the monitoring latency. Monitoring with a dry, direct guitar signal just doesn't sound natural. The full version of the software can be too CPU intensive for my machine. I usually just pull up the Pod Farm Amplifier single plug-in because it is light on CPU for tracking. Then I switch over to the full version of the software during mixing (at higher-buffer settings, 1024 smaples) or one of my other amp sim plug-ins.
The are many choices available for amp sim software (Guitar Rig, Amplitube, Eleven, TH2, Revalver, etc). At this time, the modeling algorithms used in Pod Farm 2 are not state-of-the-art, as Line 6 has released 'HD' modeled amp sims in the POD HD line. Pod Farm 2 is basically a software version of the gear modeled for Pod XT and X3. The main reason I keep the software around is because there are so many more gear models available in Pod Farm 2 than any other software or hardware POD available. Pod Farm 2 has models of Matchless amps and Diezel amps that I don't find anywhere else. Even some of the Line 6 custom amps (Big Bottom) are unique enough to keep around. Hopefully, Line 6 gets around to modeling of this gear using their HD algorithms soon. I'd happily upgrade again, even if I have to keep the stupid Gear Box interface dongle.
Line 6 POD Farm 2 (now in version 2.5) is Line 6's latest software version of their amplifier and effect emulation. In comes in two forms. A standalone that can send wet guitar signals directly to a DAW, and the capability to utilize Line 6's hardware direct monitoring. It also includes the VST, RTAS plugin version of the software, which can be inserted into any standard DAW, and it allows for the tweaking and changing of the effects and amplifiers after the tracks are recorded. The plugin version has the same preset format as the standalone, so it is very easy to switch between presets on the two different platforms. The plugin version also includes lightweight, individual effect versions of the emulation software, such as Delays, Reverbs, Filters, Mods, Guitar Amps, Bass Amps, and more. This way, if you only need to add delay, you don't need to load the entire plugin.
Line 6's standalone works great, and I have never experienced any lag or excessive cpu usage. The plugins are another story. If you are planning on having 5, or 10, or more instances of the Pod Farm plugin, you may soon run into cpu problems. The plugin, particularly the amplifier, cabinet, and microphone modeling, are very cpu-intensive. This is similar to other cabinet-emulating effects and plugins, as they are usually done with convolution (just like convolution reverb), and that is extremely resource intensive.
The overall sounds of Line 6's Pod Farm are what you'd expect from Line 6: pretty descent emulations, but extremely versatile, and in the software formats, extremely convenient. I find myself using Pod Farm all the time on vocals, and for scratch tracking heavy guitars. There is clearly a difference between the emulated Mesa Boogie sound and the real thing, but for getting new song ideas, scratch tracks, quickly recording ideas, Pod Farm cannot be beat.
Line 6 has always been known are one of the leaders when it comes to the modeling world. The POD was a huge success, and having a software form that works in your DAW only made sense. POD Farm was released back then, and it was a pretty big hit. This time, they improved upon the VST even more. The interface itself is extremely easy to you. Everything is laid out in a user friendly manner, and recreating your favorite preset from your POD should be a cinch. In fact, I actually find it easier to work with on the computer than scrolling through all the menus on the actual POD. I never read the manual, so I can't comment on that. However, Line 6 usually does a pretty good job at writing manuals. As stated, the actual configuration of everything is nice and easy. I just load it up into my favorite DAW on its own buss, and it's good to go from there.
I never experienced any crashing with this. It was pretty rock stable, for the most part. In fact, I can't really recall the last time I had a Line 6 program crash on me, but I'm sure there are some out there who have had it happen to them. I'm running a Mac Pro with Logic Studio 9, so that could be one reason why I experience stability with this plugin. I've never tried this particular one on a PC, so your results may vary. The VST itself isn't too much of a huge memory hog, but I have experienced a few issues with the computer bogging down when I'm adding a ton of these to separate busses. If you're lacking RAM and processing power, it might be something of a concern. I've been using the software for the past year now.
Overall, if you liked the POD stuff, you'll like POD Farm 2. That said, I'm not the biggest fan of POD stuff because it still feels just like a modeler to me. You have that specific trebly and grainy sound that can't be dialed out, and it lacks the dynamics and feel of a real tube amp. If you can, I highly recommend using a real amp for tracking your stuff.