There’s nothing quite like the Line 6 BackTrack out there at the moment. Ever tried to record a guitar riff on your iPod or phone? Not always the best sound quality, huh? Well the BackTrack is a tiny recording device which you can plug in between your guitar and amp, or use the built-in microphone if you want to capture the sound of your amp or even your full band.
The first thing I looked for when I plugged into the BackTrack was the amp modelling. This is Line 6, after all, creators of the venerable Pod. But amp modelling is nowhere to be found. If you really wanted to use it to record riffs as you noodle on the sofa, consider placing a Pocket Pod between your guitar and the BackTrack. If you record a riff you like and you don’t want to hear it back as just a clean guitar part, simply play it through your amp, and a properly-impedence-matched version will shake through your bedroom or rehearsal studio as if you were playing it yourself live.
You can hook this little puppy up to your guitar strap or even Velcro it to your pedalboard so you can record rehearsal-room inspiration, but if I was to buy one (and I think I might), I would use it for live gigs. I tend to improvise most of my solos, but occasionally, if we record a gig, I find an improvisation I like, and then learn it as the permanent solo. With the BackTrack I can have a permanent record of all my live solos, so I won’t be bound by the economic realities of which gigs we can afford to multitrack, or the technical limitations of a handheld camcorder.
This is such a cool idea that it belongs in every guitar case or gig bag, whether you’re a guitarist or bassist, and while its main use is to record guitar parts through the direct input, it can also be a very handy way of keeping a record of the full band in the jam room.