OK...usually I have the following four patches on my POD that I spend about 95% of my playing time with...
1) Clean rhythm (bright JC120 sound with a bit of chorus and delay).
2) Clean lead (as above, but more bass and a little compression and delay).
3) Rhythm (Rectoverb sim, usually boosted with a DS1 (level up high, gain down low), and virtually no delay).
4) Lead (Soldano sim with some delay, a little more gain, and the DS1 with the same settings as above).
This is cool, as I like being able to switch between Andy Summers and Jeff Loomis, but unfortunately I don't have a footswitch for the POD, so I can't really do it on the fly.
Sooooooo...recently I've been messing around with the volume control warrior approach to getting clean sounds, inspired by the likes of Adam Jones. It hasn't worked so well with my regular distorted patches, so I've programmed a new one; IIc+ sim, with moderate gain, and a tiny bit of delay, and the gain turned up a bit more on the DS1, and an LS2 to introduce a volume cut. Both pedals are right next to each other, so I can catch them with one stomp, and go from relatively clean via a light picking attack, to full-on distortion by kicking the volume on full and engaging the DS1.
I know to a lot of guys this is kind of a no-brainer, but given I've been a fairly hard-core patch user for so long, it's very refreshing for me. I really like the way it forces you to play a little more sensitively, and makes you far more aware of the tone your pick's producing.
May spend a few more days messing with it, and see if I become a convert...
Any tips or suggestions?
The AC30 model on the POD driven moderately with a "Classic" distortion (basically a RAT clone) can be very dynamic and sensitive as well. I'd recommend playing with that some too.