Another noob with Fizz issues.

  • Alright, well I've been playing with my KPA for about a week and a half. I know I still have a lot to learn about but for now I would just REALLY like to get some decent sound out of it.

    Everything I play through has a harsh fizz when I but any kind of crunch or distortion on it (not talking crazy overdriven).

    I've been lurking around here the past week looking for threads and trying other people's fixes for it but I can't seem to get rid of it.

    I'm just using the two main outputs going into a Digi002 and coming out of some Rokits. The sound quality is no better on headphones either. I've tried making sure levels are all nice and low and never getting any red lights from my ins or outs.

    my guitar has seymour duncan humbucker and duckbuckers in it. Even if I turn my guitar volume way down the fizz persists.

    I just can't seem to get that nice crunchy distortion going on and am plagued by this fizz. I don't have much time today so tomorrow I plan to go over everything again and update this thread as I go through the process in th ehopes that someone can tell me where I'm screwing up. It seems to come from the Amp section of the stack a because when I turn it off I can hear my guitar and it sounds clear but obviously is way too quiet and lacking much character. I've tried turning down the definition and it helps a little but not fully. Same with adding in some pre-EQ and dialing down the highs . Even when it gets muddy I still have this fizz.

    Thinking I could just have my levels off somewhere (hopefully) but I THINK I've already checked that. Though I'll try it again tomorrow.

    So frustrating to know what the Kemper is capable of and not be able to get it going. I haven't had this problem with software amplifiers before either so I'm tempted to say it isn't anything with the guitar. I'm borrowing a friend's strat soon so I'll be giving that a little bit of time probably.

    Thanks in advance for any and all help.

  • There's nothing wrong with your Kemper, or the Profiles, nothing wrong with your pickups, or soundcard/monitors, your ears just don't like the tone.

    I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but I'm afraid that's just the way it is because everyone who tries the Kemper is not just satisfied with the tones, they're immediately astonished by the tones.

    So I have to ask you some questions. :)
    What previous gear have you used, amps, modellers, etc?
    What guitars are you using with your Kemper?
    What was your last amp/modeller that you used prior to getting the Kemper and what guitar did you use with your previous amp/modeller?
    Have you previously spent time in a studio recording mic'd amps?

    Is it possible that your ears just need TIME to get used to the realism of what an amp sounds like when mic'd in a studio?

  • Switch off the noise gate, set the clean sense lower, try again. Don't be shy to use the controls. Also lower the master: the fizz could be outboard gear's clipping. The KPA can be quite hot anyway over -20 db on the Master Output.

    "Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" Serghei Rachmaninoff

  • because everyone who tries the Kemper is not just satisfied with the tones, they're immediately astonished by the tones.

    Well. not really, but its nice to have the Kemper.
    A real tube amp, cranked, beats the hell out of the Kemper Amp in any live situation. The Kemper is nice to have for recording or practicing.
    I still hear the problems with the Kemper which are still present in tone and feeling since day one. And I own it since day one (more or less)
    So, NOT everyone is,was or will be immediately astonished by the tones.

    I don't like it when the "core members" here with their millions of posts, write down such wrong statements and tell those to people who are just new here.
    It might lead them in a wrong direction.
    Tone is always very personal, especially the Guitartone ;-)

    Rock on, brother

    PS: To the OP
    Look in the master output section (monitor section cab sim on etc, eq flat, DB not too high)
    Many profiles need special EQ settings to make em sound more real. Dial back the higher frequencies.
    Maybe add some mid lows (at least play with them), cause they sometimes can add a certain warmth to the tone.
    Use a slot and add a Master EQ or Graphic EQ. Play with some settings.
    The majority of profiles are way to harsh. Start to work on them with your own guitar.
    Push input section button and play with these controls, too.
    Be sure none of the red Led's (Input and output) are on too long/often.
    Avoid Red LED in the output sections, cause digital distortion could be the result.

    Use your own years, not others (not even mine ;-))

  • When I first fired up the KPA, I had to play through headphones - Sennheiser HD 280 pro's. These always have a bit more fizz to any sound. If I record a clip and play it in my car, or if I'm playing through my monitors or my Alto TS112, the fizz is tamed. I must assume its due to comb filters from reflections on walls, ceiling, car interior, etc.

    Anyway, my first impression was similar to yours - a lot of the factory profiles felt a bit harsh and fizzy. But roll back presence, then if you need a bit more treble, turn up treble to compensate. Then I started feeling it. And once I found some better profiles and learned to tweak them better, I felt it was incredible.

    Also, many profiles are "raw" - signal straight from the mic with no post processing. Many guitar tones use a nice low pass to trim all that fizz off, which can be a natural side effect of many mics.

  • Tone is always very personal.

    That's exactly what I told him..."your ears just don't like the tone"

    This 'core member' has had a different experience to you, I've yet to meet anyone (in my country) that hasn't been amazed by the Kemper tone.

  • First thing I would try would be to bypass the interface and hear the output straight from the kemper. If the rockit's are powered you should be able to do so. Also, just check if you have the headphones turned on in the background as you might be hearing noise from them as fizz! Get the rig manager going and use some of the well known profiles with different gain structures and see if you can hear this noise or fizz. Lastly, make sure you guitar is screened and cables are good...if any noise seems to go down when you to touch the strings this is a clear indicator. If you use the noise gate you can take out the instrument noise easily. Try a full range speaker.

  • The Kemper veterans often stress that the Kemper is like recording an amp through a mic. Have you ever done that with a real amp? I have, it's fizzy as hell too. So basically this means the KPA needs to be heavily EQ'd in order to sound "right", that's what most people aren't telling you.

    Here's my workflow:

    1. Adjust the clean sense in the input section so the input LED barely lits yellow. If this control is too high playing articulation is sacrificed.

    2. Some times I lower the definition control in the amp block, that helps to tame the fizz especially if you're getting that "too-much-twang-ice-pick" tone.

    3. Raising the bias control in the amp block a little (I use 1.0 - 1.5) also helps to get rid of a sort of annoying high frequency pick attack that I suspect happens because the KPA gain curve is exponential when IMHO it should be logarithmic. It's even possible that raising the bias takes care of that.

    4. In the EQ block, turn that treble down! I often go with values around -1.0

    5. I almost always use a soft shaper with drive at 0.5 in the "X" slot to simulate speaker breakup and give the tone a richer "cascading gain stages" harmonic structure

    6. Dial the delay bandwidth to 3.5 and the center frequency to -1.5, that's what sounds the most natural to my ears. For some reason if I don't do that, just by adding delay I get (unwanted) brightness in my tones

    Good luck!

  • After reading through all the responses about taming and EQing things, I have to say that after owning my used Kemper about one month, the described experience hasn't been close to mine. All of my rigs sound pretty great. If I do need to EQ something, it's my preference that's driving that. Other than turning down the clean sense in the input settings, it's been the best sounding piece of gear I've ever owned.

    I will say this though, I started the first night I got the KPA with a cheap set of monitors and it sounded horrible the way the first post describes. I switched to an HS8 and it changed quality for the positive by a perceived 80%.


    P.S. From Deny's post number 5 is a pro tip, awesome.

  • A real tube amp, cranked, beats the hell out of the Kemper Amp in any live situation.

    Are you saying that the public hears a much better tone from the PA with a mic'ed amp than with the profiler? I don't buy this. Unless the profiler is treated very badly by the mix guy.
    Are you rather saying that you hear from the stage a much better tone with an amp than with the profiler? How are you listening to your profiler when you're on stage?

    To the OP: answering some of the questions that have been asked from the other posters would help a lot us helping you, :) While waiting for your answer, some ideas:

    It's perfectly possible that both your HP system and your monitors are not really linear and transparent, nor good-sounding. If you can, I'd take the Profiler to some professional audio stores and try some serious PA with it. You would then have a very good reference point about how it's supposed to sound like. And use untweaked profiles!


  • Quoted from "Guitartone"
    because everyone who tries the Kemper is not just satisfied with the tones, they're immediately astonished by the tones.

    Well. not really, but its nice to have the Kemper.
    A real tube amp, cranked, beats the hell out of the Kemper Amp in any live situation. The Kemper is nice to have for recording or practicing.
    I still hear the problems with the Kemper which are still present in tone and feeling since day one. And I own it since day one (more or less)
    So, NOT everyone is,was or will be immediately astonished by the tones.

    I don't know about all this. For me the main difference between recording and live is volume. So if a recorded tone sounds good cranked up loud, then if you can use that same tone live it should sound just as good.

    For live use, most people are mic'ing a cab and sending that to a PA. I have a lot of trouble believing that you're going to get a better signal mic'ing a cab onstage or backstage during a soundcheck than in a professional studio.

    I may be more inclined to agree that an unmic'ed cab tone can sound better than the KPA's tones, but that's kind of apples to oranges. In any case, guitar cabs aren't suitable for disbursing sound to a wide area, so it's either only good for practice, or you need to buy a whole lot of them to actually cover a crowd.

    I agree with many people that the KPA doesn't capture the thick low end perfectly, but I don't think it's an least not for me. That low end is gonna interfere with the bass player. As for the high end, I really don't hear it - I've tried to hone in on it and everytime I think I hear the difference I do a blind test and can't consistently get it correct.

  • Wow, Thanks for all the support you guys!

    Great tips and advice and really makes a guy feel welcome in this community.

    I swear this forum is one of the best things kemper has going for it!

    Here's the deal. I just opened up my guitar cleaned everything immaculately, I found a solder connection that looked "ok" but I re-did it anyways since I was in there. I fixed some minor intonation issues after a restring and I can't even believe the difference it made..... my mind is literally blown.

    It seems like witchcraft to me because I honestly didn't expect it to fix anything but my guitar just CAME ALIVE! One of my pickups had some crap inside it that I have no idea what it was, plastic bits or something?

    At any rate I plan to use all the tips here to further play with the tones but I think this is a legitimate point to be made to all new kemper users. the "s#*& in S#*& out" mantra is VERY true.

    I'm amazed how big a difference it made and I suppose it is testament to how sensitive this gear is. The same guitar did not have any problems playing through my AC30 head or a Randall solid state OR other software but the kemper took whatever was going on and really brought it out. Dust, dirt, a not so great solder? whatever it was it is gone!

    Right now my tones are sounding SICK! and VERY workable.

    So happy.

    Thanks for all the help guys.

  • Glad to hear it's sorted out and you're getting great tones we can say, Welcome to the club!. :)

    With regards to distortion.
    If a guitars intonation is really bad then basically the guitar is never in tune.
    With clean tones there's a bit of leeway, but with distorted tones an 'out of tune' guitar will sound terrible and possibly even interpret as 'fizz'.

    You'll find with the Kemper you don't have to use all the amazing EQ options to 'fix' a Profile, a good Profile will sound good immediately, the additional EQ stomps are just 'gravy' over and above the EQ knobs on the front panel.

  • Great post! My sentiments exactly! ;)

  • Its the old junk in junk out.

    There are some OK profiles out there, some rubbish ones and some fantastic ones.
    Stick with it and tweak one or two to help get 'your' sound.

    I have and truly believe the Kemper is a fantastic and versatile bit of kit.