Improved Overdrive Stomp Options

  • Overview


    I'm just as much a fan of amp overdrive as I am using quality pedals, though I tend to favor the latter in low to mid gain scenarios. It gives me more control over what my gain sounds like. This is why I use 3 OD pedals pre-Kemper and basically never use the Kemper's built in DIST stomps. This type of sound cannot currently be achieved with a driven amp or Kemper's built-in stomps.


    The Problem


    The Kemper (and, for that matter, Fractal, Line 6, Eleven, Atomic, and any other overdrive models I've ever heard on any digital amp or modeler) just don't do overdrives all that well. The focus is on great amps, and the overdrive sections, which is an increasingly growing market with post-rock, ambient, and worship music, is lacking. The models may be just fine, but they're lacking originality and quantity. Most players in these genres don't want a Rat or a DS-1 or a MT-2 in front of their rig, because it's just too much.


    Stacking two ODs in the Kemper stomp section just kinda results in "more" of that sound because the only real "overdrive"-style pedal is the Green Scream, which is based off a Maxon OD808. The rest are distortion or fuzz pedals. Stacking two different overdrive-style pedals allows a lot of creative freedom to really model your own personal sound.


    The Solution


    What we really need are the following additional pedals/types of pedals to really have a complete collection:

    • OD based off an Ibanez TS9 or Ibanez TS9 with JHS Tri-Screamer mod
    • OD based off a modded Boss SD-1, modded Boss BD-2, or a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET (early serial, under 1500). With the Boss pedals modded, you can get a very similar sound to the Fulltone Fulldrive 2, which is one of the most popular overdrive pedals ever, just with different amounts of gain and saturation. A MOSFET-clipping option and built-in pre/post-selectable boost would be ideal for this style OD.
    • OD based off a Klon or Klon-style pedal for low gain stage overdrives. The JHS Morning Glory, Klon KTR, or the EHX Soul Food w/ JHS Meat & 3 Mod are all great pedals within this category, and obviously the original Klon Centaur, but I dunno who has the money to drop on one of these.

    I would like to see a "Clipping Mod" knob in place on the settings of most of these, allowing different minute changes to the tone of these stomps, which would act like a "clipping" switch on a modded overdrive pedal. This would make, say, a model based off a EHX Soul Food + JHS Meet & 3 Mod, switch clipping diodes, but due to the ability of computers/modern technology, smoothly fade between options instead of "all on or all off." This could also be labeled as "Transparency," as the goal of most pedal mods is to either increase or decrease transparency in the signal.


    Additional Suggestions


    I would also like to suggest that the following refactoring of stomp types be done, since they are different things, and adding more effects results in more need for organization:

    • Move the fuzz-based DIST pedals to their own category - FUZZ. FUZZ can keep the same coloring as DIST stomps, but they aren't "distortions," and should have their own category. This includes the Muffin and Fuzz DS.
    • Move the only overdrive-style pedal model, the "Green Scream", to it's own category, OD or OVRD. It's not technically a "distortion" pedal. Again, same colors for the LED can be used here, they are, like the FUZZ, "distorting" the signal, but it is distorting it in a very different way.
    • Place the new OD models within the new category.

    Unrelated Gripe


    I would also like to query CKemper on why a Metal Zone distortion model was ever included?!? This is, perhaps, the most hated distortion pedal of all time.

    Guitars: Parker Fly Mojo Flame, Ibanez RG7620 7-string, Legator Ninja 8-string, Fender Strat & Tele, Breedlove Pro C25
    Pedalboard: Templeboards Trio 43, Mission VM-1, Morley Bad Horsie, RJM Mini Effect Gizmo, 6 Degrees FX Sally Drive, Foxpedals The City, Addrock Ol' Yeller, RJM MMGT/22, Mission RJM EP-1, Strymon Timeline + BigSky
    Stack: Furman PL-Plus C, Kemper Rack

  • I 100% concur with the OP's premise.


    For my needs and I also speak for many other KPA owners, that I personally know, if a late 90s' PRE Mosfet Fulltone Fulldrive 2 OD pedal in comp cut mode was introduced in the signal path of the KPA (in front of the KPA's very input circuit where an OD pedal is supposed to be at all times) it would be a game changer for the KPA's sonic capabilities.


    Because I'm a man who is known as a doer I'm prepared to send my beloved and rare FD2 to Christoph & Don so they can do what they need to do in order to get it into the KPA exactly as my FD2 is. Not close but exact as this FD2 pedal is that special, especially for Single Coil players.


    Christoph - if you want my pedal because you can & will attend to the request please let me know and I'll send it to you immediately.

  • I 100% concur with the OP's premise.


    For my needs and I also speak for many other KPA owners, that I personally know, if a late 90s' PRE Mosfet Fulltone Fulldrive 2 OD pedal in comp cut mode was introduced in the signal path of the KPA (in front of the KPA's very input circuit where an OD pedal is supposed to be at all times) it would be a game changer for the KPA's sonic capabilities.


    Because I'm a man who is known as a doer I'm prepared to send my beloved and rare FD2 to Christoph & Don so they can do what they need to do in order to get it into the KPA exactly as my FD2 is. Not close but exact as this FD2 pedal is that special, especially for Single Coil players.



    I'm right there with you. I don't use my FD2 MOSFET any longer, primarily because my last one broke, and I've since replaced it with other pedals that I also love. I did buy another one though, and it sits in my project drawer. I use it often for home recording. However, there's something very special about them, particularly the early serial # versions (they changed the clipping on the later versions, IMO, not for better). I prefer the "Vintage" setting myself, but there's not a single bad setting on that pedal.

    Guitars: Parker Fly Mojo Flame, Ibanez RG7620 7-string, Legator Ninja 8-string, Fender Strat & Tele, Breedlove Pro C25
    Pedalboard: Templeboards Trio 43, Mission VM-1, Morley Bad Horsie, RJM Mini Effect Gizmo, 6 Degrees FX Sally Drive, Foxpedals The City, Addrock Ol' Yeller, RJM MMGT/22, Mission RJM EP-1, Strymon Timeline + BigSky
    Stack: Furman PL-Plus C, Kemper Rack

  • This isn't a criticism, more of an observation.


    It seems like there's a general attitude (by KPA) that the effects in the profiler are sufficient. Like with the many vibe requests, I remember them stating a while back [paraphrasing] that a vibe is just a phaser and that's already included.


    If you look at all the delay parameters (diffusion, bandwidth, etc.), it seems like Kemper feels like the plethora of parameters are sufficient to produce pretty much any delay type you want with the current options. IOW, by making the current effects ultra versatile, it obviates the need to more effect types.


    That's a great design goal, but the far extreme of that would be an amp profiler/modeler where you can control every circuit component placement position and value at the resistor level. Nobody would use it.


    That's a long way of saying more dirt boxes (and other effect types too) would be great. :thumbup:

  • If the many parameters available at fx level in the Profiler are enough to generate most of the existing fx out there, I guess a bunch of excellent presets would do the trick... ;)



    a late 90s' PRE Mosfet Fulltone Fulldrive 2 OD pedal in comp cut mode was introduced in the signal path of the KPA (in front of the KPA's very input circuit where an OD pedal is supposed to be at all times)


    I believe an OD should stay in the Stomp section. The input of the Profiler should not (in terms of logic blocks) be equated to an amp's input. I believe that the amp's input (logically speaking) in the Profiler is after the A/D converter, and before the Amp block.


    :)

  • I believe an OD should stay in the Stomp section. The input of the Profiler should not (in terms of logic blocks) be equated to an amp's input. I believe that the amp's input (logically speaking) in the Profiler is after the A/D converter, and before the Amp block.:)


    If I'm understanding your statement correctly (?) there would appear to be a fundamental flaw with the KPA's input signal flow and its response and output results will never satisfy an experienced player who knows tone & recognises and is sensitive to response dynamics whilst using the internal ODs/Distortions of the KPA.


    I may have read your statement incorrectly and if I have, I do apologise, please clarify for me.


    'If' this indeed is the current architecture of the KPA no wonder many people aren't using the ODs/Distortion stomps because we all expect the same result from the KPA of plugging a guitar into an OD then from the OD directing into the input of the Tube amp. What should never be forgotten or overlooked is an actual stomp is designed and built to accept the output of a passive guitar into its input. The stomp's output is also designed and manufactured to feed the front input of an amplifier. Any implementation variance to this intention will never yield what is expected by today's guitarists.


    I truly hope I'm wrong with the above and if not, CK should consider reviewing ASAP.


    I have tried every conceivable way of altering all the ODs in the KPA over the last 3 years and I still ALWAYS yield a far better result not using them and using a regular stomp (TS808,SD1 and FD2) as you would when using a regular tube amplifier. I wish this wasn't the result as I would REALLY like to use the KPA's abilities/functions at all times.

  • As much as I would like to try different flavor drives, I noticed that using the Gain knob on the KPA always yields more satisfying drive tones that spans the whole spectrum , mid to high gain, to my ears of course. The best drive pedals usually result in making the sound of the amp thinner, in some cases tighter but it's just another flavor.


    I would imagine if Hendrix had the choice of amps we have today, he would have never used fuzz pedals, with all due respect to all the fuzz type pedals. :D

  • As much as I would like to try different flavor drives, I noticed that using the Gain knob on the KPA always yields more satisfying drive tones that spans the whole spectrum , mid to high gain, to my ears of course. The best drive pedals usually result in making the sound of the amp thinner, in some cases tighter but it's just another flavor.


    I would imagine if Hendrix had the choice of amps we have today, he would have never used fuzz pedals, with all due respect to all the fuzz type pedals. :D


    I agree and can appreciate your thoughts and comments above.


    When an external stomp is plugged directly into the front input of the KPA your current results will differ. If you read my above post you may have a different perspective and further support my request of CK.


  • Actually, my response was related to your suggestion of implementing a sort of "hardware OD" into the KPA's hardware at the input level (and I could very well be the one who misunderstood the other's post! ;) ).


    I am not really interested in this use case, but almost all those who have tried putting an OD in front of the Profiler have described their experience as "very realistic". Basically, the mantra seems to be that "the KPA takes pedals like a real amp".


    My opinion is based on the idea that the KPA is a digital processor, designed to numerically elaborate analogic data and returning a signal processed according to certain algorithms. I can't imagine that Kemper would change their hardware in the way you suggest - again, if I got you right my friend :)


  • I agree and can appreciate your thoughts and comments above.


    When an external stomp is plugged directly into the front input of the KPA your current results will differ. If you read my above post you may have a different perspective and further support my request of CK.


    Well I stand corrected. Strange enough I've had the kemper for about 5 months now and when I first got it, I didn't have luck with OD pedals plugged in. I tried yesterday an OCD or TS pedal didn't seem to work. When I read your response I pulled a Crunch BOX type box (Marshall sounding drive/Distortion), plugged it and it sounds much rounder and fuller!!
    I tried the KPA Gain Knob, but it was a disappointment as the external Drive sounded better!


    I'd like the ability to load stomp box profiles but many say it will never happen. I think it can but regardless; when I get to this kind of situation, I remind myself why I bought the Kemper, good amp tones. As much as I love the possibilities of other features, including more drives, I still think for my purposes the most critically important feature is the amp tones/sounds and unfortunately attempting to satisfy all feature request, would turn the Kemper into the do it all multi effects, almost like "Jack of all trades, Master of none".


    My personal opinion and even though I'm 100% satisfied with amp tones, foror Drives, I actually would prefer the ability to load profiles of stomp in addition to amp even if it meant sacrificing all the effects included but that's just me, An external delay/reverb in the loop would cover that.

  • A lot of chatter here, but the way it seems to work, as far as I can tell, is the "Stomps" in the Stomp A-D slots feed the amp block in a very similar way that actual pedals do. The "pre-input" stage of the Kemper seems to be between Stomp D and the Amp block, where, with an analog setup, would be the point where your pedals would output to the input of your tube amp. If we're talking about AD conversion, that's a different story, but, if the Kemper had two loops available, I would certainly run my drives in a distortion loop block. I tried that out at one point and thought it sounded just as good as pushing the front of the Kemper.


    In regards to "stomp box profiles," this would allow for users to really take advantage of profiling their own pedals (which, IMO, would be a much easier process than profiling an amp), but I don't believe the current DSP allows for that much processing. If it were possible, I'd drop my pedals off my board right away and, to my wife's chagrin, rebuild my pedalboard and rack again. I would imagine that you could profile chains of pedals as well, so the stacking problem could be consolidated into one stomp slot, which would be glorious.


    I, however unfortunately it may be, believe that the majority of users are happy with the current OD/Dist/Fuzz options the Kemper profiles, and I do believe it's a bigger priority for the Kemper team to build out a more functional software app and work on delays and reverbs, rather than figure out a way to make the DSP more efficient (or, heck, a Kemper 2.0 w/ improved DSP chip) to allow for stomp profiles, or even increase the types of pedals that are offered. Users, like myself, are certainly in the minority, though I went with Kemper because of the great amp sounds. The AxeFX, which I considered highly prior to buying the Kemper, has this sort of ability (chaining stomps and having more options, that is), but they suffer from the same issues with overdrive pedal models (sounding not quite authentic), resulting in, yet again, the need for analog stomps. Devin Townsend, for example, has used both the Kemper and the AxeFX over the years, and he still drives his amps with analog pedals. Thus the need for Kemper to come along and build up something magical.

    Guitars: Parker Fly Mojo Flame, Ibanez RG7620 7-string, Legator Ninja 8-string, Fender Strat & Tele, Breedlove Pro C25
    Pedalboard: Templeboards Trio 43, Mission VM-1, Morley Bad Horsie, RJM Mini Effect Gizmo, 6 Degrees FX Sally Drive, Foxpedals The City, Addrock Ol' Yeller, RJM MMGT/22, Mission RJM EP-1, Strymon Timeline + BigSky
    Stack: Furman PL-Plus C, Kemper Rack

    Edited once, last by dougc84 ().

  • As regards using profiled pedals as fx, it would of course not just be a matter of processor power: all the blocks logic and part of the UI would change as well. A lot of work, if you ask me.
    Pedals in the Profiler are modelled, not profiled.

  • As regards using profiled pedals as fx, it would of course not just be a matter of processor power: all the blocks logic and part of the UI would change as well. A lot of work, if you ask me.
    Pedals in the Profiler are modelled, not profiled.


    Right. I, and most of the people here, know that it's not a possibility. It would be a nice feature, and would solve a lot of problems, but it's not a thing. Thus the original request - better general stomps.

    Guitars: Parker Fly Mojo Flame, Ibanez RG7620 7-string, Legator Ninja 8-string, Fender Strat & Tele, Breedlove Pro C25
    Pedalboard: Templeboards Trio 43, Mission VM-1, Morley Bad Horsie, RJM Mini Effect Gizmo, 6 Degrees FX Sally Drive, Foxpedals The City, Addrock Ol' Yeller, RJM MMGT/22, Mission RJM EP-1, Strymon Timeline + BigSky
    Stack: Furman PL-Plus C, Kemper Rack

  • Right. I, and most of the people here, know that it's not a possibility. It would be a nice feature, and would solve a lot of problems, but it's not a thing. Thus the original request - better general stomps.


    If there's enough demand and willingness on the programmers side, it can be done much easier than you think.


    There are always possibilities.


    A way to do it would be to have the option of running two different firmware , one would be the usual that we all know and another one would for the pure guitar tone with no effects, just profiling.


    Who knows, without all the effects, they might be able to run more than one profile at the same time. It's not that others haven't done that, Lodigy comes to mind and has the option to run two different firmwares. I personally would rather the focus be on guitar tones and not guitar effects. KPA effects are great, but everyone and their mother can make good effects, yet no one can do the profiling thing so why not have the option of ditching all the effects for the ability to have stomp profiles with amp profiles at the same time.


    I wonder if I make that as a suggestion whether many would be interested..

  • This would make things more complex to manage for the user... Kemper has proven in the year to favour simplicity and straightforwardness.
    Furthermore, running a profile and one or more profiled stomps would mean to run n profiles in parallel: you can bet, if the possibility to use one profiled stomp was ever offered, many would ask for more slots... people are simply never content :D

  • This would make things more complex to manage for the user... Kemper has proven in the year to favour simplicity and straightforwardness.
    Furthermore, running a profile and one or more profiled stomps would mean to run n profiles in parallel: you can bet, if the possibility to use one profiled stomp was ever offered, many would ask for more slots... people are simply never content :D


    No more complex than using iPhones and Android devices. "People are never content" is a human condition that has probably become worse due to digital devices. It has been proven that more choices never usually translate in more satisfaction.


    Kemper or any provider of these kind of gadget have to figure out what needs to satisfy or address. Let's put it in simpler terms, no one is buying KPA for the drives or distortions, but if those can be also profiles of real worlds boxes available with Amp profiles, I think that would immediately change matters.


    This would add huge value and selling point to the KPA for all of those who will first ask, well how are the dirt boxes? The answer is always the least selling feature in the KPA, Let's be honest, Line 6 drives are simply better than those in the KPA but again, we didn't buy the KPA for the drives that it has.