Impressed with Kemper's Compressor Stomp

  • That’s because the profiles respond the way the profiled amps respond. :)

    That's because they respond the way the profiled amp responds at its sweet spot volume which frequently is way too loud for most of us to get away with in the physical analog world. The KPA makes a raging Plexi on 10 a viable option at normal rehearsal volume. 8)

  • Stumbled across something last night that I wanted to double check this morning with fresh ears and it's confirmed. Every single one of the 12 rigs I loaded the last couple of days sounds best with 0.00 compression in the amp stack. At first I thought it was just the cleaner amps but it's everything from crystal clean to smoking dirt. I do use a little compression (always on) to help smooth things outs right after the guitar so the stacking is the issue.


    This is now on the checklist with every new rig.

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • Stumbled across something last night that I wanted to double check this morning with fresh ears and it's confirmed. Every single one of the 12 rigs I loaded the last couple of days sounds best with 0.00 compression in the amp stack. At first I thought it was just the cleaner amps but it's everything from crystal clean to smoking dirt. I do use a little compression (always on) to help smooth things outs right after the guitar so the stacking is the issue.


    This is now on the checklist with every new rig.

    As with everything this is a matter of personal taste and depending on the amp that’s profiled I have a totally different opinion about this.

    Note that when profiling the amp compressor will always be set to zero.

    Dialing in some amp compression fine-tunes the amp and helps (in some cases dramatically) it to clean up better when dialing back the volume on the guitar. In many cases one trick pony distortion amps suddenly become very capable allrounders that let me control everything with my guitar. IOW the responsiveness of an amp can be vastly improved.

    I go as far as to say that the Profiler's amp compressor (no other modeller has it btw) is one of its best features. ;)

  • I was a hard line user of the amps compressor. Usually ended up somewhere between 1.0 and 2.0. But it's having a negative affect when stacked with the Wampler Ego in the loop. The KPA compressor is great! Was using it with clean rigs all the time but I wanted to free up a slot so I got a stomp. The really nice thing with the Ego is I have instant access to a blend knob which I can tweak on the fly as needed.


    Do you guys still use Amp compression if you are also using compression in front of the stack?

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • As far as my experience goes, the amp compressor only really comes in to effect when you roll down the guitar volume knob (or ease back on the volume pedal pre Stack). I don’t hear it’s effect until then, and then only on dirty Rigs. To my ears, it doesn’t colour the sound, but even out the volume, so the rolled back signal doesn’t disappear. Am I wrong?

  • I was a hard line user of the amps compressor. Usually ended up somewhere between 1.0 and 2.0. But it's having a negative affect when stacked with the Wampler Ego in the loop. The KPA compressor is great! Was using it with clean rigs all the time but I wanted to free up a slot so I got a stomp. The really nice thing with the Ego is I have instant access to a blend knob which I can tweak on the fly as needed.


    Do you guys still use Amp compression if you are also using compression in front of the stack?

    I'n sure I understand you there Don.


    Surely using the EGO in the loop also ties up a Stomp (the loop being the stomp).


    If you put the EGO in front of the Stack (or even in front of the input of the KPA to free up a Stomp) it personrs a vastly different role from the Amp Compressor or putting the KPA Compressor after the Stack.


    If the advantage of the EGO is just the ability to blend in some dry signal, you can do that with the KPA compressor using the Mix control on page 2.


    I'm not saying the KPA Compressor is the answer to everyone's requirements. Many compressors are far from transparent and the sound they create is sometimes exactly what someone wants whereas a more transparent compressor might do the job of leveling dynamics perfectly well without adding that "special" sound someone is looking for. In your case the EGO may be the perfect solution for you for many reasons. However, unless I'm missing something I don't see the connection with the Amp Compressor issue.

  • Alan, here's my setup:


    Guitar > KPA > A-Wah > B-Loop: Compressor, EQ/clean boost (the Empress has both), 4 different dirt pedals > C+D open > AMP > X-EQ > mod, dly, rev.


    The EQ in the loop is used to help even out different guitars and then the Studio EQ in X is to cut off below ~80 and above ~4.5K. I still have the 2 bands of PEQ if needed for a particular rig. I wanted the comp before all gain and EQ but the dirt has to go post wah. Plus I like using a pure boost with clean amps instead a dirt pedal. Using the loop this way saves me 2 slots; I wanted to keep C+D open to be used for whatever I'm in the mood for.


    And having the EGO's knobs is much faster than using the KPA for tweaks. Re: Amp comp. Having it on along with the EGO doesn't sound as good as off in all examples I've tried.

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • Just to be technically clear, if you put a compressor into slot A-D somewhere and run it into a high gain rig, you aren't compressing the gained tone. You are compressing the raw signal. It then runs into an amp model that makes it gainy and compresses it some further (but not necessarily). Using a compressor pre-stack would effectively change how everything sounds after applying gain, but it's not technically the same as placing a compressor after the stack and compressing the gained sound, which in turn would yield a different effect. It's the latter that is a supposed "no-no", and I suspect more so in a live situation than studio. I got the impression that that wasn't entirely clear, but it's an important distinction. Compressing the signal going into the stack can be very beneficial.

  • I don't know man. I am a certified compressor pedal-holic and I just have not been able to find the sweet spot on the Kemper comp stomp. Can you guys share some of your settings? I mostly like to run a comp in front of a slightly dirty or crunchy amp. Wampler Ego, Diamond, Xotic SP, Ross, Analogman, Keeley, Freidman, I have them all lol. :) My current favorite is the Sir Comp-Pre. I love how you can add a little grit to the comp. I wish I could simulate this on the Kemper.

  • OK I see now about the EGO itself doing more than one job. I also understand the ease of tweaking the knobs. One thing I would REALLy love would be for the KPA to let me assign the instant acces knobs to ANY functionality I choose rather than being locked to just Rev Mix etc. This would solve the problem of have quick access to all/most parameters of a go to pedal.


    As for Amp Comp V EGO. The Amp Comp is doing a totally different jobat a totally different point n the chain so it isn’t surprising it sounds different. To be honest I rarely use compressors. Even in my old analog set up where I had a Cali76 I hardly used it. So I’m not the best person to comment of personal preference. When I read your previous post I started tweaking the Amp Compression and placed a compressor FX both before and after the Stack. My comparison tests came out as expected though. Before gain stops the amp from cleaning up when rolling back the guitar volume i.e. it makes the amp less responsive to input. Post Stack work like having a comprssor on a channel of the desk/DAW and lets the amp respond to input dynamics while still levelling the sound. Amp compression behaves more like a cranked valve amp and levels the output while really making the profile super sensitive to the guitar volume pot and picking dynamics.


    I don’t think it is possible to say one sounds “better” than another. They are just totally different beasts soit depends on the objective. For me personally, I liked the way the Amp Compression worked but I still probably won’t use it much.

  • I'm old school. Compressor goes 2nd in the signal chain after the guitar. A tuner goes 1st.

    The only reason it historically goes there was to avoid rasing the noise floor from prefious effects. It’s less of an issue with modern digital technology but still has some merit.

  • The only reason it historically goes there was to avoid raising the noise floor from previous effects.

    Yes and no. There's a basic fundamental reason for wanted it first which has nothing to do with noise. I've read that at the bottom of one of the 10 commandment tablets it's inscribed: "Thou Shalt set up Guitar Chains: Dynamics > Gain > Modulation" :)

    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  • Yes and no. There's a basic fundamental reason for wanted it first which has nothing to do with noise. I've read that at the bottom of one of the 10 commandment tablets it's inscribed: "Thou Shalt set up Guitar Chains: Dynamics > Gain > Modulation" :)

    The commandments were written to be broken. Sin a little you might like it :evil: