Tuning for Cab or direct?

  • Hi everyone,
    i hope you don't mind me opening like a gazillion threads on different subjects, but the whole kemper thing is new for me and i have loads of questions :S


    So, i currently play through beyer dt770 at home and through a H&K 4x12 at rehearsal. I find both solutions sound great. I adjusted the global eq for the cab a bit, but mostly i'm really happy. But every time i run through any PA or such and use the build in cabs i really don't enjoy the sound. It's harsh, fizzy and generally lacking warmth.
    One of the points of getting a kemper was to play direct live. So, since a new cab is on the horizon i'm debating going either normal 2x12 and keep micing my cab live, or go with a FRFR and start tuning my profiles/eq's for that. I'm not sure i'm able to get the sound through PA close to the Sound through Headphones though. Is there any difference between Headphone out and Main out? They seem to sound really different. Or is it just, that I've only played through bad PA's?


    Any input on that matter is welcome :thumbup:

  • Ask yourself whether you play for yourself or play for the audience... I think the answer is obvious or at least it should be. From my own experience i suggest to use some decent and not too small near field monitors to setup your rigs at home. Finetune by playing along and record yourself to some multitracks or instrumentals similar to the style of music that you will play live. Keep the guitars at mix level there while judging the tone. This will help you to get the sounds balanced and translating nicely for the FOH PA when playing live.


    Your own live monitoring is a different story. Going FRFR has a lot of advantages compared to using guitar cabs but it will take some time to get used to it. Chosing a FRFR monitor that suits your own listening "flavour" nicely can also be a challenge.

  • Ask yourself whether you play for yourself or play for the audience... I think the answer is obvious or at least it should be. From my own experience i suggest to use some decent and not too small near field monitors to setup your rigs at home. Finetune by playing along and record yourself to some multitracks or instrumentals similar to the style of music that you will play live. Keep the guitars at mix level there while judging the tone. This will help you to get the sounds balanced and translating nicely for the FOH PA when playing live.


    Your own live monitoring is a different story. Going FRFR has a lot of advantages compared to using guitar cabs but it will take some time to get used to it. Chosing a FRFR monitor that suits your own listening "flavour" nicely can also be a challenge.


    So you're saying my Headphones might be the culprit? I already record tracks for our upcoming studio session (backing tracks) and they sound great. It's just that all Profiles sound vastly different through the PA at out rehearsal room. Nearly as if the Cab simulation is off...

  • beyer dt770


    Culprit? Could well be.


    This is a high quality product and its present in so many studios. BUT: Usually its meant to be used to double check a mix more on the consumer and HIFI side. Technically this means a more or less smile EQ frequency response. And in dead the 770 is known for its slightly low midrange response. This could well lead into problems when judging guitar tones.


    The 770 is the "softest", "nicest" or "sweetest" I own. But with very high resolution!

  • So, what would you recommend for checking my profiles for "direct tone through PA"? Sadly, i'm not allowed to play loud in my apartment, so basically it's down to headphones. Plus i'd like to not spend massive amounts of money on them...

  • Tune it for yourself, the audience won't care about your guitar sound anyways.... :D
    But seriously: try FRFR, if you can live with not having a guitar cab on stage then it's the best thing you can do - perfect sound for you and your audience.

    MJT Strats / PRS Guitars / Many DIY Guitars -- Kemper Profiler Rack / Kemper Remote / InEar

  • Tried it again with my shure se215. Now, i've got more high end clarity obviously. But not as major a mid push as i experienced on the PA.


    Maybe we could try a different method. I'll be in our rehearsal room on Sunday. Could anyone tell me a profile of either a Mesa Mark 4/5, 5150, or Bogner XTC/Shiva which they really like played direct? I'll then use those and relisten. Maybe i just need to reset my expectations coming from years of playing through a 4x12 cab...

  • Try any of the MBritt profiles without any tweaks. While I think they are a bit dull on lower volume levels they are perfectly fine tuned for loud FOH applications.

    MJT Strats / PRS Guitars / Many DIY Guitars -- Kemper Profiler Rack / Kemper Remote / InEar

  • I gave all the MBritt profiles from RE a whirl. I surely see where they are totally different eq and might work great direct through a PA. I also started turning up the volume on the headphones and they opend really up in sound. Really Interesting stuff ^^

  • Tried it again with my shure se215. Now, i've got more high end clarity obviously. But not as major a mid push as i experienced on the PA.


    Maybe we could try a different method. I'll be in our rehearsal room on Sunday. Could anyone tell me a profile of either a Mesa Mark 4/5, 5150, or Bogner XTC/Shiva which they really like played direct? I'll then use those and relisten. Maybe i just need to reset my expectations coming from years of playing through a 4x12 cab...


    That is a big part of the equation with the KPA in my experience...


    For me, there is no way to get a rig that sounds great through the FOH and also sounds like a real cab to me. Don't misunderstand, I don't mean that to be a bad thing, but when I listen to my amp through my 4x12 there is no mic involved - it's cab to ears and it's just different, not better or worse.


    After some time, you'll get used to hearing your tones "mix ready." But it does take some getting used to.

  • when I listen to my amp through my 4x12 there is no mic involved - it's cab to ears and it's just different, not better or worse.


    Merged Rigs offer an option you might prefer - the Main Output send to the PA includes a mic and cabinet, and the Monitor Output send to a linear power amp and guitar cabinet does not include a mic.

  • Merged Rigs offer an option you might prefer - the Main Output send to the PA includes a mic and cabinet, and the Monitor Output send to a linear power amp and guitar cabinet does not include a mic.


    Absolutely, and there are times when I do that as well. But it seemed the OP was using IEMs for reference (I also have the 215s...but I upgraded to the 535 and it really made a world of difference.)


    Which does bring up a big point - I reference through my 535s (which really are light years more accurate than the 215s) Atomic CLRs, and QSC K10s or K12s, along with potentially my studio monitors (Presonus Eris.)


    It's AMAZING how often I think I've got something dialed in on one listening environment and then I notice something really glaring on another. When I fix the problem and go back, I realize I never really noticed it there.


    I guess it's kind of like listening to mixes on multiple sets of speakers... some will point out things you might not catch in other places.


    That's just my experience, of course, and I've gotten a lot better at judging what my profiles sound like just from the CLR or just from my 535s... but that's taken a really long time and a lot of trial and error.

  • Rigs that sound fine for recording often need the presence dialing back for live application. Just talk regularly to the front of house engineer until you have a happy medium.