Differences between studio and merged profiles

  • In a studio profile the cab portion of a profile is an estimation by the cabdriver algorithm.
    In a merged profile the cab portion is accurate because a merged profile is a studio profile minus the direct amp profile.
    This is especially important when you play with real cabs and don't want another piece of cab portion baked in a studio profile and superimposed on your own cab.


    I will say though that in times before merged profiles were available I got excellent results with cabdriver as well.

  • Hi everybody
    Which is the difference between the merged and the studio profiles? Thanks

    Hello gfex, and welcome to the community,


    The question you have asked can be answered by reading the KPA's "Deeper View & Reference Manual"...in particular, pages 28 thru 33, and can be downloaded here:


    https://www.kemper-amps.com/downloads/5/User-Manuals


    Seriously, read the manual, there is a wealth of excellent information and you will learn so much about the features and capabilities of your KPA, and how to get the most out of your profiling amp. :)


    However, to answer your question directly, here is something I wrote up for an earlier thread with a similar topic:


    ------------------------------------------------------


    There are three (3) basic types of profiles.


    A) Studio -- This is the "normal" profile, and represents the vast majority of all the profiles out in the wild (including factory, commercial, and free). The Studio profile is a combination of the Amp and the Cabinet. In order to be able to switch (or remove) the Cabinet, the KPA has to figure out what contribution the "Cabinet" makes to the profile. To do this, the KPA employs an intelligent algorithm, called Cab Driver, which calculates and determines best approximation in order to separate the Cabinet from the Amp. It works amazingly well. However, Kemper saw opportunity to create a perfect separation, which leads us to Direct/Merged profiles, discussed next.


    B) Direct Amp -- This is a profile process that employs a suitable DI box. The DI box takes the signal from the speaker output of the Amp, and sends an XLR/line level signal to the Return Input on the Kemper for the profile process. The DI box needs to have a speaker thru connection which sends the amp's high voltage/high wattage speaker level signal on to the connected guitar cabinet (a tube amp needs to be connected to a load). There is no microphone connected to the KPA during the Direct Amp profiling process.


    C) Merged -- This requires a secondary step, after the Direct Amp profiling process. Immediately after capturing the Direct Amp profile, and without making any changes to the amp settings, a normal "Studio" profile is made. The KPA now has data from just the amp (Direct amp profile), as well as the combination Amp + Cab from the Studio profile. The person making the profile (i.e., the original author) then uses the MERGE function, and Merges the Direct and Studio profiles. This is now a Merged profile, which allows the KPA to perfectly separate and subtract the Cab part of the profile from the Amp. Obviously, if the person making the profile only wants the Direct Amp (no cabinet), then the second step and subsequent Merge procedure is not applicable.


    -----------------------------------------


    Cheers,
    John

  • That does mean that with a merged profile you can do everything that can be done with a direct and a studio profile, correct ?

    Well, there are guys who stated that studio profiles sound different from merged profiles, although the same amp, settings, cab, mics,... were used.

  • You can use any with an amp and a cab, but DA profiles will give you a more realistic and accurate emulation of the preamp and power amp stages minus the cab and mic, with the interactions between the power amp and cab left intact.

  • Thanks. now it is clear (I have still to read carefully the big manual.... sorry but I am a bit lazy..:)).
    The Direct Amp profiles are the ones that have to be used with an amp and a cab right?


    Further to the reply by @sambrox....


    While Merged or DA profiles are specifically tailored for using with a KPA connected to a traditional guitar cabinet (via external power amp, if it is a non-powered KPA), you can still use either of the three types of profiles in the same manner.


    That is to say, you can still use a Studio profile when playing your KPA through a traditional guitar cab. You just have to disable the Cabinet module. In this case, the KPA employs the CabDriver algorithm to make an intelligent calculation in order to determine how to separate and remove the contribution of the mic'd cabinet from the full signal.
    The benefit of the Merged profile format rests in the fact that the KPA does not have to implement the CabDriver algorithm, as a Direct Amp profile has already been made, which allows the KPA to separate the amp and cab with complete authenticity and accuracy (there is no approximation involved).

  • In a studio profile the cab portion of a profile is an estimation by the cabdriver algorithm.
    In a merged profile the cab portion is accurate because a merged profile is a studio profile minus the direct amp profile.
    This is especially important when you play with real cabs and don't want another piece of cab portion baked in a studio profile and superimposed on your own cab.


    I will say though that in times before merged profiles were available I got excellent results with cabdriver as well.

    This is what I don't get. A studio profile is the more organic of the two, no? I mean in merged you're separating the amp from the cab and joining them again so you're adding more digital processing into the mix?

  • Further to the reply by @sambrox....


    While Merged or DA profiles are specifically tailored for using with a KPA connected to a traditional guitar cabinet (via external power amp, if it is a non-powered KPA), you can still use either of the three types of profiles in the same manner.


    That is to say, you can still use a Studio profile when playing your KPA through a traditional guitar cab. You just have to disable the Cabinet module. In this case, the KPA employs the CabDriver algorithm to make an intelligent calculation in order to determine how to separate and remove the contribution of the mic'd cabinet from the full signal.
    The benefit of the Merged profile format rests in the fact that the KPA does not have to implement the CabDriver algorithm, as a Direct Amp profile has already been made, which allows the KPA to separate the amp and cab with complete authenticity and accuracy (there is no approximation involved).

    I actually for the most part use studio profiles with Cabs ON through whatever speaker I'm using, whether it's a regular guitar cab or FRFR.

  • This is what I don't get. A studio profile is the more organic of the two, no? I mean in merged you're separating the amp from the cab and joining them again so you're adding more digital processing into the mix?

    A studio profile is not more organic.
    How did you make this up?
    And regarding to merged profiles: It's not 'more digital processing' to me, it's simple math.

  • What is good? ;) If the profiling was done in one go, i.e. doing the studio profile, then the direct amp profile, then the merging, without changing any settings between the two profiles, the merged profile will sound like the studio profile.

    Right. Probably some merged profiles sound different because the settings were changed cause the profiles were not done at the same time, or one standard profile was used to mix the merged variants.

  • If the profiling was done in one go, i.e. doing the studio profile, then the direct amp profile, then the merging, without changing any settings between the two profiles, the merged profile will sound like the studio profile.

    I'm seriously confused about this statement.

    Isn't the studio profile you refer to above a NON-merged profile? Isn't Cabdriver the ONLY way to separate a cab from the amp in non-merged profiles? If that's true wouldn't the studio profile and the merged profile sound different?


    After trying this many times there's always a difference in my studio profiles vs. the direct amp profiles merged with the studio profile's cab even when the profiles are taken back to back. They're close but definitely not the same.

    I don't understand how can the KPA can separate the amp and cab in the non-merged studio profile in order to use the cab on a direct profile without using Cabdriver.


    Theoretically, knowing both the direct profile and a combination of direct and cab (studio profile) would allow separating the amp and cab, but how does the KPA know that the cab copied from a non-merged studio profile "goes with" the direct profile it's being pasted into so that it can calculate the exact response as opposed to the approximation by Cabdriver?


    I can find nowhere in the manual where it indicates that a studio profile and a direct profile taken back to back will sound the same if the cab in the studio profile is copied and pasted into the direct profile, nor does it make any sense to me how the KPA associates the two profiles. It seems to me Cabdriver is used for any non-merged studio profile when copying the cab to paste into a direct profile, and as a result the profiles don't sound the same. Similar but not the same.


    What am I missing? Any clarification would be much appreciated. I thought I understood how this worked until I read the above.

  • In order to create a merged profile :


    Take a studio profile. Now, without altering any settings, take a Direct Amp profile (where there is an attenuating DI box between the power amp output of the amp you are profiling and the speaker). Now go back to the studio profile, bring the Cab section into focus and hit copy. Go back to the DA profile, bring the Cab section into focus and hit paste. Now hit Merge. Voila. A merged profile, which includes the original studio profile, the DA profile, and an accurately separated Cab portion, arrived at by subtracting the Direct Amp profile from the studio profile. This, by the way, is the only time the Merge option should ever be used. When adding a Cab to any old DA profile, you don’t need to merge. Only use it if you’re profiling.


    With that all said, you are right about using Cabs from any studio profile that hasn’t been merged; here CabDriver will come into effect and the result will be less authentic than when using merged (separated) Cabs, although the results can be just as pleasing, if not more.

  • What is good? ;)
    If the profiling was done in one go, i.e. doing the studio profile, then the direct amp profile, then the merging, without changing any settings between the two profiles, the merged profile will sound like the studio profile.

    I get this but to my experience the two types have difference even for the most succesfull commercial vendors as there has been plenty of both with matcing settings. Don’t know why that is but would think they’d know how to do it. ?