KPA for Vocals?

  • Can the KPA be used for an external vocal processor just as with guitar? Go passive mic direct in somehow (XLR in on rear?) and use as a preamp and compressor, then SPDIF back out to DAW to avoid any extra DAAD conversions??


    I searched and found a few threads but didn't come away with anything that felt definitive. Here is what I think I learned....


    - Apparently some people have done what I describe.
    - I'm assuming the XLR input on rear can be used? And a Loop FX must be enabled to do so (with 100% setting)?
    - There are apparently some vocal preamp profiles from R.U.Sirius and a few others, however it is unclear to me how these were created.


    Any guidance and/or explanations appreciated. It would be great if I could drop the expensive vocal chain of ancient tube preamp, distressor and other things and was instead able to rely on the KPA to get a reasonable quality vocal result.


    Sonic

  • I'm not clear on the input options either, Sonic, the loop input, used as you described, sounds logical.


    You'd think a transparent preamp -> reamp input via TS/TRS (whichever it is) would work too, and you'd be able to use whichever pre Profiles you want.


    It might be an idea to research which is quieter - the reamp input or the loop one.


    You asked how they might've been created: My guess is the pre's would've been substituted for the usual amp or amp/cab portion of the Profiling signal chain. IOW, Kemper -> preamp -> Kemper. Simple as that. Any additional outboard pre-amping would've defeated the purpose, you'd think.


    I say go for it and see what you think; there's no reason to doubt the quality of what you might produce... except of course if it requires early '80s power-stage distortion. :D

  • You cannot use the Profiler to replace an "expensive vocal chain". It is not designed for that purpose, or replace such preamps or to operate with microphones.

    So there's no way to run a dynamic mic just for using the KPA as a preamp and compressor, maybe some EQ, and then SPDIF back out to DAW? I know it's not designed for that purpose and I certinaly don't expect it to compete with a real high-quality vocal chain, but it would sure make home recording a lot easier if the KPA could handle a simple dynamic mic and some basic signal balancing when recording, take some of the strain off the DAW and not have to rely on outboard gear any more than necessary.


    Hmmm..... I'm not the most adept at DAW software routing yet. I wonder if an alternative might be a hybrid approach? Run mic to preamp on the DAW interface, then route the signal to SPDIF Out into the KPA for compression and whatever other minor FX and then SPDIF Out of KPA back to DAW for recording. So the KPA would become more of an outboard "real time" vocal effect processor. Might this work, any thoughts?

  • Hmmm..... I'm not the most adept at DAW software routing yet. I wonder if an alternative might be a hybrid approach? Run mic to preamp on the DAW interface, then route the signal to SPDIF Out into the KPA for compression and whatever other minor FX and then SPDIF Out of KPA back to DAW for recording. So the KPA would become more of an outboard "real time" vocal effect processor. Might this work, any thoughts?

    This is exactly what I meant when I said this, Sonic:


    You'd think a transparent preamp -> reamp input... would work too, and you'd be able to use whichever pre Profiles you want.

    It goes without saying that I agree.


    I see no reason why the Kemper shouldn't be able to Profile any hardware-vocal chain, provided it doesn't include time-based effects.


    Sorry if this thinking doesn't gel with Kemper employees; I'm happy to be proved wrong.

  • Well, one main question is how would you get a dynamic mic input into the KPA? I'm guessing the only place we can be sure there is a mic preamp is on the return that is also used for profiling. I was just guessing when I suggested using a Loop FX with that mic input. Even if that would work, I'm not sure what quality preamp is in the KPA, or if the preamps on most home studio DAW interfaces would be just as well, or better. I would suspect however if the KPA is to understand distorted guitar amp signals then the preamp must be pretty good quality.


    Reamping isn't a solution in my eyes. Rock vocals require at least two key elements before the signal hits the track - preamp and compression.


    Sonic

  • Like the Kemper staff have indicated, a guitar processor is not a substitute for a dedicated mic preamp and effects. But, depending on what you want, you may be able to get musically useful results.


    To connect a dynamic mic to the Kemper, You would use an XLR to 1/4" impedance transformer adapter, and use one of the guitar inputs ( the front input has a better signal to noise ratio).


    But, using it in an FX buss of a DAW session would also work, if your interface can be configured to use it that way.

  • Reamping isn't a solution in my eyes. Rock vocals require at least two key elements before the signal hits the track - preamp and compression.

    Hmmmmm...


    If you have a pretty transparent preamp (because you gotta have an interface either way), MAYBE reamping the stuff won't sound too much like doubling up on preamps.


    Regarding compression: Hmmmmmm..... If the reason for NEEDING the comp is so the performer(s) hears his/her vocal upfront and with attitude while tracking, yeah. Or if you're recording to tape. Otherwise (in 24 bit DAW recording) it is not set in stone. But of course, doing it in a different way probably screws with your workflow :-) Then again, it sounds like you're talking about home recordings, so it might not be that big of an issue?


    In any case - I don't think the Kemper is ideal after thinking about this - you won't be able to adjust the compressor parameters to the performance/voice/mic/etc. if it's just a profile. Furthermore, I seem to recall that the Kemper eats some of those high frequencies that are generally not present in a guitar cab.


    only way to find out is to profile a vocal chain, I guess :-)

  • Must have compression on vocals on the way in, at least the pro singers I work with. Their voice is often so dynamic that it requires a decent pre and comp to get the signal balanced out before it hits the track.


    @Michael_dk , why do you say "you won't be able to adjust the compressor parameters to the performance/voice/mic/etc. if it's just a profile." ? I was planning on using the compressor FX. Why wouldn't that work? .... ?( Or were you referring to a vocal chain profile that already had compression pre-defined as part of the profile?

  • Must have compression on vocals on the way in, at least the pro singers I work with. Their voice is often so dynamic that it requires a decent pre and comp to get the signal balanced out before it hits the track.


    @Michael_dk , why do you say "you won't be able to adjust the compressor parameters to the performance/voice/mic/etc. if it's just a profile." ? I was planning on using the compressor FX. Why wouldn't that work? .... ?( Or were you referring to a vocal chain profile that already had compression pre-defined as part of the profile?

    Point 1: so it's for the sake of monitoring the performance, for you (as the engineer) and/or the performer? Otherwise, it can be done after the fact with a plugin (or outboard gear of course).


    Point 2: Gotcha - I was indeed thinking of a profile of the whole chain :-) Regarding the compressor FX, if I recall correctly, there's no attack and release parameters, and they might be optimized for guitar rather than vocals. It definitely worth a try - you can do a quick experiment by just sending a couple of pre-recorded vocal tracks via spdif and see if you can get good results anyway.

  • Ah... I assumed the KPA compressor FX had all the usual basic parameters but it sounds like maybe not. I'll have to look at that....


    As to point 1 above, no, the signal must be compressed before going to track. It can also be done again after the fact as needed, but it must be compressed prior to tracking.

  • With digital the issues are much less of a concern than using tape back in the day, but still, when it comes to powerful rock vocalists the dynamics are just too much to go straight to track without some form of signal balancing in between. At a minimum there needs to be a good preamp, compressor and often some minor EQ before hitting the track if you want to achieve a pro quality result in the end.


    Sonic

  • Like Michael says, with 24 bits there's absolutely no need to compress the signal going to disk. Keep a healthy headroom. Adding those 8 bits on top, a 16 bit master would peak at -48dB...


    Compressing the signal being monitored is a good thing, but I would have chosen an audio interface with onboard processing to do that. I believe even some of the cheaper ones have that capability now.

  • It's very much to do with the old-school M.O., IMHO. I feel where Sonic's coming from.


    I was planning on using the compressor FX.

    Don't forget the compression that's available within the Profile, mate. It'd be fascinating to hear how the Compression parameter on page 2 or 3 affects vocals when the Profile itself is of a high-end preamp.