Why aren't merged profiles more popular?

  • When Kemper first gave us the ability to make merged profiles I spent a lot of time making direct, studio and merged profiles and doing A/B comparisons and I was blown away. Ever since then I have only used merged profiles with a real guitar cab, quite honestly because they sound just like my actual amps. I don't understand why merged profiles aren't more popular, they are incredibly easy to make, they just take a little more time but it is so worth it. I suspect this is because 1) it does take a little more time and effort, and 2) because most people use FRFR monitors and merged vs. studio profiles don't make any difference when using a FRFR monitor. But for me, I never play on a stage where my amp can't be heard out front and to me there is a huge difference between FRFR and a real guitar cab on stage in that situation, not to mention the pleasure of having a real guitar cab as a monitor along with the interaction between the guitar and cab (like controlled feedback).


    I guess I would just like to encourage those who have the means to try a few merged profiles, if you have a decent solid state power amp and a guitar cab give it a go, you might be surprised how much is sounds like a live amp as opposed to a recorded amp, and in a live situation I would take a live amp over a recorded amp any day.

  • What does FOH get? Or do you mic the cab? Just curious. Never used the merged and I'm pretty new to the KPA.

    A merged profile is made by the same process as far as setting up and micing a cab to your liking. The difference is you run the signal through a DI and capture the amp right after the power amp, before the cabinet. This would be a DI profile made for use with a traditional guitar cabinet, or with a cab from a different amp profile. A merged profile takes this a step further. Right after the DI is captured, you profile again through the speaker, and MERGE this with the DI profile. This makes it possible to have a pure power amp signal go to your guitar cab, and still have a amp+cab profile to send to FOH.


    The benefit of the merged profile vs studio is the Kemper is kind of guessing (and guessing very well) where the amp ends and the cab begins as far as the profile sound.


    When you disable a cab on a merged profile, you are disabling 100% of the cabinet without any guessing.


    I use a traditional guitar cab, and while the studio profiles with cab disabled sounded pretty good, the merged profiles feel nearly 1:1 to a real amp. This is most obvious to me while playing in a band with another guitarist. You can FEEL the character of the amp as well as hear it.

  • Because despite the hype merged profiles don't sound the same as the studio versions, the studio ones sound more accurate to the miced tone.


    That and the extra effort involved, it's important for someone using an actual guitar cab to monitor, but otherwise it's a bit niche. I'm sure more people are hearing their Kemper through flat response style speakers, whether in a studio, via a wedge monitor, items, PA etc, in those situations the merged profiles don't add anything and in fact only deviate from the source a hit further.

  • People, DO NOT put a DI box between your amp and cab before checking it can handle the voltage.


    You need to buy a DI box or dummy load that can handle the wattage which is a $200 investment by minimum. You can't use just any $10 di box off the shelf, it's likely you'll destroy the box and your amp. Most DI boxes have been built to handle signal levels (0.1V-1V), not 100W power amps. Want to be safe? Get a load box with line out, like a Hot Plate, and put that between your amp and cab.

  • I think one beneficial feature concerning merged profiles would be the ability to disable the Studio EQ from the monitor output.
    Nowadays there are more and more profiles that use post EQ in one or more of the EFFECTS slots to sculpt the tone, but unfortunately it also affects the monitor out signal.
    In many cases close miking introduces lots of unwanted lows and highs etc. that have to be cleaned out, but for example hi-passing at 120Hz doesn't sound good when coming out of a guitar cab.
    My suggestion would be that there was a possibility to put the Studio EQ in the CAB section of a profile. That way it wouldn't mess the sound coming from the real guitar speaker and also it wouldn't take a slot from the EFFECTS section.

  • I tried FRFR, but had to go back to a 4x12 with merged profiles. Cab off for the on stage sound and DI to front of house and you have the best of both worlds.


    My only gripe is that, unless it is stated, you would't know within the profile if it is studio or merged. I would have thought it should be clear within the profilers software.

  • You answered your question by yourself.


    Using real cabs to go FoH or on stage plus sending cab-simu to FoH lacks the possibility to hear what the crowd hears. Go FRFR or IEM.


    Only way (for me - my personal opinion) to use cabs is when there is no FoH or no guitar on FoH or a miced cab which is basically non-sense regarding the output possibilities you have with the KPA.


    There is no possibility to get a cleaner FoH signals than with the KPA by itself. We record every live gig. Since the keyboard player has it's DI boxes and the bass player has a DI out on his amp (and me with the KPA), our live recordings sound ridiciously awesome. Only thing you have to do is EQ and volume in the DAW. (And reverb, compression, EQ on the vocals and the drums.)

  • I honestly blame it on Kemper themselve....they never explained it well to the users how to do it..and why do it etc.
    I had to explain it million times to users till they did understand it..and many still don´t understand it.
    Also there is still a good official tutorial video missing
    and there were many with bad results because of user error, so that some people think its not as good as a studioprofile

  • Thanks - I think I finally get what the little DI box that I ordered with the KPA will enable. Please correct me if I'm wrong with the following typical setup:


    1) The FOH gets the sound of the amp in a studio, with a mic in front of the cab.


    2) The DI sound is just the original amp before the original cab, so your guitar speaker on stage doesn't apply another impulse response to the already "cab included" sound.


    It makes perfect sense why this would be a great result. I can't wait to try it.



    Question: Are the effects from the Kemper applied to the DI signal? Seems they'd have to be, otherwise what's the point of having a dry amp onstage.

  • In the end it's a sin to have a 4x12 cab causing havoc on stage and blurring the FOH sound, and it's mike being placed in the wrong place or picking up the drums. At one point or another in your career your sound tech will be nagging about using in ear and some sort of Kemper/Axe/Helix, just because he wants the best sound for the crowd. Believe me, even an Axe FX sounds more direct than a real Diesel VH4 with mike, from an audience point of view.


    If you give in to this nagging, it won't matter how the profile is made or how cab and amp are separated, as long as the end result sounds good.


    The only exception is with bands who play smaller clubs, and are very disciplined in their relative volumes, so they can perform with only the singer through the PA. I mean, a drummer that adapts to the acoustic piano's volume, and the rest refraining from the "more me syndrome"... They exist, have seen one only once in my life ;) Their guitar player could be choosing a real cab without a mike over a merged profile.

  • As guitar players, we have been conditioned through years to use regular guitar cabs so that will always have some level of desirability and something that as a benefit the KPA caters for...so to me there is no wrong or right about how to use it, we should rejoice we have the options.


    On why merged profiles are not used that much, I am certainly guilty of not really knowing much about them and I went from a direct switch from cab to FRFR, Mic'ed cab to direct FOH. In reality I often use my 4 x12 so they should, and are, of interest.


    I didn't get great results from DI profiles so again that was another factor but I intend to revisit merged profiles now.

  • What does FOH get? Or do you mic the cab? Just curious. Never used the merged and I'm pretty new to the KPA.

    With merged profiles you can disable the cab in the profile and send that signal to your stage monitor while sending the full profile (including the mic and cab) to the FOH. Or you could mic your cab on stage if you prefer (or if the sound guy insist on micing your amp).

  • Because despite the hype merged profiles don't sound the same as the studio versions, the studio ones sound more accurate to the miced tone.


    That and the extra effort involved, it's important for someone using an actual guitar cab to monitor, but otherwise it's a bit niche. I'm sure more people are hearing their Kemper through flat response style speakers, whether in a studio, via a wedge monitor, items, PA etc, in those situations the merged profiles don't add anything and in fact only deviate from the source a hit further.

    This is not my experience. I did this test when this feature was first released, it includes all scenarios. I made a Direct Amp and Studio profile, then I merged the cab from the Studio profile to create a Merged profile. Then I played a riff into a looper and used that to record all of the following, but not in this order:


    Looper-->Amp-->Cab-->Mic’s-->Mixer-->DAW
    Looper-->KPA (merged profile with cab disabled) -->QSC Power-->Cab-->Mic’s-->Mixer-->DAW
    Looper-->KPA (DA Profile) -->QSC Power-->Cab-->Mic’s-->Mixer-->DAW
    Looper-->KPA (full profile) -->DAW
    Looper-->(new merged profile) -->DAW


    They all sound pretty darn close to me, can you tell which is which?


    https://soundcloud.com/tim-owens-2/test-new-kpa-firmware

  • I honestly blame it on Kemper themselve....they never explained it well to the users how to do it..and why do it etc.
    I had to explain it million times to users till they did understand it..and many still don´t understand it.
    Also there is still a good official tutorial video missing
    and there were many with bad results because of user error, so that some people think its not as good as a studioprofile

    Excellent points!

  • Personally I really like the idea of merged profiles given that when I first started with my Kemper I was using a regular V30 loaded cab. Never really liked the fact that the cabdriver (monitor cab off) was an 'emulation' of the cab/mics and hence I stayed away from Studio profiles.


    Having said that once I'd got hooked on Mike Britts profiles (and was still using my regular cab) I bit the bullet and had to use cabdriver and tbh I still got great results.


    If I had a choice I'd prefer to buy merged but there aren't a great deal of them and it's damn hard to find out if a profile is studio/direct/merged sometimes!


    I've now gone FRFR and hence not so much of an issue for me..


    Si