Kemper high end and fizz

  • Just for the record: This has been brought up several times but every thread regarding this issue remained somewhat unanswered. Last time CK did chime in and stated that what we all hear is simply what an amp sound like. I'd be pleasantly surprised, if finally this an identified issue that's being worked on.

    Gear: Strats & KPA. Plug Ins: Cubase, NI, iZotope, Slate, XLN, Spectrasonics.
    Music: Song from my former band: vimeo.com/10419626[/media][/media][/media] Something new on the way...

  • I have submitted DI tests from riffs to leads, ect, to kemper.


    It's easy to identify differences that way.


    For me: Kemper lacks frequencies at 150-200 but boosts others in the bass end, which makes for more "garbled" low end riffage. I am not knowledgeable when it comes to the more technical side of things that studio engineers will be, but I pay attention to tone. And there's something weird going on there, as well as boosts in ice-picky frequencies on the high end.


    Then there's a big high end peak and/or emphasis on wah-like frequencies. That can be felt when you are soloing.


    There had been an update to the profiling algorithm before but I don't feel it solved these issues (probably didn't aim to do that anyway).


    Solutions proposed before don't work imho. "Turn bass up" doesn't work, because it deals with specific frequencies and not the boost/lack of frequencies that would get one closer to real amp, and the same goes for mids and treble controls.


    Then "definition" which is often brought up as a way to aid the "wah-tubescreamer on high values" thingy on lead, that's also not good enough for this.. Because the problem there is you are changing the tone in relation to amp in other ways, which are not easy to compensate for. I've also had many cases where definition didn't really minimize this rasp even if set super low.


    It is also difficult, if not Impossible, to target problematic frequencies using the graphic and studio eqs. From my perspective a change could maybe be much more successful if somehow "internally to the profile".


    Or then just more accurate profiling, which would eliminate this need.


    The reason why this matters to me is because amplifiers are fairly similar to begin with. The more characteristics you start chopping off the more you homogenize tones, which is against the idea of kemper.


    If profiling worked perfectly I wouldn't know the difference playing through both amp and kemper, not even in terms of feel. But the existing differences create a gap that can matter to players as well as recording people. In fact, one of the people who analyzed some of this way back in 2013 is a studio engineer who records on a regular basis.


    And I also know producers who have just the same observations. They can analyze it way better than me from a technical standpoint. I can probably do it better from the perspective of someone who writes songs, plays guitar. Heck, we've been working together with some to try and crack the nut of kemper and bridge the differences further. Refining matters a lot imho.

  • I do not disagree. I sent in samples myself. Let's hope they're finally after it :thumbup:

    Gear: Strats & KPA. Plug Ins: Cubase, NI, iZotope, Slate, XLN, Spectrasonics.
    Music: Song from my former band: vimeo.com/10419626[/media][/media][/media] Something new on the way...

  • Also sinmix rocks and you may find some his profiles good for your intended use. I only use his and big hairy profiles. Reason? They both won't just tell you that kemper is flat out "identical" to real tone -- which I hear from some 1)who cannot tell the difference in my own tests and then 2) don't remember who I am and tell me their profiles are "totally identical to the real amps" to advertise... And also because they just flat out sound better to my ears than most others, including most of my own profiles.


    If you know about shortcomings of profiling imho you have more chance to get closer to the real tone. There are plenty of things to try to bridge the gap. But if you don't pay enough attention and be too quick to call it "the same" you may miss important differences. Profiling about 20 plus amps myself I've grown quite skeptical of buying profiles.


    It's not like You won't find these issues at all with the above profiles either. But at least to my view they are so good otherwise that they still by far beat most of the tones I get out of my amps if I have to mic up myself in my non-studio "studio"; lately I haven't had access to a real studio; and I'm not a recording expert. I used to make comics. That's what I used to do :)

  • Agree 100%, at the end of the day tone and integrity is what matters. Especially with a $2K+ device. If the core tone has clear shortcomings, which is absolutely the case here, then either fix the problems or else convey this is as good as it gets. And market within boundaries that reflect the device's actual tone abilities so that all customers can make the right choices for their applications rather than some customers ending up tremendously frustrated.


    There are an increasing number of alternatives out there these days, with ever improving tone quality. Now is the time where the KPA either addresses internal tone issues and remains a top dog, or may well begin a downward progression. There is simply no way Kemper cannot realize the issues at this point with all that has been provided them. The only question now is if the problems are fixable and if Kemper has the will to correct and/or improve them.


    JMHO.


    Sonic

  • I think ear fatigue plays an important role in all of this. Sometimes we can here issues right off the bat and then it either sticks with us or we just roll with it.


    For me, my tone always sounds best in the first couple hours of playing and then becomes questionable after that. Kpa, helix, real tube amp , doesn't matter.


    I had a mesa triple rectifier, and an egnater vengeance and both amps sounded really awesome through a mesa cab with v30s. Add a tube screamer and done. But even the triple rectifier ( say what you want) A MESA TRIPLE RECTIFER , legendary amp for years, started to sound like a congested, raspy pile of cheap crap after playing it for a couple hours loud with a drummer. To the point were I started to question whether I even liked distortion anymore!


    And it's in this light were I can kinda understand what CK says about, that's just what amps sound like.


    I do sense some of the sonic (pun intended) shortcomings in the profiling outcomes. There's defiantly room to improve that last 5-1 percent difference but overall i could be fine with it either way, that's just me though, I understand that other people that have needs that just aren't quite met in the timeframe and space they'd like given all the factors involved. Although, I'm hopeful that it will only get better.


    I mean , come on, as great as it is could it really get "worse"? Even if it did, you could always go back to a previous OS. What firmware version is the axe fx on? Plenty of room my friends. Technology and algorithms keep increasing by the day. Look.at the new boss products, they are at 96k processing now. When, if, there's a KPA2, you KNOW it's only gonna be even more ridiculously awesome. Guitarist are an interesting breed. I did guitar repair for a few years and got to see all the little quirks we do from a different side of the fence. We can be a real, impatient, entitlement , cake and eat it too kinda bunch. And some are easy as pie. K, end rant
    Sorry not sorry sorta kinda but not really, you know, who knows? LOL


    With chairs,
    Elvis

  • either fix the problems or else convey this is as good as it gets. And market within boundaries that reflect the device's actual tone abilities so that all customers can make the right choices for their applications rather than some customers ending up tremendously frustrated.

    It's worth pointing out there is a 45 day no questions asked money back guarantee.


    I think sometimes we can loose sight of the fact these are tools for making music and spend too much time worrying about tone instead of playing.


    When I think back to the late seventies / eighties when i was making music for a living I can't even remember adjusting the settings on my amp, apart from volume, and I changed strings when they broke! LOL. How times have changed.


    P.

  • When I think back to the late seventies / eighties when i was making music for a living I can't even remember adjusting the settings on my amp, apart from volume, and I changed strings when they broke! LOL. How times have changed.

    No offense, but it wasn't like that for everybody back then.. I think there are always people who will pay more attention to such details. I have no problem with anyone who does not mind A, B or C. But I also know there's no way kemper would have gotten anywhere near where it is today had it not been for very critical people (CK included) when it comes to these details.


    I agree that it's important to remember to make music though. I had a year where I couldn't play much guitar at all due to health.That time I just wrote music on computer, let alone even think of kemper or guitars or what not. If it can be done that way I'm sure it can also be done with a kemper, issues included.


    I also use kemper a lot now. I hear and feel the issues. Some times they bother me more than others. It's a constant struggle to emulate the depth of real amps, but it's possible to get very close. I also love using a torpedo with a real amp. Kemper is extremely convenient and it's going with me to travels soon, because good luck carrying a 100 watt head and torpedo.


    My motivation when it comes to these discussions has always been some kind of progress. I wouldn't have spent 1/10 of the time I have conducting tests, trying to get closer to real amp, if it wasn't for that. Tone matters a lot to me.


    But I agree... that there's a line: if you find yourself struggling with certain elements of a tone and not recording music.. or writing music.. or doing whatever creative, that's a real bummer. But there's also the "engineering" side, or a chase of tone, which is an art itself, I think. Different disciplines get fused together. Dimebag was someone who "chased tone" in a manner that i think is highly admirable -- it was part of the art itself.


    Just my two drachmas :)

  • imo with the kemper the is a sweet spot when it comes to poweramp saturation ... if it is too high the kemper can't process the sound well and if it is too low while profiling ... well it sounds fizzy unsaturated but tighter ...
    that is at least what i learned over the years with the Kemper ...


    + slight eq at approx. 4k (i sometimes have a mixer between kemper and mic to eq the most important stuff before... very high q and minus 3-6 dB)
    + a real overdrive infront of the kemper, honestly this is the best thing you can do with the kemper take a dod 250 or a fulltone ocd
    (no tubescreamer most of them cause a midfocussed sound, except very very old ones, the dod and ocd work very well)
    the sound will be more lively direct, warmer, the distortion sounds more organic ... and so on ... honestly :D i can't stress this enough :D

  • @Bommel , I agree on the pedal in the front end, this is notorious for helping digital amp sims. Half the reason this works though is because when you goose the front end and/or add a bit of OD you then by definition can (and usually should) dial back the gain on the amp sim. And by doing this it obviously reduces the fizz. So there's actually at least two main factors typically involved in why this approach can sound more "organic". Bottom line though, shouldn't have to be doing this with a device like the KPA IMO, especially when it's whole claim is to profile & reproduce the sound of a real rig correctly.


    Sonic

  • true but at the end the only thing that matters is having a good sound ... and adding a real pedal is not that much of a hassle to do imo

  • Bottom line though, shouldn't have to be doing this with a device like the KPA IMO, especially when it's whole claim is to profile & reproduce the sound of a real rig correctly.

    There are a lot of things I feel I should have in life, but it don't work that way ;) .

  • oh and i forgot the tc body rez... it is now and forever on my pedalboard and it is a cool flavor ...



    so you can make you guitar a bit more compressed when going into the kemper and a bit more broadband ...


    also kemper + seymour duncan blackouts work so well together


    ...


    and here is a sample in a mix with a real dod 250 preamp in front of the kemper

  • Here's an EQ'd version of your Kemper sample. Do you still hear it?

    If you think most of the issues can be solved with simple EQ then why not send your findings to Kemper so they can fix the KPA?


    No, rather EQ is nothing more than a band-aid that improves things in some circumstances. That does in no way excuse or minimize the fact there are core tone issues with the KPA.

  • If you think most of the issues can be solved with simple EQ then why not send your findings to Kemper so they can fix the KPA?
    No, rather EQ is nothing more than a band-aid that improves things in some circumstances. That does in no way excuse or minimize the fact there are core tone issues with the KPA.

    In this case, it is a simple EQ issue. Fizz is evident in the original sample as well, just slightly less prominent. You can see it using a spectral analyzer in both samples.

  • In this case, it is a simple EQ issue. Fizz is evident in the original sample as well, just slightly less prominent. You can see it using a spectral analyzer in both samples.

    Have you had any luck with such a fix within kemper, post profiling perhaps?

  • Has anybody tried how pure cab changes the behavior to the high end fizziness and the low end rumble?


    I noticed the mentioned issues on some profiles too, especially in live situations, but I always had the feeling that the original amp had about the same amount of harshness and boominess when I've tried to replicate it at home and recorded the Profile side by side with the real amp.


    A small amount Pure Cabinet seems to even this out nicely, but it's also a bit too much of that Line6ish polish for my taste.

  • Have you had any luck with such a fix within kemper, post profiling perhaps?

    Yep. In the case of removing fizz it's easy. For instance, with a spectrum analyzer you can clearly see activity in the 9.3KHz range in the OP's sample, so I'd do the same thing in the KPA that I did using Samplitude. I'd use a Studio EQ in one of the post cab effects slots and set the Mid Frequency to 9372KHz with a slightly narrow Q and cut it by approximately 6dB.


    In Samplitude, I actually made a 6.9dB cut @ 9.3k.


    Anyway, you can do the same thing in the KPA if you know what frequency you're looking for(I use a spectrum analyzer). EQ matching is obviously another story.


    I use EQ to cut fizz because I've found that cutting presence or treble is akin to using a machete to remove a splinter.

  • I have same experiences when it comes to the "amp-like" eqs... Just like with real amp potentiometers. They affect certain frequencies. It's not like you can always simply turn bass higher to match the correct frequencies to get closer to amp. This has been proposed as an aid when kpa "lacks bass".


    I think when the issue seems more isolated, depending on playing, there's more chance to eliminate some differences with the on board graphic, studio equalizers. I have not had enough success doing this with my DI tests where the playing varies quite a bit or when I try to match the amp in A/B mode. eq in daw has worked better. But I do think some of the differences are EQ, and bridging them, however possible, minimizes the gap further.