Kemper+ Focal Alpha Monitors + Focusrite scarlett 2i2. How to plug it?

  • Could I ask a couple more questions please:

    1) on the Scarlett, LINE or INST?

    2) the Scarlett is clipping a lot. What should I set the GAIN on the Scarlett at one the Kemper output db level at ideally?

    Thank you!

  • That's not the proper way to connect the Kemper to your audio interface. The XLR input of your Scarlett has a mic preamp that you are not going to bypass using an XLR plug. You need a TRS/TRS cable (or TS/TS will work just fine) for mono sounds. For stereo you need two cables.

    Connect Kemper L output to channel 1 of your interface (switch set to LINE)

    Connect Kemper R output to channel 2 of your interface (switch set to LINE)

    In the Scarlett mixer, link together channel 1-2 to get a single stereo channel/fader, and set them to inputs Anlg In 1 and Anlg In 2

    Then you need 2 cables TRS/XLR male plug:

    Connect output L of your interface to your left speaker

    Connect output R of your interface to your right speaker

  • Thanks for the answer!

    why 2 TRS from KPA to Scarlett input of simply 2 TS to get Stereo? any quality degradation from XLR... sorry for the newbie question but XLR cables always seem more "professional" than TS/TRS

  • You can use both TRS and TS cables, the difference is that a balanced cable (TRS plug) carries a more robust signal and so it's less prone to interferences. Especially when you use longer cables, it is better to use balanced cables (assuming you are using equipment with balanced connections, and both your scarlett and kemper have balanced connectors). TRS or XLR are just different plugs, no difference in signal if the cable is balanced so don't worry about that. The problem with the Scarlett is that the XLR connectors are there to connect microphones and there is a preamp inside you can't bypass, unless you plug a TRS cable. So, you connect a TRS cable and it automatically bypass the preamp (don't forget to set the switch to "line") I'm trying to put it in a simple way, obviously you can do some research if you want to learn more about cables, signals ecc...

    Also, an XLR plug is not that easy to unplug compared to TRS, and this can be an advantage in some cases, but in your particoular case as explained above, you can only use TRS or TS cables to bypass the preamp. And yes, you can use TS cables, it will work just fine but the cable may pick up some noise. You can try that and if that works, no need to buy TRS cables (usually more expensive).

    The difference between mono and stereo is easy: if you connect only one cable you get a mono sound, it means everything will be centered in your stereo image. When you connect two cables you can use stereo effects such as ping pong delays, so that you will hear delays bouncing around your left and right speakers, creating a more spacious, open, stereo sound (same apply for all stereo effects).

    So, to sum it all up:

    balanced cables are better when you have the possibility to use them but there's no difference in sound

    there's no difference between XLR and TRS plugs

    TS cables are unbalanced and can be noisy but worth a try (your regular guitar cable is TS)

    connect two cables as described in the previous post if you want to play with stereo effects

    How can you understand if a cable is TRS or TS? A TRS plug has two little rubber rings on it, a TS plug has only one rubber ring.

    I hope I didn't make a mess with my English, if it's not clear I can send a picture tomorrow. Cheers!

  • Mess with your English? I thought you were a native.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to explain so eloquently.

    I will buy the cables now and try it out. I will need very short cables, eg 0.5M for a desk setup. If there’s any brand you recommend pls let me know.

    Any advantages on upgrading my audio device and use SPDIF?

  • Thanks, not native unfortunately :)

    if you are going to buy new cables, there is no real reason to get TS over TRS, you can find good balanced TRS and XLR cables for a fairly low price. I can't recommend any quality brand as there is no real difference. As long as you get well built cables with metal connectors, you won't be able to hear any difference. Cordial cables cost around 6-8 euro each, if you live in Europe they are easy to find.

    Regarding S/PDIF there is no real advantage I think, considering you have to spend money on a new audio interface. That said, I use S/PDIF because it does stereo with only one cable and the sound should be more pristine. Also the reamping process with 2 cables, is very easy to do if you like to reamp. You can find a few threads about it here on the forum.