Kemper + Behringer XR18

  • New Kemper owner here - first post.

    Let me stat by saying that we had the profiler for a week but I still cannot believe the tones we can get out of it. Just an incredible machine.

    Also, I am an engineer by trade and cannot help but notice how ingenious the design of the Kemper is.

    Back to the topic... We have a setup in a relatively small room for family and friends jam sessions with a Behringer XR18 - which is also a great machine. We have a synthesizer, an electric drum kit, a bass DI, a guitar DI, a BeatBuddy and naturally the Kemper hooked up to it. There is also a microphone for a saxophone / clarinet. The XR18 is hooked up to a laptop (duh) plus a pair of powered PA speakers. (Getting actual guitar amps and mic-ing them is not feasible because of the lack of space in that room.)

    As far as music is concerned, when I play with the kids, we play anything from Ray Charles to Megadeth. :D

    Since the XR18 is not only a great mixer but also a 16 channel USB audio interface I tried to figure out how to record everything and even be able to reamp stuff with the Kemper. It took a while but I got the wiring all done and I think even the workflow is pretty smooth.

    So I figured I post it here in case someone has a similar setup and wants to do the same. On the laptop I have Wave Tracks Live running for record / playback in addition to the XR18 software.

    The basic idea is to use the DI output of the Kemper in addition to the (stereo) main out for recording. Also use one of the XR18 buses to send the recorded clean signal back to the Kemper for reamping.

    With this setup you will lose 3 inputs on the XR18 and one of the output buses.

    Here is the wiring - pls forgive my MS Paint skills :

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    So channels 3 and 4 on the XR18 are from the Kemper main out. (You could naturally just do mono here.) In addition we send the Kemper DI out (on Guitar analog) into a separate channel, in this example 5. This channel can stay muted for everything we do with the XR.

    Aux bus 6 from the XR gets sent back to the Kemper Alt in. (We switch the input to this on the Kemper when we want to reamp.)

    From the XR we send channels 3,4,5 ( + any other instrument of course) to the DAW. I set the Tracks Live up so that it is in Stereo output mode and sends the output on USB 15 and 16:

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    It would probably work just fine with "Multi Out" but this way it is very easy to reamp. Just solo the channel that the DI track is on (in this example 5) and you get that back on the XR in channels 15 and 16. Naturally you don't have to go stereo back for that mono track but I found that using both USB returns on the XR makes it very convenient to listen back to the whole recorded piece in stereo. You can just crank up 15/16 stereo on the Main Out of the XR, hit play in Tracks Live and enjoy.

    So because of this, I have 15 configured like this:

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    Notice that the input is "Return USB" with "Stereo Link". Also notice that the channel gets sent to Aux Bus 6.

    Speaking of Aux Bus 6, this is how that is mixed:

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    As you can see only the USB return channels 15 and 16 are sent to it. And as we saw, Bus 6 goes to the Kemper Alternate Input on its back.

    Since the XR can send to USB pre fader and even pre mute, on the Main Out of the XR the DI channel can stay muted:

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    This is trying to take a screenshot right after strumming the guitar to show the green signal lines :P

    When recording definitely mute the USB channels to not get the feedback from the DAW with the system latency.

    In order to get the DI + reamp levels right, I tweaked the channel input gain on the XR for the Kemper DI channel to get the guitar to just above -20 dB. You can probably do the same on the output gain of the DI on the Kemper, however I figured that for different guitars I can just save a channel config on the XR and load that when we switch guitars.

    All the USB Sends and Receives on the XR are set up just straight, Channel 1 to USB 1 and so on.

    Anyway, everything works just fine, the only semi-annoying part for reamping is that after I record the first amped guitar sound, I have to copy and paste those channels to some new tracks in Tracks Live. This is so that when the reamped signal comes back on the same USB channels, they won't "replace" the original tracks. I guess I could play with the USB assignments on the XR but a copy&paste is not that big of a deal.

    If you guys have any questions / comments, just ask!

  • I didn't know that the XR12 only has USB stereo out. (I just checked.) Seems like the 18 has more features in addition to just more inputs.

    The whole setup works really well. When we play with the kids, naturally they don't wan to do things over and over. With the XR18 I can just capture everything track by track. Also the Tracks Live software is really nice, it saves separate wav files for every take. So if I managed to have them stay for 3 takes, I have all the files * 3 to use while putting things back in a DAW.

    Just yesterday we used the setup for Kemper "tone browsing" like a looper pedal. Record the Kemper DI for a riff and play it back in a loop from the laptop. Now just relax and browse through the hundreds of profiles that I already loaded on the Kemper and mark the best ones favorite without having to actually play the guitar.

  • Thank you!

    To be completely honest, after I got everything working, I figured that I should document it, just in case we move something around and I'll have to recreate the setup.

    Once I took all the screenshots and such it made sense to put it here in case someone else has the same setup.

    And I'll just bookmark my own topic in case I will be in a less stellar mental state when I have to rewire things in the future :D