DI profile not even close

  • I’ve done some searching and I cant find anything about my specific issue. I’ve been trying to profile an amp of mine. It’s a (roughly) 50 Watt EL34 amp. I can get a pretty spot on studio profile of it but every time I go to capture the DI, it comes about sounding overly driven. When A/Bing the Kemper and the reference, the Kemper sounds really amped up with the highs rolled off and flabby lows. The sound of the output transformer is what you would expect - fizzy highs, flat, lifeless yet clear. The profiled sound is so drastically different. I tried refining for a while. It never seems to get any better. Eventually, it’s like the Kemper gives up and just morphs the sound into a super clean DI electric guitar sound. Once again, drastically different from sound of the OT of the amp being profiled. This happened with several attempts so I’m not sure how to proceed.


    I’m using a Countryman Type 85 with the speaker pad engaged and output going to a 2x12 (8ohm) cabinet at all times. The specs on the Countryman say it can handle up to 1700W @ 8ohms so I don’t think it is getting overloaded.


    As far as I can tell I’ve done everything by the book regarding level matching, choosing the correct options, etc.


    Any ideas on what could be causing the problem?


    Thanks,
    -Aaron

  • I’m sure this question has veteran Kemper users yawning. It may seem like this question has been asked here before but I seriously looked through forum posts until my head was about to explode and didn’t find any answers to my question. The closest thing I found was a thread where someone concluded that using the TRS input fixed the problem. In the same thread, someone from Kemper pointed out that there is zero difference between the TRS & XLR, which I can agree with based on my own knowledge of audio equipment.


    The Countryman DI I am using is reported by other users as working very well. Some even say after comparing to many other DIs, it is their favorite. I’ve been an audio engineer for many years and my brain has a finely tuned knowledge and perception of signal flow. I can’t find a smoking gun anywhere based on what the manual says and what has been reported by users that have had success in profiling with the Kemper.


    This is my first post on this particular forum and I have yet to get a reply. I can’t be the first person to ever have this problem. Could there possibly be an issue with the latest firmware?

  • I’m thinking, Aaron…
    I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong… I have the countrymen and it works like a charm, although, the first day I had it, I forgot to put a battery in it and I had exactly the same problem as you are having, it would be nice if that was your problem, but I doubt it is… I will keep thinking!
    Cables are all good? I am just thinking of the different connections compared to doing a studio profile…
    There will be a simple stupid solution at the end of this, I just know it…

  • Hey! Thanks SQUAREHEAD. I was beginning to think this thing wasn't on.


    I did consider phantom issues. I first tried with a 9V in the Countryman. Next, through a Vintech 1272 with the +48V Phantom engaged. Today I am in my garage using a sealed speaker enclosure and powering the DI with an ART Phantom II with the switch in the 48V position and two fresh alkaline 9Vs in the battery compartment.


    Re: Cables - I have tried this on a few occasions and used different guitar and mic cables each time so I think we can rule that out. Today, I even tried the TRS thing that supposedly worked for another forum member.


    I just recorded a short sound sample and exported an .mp3 of it. I tried to post it here and it would appear that this forum does not permit the upload of mp3s or any other sound files. If there is a way, I would love to post it in the hopes that somebody would recognize the issue and suggest a solution. The difference is not subtle.

  • And we will get it sorted out, bro… You are using speaker cable into the countryman and out of the countryman to the cabinet, correct?
    What if you eliminate the Art / Vintech (and anything else from chain)? What is the purpose of it while doing a direct profile? I would try this.
    Just a fresh 9V in Countryman ... so, guitar plug into front of Kemper,
    Guitar cable from Kemper Direct output send To input of amplifier, amplifier speaker out into instrument input countryman, amp out from countryman into speaker cabinet...
    And make sure you are choosing ‘no cabinet’ when you start your direct profile process…

  • You are using speaker
    cable into the countryman and out of the countryman to the cabinet,
    correct?


    Yes


    What if you eliminate the Art / Vintech (and anything else from chain)?
    What is the purpose of it while doing a direct profile?


    The ART is strictly a Phantom Power device. Nothing more. I tested it with a multimeter just to confirm it was delivering something close to 48V and it was. The Vintech 1272 was really just another way of getting phantom to the DI box. It is a studio mic pre and I use it on a regular basis and everything is in good repair. It also has input and output transformers which may have made a difference if there were some sort of loading issue with the Kemper inputs. Yet another potential issue ruled out. It's no longer in the chain though. My point is that I'm getting power to the DI one way or another. I've had these DIs for years and I remain aware of their capabilities/requirements.


    I would try this.
    Just a fresh 9V in Countryman ... so, guitar plug into front of Kemper,
    Guitar cable from Kemper Direct output send To input of amplifier,
    amplifier speaker out into instrument input countryman, amp out from
    countryman into speaker cabinet...
    And make sure you are choosing ‘no cabinet’ when you start your direct profile process…


    Yes to all of this.


    Like I said... I've used a 9V to power the Countryman. I have 2 of them. I tried both just in case there was something wrong with one but got the same results no matter what I did. The results are the same whether the DI is getting it's power from a battery or a phantom power supply.


    Here's a clip just to demonstrate how drastic the difference is. It's not loudness maximized so you may need to turn your speakers/headphones up but you'll get the picture.

  • OK, Aaron don’t be angry with me, I’m just trying to help, but, did you add a cabinet to your direct profile for this recording?
    Remember, a direct profile will sound just like this ‘on its own’, (without a proper cab Sim added to it… )
    If you already have done this, my apologies, I’m just trying to get A solution

  • Don't be silly! I'm not angry in the slightest. Just prepping for gig this evening which is the reason for my delayed responses.


    I have the powered rack version. I just took a "studio" profile of the setup I've been using for the last few years. It's a sealed cabinet with a single 12" Greenback. It's very familiar to me which is why I'm starting with it. The studio profile is pretty much bang on. My hearing is somewhat acute and I hear very slight, subtle nuances when I A/B but.... it's pretty dang close if not perfect. The technology is amazing for sure. If I can get the DI profile happening, I'll have more options. Not to mention peace of mine that everything is working to spec on my new Kemper.


    I just keep wondering if there's something odd about the distortion characteristics of my particular amp. It was built here in Atlanta, Ga. by a long time tube amp tech. It's basically like a JTM45 on steroids. I heard Michael Britt say that certain amps can be tricky. Wondering if this is one of them.

  • And SQUAREHEAD.... Let me just say I really appreciate your enthusiasm to help me get to the bottom of this. Like I said, I've been going by the book. I've read the section of the manual on profiling over and over and I've done numerous internet searches. I know I'm missing something. Just not so sure what it is.

  • I see that I never really answered your question from above. Sorry.


    I have a speaker cabinet attached to the amp because you never want to run a tube amp unloaded. Amp to the direct box, direct box to the speaker cabinet. As mentioned earlier, the studio profile is not an issue. That’s working fine.


    I guess one thing I may need to clarify with other, more experienced, users is whether or not the direct profile works any different from the studio profile in terms of the difference between the Kemper amp and the reference. My assumption is that they should the same. After the profile I mean. Is this correct? I am familiar with what an amplifier sounds like prior to reaching a speaker. Fizzy, full range and seemingly lacking in dynamics. Hopefully the samples that I posted should give an indication of the vast difference between the live amplifier and the profile taken by the Kemper. The brighter of the two is obviously the reference amp. That’s what the Kemper amp SHOULD sound like, right? I always make sure to hit the button that says no cabinet when attempting a direct profile. I certainly wouldn’t expect it to sound like a usable amp sound. I understand that’s not the point.

  • Ok,


    Is this a recording from Speaker cab or ?

    To clarify, No. The recording is direct. I’m switching between “Kemper Amp” & “Reference Amp”. These should sound the same, right? With or without cabinet simulation, there’s still a huge difference which means something isn’t right. The puzzling thing is that the sound is coming through correctly but somehow gets all scrambled up after the profiling process.

  • I think what @SQUAREHEAD is refering to about adding a cabinet is this: Once you make your DI profile, which you did correctly from what I read (No cabinet, in profiling process) you have to add a Kemper cab or IR to the profile to make it sound legit. This is the purpose of the DI profile to allow the user to change cabs at will and the Profiler to more understand the nuances of the amp itself without cab integration. If that makes sense ?( , hope I got it right, it's early in the morning. Anyway, add a cab to your DI and see how it sounds. Good Luck!

  • Hmm.... I guess I’m not being very clear. I’m not expecting the direct profile to sound “legit” on its own. I am, however, expecting the Kemper to capture it correctly. So far, it has not. On the recording I posted, that is me A/Bing between the signal chain in realtime and what the Kemper captured.


    When I began attempting to profile my amp (last week sometime) I went through the steps of taking both a “studio” as well as a “direct” profile and merging them as described in the manual. It didn’t sound anything like my amp. It just had that half-cocked wah sound someone mentioned in another thread. The studio profiles I’ve taken sound great to me. No problems there. I can even post a clip of the studio profile if that would help.

  • Sorry, maybe I'm not understanding but it would seem that if the KPA can make a good studio profile it should be able to make a DI with no problem. Anyway, hope you get it sorted out soon.

    That’s what I’m saying. I would say it’s my direct box but others have reported success using the same make/model DI. I happen to have 2 of them and both exhibit identical behavior. What makes it more puzzling is that I can listen to the reference sound and hear that the signal chain is working properly. It just isn’t getting captured for some reason.

  • I understand what you’re saying completely, but if you can record with a microphone in front of your speaker cabinet so that your direct Profile is running through a speaker cabinet…
    So another words, record reference amplifier and kemper profile through guitar cabinet with microphone… Then you should hear the same thing.
    This should be relatively easy because you have the powered KPA ...That’s a good thing

  • That’s what I’m saying. I would say it’s my direct box but others have reported success using the same make/model DI. I happen to have 2 of them and both exhibit identical behavior. What makes it more puzzling is that I can listen to the reference sound and hear that the signal chain is working properly. It just isn’t getting captured for some reason.

    certainly they should sound nearly 'the same'...


    I would somewhat suspect the Countryman... do you perhaps have a passive DI you can try as an alternative?
    The active Countryman certainly does NOT respond well to being overloaded... just a thought.

  • I had a cheaper DI box (had looked at the countrymen as a hopeful solution but never purchased) and i too have posted threads about my terrible attempts at getting DI profiles. I think i would need to get the actual Kemper one, and if that didn't work i would need some help from Kemper).