Reached a wall with my Kemper.

  • So after some initial success with a new Kemper, I've reached a complete wall.


    I handed over the cash for a Kemper to solve a 10 year old problem I've had recording distorted guitar. All VST's and modelers sound absolutely terrible to my ears. Good for clean, total joke for distortion.


    I've now reached a similar place with my Kemper; it sounds better than the above but through my Les Paul in particular, it's not sounding great. Not sure if its something simple I've overlooked, I've tried both SPDIF and Line in on my RME Fireface, swapped around the position of the EQ on the Kemper. I have both purchased and free profiles from Topjimi and M Britt.
    Pretty much back at the same place I was at with POD HD, tweaking for hours and not getting much music done.


    Had a love hate relationship with this unit since I got it, would really like to be at the same place many are with it.


    Any tips greatly appreciated.

  • I remember being in the same place as you when I first got mine in 2012.
    i was a bit of an amp snob and never used anything else live.


    I messed with clean and distortion sense for what seems an eternity, tried all my guitars and several different FRFR cabs.


    Finally i realized something, I bought the KPA instead of the AxeFx because I didn't WANT to tweak and I wanted to get away from all the tube amp choices I seemed to be continually making. I settled on one (or two at the most ) CS/DS settings for the 4 guitars I used in a show, got myself a good FRFR, bought some MBritt profiles (un-tweaked except for fx) and suddenly everything was good in my world.....(actually it wasn't THAT suddenly, took me over a year before I had the courage to go live with the KPA)


    For the last 5 years, I haven't used a tube amp live if I had the choice. It wasn't so much that the KPA sounded BETTER to me than my amps, it was a "complete package" thing and I am now hooked.


    (Oh...edit: I never had as many positive comments about my sound as I've had since using the KPA)

  • Did you try disabling Pure Cab?

    Hehe this seems to be the answer to most problems :)

    Kemper PowerRack | Rivera 4x12 V30 cab | Yamaha DXR10 pair | UA Apollo Twin Duo | Adam A7X | Cubase DAW
    Fender Telecaster 62 re-issue chambered mahogany | Kramer! (1988 or so...) | Gibson Les Paul R7 | Fender Stratocaster HBS-1 Classic Relic Custom Shop | LTD EC-1000 Evertune

    Edited once, last by musicmad ().

  • Yeah, I've played around with the cabs, PureCab, checked the settings which are at SPDIF, Reaper using the Kemper as clock source.

    Not trolling but have you tried new strings and turning up your monitors? You need a little bit of volume.

    Kemper PowerRack | Rivera 4x12 V30 cab | Yamaha DXR10 pair | UA Apollo Twin Duo | Adam A7X | Cubase DAW
    Fender Telecaster 62 re-issue chambered mahogany | Kramer! (1988 or so...) | Gibson Les Paul R7 | Fender Stratocaster HBS-1 Classic Relic Custom Shop | LTD EC-1000 Evertune

  • I use mine mostly for recording, my problem is with recording distorted tones with my Les Paul.

  • Funny thing is that I have had a similar issue in that I was finding it difficult to get the sound in my head. I use a 335 and found that most profiles that featured heavy overdrive did not suit me.


    I tend to go for a lower powered amp, like a Lazy J , on a crunch type level. I put a compressor in front (and sometimes a Boost) and let it drive the amp a bit. I go into the Amplifier section and play with the Definition (often turning it down) and the Power Sagging (turning it up). Then I adjust the mid in the EQ section until I get what I am looking for. I find that a lot of the Heavier profiles tend to have far too much drive, which for me me kills the tone and feel of the 335. It is probably best to have a clear idea in your mind what you want from an over-driven sound. I find when recording less drive is better in a mix.


    I agree with you about the majority of VSTs and modellers. For me the problem was latency as my project got bigger with more plugins etc. That is the brilliant thing for me about the Kemper - no latency - as I run the analogue audio into the mixer and the SPDIF from the Stack into the DAW so that I can monitor at any level I like and use the post efx and reverb whilst recording just the amp profile into my project.

  • You might want to try more profiles, like the ones from the free rig packs. Getting a good tone from a LP should be no probs.


    Backup your system and do a reset if you've tweaked to the point of not remembering - something might be off somewhere?


    Hope this helps man, there's no substitute, IMHO!

  • I really don't think some people know what a good sounding distorted guitar sounds like. (Not pointing fingers at the OP, just in general). The sounds we hear on albums is different than hearing a setup in person.


    OP, here is how to understand the true value of the Kemper. Get a tube amp, one that you think has the sound you like. Set up a mic and get the sound you like on a recorded piece. Now plug that mic cable into the Kemper and profile the amp and then record the Kemper and compare. You will find that the Kemper really does capture the sound of a tube amp. Then you will understand.


    Or, sometimes people are never satisfied and will always tone search ...

  • What distorted amp were you recording before you tried modelers/VSTs/Kemper?


    FWIW, all the modelers, VSTs, etc sound terrible to my ears as well. Also, most of the profiles that come with the Kemper also sound terrible until you disable all of the effects. I've had the best luck profiling my own amps.


    What kind of a distorted guitar tone (name a player or record) are you trying to achieve?


    +1 on everything drog said. Recorded guitar sounds different than sitting in front of an amp. We did a recording session at my house a few years back and our other guitarist was freaked out because his amp sounded "really dry" when played back through the monitors before effects were added. He explained that sounded different in the room. I had to explain that the reason for close-mic'ing an amp was to reduce bleed from room acoustics and other instruments...and told him to put his ear up to the speaker grill and see how much room reflection he could hear!

  • I think this is key. Were you ever happy with recording? Why did you switch to modelers? Have you tried, for a comparison, a load box and IR's?

  • That is indeed the “key”.


    If you were blissfully happy with tube amps, and your recordings, then we have a starting point to discuss.


    But, if you’ve never been happy then it is a much different discussion as to why your playing doesn’t translate onto recordings the way you imagine, in your head, you’d like it to.

  • The M Britt profiles just blow me away and I am no longer needing any tube amp.....they are that good....if they fool the Chappers, they will fool everyone....I purchased most of the Britt profiles and every one is just jaw dropping good....the cleans are almost mind blowing and my guitars have never sounded so good. The only problem with the Kemper, in my estimation, is the lack of really good distortion effects (klon, muff, fuzz, metal etc.) and I still need to use my pedals with the Kemper and it works seamlessly. But man what a big deal it would be if Kemper produced 20 very high quality distortion effects. They would be flying off the shelf and would clean up my pedal board. Mike Britt is a gem of a person too!!!