Kemper vs Axe FX: Why don't I see anyone *creating* music with the Kemper? Is it exclusively intended as a device for performances?

  • I can't comment on comparing the KP to the FX as I've not tried the later.


    I'm just here to say that was quite surprised to hear someone say that they thought these were used "exclusively in a live setting". It had always that of this as mostly a studio tool.


    I know guitarists in working bands that have both, but leave them in the studio for recording and still bring their traditional rig for live gigs.


    However, when I researched the KP deeper for my recent purchase of one, I was exposed to lots of testimonials of people using them (amp version or not) in live settings and thought "huh, why not".


    But exclusively for live? As in not using it in the studio? I don't get that.


    Chris

  • You enjoyed the tones you had then, and you've got a backup and the financial "hit" no longer matters to you.
    So, obviously I'd say go Kemper.

    The purposes are the same; there's no distinction between home or live use or rhythm or lead playing.

    Not to take away from the fact that he did use it, but Devin Townsend has left the Kemper world for his Axe, if I understand things correctly.

  • I don't recognise this as the case. I have seen photos galore of professionals using Kempers, including the aforementioned Devin Townsend. On Faith No More's last album, the guitars were recorded completely through a Kemper. I do think that Fractal's endorsement program means that it's difficult to open guitar magazine and not see an advert full of artists claiming they use an AxeFx but even those cam be misleading if you look into how those artists use them.

    Kemper has been running full page ads in most guitar magazines for many months now. Guitar Player, Premier Guitar, etc. I see it advertised far more than Fractal.

  • Not to take away from the fact that he did use it, but Devin Townsend has left the Kemper world for his Axe, if I understand things correctly.

    Really? =O


    Oh well, each to his own.


    If you look at the context in which I posted the pic, Jesse, it was in response to a quote that said it was being used "exclusively in a live setting, as opposed to in a home audio setup". The fact that Devin used it in the latter situation, even if just testing it, serves to illustrate that it's at the very least a viable option for that purpose.

  • Kemper has been running full page ads in most guitar magazines for many months now. Guitar Player, Premier Guitar, etc. I see it advertised far more than Fractal.


    That's not what my post suggested. I didn't say it isn't advertised, just that the Fractal adverts have typically contained lists of endorsees and quotes from them.

  • I know a fair few commercial studio engineers and most of them have equipped their racks with Kempers over the Axe the last few years.


    Havnt quizzed them all why they chose the KPA specifically, but I know one them did it as he simply wanted steallar amp tones as quickly as possible (for the times the available in house real amps wernt what was needed). Also, if some pushy bugger was hung up on an amp brand name and insisted that's the only amp tone that would work (haha.. love those guys :whistling: ), he could almost instantly download a well balanced commercial capture of that amp, avoid an artist hissy fit and move on.


    He also loved how honestly the KPA responded to all the crazy ass and varied pedal boards people bring in. I hadn't considered that side of it tbh, but it's a solid point.


    Imo, the super deep (excessively deep?) tweakability of everything onboard the Axe is a slippery slope for recording. Some see it as a huge benefit, and others (like me) see it as a bit of a productivity killer. Especially when imo the goal is simply to get great suitable guitar/amp tone into a project. I love watching the face of testosterone filled guitarists as their obsessivly tweaked, all encompassing satan summoning huge guitar tone is neutered as the engineer cuts a chunk of the low end to fit in the mix and actually sound good :D


    Plenty of Kempers in studios banging out cool stuff. I dig the Axe too, but the KPA does absolutly everything I need both when recording at home and playing live - quickly and easily.

  • Imo, the super deep (excessively deep?) tweakability of everything onboard the Axe is a slippery slope for recording. Some see it as a huge benefit, and others (like me) see it as a bit of a productivity killer. Especially when imo the goal is simply to get great suitable guitar/amp tone into a project. I love watching the face of testosterone filled guitarists as their obsessivly tweaked, all encompassing satan summoning huge guitar tone is neutered as the engineer cuts a chunk of the low end to fit in the mix and actually sound good :D



    Plenty of Kempers in studios banging out cool stuff. I dig the Axe too, but the KPA does absolutly everything I need both when recording at home and playing live - quickly and easily.

    This was me. I just want to plug and play without tweaking (not that you have to with the Axe) but for the Kemper all I do to most profiles is add mids and up the bass a tad. That's it. Super convenient.

  • I am a long time Axe FX user (Ultra, Axe 2, AX8 and Axe III).
    I recently tried a friend's Kemper and then sold my Axe 2, to buy a KPA.
    Kemper and Axe are just different paths to the same solution - great tone.


    I do think the KPA sounds a tad more realistic than the Axe...which is why I bought one.
    But the Axe can be dialed to sound close to identical to the Kemper. (I'm making that statement for a reason).


    Some of the MBritt profiles were just almost perfect. I dialed in a touch more bass/treble, and BOOM, I'm done.
    With the Axe, it sometimes takes more time to get there....but you can get there.
    I have found myself recently taking a Kemper profile I love, and trying to recreate it in the Axe. I can do it...but it kind of points out that I'm finding the right tone in the Kemper, quicker.
    Getting a good tone out of the Kemper is quicker than with the Axe (for me). But if you want to do DEEP editing, the Axe has more to offer there.


    Still love my AX8 for gigging, and I am keeping my Axe III because I believe Fractal will evolve that product to an incredible new level.
    But if you want to get an amazing tone quickly, I have found the Kemper to be easier.
    My only regret with the Kemper is that I didn't try it sooner. I love it.


    (also, I'm new to the forum obviously....so hello!)

  • ...
    But exclusively for live? As in not using it in the studio? I don't get that.


    Chris

    Well for any guitarist who needs to put a microphone in front of an amp, nothing can recreate that sound like the Kemper, so Kemper in this specific situation is the perfect solution for live purposes. It's that simple.


    Some touring bands take this functionality to insure that their studio recorded sound that their fans are used to, is being reproduced exactly the same on stage and that's by profiling the sound of their own Amps.
    So in this case it would be for Studio and live, but that doesn't mean that you can't just exclusively use it for Live if you so choose.


    One example is Jake Pitts from the Black Veil Brides
    Check this Jake video that might give you an idea or an example of the possibilities and how the Kemper can make life much simpler


  • My band and I recorded this in my mancave with a scarlet 2i2 interface and a Kemper.
    Home recording is fantastic with the KPA and my live tone is perfect for me.



    Mancave? You mean ManCavern!


    Crumpets, what a room. Great video and Kemper tones too man. :thumbup:

  • I am a home user. Recently, I decided to go Kemper.


    My personal take was a KPA powered (pre+power amp in one box), there is no AxeFx powered version, as far as I know. AxeFXIII retail price was $us. 700 (38%) higher than KPA passive (you may get discounts on both). I didn't need Fractal's renowned MultiFXs tweaking, to justify such difference. But, if that is what you need to inspire you creating music, you may want to consider FX-III, instead of FX-II. After many iterations, Fractal is relying on this new platform to evolve.


    During my research I did find online content showing the use cases you described with a KPA. For instance, you can search Paul Gilbert scarified videos @home, John Mayer traveling practice rig @hotel bedroom, Pete Thorn review @home-studio, Michael Brit, Tim Pierce, STL Studios testimonials @studio, among others...You mentioned that you already have found several live KPA use cases.


    Fractal has an impressive list of pro-artists. Most of them use it live as an MultiFX processor only, through their actual amps of choice. (Petrucci, Neil Schon, Vai,...). Metallica use the AxeFX live as a preamp with an additional Matrix power amp. I assume you already watched AxeFX studio/home applications.


    So, as all previous posts stated, there are enough references showing that both products can deliver outstanding consistent tone, both work great at home, studio or live. It just depends on your personal needs, preferences and budget.


    Fractal is investing heavily in R&D and working directly with artists in order to improve AxeFX amp tones. In the other hand, Kemper R&D is looking to improve the FX section (new reverbs coming this fall). A healthy competitive environment improves digital products, for the benefit of all guitar players.

  • I haven't read the whole thread, and I don't know much about the Axe, but... I have done plenty of laying down tracks for purposes of song writing and presenting rough drafts to the band. I can easily see the Kemper being a serious studio recording asset as well as my current use for live performances. FWIW

  • The KPA is great live and in the studio. After having some trouble at the beginning with it. I Fund the right set up for live gigs and it sounds great. The soundguys at the console love it, b/c the set up is super fast and it sounds great.


    Bbb