parameters for a smoother solo sound...

  • Hi guys, I might ask you something dumb since I have owned the kpa since 6 years but never got straight on this.


    I think I have great tones with it but I need a smoother sound in solos because my solo note are now excellent, cutting through the mix easily and singing a lot. The only thing is that I don't feel them easy on my fingers. It is difficult to describe the feeling on my hand but they are sort of too crisp while instead I like them a bit too smooth.


    what kpa parameter do you guys use for getting a less crisp tone and a smoother one?


    most of the times I do a lowering of the treble and the presence know which gets me going ok but it is not perfect. Maybe getting down the definition?


    all opinions are welcome...

    "...why being satisfied with an amp, as great as it can be, while you can have them all?" michael mellner


    "Rock in Ecclesia" - new album on iTunes or Google music

  • Try a profile with lower gain as you use this time and than set the lead booster in front of the amp. Sound 5.0, Mix 100% and Volume up to 2 or higher. I use it sometimes up to 2,8..


    This lead booster gives a little magic to the sound imho ( more sustain and something in warm mids). So much better than a tubescreamer.


    Let me hear what you think.


    Cheers
    Frank

  • Why not a bit of a woman tone? Rolling down the volume knob of the pup a little gets a cleaner and softer tone with some good profiles that have enough gain. Some profiles may turn too dark but others sound great.

  • thank guys for help... will try what Frank says. as for treble knob I don't have it I just have volume. as for amp compression do yoou mean the one in the amp section?

    "...why being satisfied with an amp, as great as it can be, while you can have them all?" michael mellner


    "Rock in Ecclesia" - new album on iTunes or Google music

  • thank guys for help... will try what Frank says. as for treble knob I don't have it I just have volume. as for amp compression do yoou mean the one in the amp section?

    I was going to suggest the amp compression also, and yes, it's in the Amp section.

    Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. - Wayne Dyer

  • Definitely this. I just stumbled upon this a few days ago and used it for leads during my gig this weekend. I was never a TS fan....too much treble. But the lead booster gives a beautiful roundness but yet still cuts through. I set mine almost exactly as Frank described.

  • Here is my routine to take any profile to lead tone :


    back up definition , reduce clarity , add a delay ( own preset ) , tap to song tempo, double the verb length ( from 4 /5 to 10 /12 ). Most often there is also an hint of vintage chorus ( much better for the whole mix) .


    I often add a parked wah ( in mid or high freq boost depending on the mix ) or use the wah normally.


    I also setup my real fuzz / boost in front with a similar setup like the Lead booster, but with a hint of dist / fuzz. I also try to double or harmonize my leads with two takes , sometimes an octave or 3rd / 5th above.


    This is how my leads profiles are made & stored in perf mode. The whole approach is similar to 80's analog racks ( that I never owned !) , much more simple now :)


    lead example on one of my rock track : here , from 2:30

  • Looking back at the original post I interpret the issue as one of “feel” rather than “tone”. While I would obviously try the Definition control etc I think the answer is more likely to be found in the Amp Compression. Or maybe even a separate compressor block.


    If trying to change the tone as well as feel a little Fuzz with the tone backed of rather than OD or Distortion is worth trying.


    michaelmellner how did you get on with all the suggestions so far?

  • Alan, I did experiment quite a bit in these days.


    as said in my first post, my timbres (all commercial profiles) cut the mix so easily and the guitar, both solo and rhythm, is there: crisp, definite, and all the rest.


    Only, this crispness makes me pay super attention when I play solos. In other words, kemper timbres I use don't forgive any tiny mistake. I guess everyone have had the experience with amps that seems so easy to play solo with. Right? I wanted to achieve the same thing with the kemper.


    So, back to the experiments...


    The best results I achieved were lowering the presence potentiometer almost to nothing. This might sound outrageous, but this is something that was used with amps.

    I was using amps, and the timbre was too thin and high in tone, instead of lowering the trebles (which can modify the amount of distortion) I lowered the presence. Someone told me they even put it to 0 and add trebles to make it suitable.


    I tried the same with the kemper: put the presence at something close to 0 and compensate the lack of high with the trebles.


    I don't know why but now the solo notes in my hands are a lot easier to play and am starting to achieve what I was looking for.


    So, I ask you to double check this experiment to see if this is me only or do you reckon the same thing.


    FYI I achieved my best result with a Top Jimi 78 Marshall.


    On a side note, it is strange to see that the presence leds are all the way (or almost all the way) to the right, but since I have the tone, who cares, right?


    Let me know your comment

    "...why being satisfied with an amp, as great as it can be, while you can have them all?" michael mellner


    "Rock in Ecclesia" - new album on iTunes or Google music

  • In other words, kemper timbres I use don't forgive any tiny mistake.

    OK, that one's easy to fix - just don't make any mistakes :whistling:


    Glad to hear you are getting closer to what you are looking for. I don't have that 78 Marshall profile but just tried playing with a JTM45 profile from another profiler. The interesting thing is just how different the effect is depending on where the EQ is situated.


    You mentioned that someone told you turning down the Treble would reduce the amount of distortion. That is true if the EQ is in the PRE position. It doesn't really work that way in POST. Turning the Presence in POST can be pretty radical. Full UP becomes like a swarm of bees at your ears and turning it all the way DOWN can be very muddy (on the particular profile I was playing around with). Moving the EQ to PRE tames the Presence control and makes it very usable wile also changing the impact of the other tone controls too. If you haven't tried switching the EQ position I would suggest giving it a try.

  • You're going to get more cream, Michael, along with less "extraneous" / inadvertent / unintended noises.


    You could also try lowering definition for a similar effect but without having to back off on the presence so much... IMHO.

  • I am always looking for a better rock solo sound (with most of my gigs, it only gets used once, maybe twice a night, so I want it to be awesome :D).

    I spend a ridiculous amount of time auditioning profiles looking for a better one and that is my suggestion to you: keep looking for the profile(s) that are the closest to what you are looking for. I keep a folder in rig manager that I put any potential solo profiles into. I also keep a couple of performances with potential solo profiles, just so I have access to them when I don't have rig manager with me. My current fav is Bogner Ecstasy Ch2 N2 from a certain "Lone", "Amazed-ing" profile maker :whistling:.


    In addition to the all the great suggestions the other posters have made, try these:


    I have noted that some really distorted profiles smooth out and fatten up when the gain is lowered, while still having plenty of sustain. (This also works great when looking for clean/cleanish tones.)


    Take which ever profile you are considering and crank both the Middle and Treble knobs on the front panel to taste. I really like this, but I am aware that some of what I am liking is Fletcher-Munson related. Depending on how much you raise them, you may have to lower the rig volume to compensate.


    Caveat to the next suggestion: I hated chorus on distorted guitar tones in the 80's and I still hate it (apologies to Zakk Wylde). Judicious use of some kind of chorus/micro pitch can smooth things out. With the Kemper's ability to mix the effects you can get that smoothing effect without the "chorus" being obvious. Try the Air Chorus or the Micro Pitch.


    This next one is counter-intuitive: I find that if I lower the volume and/or the tone knobs on the guitar just slightly, some tones smooth and fatten. See if that works with your rig.


    Lastly, an observation: I find that when I get a really fat, smooth solo tone that I like, it is often unusable for rhythm/chords. I assume it's just too gainy, too fat, etc.


    So, just my thoughts, and I am searching right along with ya!

  • OK, that one's easy to fix - just don't make any mistakes :whistling:


    Glad to hear you are getting closer to what you are looking for. I don't have that 78 Marshall profile but just tried playing with a JTM45 profile from another profiler. The interesting thing is just how different the effect is depending on where the EQ is situated.


    You mentioned that someone told you turning down the Treble would reduce the amount of distortion. That is true if the EQ is in the PRE position. It doesn't really work that way in POST. Turning the Presence in POST can be pretty radical. Full UP becomes like a swarm of bees at your ears and turning it all the way DOWN can be very muddy (on the particular profile I was playing around with). Moving the EQ to PRE tames the Presence control and makes it very usable wile also changing the impact of the other tone controls too. If you haven't tried switching the EQ position I would suggest giving it a try.

    hi again Alan...I'm playing right now the profile I dug with the presence almost totally out. Found out the eq is in post position. Isn't it strange? so, a dumb one: in an amp, the eq, the one connected to the potentiometer, is in pre or post position?

    "...why being satisfied with an amp, as great as it can be, while you can have them all?" michael mellner


    "Rock in Ecclesia" - new album on iTunes or Google music

  • hi again Alan...I'm playing right now the profile I dug with the presence almost totally out. Found out the eq is in post position. Isn't it strange? so, a dumb one: in an amp, the eq, the one connected to the potentiometer, is in pre or post position?

    Here is a little bit of information about the eq and a mesa boogie mark V. Where the eq section is setted depends on the amp. Also when not playing a boogie this information is intressting imho.


    http://pdb.meinldistribution.c…duct/others/MarkV_DE_.pdf


    Cheers

    Frank

  • hi again Alan...I'm playing right now the profile I dug with the presence almost totally out. Found out the eq is in post position. Isn't it strange? so, a dumb one: in an amp, the eq, the one connected to the potentiometer, is in pre or post position?

    A Marshall has a passive tone stack after the preamp (i.e. post distortion, pre- power amp). The Presence and/or Depth are generally part of the poweramp/transformer design.


    A Boogie has the tone stack BEFORE the preamp. This is why the Treble knob on a Boogie also tends to act as a gain control. Basically, because it is. It's also why the 5-band EQ post position in Boogies is so powerful.


    The KPA puts its active EQ in the POST position. Not sure if it's pre-poweramp or post-poweramp.

  • thanks Frank and Benvigil: nice info here! Basically, though, the presence cut thing was used by me in virtually all the amps I owned, especially marshalls. I remember this was very sensible in my last amp owned which was the triaxis. But I guess triaxis had the eq in the pre position, as you said Benvigil, since the distortion was very affected by the lack of treble dialing...


    Overall, I have been playing this profile with the presence almost all cut for some months and I have to say that even if the main tone is still there, the notes are way easier to play compare to before, at least I feel this in my fingers. As soon as possible I will try to post a clip of this tone, all right?


    regards

    "...why being satisfied with an amp, as great as it can be, while you can have them all?" michael mellner


    "Rock in Ecclesia" - new album on iTunes or Google music