Monitors VS Cabs

  • I've been struggling with this for ages, and it has held me back from using my Kemper at home as much as I could ;(||

    My powered Kemper sounds so much sweeter through an amp speaker (bypassing the cabinet section) than it does direct to the studio monitors using the cab emulations! (I use Yamanha HS7's) :rolleyes:

    There's so much more harshness to the sound when using the cab emulations and the monitors, the sound is hollower, there's less feel and I have a hard time with it.

    I keep hearing recording online in youtube of guys playing direct to DAW through the Kemper and it sounds way better!

    Then I get the exact same profiles and it's not anything like that experience :/:/

    Could there be something wrong with my setup?

  • I really prefer my KPA through my monitors (1st Gen KRK Rokit 5s), I like it better than running through a Mesa 2x12.

    Those are pretty good monitors, I have a buddy with a similar ear to mine, he loves his (I think his are the 8s).

    Kind of splitting hairs here, but usually any shortcomings of the profiling process are more apparent when going the other way 'round, like when you take a Studio profile and play through a real cab with CABINET off, the KPA's cab-separating algorithm comes up a little short for some.

    Maybe you don't like a mic'd amp sound (which is what it coming out of your monitors)? It can be a little hard to get used to. The real cab with CABINET turned off should give you that "amp-in-the-room" sound, maybe you're just more used to it? I have never found my monitors to be "harsh"...unless I accidentally played through a profile without a cab...yikes, no good.

    I don't know man. It's hard to think what could be wrong with your setup...have you ran the KPA outs directly to the HS7s to eleminate the possibilitity of having some sort of issue with your interface/DAW/routing software (not sure what the issue would be...but it might be worth trying)?

    If it sounds bad direct to the monitors, I dunno. It should sound kickass. :D

    Maybe someone more knowledgeable will chime in.

    Disclaimer: When I post demo clips for profiles, there will be some minimal post-processing, unless stated otherwise. I normally double-track hard L/R, and add to the main buss a small amount of EQ and a limiter/comp set pretty light as well. Sometimes I get test profiles in advance of release, though 90% of my clips will be from packs I have purchased.

  • Do you listen to the videos with your HS7s? If not, that may explain it.

    Can you post an example of a video?

    Here are a few possibilities:

    It may have been recorded with a room microphone, in a room that sounds different than your room. It may be because a different guitar was used, or a different physical playing approach, a different volume control setting on the guitar. If the demo is with bass and drums, there may be EQ tweaks, Compression, and other FX.

  • I've only had my Kemper for a couple of weeks and was not satisfied with the sound through a pair of vertical 2x12s. Cab sim on was too muffled. Cab sim off was too much fizz.

    I like the sound through Yamaha HS5 monitors but it lacks balls.

    Then I decided to run both simultaneously and am happy with the results. I run the monitors through the XLRs and use the monitor's volume to blend with cab until it sounds right. The monitors add just enough highs and clarity while the cabs still thump.

  • Context comparison. Play along with drums and bass through monitors, in a mix, versus thinking of it in terms of amp in the room.

    My second time 'round with the Kemper (stupidly sold my first one) has been with a powered version, which I typically "monitor" through a Mojotone Canyon w/Celestion V-Type (sounds excellent); however, it's also connected (via Steinberg UR44) to a couple Dynaudio BM5's through which I can actually monitor it on its own, via a DAW and/or with SD3 in more of a mix environment and things take on a different timbre: the beauty of a Kemper (or other similar device).

    It's all a matter of context.

  • One of the biggest things about the real cab Ap In The Room sound effect is speaker placement. The studio monitors are generally plaed at ear level and pointing straight at you. They are directing a mic’ed guitar sound from a mic right in front of the speaker directly at your ears. That is a vastly different sound than a traditional cab pointing at the back of our legs. High frequencies are very directional. The real cab will almost always sound darker (warmer) to us as players than it really is. Try lying on floor with an ear facing directlyat the speaker cone as a test. This will be a much closer comparison to the sound of a mic in front of the cab =O it’s certainly not the nice rounded warm sound I normally hear when playing through my traditional 112 or 212 cabs.

    The sound through monitors is much closer to what the audienc are hearing than what we are used to hearing on stage. Some folk like it that way, others prefer to hear what the audience are getting. If you sent the audience the mellowed out warm sound we are used to hearing from out cabs it generally wouldn't sit in the mix or cut through as well as the mic like signal you are hearing from your monitors.

    Our ears are sneaky little buggers and are constantly playing tricks on us ;)

  • Looking at this froma slightly different angle - I found that cabs mask poor profiles/true sound of the profile.

    I never liked my KPA sound direct into a pa or via my DAW when using my original set of profiles.

    When I moved to FRFR I had to change all of my rigs. Funnily enough, the sound in my DAW sounds the same as via a PA ( I know because I got a recording of a gig and overdubbed seemlessly).

    I don;t think comparing via videos is reliable enough. Therefore I would simply suggest trying a PA/FRFR speaker and getting profiles to sound good through those. That should translate onto you DAW/studio set up.

  • Well, I finally found a solution I'm happy with.

    > I traded the Kemper for an Axe-FX3.

    Don't misunderstand me.

    I still believe the Kemper is a top tool with top notch sounds. The Fractal isn't better, it's different.

    I just never got along with it's concept because I'm quite specific as to how I want my sounds and:

    a) I can't profile them because mostly I don't have the skills/gear/etc.

    b) The profiles I bought never quite sounded the way I wanted them too and they can't be tweaked past a certain point or it just starts sounding weird. That's why I struggled with it.

    The Fractal's concept is way more up my alley. I build my sounds from the ground up and everything is tweakable to infinity.

    All the best to all you guys, thanks to all for trying to help. Cheers!

  • I agree with you that they are both excellent just different. For me the main reason I didn’t go Axe is because I didn’t want to go building sounds from the ground up or do endless tweaking. It’s just different ways of working.

    Glad to hear you’ve found something that’s working for you.

    All the best


  • I build my sounds from the ground up and everything is tweakable to infinity.

    I'm really glad there are guys like you out there who can dial in a sound to the Nth degree. The profiles I enjoy come from people who do the same thing with amps, and I just don't have your skills in that area.

    I'm much happier with minimal tweaking but as @Wheresthedug said, it's all about what works for you. The stuff I've heard from the Axe III sounded great, so I'm sure you'll be having fun!