Multi mic profiling with "room" feeling

  • dear kpa forum users :-)


    I'm venturing into profiling, since i find it easier to dial in a tone on my tube amps than browsing endlessly. And a profile is done quickly.


    Has one of you tried to profile the amp with the "room" feeling? E.g. if i get back a few steps from my 4x12 1960A Cab, it sounds awesome. But where the mic usually is, and also in all the fotos of the pro-profilers, it sounds much thinner. why not get back a little for the capturing? I'm gona try this out but i have not much knowhow of mics.


    Is there a reason that this doesn't make sense or has anyone an idea on what mics i coukd use for that?


    Thanks a lot

    once a purist, then analog pragmatic and finally a digital believer who found out that you can't hear a mosquito fart in a band-context.

  • The KPA captures and reproduces tube-amp (and other) electrical devices' processes; it doesn't and can't include reverb 'cause it's an acoustic (and time-based, which the Kemper doesn't do) phenomenon.


    You can try placing the mic where you mentioned, but the Profile will simply sound thinner and lack oomph.

  • You can try placing the mic where you mentioned, but the Profile will simply sound thinner and lack oomph.

    actually, the PROFILER will accurately capture tonal properties of the further away positioned mic, but in order to recreate the 'room' around it you'll have to add a Room Reverb with similar properties and in the appropriate level. Meaning a probably pretty high Mix setting.

  • actually, the PROFILER will accurately capture tonal properties of the further away positioned mic...

    ... the Profile will simply sound thinner and lack oomph...

  • Thanks for your input guys.


    Usually i don't add reverb to profiles, since we have our mixer who adds reverb for each channel depending on the gig location. So i only add delay.


    Are you talking about reverb meaning i create a profile in a traditional way (mic direct somewhere close to the speaker) and add reverb afterwards to recreate this feeling?


    I've been in a no reverb state for years now so i might adress this room feeling despite of what our mixer likes.


    Monkey_Man , did you try this already? or why do you think i get a thinner and oomph lacking profile?

    once a purist, then analog pragmatic and finally a digital believer who found out that you can't hear a mosquito fart in a band-context.

  • Are you talking about reverb meaning i create a profile in a traditional way (mic direct somewhere close to the speaker) and add reverb afterwards to recreate this feeling?

    Yes.

    Monkey_Man, did you try this already? or why do you think i get a thinner and oomph lacking profile?

    The further you travel away from the cabinet, the thinner the sound will be (less bass) and the more you'd lose articulation (attack definition). This is an inescapable acoustic phenomenon. When mic'ing sources we call it the proximity effect when referring to the increase / loss of bass depending upon the mic's distance from source.


    Read about it here if you like:

    Proximity effect (audio) - Wikipedia

  • Thanks a lot Monkey_Man . With your input on taxonomy and the link you shared i found this article:

    https://www.sweetwater.com/ins…ic-placement-guitar-amps/


    So tonight will be reverb testing to get the "room" feeling from the PA vs. the original tube amp with the perfect-tasted distance to the cab.


    Much appreciated and this helped me to learn something while avoiding pointless hours with mic positioning - i might still experiment a little to get a better understanding with experience.

    once a purist, then analog pragmatic and finally a digital believer who found out that you can't hear a mosquito fart in a band-context.

  • I'd for sure try experimenting with placing the mic where your head is when you hear a great tone from your amp :-)

    Close mic profiles are the sound of recorded guitar amps, and the sound of guitar amps through a PA system. It is a different sound than just the amplifier, but they are ideal for recording and live use.


    If you want to make a Rig that sounds more like the amp sounds to you when you play it:


    A great way to make a profile for general “at home” playing is to use a relatively flat condenser mic, and place it where your head would normally be when you listen to your amplifier onstage or at home. (For example, place it at head height, and the distance you stand from your amp). Although it will not include room acoustics, it will have the tonal response of the amp from that mic position. When you listen to the Rig through FRFR Monitors, It will give you the sound you are used to hearing from your amplifier. If it sounds too dry, add a little Reverb.

  • Close mic profiles are the sound of recorded guitar amps, and the sound of guitar amps through a PA system. It is a different sound than just the amplifier, but they are ideal for recording and live use.


    If you want to make a Rig that sounds more like the amp sounds to you when you play it:


    A great way to make a profile for general “at home” playing is to use a relatively flat condenser mic, and place it where your head would normally be when you listen to your amplifier onstage or at home. (For example, place it at head height, and the distance you stand from your amp). Although it will not include room acoustics, it will have the tonal response of the amp from that mic position. When you listen to the Rig through FRFR Monitors, It will give you the sound you are used to hearing from your amplifier. If it sounds too dry, add a little Reverb.

    Well said :-)

  • I've wondered about this. Impulse responses can capture the time and frequency response of a system, for instance a concert hall, and reproduce them in software like convolution reverb. Cool. The KPA can use IRs as Cabs...also cool. My understanding is that when functioning as a Cab, you're getting the frequency response of the IR but not the time response. Basically it's an extremely detailed EQ. Cool.


    My question is, how "long" is the IR/Cab once it's in the Kemper? Is there any time response at all, or is it pretty much zero? Considering how small and lightweight profile files are, I'm guessing pretty short.

  • "In the room" is often a somewhat misleading concept as there are not one but two major factors to consider.


    People usually focus on the ambient room sound. Sound comes out of speakers, sound bounces off walls, walls sue for reckless endangerment, sound finally reaches ears. The "in the room" sound is all aspects of all speakers ganging up to assault the walls, so that's the reflections you get, litigation notwithstanding.


    When you close mic a cab, you're zeroing in on one very specific spot of one specific speaker. And if you've done much recording, you know that moving the mic even half an inch can have a drastic effect on the resulting sound. Think of a tiny flashlight attached to that one spot where the mic is, pointing outwards. In a room full of mirrors, the bounces you'd get off of the walls would be a reasonable geometric pattern. All reflections from all speakers would look like the final battle scene of Braveheart.


    The reason no one gives you that "in the room" sound is that for all intents and purposes, it's simply not possible to replicate with microphones. The guys who tracked your favorite records didn't even try. That sounds great in the mix, and so the record sounds great. But when you're playing alone, without the keyboards, bass, drummer, et al, the guitar by itself sounds comparatively thin and ungratifying. And we want to feel good when we play.


    However, there's another major factor that's often overlooked. "In the room" is also very much about moving air. When I crank a Marshall up to 11 and hit a power chord on a Les Paul, my trousers flap and I feel the punch in my gut. That's rock and roll, which is a very physical experience. Now, let's model that Marshall on 11 (and there are some guys here who do that very, very well). You can dial up the profile and hit a power chord, but if you're not turned up enough to flap the trousers, you ain't gonna feel it in your gut. Then you may ask, "why does this profile seem weak?"


    And that's before we even get to the speakers you're going through. Are you using an FRFR (Full Range, Flat Response) speaker that, like a studio reference monitor, will faithfully reproduce what the profile creators captured? If you aren't (and even with FRFRs, they're not all created equal), then the guitar type cab you're running through is going to color the sound even with Monitor Cab Off. If it's not exactly the same cab they profiled with (not to mention the speakers being broken in the same amount), it will be different than what they created.


    That said, I have a Yamaha DXR-10 FRFR speaker. I can take a cranked Marshall profile, run it through the speaker, crank it up to around 105 db, and I can assure you it sounds like the amp is in the room. My walls would grudgingly agree. But if it was a bit off, I still have a number of things to tweak before I get anywhere near the Kemper. Is the speaker cabinet on the ground or elevated? Are there frequency response curves on the cab? If so, what are they set to? And is the cab sitting in the same position that my guitar cab was? Different position = different reflections (although the attorney for the walls may be unimpressed with the distinction).


    So, you've got the problem of trying to simulate every square inch of every speaker in your 4x12, and all the chaotic reflections they cause. Your speaker choice will contribute. The volume at which you're playing will factor in. And I'm sure someone wiser and more knowledgeable about all this than me (which doesn't take much) will chime in and add all the other factors I forgot to mention.


    You can certainly fire up a profile and get a great "in the room" sound. But personally, I believe it's simply not possible to duplicate, with 100% accuracy, the sound of your Marshall stack blasting at full tilt with a profiler that relies on microphones. Or any other emulation technology.


    I like to feel good when I play (who doesn't?), and I get a great experience with the Kemper. But I'm even more excited about the fact that the sounds these profiles give me are shaked, baked and ready to drop right into the mix - live or recording. After all, if I want the sound Jimmy Page got on all those great Led Zeppelin records, I need the sound of a guitar cabinet captured with a microphone - because that's what they did.


    I know that doesn't really get you where you wanted to go, but sometimes it helps you get the results you want if you better understand the nature of the beast.

  • The new AxeFX III firmware seems to offer an amp in the room feature. Still too early to judge how good it is as it was a beta release and most comments don’t really talk about the feature, but if it really can recreate the feel of an amp in the room as opposed to just an amp on a recording this will be a good for all of us over time.

  • Wow Chris Duncan that is some serious insights.


    I can relate to most of what you say. Especially about the moving air - i don't have to get at 105db to feel it, but i'm still using guitar cabs as monitor, and their sound is apparently flat compared to the one from the PA.


    We have a mixer who sets up our FOH and PA (we are using a Behringer X32) in the bandroom and we almost always take that thing with us. Don't get me wrong i really like the KPA sound over the PA (i couldn't yet agree on the EQ from FOH with our mixer but that would be another topic)


    About the sound of my marshall 4x12 - I've played that cap in many different settings and it just sounds huge - i do understand the bouncing, but there is something about well broken in 4x12 cab that even paul gilbert can't pull of out of FOH. It just sounds.....i don't know how better to describe...plastique - And from what I understood about the IRs, the thing about the sound losing oompf makes sense.


    I was just wondering if i could get that 3-dimensional sound out of FOH from kemper if i look for a well balanced room (our practice room as been measured and we built some special stuff to make it "soundfriendly") and make a profile out of it that somehow combines oompf from close up mics with some 3d sound from an "away" point of hearing from the amp aka "in the room" feeling. And to make that clear, i'm not talking about reverb. I tested reverb today, its something else that makes this cab sound huge.


    I'll check if i have a flat condenser mic somewhere and try this alone and in sum with one or 2 on the cone in front of the speaker.


    Thanks for the input guys, really appreciated.

    once a purist, then analog pragmatic and finally a digital believer who found out that you can't hear a mosquito fart in a band-context.

  • The new AxeFX III firmware seems to offer an amp in the room feature. Still too early to judge how good it is as it was a beta release and most comments don’t really talk about the feature, but if it really can recreate the feel of an amp in the room as opposed to just an amp on a recording this will be a good for all of us over time.

    The firmware change is just allowing IRs to be imported into the unit in a "non-minimum phase aligned format", if they were or are created this way. Basically, no cutting out any silence before the waveform. This lets you manually align the phase of any IR and/or adjust to other IRs if you are mixing them. Gives a lot more control over the final product, but doesn't create "amp in the room" feel. For that, you need an amp in the room.

  • I actually prefer distant mic'd sounds for guitar amps but even with close mic though you will not actually eliminate the room entirely.

    We've grown used to an unnaturally close mic'd sound from amp sims over the past twenty years, it's not a bad sound, more or less it sounds like the mic isn't up against the grill, nor even is inside the cone but is actually on the diaphragm itself. This is very punchy, it cuts well and is very defined and much easier to work with, you may prefer it.


    Just consider how many guitar tracks you've heard in the last twenty years that you've thought to yourself "man this guitar sounds amazing!". If there's a good number then forget everything you're thinking about when it comes to "amp in the room" because the sound you're getting as recorded is already the sound you're after, you're just a bit nervous because you maybe haven't heard your guitar sound like that before.


    If on the other hand you find yourself gravitating towards older tracks, or more esoteric indie sounds where it's clear that the amp was some inches or even feet away from the mic then you will need to add some room-like reverb to your sound. I'd suggest using a combination of algorithmic and IR based verbs to overcome IR's limitations, or even simpler just dangle a mic in your room if you like it's sound as you play and then combine it in DAW, mix till you're happy with your tone. Don't let other people tell you what guitar should sound like, the instrument is is your voice.

  • The firmware change is just allowing IRs to be imported into the unit in a "non-minimum phase aligned format", if they were or are created this way. Basically, no cutting out any silence before the waveform. This lets you manually align the phase of any IR and/or adjust to other IRs if you are mixing them. Gives a lot more control over the final product, but doesn't create "amp in the room" feel. For that, you need an amp in the room.

    Thanks for the theory explaination. Have you actually tried it on a III? There are some comments there by some who feel like it actually does capture the amp in a room sound but I would expect some hyperbole there!

  • Thanks for the theory explaination. Have you actually tried it on a III? There are some comments there by some who feel like it actually does capture the amp in a room sound but I would expect some hyperbole there!

    I've tried it as I have the III. It doesn't capture the amp in the room (nothing can... except and amp in the room), you just can't do that with a static IR. What it does is allows one to adjust the phase of the IRs in relation to each other which can have quite a dramatic effect due to comb filtering and phase cancellation. It can mimic to a certain degree the sound you may hear if say you were sitting 6 ft away and off to the side a little from a speaker cabinet. But it's only that one static position. The effect doesn't change when you move.

    I like the added flexibility of this feature because IRs are such a huge part of the overall sound. It can make it easier to really fine tune the IRs which is great, but that can also be a rabbit hole in itself.

    Even Cliff from Fractal has said many times...If you want amp in the room, put an amp in the room!...

  • if you want something better than 'amp in the room', put the PROFILER in stereo through a good monitoring system (Studio monitors, wedges, IEM) and add a 1x12 cabinet, preferrably driven by the POWERHEADs internal power amp.

    Now you can take advantage of the full profiled sound including cabinet, speaker, mic, EQ etc. for FOH/reheasal room PA/FRFR and the extra impact a 12" speaker delivers, which is what many of us guitar players are used to.


    Best of both worlds.