Apart from the player, good sound =50/50 Guitar/Kemper

  • A lot of people forget that the Kemper is not a sample module that sounds the same with every keyboard player. It doesn't apply with the Kemper. Here your sound depends a big part on the guitar you use. Love that demo with this guy with a fantastic rig library? You buy it and you realise it doesn't sound the same ? Well did you forget that he use a $2500 guitar and you use a 250$ one . You didn't buy a sampler library for guitar dude you bought rigs. Your tone 50/50 between the guitar and the Kemper. (Of course your taklent as a player but I'm talking about the tone you get here basically) So if you don't believe me , make that test use a rig, a rig that you use a lot, and record a part then get many guitars (friends or whatever) and record the same part again with the same rig. Then take a break and listen to everything later on.... Then you'll realise that I am right : Good sounds depends 50% on the guitar you use and 50% on the Kemper !!!

  • Agree. It's not a magic device, even if it's close. It could even be more than 50% the guitar.

    Case in point - a couple of rehearsals ago, I found my sound was weak - it just sounded... bad. I played around with the kemper when I got home, and was trying to dial in presets and rigs that I knew once sounded great. I even reset the thing and reloaded from a backup and tried it again. No good.

    I walked away from it for the evening and came back the next day. I just happened to pick up my OTHER mockingbird to test it out and... hot damn, it sounded good again. So it looks like my black bird has either a pot, wiring or pickup issue. The gold top doesn't. The pickups are not identical, but they're close enough that it shouldn't have made a huge difference between them.


    KPA Unpowered Rack, Kemper Remote, X32 Rack, uTrack 24, MTP AV,BC Rich Mockingbird(s)

  • Of course your talent as a player but I'm talking about the tone you get here basically

    Actually, how you play is also a huge factor. I'm not talking so much in terms of talent (highly proficient players versus beginners) as in your style of playing. Eddie Van Halen will sound like Eddie on his signature guitars, but he'll also sound like Eddie on a cheap, bargain basement electric. Just unplug both and listen to him play without an amp. Yep, still Eddie.


    While he's an example of an extremely skilled player, he also has a distinctive style. But then, to a degree, so do we all. For instance, how hard is your pick attack? I use medium celluloid picks, and really dig in when I'm playing. I also attack the strings with all the subtlety of a drunken rhinoceros. Brian May, on the other hand, uses a coin as his pick, and in an interview he described holding it so light that it almost fell out of his hand - and in fact that the Queen stage was littered with coins by the end of the night. Even if he used the same pick as me, that light touch would sound totally different.


    If you hear a demo of someone playing the exact same Les Paul that you have, pickups and all, it could still sound radically different if he uses heavy picks and barely brushes the strings and you use mediums and bash it. And of course, that's just one example.

    get many guitars (friends or whatever) and record the same part again with the same rig. Then take a break and listen to everything later on

    An excellent point, and you can also do this with a microphone. Close mic someone playing electric without the guitar plugged in, like you would if it were an acoustic. Record the DI of one guy playing. Then he gets up and hands the guitar to another friend, who sits down and plays the same thing. Rotate through as many guys as you can. When you're done, play back just the DI and you'll probably hear significant differences, even though it's the exact same guitar.


    Then, just for fun, point those DIs to the Kemper and listen to how different the same profile sounds just from different playing styles.


    This is the whole, "the tone is in the fingers" thing. There's a lot more to your guitar sound than the wood and electronics. And while some people get frustrated that they don't sound just like the demo of that profile pack they just bought, I think it's awesome. Someone else can have the exact same guitar, Kemper and profiles as me, but I can still sound like me. I mean, you know, assuming that's a good thing. :)

  • Agree. It's not a magic device, even if it's close. It could even be more than 50% the guitar.

    I walked away from it for the evening and came back the next day. I just happened to pick up my OTHER mockingbird to test it out and... hot damn, it sounded good again. So it looks like my black bird has either a pot, wiring or pickup issue. The gold top doesn't. The pickups are not identical, but they're close enough that it shouldn't have made a huge difference between them.

    Interesting story... thanks

  • I also attack the strings with all the subtlety of a drunken rhinoceros.

    Quite surprised that someone other than me uses this very refined style. ;) I do it on the bass and sometimes I mellow out and imitate a herd of scared hippos running through a small village at night but most of the time it is the rhinos.


    The only other thing I would add is - I find it much more productive to try to find your own tone, instead of trying to replicate someone else's.

  • a herd of scared hippos running through a small village at night

    That's usually the sound of my bandmates after a particularly enthusiastic rhino. Good to know I'm not alone in the animal kingdom. Safety in numbers, you know. :)

    I find it much more productive to try to find your own tone, instead of trying to replicate someone else's.

    Couldn't agree more. But of course, the curse of working cover bands is people expecting you to sound "just like the record." Fortunately, I now have a not so secret weapon in that particular battle. The local wildlife couldn't be more pleased.

  • The only people who expect a cover band to sound just like the record are other musicians who aren’t at their own gig that night. The audience wants to have a good time. So, take liberties, and make it more entertaining than a recording :)

    Yup... we've gotten compliments on making some tunes "our own". It's lots of fun pushing boundaries.

  • I'm gonna say it's 80% the player and 10% each for the guitar and amp/effects. 😀

    You dont get my point at all !!! I am not talking about the music or musicality. But about the tone we get from the Kemper . The basic tone we get before we start to play music... Many think its like a keyboard linked to a sample banks .... and that a rig sounded the same from all guitar. I just insist in saying that the tone we get is 50% guitar and 50% Kemper... it's not 100% based on the rig we buy or exchange. It depends 50% of the quality of your guitar ... If I take a rig and switched guitar I dont get the same sound at all ... with the same rig. Get it?

  • You dont get my point at all !!! I am not talking about the music or musicality. But about the tone we get from the Kemper . The basic tone we get before we start to play music... Many think its like a keyboard linked to a sample banks .... and that a rig sounded the same from all guitar. I just insist in saying that the tone we get is 50% guitar and 50% Kemper... it's not 100% based on the rig we buy or exchange. It depends 50% of the quality of your guitar ... If I take a rig and switched guitar I dont get the same sound at all ... with the same rig. Get it?

    Kinda...I think what otehr people are saying is that playing style has as much to do with the sound as well.


    The Kemper is an amp....Play a dual rectifier and swap guitars and yes of course it changes, but....I think the different is even greater between players. The amount of people whove had a go on my guitar and amp and I've thought 2 blimey, why don't I sound like that!". I see big differences between my Gretsch and Les Paul, but not much/zero between my Charvel ( £800) and Fender Showmaster ( £120).


    Cheaper guitars are better now than they have ever been...it can be difficult to tell the difference between a Gibson and Epiphone ( depending upon model). The delta isn't as big as you might think for the same type of guitar..

  • I think the different is even greater between players.

    This!


    I think the sound is 80% player, 20% gear of which it is - like DennisJ says - 50:50, so overall 10% guitar, 10% amp.


    I bet if I handed EVH my son's (now unused) 3/4 scale little Squire strat, he would sound like himself even on that.


    (Disclaimer, maybe it is 70% player, not 80. Just did not want to get it a more complicated division by 2 this early in the morning ;))

  • The only people who expect a cover band to sound just like the record are other musicians who aren’t at their own gig that night. The audience wants to have a good time. So, take liberties, and make it more entertaining than a recording :)

    That's a fair point. I've been beaten into submission by out of work musicians. :)

    Nuno Bettencourt actually proved this...After years of dreaming, he got to play Eddie's actual rig and he sounded like,.....Nuno, not Eddie!

    I heard the same story about Steve Lukather.


    I don't want Eddie's rig. I want Eddie's talent! :)