Profile refining....

  • For what it's worth, I often find that the original amp profile the KPA produces is my favorite - many times I've found the Refining process to add qualities I don't prefer, including the dreaded 'cocked wah' tonality, which I usually avoid like the plague... 8o Having stated this, I have also found that using a less biting PU selection while refining results in a smoother overdrive (on a Strat, I usually use the Bridge/Middle PU combination in parallel because it is not so peaky/spikey)

  • Hi Radley,


    I would kindly like to disagree:


    I find that the better you refine, the better sound you get. I tend to play mix of barre chords, open chords, disonant chords, single lines and triads all up and down the neck.


    I used a Tele bridge pickup for all my profiles and really like their sound.


    Can you post an example of the "cocked wah" sound you mean? Do you get this cocked wah sound with profiles from other users or only your own profiles? Have you checked if there is a wah activated if using a profile form a different user?


    Cheers,


    Dote

  • When you refine be absolutely sure to ignore the videos showing the kemper with them refining "with just a few chords", cos that's bollocks.


    In order to capture anythign even remotely close to the full range of the amp's sound as it comes through you absolutely must press that refine button, then sit there for a good ten minutes or more just noodling around, playing everything you can think of, jamming away, and finally at the end of that when you remember "oh hey, yeah i'm profilling here, better stop refining" then stop and you'll have a profile that is *far* closer to the original.


    The other thing is that while you profile it's essential to record and playback some a/b's as you profile. This is because you jsut can't hear how it sounds, how close or distant form the original it is without this. If you're hearing "cocked wah" then there's a good chance you're hearing SM57 or a phase issue due to mic placement. So open up your DAW, record the output from the Kemper while you play back the same riff through first the reference amp then the Kemper (the switch on the Kemper actually changes what's outputted to your DAW), then play back, if the two don't sound the same then go back and refine again for a good length of time. If they still don't sound the same then sometimes it helps to ditch that profile and click the start new profilling session button (no idea why, but I often find the second profile I do turns out much better than the first). But like I said, in order to tell how things are going it's imperative that you hear the recorded tone sans the real amp playing in the background. I've suggested a looper with a/b functionality and Christoph seemed to like the idea so fingers crossed we can get that and ditch the DAW while profiling.


    Anyhow, those are my top tips, and hopefully they'll help.

  • My observations were that the necessity for refining also strongly depends on the choice and combinations of mics and the EQs on a submixer.


    When i took profiles with a single mic like the SM57, directly attached to the mic input of the KPA, the results without refining were already pretty close. With my other dual mic/submixer setups, like for those cab profiles that many of you guys liked, the situation was completely different in the way that the profiling results without refining sounded totally off, mostly compelety shrill as if the cab emulation was turned off. But as soon as i started refinining, it took about 5 to 10 seconds until those shrill highs starteted to disappear which always was a clearly audible process that took a few seconds. The feeling was similar as if someone turned down the presence knob on an amp.


    Since the results after refining were always great, i never really investigated deeper into this. But it is seems that this kind of setup somehow is not correctly analyzed by the plain profiling before the refining takes place. Has anyone made similar observations?

  • Hi Tyler,


    I have yet to profile an amp using more than one mic. For now I only used a SM57 and tube mic preamp into console into Kemper.


    I do not really understand the concept of mixing different mics during a profiling process.


    Mixing microphones whilst recording is studio routine, it is used to get a different sound, sort of used to EQ the signal from the cabinet by using different mics and mixing the different frequency responses of the mics.


    This might be IMHO a bit too much info for the Kemper. I assume the Kemper "records" the frequency response of the whole system: Amp, cabinet, mic, mic preamp, mixer. So if there are two mics mixed, the Kemper calculates a mix of the freq response of those two mics (phase cancellations and all). Which of course might be something very different from what we hear in real life when mixing two mics.


    I tend to think that profiling should be rather explored using a single mic and maybe different types of mics.


    Dote

  • I have refined my Engl Screamer profiles by swapping guitar.
    Fender Stratocaster (all position used) and Burny Les paul (once again all position used).
    I think that this way the KPA gets more informations about the tonal character of the amp.

  • I've had good results using two mics to profile: Shure SM57 and Shure SM86. I run them into a Mackie mixer then into the KPA. It just seemed to me that mixing different tonal characteristics would result in a truer sound, but I'm sure no expert! :S

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

  • Out of my experience I would stay away from dual micing if you are not too experienced.
    Get a killer tone with an SM57 first.
    I'm quite close to where I want to be for my guitar sounds and I only use an SM57.
    I experimented in the past with two mics, but never sounds any good as a single SM57 in my opinion.


    I think about it like this:
    microphone A sounds like 90% of what you want.
    microphone B sounds like 70% of what you want.
    Mix those two together and it'll be like 80%
    My point is: it's better to use mic A only.
    You should also keep in mind that using two mics is pretty crazy for positioning them correctly.


    Experiment as much as you want ofcourse, but really, you should be able to get a killer tone with just an SM57.
    There's a reason why so much awesome productions only use this microphone.


  • Wrong calculation, that makes it 160% realer!!! :D

    "Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" Serghei Rachmaninoff


  • As long as we don't know what exactly the refining does, it's hard to tell, when it's really needed and when it's better skipped. I got the impression that unrefined sounds are more raspy, crunchy, rough and unpolished, but I could be wrong with that. Someone here who has the same impression?

  • In my 25+ years of recording miced up cabs, I have never been happy with using just one mic. Its like you only get a small peice of the ideal picture. The first mic is perhaps 60%, the second mic adds perhaps 30% and a well chosen 3rd mic just might add the missing 10,,, or some of it. But make very sure they are all at the same distance from the speaker and in phase or very far away, or phase issues might land you well back under 50% again.


  • Experiment as much as you want ofcourse, but really, you should be able to get a killer tone with just an SM57.
    There's a reason why so much awesome productions only use this microphone.

    One of the reasons why the SM57 is such a good guitar recording mike is because of its limitations. It has a very characteristic mid range boost while the high end and low end are not so prominent. This gets the guitar sound very mix friendly in order to reduce the overlapping frequencies with the bass and the cymbals. A LDC mike on the other hand is great in capturing the high end and low end frequencies and gets you a more even frequency curve which sounds fuller if you are playing alone. Again this a "producer vs. guitarist view" thing and totally depends on whether you are producing or just playing.

  • In my 25+ years of recording miced up cabs, I have never been happy with using just one mic. Its like you only get a small peice of the ideal picture. The first mic is perhaps 60%, the second mic adds perhaps 30% and a well chosen 3rd mic just might add the missing 10,,, or some of it. But make very sure they are all at the same distance from the speaker and in phase or very far away, or phase issues might land you well back under 50% again.

    I think that multi-mic setups are fantastic for recording an amp.


    IMHO I have the feeling that profiling with multiple mics might be more difficult than using a single good mic. But this is just my opinion for now.


    Dote

  • In my 25+ years of recording miced up cabs, I have never been happy with using just one mic. Its like you only get a small peice of the ideal picture. The first mic is perhaps 60%, the second mic adds perhaps 30% and a well chosen 3rd mic just might add the missing 10,,, or some of it. But make very sure they are all at the same distance from the speaker and in phase or very far away, or phase issues might land you well back under 50% again.


    I think the ideal situation would for the Kemper to be able to run †wo amp models simultaneously. That way you could profile the same rig twice with different mics and then blend them together in the Kemper.

  • Do you get this cocked wah sound with profiles from other users or only your own profiles? Have you checked if there is a wah activated if using a profile form a different user?


    Dote


    The 'cocked-wah clank' sound seems most prevalent on some of the Marshall Rigs I have collected (no wahs engaged) - many times the definition amp parameter is on 10, and the attacks are just unnaturally piercing and non-musical to my ears. I don't have any personal examples because I always do something to correct the problem before going to the trouble of 'tagging'/saving them, or I just abort the profiling session. In the instances where I want a bit of cocked-wah tonality, I do it at a lower frequency that's not so gnarly - the one that I dislike sounds somewhere between 1 to 2Kz with a peaky resonance...