So I've had this Kemper thing for 2 weeks now....

  • Having had my KPA only a couple weeks I'm still very much a newb. That said, I was able to find (purchase) some really great profiles that are in the ballpark of what I need tonally to get through my gigs. The first gigs were last weekend - night one was rough as, besides the new rig (totally new paradigm in fact) it was also my first time ever using in ear monitors. I bought both at the same time to move into this new way of doing things - no more volume wars, pissed off club owners or others saying I'm too loud.


    So, the first night was rough but not terrible. I did some tweaking at soundcheck the next night, after that it all sounded really good.


    So then I brought the Kemper back home for more tweaking - decided to profile some of my amps. I did my Fender '68 Custom Deluxe first with varying settings. Using the profile from the setting I use most often for gigging, it's damn near indistinguishable from the Fender.


    I did a couple other amps using a Suhr Reactive loadbox and impulse responses, the results were mixed. Some turned out great, others not so much. My Bugera 1960 Infinium (cheap Plexi clone), both alone and combined with my Laney AOR100 turned out really good. My Marshall DSL100 with custom mod turned out pretty bad.


    Then I profiled the DSL using an old Marshall 4x12 with WGS speakers using a 421 and 57. Holy cow! The profiles sound really, REALLY similar to the amp (and the amp has been custom modified by Voodoo Amps with my signature mod) - like if someone had gone into the amp and fixed up the infinitesimal things that weren't already perfect with the sound.


    The one thing, thus far, that I haven't been able to grasp is getting the onboard compressor stomp effect to mimic the effect that my MXR Dynacomp has on my Deluxe. I've plugged that pedal in and setting it the way I normally do into the profile of the Fender, it reacts EXACTLY like the actual Fender does. Incredible!!!!! But I can't seem to get the Kemper's comp to be the same. Hopefully with some more tweaking I'll get it cause it's pretty essential for the sounds I use & I'd hate to run cables out to the front of the stage for one stinking pedal LOL.


    We had band rehearsal last night, I used the KPA into a Marshall 4x12 (using the Kemper's onboard power amp). It didn't sound as good as I'd have liked, well, the clean sounds anyhow, mostly because of the compressor thing. The Marshall profile sounded immense!!!!! I did some tweaking throughout the evening but after thinking about it, I'm gonna restore the originally programmed settings from a backup I made before rehearsal because what I'd programmed sounded amazing through my studio monitors - I think that's a more accurate representation of what I will hear through the PA than what I hear from a 4x12 cab. I'm gigging in a few hours, so I'll be able to hear what the new sounds sound like - if they're not working I still have the performance setup from last weekend to fall back on for this weekend.


    Anyhow, the moral of all of this is that, at least amp-wise, I'm astonished at the realism - especially now after profiling amps that I've owned for years (well over a decade in the case of my modded DSL).



    Now - if I can just figure out a way to get all of my neighbors in the surrounding 3 or 4 blocks to take a day trip somewhere for 6 or 7 hours I'd love to get profiles of this Bugera Plexi clone, my Dual Rectifier, 1965 Fender Bassman and the Laney all using speaker cabs and mics LOL!!!! What heaven I'd be in then!


    I love this rig!

  • Did you try to profile your amp with Compressor? -just a thought...^^


    Anyway, welcome!!!

    LOL, I actually did try that but it didn't work so well. In the manual (Yep, I did RTFM, all 240-something odd pages) it says that's usually the case, that the profiling method doesn't work well with compressors and some tube screamer type pedals. I will say, though, that I did profile that same Fender with a Lovepedal Super Six /Stevie Mod in front and it's pretty darn faithful.

  • Am I correct that you tried making a Studio Profile with the compressor? That is, with a mic on the cab?


    You might get better results if you to make a Direct Amp Profile with the compressor into the amp. I use the Kemper DI made for creating DAPs and find that by removing the cab from the equation I get better results with my Wheebo PlexFace into my Bandmaster.


    After you get a great result, you can use the built in amp to drive your real cab and the DAP loaded in the Kemper. You might also try a Merged Profile, which is a DAP combined with a Studio Profile.


    Finally, to get a good result from an overdrive pedal, I start with a relatively low volume clean sound on the amp. Then I dial in the sound I am looking for from the pedal.

  • Hi Scratch,
    Yeah, it was a Studio profile, mic on cab. When I tried that way, the result was a really distorted mess instead of the slightly squeezed sound of the comp into the amp.

    I don't wanna take the speaker out of the equation as it's a big part of the sound of this amp - it's a Celestion G12-65 from 1979 that I put in to replace the original. So I want it in the profile.

    Also, when I was making profiles last weekend I think I saw my neighbors gathering down the street with torches and pitchforks. They don't like the noise ;-)

    After tonight I don't have any gigs till next Thurs so I'm gonna bring the rig home and mess with it a bit more. I wanna try a few more things & the suggestion here of the comp in the amp module. I'm leaning, though, to just running a Dynacomp out front, as well as my wah - not real happy with using the KPA wahs with my expression pedal - there's just a touch of latency both switching and sweeping the pedal, that kinda kills it for me. I know I could get better results connecting directly to the KPA but if I have to run cables out front I may as well have my wah out there that I want.

    Interestingly, I profiled the same amp with my Lovepedal Super Six pedal, an overdrive of sorts, and it came out sounding great! So I'm pleased with that!

  • You can use the Duna Comp with the KPa without running cables out to the front of stage. Put the Dyna Comp in the KPA FX Loop. You can the. Pit the Loop in any Stomp or FX slot you like on a rig by rig basis and turn it on/off using a button on the remote or any other midi pedal just like all the other stomp/fx slots. That was you on need a couple of patch cables and the dynacomp can sit on top of the KPA or anywhere else that is convenient.

  • You can use the Duna Comp with the KPa without running cables out to the front of stage. Put the Dyna Comp in the KPA FX Loop. You can the. Pit the Loop in any Stomp or FX slot you like on a rig by rig basis and turn it on/off using a button on the remote or any other midi pedal just like all the other stomp/fx slots. That was you on need a couple of patch cables and the dynacomp can sit on top of the KPA or anywhere else that is convenient.

    Ya know, I had thought about doing this but my monitor signal is routed through my KPA to my in ears. In other ways, my return is occupied by the run from our monitor console sans guitar, which I blend with the rest of the monitor mix to my ears in the KPA. I do this so I can have my guitar in stereo in my ears as I don't have the option of running a stereo run from the monitor console. The upside is glorious stereo guitar tone, the downside is I can't use a loop for anything :-(

  • Another weekend of gigging with my KPA in the books. This week I added a power supply unit to the pedalboard onto which the Kemper Remote is attached. I swapped out the Mission EP-1 for my trusty Dunlop Crybaby Classic wah and also added a MXR Dynacomp.


    During the time I was waiting for the power supply to arrive I experimented some more with the compressor in the Stack block and ended up getting it sounding and feeling REALLY close to the Dynacomp but once the PS arrived, I mounted it and added the Dynacomp - just that tiny difference in feel and sound actually made a world of difference for playing on my gigs.

    I also experimented with trying to match the sound of my Crybaby Classic with the built in wah but after a couple hours of changing settings I ended up just going with the wah pedal. Again, made a world of difference on my gigs this weekend.

    As I've mentioned previously, when I switched to my Kemper I also switched to in ear monitoring. For the most part, I'm LOVING what I'm hearing. Clean tones sound really great in my ears, especially when I kick in the chorus effect (I'm monitoring my guitar in stereo). Semi dirty tones, such as a Fender 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb amp with a Love Pedal Super Six on it (think SRV type dirt) sounds great as well, however, I'm still not happy with high gain type settings in my ears. Currently I'm using a profile I created of my custom modified Marshall DSL100. At one point during soundcheck I took the in ears out and listened through my bass player's wedge and was damn near astounded at how great it sounded - full, balanced and smooth - gargantuan even LOL! But through the ears it sounded pretty gnarly. That said, I almost NEVER like how my guitar sounds in headphones either. I have a set of Beyer Dynamic DT770 cans, they're killer headphones but for me, playing through them is kinda meh. What I record usually sounds fantastic once recorded, tone is definitely there. I'm just super used to that amp in the room thing. So I'm chalking it up to having to get used to it in my ears. At the moment, it's pretty uninspiring though LOL! This week I plan to experiment some with Pure Cab and Space to see what I can do there but I think I'm just gonna have to get used to it. My IEM system is a new Sennheiser G4 system, my buds are Westone AM30 Pro.That's fairly good stuff so I don't think it's those pieces.

    That said, if anyone has any tips on getting my high gain sounds from my Kemper to sound more natural in my IEMs I'm definitely listening and appreciative!

  • I also experimented with trying to match the sound of my Crybaby Classic with the built in wah but after a couple hours of changing settings I ended up just going with the wah pedal. Again, made a world of difference on my gigs this weekend.

    Have you tried the wah presets in my sig? Nothing to lose, bro'.

    I'm just super used to that amp in the room thing. So I'm chalking it up to having to get used to it in my ears. At the moment, it's pretty uninspiring though LOL! This week I plan to experiment some with Pure Cab and Space to see what I can do there but I think I'm just gonna have to get used to it. My IEM system is a new Sennheiser G4 system, my buds are Westone AM30 Pro.That's fairly good stuff so I don't think it's those pieces.

    That said, if anyone has any tips on getting my high gain sounds from my Kemper to sound more natural in my IEMs I'm definitely listening and appreciative!

    Yeah, it's something you'll have to get used to.


    That said, the Space parameter should allow it to "breathe" more and take away some of that "immediacy" you're not used to that headphones provide.


    Great to hear it's all working well for you man; you certainly jumped into the deep end off-the-bat. :)

  • LMAO - yeah, I certainly did. One too many "the guitars are too loud" when I knew I was barely audible and I was done. I play for a living so saying screw it really isn't an option. Next best thing? Remove all traces of my sound from the stage, save for a wedge on the other side for our bass player, who hates in ears.

    Since I wrote the previous post I've been playing around a bit with my Kemper, notably with the sound in question. Through my studio monitors (fairly flat response) it sounds really really god, at least to my tastes. I've got a fairly good tone ear (or so I'm told) so I trust what I'm hearing is indicative of good tone coming from FOH. Our soundguy is top notch & I've learned to trust him. He likes the tone. Funny story - last weekend, we were discussing the sound on the first set break of the night, he said 'it sounds great man. If anything, I know this sounds stupid but I might be hearing the pick hitting the strings more than I should'. I kinda laughed, motioned for him to come over and look, and showed him the pick parameter. Dialed it back, it was exactly what he was asking for.


    Just another case of Kemper FTW!!!!!!

    This thing is truly remarkable. When I bought this, I charged it to my Sweetwater card with the idea that in a few weeks I'd grab the Axe III in a few weeks on another card and kinda compare.

    Yeah, I'm not gonna do that. I paid off the Kemper, I'm happy where I am. I might buy a used Helix LT to keep in the truck as a backup so I can stay in the (relatively) high quality direct realm in case of emergency, but I've definitely made the right choice!

  • It's pretty stellar that you have a sound guy with that level of attention to detail!


    You're also a great example of how you make the switch. So many players think they can restructure their entire world and expect nothing to change. You have to work through it and tweak along the way until you get there. Congrats and I'm glad you're enjoying the new rig.

  • Agreed, Ben. I'm lovin' Noisenet's attitood and how he's approached and adapted throughout the process.

    Just another case of Kemper FTW!!!!!!... This thing is truly remarkable.

    Totally, man.


    I thought you were going to point out to him that you'd maybe blended the Direct signal in there, but the ol' pick parameter came to the rescue.


    IMHO, some peeps get hung up on the fact that component modellers sometimes offer many more parameters (and therefore headaches IMHO), but in the real world, where practicality and utility are king, the Kemper covers everything one could conceivably need in the real world, IMHO. Of course, if one cannot get a tone to sit right in a recorded / reamped or live mix in spite of the tweakability on tap, there're always about a hundred thousand other Profiles to choose from.


    It's ridiculous, really. After 4 years I still marvel at this thing every time I think about it and am kinda blown away by peeps' concerns that a Kemper II is needed or that if they were to purchase one it might become instantly-obsolete in light of the 7-year life span (so far). Just yesterday over at Rig Talk a fella said that one of the main reasons he hasn't bought one is because it's "so old" and therefore in his eyes was "old tech". I pointed out to him that a 7-year product lifespan (and counting) screams nothing but good things to me, and that in this day and age you've gotta do a whole lotta things right to have any hope of achieving longevity of this nature. It's so rare in the tech world it's practically-unheard-of actually... IMHO.


    To sum up, I'm totally with you, mate - Kemper FTW!!! 8o

  • It's pretty stellar that you have a sound guy with that level of attention to detail!


    You're also a great example of how you make the switch. So many players think they can restructure their entire world and expect nothing to change. You have to work through it and tweak along the way until you get there. Congrats and I'm glad you're enjoying the new rig.

    For quite a few years, I've had friends, employers and co-workers try to get me to make the switch to in ear monitors.

    I've done a lot of studio work where I mic a speaker, get a killer tone to record then thrown on the cans, hit record and blaze away. Without exception, I have ALWAYS hated playing while monitoring using headphones. I just don't like the sound.

    So I knew that doing it live would be about as painful. Throwing a mic on my live rig, piping it through my in ears with little to no tweaking of the monitor signal - yeah. No.

    When I finally hit my breaking point last month (referenced in my last post) I knew simply going in ear wasn't going to be the answer - I'd hate it even more than I hated the little to no audibility of my guitar on stage as it was. The only solution was something like a Fractal or Kemper. So I did a LOT of research & learned that while the other solutions might be more flexible as far as FX, routing, etc, for overall realism of amp tone (my main concern) the KPA would be the ticket. Didn't hurt that Fractal only sells direct but with the Kemper I could use my Sweetwater card LOL!!!! So the Kemper won out.

    I've played guitar for my living since the late 80's so I know full well that making a change like this - this isn't just another amp, it's an entirely new (to me) paradigm - is going to take time. But I can honestly say every phase (every week of using it) has improved drastically. Here's an example: I've been asked to do a one off gig with a band I used to go see when I was a teenager (I'm 49 so that was some time ago LOL) opening for Styx. I'm one of those guys sho shares every Todd Sucherman video I see, so naturally I'm eager to do this gig. Anyhow, the last couple days Ive been going over their material, songs on iTunes, the Mac and my KPA running through my interface into my JBL studio monitors. Several times both today and yesterday I was struck by how well my guitar sound through the Kemper was sitting with the mix. Using profiles that I, a total newb, made myself of a couple of my tube rigs (a Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb and a custom modified Marshall DSL100). To me, it's astonishing, really.

    And this is just one of the many 'horry sheet' moments I've had in my relatively brief time with my Kemper.


    I have the powered rack unit. I put it in an 8-space shock mounted rack along with a Furman PL-Plus DMC power unit, my Sennheiser in ears and a rack drawer. I'm already thinking of grabbing the toaster version so I have one here at the house for programming/practice, etc because lugging that big ass rack upstairs to my place is damn near impossible for one guy LOL, but I don't wanna be without it here at home. Talk about your first world problems LMAO!!!!

    Regarding my sound guy, he's a real asset - one of a dying breed, a soundman (at the local level) who actually works and cares as much as we do about the sound. When something's missing, he knows it, often before we do LOL!!! As long as I've been with this band, he's run my channel with zero EQ (save for a touch of roll off sub 100hz), whether it be my DSL100 rig, the TSL (also modded) that I used to have, my modded JMP-1 rig or my Fender Deluxe rig - he knows my sound and has been instrumental in helping me get the KPA dialed in.

    At this point, I think it's pretty safe to say that I've surpassed the quality of the tone of all the previous rigs. For over a decade now I've been playing amps modified by one of the top amp guys in the U.S. (except the Fender - that is stock except for the 1979 Celestion G12-65 speaker), my custom mod for the DSL/TSL100s is now one of the most requested mods he does - what I'm getting at is I've been spoiled by really really great tone now for a long time. For the Kemper to match (and sometimes even exceed) that is remarkable!

  • Sounds like you're loving it!


    Couple of comments from me:


    I agree that its difficult to get a great sound for guitar in IEM's - for me that's not a KPA issue but a general issue. I agree with the headphones thing as well. Personally I've just accepted it that its good enough


    Did you try the wah settings Nicky mentioned? I use a few of those and definitely got rid of my crybaby - give them a go if you haven't..


    I put my rack in a 4 U unit and have my wireless in the back ( IEM's I plug into the desk so carry separately). Makes lugging around a bit easier :)