So I woke up around 1PM today (got home near 5a.m. from a gig 5 hours away from home, us old farts need sleep LOL), a little later than I wanted, brewed some coffee and commenced to a day of profiling fun. Because of my setup here, profiling involves a good bit of 'pre' work. Both of my 4x12s reside in my bedroom, across the hall is our 'attic', which is really a 40'x20' room with 13.5" ceiling that's used largely for storage. The room is nearly completely full and it's unfinished, meaning the walls and ceiling are nothing but R-13 fiberglass insulation. Between that and being full of stuff, it's a super dead room. Perfect for slapping a mic or two on a 4x12 for some profiling goodness.
I have two old Marshall 4x12 cabs - one is from 1979 and currently has WGS Veteran 30's and HM75's in an X pattern. I've used this cab extensively for recording and it sounds great for really heavy rock stuff. The other is from 1982 and has its original G12-65s in it. The 1979 also came with G12-65s - three are in a box, the 4th is in my Fender 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb and sounds like it was made to be there!
So I lugged the 1979 into the attic first, ran the requisite cabling, re-routed the cabling from my JBL studio monitors from my Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt interface to run straight to my Kemper. I did this because I don't have any kind of line mixer and if I keep the speakers connected to the Apogee, also running an output to the KPA, I cannot listen to both the reference amp and the Kemper amp through the monitors because of a feedback loop. It's a pain in the butt, but I wanted to profile with both a Unidyne III SM57 and a U5 MD421, I don't have a line mixer of any type, so this is the only option.
So after setting everything up I commenced to playing, adjusting mic positions, playing, adjusting.....etc. I was profiling my Voodoo Amps modified Marshall JMP-1 preamp, running into my Marshall 9200 power amp, with 5881s. I used to use this rig with my current band and still have the settings I used, as well as some I used on a recording project, of which I really dig the guitar tones I got.
So I ran profiles of the rhythm guitar tones from both banks of settings. When I got to the lead tones, though, the KPA didn't like what I had in the JMP-1. They're really super high gain, I'd profile them, then during the refining stage, something happened and they just began to sound like total butt. Kinda like a wah cocked somewhere in the middle, although there was no wah in the chain. After a few attempts I gave up. I was really more interested in profiling this setup through the 4x12 with the G12-65s anyhow, so I moved on.
Once getting everything set up with the second cab, and the mics best positioned, everything went smooth. I ended up backing off considerably on the gain for both the rhythm and lead tones, the Kemper grabbed everything really well!
Once I finished a thought hit me - when using this rig live I always used a Sennheiser e906 mic, that signal chain is what I used for a long time and gave me the best overdrive tone I've had in the last several years. So I tossed my 906 on a stand, positioned it, checked it, repositioned it, and ran profiles of the same presets using the 906.
After getting that all done, wrapping up all my cables, re-patching my monitors how they're supposed to be, etc, I took a little ear break, grabbed a bite, then came back.
Lo and behold, the profiles I took with my 906 are the ones that are gonna stick, I think. The ones with the 57/421 combo sound killer but for the live sound I'm accustomed to, the 906 based profiles are just working better. I think these profiles have a more focused mid-push that I need, and have always had, for punching through the mix. The '57/421 combination sounds a bit more 'metal' than I need for this band. Don't get me wrong, I'm a rivethead at my core but I also know what I need in order to keep this paycheck flowing LMAO!!!!!
Our soundguy is used to running my EQ flat, with just a tiny low end rolloff. He's had to work a bit to get my driven tones to have some balls these last few weeks, so he's been complaining LOL!!! See what happens when ya spoil a soundguy? LOL!!!!!!
I'm doing a one-off with another band this coming weekend, opening for Styx in Charlotte, NC. Thusly I have had a bundle of their material to learn, so I went over it all (with the help of a few Bud Lights - don't hate, it's what I like LOL) using the new profiles. Immediately it's obvious to me how much better these tones cut through, how much more prominent the low mids are, like the tone I've had the last several years and am used to.
So I think these might be the keepers....FINALLY!!!!! If I get to this weeks gigs and they're still lacking, I'll throw in the towel and look a bit deeper into some of the M Britt packs I've bought. BTW - I bought his JCM800 pack last week - one of the Silver Jubilee profiles from that pack is damn near dead on for a Slash type tone. We cover Sweet Child, so that works great for me.
Also, Mr. Britt's '69 Plexi pack, taken from a '69 50 watt Plexi, has some really damn near dead on Scorpions toneage going on. Thinking of trying to talk the band boss into some Scorps so I can throw these tones out there LOL!!!!!!!!
So I'm several weeks in and still loving my Kemper - a whole lot more than my neighbors are at this point LMAO!!!!!!!