I am a senior experienced music producer and have used about every amp plugin and for a time even owned a Helix (which I found very frustrating due to general less than impressive factory presets and the often ludicrous difference in their outputs). My general inclination is toward clean/hairy clean thru to crunchy amps. Not much interest in high gain. Anyway I have taken the plunge and have bought a Profiler stage. The "feel" of almost everyone of the 100s of supplied profiles is very impressive. They immediately feel like amps but it is immediately a honey trap of constantly trying out multifarious presets...and not playing the guitar. I have also bought the Michael Britt "Grab & Go" pack. For the moment I am just using the Kemper through my studio interface and Genelec monitors and I'm trying to ascertain the best way to set up a performance setup with a: a clean combo sound (ie Fender Deluxe) that just pushes the front of the amp on a hard pick b: exactly the same amp with a bit more "hair" and c: exactly the same amp with a bit more hair again. I then want to duplicate this performance for a telecaster, a stratocaster and a Gibson hum bucker equipped guitar. My intention is just to always have a good working, bread and butter rig for each of 3 guitars for when I just feel like playing. I can explore the multitude of profiles at my leisure later. Would a three profile performance per guitar with increasing gain be the best option or would a single profile per guitar and use the morph to increase the gain and maybe a boost in one of the pedal spots be a better way to setup. I'm sure some of you Kemper vets have basic "plugin and go" settings for just play/practice and/or quick pickup gig rigs and I'm hoping to use your knowledge to help me just get a comfortable basic setup. Thanks in advance, Jim and apologies as I'm sure I'm not the first to ask this.
Welcome to the Forum
Neither of the approaches is better than the other - whichever one you prefer, is likely the best for you.
One other option for the "one rig per guitar" approach could be to use Pure Boost instead of Morph to increase the gain, leaving Morph available to control something else (for example: Delay Mix/Repeats).
Varying the gain on the original profile via a boost/od stomp is a great way to keep consistency in the tonal character of the profile because different profiles of the same amps can sound very different. However, if you want a different flavor of tone and eq shape altogether (closed back 4x12 vs combo, etc) or something way outside of the spectrum of gain of the original profile, getting a different one might be easier, more accurate or preferable. About the obsession for trying presets and tweaking, I suggest consciously limiting your options to a few profiles at a time.
I encourage to explore Rig Exchange and especially the free packs from commercial profiler for some time before splurging left and right on a bunch of commercial profiles you are likely to waste if you don't know what you are really looking for in the first place.
Please note that turning up the gain on a profile equals to putting a pure boost with x amount of volume boost in front of it.
There are many ways to achieve your goal here.
If you don’t want a different coloration of the 'more hair' rigs use the pure boost/gain approach.
If you do want a different color use the Green Scream (Tubescreamer), Mouse (Rat) or DS (MXR Distortion +) Models in front.
Hi Jim, welcome and have fun here in the forum and with your Kemper!
Actually I typically go with one performance per guitar with the essential sounds in it. Created from different profiles (of the same amp) but also with different tweakings. For instance Rhett Shull's free profile of the Skylark Trem is a perfect starting point for my cleaner / breakup sounds. Depending on pedals, guitar, pickup and volume knob position you can create quite different sounds but consistens sounds with it.
As always, the members above have great instructions/suggestion for you. From reading the forums, they all seem to be amongst the more knowledgeable.
Here's the most expedient way I can think of to get you up and going quickly. Since you have the Grab n Go Pack, go through all the performances that came with the pack and select your 5 (or 3 if that is all you need) favorite profiles from all the performances (the best clean, dirty, dirtier, even dirtier, dirtiest) and copy them into one performance of your own (I did this and named the performance "Grab N Go Compilation"). Then change or modify the stomps and/or effects to be what you need and you are ready to roll. It could be just that easy to get started. Just by way of example, I used: Chattahoochee, Tweedy Cln, Tweed Crunch, Z Maz Cln 2 Crunch, & Big 2 Bigger Solo, which, with the addition of the effects I needed, gave me one performance that I could do any gig with. I have in excess of 40 performances, but if everything else blew up, I could fall back on that one performance. You will likely choose different rigs than I did, but this would get you a "standard" performance that you could use while you explore all the other possibilities. See below for my suggestions regarding using one amp to keep that consistency of sounding like you are using one amp.
Regarding performances for different guitars, try this: Copy those same 5 (or 3) rigs into as many performance slots as you have different guitars, and then tweak the settings (particularly the definition and clarity parameters) to get what you want for each guitar. Name the performances "Tele", Strat", Humbucker", etc. If this works, meaning, the profiles sound the way you want with different guitars, you are up and going. Oh, and you may also try changing the parameters "clean sense" and "distortion sense" to accommodate higher output and lower output pickups. I have not had the need to do this, but have read here on the forums that many folks do.
If the above doesn't get you going quickly, I would suggest auditioning the rigs in the pack until you find "THE AMP" you like. All of the amps have several profiles that usually range from some degree of clean to dirty. Copy your favorite profiles of that amp into a new performance, arranging them from clean to dirty. Add the effects you need, and that may be all you need to do.
If, in the profiles of the amp you like, you can't find one of the degrees of clean/dirty that works for you, use the next dirtier profile and lower the gain to get what you are after. My experience is that increasing the gain does not yield good results, though in a few cases has worked. I have had much better results with lowering the gain of a too-dirty profile to get just the right sound. And forgive me for stating the obvious, but you can always add gain with the boosters and/or distortion stomps. I agree with the guys above who advised that, if you want the same tone, but with a little more hair, use the Pure Booster.
Alternatively, you may find that you solve you multi-guitar needs by auditioning the rigs with each guitar and finding an "amp" that you like best for each guitar. If so, then just follow the suggestions above with each guitar and your chosen "amp" for that guitar.
Regarding effects / stomps: If you are not already aware, you can save your personal setting for the stomps, effects, and blocks of stomps and effects so that you can easily insert them into any rig or performance. You can also copy and paste stomps, effects, or a block of stomps or effects. That will greatly speed up your initial setup of your unit. I have already been very long-winded, so I will refer you to the manual, the forums, the MBritt website blog, or the Tone Junkie You Tube channel for how to do that.
Good luck and I hope the suggestions above help you have a smooth start with your Kemper.
Both options should work fine as long as you don’t go from pure clean to mega gain by using the gain knob as this can get a bit unnatural.
My personal preference is to use a matching set of profiles. People
like MBritt and Tone Junkie among others tend to offer various gain levels for the same amp and EQ setting. Or the only thing changed is the gain level. It tend to select a few gain levels from the same profile set with in a pack.
OT - I'm in awe of (ToneJunkie) Jonathan's strategy of constantly naming Michael Britt and ToneJunkie in one sentence and seeing it starting to work. That guy really knows his marketing.
I have different banks with different gain settings for each pickup not just for different guitars lol. Whatever you're comfortable doing the Kemper will get you there in multiple ways. I use the different bank approach to free up stomp slots.