"Ultimate" Amp Profile

  • I'm pretty new to this Kemper thing so this may have been discussed before, but from what I understand the Kemper just profiles one state of the amp and from there extrapolates algorithmically how each of the EQs/Gain/presence/etc. pots would react. This results in a less-than-realistic emulation, so we are essentially stuck with that one state, and any adjustment to the pots pushes us farther away from the true amp sound.

    To my novice mind ideally the pots would be swept during the profiling process to more accurately capture how they affect the tone and also give us 1-to-1 reactivity to more accurately mimic the amps?

    It would be nice as well for the Kemper to have empty "slots" to account for additional functionality, as applicable, to capture things like a "contour" switch or the various Mesa Mark V mode switches.

    I.e. get an amp-in-a-box vs sound-in-a-box.

    I understand that that is more up the alley of a standard modeler as opposed to a profiler but I don't see why a profiler couldn't do that as well?

  • Kemper is more of a plug and go concept instead of fiddling around.

    There's lots of mesa profile packs with all the various switches and buttons done in all combinations. Kemper does have empty slots for combinations of profiles in rig mode.

    I have an AxeFx 3 and they don't model all the switches or modes per se. There's separate models of like the mkiv mid gain / harmonics switch, many different iic and iic++, etc. It also has a very steep learning curve but you can be very exacting if you need to duplicate a pre-existing sound.

    I guess you have to change your mindset to get the most out of Kemper.

  • If you need to tweak the profile much, my advice is to find another profile. The complexities of mimicking the entire control range...I can’t imagine the processing power needed. Every tone stack is different. The point isn’t to duplicate functionality. It’s to create good, usable and unique sounds.


    I disagree that the KPA controls move you away from an ‘amp’ sound. You have access to amp sounds that simply never existed. Besides, I just previewed about 10 JTM45 profiles. All but one I hated.


    Hard to believe profiles of the same amp can (and will) sound drastically different.


    If the goal is the exact behavior of an amp.....better to buy the amp.

    “Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

    Edited 2 times, last by Ruefus ().

  • You are right that a profile is a specific setting.

    A couple of things to consider:

    1) The non linear adjustments on an amp are not always desirable or designed that way, just a by product

    2) Do not assume that the changes you do make are not pleasant, just not accurate, which is not necessarily a bad thing

    3) The amount of "drift" can be compensated...i.e. increasing the bass can also affect the treble. Because the changes on the KPA are linear, guess what...you can also reduce the treble as well if needed.


    As stated, the purpose is to not fully mimic the amp at every setting but provide usable sounds.

  • Well I don’t think I have ever seen someone adjusting a tube amp for every song or during parts of a song, so pretty sure you can find a useable Rig that is a snapshot of an amps settings/sounds ( there are thousands to choose).


    To emulate a Mesa closer, use an EQ after the amp section .


    The best way to understand the sound of the Kemper is to profile your own amp(s). Then you will understand just how close the sounds are.

  • Yes each profile is a snapshot of an amp set a certain way. The trick is to do many profiles rather than trying to adapt a single one.


    The term "less-than-realistic emulation" in the OP makes me wonder if you've actually used one, since that's what they're critically acclaimed for.

  • Yes each profile is a snapshot of an amp set a certain way. The trick is to do many profiles rather than trying to adapt a single one.


    The term "less-than-realistic emulation" in the OP makes me wonder if you've actually used one, since that's what they're critically acclaimed for.

    Agreed. The reality is that amps sound good at certain positions. Their sweet-spots. Unless you're Yngwie or Spinal Tap you never really use an amp's extremes. Those guys turn up to "What?!!??" because they can.

    Take a Fender Twin. Getting it in its sweet-spot will clear even a decent sized club all by itself. Especially if you're in the beam-range of the speakers. Then add enough band volume to compete and you'll never work there again. Or, you turn down to 2 and sound like warmed leftovers all night.

    With a Kemper, you get the Sweet Spot sound every single time regardless of volume.

    “Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • 'm pretty new to this Kemper thing so this may have been discussed before, but from what I understand the Kemper just profiles one state of the amp and from there extrapolates algorithmically how each of the EQs/Gain/presence/etc. pots would react. This results in a less-than-realistic emulation, so we are essentially stuck with that one state, and any adjustment to the pots pushes us farther away from the true amp sound.

    Hi , I don't agree with that statement as my favourite profiles sound a least as good as my miked amp and the controls on the KPA allow to go much further than the actual amp, for instance with the gain knob, definition and other amp tweaks that you don't find on your amp.


    My 'boogie on spring' is typically better sounding past 10 o' clock gain than the original Subway blues boogie, that amp couldn't ever reach that kind of gain alone IRL.


    That said , some extrapolations on other profiles do not sound right, it's up to you to find the good profiles for your gear, or profile your own amps.


    I have also a MarkIIc+ , and I think you could mimic the V shape EQ with the internal KPA EQ as the 5 frequencies are documented.

  • Thanks all.

    Some great input here.

    I've never used a modeler before, and my impression of them was essentially a digital version of a real amp, where all the components and circuitry was emulated to essentially make a copy of the amp, and I figured the kemper as a profiler was doing the same thing in a different way, so I guess I'm still getting my head around the concept and use of the Kemper!

    I actually still have a tube-amp which I'm going to profile and A/B as suggested, I'm sure that'll help put things in perspective. I was using it with a Two Notes Torpedo since I sold off my cabs so I'm going to create a direct amp profile and run that through the two notes. Everything else in the chain will be exactly the same except for the amp, so that should give me a clear image of what this thing can do. Can't wait to get back home to test this out.

    The amp is an ENGL Ironball BTW. I haven't seen too many profiles for that so I'll throw it up on RE once I get done in case anybody else wants it.

  • Firstly, do not underestimate the Forum's Search-Bar; There is (what feels like) an infinite amount of information on here, with many individuals asking the same questions.


    Also, if you haven't already, download the Main Manual from this link https://www.kemper-amps.com/downloads

    Note: Read EVERYTHING.. the Kemper has many tricks up its sleeves

    I've actually started going through ALL the threads since 2012 just for the hell of it....only 180 more to go!

    \m/

  • As above, this is something commonly mentioned. But on a real amp, each control interacts with the others therefore it still wouldn't be accurate if you profiled the amp whilst adjusting a knob at a time. You'd literally have thousands of combinations (a three barrel combination lock had 720 combinations) and still, it would only be for that very particular amp.


    Maybe the head says you need that but in a real world situation, you don't. Find that JCM800 profile too trebly? Turn it down. It still sounds like a JCM800. Did it behave identically to the profiled amp? It doesn't matter.


    It's pretty shocking how most of my favourite profiles sound so similar and I think it's down to my idea of a good tone. Give me a real amp and I'll dial it to sound like that too.

  • I think folk have more or less said this, but you really need to treat a profile as a snap shot. Don't adjust the gain very much, and use as little eq tweaks as you can get away with (think of the eq as the sort of post eq you might apply at the desk rather than amp). Then find a profile that works for you. I found most of the stock profiles unusable, to the extent that I almost returned the Kemper. I also found that the majority in the rig exchange (the few I tried, so maybe I'm not being fair) don't work for me either. For dirty sounds, TopJimi and some MBritt profiles really excel - my favourite being the Lee Jackson and SLO profiles from TopJimi for dirty, and a TAF for clean, slight break up, and crunch. If the profile isn't close immediately, move to another.


    It helps to listen to some of your favourite recordings first to get your ear tuned to recorded tracks rather than aiming for the amp in the room.


    Coming from the Axe FX 2 XL to Kemper, I'm really happy with my tones, very amp like, and less tweaking. Just don't expect to be able to make more than minor tweaks to gain or eq without losing some of that authentic tone. Also, in the amp block, look at the clarity control - increasing it can make an amp sound brighter, thinner, and harsher, decreasing it will do the opposite - sometimes a small tweak here is all you need before digging into eq and presence.

  • I think folk have more or less said this, but you really need to treat a profile as a snap shot. Don't adjust the gain very much, and use as little eq tweaks as you can get away with (think of the eq as the sort of post eq you might apply at the desk rather than amp). Then find a profile that works for you. I found most of the stock profiles unusable, to the extent that I almost returned the Kemper. I also found that the majority in the rig exchange (the few I tried, so maybe I'm not being fair) don't work for me either. For dirty sounds, TopJimi and some MBritt profiles really excel - my favourite being the Lee Jackson and SLO profiles from TopJimi for dirty, and a TAF for clean, slight break up, and crunch. If the profile isn't close immediately, move to another.


    It helps to listen to some of your favourite recordings first to get your ear tuned to recorded tracks rather than aiming for the amp in the room.


    Coming from the Axe FX 2 XL to Kemper, I'm really happy with my tones, very amp like, and less tweaking. Just don't expect to be able to make more than minor tweaks to gain or eq without losing some of that authentic tone. Also, in the amp block, look at the clarity control - increasing it can make an amp sound brighter, thinner, and harsher, decreasing it will do the opposite - sometimes a small tweak here is all you need before digging into eq and presence.

    Don't you mean the Definition control? Clarity really only affects dirty sounds. Definition is what gives the amp a more vintage sound (0-5) and a more modern or brighter sound (5+). Different pages, but same soft-knob.

    “Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • Don't you mean the Definition control? Clarity really only affects dirty sounds. Definition is what gives the amp a more vintage sound (0-5) and a more modern or brighter sound (5+). Different pages, but same soft-knob.

    I might do - I'm 400 miles from home. Just googled the amp section, indeed I do mean definition.


  • Take a Fender Twin. Getting it in its sweet-spot will clear even a decent sized club all by itself. Especially if you're in the beam-range of the speakers. Then add enough band volume to compete and you'll never work there again.

    Spoken like someone who has been banned from more han a few venues over the years 🤣

  • I've never used a modeler before, and my impression of them was essentially a digital version of a real amp, where all the components and circuitry was emulated to essentially make a copy of the amp, and I figured the kemper as a profiler was doing the same thing in a different way, so I guess I'm still getting my head around the concept and use of the Kemper!


    I actually still have a tube-amp which I'm going to profile and A/B as suggested, I'm sure that'll help put things in perspective. I was using it with a Two Notes Torpedo since I sold off my cabs so I'm going to create a direct amp profile and run that through the two notes. Everything else in the chain will be exactly the same except for the amp, so that should give me a clear image of what this thing can do. Can't wait to get back home to test this out.


    The amp is an ENGL Ironball BTW. I haven't seen too many profiles for that so I'll throw it up on RE once I get done in case anybody else wants it.

    a few things to say about this.


    First, think of the original market for the profiler. I believe the intention was to allow studis to set up an amp, cab, mic chain to record but make a snapshot of this incase there was a need to return at a later date and overdub with the same tone and/or capture that tone and take it on tour. When viewed in that way he snapshot nature makes perfect sense.


    The genius of the Kemper (and the reason that it is still so good nearly a decade later) is how little processor power is needed. In order to have the component level modelling capabilities of Axe, Helx etc the hardware would have needed to be updated several times now. The snapshot methodology allows an incredible longevity for digital equipment and it doesn’t look like its going to run out of steam anytime soon.


    When making Direct Amp Profiles the speaker impedance plays a part in the quality of the outcome. Although the Two Notes Torpedo is a reactive load, It still isn’t the same as the real speaker from which the IR is made. A Studio profile captures the full chain including the effect of speaker loading which something even using great IRs can’t do. I have made profiles with various DI Boxes and the real speakeras well as with my Two Notes Torpedo Reload and they all sound a little different. Not necessarily better or worse, but definitely different. If your goal is to accurately capture the sound of a particular amp/cab combination nothing beats a Studio profile. If you want to use it with a particular real cab, nothing beats a Direct Amp Profile made with the actual speaker.


    When it comes to EQ try to think of it more like adding EQ at the desk than modelling the amp controls. Even after carefully setting the amp and placing mics, an engineer will typically still apply some eq at ye deslk. This doesn’t make the amp any less authentic but merely makes it fit into its overall environment/mix better.