Why do so many Kemper's delivered profiles sound so unbalanced and harsh?

  • With Rigmanager, Kemper delivered more than 15000 profiles - much to much for evaluating (glad, they were not on the Kemper device). I tried around, maybe heard about 200 or 300. Most of them come with so much gain that the first thing to do is to put on a noise gate to make them listenable. But then, the overall impression is: the sound crank, shitty. And most of them are attached to heavy effects. Maybe for metal guitarrists, they sound ok. For me definetely not.

    I'm looking for sounds that represents tones as Joe Bonamassa, Gary Moore or Ritchie Blackmore have. To get into this direction, the profiles have to be heavily tweaked. Therefore, I must say, I am somewhat disappointed regarding my expectations which were formed by what I have read about the great reproduction of real amps by the Kemper.


    BTW: I tested against a Headrush-112 and over my amps. It was unimportant whatever I used regarding to my impressions.


    So I'm asking, how do other guitarrists and Kemper users come around with this situation?

  • Kemper doesn't deliver any of those profiles. They are user created and uploaded and since the majority of users may not have the right equipment or the ability to capture a decent amp sound then the resulting profiles are less than stellar. The only ones that are provided by Kemper are the rig packs in the rig pack folder. All other profiles are provided for a price by third party vendors.

  • Yes, I know I can do this. And I also do know that I can adjust all profiles by turning down the Gain. But why were those profiles cranked up with so much gain? Do most people like this?

    Well, I do :) I guess people profile what they like to play / hear.


    While turning down the gain works, I think in general it won't give you results as good as profiles that were created with low gain on the amp.


    Thing is, if you are looking for sounding like a specific artist, search the forum. Tons of discussions on them, the amps they use, the profiles that match their sounds. Then just try those.

  • Kemper doesn't deliver any of those profiles. They are user created and uploaded and since the majority of users may not have the right equipment or the ability to capture a decent amp sound then the resulting profiles are less than stellar. The only ones that are provided by Kemper are the rig packs in the rig pack folder. All other profiles are provided for a price by third party vendors.

    This. If you don't want to wade through the user-generated rigs, then go through the rig packs and find the vendor that works best for you. Then go to their site and pick from there :)

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

  • Yes, I know I can do this. And I also do know that I can adjust all profiles by turning down the Gain. But why were those profiles cranked up with so much gain? Do most people like this?

    Me too.. I use a lot of gain.


    You are suffering from too much choice. Rig Exchange is unmonitored so many people can add their profiles. Some are great, some are crap and its difficult to tell without trying them.


    So if your question is how do I get the bluesier profiles, start with the bluesier amps with less gain ( which I assume you've done). Also try some of the commercial ones, they are relatively cheap and most do try before you buy.


    Although Gary played through Soldano's at one point in his career, you need a relatively cranked Marshall (which you obviously know) from Gary, Backmore and Bonamassa so try some of the Silver Jubilee ones that others have had success ?

  • Regarding the gain of the profiles, you can try to lower the distortion sens setting of you profiler.


    I really think this is a problem many people struggle with. It would help a lot if profiles contain some additional info about what has being used during profiling:

    - clean and distortion sens settings

    - which pickup has been used


    Also, in browsing mode sens settings are locked by default, which means you use profiler setting and not the one that is saved with the profile. In performance mode the settings are not locked which means you are using the profile settings and not the profiler settings (dont know what is being used in preview mode id you double click a profile in rig manager). Took me a while to figure out why my profiles changed gain when copying them to performances after i tweaked them in browser mode.


    I really think that the clean and distortion settings cause more confusion and problems than being helpful. It may be a powerful tool for some poeple but I hope Kemper rethinks this concept and comes up with something more user friendly in the future.

  • Remember you are hearing the final production product with mic coloration, not an amp in your face. Pure cab can help get rid of that to a certain extent, some love it some hate it. It's a matter of taste as always...


    Try, as mentioned, sorting rig exchange by Gain. Test ones that are at the edge of breakup and then change the Gain in both directions and see if you still like what you hear. I'd start with Pacheco's Morgan AC20. If you don't like what you hear on that one then something in your settings is most likely wrong. GL!

  • CarloLf

    Changed the title of the thread from “Why do so many Kemper's delivered profiles sound so shitty?” to “Why do so many Kemper's delivered profiles sound so unbalanced and harsh?”.
  • For the most part if a profile doesn't sound close to what you want straight away, keep looking. I try to find profiles that need no (or nearly no) eq'ing. I'll go and mess with the Definition control (subtle, but super useful, read the manual on it).

    I think his point is that if Pacheo's Moran AC20 doesn't sound good as-is then something else may be wrong. It's not a high gain nor squeaky clean amp sound. Might not be what you're looking for But it *is* a very good sound.

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

  • Yes, I know I can do this. And I also do know that I can adjust all profiles by turning down the Gain. But why were those profiles cranked up with so much gain? Do most people like this?

    I find the same. Most profiles have way too much gain and are often much too bright for my taste but that seems to be what’s popular at the moment with the young crew. Old farts like me prefer a bitt less gain and more smoothness ( god, I’m staring to sound like my father 🤣).


    In many cases playing at home at relatively low volume makes people prefer much more gain, bass and treble. Whereas, playing live at higher volume tends to favour less gain, bass and treble but more mids. i know that’s a massive generalisation but there is an element of truth in it. I think a lot of profiles on Rig Exchange are made by bedroom rock gods rather than pro players or engineers who know how to make a guitar sound fit in a mix. That’s why the profiles by a certain country player from Nashville and a session ace from the Netherlands are so good.

  • In many cases playing at home at relatively low volume makes people prefer much more gain, bass and treble. Whereas, playing live at higher volume tends to favour less gain, bass and treble but more mids. i know that’s a massive generalisation but there is an element of truth in it.

    Quite a big element I'd say. The "loudness" effect makes it possible, Fletcher/Munson can explain it. But many people start exploring the Kemper on bedroom level I guess. The wisdom comes later after some rehearsals and gigs or alternatively recordings.


    That’s why the profiles by a certain country player from Nashville and a session ace from the Netherlands are so good.

    That's exactly my experience as well. And I have to admit that it took me some time to understand the beauty of those profiles (like the ones you mention here nicely, i.e. MB + BM :)). But once you play loud ad rehearsal or even gig volume it pays off.

  • Well, distortion/gain is perhaps one of the easiest things to tweak on the KPA. For those who do not like the idea, there are thousands of profiles with a different native gain... and then there are profiles with pedals embedded, and then we can add gain-related stomps into any rig.


    For overly bright rigs, chances are they have been created for darkish PUs... Definition is a great parameter for fine tuning this aspect IMO, and in both directions.


    you can try to lower the distortion sens setting

    This equals lowering the Gain in a sort of "global" way, and if lowering the Gain knob didn't help achieving what he wanted, DS won't do either.


    I really think that the clean and distortion settings cause more confusion and problems than being helpful.


    Mhhh... I don't agree. Like anything on Earth it's a matter of understanding what they do before touching them.

    In short: CS is both a sensitivity input setting (set it so that our guitar barely makes the Input LED orange, or lower) and a control that determines how loud cleans are Vs. distorted sounds. See above for DS.


    As simple as than, nothing less or more :)

    Anyway, it's all in the Reference manual!


    HTH

  • I'd start with Pacheco's Morgan AC20

    Hi, this was a good idea looking for a Bonamassa-like sound. I tweaked the profile to get a sound that I had in mind for my Strat, and I finally was heavily pleased.

    In fact, this was not my "start" with profiles I triggered to performance rig. All together, I have to resume my experiences to this: most profiles I tried (I even bought a profile from Bert Meulendijk) came with much to much gain. Lowering gain to the point where they break into crunch often makes the sound much niceer and more distinguable, chords played then sound with a good resolution. Too much gain is destroying the character of a profiled amp, chords sound dirty and very artificial. That's how I do see it.

  • Hi, this was a good idea looking for a Bonamassa-like sound.

    Yep, the AC20 rig mentioned above is really one of the greatest juwels around the there. It's incredibly versatile.


    Too much gain is destroying the character of a profiled amp, chords sound dirty and very artificial. That's how I do see it.

    I'm fine with your point here. But that's now purely a question of taste and not of the quality of profiles as such, right? It would be the same if two people tweak the actual physical amp. One would go for more again, another for less. So your original title of the thread is a bit provocative in my point of view.


    But I see that you are going through the learning curve most of us had with the immense amount of available rigs. You need to find what suits your taste and needs no matter if it is free or commercial stuff. And that can take some time. I actually enjoy this process quite a lot. Getting to play so many amps which I would never had a chance to grab physically. Very inspiring :)

  • Remember you are hearing the final production product with mic coloration, not an amp in your face. Pure cab can help get rid of that to a certain extent, some love it some hate it. It's a matter of taste as always...


    Try, as mentioned, sorting rig exchange by Gain. Test ones that are at the edge of breakup and then change the Gain in both directions and see if you still like what you hear. I'd start with Pacheco's Morgan AC20. If you don't like what you hear on that one then something in your settings is most likely wrong. GL!

    Amen,,,, this will show you what is possible when an amp is correctly profiled, I know, I own the amp as well as the profile, ITS DEAD ON,,,

    When I crank the gain on this profile,,, I am VERY Happy with the tone, Its all over my CD's and other projects that have hit air waves, IT WORKS,,

    .The Kemper HAS NO SOUND,, its only as good as which profile is loaded, and then tweaked,

    Carry on,,,

  • Hi, this was a good idea looking for a Bonamassa-like sound. I tweaked the profile to get a sound that I had in mind for my Strat, and I finally was heavily pleased.

    In fact, this was not my "start" with profiles I triggered to performance rig. All together, I have to resume my experiences to this: most profiles I tried (I even bought a profile from Bert Meulendijk) came with much to much gain. Lowering gain to the point where they break into crunch often makes the sound much niceer and more distinguable, chords played then sound with a good resolution. Too much gain is destroying the character of a profiled amp, chords sound dirty and very artificial. That's how I do see it.

    This is all a matter of taste, plain and simple. The high-gain tones in the profiles I play are as good, if not better, than my Triamp/SLO/Dual Recto/etc did. If you don't like high-gain tones that's one thing...but the Kemper does them very very well.


    If you're saying that the profiles you have are too gainy for your tastes...try lower gain profiles? I have more profiles than I could ever use from clean to diiiirty, and every possible permutation in between. Sometimes I will adjust the gain knob because I like a certain profile, but best results are usually from finding a profile that is close to what you're looking for.


    There are great rigs on Rig Exchange, but the signal to noise ratio is pretty bad. I think you need to try more 3rd party packs. There is a ton of stuff in the mid-gain lead tone area you seem to be shooting for.


    If you're disappointed in the KPA because of Rig Exchange, I think you're missing 99% of what the KPA has to offer. Either find a profiler that you like, or make your own. RE is a nice side benefit, but only the insane man gets all his profiles there. :D

    Disclaimer: When I post demo clips for profiles, there will be some minimal post-processing, unless stated otherwise. I normally double-track hard L/R, and add to the main buss a small amount of EQ and a limiter/comp set pretty light as well. Sometimes I get test profiles in advance of release, though 90% of my clips will be from packs I have purchased.

  • Lowering gain to the point where they break into crunch often makes the sound much niceer and more distinguable, chords played then sound with a good resolution. Too much gain is destroying the character of a profiled amp, chords sound dirty and very artificial.

    For high gain profiles that sound like mud try increasing the Clarity in the Amp section. It brings clean guitar into the mix, increasing note definition while still keeping that high gain snarl.