Losing my cherry: first gig with the Kemper Stage

  • I am a first-time Kemper user, receiving my Stage from British Audio in Nashville some three weeks ago. Last night was the first chance to see how it would stack up as a live tool.

    My plan was to keep it simple the first time, and while it is really easy to get side-tracked with all the choices the KPA provides, I knew I had to pick the few profiles that would get me through this first gig (a single one-hour set) and tweak them until I had what I liked and then keep my hands to myself, or sho' nuff I would catch dreaded Overtweaker disease.

    My struggle with FRFR or regular guitar cab is documented in another thread. In the end I decided to ditch my Headrush 112 for the Laney LFR 112 . I had only one rehearsal to burn that one in, but it was really easy and I believed that I found the right combination.

    Setup was of course quick and easy, and I have a battery backup UPS that I run with the Kemper. The band is a trio of the guitar/bass/drums variety, and in this club it is okay to let it hang out a bit with the volume. The band we were opening up for only mics the kick drum and the vocals, so all the noise had to come off the stage. Old school all the way.

    Our set it mostly my original stuff, with some Jeff Beck, ZZ Top, and a Scott Henderson tune thrown in for good measure. The only sound check we had was bump-bump on the amps, testing 1-2-3 on the mics then it was time to count it off. People I trust in the audience thought that the overall sound was balanced and that the guitar sound was fantastic. Up on stage, I could hear everything very clearly, and all my stomp queues and morphs went off without a hitch. I was loving not having to dance over a bunch of pedals and being able to control some of the delays with the morphing ability was a revelation. I absolutely loved the sound of the profiles I was using and the way I had them configured. My only gripe is that I need to tweak my wah sound a bit, as it was not really to my liking.

    As a guy who has ...ahem...been around the block more than a few times, I really have to say that I just can't see myself playing through "real" amps anymore. I am sold. And if you knew me, and what a traditionalist I am, that says a lot. My number one guitar is a beat-to-crap 58 Strat I have had since 1974, if that tells you anything!

    So Kemper...I'm here to stay. Thanks for a great, ground breaking product. Thanks to the folks on this forum who have taught and schooled me, even before I joined. Keep on rockin'!

  • I agree - long time player and first time Kemper User... received my stage a few weeks ago and haven’t looked back. Played my first time live with it this weekend - straight into FOH and used a stage monitor... sounded great on stage and out in the audience as well. Not to mention - set up was quick and easy!

  • Great story, JR. Glad it went well, mate.

    My only gripe is that I need to tweak my wah sound a bit, as it was not really to my liking.

    Try the community's wah collection (link in my sig) and see how you go, mate, before creating a potential headache from editing.

    Even if you only find a jump-off point, it might still be the way to go.

  • The wah I use is great. I'll upload the parameters later when I'm at my KPA. I can't remember who it was that shared the settings, but it was someone playing a Satriani cover and the wah sounded exactly like what I was missing. After I saved the settings, I haven't bothered trying any others out, it just works like my old favourite 80's wah.

  • I can't remember who it was that shared the settings, but it was someone playing a Satriani cover and the wah sounded exactly like what I was missing.

    I remember it well, Sammy, 'cause I felt the same way, which is why I asked his permission to share the settings.

    As promised, here are the Wah parameters :

    manual 3.3

    Peak 7.7

    Pedal range +37%
    peak range -43%
    mix 80%
    volume +0.7

    drog, Sam used the preset as-is, but added "+0.7" to the existing no-change Volume parameter ("0.0").

    Maybe Monkey_Man can add those wah settings to the community page. Maybe list it as a Satriani type wah ? Thanks for the settings sambrox

    It's already there, drog, and I called it "Nick Badr - Smth" (meaning smooth), consistent with the naming convention I've used.

    The "Editor's Note" clearly explains the circumstances and links to the video that inspired Sam and me (and I'm sure others):

    Editor's Note:
    Nicolas posted a clip of his playing Joe Satriani's Love Thing with his preferred (for this song) flavour of Cry Baby Wah. I was impressed with its smoothness, and Nico very-kindly agreed to share it upon my request. You can view the clip and thread Here. He says that the signal chain used in the clip was Comp--->Boost--->WAH.

  • Great stuff, Nicky! I knew you’d have it down! Thanks for the extra info, too. I wasn’t aware of him having a compressor and boost before the wah... that might be why I eventually decided to nudge the volume parameter.