My distortion sounds like crap, what am I doing wrong?

  • So, I have the KPA for about a year now, and always used a guitar speaker when I created a new tone and etc. Now I need to create with headphones/speaker and it sounds really bad. The clean tones I make, sound pretty good, but the distortion sounds like I was trying to create something without a cabinet, really dirty, with a lot of grain. I tried to use EQ's pre and post, but nothing changed my opinion about the tone. I even bought some profiles from MBritt and it sounds really bad as well. Nothing compared to what I see on YT and what I heard while I had a guitar speaker with me. Can anyone help me??(

  • Does the profile you're using have a cabinet, and is the cabinet module enabled? Since you've been using a real cabinet, it may be you don't have a cabinet in the profile for the headphones.

    Yes, it has. I'm using both an amp and cabinet on my profiles. I saw some tips on how to use the EQ for the Gain knob (the EQ between two), from Kemper itself, and it helped to sound a bit better, but the "dirt/grain" behind it, stays there..

  • Assuming you're playing in mono, on page 1 of the output menu make sure the first two outputs are set to Master Mono. I'm not in front of my KPA, but I think those are the important ones.

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

  • Assuming you're playing in mono, on page 1 of the output menu make sure the first two outputs are set to Master Mono. I'm not in front of my KPA, but I think those are the important ones.

    I have the output menu in Master Stereo. Felt a small difference when I connected it to my stereo speakers. But it didn't remove the grain.. I'm using just headphones, the tone sounds exactly the same. Will record it and share and will also share a video of me playing with the kind of tone I'm looking for.

  • Easy enough to test. While listening through your headphones, turn off the cabinet module. If there is a cabinet in line, then the sound should change and get much more brittle. If you can hear it change, try some other profiles. If all sound bad, you either have something else off that isn't yet identified or maybe you just don't really like the sound output by your headphones. Might try some reverb or the Space effect to give it some room.

  • Maybe your headpohones are not working right or are too low of an impedence. What are you using? Do you have other monitoring options you can try? Sounds like a headphone issue if the cab isn't turned off.


    "Unfortunately" it's not the headphones. I also tried on another speakers. All the high/mid gain profiles I have (literally every single one) sound like crap. In a few minutes I'll show you what I mean. I'll record the same profile I used and I loved and show the differences.

  • Easy enough to test. While listening through your headphones, turn off the cabinet module. If there is a cabinet in line, then the sound should change and get much more brittle. If you can hear it change, try some other profiles. If all sound bad, you either have something else off that isn't yet identified or maybe you just don't really like the sound output by your headphones. Might try some reverb or the Space effect to give it some room.

    Yes! The pure cabinet and space in the output section helped a bit, but not good enough yet! If I turn off the cabinet, it will sound even more awful lol I tried a lot of combinations, a lot of profiles and, like I said, I even bought some from MBritt and even those sound bad. If it's anything else, I couldn't figure it out yet ?(

  • Hey there, Hudson.

    I have the same struggles with high gain profiles, and I find that these parameters have the most effect on lowering the harshness (in the order of decreasing the effectiveness):

    1. Pure Cab (which you've already did, but I'd recommend you to adjust that parameter not in the output section, but in the cabinet section, because it seems that every profile has a little bit different sweet spot, so you want that sweet spot be individual for every profile)

    2. Character in the cabinet section

    3. Definition in the amplifier section

    4. High shift in the cabinet section (I use this more as a final touch, as with removing harshness this one makes profile sound dull).


    Usually the values that I'm sticking to are:

    Pure Cab: anything higher than 1.0

    Character: -1 to -2

    Definition: 4.5 to 5.5

    High shift: -0.5 to -1.0

    But your milage will vary :)


    If none of those helps – try to switch cabinet preset (browse knob) and repeat the adjustments.


    I must admit, that I'm still not 100% happy with these adjustments, palm mutes still retain some "metallic" or "grainy" sound (may be pick parameter in the amplifier section can help with this), but overall profile definitely becomes more pleasant.

  • Did you notice that there ar two ways of disabling the cab? One is a physical button on the front of the Kemper (head here), which turns the cab off globally. The second one is in the output menu where you can turn it on/off for monitor out only. Did you check this? You were connected to a guitar speaker before, so chances are that cab was off for monitor out and now still is.

    I could have farted and it would have sounded good! (Brian Johnson)