Good Sounding Monitored Distorted Guitar Sounds Become Bad Sounding Played Back Guitar Sounds

  • Hi,

    I'll get right to the point: The Kemper sounds great on distorted settings when I sit and play it straight through my monitors. It sounds great on distorted settings when I am monitoring it while recording with my DAW (Cubase 10). When I play them back, those distorted recordings sound much less than great. The best way that I can explain it is that the recorded distorted guitar sound looses depth and becomes somewhat harsh. I have tried both analog and S/PDIF outputs. I have experimented with different gain staging. I have tried different sample rates and bit depths. I have up to date equipment (most recent Mac mini and Apollo Twin quad mk ii). I see nothing wrong with my connections. It is my understanding that I should be hearing the same sound on playback that I heard going in. I am not. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and God bless.

  • Probly not the issue, but you should check you have the output EQ set the same for both outs. There is one set of EQ for 'Main', and another for 'Monitor' outputs. If you have RM3, click on the output button, and you can see all the settings. If not, on the Kemper push the output button and scroll thru. There are also some output presets in RM3 you could try.

  • I have noticed something similar and have wondered if maybe hearing the natural guitar tone in the room adds some of the frequencies that sound great in the moment but lackluster in the daw. Maybe add a little of the dry guitar to the profile to fill that back in?

  • Hi Jerrold, yes you should hear the same thing back - minus the 'in the moment' feeling that you get when doing a take.

    Really great advice on checking the output eqs, but this is only if you are directly connecting to your kemper to your monitors for zero latency tracking using the monitor outs on the kemper, whilst you record your main outputs into your daw. Otherwise, if you are monitoring using your DAW there should be no difference at all.

    You don't have something (plugins or external hardware inserts) on your mix or print bus that you don't have on whilst tracking? Often (either due to inexperience or managing latency issues) people add something onto their main or print bus after they got the 'tone' or 'mixed sounds' that they already really like to make it louder etc. But if you are doing that, you need to 'mix into' those plugins - rather than trying to apply it as a 'polish' to what should already be the mixed sound.



    PRS Custom 22's - Fender Strats - Diezel VH4 - Carol Ann OD2 - Toneking Imperial MK2 - Colin the Kemper - CLR Neo ii.

  • Thanks for the 3 of you for the input thus far. I am pretty sure that I have checked all of those points, but your reminders are good, so I will go through and see if I am missing something (which is entirely possible). Once again, thanks.