Kemper, studio monitors, cab and free IR recommendations

  • Evening all


    A few weeks back I was having a terrible time with the quality of sound from my Kemper. During the process I became so frustrated I decided to go old school and mic my Silver Jubilee 2x12. This was at extremely low bedroom volume with an SM57 so I was not expecting much but as it tuned out the attack and dynamic was there at such a low volume. I was shocked and started to contemplate selling the Kemper and just purchasing some low watt amps to record.


    Later that evening I decided to try the Kemper again and this time I had in my mind "if it sounds like crap it's your fault" which I find is always the case with the Kemper. Low and behold between some bad eq choices on a Cubase template and a dodgy SPDIF cable I was back in the zone of lovely Kemper tone.


    During the gap between the amp recording and finding the error I set the Kemper up through my cab as this was how I used to play live. I then went back through my purchased profiles from the following profilers:


    Deadlight

    Choptone

    Topjimi

    MBritt


    Now as a bit of history when I played guitar in a band I used Choptones DI profiles of the Jcm800 Zakk Wylde with the cab from Deadlights AFD100. I send that to the board but used my 4x12 for monitoring. It was a fantastic combination. When recording in my little studio I used the JCM800ZW with Deadlights AFD100 cab plus Deadlights AFD100 profiles extensively.


    The Top Jimi and MBritt profiles never hit home for me. No desrespect to the guys as they are both extremely popular but for my taste it just did not work.


    Anyway during my test I found that running profiles from all profilers sounded really good through the cab including ones I previously didn't like. A good example of this would be Top Jimi's AFD100. To me as a profile they almost sound to distant like the mic is far away from the speaker but with no room reverb. Deadlights AFD100 sounds big, inspiring and up front. I was taken back when I loaded up Top Jimi's AFD100 through my cab and it was fantastic sounding where as Deadlights was not, a complete reversal.


    Now this got me thinking, am I missing out on top profiles by not using alternative IRs to the ones provided by the profiler? I would be interested to know what other people's thoughts and experiences are with using IRs (free or purchased).


    Apart from your thoughts, I was also looking for recommendations for Free IRs (4x12 V30 would be great) to try this out to see if using IRs opens up other avenues to other profilers.


    Sorry for the long post, just wanted to give some background.


    Cheers


    Mike

  • sometimes i use other cabs with merged profiles or DI profiles,the other day i was testing the mbritts Helio profile but i wasnt liking the sound,so i switched the cab for a LRS ir and just wow,also i like to save my favorite cabs from some profiles.

    Guitar: Fender Strat HSS<3

    Signal Chain: Kemper->AxeFX 3>Apollo Twin->M-Audio Monitors

    Computer:Mac Studio

  • Nightwalker


    This is what I found with just taking cabs from one profiler and adding to the amp of another. Think I need to search for a few IRs to test which I prefer.


    After using my cab with all profiles it does raise the question of the Kemper ability to capture the cab constantly due to mic placement and room treatment as the amp head portion to me sounds as good as if I bought the amp itself.


    Man I do love the Kemper though. Think I may be in my 4th year of ownership and I have zero regret buying this.


    Mike

  • e1614e36a3b051571d61cb8fdc50c4becad982a2 For some good free IRs, check out SeaCow Cab Impulses. There's a ton of totally FREE IR packs and they're pretty good imo. Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for free IRs.


    On the other hand with paid IRs, I'd HIGHLY recommend a plugin/standalone program called Mikko by ML Sound Labs. You basically get to virtually create your own IRs. You can mix up to 9 mics on different cabs and you get 6 different mics to use (SM57,MD421, E906, KM184, M160, R121). You virtually move the mics around on the speaker and create your IRs that way. Wayyy better than going through thousands of files lol. I recommend the Essentials Pack which is imo the best value (you get 9 cabs to use to make your own IRs).

    Being able to make my own IRs has been awesome and it's eliminated my need to buy IR packs (unless I wanna buy another Mikko cab for access to more speakers for my IR creating 8o) over and over in hopes I'll find some IRs that work for my sound. I can literally create an IR just for a profile if I'm not loving the cab section in a profile. And it's changed my experience with the Kemper for the better. Having total control over the IR's to shape my tone is a factor that's SO HUGE and very underestimated.


    There's a free version of Mikko and you get to try out one of the cabs, but you can't export IRs. But it's a free way to try it out and see what you think.


    But if you're trying to go the other way and strictly looking for free IR packs, check out SeaCow Cab Impulses https://seacowcabs.wordpress.com/


    Hope this helps! :)

    Edit: im not affiliated with ML Sound Lab or anything like that lol, I realized re-reading my post that I sounded like an advertisement hahaha!

    Honestly I was just blown away by Mikko when I tried it so, I recommend it when it comes to IRs.

  • Sean


    This is excellent information regarding the Mikko product, where do I send the commission? Lol


    Strangely enough I loaded all my profiles into the Kemper and systematically identified the ones I truelly found inspirational. I found it was 1 amp over 6 profiles of the AFD100 and the same ones I have been using since the day I purchased the Kemper.


    I then purchased the Ownhammer Heavy Hitters 1 and 2 and found that adding a 4x12 V30 Marshall cab to the AFD100 profiles real bought it alive using my Gibson Les Paul on the Rhythm position but thinned the sound out too much in the Lead position. Although the lead sound was poor there are now 12 profiles I really can use to write with.


    I then took all of my profiles and decided to add some Ownhammer IRs to see if the actual profiles I disliked improved and I was shocked to find the results were poor. The profiles I disliked sounded different but just as bad as the original profiles.


    Looking at the profiles I bought and counting the cost I have spent over £500 on profiles and I use a £10 Deadlight AFD100 almost exclusively. This has made me realise that the I do not use the Kemper in a way that justifies the cost and with each update it is becoming more and more complex, the main reason I moved away from other modellers, and feature rich in ways that don't benefit me. What I have learnt is I don't need 100 different delays, 50 distortion pedals or 60 different wahs, I just want a realistic amp sound with development in an area that levels off the profiles so they are not so varied.


    This has got me considering two things:


    Do I profile my Silver Jubilee (Di plus Ownhammer cab) and see if that turns out to be as good as the AFD100 and if so I have two quality amps that justify owning the Kemper. This will also mean I can profile the sounds I create per song and not have to constantly adjust the jubilee.


    Or


    Do I just use the Silver Jubilee with a Torpedo Reload and sell the Kemper on.


    There are other reasons I am looking at an alternative product:


    1) I love the Kemper and I have always been an advocate but I have found that with each update introducing loads of new features it has become slow and using it is becoming more of a hinderance to my workflow for example loading Rig Manager whilst in performance mode means I cannot search for profiles on the Kemper itself as the menu does not move and locks up, also where previously if I selected an amp in Rig Manager it would update the name in the slot on the Kemper, now it does not so I have to sit and dial in the name manually. This still occurs after many factory resets and using the release version. I have contacted support but again this means spending time doing diagnostics on a device that it meant to make life easy and speed up workflow.


    2) Having so many profiles of so many amps is paralysing for someone like me who loves to tinker with things. Although I use the AFD I am always tempted to try out a Mesa and find I waste hours trying to justify having the device.


    The reason I mentioned all of this is I was hoping the IRs would bring some new profiles to life for me even using them with DI profiles but it just didn't work.


    I am not giving up yet, hopefully next week I will profile my Silver Jubilee and add some IRs and see the world though different eyes.


    Mike