Unhappy with my Kemper so I went on a journey!

  • That was the point, he got his sound by profiling his rigs...


    I have also found that the KPA has made me think differently...that I don;t need to feel my sound on stage, hence I don;t need any analogue stuff, because it took the KPA to make me realise that the most important "consumer" of my sound is not me or even the band, but the audience. Hence my focus is FOH now and monitoring is just for that - monitoring.

    Thanks.


    That's cool... I guess I'm a bit more selfish in that regard, meaning that I see myself as an equally important "consumer" of my sound on stage, because it inspires me to play better / differently or to enjoy myself more (which in turn might improve playing etc).

  • Thanks.


    That's cool... I guess I'm a bit more selfish in that regard, meaning that I see myself as an equally important "consumer" of my sound on stage, because it inspires me to play better / differently or to enjoy myself more (which in turn might improve playing etc).

    No think you are right. Its having "enough" to allow you to do that :)

  • Thanks.


    That's cool... I guess I'm a bit more selfish in that regard, meaning that I see myself as an equally important "consumer" of my sound on stage, because it inspires me to play better / differently or to enjoy myself more (which in turn might improve playing etc).

    That's my way of thinking as well, if you believe you sound awesome, then you'll play awesome, your sound reinforces your ego or something like that... Maybe it's just 'cause I grew up in the '80s

  • That's my way of thinking as well, if you believe you sound awesome, then you'll play awesome, your sound reinforces your ego or something like that... Maybe it's just 'cause I grew up in the '80s

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it doesn't matter...it needs to inspire etc...how many times have you thought I don't sound quite right and it throws you off? Totally happened to me many times. In the same way as sound via IEM's drives me nuts....but I've also accepted that my sound won't be perfect and as long as I can pull my pinch harmonics I'm happy :)


    My ego needs constant feeding...I was also a child of the 80's....a pattern ? Ha!

  • Maybe it's just 'cause I grew up in the '80s

    My ego needs constant feeding...I was also a child of the 80's....a pattern ? Ha!

    Wow. What does that mean now for me? Ok. Kid of the 80s as well. Guilty! 8o


    But seriously. Looking at FOH sound first does not mean that a crappy sound on stage is fine. It is just the prio 1.5 after prio 1 on FOH. Good sound inspires indeed and inspiration is needed for great performance. And I get that from the Kemper with FRFR with not too much compromise.


    By the way: I had a lot of opportunities with my valve amps when those were way too loud for the venue. Sound man comes up and asks to turn down the volume. Result: Crappy sound because the valves are way under their sweet spot. Had some gigs ruined by that... with the Kemper that sitation never even comes close :)

  • By the way: I had a lot of opportunities with my valve amps when those were way too loud for the venue. Sound man comes up and asks to turn down the volume. Result: Crappy sound because the valves are way under their sweet spot. Had some gigs ruined by that... with the Kemper that sitation never even comes close :)

    That's a really good point! I think I only ever had my ENGL wound up properly once at a festival.

  • Hiya Audiopilot,


    I am also curious on the sounds that fit your needs. I would not need 108 Profiles maybe one or two handful should be enough.
    For me it is always interesting what sounds good to others as I personally did never like any profile of MBritt (too dark, too bright). I am rather into the profiles of Bert Meulendijk. The currently released Clean-/Lead Profiles are very outstanding. Maybe the problem is the Pickup-Amp/Cabinet-Combination that won‘t fit?!


    I had to sell all my amps to afford the Kemper so maybe quite a big mistake because I loved the sound (aitr). But the longer I have the Kemper the better sounds do I find/get...


    Regards Stefan

  • Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it doesn't matter...it needs to inspire etc...how many times have you thought I don't sound quite right and it throws you off? Totally happened to me many times. In the same way as sound via IEM's drives me nuts....but I've also accepted that my sound won't be perfect and as long as I can pull my pinch harmonics I'm happy :)


    My ego needs constant feeding...I was also a child of the 80's....a pattern ? Ha!


    I need it to sound good. Somehow, when things sound good it becomes easier to play. But there's a tipping point of worth. My rig is complex enough now that I use a double sided 10U rack case. Add two guitars, do I need to have a cabinet for that extra few percent?


    For me, no. I'm also the singer so my vocal monitoring is way more important. I've played with seriously good musicians that finish a great gig and comment how terrible the sound was for them on stage yet gave nothing away for the whole performance. But I've also watched players making all kinds of demands on the sound man, or playing with knobs and settings throughout a show in their quest for perfect sound, to the point of it becoming a distraction for the audience.


    A couple of years back I experienced a band setting up in a pub. I'd seen the guitarist's Friedman and really nice Les Paul. As the rest were setting up, he was cranking out classic riffs and I was massively impressed by the tones. Really top class sound. But not only did he carry on wanking away for about 15 minutes to the clear annoyance of the customers, when the band started playing properly, they didn't sound that good. Nothing major, but a let down from the guitar sound alone.


    It made me consider just how important that great sound is and whether I'm too focused on it. Would I rather be like the bass player that plugs into a backline bass amp, shrugs his shoulders and says 'Good enough for me' or the guy fiddling his way through the show, desperately trying to find the missing mojo. Sadly I've been that guy and I regret it rather a lot.....


    Again, not saying that great sound isn't important but it's definitely worth putting it into perspective.

  • Great post.


    I really hope the part about the OS and RM being not ready for public release was heeded. I will gladly wait for any new features until the current OS and RM are working together so that we don't keep dragging the lack of functionality forward.

  • I will say I am nervous still about the direction of Kemper regarding making this beautiful product too complex with too many features.

    I have a different reasoning on this. As long as I can turn those extra "features" off (or make the bypassable &/or neutral tone wise) when I want to, the more OPTIONS the better off we all are! ;)

    If you use FRFR the benefit of a merged profile is that the cabinet is totally separated in the profile.


    For my edification only... :D Kemper/Helix user

  • That's my way of thinking as well, if you believe you sound awesome, then you'll play awesome, your sound reinforces your ego or something like that... Maybe it's just 'cause I grew up in the '80s

    I suppose I’m a bit of both. I ended up doing lots of gigs with in ears and the KPA was the least worst solution to that. I also spent a good 6 months wrestling with it on smaller gigs however nowadays I can plug into anything FRFR, and get a sound I really like Including my own DXR10 or a battered Roland keyboard amp in the rehearsal rooms. In other matters I’m with Spikey, as long as I don’t have to use the new stuff, my relatively Luddite workflow still functions. Having said that, I just love the delays and reverbs.

  • Audiopilot great description of your journey. I really enjoyed reading it. I have to saythough, for most of the two posts I was practically screaming at my iPad saying “just profile your JVM man. JUST PROFIle THE BOODY JVM!!!” Then I reached the part where you did exactly that 😎😎😎😎😎


    glad it worked out for you. The lack of clutter and lack of heat in the room can’t be overstated. I definitely don’t miss sweating with my valve amps burning all night. Although I have the Reload, I rarely use it anymore but it is such a useful piece of gear that I have no desire to sell mine either. It comes in very handy every once in a while. I think you did the right thing keeping it too.


    enjoy profiling those other amps when you track them down 😁

  • The more I play the Kemper the more I focus on what I am hearing and not what sound it is making.

    Think about how you are listening to the mix, it's possible the other instrument volumes are the issue in the end.

    PS: suggest a snare that is lower in volume to the drummer, or get them one as a gift.


    Happy Jamming!

  • Great thread. I too came from a Marshall pedigree for the most part. I own a JCM900, TSL2000, and a JVM410H. I'm away from my kemper for a bit as my house has been under renovation for far too long now. I'll have MUCH catching up to do as I'm several firmware updates behind~ I've been thinking I should rehab all three of those tube monsters, profile "my" sounds out of all three, and sell them. They literally just take up space these days. I'm still a nervous nellie when it comes to deep tweaking and I've never even explored IR's so it's very interesting to even consider.


    I've gigged my rig with several different setups, from powering my 1960a to running through a Bose L1 model ll to running through a Roland KC-500, to monitoring only through house wedge ( that sucked). I'll be investing in a Kabinet most likely. I've never run a 1x12 but in theory I think I'm ready.


    I'd love to hear your profiles. JVM for all its little difficulties is a tone monster. Love all the Clean and Crunch modes, and OD1 red is just an absolute lead slayer.

  • Hello all


    Well because of Covid I decided to take a second journey and a slightly more expensive and extreme one.

    After my initial journey I for some reason just could not settle on the JVM profiles as the sound I was looking for. There was still something inherently wrong with the sound that just did not inspire me. The JVM profiles sounded great too but not inspirational.


    I unplugged my Kemper, put all the leads in the loft, I went a bit mad and decided to purchase my ideal rig and set it up as follows:

    Guitar – Wah – Tuner – FreqOut – TwinCity A/B/Y

    The ABY goes output A to GTOD – JCM800 – Two Notes Reload

    The ABY goes output B to Silver Jubilee – Two Notes Captor 16

    Set to Y it all goes into Cubase running Wall of Sound with JCM800 Left and Silver Jubilee Right.


    Now this is the rig I have been trying to build with the Kemper but no matter which profiles I used it always sounded muddy, fizzy, and far too bass heavy under the initial sound. After recording it took a lot of EQ and compression to marry the sounds together. I fired up the JCM800 first, hit a power chord and holy crap there it was, the thump in the chest, the bounce off the strings, the feel was just amazing. Now I already owned the Silver Jubilee and to be honest I just did not warm to it as it was too thick sounding, but it was a sound I wanted to love.


    I then fired them both up, panned left and right, and it was just immaculate, inspirational, and big, just huge. The bass heavy thick sound of the Jubilee was offset by the JCM800’s brightness. Not only that apart from a low end roll off the guitars required absolutely no eq.

    The Kemper has been powered off for about 2 months now and I decided to fire it up again tonight and profile the JCM800. It sounded better than any of the commercial profiles I have purchased but it still had that muddy, thick bassy underbelly that I did not like. I then played some commercial profiles and due to listening to the real deal for a few months they sounded dreadful. I switched to the JCM and the smile was back on my face.


    I do not view the Kemper in a negative light, I see it the same way as I don’t like Fender amps but I would never say they were bad, just not to my taste. For me the Kemper is not to my taste and after 5 years (I think) of ownership it has been on eBay (no offers but let’s face it who’s buying at the moment) and it will hopefully sell soon enough.


    A big consideration I will say for anyone taking this route is, Jesus Christ the attenuators sound fizzy on their own! It is one thing the Kemper does well for silent recording but the Two Notes Captor and Reload with a 100watt amp being attenuated and listened too only in studio monitors are very audible.


    As requested and as a thank you to all who have helped me over the years I will post up a Dropbox link tomorrow in the free section to the JVM profiles. I am interested in what other people think of them as I was very happy with them. From memory I profiled 92 settings across all channels and gain stages.


    Anyway I hope you are all safe and doing well. If you have any questions about my set-up feel free to ask.


    Mike

  • I have a different reasoning on this. As long as I can turn those extra "features" off (or make the bypassable &/or neutral tone wise) when I want to, the more OPTIONS the better off we all are! ;)

    Spikey


    It is a selfish attitude on my part but my theory for me still stands true. Since moving back to tubes and albeit in a slightly complex way in terms of routing, I have yet to turn the amps on, then the attenuators and do anything other than play. The simplicity has stopped me from button pressing, searching profiles etc.


    I would counter the "more options the better off we all are" with the fact I believe less options leads to creativity. We have so many options for recording, pedals, guitars, amps, etc that mastering an instrument has become second place due to the volume of distractions. Certainly the bands in my area either sound so basic they impress only family and friends or they sound unoriginal and like many bands who came before them. I cant remember the last time I walked into somewhere and was blown away by a band.


    That's just the opinion of a man distracted by options who at 44 never mastered his instrument LOL.

  • Hiya Audiopilot,


    I am also curious on the sounds that fit your needs. I would not need 108 Profiles maybe one or two handful should be enough.
    For me it is always interesting what sounds good to others as I personally did never like any profile of MBritt (too dark, too bright). I am rather into the profiles of Bert Meulendijk. The currently released Clean-/Lead Profiles are very outstanding. Maybe the problem is the Pickup-Amp/Cabinet-Combination that won‘t fit?!


    I had to sell all my amps to afford the Kemper so maybe quite a big mistake because I loved the sound (aitr). But the longer I have the Kemper the better sounds do I find/get...


    Regards Stefan

    Stefan


    I absolutely agree that you don't need 108 profiles, I also second that statement with I don't need 108 amps too, just 1 or 2 really good ones. The reason I profiled so many was with the Kemper, when you reduce the volume on your guitar it sounds good to a point (same for reducing the gain control). If I want to have a cleaner sound, especially when recording, I would rather use a clean amp sound than a crunch sound with the input turned down as it can lack punch.


    Also as I intended to sell the amp I wanted as many profiles as possible.


    I will say although I was not overly impressed with the Kemper compared to my tube amps tonight, I was still impressed with the JVM profiles.


    Take care bud

  • It comes down to compromise in my books. The choice is between an unlimited palette of amp sounds or a smaller palette of better sounds.

    For me the former is the better approach based on the wide variety of music I play and the ease of use I'm after. Plus, my music has moved on from the stand and deliver lead stuff to more rhythm. Plus the Kemper sounds amazing to me and everyone that comments on it, so I'm not searching.

    I totally get your approach and it must sound incredible.