Workflow for self producing / recording?

  • Hey all! For those of you who write, record, produce, and mix your own music, what is your typical workflow with the Kemper?

    For example, with the last song I recorded,

    1. I demoed the song with basic tones.
    2. I learned the parts better,
    3. Put together all the final guitar and bass tones I wanted to use.
    4. Re-tracked everything with both the Kemper main out and the DI.
    5. Fixed some timing issues with tight heavy riffs on the DI tracks
    6. Reamped adjusted DIs, and also reamped some stuff to change profiles
    7. Final mix and master.

    I liked how easy it was on my computer because I wasn't running many plugins. I didn't like that I kept forgetting to record DIs to go with every track. It was also kind of a pain to make sure all 3 ins (Stereo L/R, DI) were at good levels. I also did this over the span of a couple weeks, so it was kind of a pain to keep hooking up all the cables to my interface (Scarlett 8i6)

    On the newest song I'm working on, I decided to track all heavy rhythm guitars direct using Neural DSP plugins, so I can align and tweak timing issues first. Then I plan on reamping the heavy rhythm tones. I've also recorded bass direct instead of through the Kemper. I'm being a little less regimented and recording with whatever is easiest for me at the time.

    Although I welcome everyone's input, I'd really love to hear from people who use the Kemper to make music with a lot of tracks, tones, and layers. Replies like "I just use 2 profiles and send them to the mix engineer" isn't really helpful. :D

  • This probably won't be very helpful, but I went through exactly the same exercise not so long ago and pretty much came to the same conclusions. Working with just dry signal + plugin set up to roughly similar tone seems to the easiest way and once everything is ready then re-amp using Kemper to render final tracks. This is especially useful for double-tracking, I learned - when recording multiple takes, mixing and matching, aligning copying and pasting.. Overall keeping in sync dry and wet chunks of audio is a nightmare - or at least it requires total discipline, which take fun-factor away from the whole creative process (at least for me).

  • That all seems a bit complicated for me.

    I find the sounds I like and just record straight in to Cubase, no re amping.
    It's important to get the performance right and I think re amping would interfere with that and kill creativity.
    If it works for you though keep doing it that way, each to their own.

  • Normally scratch guitar track, get drums and bass playing nicely, then any other instruments such as keys. Lastly guitars ( rhythm / lead) and backing vox. Last of all lead vox.

    Try and get guitar down in 1 or 2 takes.

    Interested in going the re-amp route in future though as haven't use the Kemper on any "real" recordings yet - although worried might need to try all 16,000 profiles on rig exchange in order to make a decision :)

  • I respect that commitment. I commit too, until I realize I need to change something. :D Sometimes you don't know you need to change something until you hear it in a mix, and if I don't record the DI, then I need to rerecord that whole part.

  • That all seems a bit complicated for me.

    I find the sounds I like and just record straight in to Cubase, no re amping.
    It's important to get the performance right and I think re amping would interfere with that and kill creativity.
    If it works for you though keep doing it that way, each to their own.

    Not arguing about getting the performance right. Sometimes you don't know something needs adjusting until it's in a mix and you've sat with it for a while.

  • Sounds logical to me, Josh. I imagine I'd go about it the same way, mate.

    It was also kind of a pain to make sure all 3 ins (Stereo L/R, DI) were at good levels.

    Unless I'm mistaken, it might be best to track the Kemper's DI signal at unity gain (no adjustments). That way when you come to reamp and send the track back to the Kemper, again at unity gain, you should be good-to-go with no level adjustments necessary.


    So, doing nothing = less work.

  • I'm used to the old school way of recording, back when it was to tape. The sound of the guitar has to be inspiring, otherwise I play worse, so I commit to sounds and record them, no DIs. If a part needs replaying further down the line, I'll do it. I appreciate that this might not be right for some, especially those with little experience with what sounds work in a mix. For me though, it means I concentrate more on the vibe of a track, rather than get bogged down in technical issues, which take my mind into a different space creatively. The less I have to think about something and rather just feel, the better. It's also why I prefer knobs and a tactile input solution, rather than mouse and screen; I use my ears more and my eyes less. This is especially important when using plugins on a mix. How many times have you been turning a virtual knob, only to find that the plugin is deactivated or is actually the plugin on a channel other than the one you think you're working on? :D I find it helps to close my eyes when EQing, for example, as long as I have knobs to twist.

  • I will always use direct recording, no Reamping. Just as Sam I'll choose a great inspiring tone first , will full FX ( delay & verb ) , launch a basic drum loop to get in the groove. This will lead to the backbone of my track. I then had others parts, verse, bridge ... Next is bass , pads, leads. I do lots of part in loop mode , this way all parts can be reused anywhere else in the track with no sync issues. After that come the vocals and maybe drums will be added live ( I send a mixdown to my drummers). I will also had embellishments by the end ( fills , horns , wahs , background stuff ... ).


    Next step is mixing , then pre mastering and mastering.


    These days, I'm also starting from a piano prog instead of a guitar. For stuff like funk I'll also start from a bassline + drums , more in a jam mode.


    But yeah , my approach is more live , I'll never play without a drumbeat , and the first step will always be finding a rhythm part where inspiration comes from the guitar tone , then building from it. Appart from EQ , comp , I'll never use Mod , or time based VST afterwards.

  • I tend to use a mixture of approaches mentioned by everyone depending on the needs of the song.


    When I'm experimenting or laying down scratch guitar so I have something to work with as I do drums, bass, etc., I'll often find a tone that's close enough for rock and roll and just record it with no DI. Since this is intended to be replaced once I have the groove of the song going in all other respects it's just the quickest way to get something down or capture an idea.


    I'll often know what I'm looking for in guitar and from experience know what profile will sit in the type of mix I'm doing. If that's the case I may just track the final guitar without a DI and be done with it.


    Other times, I may be having trouble finding the tone that really fits. In those cases I'll get something close and track both the tone and the DI. That way I have something printed to work on other parts of the song (like if I get frustrated with guitar and just need to move on for a while) without having to reamp. But having the DI lets me work purely on the tone hunt, navigating through Rig Manager as the song plays.


    For me, this is all very easy to do as my audio interface is actually a Yamaha TF5 mixer that provides 32 channels of USB i/o to Cubase plus 16 busses, etc. Because of this I've been able to get everything wired up with DI signal, reamping bus, etc. so that it's very easy to go back and forth without having to make cable changes.


    When cost is not a prohibitive factor, I'm a big advocate of having a mixer in the loop, even if it's not your audio interface. There are days when I'm completely in the box and it might seem like overkill, but I really like having everything wired up and ready to go. I agree with Josh, screwing with cables is a total buzz kill.

  • Just about to do some recording myself, and thought about reamping.


    Alejandrocarrera how do you record and DI at the same time? Using a splitter or do you connect into your interface and take an output backthrough the kemper as if re-amping?

    i was using my "Torpedo Reload" but i just found out that there's no need, i send a direct signal from kemper's direct output, and the other signal from kemper's output, i record in mono, in my DAW i set up busses ( IN2 is the kemper amp emulation, IN3 is the direct output), i mute the direct signal when recording to hear only kemper amps emulation.


    i use cubase pro 10,5 so when editing i'm using 2 tracks (direct and amp emulation) inside a folder and use the option to link, so i can edit both files at the same time


    i think i have only used the DI to reamp (with my torpedo reload + kemper ) one time (a long time ago), i always go with kemper sound


    here are some examples i have recorded:




    greetings!

  • Brill, that was probably a bit obvious but massively useful to me.


    BTw love the recordings, but The Wrath of Poseidon...that is mint! Fab playing and sound..

  • Overall keeping in sync dry and wet chunks of audio is a nightmare - or at least it requires total discipline, which take fun-factor away from the whole creative process (at least for me).

    do you link the tracks in an edit group? In this case all tracks should always stay synced when editing. In Logic you can easily do comp edits on group tracks so that the DI and Amp tracks comp simultaneously with edits and cross fades all lined up automatically.