Kemper and Acoustic Guitar (Piezo - IR - Aura etc.)

  • In my band I have to use electric and acoustic guitar and I'm using the Kemper for both.

    Sound of the electric guitar is perfekt, well... that's what's the Kemper is made for ;)


    Now I'm searching for the best solution for a good acoustic guitar sound with my piezo equipped guitars and I thought I would share my findings with you.


    First of all - Very important - While playing the guitar, the sound of the acoustic guitar will overlay the sound from the monitor speakers or headphones, so it's not possible hear what later will come out of the PA system. If you want to hear how your acoustic guitar sounds through a preamp or kemper or whatever, you can use a Looper pedal between the Guitar and the device to playback a recorded sound.


    First I found some profiles of the TC Electronic Bodyrez in Rig Exchange. A/B compared with the piezo sound it already helped a lot, but I was not 100% satisfied.


    Some days ago I found a used FISHMAN AURA Sixteen pedal and I decided to buy it planing to profile this pedal with the Kemper. First I checked the AURA pedal without Kemper, using the Fishman software to load images from its library to the pedal. It takes some time to find the fitting image, but once if you found one - WOW, that's almost like a miked up guitar !!! (if you have the wrong image it sounds not good at all, so you have to search)


    Next stepp was profiling the AURA. After having done this I compared the AURA-Profile with the real AURA. I put the AURA in the effect loop and was able to do the A/B test by tuning On/Off the Amplifier (AURA Profile) and the effect loop (Real AURA Pedal)

    Unexpectedly the Profile was not as good as the real thing ?( obviously it is not possible to make an exact profile of this device. The profile is good, still much better than the TC Electronic Bodyrez, but something is missing.


    As a nexte stepp I wanted to try using IRs (Impulse Responses) which can be loaded in the Cabinet database of the Kemper. I bought some IRs at "3 Sigma Audio" which already come prepared for the Kemper. Easy to do and so it was easy to compare everything.


    Now I can do my ranking of the results so far:


    1. Kemper with AURA in the Effect Loop

    2. AURA Profiled in Kemper (sounds good, but some of the piezo sound is back)

    3. Kemper with Impulse Response from 3 Sigma Audio (I did not have the opportunity to try as many IRs as images from AURA)

    4. Kemper profile of the TC Electronic Bodyrez

    5. Pure piezo sound


    I found a quote in the Internet that says:
    Larry Fishman said in an interview on Aaron short’s channel that he did not like the Aura Image Technology to be reduced to IR and indeed in the very case of Aura it’s more complex than that. The Aura technology is said to handle the low end ith IIR biquad filters that enables to have shorter FIR filter to handle the mids and high end.

    Maybe this is the reason why it does not work to profile the AURA.

    The best solution I found so far is to put the AURA in the Effect Loop of the Kemper, so I can use all the effects and EQs and all we love about this device and still have the good Imaging of the AURA pedal.


    Would be nice if you shared your thoughts!!!


    maybe someone made a similar test with Tone Dexter? :/

  • Would be nice if you shared your thoughts!!!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Silvio, interesting stuff. I used those profiles of the BodyRez as well and find them useful but indeed as you say not the single solution.


    Additionally I've been using some channelstrip emulation profiles from the RigExchange (author: Downfall Studio), e.g. Neve 1073 which help to tame certain frequencies which typically are hyped by the piezos. Bert Meulendijk's Acoustic pack has a similar approach plus some very good EQ settings, same for Michael Britt who profiled some acoustic preamps.


    Overall I'm still searching for a quick and pragmatic approach for my Taylor acoustic... would love to try your AURA profiles if you would be willing to share them...

  • A filter can be either FIR or IIR. When we talk about "IRs" in guitar land, we're actually talking about FIR filters. And IIR filters are what we consider EQs. So the quote from Fishman simply says "we used IRs for the Aura tech, but for the low-end we used EQs." This isn't something super fancy, and it's rather a DSP saving method since it would take a longer FIR filter (more DSP intensive to process) to modify the low-end. So Aura supplements with IIR filters.


    Both FIR filters and IIR filters can be captured by taking an impulse response. But the Kemper frankly doesn't have a great IR capability. It uses quite short IRs, which can be sufficient for emulating guitar cabs but not for something like profiling the Aura. With some other modeler or IR device that allows for longer IRs, you should be able to capture the Aura completely.


    Or you can try to use some EQs in the Kemper to modify the low-end to get closer. If you used something like REW to see the frequency response of the Aura, then compared it with the frequency response of the Kemper profile of the Aura, you should be able to know exactly what to do... but this may be too difficult if you're not familiar with this stuff.

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Silvio, interesting stuff. I used those profiles of the BodyRez as well and find them useful but indeed as you say not the single solution.


    Additionally I've been using some channelstrip emulation profiles from the RigExchange (author: Downfall Studio), e.g. Neve 1073 which help to tame certain frequencies which typically are hyped by the piezos. Bert Meulendijk's Acoustic pack has a similar approach plus some very good EQ settings, same for Michael Britt who profiled some acoustic preamps.


    Overall I'm still searching for a quick and pragmatic approach for my Taylor acoustic... would love to try your AURA profiles if you would be willing to share them...

    hello deadman42, of course I can share the profiles with you. If you tell me which Taylor model you have, I can check if there's an Image which fits.

  • A filter can be either FIR or IIR. When we talk about "IRs" in guitar land, we're actually talking about FIR filters. And IIR filters are what we consider EQs. So the quote from Fishman simply says "we used IRs for the Aura tech, but for the low-end we used EQs." This isn't something super fancy, and it's rather a DSP saving method since it would take a longer FIR filter (more DSP intensive to process) to modify the low-end. So Aura supplements with IIR filters.


    Both FIR filters and IIR filters can be captured by taking an impulse response. But the Kemper frankly doesn't have a great IR capability. It uses quite short IRs, which can be sufficient for emulating guitar cabs but not for something like profiling the Aura. With some other modeler or IR device that allows for longer IRs, you should be able to capture the Aura completely.


    Or you can try to use some EQs in the Kemper to modify the low-end to get closer. If you used something like REW to see the frequency response of the Aura, then compared it with the frequency response of the Kemper profile of the Aura, you should be able to know exactly what to do... but this may be too difficult if you're not familiar with this stuff.

    Hi yeky83, that's some great information, thanks a lot! I'll study this.

    One question. Profiling the Aura, is that the same than creating an IR of the Aura?