I hope you can help me finally wrap my head around this issue.
The short story is that even after learning a lot about the Kemper I still feel it should sound much better than it does.
The long story is that I might think so only because I’m missing some basic understanding of EQ and guitar tones.
I have gone through several stages of joy and disappointment with my Kemper. At first I thought everything sounded too muffled, not defined enough. I used EQs and definition and so on and was wondering why most profiles even from more famous profilers sounded too dull to me.
What I did next was a bit of an epiphany: I started too play over some of my favorite songs and suddenly realized that the profiles worked much better in this context. Inside my head guitars must have sounded brighter than they actually do in the mix. Some brighter profiles which I had earlier liked better, suddenly sounded too harsh.
I felt more content for a moment, until I went back to youtube and listened to some of the demo videos for the amps whose profiles I was using. Again they sounded much better than my Kemper. I tested this with dozens of different profiles and five different guitars, the Kemper didn’t sound real compared to these videos. I even listened to videos of the exact same amp and guitar combination as I was playing and the result was the same.
What I don’t get: The amp demonstrations are recorded via mic into a DAW. It’s the same signal chain as a Kemper profile. I heard people respond to Kemper critics saying: you can’t compare the amp in the room experience with a mic’ed amp sound. But I’m not doing this here, I’m comparing real mic’ed amps with profiles of real mic’ed amps.
The Kemper ALWAYS sounds more distant, has blanket on top, as if frequencies were missing. Very low definition compared to the videos of real amps. Harsher and less character. Adjusting settings like treble and definition doesn’t get rid of the unreal nature of the sound.
And yes, I tried different cabs and even profiles from different profilers of the same amp = same result.
What am I missing here? Is it maybe that all 5 guitars of mine have bad quality pickups? I own a Tele (custom made Creamery pickups), Mexican Strat, Epiphone Dot, P90 Hollowbody and a Supro gold foil. The only instrument hat sounds 100% convincing through the Kemper is my semi-hollow short scale bass.
Since so many of you (and in the industry) are so happy about the Kemper, I was even wondering if it was just my device. However, I reset the whole thing and it sounds the same. Is it broken?
Or is something broken in my head?
Why can people on youtube record an amp so well that it sounds three dimensional but the Kemper remains 2D?