From Toaster to Stage - any caveats?

  • I've been living in my own studio for a long time now, so the toaster is wired in to the mixer and everything is nice and convenient. Got together with some nice guys last night and I may be heading for a new band thing, which means unharnessing the toaster from the studio, going to rehearsal, coming home, rewiring the toaster. I'm thinking it might be worth buying a stage and selling the remote for the toaster. That way the toaster can live in the studio and the stage can just stay in the travel kit.


    There were some teething pains (faulty knobs, etc.) when the Stage was first released, but I'm assuming the quality issues are sorted out by now (please let me know if that's not the case). I'm sure many of you have done something similar, moving from the rack / toaster to the stage for rehearsals and gigs. Are there any problems, required tweaks, caveats or other considerations I should know about before making the decision to move my non-studio scenarios to a Stage instead of the Toaster / remote?


    I would greatly value any thoughts you might have on this. Plus, you know, if anyone wants to lend me some of their GAS medication to just get over it all, that would probably be okay, too. I'm not sure how much this is a "need" and just a "shiny new toy" thing. :)

  • Hi, Chris,


    I have both. I got the Kemper Profiler (unpowered) [2014], Remote [2016], Stage [2020]. I got the Stage to do light-weight outdoor shows at extended-living/long-term care facilities. There are no dedicated performance areas (stages) and we often must carry our gear over less than friendly terrain. I went through a Strymon Iridium and an HX Stomp before I chose the Stage. It just made sense.


    If you're like me, you'll (continue) to do your development on the Toaster and copy the Performances to the Stage. To do that, you'll keep the Remote so you can do the following in the studio.

    • *Button assignments for the Stomps and Effects and Morphing
      (correction - you can do button assignments for Stomps and Effects without the remote - see correction)
    • Rehearse Performances
    • Use the Looper


    Also, on the Stage, you don't get buttons for the Stomps block, Stack block, and Effects block. This means you can't lock and unlock those blocks or make Presets for them. That's not a problem if you do all your development work on the Toaster.


    You have more I/O options with the Stage than the Toaster (see note below).


    I like the display on the Stage better while performing. It's easier to see.


    You'll want to think about how you will organize your life with one or two instances of Rig Manager and two Profilers. I have a laptop for the Toaster and one for the Stage. It's simple if you do all the development on one (e.g., Toaster) and copy the Performances to the Stage. If you do development on both, you have to think harder about keeping things in sync.


    You might consider using the Stage in place of the Remote to control the Toaster for the whole dual amp thing. I haven't gotten around to that yet. As for using the Stage to REPLACE the Remote - I have some doubts about how I would handle external switches and expression pedals.


  • How about another toaster and just take the remote with you?

    Less to learn, and only one cable to the remote as you know...

    That's one of the paths that I've considered. With the stage I'd have more cables at my feet and would probably stick the wireless and the stage on a pedal train, so multiple power, signal to FOH, signal to the DXR-10, etc.


    On the other hand, I have a pretty hefty tripod platform (actually a laptop / projector stand) to put the toaster on plus the toaster plus the remote, and simplifying carry and setup time for rehearsals / gigs is one of the benefits I think the stage could bring. My car is pretty small, so less to carry is also a benefit there.

    Great stuff man, thanks.


    I'm just now considering this so I haven't done the RTFM thing yet, didn't realize you couldn't do things like assign buttons for fx / morphing without a remote. But yeah, the workflow I had in mind was to do all development in the studio on the toaster and then just copy stuff to the stage, so I'm glad to see that's a viable approach.


    I was giving thought to having to unplug the usb between the toaster and stage and didn't actually think about just installing RM on another computer and doing the stage on that one. A much simpler solution.


    I didn't know that you could use the stage as a remote to control a toaster, which would be kinda cool, but I don't do the dual amp thing so not a major use case for me. I also don't use external switches or expression pedals (I'm not smart enough to sing and operate a wah wah at the same time), so that probably wouldn't be a limitation in my case.

    Stage boots much faster than Toaster (at least my early 2012)

    That's interesting. I wonder if there are new / upgraded chips or components in the stage that offer improved performance in that regard. In any event, faster is better so good to know.

  • Hi again, Chris.

    I've been living in my own studio for a long time now, so the toaster is wired in to the mixer and everything is nice and convenient. Got together with some nice guys last night and I may be heading for a new band thing, which means unharnessing the toaster from the studio, going to rehearsal, coming home, rewiring the toaster. I'm thinking it might be worth buying a stage and selling the remote for the toaster. That way the toaster can live in the studio and the stage can just stay in the travel kit.


    There were some teething pains (faulty knobs, etc.) when the Stage was first released, but I'm assuming the quality issues are sorted out by now (please let me know if that's not the case). I'm sure many of you have done something similar, moving from the rack / toaster to the stage for rehearsals and gigs. Are there any problems, required tweaks, caveats or other considerations I should know about before making the decision to move my non-studio scenarios to a Stage instead of the Toaster / remote?

    I just noticed you have a Powered Toaster. What are you planning to do at rehearsals for amplification? With the Stage, you'll need an amp or run into a PA.


    ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄


    I would greatly value any thoughts you might have on this. Plus, you know, if anyone wants to lend me some of their GAS medication to just get over it all, that would probably be okay, too. I'm not sure how much this is a "need" and just a "shiny new toy" thing. :)


    For context - until I got my Kemper Profiler, I was the guy who had two of everything; one for the studio, one for the road. Normally, I would have gotten a second Profiler as soon as I was happy with the first. I didn't because the Profiler plus Remote was easy to move around. Once I had the routine down, it was simple to move the setup to a gig and back. Having the Stage might save me all of five minutes each time I use it instead of the Toaster. I spend as much time keeping the two units up-to-date and synchronized as I save having one for the studio and one for the road. You can do the math about the value of your time.


    Some people rightly observe that with the Remote - you've only got one cable at your feet. With the Stage, you will have more. I have all my cables bundled up, so they are tidy, and it's quick to make all the connections, so that's not a big deal.


    With the Stage, you've also got a bigger financial investment lying vulnerable to the perils of stage traffic and calamities. That's okay if you have control over your stage space and you can manage the risks. If something stupid were to happen, I'd rather replace a Remote than a Stage.


    If you get the Stage, add the price of a case or a bag. If you use external switches and expression pedals, you might have to double up on those and end up with pedalboard for everything.


    If I had to make the decision again

    Well, it got cold and wet, and it will be at least a couple of months before I'll be playing outside again. The Stage has been sitting here idle and that's not a good thing. Having had the experience of owning both, I realize I could have done without the Stage. I'd have to be an insanely expensive roadie to offset the cost for convenience.


    The original Profiler and Remote have been a great investment. They owe me nothing and if I had to replace or repair them, I would without hesitation. On reflection, I didn't need the Stage. I loved the new and shiny buzz and all the fun of figuring out how to make things work. When the next big thing from Kemper comes along, I'm probably going to have some second thoughts.

  • Hi again, Chris.

    I just noticed you have a Powered Toaster. What are you planning to do at rehearsals for amplification? With the Stage, you'll need an amp or run into a PA.

    I have a Yamaha DXR-10 that I use, even with the powered toaster. I originally bought the powered variety to run it through my V30 cabs, but even my smallest one wouldn't fit in the car so I got the Yamaha. I don't mind that I'm not using the toaster power section. I like having all the options. So, the stage would just go to the Yamaha and thus no problem in that area.

    For context - until I got my Kemper Profiler, I was the guy who had two of everything; one for the studio, one for the road.

    The unwiring / rewiring into the studio, even though it only takes a minute, was also one of my motivations. Dumb, maybe, but I've put a lot of work into the studio so that I can just flip a switch and everything's ready so there's an instinctive twitch factor there. Just not sure if it's a $1700 twitch factor. And yeah, that money is sitting on the floor of a stage in some bar so that's a vulnerability. If it gets fried from a spilled beer that's going to hurt.

    I'd have to be an insanely expensive roadie to offset the cost for convenience.

    That's a big part of my considerations because really, I already have a head and remote. The stage is purely for convenience. And GAS. But, you know, mostly convenience.

  • Stage boots much faster than Toaster (at least my early 2012)

    In a club: By the time I walk back up from break & flick the Kemper on, Talk to the keyboardist about a minor set change, Do a shot of whiskey, grab my guitar, My Kemper is up and ready I'd say less than a min. Really it probably would be better/safer to just leave it on so to me, boot time is a non-issue.

  • ...didn't realize you couldn't do things like assign buttons for fx / morphing without a remote.

    You can, actually. From the manual:


    Assignments without Remote

    If your PROFILER Remote is not connected, or if your stage is so huge that your PROFILER is miles away from the Remote, you will not be able to reach both at the same time. In this case, enter the Remote Effect Buttons page in Rig Settings, hold one of the four soft buttons, and press one or more effect module buttons to complete the assignment.

  • Thanks sambrox. Great catch.

    I forgot you can do this. I have edited my post above.

    You can, actually. From the manual:


    Assignments without Remote

    If your PROFILER Remote is not connected, or if your stage is so huge that your PROFILER is miles away from the Remote, you will not be able to reach both at the same time. In this case, enter the Remote Effect Buttons page in Rig Settings, hold one of the four soft buttons, and press one or more effect module buttons to complete the assignment.