Please critique my Kemper Clean and Metal tones.

  • All these are original riffs. Please don't critique my playing - you may be surprised how little experience I have so far. ;)


    This is a "wet" clean tone. One of my favs. I probably won't keep the Leslie panning effect though, but I like it when practicing. Using the Ace - Super Lead profile.



    This is 5 riffs with metal tones. All Mesa profiles. The 1st and 5th riff is using the same profile. A clean one with stacked OD's in the stomp. 2nd is my daily warm-up. 3rd is like a homage to EVH. 4th is a hard one for me since I have to pick individual strings on the F chord while palm muting unused strings at high gain. 5th one is a riff I am currently working to complete.



    Critique the tones as hard as you like! All done with Schecter Sun Valley and EMG retroActives.


    Thanks.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

    Edited 2 times, last by BayouTexan ().

  • Hi Larry


    firstly, your playing is fine so don’t worry about that ??


    All the tones are too wet and drenched in modulation for my personal taste. However, I am properly old skool - Guitar > Cable > Amp > Job Done ?


    It is difficult to say too much about the tones in isolation as there is no context for them. What is the bass like? What are the drums doing? Etc...... Maybe the overall track does need the modulation and delay etc maybe it doesn’t.


    In terms of general gain/eq/etc they all sound good and useable to me. Not too much bottom end to get in the road of other things and enough highs to cut through.

    I’m not a big fan of the doubling/widening effects personally. I would rather double track it for depth and variations and just use the doubling for a specific special effect in selected places.


    Having said all of that ; my ears are painted on ? I would pay more attention to guys like Nicky Monkey_Man or Vinny Burns who really know tone and have a wealth of experience recording.


  • All the tones are too wet and drenched in modulation for my personal taste. However, I am properly old skool - Guitar > Cable > Amp > Job Done ?

    I have gotten that before from a few guys who just use amp reverb and a TS pedal sparingly. ;) but's that okay. I like wet.



    It is difficult to say too much about the tones in isolation as there is no context for them. What is the bass like? What are the drums doing? Etc...... Maybe the overall track does need the modulation and delay etc maybe it doesn’t.

    Totally agree, and kind of expected this. I figured I would just get a good "tonal" foundation and can tweak from there once I work with all the pieces with other musicians to get some demos going. Hopefully in the near future.



    In terms of general gain/eq/etc they all sound good and useable to me. Not too much bottom end to get in the road of other things and enough highs to cut through.

    I’m not a big fan of the doubling/widening effects personally. I would rather double track it for depth and variations and just use the doubling for a specific special effect in selected places.

    Great! I know I'm in the ball park for a fit in the mix. I have backed off quite a bit of bottom end I normally would use in the past for practice. Figured I get used to it now, knowing a bassist won't like getting muddied up later.


    I'm using the doubling effect to get an initial feel on how the song translates to my ears when I know a dubbed track will be used. I need to get my tightness down a lot better before I do can do my own dubs.


    Thanks so much! Very appreciated! The Kemper has been totally inspiring.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • All the tones are too wet and drenched in modulation for my personal taste. However, I am properly old skool - Guitar > Cable > Amp > Job Done ?

    Testify, Brother Alan. 8)

    It is difficult to say too much about the tones in isolation as there is no context for them. What is the bass like? What are the drums doing? Etc...... Maybe the overall track does need the modulation and delay etc maybe it doesn’t.

    True.


    I will also say that the distancing imposed by the 'verb makes even this hard-to-judge. If I were pressed I'd say the heavy tones generally lack a bit of top-end bite for mixing, but as I said, it's hard-to-judge when it's this wet.

    In terms of general gain/eq/etc they all sound good and useable to me. Not too much bottom end to get in the road of other things and enough highs to cut through.

    Yeah, the bottom end is fine but I predict that some top-end fairy dust will be necessary in order to achieve mix cut-through.

    Having said all of that ; my ears are painted on ? I would pay more attention to guys like Nicky Monkey_Man or Vinny Burns who really know tone and have a wealth of experience recording.

    Vinny's got the experience; I'm just a monkey loaded to the ears with theory. :D You're too-kind, matey. ;)

    I have gotten that before from a few guys who just use amp reverb and a TS pedal sparingly. ;) but's that okay. I like wet.

    Wet's fine for jamming on your own. In every other context you're gonna get drowned by the other instruments, Larry.


    It's a matter of degree of course. A tiny bit of ambience won't hurt in these situations. Pushing yourself back as far as the example clips illustrate, especially for the heavy sounds, will only serve to remove impact, intelligibility and perceived volume. It'd be akin to your trundling off to a corner of the room and playing from there... or even further away IMHO.

  • So what I gather from Monkey_Man is:


    (1) Be less wet in mix - Yes, on some rhythms I figure a totally dry signal with just OD and a dubbed track especially on the metal ones.


    (2) Add some top end grit - And I finally just learned to dial all that crap out. :P This might hurt.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • Ha! Na mate; don't worry about it.


    Whilst you can, with experience, pre-guess how much gristle to dial in more-or-less, IMHO it's more-practical to simply bear in mind the intended destination when tweaking the Stack EQ.


    IOW, if you're only going to jam with a Rig, do whatever makes you happy. If you intend to place it in a mix, just be conscious of not trying to sculpt the tone to sound polished / finished in a stand-alone context. You already know about removing unnecessary low-end flub, so you've got that covered. Be aware 'though that it's just as easy, if not easier, to use a high-pass filter in the mix. As for treble and presence, I'd recommend settling on something that's pleasing-to-the-ear but not dull.


    If you try to preempt what you might need in a mix by cranking the treble and / or presence, there's a likelihood that a mix might require slightly-different frequencies to be boosted. Then you'll be faced with having to dial narrow bands back whilst boosting nearby ones in order to get the right / necessary high-end boost.


    OTOH, if you just go for that "pleasing-to-the-ear but not dull" territory, you'll have a more-balanced / natural baseline from which to work the EQ in the mix to wherever the song requires you go. It'll be much-simpler (and sound better) too if you don't have to do double-duty by trying to undo unnecessary boosts made in the Rig itself pre-recording as well as determining the appropriate high-end boost/s for a given project.


    In a nutshell, IMHO it's best not to paint yourself into corner by trying to pre-guess what'll be required in a mix. Get a natural tone down, ensuring there aren't any major "holes" (EQ cuts) in it and then you'll have a balanced-frequency palette from which to work your mixing-EQ magic. When you need to boost or cut a frequency, at least it'll be there to work with. If you've cut it out beforehand, as is often the case with mids when folks tweak for stand-alone impressiveness, you'll have to boost so much it'll sound terrible and most-likely exhibit nasty "phasiness" as you push your mixing EQ hard with narrow bands (steep slopes).


    Hopefully that makes sense. :/

  • ...


    Hopefully that makes sense. :/

    Perfectly! I totally agree. That's where I want my tones to be at - like a perfectly rough cut diamond waiting on the jeweler (the mix).


    I truly appreciate all this feedback. I need it to make me a better player. It's hard to get feedback from musicians and be able to play with others with this BS virus lockdowns.


    Truth be told, I guess you all can tell anyway, I've only been playing guitar for an embarrassing 2 years and 4 months, and had the Kemper those last 4 months. I wrote lyrics when I was young, but always wanted to play adrenaline games and just listen to music. I kind of had a mid-life epiphany and music re-awakened in me like a bomb, and I have been freakishly possessed to learn guitar ever since. It's all I want to do now, and it's all I do.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.


  • Hi Larry, not sure if it's my speakers, but did you do any extensive tweaking to the profiles, or did you leave them stock and just add FX? I got a bit of a synth feel from them, like a saw effect. Not sure if that's due to the wetness, which might be a bit excessive, but if that's what you were aiming for, all good. What pickup were you using - bridge/middle/neck?


    Cool riffs, btw. Good stuff!

  • Hi Larry, not sure if it's my speakers, but did you do any extensive tweaking to the profiles, or did you leave them stock and just add FX? I got a bit of a synth feel from them, like a saw effect. Not sure if that's due to the wetness, which might be a bit excessive, but if that's what you were aiming for, all good. What pickup were you using - bridge/middle/neck?


    Cool riffs, btw. Good stuff!

    Those are all from the stock Kemper Profile pack. I tweaked all of them, and some more than others. I don't like any of the raw tones.


    One specific tone I like to hear on my bottom end is what I can best describe as the sound of when you take a bat and hit a cable that is holding a telephone pole up. It's sort of a deep warble but gets trebly as the cable slows in vibration. I don't know if that makes sense at all, but it's something I did as a kid, and it's a technique used for the phaser weapons in Star Wars. LOL. Go hit a telephone pole cable with a piece of tree limb and you'll know what I mean.


    I have a very hard time practicing to blues and rock backing tracks with a dry signal because it sounds so boring and un-inspirational to me. If I am covering over a song on youtube with the full mix then I am okay with it. But I have to do wet when I practice alone. I really need to start working with a band to define how my tone will go. I hope to start one in about 6 more months if things go well in practice.


    In the end, I want my tone to be totally unique but with flavors of EVH (hence wetness), Alex Lifeson, and Neil Geraldo (dry guy).


    All those riffs were done on my Schecter Sun valley with EMG Retro Actives. The neck pos for Ocean riff and bridge for the others. My fav pickup is the JB in the bridge and '59 in neck. I have that setup in in my Charvel which is the guitar I use to create all my profiles. The EMG Retros sound almost the same as the JB to my ears. All I do when using the Schecter over the Charvel is drop the gain on the profile or lower guitar volume knob.


    Thanks!

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • I got a bit of a synth feel from them, like a saw effect. Not sure if that's due to the wetness, which might be a bit excessive, but if that's what you were aiming for, all good. What pickup were you using - bridge/middle/neck?

    I thought he might've overdone the gain, AJ; I think that's what caused it.


    Larry, for recording you might want to dial that back a bit, mate.

  • I thought he might've overdone the gain, AJ; I think that's what caused it.


    Larry, for recording you might want to dial that back a bit, mate.

    I just love total saturation bliss though! 8o Later on I'm going to try all these recommendations on the same riffs and record so we can hear the difference.


    When dubbing a second track, should I be using the same exact tone and just let the subtleties of picking offset come through or should I EQ the second to differ on the first? On most dubbed songs I hear the tone sounds relatively the same but one may be heavier than the other.

    The more you find what Kemper can do then the harder you try to find what it cannot do -- like make a good cup of Frappuccino.

  • It's up to you.


    In my experience, and this is based only on keyboard sounds, the more the tones differ, the wider the L-R panning will seem to be as a general rule.


    OTOH, the closer the tones are, the more you'll be relying on the timing differences between the L and R tracks to prevent phase cancellation's creeping in.


    I suggest experimenting:


    Record two tracks with the same sound and same gain.

    Record two tracks with differing gain.

    Record two tracks with very-different-sounding amps.


    Now repeat the procedure using a DI track and reamping so timing differences aren't a factor.

    This should give you an outline of the extremes. Now you'll be able to make informed choices with these extremes in-mind.

  • Great food for thought here regarding double tracking from breu ...



    As someone in the comments said: "...never thought of doing it like this. But the result is great!". Same here with me. But it's definitely good advice. Thanks Bert :thumbup:8)


    Maybe that's also something for you BayouTexan looking at your wet tone needs...