Kemper, an honest review.

  • Thanks for this. I think you are totally right. I have tried a lot of profiles but only those found on the RigExchange, without purchasing any.

    I found the MB profiles to be quite poor for what i want but i can see how they would be suitable for other styles.

    If i'm not mistaken, a merged profile would be what i would need? Is that right? Would i get a good enough "in the room" sound though? I'm not looking for perfection but to be be happy that i can be heard in a band mix and get that "feel". I guess i need to start paying for profiles to get me there.

    What I would recommend would be to post a new thread: Looking for profiles that sound like "(xyz bands that influence your music)". Get some recommendations from guys who like the same kind of stuff that you like. They'll point you to commercial profilers who do that genre well, and maybe even a few gems from Rig Manager.


    This is exactly what I did after my initial disappointments searching for profiles. I landed on MB, Top Jimi and some other stuff because guys who play my style of music recommended them. I have no doubt that there are profilers out there who are just as outstanding for the kind of music that you play, and the best way to find them is to just ask kindred spirits. This is the most positive vibe forum of any place I've ever been on the Internet, and guys will bend over backwards here to help you. It's truly an oddity in the animal kingdom. :)


    As for merged, a good enough "in the room" sound, etc., I would ask the guys who respond to your post with profile recommendations. They all have the same concerns as you do, so they'll have a useful perspective on merged vs studio, passive vs FRFR, the Kabinet, etc. in addition to telling you what profiles they like. And because you're asking for advice based on known bands, you'll be able to speak a common language. If they say it sounds like the guitarist from the xyz band on their second album, you'll understand what that means.


    Seriously, I can't recommend enough that you just post and ask for specific advice from people who share your taste in music. This is a great group of guys and they've helped me a ton. I'm sure they'll help you as well.

  • You can use a merged or a studio profile. The Kemper algorithm for subtracting the cab is generally pretty good.


    Nobody knows the sound you are after like you do. You have a Soldano which you love. You are experienced enough to be able to stick a SM57 in front of a cab and position it to get a sound you are happy with. Therefore, the solution is an absolute no brainer- profile your own Soldano. You can even make a Merged profile if you want. The sound of your own profile will be pretty much 1:1 exact copy of your Soldano.

  • Speaking of Soldano...


    Guido Soldano Profiling Session


    Done by a respected commercial profiler and there are free profiles available to download. This is a good watch and you can see the process they use. I learned alot from this.

    I bought the pack after watching it. I didn’t need it but definitely wanted it. Definitely sounds great to my ears.

  • I turned my PowerRack up, and up again, then up again and then went into the Output settings and turned the poweramp up, and up again.


    Kpa is good for studio and through FOH. But it will never sound like a tube amp through a real cab. Maybe only if you actually use a tube poweramp. You can't beat physics.


    I've tried it and I know. Power tubes add harmonics, fatness, fullness and raw power to the tone (except coloration) that can't be reproduced otherwise when you play with a real cab. With tubes you'll be heard inside a live band with half the volume. The tone will cut and will have balls. With a solid state poweramp you'll have twice the volume and won't cut. And will be thinner, and as you go louder will be even more thin.

  • Speaking of Soldano...


    Guido Soldano Profiling Session


    Done by a respected commercial profiler and there are free profiles available to download. This is a good watch and you can see the process they use. I learned alot from this.

    This is excellent! One of the best, most thorough comparison vids i've seen.


    Thanks for the tips and advice. I will go looking for better profiles and try profiling my own amps. I guess work and time is a big part of what's needed when setting up the KPA but once it' done, it's done and there at the flick of a switch, which is great.

  • Kind of. . . We play a lot of different types of shows, some huge stages at festivals, some smaller club venues. The "amp in the room" does come in to play within these settings too still. As you know, the stage PA is located to the left and right of the stage which leaves rows up front centre taking a lot of what they hear from the stage gear ,so it is important to sound good on stage regardless of what is being put out FOH. This is mostly important for me in terms of me enjoying what i hear which will then influence how i perform.

    The KPA profiles are still created using mics but in a different setting and some are good, some poor. I have mostly found a lot of poor profiles which has taken me a lot of time and effort and has resulted in me not enjoying the practice/rehearsal/writing part of being in a band so far. The whole "yeah, but at least you know it's good out front" isn't enough for me.

    If i could find a profile that was great out front as well as really good on stage then i'd be more open.
    My reluctance to take the KPA on tour is the result of a combination of concerns - not enjoying the sound on stage/rehearsals, not knowing what the FOH is receiving before i get out there, although, i can test on low level flat response speakers, but is that enough?, the remote control footswitch tripping me up from time to time, to name a few.

    I think if at practice we all used in ear monitors then it would be a different thing but we're not Metallica.

    Don't get me wrong, i absolutely love the KPA and have used it to record our latest single which made the process an absolute breeze and i will continue to use it in this way moving forward, i would just like to happy all round with it for live use.


    Some other comments:


    1) There are definitely duff profiles out there so you do need to find the right profiles. It does take some time but as you note in later posts, once done its done :)

    2) I am not suggesting that you can have a poor sound on stage as I agree its uninspiring. What I am saying is where your emphasis should be. You can achieve both, the point being they will be different due to signal path.

    3) Of course at any venue you will get some back line sound but its less than you think and less desirable. If I'm at the front of the stage but on the bass player side and getting too much off the backline, I won't hear you at all. This is always my arguement for micing everything up even at small gigs, its for balance not volume ( I know not your point, but the reason why the lower on stage volume the better for overall sound).

    4) Defo do not take on tour until happy!!

    5) Defo have to finalise any profiles at volume, as the sound changes dramatically

    6) As mentioned try some of the Soldano profiles out and try some of the Merged ones...

  • With a real tube amp, which has consistent characteristics going out to FOH all night long, you can absolutely be sure that what you’re hearing on stage is **closer** to what the audience is hearing. Not exact of course, but reasonably close.

    I will just suggest you to get a look to a SM57 frequency response, and tell me how close can a signal get after going trough it, without even mentioning its placement. Mic´ing an amp is an art, and consistency comes from the artists, unless you always have the same audio engineer, you will never have consistency, no amount of EQ can fix a bad placed mic. That problem is solved with the kemper, you can take your flat profile headphones and have a good idea how it will sound un FOH, good luck fighing the engineer because you hear yourself awesome and the front sounds wimpy.


    Pro Tip: Profile your amp with the cabinet that you use on the stage, in a studio enviroment, with quality mics in a couple of settings, and there you have it, your sound in the stage will be what you expect it to be up front, not mixed cabs, not different eq, and the best of all NO MIC ever again.

  • Kpa is good for studio and through FOH. But it will never sound like a tube amp through a real cab. Maybe only if you actually use a tube poweramp. You can't beat physics.


    I've tried it and I know. Power tubes add harmonics, fatness, fullness and raw power to the tone (except coloration) that can't be reproduced otherwise when you play with a real cab. With tubes you'll be heard inside a live band with half the volume. The tone will cut and will have balls. With a solid state poweramp you'll have twice the volume and won't cut. And will be thinner, and as you go louder will be even more thin.

    Wrong on all accounts.

    Powertubes are contained in the profile (if it's a tube amp that has been profiled).

  • Lol no they don't. You'd wish though 😃

    Because you said so, of course. Really, I know over 20 musicians that still believe tubes are magical artifacts or something around those lines. You can emulate ANYTHING with a transfer function/ differential equation/ mathematical model/ neural network. Its just a matter of time and processing power, and the method of course.


    After an A/B blind test with the kemper in a real room, with a real cab, I bet you wont know which are the tube amps, and which are kemper.

  • Because you said so, of course. Really, I know over 20 musicians that still believe tubes are magical artifacts or something around those lines. You can emulate ANYTHING with a transfer function/ differential equation/ mathematical model/ neural network. Its just a matter of time and processing power, and the method of course.


    After an A/B blind test with the kemper in a real room, with a real cab, I bet you wont know which are the tube amps, and which are kemper.

    You cannot convince naysayers. You only can correct their flawed argumentation.

    I know my three tube amps co-exist happily with my Profiler.

    They all have their equal place in my heart.

  • Because you said so, of course. Really, I know over 20 musicians that still believe tubes are magical artifacts or something around those lines. You can emulate ANYTHING with a transfer function/ differential equation/ mathematical model/ neural network. Its just a matter of time and processing power, and the method of course.


    After an A/B blind test with the kemper in a real room, with a real cab, I bet you wont know which are the tube amps, and which are kemper.

    Ok, create a human brain. No rush, I can wait 😂


    For the other things you mentioned, just read my post. No time to write the same stuff again and and again. The "blind" test argument is misleading. Use both in a band side by side and you'll get it ;)

  • Ok, create a human brain. No rush, I can wait 😂


    For the other things you mentioned, just read my post. No time to write the same stuff again and and again. The "blind" test argument is misleading. Use both in a band side by side and you'll get it ;)

    Have you ever heard of neural networks? did you even read what I said? I am an electric engineer with specialty on modelling and simulation, and yes, I believe we can get the transfer function of a brain, we just dont have the processing power to do so just yet. And guess what? I use my kemper in my band, and no problems cutting trough the mix, with the pair of jensens in the empty twin husk, or any other cabinet. If you have problems cutting trough the mix, then you have a problem with the way you set up your sound.


    Good luck with your missinformation breach, I am not interested in convincing anyway.

  • Kpa is good for studio and through FOH. But it will never sound like a tube amp through a real cab. Maybe only if you actually use a tube poweramp. You can't beat physics.


    I've tried it and I know. Power tubes add harmonics, fatness, fullness and raw power to the tone (except coloration) that can't be reproduced otherwise when you play with a real cab. With tubes you'll be heard inside a live band with half the volume. The tone will cut and will have balls. With a solid state poweramp you'll have twice the volume and won't cut. And will be thinner, and as you go louder will be even more thin.

    You missed off "in your opinion".


    I've also tried it ( for 6 years) and I know. Its not just my opinion though, I have never had more compliments on my sound during my time with the KPA. Funnily enough I trust others more than my own ears as I doubted my sound for sometime.


    Also Depth and fatness does not equal cut. Thinner tones tend to cut more so you'd think actually Valves would be less good at cut but as I'm sure you know its about frequencies and clashes.


    I know your point having experienced this (disappearing sound) issue with a Line 6 spyder many years ago, but not with the KPA or the latest crop of digital equipment. Its all in the set up. There is often a tendency to go mad with effects or make the sound as fat and thick as possible...because you can... yet this is very unlikely to work in a band set up. Not saying you did this but you do have to spend more time on initial set up and not everyone thinks about this ( me included!!).


    There will always be differences between any gear as there are differences between Valve amps as well - they are not utopia either or magical.


    They produce a sound which is way less complex than the human brain ( hence the analogy doesn't work) although the brain also basically operates as connections ( 1's and 0's) so it will be possible to replicate, just not yet. Digital can replicate analogue as is shown in most mediums ( digital photography). People will always say "something is missing" but as analysis and processing become more advanced those differences disappear to imperceptible.

  • V8guitar love your digital photography analogy Guy. Not many films shot on 35m celluloid anymore but no one is complaining that movies today have less detail in the image.

    I'm sure someone will say " but yes some pros still use 35mm because it has some warmth that is missing with digital", in the same way high end hifi uses valves. But regardless, this is just additional colouration that can be emulated via digital.


    Same argument for recording desks and tape vs hard disk.... :) but technically it can be emulated. I'm at risk of sparking the whole "digital bad, analogue good" argument..ha!

  • I'm sure someone will say " but yes some pros still use 35mm because it has some warmth that is missing with digital", in the same way high end hifi uses valves. But regardless, this is just additional colouration that can be emulated via digital.


    Same argument for recording desks and tape vs hard disk.... :) but technically it can be emulated. I'm at risk of sparking the whole "digital bad, analogue good" argument..ha!

    What actually happens when going from digital to analog for first time in any medium, its a rediscovery, vinyl has imperfections that make it sound "warm" which we relate to "analog-ness", when in all truth, old recordings had no capability to record beyond 14 khz appropiately, and to that, add the vinyl characteristic of material on it is degradating while the needle is rolling, and changes according to temperature. All that was distortion, not "analog warmth".