Using "pure boost" to perfect sensitivity/feel of profiles

  • I've read elsewhere on here that "pure boost" - used in a stomp slot - does the same as adjusting the Amp section's gain knob: Pure booster and gain relationship - though some people on the thread disagree (and I'd tend to agree with them!)

    While I understand they may both be technically simply applying gain, I feel that they serve quite different functions (presumably because of where they are placed in the virtual signal chain?)

    I find if you sweep the dial on the pure booster, there's always a "sweet spot" where the profile just feels the most alive under the fingers - any less than this and no matter how much you dig in with the pick it doesn't quite feel like you're getting enough bite - any more, and it starts to feel compressed, loses dynamic range. Increasing (or decreasing) the Amp section's gain knob just doesn't achieve the same thing - you obviously get more (or less) distortion, but the feel/response can still be improved using pure boost - in fact, once I've found the "sweet spot" on the pure boost for a particular profile, I find this value works no matter how much I increase or reduce the Amp gain. btw, this "sweet spot" on the pure boost need not necessarily be a positive value - e.g. in the thread linked to above, Rescator says he tends to use negative values to compensate for his powerful pickups - I generally end up with positive values however, presumably because my pickups have less output than his.

    Anyone else use pure boost in this way - i.e. not just to boost gain for solos, but to idealise the general response/feel of a profile?

    I guess how I'd describe it is that - similar to how Definition and EQ can be used to optimise the tone of a profile to suit your pickup's tonal range - the pure booster can be used to adjust your pickups output to optimise the response/feel, which does seem to vary from profile to profile.

    (And as I know someone's bound to ask, yes I'm aware of and have adjusted clean and dist sens in the input settings - I have these set to my liking per guitar, and review them regularly, though always return to the same values, so am assuming I've got them set "correctly" - anyway, adjusting these parameters does not achieve the same thing as what I'm describing here re. the pure boost.)

  • A fellow kemperist met on Facebook one day told me to put a treble booster after the amp and cab block and adjust with very low settings.

    It was the best advice ever and my profiles came to life.

    That's effectively post EQ though - not saying it wouldn't sound good, but I'm talking about boosting the input into the Amp to improve (or idealise is maybe a better word here) the response and feel of a profile.

  • That's effectively post EQ though - not saying it wouldn't sound good, but I'm talking about boosting the input into the Amp to improve (or idealise is maybe a better word here) the response and feel of a profile.

    depending on the profile I had better results with the dist sense rather than the pure boost. Maybe it’s just my ears lol.
    treble booster before the amp is the one that feel the more « alive » kemper drives are great but they can put high artifacts really quick.

  • Btw, I should also add, it's only a hypothesis that what I'm talking about here is "optimising" the profile for different pickups - it may be if I was plugged into the actual amp that'd been profiled, I'd still prefer it with some level of boost. But to me, it just feels more like a real amp with this input level adjustment (i.e. pure boost before the amp) - anyway, whatever it is, my Kemper's sounding EVEN better since I started doing this!

    Also, I should mention that I've noticed that if I get a profile set up nicely without any pure boost, and set the Amp gain to what sounds best to me, after adding some pure boost (which, incidentally, usually ends up being somewhere between 1.0 and 2.0, though I suspect this will depend on pickups) I then find it helps to back off slightly on the Amp gain - usually by just about 0.2 - this brings the overall distortion back down to around what I originally had, but with a better feel/response. Again, this really doesn't feel like boosting the amp to me - if I increase the pure boost beyond this level, THEN it starts to feel/sound like a boost. Reduce it below the chosen amount, it feels a bit like playing thru an amp with the guitar's volume knob rolled off a bit. Hence why I'm hypothesising that I'm optimising the input level to suit different profiles. If anyone wants to give it a try and let me know what you think, I'd be interested to know if you get the same impression.

  • I agree with the OP that sometimes it feels like adding some volume (pure boost) before the Amp does something different than adjusting the gain. But I dont have enough experience to say for sure.

    I also love a Treble Booster AFTER the amp. Depending on the amp used, I might have the mix at 100% or 5%. Generically the gain is around the default 2.5 but I might push up to 4 or so if more bite is needed on a profile. As of late I have been starting at 0% mix and slowly bringing it up to the sweet spot. You always get a little bump in volume which always sounds better to us humans so that is a factor to think about.

    To my ears the Treble Boost:

    - somehow makes the high mids sound perfect. Something an EQ alone cant do.

    - can take a harsh sounding breakup/dist and smooth it out or clean it up.

    - makes the sound feel more "real" and present on amps that are too dark, muddy, or distant sounding.

    - makes a modern death metal amp sound more like a normal stack on 11.

    Its not perfect for every sound. Sometimes its too harsh and sometimes the bass falls away too much so you need an EQ after it for further adjustment. One of the reasons having the profiler "profile" itself would be a great option/feature.

  • I'm pretty sure the treble booster (placed after the Amp stack) is doing nothing the studio EQ couldn't do - could be wrong tho - and anyway, if it's a pleasing frequency range it's boosting, it is nice and simple to set, so why not!

    Really though, any boost or EQ alteration AFTER the amp is not what I'm talking about here originally, as this will have no effect on how the amp is "driven" or responds to the touch.