Need some input from the Kemper guru's! "digital/shrill" issue that I don't hear on youtube examples Heavier Tones/Metal/Solos etc

  • Hey everybody,


    So I bought the toaster, it's a marvel of engineering. I did a quick test at the end of the week (last week) with an EVH 5150 III profile played "unchained" direct into my Api board thought a Burl A/D/A and it sounded pretty insane (I had an hour to unbox plug it in and quickly do this). Listening more closely now there's a bit of that un-natural high mid stuff...

    https://www.tiktok.com/@neilsh…is_from_webapp=v1&lang=en


    But this past week I spent a ton of time going through profiles in rig manager by Amp type then googled a ton and tried M. Britt (all free stuff) Guido Bungenstock and a host of others. I found some decent sounding stuff but there seemed to be a general harshness in the top end (upper mids) coming out of the Kemper regardless.


    I realize that the Kemper is a close mic'd version of the amps (profiled) and that adding too much gain and other interal Kemper fx can stretch the limits of a profile and/or the Kemper's "goodness". I ended up putting a Dangerous audio "BAX" eq right after my Profiler before it went into my API and that helped by cutting 3-5 db of top end. I also notice a lot of the profiles fall apart when you roll the volume down, they sound like they have an auto wah or a noise gate acting badly (when they are either "OFF" or totally removed).


    I'm using a PRS custom 24 10 top gtr so it's not the guitar. Just for reference, I have an orange rockerverb 50 head that I was using with a 4 x 12 mesa cab and a Mesa dual rectifier that runs through an 80's 4 x 12 marshall cab prior to the kemper. Here's my Mesa dual Rec through the marshall mic'd w/ a 421 into an API but recorded in the room not through DAW (my CR doesn't have a computer in it for recording at the moment)

    https://www.tiktok.com/@neilsh…is_from_webapp=v1&lang=en


    I heard a shootout by "the captain" on youtube where the kemper won over the amp 6 out of 6 times! and I was sold and I had to get it. I am looking for a solid solution to record guitar stuff for social media (for fun) instead of blasting a track through some genelecs in my live room and balancing my live amps against them, then recording it into my phone with a shure iphone mic :rolleyes:. (long story why i'm not just mic'ing and recording them in my control room at this point) Anyway that's not an option right now so back to the kemper questions.


    I'm monitoring through Genelec speakers in one room and ATC's in another, I have a back round in recording engineering so I'm aware of overloading A/D's or driving the output of the kemper too much or the input channel on my API too hot (although that often sounds really nice w/ a live mic on a crunchy amp tone). I've also tried a couple of distortion pedals on the input which help a bit (i'm trying to get good crunchy rhythm tones and lead tones) VH, Ozzy, Journey, Ac/Dc, Megadeth, Slipknot, Kansas etc. am I expecting too much compared to a tube amp and cab?


    I've since bought 2 packs this weekend from michael britt (D pack and Pack 1) since i'm not at my studio i'm running the kemper into a fender delux reverb's "normal" channel at a balanced level and low volume just to practice and mess around. more testing on Monday! But, I am curious about other's experiences here? I've had my partners come in and listen and agreed about the high mid harshness so I don't think totally I'm crazy :wacko:. Is it all about the profiles you choose or buy? I really want this to work! I watched Rabea on a few different tutorials and comparisons they sound better to me.


    I know there's a lot here so sorry and thanks in advance!


    Best,

    Neil

  • thanks for the help, I'll try that for sure, I did to some extent but more drastic may help more. I'm already rolling off the presence to like 10 o'clock and then adding a bit of "treble" to make it up. also tried the "Vintage" eq and did a lot of cuts but I think that EQ is too subtle to accomplish this?

  • Most of the shrillness will disappear in a proper mix. Other things to try; lower the high- cut (and sometimes down to like 4.5k), Turn Pure Cabinet to around 2.5-3.5, Turn down your guitar tone knob just a bit, lower treble side of pickup slightly. I know there is a couple other things but those come to mind right now.

    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 am a noob...


    I think the Kemper AMP EQ is really good for most things. But maybe it is not the best for metal stuff. The Kemper also feels like you lose some dynamic range when you start turning down the high freqs (could be listening volume and our ears tricking us).


    CABINET SECTION

    As Bayou was pointing out, you can adjust some shrill in the CABINET section. By changing the HI SHIFT setting, you can adjust where that shrill freq is at. Usually around -.5 works pretty good. But sometimes actually turning it up a little moves the shrill to a better spot. Dont forget to press SHIFT in Rig Manager to make adjustments since the HI SHIFT is very touchy.


    Tweaking the CHARACTER can sometimes help also. This flattens or amplifies the frequency variations in the IR/Cabinet. Turning up the character can sometimes kill some high freq if the cabinet used has some cut there.


    PURE CABINET as mentioned tries to clean up the highs also.


    A STUDIO EQ in the X slot (right after the amp) is a really good thing. As mentioned above the HIGH CUT can be added there. I have also played the game of setting a gain up 6-10 dB and trying to find the shrill freq. Then reducing the Q (width) of the filter and cutting that freq.


    A good SEQ start point for metal is:

    Low: +3dB @ 200 Hz

    PEQ1: -2 dB @ 550 Hz Q: .525 (.707 is default)

    PEQ2: 0 dB @ 1200 Hz Q: .525 (.707 is default)

    Hi: +3 dB @ 1900 Hz

    Hi Cut: 4.5k - 8k


    Some metal stuff likes the 1900 boosted. Some likes it cut and the 1200 boosted. You may need to adjust the 1200 freq and the 1900 freq up depending on the profile. Like 1400 may give a better presence and 2500-3500 may be a better cut starting point. Depends a lot on the profile.


    For most situations I like a TREBLE BOOSTER in the X slot (SEQ after it). Not so much for metal, but it sounds like it may help. Tone around 1.0 - 3.0 and set MIX to about 10%. This smooths out the harsh highs a little and gives a wider hi freq boost over all. This may let you turn down the AMP section treble and presence without totally killing the high end. For many profiles the presence may be down to -3 dB for example. It also feels to me like it adds some dynamics back after you kill the treble and presence. Psycho acoustic probably since it will be louder.


    The SEQ and the TREBLE BOOSTER will also let you turn the AMPLIFIER MID up some. Since the MID is sort of high in freq, it is really the thing to adjust to get some more presence and let the SEQ and TB provide the cleaner high frequencies.


    Another thing that can really help is the AMPLIFIER CLARITY setting. This seems to be an expander. So it will remove some of the distortion hair. If it is too fizzy/shrill the clarity will clean it up. You may actually need to add more gain after if you turn it up a lot.


    Having a HI CUT to about 2k - 3k in the first slot will help some too. Also helps reduce noise. Then you can also punch up the mids a little to get more meat. But the EQ sometimes kills the tone and phase relationships a little. Your mileage may vary.


    Hope some of this gets you on the path. I know I always make my stuff way too bright. Then I listen to something on YouTube and the high end is dialed way down compared to me. I think it is because when you are playing the guitar by itself, more lows and highs sound better. But in a mix it sounds thin and fights with everything.

  • thanks for the help, I'll try that for sure, I did to some extent but more drastic may help more. I'm already rolling off the presence to like 10 o'clock and then adding a bit of "treble" to make it up. also tried the "Vintage" eq and did a lot of cuts but I think that EQ is too subtle to accomplish this?

    I have a old Plexi profile, sounds great, but had that little bit of fizz to it, i did the same, i rolled the presents completely off, and dialed in a bit more highs, that fixed my problems i had, sounds even better now.

  • I also notice a lot of the profiles fall apart when you roll the volume down, they sound like they have an auto wah or a noise gate acting badly (when they are either "OFF" or totally removed).

    i have to disagree, most profiles will clean up better than on the original amp.

    You are sure the noise gate in the input section isn‘t dialed in to high?


    regarding the harshness, i recommend searching for a cab that is not miked with an 57 but an e.x. a good Ribbon mic, lock the cab and listen to the amps again

  • Hi and thanks for the detailed suggestions! I did try a bit of this and that before reading this. I will try more, its already far better then where I stared. It does Sound like this is an issue for more then just me (glad to hear) and metal may be tougher (oddly) to get it sounding right w/ tight low end. I’m glad to hear some of these ideas and that there are some decent solutions. A lot of variables! I had an opportunity to get my hands on an UA Ox box and plugged my orange amp into it, selected a 4 x12 cab. Ribbon mic (modeled) some room and another mic (off access) and it sounded pretty legit. Having the front end be an actual live amp with tubes obv. Helps a lot but in this scenario you have only the amp sounds you own. All good, thanks everyone!


    Cheers Neil

  • the best solution here is to make your own Profiles.
    only then can you accurately compare the tube amp vs the PROFILER.

    in all other scenarios what some people are quick to attribute to the PROFILER's digital nature are results of speaker choice and mic'ing choices, or even some EQ between the mic and the PROFILER.
    never got the whole 'digital/shrill' thing - distorting tube amps are able to produce a ridicoulous amount of higher harmonics and speakers towards the dust cap can and will reproduce these - super unpleasant and yet very, very analog.


  • i have to disagree, most profiles will clean up better than on the original amp.

    You are sure the noise gate in the input section isn‘t dialed in to high?


    I also notice a lot of the profiles fall apart when you roll the volume down, they sound like they have an auto wah or a noise gate acting badly (when they are either "OFF" or totally removed).

    I think nmgold is talking about something different than the high end here. I think he means that the overall signal coming from the guitar sounds as if it's too low for the profiler to use perfectly. It's almost as if the signal is not solid. Sometimes even with the guitar being dimed.


    nmgold, I have had this to varying degrees. It became MUCH more common after I lowered the pickups from where the online dealer set them. My 4 electrics came to me with the pickups way too close to the strings. My ES-335 was 2/64th. (Yikes!!!) I set mine by ear through an amp, measured afterwards and ended up somewhere near manufacture specs. No more bass warbling, phasey thing. Works fine with the amp, but starts to be underwhelming through the Kemper when using some of the Rigs.


    The "fix" is easy enough. Raise the Clean and Dirty values in the Input section to taste. I usually need to add 3-6db. Added benefit is being able to manage the amp volume & gain with guitar knobs improves. I've appended the Rig name with the short name for the guitar and my initials (eg "PB Tele", "PB LP", "PB 335", "PB Vela") You can also Lock the input section so that switching from rig to rig does not change things.


    Also, the suggestions for the high end piercing thing do very well. I do mostly drop the Presence to taste when surfing through Rigs as a quick and easy temp fix. I do more if I end up keeping the rig as a common use item. That said, I do tend to use more gain with my Kemper, as well as using amps I normally would not. I'm gonna get chime at some point.

  • High shift in the cabinet section is very powerful, I know people say to go to -. 5 or - 1, but if its a bit shrill I'd start at minus 5 and slowly bring it up until you get to where it sounds good and not worry about where it ends up, could be at - 3, if it's sounding better to you great:)