Gigging kemper user needs help

  • I sure wish there was a more basic video

    Or instruction on how to set this thing up for a user that plays it live


    my set up


    kemper powered rack

    Wireless to kemper front input

    Kemper out to foh via main out left

    And foh sends back my in ear mix

    I use a cab on stage for some light stage sound but use in ears for my main monitoring work

    Monitor out

    Usually one or all of these sound like crap

    Am I using the wrong profiles?

    Direct or combined ?

    Cab sim off to foh but not to monitor out? To my cab?

    Pure cab on or off?


    overwhelmed and very seriously thinking of getting rid of this thing


    I understand there’s a ton of info out there

    But I play this live

    I have no studio monitors and the acronym daw means absolutely nothing to me


    is there anyone that can point me to a video or something that actually explains my situation better?

    I can’t be the only one using this in this way

    But can’t find any real help

    Thanks in advance

  • Also

    To make things worse

    I don’t have access to our main pa rig

    This also cannot be that uncommon of a problem for gigging guitarists

    So when I get to the gig

    And plug into the pa…,

    all Of my patches are all over the place in volume, gain, everything

    And have to hurry up and reset and try to balance them during a sound check,


    what am I doing wrong here

  • is there anyone that can point me to a video or something that actually explains my situation better?

    I can’t be the only one using this in this way

    But can’t find any real help

    Thanks in advance

    Have you gone through the tutorials on the Kemper website? They cover most of what you are asking around set up.

  • tell us what you wish to do, ie in the same way you done with a “traditional” rig ( all the way from unloading the van, carry gear to stage, plug in, how you wish soundcheck, want to hear, how you monitor, how/if you tweak during a performance, what you wish to avoid, etc, etc)


    The infinite options and flexibility of the kpa are its strength but it can be overwhelming. It is still nice (and possible) to drop your rig on stage and plug’n’play worrying about nothing else apart from your playing (and what freebies are on the rider) i recall when i first had mine, I was more worried about how to work it and the “what ifs” but compared to many other “amp modellers” i spend more time enjoying playing than knob-twiddling.

    Like any new bit of-tech gear, compared to its old analogue counterpart, (your new phone/car/online-banking) the technicality of it and fear of the unseen/unknown can detract from the original intention.


    maybe you cant see the wood for the trees but it won't take long to build your confidence in the choice you have made.


    ps, Why did you choose a kpa?

    Pps do have the opportunity to shadow someone who uses a kpa live in the way you wish to do so?

  • Thanks for the response

    No I wish I had someone. Locally to go to but I’m on an island here in Minnesota

    I’ve even went as far as running an ad locally to pay for experienced guidance

    Zero replies
    a I have great guitar tones coming from my cab because that’s what I have the ability to tweak and work on regularly

    These can tones are nowhere near what I hear coming out of front of house

    Foh is terrible

    Patches sound even and good through cab

    And muddy and generally bad through foh


    just recently learned about studio vs direct and merged profiles but still have no idea how to determine what they are in rig manager


    main output settings to foh

    All of them


    monitor setttins going to cab

    All of them


    output menu setting

    And yes all of them


    problems would be simply solved if I just miced the cab

    But that pretty much defeats the purpose I think


    another whole level of confusion for me is getting a decent acoustic sound my gosh

  • Here are some basic pointers:


    Cab Section On/Off - going direct to FOH you must have the Cab Section ON. This will make your Monitor Output sound pretty muffled as you will effectively be playing through two cabs (the one in the Kemper and your onstage cabinet) so go into the Output Menu and tick Monitor Cab Off. This will leave the Cab ON for the PA and prevent the horrible swarm of wasps sound but disable the cabinet only on the Monitor/Speaker out. You should now have glorious tones both out front and on stage.


    Studio/Merged/Direct : It doesn’t matter. Pick whatever sounds best to you. A Studio Profile is a full signal chain from amp input to mic and even mic preamp. The Kemper guesses where the Amp portion ends and the Speaker onward portion starts to allow the Monitor Cab Off to function. This also lets you swap cabs in the Cabinet section. Although the KPA doesn’t really know where this split occurs it does a very good job of estimating it in most cases. Direct profiles capture only the amp which lets you use a separate cab and have the Monitor Off etc split the sound in the right place for a “correct” “authentic “ representation when turning off the monitor cab. Merged Profiles are created by subtracting the Direct Amp Profile from its identical Studio Profile to give an “authentic “ split between amp and cab. In most cases the difference is subtle so just use what sounds good to you.


    Output Settings : If you are using a single XLR to FOH set the Output Source in the Output Menu to Master Mono for both Main Output and Monitor Output other wise you will lose half the sound from any Stereo FX. This is especially noticeable with ping pong style delays where you only hear one half of the repeats. For the Main Output most people would tick the -12db soft key to avoid sending too strong a signal to the mixer. The KPA sends a pretty hot signal so you might still want to reduce this volume further depending on the desk’s input. If your desk automatically engages the mic pre when an XLR is plugged in don’t use XLR cables as you will almost certainly overload the pre amp and create a horrible distorted sound. In this case use either standard instrument cable or get an XLR to TS cable or adapter. Also untick the volume link for the Main Output. This means that once the level to FOH has been set, you can forget about it. However, make sure Monitor Out IS linked. This means you will be able to adjust the volume of your onstage cabinet on the fly without affecting the FOH level.


    Volume Differences: If ALL clean sounds are either too loud or too quiet relative to distorted rigs adjust the Clean Sens in the input menu then lock it once happy. However, is it is more random than this then adjust either Amp Volume or Rig Volume to taste and re save the rig to store the change. In most case the Amp and Rig volumes behave in exactly the same way. Some users swear by using the Amp Volume others (like me) rarely touch Amp Volume and use Rig Volume instead. Either will work but I would try and be consistent with which you use as it will make it easier to make changes under pressure. It can be a bit of a faff to adjust and save but once done you can forget about it. Unfortunately, you need to do this at a reasonably high volume so soundcheck is really your best option.


    KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) : Until you are really familiar with the unit keep thongs as simple as possible. Treat it like your old real amp and pedal board. Use only one or two performances for the whole set if possible. At sound check or rehearsal balance the levels for these rigs and save them. Get used to working with this simple setup then add more performances if necessary later. Some people feel the need to create a whole new performance for every song. This often leads to total carnage on stage in the heat of the moment for new users. These players argue that the NEED all these different sounds to capture the true tones of the original track. If the don’t have the exact sound the audience will notice and the world will come to an end. While I have huge respect for people who are able to craft such great replica tones and have the dedication make them work, I can guarantee the the audience will never notice if you don’t have the exact same sound as the original but they WILL notice if you can’t play the parts right because you are frantically trying to remember which rig is on which footswitch and when to change between them, and the levels are all over the place.If you need lots of different rigs that’s fine but start off simple and add them as you become familiar and comfortable with using the KPA.


    Hope that helps.

  • For every output that going to a linear speaker, you need to not having it set it to “Monitor Cab off”. Meaning Monitor Cab Off should NOT be ticked.


    In the output eq set the output filter high cut to somewhere between 6500 and 7000hz.

    And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

    Edited once, last by Kim_Olesen ().

  • Just to add/support Alans comments, you are suffering from panic.


    The KPA is actually quite easy to set up and use but can seem daunting.


    Couple of additionals from me:


    1) Focus on FOH first! That is the most important sound and probably the least forgiving. To do this, you need to set up your sounds through a PA or at the very least through headphones at home. I suggest grab a rehearsal room, most have PA's. FYI I ran my KPA into a cab for a couple of years and miked it up. One day I decided to run through the PA direct and it sounded awful...why? because the cab covered up that the profiles I had were crap. Get that right and IEM's will be pretty close.


    2) You will always need to do some balancing at a gig, but once set this should be sorted. The way to do this is to get the general levels balanced at home and refine at sound check using rig volume. Should take seconds. I have never touched clean or distorted sense.


    3) For your needs suggest you focus on Studio profiles, which are the majority. Direct or merged are if you use a guitar cab for on stage monitoring and then its not essential, just preferable.


    4) wireless is irrelevant in this case, just operates the same way as a tube amp.


    5) IEM's - you can always test your sound at home using these as well. Get your base sound sorted using this and rehearsal PA. Space and pure cab will not turn a crap sound great and vice versa.


    Hope that helps, don't give up, honestly its not that difficult but I can see why you feel overwhelmed.


    Let us know how you get on.

  • What a great post, thank you so much.

  • Yeesh, Matty , you sound much like me! Granted, I’m in Chicagoland, but 3 days into owning a Kemper Toaster, I’m completely baffled. I write Technical Manuals for a living (my “day job”), and I have many of the same issues you seem to!


    For what it’s worth - solidarity - just keep on experimenting. If the guys at Kemper can think it up, I can figure it out (and you can, too). It just takes “cycles”. 👍🎵🐾