Kemper: better with frfr or through power amp and speaker

  • I know. Sometimes I get mad that I didn't have this in the 80's

    Unrelated story, I have an amazing wife. I have so much stuff I have started to give it away. She always tells me "No! Do not get rid of any of it".


    Well I gave away my Peavey Vypyr30 right before I got the Kemper (against her wishes). But luckily I got to borrow it this week. And the Vypyr Line Out with the Kemper is nailing all of the sounds I have been looking for since I got the Kemper.


    The Vypyr alone sounds OK, but not amazing as you would imagine. But once you get the Kemper involved it comes to life.


    So to your post, I made a Plexi tone on the Vypyr that nails my favorite guitar sound, Rush's Alex Lifeson tone from Moving Pictures on... very close to Signals. And I said to my wife today "I finally have the sound I have been trying to get since 1982 when I first heard Signals." Only took 40 years ;(


    So I have been wailing on Witch Hunt, Subdivisions, Tom Sawyer, Dream Line, Show Dont Tell, Far Cry, etc and been in heaven.


    Thank You Kemper, this unit is amazing.

  • For nearly a decade I was anti Kemper. I didn't totally understand it or the the philosophy behind it. I thought I did but I didn't. I tried applying my traditional guitar amp and cab knowledge and it led me astray a bit. When i fully bought into the Kemper way of things something clicked and things made sense. I have learned to have expectations in proper alignment with what I am doing and how I am using my Kempers. I have a powered rig with two Kabs and I love it for what it is and does. I also have a non powered rack and run it with a Fryette LXII power amp and enjoy that set up as well. My regret is being so stubborn for so long. I am a die hard tube amp guy, that will never change, but the Kemper has been an incredible addition to my life and I thoroughly enjoy it for so many reasons. There is so much more I would like to learn with it and I use it far below its full potential but I am enjoying the ride.

    The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

  • If you want to hear the different amps nuances and "personality" , go FRFR.

    If you want every profile to sound like a 4x12" , go cab ......



    Cheers !

    I'm exited to hear my cab sound like a 4X12, as it is only has one speaker! I do agree that using a live speaker "mutes" the characteristics of a profile some. A lot of that has to do with how important the speaker is to the sound. Not really that one sounds "better", just going with a cab is more like playing an amp and going direct is going to be more "accurate" to the original profile. Many have played a regular amp, miked it and made great music. You could do the same with Kemper & cab too.

  • As stated above, if you wanna be able to switch between different speaker sounds, go FRFR. If you like the sound of a single cab, use your 4x12. Where it gets a lil hairy is if you wanna use your cab for stage volume but go direct to the house PA. Then you just need to find a speaker preset that sounds close enough to your real cab to send to the house. Not that difficult, just takes some time to test things.


    Some people really need to have that feeling of a speaker cab pushing air. I've spent a lot of time mixing and producing lately and I hear things differently than I did when I only played guitar in a live situation. So to me, that thump of 4x12 air isn't as important since I know I'm literally the only one who will notice it at a live show. And everything sounds like garbage in our shitty little rehearsal room so why be picky about rehearsal tone? 😂

  • Once you get your head wrapped around that you are listening to a "live amp" but in the "control room" It's fine. Almost the same thing happens when you set up an amp cab speaker and mic then go into an isolated control room to listen to it. It doesn't sound like it did when you were in the room, it sounds like when you put your ear right where the mic is. That's what good reverb can do. Make it sound like something is in a space. Add a reverb/other that simulates whatever extra you are hearing when you stand up and get your face out from the cabinet and you will have a "amp in the room sound". There are so many ways of monitoring, but to me the end result (what is gong on tape or FOH) is paramount.

  • I've spent a lot of time mixing and producing lately and I hear things differently than I did when I only played guitar in a live situation. So to me, that thump of 4x12 air isn't as important since I know I'm literally the only one who will notice it at a live show.

    That’s a really important observation Josh. 😎😎


    When we start, we (guitarists as a breed) are only interested in how WE sound. Many never get beyond that state. However, when you start mixing and begin to think about the guitar WITHIN a mix you become very aware that the overall impact on the audience is often very different than the sound we hear and love.The audience aren’t listening to the guitar tone but the band mix and that’s what we need to focus on making sound killer.

  • Once you get your head wrapped around that you are listening to a "live amp" but in the "control room" It's fine. Almost the same thing happens when you set up an amp cab speaker and mic then go into an isolated control room to listen to it. It doesn't sound like it did when you were in the room, it sounds like when you put your ear right where the mic is. That's what good reverb can do. Make it sound like something is in a space. Add a reverb/other that simulates whatever extra you are hearing when you stand up and get your face out from the cabinet and you will have a "amp in the room sound". There are so many ways of monitoring, but to me the end result (what is going on tape or FOH) is paramount.

    This ...

    And for best results when recording in studio with FRFR monitors, or playing live

    with pro P.A. ( FRFR ) , dial in "your" sound with a FRFR speaker to obtain the

    "best" average sound that suits most venues ...

    No need for different EQ settings on every output from KPA .....


    There´s a reason Mastering Engineers work with FRFR speakers ( In well treated rooms ) 8o


    Just my 2 cents :wacko:



    Cheers !

  • As stated above, if you wanna be able to switch between different speaker sounds, go FRFR. If you like the sound of a single cab, use your 4x12. Where it gets a lil hairy is if you wanna use your cab for stage volume but go direct to the house PA. Then you just need to find a speaker preset that sounds close enough to your real cab to send to the house. Not that difficult, just takes some time to test things.


    Some people really need to have that feeling of a speaker cab pushing air. I've spent a lot of time mixing and producing lately and I hear things differently than I did when I only played guitar in a live situation. So to me, that thump of 4x12 air isn't as important since I know I'm literally the only one who will notice it at a live show. And everything sounds like garbage in our shitty little rehearsal room so why be picky about rehearsal tone? 😂

    Yes, Yes, YES!!! Well put dude!

  • When we start, we (guitarists as a breed) are only interested in how WE sound. Many never get beyond that state. However, when you start mixing and begin to think about the guitar WITHIN a mix you become very aware that the overall impact on the audience is often very different than the sound we hear and love.The audience aren’t listening to the guitar tone but the band mix and that’s what we need to focus on making sound killer.

    ...and Yes again!

  • I went FRFR for a while (passive clr), I always thought I wanted these difference in sound. In the end we always use one cab anyway, so I completely abandoned the idea to mimic to sound of a cab when you can use the real deal. FOH gets the IR included sound, I did not need the urge to hear the same sound as the audience would.


    They would hear or care anyway ... so traditional setup for me


    Raf

    Kemper stage with 2 mission pedals (in a Thon FBV express case) and a Zilla 212 (K-100/V30)

  • playing live

    with pro P.A. ( FRFR ) ,

    I can just about guarantee that very few Full Range Flat Response speakers will actually be flat. And I can for sure say that same thing about almost any P.A. you've ever heard and liked the sound of. Full range maybe but not flat. I used to do sound analyzing in the 80's and I can tell you a P.A. professionally analyzed and EQ'd flat sounds like crap. We would analyze flat then add a predetermined curve to wherever flat was to get our sound consistently in a room. Flat was just a reference point, you couldn't leave it that way because you certainly wouldn't want it that way. If you dialed your Kemper in with an analyzed totally flat environment, when you put it through any P.A. I've heard in the last 30 years (that normally have a big bass/sub bass boost) it wouldn't be close to where you would want it I don't believe. Most P.A.s have a definite sound curve to them and that is what I would want to reference from when setting up your sound. If you analyzed your P.A you could discover what the curve was and replicate it from flat pretty close somewhere else like at home or in studio with your Full range speaker.

  • Once you get your head wrapped around that you are listening to a "live amp" but in the "control room" It's fine.

    That's the bottom line right there. When you fire up "Back In Black" by AC/DC Angus doesn't suddenly appear in your room wailing away on a JTM 45. What you are listening to is a great amp, well miked, recorded, mixed and mastered. The same concept applies with the Kemper. Once you can wrap your head around that concept the Kemper makes sense. Spinning your wheels trying to completely replicate the device it replaced is pointless and an exercise in futility.

  • I'd have to say whatever gets your end result where you want it is "best". There are too may variables and opinions on what the "best" guitar sound would be.

    Agreed! I use a celestion 4x12 cab for regular rehearsals, love it. When I bought an active kone for other activities I found out for myself that I really like the colour of the celestions so I use it with an imprint for all sounds. ...and I used a tube power amp when I started with the kemper and it made a huge (negative) impact on the sound. I now use a solid state power amp!

  • Agreed! I use a celestion 4x12 cab for regular rehearsals, love it. When I bought an active kone for other activities I found out for myself that I really like the colour of the celestions so I use it with an imprint for all sounds. ...and I used a tube power amp when I started with the kemper and it made a huge (negative) impact on the sound. I now use a solid state power amp!

    That's why I went with the internal power amp, as to not color the sound as much. All in one solution. And that amp will get LOUD. Just running 30 watts, you will have most drummers complaining they can't hear themselves! I was actually turning pictures in their frames at 50w and knocking stuff off shelves!

  • I have been ignoring the idea of using a full range speaker, loving the sound of my 1x 12. Lately I have been doing a lot of recording and using my studio monitors. When I went back to my 1x12, it sounded good but I did miss the detail of the studio monitors. I am thinking a full range speaker and dialing my tones in with that will be more like what the FOH is sending. I know that's been said here a lot. I have been on a quest to have my monitor sound closest to what the audience is getting so I'm thinking of trying a full range speaker and using the cab sims instead of cab driver/cabinet. Using my studio monitors helped persuade me.