I dislike the marketing bullcrap that’s being pulled, it feels very underhanded. But I also think there are some take-aways from the discussions surrounding this that are worth considering.
The point of profiling for me is to automatically capture a signal chain, amp, cab, mic, any mic preamp, room.
I bought into that with the Kemper, so honestly I don’t want to adjust definition, pure cab or any other setting to get it right. I don’t want to refine really. This stuff defeats the purpose of having a system automate setting parameters to me. It’s things we’ve grown used to doing over the years but maybe we shouldn’t have.
I also really don’t want to have certain combinations not work.
The NDSP a has the single advantage of workflow on capture. You don’t futz with it to get it right, you don’t appear to have to go through any voodoo to work out the right combinations that will capture, no standing on mountaintops at midnight with a front left paw of a hare, it works with mic pres, power+preamp distortion, there don’t appear to be any amp makes that don’t capture, you don’t have to stay in AB mode to get an accurate sound etc. In user terms it’s just simpler, that makes it appear more accurate.
Here’s what I’d change about the Kemper -
1. On profile reset any relevant settings to factory default for most accurate profile and store them as part of the profile include pure cab
2. Store a spectral IR of room background noise at its quietest point, then offer the option to recreate background noise by filtering a simple white noise with this IR as part of the profile. This will keep the AB sound even outside of AB. Either that or work out a psychoacoustic compensator that adjusts the frequency response of the profile against the background noise to give you a sound that seems to be where it should be once the background noise loop is removed
3. Improve the algorithm to handle edge cases, amps that currently have problems, mic pres in the signal chain, power + preamp distortion etc
4. Investigate whether the algorithm can be enhanced to reduce the need for refining further (possibly obviated by 3)
To my ears from all the demos the NDSP has its own sound just as the Kemper does, the NDSP sounds closer to a classic amp sim. More compressed, more glassy, gives me AxeFX and Line6 vibes. That tends to feel very immediate. I prefer a more analog hairy tone and I think the Kemper is still better there, but it’s reminded me that there is room for improvement on that core stuff and that’s a good thing, especially as the Kemper is still being updated with cool new features after all this time. Something that I doubt the NDSP will when it reaches this age.
Christoph is a workflow guy so I am sure he will examine all these possibilities and everyone’s thoughts on this stuff (and all the marketing fud) and will probably mull over many concepts none of us could think about to create the perfect response.