Sorry, but if the "opinion" is going to be that I've said things I've never said, then indeed I have no room for it. The good news is I will be moving on.
Nikos, again putting words in my mouth, and completely ignoring what I've actually written. Bizarre, frankly.
Apart from selling the Kemper (that one I can't rationalize )
Re: selling the Kemper, I just can't serve too many masters (i.e. rigs) at this point. I can barely find time to play the damn guitar.
Man, mbenigni, you're levelheaded almost to a fault.
I do occasionally prove otherwise, but I thank you for the kind words.
Don't worry - my thoughts on the Helix are bound to turn up somewhere. I can never keep my mouth shut LOL.
I thought that last video sounded good but i feel like high gain shouldnt sound like that if using a strat with single coils.
He does have a Hot Rails-style humbucker in the bridge position. That said, when he switches to the bridge position, the JTM45 promptly stops sounding like a JTM45 IMO. There's only so much you can conclude from a video recording of someone else's presets though... I also think the Fender Twin sounds really bizarre, but I'm pretty sure I could fix it by simply tweaking the tone controls.
I agree that the Line 6 demos and clips tend to be way too effects-heavy, and they like to run the amps so hot (or with such hot pickups) that you can barely make out the character. They're pushing the fuzz factory and univibe stuff to the extent that most of the demos sound really phasey/ flangey. It's annoying, but if I really hunt around and read between the lines, I do find reasonable evidence that the Helix can produce tones that will meet my needs. Obviously, I won't know for sure until it arrives.
Will it sound as good as a Kemper... Well, how can you sound as good as an amp that can sound like anything?? You can't. I'm not expecting as much, and I'm not overly worried about it. The form factor is the big draw for me right now - obviously personal, YMMV, etc.
No, I didn't. The quotation marks simply helped, I thought, to clarify that I was making reference to "general" science, namely fields other than audio. See? I wasn't dissing the word "general" there either. Obviously it's applicable across the board - waves, frequencies, amplitudes, phase, polarity, elecromagnetivity...
I understood that your comment wasn't meant as a literal attack on science. (Hence my smiley.) It just seemed like a good point of entry on the entire topic of "profiling" being something so fundamentally different that the word itself must now be treated with some kind of deference. This is the sort of "magical thinking" that I'll reject completely irrespective of whether the Kemper sounds better than any given modeler or not. (Again, that's not a reflection of anything you, specifically, have written. Just a response to a line of thinking I've seen across many posts, here and elsewhere.)
If anything, I alluded to the fact that the margin for error is obviously compounded with each additional component model's inclusion. The KPA, for all intents and purposes, avoids this conundrum, and this is one of the fundamental reasons why I was attracted to it.
I agree with you there, and the results speak for themselves. On the other hand, circumventing all of that component modeling in between forfeits some other potential functionality, e.g. the ability for the tone stack, gain controls etc. to behave more similarly to those of the original amp. So from where I'm standing, there are tradeoffs. For the moment, where tone is concerned, the Kemper stands ahead of the pack even in light of those tradeoffs - though for me personally a few functional limitations make it less desirable. I still think it's a stretch to say (as earlier in this thread) that modeling has failed in the course of its 20 years of evolution - I've heard enough performances by Axe FX users to say otherwise, without hesitation. The ability to look back 3, 5, 10 years, and find a crappy sounding modeler is irrelevant. I can probably turn up a few crappy sounding tube amps for good measure.
Christophe would have to share his base-model code or at the very least a chip/s containing it, which would in effect give the game away, you'd think. This is unlikely in the extreme, IMHO.
Agreed. The only way this would happen is if there were a very generous licensing agreement in place, i.e. with lots of money per unit changing hands. It's the same issue Kemper has to consider when alternate Kemper products are requested, e.g. a cheaper floorboard version, a stompbox profiler, etc. - namely that any alternate means of obtaining the Kemper profiling sound might undercut sales of existing KPA's. (That said, there may be a case to be made, long term, for Kemper doing exactly this - letting manufacturers who are already tooled up build products that suit the needs of other market segments, while Kemper licenses the patented technology that produces their amp/cab tones.)
Just want you to know I deleted a lengthy analysis of this statement, mate. Just as I trusted others wouldn't jump to the wrong conclusions about my use of quotation marks, I'll, once again, trust that you didn't mean this the way it came across. Besides, I wouldn't describe this as a fan forum. Sure, we're all fans, but there's many an electrical / audio engineer and whatnot here, as well as deep-thinking and scientifically-minded individuals who do care and often sweat the details.
Well, perhaps I did mean it the way it came across, and you rightly called me out on it. I did intentionally slip the word "fan" in there in a moment of frustration. That was in response to posts I've read over a long period of time, not specifically yours above.
As do I, mbenigni. Lay it on, brother.
Yes, I too was somewhat miffed at that proclamation. He went to so much trouble to point out that it was a particular amp with particular settings in a particular location on a particular day with a particular mic in a particular position through a particular preamp, that one was left feeling as if the KPA was nothing more than a restriction in a 19" rack format.
Interestingly, I think this point was meant to be taken (at least partly) as praise of the KPA, i.e. for the fact that it really does profile a specific amp of your choosing. Just shows the hazard of brevity, of telling the truth but not the whole truth (and how often do we have time for the whole truth...)
Thanks, Paul. Er, Pauls. Both of you.
A "fact" on the other side is what ever me or you think out there in the real world... Would you care to explain;
Not especially. I think this is getting tiresome for all of us. I'm not sure we're on the same page regarding the definition of fact... but if I go any further down this rabbit hole I'll be quoting Bill Clinton.
If we can agree to this "fact" this leads us to a total logical and absolutely "semantics-free" question for you my dear friend;Where is the point to try further to achieve some thing with an technology which FAILED the goal in two decades when you have a new technology who achieves the goal in its very first "days of living";Where is the "raison d'être" for modeling in this case;Is this not the logical and main question for any person who cares about "science" and also "semantics";
OK, I do have responses to these questions, which I hope you'll take with an open mind. First, on an entirely personal note, the Helix happens to offer a form factor and set of features that are more practical for me than any of the current Kemper models. As I already said, if I could have a Helix (or something similar) with the Kemper's amp/cab profiling block, that would be my first choice. But again, wishing won't make it so.
On more general terms, let's consider the possibility that you're applying the term "modeling" too specifically. Set aside the Kemper for a moment as it is indeed unique and, yes, we do have the "P" word to distinguish that paradigm. We can say that ANY product - past, present, or future - that converts an audio signal to digital, modifies it in the digital domain, and converts it back to analog in an effort to make it sound like it has passed through an amplifier, is a modeler. (In this sense, I still hold that Kemper's profiling is one variation on a set of potential modeling solutions - and an excellent one at that.) There is no requirement that those algorithms be equivalent to those of products that have gone before, good, bad, or ugly. Can we at least agree that it is theoretically possible for a modeling device to not suck?
If we can accept that much, there are other potential benefits to granular, component-level modeling, e.g. the ability to deep edit component parameters to craft amp models and behaviors by hand, exceed real-world boundaries, and so on. I personally find this technology interesting - I enjoy puttering around with the likes of Bias Amps and similar applications to see what emerges, for instance. I am not saying that it is superior to profiling. But I think it's arbitrary to assume that anything other than a profiler will be crap, or to say that amp and/or component algorithms arrived at by professional ears in a studio/ lab have no value.
Lastly, for all I know, the Helix will sound like an army of farting baboons. And that is entirely beside the point.
Say it anyway - I enjoy reading your posts
I appreciate that. Having sold my KPA I feel like a fish out of water on this forum, despite the fact that I agree the Kemper sounds amazing.
The science and the semantics of the science are a challenge to tease apart. You could even view profiling as a type of 'adaptive modelling'.
NOW we're getting somewhere.
You could say that Profiling places the modelling sound source in the hands of the end user - that's part of it's genius.
I believe I said exactly this, which is why I was a little put off at being "schooled" by Nikos.
I don't see why modelling can't reach the same sound quality reproduction as a single profiled amp - but as a philosophy it lacks the flexibility inherent in profiling.
Exactly. Again, in theory. Again, with regard to future products.
Something that does irk me somewhat - and it's mentioned by Lee Anderton in the first Helix vid - are throwaway comments that the KPA is fine for single static profiles but you can't stray very far from that if you want to edit. There's definitely some quality 'tweakability' there if you want it!
Yeah, I think the "static" thing is overstated by a lot of people. What stands to reason is that the results are not reliably equivalent to the signal path that was profiled once you deviate via further editing. That doesn't imply that editing is impossible, or that the results are necessarily "bad".
I just tried to reject what in my view must be rejected.When you say that modeling (after 20 years of its existance) is not "inferior" to profiling and that the "future is wide open" also to modeling I have to reject this.Modeling IS far inferior to profiling.Actually I believe that the "era of modeling" is over.Profiling IS the future.And this is the reason why Fractal introduced "tone matching" and Line 6 talks about "profiling each single stage" of the signal path.What bollocks.All of these companies have a clear strategy how to use which technology.All of these are first of all modelers.But only the KPA is concipated from the scratch as such;A profiler.I just wanted to make this clear.And I believe that I have do to this because these are the facts.
Well, this gets back into the muddy waters of semantics again, but I would hesitate to call most of these "facts". Moreover, you're putting a ton of words in my mouth, beginning with the fact that you've got the past confused with the future. Again, I would suggest you read my first post for what it actually says, wherein I concede that the Kemper outperforms modelers of the past, and state a few reasons why that is so.Quote from paults
Let us know how you feel when you play it
I'm sure I'll have plenty to say (possibly positive, possibly negative, probably both) but I don't think there will be much use trying to say it on this particular forum.
No.It is not.And nothing could be more far away from the reality then this.
LOL well, that is a little intense. Did you read the rest of my post? I'm not even sure we disagree on much, excepting the relevance of the "P" word. I'm just going to call them all emulators from now on, as a matter of principle.
I am amused and duly reminded that trying to talk about actual technology on a fan forum is basically like tilting at windmills.
Component modelling has been around for a long time; synths and various outboard processors have been modelled this way by all and sundry. It's no different from how "science" models pretty much anything - bung in a set of variables (read: component models), and see how they interact, or more importantly, what the result is. In the case of "science", it's a number or value of some sort. For us, it's sound.
The hype train seems to have elevated even the L6 reps to fever pitch. I humbly recommend a cool, wet towel to those who've allowed the rapture to affect their judgement thusly.
Did you just diss "science"?? That's a pretty hazardous place to begin if you're setting out to challenge anyone else's judgement.
First off, it's numbers in either case. Until you hit a DAC at any rate, at which point it's electricity (OK, it's electricity all along...) It's not sound "for us" or for anyone else until you hit a speaker. It's not magic either.
"Profiling" vs. "modeling" is almost entirely a matter of semantics. In either case, a signal is being subjected to mathematical algorithms in an effort to make it sound different. The main distinction in profiling, as the advent of the KPA defines the term, is that those algorithms are made sufficiently consistent and streamlined that their optimization can be automated. CK's achievement is in having arrived at a system of equations that can universally describe the characteristics of an entire signal path, having observed that path at two points accessible to the end user: input and output. As a result, profiling is fast, and can be repeated by the end user until the results are satisfactory.
"Modeling" isn't inherently inferior. In fact a lot of purely theoretical arguments (specifically those pertaining to component interaction) would have it the other way. It just happens that modeling efforts to date haven't been as successful as Kemper's results with profiling, at least in the opinion of most here, including myself. But the future is wide open. There's no reason to pretend a modeler can't sound good just because it doesn't "profile" per se.
I agree with viabcroce: a product as feature-rich as the Helix, but with a block that could read KIPR profiles instead of (or in addition to) IR's would be ideal. But wishing won't make it so, so you weigh your priorities and pick a lane.
you are apparently not aware of the painful and detrimental effects of slagging other people's gear off on their own user forum.
Just for sake of clarity, this is a Helix thread, in the public section of the forum. No one is "slagging off" anything. Drew_fx cites an interest in Helix workflow and - more or less - he's called a troll.
Last time and for the record: I think the KPA is AMAZING, and an incredible value. It's one of the first pieces of gear I recommend to other players, depending on their needs. But there is always room for improvement. Refusing to discuss those opportunities for improvement is a disservice to both Kemper and their customers.
Good thing the internet police are here to protect us, telling us all what we really want, etc. "Do not feed - even if he has a valid point" is the kind of sentiment that will turn the nicest of guys into willing trolls.
I listened to the Soundcloud-demo, not my cup of tea....
I was pretty underwhelmed with the Soundcloud page as well, but I understand these Variax demos were made with a Helix, and I'll go on record as saying they sound great to me.
Thanks G-String. I'll open up a support ticket and get things rolling.
Here's the actual page if anyone is interested: https://soundcloud.com/gacharlton
the first two track are just goofing around over backing tracks recorded into garage band. The third one is from when I had the first Kemper back in January just seeing what the Mbritt princeton sounded like recorded. Fun stuff, that's for sure!
You're very modest - these sound great!
I agree Ingolf, but the FXs has to be stellar to compete with a Fractal FX8 at $1399.00US. The price of the Helix is what is the most mysterious to me, do they have a real breakthrough or is it just and other Line 6 marketing trick? They are, for sure, aware of the competition offering in this price range so maybe they have a lot more than just an innovative and flashy interface to offer after all?... We'll see!
As I see it, when people talk about the price of the Helix, they tend to compare apples and oranges. The first and most common example is, "What? A Line 6 modeler for the same price as a Kemper??", when in fact it is significantly less expensive, especially when you account for the cost of a full-featured footcontroller. The FX-8 comparison is similar: a professional multi-effects unit versus a high-end (jury's out on the "professional" qualifier) amp modeler with effects, expression pedal, extensive I/O and programmability. Plus the value of having all of that in one box. Comparing the Helix with the (as yet unreleased) AX-8 would be closer to the mark, but this too is apples and oranges. Cliff Chase himself has said that the Helix is more of a feature rich product, whereas he has focused costs on audio quality. You could call it a quality over quantity approach if you assume the Fractal will be perceptibly better. Even if it is, I think there's a place for a product like the Helix: close enough for rock and roll, with all the necessary parts in one convenient package.
It is possible that the Helix sounds great and the new models help in that regard, but it's possible (if not probable) that the rest of the software is still buggy and incomplete. That might be a reason that well known Line 6 users haven't had their hands on one except at shows and limited store demos. If the software isn't stable, one of these guys would make a video and show how poorly it works. This is not meant as a poor reflection on Line 6; I have worked at several companies that announced and showed products that would barely work, and the demonstrators had to be careful not to push the wrong button or do functions in a particular sequence or the unit would crash. We all might recall when even Bill Gates got a BSOD during his announcement of Windows 95. I'd guess too that the time between now and product release will be used to wring out the bugs.
All true, but Line 6 would be insane to announce a ship date (with confirmed pre-orders) so close if they were still in a development phase. Not saying it's impossible, just saying I can't imagine why they would do that to themselves. It's not like their customer base had any specific expectation - Helix hit us completely out of left field. If they're not already 99% ready to ship, I think they would have hung a vague "late 2015" or "Spring 2016" tag on it. Interest in the product could have survived the wait, easily. Anyway, hoping it really shows up in August or September as announced (and that it works, of course.)
My used Kemper had a problem and I sent it back to Kemper Americas for a replacement (long story with a happy ending, Kemper has unmatched customer support, but I digress). I had to use my old HD500 for a few gigs, and then got the Kemper back yesterday. All last night at practice I was in awe of the tone of the Kemper, and can't imagine how its tone or response can be improved. This is after 10 years of gigging with modelers and almost 35 years of playing. How in the world does Line 6 expect to play in this same league? They better bring some serious tonal game at the Helix's price point. It's just curious that they are stirring up the buzz on the Helix but have almost no real tone examples, when with the HD's early hype days there were many examples. Can't help thinking there is a reason.
+1. I know I was one of the more outspoken forum members with regards to aspects of "the Kemper experience" that I didn't like, but these two things are absolutely true: the KPA sounds incredible; Kemper stands by their product with excellent warranty service. As for the interest in Helix even in absence of audio samples, I think this just speaks to the fact that there is a demographic out there that consider features as important as tone (provided the tones aren't completely unusable, of course.) I don't personally expect the Helix to sound as good as the Kemper; I made a compromise in hopes that the Helix would be more practical for me. I'm hoping that the tones are excellent too, but acknowledge that I'm rolling the dice here. Maybe one day I'll circle back to Kemper, or detour again with a Fractal product, but hopefully by then there will be a new product that suits me better, e.g. a Kemper profiler in pedal format.