I actually bought one a few years ago but did not get on with it. My brain could not get used to feeling the tempo as opposed to hearing it.
Personally I'm a bit torn on this one. When amp designers built their amps, I'm not sure they designed the tone controls to behave in a non-linear way but this was a by product of the circuit design ( this is pure speculation, I could be totally wrong).
In my experience the non linear effect is not always beneficial and therefore to see that as the panacea of an amp full emulation seems possibly not the best route.
In most cases you have to "learn" how the tone controls interact rather than it being logical. For that reason is it really desirable? Its the "sweet spots" we all love and so a snap shot of those and the ability to make linear changes to me is still better?
Someone tell me I'm wrong, as I'm sure I'm missing something
completely see your viewpoint here It’s one of the things that, arguably, mean that the Kemper doesn’t behave like the original amp so you could say ‘it’s not as realistic’. Completely agree that realism isn’t always beneficial….. I’ve got a Matamp C7 which has ‘highly interactive tone controls’. Which is another way of saying they make zero sense. It’s part of its charm. Or not, depending on your world view! Myself, I tend to load sweet spots of commercial profiles and actually tweak very little these days.
If the Kemper could do gain / tonestacks exactly like the real thing? The good news would be that you’d be able to have one profile of an amp rather than 37. The bad news? You’d spend extra time dialling in sweet spots and saving them as presets anyway. From a practical perspective, if you buy commercial profiles and load sweet spots / tweak very little then I guess it wouldn’t make a massive difference. For the completist that wants to believe that their profile of a particular vintage amp acts identically to the original? It’d be one step closer to reality, even if reality isn’t necessarily practical.
I’m still in love with my original one. I am hopeful the modulation effects section gets an overhaul soon in the same way the delays / reverbs / distortion / fuzz did. I’d like to be able to save fx chains within rig manager and apply as a batch to a bunch of profiles. Both of these are doable with what we have so I’m hopeful. But otherwise I’m good.
Would be nice if tonestacks worked as per the original amp but again I’m not broken hearted about it - I’m happy with the sounds I get even if it means multiple amp profiles to cover the bases as opposed to one and ‘you’ve got the amp as it actually is’.
No worries - glad it helped
If you want to explore the world of making your own pedals, Madbean pedals is a great resource to Google. As well as selling drilled and etched boards (so you can easily solder components in) he has schematics there for lots of different pedals. Doesn’t look like he sells the fuzz factory clone board any more but it’s in the archives there as the Zombii.
My favourite fuzz pedals I made from them were a D.A.M. Meathead and a Sun King (which is a very specific Classic fuzz face with a tweak and mojo transistors). I don’t have the commercial versions of any of any of these to a/b my home brew ones with but I enjoyed the results. Also made a Klon, phaser, octaver etc.
For my particular tastes, the fuzz section in the Kemper does what I want to an excellent standard so I rarely plug in the home brew pedals. The sun king, due to its design, gets interesting by turning the guitar volume down a little (as do many fuzz pedals). I believe the Kemper Stage will go there with its virtual impedance thing going on (which my toaster doesn’t have). So that’s a downside but the Kemper fuzz is a heck of a lot quieter….. That benefit (for me) evens out against the impedance thing but that’s a very personal decision for users depending how they like things to react
Before I got my Kemper (many year ago now!) I used to build lots of pedals - the schematics are out there for many of the common fuzz pedals and stomp boxes.
Like Don says, the Fuzz Factory is a modified fuzz face. There's a gain knob and a volume knob (like on most fuzz) but the other three? One actually cut down the battery voltage. The others (if I recall correctly) were altering the bias on the circuit which leads to instability. These modifications that make it interesting (or annoying, depending on your world view) take it beyond the realms of a circuit that performs as it should because you're intentionally making it unstable / not in its sweet spot. So you can get it to oscillate and do ooooooeeeeooooschwweeee stuff without hitting anything on the guitar at all. That's the sound of 'Plug In Baby' intro. Can also get it to do interesting spitty / crackly stuff. If you like that kind of thing
I'm not convinced you can get a preset to do this within the Kemper Fuzz as it stands now - happy to be put right on that if someone manages but...... The parameters you can tweak all seem to be designed to wring the maximum variety of fuzz tones (crazy / not so crazy / harsh / soft) *whilst not going into instability* because none of the parameters allow it to do so. It would be nice if parameters could be added in future that allow some of the spitty, unstable fuzz tones. But if not, I'll live.... when they released it, it for sure surpassed my hopes for what could be done with this effect.
I love the reverbs and delays within the unit but I also mostly use reverbs and delays in the DAW. Depends really - if you’re using it ‘as an effect’ and wanting to notice it (eg spring reverb / one of the shimmery things etc) then using it up front makes sense, especially as some work really well before the amp block in the Kemper. But for blending reverbs and overall ambience, I tend to prefer to record dry and then you can do what is needed with the guitars within the wider mix. After all, you’re not typically just recording your guitar for a song and you cannot take away ‘too much reverb’ you’ve dialled in when you record. So with this in mind…..
Valhalla reverbs are excellent - the vintage verb is a really good start and plate is lovely too for vocals. Best bang for the buck out there. He does a delay too which I would absolutely have got if I didn’t already have ample delay plug-ins. Nice guy and really fair prices.
Going up the food chain in terms of price, both ‘Pro-R’ from FabFilter and Neoverb from Izotope are really good IMO. You should be able to get demo licences of all of these to see which one suits your mindset best…. They all think a bit differently.
A very popular delay is Soundtoys Echoboy - it’s quite old now but it really is excellent. For tape delays, Softube ‘tape echos’ is awesome - picked it up on sale and like it a lot but it won’t do some of the crazier things that Soundtoys or the Kemper delays will do - as ever, depends what you want. Again, demo licences are available to have a go with.
Finally, Klevgrand- I haven’t tried their delay or reverb but know they do them….. mentioning because I bought their Skaker (shakers and tambourine instrument) which is great. Again they do demos so well worth exploring.
Hope this helps and good luck
I think some folks hold the perception of ‘hiding behind’ effects as in ‘if you’re putting a load of effects on, it’s masking the fact that you can’t play very well’.
Personally, I’m more in love with a great song than virtuoso technique and I’m a fan of interesting sounds. I love the sound of a decent guitar and great amp with nothing else but I also love simple / weird effects. Whatever sound is right for the song really…. That can be pure or sound nothing like a guitar. I think we’re lucky to have so many voices at our disposal with guitars because of both amps and effects that it’s a shame to limit ourselves……. If you think of singers, some songs suit Kate Bush, some songs suit Tom Waits. They’ll hit some of the same notes but choosing the right voice makes or breaks the song depending what you’re aiming for. Why should the guitar have to be limited by ‘do it this way or it’s fake’?
In all the years I’ve had it, I’ve been grateful for the updates that have added a ton of things. A couple have needed me to give Kemper money to take advantage due to additional hardware to realise the new functions (so the releases that supported Kemper Remote and Kone). I gladly did this because I wanted these things. Obviously I didn’t have to do either of these. All the other cool stuff upgrades (rig manager, iPad rig thing, fuzz, distortion, reverbs, delays etc) have been entirely free. They take user experience seriously and jump on bugs pretty quickly which inevitably means a new (cool stuff) beta release often has several little releases when the user base has issues. So yes, you get a ‘cool stuff’ beta, then lots of tweaks, then a stable release. Repeat to fade. All free, all optional.
You don’t have to do any of these. Some folks who make a living playing typically sit on a new (cool stuff) release until it’s been out for a while so they skip straight to the issue-free version. I’m just a home hobby player these days - I read the release notes and decide whether or not to take the 5-10 mins required. If these annoy you, fair enough - the system will work same way it always did without the free enhancements.
Personally I’m still hoping for updated tremolo / modulations - they’ve re-done most of the other major effects so I’m excited by new release announcements ‘just in case’ they’ve also worked their magic on that part too. Please, keep them coming
When you buy from a commercial seller, you’re entering into an agreement. You agree to pay them, they agree to give you profiles under certain conditions. If you read these conditions, you’ll see that doing the kind of things you’re describing would break those conditions and you’ve then broken a legal contract.
Your first argument is that they ‘stole it’ in the first place by profiling an amp. They’ve stolen nothing - they’ve created a snapshot of a physical thing in the digital world using their skill / cabinets / preamps / ears. They’re selling you their ability at doing that very well with an amp you may not have access to. That’s what you’re buying...... if you still believe this is stealing, your only course of action is to not buy these stolen goods.....
Your next argument of ‘who would know’. If I go into a small shop with no cameras and steal something off the shelf when the sole owner is out the back.... also no-one would know. It is still wrong / still a crime. It’s true that the majority of crimes / wrongdoings in our world go undetected. Society works by having a set of rules that are enforceable when you get caught but largely it works because people do the right thing. Either because they’re scared of getting caught or because they realise that ‘doing the right thing’ is worthy.
Would suggest you ‘do the right thing’ here.
If you are listening to a commercially released recording in a perfectly treated room with perfectly flat response monitors set in perfect positions, your ears will receive all areas of the frequency spectrum at the correct level as the mix engineer / mastering people intended.
In real life, your monitor speakers will artificially make some parts of that spectrum louder or quieter than they should be. Your room / speaker positions can make this far, far worse.
Then we have your ears.... it’s entirely possible that years of abuse have taken off the top end of your hearing.
You cannot do much about this last point. The rest? You can address. I treated my little room here by building panels out of 4” acoustic density rock wool which were encased in wooden frames and covered with breathable fabric. I’ve got one on the ceiling, one on each wall closest to my monitors, behind the monitors and then there are massive wall to ceiling efforts to make a vocal wall (for when I record the vox) and the wall opposite. Cost me around £250 all in and made my monitor speakers sound considerably more expensive :).
I am still not great at mixing - it takes a lot of time, effort and experience. But at least now when I make bad decisions in a mix, it’s on me rather than unavoidable due to me not being able to hear it accurately because of the room.
Put it this way. If I started painting portraits, I’d suck at first. Experience would make me better.
Trying to mix in a room that is untreated is like trying to paint a portrait in the dark..... it means you’ll end up with a crap picture and, furthermore, you’ll have little chance of improving because you can’t see / hear what is actually happening so you never learn repeatably what works and what doesn’t.
I’m hopeful they’ll go there too.... In the last few years we’ve had the delays, reverbs and drive section going from ‘pretty good but not awesome’ to ‘awesome’. I’m hoping the modulation effects are next.... the previous updates have all been very much worth the wait
Just read the manual and (for toasters and racks) we need to connect via ethernet cable directly to our network. If we have a floorboard to connect at the same time we need a hub.
So.... As the floorboard uses power from the profiler via the ethernet cable, do I have to be careful what hub I buy or will any hub I can get next day from Jeff Bezos do?
Thank you for the release :). Can you please confirm if we need additional hardware to use this with a Toaster / Rack?
I really hope it can work on iphone… no one needs an ipad now, iphone screens are good enough
I’ve downloaded it.... if you look on the store, it shows it as ipad - it does not mention compatibility with the phone.
It looks very nice but I’m not sure my eyes would cope with tweaking ionosphere reverb on a phone.... there are 22 controls for this in the bottom half of the screen (because you have the rig itself showing in a line up top) and all have the parameter shown underneath them. I don’t think this would be much fun on a smaller screen.
Now I need to know how to connect this to a toaster. If I can connect it to a toaster
I saw this for the first time maybe 1 week ago on my Toaster that is 7 or 8 years old. I feared the worst.
I searched the forum for time and date issues. One of the mods wrote back and said that, if this only happens when connected to rig manger, I should go into the setup menu and check the clock was actually running - if it is then 'no problem'. In my case it was running.
I am hoping for luck here and will curse it now but, so far, no repeat of this.
Sorry, I just searched for the thread again but can't see it.... Hope yours turns out well.
Given Kemper’s philosophy of not leaving users behinds and making the user experience as similar as possible across all versions I would be surprised if they don’t have some sort of work around figured out for us non stage users. ???
Hopefully yes but there are increasingly hardware differences we are learning of with the Stage due to new updates coming out. First the physical impedance thing the stage can do for fuzz which toaster and rack cannot and, by the look of it now, wireless. There might be a proposed fix for us Toaster / rack guys but for the impedance, it’s not possible.
For me personally, these are both ‘nice to have’ improvements and very cool but not so much so that I’m going to be crying on the fretboard if they can’t come to my much-loved ageing toaster That is assuming the iPad implementation is simply Rig Manager for iPad..... I can see how this is amazing for some users but in my circumstances it’d be ‘nice to have for sure but I’ll live if not’. If it’s more than just rig manager on iPad I may eat my words here and be asking for a toaster workaround
But it think it would be a good idea if, on the website, there was maybe a comparison table between the 3 models that pointed out the hardware differences between the three models and included this detail about WiFi / impedance. For us oldies, all the updates are free so, if some don’t work due to aged hardware, it’s a shame but no robbery has taken place. But I think being plain about the hardware difference would help prospective buyers to choose the most appropriate model that suits their personal needs.
I really welcome presets. Yes, I’ll tweak but if the company can give me something called a ‘deluxe Memory Man’ (or whatever, to illustrate what to expect) then I’m grateful. It’s probably because I started digital-wise with GT3 and Pod so if a company tells me that it’s a Klon I’m likely to feel good about that unless I have an actual klon and can argue with them. The mind is a strange thing and the urge to hoard pedals and amps (both real and virtual) is a strong one. It must be otherwise the vast, vast number of commercial profiles out there wouldn’t be so successful.
I totally see that Yoda is in a different place to me as he clearly uses his Kemper for work. He wants a particular sound for the job in hand more than ‘this is a clean klon’. I am just a keen amateur who uses Kemper for enjoyment, not to make money. I tend to find a sound I like, working with profiles and presets, then tweak if needed. But for me, it’s hobby which I enjoy and I’m not eating from it. You could argue that this makes his opinion more valuable vs someone who just uses it for fun but then again, commercially, we all pay the same for the unit. I can see why he’d want easy options to hide things in his situation. Personally, I like them - it’s part of the fun for me
Interesting reading the different perspectives on presets here with factory vs user etc.
As a side note, I think it would be helpful if it were made clearer which preset you're actually using within any given effect. For example, if I select the new Fuzz stomp (which is wonderful IMO) and choose the 'Red Germanium' preset.
Does the unit tell me *anywhere* what preset I'm using? If it does and I'm being silly, please tell me - I'd be delighted Unless I'm missing it, I cannot see the preset on the screen of the Kemper unit itself if I select the fx block. I do not see it in the Rig Manager main screen (it just tells me that I have the fuzz enabled). If I go into the preset selection menu, there is not a tick next to the preset I'm currently using. These things would be helpful in my opinion, especially now that a single FX type (such as the new distortion) can be set to emulate several classic fx so it'd be great if it told me when it's in Klon mode vs when it's in King of Tone mode.
There is a more trebly fuzz preset (smart fuzz?)..adding a treble booster in front of it and it is almost perfect.With my tele.
Thank you - I need to play with this concept.
There is an Analogman pedal called the Sun Lion which is a modified version of a Dallas Rangemaster (a germanium based treble booster) which then is followed in the same pedal by a fuzz face. You can use them independently or of course together. I did a home made version and like it a lot albeit mine is pretty noisy!
I spent more time with this upgrade earlier. Can confirm what I already knew - I’m really pleased with it. It’s a great update IMO.
I’ve had my toaster for 7 years now. Since that time it has improved vastly due to user requests and also cool things that the company have come up with that users may not have thought of.
IMO the core sound quality has always been there; I think profiles are (generally) getting slicker / better but there’s never been a lack of great core noises out of this box.
What was lacking in the early days was fx that were of similar quality. They were ‘better than a lot of people made out’ but for sure were the weakest part of the system.
Since then, we’ve had:
Delays that are awesome. Lots of user requests for these.
Reverbs that are awesome. Lots of user requests for these.
An editor. Go look at the length of threads wanting that.
A remote. And a stage version. Both huge user requests
Distortions / stomps - again, lots of requests. I was really pleased with the distortion but am over the moon with the fuzz. I love fuzz and I think they’ve done a great job.
We’ve also had the Kone which addresses the complaint of some users that ‘it doesn’t sound like the amp in the room’. I bought one - it’s the first money I’ve given them since buying the remote.... I really like it.
Lots more ‘little’ things too but a crazy amount of added value.
I think they’ve been really good at listening to user requests. They take a long time to implement things but, when they do, it is killer and it is free (unless it’s hardware of course). I continue to be impressed at the value I get out of this box. For me, I’m hoping the revamp the modulation section next.
Can you explain a little more about your request and what they’re ignoring? If they are ignoring it, maybe it’s because it’s either not a common request (they’re not a huge company so makes sense to deal with popular requests) or maybe the request isn’t possible?