Did you have four of the same one-knob fader, Vinny?
Who really cares if "it's not a Klon anymore"? If it sounds good, it is good, and if it's not 100.0% like the real thing, the sound you yourself came up with is better than the original. And it saves you thousands of dollars along the way.
Not everyone will care and of course if it sounds good, it is good. But it matters to some folks clearly that the boxes work like the originals.
Everyone’s mindset is in different places with this so, if it’s possible to do both, that would hopefully suit everyone’s way of thinking.
I made a similar point back when the delays were released...... they are beyond the wildest dreams and you can do pretty much anything. But there’s a case for saying ‘this model is a Memory Man’ as some people care about such things as per my long ramble a few posts back. We all use the gear / think in different ways and, if the aim is to maximise the enjoyment (and therefore the selling potential) to every possible customer then it is worth doing both the ‘limited boxes’ and the ‘beyond reality because we can’ roots.
I can see the case for separate models and also I see the case for staying as we are. Either way it’s a fantastic addition.
The thing with the ‘separate models’ is, from a mindset point of view, it scratches an itch. Part of the reason we all buy profiles? We are curious to know exactly what a vintage Marshall sounds like because most of us will never be able to have the real thing. Having the confidence that we have a great profile captured scratches that itch for everyone who doesn’t have the original amp. Tone Junkie is great at making profiles for sure but he’s also great at making you want them. He knows all about that itch.
The case for doing the pedals separately is this..... ‘an expert’ is telling you that it sounds like the real deal. That satisfies the desire of the collector which most of us have to some extent.
The current method is sonically more versatile because it is a seamless blend between them all and, as pointed out, the differences are not so huge in many cases. So, in terms of being useful? It’s more useful than separate boxes but it’s asking ‘box at a time’ compartmentalised amp collectors to think differently. Most of us guitar players aren’t great at doing that! In terms of satisfying the ‘I’m using a Klon’ vibe, the blended Kemper Drive doesn’t do this because if you’ve tweaked one of the dials too far you’ve gone beyond Klon settings and might be using something else. Which doesn’t matter sonically but I think makes the ‘authentic collector’ part of the brain uncomfortable.
To please everyone’s little voice as well as remaining useful beyond reality (which the current method does) you could add individual boxes that have the range limitations of the originals but for sure keep the current blended drive too. Then those who care about duolicating the original things are absolutely catered for.
Otherwise, presets get you to the original at a certain setting but with every dial tweak you’ll have to go with your ears for enjoyment, not the inner voice that says ‘it isn’t real’.
I can see a case for both..... ears are the ultimate test but...... our enjoyment can also come from keeping the inner voice happy / secure.
Sorry for the ramble Very cool addition no matter what way it goes and looking forward to playing more. Hoping fuzz pedals can feature soon too
The difference is simply, that on overdrive pedals only, a good portion of the clean signal (undistorted, uncompressed) is mixed to the distorted signal, preserving some uncompressed playing dynamics in parallel to the distortion.
Whatever it's doing, I like it. Thank you for the nice update
I haven’t spent long with these but my first impression is that these are excellent.
I don’t own any of the pedals nodded to but I have built clones from circuit diagrams of the Klon and King of Tone. For this reason I can’t comment on if the Kemper sounds like the real deal because I don’t have the real deal. No matter, I think these will give us a lot of fun.
Regarding the ‘presets’ for pedals as opposed to having distinct models. The way I’m reading this is that ‘you can make a Klon sound like a Boss OD or a TS at certain settings’ simply because much of circuitry shares heritage. But of course there are places a Klon cannot go that a TS can because the ranges on both are different.
So with the approach here, you have a seamless blend from them all. Maybe a sweet spot you find would only be possible on a Klon. Another sweet spot might be recreated on two of the physical pedals etc.
With the presets, Kemper are claiming sweet spots from the individual pedals. I like this approach actually - it fits in with the concept of profiling where you have a sweet spot of an amp that is profiled then, with adjusting the tone stack etc you are moving away from reality. If it sounds good, should we care? depends on your purity vs results thinking. Same with these pedals. If you call up the Klon preset and make micro adjustments you’re probably going to be getting something that approximates the original. If you crank one of the dials too far? You’ve bent reality. If Kemper wished to make these separate, I guess it would be possible.... each would simply limit the ranges of the controls as per the originals as opposed to them all being in the box together and allowing the benefits of blending.
Grateful for the update (as ever - very cool that my trusty, 6/7 year old gear keeps improving!). Hoping they can work further magic with fuzz pedals. I’ve made a few fuzz pedals over the years and, whilst there’s a lot of shared circuits in that world too, my home made germanium Sunface sounds a lot different to my home made D*A*M Meathead. If they are intending to rework fuzz as well it’ll be interesting to see if a similar blend approach is used. Sure it’ll be decent whatever happens.
It’d be great to have better fuzz / drives (matters to many on here it seems) but personally I tend to switch amp models / use an external stomp box. I prefer my home made fuzz but actually with the fuzz and shapers in the unit I can get things that I enjoy already.
I think the modulation effects could do with a rework in the same way as the delays and reverbs have been dramatically improved over the last few years.... delays / reverbs were a weak point vs the quality of Kemper amp models but these days delay and reverb fx are awesome IMO. It’d be great if the modulation section had the same treatment.
I had a Strymon Mobius for a while. The tremolo, chorus, phaser and flanger were a long way ahead of those offered in the Kemper. I still sold the mobius. Awesome unit but, for most uses, I couldn’t justify keeping it for the amount of modulation fx I use..... even though they were better than I could do inside Kemper. I miss the tremolo most so, if that could get an update, that’d be great. And I always hear great things about the freqout pedal - that would be a nice addition if possible.
It would also be great if FX chain storage / batch editing could be added to rig manager.
Whatever is added I’m sure it’ll be great - it’s brilliant that this unit still continues to positively evolve with no further financial buy-in from me. The company haven’t had any revenue from me since the remote came out so I’m impressed that they’re still giving me more for my ancient investment. I’ll hopefully give them some money and buy a cone one day but wouldn’t get the use out of it in my current situation so, as cool as it may be, I’m afraid I’m at the ‘eagerly hoping for cool free stuff for rig manager, remote and toaster’. And grateful for all of it
I like NI Komplete software but, interface wise, I had one from them a few years back. On my system at the time, I couldn’t get it useable.
I’ve had a couple of Focusrite interfaces over the years (including my current Clarett) and they’ve been great. I have had issues but here’s where the difference really stood out. Focusrite tech support were available over the phone, NI were tickets that took a while and told me to read the manual.
That experience is from a few years back so they may have improved and lots of positive stories out there with the interfaces. With any interface, if it works with your system, it works. That’s the most important thing followed by ‘who helps when it doesn’t work’. IMO of course.
I used to use loads of pedals but my reason was because I gigged with a single channel amp. Riding guitar volume like a pro is beyond my capability (so is the magic 4th chord, I only know 3). Pedals were the answer.
I still have most of them because most were home made. Really, I was using most of them to overcome the limitations of my amp in terms of variety. These days, I choose a different profile. I still dig out my home made germanium fuzz occasionally as, for me, it does a better job than the fuzz pedals in the Kemper. For all the others, I’m good to go in clean.
I’d absolutely welcome the OD offerings in the Kemper getting a facelift but, for me, that’s for the fun it gives rather than ‘I need this and I’m broken hearted’. I don’t think they’re terrible but I also don’t think they’ve kept up with the advances that the rest of the unit has benefited from. I’m a long term user and, back in the day, the delays and reverbs weren’t awesome in the Kemper. They are now excellent IMO. I sold a Strymon Mobius and I miss the tremolo options on there / the phaser and flanger. In my opinion they beat the current ones in the Kemper. However, I couldn’t justify keeping it for how often I use those effects. I do miss the trem though so I’d welcome a re-do of that if Mr. Kemper is looking for a suggestion
With the guitar plugged in.... turn the volume pot of the guitar all the way down.
Does the hum disappear? If it does, it is airborne interference. If the hum stays, you may have a ground loop (lots of info online about those).
If it's airborne, try the following:-
1. Move to different parts of the room where you play with your guitar. Face the guitar in different directions. Hopefully something obvious will strike you that could be the cause of the hum. You might find you can face a certain way to play / record and suddenly your problem is tollerable.
2. Investigate obvious sources of airborne interference. These can include:-
Fluorescent lights / old style energy saving light bulbs. New style LED bulbs tend to be OK (or I've had good luck anyway!)
Dimmer switches. Especially cheap ones. Replace with on / off switches or play in the dark!
Computers (some motherboards are ridiculously noisy because of how they do power throttling to save energy. Works great for the environment but unfortunately can really upset guitar pickups
Some 'brick' / wall wart chargers
3. Investigate things in other rooms. It's possible for a fridge that is 'electrically noisy' to put a bunch of buzz onto the mains in your house. Then every other wire in the walls acts like a transmitter. There are clean plugs you can get which you can plug the offending appliance into to try and help with this.
There are many possibles. Hope you find what the issue is as hum can drive you nuts.
Sorry to tell you what you already know but.....
Turn it down. You don’t actually need any more gear. Neumann are awesome. If you can’t trust yourself with volume at home using studio monitors, a cabinet will be a fun thing that will ultimately make your problem worse. Sorry to be ‘that guy’ but sometimes ‘that guy’ is needed
Limiting any particular frequency will likely have little effect to hearing damage if you’re otherwise loud enough to cause ringing. Also, if you attenuate any particular frequency then your favourite tone will sound different and it’s unlikely to be a good different.... any particular tone only sounds the way it does (to you) because of the range of harmonics it has. This has to be the case otherwise a middle c on a piano would sound the same as a middle c on a distorted guitar. Affecting certain frequencies will change the tone from how you intended.
Hearing protection always affects the quality of the sound too - it’s the best we can do at someone else’s concert (I have some of the metal things from Ultimate Ears for when I go to a gig and they’re brilliant in those environments) but, at home, they will always make things sound worse than simply turning down.
You’ve identified that you like high frequencies. That might be because high frequency is typically the first thing to die in our hearing response as we age / expose our ears to extremes. If you are often exposing your ears to sounds that get to ringing, that’s damage each time you do it, and it starts with the high parts going. The result of this, as a musician? We crank the treble on everything so it sounds normal. To a teenager it sounds like nails down a blackboard because their hearing still works.
Sorry to tell you what you didn’t want to hear but probably suspected
I guess that’s something else worth asking..... are they intending the Kone to go into your own ‘flat’ cabinet or are the saying, because they can make it sound like a real guitar speaker, that it will work well in a real guitar cabinet? Logic would say that the acoustic sim would work better in a flat cab but for the actual guitar shapes? I wonder
There’s a brief sound bite of the acoustic sim on Kemper’s FB feed
A question.... I haven’t played live for a while and am unlikely to in the foreseeable future. The Kone price isn’t horrific and I have an actual guitar cab that is unused with a regular guitar speaker in it where I could obviously drop the Kone in. But I have an unpowered toaster.
Forgive me if this is silly but...... for home use, could I simply use a hi-fi amp? I have an old one laying around..... not quite sure why folks are needing 600w power amps to feed a single speaker?? It’s kind of overkill isn’t it?
Have a look on social media - a Kemper / Celestion speaker is shown
NAMM teasers here we come
At the 2019 Winter NAMM they showed an early version of the editor and also the cone. They also mentioned the acoustic sim. So it’ll be good to get an update on these.
I’m loving the editor and am hoping it will evolve to allow complete fx chains to be saved / allow batch editing so as you can quickly and easily put in your own preferences when you buy a profile pack. Maybe we’ll get an update on ‘evolution of the editor’ too.... I’m sure we’ll all be listening out for the interviews.
Who knows what else? All I know is that it continues to improve after all these years and I haven’t felt the need to investigate other products since I’ve had it. Which is good going for digital gear in the guitar market where you’ve normally been superseded 2-3 times by now.
In - PRS Vela
Out - Burny Les Paul copy
Apart from that it’s been the odd bit of software. Got my eldest daughter a Ululele for Christmas so I might need to learn to play that
For sure the guitar is the first ingredient in the recipe. How much that original ingredient comes through really depends on the amp / fx chain.
Keeping with the food analogy. You start off with pork or chicken (Strat or Tele) If you just fry in butter you can absolutely tell them apart. But if you put it in a dish with 48 other ingredients then the differences between those original ingredients are masked. You might still spot which is which but not necessarily. If you start off with beef (les Paul) it’s still easier to tell but again give it enough chilli and garlic and the dish tastes more of those things.
Sorry, it’s Christmas. I’ve been cooking for several days now as that’s another hobby of mine
So the bad news is I'm short on time this weekend.
The good news is that my first impressions are 'absolutely fantastic'. Thank you very much to the team that made this. I've had my Kemper for many years and it's incredible that it's actually still improving each year since the time I had it. This does not happen with most other electronics and I'm very grateful that it's the gift that keeps on giving.
I have been politely asking for an editor for many years and I am over the moon - the layout for doing this stuff on a PC screen vs going through 6+ menus on some of the delays just makes so much more sense to my brain. For the guys that don't want it / need it, no worries. For me, this has given my beloved green box another massive boost in the usability. We are all wired differently and this works for me better than the front panel. Strange but true.
As I use it more over the coming weeks I'll no doubt make some suggestions but so far, so good
One thing - I followed the instructions (latest software via USB and then installed Rig Manager). Reboots, cable fiddles etc did not help me - the Kemper worked, and I could see my local library but the Kemper just would not talk to the PC. I unistalled Rig Manager and re-installed. It then worked without any further problems. Thought I'd share in case this helps someone else.
I appreciate the update and look forward to seeing it when it’s ready
Being able to pull performances together in the editor is one of the main things I’m hoping for. Personally, I am not a massive tweaker who obsesses about the small things - for my own mindset I am hoping for something that makes it easier to make a performance in terms of the fx layout / morphing and then save this as an fx chain that I can easily duplicate elsewhere. It will also be great to see (for example) all of a delay’s parameters on one screen as I am convinced I’m missing some neat tricks simply because I don’t go to the 4th or 5th screen of parameters. There is hidden magic that I’ve been too lazy to find so that will be good too.
I’m hopeful it makes the obsessive tweakers happy too and I’m sure it will - we all want different things out of this box that make sense to our own personal needs and preferences. For me, it’s about simplifying certain aspects of the use.
Looking forward to it whenever it drops and I am grateful the company showed it in January - I know some folks have got upset and for sure I’d have liked it already but, for me, I prefer the excitement of knowing that something is coming as opposed to complete silence. The complaints are changed from ‘can we have one’ to ‘when is it coming’ so I guess Kemper can’t win but, as a customer, I have preferred this 9 months of knowing.