Posts by creative360

    Chicago is an affluent town with some very deep social issues largely relegated to typically problematic underserved neighborhoods.


    Meanwhile touring acts headed in every direction make their way through, which is why so many artists own instruments from Chicago Music Exchange.


    If a physical hub is even really what’s happening, and servicing pros is what it’s about, then sure, Chicago. Selfishly, I’d prefer NYC.

    And even more selfishly I’d prefer the announcement be about mini powered toasters and 8 and 15” Kones. And other stuff I’m too narrow-minded to imagine but would love.

    Lots of novel and ingenious (and relatively simple) luxuries inside of this device for refining tones, things that weren't available before the Kemper. No one correct way to approach all of it.

    Low output pickups are about how they push the amp. So it’ll be different, even if the rig volume is increased. Experimenting with Clean/Distortion Sense and saving that setting for this guitar could be an effective catchall. Of course .. the whole point of low output pickups is what they do. Best thing would be to be open to approaching building rigs based on the strengths of the Tele. That would mean revisiting boost/comp settings and levels, as well as the deeper amp parameters.

    Still hoping for, not necessarily expecting, a deeper compressor stomp along the lines of the Fuzz and Drive … that can approximate not necessarily copy comps with personality .. Dan Armstrong Dyna Ego Keeley etc .. I’m a fan of novel Kemper approaches on most things ..but yeah that response was oddly evasive. Anyway plenty of the classics use the same words to mean different things. Best to experiment and listen for how each control impacts the sound.

    The only unit that does everything is the one that’s being used to make music in the present moment. That’s why you never hear our heroes complaining about equipment.


    C Kemper did his best to create a platform that mirrored the basic essentials, and a bit more, for most guitarists. Plus he incorporated some novel ways of thinking about getting at our tones.


    I’m sure he was warned, but I’m guessing he still couldn’t have imagined just how petty, obsessive and ultimately tribal so much of the audience for guitar gear can be. Like mom said, If your friend told you to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge would you!? Umm if he had the latest clone of a Tube Screamer? Yes mom, I would. Etc. etc


    Here’s to hoping that there are still inspirational CK concepts ahead that involve sounds not just routing and convenience and the ever misunderstood dsp .. things that may actually impact the music .. As is, it can only get so much easier before these companies are changing our diapers.


    ymmv

    Lots of people play well, and many absolutely kill it with gear that would never pass muster on the internet. Amps, digital, whatever. I felt that I dissed enough consumers in my post that I didn't have to slay them directly or dismiss their hobbies (which do keep these companies solvent). But yes, long relationships with gear—decades—is what my musical life has been like. I don't see why the Kemper would be excluded from that.


    QC curiosity is valid. And for those enjoying it, cool. I've read enough about it, about objective issues, to take a hard pass.

    Guitarists are supposed to be obsessed with gear, but it’s more nuanced than that. The real obsession is with tone, and not all or every tone, only the tone that connects for each one of us. It’s true that a market, especially in America, blew up around an endless smorgasbord of tone toys for baby boomers. So it’s good to remember how so many of our heroes spend entire careers using relatively unchanging rigs.


    After decades with a tiny handful of holy grail amps (five-watt Valco, Gretsch, Fender, and club-size silver face Fenders and a D-Clone) I found quick success with the Kemper. Almost a decade ago. If you’re focused on the frustrations, all gear presents its versions of that. But I don’t know, I just haven’t focused on that in my long relationship with the Kemper. I get my tones, it works, here and there it gets refined and its features expand.


    Just based on history, I can’t help hoping that if some “next” iteration of this thing is released, that it’s born out of a similarly singular, surprising Kemper mindset that may even require that guitarists think about things differently. That’s preferable to you know, a product that only attempts to answer any and every complaint from the P&W or Metal or home-user or whatever factions. Sure I’d like a 1/3rd size Kemper mini in the toaster form, but with a dSLR kind of coated exterior. And a UAD compatible Kemper plug-in or Kemper player.


    But no, I don’t lay awake thinking about other digital guitar solutions. Some of them come out looking pretty cool, but so far there hasn’t been any compelling impetus to buy another top tier (or simply top-priced) unit. A Stomp XL or MX5 even more so is compelling for its price and form factor, but those still aren’t necessities for me. Again, I’m happy with my tones, and I’m able to move around just fine even with the larger Kemper.


    I will say that it seems like there’s a bit of a renaissance of hand-wired amplifier building at the moment, and I’ve heard in person several of those modern day Magnatone combos sounding absolutely beautiful. A Twilighter or even Varsity, similar to those first gen Tone King Imperials, would be all most anyone would ever need. They’re expensive, but amazing. I want.


    Of course I’ve grown accustomed to so many of the luxuries of working with the Kemper, that until I’m using (and hauling) one of those— they’re heavier than they look—it’s probably impossible to calculate how much about it is just fantasy. They don’t have loops either, so other than putting stuff in front of them, it’s a commitment.


    ymmv

    ///Please show me the guitarist who sounds better because of these supposedly better effects; I mean on a record or stage, not a youtube video isolating and comparing these tools in ways that we’d never use in the wild.


    ///Internal synth sounds would be amazing. So many great tones are achieved by doubling lines with synth tones. If the tools were cool, it would contribute to creative ways of making the guitar relevant in lots of musical contexts where it has been losing favor. Rhythmic filters and other supposedly “silly” colors would further that idea. Silly is only ever on the musician not the tools. Kemper’s synth tools wouldn’t be silly.


    ///I am not looking for Kemper to start modeling specific amps. That would be silly. It’s one thing to create a way to automate the cloning of iconic and/or personal tones for use in perpetuity. But in 2021 or 22 sitting around all day and night writing code that pretends to be some other thing .. I just don’t see this company feeling proud about or even interested in that dated endeavor. Obviously there’s a financial incentive but even so.


    ///However, since there is a vague assumption that Kemper’s profiles exploit a small group of internal building-block amplifier models, or however they would characterize it if pressed, it might be cool for them to make one master kAmp model, a signature Kemper amp if you will, with parameters that allow users to turn it in to whatever they want. Sort of like their approach to master drives and delays that achieve wildly different goals with different presets. A Kemper amplifier that isn’t intending for it to be a one to one copy of anything. We live in this pretend to be that other thing era of guitar history, but I don’t think that’s truly the nature of this company.


    ///Dual amps. Whatever. The internet chatter if that isn’t included in an update would be so frenzied that it might actually please CK to not do it just for sh*ts and giggles. I’m not saying it’s a bad option to have, only that it’s one of those things that historically has been done with analog amps professionally so rarely, yet if you read the internet, reads like a key deficit in any high end modeler. I’d say it probably needs to be done just to shut these people up, but that’s not the type of motivation that has historically driven this company.


    ///I would love for a surprise, futuristic new unexpected inspiring move from Kemper that none of us can predict. That said, there are all kinds of minor utility moves—modern USB jacks, minimum four exp jacks on all for factors, etc etc .. that might be helpful.


    ///But for g*d’s sake please no touchscreen. If it must be, I would hope it retains the sort of retro computer text vibe of the current model., or even more so. Hire a Massimo Vignelli disciple to design it, or Experimental Jetset in the Netherlands. Type in rows and columns versus icons allows for more clearly delineated specific information about exactly what’s going on in the device at any particular time. The QC’s touchscreen, from a design standpoint, is an incredible waste of real estate. Just because everybody has Adobe creative suite on his computer doesn’t mean that everyone can create information graphics that sing.


    ///ymmv

    For years I’ve been hoping for a half or even third-size (tiny) profiler head, with the same essential shape as the toaster. Obviously it would rely more heavily on rig manager and usb/bluetooth, but how cool it would be. If there was still a way to squeeze out a powered version, even better.

    I have one of those sitting in a drawer, from pre-Kemper days. I was curious and it was cheap, I would still prefer a quick guitar switch, but If Kemper had an internal version of the Knockout I bet it would get a lot of use.


    In the end I keep returning to right guitar > right profile > minimal to no effects > right speaker. But sometimes “curated” eq’s can be inspiring, stuff with minimal, slightly mysterious controls that go after special-ish sauce.

    I‘m a defender of Drew doing his thing. And I don’t doubt he’s experiencing the frustrations that he says he is. But since I’ve enjoyed years of remarkable tones that both do the reference amps proud and also have the ability to shapeshift a bit using novel KPA parameters in order to actually preempt certain characteristics of those amps that we’d normally address with eq after the fact in a mix (which however sacrilegious one may think that is is incredibly cool), albeit with lower gain amplifiers, I’m inclined to believe that CK may be able to help Drew get results that are more to his liking. Anyway it’s a nice offer.

    Yes it’s easy to act “above” the significance of guitar tone. Especially while posting on a guitar amp forum. LoL.


    I own amps that are now 50, 60, 70 years old. Including Valco, Gretsch, Supro. And without doing much to them they pretty much always sound amazing. Always have, always will. Maybe it was easier when there were less amps and for the most part they all sound good.


    Anyway, if we’re honest, tone most definitely matters. And ideally, it’s integral to the art of the recording. That goes for She Said or Come Together or Shine On You Crazy Diamond or or anything Nile Rodgers or JJ Cale or whoever moves you. Lenny Kravitz and The Black Crowes both set themselves apart from the digital playing field of the time by recommitting to uncompromising analog tones.


    Of course it’s a given that the musical context makes all the difference, and yes there are are a ton of great records where the guitar tones are thin little afterthoughts. But there are a lot or records where the guitar tone is .. where it actually embodies or is even central to articulating the essence of the music. And there are examples like that from the beginning to the present day.


    Getting great guitar tone, being oriented toward not leaving that to happenstance, isn’t particularly challenging, but it does take a mindset. Again to come onto a forum for a product that was invented to satisfy the particular predilections of finicky musicians and say that the whole point of the device is kind of besides the point is .. just being too cool.


    I‘m cool too. I’ve spent a lot of time in a lot of studios with legends, mostly as a fly on the wall, and while there is an expectation that the guitars will sound great, it’s still a remarkable thing to behold when the sound comes together.

    I still believe that a musician who’s happy about his instrument tone delivers a performance that is better. This is why some of the greatest bands in history, the handful of them who are actually known for going the extra mile in terms of sound design, and who spend exponential more tour dollars because they put in two and three hour sound checks at every venue, engender such devotion among their fans.


    That said, it’s also true that when people talk about guitar tone, from a single note perspective, especially over on TGP, there’s maybe a handful, definitely less than a dozen, guitarists who are referred to over and over, and it’s also true that one of the reasons is that they perform for the most part in a trio format where there’s almost nothing surrounding the guitar sound. And it’s probably true that those tones that are so rich and exciting and satisfying in that context have no place in most other musical contexts.


    But why is everyone trying to convince Drew that he shouldn’t think that his empirical discoveries are relevant if they’re relevant to him? I probably fall on the side of the sensibilities of several of the other people posting, but I guess I just don’t see how that matters for the purposes of discussing the accuracy of an algorithm.


    The one thing I’m finding a little bit frustrating about where this thread has been going is that you guys are launching assumptions about each other’s lack of experience behind a console without knowing anything about one another, especially professionally.

    Haha not sure why everyone is getting on Drew’s case. He hasn’t made claims about what anyone else should feel about anything, at least not that I’ve read.


    All he’s said is that he‘s getting accurate captures of his amps using the QC, more so than in his years of trying with the profiler. CK has expressed curiosity about Drew’s methodology and Nightmare Circus has proffered a bit of a value judgement, in the guise of suggestions for technical fine-tuning. I’m sort of in his camp, but I can feel that way without dismissing Drew’s mission.


    When recording in the studio the motivation for going after the ultimate in pristine fidelity—even for music that may not require a refined sonic context—is in part because every step of the way toward the end consumer is a bit more of a sonic degradation. It’s also cool to go after an ideal, an ideal that was achieved in what, the 50s or 60s? That’s why a handful of outboard components used on benchmark recordings are still ubiquitous in present-day studios.


    Anyway I’m not sure what Drew’s motivations are, beyond wanting to eliminate the sonic discrepancies that he’s hearing. And since the kinds of profiles I use are basically indistinguishable from the reference amps, I don’t share his frustrations.


    But if we were making a record with his amps, I’d still want to use the amps themselves in the studio, not a QC or a Kemper. And if he were to play live with his profiles, I guess I’d tend to question how significant the differences between his captures and his profiles are, in terms of his musical experience, beyond him just knowing and that being a bother.


    Whether or not we all share the same priorities or even the same anecdotal results, it’s definitely positive that there are folks out there putting these devices to the fire in controlled environments and sharing what they’re discovering with the manufacturer and the user community.


    ymmv

    PS I bonded with the Kemper pretty early on, like in late 2013. So for me, firing it up on a recording is natural. Personally I’m not pleased by the prospect of it changing in any fundamental sonic way. Although I would love a half-size Stage.

    I don't think they want to alter the Kemper because they don't really need to. Would you alter a 59 Bassman to make it sound like a reissue even if you thought the reissue sounded better? Probably not. There will always be a "next best thing" but love it or hate it the Kemper does add it's own unique flavor to the sound (as does the QC) so why mess with it when it's been just fine for all these years.

    Agreed.