Posts by dougc84

    Here's my question, related to the topic, as I have a couple of amps (well, specifically, one amp, with several different speaker combinations) I want to profile (but just haven't gotten around to it yet):

    How does one achieve a better "realistic amp in the room" sound over a sterilized mic? Multiple mic placements going through a DAW or mixer? Or just not having the mic right on the cone? A room mic, perhaps?

    Delay has a cool side effect - depending on your delay settings and how you're playing, it can actually function as a boost, because the sound of two notes at the same time is louder than one note. That makes it so using delay can actually push the amp a little harder, causing clean sounds to break up, and heavily overdriven sounds to almost go into a fuzz mode.

    I run a Strymon Timeline in the FX loop, but, pre-Kemper, I ran it in front of a Vox AC-15. It does sound completely different. I'm personally happy with doing that, but I would love a delay stomp for ambient sounds, so I can stack two or three delays at a time.

    One of the first profiles I bought was Pete's Profiles' 1965 Vox AC-30. I've bought additional ones, downloaded others from the Rig Exchange, and always come back to those profiles. Live, I run the Kemper through a Matrix GT1000FX power amp and a Matrix NL212 cab, in stereo, with cab sims on. I've not experienced such good tone (at least, IMO, and for what I do) than with that set of profiles.

    That said, I haven't heard of Soundside before... so I'm going to have to give them all my money now. Thanks OP. Their AC 30 profile sounds ridiculously good.

    What other sensible reason could there be ?

    Sensible reason? None. But I think Kemper has always focused on putting the amp sounds ahead of the effects. IIRC, the original KPA firmware didn't even have performance mode done, which, IMO, is the feature that makes the Kemper worthwile. They've focused highly on adding new effects and refining the profiling process. Now that the Kemper has direct, merged, and standard rigs available, I see no reason to figure out a "4th way," and rigs should be in "maintenance mode" for the near future. Now's the time to see Kemper put some effort into the effects blocks. My guess is that, for most people, one delay is more than enough, and, for some players, is never used - so why implement a less-often requested feature? For myself, I find it outrageously lacking, as well as the reverb block, but all the other FX are pretty good. I could care less about improvements on the overdrives (though profiling an overdrive or distortion pedal would make me squeal with joy) or any of the other effects - IMO they're good enough.

    I certainly believe the DSP, without having any exact specs, measurements, or usage charts, has the capability to handle it. Maybe not a delay in every single block, but certainly at least one extra.

    If the DSP in the chip can handle running 8 simultaneous effects, an amp section with multiple options, control MIDI, etc. without even a glimpse of being short on processing power and memory, there's no reason an in-memory delay loop couldn't happen.

    That being said, this has been requested for a very long time, along with moving reverb out to other slots, and additional delay and reverb types, to no avail. It's not that Kemper isn't listening to us, but they are really targeting features that will make us sound better (e.g. the 3.0 release of merged profiles). If you have a problem with the current implementation, a workaround would be to run a delay pedal in the FX loop. You could run something that's MIDI controlled (Eventide TimeFactor, Strymon Timeline) and get a much larger reach of delay sounds than the Kemper can, and control its individual patch changes via MIDI (which you can do in Performance Mode).

    I'm a delay and reverb junkie, and crafting ambient sounds is what I'm called on doing much of the time, so I feel you, but the Kemper is an amp box with some effects, and the AxeFX is an FX box with some amps. I just augment where I can with external pedals.

    I don't have a Kemper remote, and most of the gigs I play are typically a little loose on their timing (church), but when I've played other venues, I could totally see the benefit of having a clock on it's display. It would be great if it were MIDI-displayable, just like when you go into tuner mode and use an advanced MIDI controller (like the RJM Mastermind GT) or the UnO for Kemper.

    I think a timer or stopwatch would be difficult to implement in a way that would be useful though. Would you start it on the amp via a configuration menu? Would you really want it to take the spot of one of the control buttons? Neither are really optimal.

    Kempermaniac nailed it. There's no reverse delay or reverb.

    Delays and reverbs are one of those things that always are in the feature requests, yet seem to get overlooked by Kemper quite a bit. That being said, another voice in the crowd is never a bad thing. Make a post over in Feature Requests, and include this video. In the meantime, you can always put a pedal like this in the FX loop. If you upgrade to something like a Strymon Timeline or Eventide Timefactor, you can even control what patches are set (including reverses and those beautiful Stymon Ice delays) via MIDI in performance mode.

    Listen, I don't want to discredit your post here, but can you give an example of what you're trying to accomplish? To me, it sounds like you're trying to build an arpeggiator, or change the linear curve of how the expression pedal works. I don't follow you on the time stuff at all, because changing pitch is not a tempo-based thing and really shouldn't be, it should be a piacere, or at your pleasure.

    Also, the "no need for a pedal" thing also doesn't make sense to me. You bought a Kemper. If you needed one unit with one sound, why even go Kemper? Not to discredit the Kemper's awesome sounds, but I feel that using it without a pedalboard of some sort is like driving a car in the rain without using the windshield wipers. You can do it, but you'd be a lot happier if you just used something.

    Finally, if you're trying to achieve certain curves, you might want to look into a different expression pedal, particularly one with more tension, or just tighten the screws on the side of your pedal (assuming you don't have something cheap like a Behringer FCB1010, which has, quite possibly, the worst expression pedals I've ever used, and they aren't modifiable). Learn how to use it to create the desired increase/decrease curve. It doesn't have to be completely linear. And if you're trying to achieve different hard-set pitches, you can always set up patches in performance mode and modify the settings of each patch so the pitch changes per patch, making it so pressing one button increases it by completely changing the value, and one button would kill it altogether.

    Finally, I won't play without an expression pedal, and here's why - inevitably, a cable goes bad, a string breaks, or something just generally bad happens that turns your beautiful sounds into the dreaded "not quite plugged in" sound. Having a volume pedal handy to mute yourself when not playing gives you access to the tuner on the Kemper quickly and easily, and makes the sound guy much happier.

    Just my 2 cents here - the appearance is absolutely fine, and shouldn't matter anyway, but it does - people are generally drawn to better aesthetics. If you really don't like it, there are companies out there that will build you a custom vinyl skin to replace the exterior look if you'd like. Or you can make your own. Point invalid.

    That being said, there are three features I would like to see:
    1. I think this one could maybe be implemented with firmware, but it depends completely on the hardware implementation. I run a stereo rig, where I have a stereo expander on quite often, and a Strymon Timeline in the FX loop in stereo that is on for about 1/2 of my patches. I'd like to see the main outs have separate EQ and output settings for the 1/4" section and the XLR section. I keep the cab section on for monitoring purposes because my stereo cabs respond well to them, but they do require a very slight EQ adjustment (-0.8 bass, +0.6 mid, +0.4 treble, +0.2 presence, if I recall correctly), and I use both 1/4" outs to the power amp (Matrix, if that even matters). To the house, I want to run a flat EQ, so they can modify it based on the venue's sound system. If I could tell the XLR section to be mono out when I only have 1 input (some venues with smaller boards will only give me one), and have a flat EQ, while keeping my cab in stereo mode, and outputting with the slight EQ adjustments, that would make my life much, much easier. The alternative is a rack-mount EQ between the 1/4" outs and the power amp, but I can't find one that I'm happy with. That also introduces more equipment (and therefore weight), more prone to noise and such, and switching to mono would then make both outputs mono.
    2. To me, and this one would be the biggest one for me - a second dedicated FX loop. I use two or three boutique overdrive pedals in front of my amp (depending on what I'm messing around with at the time), as well as a wah. As mentioned above, I currently run a Strymon Timeline in the FX loop (in stereo), and I'll be picking up a Strymon BigSky soon (I think my wife may have bought me this for my birthday, but I'm not sure). I could forego the on-board wah, as I can get a pretty similar wah sound with the Kemper, but I like my wah before any drives so that it sounds vocal and not overly bright. This means that I have to keep my wah and my overdrives on my board and run them before the amp. This also limits me a bit, as I cannot apply other Kemper effects before the overdrives, such as a harmony effect, shaper, or compressor. Adding a second FX loop would give me the ability to run the external ODs in the stomp section (probably in position 3, at least for my needs), and keep my stereo effects in Mod or X. Honestly, this is the one thing that really appeals to me about the Helix (though not so much as to switch to it), and I can't imagine doing something like that would be too terribly difficult since they already have an FX loop implementation.
    3. A better display. This one can be filed under the "this would be neat to have" list, as the dot-matrix LCD array does the job alright. But a full-color display (or, heck, even one with a denser pixel ratio) would allow for more legible text where needed (such as under the soft buttons, where even a smaller font with more words could make the option more understandable and easier to see), and a clearer, more legible reading for the rig or performance from a distance. This probably couldn't be implemented with the current processor, as it would need more juice to power a full-color display, but a faster processor and increased memory would also add the benefit of a faster boot time and quicker responsiveness to updating all the buttons and display elements when switching patches.

    So, if there was a K2.0 coming out sometime, these are improvements I would absolutely love to see.

    Here's a solution that (shockingly) many people don't think of. If it's not your guitar (i.e. another guitar, maybe with humbuckers, produces zero noise), then you should invest in two things:

    1. An Ebtech Hum-X. This filters out any bad electricity from your signal, and, in venues with bad electricity, causes your gear to hum less. It's not drastic, and maybe your church has decent, well-grounded power and it won't serve you well there, but my church meets at a 100-year-old theater - the electricity is horrible. I tried plugging in without one of these one day and it was just a wall of hum and noise. Using that made everything much more pristine.
    2. A good power conditioner. Furman's are nice, and more or less the name everyone knows, but there's other great ones out there too. This will keep your power constant, and perform *some* ground filtering as well.

    I was using a POD X3 Live and a half dozen pedals, and it was noisy. I picked up a Hum-X, and it got a heck of a lot better. Getting a power conditioner made everything pristine. My pedals actually sound better now because they're making less noise, and my Kemper sounds much better too.

    I'll add my obligatory +1 on this. This would be fantastic for my current setup, which, in all honesty, is going to change soon. Calling on the Kemper in performance mode from a MIDI controller to send individual MIDI PCs for external devices is great, but fails when one of those external devices is a time-based effect (Strymon Timeline). I switch between using Kemper delays (for basic sounds or those that I'd like to use some of Kemper's effect parameters) and the Timeline (for more complex, airy, space-y, ambient sounds), but I have to rely solely on my Timeline for live performance, because I can't send a Tap Tempo via my current controller.

    That will be solved (for me) when I get my RJM GT/22, but that's still a couple months away. And a controller along those lines is simply not in most player's budgets.

    The "space" stomp is a little closer, but it's weak for creating synth pad-like sounds. It's what I'm using for now, until I purchase a BigSky or the Kemper's updated. I would rather the latter so I'd have less on the pedalboard :) And thanks for the +1 on the reverb/delay topic.


    To reiterate on the controller/MIDI thing, my controller is arranged in groups of 4 patches per bank. Let's call them 1a, 1b, 1c, and 1d for bank 1, and for bank 2, 2a, 2b, 2c, and 2d, and the pattern continues up to bank 32 (giving 128 program changes). The program changes on the controller are sequential and cannot be adjusted to send anything different than what's built in. The Kemper's performance mode has 5 patches per song/performance. Those are triggered by MIDI program change 1-5 for the first song, 6-10 for the second song, and so forth.

    If I configure song 1 to use all 5 patches, that means I have to bank up, select 2a, and potentially bank back down when done just for control purposes. For song 2, it now awkwardly starts on 2b, going up to 3b. That means a lot of bank switching. For song 3, it would be 3c-4c. Also, a lot of bank switching.

    From what I can see, there's no way to tell performance mode that, if I wanted to not use one of the performance patches, to skip or reassign that missing program change. For example, if I didn't use the 5th patch on song 1, program change 5 just doesn't do anything, and song 2 starts with program change 6.

    Not all controllers are 5 button. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even make sense, since the MIDI program changes are based on base 2 math anyway. It would be great to say "my controller only has 4 buttons, only utilize patches 1-4," which would give song 1 program changes 1-4, and song 2 program changes 5-8. An alternative would be to "compress" the performances, so that if a patch is empty, the next filled patch (whether that's the next song, or there's just an empty patch in the middle) would pick up from the next available program change number. And, the final alternative (and probably the best) would be the ability to just manually assign what program change the patches of each performance reside on, like you can for the full rigs in Browse mode.


    Finally, on the note of Rig Manager... holy crap yes.

    It does, but that also keeps the loop on. It would be cool to see something where it would listen in to the FX loop until a minimum threshold is reached, then cut it off. Basically play it back in memory like an auxiliary in until silent.

    The workaround is to turn on the FX loop on all channels and have the Kemper or another controller send an "off" message or a program change to an empty patch, but that also ties up one of the effect slots indefinitely. And that doesn't work at all if you have something like an analog delay in the FX loop.

    I'm a relatively new user to the Kemper (had it for a couple weeks now), and there are three things that really bother me, and would like to see improvements on:

    • I'd like to be able to put another delay somewhere else. The delay slot is great, and there's some great options (though I don't really understand why "tap delay" is different than the other delays...), but for the "ambient" users of the world, having a second delay (or heck, a second reverb, since we're talking feature requests here) would be fantastic for the X or Mod slot. No need for a series/parallel/mix balancing, just have it straight up in series, and in mono, like any other "pedal" would be.
    • And since we're on the topic of delays and reverbs - improved reverbs! I get that it's an "amp machine" and not an "effects machine," but I find the reverbs in the Kemper extremely lacking, especially for ambient sounds. The "ambient" patches are pretty poor, at best. I would really like to see some Strymon-esque shimmer reverbs in this thing. Some ambient-style "shimmer" or "ice" delays with harmonies would be nice too. I know the Kemper has the capability of handling this for sure.
    • Finally, MIDI reshuffling in the performance mode. I currently have a controller that has 4 patches per bank (program change 1-4, next bank has program changes 5-8, etc.). Performance mode gives you 5 patches, which means that, for the second song, I have to use Bank 2, patches 2, 3, and 4, and Bank 3, patches 1 and 2. This is rather inconvenient. It would be nice to either say "I want only 4 patches per performance," or have the Kemper notice that, if a performance channel is empty, assign the next assigned one to the next available program change #. This would mean Song 1, if only using 4 of the 5 patches, would occupy program change 1-4, like normal. It would pick up at program change 5 on song 2. Optionally, be able to adjust, per patch, like you can in browse mode, what the MIDI program change is for it.

    And while we're at it, editing rigs in performance mode is incredibly tedious. I know it's not on the roadmap, but it would be nice to have a desktop app to easily set up songs in performance mode. Doesn't even need to configure everything - just let me name things and assign rigs to individual patches and shuffle them around. I'm a software developer myself - I know it's not an easy task to just "write an application," but this would seriously escalate the Kemper to the next level to be able to set up songs in 5 minutes instead of 20.

    Line 6 Pod X3 user (ex-user?) here. I've found that the only controls that actually work are the bank switches. FX switches don't work, and, at least on the X3, sometimes do unnatural things, like go back to PC#1, but... not always. Delay toggles reverb, and reverb toggles delay.

    I've gotten so I set up presets in performance mode for each song, save them later on in the performance list, and look them up when I need them. Because the X3 only has 4 buttons per "bank," I copy the settings for each performance rig to PC 1-4 (for the first song), PC 5-8 (for the second song), and so forth. It's tedious, and makes so songs technically overlap in the Kemper's settings, but it works until I get a proper controller in a couple months, and allows me to set up a set list in about 20 minutes.

    This is where I wish Kemper had desktop software for this.