If you have the time, certainly do a DI profile. It's not that hard to do. My situation makes profiling difficult. I live in an apartment with my wife. Finding a good time where 1. the wife's not home (because it's loud), 2. the neighbors aren't home (because it's that loud), and 3. I feel up to profiling (including setting everything up) and not working on learning music/practicing/whatever... yeah, I haven't profiled much. That said, if you've got the ability, do as much as you can, and you won't have to go back later and redo things.
Legator 300-series Ninja 8-string. Picked this up about a year ago, and since then, I've:
- Replaced the stock pups (generic AlNiCo 8-string pickups) with a SD Pegasus/Sentient "passive-mount" combo (I hate the way the SD active-mounts look)
- Purchased and installed custom-built pickup rings for mounting the pickups
- Replaced the tone knob with a push/pull knob, so I can get split coil sounds (and still have a working tone knob)
- Replaced the tuning machines with Sperzel locking tuners
I don't have a great photo of the guitar as a whole, but this is the most recent with the pickup mods.
[Blocked Image: http://i.imgur.com/zOJxtYB.jpg]
Typically you'll use your Monitor Out for using a powered monitoring system, like an active FRFR cab, or the powered out for powering a passive monitoring system, like a guitar cab. They are connected internally to the same path, and you can toggle, in the output settings, whether the "cab" block is enabled on the monitor out.
You can use that in conjunction with the Main Outs to feed the house (XLRs, 1/4"s, or both, however you cannot adjust their levels or EQ independently of one another). This will always have the cab block on, unless disabled on the profile as a whole.
If you only have one output to the PA available to you, you want to be sure to select the mono output for your main output. This makes both sets of main outputs (XLR and 1/4", which all 4 can be used at the same time actually) perform in mono mode. Keeping it in stereo and using only one side will result in missing parts of stereo effects. This primarily affects delays, but other effects can be in stereo as well, which will cause issues or inaccurate/incomplete sound. The monitor out is always mono.
If you have a stereo guitar rig, you can use the monitor out or power amp out to left (or right), and the direct out/send to the other side, by adjusting your output settings. This, however, will require a power amp on the direct out, and cannot be done if you're using an FX loop (as it uses the direct out as a send).
Finally, you might want to read up on the output section of the Reference Manual (not the one that comes with the Kemper, but just google it and it's one of the top results). If you haven't read the manual yet, it's an easy read, and will tell you everything about the Kemper. There's lot of options for adjusting how your outputs work, and many are ideal for reamping or studio use.
Just an additional point on refining: Many say that the refining process is unnecessary now with the improvements in the firmware, but it's really dependent on your ears and how accurate the sound is. You can toggle between both the "ready to create" profile and the amp sound being fed into the Kemper (or, in your case, DAW) and preview and compare. If they're a good match when trying them out, they don't need refining, but it really depends mostly on your ears and how perfectly accurate you want your profiles.
If you want to, you can profile your amp, save it without refining, then profile it again. Again, its necessity is up to you, but if you have the time, there's no harm in making extra profiles.
In regards to creating DIs and using your DAW, it's best to experiment. Using a DAW is one additional step that can introduce latency. If you go this route, you want to make sure your buffer size is very low and any "live mode" settings are enabled. I have to go this route if I'm reamping or profiling via multiple mics because my interface doesn't support looping back inputs to outputs other than the main 1-2 set, and I've not had any issues, but it certainly is better to skip that step and let hardware deal with it, instead of getting software involved.
DI profiles merged with studio profiles are only a necessity if you want to use, say, your cab with another profile, or your amp with another cab, and get the most realistic sound. In studio profiles, the Kemper makes a "best guess" on where the amp ends and the cab begins, but that point (and it's EQing, curves, frequency response, etc.) can be refined further by doing the merge process above (and be sure to keep copies of anything before merging in a cab - you'll want them at your disposal just in case).
Plus DS is based on a mxr distortion+, which is more of an overdrive, despite it's name.
the One DS is based on the DS-1.
I think I combined two sentences there. What I meant to say was the Plus DS was based off the Distortion +, which isn't that different than the One DS (based off a DS-1). But I was incorrect in that statement. I think I also meant to say the DS-1 is based off the D+, which is also not true.
Maybe I was drunk when I posted that. Haha.
Seconded that NAMM might produce some quality reverbs. That said, the Kemper's reverbs are moderately OK, but I mainly play post-rock/ambient/worship stuff, and often without a keyboardist. In those situations, I need LONG and BIG reverbs. The "ambient" reverb type just doesn't sound good on the Kemper. And there's no spring verb either.
MAB's stuff is good, but it still just doesn't get what I need.
IMO, both the delays and the reverbs are lacking, but for popular uses of delay and reverb, they are sufficient. I run a Timeline and a BigSky in my FX loop, and they work great.
Seconded the tip. The monitor out is designed for personal monitoring (thus the name), whether that's an active cab, a power amp + a cab, the FX return on a head, a personal wireless in-ear mix (not wired headphones, that's what the front jack is for), whatever. The Kemper's designed under the premise that you'll be going to some sort of mixer - a PA, recording console, home studio interface, whatever - and these are typically called the Mains, so your main out should go to the mains.
Alternatively, you could use the mains XLRs for connecting to the house/PA/console/whatever, and use a 1/4" out of the mains into the cab. You lose the front volume control and independent output EQ settings, but it's certainly doable, especially with an FRFR cab like the ASM. I did it this way running a power amp in stereo for a while. It worked fine, but it ended up being more of a hassle than anything. You would also have to lock it into mono mode since you're only running one speaker, which may or may not be an issue for you.
Nice, thanks for sharing. Modes always screw everyone up. I teach some great guitar players but as soon as you mention MODES they lose their heads,They just cant get their heads round the fact that its just the major scale but focusing on a different Root note and the Tones / Semi-Tones which are now in a different order are what give the mode its sounds.
I had a fantastic teacher when I began learning guitar. Jazz guy, pretty popular in the Richmond, VA music scene, got me into scales and modes and 7th arpeggios a year and a half into learning how to play. He appreciated that I wanted to learn how to Satriani (yes, I'm using his name as a verb!), and got me into it early. It's not difficult stuff, but it takes time and discipline, which, unfortunately, most guitarists lack these days - they want to learn a few chords and some songs and don't want to learn theory because they're afraid "they will lose the soul in their playing." Ugh.
That said, killer playing. Lydian's one of my favorites.
I'm not going to respond any further to any posts regarding "profiling stomps," since it's a pipe dream at this stage, as ckemper himself has mentioned it's not possible with the current DSP. Agree to disagree on many points.
Man I would love some stomps based on ESPECIALLY a klon ( my all time favorite lead boost period), and maybe some other pedals like the box of rock, EP SL drive( for using on clean amps and giving that vibe) and last but not least, a Timmy. Sure it's just a really transparent overdrive, but that pedals EQ contribution is just about the best thing about it. Having its low and high knobs on the pedal stomp just like on the real pedal would be absolutely fantastic, you can do anything with the timmys EQ, it really is fantastic at being an EQ for your entire sitnal chain while being musical and esay to use.
The EQ point is incredibly valid. Some pedals have overall "tone" controls, others have more fine-grained EQ controls. The pedals you mentioned are certainly great candidates as well for implementation. The Box of Rock and the Timmy are certainly incredibly popular overdrives, and the EP is as well, but I think it's a little lower down the list. Obviously, it appeals to the interests of the users of the Kemper and to the software developers to build out overdrive models based off more popular tones (which boggles my mind as to why the Metal DS is even an option, as it's based off the Metal Zone).
If there's enough demand and willingness on the programmers side, it can be done much easier than you think.
There are always possibilities.
A way to do it would be to have the option of running two different firmware , one would be the usual that we all know and another one would for the pure guitar tone with no effects, just profiling.
I don't think you understand how firmware works. You can equate firmware to your operating system on your computer. Sure, you can dual boot, say, OS X and Windows (or Linux or whatever). Or load just one or the other on a machine. But you're getting Firmware and DSP/Processor power and performance confused.
The firmware on the Kemper is very small. 3.2.1 was 7.5 MB (8.3 GB archive also contained other files, kaos.bin was only 7.5). Reducing that to, say, 10% of the original size, yields a .75 MB (or 750KB) OS. This does nothing for the processing power of the DSP chip. It may take up a slight amount more memory on the larger version, but the variable in question is not your volatile RAM memory, but the CPU, or the DSP chip. In any case, when the front input of the Kemper receives sound, it has to be passed through one or more filters (your Amp, Cab, EQ, Stomps, Effects, Headphone Space, etc.). The most processor-intensive is the Amp block, as it's basically recreating the amp on the fly.
Unless you want to get to a Fractal-degree of performance monitoring where you have to monitor the Kemper's CPU and adjust quality to fit the need of a particular rig, you're never going to be able to profile stomps, at least not on the current hardware. ckemper has already mentioned this elsewhere, that the processor is not capable of handling it.
This would make things more complex to manage for the user... Kemper has proven in the year to favour simplicity and straightforwardness.
Furthermore, running a profile and one or more profiled stomps would mean to run n profiles in parallel: you can bet, if the possibility to use one profiled stomp was ever offered, many would ask for more slots... people are simply never content
Just like saved effects/saved stomps/snapshots/backups/cabinets are "simple" and "straightforward" to manage? I'm sorry, but the Kemper is not a leader when it comes to UI, simplicity, or straightforwardness. They do have the upper hand over, say, Fractal, but Fractal also offers a bazillion more configuration options than the Kemper does.
The Kemper does, in most cases, feel like a tube amp. And that's a problem, because it's not a tube amp; it just sounds like one. There are people that want a great amp sound and nothing more, afraid to tweak and dial in things, and balk at the slightest degree of complexity, software upgrades, added features, or the need to read a manual, just like most tube amp owners - a gain, volume, and three tone knobs should be ample for most of these people, and it shouldn't change. For others, the fans of the digital revolution in music, they want to tweak, control, and manage all the features and functionality they can, don't mind spending some time understanding the difference between two similarly-named parameters, and have a native understanding of how UI design should act, feel, and work. Regardless of whichever way you approach it, it's still a digital amp - a computer, and Kemper's trying to appeal to both audiences. If it's not managed properly, then it's going to be left by the wayside, as are, for instance, stomp group presets. But, rest assured, this is not a thing that will happen, because ckemper has stated the Kemper simply doesn't have enough DSP to handle this type of process. In any case, it certainly wouldn't be difficult to manage (it would be easier to manage than rigs), and, if it were added and you felt it to be "too much," then simply don't use it or don't upgrade.
As regards using profiled pedals as fx, it would of course not just be a matter of processor power: all the blocks logic and part of the UI would change as well. A lot of work, if you ask me.
Pedals in the Profiler are modelled, not profiled.
Right. I, and most of the people here, know that it's not a possibility. It would be a nice feature, and would solve a lot of problems, but it's not a thing. Thus the original request - better general stomps.
This looks like it implements some new major features. This warrants a major version upgrade, so 4.0 is on it's way. For those that don't know: MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, which is why bug fix upgrades are X.X.1, X.X.2, etc., and small improvements or feature additions that don't change much as far as the normal workings of the unit/by the user are X.0.X, X.1.X, X.2.X, etc.
As far as video 1 and video 2, I'm noticing a progress bar underneath the rig name. However, the rig name never changes. To me, that indicates one of two possibilities:
1. A "scene"-like platform where you have one profile that has two sets of settings, maybe a lead setting without shimmer (note how in Video 3 the underlying reverb/shimmer sound doesn't apply on the gain sound), different EQ, and increased gain, or
2. A "profile-blend" like thing, where you take two profiles and can seamlessly blend or fade into the other. There's already the "rig fade" or "rig blend" or whatever it's called setting that fades between profiles - this could be a controllable expansion of that.
I also certainly see the green LED over the Mod slot, indicating movable delays (THANK GOD) and my thought is... if you don't use the delay slot for delay, does that mean that the delay block itself is locked out and can't be used for other things? On all three videos (#2 is, strangely, not listed on their Facebook page's "videos," but is visible if you scroll down a couple pages. It is more of what is shown in #1), the Delay block is grayed out, and all read LDL (and, it looks like a down arrow, not a "y", at least to me). I'm wondering if it's a "Lower Delay Lock" or something of the like, but, of course, that's only speculation.
As far as video 3 is concerned, I do hear a shimmer-like or cavernous reverb. This is very exciting to me; however, it could be that it's something where the looper functionality oscillates into itself, creating a reverb-like sound, so your "scene 1" or "rig 1" performs the loop and self-oscillates, whereas "scene 2" is what you use to do your lead parts or melodies. I hope it's for the better reverbs, and not this idea, because that leaves everyone out of the loop that isn't using the Kemper remote (unless they publicly open up the MIDI control changes for the looper).
So, again, all speculation. January 21st is going to be a good Thursday. And what an awesome birthday present, @little_harry (happy birthday in advance, since none of us will care because we'll have our new toys to play with)!
A lot of chatter here, but the way it seems to work, as far as I can tell, is the "Stomps" in the Stomp A-D slots feed the amp block in a very similar way that actual pedals do. The "pre-input" stage of the Kemper seems to be between Stomp D and the Amp block, where, with an analog setup, would be the point where your pedals would output to the input of your tube amp. If we're talking about AD conversion, that's a different story, but, if the Kemper had two loops available, I would certainly run my drives in a distortion loop block. I tried that out at one point and thought it sounded just as good as pushing the front of the Kemper.
In regards to "stomp box profiles," this would allow for users to really take advantage of profiling their own pedals (which, IMO, would be a much easier process than profiling an amp), but I don't believe the current DSP allows for that much processing. If it were possible, I'd drop my pedals off my board right away and, to my wife's chagrin, rebuild my pedalboard and rack again. I would imagine that you could profile chains of pedals as well, so the stacking problem could be consolidated into one stomp slot, which would be glorious.
I, however unfortunately it may be, believe that the majority of users are happy with the current OD/Dist/Fuzz options the Kemper profiles, and I do believe it's a bigger priority for the Kemper team to build out a more functional software app and work on delays and reverbs, rather than figure out a way to make the DSP more efficient (or, heck, a Kemper 2.0 w/ improved DSP chip) to allow for stomp profiles, or even increase the types of pedals that are offered. Users, like myself, are certainly in the minority, though I went with Kemper because of the great amp sounds. The AxeFX, which I considered highly prior to buying the Kemper, has this sort of ability (chaining stomps and having more options, that is), but they suffer from the same issues with overdrive pedal models (sounding not quite authentic), resulting in, yet again, the need for analog stomps. Devin Townsend, for example, has used both the Kemper and the AxeFX over the years, and he still drives his amps with analog pedals. Thus the need for Kemper to come along and build up something magical.
Great review, thanks.
I would like to add a small issue I have with the Thunderbolt environment as it is right now.
Thunderbolt is a great interface for many purposes, especially for applications which require extremely high data rates. This can be either additional high-resolution displays or external data storage or external video capture/playback devices or even external graphic adapters. Really amazing what can be connected to these Thunderbolt ports. But sadly a typical system offers just 1 or 2 ports and pretty much all external devices aren't capable of being daisy chained. So when you decide to use Thunderbolt, you're pretty much stuck with 1 or 2 devices. There is no cheap and easy to use port replicators on the market like USB3 hubs.
For example, if you plan to use a second display on your iMac and you want to use a Focusrite Claret device, then your 2 Thunderbolt ports are gone. No easy way to add a fast external storage device or any other Thunderbolt device. If you can imagine to need more Thunderbolt devices connected to your workstation ... do yourself a big favour and check the market for Thunderbolt hubs. You'll have a hard time to find one, at least not at an acceptable price point.
A unit like the Focusrite Claret interfqces don't require massive data rates. It's sad that they (like all/most other manufacturers) don't provide a Thunderbolt extension port. It's basically a dead-end road.
Just want to clarify something here: Thunderbolt is made to daisy chain. A Mac will probably have two ports for simplicity, but, with pretty much any Thunderbolt device, you'll have two ports. One is an "in," the other is an "out." And whichever one you choose is up to you. You won't use "both" of your ports and be left without one, because the next device in the chain will provide another port.
That said, I think Apple screwed themselves on getting into Thunderbolt, and they're realizing it and moving away. You can see their new Macbook has a singular USB3 connection designed to do everything. No Thunderbolt! I believe that Apple, the only real company that uses Thunderbolt, is rethinking it. For the consumer, this means the USB format is great, and now it can do even more, like supporting larger displays or powering their laptop. However, this also means that people who have invested time and money in Thunderbolt products (I have a hub and an LG ultrawide display, both Thunderbolt) might be screwed. I'd love to pick up a Clarett, but I'd feel safer going with a USB3 device. It's hard to predict technology though, and maybe the Macbook is just designed to be a device for non-power users (it does have pretty crappy specs), but I think this year will really decide which direction, if they decide to make a choice at all, they will go.
I 100% concur with the OP's premise.
For my needs and I also speak for many other KPA owners, that I personally know, if a late 90s' PRE Mosfet Fulltone Fulldrive 2 OD pedal in comp cut mode was introduced in the signal path of the KPA (in front of the KPA's very input circuit where an OD pedal is supposed to be at all times) it would be a game changer for the KPA's sonic capabilities.
Because I'm a man who is known as a doer I'm prepared to send my beloved and rare FD2 to Christoph & Don so they can do what they need to do in order to get it into the KPA exactly as my FD2 is. Not close but exact as this FD2 pedal is that special, especially for Single Coil players.
I'm right there with you. I don't use my FD2 MOSFET any longer, primarily because my last one broke, and I've since replaced it with other pedals that I also love. I did buy another one though, and it sits in my project drawer. I use it often for home recording. However, there's something very special about them, particularly the early serial # versions (they changed the clipping on the later versions, IMO, not for better). I prefer the "Vintage" setting myself, but there's not a single bad setting on that pedal.
I'm just as much a fan of amp overdrive as I am using quality pedals, though I tend to favor the latter in low to mid gain scenarios. It gives me more control over what my gain sounds like. This is why I use 3 OD pedals pre-Kemper and basically never use the Kemper's built in DIST stomps. This type of sound cannot currently be achieved with a driven amp or Kemper's built-in stomps.
The Kemper (and, for that matter, Fractal, Line 6, Eleven, Atomic, and any other overdrive models I've ever heard on any digital amp or modeler) just don't do overdrives all that well. The focus is on great amps, and the overdrive sections, which is an increasingly growing market with post-rock, ambient, and worship music, is lacking. The models may be just fine, but they're lacking originality and quantity. Most players in these genres don't want a Rat or a DS-1 or a MT-2 in front of their rig, because it's just too much.
Stacking two ODs in the Kemper stomp section just kinda results in "more" of that sound because the only real "overdrive"-style pedal is the Green Scream, which is based off a Maxon OD808. The rest are distortion or fuzz pedals. Stacking two different overdrive-style pedals allows a lot of creative freedom to really model your own personal sound.
What we really need are the following additional pedals/types of pedals to really have a complete collection:
- OD based off an Ibanez TS9 or Ibanez TS9 with JHS Tri-Screamer mod
- OD based off a modded Boss SD-1, modded Boss BD-2, or a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 MOSFET (early serial, under 1500). With the Boss pedals modded, you can get a very similar sound to the Fulltone Fulldrive 2, which is one of the most popular overdrive pedals ever, just with different amounts of gain and saturation. A MOSFET-clipping option and built-in pre/post-selectable boost would be ideal for this style OD.
- OD based off a Klon or Klon-style pedal for low gain stage overdrives. The JHS Morning Glory, Klon KTR, or the EHX Soul Food w/ JHS Meat & 3 Mod are all great pedals within this category, and obviously the original Klon Centaur, but I dunno who has the money to drop on one of these.
I would like to see a "Clipping Mod" knob in place on the settings of most of these, allowing different minute changes to the tone of these stomps, which would act like a "clipping" switch on a modded overdrive pedal. This would make, say, a model based off a EHX Soul Food + JHS Meet & 3 Mod, switch clipping diodes, but due to the ability of computers/modern technology, smoothly fade between options instead of "all on or all off." This could also be labeled as "Transparency," as the goal of most pedal mods is to either increase or decrease transparency in the signal.
I would also like to suggest that the following refactoring of stomp types be done, since they are different things, and adding more effects results in more need for organization:
- Move the fuzz-based DIST pedals to their own category - FUZZ. FUZZ can keep the same coloring as DIST stomps, but they aren't "distortions," and should have their own category. This includes the Muffin and Fuzz DS.
- Move the only overdrive-style pedal model, the "Green Scream", to it's own category, OD or OVRD. It's not technically a "distortion" pedal. Again, same colors for the LED can be used here, they are, like the FUZZ, "distorting" the signal, but it is distorting it in a very different way.
- Place the new OD models within the new category.
I would also like to query CKemper on why a Metal Zone distortion model was ever included?!? This is, perhaps, the most hated distortion pedal of all time.