Posts by JedMckenna

    After doing this for a while, here are some I realizations:

    - Quad tracking can be a bit overkill depending of the part so I'm not systematically doing this anymore. Double tracking is often enough and feels tighter. Many modern guys (Gojira comes to mind) seems to be going in this direction.

    - A lot of the modern stuff is edited, for which the DI is pretty essential: it allows you to see clearly where the attack transient is. In other words, get the DI not only for possible reamping but also for editing.

    - I monitor wet but always record a track dry and mono (KPA output set to "Mod mono" to exclude the reverb/delays). If I am really attached to my effects choice (modulations/reverbs/delays), I record a wet track as well for them as well as a reference (but still always a dry/mono one). Depending of the style, if I can avoid that responsibility of getting the perfect effect sounds, I do it and leave all this to the guy who enjoys tweaking plugins.

    - Keep track of what profile/guitar/pickup selection you used on certain parts if you can - I sometimes had to punch in afterwards because the arrangement changed or something.

    - Work on your parts before the recording as sometimes the thickness you might be looking for comes from adding a track playing different voicing etc. Also obviously if you have the music ahead of time, practice your parts to perfection before your session, maybe compose your solos if necessary.

    - Once you are done, give up any expectations on "sounding great" because once the mix guy takes over, it's all out of your control!

    - Be ready to face some producers with aversion to digital stuff who tell you to play in that random amp sitting in the corner because "the real thing is sooo much better". If they don't like your tone, they'll 100% blame Kemper to reinforce their belief. Just go with it and wait till you're outta there to roll your eyes.

    On my interface there seems to be no difference in quality and maybe even a bit less latency with the analogues inputs. What works best for me is sending dry stack mono signal to Input 1 of interface and DI to Input 2 of interface. Through SPDIF, I send full wet stereo signal (which is what I'm monitoring with) but I rarely record the latter unless I want to bake in reverb/delay/effect (which is not very often). I can just choose which input I want/need in the DAW depending on what's being recorded.

    It took me a few years of tweaking but now that I'm getting the hang of it, I can say that what I've recorded recently (2 entire albums and loads of sessions this year) sounds much better than most, if not everything I've recorded with amps in the past and the workflow is drastically improved as well. Not sure I could live without this thing at this point. Haven't had a neighbor complaint recently either.

    My thoughts are that in this price range, they all have flaws unfortunately: bad sounds through headphones/not stable/etc. I also think no SPDIF shouldn't be a deal breaker - using the main inputs is just fine really. Also it's anecdotal but I've had a Komplete that was quite surprisingly the most stable interface I ever used.

    Hey Jed, you started out a big advocate for MBritt and now Bert M seems to be more your preference (for live). Was it the BE pack that swayed you that way? I was using both of these legends for gigging (I have that illness where I use about 30 profiles live just coz you can with the Kemper :P), but the difference in tones from these 2 probably drive the sound guy mad as I switch from song to song. I have found with Bert's BE pack that there is a weird transient (thats the best way I can describe it) in some of the profiles. I also found they hide in the mix a bit, so I have to tweak a little to push them forward (not too much). Not putting them down BTW, I too use both these guys probably 54% Britt to 45% Bert 1% a Friedman SS100 from RE that I added a cab to (but I think that one will go soon).

    Ha! Yes Britt's profiles are awesome! They saved me on some occasions where I didn't have time to experiment much and loaded up performances without double checking at the right volume. I used them extensively/exclusively for a long time. However, one day I was on an important recording session and didn't get so lucky - I had stupidly forgotten my laptop and collection of profiles and was left only with those Britt saved in my Kemper which I insisted on using (because of the familiarity) instead of taking the amps they provided. I used them pretty much out of the box because I was a bit overwhelmed with the last minute call and the new client. Anyway, the engineer who had left the room wasn't impressed when he came back - it was an embarrassing failure but totally my fault and it still keeps me up at night. That incident was humbling and I had to rethink my approach and workflow with the profiler - I even went back regularly to a pedalboard + amps for a while in an attempt to "reset" my bad judgement! After that, the two following years have been slightly unusual work wise (let alone this pandemic thing) and I got into recording a lot more . I found I had to EQ and tweak some of my previous collection too often too much so my go-to's have started migrating towards profiles that I feel have more individuality (not one cab for all) and more variety in terms of range (profiles going from total clean to quite high gain.) I think Bert fitted the bill because he seems to be doing similar type of work (although in my case it's often all over the place stylistically.) I still highly respect both because they make profiles for themselves as performers first whereas I feel many others have jumped on this as a business opportunity or a hobby they can monetize and therefore might be doing this either for the wrong reasons or at least, not be doing it with the same things in mind. Anyone can put a 57 on an amp and make an amp bundle and a cool website but few have the knowledge coming from years in the trenches about what is likely to work best in a musical context. As a random example, take the Michael Wagener pack - who is quite honest about how guitar should sound in a mix - has been pretty much ignored/forgotten while others with better marketing or ratings on RM are sometimes drenched in reverb, full of ear candies and questionable frequencies.

    About the BE pack, I love it but yes I also need to tweak it slightly especially for recording - I typically tame the low mids, bump the highs a bit or tweak the "high/low shift" slightly in the cab section a bit. Maybe I'm just used to them but they get where I want quicker than the others I came across.

    Context is everything. Most profiles are not "one-size-fits-all" and that's why blanket statements about X and Y are good or bad are not so productive. I've loaded Britt's profiles minutes before big gigs and turned out with glorious tones, right out of the box. However, I'd need to tweak them a lot when recording for example, also the "one cab for all" approach might be good for live but would sacrifice the amp's individual sonic identity. Others profilers' results are more geared towards recording and in comparison, might be shrill and thin if played loud. Try a bunch of profiles, compare them in a mix and live and in different styles over and over and you'll develop a better ear and intuition to go for the right thing right away depending on the situation.

    Honestly, that's really nice and very well played, but it doesn't sound all that "acoustic" to me

    Exactly, acoustic sims have always felt gimmicky to me. I've struggled with acoustic sounds and convenience issues forever and in conclusion, unfortunately nothing short of an actual acoustic + necessary DIs/EQs sounds believable

    If you are a rock/hard rock player, I think Bert Meulendijk's is the definitive BE100 pack. Even for metal parts, I'd rather tweak his profiles a bit (scoop it slightly and add high end) instead of going for a metaller's pack (maybe because I'm so used to them). I seem to return to this pack all the time and it's all over the stuff I'm tracking these days.

    There are definitely benefits to higher string gauges but those might not matter much depending what you do. Stability is the big one. A lot of jazz cats are on .013s (myself included back in the days) - there is definitely a specific type of archtop tone that can't be obtained without big gauges imo but that's probably not what we're talking about here. If you have .009s on a strat in E, I'd go .010-52 in Eb.

    In my home (studio) it's either Guitar -> Kemper -> Apogee Element -> pair of JBL 305 (and use all delays/reverbs/effects from the Kemper) or when I don't need to record for a while and am not doing too aggressive music, I go Guitar -> small pedalboard (or not) -> Fender Blues Junior to switch it up and get re-accustomed to an amp feel. I almost never wear headphones, my neighbors hate me.

    Dear random user... we get it, you work in software and it's a sensitive topic for you but;

    - No need to upgrade your OS compulsively within hours of a release. Touring pros are not reloading the Kemper page every 10 minutes to find out if there is a new version out. Give a few days/weeks/months to see reported bugs be addressed.

    - Stick to official releases if your stability is that important (the latest one that you refer to was a beta.) No one will look down on you for having last year's version. I don't sound any better with 7.3 than I sounded with 5.0 (which I rocked until last month.)

    - It might be a better idea to delete something problematic from the download section rather than leaving it, wouldn't it?

    - RM is supported on both platforms and specific bugs can't always be replicated. If they can, they will be probably addressed or worked on in a later version.

    -Kemper customer service is second to none. But don't take my word for it, ask others who have been there from the start.

    I totally disagree with the idea the we “should always record dry” and add FX in the mix.

    Of course this gives almost unlimited options later but there have been plenty of great recordings made over the years where reverb and delay were printed to tape on the original 4 track before being bounced to a single track and freeing up 3 more for overdubs (the Beatles didn’t do to badly). The classic Motown records were all done with reverb on the original recording too. There are a number of highly regarded engineers who advocate the idea of making decisions early on and sticking too them rather than being left with option anxiety at the mix stage. I am by no means a recording expert but my advice would be do what works for you rather than what someone else says is “right”

    I hear what you're saying and used to approach it from that angle too but I find that nowadays, the workflow seems to be happening in stages, whereas in the Beatles era, their songs were probably in final form already at the time of recording. If there's a producer involved, the arrangement may very well change and I found out a couple of albums later that providing the dry could have saved trouble. For example, you might think your chorus/reverb combination sounds perfect for the song now but then you find out that all of a sudden the keyboardist now has a swirly thing on his Rhodes and it becomes part of the song, then you wish you didn't have effect anymore because it's a mess. Often, once you submit tracks for artists, you have no idea where they go or what will happen to them so now I give both a dry version and a wet with effects baked in (mostly as an example) - and Kemper is awesome for this - and I see the engineers going for one or the other, but usually the most experienced ones seem to use the dry track often because they are used to think of the whole more than I do (or possibly because of my questionable choices!) However when it's a very straightforward task (demo, etc) just for myself or needs to get it done fast, I do record wet directly.