Posts by JedMckenna

    Sound wise the differences once recorded would be negligible so it's probably ok to stick with what you have. However, if you keep using it you will eventually realize some of the quirks often found on cheap interfaces: slightly lower sound quality on headphone (or speaker) playback, weak or low quality preamps, limited functionality, occasional disconnection or error messages due to bad drivers, latency, etc. If you eventually get into production/recording deep enough and get tired of these shortcomings, you can start thinking about upgrading.

    Kemper has some applications and amps have others, most of them overlap but not all of them. I suggest keeping at least a combo or a head/cab.

    Played a small open air gig last week and decided to use the backline (after 6 months locked in my room with a Kemper and studio monitors). I had forgotten the awesome growl of my 335 through a Twin Reverb. :saint:

    After playing through the factory Rigs, I wish I'd limited myself to the free Rig Packs and Rig Exchange.

    Would've saved a whole lotta money and probably found many Rigs good enough to see me through. Once you take a bite out of the commercial-Profile cherry, it's hard to stop there... :pinch:

    Definitely. I bought commercial profiles like a kid in a candy store before I realized what I actually needed. Going through the factory rigs would have helped me figured this out way faster but back then, there wasn't as many awesome rigs coming stock with the Kemper.

    Also... buying a great interface right off the bat instead of wasting time with the cheap ones.

    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.