Posts by jdm

    Thanks back!


    I feel I should make some sample clips using profiles I upload, so others can at least tell what *I* heard, esp. should it sound bad to them. 'Twould be great if Rig Manager had a Links field for such things - as well as a lot more space for detailed descriptions about the amp used *and its settings*, mics used, preamp used and settings, etc. The current fields are miniscule and most don't allow punctuation.


    Pls lemme know what you think of the profiles. As you know, the current state of profiling is all about trial-and-error.

    That said, if it sounds good, it is good. Thanks again man.

    Tone is intensely personal, of course (thank dog!), but to me, this profile is what a VOX should sound like. To me. I may make others, e.g, with Normal Volume lower, or the TB channel, but this is what I wanted / needed for now.


    The big key is the Alnico Blue speaker - I retrofitted mine, which came with a GB12 (which I use on my Marshall - see the other profile I posted yesterday) but IMHO it doesn't sound like a VOX without the Blue. I can't believe that VOX doesn't even offer that as an option anymore! When they did, it was a $200 premium on top of $600 for the amp, so probably too few takers. But IMHO a greenback in a VOX is like putting off-road tires on a Ferrari. Or something like that. Maybe it's snow tires. Or a VW Bug. But you get the idea. No bueno!

    My second profile posted: https://www.kemper-amps.com/ri…load/c5yHTTWMuYQPoIEqTAiQ


    I'm really pleased with this one. As saved, it's right on the edge of breakup, such that you can play soft and clean or dig into it for throaty snarl. Tweaking the Gain up keeps it crunch; rolling it back brings out the midrangey OD. I loaded it with some useful FX: compressor, Tube Screamer, DS One, Phaser, and post-stack Rotary Speaker, Chorus, Delay, Reverb. All are off by default, except the compressor. It's great with or w/o the compressor, which I was pleased with.


    This is a highly-modified Marshall Class 5 combo - essentially all of the internet'd mods, plus a few more my guy came up with. Used here as a head, driving a 12" greenback in a custom close-back cab. I just replaced the tubes: TungSol 12AX7's for the pre and a JJ EL844 in the power section. The 844 is a 84 with 25% *less* headroom, so mo' crunchitude earlier. There is no Master Volume on this amp, so I profiled with the Volume and tone stack dimed. (I tried lower settings, but ultimately I didn't find them necessary.)


    mic1: sm57:

    preamp: UAD Neve 1073, Gain: -25db, EQ: out (none)

    position:

    x: 3.5” from right side of speaker

    y: center

    z: 0.5” from grill


    mic2: U87 clone, -10db pad

    preamp: UAD Neve 1073 Gain: -20db, EQ: out (none)

    position:

    x: 3.5” from left side of speaker

    y: center

    z: 0.5” from grill


    Please check it out and lemme know what you think - and suggestions welcome!


    -- jdm

    Yeah, choices, choices. I was going for power-amp distortion, which IMHO is what a Class A amp like the VOX is all about. And with the JJ EL844 tubes (EL84 with 25% *less* headroom) in the power section, that's what I wanted to hear. And I think I got it - please tell me what you think.


    My frustrations with the process:

    - "Refining" reliably turned my profiles into wadded up garbage; I skipped all Refining after that.

    - Proper gain-staging is difficult, as the Kemper gives no metering or other feedback wrt Return Volume. I'm feeding it from my UAD audio interface, so I can use two mics. OK, so given that, what's the optimum setting for Return?


    I've got one more to post tonight - I think it turned out even better: a highly-modified Marshall Class 5 driving a 1x12 GB25 closed-back. It's like a super-expressive Plexi: very expressive, from clean to crunch just from your playing...

    https://www.kemper-amps.com/ri…load/LlIMzNBZz2aUJG0YMOX3


    I just put JJ EL844's in, which are EL84's with less headroom, more crunchitude.


    This is the first profile I've uploaded to Rig Exchange - lemme know what you think!


    VOX AC15C1x

    Celestion Alnico Blue 1x12”

    open back

    new matched pair JJ EL844 (84’s with less headroom) & ECC833


    Master Volume: full

    Normal Channel @ 12:00


    mic1: sm57:

    preamp: Neve 1073, Gain: -25db, EQ: out (none)

    position:

    x: 3.5” from right side of speaker

    y: center

    z: 0.5” from grill


    mic2: U87 clone, -10db pad

    preamp: Neve 1073 Gain: -20db

    EQ: out (none)

    postion:

    x: 3.5” from left side of speaker

    y: center

    z: 0.5” from grill

    I can't find a way to change what Rig Manager shows as Gain, either. I can see it using sqlite3 on the db (no surprise) but RM appears to not let you change it, which is very odd, IMHO. This is on a profile I just created; KPA decided all on its own what the Gain should be, which is odd enough, but to not let me change it is really weird, and makes the displayed Gain parameter not very useful.

    In the interest of reliable methods and understanding, I want to know exactly what the "Refine" button does. I've searched this forum and elsewhere and not found anything definitive; all I've found are anecdotal stories and "your milage may vary" advice - a suboptimal state of affairs, to be sure. Like others, I've had profiles that were fine with Refine and some that Refine wadded up into a ball.


    I wanna know:

    1. What is happening during Refine exactly?

    2. What problem is it intending to fix?

    3. Under what circumstances is it more necessary vs. making things worse (and in what I've seen, not just worse, but absolutely destroyed)?

    4. What is the effect of settings before Refine, i.e., the Profiling process, and settings/actions during Refine?

    - Setting Clean vs. Distorted (a distinction I've never quite understood, as all amps will distort when pushed, and you may start with something clean, but crunchifies with more aggressive playing)

    - Return Level during Profiling: when Refine trashes a profile is it because the Return Level was too high during profiling, and Refine just magnifies this overload distortion? I'm using multiple mics, mixed via UAD Neve 1073 preamps, and the output is thus capped at 0dbfs line out; what's the optimum Return Level setting on the Kemper when fed this way (as opposed to plugging a mic directly into the Kemper? This parameter would seem critical, as there must be sufficient headroom on the Kemper's Return to capture their profiling signal without distorting.

    - type of guitar used during Refine

    - playing style during Refine

    - Gain control during Refine - I found that you can change the Gain setting while profiling, and so far it seems to do much more harm than good. What I'd really like to see is the ability for me to set the Gain control (before starting the profiling noises) to where I think it reflects the amount of gain I have dialed into the amp. e.g., if I'm doing really clean, I may set it to 1-2; if I think it's about half-way in its useful range of crunchitude, I'll set it at noon; at the upper end of the amp's useful range, I'll set it at or near the max. Note that I'm *not* asking for the Kemper to somehow blend several profiles done over these ranges (tho that would be optimum, of course) but just to calibrate the Gain knob to what I see as the amp's useful range. As it is, I find that loading a profile (all, not just mine) comes up to some seemingly arbitrary Gain - and that I typically find only a few dots worth of Gain (which may be very far from the initial setting) to be musically useful for my purposes with a given guitar. Typically I'm trying to dial in somewhere in the breakup zone, with crunch that came from the *amp*, not Kemper's synthetic distortion, which, while much better than Line6's, is still too fizzy, IMHO.

    5. If it's a useful "refinement" why not let it be done later, if need be, e.g., with different guitars, players, to taste, etc? AFAIK you can only refine when creating the profile initially


    I've been able to make some great profiles by trial-and-error, but it's frustrating and time-consuming. The Kemper doc on profiling is far too vague, IMHO, on the entire process. And given that there are over 14,000 user-contributed profiles, yet the widely-shared opinion is that the vast majority are crap, methinks that the process and/or clarity on the points above (among others) would go a long way to making the Kemper a better, more useful product, and b) get us all a lot better and more useful collection of profiles on Rig Exchange.


    Thoughts?


    -- jdm

    yes, i’m pretty sure that if the current hw could do it, it’d be done.


    i just bought into the UAD world and they do amazing things with their unison pre modeling, even altering the input impedance and gain structure to match the preamp being modeled. they also have some pedals modeled, many well enough to license the original name. and since it’s sharc dsp / fpga it’s all “zero” latency. i might have to try plugin the gtr into the Apollo and running some fx there and the into the kemper for amp. i doubt i’d make a habit of it, but a worthy experiment.


    uad does have gtr amp models, too, but their Console app is clunky, IMHO, and it’s much nicer to have the real knobs and buttons on the kemper.

    Sorry if this has been requested before, but I'd love to have profiles of FX, particularly pre FX, but post would be cool, too. Not only could I profile my own FX, but there are officially now 100 zillion distortion boxes out there (+/- 3 zillion margin of error) and I'd love to use some of everybody's favs. Not to mention compressors, delays, modulators, ...


    Personally I haven't been super impressed with any of the current Kemper FX - e.g., the Tube Screamer doesn't sound much like my "analogman" vintage TS. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. But even if the current FX were stellar, that's only a drop in the stomp box bucket, as it were.

    That linked document does exactly what most commercial profilers do - the NAME of the MODEL is something like, BUT NOT EQUAL to the gear it models. They then write "based on" [whatever the original was]. So they basically do what the commercial sellers do, ALTHOUGH they also include a picture of the original amp.


    So mimicking exactly what Line6 has done (and shown to be legally kosher), you could give the Rig a cutesy name, but in the Amp and Cabinet fields, use the real product name. That's the same as their manuals describing each of their models as "inspired by" <real amp name>. Of course, rather than a cutesy Rig name, a descriptive one is good, too, since the Amp/Cab name is visible on the screen.



    And this is only really relevant if you are *selling* your Rigs. Freeware is "fair use" by definition. And don't forget the "all other trademarks are the property of their respective owners" stuff.



    By stating the gear used to make a Rig (using the real names) IMHO it would make it nicer and easier to find things. Yeah, I can go edit things, and I do, but that's just busy work. It's freeware, so I can't *really* complain, but it would be that much nicer if there was a tad more consistency in Rig metadata:

    • Give the Rig a cool name - "Voxy Lady" or "Brown Sound" or whatever. If you wanna describe the gear, sure, use a cutesy name
    • Fill out the amp and cab fields using the real names - and only put the Manufacturer in the Manufacturer field, the Model in the Model field, and so on. A lot of Rigs have the Mfr + Model in both fields, for some reason. Also, I notice that Rig Manager will concatenate Manufacture and Model into the Name field - but only if the Name field is empty before editing Manufacturer or Name.

    By using the real names in the amp and cab section, I think it frees up the Rig Name for something more descriptive. Since you'll then be able to find Rigs based on, say, a Fender Bassman, you don't need to describe it as such in the Rig Name, unless you can't think of anything else to say about it.



    OK, so maybe a little anal retentive, but hey, it's the Dutch & German in me that wants to organize things. The Irish in me just wants another pint, so maybe I'll go listen to that side for a while.


    Gack!! I quoted just the first sentence from Michael, but the editor made it look like I quoted the whole thing. (Sorry Michael)

    That linked document does exactly what most commercial profilers do - the NAME of the MODEL is something like, BUT NOT EQUAL to the gear it models. They then write "based on" [whatever the original was]. So they basically do what the commercial sellers do, ALTHOUGH they also include a picture of the original amp.


    So mimicking exactly what Line6 has done (and shown to be legally kosher), you could give the Rig a cutesy name, but in the Amp and Cabinet fields, use the real product name. That's the same as their manuals describing each of their models as "inspired by" <real amp name>. Of course, rather than a cutesy Rig name, a descriptive one is good, too, since the Amp/Cab name is visible on the screen.



    And this is only really relevant if you are *selling* your Rigs. Freeware is "fair use" by definition. And don't forget the "all other trademarks are the property of their respective owners" stuff.



    By stating the gear used to make a Rig (using the real names) IMHO it would make it nicer and easier to find things. Yeah, I can go edit things, and I do, but that's just busy work. It's freeware, so I can't *really* complain, but it would be that much nicer if there was a tad more consistency in Rig metadata:

    • Give the Rig a cool name - "Voxy Lady" or "Brown Sound" or whatever. If you wanna describe the gear, sure, use a cutesy name
    • Fill out the amp and cab fields using the real names - and only put the Manufacturer in the Manufacturer field, the Model in the Model field, and so on. A lot of Rigs have the Mfr + Model in both fields, for some reason. Also, I notice that Rig Manager will concatenate Manufacture and Model into the Name field - but only if the Name field is empty before editing Manufacturer or Name.

    By using the real names in the amp and cab section, I think it frees up the Rig Name for something more descriptive. Since you'll then be able to find Rigs based on, say, a Fender Bassman, you don't need to describe it as such in the Rig Name, unless you can't think of anything else to say about it.



    OK, so maybe a little anal retentive, but hey, it's the Dutch & German in me that wants to organize things. The Irish in me just wants another pint, so maybe I'll go listen to that side for a while.

    Old thread, I know, but gear debates never grow old...


    I've not used the Focusrite stuff (tho I love the red color!) and def not the SSL desk, but I swear by the RME stuff, both for Mac and Windows. Sounds bloody fantastic and the lowest latency, plus rock-solid sync to other interfaces, e.g., ADAT.


    Currently I use:
    - RME Fireface UFX - connects to Mac via USB2, and I typically use 128 sample buffers.
    - RME ADI-DS - 8x8 audio i/o at 96k; connects to the Fireface via four ADAT cables (2 for in, 2 for out, since ADAT runs at 48KHz)


    Decades ago when I was on Windows I used their PCI cards and Cardbus cards for laptop, which drove their DigiFace and FireFace i/o boxes. Rock solid, even back in the day when everything else was not.


    Recently I was looking to get a simple 1x2 or 2x2 i/f and considered the Apogee Duet, but the reviews I saw preferred the RME Babyface and Babyface Pro, for connectivity and sound transparency (Apogee converters have a def color, which some like, some don't), but the Apogee can be had for cheaper.


    Caveat Emperor (or something like that)


    -- jdm

    I wanted the stereo out from the Kemp, too, so I had to figure out how to record all *three* audio streams - the stereo out plus the DI. Fortunately, I use Cubase Pro, which supports surround out-of-the-box. So, I create a LRS or LRC channel to record guitar takes. The LR goes to a stereo buss; the other channel goes back out to Kemp, as needed. This works great, tho it makes the Cubase mixer look a bit daunting at first, but like anything else, once you figure it out, it's cake. (not to be confused with Calkwalk ;-)


    Before, I was using two Cubase tracks, one stereo for LR and one mono for DI. Well that's a huge pain as soon as you start editing. Now, it's just like editing a stereo track, except it has the "code behind" (as software nerds say) along with it.


    Note that Cubase also does something similar for MIDI + Audio tracks, which they call Instrument tracks. The difference there is that you record the MIDI and then Freeze the track to capture the audio. I say the concept is similar, because you can always revert back to the source track: MIDI, in this case, DI in the guitar case. (Well, not the actual guitar case - that's where my dog sleeps whenever I have one open on the floor.)

    Wouldn't that be nice? Why hasn't Kemper done an editor already?


    That said, I have editor/librarians for my synths, where possible, and I rarely use them. I use the Librarian function more, to save patches (Rigs) for safekeeping, esp. to keep with a song project, and Rig Manager does that. The difference, tho, is that the synths I have have zillions of knobs, which is much easier to tweak than the limited number on the Kemper. The Kemp is positively festooned compared to a valve amp, of course, but it is much more than that, so it does kinda feel like you're controlling your Rig looking through a key hole. An editor would definitely help that - but only if it does NOT just replicate the Kemper front panel; that only moves the problem to a different location.


    Don't get me wrong - I think the Kemp panel isn't too bad, given the complexity of the thing. I may have done it differently, e.g., I wouldn't have had dedicated buttons for infrequently-used / setup-type functions, leaving space for controls you need more frequently. And I'd have tried to have more FX parameters on-screen at a time, rather than paging. But the biggie to me (and I can think of several ways to ameliorate this, even with the current panel) is that I have to scroll through all the damn FX to get the one I want. That poor little knob is gonna wear out, and soon. Much better: have a way to skip to the FX type that you want, rather than scrolling through every single one to get to, say, the Wah-Wah. Kemp could fix this by using one knob to select FX type, another to select the FX. (That's another problem, btw: the knobs should not have been placed on either side of the screen, as your hand is in the way of the screen when you turn the knobs.)


    OK, enough wenging. The thing sounds fantastic, and that's its raison d'etre, n'est-ce pas?

    Well the issue may soon be "moo" (as Joey on Friends would say). I write software for my day job, and my inner nerd could not resist finding out how Rig Manager stores data - and how I could modify it with a simple little program....


    Turns out Rig Manager uses a well-known little database called SqlLite, which is easily read and written, e.g., by Python. After poking around a bit, I'm nearly finished (software engineering speak for 10% done) with a little Python script that will read a simple text file: a list of names to find and the name to replace it with, e.g.,


    Voice Ace Thirty Vox AC30
    Voice Vox
    Mars Marshall
    Fan BM Fender Bassman
    Fan Fender
    Oranje Orange


    and so on. Notice that, at this point anyway, you'll want to list longer names to replace, followed by shorter ones. Otherwise, we'd replace Voice with Vox and then not match Vox Ace Thirty. Or, I'll get clever with string entailment, but then you run the risk of modifying more than you wanted to. TBD.


    Anyway, after using myself as a guinea pig (as Walter on Fringe would do), I'll post it, if anybody else is interested. It's pretty easy to share on Mac, which already has Python and such; someone else may have to figure out the minimum Windows thing.


    I woulda finished already, but making music sounded way more fun, and you know how it is when you find that magic tone - hard to put the thing down. Right now I'm in love with the "TAF - High Watt Cranked" from "Factory Content 4" (thanks And44!!), with a touch of "COMP Default" and "Pure Booster." Using a swamp ash Tele with David Allen pickups and holy crap - all of the sudden I *am* Pete Townshend at Leeds. Well, if I could just get the notes right...


    I've seen on other postings people complaining that this or this with the Kemper isn't perfect. May be, but since when does "perfect" and "rock and roll" go in the same sentence? (Ok, except just now.) I'm also a keyboard player, and some "purists" wedge about the very awesome new analog synths -- ooh, it doesn't sound like my 30 year old Oberheim, or some such. That hardly seems the point. I say, if you can get tone that makes you want to make love to it, that's a good piece of kit. For me, the Kemper (and the new Oberheims, Moogs, Prophets, and ARPs) do that in spades. And makin' love is a whole lot better than talking about it.

    Sorry for a rant as my first post; I was having a bad hair day (which is a trick for someone with no hair).


    And thanks for the replies - much better than other forums where all you hear are crickets. (Oh no - Buddy Holly's estate is gonna sue me!! ;-)


    TL;DR: you most certainly legally entitled to name your Rigs using other people's brand names.


    The rights given by a trademark, copyright, or patent are very narrow. That seems to be what is misunderstood here. You can take a picture of a Marshall, say, and put it on the internet as a picture of a Marshall. That is "fair use." You cannot make a music product and brand it a Marshall. That's the difference. Taking the analogy further, you could even *sell* pictures of your Marshall, brazenly calling them "Pictures of a Marshall amp" and that is perfectly legit and legal, too. If this were not the case, everyone posting their pictures of Disneyland would have to label them "Mouseland" or some such.


    Kemper profiles are the equivalent of snapshots of real amps, and are thus not infringing. And giving them away further cements the "fair use" argument. Any corporate lawyer that tried to intimidate with a C&D knows this too, so in the unlikely event that it happens, you can tell them to pound sand.


    What's more, Line6 fully details their modeled amps in their manuals, complete with pictures and names. Stating



    Line 6, POD, M13 Stompbox Modeler, M9 Stompbox Modeler and M5 Stompbox Modeler are trademarks of Line 6, Inc.All other product names, trademarks, and artists’ names are the property of their respective owners, which are in no wayassociated or affiliated with Line 6. Product names, images, and artists’ names are used solely to identify the productswhose tones and sounds were studied during Line 6’s sound model development for this product. The use of theseproducts, trademarks, images, and artists’ names does not imply any cooperation or endorsement.




    is sufficient protection, as it were. (http://line6.com/data/6/0a0643…ish%20(%20Rev%20E%20).pdf)


    The law is designed, and quite reasonably so, to protect trademark owners from rip-off copies, and similarly protect consumers from being duped by those rip-off copies, who try very hard to look genuine.


    Bottom line: Line6 has set a very clear precedent that this very use of other people's brands is A-OK, given the disclaimer - and they're selling a product. (Not a great product, which is why we're here, but still.)


    So that's Trademark Law 101. Interestingly, Copyright law protects you, the modeler: you own the copyright to your creative work. No, you don't need to file for a copyright; it's automatic. (In the USA, anyway; I'm not as familiar elsewhere.) So, while the law protects you from being sued for naming your Rig, "Vox AC30TB" or some such, it also protects you from someone else taking your Rig and, say, selling it elsewhere, without your permission. Unfortunately, that protection is very narrow: if I modify your Rig sufficiently (cue the lawyers to argue what "sufficiently" means in this context), then it is a derivative work. In this case, honestly, it'd be easier to just go sample a different AC30 ;-)


    Whew - OK, now that that's off my chest, time to go make music. Maybe a little Lead Zeppelin on my Less Paul? :-)


    But seriously, I just got this Kemper and am blown away. What the hell took me so long? For the record, I still have my Vox and Marshall all-valve amps, but for recording, no way, the Kemper wins - sounds and feels awesome, with reproducibility. Of course I had tried all the Line6 crap, which, one has to admit, has its place: think of all the kids in Guitar Center that just want to plug in and sound like they're playing electric guitar, without tweaking everything just-so. Someday, they'll become more discerning.

    First of all, I don't understand why Rig designers get cute with other manufacturer's names - there is NO legal need to do so. No one is going to come after you for saying "Vox AC30TB" instead of "Voice AC30TB" and so on. It's just annoying and frustrating as a user trying to find something. Worse, not everyone uses these cutesy names, or uses different ones.


    Is there some unofficial guide to name obfuscation? Obviously:


    Voice = Vox
    Fan = Fender
    Mars = Marshall
    Oranje = Orange


    What else?


    Kemper calls "Amp Manufacturer" and other attributes "tags," which they're not, but whatever. It would be nice if there were a real "tag" field, such that users could at least tag all these variants as "Marshall," "Vox," "Fender," "Orange," or whatever, to try and deal with the cutsie-naming fiasco.


    => Kemper, please give us a real tags field!!


    => Rig designers, PLEASE stop using cutesy manufacturer's names. Use the REAL name, so everyone else knows what you're talking about without having to break out the secret decoder ring.


    -- jdm