Posts by RockmanCentralBob

    As mentioned, I did add a new section to RockmanCentral.com under The Boston Sound about Tom's Original Basement Studio with some interesting and rare photo's from back in the day.


    RockmanCentral.com


    When I get more time, I'll add another page with info and photo's of his current studio...

    I found that by running my Rockman directly into my sound board and applying a little EQ'ing on the board while listening through my reference monitors (a pair of Bose bookshelf speakers), I get profiles that require less tweaking. Creating profiles that are more low frequency centered and others that are more high frequency centered are very useful when blending rhythm tracks while multitracking. They also help force you to multitrack parts for natural chorusing, with all the subtleties of timing differences and random phase cancellations, rather than relying on studio effects to simulate that.

    Topjimis Boston pack is really cool, but it sounds nothing like the Rockman, He uses Marshalls. Check out the vid. If you want Rockman sounds, you may not get them from the Kemper, especially the chorus. Rockman units are very special pieces of music history. I wish I still had my Stereo Echo and Delay/Chorus units.

    Jimi was mostly going after the first 2 album's sounds with his Boston pack, though I think he does include some profiles of a Rockman Sustainor too.


    The original Boston pack he put out was OK, but not really that accurate to the records. The new pack that he put out is much closer because he took the time to do his homework and really tried to replicate it using some of the original equipment Tom used.... wah pedal, same microphone, etc.


    Based on interviews I've read and photo's I have of Tom's original studio, there's still likely a lot of processing that happened that no one will ever be able to replicate exactly, but I'd say that Jimi got close enough. I may add a page to my website, RockmanCentral.com, about Tom's studio's (past and present). I have some great photo's from the past and present that would probably be interesting to those that are curious about his tones.


    FWIW, Tom does still use his old Marshall setup as well as another with a Mesa Boogie (I think, could be mistaken) for certain parts. But mostly, he just uses a special revision of the Model 200 Rockman Sustainor called a "Rev 20" and some other devices he invented for personal use to add more rough texture to the normally smooth Rockman distortion tones. Very few Rev 20's were made because they were extensively hand modified at the factory and sound quite different than a regular stock Sustainor. My Kemper profiles that I use were created from a Rev 20 using some of Tom's EQ settings from his studio that I tweaked a bit during the profiling process and again in the rigs I use them on.

    Listen to RockmanCentralBob as he is the Boston man!!


    Tom's sound to me is a good example of where the sound on its own is OK but magical in the mix...

    Thanks... you are too kind.


    I have to agree with your assessment of Tom's sound(s).... (he has a LOT of different sounds he uses).

    I've heard isolated tracks from the albums and if I heard someone playing those on their own, I'd be like "Meh".

    But you're right.... in a mix, they just work magic!


    I think that's fairly common though.... people that play by themselves tend to have really thick tones with tons of low end.

    It's only when you play with a full mix/band that you realize that it drowns everything else out and sounds like crap.


    Tom figured out the bare minimum needed to make it sound amazing and leave room for all the other tracks.

    In his case, it was a necessity because of how many tracks he was layering up.


    Well, time to work on Foreplay/Longtime.... !

    There are some on the RigExchange from "Jman" that sound pretty close...

    Here's a video comparing his tone to the album...



    And as mentioned, Top Jimi's..


    I use a profile of my Rockman Rev 20 Sustainor.


    And for those interested, a company in Japan just released a remake of the Rockman Distortion Generator which was made with all modern surface mount components and sounds pretty authentic to the original:


    i active had the opposite problem recently. I thought I would open an old project and remix it. All the guitars were done with plugins but the plugins are out of date and no longer run on my Mac which was a total nightmare. I much prefer having the Kemper totally separate. Record the track to finished audio rather than rely on the plugin being able to replay it later.

    Ouch!!

    I've taken to record the midi sequenced tracks out as audio tracks. Then I can also do another bounce with any effects to another track so I can mix it down fully processed. If the effects need to change but the sound was OK, no problem.. revert to the unprocessed audio track. Or, I can take it all the way back to the midi track and redump it with a different tone patch.


    Disk space is cheap and DAW's can hold a lot of tracks.... no reason to be stingy with them.

    Most likely it's by design to allow you to work out changes to presets within a performance so that your changes aren't lost if you didn't save your changes before selecting another preset in the same performance.


    So I think it definitely has merit if you are editing.... it would suck to be in the middle of editing a preset, go to another one to copy an effect or something only to come back to the preset you were editing to find out all your changes were wiped out (which I think WILL happen if you leave the performance without saving).


    Just brought it up here, not as a complaint, but more of an FYI.

    Isn't there communication regarding on/off status of stomps and morphing?

    That's what I was referring to.... it seems to hold on to those changes as you go from preset to preset within a performance bank.... so if you start with preset 1 that starts off normal, then you kick on a lead boost via stomp, then change to preset 2 and come back to preset 1, the lead boost might still be enabled, which threw me off when I wasn't expecting it.

    I want the base sound to be distortion because the Kemper always defaults to the base sound when you load a preset, and most of the time distortion is what I'm going to. For me, that means my base sound should be toe down, but Kemper always has base sound as heel down. So I had to reverse wire my expression pedal to get that. Besides, I converted a Dunlop High Gain volume pedal into an expression pedal and the weight of it defaults it to toe down all the time anyway.


    Using volume for this doesn't quite get it because that's just reducing gain, but it doesn't re EQ it to sound clean the way I want it. Morphing allows me to clean it up and EQ it the way I want.


    I do use the switch to morph to clean sometimes which is great because it saves a prest slot and it keeps my effects the same. And yes, there are times when I'm starting clean and slowly bringing it up to full distortion, other times I'm playing in between, other times I"m pulling out just a little bit of gain. Nuance can be very expressive!

    I've had several issues too with Rig Manager staying in sync with my Stage too. Not as bad as it was when the new editor first came out, but it still gets me sometimes.


    One thing I've figured out is do NOT try to play through your set while plugged in to USB and Rig Manager is on.

    It thinks you are in edit mode so weird stuff happens.... like, if I hit a stomp and then change to a different preset, the stomp will sometimes stay on even though it's programmed to be off on the new preset.

    so on your Boston set do you use the Kemper effects to create the hyperspace effect? Or have to use a separate effects pedal for this?

    Naaa, the Kemper can't do it as far as I can tell.... you need control over too many different variables at the same time and there's no way to do that with the Kemper. Morphing could get you close, but then there's still other parameters that you would need to morph as well, so we're out of luck unless Kemper adds the ability to have multiple morph pedals controlling different paramters. If they did that, then yes, I could probably configure it to make that effect.


    I had to build a "real" one like Tom's to get that sound.

    It took me about 10 years to figure it out, and then another 30 years trying to figure out all the little nuances that he can do with his that aren't always obvious until you really listen and then you hear him do something and you're like, "Wait, what? How in the hell did he do THAT??"


    Here's me playing mine a bit.... (be kind, I'm not a professional musician like many of you guys).....

    Did you try attaching it in a Zip file?

    Nope, didn't think of that.


    Unfortunately, I've been playing in "almost mono" lately, where I have the right side turned down about 6db less than the left side in order to make sure my main guitar is panned mostly left to leave room for the pre-recorded doubled rhythms and harmonies that are on the right side. So for me, this sounded OK. But as I was just playing with it in full stereo, I realized that it's not quite the same as the Rockman Stereo Chorus (Sorry guys!!!!!).


    In using the Dual Delay, I was thinking that, by setting the first time to 0 and the second time to 40ms, the left side would be dry and the right side would be delayed by 20 or 40ms, thus giving it that wide stereo image that you get with the Rockman Stereo Chorus. The problem is that Kemper seems to always have the main signal panned center, and there is no way to get around that (though the Delay Widener does help). And the "Stereo" control just takes the processed signal and sends it to the Left AND the Right with a delay between them, but still leaves the dry signal in the middle. I get the Wet-Dry-Wet setup, but you don't get a good wide image that way.


    For the Rockman Stereo Chorus, the Mix section is set up as follows:

    Wide - Direct signal panned hard left, processed signal panned hard right

    Normal - Dry signal panned hard left with processed signal mixed in at -10db, processed signal panned hard right with Dry signal mixed in at -10db

    Equal - Mono Mix with equal Dry and processed signal

    Subtle - Mono mix with mostly Dry signal and processed signal mixed in at -6db


    What's beautiful and elegant about this is that when this is fed into a Rockman Stereo Echo, this is passed through maintaining the wide stereo image. The Stereo Echo then just taps off the Left side and uses that to feed the delay chain, and the stereo delays (really just tapped at different points to maintain 1/3 ratio, short delay going ONLY to the Left side, long delay going ONLY to the Right side) are then mixed in in parallel with the same stereo image signal that arrived at the input. There is an option in the Stereo Echo module though to mix and pan the direct signals down the middle though, if that's your thing.


    If Kemper can pull this off, I think they will make a lot of Kemper users VERY happy!

    Why would you assume that every slot has a different amp and effects configuration?

    Maybe some slots are different gain levels from the same amp which saves fumbling round with a guitar volume when you have a backing vocal coming up at the same time. Maybe the effects might be slight variations on a similar sound.

    I have had no problem at all just switching to the Kemper as it has allowed me to just work the way I have always done.

    Because you don’t really make use of lots of performances doesn’t negate why people do use them.

    Other than setting up performances for every song, this is more or less how I have always set mine up as well.


    My tone doesn't change very much at all.... it's more about the effects (delay time and level) and little volume tweaks to fit the mix more than anything. I currently have about a 1 and 1/2 hour Boston set of backing tracks that I play to where I've already recorded the doubled rhythm tracks, acoustic parts and harmony leads and my presets are set up to "fill in" the main missing parts, which of course I'm playing live.


    My set list doesn't change so at least for now, I tend to set up a performance with the preset settings I need for the songs I'm going to play, and I try to get that performance to cover as many songs as I have slots requiring different presets for. So with my first performance, I can cover my first 6 songs. Then the sounds I need changes, so my next performance can cover the next 2 songs. Then they change again, so my next performance can cover the next 4 songs, the one after that covers 3 songs, and the last one covers another 4 songs.


    If I wanted to, I could split these up on a "per song" performance basis (taking into account the key of the song) and then add in a pitch shifter effect for parts that have simple harmony leads, which is common in Boston songs. But often times, the harmony isn't a direct harmony, but a different solo all together, so for now, I just have those pre-recorded, which also saves a lot of tap dancing.


    There's a Boston Tribute band out of Ft Lauderdale that only has one guitar player and he's tap dancing like a mad man!!!


    Now, if I could ever find a lead singer, I could actually put a full band together........ sigh.