Posts by grappagreen

    This is great and insightful but I do think it (potentially) misses one important point about clean sens.


    If you have a profile that has a gain setting between 1 and 4, my understanding is that this is a blend of both the clean and distortion path. If you adjust clean sens then you're altering the ratio between them and hence the profile sound. For a totally clean profile (gain at 0) then clean sens does indeed change just the clean level but not as you increase up to 4; it changes the sound. Not so much of an issue until you start locking clean sense for a nice vintage Strat at +8 and then load a profile with a gain of 3...


    I do wish that the way the Kemper manages this wasn't such a black box tbh..


    I've moved away from changing clean sens and now leave at 0 irrespective of guitar. If I have a profile that is too soft or loud in comparison to another I just adjust the rig volume and save guitar specific rigs and try and choose profiles that have the most appropriate gain structure to start with.


    Regards,


    Simon

    The good news out of NAMM however;


    KPA is still amazing!
    KPA is still better than it was when I bought it! I didn't have to pay a bean to benefit.
    KPA is possibly going to get even better for free !!!
    My device is still supported and current!!!!!


    I'm not saying I don't think there are things that could be better and that I would like to have but the long and short is I never buy anything because it 'may' deliver something in the future that it doesn't have yet. That would be plain silly.


    Those people who bought a KPA and then realised that the 'insert requirement here' wasn't included shouldn't have bothered. Just wait until the product you want appears on the market and buy it.


    Regards,


    Si

    The other issue is there are profiles which sound fantastic and are inspiring to play at low levels through my studio monitors that sound crap when at gig volume and vice versa. I know they can all be tweaked but what I mean is when you’re trying to really narrow down your selection thus also makes it tough ;)
    I’m still excited about the new Bert pack though. I’m just as diseased as the rest of you!


    You defo need to do this - I always audition at band volume as I made this mistake early on.


    When I started I spent too much time tweaking profiles as well - I don't bother any more. If a profile has the DNA I am looking for it's a keeper. If not I move on. If something needs a little tweak then I'm happy to do that but if I'm adjusting something more than 5% I know I just haven't found the profile I'm looking for and move on. I also never adjust the gain on a profile; I find a profile with the characteristics I'm looking for instead. I've bought a product that damn near gets a well mic'd up vale amp tone - the last thing I want to do is let the KPA guess that a different gain setting would sound like - not to say it does a bad job; there's just no need with the amount of solid profiles out there.


    It's a different process for me than what I would do with my real amps - with these I tweak because that's what your supposed to do to squeeze stuff out of them. They all have their strengths/weakness and it's a dynamic system - when I plug a Strat in I'm doing something different to when my LP get's fired up. The KPA was designed to profile your amps with your guitars and capture your desired tones. It has great sculpting capabilities but that was never the original intention imho. I think the whole RE/profile vendor thing, whilst very empowering and great fun, has resulted in us moving away from this. The problem is that too do this you really need to know what you're doing and have the right gear and environment to do it well which is what holds people back.


    This is just my opinion and others will no doubt have different perspectives.


    Oh and one last (but critical) point. Be aware of loudness bias. Human's instinctively perceive louder sounds as 'better' than quieter ones. I've auditioned profiles in the past and thought 'man that sounds better than the one I have already', On inspection I've often then found that there's something in the chain is resulting in a louder output. This fact alone makes comparisons pretty difficult to do in the real world. When I audition I ensure that the stomps/FX blocks are locked off and that the volumes in the chain at at unity and then try to loudness match. This can gets somewhat tedious however. I've only got another 14000 profiles to audition so goodby life!


    Si

    Finally - Any distortion at all, no matter how small on the output of the Kemper should be avoided at all costs. Make sure that master LED never goes anything other than green, you can push up the volume in your DAW or on the desk or with your poweramp. You will find the playability of the Kemper vastly improved even if there's just the tiniest smidge of clipping going on it's amazing how much this affects the tone and feel because it happens all in the transients, with a real amp the transient can be many times louder than the body of the note, allow that to clip and it sounds unnatural in a way you can't quite put your finger on, what's worse it feels unnatural too.


    I hope my exploration helps some people!

    Thanks Per - didn't mean to cause you bags of work but seems like what you found is interesting and worthy of some further thought/experimentation.


    I'm going to dedicate some time this weekend to try and understand a little better. I wonder if this is a contributor to why I constantly feel a difference in dynamics between my 'real' amps and the KPA. Don't flame me all 'cause I'm a lover not a fighter!


    Si

    Interesting post this and something we've all come up against at some point.


    I eventually got to the point where I did the following;


    1. Deleted all profiles from my KPA
    2. Did some research and found the best free profiles I could find based on my desired amps/tone(s)
    3. Road tested the profiles and picked my Gold Standard for each
    4. Deleted the stuff that didn't make it!


    Now when I grab some new profiles (I just can't help it!) I find the ones that could be the new 'Gold Standard' and copy to the KPA. If anything proves to be better than what I have then it becomes the standard and the old profile deleted. If I buy a pack that doesn't make it then I can live with it and I'm happy to support the people who invest their time in doing this.


    I know this seems a little 'tough' but I just had to do it as KPA profile testing was robbing me of my life! It's fair to say that I still have to suppress the urge as I know that a killer profile could still be out there hiding from me and this is what makes it difficult to break the habit. With so many profiles however it could be a life's work...just look at RE!


    I never thought that having an unlimited amp collection would be a bad thing but I've changed my mind tbh. I'm glad I'm not rich as having access to anything you could ever want in the world must ultimately be such a downer.


    The great irony for me is that since I bought the Kemper I've never used a valve amp live again but I've purchased more 'real' valve amps than at any point in my life. At some point this year I intend to profile the tones I love most from these, call them my own, and if they are good enough delete everything else. Then what I have is truly what I really want..


    Regards,


    Si

    Here's my workflow with setting up sens settings in case it's of any use for anyone -


    I find the best way to set sensitivity is to go with a clean profile then slightly raise the gain on it till you can hear it on transients, the distortion tends to amplify clipping effects so you can really hear the point at which you dial it out completely. Also when you raise a clean profiles distortion it doesn't sound like a normal amp, it's more like you're mixing between a digitally clipped fuzz distortion channel and your clean signal channel, this makes it easy to detect where things are going wrong. Once you have the clean sens set raising the distortion or lowering it on a dirty rig should sound much more natural.


    Per,


    Can you clarify this for me a little if you don't mind as I'm a little confused and I'd like to experiment. Are you suggesting to start with a clean sound and then adjust the clean sensitivity upwards (add gain) until you hear the transient break up and then back off slightly to set the clean sense level for a specific guitar/pickup? Sorry if I am being dumb!


    Si

    I had one and gave it away. Just didn't seem to work for me but I was coming from a 2x12 Bogner V30 cab for the first time to FRFR.


    I eventually settled on a Xitone with a coaxial driver and was happy with that.


    Regards,


    Simon