I'm in SEA, north end
Holy cow THANK YOU. This is EXACTLY what I need, I didn't even know this was a thing! After a year and a half of heavy road use, my network jack is starting to get real sketchy...and the wimpy stock cable is getting totally shredded.
Nice to see some other Pacific Northwest guys on here. I've been doing my best to gradually convert my local friends, one at a time. Enjoy the new toy!
This might be a stupid thing to ask so forgive me - you tried any of the Reverb effect presets? I always go to presets when I'm having trouble dialing stuff in. "Spring Fan," I assume, is set up to get a fendery-spring reverb. I usually either start there or with "Surf" or "Large Spring" based on the sound I'm going for, and tweak from there to taste.
I can't speak highly enough about the HS series. May not be true anymore...but when I bought mine (years ago), there was nothing that even came close to them in that price range. Had to spend a lot more money to do better. In this case (by better), I mean a good accurate response that allows you to hear little flaws and details in your mix. The midrange (at least on mine) is especially good, and using them to mix really helps me dial in that particularly dicey and busy frequency range. I felt pretty validated when I noticed that two of the top producer/mix engineer/studio owners in my town kept a pair of them in their bedroom setups.
I don't take on mix work anymore, but do still use them for critical listening, remote session jobs, and dialing in Kemper sounds. I've found that the tones I dial in on them translate excellently to FoH systems when I'm out on gigs.
This is why you have to apply ducking on the ambient mics. You can route the main mix as a sidechain signal to reduce the volume of the ambient mics. This way you can level the ambient mics to be fully audible if the band is silent, ambient mics half open if you play a guitar intro and the ambient mics fully closed when the whole band plays.
Brilliant! How did I not think of that? I MD at a smallish offshot campus of a big church (so, high production value but smaller room). I tried setting up some good ambient/crowd mics for a couple of weeks, but we ended up ditching them. 100yr old church building, so even with some sound treatment, the room is SUPER live. All we could hear from the crowd mics was the sound of the drums bouncing back into them off the back wall. I never thought to just duck the channel....gonna have to try that very soon.
Great post. This is particulariliy helpful:
"I've loaded my iPad and phone with every proprietary digital board app that I can find, and immediately download new ones when they pop up. SO MANY venues are starting to make the move to digital boards now that the tech is getting so much cheaper, and a lot of them go the full route with routers so they can mix from wherever with an iPad. Half the time these days I can just show up with my iPad and get the WiFi info, thus allowing me to access their board wirelessly and run my own mix."
I'm going to look into doing that if I can. I dont carry an ipad with me but maybe it'll work on my phone.
Yes, most digital boards have apps for both phones and tablets. I have my most frequently used ones loaded up on my phone as well, just in case I forget my iPad or the battery on it dies or something.
I'm a huge fan of Chris' stuff. Folks here are correct regarding his use of a brownface Princeton, almost exclusively. However...a big part of his tone is that he tends to always reach for a '60s Jazzmaster as a main guitar, of all things. Though you can definitely get there with a tele, the Jazzmaster thing is important if you really wanna split hairs.
Just out of interest, why do you need the direct feed from the Kemper? I understand that at least you have control of your guitar but me personally never had an issue using just the desk feed as I focus first on my guitar anyway. just wondering..
At this point for me, my ear mix doesn't really need to be "perfect" so long as I can hear my guitar at the "just right" level. So that gives me the chance to really tweak the blend between my mix and my guitar until it's perfect, without bugging the sound guy to death haha. Basically, I like my guitar just loud enough that I can really hear the nuances and fine details in my playing/volume/touch/tone, without having it so loud that it makes me play tentatively or masks other frequencies in my mix detrimentally.
Part of the reason is also technical...I'm using a crappy old PSM200 unit. Which used to be the lowest-end of the Shure systems, and they have since stopped making them. One of the biggest pitfalls I've found is that the inputs on the transmitter are very sensitive, and it does not take a ton of signal for the internal limiters to start kicking on. Once they do...oh man. Talk about a squashed mix. Thus, splitting my guitar into a separate input seems to help create a little more headroom for the input that my full mix is going into.
I use IEM's on every gig I possibly can, even if I'm the only one in the band doing it. I do it the same way others here have mentioned: Monitor mix (without guitar) into transmitter input, headphone out from Kemper into the second input.It's been that way for me even pre-Kemper. So we're talking...I dunno, 2-300 dates? Tons of vastly different settings and situations. Would love to offer some personal advice on the subject, of course YMMV:
-It's going to feel super weird and isolating at first. Absolutely. You will get used to it though and learn to work around it/live with it though. I hated it the first 3 or 4 months. And then I played another gig on a wedge and realized that I never wanted to be without them if possible. Haha.
-I've loaded my iPad and phone with every proprietary digital board app that I can find, and immediately download new ones when they pop up. SO MANY venues are starting to make the move to digital boards now that the tech is getting so much cheaper, and a lot of them go the full route with routers so they can mix from wherever with an iPad. Half the time these days I can just show up with my iPad and get the WiFi info, thus allowing me to access their board wirelessly and run my own mix.
-As you do more gigs with them, you'll start to get a really good idea of how much you need of each instrument. At this point, even if FoH is responsible for running my mix and we're running super low on time, I can get things at least 90% of the way there during line check (I just have him dial in my levels while he's getting gain on each line).
-Due to limitations with the number of aux sends from most boards, it's incredibly rare that I get a stereo mix. You can still get really good mixes in Mono though if you know what you're doing. Primarily: be REALLY careful with low end, unless you have really nice ears with tons of subs in them. Kick/Bass/Bass heavy synths will take up a ton of space in your mix and totally mask everything else if you accidentally dial them up too hot. I always start super low and then have the sound guy bring them up if I really need more. Beyond that, make sure you only put things that you actually need into your mix (at least at first). For example, I have the lead vocals running very low most of the time, since I essentially only need them for certain cues and knowing which verse we're on. If the band has an acoustic player/percussion/mandolin/other auxiliary stuff, I rarely put them in my mix at all. Start with the hyper-necessary things and gently add the rest from there.
-Lastly, a fun little trick for dual input transmitters: When I can't get an IEM mix for whatever reason (not enough sends, not everything getting sent to the board, weird snake location, etc etc), I typically bring a good 'ol 57 and an XLR and plug that straight into the input that my mix would normally go in. Then I take the 57 and stick it somewhere on stage pointed away from the drums (or sometimes, if I have a wedge, I'll literally "mic" my wedge). At that point, I'm literally getting an approximation of what I'd be hearing on stage, only at a much safer volume and with a bonus "more me" control. I've done this at maybe 20 gigs and it's always surprised me how well it works. Haha.
I've had good luck with the Kemper Transpose effect, using it with the current firmware that puts it in the "rig" section. Typically if I have to tune down on a gig, I'll just bring another guitar. However, I prefer not to haul a bunch of crap out to rehearsals, so I generally opt for the Kemper transpose in that setting. Like most here I never venture beyond a full step or step and a half. It's been great for me - I've not experienced any perceivable latency at rehearsal volumes.
I've had the same positive experience during the half-dozen or so times I've used it on a gig (with IEM's) as well. I did a short tour with a pop country artist that had 1 song that required Drop C tuning. Rather than bring a third guitar, I just used a drop-D axe transposed down a whole step. Gave me no issues.
Additionally, I subbed in for a trad/red dirt country artist that didn't tell me that he had started tuning his guitar down a half-step for live gigs until about 90 seconds before we hit the first downbeat. Meaning that I learned his entire set a half step too high....Rather than frantically tuning my guitar down or trying to transpose in my head, I used the Kemper Transpose. It once again worked great for me, and this was a particularly good test for it since it was two straight hours of fast tempo Tele pickin'. I for one am totally sold on the built in transpose effect.
Bryan Daste Dude - cool to meet another PNW dude on here. Connor Byrne is one of my favorite lil clubs in town. Lots of history and the room actually sounds pretty good. I've looked at your playing, as well. Not enough good pedal steel dudes in the Seattle area...would love to get you up here on a job sometime. Would be fun to do some work together.
One of the artists I work for just released some HD video content from a gig we played a few months back. Figured I'd share since the audio is good quality, and I feel like there could be more audio samples of the Kemper doing this sort of softer/cleaner stuff floating around. I'm running DI to FoH, no cab on stage. Artist's name is Ian Jones. I appreciate all you forum guys, I've gotten a lot of good info from here!
I'm a full time working guitarist in the Seattle area, and I just officially went full-Kemper as of a couple weeks ago! I've had it out with me now on a handful of jobs in a few different styles; I'm still getting things dialed in, but I've been really enjoying it.
I was a huge tube amp/boutique pedal guy forever. However, I had been considering picking up a digital rig for a long time just due to the convenience factor alone. I felt like all of the extra routing options and portability would make life a lot easier in regards to studio sessions, fly out dates, and gigs where stage volume would be an issue.
However...a few months back, I went and did a fly out date over in Missouri, and the headliner was gracious enough to let me use his Kemper so we wouldn't have to rent a backline. I was excited to actually try it, but I had no idea how blown away I was about to be. I play with In-Ears for the majority of my gigs (this gig included), and it really did sound and react just like a great, cranked amp. I didn't even mess with any of his settings, just experimented with the Performance he had loaded for his set at soundcheck and then played the set. I was immediately sold, and have spent the last few months selling gear to fund the transition.
I'm fortunate that I have a great studio and access to tons of wonderful amps, so the Profiling process has been a God-send. So far, I've been able to make my own profiles of a Dr. Z Maz 18, Verellen Coup, old Traynor Studio-Mate, a '65 Bassman, and a '68 Drip Edge Bandmaster (some of these amps mine, some of them belonging to friends). What a blast! It's so nice having access to any/all of these sounds with the press of a button.
I'm looking forward to being a part of this forum, and hope I can contribute! For starters, I made a little video about my first day with this lovely unit:
Additionally...if you're interested in learning more about me, you're welcome to peruse my webpage: http://www.dwelshmusic.com