Posts by MistaGuitah

    Do we know whether or not this is 100% true? Are the D/As and analog output stages identical and laid out the same way in all three KPA products?

    Well, I meant essentially the same overall. I wasn't trying to assert it was 100% component-for-component. I wouldn't know that at all without taking them both apart and comparing every little component, and even then, I'm not qualified enough to know exactly what to look for. However, I do know that innumerable factors can potentially affect sound. For example, I know that a wire cut in two parts would have a bit more resistance in the longer one, or that there are tolerances in precision of the microscopic sizes within electronic components, but whether any of it ever translates into something audibly perceptible is totally by chance in the aggregate variances of a device.


    In any case, my assumption is that the same components. However, comparing toaster vs rack, the rack doesn't have the lights for rig volume. The stage though has several different or missing knobs/features, plus it interacts with a whole network of foot controller electronics, so you would think there's no avoiding some degree of audible difference. None of this I know with a degree of competency, so these are just some of the things I thought about in trying to account for what I'm hearing in my profiler stage.

    The settings are identical in everything as far as I can tell. I don't think anything came turned off or on that's aberrant from factory default.

    Paul beat me to it, but PC was what sprung immediately to mind here, MG. Make sure both the Rig as well as Global statuses are switched-off, just to be sure.


    It's a pity your rack has already gone 'cause a side-by-side spectral comparison (using a plugin or app) of each unit using identical settings might've been instructive IMHO.


    As for the part-tolerance possibility Ruefus kindy suggested, I'm not buying it 'cause it's a digital device, so the number of areas where such a thing could come into play is greatly-reduced compared to a traditional amp. We'd be talking op amps and ADC / DAC's basically, wouldn't we? If so, hard to imagine that such an obvious difference to your ears could eventuate thusly. Hmm... :/

    What do you mean by rig and global status? Where can I find those settings?

    I'm wondering that. I once had an amp repaired and they only replaced a single capacitor, same value, but different brand, and it was brighter after the repair. Who knows but I bought it directly from Kemper several weeks ago and regret waiting too long to exchange it for the head version. I recently sold my rack so now I'm kinda stuck with it. It still sounds amazing, just that little extra sizzle.

    I bought a Kemper Stage a while back to replace my Kemper rack. The plan was to sell the Rack and keep the Stage, and until I got all my stuff setup on the Kemper Stage (because busy at work), I used them side-by-side for a few weeks. Well, I started noticing that the Stage seems to be slightly less warm, slightly more shrill with the exact same rigs/settings.


    Yes, this sounds rather dumb since it's just the same thing in a different enclosure, but I've been tweaking to no end trying to get rid of the shrillness. It's not a real noticeable difference but it's something you notice after a while. Without saying anything to them, I have heard from a few other players who thought my rack sounds a little warmer. I use Analysis Plus cables and good equipment, so it's not anything in my setup. Am I missing something here? Is there some kind of setting that I need to tweak on the Stage to get it to sound warmer, more natural like my Rack?

    I don't know what it would be called, but I was wondering if anyone knows of a free app or Windows software that can show an EQ graph of a guitar track or song. Maybe something that shows like a bar or line graph across hz frequency range or whatever. I'd appreciate the help, thanks in advance.

    Bill Ruppert did a rig and put it on the Rig Exchange back in 2013 called "Kemper Cathedral". I suspect he could do even better with the new delays, and especially when the new reverbs come out. @billruppert

    I saw his pitch shifter demo for the Kemper, but nothing on cathedral sound or with the reverb on beta OS 5.6.2. Haven't seen any OS updates for delays though. Where can I find that?

    I didn't specify because your thread will be moved, as Paul said, MG, but the one I was referring to was the "obvious" one "everyone's" heard of. PM me if you're still unsure, mate.

    Phase cancellation in the capsule? Due to its design, "weird" angles are more-likely to force sound waves to take paths of differing distances to the diaphragm, introducing comb filtering. Didn't quite understand your description, but personally I'm not a fan of purposeful phase cancellation (angled mic'ing). You noticed something going on in the low end too - IMHO, pointing the '57 perpendicularly to the target will maximise accuracy of all frequencies, including lows.

    As we discussed in another thread, I think that if this works for you, then go with it man. If nothing else, your approach makes logical sense to me.

    All I can say is I love your attitude, man. Science sans ego is the only way to go and it's been my (fruitful) M.O. since my 3rd birthday studying aquaristics.

    Ah, I somehow overlooked Paul's post. I'll go searching that forum then. As for the angle of the mic, I have a weird issue with my hearing I guess because I was taught basic micing by a guy who runs a studio. He told me the usual inner/outer cap, off-center, pointed straight or horizontal, etc... I don't know how credible his info was, but it was what I had to go on at the time. I never looked into it, but over the years have seen similar things, so I always assumed there wasn't much more to it.


    It was my understanding that if you have a directional mic, putting them at a horizontal angle, say set off-center and pointed toward the cap, it would essentially be the low-end of the off-center position, but also more of the inner frequencies. Hell if I know man. I've spent all these years learning how to play and gear-whoring, so this is the first time I started looking into recording, profiling, etc. As for the vertical angle, well I thought about it and it probably has to do with my cheap-ass mic stand. For whatever reason, it won't let me position it at just the right horizontal angle, so I've noticed that that lowering the mic stand about 1" and pointing it a bit upward and from edge of cap horizontally a bit towards off-center (up to the right from edge of cap), seems to be the sweet spot. That's what I always use and never really screw around with mic positioning.


    Funny thing is that I got a deal like 7 years ago on on a couple of SM57's where each came with a free mic stand. Now that I think of all this, I freaking hate those things, they've never adjusted right, and it's about time I threw them out and got some better quality mic stands... so that solves that whole angle thing.

    OK, so having listed all of these notes I've been taking, I'd like to understand more of how/why these things work. I also know that there is a distinction between these things where it's part of the profiler's actual computer processing and other things that experienced recording guys would know like mic placement, etc. Pickups are an interesting aspect, and so are the complexities of how different preamps respond to input, or the way different amps dampen speaker impedance (or whatever that's all about), diode clipping, tube rectification, etc...


    I'm not saying I need to know all of this stuff or can understand the technical complexities of it, but I think gradually working towards a better understanding will help me not only craft better profiles, but also get better tone on anything I play or record.


    As a disclaimer, I've said none of this with any authority and make no claim that all these things can be heard or discerned. Maybe some of stems from a lack of mistaking something or another, misunderstanding some concept, or just somehow tuned into something I picked up on and assumed it's a factor. In any case, I'm only looking to expand my understanding and hopefully verify that I'm not the only one picking up on certain things.

    SPEAKERS:


    So far, I've used a variety of 1x12 cabs, only one 2x12 cabs, and only 1 4x12 cabs to profile amps with. Here they are:


    1. Friedman Dirty Shirley 1x12 Creamback 65


    2. Mesa Boogie Lonestar 1/2 open back Weber Silver Bell 75w moderate doping (If you're wondering about "doping," high doping makes a very tight speaker that settles vibration quicker, so the a 15w speaker, for example, would typically have light doping because people like the sound of the speaker breakup in vintage amps. Whereas, higher doping lessens "cone cry" and is better for louder, ganier amps. Therefore, at 75w, moderate doping is the right balance of the sticky stuff around the speaker cone to handle the wattage and gain, but still allow the speaker character to come through very natural). Think of this particular speaker like a Celestion Gold but with more low end, a little warmer, a little woodier, and a less speaker breakup.


    3. EVH 1x12 Celestion Gold (Note: my first two profiles {Friedman Pink Taco} with this cab was with a 15"w WGS Blue Alnico)


    4. Zinky 2x12 Celestion G12H30 + V30


    5. Marshall 4x12 with 2 Eminence Wizards & Private Jack & Governor


    6. I used the 15w Greenback from a Fender Blues Junior to profile a Bogner Metropoulos once


    As you can see, I've used a pretty good variety of speaker cabs. I no longer have the 2x12 or 4x12 since I'm a home player and find that 1x12 cabs with a single mic records everything just fine for me.


    Here are some observations I've noticed about profiling with different speakers:


    * Alnico speakers seem to have a little more of an attack that might equate to something like the effect of the "pick" option on the Kemper. Alnico speakers can have a very sweet top end, or they can be too bright.


    * When you get breakup from low wattage speakers like the Alnico Blue and Greenback, then when you try to add more gain, use a stop, or an external overdrive, it seems to add something kind of shitty to the tone. As far as I have been able to tell, once you profile an amp with speaker breakup, then it needs to have all the overdrive already dialed in, and the profile is useful pretty much only as-is.


    * Eminence speakers make profiles 'feel' a little dryer. I LOVE Eminence speakers with tube amps, but they seem to profile with a bit of a resistant sag to your pick attack or a dryer, less greasy feel. The Wizard profiled with the least affect on feel.


    AMP SETTINGS:


    * Presence & Volume - This is a tricky setting. I'm not an amp expert by any stretch of the imagination, but from what I know, presence is mostly effective as the amp is louder, affecting the high frequencies passed by the power tubes (forgive me if I'm not describing this in the correct technical way). I haven't been able to get great results profiling a very loud amp, so I fiddle with the presence vs treble settings, then have to profile a couple of times until it sounds right. Moreover, amp EQ's interact differently and sometimes turning up/down other knobs (I think treble usually has the greatest effect on the other frequency controls) has a better effect than adjusting the presence very far before/past 12:00.


    As for volume, distortion, etc., I know there are several settings that can be tweaked. I haven't played much with them yet. However, using the default return level (4 or 5 I think), I've discovered a general rule that seems to work for me. At barely above the point so the profiler doesn't complain that the volume/input is too low, raising the amp volume about a loud cellphone ring higher from that point seems to be just right. It's definitely too loud for an apartment or nighttime, but not as loud as I've heard some guys profile their amps. I've tried other profiles where they seem to try and do the opposite and get it just under the point where the little red light comes on from being too loud, but that doesn't seem to have any benefit at all.


    * I have not had good success profiling pristine cleans at all. It just sounds a little lifeless and kind of dull. Best results have been dialing my clean channel a bit past that "edge of breakup" point, then later lowering the gain a notch once the profile is finished.


    MICING:


    I have too many questions in this area, but so far my observations have been:


    * Typically off-center, with an SM57 pointed a bit inward and either and up or down angle (above or below center of cap) seems to be the easiest way to get decent profiles. About 1/2 inch away from the grill cloth seems to be easiest. I have not had much success trying to point the mic straight toward the speaker at any point inner or outward. Only at a little left or right + up or down angle have I been able to get it right. Farther than 1/2 to 1" away from the cab grill, well, I don't even know how to describe it but something about the low end doesn't sound as good. I don't know how people get such good sounds 2-3" away from the grill cloth. Right against the grill cloth doesn't sound quite right either. I'm not sure what, but 1/2" seems easiest.


    Maybe that's because I'm mostly using 1x12 cabs? I'd also like to know why it seems to be easier to mic with both a horizontal + vertical angle towards the cap. What makes the difference that just pointing it at a horizontal angle?


    * I have a Sennheiser E609 which is clearer and I think a little brighter than the SM57, but that one is even harder to figure out. It seems to like being pointed straight at the speaker around the edge of the cap, and about 1" away. For whatever reason, this mic seems to be a little better for clean or metal, whereas the SM57 seems to lends itself better from edge of breakup to old school metal.


    This is totally what my ears have been hearing. I'm not making any of these statements except based on what I've noted as I experiment with profiling.


    GAIN:


    * I think a lot of profiles are too gainy and distorted to the point where they all sound like the same amp with a different EQ. To me, the best profiles respond to your pick attack almost like a high gain amp (but not too sensitive), and have as much gain that stops at the point where it needs more than minimal noise suppression and doesn't have a lot of over-sensitive string noise. I know guys who use rubber bands or hair bands to help with unwanted string noise. I have tried this, but I think it doesn't do anything for me because I don't use over-the-top gain like they do.


    Honestly, I like SOME of the very gainy tones, but I never sound good playing like that. However, I think I use more than moderate gain because a Friedman Smallbox full on gain + a tube screamer at least 9:00-11:00 would probably be just about right for me most of the time.


    REFINING PROCESS:


    * Lastly, I'm not sure about this refining process. I have read conflicting things. On one side, refining isn't necessary past a certain software update, and some say it's an important part of the process. Since the manual describes it, I always do it exactly as the manual says.


    * I use a 30-40 second procedure of of strumming chords across all strings, in lower, middle, and upper neck positions; then power chords and 3-finger chords on lower, middle, and upper strings; and in between doing some palm muting, variance of pick angle, and a finish with about 3 seconds of muted alternate picking and legato kind of stuff ascending and descending.


    This method I started using after several experiments. I started exactly as the manual said, striking hard chords continuously without any soloing, then did the exact same profile over again only soloing with alternate picking and legato, then hitting the chords a little softer, then again the same profile with lots of bar chords and palm mutes, then a combination of them all. It seems like you have to have mostly chords, some palm mutes peppered here and there, some big chords and little chords, different positions up and down the neck, lower and higher strings, and despite the manual's suggestion not to break into a solo, that little 2 or 3 seconds of shredding and bending at the end seems to add a tiny bit more complexity to the distortion character.

    There are so many subtle things that I've been discovering about getting better profiles that I decided to start keeping a notebook. I wish I had more amps at my disposal. There are so many nuances which can make a profile better, and some very surprising things too. I'll list few things I've noticed and would like to get some feedback on why these things work the way they do.


    PICKUPS:


    * Bright pickups with a higher output seem to push certain treble frequencies which come through with almost the screechiness of Line6 top end. Bright pickups with a lower output seems like the Kemper slightly ignores some of the low to mid midrange frequencies, and lends to a slightly more transparent low end tone.


    * Medium to medium-high output A2 and A4 pickups seem to play the nicest with a variety of amps. For whatever reason, they achieve all the right frequencies whether they're mid-heavy Dimarzios or David Allen P51 Mustangs.


    * A8 pickups were a great surprise. I have about 21 guitars, but only one with an A8 pickup. A8 is too powerful and thick for my tastes, but in this particular pickup which was on the thin, bright side with a vintage wind, I degaussed an A8 magnet a bit and it turned out perfect. It can sit a little lower from the strings without losing any response or pick attack. I'd say it's a medium-high output pickup probably in the range of a Tone Zone. In any case, I also profiles with a Seymour Duncan A8 with as good results, and that's a pretty hot pickup. For whatever reason, A8 seems to profile really well with different amps. It's hot enough to push the preamp, but because of it's warmth and thickness, it just seems to be a great pickup for profiling.


    {A note on degaussing: I'm not a pickup expert, but have been on the Seymour Duncan board for years swapping mags in all kinds of pickups and even mismatching coils to make a hybrid. If you are interested in this, you don't have to take the pickup out of the guitar as far as I can tell. You just take a neodymium magnet and give it an even swipe across from bridge through neck pickup. You don't even have to take off the strings. The pull you feel is it degaussing the weaker magnet inside your pickup. It helps to have a small and a medium size neo wafer magnet for A2 - A5 and A8 or Ceramic, respectively. This is not a consistent process and you pretty much have to test your sound after each pass so you don't degauss too much. I've only done this a couple of times and luckily it has worked out... just in case you are into that kind of thing}.


    * Ceramic and active pickups generally really push the preamp hard and seem to make profiles sound too gainy, feel greasier, and tend to give different profiles a more similar sound to where you can't tell the difference between a 6505 and a 5153. It seems like you have to fiddle more with the definition, sag, and pick settings. Adjusting them hardly makes a difference though


    {I should note: I'm talking about nuance here OK, all these differences I'm observing are marginal contributing factors to profiling}


    * Smoother single-coils tend to result in kind of a little more transparent, generic signal. Kinman Woodstocks + (noiseless by the way), for example, are awesome pickups, but profiling with them seems to result in a little bit dull profile. A set of Fralin Blues Specials are kind of similar in a way as in having a higher output, thicker tone, but because they have a more distinct character, they profile better than the Kinmans. Then there's the Fender Fat 50's vs. Texas Specials, so Texas Specials to me have a more unique character and seem to lend to a better sounding profile.


    * TIghtness Factor: You would think that tight pickups = tight sound. Great for metal right? Well, I've noticed a few things. First of all, a few factors seem to influence this. Weaker pickups, like a P90, that have a crunchier sound than other P90s seem to come through fairly tight for whatever reason. I have a Seymour Duncan PATB-1, and if you've ever tried the parallel pickups, they have a loose feel and are on the brighter side. It's kind of like a Bareknuckle Holy Diver but not as tight. The PATB-1 is kind of crunchy or whatever you want to call it, and it profiles really well. When I profiled the P90 and PATB-1 both, the rigs worked exceptionally well with vintage and high-output humbuckers, having a nice tight low end.


    * Pickups like Dimarzios which have tons of mids (not just spiky high mids like the Duncan JB, but a lot of overall mids) seem to give up pinch/tap/fret harmonics at low to higher gain levels. Profiling with a Dimarzio Norton, you get some Zakk Wylde kind of low string harmonics. EMG's do all that with gain, but when you're on lower gain profiles, it just doesn't have the same ease and authority.

    Great info man and thanks for confirming some of my observations. Who is the best known vendor if you don't mind me asking? I'm definitely going to check them out if I haven't already.


    Well, it really seems like profiling can be done two ways: the average Joe who wants to capture a sound they like, and a more experienced, scientific approach where all factors are taken into consideration. The easy was works for capturing my favorite amp settings. However, when I want to get a particular set of tones for a set list or something, I like to have a little more workable palate to use. I know the Kemper isn't nearly as tweakable as the Fractal stuff, but I also think if done right, it provides that extra amount of versatility you need to get within your sound range.

    Look up Jim Lill online to find his Dr Z profiles. I thought they were pretty good. What JJ did you like? I’ve been on/off thinking of getting too jimi’s, his profiles always have his sound sometimes is really good for what I’m looking for sometimes not. A little more room sound or like the mic is further back.

    I think the only decent JJ profiles I could find was a set from ToneCrate. I've got like 20 JJ profiles, so I'll have to check in Rig Manager and get back with you to let you know which ones I like best.

    Of course a big benefit of the profiler is to profile amps so you don't have to carry them around. However, most people don't have a lot of amps and want a little more personalization. If I really wanted to tweak things, I would have stuck with Fractal. However, I like the more authentic amp-like tone and feel of the Kemper. The challenge so far has been finding good profiles that were done without a specific kind of tone in mind, just a good representation of the amp so I can adjust it to taste. That's pretty much the gist of what I was saying.

    First off, I'm not here to rag on Kemper or anything, so don't get offended. I absolutely love my Kemper, and one of the greatest, most surprising things about Kemper is that I've never enjoyed playing vintage style amps so much. I'm a shred/rock/metal kind of guy mostly, so I don't care too much for old Fenders and pretentious boutique amps. However, some of the profiles are simply outstanding.


    Little Walter 22 & 50 - World class profiles, work great with external overdrive pedals and effects, really great dynamics and pick response


    Vab Clean & Lead - WOW! Such outstanding sounds. Extremely authentic, amp-like in feel and tone. I REALLY like these so much I wish I could buy the real deal.


    JCM800 - Not sure if this is the Michael Britt one or another, but one of the JCM800 profiles really nails it.


    Suhr Badger 30 - I used to own the real deal, so I can say with some qualification that this profile is very good. There are a few, not sure who made them, but there are two I particularly like.


    Fender Tweed 57 and Champ - Really great job on these. Love playing them. The Champ has that small amp sound and everything. Very cool profiles.


    Friedman Dirty Shirley - There are a couple, but there is one that is really good and responds very well to gain changes.
    .....


    Now, having spoke on behalf of a few choice profiles, I find that most profiles seem to be guys just dialing in amp the way they like rather than finding an optimal combination of settings, volume, etc that makes it easier to personalize for people who use the profiles. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I've been doing a lot of profiling lately. I've read how guys do it, descriptions of how the commercial profilers make theirs, youtube videos, etc. It seems to me that if you take a usable, base sound into consideration, it takes 5-6 profile attempts before getting a profile that works really well. It's so much easier to just dial in a sound I like because that only takes one take. It's much harder to create profiles that are more workable.


    I'm still a relative newb, but I've been rather spongy in my quest for learning the Kemper, so I think there are a few little things that can be set to make profiles more universal but not generic. Direct profiles + IR's seem the most satisfactory and versatile to me half of the time, but the other half of the time it's just a combination of an amp + cab personality and how mindfully the profile was done that comes together just right.


    Some of the profiles I really wanted from amps I used to own or always wanted were:


    Friedman JJ-100
    Hiwatt DR103
    Hiwatt Custom 50
    EVH Stealth 6L6
    Fender Supersonic 22
    Engl Invader


    It took some digging around the Internet, and most of the JJ profiles were not so great. Then I found about 5 that were really good, so I think it's fairly well set on the JJ now. I've found a lot of Hiwatt profiles, but nothing so far has managed to capture some of the magic spark you get from a real Hiwatt. There are a lot of EVH5150 profiles out there, and other dude sound far better playing them than I do, but I much prefer the voicing of the EVH 5153 Stealth with 6L6. I didn't care too much for the newer EL34 version of it. I found a commercial profile pack for it, but not sure if it's worth buying.


    You'd think there would be at least a dozen great Fender Super-Sonic profiles, but I have yet to find a Super-Sonic profile that really captures how great that amp can sound and play. Lastly, there are the Engl profiles. So far they've been OK, a few have sucked, but I have yet to find a really, really good Engl profile of the Invader or SE, and have not found profiles for the Artist edition which is almost a must-have Engl profile.


    Anyway, I'd really like to find some good profiles, of these amps, so if you get what I'm talking about and know which ones to get, I'd appreciate that very much. If you disagree with my assessments or opinions then fair enough. Like I said, I have 99% great things to say about Kemper.


    Also, has anyone tried the Dr.Z profiles. One amp, the EMS, was one I really looked forward to. However, on a Youtube review, the guy basically said it's just OK and only good for gain if I remember correctly. In any case, I'm not a vintage amp kind of guy, but I love Dr. Z amps. If anyone has bought Pack 1, I'd like to hear what you think about it.