Posts by Chris Duncan

    Same here, had one with my tube amps and rack gear before buying the Kemper. It's quality gear, nothing but good things to day about it.

    The Kemper remote is also built like a tank, and is obviously a great solution since it's designed for the Kemper. It'll leave a bigger hole in your wallet, but the seamless integration and additional functionality was worth it to me.

    I don't think any acoustic intricacies will help until I get a reference point

    I think once you address some of the issues in your mix environment you may see that in a different light.

    I know what you're looking for is "increase the bass by 3db at 800k with a Q of .5" but that's not really the help that you need at this point.

    If expense is an issue (and isn't it always at some point?) let us know when you have x amount of dollars that you can apply to treating your room and you'll get a lot of useful (and battle tested) suggestions for that amount of money.

    Also, did you try whippinpost91850's suggestion about the closet doors?

    Everyday is a school day

    Yeah, that's certainly how it is in my universe. Always more road in front of me than behind.

    I don't know which DAW you use, but in Cubase you can bring up an EQ window for track and there will be a real time graphic display showing you the levels across the frequencies. A lot of plugins also do this, so my first step would be looking at the rhythm guitar, then the wah solo, and make note of the overlapping frequencies. It'll probably be several hundred in width across as they're both chewing a lot of turf in the mids.

    One approach for that sort of thing would be to center your EQ band in the middle of that common ground and use a very wide Q. Then, as a starting point, you might try a 3db cut on the rhythm guitar and a 3db boost of the same frequency / Q for the solo. Season to taste, of course, but the idea is for the rhythm to give up some turf and let the solo have it.

    You might then do the extremely narrow Q, 10db boost thing on another EQ bandn and sweep across the rhythm guitar above the range you cut until you find a frequency where a little bit of bite comes through. You can then widen the Q a bit (I'd still stay fairly narrow) and get back in the 3db boost range. Again, season to taste. The wah is so dark you probably won't have to cut that frequency in the solo, so this will give more separation between the two and allow the rhythm to still cut through without getting in the way of the solo.

    You might take a look at the EQ range of the snare & toms compared to the solo as well, and if they're also in the way cut them, and maybe find a different higher frequency that catches their attack to let the bite come through.

    Between the preprocessed and radio ready sound of the ToonTrack stuff and the same qualities in the Kemper profiles, it's easy to just bring up the faders and have something great. This sort of thing is only necessary when someone's on someone else's turf.

    In Cubase, there's this great feature where you can bring up the EQ for one track and then choose as second track. It displays the real time EQ as an overlay so you can see the frequencies of one track in relation to another. I think they got that from the Fab Filter plugin. I absolutely love that feature for exactly this sort of thing.

    This is another one that rises to the top of the favorites list for me. Really enjoy all your upbeat stuff.

    Your mixes are consistently excellent. It's among the things that I admire about your music. That said, in this particular case the cocked wah solo gets completely lost. It's the first time I've ever noticed something amiss, so I thought I should mention it.

    I listened to it a couple of times and the most useful observation I can offer is that the frequency range of the rhythm guitar and drums seems to be pretty much the same as the solo, so it all just merges into an indistinct blur. Maybe scooping the shared frequencies out of the rhythm / drums and perhaps giving them a bit of a bump in some higher frequencies during that section would give the solo it's own space to stand out and keep the backing band from also getting lost in the blur.

    I mean, you know, if you don't mind the back seat driving. :)

    Until you're able to put some effort into the acoustical problems with your mixing space you're going to struggle with the low end. I've been there myself, and I put it off for far too long before I did anything about it, thinking it couldn't possibly be all that important, even though I knew better.

    I know it's not sexy or nearly as fun as buying a new guitar / amp / profile / etc., but if you make it a priority, the time and money you spend now will pay off every day in satisfaction. Remember, room acoustics always get a vote. And at the moment, you're being outvoted.

    Or, to put it another way...

    I fought the low and the

    low won

    I fought the low and the

    low won


    My method of avoiding PAS was to find a commercial profiler whose work perfectly matched my needs. Bought all his stuff and a choice selection from a couple of others, and I now have a fully loaded collection that covers my needs.

    To supplement that, I created a folder / amp organization structure to make it easier for me to find the tone I want for a given song, which could have been a time suck of its own.

    I think the key for me was the realization that what I have covers all my needs, so I don't feel compelled to keep looking for "the next cool profile." If I'm doing a song and what I need isn't in my collection I guess I could go on a tone hunt them, but honestly what I play isn't that complicated so it's a very unlikely scenario.

    There have been times in my life when no matter what I had or how completely it fulfilled my needs, I always wanted more. At the risk of sounding philosophical (I am, after all, just a hippie from the 70s), I think part of avoiding PAS is simply allowing yourself to be happy with what you have.

    Yes, I know. Blasphemy. :)

    No new gear for me since the last guitar.

    I find myself strangely contented with what I have. Enough guitars to cover all the bases, a Kemper that covers all the amps, all the studio hardware / software that I want and a keyboard that can do far more than I can. Every time I look at a magazine's gear reviews, all that goes through my head is, "Got that. Don't need that. Oh, mine's way better than that. Yep, got that, too..."

    It's a life without GAS. Honestly, I just don't know what to do with myself.

    I know. I first went to try the amps out at Grammatico's place at the request of a mutual friend and when I left I was haunted by the amp. It really felt like after 40 years of playing guitar I finally heard and felt the tone I've always had in my head. It's not a high gain amp but for everything else, this amp just feels right.

    So how do we get our hands on the M Britt t-shirt you're wearing?

    I sent an email on your contact form months ago but never heard anything back from you. Can't find any store links on your site.

    I think the quality of what's out there overall is outstanding. I listened to Line 6, Fractal and Kemper before making my purchase and found Kemper and Fractal equal in tone with Line 6 coming in behind them, but only slightly. Great tones all around.

    For me, the biggest selling point of the Kemper (before I actually got one and saw the constant free OS and other software updates) was the difference in approach. Modelers try to emulate an actual amp, with a goal of letting you do everything with a model that you could do with an actual amp. A profile, on the other hand, is a snapshot of a single tone. While plenty of room to tweak it, those are two very different things.

    I've never enjoyed dialing in tones as I'm constantly dissatisfied with my results, so using profiles from other people who are better at it than I am was appealing. If I was a guy who really loved sound design, Fractal probably would have been the choice.

    The Quad is doing the profile approach, and there's no shortage of other modelers out there, both physical and software. And as nightlight pointed out, there are lots of great guitar builders these days, not to mention it being something of a golden age for stomp box pedals.

    When I first started out in the 70s, there was Gibson and Fender, and with few exceptions pretty much everything else was crap. Same with amps, you had Fenders and Marshalls and Voxes (oh, my!), and then, well, mostly crap. These days there's just a staggering array of choices out there for musical gear and while I'm sure some of it is still crap, the overwhelming majority of it is pro quality stuff. And much of it is absolutely stellar.

    Fortunately, it's not a zero sum game. I don't think brand X has to suck in order for me to like brand Y, or even Z. I like the profile approach versus modelers. Others prefer exactly the opposite. The PRS is the first non Gibson / Fender electric I've owned since my first Strat in the 70s, but probably out of habit and tradition more than anything else. I have no doubt all those other guitars rock just as hard.

    Quad is taking a swing at Kemper's approach, and others may do the same. There may also be future mashups of modelers / profilers (if there aren't already). That said, I'm very happy with my Kemper and the reduced level of GAS in my life just because of what it does. However, having been a Kemper customer and a part of this community for a couple of years, I think the way they do business and support their products, along with an unusually positive and helpful group of guys here (you all know you're oddities in the Internet Animal Kingdom, right?), creates a significant market advantage. Others could replicate that level of support, to be sure, but I haven't seen it so far.

    And yet, I still enjoy watching videos of other guitars, other pedals, and other amps / sims / models / profilers / etc. It's kinda like going to the race track and just betting on paper without actually spending any money.


    What a terrific reply, thank you for that man! Here's a few quick things in response...

    I actually bought the Heavy Britt Pack on Tuesday night, simply because in all of the searching I did for tones, pretty much whenever I saw "M. Britt", the tones were wonderful! One of his 5150iii Profiles is now my main heavy rhythm tone, and an old Blues Deluxe is one of my clean tones (I found the Deluxe tone just hours after getting the Kemper).

    I'm obviously a fan of the M. Britt stuff, but since he points out that he's not a metal guy and has less expertise in that area I don't usually make that recommendation. Even so, I think his high gain stuff is awesome (for my style of music Crank n Go was outstanding), so there may be a lot of metal applications as well. Franjoe30 writes a lot of heavy but melodic songs and his tones are always great, so you might also ping him for the profilers he uses.

    I've been playing since the 70s but unlike you I've always sucked at dialing in tones, which is one of the reasons I love the profile approach. Give me an amp sim with all the knobs and I'll just make the same mess that I would with a tube amp. But a profile leverages someone else's expertise in that area so finally my guitar sounds consistently good. Well, you know, the tone, anyway.

    using a headline like "Hetfield Tone" or "Pantera Tone", but delivering a Profile that sounds absolutely nothing like the kind of bugs me.

    Yeah, that makes sense. I just tend to have more of a live and let live attitude around here since people are overwhelmingly positive. These guys have done so much to help me (often with questions whose stupidity was of epic proportions) that I just overlook shortcomings and focus on the good that they do.

    While there's one in every crowd, the percentage of typical Internet forum people who just like to argue and insult each other would have to be measured with a microscope around here. It took me a while to realize that I didn't have to brace myself for a fight every time I made a comment. It really is a strange place as the Internet goes, but then, I happen to like strange.

    - Man, there are so many terrible Profiles out there.

    This is exactly what I thought when I first got the Kemper a couple of years ago. I nearly gave up and sold it after one week. (Spoiler alert: a week later I sold every tube amp I owned).

    I'd been subconsciously thinking that a Marshall is a Marshall, so I was shocked at how very, very bad most of the Marshall profiles were. Eventually I realized that a profile is not an amp model, so a single profile isn't "here's everything you can do with a JCM 800." It's a snapshot of a tone that someone dialed in, a single moment in time and just one possible thing you can do with that amp.

    And here's the thing. You're a metal guy, and I'm a classic rock guy. The tones I love for my genre would get you thrown off the stage on a metal gig, and in a similar fashion a great metal tone is inappropriate for what I do. You can get killer tones for both out of a physical Marshall but for a profile, it's all about who dialed in the tone and what they were using it for. So all those profiles out there that I thought were awful are probably in fact awesome - just not for the kind of music I play.

    So, the trick is finding profiles with tones dialed in for the same sort of thing that you're doing. Rig Exchange isn't really optimized to search by genre, it's weighted more toward what amp / speaker cab, etc. And that's what threw me off in the beginning, because for profiles, genre is everything.

    Ultimately I decided to try some packs from M. Britt, who's highly regarded in terms of quality, and they were un-freakin-believable. I bought everything he had and never looked back. However, I wouldn't recommend him for you because he's a classic rock guy, not a metal guy. The best thing you can do is get feedback from other guys here who play the same style and find out what they like, both commercial and on Rig Exchange.

    If you have experience with amp modelers like Line 6, Fractal, etc. you have to reboot your thinking and get your head around the single-use / snapshot nature of a profile versus the "here's every knob on the amp" mentality of modelers. However, once you match profiles of the right genre to the kind of music you play, it's really hard to get a bad tone out of this thing. And the people here are incredible. This is far and away the most positive vibe of any forum I've ever been on.

    LOL. I cut down the bottom end on the bass with EQ because it was booming way too much. I guess I need to do some un-cutting. I think the bass track is the hardest thing to fit in the mix, at least for me. I need to learn that happy balance with the kick, bass, and the low guitar strings.

    Yeah, for me the bottom end has always been the most challenging aspect. I'm currently listening in the B room with smaller studio monitors and reasonable treatment, and the bass is almost nonexistent. If you did a lot of cutting because it was booming to much, that's useful info as it tells you that your mix environment is amplifying your bass.

    In addition to reference tracks, which can still let you go astray if room acoustics are too problematic, I'd try to find as many different listening environments as possible to test your mix candidates on. On laptops, desktops, in different rooms, on your phone, in your car, in your living room, in your friends' living rooms, etc.

    Ultimately what you're looking for is listening in enough environments until it sounds good in all of them, and then getting an instinctive feel in your mix environment so that you know how it should sound there (even if it doesn't sound great in the mix position) in order for the mix to be "portable."

    I agree with everyone else that you're off to a great start! Like Joe said, it's all about just getting into the fun of doing it. It's a never ending process (and a never ending learning curve), so this is definitely one of those things where the joy is in the journey.