Posts by Chris Duncan

    I run Cubase in Windows, both on a PC in the control room and on a laptop at a keyboard workstation. No matter which DAW you go with, you'll need an audio interface, which can be as cheap as a few hundred bucks, or more if you want more inputs. Pro Tools has the "industry standard" image but that's not really relevant these days like it used to be unless you're doing pro work and need to interface with audio or post facilities. There's also Reaper, FL Studio, Cakewalk, Studio One, Logic (Mac only) and I'm probably forgetting a few. None are perfect, all have their benefits. Cubase is just what works for me.

    Honestly, most DAWs do pretty much the same basic things, especially for old school tracking and mixing (I'm a classic rock / blues guy myself). As to whether or not it's worth throwing money into, the real question is do you want to do recording or not? If you do, definitely worth it and the Kemper is awesome in a recording context, both tone and workflow.

    There are lots of things you can tweak on the Kemper including EQ, compression, gain, stomp boxes, etc. and a lot of guys here tweak most of their profiles to taste. There's a lot of flexibility and room to play with a profile, and the new Rig Manager has an editor to make it easy to do from your PC (Windows 10 only).

    There's an alternate workflow others use (and I fall into this camp) of just having a good collection of profiles appropriate to their taste and simply using them right out of the box. If profile A doesn't do it for me, I just move on to profile B. Rig Manager lets you sort by gain among other things, which makes that kind of browsing easy. If you get good profiles, whether free from Rig Exchange or from commercial profilers, you can certainly use them as is.

    Which path you prefer is more about personal preference than "better." I hate tweaking and I've never been very good at dialing in tones even on tube amps, so for me using ready to go profiles from people who are good at dialing in tones is perfect. For others, the tone hunt and the tweaking is part of the fun, and as you noted there's plenty to play with.

    Either way, it's first class fun, man.

    I'm not in the studio so I'm not sure what version I'm running (among the first production releases after the editor), but I noticed that favorites weren't being remembered as well. I was navigating with the up / down key, Ctrl-Enter on a new profile, and also double clicking with the mouse.

    Hadn't used favorites in a long time so I just figured there was something I was doing wrong. Anyone have any insight on this?

    Back in the 70s my best friend was working most nights as a musician but also had a day gig repairing amps at Sound Productions in Dallas, which is how we met (had an Ampeg that was nothing but trouble). A few years later I was running a silver face Twin (yuck) and unsurprisingly having trouble getting 70s rock out of it.

    He shows up one day with a brown face Fender Bandmaster head. He said there was some trick where he could do some mods and swap out the 6L6 tubes with 6550s (I think, it's been a few decades and I've slept since then), adjust the bias, yada yada, and convert it to 100 watts since that's what we were all running those days. But he also took the power light out and used that hole to install a master volume, which wasn't typical of the amps of the day. That let me dime it and then turn it down (a little) to a level that wouldn't kill my speakers.

    A vintage brown face Bandmaster in good condition is probably worth some bucks these days. However, if I still had that amp it probably wouldn't be worth much because it was all hacked up inside. But man, did it roar. If someone profiled it today, at least the way I ran it back then, it wouldn't be a legit representation of a Bandmaster. And yet, it would absolutely be killer profile.

    I really wish I'd kept that amp. Even though it was more of a brown bag than a brown face.

    Hey, Michael.

    Walked through the entire checkout process, but this time the only option is to have a PayPal account.

    You can pay via PayPal with a normal credit card (pay my lawn people like that all the time), but that no longer seems to be an option from your shopping cart.

    I don't have any desire to create a PayPal account. Could you please get your web guy to fix this?



    Oops. Just saw his Friday post to email directly, will do so now. Really must learn to read one day...


    I have friends like that. "Oh, hey, here, have this." Unspoken is the, "By the way, it's going to totally reboot your life."

    I bought the Kemper to kick the tires. A week later I sold every tube amp I owned. And as luck would have it, this was around Black Friday and like many others, M. Britt was offering 40% off. Tried some, realized that's the sound I was looking for, and bought everything else he had.

    I haven't been able to bond with any other digital amp offerings over the years, but I bought a Kemper, sold all my real amps, and cleaned out the aisles of a profiler's shelves all in the space of a week. That was two years ago.

    I regret nothing. :)

    I'm lazy and I often can;t hear wants wrong with a sound, I only know its not right. Therefore is better for me to move on.

    Me, too. I kinda suck at dialing in tones, so if it doesn't do it for me not only am I not going to EQ my way out of it, I'll just dig a bigger hole. Time better spent auditioning other profiles.

    Consequently, I have a sizable collection of profiles with a lot of overlap in the areas that I'm interested in. I don't necessarily need a gazillion Fender combo sized amps to get my tones. However, as mentioned, if I have lots of small Fenders, and each one is profiled at a variety of gain settings, it's a pretty good bet that I'm going to find a profile that nails the tone I'm currently looking for. And the Rig Manager software makes that super easy.

    That makes sense, thanks. I'm accustomed to working with a larger mixer as my audio interface, and my PC outputs to inputs on the mixer giving me the ability to do all that sort of thing. Interesting that Focusrite intentionally disallows this.

    Right on. I've got the Kemper Power Head coming on Thursday and I'm picking up the Kemper Kabinet on Saturday. I'm super excited.

    I'll add a couple of things that I learned on my journey that might help you find satisfaction as quickly as possible.

    For context, I come from a classic / blues rock background, and context is one of the key things you should always keep in mind when listening to profiles, free or otherwise. I understand the "stock profiles suck" statement, which is both harsh and, as it turns out, untrue.

    When I got mine, I listened to lots of highly rated Marshalls on Rig Exchange and was shocked by how bad they sounded to me. And not in a subtle way. What I finally realized is that when you see the name of an amp, you have expectations based on the style you play. I think it's going to sound the way I'd dial in a Marshall, but a metal guy would dial in something completely different. And yet, they're both great profiles of what a Marshall can do. One I love. The other I don't. That's a musical preference thing, not a Kemper thing. Guys with highly rated Marshall profiles dialed in for post-apocalyptic zombie death metal probably have killer tones for that genre. If I profiled a killer Marshall to do a Bad Company cover, it might sound great for that but the metal guys would be less than impressed. And yet, it's still a Marshall. Context.

    And that lead me to my second important realization. When you see that you can get Mesas, Two Rocks, etc. from a Kemper, you again default to thinking, "Oh, everything I can do with a Two Rock." But a profile is not an amp. It's a snapshot of a single tone that someone's dialed in, including the amp knobs, speaker cab, mic placement, perhaps a Tube Screamer or Klon in front, etc. Just like if you were in the studio. The engineer gets everything set, presses record, and you start playing. That's the one and only tone you're going to get out of that Two Rock until you get up off the control room couch and go twist some knobs. That would then be a second profile.

    This brings me to the last thing to keep in mind. Line 6 products and the Fractal Axe Fx are both amp modeling systems. The idea is that they try to digitally recreate an amp head to respond the exact same way the amp does (that's the goal, at least). You then start from scratch and build up your tone by picking an amp, twisting all the knobs, choosing a speaker cab, a mic, positioning the mic, adding effects, etc. That's all to get a single tone. If you're into tweaking, that could be fun. I hate tweaking and just want to play guitar. So, instead of a modeling system, I prefer the profile / snapshot approach of the Kemper. As V8guitar mentioned, I don't tweak my profiles. If profile A doesn't grab me, then I'm on to profile B.

    There are tons of great profiles on Rig Manager for free, but be sure to take the style of music into account. There's also a lot of great sample packs that will already be installed. Keep genre in mind when you look at commercial profiles as well. Using M. Britt as an example, he plays country / classic rock stuff and is very good at dialing in those kinds of tones. I have a lot of his stuff because that's what I'm looking for. And while he has great sounding high gain stuff for my personal taste, he's not a metal guy and thus wouldn't be where I looked if I wanted that style.

    As you get acquainted with the forum and ask people what they'd recommend for different types of sounds you're looking for, be sure to give examples of the style of music. That will help them point you to the appropriate free / commercial profiles based on their experience with that kind of stuff. They've helped me a ton in that regard.

    By the way, regarding loud volume, that's another great thing about profiling. You can borrow Eddie Van Halen's rig, turn it up until it melts glass, profile it, and then use it on your Kemper at a volume that you could talk over. You'll have the sound of melting glass without all that waking the neighbors stuff. Sure, there's something to be said for moving air, but I think you'll be surprised at what you can get at low volume.

    Have fun! :)

    It features Loopback functionality. While you might not yet know why this can be a great thing to have ... it IS great to have, if you're using a Windows PC. ;)

    Could you elaborate on loopback?

    I'm not really sure what it is that you're talking about in this context, and the product page doesn't mention that particular phrase so I'm not sure if it's MIDI or audio functionality.

    Always something to learn...

    Best thing I ever bought - KPA

    Second best thing I ever bought - the remote :)

    What he said. :)

    I'll add that the remote is drop dead simple. Plug the cable into the Kemper and remote and you're done.

    While you have lots of options that you can configure for performances, etc., when you get around to it, it works right out of the box. What you see on the Kemper is what you get on the remote in terms of what's loaded up. If you're not sitting next to the Kemper, having the strobe tuner on the remote is worth it alone in my books.

    And if you ever find a "home stereo receiver" that doesn't require an engineer from NASA to operate, I'll be on the buying list.

    I would reconsider, those supermodels have all kinds of maintenance issues. Just one could make guitar GAS seem like a cheap hobby.

    Good point. I've dated strippers, so one can only imagine.

    What you are looking at is cashed-up Boomers indulging their youthful fantasies

    I've got the Boomer part down. Any tips on the cashed-up bit?

    I mean, you know, besides avoiding strippers and supermodels.

    Man, that Vox. Just when you think you've got every possible cool sound you could want, along comes yet another cool sound. It's getting to the point where every time I come across new profiles I want to plug my ears, avert my eyes and run as fast as I can. This Kemper thing is like the ultimate rabbit hole.

    I've read that every single handmade Dumble amp sounds different and were tailor made for the player. There has to be something special about it, I guess.

    Interesting and well made video, but I think he hit on the key point: "Imagine if Jim Marshall only made 300 amps ever."

    Needless to say, that one is a clone, too. I've not played a real one. I raised my eyebrows at the price tag of one in a store, ten or so years ago. It was ten thousand dollars, used. I guess it would have been a good investment ;)

    If I spent $10,000 on a guitar amp I would expect it to come with a supermodel to hold my drink for me while I played. In fact, if anyone offers such a bundle, I think I have room on my credit card...

    I've listened to a lot of Dumble videos (through studio monitors), including Fuchs or other Dumble heritage stuff, Kemper profiles and actual Dumbles captured in the wild. This is an embarrassing thing to say in a roomful of guitarists, but... I just don't get it.

    Dumbles are revered as magical, mythical creatures, and price tags for the real deal, if you can find one, are nothing short of astronomical. Is it because there were only a relatively few made and scarcity gives them this halo effect, or is there some specific characteristic of the sound?

    Honestly, after listening to a lot of them I think they sound fine, but not really all that different than lots of other stuff. I realize this is blasphemy and I'm not trying to be negative or take the shine off the amp. Rather, I'm trying to understand what it is about the Dumble sound that makes it so loved. Do you just have to be in the room with one to get it?


    I just listened to the 12 minute demo of this profile pack, and the sounds are outstanding. And yet, to further emphasize my ignorance, what I hear are killer Marshall sounds. The Dumble-ness of it escapes me. But then, I'm not really sure what Dumble-ness actually is.