Posts by Chris Duncan

    To be sure, we're getting into areas where I don't really know what I'm talking about (and believe me, you don't have to travel very far to hit that border).

    That said, because I didn't know, I just looked up the frequency response of a Celestion Greenback. The chart linked below goes down to 20 hz and as high as 20k. So, the speakers can reproduce quite a bit, certainly in excess of your preferred 80 / 5k filters.

    At a certain point you go beyond the boundaries of human hearing, but I think perception is still colored by those ranges because air is still being moved whether the ears interpret it or not. In the lower ranges it can translate to things like the thump in the gut that you feel when chugging, etc.

    I honestly don't understand the field of acoustics enough to speak intelligently on the matter. Then again, I don't understand girls, either, so I've learned to live with my limitations. :)

    Surely it'd make more sense for it to be set to only create 'guitar-like' frequencies in the first place!?! I'm guessing that this is where somebody is going to tell me that the 'magic' in a guitar amps sound lives in a little bit of those fizzy and / or boomy frequencies being added?

    "Guitar-like" frequencies is a bit ambiguous and thus difficult to define even in the most limited ways. In standard tuning on a six string, from the open low E to highest fretted E note might be considered the complete range of frequencies. However, there are also seven string guitars, dropped tunings, etc. so to those guys, it's a different range of notes.

    Then there's all that magic stuff. Even with a standard six string, if you stick a mic in front of a tube amp / speaker cab, then record and analyze the results, you'll find a much wider range of frequencies than just the notes on the guitar. And what you get will vary widely with each change in amp, cabinet, mic, and mic placement. And that's before you start twisting knobs on the amp head. A guitar tone is a complex creature.

    What i don't understand, still, it why on earth the Kemper allows frequencies, which should never be present in guitar tone, to be present?

    Then there's the physical reality of it all. You plugged a guitar into an amp. If the frequencies are there, then they were generated by your guitar / amp / speaker cab and thus are, by definition, "guitar-like" frequencies. It's not like they were snuck into your speaker cabinet and duct taped to the back of the speaker cone by elves in the night. :)

    Obviously a lot of those frequencies don't work for you, hence the desire to eliminate them, rogue elves notwithstanding. And that's absolutely fine. A guitar tone is a very personal thing, so whatever you want to hear is the correct thing for you to hear. That said, if Kemper tried to arbitrarily eliminate frequencies that would normally be generated by a given amp / cab combination based on your recommendations, they would be forcing everyone else to use the same kind of tone as you. I suspect that would cause riots in the streets. Or at least a mass migration to another guitar amp.

    Rather than being unhappy with physical reality, I think you'll get the most enjoyment by focusing on how to achieve the tone you're looking for. If it were me, at the point where I found myself having to do heavy tweaking to get my sound, I would instead be moving on to other profiles.

    Also, since you're new to the Kemper, I'll mention a mistake I made when I first got mine that almost resulted in my boxing it up and sending it back. For reference, I'm a classic rock guy. So, the first thing I did was browse through all the free profiles on Rig Exchange looking at Marshalls. I was absolutely stunned by how bad they all sounded. And not in a subtle way. Eventually I realized that I was making assumptions. I saw "Marshall" and assumed it would be dialed in like I would dial in a Marshall. However, that same head can play Earth, Wind and Fire, Bonnie Raitt, Bad Company, or New Age Post Apocalyptic Lunar Metal. Same amp, huge difference in tones. What a metal guy thinks is awesome would get me kicked out of a Bad Company tribute band, and my settings would get me laughed off of a metal stage.

    Remember, a profile is not, "Here's a Marshall JCM 800, do as you will to it." It's a single moment in time after someone selected a speaker cab, dialed in a tone, chose a microphone, placed it to taste and did the profile. If they dialed in the tone for Earth, Wind and Fire, you ain't gonna get good metal no matter how many pedals and EQ settings you throw at it.

    A profile is a snapshot, not an amplifier.

    So, if you're finding frequencies that don't work for you, instead of trying to polish a turd (sorry, I'm from the deep south in the US), move on to other profiles and find the source material that's closest to what you want. I actually have a wide selection of profiles that absolutely nail my tone with zero tweaking. It's all about finding profiles from people who are into the same genre as you, and do it well.

    I hope this helps you get a feel for the wheel. The Kemper will definitely get you where you want to go, you just have to know how to drive it.

    In all the HPF / LPF filters I've seen, they're always a ramp rather than a hard line drawn perpendicular at the cutoff frequency. Because of this, your HPF doesn't kill 100% of the signal from 0 to 80. Rather, it attenuates by x dbs, with x depending on where the frequency hits the ramp.

    Picture the right hand portion of the letter V, with the lower point being 0 and the upper being 80. The bottom of the V is off, the top is on. Now imagine 40 being halfway between the two from left to right, and you can see that it doesn't get turned all the way off, it's only turned down partially.

    This is a terribly clumsy layman's explanation and I'm sure the knowledgeable guys can offer more clarity, but hopefully this helps you understand why an HPF at 80 doesn't kill 100% of the signal below 80.

    Hey, Mikey.

    I come from similar origins. Had a lot of good tube heads, Marshall 4x12, open back Fender, etc. but don't gig anymore.

    I bought the powered head to have options, allowing me to use my cabs if I wanted. Eventually I bought a Yamaha DRX-10, which is powered, and haven't really used my cabs since then. However, I also have a decent studio and that's most of where I spend my time these days. It's always fun to turn up an amp and feel the thump in my chest, but 98% of the time I'm now listening through my studio monitors and the cabs all gather dust.

    Tone-wise, I don't miss not using my cabs. I may eventually sell them. If I ever gig again (classic rock / blues), I doubt I'll carry anything more than the DXR-10.

    To your ease of use point, this is exactly what the Kemper gives me. If I want Zep, I select a profile. SRV? Just pick a different profile, and so on. It's incredibly quick and easy to use in the studio or through a cab, and most important, with zero compromises in tone. Frankly, my guitar has never sounded this good, and I've been at it since the 70s.

    Also, I am in fact a computer guy, having made a living developing software for 30 years. Consequently, the very last thing I want to screw around with when I grab my guitar is yet another freakin' computer. The Kemper actually covers both extremes. You can bring up the editor software and tweak to your heart's content if you enjoy that sort of thing. I don't, and fortunately you don't have to.

    It also can behave just like an amp. Pick a profile, grab guitar, rock and roll. I found some commercial profilers that were excellent for my genres and who dial in the amps better than I ever did. I almost never tweak them. I just bring up the profile and start playing.

    I agree with the best bang for the buck sentiments. You can buy cheaper stuff, but the Kemper sounds so good that after owning it a week I sold every tube amp I owned. There are other offerings like Fractal AxeFx and Line 6, but their approach is different, allowing you to assemble and build tones from the ground up. I don't enjoy that process so for me the Kemper, using profiles captured from people who dial in tones better than I do, is the best path. If I spend 40 bucks on a commercial pack, I get tones from $20,000 worth of amps, so I see it as a high return on investment.

    As for powered or non powered, if you can afford the powered you have all the options. However, the real question is how are you going to be using it day to day? If you want to plug in and play at 105db through a cab, you can either go powered -> your cabs or unpowered, sell your cabs, and buy a powered FRFR. If you're not going to be playing at volume, you may find the unpowered version and just running through your studio monitors to be all you need.

    It wasn't cheap to get in the game, but I've never been this happy with my rig before, for sound, versatility and ease of use. Push a button, rock and roll. I think you can find what you're looking for with it.

    I'm 51 by tue way. Is this now the "olf guys" corner 😁

    Seems plenty of old guys rock Kempers.

    In my neighborhood, we make the 50-year-olds sit at the kids' table when the holidays roll around. :)

    Thanks Chris, i'm always happy to receive constructive criticism, I'm really just a guitar player who tries his best to produce. I'll defintely check out what you are saying about. Thanks for the tip and thanks for listening to our song

    You're doing great stuff, this is very much just a tweak to take it up a notch.

    I use Cubase, and in 10.5 they introduced a new feature that lets you bring up two channels and overlay the eq so you can see where the overlaps are. I think there are third party eq plugins (probably FabFilter among others) that they got this from. I find it an excellent tool for this sort of thing, but of course if you don't have something like this you can just go back and forth between guitars, etc. and see what frequencies overlap with the lead vocal.

    I know what you mean about being just a guitar player. No matter how long I do this there's always something new to learn, which keeps it fun.

    On the left is my DIY Project.
    After getting used to the multiscale, there came the nice Ormsby Hypemachine

    I'm not artsy enough to articulate this in any kind of coherent manner, but there's something about the way the wood grain works with the cut of the guitar and the angle of the pickups & bridge that's absolutely stunning. I don't know if it stands out to others but it was certainly double-take material for me.

    Nicely done, man.

    Hey, Joe.

    I love this genre of music and enjoyed the song. Nicely done, guitars sound great and a good mix overall.

    I'm listening in the studio, with pretty decent acoustic treatment, over my reference monitors. The one thing that stood out to me is that the vocal is blurred into the background instead of popping out front, so I have to struggle a bit. This is easiest to notice on the first verse. After that the ears / brain begin to subconsciously compensate to hear the singer, which means it's also easy to miss if you've just been mixing for awhile without a break.

    As you're working on final mixes, you might want to look at carving out some real estate for the vocal by seeing which instruments are prominent in the vocal frequency range and scooping out some eq on them to make room for the singer (gives you a cleaner result than trying to boost frequencies on vox).

    Just an observation on an otherwise great song, hope it's helpful.

    While he was an inspirational guitarist, one of the things I always admired was the fact that he was happy. I saw them on the Women and Children tour, and countless times on TV, and he always looked like he was just having the time of his life. He was a joyous creature, which I'll miss as much as the music.

    The one quirk of the Kemper that took some getting used to is the fact that feedback doesn't seem to happen quite the same as it would with a regular tube amp / speaker cab. I know some people bought the Freq Out pedal for this reason.

    Since the Kabinet is really all about the amp in the room / monitoring thing, I was wondering if it provided a different interaction with the guitar and Kemper that would allow for more natural feedback scenarios without needing something like the Freq Out.

    This isn't a critical consideration for me, as it's not like I'm going to play in a Ted Nugent tribute band. Nonetheless, I was curious to see if it provided a different experience in this regard.

    I tend to use a mixture of approaches mentioned by everyone depending on the needs of the song.

    When I'm experimenting or laying down scratch guitar so I have something to work with as I do drums, bass, etc., I'll often find a tone that's close enough for rock and roll and just record it with no DI. Since this is intended to be replaced once I have the groove of the song going in all other respects it's just the quickest way to get something down or capture an idea.

    I'll often know what I'm looking for in guitar and from experience know what profile will sit in the type of mix I'm doing. If that's the case I may just track the final guitar without a DI and be done with it.

    Other times, I may be having trouble finding the tone that really fits. In those cases I'll get something close and track both the tone and the DI. That way I have something printed to work on other parts of the song (like if I get frustrated with guitar and just need to move on for a while) without having to reamp. But having the DI lets me work purely on the tone hunt, navigating through Rig Manager as the song plays.

    For me, this is all very easy to do as my audio interface is actually a Yamaha TF5 mixer that provides 32 channels of USB i/o to Cubase plus 16 busses, etc. Because of this I've been able to get everything wired up with DI signal, reamping bus, etc. so that it's very easy to go back and forth without having to make cable changes.

    When cost is not a prohibitive factor, I'm a big advocate of having a mixer in the loop, even if it's not your audio interface. There are days when I'm completely in the box and it might seem like overkill, but I really like having everything wired up and ready to go. I agree with Josh, screwing with cables is a total buzz kill.

    Thats the bit I don;t get...peopel saysing how expensive the KPA it to a Les Paul or Mesa etc...its a bargain

    I spent forty bucks and got Marshalls and Bogners and Dumbles (oh, my!).

    If someone could show me how to do that with guitars I'd erect a statue in their honor.

    Needs more cowbell. :)

    Mississippi Queen is one of my all time favorite songs. The tone's not that big of a deal today, but back then this sound was just nasty. We all wanted it, but there was no Internet and most of use just assumed the standard Marshall thing with some twist to it to make it snarl like that. It's the same with the first couple of Z. Z. Top albums. if you listen to them today the guitars sound okay, but they really stood out back then as they had a distinctive tone compared with Gibbons' contemporaries.

    As it turns out, this is probably the most counter-intuitive guitar rig in rock history. I remember those Sunn Coliseum PAs (not fondly). And Eminence speakers for rock and roll? Just the thought of that combination would have me running from the room. And yet...

    I never realized he played with thin picks, and I also notice in both videos it's a P90 pickup, which I also wouldn't have guessed as I was assuming humbuckers. I saw Leslie West in the early 80s when I was working in New York but don't remember his rig (or much of anything else from that period of my life).

    I have an M. Britt Friedman profiled with a Klon in front that I use for this kind of thing. It's a good, punchy rock sound, but I'm not striving for authenticity.

    I spent some time with them last night. One of the characteristics that seems to describe this particular offering is the compression, and they all struck me as tones that I would describe as very well behaved. Tonally capable of poking through the mix on single lines, but for chords and rhythm very even and smooth.

    They don't leap out at me and wave their arms like some of the recent 60s / 70s Marshalls, but they were all very usable. Like any other profile it's all about context, so they're absolutely not what I'm looking for in song A, and a nice, snug fit for song B.

    Regarding the compression, which is the thing that was the most noticeable to me, that is of course something that's added in the Kemper effects. I disabled it on a few of the low gain ones and the amps still sounded well behaved, but it's actually the final product that I enjoyed. There are times when that's exactly the touch I'm looking for.

    We often think of a Kemper profile as, "This is an xyz amp." However, everyone knows how important all the other aspects are, i.e. mic choice and placement, cabinet, how you dial the tone in, refinement / fx in the Kemper itself, etc. I love how close a Kemper sounds to the real amp. That's a Kemper thing, and an amp thing. And yet, another big selling point for me was the ability to buy profiles where someone else dialed in the tone, miked it up and gave me an end result that's better than what I usually get on my own with tube amps. And that got me thinking about the brown bag experiment in general.

    I know there are trademark and copyright grumblings from amp manufacturers that affect profilers, and I understand their perspective. But when I'm buying a profile, what I'm paying for is more than just "here's an xyz amp." I'm paying for the talent that goes into delivering the end result, just like you'd pay a top shelf studio engineer when making a record. That transcends the amp, because I can assure you I'm perfectly capable of making an xyz amp sound like absolute crap.

    So is the brown bag idea the early beginnings of a new perspective, i.e. you can buy a recreation of an xyz amp, or you can pay someone for their talent in creating an end result where that's all that matters? It's an interesting question, and I think it shines a light on the talents of all profilers, above and beyond their ability to capture a faithful reproduction of some amp.

    As I'd mentioned before, I do like the point of reference, e.g. "black face style," as it helps me find a starting point. But beyond that, I'm realizing I really don't care what the amp is, only how it sounds.