Wheresthedug cheers fella! I do like this Taylor. I can't tell though whether the guitar is just mellowing, the ES system's piezo contact mics are ageing, or my ears are just shedding high frequency sensitivity after some abuse, but I swear it used to be less mid-focused. Still, a bit of mid scoop and some reverb and away she goes.
Now that sounds better than I have imagined.
Can you tell us about the signal flow in the Profiler and the pickup and Acoustic Simulator settings?
Have you used additional equalizers?
Thanks for mentioning at Youtube the dilemma of using additional profiles.
High praise indeed - thank you sir! I used the bridge pickup on all three and rolled the high end off a little with the tone pots. Kemper signal chain was simply: Guitar > Kemper > AS > PureBoost > Legacy Reverb > Output EQ
The AS settings used for the Tele I notice now were slightly different to the others, with more body as below:
(I didn't use the compressor you can see in the chain)
My past experience with other AS pedals was that the low end was left lacking while highs were over-hyped. Assuming you have some quite narrow-band filtering going on (in place of harmonic synthesis) I elected to go big on the body control - perhaps too much so - then filter off the low end afterwards. The other guitars had the Body control set to +3.5 rather than +4.3.
Legacy Reverb (still my favourite):
The output EQ on the Kemper was set to
Mid and Treble 0.0
The Pure Boost was set to +5dB. It would probably make sense to have another one in there. After recording the EQ I applied was as follows (see labels above each for Tele, Strat). The most notable bits:
- Tele has 800 Hz cut reduce some of the quack (and this one really can be quacky)
- Eggle may have benefitted from a flatter low end listening back, taking our that relative peak near 200 Hz (I wasn't taking a huge amount of time over this)
- Overall I clearly needed more top end, so should have done that at source
- High Pass filter for all is set to 106 Hz to clean them up
I'm sure some of the EQ moves partially undid one another as I carried on tweaking, but perhaps it's worth noting that this was genuinely my first go with the AS and I dialled in settings just before recording the tracks with each guitar. I spent as much time adjusting the sound of the Taylor to get it sounding right as I did the electrics, which is interesting. I also spent more time enjoying playing through the AS than tweaking it, which is a good test to pass. Monitored through a set of Genelecs, checked on DT770 Pros and a Sonos Beam. The latter is surprisingly good at highlighting issues.
All the best,
That’s good to know - you’re welcome!
It sounds great. I don’t hear any hiss either. Would you mind sharing your settings or if it’s a profile, which one? I think I dialed in a great sound but it just comes with some hiss that will be unacceptable for some quiet things I need to do. Good job!
Thanks. Haven't curated a profile I'll keep just yet, but these are the AS settings used:
I added a Pure Booster at +5dB to get the level up, and Legacy Reverb like so:
I did a bit of EQ tweaking on the main output EQ for each to match them and control the low end, retaining the body but rolling off around 115 Hz and below. Controlled the high end by backing off tone pots on the guitars. All of them were on bridge pickups too. It's quite a sensitive process, which is perhaps a criticism - I got one good sound out of each guitar, rather than an array.
Decided to record a mashup between the following:
- Taylor 310 CE L7 with a 2004 Expression System (two contact mics and under-neck pickup)
- Patrick Eggle Berlin with coil tapped Seymour Duncan humbuckers
- Fender ‘Partscaster’ Tele with Bare Knuckle ‘Yardbird’ pickups
- Fender American Professional Strat 2017 with factory pickups
I’m very pleased with the AS - I’m having much more success than I was with the Boss AC-3 I once owned. Particularly like the Tele, despite it still being obviously a Tele when digging in. Although I had an 8kHz noise at one point, it seems to have been external interference that is no longer in effect, or my ears have gone again. Free from hiss over here, as far as I can hear...! If not, don't tell me...
My first impression is, it sounds very good, and the ‘mechanical sounds’ that you get from an acoustic such as body thump are there. I’m getting a constant 8kHz whine with it though when I’m on single pickup positions (1, 3 and 5) on my Strat. Reduced the system down to just guitar>Kemper>headphones and it is still present. I don’t seem to be able to affect it by moving around, unlike other external sources of interference that plague single coils. I’ve dialled it out with EQ but is anyone else experiencing the same?
In performance mode especially, I rarely touch Bass, Middle, Treble and Presence on my Stage. I frequently want to access independent output level controls though, on OUTPUT page 2/9. It would be great if there was the option to keep those controls on the encoders when you go back to rig view, instead of the EQ. If the page has been moved, there are a lot of user steps to get back to it and if you leave it open, the output button is flashing away and is distracting.
I find myself wishing for an AES interface on my Stage in place of coaxial S/PDIF. The former is more common in the professional live and broadcast sectors, and digital desks often have AES i/o going spare, whereas a S/PDIF Pair (if fitted) are often taken up by some outboard equipment racked near the desk. An output only would just about suffice, as a lot of digital desks and associated stageboxes have sample rate converters on AES inputs. An out as well (that could be a clock source) that could be used as an aux return would be even better.
Given the ever expanding range of Kemper usage scenarios, rather than having to have every option, perhaps an i/o expansion slot would make sense, so users could pick an AES card, AoIP card, W/C i/o card to best suit their integrations needs.
I guess I should have been more clear about my setup. I have a macbook connected to the Kemper permanently in a studio. The kemper is mounted in a desk rack and never moves. Since the Kemper already makes use of USB, increasingly so with the improvements being made to Rig Manager, it just seems obvious to pass MIDI through as well.
Sure, totally agree it would be a nice feature to have and your usage case is valid for a lot of users. I suspect that it is more than just firmware development that would be required though I.e. the USB onboard device chipset would need to support it. I would be happy to be proven wrong in a subsequent release, as it would indeed be a cool feature.
Without a host computer, I’m not aware that USB-USB MIDI is a thing, is it? For example, connecting to floor controllers, amps (for channel switching) or keyboards so that patch changes trigger performance slots to be recalled, loopers with MIDI clock etc.
In those performance-centric device to device use cases, which I would suggest is the Kemper’s primary stomping ground, 5pin DIN connections make a lot more sense. I guess they could have fitted both, but I’m sure a line has to drawn somewhere to prevent feature-creep.
Which way round is your clocking scheme working? The Kemper could be trying to be either master or slave, if it’s the Stage. One of the devices can’t have locked to the incoming signal correctly, so both devices ran as masters on their own ‘free’ time’, I would suggest. This would explain the errors in the data stream that you heard. If there is only one SPDIF connection from Kemper to interface, then the interface firing up has no impact on the Kemper clocking-wise. Power cycling the Kemper in this case though would force the interface to re-clock again, so it is difficult to know what was to blame unless you can find a ‘recipe’ to reproduce this.
damn! Gutted to hear that the PSM300 has such low latency. Now I can’t blame my shit timing on the IEM latency and might need to actually do some practice with the metronome ?
Haha Blame it on interference from the lights or something Alan, or every time you miss a beat just stare in disgust at the keyboard player.
I have the PSM300, which is stereo, which I use with some RHA earbuds. I tried out a PSM200, which is mono and I could not get on with it, personally.
8ms is outrageous for a wireless system in modern terms it seems. IIRC the Line 6 G10 and G30 stuff is under 3ms. I still have an Audio Technica analogue system that has no latency, but doesn’t sound too great. It is also only just clinging on to a bit of channel 70 in the legal spectrum - the MoD have taken all its other channels ?
I’m a little confused too - the MAIN OUTS on your desk are to feed your speakers. There are the XLR outs in the rear of the desk, and a copy of the same outputs on TRS jacks in the top, where you describe. Are you saying you connect the Kemper’s outputs to these? I think the desk would be trying to drive the Kemper, as well as the speakers in parallel. The Kemper would be trying to drive the other way and is managing to get some signal to those XLR outs.
I guess I need to know where your speakers are connected. If you could draw out a rough diagram of how everything is connected, that would really help.
However, if the level of fuzz does not go up and down with the actual Kemper audio, or with the fader, in means it is later in the signal chain. You may, for instance, have a ground loop situation between your desk and the speakers, or if the ‘short circuit’ situation described above is actually happening, between the Kemper and the speakers directly.
You have ground lift switches on the Kemper, so let’s try that and see if it influences things.
We ended up with the whole band going to in ears and making our own monitor mix through the keyboard players laptop and interface.
I’m intrigued. Is the software you’re using the driver for the interface with built-in low latency monitor mixing then? Like the Audient, Metric Halo or Motu stuff? Sounds like a powerful solution.
Most digital wireless systems will introduce more latency than the Kemper.
This might surprise you (it has me), but now I remember why I bought the Shure PSM system; I measure the latency at only 0.667ms ! A quick check on the Shure website to make sure and yep, they quote 0.7ms end-to-end. I'm using the P3RA belt pack for reference - others may differ. There are surely much slower digital IEM systems out there - I seem to remember Line 6 options I looked at are 4ms, which seems unreasonably slow by comparison.
Anyway, that means a round trip latency of 3.2ms for a Kemper + PSM + analogue mixer system. That's the same time it takes sound to travel 1m through the air...
Fair comment - I should measure my Shure PSM-300 system actually. A guy I know who runs a live rental company said he'd bought back a lot of analogue mic and IEM transceivers/receivers they thought they'd moved on from more recently, as a couple of high profile tours had been plagued by latency adding up to too much through the complete system and interference in the 2.4 and 5GHz bands meaning they needed an unhealthy dose of radio transmission level onstage to make the digital systems work.
I have a 1/8 inch to dual 1/4 splitter so was looking at using that for the short term. Plugging from the 1/8 jack to the kemper with no guitar and mixing the guitar in through the kemper. Will this work?
No worries. In short, yes it will work, it'll just be an unbalanced connection so check there isn't too much interference picked up from mains cabling and transformers, lighting control boxes etc. around the stage area.
If there is an unacceptable amount of buzz an hum working its way in, then you could talk to the engineer about taking the balanced signal that must be feeding a headphone driver somewhere onstage (on the other end of that headphone extender cable you're being offered) and connecting it directly to your Kemper TRS return instead. They probably have the correct cabling/adapters.
I agree with the others, stereo foldback is probably a goal to aim for if at all possible. Combine that with being able to EQ the band mix as well, and with your personal monitor mix system on iPad you'll have a holdback setup that's hard to beat.
Hi, I'll try and work through step-by-step for you:
"I have always used the TS main outs from kemper to connect the main outs (L/R) in my audio interface"
I have always used the TS main outs from kemper to connect the main outs (L/R) in my audio interface (I use Pro FX8)
Ok so you've taken the TS outs of the Kemper into the ST (stereo) RETURN channel on the Mackie ProFX8 as I understand it, so if it's not working, it's sensible to move to the more flexible inputs.
I'm just using bold just to denote the actual labelling on the desk btw - I know this is sometimes used to sound condescending instead - not my intention! Also if I've got the wrong desk/interface, you can disregard the rest of this!
The ST RETURN inputs are line level that will accept either balanced signals (TRS) or unbalanced (TS), but TS will be 6dB lower than the equivalent balanced signal level (half the signal) so if there is no input gain control I can see how you're having to push the fader into the bump stops, especially if the output of the Kemper is not all the way up.
If you connect to the Line L and R inputs on channels 7/8 you have a line input trim of +/- 20dB to help set the input GAIN correctly. Unfortunately, none of the channels have both a Line input gain trim AND an input level LED, so I think you'll need to use the OL (overload LED) as an indication of where a sensible operating level is instead, by doing the following:
- Bring the main output level fader all the way down to minus infinity to mute the output
- Set the Ch 7/8 fader to U (unity gain, which is 0dB)
- Turn the Kemper up to just above where you think'll you have it set usually and switch in all your boosts etc.
- Set the desk EQ to 'flat' on the channel; HI, MID and LOW all in the 12 o'clock position
- Adjust the GAIN knob at the top of ch 7/8 until you see the OL red LED by the fader flickering a little, then back it off a little (a few dB).
- Carefully bring up the MAIN fader.
This should optimise the gain structure through the desk, for the best signal to noise performance etc. and put your fader controls in a sensible range. They are for level balancing and have the most resolution around the unity gain point (U).
However my tone became all fuzzy and weak, even tho I could use the fader to increase the volume, Is it because of the built-in EQs that messed up my tone?
It sounds like this was either the input being overloaded, or the channel OL was lighting up, which appears to be driven post fader and therefore post-EQ. You shouldn't require much EQ on the desk if you're happy with your Kemper tone already. If the EQ controls were already at 12 o'clock, they weren't the culprit.Quote
Not sure if its a technical question on digital recording but would really appreciate if someone could clear the concepts for me, cheers and stay safe!
The desk's built-in USB interface will take a line level input and convert it. If what you were hearing was from the desk analogue outputs before this stage, or in addition to it, then the problems were all in the analogue domain as described above. If it was ONLY the digital output via USB that was clipping or distorted, I'd be surprised, as the converter should be configured to take the same signal levels as the desk can handle cleanly. That USB interface is 16 bit, rather than 24 bit (common on smaller desks like this). This is fine, but you will find the limitations of a 16bit interface before a 24 interface. The reason is the bits describe the dynamic variation of the signal, so the maximum dynamic range for 16 it is 96 dB between the quietest and loudest signals. By comparison, 24 bit is 144 dB, which is a huge increase in range, and much greater than the range of our hearing system.
This is important for input signals that are still wildly uncompressed (often) and therefore have a lot of dynamic range. I don't think this necessarily applies to your Kemper signal, which has a considerable amount of processing, but you can more easily drive a 16bit converter too hard. Digital clipping sounds horrible, compared to progressive analogue distortion, so perhaps you were elegantly distorting your desk outputs, but harshly distorting your converter if you didn't hear it in the analogue domain.
Let me know if I've gone in the right direction here or if I'm off on a tangent...
So the cable you’re given on-stage is already 1/4” TRS or 1/8” TRS jack socket on the end of it carrying headphone level signal? I.e. driven from a headphone amp somewhere?
Or is it an XLR/TRS jack that you plug into your own headphone amp/level control box or wireless IEM transmitter?
Forgive me for not knowing if you’re well versed in audio TLAs or not - if the above doesn’t mean much to you let me know.
You can do what you’re suggesting with the correct cable adapter(s) connecting to the Aux input (Return 1 for mono) on the Kemper.
You would need to mute the guitar signal being sent from the desk (or just pull the send down on the iPad app if no mute button) and set the aux input to mono on the Kemper. You’d still have most of your signal in the middle though - mono to a stereo output isn’t going to suddenly become a lot wider. The guitar would be in stereo, yes, but most of it is still centred unless you pan it around (panorama control on the Kemper rig settings). You won’t be able to pan the desk mix, but you can connect it to one side of the aux return in stereo mode I suppose, and pan the guitar to the other side (hard pan). I know some people who play like this, but I find it awful personally.
I still think a mono Kemper aux setup could work though, with the following considerations:
- With the ‘rest of band’ mix now separate from your guitar foldback, you can be more liberal with the foldback/aux EQ (or your engineer can). I suspect that there just a lot going on in the midrange and it is making it difficult for you to define your guitar at times. Just increasing the level of the guitar will risk damaging your ears, so instead try cutting out a chunk of the mid frequency range from the band mix to give it more space to occupy on its own. As it’s a digital desk, it is bound to have Aux EQ for this.
- Make sure you don’t unintentionally unbalance the signal coming from the desk by using a TS jack cable, as it will pick up interference. The Toaster and Rack have an XLR Return (as well as the TRS) so that would be ideal as it is balanced+robust and easy for live sound venues as there should be XLR cables aplenty. The Stage has TRS returns only, which are also balanced connections and compatible with XLR, using the correct cable.
- Using the 1/8” headphone out on the Kemper will sound great; better than any wireless IEM system, for example, and most headphone outs period from what I’ve found, but it’s not robust if someone trips on your cable. It’s a real shame this isn’t a 1/4” output, it hey.. Just make sure you secure the cable to take the strain relief.
Also remember “Space” might be enabled on the headphone out so enable/disable as required.
Lastly, depending on the size of your band and the size of the desk, there might actually be scope to provide a stereo foldback mix if you can convince the engineer that you need and deserve it ?. They might just have a working practice of mono foldback despite having more capacity. Worth a conversation with them. Have you already explained the issues you’re having? While handing out personal monitor mixing on iPads solves a LOT of challenges and saves a lot of time for an engineer while empowering the talent, it shouldn’t absolve them of their monitor mixing duties entirely.
Let me know how you get on and if the mono EQ solution does anything for you, and if any of the above doesn’t make sense please let me know.