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.