Posts by alligatorlizard

    Just to report back - setting the dials very finely, kind of by "feel" within the discrete values shown on screen, does seem to be worth the while.


    I took some of my all-time favourite profiles - ones where I was happy I'd set the various parameters to the best values, and got the EQ just right - then saved new versions and "fine tweaked" every setting within the values selected. A/B-ing the results, it's not like the previous versions were terrible in comparison - but the "finely-tweaked" ones were noticeably a bit tighter, and even more spot-on EQ-wise. Probably not worth going to these lengths for profiles you're just experimenting with, but for ones you intend to use regularly, adds an extra "gloss", if you will.


    Would be great if there was someway (e.g. in rig manager) to see the dialed in values in more resolution - just one more decimal place would do it!

    I do like some of Top Jimi's profiles, but they have quite an unusual sound, presumably due to how he mics them up - good for vintage styles, but I generally find myself using other profiles for recording. I had to try a lot of different profiles before I find ones that really worked with my guitars and styles of music etc - it may just be you need to keep looking? As for tweaking them, my experience is that once you've found great profiles, you can always tweak to make them perfect - but that if a profile's really not sounding right to begin with then, there's only so much you can do.

    OK, thanks, good to know. And not that I had any reason to distrust the original answer, just wanted to make sure this was a technical fact, not just an opinion.


    Sometimes when setting e.g. definition I feel like it might sound very slightly better with the dial adjusted slightly "within" the numerical value I've chosen - obviously this is getting into the realm of very fine tuning, but good to know I'm not imagining it! It is a bit frustrating you can't easily return to specific values within the broader displayed ones (e.g. 5.72 definition) - instead you just have to fish around with tiny movements of the dial. Most of the time of course such precision isn't really needed, which is I guess why they chose not to display higher resolution in the numerical values displayed - but sometimes - especially with EQ stack and definition, I feel like very fine adjustments can make a subtle difference. But anyway, good to know I'm not imagining it!!


    And yes, point take about nothing being truly continuous in the digital realm ;)

    No offense to Ingolf, but could I get a second opinion on the controllers being continuous or discrete, as I'm not entirely convinced...


    I can hear a definite difference when moving certain parameters from one numerical increment to another - e.g. from 2.5 to 2.6 - but I'm not sure I can hear any difference between e.g. the dial on 2.5 but almost at 2.6, and the dial at 2.5 but almost at 2.4. To put another way, is there really any sonic difference when you turn the dials just a tiny bit, i.e enough to show the graphical slider moving a bit (and the green LED's around the dial change a bit), but without the numerical display changing? My ears can't decide...

    1. The controllers are continuous.

    2. The profile contains the amount of sag the amp shows when profiling. The profile can be altered however by adding sag in the amp menu.

    Thanks!


    Good to know the profiles capture the sag.


    However, I kind of wish the controllers weren't continuous! I'm now going to be spending even longer setting the definition etc.. e.g. does it sound better at 7.5 with the dial almost at 7.4, or at 7.5 with the dial almost at 7.6...

    2 things I've always wondered about the Kemper:


    1) When turning the dials on e.g. EQ or amp parameters, are the values discrete (i.e. go directly from e.g. 6.1 to 6.2) or continuous (i.e. you can actually dial in values between the displayed values even though these are not displayed)? I ask because if you watch the graphical slider closely when turning the knob, you can see it move inbetween numerically displayed values - sometimes I think I can hear a difference with the slider moved slightly one way or another before the numerically displayed value changes - other times I think I'm imagining it... which is it?


    2) When profiling, does the Kemper "capture" the natural sag of an amp? I often dial in various levels of sag in the Amp section, but am curious whether I'm adding to the sag already "captured" by the profiling process, or if in fact sag is not something that a profile can contain, and in order to match the sag of a given amp it is necessary to use the sag dial?

    you mentioned a commercial seller in your 1st post.

    Ah, fair enough - have now removed the reference as it wasn't really relevant, had only included it as a matter of interest. Same tip/trick applies to any profile (even ones you create yourself I suppose - e.g. if you want to use with different guitar or just refine the tone). Any chance of going back into the forum section where I'm more likely to get some feedback on this?


    btw, have now applied this method to a bunch of different profiles - is really working some magic! I mean I've been getting great sounds out of the Kemper since the day I bought it - and the more I've experimented with the parameters, the more "perfect" these tones have become - but until I tried eq-ing the signal going into the profiles, I thought I'd got it sounding as good as it could - not so! - turns out it's possible to make them even better :)

    Just to add two things:


    1) Have been experimenting more today, and I'd definitely advise setting the main stack EQ first - do as much as possible with this, then add a graphic EQ stomp as a last step to fine tune the response of the profile to your pickups. I tried the other way around, leaving stack EQ flat, and setting the graphic EQ stomp first, and ended up with a very harsh un-natural sound (even after then smoothing it out somewhat with the stack EQ). I guess this is the sort of "desaster" DonPeterson mentioned earlier!! BUT if you get the profile sounding as nice as possible using the various amp/cab parameters and the stack EQ, then add a graphic EQ in a stomp slot (or studio EQ would work too of course), this really seems to add that final bit of detailed control over the tone that can really take it to another level. Whether or not it is indeed compensating for a difference in pickups as I surmised, or it's just a great tone-shaping tool that I'd hitherto neglected, I don't know. But it works! And any other EQing tips along these lines much welcome - I'm sure there are other still tricks like this I'm missing, or ways of refining this method more.


    2) I have no idea why this thread was moved from "Share Tips and Tricks" to "Third Party rigs discussion..." OK, so I'm talking about refining the sound of commercial profiles to fit different pickups than they were profiled with - but it's not a direct discussion of 3rd party profiles like virtually every other thread in this section... It's literally sharing a tip/trick! And as I'm obviously after any feedback that might help me refine this tip/trick, I can't help but think this is far less likely now it's in the 3rd party rigs discussion forum... Oh well... ?(

    a lot also comes from the setup of the pickup:
    distance to strings / bass/treble angle

    it's amazing how much you can do tone-wise with just a screwdriver and your ears :)


    I also have the impression that quite a few users are not happy with what their pickups are doing in their guitars and constantly have to fight this.
    ;)

    Again, agreed, but already covered. Badly adjusted pickups is not the problem I'm trying to solve here.

    it's a common enough approach - works well if you know what you're doing and you are shaping your tone in context - otherwise it can be a recipe for desaster.

    Good to know, because a few posts back your feelings on it seemed to be more along the line of a flat "nope"... ;)


    It's certainly true that EQ can cause more harm than good if misused!


    The revelation for me was what a difference it made EQ-ing before the amp as opposed to after - presumably something to do with how the signal drives different EQ ranges of the profile. And my theory is that this helps to match the tone going in to the one used while profiling - clearly even between similar pickups (e.g. two different makes/models of humbucker) there is significant tonal difference, or enough anyway to radically alter the result, and I think this probably accounts for why so many people are disappointing by profiles they buy not sounding like the audio demos - i.e. the signal going in makes far more difference to the tone than anything you can do to the sound afterwards (EQ-ing post amp is certainly also needed btw, but there's only so much you can EQ a bad sound into a good one). Probably also accounts for why people often say they far prefer profiles they create themselves over commercial ones - it's likely not because they're e.g. mic'ing up the amp better, but that the input signal remains the same for both profiling and playing the resulting profile.


    And as said in a previous reply, I'm sure I'm not the first to figure this out - but in the discussions I've seen of profile-tweaking techniques (and why audio demos often sound so different than when you connect your own guitar), I've not seen this specific suggestion made. For me, it's made all the difference - takes already-good profiles to a whole other level!

    nope ;)

    Definition is.


    hth

    I should have probably said - what I'm talking about is in addition to (and after) tweaking all the available parameters in amp and cab section. These parameters are all fairly broad-stroke parameters, and are definitely the first things to tweak. And yes, definition is the very first control I reach for when loading any new profile.


    What I'm talking about goes above and beyond this - try tweaking definition etc to perfection, and then add a graphic EQ in a stomp slot and carefully set it band by band. It's "fine-tuning", sure, but you might be surprised at what a difference it makes!


    hth ;)

    rather than use an EQ in a Stomp slot try switching the Stack EQ to the Pre position. This will put it n front of the gain structure like a Mesa Mark Series amp. Any changes to the EQ here will have a dramatic effect on the gain character rather than a major change to the perceived EQ of the profile.

    I've been trying this today actually! Didn't get quite as good results as with the graphic EQ, but that's presumably because the stack EQ is much broader strokes, while the graphic EQ affords more detail.


    Also tried a similarly-set graphic EQ after the amp (x-slot), just to make sure I couldn't achieve the same results with post EQ - for a start I had to re-tweak the EQ settings, but even after that, it just didn't sound as good - having the EQ change how the amp is driven seems to be the difference.


    I'm sure I'm not the first person to figure this out, but I just haven't heard it discussed much, and so far (have now tried it on several profiles) it seems to be the best way I've found of solving the problem of profiles not quite working due to being designed with a different guitar.

    Is using an EQ in one of the fx slots before the amp module the key to "fixing" profiles that were designed using different pickups? e.g. taming profiles that sound too harsh/muddy, not because they were badly profiled, but because the guitar used to profile them had darker/brighter pickups. And if others do this, what do you favour, graphic or studio?


    I feel like there's only so much you can manipulate the amp stack EQ before it sounds wrong - so generally I've just hunted through profiles till I find one with an almost perfect tonal balance already. However, I found a lead tone which had something about it that was too good to pass up, even though it sounded too harsh and there wasn't much I could do to fix it with the stack EQ - so tried a graphic EQ in an effects pedal slot, applied some quite drastic boosts to lows and cuts to highs, and ended up with an amazingly well balanced tone. I presume the profile in question was designed using darker pickups, and what I've effectively done is EQ my guitar - so the signal going into the amp is tonally more similar to the one used while profiling it.


    Have never felt the need to use EQ pedals with real amps - but I guess this is a different situation - anyway, it did the trick!

    I've messed around with chorus and micro pitch on it, both before and after the amp, but I'm sure my settings aren't even close to the real CC sound. I'd really like to hear from some people who know what they are doing with effects (that's definitely not me, haha), to see what they are using.

    As said above, using external effects (e.g. in DAW) - the Kemper's effects do some things well, but not everything - there are plugins available that are much more capable (though stomp pedals or rack fx also an option if you're not playing via DAW) - I am guessing CC would have used rack fx of some sort, though I'd be interested to know if I'm wrong and it was just a chorus pedal (if so - which one?)

    Prepare for a potentially long search, BUT when you find the tones that work for you, it'll be worth it!


    I bought a lot of packs, from a lot of places, before finding tones that really lived up to my expectations of what I'd heard the Kemper could do. Everyone seems to have different tastes, and audio demos don't tell you much, so always try a few free profiles 1st - if a company doesn't offer free profiles, stay away. Also, just because you hear a lot of people raving about a certain companies profiles, don't assume they'll necessarily work for your style, or guitar/pickups.


    That said, my recommendations for what you mention would be Live Ready Sounds & Top Jimi. Both of these have great feel (dynamic/expressive under the fingers - not many profilers manage to capture this IMO), and do some great vintage amps and tones.

    Was listening to Poison the other day and thinking what a great tone CC had. One of my favourite guitarists too - who cares if wasn't the most technically proficient? His solos do what they need to do, great melodies, great energetic feel.


    Just looked it up, and he used a variety of amps - JCM800, Soldano, Peavey etc. My favourite 800 pack is LRS's, probably some tones in there that would work.


    As said above, a lot of that 80's tone comes from effects - try chorus/micropitch - but if you're playing thru a DAW, there are some plugins that might get you even closer. Soundtoys "Microshift" does the stereo-doubler thing perfectly (emulating the effect that was probably used on a lot of these records) and the other day I bought Arturia's Dimension D (another common studio effect since the 70s) - just a bit of this adds so much thickness to the sound without getting too flangey and obvious like a lot of choruses can - as soon as I demo'd it I was like "ah, so that's how I get that sound!" Try the demo, setting 2 with the mix turned down a bit (or around -12db on a send) and you'll see what I mean :)

    As an audio engineer out of Nashville since 1986, I have never recorded a mono signal across 2 tracks for guitar unless we created some type of stereo ambient separation for a stereo effect. The human ear hears naturally in stereo so when mixing music, I mostly create stereo imaging by panning different instruments in the mix. I use stereo chamber reverb effects to create ambience on the instruments ( the send is usually panned straight up). You can hear my mixes (listen through good quality headphones as well as speakers) here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWyZy0nxPIj3gv6jdPCRiVQ

    I agree there's no reason to record a mono signal across two tracks - it's really just a geeky technical question - if, as in the case of of the Kemper (with no stereo fx used) the stereo signal outputs identical signal to left and right channel, how is this technically any different to a mono signal - which if routed to a stereo out, also has identical signals in each channel? The panning is more fiddly I suppose - stereo balancer doesn't seem to follow the -3db pan law so you'd need to compensate for volume loss if panning - and using stereo dual panners would end up layering identical signals on top of each other - much simple just to pan a mono track. Maybe I've answered my own question there... Or is there anything else that makes a stereo track with identical signals either side undesirable compared to a mono track?