Posts by Gary_W

    I’ve been using my toaster for around 10 years now.

    The bad news here is Kemper always take a little longer than we’d ideally like with updates.

    The good news is that, when they come, the updates are (a) always better than we expect and (b) free. Which is unbelievable on a 10 year unit as with previous devices (I had line 6, Boss etc) I’d always have to buy something new when the company brought out something that was newer, faster, better, more.

    Rather than just doing what everyone else does, they always go the extra mile with updates then give them away so my 10 year old thing is actually now considerably better than it was on the day I got it. I have never, ever had another electronic device where this is true.

    I’m really looking forward to the update and would like it yesterday but I have confidence that it’ll be a thing of beauty when it finally arrives and that thought will keep me warm until then :)

    I’m really looking forward to these; for me personally, trem is something I enjoy using and the one we have now is ‘ok’ vs ‘awesome’. It’ll be great when they overhall the rest of the modulation fx too but from a selfish perspective I’m glad they’re starting with these :)

    Blows my mind how an electronic thing I bought 10 years ago is now far better than it was at the mie I bought it. Any other company I’d have bought two new models in that time period.

    Looking on Kemper’s Facebook page, they’ve mentioned a ToneJunkie interview and telling them about some new modulation effects.

    This is fantastic news - it’s pretty much the only thing in the Kemper that has remained the same since the start. If they improve these as effectively as they did the delays, reverbs, stomps, stacks then I for one am very excited :)

    I’m hopeful an overhaul of the mod fx will come. I’ve had my toaster maybe 10 years now and in that time we’ve had an overhaul of the delays, the reverbs, the distortions, the fuzz, the tonestacks via liquid. Lots of other things in that time too eg floorboard, rig manager, stage, kabinet etc. Mod fx hasn’t had the same love so it would be a welcome thing. The delays, verbs etc went massively in a better direction with the redo steps over the years so I’m sure if they did it they’d make a good job of it.

    To answer the original question, this unit makes sense.

    It has the core sound of Kemper profiles which most folks still think outperforms anything else out there in the digital world.

    From a business perspective, why would a company spend research and development time and money to make a unit half the price of their main products that has the same functionality? It would be cutting their own throat for their more expensive, more feature laden models. This is an attempt to make sales in a mid range market which was previously inaccessible to them. I think it will work for them well without them taking a massive hit on their high end sales.

    This gives folks who can’t justify the pricing of a rack, stage or toaster a way in and for stage use in most bands 4 fx slots is more than enough…. Or those for who, the size is attractive. Or those who adore their pedal collection where this will fit on a wider board. You have 3 complete patches under your feet for a single song so can absolutely do some extreme changes if you do have ‘that song’ that needs it.

    As a unit, I personally won’t be buying but that’s because I already have a superior solution for my needs (a toaster with a floor board) that is still going strong. I wish the company well with this new venture and wish well the new users that this will being into the fold.

    I’m very much looking forward to this - it will be interesting to know how many different tone stack styles there are out there in the real world.

    Will some clever soul come up with a database saying which of the tone stacks is closest to any given amp? This would help home profilers and would also be a way for Kemper to decide which future tone stack models to add….. although most things will be accurate or close with 40 variants, there will certainly be other weird ones out there and a list like this might help for ‘what comes next’?

    Along with the 40 models that can be added to…. Would there be a case for Kemper adding a tweakable version so that someone making a profile could do it by ear if they have an uncommon amp with an odd tone stack? As a crude example, the bass eq on Fender Twin has a centre frequency of say 150Hz and a certain Q to give the bandwidth. Wonder if these parameters for each of the models will be tweakable? Let’s say an experienced profiler does a liquid profile and applies the ‘closest possible’ tone stack. Like now, at the profiling position, the original amp and profile will a/b very well with a great profile. But it’s then discovered that the eq doesn’t quite work the same. This could be down to an inexact match with the tonestack model or indeed something as crazy as component tolerance on an old amp….. whilst that centre frequency should be 150, on this magic model it’s actually 120. If you’re there with the actual amp and the liquid profile, being able to start with the model but tweak to reality might be of benefit.

    Or too much of a rabbit hole :)

    Anyway, many thanks for continuing to work on this unit which has proven incredible value over the years….. I’m excited about this. Hoping one day for the modulation section to get the same treatment as the verbs, delays and distortion as all those sections have taken massive leaps forward since I first got the Kemper maybe 9 or 10 years ago. I’m excited for this update and have confidence that, one day, the mod thing will happen too :)

    I actually bought one a few years ago but did not get on with it. My brain could not get used to feeling the tempo as opposed to hearing it.

    completely see your viewpoint here :) It’s one of the things that, arguably, mean that the Kemper doesn’t behave like the original amp so you could say ‘it’s not as realistic’. Completely agree that realism isn’t always beneficial….. I’ve got a Matamp C7 which has ‘highly interactive tone controls’. Which is another way of saying they make zero sense. It’s part of its charm. Or not, depending on your world view! Myself, I tend to load sweet spots of commercial profiles and actually tweak very little these days.

    If the Kemper could do gain / tonestacks exactly like the real thing? The good news would be that you’d be able to have one profile of an amp rather than 37. The bad news? You’d spend extra time dialling in sweet spots and saving them as presets anyway. From a practical perspective, if you buy commercial profiles and load sweet spots / tweak very little then I guess it wouldn’t make a massive difference. For the completist that wants to believe that their profile of a particular vintage amp acts identically to the original? It’d be one step closer to reality, even if reality isn’t necessarily practical.

    I’m still in love with my original one. I am hopeful the modulation effects section gets an overhaul soon in the same way the delays / reverbs / distortion / fuzz did. I’d like to be able to save fx chains within rig manager and apply as a batch to a bunch of profiles. Both of these are doable with what we have so I’m hopeful. But otherwise I’m good.

    Would be nice if tonestacks worked as per the original amp but again I’m not broken hearted about it - I’m happy with the sounds I get even if it means multiple amp profiles to cover the bases as opposed to one and ‘you’ve got the amp as it actually is’.

    No worries - glad it helped :)

    If you want to explore the world of making your own pedals, Madbean pedals is a great resource to Google. As well as selling drilled and etched boards (so you can easily solder components in) he has schematics there for lots of different pedals. Doesn’t look like he sells the fuzz factory clone board any more but it’s in the archives there as the Zombii.

    My favourite fuzz pedals I made from them were a D.A.M. Meathead and a Sun King (which is a very specific Classic fuzz face with a tweak and mojo transistors). I don’t have the commercial versions of any of any of these to a/b my home brew ones with but I enjoyed the results. Also made a Klon, phaser, octaver etc.

    For my particular tastes, the fuzz section in the Kemper does what I want to an excellent standard so I rarely plug in the home brew pedals. The sun king, due to its design, gets interesting by turning the guitar volume down a little (as do many fuzz pedals). I believe the Kemper Stage will go there with its virtual impedance thing going on (which my toaster doesn’t have). So that’s a downside but the Kemper fuzz is a heck of a lot quieter….. That benefit (for me) evens out against the impedance thing but that’s a very personal decision for users depending how they like things to react :)

    Before I got my Kemper (many year ago now!) I used to build lots of pedals - the schematics are out there for many of the common fuzz pedals and stomp boxes.

    Like Don says, the Fuzz Factory is a modified fuzz face. There's a gain knob and a volume knob (like on most fuzz) but the other three? One actually cut down the battery voltage. The others (if I recall correctly) were altering the bias on the circuit which leads to instability. These modifications that make it interesting (or annoying, depending on your world view) take it beyond the realms of a circuit that performs as it should because you're intentionally making it unstable / not in its sweet spot. So you can get it to oscillate and do ooooooeeeeooooschwweeee stuff without hitting anything on the guitar at all. That's the sound of 'Plug In Baby' intro. Can also get it to do interesting spitty / crackly stuff. If you like that kind of thing :)

    I'm not convinced you can get a preset to do this within the Kemper Fuzz as it stands now - happy to be put right on that if someone manages but...... The parameters you can tweak all seem to be designed to wring the maximum variety of fuzz tones (crazy / not so crazy / harsh / soft) *whilst not going into instability* because none of the parameters allow it to do so. It would be nice if parameters could be added in future that allow some of the spitty, unstable fuzz tones. But if not, I'll live.... when they released it, it for sure surpassed my hopes for what could be done with this effect.

    I love the reverbs and delays within the unit but I also mostly use reverbs and delays in the DAW. Depends really - if you’re using it ‘as an effect’ and wanting to notice it (eg spring reverb / one of the shimmery things etc) then using it up front makes sense, especially as some work really well before the amp block in the Kemper. But for blending reverbs and overall ambience, I tend to prefer to record dry and then you can do what is needed with the guitars within the wider mix. After all, you’re not typically just recording your guitar for a song and you cannot take away ‘too much reverb’ you’ve dialled in when you record. So with this in mind…..

    Valhalla reverbs are excellent - the vintage verb is a really good start and plate is lovely too for vocals. Best bang for the buck out there. He does a delay too which I would absolutely have got if I didn’t already have ample delay plug-ins. Nice guy and really fair prices.

    Going up the food chain in terms of price, both ‘Pro-R’ from FabFilter and Neoverb from Izotope are really good IMO. You should be able to get demo licences of all of these to see which one suits your mindset best…. They all think a bit differently.

    A very popular delay is Soundtoys Echoboy - it’s quite old now but it really is excellent. For tape delays, Softube ‘tape echos’ is awesome - picked it up on sale and like it a lot but it won’t do some of the crazier things that Soundtoys or the Kemper delays will do - as ever, depends what you want. Again, demo licences are available to have a go with.

    Finally, Klevgrand- I haven’t tried their delay or reverb but know they do them….. mentioning because I bought their Skaker (shakers and tambourine instrument) which is great. Again they do demos so well worth exploring.

    Hope this helps and good luck :)

    I think some folks hold the perception of ‘hiding behind’ effects as in ‘if you’re putting a load of effects on, it’s masking the fact that you can’t play very well’.

    Personally, I’m more in love with a great song than virtuoso technique and I’m a fan of interesting sounds. I love the sound of a decent guitar and great amp with nothing else but I also love simple / weird effects. Whatever sound is right for the song really…. That can be pure or sound nothing like a guitar. I think we’re lucky to have so many voices at our disposal with guitars because of both amps and effects that it’s a shame to limit ourselves……. If you think of singers, some songs suit Kate Bush, some songs suit Tom Waits. They’ll hit some of the same notes but choosing the right voice makes or breaks the song depending what you’re aiming for. Why should the guitar have to be limited by ‘do it this way or it’s fake’?

    In all the years I’ve had it, I’ve been grateful for the updates that have added a ton of things. A couple have needed me to give Kemper money to take advantage due to additional hardware to realise the new functions (so the releases that supported Kemper Remote and Kone). I gladly did this because I wanted these things. Obviously I didn’t have to do either of these. All the other cool stuff upgrades (rig manager, iPad rig thing, fuzz, distortion, reverbs, delays etc) have been entirely free. They take user experience seriously and jump on bugs pretty quickly which inevitably means a new (cool stuff) beta release often has several little releases when the user base has issues. So yes, you get a ‘cool stuff’ beta, then lots of tweaks, then a stable release. Repeat to fade. All free, all optional.

    You don’t have to do any of these. Some folks who make a living playing typically sit on a new (cool stuff) release until it’s been out for a while so they skip straight to the issue-free version. I’m just a home hobby player these days - I read the release notes and decide whether or not to take the 5-10 mins required. If these annoy you, fair enough - the system will work same way it always did without the free enhancements.

    Personally I’m still hoping for updated tremolo / modulations - they’ve re-done most of the other major effects so I’m excited by new release announcements ‘just in case’ they’ve also worked their magic on that part too. Please, keep them coming :)

    When you buy from a commercial seller, you’re entering into an agreement. You agree to pay them, they agree to give you profiles under certain conditions. If you read these conditions, you’ll see that doing the kind of things you’re describing would break those conditions and you’ve then broken a legal contract.

    Your first argument is that they ‘stole it’ in the first place by profiling an amp. They’ve stolen nothing - they’ve created a snapshot of a physical thing in the digital world using their skill / cabinets / preamps / ears. They’re selling you their ability at doing that very well with an amp you may not have access to. That’s what you’re buying...... if you still believe this is stealing, your only course of action is to not buy these stolen goods.....

    Your next argument of ‘who would know’. If I go into a small shop with no cameras and steal something off the shelf when the sole owner is out the back.... also no-one would know. It is still wrong / still a crime. It’s true that the majority of crimes / wrongdoings in our world go undetected. Society works by having a set of rules that are enforceable when you get caught but largely it works because people do the right thing. Either because they’re scared of getting caught or because they realise that ‘doing the right thing’ is worthy.

    Would suggest you ‘do the right thing’ here.

    If you are listening to a commercially released recording in a perfectly treated room with perfectly flat response monitors set in perfect positions, your ears will receive all areas of the frequency spectrum at the correct level as the mix engineer / mastering people intended.

    In real life, your monitor speakers will artificially make some parts of that spectrum louder or quieter than they should be. Your room / speaker positions can make this far, far worse.

    Then we have your ears.... it’s entirely possible that years of abuse have taken off the top end of your hearing.

    You cannot do much about this last point. The rest? You can address. I treated my little room here by building panels out of 4” acoustic density rock wool which were encased in wooden frames and covered with breathable fabric. I’ve got one on the ceiling, one on each wall closest to my monitors, behind the monitors and then there are massive wall to ceiling efforts to make a vocal wall (for when I record the vox) and the wall opposite. Cost me around £250 all in and made my monitor speakers sound considerably more expensive :).

    I am still not great at mixing - it takes a lot of time, effort and experience. But at least now when I make bad decisions in a mix, it’s on me rather than unavoidable due to me not being able to hear it accurately because of the room.

    Put it this way. If I started painting portraits, I’d suck at first. Experience would make me better.

    Trying to mix in a room that is untreated is like trying to paint a portrait in the dark..... it means you’ll end up with a crap picture and, furthermore, you’ll have little chance of improving because you can’t see / hear what is actually happening so you never learn repeatably what works and what doesn’t.

    I’m hopeful they’ll go there too.... In the last few years we’ve had the delays, reverbs and drive section going from ‘pretty good but not awesome’ to ‘awesome’. I’m hoping the modulation effects are next.... the previous updates have all been very much worth the wait :)

    Just read the manual and (for toasters and racks) we need to connect via ethernet cable directly to our network. If we have a floorboard to connect at the same time we need a hub.

    So.... As the floorboard uses power from the profiler via the ethernet cable, do I have to be careful what hub I buy or will any hub I can get next day from Jeff Bezos do?

    I really hope it can work on iphone… no one needs an ipad now, iphone screens are good enough

    I’ve downloaded it.... if you look on the store, it shows it as ipad - it does not mention compatibility with the phone.

    It looks very nice but I’m not sure my eyes would cope with tweaking ionosphere reverb on a phone.... there are 22 controls for this in the bottom half of the screen (because you have the rig itself showing in a line up top) and all have the parameter shown underneath them. I don’t think this would be much fun on a smaller screen.

    Now I need to know how to connect this to a toaster. If I can connect it to a toaster :)