Posts by meambobbo

    Yeah, I noticed that, but I was more or less responding to the claim that the entire line is cheap garbage. That's not the case.

    A friend of mine has the 5" and as expected they push less bass, but they do not sound thin.

    Also, keep in mind the OP is claiming the V-Amp does not sound thin through the same monitors.

    My advice to the OP is to reduce the Definition parameter in the amp profiles and/or try to pre-EQ the tone to make it a little fatter. A lot of the high-gain tones, especially Keith Merrow and Ola Englund's, have strong upper-midrange boosts that can make them sound very focused. They sound good (but still have too much bite IMO) on my darker, 8-string guitar, but have way too much bite for my other guitar. But a little tweaking makes them less sharp and more natural-sounding. Keep in mind that's just Keith and Ola's preferred tone. There are plenty of other high-gain rigs that are more open and fat.

    I just wanted to throw one more thing out there, although I doubt this is the issue. In the amp profile parameters, what is Direct Mix set to? If this is not 0% the OD boost will (at least partially) go straight to output instead of going into the amp profile. So you'd be getting a clean boost on top of overdriving the amp model.

    I have not noticed this on my rigs. If I turn on a distortion stomp with 0 volume in front of a medium to high gain amp profile, I get only a slight change in gain and no volume boost.

    I'll have to test this with a clean profile.

    In the settings, there's options to change the CSS. I really like the Kemper Amps theme and prefer it to the default theme, but it's almost unusable here because it uses a dark green background for quotes. Black text on the dark green is impossible to read. You have to highlight the text to read it.

    I have M-Audio BX8a's and while they are nowhere near the top of the line, they sound great to me. Of course the Kemper sounds amazing on them - much better than my Pod HD.

    Just profile the V-Amp if that's the tone you want!

    Thanks Gianfranco. At this point I'm not really copying many of my posts to the site bc we still have so much to transfer and i dont want to "double-post" any issues. I definitely intend to add more content such as this once the transfer is nearing completion and better organization emerges.

    As for everyone else, i just wanted to make it clear that any content i create and share here, whether its simple guides like this or clips or videos, they are free to all to use as they please. I just want to help out

    Yes...sort of

    I'm helping Gianfranco move everything from the wiKPA document to the site and am adding little bits and pieces as I go. No point in me making my own guide when there is already such an in-depth guide already out there.

    The Pod HD was full of unintuitive design choices, missing documentation, quirks, and needed some crazy hacks to get great tones (without relying on external hardware/software). The KPA is the exact opposite. The design is ridiculously intuitive and the design makes some rather complicated functions effortless. The only real issue is that there's such a sea of possibilities it can be a bit intimidating.

    So I think my approach here beyond transferring the wiKPA content is to make some tutorial videos, highlight good profiles, and get some artist tone-matching rigs going. I'm also pondering making a librarian application - I know there's a for-pay and an official one in the works, but I have some additional ideas in mind...

    Beware Clipping

    Make sure you have Clean Sense set low enough to avoid input clipping. If you are at minimum Clean Sense setting and still getting clipping, you need to reduce your guitar's output level. Some active pickups allow you to put a gain reduction jumper on the connector pins. Otherwise, you can lower the pickups, wire in a resistor (do research on this to make sure it is tone-neutral), run your guitar into an analog attenuator (like a volume pedal) before the Kemper, or just back off the guitar volume knob.

    Always test for input clipping using headphones on a blank (or everything-disabled) rig and make sure you are not clipping output. Use your ears before your eyes - the input LED might flicker some red, but if you don't hear any clipping, it's not worth worrying about.

    When using any kind of boost to the signal, whether it be changing a cab profile, boosting in an EQ, etc. make sure you are not clipping the output. I find that I get mild clipping as soon as the Output LED turns orange. I send via SPDIF, and have SPDIF set to 0 db. In my interface's mixer, I like the signal to be between -5 and -10 db. As soon as I even approach -2 db, even though it looks like I have more headroom, I can hear clipping. It's easy to test. Output clipping should be audible in even a distorted tone, and you'll know it's output clipping if you turn down the Volume knob and it disappears.

    The Kemper is designed to be simple to use, and from all my tests it is impossible to get any kind of clipping inside the signal chain unless you have input or output clipping (besides EXTREME examples). So don't worry about gain staging all the effects in your chain - just use the Volume knob to avoid output clipping, and you're good.

    Don't Fear the Reverb

    For a high-gain rhythm tone, a touch of reverb often helps add a natural sound to the tone. Even if you just use the Small Room Reverb at 5% mix. Every other instrument needs reverb to sound natural; and even if the guitar tone sounds good without it, it may sound too dissimilar from the other instruments and hurt the mix. This is particularly evident when using headphones.

    Don't Distort into Mush

    Hey, I love distortion; and I break this rule all the time (let's be honest - crunch tones don't shake walls). Unfortunately, too much distortion will destroy your playing dynamics - for lead players this means you'll sound like 99% of the ignorable mob of bedroom players more worried about speed than phrasing and truly expressing yourself. For rhythm players, this shows up most when creating a multi-track recording. Even when only doing two tracks and panning full L/R, it becomes difficult to hear the notes being picked. Forget about accents. Double forget about those fancy M7 sus2 chords you just learned. Quad-tracking is even worse. Generally, the more tracks recorded, the less gain you'll end up using to get a clean sound. At extreme levels distortion adds too much noise and actually drowns out the pitch of the notes you are playing. Hence, the "wall of mush" analogy.

    A good compromise is to add a compressor to the chain (or use the compressor parameter in the amp profile). It can be either before or after the distortion, but I find I usually prefer before. This makes the sound big and thick (especially for palm mutes), but allows you to use less distortion for a cleaner tone. If set correctly, the compressor will still allow heavy pick attacks to pass through, so your playing dynamics are clearly audible.

    Sculpt Your Distortion

    The odds of you finding a profile that distorts just the way you want given your personal tastes, playing style, and guitar specs is extremely unlikely. But just because a profile was dialed-in in a way that doesn't quite work for you, doesn't mean you should scrap it yet.

    Use some stomp effects before your stack block to sculpt the distortion tone you want. This can be EQ, a Booster, a Distortion effect, or even a cocked Wah. Bass tends to distort in a muddy, loose fashion, which is why many overdrive and boost effects seek to reduce bass. I like to bring the bass down so that it's barely or not quite broken up - the amp gain will compress it heavily, so you still get a chug sound on mutes, but the bass is well-defined and tight, allowing clarity in quick passages and chords but still sounding big and thick. A big dose of narrow midrange can make the tone sound quite like a transistor (typical stomp box) distortion - too focused and a bit fake. However, midrange is primarily where the distortion is happening - it's what gets the searing, harmonic-rich distortion we love. This is focused around 1 kHZ. A wide boost here will make the tone more "djenty" and squishy. Treble distorts well to a small degree but as you go too high, especially once getting above 3 kHZ, it can start making the distortion get crackly/gritty. I prefer to set a peak EQ around 2 to 2.5 kHZ rather shelving all the high-end upwards. Overdrive units do more than simply EQ the tone, adding their own character to the sound - there's no strong rules here - experiment with different effects to get a feel for them. Distortion effects can add some character to the tone by pushing the signal into a slight breakup which makes the main distortion stage distort a bit differently - usually a bit rougher and with more emphasis on pick attack. But I avoid running them hot enough to become saturated - the result is usually a sloppy mess.

    The above generalizations are pretty consistent across different amps and types of distortion; however, every amp is different and require a bit of experimentation to discern how far you can change their character. For example, a Tube Screamer in front of a Marshall definitely changes the distortion from a somewhat rough crunch to a chugging thrash machine. But you're not going to get the same result out of a Fender Deluxe Reverb or a Gibson - you're more likely to get what sounds like you are torturing the amp. Similarly, you can't make a Rectifier sound exactly like a Vox and vice versa.

    Kemper profiles are often captured with a real stomp in the signal chain. In these cases I avoid adding another Distortion-based stomp effect - you often end up with too narrow of a focus and things sound fake. However, EQ is fair game and usually quite helpful. Usually such tones will be a bit thin, and I'll use some EQ to fatten the tone up.

    The Definition parameter on the amp profile is also directly associated with pre-EQ'ing the signal before the amp distortion occurs. You can crank this up to get a tighter, modern sound (an upper mid-range peak); but I usually go the other way with it, which I find sounds a bit more natural, although less aggressive. If I need to sculpt the distortion tone in such a manner, I prefer to use EQ which I have more control over.

    The Graphic EQ is the easiest to experiment with. Keep everything flat then start turning up any particular band and pay attention to the resulting tone. Move it back to 0 and try another band. Now try the same experiment but cut instead of boost. The Studio EQ is also easy to experiment with. Set one of the parametric EQ's to +6 db and adjust the frequency up and down the spectrum. Repeat with a -6 db cut. This will give you a feel for what to expect, then you can focus on improving the tone.


    I like to use a "hill-climbing" approach. I make a tweak that I think sounds good and store this as a new rig. Then I A/B the original rig to the tweaked rig. If the tweak is an improvement, I'll delete the original. If I prefer the original, I delete the new rig and start over. I repeat this process trying a few different approaches until it becomes difficult to find any tweak that actually improves the tone. Then I've max'ed out the tone, so to speak - I'm on "top of the hill".

    Try Different Cab Profiles

    These can totally resuscitate a DOA amp profile. Unless you are trying to get the exact tone of a real rig, there's a 99% chance you will find a cab you prefer over the default one. You can download TillS's cabinet pack here. These are mostly double-mic'ed Marshall 1960 and Mesa/Boogie Rectifier cabs. The Marshalls have some with T75's, some with V30's, and some with G12H's. The Mesa is the stock V30's, and it sounds huge. My personal favorites for the Rectifier cabs are 55, 56, 59, 63, and 66. These sound like there was more of that SM 57 bite in the mix. I also highly recommend grabbing Lasse Lammert's rig pack from the support page and saving the cabinets as presets.

    Don't be afraid to tweak the cabinet parameters but remember to hill-climb (see above). High/Low Shift significantly affect the very high and low end frequencies, but also change the very nature of the tone. Start SMALL. I rarely go beyond +/- 0.2 here. Character has more wiggle room. I find increasing it can bring out more of that high-end shimmer, but I sometimes move it downwards too. Again, going too low/high will make the tone sound very fake, but in smaller doses can definitely make an improvement. For TillS Recto cabs, I find they have a particular low midrange roundness or resonance to them that can kind of dominate the tone and make it a bit dull. By lowering Low Shift to around -0.4, this resonance is pushed down to where you can't hear it and the cabs open up and get crispier. Similarly, increasing High Shift a tad (+0.2) can add in the high-end sizzle that is sometimes missing.

    EQ'ing - Focus on a Mix Tone

    Loop some drums and bass while dialing in your tone. If you are creating a track, definitely re-amp - you will hear things much better when you aren't playing. My philosophy is that a good tone should sound good in all situations - low volume, high volume, inside, and outside a mix. But a great tone will always sound great in a mix at a high volume, and honestly it's more important to sound good in a mix than good solo. Pulling that tone outside the mix and lowering the volume may reduce its charm, but you'll still be able to tell its a good tone. Comparatively, a "killer" tone you dialed up in the headphones at low volume outside a mix is more likely to sound like garbage inside a mix than if you took the opposite approach.

    Always set the tonestack (bass, mids, treble, presence) controls before adding a Graphic/Studio EQ effect. Save those for fine-tuning. In some cases you might not need one at all, and this will free up an effects slot.

    It's a good idea to browse through the EQ presets that come factory with the Kemper. There's a cut-through-the-mix setting that is a good template to make a tone that doesn't fit a mix fit in. It is essentially boosting around 1.5 kHZ, with smaller boosts to the surrounding areas with more focus around 1 kHZ. I have found moving this peak upwards can get you a thin-sounding tone, but sometimes this works perfectly for a lead, where you want to cut through with a sharp edge to the tone. Sometimes, I find I prefer a lower-midrange peak, but be careful not to add too much of that boominess that resides at the high-end of the bass frequencies.

    Another piece of advice is to move the tone stack controls in opposite directions. For example, I may want to boost mids, so I cut bass to prevent too much lower mid-range woofiness or boominess to the tone. Similarly, you can boost treble but back off presence to get a brighter tone but without too much top-end sizzle.

    Sometimes tweaking EQ leads you to believe you improved the tone, when what you are enjoying is the added volume. Try to compensate final volume every time you make an EQ change. This will keep you honest about your tweaks.

    I'm getting closer and closer to turning the Pod HD 500 back on. I want it to serve as a midi controller and to add some effects, but I will thoroughly test the best way to do this. Ultimately, the Pod has some sought after effects for the KPA crowd - spring reverb, cave reverb (I need to do a shoot-out with the cave vs. ambient reverb in the KPA), octo reverb. I also expands the number of effects I can employ - more delays, more EQ, etc.

    Ultimately, if I wanted the KPA to function as a do-it-all pedalboard, I couldn't do it. Whammy, Octaver (50% mix unlike Whammy), Wah, compressor, OD, EQ, chorus, flanger, synth filter in front. Granted, I'll never run them ALL at the same time, but I can clearly envision times when the KPA's 4 slots will be inadequate. I would also like to do a shoot-out of the KPA's fuzz vs. Pod's. I have a feeling they will both be a bit lacking but whatever.

    Also need to shoot-out pitch shifters.

    I also have a Bad Horsie wah pedal.

    Here's a quick workflow. As you browse through new rigs, for all the non-crappy ones, hit Store > Replace. This instantly adds that rig to your favorites. Then you do the "erase non-favorites" action.

    Another thing I found is that if you have a bunch of rigs in a row that you want to delete, you can press Delete, which brings up the confirmation dialog box - Yes or No. When you hit Yes, it displays a message that consumes the screen. But you don't have to wait for it to disappear. You can press delete again, and instantly get a new dialog, which displays the rig name. So if I have 20 rigs in a row to delete, I turn the browse knob, select the rig to delete, press button 3 for delete, then press button 2 to confirm and then just keep pressing button 3, then button 2. After I've done a bunch and know I'm getting close to the end of that batch of rigs, I slow down to more carefully watch the confirmation dialog and make sure the rig name is not one I want to keep.

    Seeing as how you can order the rigs by import date, you should find this method much quicker than trying to randomly browse and delete one-offs.

    Still so much confusion on this topic.

    Clean Sense SHOULD be set so that you are not clipping the KPA's input during normal playing. If you set Gain to 0 on any rig you should get a completely clean sound. If normal playing causes you to hear clipping sounds (I would use headphones to determine this), you need to reduce Clean Sense. As long as you are not clipping, Clean Sense should have no impact on the tone. It will only affect the volume of a clean tone vs a distorted one.

    If you are clipping the input, this will affect both clean and distorted tones. Distorted tones mask input clipping by covering it with distortion, but I assure you it is there. Try playing a smooth, creamy lead tone. It's impossible - the input clipping will make the tone rough and more poorly defined. Don't believe me? Dime Clean Sense and play some lead tones.

    If you have reduced Clean Sense as low as it will go and are still experiencing clipping (again, determined by the sound on a 0 Gain rig using headphones, not by looking at the LED), then you need to reduce the output level of your guitar. Blackouts have a jumper you can put on the connector pins that will drop the output level. I had Blackouts in a couple guitars. They are ridiculously high-output without the jumper. Otherwise, you could research wiring a resistor into the guitar, or lower the pickups relative to the strings. Unlike EMG's Blackouts are not recommended (at least IMO) to be raised right up to the strings.

    What is confusing is that Clean Sense, while affecting the overall input gain, doesn't seem to affect the amount of gain on distorted tones. This is because it is a smart control. It automatically compensates the amp model's gain, so that Clean Sense has no impact on your distortion gain. This compensation is completely invisible to the user. You won't see it on the Gain knob. You can't hear it. This is by design. Without this compensation, it would be very difficult to compare the volume of clean vs. dirty tones, because not only would the clean volume be changing, but the amount of distortion would be too, preventing you from focusing only only the volume levels.

    Distortion Sense is basically a global Gain parameter, only affecting the amount of gain on distorted tones. It has nothing to do with input clipping.

    The purpose of these controls is to retain clean vs distorted volume ratios and distortion gain levels when switching between guitars with different levels. So let's say you switch guitars from a hot guitar to cold guitar. Now your distortion levels are lower. You adjust Distortion Sense upwards to compensate. Then adjust Clean Sense to acheive the same clean vs. distorted volume ratio. Because it compensates the distortion gain levels so that the amount of distortion stays constant, the volume comparison is much easier.

    So I've been mixing and matching amp and cab profiles a lot. Generally, it's not an issue - the ones I use tend to be pretty neutral, EQ-wise. But let's say I profile an amp with the EQ completely scooped - like NO mids. The resulting rig has no mids. Does the Kemper know that this EQ adjustment is done by the amp and incorporates that into the amp profile, but not the cab/mic profile? Or does it apply that frequency response to both?

    I imagine it would be impossible to know and thus two profiles with different amp EQ but the exact same cab and mic positioning will result in two differen cabinet profiles. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I bought my first amp factory single last night - the Mark V. But I was clearing out room to import those rigs and ended up staying up until 2:00 AM because I kept getting side-tracked and never even imported it. Seriously my chops are getting ridiculously good due to this thing - I can't stop playing. I'll let yall know how the cabinet on these sound.

    Hey Tyler, from that graph it looks like you could just use a Studio EQ with a nice big, wide cut at 200 HZ and a slight boost at 1250. All that +10kHZ is suspect IMO, and I bet it is moot for a live situation.

    I'm just saying it's not as extreme as first glance, but I can see why you'd want this adjustment to be separate from an effects slot adjustment - it would be more of a global thing and you'd make presets for your different speakers.

    but in general I'm with Christoph on this one. Speakers sound different and we deal with it. Part of the fun of making a good mix - should sound good across a variety of speakers.

    Little update - I explored TillS cabs more in-depth for the Rectifier cabs. I think I like the ones where you get more of the SM 57 in the mix - little brighter and crispier. I found 55, 56, 59, 63, and 66 were my favorites. Some of them can still sound a little round on the low mids, like there's a resonance that kind of dominates the tone. It's not necessarily bad - in many contexts I like it, and it's true to the cab's tone. But I find it can make the tone too dull sometimes, so what I like to do is set Low Shift around -0.2 to -0.4. This seems to push that resonance lower than what shows up in the cabinet tone - basically just gets rid of it. Now the cabinet sounds crispy again. I also found increasing High Shift between +0.1 to +0.4 could add some sizzle to the tone. And the result is still a very natural sound. Really starting to appreciate those parameters.

    yeah - and a couple weird things - the rig exchange has lots of individual profiles but no packs - TillS cabinet pack is downloadable from a zip file linked in a thread on this forum - do a search or see the thread linked earlier in this thread. the official rig packs are available from the support page

    the first thing i did with it was put on my sennheiser 280 pro headphones and just casually browsed through the stock rigs, and I definitely wasn't blown away by most of the high-gain stuff. but i was impressed by the quality of the sound for many of the rigs.

    i find usually a cab change really opens up the high-gain amp profiles. See that other thread that was linked earlier in this one and follow the advice about lasse and tills cabs. for tills, I recommend trying out the TillS Recto 055, 056, 059, 063, and 066. Those seem to have a bit more SM 57 in the mix and more crispy goodness. If the low mids seem a bit too round and dull, try turning the Low Shift parameter down to -0.2 or -0.4 - this pushes the low-end resonance down so that you can't really hear it and the tone gets more crispy.

    I haven't done this yet, but I'm sure I will soon. Basically, yes - you just need to make the loop where the Kemper sends input to the interface, your software routes that input to the VST plugin, the output is routed to your interface, and the interface outputs are hooked up to the Kemper. This would be a line level, not microphone level signal. I remember someone saying something about using a TRS cable to make the Kemper recognize line level, but I've never done this before, so be sure to double-check the manuals on this point. There's probably an option in the KPA software to explicitly choose mic/line level and adjust the level as needed.

    I am not sure if latency is an issue or not, but I assume the KPA expects some latency and will cope with it. At some point I will more thoroughly test this.

    I think the most powerful solution would be to make the EQ more like the effects slots, where you can select the type of EQ. So tone stack would be the default option, but could be switched to a Graphic or Studio EQ. But this would also mean that once selected, the physical bass, mids, treb, pres knobs would not work as before - which could be dangerous in a gig situation where a quick adjustment is needed.

    The overall gain is not simply to use X as a booster but to fit an additional post effect.