Oldie but goodie, if mostly for provenance fun (disable taf effects and come up with your own recipe) (several simple, cheap taf profiles purchased more than ten years ago are still in rotation over here):
Morph the mix parameters on two drives, one set for grit and the other for “clean” boost. Add a morph range for your compressor, eq etc etc. There are a million ways to use morph to achieve gradations in tone. Dual amps would be cool too, like using an old Supro for dry gritty rhythm and something cleaner and sustaining for melodies. But the truth is I never did this live with amps, nor did any of my heroes. So morphing is good enough, since the guitar volume alone was already good enough before the Kemper, and in the studio it doesn’t matter. Morph advancements were discussed a while back, so I’m sure at some point we’ll all be getting our minds blown by that.
I would like the device to communicate with the daw in order to recall profile settings later, or simply to export the 6kb (current state/settings) profile to the project folder.
Anyhow, maybe off topic, but I think that after putting feelers out a couple of years ago, the CK team is quietly experimenting behind the scenes with new/extended morph implementation and it'll be one of those things where they drop it unexpectedly while everyone is clambering and whining about something completely different that they wish the Kemper would do, and of course the new morph blows everyone's minds.
Sorry to be that guy, but ever since owning the Kemper, finally coming up on ten years (?!?!?) in December, recording gigging (earning back its full cost in the first week it arrived), and despite thinking of myself as a tone snob, I have basically rolled with what's been on offer on the device, and never had a problem with tones I wanted to get or reliability. The convenience versus my vintage or boutique gear has always been fantastic, with way less hiccups than the basically great traditional gear.
I guess what I'm saying is .. ugggh .. the evolution of the device, based on ck and the rest of the company's inspirations fetishes discussions with insider pros etc etc.. has always delivered sweet old school tones combined with novel, musical, Kemper-centric advances that no one on the internet knew they needed or wanted before the device put it on the table.
Kemper 2? Who knows, but if it happens, I'm hoping it's about a whole range of features that the internet peanut gallery (including me) never even thought of.
Way underused/maybe misused by modern internet guitarists: Fuzz, EQ, Boost. (EDIT: Underused in the sense that lots of tones people chase with OD's and distortion pedals weren't created using those.)
The Kemper added mix knobs to most stomps which is great. And they always had the Shape stomps, which are great.
No doubt there’s something to the “mouth feel” of putting a real King of Tone or Klon or Tube Screamer or especially a Sun Face in front of the Kemper, but outside of the studio the subjective benefit vs the freedom of everything inside the box ..well I have always loved showing up with nothing but the KPA and an expression pedal. In the studio though it can be rewarding to mess with the signal chain. No doubt that a pedal that seemingly does nothing, or less, can add zip and zest and sustain and impact the the playing experience in positive ways. That goes for pedals and stomps inside the device.
Regarding what sounds good to you, there’s so much information about what your heroes have used and how they used it, that rather than attempting to go for an overview of “how everything works” maybe chase the exact thing you love based on available documentation, do your best to replicate that inside the Kemper, and go from there.
In general, yes stomps with zero drive and full volume, to goose what you already love about a cooking amp, but there are a million examples of heroes using pedals “wrong” on fantastic records.
I love pedals and amps and outboard (or in the box like UAD) studio components, but the Kemper could always get real since day one. Maybe it’s easier now, but it’s always been good.
Soundside mentioned that his packs includes the settings the amps were profiled at
Thanks and yes, that's cool.
I fall in to the I'm already getting stellar tones camp. And I've never been a profile surfer. I own a bunch but in the end I use my few favorites, usually over the span of years. But that said, everything the Kemper folks introduce along the way, each new feature, often novel not simply replicating the analog universe, it always provides a spark of inspiration, and helps make things a bit new again. I don't think a guitarist has to "need" Liquid Profiles for the feature to provide a new opportunity for creative discovery and surprise. Looking forward to it.
One vendor has already said as much.
Hi, can you point me to whoever made this comment?
My guess is that CK will also give the popular vendors, Bert M, MBritt, TJ etc, an advance opportunity to create new profiles meant to be paired with the initial Liquid stacks, and that Kemper won't be releasing its new firmware until it can offer a nice free rigpack of ready to go Liquid profiles that demonstrates its potential.
What even is a gain knob when it comes to early amps? Is it the Volume knob? Will a Liquid Profile of a vintage five-watt Vibro Champ get those sweet cleans on 3 and when its Volume (Gain?) knob is turned up, get the sweet amp compression and grit like the real thing?
Anyway, I’m not obsessive about “authenticity“ for authenticity’s sake. But some very early iterations of tube amplifiers achieve certain characteristics that have never been musically improved upon.
Personally, I don’t think that using two profiles in order to get both of those qualities is such a big deal. But of course I’m curious and will probably find some kind of inspiration in this new technology, seeing as CK and his team believe in it enough to invest their energy into developing it.
Also, Kemper has been modeling effects since day one, so they obviously have skills. It’ll be interesting to see if profiles that they release Liquify-ready can best just using two traditional profiles made at different gain settings.
If it can, even if it’s “close enough”, then we’re talking about a brand new lease on life for the morph pedal.
Kemper for the win! Too much good to say about this company. No guitarist is immune to whining, but I’m getting the same stellar tones ten years later, which is tremendously gratifying. This versus some of my precious vintage amps which due to necessary excellent maintenance nonetheless still evolve and sound different than at various peak moments, which is truly frustrating. Whatever. Perfect or imperfect, this company is great and unique in simple, human ways that are not common.
As for these new developments, c’mon it’s fantastic. Annnnnd … if history repeats, they won’t be inside of our devices as soon as we would like. But when they are, yet another new era of green box inspiration, even for the many already satisfied users among us.
Knobs is a beautiful thing. But similar to progression of Fujifilm cameras, the aesthetic and the mindset is giving way increasingly to quicker internal OS controls. Shrug. I can imagine a mini Kemper with way less or close to none of the external physical controls that I love nonetheless still delivering an inspiring experience sonically and from a workflow perspective. Again again .. I’m hoping for a near future where the Kemper ecosystem fuses more completely with the Mac OS. Hardware is big business, and so much of the customer base is tethered to UAD and Pro Tools hardware. So I’m not suggesting a Kemper interface. But I’m confident that CK can dream-up a way to keep a Kemper physical object relevant in conjunction with that kind of paradigm.
I wish I attended more shows where all of these obsessive, nuanced chasing of granular gradations actually made a difference that resulted in great tone. CK and Co have been scratching their heads for years. They provided us the tools since day one. Sure there have been nice updates, but c’mon. With digital there’s that landscape of endless hypotheticals .. the ultimate soul-searching journey to completely avoid responsibility for hearing a sound in your head and then getting your rig to make that sound. And FOH …beyond big clubs there are very few scenarios where FOH delivers on the guitar dream and forget about drums .. always a compromise .. but nonetheless when the music is great, the disconnect between the record and the concert melt away in the heat and humanity of the moment.
Unfortunately a swath of insufferable jam bands (progeny of the actually amazing original Grateful Dead) are the most committed to truly great live sound. But that requires sold-out venues, owning Meyer gear and having a full-time front of house engineer who isn’t deaf. They prove it’s doable. Too bad about the music.
Anyway, historically when I read about tone frustrations on this forum, it rarely seems as if the problem is actually technical. They’ll take our money, but Kemper has already provided a professional tool to solve all kinds of logistical hurdles. I’ve always loved it, and have always found inspiration there, similar to my amps. But I don’t think they’ve ever claimed that for so many of the kind of gigs their customers do that the Kemper is the smarter solution versus traditional amps in every situation. But as time marches on, and more and more traditionally analog recording tools now live inside of the Mac, the convenience factor and the cost factor sort of rule the day. Maybe no going back (except for small bar gigs where being in the same room as a great amp is still a visceral joy).
I’m not quite there yet, but at some point soon guitars and keyboard controllers going through an interface into a Mac and out to some combination of cab and foh (or no cab)... will be the inarguably best way to bring music to the public.
I’m rooting for Kemper to release something that makes them central to that paradigm since they’re already essentially a software-based ecosystem. But I also won’t be surprised if CK moves on to some other inspirational musical technology pursuit, and leaves a skeleton Kemper team behind to maintain and support and incrementally evolve its current functionalities, if that hasn’t already happened. I doubt Kemper dev is as exciting for him now that the industry is littered with more and more “competitors” adopting his invention.
Apologies for this novel.
Whatever. I haven’t noticed any real Kemper shame among pros. Amps are still very much alive, especially in studios, and gaining new popularity among younger people, in a similar way to how analog film photography has had a resurgence.
Somehow that doesn’t neuter the ever-growing popularity of the Kemper and one can argue that it helps it in a symbiotic way, since the Kemper feeds on the traditional gear. By any measure it’s a [deservedly] hugely successful device. Nothing particularly deceitful about promoting a “vintage visual” in a stage show.
Also worth noting; pretty much every sentence in the music magazines is a paid or quid pro quo promotion. As ever, the only way to assess a piece of equipment’s relevance in terms of our own music is by firsthand experience. And sure, nothing wrong with starting by emulating the rig of a hero that you’ve heard in real life.
OP is right, it’s true that the Kemper has achieved “staple” status. At this point it’s ubiquitous, no longer a curiosity.
So a decade in, I can’t help wondering what they’re gonna do next. I’m hoping for both tiny—a truly mini head reminiscent of toaster design but more like the weight and surface-feel of a high-end dslr—and then way more importantly, seamless integration with Macs, meaning daw plugin and freestanding software that both read .kpr files.
I’m presuming a Kombo is in the works, which is cool. But if I can stick with the Kemper ecosystem inside of the Mac, then my hopes for future dev from Kemper is more about sound design and novel, or really ingenious, tools, like the amp parameters, ducking etc., and new sounds in general.
People rightly focus on the “main event” of the Kemper, but I’ve always appreciated how—once it was proven that the old tones are indeed achievable here—that the mindset of this company has not been beholden to the enduring blinders associated with mainstream guitar consumers.
The Kemper can almost be viewed as CK’s tribute to 20th century electric guitar.
Whether or not it replaces this device or is an entirely separate product, I’d be very curious to see and hear a device that embodies the opposite of this tribute, something that manifests all of CK’s secret ponderings about the current shortcomings and future potential for this instrument, versus all the “Look Mom, my guitar is a Minimoog” or “Look Mom, I’m playing a Tweed Deluxe” kinds of tricks.
Obviously that’s cool stuff, but there must be some kind of voice that hasn’t been realized yet, for the amplified guitar. If it’s like Virus, it may start with a novel technical approach that suggests and enables a new sound vocabulary.
Otherwise, it’s just pages and pages of good suggestions primarily about convenience.
It seems like a bit of a waste to charge the talent behind this innovative company with a perpetual housecleaning assignment.
But yes, a tiny Kemper almost fully-controlled by iOS or Mac, that also uses Bluetooth to control its corresponding audio unit plug-in, obviously that would be a cool future. And I never thought twice about it, but finding myself in more collaborative production environments where all participants are using independent laptops, if that tiny Kemper also functioned as the audio interface, it would save me a box.
But yeah man, then we’re still just talking about the same guitar tones. We can hem and haw about it, but I really don’t see myself getting “better“ traditional guitar tones then I’m already achieving.
Third-size toaster that simultaneously functions as a plugin via thunderbolt 3, standalone and in the daw—implications and functionalities debatable.
CK-approved synth/filter/sequence palette .. new, original sounds and presets meant as extensions of guitar vocabulary, not “pretend” keyboard patches.
Not sure it’s a winning pursuit from a business standpoint, but a tiny, featherweight Kombo, like a 1x10, not much bigger than vintage 5-watt Vibro Champs Supros Gretsch’s but with Kemper power, that would take over small stages.
I love the Kemper. When I think about it “advancing“ it’s always with the caveat that I sort of don’t want the overall experience of plugging-in and playing to change. At all.
Obviously a challenge.
Haha the whole point of the thread or at least this part of it is how an individual snapshot can be ever so slightly tinkered with—or not—in order to get it to wherever one wants to go. That makes it eerily reminiscent … of plugging into a good amp. ymmv
Since this thread, this afternoon I revisited my original copy of the rmpacheco profile. (I have several versions with all kinds of various mods.) Today I set up a light compressor stomp at a 50% mix, then a pure boost of 1.5db. That’s it. Nothing post stack. Reverb was the beautiful UAD Capitol Rooms Al Schmitt setting monitored through Console, so maybe not totally “fair”. Long story short; ten+ years later it’s ridiculous how great that tiny little file sounds in relation to everything else out there. Truly.
I’m always surprised by folks who are surprised by the longevity and versatility of a single amp, or a single profile. Most of our heroes built entire careers on relatively unchanging rigs, across decades. I haven’t been as faithful to the legendary ac20 profile as Ingolf has been, but it’s always nearby, because it’s .. just there, good. And whatever I am using, I can go years circling around a tiny handful of variations.
I believe it’s in a Rig Rundown, where Lionel Loueke (amazing musician!) smiling, shouts out the rmpacheco. Epic!
Chicago is an affluent town with some very deep social issues largely relegated to typically problematic underserved neighborhoods.
Meanwhile touring acts headed in every direction make their way through, which is why so many artists own instruments from Chicago Music Exchange.
If a physical hub is even really what’s happening, and servicing pros is what it’s about, then sure, Chicago. Selfishly, I’d prefer NYC.
And even more selfishly I’d prefer the announcement be about mini powered toasters and 8 and 15” Kones. And other stuff I’m too narrow-minded to imagine but would love.