Kemper - User Videos

Started by admin, December 12, 2018, 01:16:35 PM

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I am not a fan of the way many on line videos compare Kemper versus ... (fill in the blank) modeler.

The most basic comparison should at the very least specify the type (Studio, Direct Amp or Merged) of profile that is loaded.

In the above comparison between the Line 6 Vetta and the Kemper with the Black Face Fender profile, the demonstrator did mention he was using a Michael Britt profile. AFAIK, Britt sells Studio profiles only.

Why does it matter what type of profile is being used?

1. Most users find that Studio profiles sound better with a FRFR cabinet.

Can you use a Studio profile loaded into a powered Kemper with a guitar cab? Sure. The above video has the demonstrator doing just that. In fact, some Kemper owners like this setup with Studio profiles over use of FRFR cabs.

Many Kemper owners find that this doesn't work for them however. That is because the Studio profile already has incorporated a profile of the cab it was made from.

So for demo purposes, I think that the demo of a Studio profile should always have a FRFR cab in use. The guitar cab is a nice addition for the comparison, but the base case should be made with a FRFR cab.

2. A DAP should be demonstrated with both a guitar cab and a FRFR, depending on how it is used.

If you are going to use an IR or a cab simulation to provide the sound of a cab, it should be through an FRFR cab. Using a guitar cab in this scenario puts the IR or cab simulation onto the character of the real guitar cab.

On the other hand, if you want to use a DAP of an amp with different real guitar cabs, this is the way to do it. Just be aware that you need to use a very clean amp to power the speaker cab, if you have a non powered Kemper. I use a Llano A-100 class A solid state amp to power speaker cabs with my DAPs. As of this point in the Kemper universe, I find that this is the best way to get an amp in the room feel.

3. If you want to use different cab profiles with the same profiled amp, use Merged profiles through an FRFR cab. You can just switch out the cab made with a different Merged profile. I find that Merged profiles are great for recording.

Looking forward...

4. Once the Kemper Kabinet is released along with the new Kemper Kone technology forthcoming in OS 6, demos should be made using that cabinet with any profile type loaded into the Kemper.

You will be able to use the Kemper Kabinet as a FRFR with Studio and Merged profiles. You will also be able to turn off the cab section in either profile type and use the Kone tech to use the Kemper's DSP power and load any of the 16 speaker imprints.

With a DAP, the Kone tech can provide the cab section.

I plan on building some cabs using the Kemper/Celestion speakers used in the Kemper cabinet once these drivers are made available as parts. I will be building a 1 x 12 and a 2 x 12. Both will have open and closed back options with front ports that can be closed. I might also build a Thiele cab too. If Kemper releases an imprint of the EVM-12L, the Thiele 1 x 12 cab will be a no brainer.

Kemper is said to be releasing 16 cab imprints with the initial release, with potentially more in later updates. There is no word as of now as to whether they will be releasing an update which will allow users to create (profile?) their own imprints.

Also of note is that one of the imprints was of a 10 inch speaker. I wonder if there might be imprints of 15 inch speakers at some point. I'd love it if the Kone technology could be used for bass guitars.

Until we get to hear how these imprints sound in person, it is too early to say how well this new technology will work. However, I cannot imagine that Christoph Kemper went as far as he did to create this new technology, just to make a small quality difference in the speaker section of a profile.
Hamer Duotone, Brian Moore i213, Taylor 710 BCE 

VG-99, FC-300, RMC Fanout
RJM Mastermind GT10
Kemper Profiling Amp
Radial JDV Mk3, X-Amp
Mesa Recto Pre + 20/20
68 Fender Bandmaster (AB763)
Marshal AS80R

UA Apollo X6, Twin X, Logic Pro, Luna, Melodyne Studio


Quote2. A DAP should be demonstrated with both a guitar cab and a FRFR, depending on how it is used.

DAP? ( Digital Audio Processor?) or ?


DAP = Direct Amp Profile.

Quote from Tritium, on the Kemper forum:

QuoteThere are three (3) basic types of profiles.

A) Studio -- This is the "normal" profile, and represents the vast majority of all the profiles out in the wild (including factory, commercial, and free). The Studio profile is a combination of the Amp and the Cabinet. In order to be able to switch (or remove) the Cabinet, the KPA has to figure out what contribution the "Cabinet" makes to the profile. To do this, the KPA employs an intelligent algorithm, called Cab Driver, which calculates and determines best approximation in order to separate the Cabinet from the Amp. It works amazingly well. However, Kemper saw opportunity to create a perfect separation, which leads us to Direct/Merged profiles, discussed next.

B) Direct Amp -- This is a profile process that employs a suitable DI box. The DI box takes the signal from the speaker output of the Amp, and sends an XLR/line level signal to the Return Input on the Kemper for the profile process. The DI box needs to have a speaker thru connection which sends the amp's high voltage/high wattage speaker level signal on to the connected guitar cabinet (a tube amp needs to be connected to a load). There is no microphone connected to the KPA during the Direct Amp profiling process.

C) Merged -- This requires a secondary step, after the Direct Amp profiling process. Immediately after capturing the Direct Amp profile, and without making any changes to the amp settings, a normal "Studio" profile is made. The KPA now has data from just the amp (Direct amp profile), as well as the combination Amp + Cab from the Studio profile. The person making the profile (i.e., the original author) then uses the MERGE function, and Merges the Direct and Studio profiles. This is now a Merged profile, which allows the KPA to perfectly separate and subtract the Cab part of the profile from the Amp. Obviously, if the person making the profile only wants the Direct Amp (no cabinet), then the second step and subsequent Merge procedure is not applicable.

Quote from Ingolf, on the Kemper forum:

QuoteIn a studio profile the cab portion of a profile is an estimation by the cabdriver algorithm.
In a merged profile the cab portion is accurate because a merged profile is a studio profile minus the direct amp profile.

This is especially important when you play with real cabs and don't want another piece of cab portion baked in a studio profile and superimposed on your own cab.

Both are long time Kemper owners. I consider them to be very reliable sources of information.

The profiling types, as well as when and how to use them are the most generally misunderstood things about the Kemper profiler. That also goes for the way that each type is made.

In fact, when I profile my amps, I make a set with all three types of profiles. Each set represents one snapshot of the parameters I have selected on my tube amp. Don't misunderstand, I do not mean that every time I want to change the gain on a profile, I need to make a new profile. Once I have the profile made, I can vary the gain or EQ, etc. The snapshot is a starting point. The more snapshots you take as you vary the parameters, the less you will need to vary any parameter's range after the profile is made.

Of course, if you make too many profiles, changing parameters only a little between each one, you will have a hard time finding a good starting point when you just want to load one and play. So most people make a few profiles at various settings that correspond to the way they normally use their amp.

I am kind of manic when it comes to making profiles. I want enough snapshots of an amp I am profiling to cover almost any style of music that might be required. I want to capture enough variations that I can give a good starting point to any guitarist who comes to my studio. If he brings an ES-335 and plays jazz, I can accommodate him. If he brings a Strat and plays blues, I can dial him in fast.

With a really simple tube amp like my '68 Bandmaster, there are only three fully variable parameters to set before I take the snapshot; volume, bass and treble. Add in the 'bright' switch and you get 4 parameters. But 'bright' is either on or of, so it only doubles the number of variations you need to take a snapshot of. The bass, treble and volume controls could create thousands of variations.

Note that you should never use time based effects when you make a profile. These should all be off or you will ruin the result. So I never used the tremolo on the Bandmaster. It was off when I made my profile sets of it.  (Actually Fender labels the tremolo as Vibrato).

So what did it take to get a complete set of profiles of the Bandmaster?

I started with volume set on 3 with the treble and bass set on 5, bright switch on, and made a Studio profile. I used a Shure SM-57 placed close to the Bandmaster's 2 x 12 cab. After I made the first profile, I changed the mic/cab position and made a second one. It took me a few changes in position to get a profile I really liked. Then without changing anything on the amp, I made a DAP. I used the Kemper DI box made specifically for the task of creating DAPs. Then I made a Merged profile. At this point, I had a good set of each type of profile with the Bandmaster producing a great clean sound with flat EQ.

Next I changed the EQ and repeated the process. After getting various starting EQs with volume set at 3, I started the process over with the volume at 5. After I'd gotten the volume up to 9, I had around 45 sets of profiles.

Then I did the whole process over with a few other cabinets. That got me to around 140 sets.

Are you getting the picture? A profile of an amp with just a single cab, one mic, and only three variable parameters is really a whole set of profiles. So you can see why new users might find the profiling process difficult to master right away.

The Bandmaster was easy. Now consider a modern amp like my Mesa Recto Recording Preamp and 20/20 power amp combination. It took me weeks to profile.

The Recto Pre has two channels. Each channel has three voices. And a bright switch. That is like having to profile twenty-four different amps with six variable parameters (gain, treble, mid, bass, presence, and master) on the preamp side and two ( volume and presence) on the 20/20 power amp side. Then there is a 'Solo' boost level with its own pot. And yes, I added this parameter to each profile.

And because it can be used as a live preamp with a power amp or stand alone as a recording preamp, you have different outputs for each with separate settings for both. I cheated with this one. I only profiled the non-compensated live outputs.

I was also fortunate enough to get to borrow a Mesa 2:100 power amp to profile with the Recto Pre. Mesa made this combination with a special mode (modern) that literally duplicates the circuitry of the Mesa Dual / Triple Rectifier. So I ended up repeating the entire process in that mode.

The results are phenomenal. But boy it was a heck of a lot of work. I have what is in effect three really different amps; the Recto Pre with EL-84 tubes, Recto pre with 6L6 tubes ,and what is in effect a Triple Rectifier when the Recto Pre is on channel 2's 'modern' voicing.

I repeat. I am making my profiles for my studio, so my process is really atypical. You do not need to make as many sets as I do. It is likely you will not do much more than create a few profiles that cover your way of using your amp.

If you will sell your amp after it is profiled, I do suggest following my methods for profiling an amp. Once it is sold, you can't go back and add a set with more variations. And lots of Kemper owners do sell their amps after they profile them. Why? Because they find that their profiles are spot on, feel the same when playing their guitar and are more convenient than using the original amp.

If you plan to become a commercial profiler, I suggest my methods as a good guide.

Michael Britt only sells Studio profiles because he feels that it is easier to get good customer results with them than with a DAP or Merged profile. But even if you follow his business model, which I think is a good idea, I would suggest you spend the time to make a DAP and Merged version of all of your profiles.

For one thing, with the new Kemper Kabinet and Kone technology, it might be just as easy to use a DAP or Merged profile as a Studio profile. second, you might be able to sell those versions down the line.

I have thought about releasing some profile packs myself. As of now, I will limit their use to my studio customers.

Sadly, many new owners don't realize the profile type differences and get bad results when they make a bad profile of their amp. Learning how to create a good profile is a process. It isn't actually hard once you get the hang of it though.

There are also some pitfalls to avoid.

For example, if you've got little or no practice placing a mic on a cabinet, there is a learning curve you will need to overcome. And if you don't know that this is a critical aspect of the profiling process, you're likely to get bad results.

I suggest new owners start with a clean (ie. low gain) studio profile. Then add some gain and make another. Now, if you've read the manual, you know that there is a 'clean' parameter setting you can select before you make the profile. Figuring out up to what the maximum  gain level you should keep to on the 'clean' setting might take a while.

Many get bad results when using a profile type with the wrong type of cabinet. I see posts all the time complaining that the user made a profile of his amp and it sucks. When questioned, it turns out they are using a Studio profile with a guitar cabinet. Or they made the profile with a chorus, reverb or delay on.

Another suggestion I have for newbies is "learn to profile your amp before you add a fuzz, overdrive or any other type of non time based pedal." Yes, you can make profiles with those types of pedals. Just get to the point where you can make a good set of profiles of just your amp. Then, by all means dive in.

And until Kemper makes their own cab available, use a FRFR to make Stduio profiles, not a guitar cab. You will likely not be happy with the resulting profile.

The Kemper is an extremely complicated piece of gear. It is an amazing tool that can produce unprecedented results. Once you have become proficient with it, you will find the work rewarded in many ways you never imagined. I suggest that if you do get one, plan on many sessions of RTFM.
Hamer Duotone, Brian Moore i213, Taylor 710 BCE 

VG-99, FC-300, RMC Fanout
RJM Mastermind GT10
Kemper Profiling Amp
Radial JDV Mk3, X-Amp
Mesa Recto Pre + 20/20
68 Fender Bandmaster (AB763)
Marshal AS80R

UA Apollo X6, Twin X, Logic Pro, Luna, Melodyne Studio


I watched the Yes video many times. If you watch it you'll notice the bass player is using a Kemper. I owned an Axe Fx and hated it more than any other piece of gear I ever owned. I now have a Kemper power head through a Port City 2x12 cab and it's almost as good as my 1968 Marshall Plexi I used to own but this is only my opinion.


That freeze verb vid - oh my gosh! Just gorgeous




Mark Knopfler Live with Kemper


Knopfler still sounds amazing.


I Came across a nice Michael Britt discussion on his touring Kemper usage. He's quite a talented guy !


I've had my Kemper for well over a year, and I never even looked at the ducking setting.  The MBritt video opened my eyes.  What a game changer!!!  I guess I need to do a deep dive into this again, and start learning all the features of the built in effects.  I've been learning as much as I can about tweaking the profile, etc., but haven't really looked into tweaking the effects

If you haven't used it, check it out.  It's an amazing feature that I never knew about. 




Mats wrote>
I wanted to go slightly overboard with the Kemper internal fx, so to go with that, I used a few non-traditional guitar sounds I've made and used a lot of the internal fx to make this. All the sounds and fx you hear were made by the Kemper except for drums and percussion. So to me the KPA is not only a guitar amp thingy but also very useful to complement/replace synths and numerous fx.
I use that background pad sound a lot. Works really well to fill up arrangements.