thread: Kemper?
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Old 24th December 2012
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mwagener's Avatar
I have been doing guitar based records for almost 40 years and I have worked with a ton of excellent guitar players (Zakk, Steve Stevens, George Lynch, Nuno, Vito Bratta, Wolf Hoffmann, Mick Mars, James Hetfield, Kane Roberts, Scottie and Snake from Skid Row, Chris Impelliteri, Dimebag, Ty Tabor etc.) and just as many great amps. The Kemper is a game changer and is hands down THE best piece of gear that walked though my studio door in the last 20 years.

I am a stickler for guitar tone and I don't take guitar tone lightly. I've tried all the simulators more than once with a bunch of different players and I didn't like ANY of them (still don't). They don't do your right hand justice, so they make you play different. The Kemper is different, it is not a simulator it is a profiler, to me that makes a big difference.

I have about 50 different guitar amps, guitar pre-amps, and lots of cabinets, microphones and mic pres. They all sound great for something, all great in their own way. Rarely do I just use one single amp/cab/mic, most of the time I use combinations.

I re-amped a DI guitar track through my Splawn together with a Bogner module, via two 4x12 cabs with 3 different speakers and 4 different mics via the Chandler TG-2 mic pre and the Trident A-range mic pre, mixed together to one track by the CraneSong Spider, and the sound was killer. Recorded the live amp track into Nuendo, I then profiled that exact setup, straight out of the Spider and re-amped the same DI track through the Kemper profile of that setup and punched it in and out of the original amp track: I could not hear a difference, I could not tell where the amp track ended and the Kemper track started and vice versa. That is close enough for me. If I can not tell a difference with the track in solo, nobody will be able to hear a difference when I'm done with the mix!

The secret is in getting a great profile and there are a bunch of things to be paid attention to, like the actual return level, the level going into the Kemper, refining the profile the correct way etc. If done right, I can not tell the profile from the original, if NOT done right, there will be a noticeable difference.

Am I going to sell all my amps? Of course not, there are a million combinations that sound good and are special to a particular track or song. Will I profile that combination used on that particular track? Yes, of course. Do I like other peoples profiles, yes, some of them are very good and are very inspiring, some others don't fit my style, so I won't use them.

I love being able to give the guys the exact sound they got in the studio on their album to take on the road.

I think the Kemper KPA is an amazing piece of gear and it does make my job easier.

my 2 cents - now back to making music...
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