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Kemper Profiler Rack vs Fractal Audio Axe FX III
Old 1 week ago
  #121
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string6theory's Avatar
Great Axe FX III vid, thanks for posting.

I was especially impressed that Fractal has taken the approach of matching the knob settings on the real amp's panel to the same knob settings in their software and having them align and match up well. This makes it rather simple for musician's to apply their same methods when going from a real amp to Axe.

As an owner of several great amps, I'm still interested in seeing (and hearing) what the state of the art in virtual guitar amps is and I'm duly impressed with the III. I'd like to have something in my rack that can take me in different directions and sound great each way, while also being able to serve as the initial guitar input to my stereo amp rig.

Dweezil Zappa was the one that turned me on to it in some vid of his I came across, where he had started using them on stage - played through real amp speakers of course, which should be noted, just as in the posted video below, and not speaker emulations.

After listening to some high quality demos, I'm actually really impressed. I'm hearing some really nice Fender and Marshall (and now Vox) amp sounds.

I guess the only way to really know waz up tis to get thee one and play it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
Depends on the amp, but people have already miked up real tubes amp and compared them against the modeled versions in the Axe-Fx using an IR of the miked cab.





...
Old 1 week ago
  #122
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
Depends on the amp, but people have already miked up real tubes amp and compared them against the modeled versions in the Axe-Fx using an IR of the miked cab.





As mentioned, it depends on the amp and the tweaking ability of the end user. For instance, Metallica uses the Axe-Fx exclusively; however, the band doesn't personally program their own units.



There's absolutely no comparison between the Axe-Fx and Two Notes power amp modeling. None. Compare the parameters in the power amp section of the Axe-Fx's to any Two Notes product. In the Axe-Fx, there are parameters such as Bias Excursion, Negative Feedback, Cathode Resistance, Transformer Drive, tube selection, etc. In fact, there's more than a dozen parameters in that section alone. Two Notes, on the other hand, lets the end-user tweak Presence, Depth, and select the tube type.
I have seen this vid before and if i remember correctly there was a discussion about it. A blind freddy can her that there are 2 sounds with different dynamics and tone. One is a flat somewhat lifeless , the other with better projection and fuller spectrum. The dry, close micing on the amp doesn't help and not what we normally use, either. Now, i own all of the amps in the vid and can tell you that properly setup you get much better tone out of them. Or you can f**k it up with bad mic technique and badly positioned cab. Still there is a difference even there.
Metallica didn't use AxeFx... when they mattered and wrote good songs produced by good producers. When was the last time they made anything worth listening to? For endorsement money live they will use anything for the $$$$
WRT the 2Notes - they are primarily a speaker simulator with a basic power amp sorta thing. As far as simulators are concerned i find them slightly on the better side of the industry standard. And better then AxeFx. However I was promised a demo by someone who plays in a band on a famous TV singing competition and uses one in the studio (for his job only) and in the show, so I am awaiting that. I can understand the convenience factor in his case but am yet to be impressed in the sound department.
BTW a long pletora of fancy sounding parameters a good sound do not make. They just let you tweak it to death. And if you do that in a session, with a client looking on - god help you. Also you are trying to replicate a non-linear device no two of which sound exactly the same, and where real life parameters (like impedance) are only a close approximation. The cabinet design is another story, which no dig device takes into account
Old 1 week ago
  #123
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
I think that's been well established.



The crux of what Yuri's saying is that the Axe-Fx is lacking in both sound and feel compared to tube amps. My hunch is that his opinion is based on very little actual hands-on familiarity with the unit.



For people who know what the parameters do, there's no need to tweak endlessly.



Apparently, his clients brought in an Axe-Fx III, so I assume that's what they originally wanted to use.



Not every engineer or producer agrees on the use of modelers. Some reputable engineers use the Kemper and Axe-Fx.



You make it sound like you have to use every parameter when tweaking tones.

Look, if you want to put a nail in a wall or cut a 2x4, do you try every tool in a tool box? No, you reach for a hammer and saw rather than grope about blindly. The same applies to modelers like the Kemper and Axe-Fx. If you have a tone in mind and understand what the tools (parameters) do, you simply tweak the applicable parameters, rather than blindly fiddle with every parameter.
Yuri's opinion is based on his experience where "experts" (who are the owner) could not get it to sound better then a preamp with a speaker simulator direct. After wasting time I got "How long is it to setup an xx amp?" I said "5min as it needs to warm up a bit." That's what we did
They wanted to use the box cause they didn't have anything else at home. They bought into the hysteria and sold their gear to fund AxeFx purchase. Things get much clearer in the studio environment. They wanted a sound better then the pre's we used for guides and the box did not oblige.
Old 1 week ago
  #124
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdme_sadie View Post
Yuri's point is pretty transparent. His clients have tried both Kemper and AxeFX and in each case they've preferred the real amps in his studio.

The number of settings on the AxeFX is impressive, but a straw man, Yuri is talking about sound, not UI or configurability Convolution should the same everywhere because it's a basic function like addition or multiplication, if they sounded different then one of them would be doing it wrong. The controls on both units are really frequency (i.e. tone) adjustments, on the Axe more specific to certain effects but really just different UI's.

I also don't see the point of comparing amps and sims with both running through IR's. What's actually being compared? That isn't how you record amps. It's just a means to try and make the sims look better. Better to compare directly to a mic'd signal, and you know what? Even the Kemper fails there, because it only does an amp and totally dry cab/mic with all room verb removed, it can't do power amp + preamp distortion only one or the other, if you use a nice mic pre in the profiling chain rather than just going mic to Kemper then it'll deviate (ok that's a bit less of a problem as you can run the Kemper out into a mic input but you have to reduce it to 1/6th volume, which is a pain) etc.

Don't get me wrong, digital is very very good, but it's not identical to the experience of the real amp in the room. Or the sound when recording in a top notch studio with great instruments, amps, equipment and staff that knows what they're doing.

First, both units discussed can sound and feel great. Between the two then the Kemper is better and easier at sounding like your mic'd up amp than the AxeFX sorry, it just is, the Axe can get very close when models are released or if you spend a painful amount of time, and if you're comparing with the sound of your amp through an IR rather than live, and the feel of the Kemper is spot on to the source amp. The AxeFX is just better at giving you granular control and allowing you to virtually build your own unique amp in a detail that nothing else on the market can do, better effect routing and control, you can build whatever amp you want and ignore what's really out there in amp land along with all of it's flaws and failings, make an ultimate amp that's better than any analog amp. Both options are more convenient for many situations live, studio and home, but don't expect to completely replace real amps in every situation. Chose your poison.

I will add that for me I no-longer have amp GAS with a Kemper and rarely if ever turn on my real amps. So regardless of its failings and whether the Kemper is 100% authentic a reproduction it has replaced the real amps for me. I would hazard that the same is probably true for most AxeFX users too. For many, and for better or worse the world has moved on from real amps.
Old 1 week ago
  #125
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
I have seen this vid before and if i remember correctly there was a discussion about it. A blind freddy can her that there are 2 sounds with different dynamics and tone. One is a flat somewhat lifeless , the other with better projection and fuller spectrum.
If you know who Larry Mitchell is, you'd know he's not tone deaf. He couldn't tell the difference and he's the one playing the guitar, so I'm inclined to believe there's likely a certain amount of confirmation bias at work here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
The dry, close micing on the amp doesn't help and not what we normally use, either.
The guitars weren't dry, and close mic'ing has been a standard in the rock genre for decades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Now, i own all of the amps in the vid and can tell you that properly setup you get much better tone out of them.
There's no accounting for taste. Larry Mitchell dialed in the amps to his liking. The tone is based on his preference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Metallica didn't use AxeFx... when they mattered and wrote good songs produced by good producers. When was the last time they made anything worth listening to? For endorsement money live they will use anything for the $$$$
Metallica's last studio album went platinum, was nominated for a grammy and won Billboard Music Awards Top Rock Album for 2017. It's received overwhelmingly positive praise from fans, so I'm not sure what you're talking about. Further, Fractal Audio does not and never has paid any band or artist to endorse their products, and a band or artist who is using them has paid full price for them. Fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
BTW a long pletora of fancy sounding parameters a good sound do not make.
No one claimed any such thing. Parameters are tools. They're not there for decoration. Like any tool, they're designed to help the end-user shape the sound in order to achieve a specific sonic goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
They just let you tweak it to death.
Like any unit, if you understand what the parameters actually do, you shouldn't need to tweak them to death.
Old 1 week ago
  #126
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Yuri's opinion is based on his experience where "experts" (who are the owner) could not get it to sound better then a preamp with a speaker simulator direct.
This is related to the knowledge and experience of the person twisting the knobs, not the capability of the unit. Excellent gear can be made to sound like $hit in the hands of someone who doesn't understand how to actually use it properly in the studio or otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Things get much clearer in the studio environment. They wanted a sound better then the pre's we used for guides and the box did not oblige.
Again, this comes down to the experience of the person using the gear. Have you seen Wireworld Studios? It's owned by Michael Wagener(engineer/producer). The studio houses some of the best studio gear money can buy and he routinely uses a Kemper. You can see several of them powered on during these sessions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWyMlGCVFPc
Old 1 week ago
  #127
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Such a stupid debate. I also have a professional studio. I AM a professional guitarist who owns and has owned a LOT of amps for 30 plus years. I have a collection of great mics and some very good rooms. I play live a lot. I record a lot. I prefer the Axe Fx III and the AX8. I think they are awesome tools. You don't? Great. I don't care. The debate is stupid. You like what you like and don't what you don't. It doesn't prove anything other than your own personal preferences. And that's great.

Right now I'm remixing an old recording for release on two separate "CDs". I'm reamping with the Axe Fx III and I couldn't be happier. No mess, no fuss. I COULD reamp an original Deluxe Reverb, a couple of Mesa/Boogies, my favorite Seymour Duncan Convertible. But I PREFER the Axe Fx III. Sue me.
Old 1 week ago
  #128
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Such a stupid debate. I also have a professional studio. I AM a professional guitarist who owns and has owned a LOT of amps for 30 plus years. I have a collection of great mics and some very good rooms. I play live a lot. I record a lot. I prefer the Axe Fx III and the AX8. I think they are awesome tools. You don't? Great. I don't care. The debate is stupid. You like what you like and don't what you don't. It doesn't prove anything other than your own personal preferences. And that's great.

Right now I'm remixing an old recording for release on two separate "CDs". I'm reamping with the Axe Fx III and I couldn't be happier. No mess, no fuss. I COULD reamp an original Deluxe Reverb, a couple of Mesa/Boogies, my favorite Seymour Duncan Convertible. But I PREFER the Axe Fx III. Sue me.
Personally, I'm perfectly fine with someone preferring real amps over modelers. More power to them. I tend to take issue with seemingly factual claims regarding modelers needing to be tweaked endlessly in order to get anything usable out of them or that engineers "know better", or that a blind freddy can hear the difference.
Old 1 week ago
  #129
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deng's Avatar
The Happiest Kamper, cookin' with GAS, take your pick......

Old 1 week ago
  #130
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
This is related to the knowledge and experience of the person twisting the knobs, not the capability of the unit. Excellent gear can be made to sound like $hit in the hands of someone who doesn't understand how to actually use it properly in the studio or otherwise.



Again, this comes down to the experience of the person using the gear. Have you seen Wireworld Studios? It's owned by Michael Wagener(engineer/producer). The studio houses some of the best studio gear money can buy and he routinely uses a Kemper. You can see several of them powered on during these sessions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWyMlGCVFPc
These people owned the unit and were quite proficient in it use. Of course excellent gear can sound like **** - just listen to the emulator amp comparisons you see on YouTube. Then ask yourself was the amp sounding right to you?
I have a bigger, better studio the Michael, with a lot more great outboard, good mixers and an instrument collection to die for (in comparison with Wireworld. So what? Means nothing unless you can make something useful with the equipment. Michael likes Kempers and has some endorsement/support from them. He gets what suits him from Kempers. I don't (or at least no-one was brave enough to show me wrong and change ). My clients are the same. I am very open-minded, but when ask for a demo by an expert to show me how to make the unit useful - silence, and remarks like "buy the unit and figure it out". I did, we spent time with it. I was very enthusiastic but ended up selling it at a loss. We will see what happens with the AxeFx demo
Old 1 week ago
  #131
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Such a stupid debate. I also have a professional studio. I AM a professional guitarist who owns and has owned a LOT of amps for 30 plus years. I have a collection of great mics and some very good rooms. I play live a lot. I record a lot. I prefer the Axe Fx III and the AX8. I think they are awesome tools. You don't? Great. I don't care. The debate is stupid. You like what you like and don't what you don't. It doesn't prove anything other than your own personal preferences. And that's great.

Right now I'm remixing an old recording for release on two separate "CDs". I'm reamping with the Axe Fx III and I couldn't be happier. No mess, no fuss. I COULD reamp an original Deluxe Reverb, a couple of Mesa/Boogies, my favorite Seymour Duncan Convertible. But I PREFER the Axe Fx III. Sue me.
And that's how it should be. You are a professional, its your music, your tone. You don't have to justify it.You made it work for you and that's great
Old 1 week ago
  #132
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deng View Post
The Happiest Kamper, cookin' with GAS, take your pick......

He looks very happy
Old 1 week ago
  #133
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
If you know who Larry Mitchell is, you'd know he's not tone deaf. He couldn't tell the difference and he's the one playing the guitar, so I'm inclined to believe there's likely a certain amount of confirmation bias at work here.



The guitars weren't dry, and close mic'ing has been a standard in the rock genre for decades.



There's no accounting for taste. Larry Mitchell dialed in the amps to his liking. The tone is based on his preference.



Metallica's last studio album went platinum, was nominated for a grammy and won Billboard Music Awards Top Rock Album for 2017. It's received overwhelmingly positive praise from fans, so I'm not sure what you're talking about. Further, Fractal Audio does not and never has paid any band or artist to endorse their products, and a band or artist who is using them has paid full price for them. Fact.



No one claimed any such thing. Parameters are tools. They're not there for decoration. Like any tool, they're designed to help the end-user shape the sound in order to achieve a specific sonic goal.



Like any unit, if you understand what the parameters actually do, you shouldn't need to tweak them to death.
This now has to many points to discuss in a hurry. But consider the Rhihannas last album sold alot more, yoet the music was even shi**tier. Last efforts by Metallica ACDC.. are very pedestrian, aimed at their old followers who would accept anything from their heroes. Its a money grabbing exercise.
No bridge post holes and upper controls - that's b***s**t. Have you seen pics and mentions of users in mags and their site? And mentions how they "work with the artist to produce best models for them? You thinks its for free? If so, you are a lot more gallable then I thought.
Parameters are controls to be used but they dont make the unit sound any more authentic 'cause the base sound is not quite there. You heard of polishing a t**d? They are there for thechnoheads to think they get more options. Options to make the sound even worst.
I am not going to discuss mic-ing technique as sounds like you dont understand it
Old 1 week ago
  #134
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
This now has to many points to discuss in a hurry. But consider the Rhihannas last album sold alot more, yet the music was even shi**tier. Last efforts by Metallica ACDC.. are very pedestrian, aimed at their old followers who would accept anything from their heroes. Its a money grabbing exercise.
What does your opinion of the quality of their songwriting have to do with the point at hand? Seriously. Even if you think their music sucks now, how does that relate to this discussion? I mean, I haven't bought an Eric Johnson or Def Leppard album in well over two decades, but that's independent of my opinion regarding their tone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Have you seen pics and mentions of users in mags and their site? And mentions how they "work with the artist to produce best models for them? You thinks its for free? If so, you are a lot more gallable then I thought.
Myriad artists use the Axe-Fx. It shouldn't be terribly difficult for you to cite at least one who of them who claims to have been compensated by Fractal Audio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Parameters are controls to be used but they dont make the unit sound any more authentic 'cause the base sound is not quite there.
The sound of the base models in the Axe-Fx are partly conditional upon how the parameters themselves are dialed in. For instance, how the parameters in the Preamp, Power Amp, and Power Supply sections of a particular amp model are set by default directly relate to measurements taken of the actual amp. Adjusting those parameters can have a significant impact on the base sound of the models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
You heard of polishing a t**d? They are there for thechnoheads to think they get more options. Options to make the sound even worst.
In the wrong hands, even a $150,000 Neve console can be made to sound like total $hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
I am not going to discuss mic-ing technique as sounds like you dont understand it
I'm not particularly concerned with what you think I do or don't understand, and your comment certainly isn't a valid substitute for actually addressing my point.
Old 1 week ago
  #135
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
What does your opinion of the quality of their songwriting have to do with the point at hand? Seriously. Even if you think their music sucks now, how does that relate to this discussion? I mean, I haven't bought an Eric Johnson or Def Leppard album in well over two decades, but that's independent of my opinion regarding their tone.



Myriad artists use the Axe-Fx. It shouldn't be terribly difficult for you to cite at least one who of them who claims to have been compensated by Fractal Audio.



The sound of the base models in the Axe-Fx are partly conditional upon how the parameters themselves are dialed in. For instance, how the parameters in the Preamp, Power Amp, and Power Supply sections of a particular amp model are set by default directly relate to measurements taken of the actual amp. Adjusting those parameters can have a significant impact on the base sound of the models.



In the wrong hands, even a $150,000 Neve console can be made to sound like total $hit.



I'm not particularly concerned with what you think I do or don't understand, and your comment certainly isn't a valid substitute for actually addressing my point.
Eric who? Self-appointed tone guru?
Miriad users - so why am i finding it hard to have a demo, to show off the unit in best light?I don't like Neve. But use the 1084 channels because clients want me to - they can say Neve was used. Go figure
My comment is not a substitute for anything - its a statement of a fact. Means you are missing on billions of sound variations only resolving to close-mic'ing. Using artificial reverb for ambience only smears the sound - that's why Kemper and AxeFx presets sound like they do. There are ways around it but its an engineering thing which is not implemented in the units (as far as i know - I maybe wrong with latest software). You as a performer should know that, not just blindly quote from the adds for latest toys
Sorry, my opinion only, as you said
Old 1 week ago
  #136
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
These people owned the unit and were quite proficient in it use.
Obviously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
I have a bigger, better studio the Michael, with a lot more great outboard, good mixers and an instrument collection to die for (in comparison with Wireworld. So what?
So nothing. I didn't ask you to compare **** size. I mentioned Wagener because he's been in this business for well over 40 years and is a well-respected engineer in the rock scene here in the US. Given his credentials and engineering tenure, the fact he regularly uses multiple Kempers suggest that at least some people who know their craft consider it a serious and viable piece of gear.
Old 1 week ago
  #137
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Eric who?
Do you seriously not know who Eric Johnson is? Nominated 8 times for a grammy and won one for best rock performance in 1987.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Miriad users - so why am i finding it hard to have a demo, to show off the unit in best light?
I specifically said myriad artists. Maybe if you lived in the US (where Fractal Audio is headquartered) you might find it a bit easier to locate someone who could put together a proper demo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
I don't like Neve. But use the 1084 channels because clients want me to - they can say Neve was used.
Swap out the name "Neve" with any make or model you prefer and the point still stands. In the wrong hands, it can be made to sound like garbage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Means you are missing on billions of sound variations only resolving to close-mic'ing.
Note what I did not say. I did not claim that close-miking is the be-all-end-all. I stated that "close-miking has been a standard in the rock genre for decades". If you want to argue that fact, knock yourself out, but how you concluded I don't understand mic technique based on that comment is anyone's guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Using artificial reverb for ambience only smears the sound - that's why Kemper and AxeFx presets sound like they do.
Depends on what you're using and how it's used, but that wasn't the point of the video.
Old 1 week ago
  #138
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
Obviously.



So nothing. I didn't ask you to compare **** size. I mentioned Wagener because he's been in this business for well over 40 years and is a well-respected engineer in the rock scene here in the US. Given his credentials and engineering tenure, the fact he regularly uses multiple Kempers suggest that at least some people who know their craft consider it a serious and viable piece of gear.
I agree, Michael is a nice and knowledgeable guy. But he has his tastes. I don't remember him ditching his amps or his custom speaker wall lately. But he is taking Kemper for what it is - a tool on its own. And it works for him - if it doesn't he has his fall back plan
Old 1 week ago
  #139
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
Do you seriously not know who Eric Johnson is? Nominated 8 times for a grammy and won one for best rock performance in 1987.



I specifically said myriad artists. Maybe if you lived in the US (where Fractal Audio is headquartered) you might find it a bit easier to locate someone who could put together a proper demo.



Swap out the name "Neve" with any make or model you prefer and the point still stands. In the wrong hands, it can be made to sound like garbage.



Note what I did not say. I did not claim that close-miking is the be-all-end-all. I stated that "close-miking has been a standard in the rock genre for decades". If you want to argue that fact, knock yourself out, but how you concluded I don't understand mic technique based on that comment is anyone's guess.



Depends on what you're using and how it's used, but that wasn't the point of the video.

I obviously know who he is and am familiar with Eric's music - you cant read an article without someone brings that guru of tone up. I don't see whats the big deal is, but maybe its just me.
I know a few people here, also the distributor and some sponsored guitarists. They are a bit sceptical they can surpass real amps and mainly praise the convenience factor. Also doing pop sessions nobody cares as long as it sounds like a guitar. But i asked for a demo and was promised one by a guy who is well known, been using these things for years and is very happy with it. See what eventuates. Hasn't happened yet. I am still interested though. Same for Kemper.
Close micing is usually a usual part of the setup. There is a reason for that. In bedroom studios on the other hand you may not have a choice so are not familiar with alternatives.
Old 1 week ago
  #140
Here for the gear
 

I have used both units. I currently have the Axe FX III and a Marshall JVM 410 HJS.

First and foremost, Kemper and Fractal are two different technologies.

Kemper is a profiler it is meant to capture the tone of a real amp then faithfully replicate that tone. The ability to move away from that base tone is limited. The more you twiddle with the captured tone, the greater the risk of strange or undesirable artifacts in my experience.

Axe FX is a modeler. It models the components of a real amplifier and can be “dialed in” just like a real amp. So much so you can do things like changing the tubes the amp model is using, or the virtual output transformer, or you can enable common mods (e.g. the bright cap mod). The amp models behave very (eerily) closely to the modeled amps. Fractal Audio has really advanced amp modeling capabilities. As I said, modelers model the components of an amp, this includes the cabinet. You can build a rig on the Axe FX with a Mesa Recto amp model and a Marshall 4x12 v30 cabinet as an example. All of the options and flexibility can become overwhelming.

The thing that guitarists struggle with when coming to the Axe Fx from a guitar amp quite frankly is not the amp modeling anymore, but rather the cab modeling. Guitarists are used to hearing the “amp in the room”. A guitar speaker producing a full acoustic field. Cab modeling is based on IRs, which is a capture of a guitar tone with a mic. A recorded guitar does not contain the full acoustic field produced by the guitar amp, rather it is a very small part of the acoustic field. The mic used, where and how the mic is positioned, how the IR is processed all play a role in the tone of that “cabinet” (aka IR). In short, I am talking about the difference between a recorded guitar tone, and the tone of a native guitar amp. When using cab modeling in the Axe FX, you are ALWAYS working with a recorded guitar tone.

If you are not wanting to “shoot” your existing amps and do not want to purchase patches, the Kemper may not be your thing. Capturing amp tones from real amps is what the Kemper is designed to do. It does it very well and sounds great. But you are not going to sit there with a Kemper “dialing in” an amp from scratch.

If you get an Axe FX, get a good tube based power amp and quality FRFR monitor. The Axe FX is going to have a steeper learning curve.

Both units are outstanding pieces of gear, but just because you plug a guitar into both of them does not mean they are the same tech.
Old 1 week ago
  #141
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
I have used both units. I currently have the Axe FX III and a Marshall JVM 410 HJS.

First and foremost, Kemper and Fractal are two different technologies.

Kemper is a profiler it is meant to capture the tone of a real amp then faithfully replicate that tone. The ability to move away from that base tone is limited. The more you twiddle with the captured tone, the greater the risk of strange or undesirable artifacts in my experience.

Axe FX is a modeler. It models the components of a real amplifier and can be “dialed in” just like a real amp. So much so you can do things like changing the tubes the amp model is using, or the virtual output transformer, or you can enable common mods (e.g. the bright cap mod). The amp models behave very (eerily) closely to the modeled amps. Fractal Audio has really advanced amp modeling capabilities. As I said, modelers model the components of an amp, this includes the cabinet. You can build a rig on the Axe FX with a Mesa Recto amp model and a Marshall 4x12 v30 cabinet as an example. All of the options and flexibility can become overwhelming.

The thing that guitarists struggle with when coming to the Axe Fx from a guitar amp quite frankly is not the amp modeling anymore, but rather the cab modeling. Guitarists are used to hearing the “amp in the room”. A guitar speaker producing a full acoustic field. Cab modeling is based on IRs, which is a capture of a guitar tone with a mic. A recorded guitar does not contain the full acoustic field produced by the guitar amp, rather it is a very small part of the acoustic field. The mic used, where and how the mic is positioned, how the IR is processed all play a role in the tone of that “cabinet” (aka IR). In short, I am talking about the difference between a recorded guitar tone, and the tone of a native guitar amp. When using cab modeling in the Axe FX, you are ALWAYS working with a recorded guitar tone.

If you are not wanting to “shoot” your existing amps and do not want to purchase patches, the Kemper may not be your thing. Capturing amp tones from real amps is what the Kemper is designed to do. It does it very well and sounds great. But you are not going to sit there with a Kemper “dialing in” an amp from scratch.

If you get an Axe FX, get a good tube based power amp and quality FRFR monitor. The Axe FX is going to have a steeper learning curve.

Both units are outstanding pieces of gear, but just because you plug a guitar into both of them does not mean they are the same tech.
Thank you for this. I've said similarly. They are not the same thing. Both great. AS I said it's a stupid debate.
Old 1 week ago
  #142
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Thank you for this. I've said similarly. They are not the same thing. Both great. AS I said it's a stupid debate.
I think it is unfortunate that the Kemper/Fractal pissing match hijacked the OPs thread. Literally no one was answering the OPs questions, they were too busy arguing about their own personal preference.
Old 1 week ago
  #143
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
I think it is unfortunate that the Kemper/Fractal pissing match hijacked the OPs thread. Literally no one was answering the OPs questions, they were too busy arguing about their own personal preference.
It happens every single frigging time. Mac v PC. Same story, different day.
Old 1 week ago
  #144
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
The ability to move away from that base tone is limited.
In terms of the available parameters reacting authentically, that's true; however, in my experience, the ability to deviate from the base tone using the available parameters is actually much less limited than a real amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
The more you twiddle with the captured tone, the greater the risk of strange or undesirable artifacts in my experience.
This is potentially true when boosting the Gain parameter; however, I don't find it to be the case with most other parameters(eg. Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
If you are not wanting to “shoot” your existing amps and do not want to purchase patches, the Kemper may not be your thing.
If you don't want to capture or buy profiles, there are literally tens of thousands of free ones available. I have numerous freebies that are every bit as good (if not better) than some of the ones I've bought.
Old 1 week ago
  #145
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
In terms of the available parameters reacting authentically, that's true; however, in my experience, the ability to deviate from the base tone using the available parameters is actually much less limited than a real amp.
Based on my experiences this is not accurate. I had a tone, started dialing in the Kemper tone stack and it was quite easy to really destroy the tone. Just like described in this thread I was told “you are doing something wrong”. I provided my profile, people were able to replicate the result, but all of the experts and enlightened folk who tried to help could not tell me how to avoid it or what was happening. Where it ended up: “Don’t do that it messes things up”. I am not the only one to experience this either. It is not hard to find others who have experienced the same types of issues.

So if those of us who experience these very real problems with the Kemper are doing it “wrong” and the “enlightened” can avoid these pitfall I would have to say that Kemper has a serious usability problem. Pretty big issue if your product is so finicky that a chunk of your users experience significant enough usability issues so as to prevent them from completing conversion to the Kemper.

But I do not think that is what is going on. I do not think they would release something finicky like that. Put another way, I do not believe the design goal of the Kemper was to have a rich tone stack. I think their goal was to provide tools to address ambient conditions that could affect profiles between different venues. As such I think the sculptability of tone in the KPA is limited. You start with the profiled tone and you are nudging it in different directions.

With the Axe FX, for a couple of issue I sought help with on their forum the owner of Fractal Audio requested my preset, gave me feedback on why the issue was occurring, told me how to correct (or work around the issue) and within weeks any issues identified were addressed in a firmware update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
This is potentially true when boosting the Gain parameter; however, I don't find it to be the case with most other parameters(eg. Bass, Mid, Treble, Presence, etc.)
In my case, it the Mid, Treble, and Presence was all that I was tweaking. And people said exactly what you are saying here... but they could reproduce my results on their KPAs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
If you don't want to capture or buy profiles, there are literally tens of thousands of free ones available. I have numerous freebies that are every bit as good (if not better) than some of the ones I've bought.
The OP said he did not want to profile his existing equipment. You remember the OP right? The guy who started this thread. The guy who asked a question that everyone is so busy arguing that no one is actually answering his question. Yeah that guy. My response was to attempt to answer the OP not join the fray.
Old 1 week ago
  #146
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
Based on my experiences this is not accurate. I had a tone, started dialing in the Kemper tone stack and it was quite easy to really destroy the tone. Just like described in this thread I was told “you are doing something wrong”. I provided my profile, people were able to replicate the result, but all of the experts and enlightened folk who tried to help could not tell me how to avoid it or what was happening. Where it ended up: “Don’t do that it messes things up”.
Without details as to what you're referring to specifically, including the profile that was used, I honestly have no clue what we're talking about. In my experience, the basic tone controls sound fantastic by themselves. I can make a profile sound completely different using just those alone. I generally don't need to touch parameters like Tube Bias, Power Sag or High / Low Shift, but stuff like Clarity and Definition can definitely improve things, as well, in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
I am not the only one to experience this either. It is not hard to find others who have experienced the same types of issues.
I hang out here, TGP and the Kemper forums and I don't think I've ever read feedback from anyone who's reported a similar issue. Well, I mean, there are users who've complained about the Kemper sounding awful from the get-go, but there's typically a configuration issue on their end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
So if those of us who experience these very real problems with the Kemper are doing it “wrong” and the “enlightened” can avoid these pitfall I would have to say that Kemper has a serious usability problem.
I don't know about doing anything wrong, per se, but if you're having issues with your profiles are getting destroyed merely by using the basic tone controls then something's wrong, in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
But I do not think that is what is going on. I do not think they would release something finicky like that. Put another way, I do not believe the design goal of the Kemper was to have a rich tone stack. I think their goal was to provide tools to address ambient conditions that could affect profiles between different venues. As such I think the sculptability of tone in the KPA is limited. You start with the profiled tone and you are nudging it in different directions.
We're just going to have to agree to disagree about this. I mean, I can certainly post a sample of a single profile being put through its paces using the tone controls alone, and demonstrate how versatile they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptNasty View Post
The OP said he did not want to profile his existing equipment. You remember the OP right? The guy who started this thread. The guy who asked a question that everyone is so busy arguing that no one is actually answering his question. Yeah that guy. My response was to attempt to answer the OP not join the fray.
Numerous people chimed in and answered the OP's questions on the first page, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.
Old 1 week ago
  #147
Lives for gear
 
guavadude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deng View Post
The Happiest Kamper, cookin' with GAS, take your pick......

Maybe it's just me but out of all the profiles for the Kemper, I might have been most disappointed by the ones MW did that come with the factory settings. I was thinking these would be amazing and they just aren't to me.
Old 1 week ago
  #148
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
Maybe it's just me but out of all the profiles for the Kemper, I might have been most disappointed by the ones MW did that come with the factory settings. I was thinking these would be amazing and they just aren't to me.
I'm not a big fan of his Rig Pack, either. I own his commercial packs, and many of the profiles sound awesome after swapping the cab out.
Old 1 week ago
  #149
Lives for gear
 
guavadude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFrixion View Post
I'm not a big fan of his Rig Pack, either. I own his commercial packs, and many of the profiles sound awesome after swapping the cab out.
good idea, I'll try that out. Seems like his should be better than they are.
Old 1 week ago
  #150
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
good idea, I'll try that out. Seems like his should be better than they are.
I suspect it's because Wageners profiles may be more mix-ready than others that sound great in isolation but need work to sit well in a mix.
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