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The Pop Tart thread


Fractal Fanatic
If I could travel in time and space to create profiles of the amp/cab/mic setups used to make all of the great classic guitar recordings I've grown up with (assuming I could gain entry to the studios and obtain permission from the musicians, engineers, and management after telling them I came from the future to profile their tones), I'd love to have a Kemper. It would save me a lot of time in my current job.

If I were an up-and-coming super-selling rock star looking forward to recording many albums and touring to support them, I might buy a Kemper to profile the tones I used to make those albums.

Even so, I'd still hate the form factor. It's just plain stupid.

I am neither a time traveler, nor a rock star, so I'll pass.

Edit: I wish to retract the rock star scenario. If I were recording albums and touring, I would be using the Axe-FX for both, and therefore, would not need to profile anything.
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NY Guitarist

Let's get away from some of the "conflict" vibe in this thread.

What does the Kemper do/have that the Axe doesn't? And what does the Axe do/have that the Kemper doesn't?

Am I correct in saying that they both are able to "profile" amplifiers?

Just to clarify and reinforce my thought, my question is intended to elicit factual information for the purpose of a realistic assessment of the pro/cons of either, which may be dependent on context in which they are being applied.
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Power User
Timetraveling.. Would you not just freak out if another you, one day came trough your door and slapped you in the face going "don't ever think of timetraveling. ever!!"
and then he's gone. You'd be all like "wtf was that about??!!?!? I've got to find out!!! I'm building a timemachine! muhahaha!!" And the circle is complete.

Anyways, kemper. I can still hear it in the clips. The kemper sounds more dry to me, less alive and breathing than the axe-fx from the few clips i've heard.
I could tell on the clips being posted here what was kemper and axe-fx.
If I were not to seperate them by good/bad (axe-fx allways the good one tough) I would say that the axe-fx sounds more polished, almost like a signature soundscape
to it that I favour in miles. the kemper sounded very tubelike but to the point of being so dry I'm waiting for it to turn into stone from a bit of sunlight you know?
Axe-fx to me sounds more liquid, elastic, floating, hovering, leafy, rainy, windy, swooshy and snakefizzsmooth.
To put it this way, the kemper may sound like a tube-amp. But the axe-fx sounds like an axe-fx where the tube-amp is just a word in a vocabulary.
When the true sound of a tube-amp or tube-ampS is one of the featureS among otherS just as jawdropping, the vocabulary becomes it's own language of art and creativity.

Kemper: This

Taking over the soundscape of axe-fx? Nah
Taking over a tube amp? Sure, go ahead (A head, an amp-head, omg that's funny, laugh damnit)


Power User
I can still hear it in the clips.
Don't trust clips. Especially those encoded using lossy compression.

Doesn't matter if it's a Kemper, AxeFx, or a tube amp, it's a poor medium for critical listening and useless for judging feel.


Power User
but they were both clips, both encoded using lossy compression. And the axe-fx sounds fantastic. I don't know what I'm missing that's for sure
and I can''t even imagine the shock when I get it. I won't say a frozen bug has more taste than another because they're both frozen and when melted
the tasteless bug may have more taste than it had when frozen. I see your point there. ahh come on, don't tell me you guys don't eat frozen bugs :D
p-lease! :)


Power User
Les pauls have always sounded a bit dark to me, they're heavy as...
And I don't like them. The only guitarist I listen to that use them is Zakk wylde,buckethead,wayne krantz and a ton others.. Ok maybe they've got something.
Yeah, maybe they're good. Zeppelin.. ehm. I can't afford one ok??
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Power User
Yet they can't afford both the Axe and Kemper? Really, what producer limits their options to 1 piece of gear?
if I was a big name in metal recording and mixing, I wouldn't care! I probably have tube amps and cabs up the wazoo, a fridge sized cabinet full of enough mics to make any engineer jizz his/her pants, a dazzling array of Mic pres to make Rupert Neve scream and jump out of a 7 story window, and a sweet console that would strike fear unto most musicians to enter the control room. Oh wait this is metal, take half of that away. Still I wouldn't care about modeling or profiling an amp I already have unless I wanted to sell it or got tired of maintenance of all the stuff. Cus it ain't going anywhere except the live room.


Fractal Fanatic
Yet they can't afford both the Axe and Kemper? Really, what producer limits their options to 1 piece of gear?

Didn't wanna say anything, but this is exactly what I was thinking!

And if I got a kemper, and realized that it was all that and a bag of chips, I'd STILL keep the axe. Why? Because BOTH would be awesome, and I would have use for BOTH. Some of the axe algorithms are GREAT for studio use, even if you have other gear - delays, reverbs, compressors - I prefer some of them to the software algorithms. Why would I make a silly move like selling a piece of gear that's awesome at nearly everything and keep a piece of gear that limits me to one thing? :/ as a guitarist, maybe you might do that, but as a producer, that's just plain silly to limit yourself severely like that....


So I guess they now use Kempers for scratch tracks instead of Axe Fx's? pffft....

They still have a Amp closet many of us dream about. Axe Fx's are crazy nice, but sorry. If there's a REAL Diezel or Bogner with a oversized Mesa cabinet in the studio... I'll be sitting my beer on the (unplugged) Axe Fx.


Fractal Fanatic
I've been avoiding these threads as I don't give a shit about an amp profiling device when I have an incredible tool that gives new every tone I currently need. I do have a couple questions though.

How does the kemper handle guitar volume controls? I would think that it would have to sweep across to figure out the non-linear response curve of the amp.

Do the amp settings effect the modeling? If I dime everything, does the profile read it that way? This potentially leads to an infinite number of profiles from users, many of which are not going to translate at all to other guitarists. It hurts my head to think any serious studio would use a profile sampled with one guitarist's settings for a completely different player.

Any tone controls would have to be before or after the amp image, which is essentially like adding an eq before and after the amp block. I would much rather be able to tweak INSIDE the image/preamp model.

Does it profile the preamp and the power amp seperately? I can't imagine it would be very flexible if it's treated as 1 profile.


Fractal Fanatic
My take -- The KPA looks interesting as would anything be that claims to take the "realism" of models/profiles a stage further. The clips definately look impressive (note the term "look" not "are") HOWEVER, for me??

firstly I dont have any amps any more, and little access to them so I would be relying on stock profiles and a future user community to get my profiles. While thats the same with the AFX - I can design tones from scratch with that, so the AFX wins there.

Secondly, The FX section is very week in comparison to the AFX. Im not a heavy FX user but prefere to have those I do use available in all patches to be toggles like a pedalboard. the KPA doesnt have enough slots for me to do that.

Thirdly - i STILL havent come to terms with FRFR. Thats bourne from almost never using a mic'd up guitar cab. Places I play(d) only use PA for vocals. Consequently both me and my audiences are used to real amps. Its still something I want to make a concerted effort with (once I can justify a decent monitor) but not presently. I am not convinced with the KPAa ability to "remove" the cab part of the profile. It cant possibly do that accurately without knowing what cab, speaker and mics were used to take the the profile. een if it COULD, disabling the cab also disables all the FX blocks after the cab (most of them).

SO. If I had the cash to spare, I may pick up a PA to compliment my AFX(2 - shortly) and use the KPA for the amp sounds iy has as stock that I like, while using the AFX for FX duties and for designing tones that are in my head but not in the PA. However I dont have the money, and a decent FRFR speaker would be needed as well - so comes first.

As a "single box" solution, I dont think the KPA can touch the AFX. As an amp tone generator it may be capable of slightly better results, it may not.
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