If you haven’t heard of the Kemper Profiling Amplifier you owe it to yourself to give this product a listen and some consideration. In short, the Kemper Profiling Amp is a processor that allows you to steal the soul of your favorite tube amps, and then, have the ability to recall them at your convenience in a process called profiling. Profiling is accomplished by connecting your favorite microphone and mic pre to the Kemper, along with any additional signal processing that you desire. At the same time, the KPA is connected to studio monitors and/or headphones for monitoring purposes. Mic up your amp as you would in the studio, play through it, and get it dialed in the way you like. Once you have your sound, start the Profiling process. The Kemper will send out some very strange noises that sound like something from Mars Attacks, or War of the Worlds. These sounds are used to profile your amplifier. They analyze the speaker, how the amp breaks up at increasing input levels, and so on and so forth. Within 30 seconds the process will be complete and you can further dial in dynamic response using the KPA’s refining process. Within about a minute your amp will be available in the Kemper’s profile menu. Sounds crazy right? Wrong, it does exactly what I have just outlined. It captures the soul of your coveted tube amp. Pretty amazing stuff!!
The beauty of this device is you can have your sounds anywhere. Connected directly to a FOH mixer or recording interface, it feels like you’re playing on a tube amp with astonishing detail . Then add in to the mix, the plethora of effects inside the Kemper including: boost boxes, distortion pedals, classic filter pedals, all your favorite flangers, chorus, phasers, delay, pitch, EQ and reverb. The wah pedals are amazing and can be controlled using one of the two pedal inputs in the back of the unit. These pedal inputs are assignable. This means you can control pitch, volume, FX returns, etc… Then, there is the Kemper Community. You can join for free to access thousands of other profiles from other Kemper users across the globe. You can even share your own profiles there, if you like. There are profiles available for purchase and download. Great profiles from recording engineers and producers like Michael Waegoner. You can keep up to 1000 profiles on your Kemper, at one time. Additional files can be stored on your computer so that you can organize your collection with the KPA’s rig manager software.
The Kemper has multiple uses for a guitar player in the studio, but, also recording engineers, and live performing guitar players. As an aspiring guitar player and a recording engineer, I bought one to use in the studio, at home, and on stage. I am a much better recording engineer than I am guitar player, but the Kemper makes me feel like a professional as I transition from one to the other. I was able to replace 3, 16 space, racks full of guitar gear. These included: rack mount Mesa heads, Mesa preamps, Marshall heads, Marshall preamps, an ADA MP-1 and a Lab Series L5 custom rack unit. I captured all of these great sounding amps in my Kemper and have since retired the racks. Space constraints, and the simple fact I couldn’t have all three racks on for longer than an hour before I could fry an egg on my head. The KPA has been used on many of my sessions, even tracking though the Kemper, and re-amping with amazing results. I have two friends that use them for live gigs 6 days a week. They love these units so much that they hate to play without their Kemper Amps anymore. The Kemper can authentically capture and recreate any style of guitar sound you are looking for from Country to Jazz, from Rock to Metal, and anything in between. You can even use it with the power section of your tube head and still use your favorite cab if you like. All you have to do is switch off the cabinet emulation in the Kemper, and now it’s a clean signal ready to be tube amplified.
Everyone wants to know which I prefer. The real thing, or the Kemper? Nothing gets your blood pumping more than a Marshall Head with a 4×12 cranked up and tweaked to perfection, or a deluxe with just the right compression, or, maybe, a Mesa Recto scooped out with chunk that will part your hair, if that’s the sound you love. I love the look of the stack, because I am a huge Rock and Classic Rock fan, but with my current studio situation, man cave with audio gear in it, I can’t keep all of the real tube gear around. There just isn’t enough space, and I can never get it loud enough to get the tones I am after. That’s where the Kemper came in and changed my life. Now, I can get all of my favorite sounds quickly, with little or no noise what so ever, and at volume levels that keep my wife from hurling heavy objects at my head while I am recording and noodling. These days I guess you could say that, given my situation, I prefer the Kemper. Of course, I still love old and new tube amps as there wouldn’t be anything for a Kemper to profile without them.
I was very hesitant to give the Kemper a try. I was kind of an old school guy and dismissed them as just another modeler, but then I tried one, bought one, and have had no regrets what so ever. I highly recommend the unit. It is worth every penny, and it is certainly not just another modeler!
– Mike Aurigemma