Effects

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Here we're collecting all information about Kemper Profiler effects, how to set them up, how to use and tweak them.

The colors of the tables below represent the color of the stomp LED and the background color of the effect settings screen.


General Information/Tips

What are Stomps and FX Modelled After?

Let me to smile a bit, if people ask me what things are modelled after. If every effect was modelled after some 30 year old paradigm, there was no evolution. You can see a number of companies suffer from that.

The distortion pedals are modelled by the original, since it makes sense and there is no big room for improvements. Most of the other effects are of course inspired by existing technology, but our own interpretations. We try to overcome limitations, where it's wishful, and stay in limits, where overcoming would yield to unmusical results. Here is a list of effects, that cite a famous old effect.

  • Rotary Speaker: no reason to go beyond.
  • Vibe Phaser: lives by the unique (sic!) LFO waveform of the Univibe effect. Still we kept the full feature set of our phaser. Strange: i could not find a source on the internet that state that the Univibe is just a simple phaser circuit. Many state that it's something between a phaser, chorus and tremolo. Technically not true.

Vintage Chorus: the good old bucked-brigade chorus. Most chorus of that age reveal the same basic sound character, as they use similar circuits, where the frequency response has to be limited in the same manner. We modelled that behaviour, but did out own limits to cover many different models.

  • Air Chorus: I was inspired by the philosophy of the Jazz Chorus of having a chorus sound mixed in the air, without having a dedicated direct signal. Here there was no urge to take over the shortcomings of the chorus technology realized in the Vintage Chorus, as it does not make it better. So it is not a model of the Jazz chorus, just inspiration. And no rocket science.

This is it, I think.

We started our Synthesizer company by getting inspired by technology, but not copying, what didn't need to be copied. These days everybody copied Moog Synth etc. We did our own philosophy. 15 years later the Virus has become a classic on its own. I am happy to find many paradigms of the Virus in well known software synthesizers. And I can see we are changing paradigms in the guitar amp world, after one year and a bit of physical presence of the Profiler.

-ckemper
 


What about Profiler's FX knobs ?

Q: Why aren't the knobs on each effect on the Profiler work exactly like the real counterpart? If I use my tubescreamer out put at max, it's about +2 on the green scream. If you go over you get a hotter output.. The fuzz in the Kemper has to be toned down, the output is way too loud on that one !!!! Not realistic at all!!!

A: Don't expect us to have the volume knobs of our effects have the same range as the,originals. We have given them a much wider range - to your benefit - as well as a unified range among all effects.

-ckemper
 


Are Effects Saved as Part of a Rig ?

Q: Are the stomp/effect types and settings saved within a rig file, independently of the stomp/effect presets on your Profiler? I have loaded XXX’s back up and he has changed the names of most of the stomps/effects presets. I bought an YYY pack and some of those rigs have stomps and effects added. So I was thinking how do these YYY rigs link to stomp/effect presets that no longer exist on my Profiler?

A: A combination of effects – including their on/off status – gets saved with a full rig. And yes, fx are part of the Profiler's OS, unlike rigs. You can delete a rig and you can delete an effect preset, but you can't delete an effect.


Copying FX Parameters between Rigs

If you want the effect of one rig to be on another, say the exact settings of a delay, just choose the delay, lock it, then go to the destination rig and store it. [timo] Or you go to the delay, press Copy, go to the destination rig and press Paste.

I have my stomps and FX presets saved. When I audition a profile that sounds promising I tweak it to my liking and then I add my presets. Done! In 5 min I have a gig-ready new rig.

-guitarnet70
 


FX Presets Names

  • Calling a certain distortion 'Muffin' is kinda self-explanatory 
  • BM adds a Big to it.
  • BP stands for band-pass, also commonly used, but maybe more in a synth context, just like
  • LP for low-pass and
  • HP for high-pass.

All current factory FX presets start with the two to five letter acronym, representing the effect type, which is also displayed in the box of the signal chain e. g. 'PHA'. :-)

-Burkhard
 

You can always save these local presets with a different name, delete the older versions, and create your own presets.


Effect Ordering

Q: How do you move effects on the Profiler?

A: Push and keep pressed Stomps (or Effects), navigate to the desired one using left/right buttons, select it with the first soft button, move it with the 2nd 3rd one.


Q: Should I place my effects before or after the Stack section?

A: Neither way is right or wrong, but it does have a tonal impact. The key part of the signal chain is where your heaviest distortion is occurring: everything before this is "pre" and everything after is "post". Most of this time this will be your amp profile, but in some cases it could also be a Distortion effect. Effects can be classified generally as 5 kinds of effects: Gain/Dynamics, Modulation, Pitch, EQ, and Time. The general rule is to place Gain/Dynamic effects towards the front of the chain, Time effects towards the back, with the others having applications on both sides. Any effects placed post-distortion will more prominently display their characteristics, while pre-placement tends to have the effect get "baked into" the distortion sound.

Effect Pre Post
Modulation Gets baked into the distortion, causing the distortion tone to change a bit as the modulation progresses through its cycle. You can clearly hear it on palm mutes. You have to mind your settings or the swooshing can sound irregular. I like flangers/phasers here. Clear swooshing sounds; can be distracting if used with high feedback or mix levels. Effects will sound most lushous here. I like chorus here.
Compression Evens out the distortion, allowing you to have a thicker tone with less distortion, while still having natural volume dynamics Useful to add sustain while retaining distortion dynamics (can still use pick attack to go from clean to crunch to raucous)
Distortion A mild distortion before heavier amp distortion can add some character to the overall tone A heavy amp distortion into a Distortion box will most likely sound like manic noise (broken amp sound)
Pitch Sounds more like 1 guitar playing intervals/chords or using the whammy bar; distortion on shifted notes sounds a bit more natural Sounds more like 2 guitars harmonizing; distortion on shifted notes sounds more artificial and noticeable
EQ Will alter the distorted tone - can make distortion more/less muddy, smooth, harmonically-rich. Adjusts the final frequency response, useful for balancing frequencies or fitting into a mix.
Delay Delay trails will also compress/distort - can make things muddled/chaotic even at low settings if your amp has high distortion, but there are sweet spots and use cases that sound great Sounds like natural echoes
Reverb Sounds like scary movie effects, like feedback without the high pitched squeels. Sounds like natural reverberations


Slot Restrictions

The 4 Stomp, X, and MOD slots are open to all the effects, other than delay and reverb. The Delay and Reverb slots are exclusively for delay and reverb, respectfully.


Quick Knobs

The Profiler gives you quick access to change the most commonly-adjusted parameters for Mod, Delay, and Reverb effects.


Tempo Lock

When I save two patches with different tempo, it will not change the tempo on preset change.

But I got it working now, tempo changes on preset change. I did hold the Lock button and then same time pressed tempo (to lock it) and pressed tempo again (to unlock it). Seemed to be locked somehow without showing it.

you can set the BPM rate on page 2/3 of the Rig menu and lock it (softbutton 2). This locked BPM will then be applied to the note values defined in Tap Tempo (Clock Left/Right) in any rig.

-burkhard
 


Effects

Wah

Wah Wah (WWAH) Wah Low Pass (WLPF)
Wah High Pass (WHPF) Wah Vowel Filter (WVOW)
Wah Phaser (WPHA) Wah Flanger (WFLA)
Wah Rate Reducer (WRR) Wah Ring Modulator (WRM)
Wah Freq Shifter (W FS) Wah Formant Shift (WFORM)

Using an expression pedal with the Profiler is definitely better than a real wah! I had them all, I mean the real ones. Now sold them all because the wah in the Profiler is outstanding. The expression pedal gives you a ton of advantages that you don't have with a real wah.

Touch Sensivitity

I really love the fact that the touch activation really works without any noticeable transition effect. It just blends in and fades out very smooth which is something I always disliked about traditional Wahs. it works like a Morley Bad Horsie but way smoother. The ability for it to engage when the pedal is moved is just a fantastic feature. And its tweakable enough to cover the sounds of quite a few different wahs. The biggest difference will be in feel of the expression pedal throw versus a dedicated wah. Expression pedals almost always have a wider throw which takes some getting used to. But tonally, it delivers IMHO.


Q: I'm using an expression pedal linked to my MIDI pedalboard. I just assigned CC#1 to this pedal and worked like charm. I see though a small lag, something like 1 second (maybe less) when stopping moving my foot.

A: ckemper - The lag is intended. The Profiler needs to wait a bit to be sure that you have really stopped moving it.


MIDI Control

For more, see MIDI.

The Kemper recognizes the MIDI CC #1 and #7 without being told anything else, you can leave the external switch sockets on the back to be used for other things (such as tuner, or to turn on and off effects as I use it with an additional pedal).

If you set up the wah in slot A and lock it in place (setting it to turn off when you don't use the pedal in the 2nd settings page of the wah page) you can use it on every patch with no additional setting up, in my case for example also freeing up the use of the control pedal of the GR-55 (which I had previously set to turn the wah on and off) to be used for tap tempo as I have it set.

Shaper

Bit Shaper (BIT) Recti Shaper (RECT)
Soft Shaper (SHAPR) Hard Shaper (SHAPR)
Wave Shaper (SHAPR)

The wave shapers are pretty cool for getting a better cascading gain tone & feel, turn down the gain in the Amp section and put a wave shaper before and/or after - each with very little drive. Improves the tone w/o sounding like a distortion pedal.

I kinda like cranking the waveshaper's gain up into a moderately high gain amp creating a completely bizarre, squelchy, alien, broken amp type of tone.

Distortion

Green Scream (DIST) Plus DS (DIST)
One DS (DIST) Muffin (DIST)
Mouse (DIST) Fuzz DS (DIST)
Metal DS (DIST)

Tips

Using the Profiler’s distortions, the lowest possible amount of clipping depends on a lot of things: the 'family' (TS9 or 80 the series (TS9, 10, 7, 5, 'clones' etc.), the opamp used, the value/tolerance of the drive pot and the resistor next to the it... Basically, every TS-like pedal sounds and behaves a little bit different.

I just played the Vab Clean profile with a Green Scream in front, set like this:

  • drive: 0
  • tone: -2.5
  • volume: 0

and I found the result to be very pleasing and what I would expect from a good Screamer in 'boost mode' in front of a good tube amp.

-01000100
 

Try putting an GEQ before or after the fuzz effects in the Profiler, there's a lot of variety to be had.

Boost

Treble Booster (BOOST) Lead Booster (BOOST)
Pure Booster (BOOST) Wah Pedal Booster (BOOST)


EQ

Graphic Equalizer (EQ) Studio Equalizer (EQ)
Metal Equalizer (EQ)

Mix Control

We have a mix control on every EQ. It does exactly what you expect: you get more or less of the EQ.

But it controls the intensity of the EQ, it's not a direct signal feed. If it was, it would create unwanted phase cancelations.

-ckemper
 

Widener

Stereo Widener (WIDE)


Compressor

Also, see the Amp Profile Compressor parameter.

Compressor (COMP)


Gate

Also, see Input Section Noise Gate.

Gate 2:1 (GATE) Gate 4:1 (GATE)

The new 2:1 and 4:1 gates (FW 1.0.9) are basically expanders (the opposite of a compressor). This means that loud signals get louder while soft signals get even softer. In this case, they are only softening the signal when it is lower than the threshold value.

Normally, those loud signals should be your guitar signals, while the noise should be the soft signals that are reduced. However, there might be situations where the signal and noise cannot be separated properly and the expander will fail. This might be the case if the noise is extremely high while the guitar signal is rather soft. Maybe you could try set the Clean Sens a little higher if your pickups are not that hot.

... this is why we have the more intelligent gate in the Input section. It works much better in many situations.

As with the existing noise gate, there are no attack or release controls, as we have selected the shortest possible times without introducing any signal degradation. The attack time is 0.05 ms (that’s 50 microseconds, or one twenty-thousandth of a second), while the decay time is 50 ms. You can use the Noise Gate Stomps in combination with the noise gate in the input section to benefit from the different noise gate characters.

-Kemper Reference Manual
 


Modulation

Thanks to the new assignable output sources (in FW 1.5.0) you can add stereo modulation in the X slot. Set Monitor Output to Mod left and Direct Output to Mod right, insert the stereo loop in the Mod slot and bingo - stereo modulation and a stereo fx loop for you delays and reverbs.

-01000100
 

If your pedals are to be used instead of the build-in effects, you might go from the main outs into your pedals and from there to your power amp. This would free up one slot for additional effects.

-01000100
 

Q: I would like to see all of the choruses, flangers and phasers totally stop all modulation when the speed is set to zero (there is still some modulation at zero currently). This way, these effects could be used for 'stereophonic thickening' of the sound (without adding modulation), much like a very short stereo delay.

Q: totally agree, need more thickening fx without modulation. The stereo widener is quite good if you use it in the x position.

Q: I see this especially important since we don't (yet) have a short 'ambient' delay we can use in the X slot - a stereo chorus with zero modulation & a bit of pre-delay can create a huge sound.

A: Choose Phaser or Flanger and set the Depth (not Rate!) to zero.

Or choose Wah Phaser or Comp Filter and set Pedal Range to zero (or Pedal Mode to Off). Then set the desired sound by Manual.

It's not a good advice to set rate to zero on any device for a static sound. Even if the LFO frequency goes down to zero, you might end up with an undetermined (arbitrary) frequency setting.

Chorus

Vintage Chorus (CHO) Hyper Chorus (CHO)
Air Chorus (CHO)


Vibrato, Tremolo, Rotary Speaker, and Micro Pitch

Micro Pitch (uPTC) Vibrato (VIB)
Rotary Speaker (ROT) Tremolo (TREM)


here is a rotovibe/univibe-like setting I use on almost all my tracks : Wah ring modulator Manual 5.2 (also try 5.1 ) / +36% pedal range / Pedal OFF / Stereo +90° / Mix 47% / Duck 0 / Vol 0

-Waraba
 

Phaser

Phaser (PHA) Phaser Vibe (PHA)
Phaser Oneway (PHA)

Depth and Manual are the way to give you full control about the effect, beyond the one knob control of some other flangers and phasers.

Manual is the base setting. With non-zero Depth settings the flanger will swing around (!) the Manual setting.

Only when Manual is full left or right the swing is into one direction, so it does not hit the limit.

The flanger does not swing through zero.

-ckemper
 

Flanger

Flanger (FLA) Flanger Oneway (FLA)

Depth and Manual are the way to give you full control about the effect, beyond the one knob control of some other flangers and phasers.

Manual is the base setting. With non-zero Depth settings the flanger will swing around (!) the Manual setting.

Only when Manual is full left or right the swing is into one direction, so it does not hit the limit.

The flanger does not swing through zero.

-ckemper
 

Loop

Loop Mono (LOOP) Loop Stereo (LOOP)
Loop Distortion (LOOP)


Pitch

Pitch Effects were introduced to the Kemper Profiler with firmware 1.8.0 public beta. The following pitch effects are available:

Transpose (TRP) Pedal Pitch (PPTC)
Chromatic Pitch (CHROM) Harmonic Pitch (HARM)
Micro Pitch (uPTC)

There are many example rigs that demonstrate the pitch shifting capabilities.

Pedal Vinyl Stop has been added in firmware 2.2.0. :-)

-Burkhard
 

The pitchshifting is performed where the pitch effect is located :-)

-DonPetersen
 

Placement Guide

My first few minutes playing with new pitch effects reveal the following:

  • The pedal pitch sounds and works good in stomps A-D, not so good after the amps. So great just like a whammy pedal;
  • chromatic and smart harmonies work well post amp and not as good in stomps A-D. Sound is crisper post amp and tracking is better;
  • micro pitch doesn't seem to have a big difference in position whether its before or after the amps.
-Joptunes
 

Yes- what you describe is true of pitch effects in general. Things that are meant to sound like multiple guitars will work better after an amp. Whammy works better before. Smaller amounts of pitch shift can work before it after. But will sound a little different with a clean amp, and the difference will increase with the amount of amp gain.

-paults
 


How to musically use the pitch shifter by Joptunes

Naturally people gravitate to root, plus up a third, and up a fifth, because this is what makes up a normal chord. This is in the smart harmony settings.

Octave is also popular whether up or down because it just matches the note you are playing in any given key.

Or you can choose to go up a fifth, then match that same note down below which is down a fourth.

Fifths work well because they are not dependent on what key you are in, so that's a good generic patch to have for a basic pitch solo effect. Can be in chromatic pitch setting.

There is nothing wrong with any interval on the smart harmony, it's all just different flavors of sounds. Of course you have to stay in the key you've selected.

Lots of possibilities. For me I plan to keep the following presets:

  1. Whammy pedal set to go up one octave;
  2. chromatic pitch with one note down an octave and one note up a fifth;
  3. chromatic pitch up a fifth. Typical solo effect;
  4. smart harmony with one note up a third, second note up a fifth. Will need to adjust key as needed;
  5. chromatic pitch with one note up a second for that crazy Alan Holdsworth effect;
  6. chromatic pitch with up a fifth, and up an octave for the normal Owner Of A Lonely Heart setting.


Usage

Pure Tuning

The Pure Tuning feature was added with firmware 2.0.0 public beta

Formant Shift

The Formant Shift feature was added with firmware 2.0.0 public beta

Delay

The Delay effects are only available in the DELAY slot.

Tap Delay (DLY) Free Delay (DLY)
Analog Delay (DLY)

The Profiler delay is a stereo or dual or ping pong delay. A classic dual delay works in parallel. You can get the shimmering by the modulation parameter, that is set to a non-zero value by default, because we love modulated delays so much.

You can set the delay time either by musical 16th notes in the Tap delay or by milliseconds in the free or Doppler delay. There is a reason why our Tap Delay uses the uncommon setting of multiples of 16th (3/16, 4/16 etc.): 5/16 or 7/16 have no equivalent note symbol, but they sound fantastic.

Creating a spatial effect by using a constant delay offset for the left and right side is somewhat attractive, but also risky. It is really not a good advice. While applicable for live gigs, you should never use it for a recording, because you will harm the mono compatibility of the recording. When the recording is listened in mono, the left and right delay are mixed to one signal. This even happens, when you use the Profiler’s Monitor Output, that is mono. If you mix two signal with a constant delay offset you create a nasty combfilter effect. With a 10 ms offset this will kill the frequencies 150 HZ, 250 Hz, 350 Hz etc. of the delay signal.

The delay offset is a recommendation from the 80's. Our delays feature a more advanced spacial effect: stereo modulation, a varying delay offset, that convert the combfilter into a gentle chorus effect. Adjust the depth of this effect by the parameter "Modulation" in every delay.

-ckemper
 

The Profiling Amplifier provides three types of delays:

  • Tap Delay The delay time is linked to the tempo as selected in RIG settings, or by the TAP tempo button.
  • Free Delay Delay time is freely adjustable in milliseconds, and is independent from the TAP tempo. The delay time can be changed transparently, with no audible artifacts, which is also true for the tap delay.
  • Analog Delay Delay time is adjustable in milliseconds, like in the free delay. However, adjusting the delay time will create those crazy pitch shifts or Doppler effects, known from the good ol’ bucket brigade delays.

Beside these differences, all three delay types work in the same way, and offer easy ways to create mono or stereo (ping pong) delays. Only the left delay tap will feed its signal back to both delay taps; this simplification will help you to create great rhythmic delay patterns without increasing the density of the sound.

We use a specially designed bandpass filter to control the loss of high and low frequencies with every delay tap, from the softest natural decay up to an artificial tone shaping.

At high “Feedback” settings you get a tape delay sound, complete with infinite oscillation and tape-saturation effect. For the tape delay saturation we use the softest saturation algorithm possible. The modulation will even give a mono delay a full stereo width, creating an airy effect on stereo delays, and adding wow and flutter to a typical tape delay sound.

-Kemper Reference Manual
 


Q: When it comes to delay, I fell like I have to set the mix to like 70% in order for the delay and regular signal to sound the same volume. Is that normal? with past brands, I do 50/50 and I'm done.

A: ckemper - The delay mix is a special feature. It works more like a send of a mixing desk, rather than a mix control. When you turn it ip for those 70%, the direct signal will not attenuate, since it shouldn't.

The attenuation is shrinked to the remaining range, as it is quite likely that you will not want the delay louder than your direct signal. This circumstance is visible in the display, when you turn the control. There you can see the level of the delay and direct portions.


Tips

Presets and Emulations of Classic Effects

The "secret" to my main tone in the early 90's was that I used delay with full effect, 0 delay time and around 30% feedback and it really thickened my tone, this works great as well!

-vablows
 

Holding/Freezing Infinite Delay Repetitions

You can kinda do the infinite repeat bed thing with the Profiler even without a “hold” or “freeze” function.

If you’re using a MIDI controller, you can assign a footswitch to bypass the delay keeping the tails (CC27). This means if you have a delay with the feedback kicked up real high, you can play a chord then bypass the delay input and the repeats will go on infinitely until you switch patches.

-Will_Chen
 


Reverb

The Reverb effects are only available in the REVERB slot.

Also, see the Space effect located in the Output slot.

Hall (REV) Large Room (REV)
Small Room (REV) Ambience (REV)
Matchbox (REV)

Delay/Reverb Balance

All Reverb effect types include a Delay/Reverb Balance parameter. This greatly simplifies your ability to apply the reverb to the delay trails vs. the direct signal. This emulates several different parallel routings as well as a serial routing.

  • Full left applies reverb to the direct signal only, not delay trails (parallel operation with delay w/ mix at 100% on one side and reverb on the other).
  • Middle is equal reverb to both (serial operation).
  • Full right applies reverb to delay trails only (parallel operation with the direct signal on one side and the delay w/ mix at 100% feeding into the reverb).

To my ear, setting this parameter about 33-66% to right of center gives the most natural tone. Think of an echo - each repeat tends to pick up more and more reverb, while the original signal also gets a slight reverb.

-meambobbo
 

Global Reverb

Q: Is there a global reverb in the Profiler? I wondered about this as when I use profiles with massive amounts of reverb on them. Obviously I can turn this down but I wondered if there was a global control?

A: Yes, is there: push and hold reverb and then push Lock.

Spring Reverb

There is a really good (bad) ;) sounding spring reverb in the Profiler. It's called Matchbox in the Reverb section. Set pre-delay to 0, limit the bandwidth a little bit (watch out, there's a lot happening between 0.0 and 1.0 already) and use frequency to turn it brighter. I have a few spring reverbs here (Accutronics, Dynacord, no name...) and the Profiler can capture their vibes easily.

-DonPetersen
 

Ideas

Some loose Profiler reverb ideas w/a high-gain sound (from David Torn):

  • roll-off the low-end RT response;
  • if you're playing high-gain rhythmic stuff narrow the bandwidth of the reverb-response; maybe raise the frequency a bit.
  • lengthen the pre-delay;
  • use a little less "damping";
  • play w/the delay+reverb balance (probably turning it clockwise, more towards the 'verb);
  • pull the reverb/dry mix more towards "dry".

Then:

  • turn the 'verb on & off;
  • if the signal shows more volume with the 'verb off, simply raise the rig's volume, slightly.

If you're using a lot of reverb in your rigs, be sure to experiment with the Bandwidth and Damping parameters. You might think they only affect the tone of your reverb tail, but as that gets mixed together with your dry signal they can have a dramatic effect on your core tone.

-burningyen
 

When you are building a tone with delay/reverb strongly mixed I suggest to first put the mix paramenter to "only effect" and listen carefully to the result of the effect frequency spectrum with Bandwidth and Damping parameters, then mix with the dry until you find the right amount of effect (tipically this should be done playing with a backing track where the guitar will be inserted...).

-Maurizio70
 

If you are playing in headphones, things can sound way too "dry" and fake without any reverb. I like to use a small or large room reverb type, small pre-delay, high dampening, very short time, and mild mix to simulate the space you get when listening through speakers. This trick can also help get an "amp-in-the-room" sound out of a close-mic'ed profile. Also, see the Space effect in the Output block.

-meambobbo
 


Input/Output Effects

This section covers all the effects releated to the Input/Output slots. These cannot be assigned to the 8 Stomp/Effects slots/blocks.

Input Section Noise Gate Space