Profiling Tutorials

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Here we're going to collect all information, tips, tricks, tutorials regarding the profiling process with the Kemper Profiler. There will probably be a couple of sub-pages as the content grows.

In order to learn about profiling (the proprietary Kemper technology that allows the Profiler user to capture the sonic and dynamic characteristics of a guitar-bass rig) please refer to the manuals.

Contents

Videos

Kemper Nashville profiling session - Dave Cleveland @ Sunset Blvd Studio - 60s Princeton Amp by Tyler.

Kemper Nashville profiling session - Dave Cleveland's Matchless amp.

Kemper Profiler - Profiling a Bogner Amp

Italian Kemper profiling session using a Fender Super-Sonic Twin combo, 2012 at the studio Emerald Recording.

Kemper Amp - Profiling Tutorial - EVH 5150 III - by Sarky Mekmorakoth

Kemper Amps Profiling Demonstration Live on Air with John Huldt, on The Flo Guitar Enthusiasts

Kemper Profiling Amp - Ken Susi (UNEARTH)

Jake Pitts (Black Veil Brides) - Kemper Profiling Amp / Peavey 6505+ Demo

Kemper Profiler ABC Test und Tutorial

Kemper Profiling Session with Niko Tsonev

Kemper profiling the Axe-Fx, comparison video by Keith Merrow

Introduction to Profiling

Kemper profiling day in Tokyo

Tutorials

[and44] Profiling an amp is the same as micing up an amp, that produces very accurate results. There is no winners, and there is no hard rules. Anyone can set up an amp and put a microphone to it, this we all know, and im sure have tried. Why the results are so various then? Well lets look at some facts.

  • Is the mic level/gain stage set correctly?
  • Are the cables your using of good quality? Use neutrik where possible.
  • Most home-made profiles exhibit the so called called expulsion/proximity effect: the air pushed by the speaker has not had time to deliver sonically to the physical room/mic and carries some nasty characteristics.
  • Is the amp in a different room? This is a must, otnerwise you’rr comparing an "amp in the room tone" to a recorded tone, and this carries a different mojo.
  • If your pofile doesn’t compare well with the real amp, the way you refine comes in. I find it works best to play hard chords and light strokes to even out the dynamics.
  • If the refine process is ok and the profile doesn’t still sound good, then it’s a case of mic being in a wrong position, as this is what the Profiler will pickup on the most and therefore is what you hear, just like a real recording. Move the mic around more, further away, clear the proximity effect, and try to capture what you want to hear (it does take time)

Mics/Mic'ing

The Shure SM57

The Shure SM57 (everyone has one) is a mid range mic, it pushes and emphasizes this on a lot of amps if used alone, and this is not everyone’s cup of tea. Adjust your amp to cut this (unless you have a Studio EQ or other means to cut it) to compensate for the extra.

Ribbon mics

Ribbon mics are often preferred but these provide more range, and can create a low end that is not particularly pretty. A lot of modern mics come with roll offs: use this from 100 Hz downwards, and it will improve the mic response massively when it comes to capture the cab. Likewise, use a Studio EQ or sub-mixer or whatever you can use if you don't have one). Or you can use the Bass/Mid/Treble etc in the Profiler’s profile screen to adjust before profiling.

Multi-mic profiing/recording gets complex because of phase issues and other mix/match parameters, and requires a sub-mixer in order to feed dual mics to a single output. Always start with one mic before going this route.

I have had some experience with phase issues between IR's actually, from the Pod HD's cab/mic simulations. Voxengo makes an excellent vst plugin called Sound Delay that allows you to time-shift a recording by as little as 1 sample. That's slightly more than 22 ns. If you can record each mic into your DAW, you can use Sound Delay to phase correct the mics before mixing them and sending them back to the Profiler. It's a lot easier to get precise phase alignment than perfect mic positioning.

-meambobbo
 

Rear micing

Rear micing (my personal favorite with a 121) works like a charm, and really helps deliver the "room" sound along with the profile. And helps giving a 3D approach to it all.

Distance Mic'ing

Distance micing is possible. The profiler will compensate for the latency. The reverb tail of the room will shrink, which can be of an advantage, since the sound will be more direct. If desired, reverberation can be added afterwards. What is more important: the profile will not capture the reverb tail, but only the frequency response of the room. Still there is no dissipation at this short distance.

The distant micing is quite far away from the speaker, so you catch loads of room.

The difference between the original sound and a distance profile is caused by a psychological effect: the diffusion of the room seems to soften the high end, even though it doesn't (as you have checked with the match EQ). I believe you could even come closer by creating more diffusion in the Profiler. This is by better adapting the Profiler's reverb to the original room. The reverb should be a bit louder and a bit longer.

-ckemper
 

The room reflections create diffusions especially in the high frequencies that will let them sound softer. The Profiler will not copy the room and diffusion, but the correct frequency response, thus sound with more high end. The profile is ok, even after short refinement, but the reception of the ear is different.

-ckemper
 

I found that the amps sound much more natural (more like the real thing next to me) if I far mike them. How far to put the mic depends on the mic and room size as well. In my room, and with the R121, I use between 1 and 2 meters. You need some profiles to find the best distance, then it works great.

Yesterday I found a great (far mic’ed) position for one amp - and today I carefully replaced just the amp - and the results were very poor. The more I try the more I know it's strange - a few centimeters can create a different world. Keep experimenting - it's just fun with the Profiler - two minutes later we hear the result and can A/B - and then may have to adjust the position - until the best position is found. Far miking needs much more time than close miking - to find the best position. I found that sometimes it works for clean sounds but sounds poor for distorted ones - so I start now with distorted sounds - if they sound fine, then the clean sounds are fine too (in most cases).

Tips and Tricks

Not to mention the model of mic you choose for profiling, mic placement matters a lot in defining the recorded/profiled sound. Here you can hear an example of this.

Normally I hate central placing mics, unless it’s pure clean. For dirt it produces the best signal, but it’s too harsh in the upper mids and generally awful sounding.

However, if you have a pop filter try placing it over the front of the SM57 and place it dead center. You’ll get a more boomy sound, without the harsh highs/mids; and also it’s like micing up a different part of the speaker that simply does not exist. I’ve not done this yet in my profiles but studios do it all the time...I’ve recorded folk with that trick before with great results.


Another thing you want to try is use the most high/mid rangy mics you have up front closer to the center of the speaker, and then use a ribbon mic and place it 2/12” or so at the rear of the cab and blend that in. It can give an amazing depth to the sound. But don’t forget to invert the phase on the mixer.


Be careful with long cable runs though as impedance appears quickly the longer the cable… and tone starts sucking, unless you used some sort of buffer.


For those that think the SM57 is "too much"... a little tip for you, as you sound like you don’t like SM57s: try putting a toilet roll around the front of the SM57, then let the sound go through the "tube" into the SM57. It makes it a lot more focused and lose the shrill of the SM57.


From my experience mic position and EQ correction make good partners. For example: If you place the mic at the center and roll off some high frequencies on the EQ, the results are often far better than moving the mic to the edge of the speaker in order to soften the high end.

The SM57 does a lot of coloring which can be cool if you rather dial in a more scooped rock or metal sound. If you want to capture a little more realistic picture perhaps try a condenser or something else with a rather flat frequency curve and use a little more distance.

EQ

This is your best friend. Sometimes you can have the amp sounding perfectly in the room, but profiles are not. It’s because the mics used are creating a new freq range that you are unaware of, or the room is not good at capturing those freqs. So use an EQ where you can, to get rid of any unwanted disturbances and to sweeten to taste (this also takes time).

Preamps

If you want to use a mic that requires phantom power you have to use an external mic amp, since the Profiler doesn’t supply any. Some pres add some colour that you are not aware of. A good pre is transparent.


Q: Is a high-quality preamp needed for the best profiling?

A: paults - No preamp is needed to profile, if you use a dynamic mic or have a phantom power box for a condenser mic.

Any subtle differences between two "clean" mic preamps wouldn't likely have much, if any impact on the profile. The positions of the knobs on the amplifier, the type and amount of refining, and mic placement are all much more important than the perceived quality of the mic preamp. If you have a preamp set to get a specific type of distortion or frequency response, that would be reflected in the profile.

I know of at least one person who has made some of the the most highly regarded amp and cabinet profiles, and used a mini Behringer mixer to mix multiple mics when he made them. It provides dual phantom power, input trims, and is an integrated mic/line mixer.


On average it takes me about 12 hours to mic an amp successfully using 3 mics. I profile several amps at the same time and never profile on the same day as micing, unless I am short of time.

So in short, profiling is an art form, the same as playing.


Comparing the Amp and the Profiler While Profiling

It’s important to be aware that the A/B comparison within the Profiler is not comparing the real thing with the profiled amp. The sound of the real amp is modified by the Profiler's buffering and again altered when passing the A/D section in order to route to the monitors. Comparisons should be made between the amp and the Profiler in Browse mode.

NOTE: Going from Profile to Browse mode the sound changes. The actual change is just a pure level change though.

When you profile a slightly crunched amp, it will have a volume compensation for the lower gain. But the volume compensation is counterproductive during the profiling process, thus switched off. When you return to the Browse mode, the volume compensation is activated, then increasing the volume of the sound a bit. The sound is not colored by this whatsoever.

-ckemper
 


Recording with a DAW is the only current way to actually A/B in isolation during profiling.

What I do is connect the Kemper to the S/PDIF and input the guitar directly into the interface. Then on the Profiler input enabled S/PDIF input (under Input settings), and in the software for the interface route the guitar to go to the Profiler, then in my DAW set up two channels, the S/PDIF and raw guitar.

Now if you go to profile mode on the Profiler you can switch between the Profiler model and the amp itself as the output signal which is what will go back to the DAW, finally once you've recorded whatever you'll need to change the routing once again to send a normal channel to the S/PDIF (that you'll pick as the output for the clean guitar track in your DAW), and now you can re-amp and record away to compare side by side (and yes it's convoluted, but it works).

You don't have to re-amp a dry track, you can just noodle and record that result, I just prefer to have an identical track to really hear the nuance and differences. But what the DAW gets from the Profiler is the same signal that you hear when you press the A/B buttons, so that means you record the Profiler direct tone, and pressing the button you'll then be recording the real amp + mic signal chain, which makes it a little more convenient than having to route both through your interface and record that way.

If you don't do this then what will happen is you will either hear the amp in the room in the background unless you have it at the far end of the building and you can't hear it at all under normal circumstances without the mic feed, which will throw you off when comparing A Vs. B as its low frequencies and general sound, muffled or not will mask the frequencies that you're hearing from your monitors. This means there's a greater chance of ending up with an inaccurate profile that may be severely lacking at the bottom end of things.

How to Get Good Profiles

If you don’t find your (mic'ed) original amp and its profile (see above) to be the same, consider the following:

  • Compare recordings! Record both amp and Profiler (see above) and compare the two recordings thoroughly on your DAW monitors. I found out several times that I was completely wrong with comparing while playing.
  • Check the sag and compression settings in the amp block.
  • Turn noise gate off.

I don't like most profiles put up on the exchange, the nasal phasey sound that SM57s have especially. Most profiles to my ears have this washy thing going on. Here's how I minimized that on my profiles. BTW, I probably prefer my profiles because I'm dialing in the amp how I like, using a mic set up how I like, etc... it's no wonder I like what I profile. I am going to bet most people are the same way - they like the way they set up their amps/mics for the Profiler.

  1. Buy a MXL144 mic from guitar center. $99. It's a ribbon, and is a tiny bit dark compared to an SM57. I think it is much more 'in the room' sounding though than an SM57.
  2. Buy a TubeMP ART or equivalent preamp. No, it's not a Great River or anything like that, but you can make up gain easily with one, and it supports using mics that need 48v. Got mine on sale at GC for $29. A good mic cable is that much!
  3. play around with mic placement. I like going center up and down and then to the left about 2-3" from center, and at least 2" back, not right on the speaker grill. Starting from there, you can move the mic around to taste.
  4. Remember if you're dealing with a modern amp like a mesa or VHT, the tone is in the preamp, not in cranking the power amp. So don't have the amp at earth shattering levels, you'll just get errors on the Profiler because of all the noise.
  5. If at all possible, have the amp you're profiling in another room so you can only hear the miked sound off the Profiler. Headphones are great for this if you don't have a lot of space. If you can't get a tone you like in the Profiler before profiling, you're making your life really hard. Garbage in - garbage out.
  6. If it sounds good, it is good! Trust your ears, not star ratings or the fact that someone used super amazing gear to capture a super amazing amp. Again, just go with what you hear, not what you read. Our first instinct is to try to like something that is more expensive/rare, it's just human nature.
-okstrat
 


Q: all my profiles sound very compressed even if there is no compression added in the Profiler or anywhere in my signal chain. Am I hitting the input too hard? What could cause this?

A: Try to isolate your problem. If you’re using a mic preamp exclude it from the chain if you can, just go with a mic into the Profiler Return. Be sure to adjust the profiling return level right.

Check the Master output LED. It should never turn to red. This should at least give you a clean profile. If not, maybe your cables or your mic are not ok.

If the profile is good, insert the pre back again. Should the issue arise at this stage, check the levels coming back in (and being sent) to the pre. You can see these on the input and output LEDs and the volume when monitored from the Profiler should roughly match the internal patch level (set up during the phase before profiling).

Next check that the rig you're using to start out from doesn't have a compressor (and that the amp compression parameter is down at 0 too), the new profile will just take the same rig and slap your profile in it so be aware that you'll need to disable stomps etc. Check input sensitivity and that your noise gate is disabled.


I will share what I've learned so far:

  1. Most times, when a profile doesn't seem to be 'getting there', I can pull up a few tried and true cabs that magically seem to make everything sound better (this brings to mind the ongoing debate about how the amps & cabs interact). The obvious disadvantage is that you loose some of the uniqueness of the particular amp's sound.
  2. I have found that pre-EQ can do wonders for many overdriven profiles by controlling what frequencies get pushed farthest into distortion.
  3. Many clean profiles can be morphed into killer gain OD amps! (sometimes will need to cut some lows out or boost some lower mids with pre-EQ).
  4. I have had pretty good luck mic'ing certain cabs from the back or at really strange angles to get some 'special effect'/'unique character' sounds for interesting interludes during a 'not so exciting' song.
  5. Although I know it's against the rules, I have used some *mild* compression on certain Clean & OD profiles to achieve a smoother, more expressive feel without so much distortion (if you try to use too much you will get 'busted' by Mr. Kemper, who is living inside the Profiler!)
-Radley
 

One thing I have found different about the way the Profiler profiler interprets the sound versus micing a live cab is, that when the slightest amp eq change is made, it has a large effect on the Profiler profile, where making that slight amp eq change on a live miced amp is more subtle.

I have been profiling my Friedman Brown Eye (again) for days, and am getting a great non-fizzy tone, but there is always an abundance of low frequency that has to be carved out with all my 4x12 hi-gain profiles due to the fact that I tend to profile with my amp's eq's generally at 4 or less. This does lead to excess bass energy which I sculpt to fit the profile, but the mid's and high's are much smoother and like-a-record. I recommend taking your favorite profiles, and mixing-in your Profiler with records you are familiar with, and hearing how either too-bright or too-bassy many profiles are, and to get a reference what great recorded tone should sound like.

-miles
 


Is your Profile Good?

One of my test is to make all kinds of strange guitar sounds - and check if it sounds more like plastic (synthetic) or real (like wood). Hit the guitar strings, mute, palm mute, play flageolets ... If it sounds like plastic - while the real amp in the A/B sounds great - I change mic and/or mic placement.

This works quite fine to check out guitars as well. The worst check for gear is IMHO a youtube video where a very talented guitar player plays fast lines over a great backing track - everything sounds great by this!


Profiler Controls During Profiling

Before starting the profiling process you can of course use the Profiler’s controls to tweak the sound/response. I found that if I set the clarity where I want it (to match the reference) before refining, the Profiler readjusts the frequency balance during refining and I can get closer to the reference.

The Distorted Sens will affect the Direct out, too. You should set it to zero, when you run your reference amp for profiling. The Clean Sens has no impact to the Direct out.

And in case you have many profiles of an amp never change Distorted Sens or you lose the exact amp settings.

-ckemper
 


Refining

Refining consists of play your instrument through the amp at the end of the profiling process if you feel that the amp has not been captured 100% faithfully. Refer to the manuals for further details.

You can easily tweak the low end by refining the profile by playing low notes and riffs.

-ckemper
 

The guitar does not matter for the refining process. The Profiler mainly reads the dynamics of an amp, when played by the guitar. Every guitar delivers enough dynamics to satisfy this aspect. In the end, the type of guitar or pickup does not have an impact in the profiling result. If the result is good, the A/B test will pass with any guitar. If the result was not good, the flaws will be obvious with every guitar.

-ckemper
 

The cool thing about refining is that you don't have to just use your guitar, you can change the tone, volume and gain on your amp during refining and that will change the profile. Not playing at all during refining made a profile quieter with less gain, I refined again with playing and the volume and gain increased.

Adjusting amp settings while refining is pretty cool if you find your profile has too much gain, treble, etc. I discovered this when I was refining a profile that was too bright, I turned the treble down and played my guitar while in Refine mode.

You could just change the settings and re-profile, but this adds another useful approach to refining.

I discovered what the profiling problem I had was. After rereading the manual I spent about 30 seconds playing chords, but really whacking them hard. Job done. No more thin crappy treble. In the manual it states that one of the jobs done in the refining process is measuring/comparing transients. That seems to mean the initial attack of the notes etc. Whatever, it does the trick. No more scratchy treble notes.

Lesson learned… RTFM… (silly me LOL)

What you play during refining matters. If you have large gaps of silence then it will adversely affect the profile, so play solidly. Play a range of things, chug chords, palm mutes, open chords all over the neck, lead lines etc. Just playing one thing has never worked for me, play both light and heavy rather than all just hammering the guitar in a frenzied attempt to break the strings, unless your aim is purely to record a cover of Helter Skelter of course.

Your point about what you play during refining making all the difference is absolutely true as that's the only thing I changed. This time I played extremely hard power chords constantly without allowing any silence whatsoever. In fact I even pressed the Finish button with my left hand while I was still picking with my right. The new profile isn't completely indistinguishable from the preamp but I'd put it at 95% and that's more than good enough for me, the earlier results were only about 75% of the way there.


My impression right now is that variation in playing styles (technically, not musically) while refining is more important than just duration. If you strum the same chords in the same way for 10 minutes that won't help much more than doing it for just a minute or two. I recently made a profile from 20 cm away from the speaker and after the chords all over the fretboard I also played lots of small noises, pizzicatos, flageolets, bright and ringing chords with clear, tight attacks all the way from pianissimo to fortissimo and double bends that produce those strange subtones and all this weird stuff. That profile ended up much more tighter than earlier, closer ones. Seems like the Profiler needs as much different info as possible, especially on transients, high-frequencies and dynamics. Of course it will need more time to play all that stuff, so the refining will take longer, yes.

It doesn't sound 100% the same if you leave the direct out going to the reference amp. So unplug it for final tweak of your rig. This is not a very obvious difference and probably not something that everyone can hear but believe me it's there ;-)


Amp Level During Profiling

Q: I've tried to do a clean profile with a 100W tube amp on a 4x12cab with no fx selected. The volume of Profiler and the to-be-profiled amp were moderate (somewhat bearable to not disturb the neighbors) and did match (as advised in the manual). Well, the Profiler "alien noises" went really loud and I had to exit the profiling. I lowered the volume level and started again. This time it was not loud enough which made the Profiler throw an error.

I was under the impression this profiling (at least clean) can be done in a normal environment. Of course, for getting somewhat close to the tube saturation of a Hiwatt DR103 it makes sense to leave vulnerable houses.

Can I control the volume of the mic intake (is that the return level)? Should I go to the band room even for clean settings and crank it up? Beginner’s operating error?


A: Yes: you can set a higher return level. Maybe this way you can lower the volume on the amp and get an acceptable volume. If you are still having issues, you can try and place a preamp or a mixer between the mic and the Profiler Return. Lower the amp volume and set a higher gain on the mic preamp/mixer. This way you raise the noise floor as well, but I think it's the only way to profile the amp if you can’t manage to have a lower volume.

The best thing would be profiling in a band room with the volume up to 11 for sure!


A: Profiling is loud, and 100W on a 4x12 ain't gonna help. You might want to shoot a DI profile with a load box and add an existing cab, it doesn't impact the tone that much on clean sounds.

You can put the cab in a closet and run a longer speaker cable to it, also can throw blankets over the cab and mic if necessary.


Q: I own an attenuator with a direct out. Can I connect that DO with the mike input and just profile the amp?

A: Yes! That's how (more or less) i profiled my Engl Screamer. I had a Behringer DI and a ton of pillows in front and behind the cabinet. What you get is a DI profile, then you have just to add a cabinet. I still think that a full profiling works better though.


Q: Has anyone tried to compare low volume profiles with medium or high volume profiles?

A: tylerh - Since poweramp distortion might negatively affect the dynamic profiling, similar as using a compressor in the profiling chain will do, i wouldn´t aim for that. A far more important consideration concerning the profiling volume should be the impact on your speakers and the resulting sound. Too often you hear the phrase "you have to crank a tube amp to make it sound good", which is simply not true for most amps. If it was, everybody would be using power soaks to have poweramp distortion at lower volumes. Many times, it´s just the speakers that sound different at different volumes. They sure need a certain level to reach a tonal balance. Below that level the speakers will lose a lot of low end, just like your HIFI speakers at home. Above that level, the speakers will have their optimum working range with a good tonal balance and maximum dynamics. Above that level the speakers itself will start to overload and compress or distort on their own. This is something you might like or not, it depends a lot on your own taste and music style.

If you still think that you really need poweramp distortion i would check some youtube amp review videos of some of those new amps that have a built-in powersoak. It´s a pretty good method to check how power amp distortion really sounds like, because the output volume and thus the the impact on the speakers stays the same.

I think i did most of my cab profiles with the JVM not even at 10%.

Automatic Leveling During the Profiling Process

The reference amp volume is adjusted to the unity volume of the Profiler. This guarantees a constant volume during a profiling session and prevents clipping on the return input. When you follow the manual and set the volume of the reference amp similar to the volume of the actual rig, then the automatic leveling will only apply small corrections. And you will not be surprised by a volume drop!

-ckemper
 

Profiling a Cranked Amp vs. Cranking the Profiler’s Drive Up

Q: Why it does not sound the same when the Profiler drive knob is cranked or if you profile the amp cranked)?

A: DonPetersen - This is very useful: your amp's gain control will also have an impact on the tone of the amp, not just the level of distortion (as you already mentioned), the Profiler on the other hand has a 'pure' gain control that allows you to keep the tonality of the amp (the dialed-in sweet spot) and use that tone at any gain level.


Profiles with Gain Between 0 and 9:00

All profiles have either Drive=0 for clean profiles or at least about 9:00 for distorted ones.

Between 0 and 9:00 is a zone where profiles were detected as clean, so they are set to 0 in the profiling process. You will notice that profiles at 9:00 are very close to be clean.

-ckemper
 


Are "All-12-O'Clock" EQ Settings Neutral Positions for Profiling the Amp?

Depending on the type of tonestack used, the 'noon' position can be far from neutral. quite often, full mids, no bass, no treble will be as close as you can get to a flat response.

http://www.duncanamps.com/tsc

Just as an example, these are the settings for a flat response on my Mesa/Boogie Lonestar Special:

  • Clean: Trebles: 0 – Mids: 4,5 – Bass: 3,5 – Presence: 0.
  • Drive: Trebles: 0 – Mids: 3 – Bass: 3,5 – Presence: 4.
-DonPetersen
 

Keep in mind that one of the main advantages of the Profiler is its ability to capture your rig as you find it pleasing. I would think that's the preferable 'baseline' for a profile, and then you can EQ in the Profiler away from that.

-meambobbo
 

Profile Metering

You don't need a dedicated profiling return level meter: the output level led will indicate this, as stated in the base manual. It's kind of logical: If you clip the profiling return, you will clip the output at the same time.

-ckemper
 


Q: I generally leave the Profiler Profiling Return level flat (i.e. 0 dB) and get everything correct at the source (amp end.) If I've done my job correctly, the Profiler should be in its 'sweet spot' and require neither boost nor cut during the profiling process.

A ckemper - If you keep your levels that constant you should be fine! You should never see an error message. The auto gain corrects the return level so that all profiles have the same RMS level. This should not be in your way. A future firmware [written @ 1.0.7 NdT] will apply the auto gain to the return level value, to avoid volume jumps. Don't worry too much about a maximum level. The profiling process is not sensitive to low background noise caused by the signal chain after the amp. You will catch more noise anyway by amplifying the reference amps input, which is natural for a distorting amp. This will only make trouble on extreme high gain settings.

The Return Level in the Profiler Menu is a mixture of analog and digital level control. When you turn it all the way down, it can capture even the highest studio levels.

The Output LED is also the level meter for profiling. It it's still green or yellow, the level is ok. The Master led acts as clipping indicator of the return level while in profiling mode

When doing the cab profiles I thought about putting my "refining stuff" into a DAW and just play that back to the Profiler. Would be another great use for that "audio loop" function that was discussed before. Store a "refining input" file, that works nicely for you, and the Profiler could automatically do it.


Profiling a Preamp

When profiling a preamp just use its Line level out back to the Profiler instead of using a mic. After you get a profile then you can try it out with the various cabs.

While attempting at profiling my pres, I noticed that the "reference" signal was being coloured by the existing profiles stack, amp eq and cab settings ( i didnt think that was possible but it was definately happening). So I turned them all off prior to profiling. The reference didn’t sound too good at that point but I went ahead anyway..... the profiling finished and the stack, amp eq and cab lights all came on automatically and as soon as I played the Profiler a huge smile appeared on my face: reference and Profiler they both sounded ace. I repeated the process several times all with great results.

-plek
 

Profiling an Amp with a DI

Warning

If you want to profile your amp with no cab, be aware that operating an amplifier (even at low volumes) without a load (cab/loudspeaker) risks damaging it. Running the amp's speaker outputs directly into the Profiler risks damaging the Profiler as well.

Using a DI with no Cab

You might take the signal from the Send, but this would give you the preamp signal only. If you want to get the full sound of the amp you'll need to take a signal after the poweramp. You'll need a dummy load providing both the load for the output transformer and a line out (DI box). Keep in mind that it will sound in a way on its own, because the interaction between the poweramp and the cab is a strong component in defining the sound of an amp.

Another way of getting the power amp signal is the power output some amps provide (such as some Mesa/Boogie). It's a 8 ohm out though, very loud, and I'm not sure it would couple properly with the Profiler.

Tone with DI's

Q: How can I keep the 8 or 16 ohm load on my output transformer and take a DI tap from that so that I can profile the amp by itself then add cabs [cab profiles, not actual cabs] as I please?

A: First, keep in mind that the results won’t be perfectly swappable: currently (FW 1.1.0) the Profiler always considers that there is a cab and removes something [when you change or disable the cabinet block].

Also, all those power soaks only make sense if you are aiming at power amp distortion. And most users who aim for it are shocked how shitty it really sounds when they hear it for the first time. So, using a simple DI Box like the GI100 it totally sufficient if you want to take DI profiles at bedroom levels.

I can tell you nothing sounds as good as a speaker - and the Weber MASS Motors are speakers (from an electronics viewpoint). I tested them against all kind of ohmic resistors with treble taps and even against the famous PALMER PGA04 and the MASS motor was always way much better, more dynamic, almost as clear as a real speaker!!!

Those new transformer based Powersoaks (I tested a Toneking Ironman) also sounded really good but their price (and also their weight) was way too high for me. I only used it on a small 2x6V6 amp so one 100 watt MASS motor was more than enough. For a short test I also used it to dime my Fender Twin 65 TRRI. Did work - no smoke but normally the load should be twice as much the wattage of the amp. So for a really rugged loadbox for a 100 Watt amp it is better to take two MASS motors in series or parallel (like two speakers in a cabinet).

But even the MASS attenuator (not motor) would do fine as a dummy load as long as you are not mic'ing the signal in the speaker. And BTW those new, transformer based attenuators like the Ironman or the Aracom are really a different breed!

If you just want to use it for a DI profile you could also just use a speaker taken out of its baffle: without the support of the wood of a cabinet, the speakers are much less loud.

Under this respect, the best load box would probably be a 8 or 16 ohm speaker which can handle 100 W. Just cut and remove the cone and fix it on a board, you will have your "silent" loadbox.

DI Setup and Tips

Even when profiling a DI, it's still worth making sure to record the signals direct into a DAW and ideally do a reamp of a dry guitar signal that you record to compare both the Profiler and the original amp using the switch on the Profiler as otherwise listening through speakers with both going and while you can hear your guitar strumming too will never give you a clear picture.

The result from a DI will have its own 'cabinet' profile which is a part of that sound. Disabling it will give you what the Profiler thinks the preamp on its own sounds like (the cab seems to represent power amp and cab), but often that's not necessary. Don't disable or replace if you’re going through the same setup as the pre-amp was originally.

I recommend to not use the effect send of an amp head to make DI profiles: there is no standard for the order in which the different parts of the signal chain come in. So it´s possible that the send signal will sound ultra-bright, while the power amp section would compensate for this or vice versa. I already had to deal with both cases.

Furthermore, some send sockets are placed before and some after the amp’s tonestack.

-Guitarnet70
 

IMO the best way to capture DI profiles is to use a DI Box between your speaker out and your cab and just profile that sound. The Behringer GI-100 is cheap and totally ok for that.

Anyway, be sure to get a DI Box that can handle speaker level signals.

Some amps have a DI out as well.

-tylerhb
 


Q: So basically I can make DI Profiles of all the Marshall amps/heads that have a DI output...and then just add a Till's cab, or no cab into poweramp/cab?

A: Per - Yes. Bear in mind Marshall adds an eq cab sim to their DI outs normally (not sure if it's possible to disable).

When you do a DI profile the Profiler somehow manages to make a profile that has very little cab influence, I think this is just a byproduct of the algorithm rather than the Profiler being extraordinarily clever and detecting that you're making a DI profile, but the result is that enabling/disabling the cabinet normally results in very much less of a change than with a standard profile (sometimes it's barely noticeable), which makes it ideal for then either using as a digital preamp with a real amp or swapping out the cabinet for a nice profiled cab.


Q: If I'm not mistaken some DI boxes (like the GI100 and H&K) add a speaker emulation?

A: Per - Some do. You may prefer to opt for something like a THD hotplate which has no cab sim output. Don't forget that it's not a load box so you still need to connect the output back to a speaker; otherwise you can blow the amp as it needs the load.

Most load boxes tend to color the sound themselves, so i don´t like them that much. The good news is that you don´t need to set your amp to a high volume. This whole power amp distortion thing will get you nowhere. The DI profile will sound just as good if you set your amp to a moderate volume.

-tylerhb
 


If you are not using any sub-mixer with phantom power for the DI signal, you will need to put a battery in the DI Box. I would recommend using the Profiler’s TS 1/4" Return socket since you are feeding it with a line level signal.


If you want to find out some nice settings for the amp, you can do this little trick before starting to profile:

Put the speaker DI signal in the Profiler return as is you would do a profile. But then just go to browse mode and deactivate all stomps and fx and also the amp and eq section, so that only the cab section will be active. Choose your favorite cab profiles here. Now activate the effect loop in a stomp slot. This way you can hear your amp with only the cab coming from the Profiler.

Now you will be able to hear the live DI signal of the amp + the cab profile. This way you can test dialing in amp settings that work best. This little trick basically allows you to use the Profiler just a speaker simulator, which may be nice for those who prefer using a real amp live but want a perfect and consistent PA sound. Great also for live use...


Please do not turn the cabinet off while profiling or comparing. The cabinet part is needed, even when it's a direct profile. In the future we will have methods to make a distinction between a direct profile and a regular profile (still this would not change the sound, but improve the handling).

-ckemper
 


Using a DI Profile without changing the Cabinet Profile

But until there will be a change in the software that allows us to store a profile with the Cab button switched off, the whole thing only makes sense if later you leave the cab switched on and play the Profiler through poweramp+guitar cabinet. If the reason why you want to profile without your speaker sound is that you don't have a room where you can profile really loud, then it might be better to profile though a silent cab. If you don't like the sound of the silent cab you can replace it in the Profiler's cab section with your favorite cab.

Using a DI into a DAW/IR Loader

You could also profile DI with a dummy load and before you go back to the Profiler return you lead the signal through a DAW and add a software cabinet there. But this is maybe a bit too much muddling along. Maybe the best solution is to look for a room where you can play loud for just the short time it takes to do a profile with a real cabinet.


Profiling Two Amps (Dual Amp Profiles)

I have recorded two facing amps using one ribbon mic in between. It was pretty cool actually.

Having the amps face each other (180 degrees from each other) may give you phase cancellation issues in the profile, so I activated both sides of that ribbon in a push pull scenario and Just got to be sure that distances on both sides were as equal as possible.

-Robbue
 

Profiling Stomps/FX

The Profiler can’t properly profile time-domain pedals/fx (reverbs, delays, flangers, choruses, wahs…); that is, you will of course get a profile but won’t be able to get the typical fx behaviour.

OTOH, EQ- and gain-based fx (distortion, overdrive, equalizer (you won’t of course be able to change the bands’ gain)) can be profiled. Since the fx in the Profiler are modeled, if you profile an overdriver you’ll have to load it as the amp block: no possibility to load an amp + the profiled pedal.


Q: Do Profiler users make and use these profiles? Or are they impractical because they can't be combined with an amp profile?

A: DocLine6forum - They are as practical as in real life. Profile a fuzzbox with a clean amp or a TS with a slightly overdriven amp, it all goes. But remember you only can profile a complete signal chain. You cannot profile a stomp and switch it on/off.


There are some pedals, mainly fuzz pedals, that like to see a guitar pickup at their input. Incoming line level makes them do unexpected things.

In such cases I use a pickup simulation device I build by myself. Here´s how to do it; if you´re a little bit into soldering, it´s quite easy.

A reamper which changes the signal from low impedance to high impedance should do the job. If you can’t borrow a dedicated reamper you can also try a passive Di Box in "Reverse Mode", which means you connect the Profiler output to the DI output of the Di Box and use the input if the DI BOX as an output which connect to your stomp box or amp. I used this a cheap reamper for years and it worked pretty nicely.

I've used a Radial dragster between my guitar and devices in the past to help with impedance issues. Inexpensive little thing that you can adjust to get back any lost 'warmth'.

Another trick for profiling fuzzes: run it in conjunction with an OD with zero gain; at refine turn the OD off.

The Fuzz Face is tricky as it loves to see a very high input impedance. That is why it cleans up so well when you roll back your guitar volume control. Many guys even have trouble placing a wah in front of that fuzz.

A buffer will work, but will change the sound. It might sound OK tho… Try any Boss pedal in bypass, as its output is always buffered. I would also try a passive transformer like an Ebtech to raise the impedance of the Profiler send to something the Fuzz Face can live with.

Profiling an Impulse Reponse

You just have to profile it over your DAW and load the impulse response accordingly. Connect the Profiler Direct out with the audio interface input and the output of the interface with Profiler Return. Now create an audio track with the IR loaded and activate the real time monitoring for that track so that you can hear that IR on the incoming audio signal. Now just create a profile and later extract the cab.


Profiling a Plugin

I had no problem profiling Amplitube, GR and Scuffham. The biggest issue I had was making sure that levels were good but not clipping anywhere. With all the ins and outs the routing got a big complicated but otherwise the sounds were great.

Yes! Just watch out for clipping as VST operates in sometimes curious ways!

No weird issues with latency, the Profiler compensates for it.


Small Room Profiling

A surprising thing about the Profiler is how it handles room reflections. In an attempt to crank the amp and not disturb my neighbors I close-mic'd an amp in a small hallway with all the doors closed. Monitoring the mic'd signal sounded bad - the reflections from the loud amp in a small room mixed in horribly. I shot the profile anyway and it sounded great. It kind of had that nearfield/farfield quality, there seemed to be a little more depth to profiles created this way.


EQ’Ing

After reading a post by Tyler about the cabs he profiled I put an EQ between the mic pre and the Profiler and boosted the lows and highs a bit. This really helped add depth and presence to the profiles.


Profiling with EQ Matching Plugins

I wanted to test profiling through a DAW with VST plugins applied to the profiling signal. So the setup was

 guitar -> Profiler In -> amp -> cab -> mic -> DAW -> plugins -> Profiler Return

I used Izotope Ozone as EQ matching plugin.

First step is to choose a (guitar only) soundclip that you like and to capture the EQ curve. Then record the same riff or lick with your Profiler profiling setup to make it comparable. Then apply the tone-matching plugin and adjust it until it sounds as close as possible to the reference signal. Then you can even apply this EQ curve to your profiling signal, while activating the real time monitoring which depends on the latency of your audio interface. The Profiler seems to tolerate and compensate latency so this should not pose any problem.


Amp Hiss

The profiling process will not add hiss. But the hiss is recorded and kept during the A/B comparison, to make it fair. Once you save the profile or switch to browser mode the recorded hiss is thrown away.


Unwanted Compression in the Profile

If your profiled amp sound compressed, then too much input is hitting the return signal path. Sounds like you are not correctly setting your gain stage correctly.

Try setting the return level at -2 dB (that’s what I use), and it will auto-correct itself to 0 dB without compressing the signal. Also worth checking your Input levels (press and hold Input), setting your Clean sens / Dirt sens at good levels. All this will have an effect when playing back.

Try to run everything at unity gain where you can… You indeed get a compressed profile if something is not right.


Default Profile Parameters

The profiling process will default many of the amp profile, cab profile, and other rig parameters to 0 or a fixed value, while others are variable.

  • Zero after profiling:
    • the whole Stack EQ (bass, middle, treble, presence);
    • Volume (0 dB);
    • Power Sagging;
    • Pick;
    • Compressor (amp profile);
    • Clarity
    • Tube Bias
    • Direct Mix
    • all the cab parameters (high shift, low shift, character, volume).
  • Non- zero:
    • Gain (depends on amp gain);
    • Definition (depends on pre-amp EQ or boost/OD settings, modern/vintage distortion-nature of amp).
    • Tube Shape (always defaults to 3.3)