Where to start
- 1 Setting Input Sensitivity
- 2 How to register on the Kemper site
- 3 Introduction
- 4 Informational sources about the Profiler
- 5 What to expect from your Profiler
- 6 What to not expect from your Profiler
- 7 Thousands of profiles available
- 8 Check out the free rigs and profiles
- 9 The Rig Exchange
- 10 Commercial and Other Rigs/Profiles
- 11 Profiles & Rigs
- 12 Amp cab or monitor/PA cab?
- 13 Reference
Setting Input Sensitivity
How to register on the Kemper site
Follow this link. In the upper right corner there is a small link to Login. Click on it and then on Sign up as a member. Fill in the form. The requested serial number is reported on a small sticker underneath the unit, and on the last page of the System menu. It starts with a K or an A...
In case you had joined the forum before owning a Kemper Profiler, and now you want to upgrade your status w/o losing your previous information, PS’ storage and the like, just login, click on your name, click on the 3rd tab (Register your amp), enter the serial number and click on Upgrade account.
The Kemper Profiler Amplifier is able to “learn” the sound of a given combination and setting of amp+cab+mic, and to reproduce it with astonishing accuracy. Profiling also works with a software amp, be it a plugin or not. Given the way profiles are taken, the accuracy of the final result can be evaluated by comparing the sound coming out of the Profiler (diffused by a monitor or a cab) and the mic’ed amp (or the plugin) listened back through the same monitor or cab. On the other hand, there are other ways to profile an amp which don’t use a mic, or a cab (via a DI for example): even in these cases the comparison will give faithful results only using the same chain for the two signals.
Here’s the link to a good introductory review from the TGP forum. It contains pics and clips showing several characteristics of the machine.
Here you'll find an interview with Christoph Kemper introducing the Profiler, how it works and its historical background.
For a more in-depth explanation see here.
Informational sources about the Profiler
You can learn about the Profiler from several sources:
- The manuals
- The FAQ page on the Kemper site
- The Profiler users forum
- The Profiler patent documentation
- Video tutorials from Kemper and other sources.
- This site!
- Furthermore, addendum manuals coming with every new FW update report what’s new in the software and how this affects operating the unit.
What to expect from your Profiler
In the words of a user, “I'm more than happy with the Kemper Profiler's amp tones. Just so very tasty. The fact it sounds so good and there's no theoretical limit as to the number of amp profiles which can be created makes it not only a great piece of gear, but a bargain in the long run. Any of you who've owned other modellers, how many times have you found yourself gassing for the newer model or maybe something from a competitor due to new amp included that you always wanted. Those days are over for Kemper Profiler owners.” As long as amps are being improved the Profiler will be there to capture the improvement. You can't ask for a better built in upgrade path than that!
Profiler's Sound Signature
Generally, the profiler reproduces the sound of a mic'ed amp. Depending on how you place the mic when profiling, the overall tone of the amp will be changed accordingly.
In the words of Eng. Kemper,
What to not expect from your Profiler
The Profiler is not able to run two profiles at the same time. The only ways to use two amps are:
- Take a profile of two amps running together, using the proper mics and mixer combination.
- Use two Profilers
- Record dry guitar signal and reamp.
Likely, you can’t load a profile of a pedal\stompbox into a stompbox slot: pedals in the Profiler are modelled. As for profiling a pedal, you can do it with tone- and gain-related pedals only (EQs, fuzzes, compressors, overdrives) but you’ll have to load it as a rig (that is, like an amp).
The tone controls of the Profiler are generic, meaning they do not change their action through the different profiles to mimic the profiled amp's tonestack behaviour. So, if you have more than one “sweet spot” on your amp it's recommended to take as many profiles as the tonestack settings you'll use. There's of course nothing bad in using the Profiler's tonestack: simply it will, in most cases, not reflect the behaviour of the reference amp's controls. On the other hand, it is very powerful, allowing you to get extreme settings which would be impossible to achieve on the reference amp.
Thousands of profiles available
The number of profiles available for the Profiler (included the free ones and the paid-for ones) is steadily increasing; auditioning, tweaking, managing them all can become very time-consuming and basically… endless!
If you make a backup file before you start auditioning rigs, you can confidently delete any rig that you aren't going to use. It will always be available in your backup file, if you ever need it.
But wait before deleting things, specially the factory rigs (stock profiles)! They have been created by professional studio men and are ready for the mix. So playing them alone may give the wrong impression:
A different approach may be selecting no more than 10-15 basic amps you love\need and tweak from there. You can completely transform a profile using the definition and clarity (and pick, sag, compression) controls. In fact, given a cab you really like the tonal signature of you might be able to get all your tones from a single profile. That said, the profiles aren't so generic that you can manipulate any profile to sound like any amp. You need to start with a profile which has some tonal qualities you're looking for. I utilize the cab character knob a bunch, but haven't used the high and low shift that much as very small moves have a huge impact and it never sounds as good as simply switch the cab to one I like. Additionally, the Studio EQ (our version of a parametric equalizer) allows some very precise tonal carving to really fine tune your tone. The Profiler allows some very, very deep editing of tones. However, some profiles will get you there with no tweaks at all. It’s all about the type of person/player you are and what your goals are with the unit. Some love the fact that they can (in theory) have a profile for every amp in existence while others really only want key tones and could care less what the amp name the profile says. In other words... the Profiler is deep enough for the tweakers and yet simple enough for the non-tweakers. Quite a feat IMHO.
Check out the free rigs and profiles
If you're a new user I'd recommend spending an hour or so going through all the posts in the Free Rigs and Profiles thread. You’ll be able to find descriptions and comments about many profiles, and came across some pearls you might otherwise be missing.
The Rig Exchange
Commercial and Other Rigs/Profiles
Numerous commercial vendors exist using their experience, gear, studio space, and personal style to make a wide variety of profiles. Others do the same for free, but may not necessarily have their rigs on the Rig Exchange. Or it may be preferable to download "packs" as .zip's instead of clicking a bunch of links on the Rig Exchange.
See The Profile Hunt for more info, including pricing.
Profiles & Rigs
The vast majority of the stock profiles are pure profiles; in other words they're not tweaked/improved to become a rig... for example the Peter Fischer profiles. You'll notice, on most of the stock profiles the controls are all set at 12 o'clock, and there's not too many flashing buttons in the Fx sections...and no additional EQs added. When you find a profile that's all lit up with LEDs flashing all over the place, that's a profile that's been tweaked & improved by the author... it's now a rig. So, when you get your Profiler and you think a stock or user profile doesn't sound as good as the commercial profiles, then keep in mind, almost every commercial profile has been tweaked, EQs added, fx added, boosts, compressors, overdrives etc… that's why it sounds better than a pure stock profile. The stock profiles are 'pure raw', they're not tweaked to create a rig. This may sound strange, you would think that the stock profile author would have tweaked his profiles to improve on them, but they left them raw.
First things I do with a stock profile:
- if it's a cleanish profile, I add a compressor to Stomp B (I leave Stomp A for Wah).
- I also add a bit of compressor in the amp block, press and hold the Amplifier button.
- I add a Pure Booster to Stomp C.
Do this & suddenly a stock cleanish Fender, Vox, Bad Cat, Matchless, etc profile comes to life.
First things I try with a rock or hi-gain stock profile (many Marshalls, Bogner, Soldano, etc.):
- I try different cabs/mics... this is where the magic of the Till’s cabs becomes apparent. Just changing the cab makes a huge difference, hardly any other tweaking needed... (Import these cabs into your Profiler immediately you get your Profiler. Create a Cabinet folder in the Shared folder you'll see on your USB stick after you've formatted it on your Profiler... then Import.)
- I like adding the stomp compressor in Stomp B for every profile, I like a compressor pedal up front on a real pedalboard as well.
Don't forget that many of the factory rigs are raw amps. Not always giving you that 'immediate impressive' feeling, but when you start doing some minor adjustments to suit your guitar/amplification/taste You'll notice how damn nice most of them they are... The EQ and the Definition parameter in the Amp block goes a long way (and some times the compression on clean amps) to just making it suit Your taste. And then start messing with the fx's and experimenting with different cabs... the sky is the limit...
More generally, in order to fully appreciate a profile it’s important to understand that a profile is taken from a real rig (a certain guitar through an amp and a cab) which the author found well-sounding. He or she set the guitar’s controls and PUs, and the amp’s tonestack in a certain way. Then they profiled the rig. Those settings will then depend on the player’s taste and the used instrument. Another key issue to keep in mind is that the players who profiled their amps for the factory profiles are all professionals, used to work in studio. Their sounds are recording-ready, that is mostly conceived for sounding good in a mix (of a certain genre) rather than for a solo performance. Last, but not least, an instrument which sounds good alone rarely sounds as good in a mix, and vice-versa.
Q: Why I like my own profiles best over all the stock profiles, which are supposedly been made by big pros?
The above-mentioned elements explain why you might find a certain profile not to your taste: mostly, the reason is that you’re using a different combination of guitar+pickups, and/or listening to the sound solo rather than in a mix. So don’t be too fast in discarding a profile which doesn’t sound good at first: it might be a hidden pearl, especially if you use more than an instrument. On the other hand, often tweaking a bit a profile you don’t like can give excellent results. In the words of Eng. Kemper:
Feel free to experiment with different amps and profiles when you look for your tone.
Amp cab or monitor/PA cab?
The Profiler (like all the high-end digital pre-amps) performs through an algorithm designed to take into account all the non-linearity of an amp+cab system that we guitarists happen to love so much. All you need is a medium to make the results reach your ears. Generally speaking, it would be a mistake to use a guitar cab, because it would give a double contribution to the sound (like drawing a subject through distorting lenses, and using the same distorting lenses to examine the drawing). The same applies to the poweramp you’re going to use wit you Profiler: it should be as linear as possible, in order to keep the simulation as faithful as possible. Having said this, several Profiler users have reported they like using a guitar amp and a guitar cab (which are non-linear by definition), and it’s always possible that you’ll like the results, so experiment at will! In these cases, you may want to disable the amp and or the cab from the Profiler panel. Find what best suits your tastes/needs.
Another good way to use the Profiler is with profiles taken w/o the cab (for example with a DI box). They are made to be used in conjunction with a guitar cab.
But a profile is much more than a simple snapshot of a rig! You can actually tweak the profile of an amp far beyond what you can do with the original amp. You can add or subtract gain, add definition, compression, power sagging, pick attack, tube shape, clarity, tube bias, and that's just on the Amp module. Then you can swap to a different cab, where you have high shift, low shift, character controls, a bass/mid/treble/presence EQ, then your effects including several different types of EQ that can be placed before or after the amp.
To learn how users set up their Profiler-centred rigs you can read this thread.