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SteinbergerHack

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Everything posted by SteinbergerHack

  1. Bass is relatively easy to sight read in comparison to guitar. That said, there are a lot of non-readers in the rock world......
  2. Q: How do you tell when a band has a really great bass player? A: I don't know either - I never noticed.
  3. No - that site has a security certificate issue of some sort. Might be our corporate firewall.
  4. Win10 - Firefox - Dell laptop Can't see it with Internet Exploder 11 either.
  5. ??? Can't see this - only see the name of the file......?
  6. I saw this elsewhere and thought that it needed to be shared:
  7. In Theil/Small usage, "sensitivity" is the commonly used term for the driver's response function to a specified signal, while "reference efficiency" is the calculated energy transfer ratio. The number most often seen (SPL @ 1W/1m) is the sensitivity number, while efficiency is calculated as a %. They are different values which are closely related.
  8. 100% true. I am a named inventor on a number of patents, yet they are owned by the companies I was working for at the time they were filed. I got a nice bonus for each of them, but the company that owned the lab space owns the work product that comes from it.
  9. I didn't either until I was in a performance situation. When I was operating at full volume on the guitar and not fine-tuning, it sounded great. Then when I started using the guitar's volume knob to fine-tune volume and gain to balance with other instruments, it was really noticeable. I suspect that it's a quantization issues, so it might be addressable with more attention to the gain settings across the whole system. I am used to a MIDI rig that gives me 10 FX presets with a single button press. For the number of groups I work with and the variety of material I do, trying to match songs to performance slots won't work. I think in terms of a matrix of gain settings (amp channels) and FX presets (MIDI rack). The Bogner gives me 6 distinct gain settings on the pedal, and then I have two banks of 10 each "standard" FX presets (song-specific patches go to other banks). That's 120 potential pre-built combinations, all available with no more than 2 footswitch actions. The Kemper is WAY more clunky in this regard. I've had a number of crashes with Win8, and I've read reports of others having the same problem with it crashing while connected to the KPA. The good news is that they just released a new official (non-beta) version with a supposedly improved UI and the long-awaited patch editor. I may give it a shot before I return the KPA later this week, and see how much it improves the usability. Well, that's where the Kemper really excels, so it would make a lot of sense for your goals.
  10. After decades of playing through great tube amps, I've spent the last 6 weeks or so playing through a Kemper. It's a loaner that I acquired to play for a run of the musical theater show "We Will Rock You". This show is effectively a Queen tribute, and as such requires Brian May's signature sound...but a fully-cranked AC30 isn't going to work in this application. Thus, we found a Kemper that we could use to try to recreate May's sound at a more manageable performance volume. As a bonus, the pit band is playing a set of '70s and '80s rock as a pre-show "overture", so I got to try out some of the very popular hair metal and arena rock sounds. Next week I'll be returning it, and I wanted to share some impressions from my real world experience with the Kemper. > The factory profiles aren't that great, and do not reflect the ultimate capability of the rig. This is no different from a lot of digital products, but it means that a demo in-store won't show you what it can really do. > You really need a high-quality monitor system to use a profiler effectively. If your monitor cabinet is junk, it will make the entire rig sound like junk; this is a high-end, studio grade product, and should be paired with a similar level of amp/monitor to get the most out of the rig. You get what you pay for. Note that this is another reason that an in-store demo isn't going to be helpful; plugging into a $300 entry-level powered cabinet isn't going to give you the resolution that you need to hear the nuances that the Kemper creates. > You can get really good profiles from several 3rd party vendors, or you can make good ones yourself. Spend the time/$$$, and you will be rewarded. Be aware that this may require sourcing dozens of profiles for each one that ultimately works for you. It's time-consuming, but the end result will be impressive if you invest the effort. > A quality profile can sound very good indeed, but you can't do much tweaking without getting a very processed, "digital" sound. Changing gain, for example, I found to universally mess up an otherwise perfectly good profile. > It takes a lot of time to build a complete patch from a profile (rig) and the various FX options, and the UI is a bit clunky, IMO. As with everything, it gets better as you gain experience, but I didn't find it to be particularly easy to short-cut the process of building Performances and Presets. > The Performance mode is limited to 5 patches per block, which I find to be very limiting in real world use. > Using MIDI to select performances and patches can work, but I have found the patch change delay to be problematic at times. > I have found that some profiles do not respond well to partial-volume inputs - you really almost have to build a new profile for every different instrument and setpoint for it to sound really good. This may be acceptable for studio work, but trying to tweak on the fly during performance can be annoying when you start to hear that fizzy digitized sound. > The potential versatility is outstanding - but at the cost of a lot of effort for every individual sound. > The ability to control volume and send a perfectly matching signal to FOH is very helpful, just as when using a good loadbox/IR with a tube amp. > I think that the software is in need of some attention in several areas. I have had a number of crashes on a Win8 laptop, and lost a lot of time when changes I had made were undone due to non-intuitive workflow procedures. The lack of a patch editor has been a crucial missing piece of this system; V3.0 of the Rig Manager software with patch editing capabilities has finally been released, unfortunately right as I will be returning the Kemper. I would like to spend some time with it to see if this update addresses some of the workflow challenges, but I will not have the time with the Kemper to give it a fair shake-down. In the end, I can see why people with certain approaches to their playing would love this amp. It's capable of a lot of really good stuff, and the ability to customize it with your own profiles is something that the Fractal and Line6 units simply cannot do. For example, I have an old Marshall 3203 that sounds great and is relatively rare. With the Kemper, I can profile it with my own settings and duplicate it for performance use, without having to take it out to a gig. No other modeller gives me this ability, no matter how good they may sound with the amps that they have in their standard list. I can also see why others might want to throw it off a cliff after getting frustrated with its limitations. I think that for something this complex, they really need to spend some time on developing a software UI that is intuitive, comprehensive and simplified. I don't think it will work for me, either.....but it has convinced me that the digital technology is getting very, very close to duplicating what a tube amp can do. In fact, this one can very nearly duplicate what a dozen or more tube amps can do, in a compact, lightweight package.
  11. It's an interesting thing. I've spent the last 6 weeks or so playing with a Kemper. Next week I'll be returning it...and I will probably not buy one. From real world experience, I have the following observations: > The factory profiles generally stink and do not reflect the ultimate capability of the rig. > You can get really good profiles from several 3rd party vendors, or you can make good ones yourself. Spend the time/$$$, and you will be rewarded. > You really need a high-quality monitor system to use a profiler effectively. If your monitor cabinet is junk, it will make the entire rig sound like junk. You get what you pay for. > A good profile can sound very good indeed, but you can't do much tweaking without getting a very processed, "digital" sound. Changing gain, for example, I found to universally mess up an otherwise perfectly good profile. > It takes a lot of time to build a complete patch from a profile (rig) and the various FX options, and the UI is a bit clunky, IMO. > The Performance mode is limited to 5 patches per block, which I find to be very limiting in real world use. > I have found that some profiles do not respond well to partial-volume inputs - you really almost have to build a new profile for every different instrument and setpoint for it to sound really good. OK for studio work, but trying to tweak on the fly during performance can be annoying when you start to hear that fizzy digitized sound. > The potential versatility is outstanding - but at the cost of a lot of effort for every individual sound. > The ability to control volume and send a perfectly matching signal to FOH is very helpful, but I don't find it to be any more or less effective than using a good loadbox/IR with a tube amp. > The software ain't so great. I have had a number of crashes on a Win8 laptop, and lost a lot of time when changes I had made were undone due to non-intuitive workflow procedures. There is also still not a fully-functioning patch editor (there is one in Beta, but Kemper tells you not to use it for any actual performance or paid work). In the end, I can see why people with certain approaches to their playing would love this amp. It's capable of a lot of really good stuff, and the ability to customize it with your own profiles is something that the Fractal and Line6 units simply cannot do. I can also see why others might want to throw it off a cliff after getting frustrated with its limitations. I think that for something this complex, they really need to spend some time on developing a software UI that is intuitive, comprehensive and simplified. I don't think it will work for me, either.....but it has convinced me that the digital technology is getting very. very close to duplicating what a tube amp can do.
  12. If you want to use distortion through a full-rage amp (keyboard amp, PA, etc.) you need some sort of cabinet simulator, like the IRs used in modellers and/or loadboxes. Otherwise, it's going to sound really, really bad.
  13. It's probably a solid molded plug, with no internal connection made. Hilarious, in any case.
  14. In this world of digital modellers and profilers, many of us still maintain that a good tube amp still sounds better, even if the digital rig is lighter, more versatile, has better volume control, etc. BUT: What about tube amps that just never sounded good? Not all of 'em are created equal, and some just plain should never have seen the light of day. What tube amps have you owned that just didn't sound good? I'll start with a particularly wretched example of audio flaccidness:
  15. Warning: https://www.sevenstring.org/threads/all-looks-and-no-quality-grote-guitar.165841/page-4 They used to have a website, which now appears to be defunct. hmm....good luck.
  16. Think of it this way: You can go to a rack Kemper and use a plain old MIDI floor controller to select rigs and presets. No other pedals required - everything is in the rack box. For me, the Kemper would let me drop close to 100 lbs, cut floor space by roughly half, and simplify the setup massively. I add the kemper rack and a wah control pedal. I no longer have to carry the Bogner XTC, the Bogner pedals, rack FX unit, rack tuner, the 4x12 or 2x12 stage cabinet, my Morley wah, one 9V battery, and about a half-dozen cables. I already carry monitor(s) for acoustic instruments and vocals, so nothing additional there. ...and the Kemper sounds extremely good; in the FOH it is indistinguishable from a mic'd tube amp.
  17. Ahhh...sorry, I missed the sarcasm. And yeah, I agree, which is why none of the modellers have ever gotten me to consider moving fro tubes. The Kemper, OTOH, sounds pretty darned good.
  18. Sure, but what does that have to do with amp technologies?
  19. That plant manufactures Epiphones, not Gibsons.
  20. The Kemper has had the same hardware since its release about 8 years ago, so I'm not this is entirely accurate....but certainly true for the modellers. They go obsolete faster than cellphones and laptops. I would also point out that the profilers and modellers really aspire to sounding like a mic'd tube amp, not a tube amp in the room with you. This is not an inconsequential difference, and it has both positive and negative consequences. As far as "get a tube amp and be done with it"....well, that's fine, but what do you do when you get a call for a "silent stage" gig? This happened to me for the first time about 3 years ago, and the money was so good that I had to take the job and figure it out. At the time I solved it with a Bogner and Torpedo loadbox/IR; today I would use a Kemper. In the end, I think that I am headed for keeping my tube amps at home and gigging with a Kemper. I still want the tubes as the template for my sound, but going direct actually gets me to a good FOH sound faster than micing a cabinet, and managing stage volume is a lot easier. JMO, YMMV, lather, rinse, repeat.
  21. Looking at the current crop of products, it seems that there are 4 competing architectures, three of which have well-established market leaders: 1) Profile an existing amp to digitally copy and recreate the transfer function - Kemper. 2) Digitally process the signal through individual component blocks that represent the schematics of existing amps - Axe-FX (and maybe Helix?). 3) Digitally re-configure an analog circuit to re-create the analog circuits of existing amps - BluGuitar. 4) Use a tube amp - Marshall, Vox, Bogner, Diezel, Two Rock, Mesa, Fender, etc. Does this pretty well sum it up? If so, how does this reflect on what guitarists want/need, as opposed to what the amp builders want to design?
  22. A new Torpedo Live showed up at my door just before Christmas. Nice piece of equipment, looks sharp, seems easy and intuitive to get started. Naturally, I dropped everything, unboxed it and connected the output of my Bogner XTC for a quick test.First impression:This thing has a lot of nice little tweaks that you can use to adjust speaker model, mic type and location, along with a modest EQ. You can also add a tube power amp emulator if you're using the line in, and you can add a touch of reverb or slap (room emulation).I selected the standard Marshall 1960 4x12 with a SM57 - that's about as "go-to" a selection as I can imagine. I plugged in my ATH-M50x headphones for a first pass test - again, a widely used "basic" test platform that should sound relatively accurate and representative of most real-world situations (i.e., not an A-list recording studio). I disabled the power amp model since the Bogner is in-line, and also turned off the room ambiance/reverb/slap, since I have those in my FX rack already. EQ set to flat, I plugged in a guitar and started to play.....So, how does it sound? Way better than any cabinet emulator I've used in the past. Unfortunately, the straight-outtta-the-box patches still have a bit of that annoying upper-frequency grit that just sounds like a FuzzFace plugged straight into a recording console....but just a bit. It's almost usable without any real tweaking, but not quite.Next Steps:The Torpedo Live has two basic modes for building patches - "Arcade" and "Simulation". It appears that all of the stock patches delivered with the unit are built in "Arcade" mode, which is the simplest and easiest to work with. There are only a few parameters you can select - cabinet model, power amp model, room type (delay/reverb FX) and some very limited tweaks.In order to work with the EQ, disable the time delay FX and get into serious tweaking, you will need to work in the "Simulation" mode. Still working with the same baseline patch, I started playing around with the patch edit interface and found it to be a bit confusing at first, but once I worked with it a bit, I found it to be fairly easy to navigate. Personally, I would have found it easier if the twist-knobs incorporated the more common "push to select" function, but the workaround that the Two Notes guys came up with is usable.Having figured out the interface, I set about trying to get the output to sound less "direct" and more like the sound of a real cabinet.....and it was pretty easy to do. A few dB cut on the highest EQ band, move the mic back a bit from the cabinet and a touch off-center, and it started to sound really, really good. Actual use:Once I had a good baseline, I bolted the Torpedo Live into my rack, and took it to a real live gig to see how it functions in the real world.On the job:The job was a "direct-only" musical theater show, with a 21-piece pit orchestra. No cabinets for any of the electronic instruments, so I had to rely 100% on the sound from the Torpedo Live. Listening through my headphones, I was able to dial in levels and sounds fairly easily. Overall, the sounds I was able to get from this setup were easily as good as I could have gotten from my normal rig at pit levels (i.e., very, very low volume), and the direct connection eliminates problems with mic bleed.Here's the rub: It sounds good, but it is definitely not a real cabinet. I found that when playing through the Torpedo Live my relative levels between patches and channels were off. After some playing around, I think that it comes down to two things: Compression and dynamic frequency response. The modelling Two Notes has developed is very, very good, but it seems that there are still a few areas where it isn't perfect yet - and those areas are audible enough to require some attention.The Good:The Torpedo Live can sound very, very good with some tweaking, and indeed was a lot easier to set up in a live situation than a mic'd cabinet. Once I get a bit more comfortable with it, I may keep it in my go-to live rack just to have an easier solution and one less mic stand to trip over - and less signal bleed. On balance, it is by far the best sounding of any cabinet emulator I have played through, by a fairly wide margin. [To be fair, I have not played through the Palmer PDIs.]The control and connection locations are generally well thought-out, and clearly designed by someone who has used rack-mount guitar systems in tight, poorly lit performance situations. One nice touch is the red surround on the speaker input jack (not shown in Two Notes' product photos).The Torpedo also has tube amp emulation and time-delay FX (room ambience) which I have not yet tested to any degree of depth.The Bad:The factory patches don't give a good representation of what the Torpedo Live is capable of delivering, so it takes some directed tweaking to get to a sound you'll be happy with. Also, the lack of a XLR line out is unfortunate. Given that it is designed for live performance use, this seems to me to be a significant oversight. Most live performance situations give the guitarist a standard mic input to feed, so this unit requires you to carry a balanced 1/4 to XLR converter. This is easy enough to source and keep around, but it is just one more thing to carry. Neither of these is worth passing on the Torpedo Live, though, if you want to use your real tube amp in a setting where you need to provide a direct input or play at headphone volume levels.The Ugly:The price. This thing is not inexpensive, and ranks among the most expensive of any loadboxes and cabinet emulators available today. That said, it's not that much more than you would pay for a small combo cabinet, and less than you would pay for many of the high-end cabinets that it models.Summary:This is a solid piece of equipment that delivers very good sound quality and is reasonably easy to use and drop into your rack. Even when you are using a cabinet as a monitor, it will let you select different cabinet models for the output signal, which could be very useful in a situation where you need to cover a lot of different styles with a single rig. I think that the Torpedo Live is going to stay in my rack - it's that good.
  23. SteinbergerHack

    Kemper!

    I have a show coming up where I need a radically different sound than I normally get from my Bogner, Marshall or MP-1. Solution? I borrowed a Kemper powered toaster to see if it could get me there. Now, I'm pretty picky about my sound/tone, as I am used to using GOOD tube amps and very little FX - no excuses, and no hiding behind gobs of delay/reverb/chorus/etc. My prior experience with all sorts of modellers has been that they just don't quite do it for me - they just don't have the feel of a great tube amp, and don't make me want to play more. When I last played a Kemper in a GC through a cheap powered cabinet, I was thoroughly underwhelmed. That said, enough serious recording pros use them that there has to be a reason - it has to be capable of getting a great sound...but the in-store demo wasn't convincing at all. So, I picked up the box from my buddy, and took it home for some in-depth investigation. After using the RigManager software to load some profiles from both the Rig Exchange and a couple of vendors, I built performance patches using headphones (ATH-M50x), and then dragged it out to rehearsal. My rehearsal rig is the Kemper, my trusty old ADA MP-1 MIDI control pedalboard, and a Yamaha DXR12 powered monitor. Nothing else - no pedals, no outboard FX, just the Kemper. WOW!!!!! This thing surprised me in a big way. Great sound, relatively easy to use, volume control is superb, and it worked with MIDI control with zero configuration effort - none whatsoever. The other guitar player I was working with noted just how good it sounds and how closely it got to the exact "correct" sound for the material we are playing. All of the FX I needed for this gig are in the box, and dialing them in was quick and painless. Does it sound like my Bogner XTC or Marshall is in the room with me? No. It sounds like some of the best recorded guitar sounds I've heard, though, and in the end this is what the audience wants to hear. Unfortunately, I'll have to give this Kemper back, as the owner isn't interested in selling. In any case, I would probably prefer the unpowered rack model...hmm...... Two things to note: 1) The profiles matter. I went through probably 50 profiles before finding 4 that I will actually use in performance. It's not different from playing 50 guitars or amps at a store to find the one that you want. Many are just poorly done, and many more are perfectly good, but not a match for my particular style and guitar selection. Time spent here pays big dividends. 2) The monitor you use makes a difference. The cheap ones at the big-box shops are just that - cheap. If you use the best self-powered PA-style monitor/main cabinet you can get, you will be MUCH happier with the results, and the sound you hear will be a closer match to the sound you get in recording or FOH. Color me amazed - this is the first time in over a decade that a new piece of gear has really gotten me interested. The last time this happened, I bought a Bogner XTC.....
  24. That looks like the ones that they built in the 80s - the shape of the upper bouts is unmistakeable. Japanese built, IIRC, though there were a couple of custom shops in the US that did some of their "special" jobs. My recollection is a bit hazy, though. I definitely remember that some of the Aria Pro II were really good-playing guitars when they first came out - not sure how they have held up since then, though.
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