NGD: Fractal AND Kemper - I crossed the streams!

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by LeviathanKiller, May 25, 2017.

  1. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    I just graduated college so as a present to myself I decided to buy a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ since I've wanted one (any Axe-Fx) since probably 2007. So I got to reading here recently and I couldn't decide between that and a Kemper so...I bought both. :lol:

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    Very different pieces of gear with different workflows and operation.

    IMO, the Axe-Fx is easier to navigate on the device vs Kemper. The Kemper is also missing software which makes it a huge pain to change stuff around. The tones are great though and I've found much more usable tones from the Rig Exchange than I did from Fractal's Axe-Change for the Axe-Fx.

    For me, navigating on the Kemper is kind of a pain in regards to presets and other things. The display only shows 8 of an item at once and the knob used to scroll them is rather small and has clicks in it so it both takes a long time and feels...just weird/uncomfortable. The Axe-Fx's main dial is much smoother and larger as well.

    The nice thing about the Kemper is that you can lock down any part of the profile you're using, effects, amp, cabinet, amp and cabinet, pretty much anything and switch to another profile to change the unlocked part to that of the profile you just switched to. Really nice to lock the cab and demo Rig Exchange profiles since a lot of them have terrible cabs and sound amazing once switched to a better cab (Lasse Lammert's Nineties Finest preset's cab and Kosten's 5150 Platinum Mod preset's cab are great).

    All of the sections that make up profiles can also be saved as presets. I have a preset saved for the Stomps section that has a gate, drive, and compressor all set to my favorite settings. SUPER convenient. The Axe-Fx currently doesn't allow you save your own settings of an item let alone multiple items. You can make presets of individual blocks in Axe-Edit but that's on the computer only obviously. You can also make preset templates but those overwrite everything else in your current preset whereas the Kemper keeps whatever sections you locked down.

    The Kemper allows you to change the screen brightness and color as well as the brightness of all of the other many LEDs on it.

    Loading IRs into the Kemper is a pain x2. You have to load them using a USB drive. Can't use the Rig Manager software to do cabs, only rigs/profiles. Loaded up a bunch of cabs? Need to delete the ones you no longer use? You have to delete them one by one now. :facepalm:

    Re-amping is a breeze with the Axe-Fx. Navigate to the I/O menu, turn the dial to USB input. And bam, record your track.

    Tone Matching on the Axe-Fx is cool. It is what it is and it does it well. Pretty fun to match other people's tones if you can find fairly isolated parts to match.

    Haven't used the Kemper to profile some of my tones from the Axe-Fx yet but I

    If you don't know what you're doing and afraid of leading yourself down a road to crappy tone, don't get the Axe-Fx. It's easy to screw with parameters as well as not edit the right ones and have it sound like horrible. The Kemper is much more foolproof in that regard.

    The Axe-Fx is miles beyond the Kemper as far as tweakability is concerned though. No way would I give this thing up. Once you know what you're doing you can create your perfect tone. The Kemper feels much more like you're stuck with presets and you've got some limited controls. That's not to say you can't tweak on it because you can but just nowhere near the extent of the Axe-Fx (and that includes useful non-esoteric things).

    I took longer to get tones I was happy with from the Kemper than I did the Axe-Fx but YMMV.

    Honestly, now that I've got things dialed in how I like for the most part, they don't sound any different than each other if I try to make them match. I also don't notice any difference in how they feel/respond. Once again though, YMMV.

    I'm sure there's little things I left out but I'll come back and mention them as they come to mind.

    Earlier this year I picked up some JBL LSR308s (which you can see a glimpse of) and Sennheiser HD598s. That's what I've been playing these through. Gonna post a NGsD post soon for the guitars I'm using. I've bought a lot of gear this year. I blame SS.org. :facepalm:



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  2. NeubyWanKaneuby

    NeubyWanKaneuby SS.org Regular

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    Did you get the powered Kemper?
     
  3. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    Nice scores man! HNGsD!
     
  4. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    I like your idea of excess. :yesway: Sweet scores there!
     
  5. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    Nope, no need. I don't intend to use a cabinet. If I ever play live it will be with PA speakers like I used to do a long time ago.
     
  6. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Congrats! Those are some real quality units you got there. Enjoy!
     
  7. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    There is just something wrong about that. Wrong, and awesome. HNSD.
     
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  8. Tisca

    Tisca SS.org Regular

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    That was a good useful comparison, thx!
     
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  9. Casper777

    Casper777 Slow Player

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    Nice!! congrats...

    I had a Kemper for 2 years now and just ordered a Fractal AX8... will experiment too and let people know what I think :)
     
  10. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    Nice, congrats! :) I also use both (Axe Std though). I prefer the Kemper for amp tone, but everything you said about the usability of the Axe holds true for me too, which is why I've kept it.
     
  11. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred Blackest Of The Blackest

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    Congrats man!
     
  12. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Have you already profiled the AXE FX or tone matched the Kemper?... I imagine that if I had both as you do, I'd be on that train for a while and do this mix and match between the 2 to get a truly original tone out of them... almost like Gibson trying to copy Slash's AfD Les Paul... and them, may not, I'd probably just play the Axe...

    Enjoy your gear, btw... and congrats for the graduation!...
     
  13. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    Thanks man and I haven't yet. I've been sorting through Kemper rigs lately looking for good cabs and such. I've just been using the Axe-Fx as my pass-through to my monitors with the Stereo Enhancer block to fake double-tracked guitars while I'm testing the Kemper rigs out. The Stereo Widener in the Kemper doesn't do the same thing so I put my Kemper back in mono through the Axe-Fx's FX loop because I'm short on cables right now.
     
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  14. NeubyWanKaneuby

    NeubyWanKaneuby SS.org Regular

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    Cool. I was thinking about the powered one, so I'd have the option if I ever felt like using it.
     
  15. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    Something (likely one of many things) I forgot to add was that the Kemper tracks better when it comes to pitch effects imo. Which shouldn't be hard to believe since Christopher Kemper's previous product was the Access Virus (some sort of synth thing).
     
  16. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    You're not the only one that does this. :lol: Dino got an Axe FX II just so he can profile it with a Kemper. IIRC he used the Tone Match feature on the Axe to profile the original guitar stems on Demanufacture. He then profiled that tone match on his Kemper, so he could use the Demanufacture tones live for the anniversary tour, along with some other amps like Fortins and Randalls apparently.
     
  17. LeviathanKiller

    LeviathanKiller Knee-shooting Archer

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    If I don't watch myself or take notes or something, I'm going to end up tone-matching the Kemper, later profiling that Axe patch, then tone-matching the Kemper again after forgetting, and rinse and repeat. Haha

    Kinda curious what I would end up with if I did that. Like 10 cycles back and forth and then compared the original to the end result. Maybe if I get bored and have the time lol
     
  18. rockskate4x

    rockskate4x rockskate4x

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    I've had dreams where I am using a kemper for amp tones and and axe for all my modeled stomps in front and fx in the kemper's loop. Congrats, man on an awesome pair of tone machines!
     
  19. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    That's what I was talking about, just do it!
     
  20. WhammyZhou69

    WhammyZhou69 SS.org Regular

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    Personally, I wouldve gone axe fx and a high end power amp and 2x12 cabinet. Kinda seems redundant to have both imo
     

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