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David Torn and the Kemper

GreatAnt

Member
Messages
286
I did hear a clip a while ago he did on a Kemper.. have been seeing him playing live with a real amp. I was wondering if anyone knows what his thoughts are on the kemper in another thread or link? I can't seem to find anything yet, curious on his thoughts
 

quilsaw

Member
Messages
1,129
Interesting...I was just looking at that old thread last night...which had broken links to those samples. I did track them down on his soundcloud page (you'll have to scroll way down, lots of really nice stuff to listen to there).

Like you, I was interested in his thoughts on the KPA, some of which were expressed in that thread, but haven't found anything lately. I was also interested in his transition and retrospective feelings about the 11 Rack.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
25,738
i'm here!

what did you want to know?

fwiw:
there are 3 tracks on my new ECM release, "only sky", in which i'm playing the KPA:
track #2: "spoke with folks"
track #5: "reaching barely, sparely fraught",
&
track #7: "only sky"
 

quilsaw

Member
Messages
1,129
Hey Splatt - I'll start by saying that, IMHO, you're a serious tone monster (errr, geek :)). That said, you use some really nice amps (and effects) to explore the full dynamic range of the guitar.

It was a surprise to me to discover that (it looked like) up to about three years ago or so that you were doing some really nice stuff on the eleven rack....looked like you were an early adopter? Anyway, that impressed me, but have wondered just how much improvement you're getting from the KPA.

It sounded like - in that earlier thread - that it was your intention to model your own Fryette amps. Was that the biggest part of the deal? What other features or improvements have you found?
 

GreatAnt

Member
Messages
286
i'm here!

what did you want to know?

fwiw:
there are 3 tracks on my new ECM release, "only sky", in which i'm playing the KPA:
track #2: "spoke with folks"
track #5: "reaching barely, sparely fraught",
&
track #7: "only sky"
Hi David,

I was basically just wanting to know your thoughts on the Kemper, compared to your fryette amps. I've always wanted a pitt bull ultra lead but went with the Kemper instead for practical reasons. Have you also played the valvulator di, was wondering what that's like if you have?
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
25,738
Hi David,

I was basically just wanting to know your thoughts on the Kemper, compared to your fryette amps. I've always wanted a pitt bull ultra lead but went with the Kemper instead for practical reasons. Have you also played the valvulator di, was wondering what that's like if you have?
oh!, okey dokey.

i enjoy playing & programming the Kemper; i enjoy the interaction with it, quite a bit, and my results with it, as well..... which are, of course, 2 very different things.
i also appreciate what's good (for me) about the 11R, the L6 variax, 500 / dt 25 & dt 50, but truly prefer the KPA when not using my typical tube amps.

frankly,
1) and stupidly, maybe: i've yet to profile my own amps; i don't see the point while the KPA has so much to offer, including some powerfully musical programming (imo), and
2) i've yet to plug my KPA into my wonderful tube-amps.

to be fair, i'm a very busy, hyper-productive type, and most often am jammed for time; deadlines & such.

in regards to comparing between my tube-amps & the KPA, i discovered that i'm simply not too interested in that; i love my tube-amps for what they are to me, and love the KPA for what it is to me.
i really don't perceive my interaction with them in quite the same ways --- while they do share the fundamentals of a single paradigm, they seem different, ime & imo, and i accept & embrace those perceived differences.

to date, the KPA has been an absolutely fantastic, creative & phenomenally convenient direct-recording solution for me.
 

GreatAnt

Member
Messages
286
oh!, okey dokey.

i enjoy playing & programming the Kemper; i enjoy the interaction with it, quite a bit, and my results with it, as well..... which are, of course, 2 very different things.
i also appreciate what's good (for me) about the 11R, the L6 variax, 500 / dt 25 & dt 50, but truly prefer the KPA when not using my typical tube amps.

frankly,
1) and stupidly, maybe: i've yet to profile my own amps; i don't see the point while the KPA has so much to offer, including some powerfully musical programming (imo), and
2) i've yet to plug my KPA into my wonderful tube-amps.

to be fair, i'm a very busy, hyper-productive type, and most often am jammed for time; deadlines & such.

in regards to comparing between my tube-amps & the KPA, i discovered that i'm simply not too interested in that; i love my tube-amps for what they are to me, and love the KPA for what it is to me.
i really don't perceive my interaction with them in quite the same ways --- while they do share the fundamentals of a single paradigm, they seem different, ime & imo, and i accept & embrace those perceived differences.

to date, the KPA has been an absolutely fantastic, creative & phenomenally convenient direct-recording solution for me.
Ok cool. I was wondering if there were a feeling in the air that you felt or something that inspired you more when you were playing both and felt one was more so then the other. Mainly because I've never seen any clips of you playing the Kemper live, it's always been with tube amps 2x12 etc.... I'm yet to run my Kemper through a 4x12 or 2x12 to see if it feels any different to playing a tube amp. I've got a lot of pedals I use with the Kemper like I did with my amp and it's still fun to get a lot of sounds out of, not to mention some of the effects in the kemper (which I can't get with any other pedals yet) that are really inspiring.

I asked about the fryette valvulator because I've seen you in a few fryette gear things. Not sure if you got that part of the question or don't won't to answer it but it looks like an interesting piece of gear so far..
 

quilsaw

Member
Messages
1,129
frankly,
1) and stupidly, maybe: i've yet to profile my own amps; i don't see the point while the KPA has so much to offer, including some powerfully musical programming (imo)
No, that makes total sense. The reason I'd asked about profiling your own amps, I suppose, was mostly to gauge your motivation, i.e. a convenient travel rig that duplicates your typical amp tone, etc. So much interest in modeling seems to focus on duplicating specific (known) amps, rather than, as you say, simply providing useful (maybe new or unique) musical sounds. Value in both paths, perhaps, but I'm mostly inclined to simply ask "does this sound work for me or not?"

PS - GreatAnt - I'm also interested in the valvulator...not sure how many preamps I can afford to keep around, but, they sure take up less space than amps. I'm more and more interested in cab modeling, I think.
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
25,738
Ok cool. I was wondering if there were a feeling in the air that you felt or something that inspired you more when you were playing both and felt one was more so then the other. Mainly because I've never seen any clips of you playing the Kemper live, it's always been with tube amps 2x12 etc.... I'm yet to run my Kemper through a 4x12 or 2x12 to see if it feels any different to playing a tube amp. I've got a lot of pedals I use with the Kemper like I did with my amp and it's still fun to get a lot of sounds out of, not to mention some of the effects in the kemper (which I can't get with any other pedals yet) that are really inspiring.
well, i'm not a scientist, i'm a musician; i might be articulate, sometimes, but, hey: music & humans & perception & life & etc exist well beyond my very limited comprehension.

it's my general feeling that the 2 things are quite different from one another; please note that, in general, i seem to play my amps more often than my KPA.
the amps are immediate & viscerally perceived, as their actual physical presence in a room indicates, actually amplifying the sound to the volume+interactivity levels i've set;
the amps don't require any attention from the regions of my mind dedicated to monitoring & interacting with the status of >100's of parameters nested in menu/sub-menus/side-menu architecture & etc.

so, between KPA & tube-amps, the feelings are different for me; these differences are differenter than simple choices i might make between a selection of (great) tube-amps --- there is a paradigmatic shift involved, and it's a shift i'm both willing to make (& interested-in making!) when i choose to do so;
in that, i'm very fortunate to have options.

and, yes: i find the KPA is fantastic & unique for effects, effects interaction, and spatiality;
i think that the sound of title track of "only sky" is a good (if simple) example of such things.


I asked about the fryette valvulator because I've seen you in a few fryette gear things. Not sure if you got that part of the question or don't won't to answer it but it looks like an interesting piece of gear so far..
i haven't played the GP/DI yet, but am really, really looking forward to receiving mine! very excited for that, whenever it arrives.
{yes, i am one of the paying Kickstarter supporters.}
 

habanaerosmith

Senior Member
Messages
1,062
Ok cool. I was wondering if there were a feeling in the air that you felt or something that inspired you more when you were playing both and felt one was more so then the other.
It's hard to imagine being more inspired by a thing that's trying to emulate another thing than by the thing it's trying to emulate.

I'm a huge fan of digital modelers and use them almost exclusively, but let's not kid ourselves. They've come a long way, they sound great, they're incredibly convenient and can be quite creatively inspiring because of their ability to switch tones instantaneously, but if you've actually got good tube amps and mics at your disposal, there's still no substitute for the real thing (and there probably never will be). IMHO, of course.

I personally think the cooler application of digital modelers is the possibility of creating new sounds that wouldn't be possible with conventional gear. Which plays to the strengths of digital modeling without getting bogged down in the question of, "does it sound indistinguishable?"
 

ChrisVereb

Member
Messages
2,084
It's hard to imagine being more inspired by a thing that's trying to emulate another thing than by the thing it's trying to emulate.
Only if you feel that emulated object is the pinnacle of inspiration and the emulating object has no goals beyond accuracy of emulation. There's no reason either of those have to be true. It's no less valid to find tonal inspiration in an objectively in-accurate amp model. Amp distortion, analog delay warmth, univibe warble...those are all imperfections in reproduction that have been famously inspiring to a musician at one point or another. It's totally possible that the same will one day happen for a pretty off sounding amp model.

[/hijack...sorry]
 

GreatAnt

Member
Messages
286
well, i'm not a scientist, i'm a musician; i might be articulate, sometimes, but, hey: music & humans & perception & life & etc exist well beyond my very limited comprehension.

it's my general feeling that the 2 things are quite different from one another; please note that, in general, i seem to play my amps more often than my KPA.
the amps are immediate & viscerally perceived, as their actual physical presence in a room indicates, actually amplifying the sound to the volume+interactivity levels i've set;
the amps don't require any attention from the regions of my mind dedicated to monitoring & interacting with the status of >100's of parameters nested in menu/sub-menus/side-menu architecture & etc.

so, between KPA & tube-amps, the feelings are different for me; these differences are differenter than simple choices i might make between a selection of (great) tube-amps --- there is a paradigmatic shift involved, and it's a shift i'm both willing to make (& interested-in making!) when i choose to do so;
in that, i'm very fortunate to have options.

and, yes: i find the KPA is fantastic & unique for effects, effects interaction, and spatiality;
i think that the sound of title track of "only sky" is a good (if simple) example of such things.




i haven't played the GP/DI yet, but am really, really looking forward to receiving mine! very excited for that, whenever it arrives.
{yes, i am one of the paying Kickstarter supporters.}
Cool thanks. I had one more question on topicish while I remember if you don't mind, what are the power stations like? Would like to hear your thoughts if you could go a little into details, cheers
 

tomaburque

Member
Messages
584
Hi Splatt. I bought your educational video you put out back in the 90s and immediately went out and bought a JamMan and volume pedal and ebow. Today I live in Delay Designer which is a fancy tapped delay you can pitch shift and filter and pan every tap which can really get "Out There" which would seem right in your wheelhouse.

I think the Kemper would be ideal for you because it delivers a perfect waveform of any mic'd amp to feed your effects and your loopers.
 
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