Kemper Remote Review

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by stratotone, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. stratotone

    stratotone Silver Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Posted this on the Kemper board, just in case anyone who wasn't there was curious about the long awaited foot pedal specifically for the Kemper. So far I'm digging it!

    Before I can get into an actual review, should probably mention I've had my Kemper for three years, gig with it almost every weekend, sell profiles for profit and have been using a Ground Control Pro midi footswitch. My band plays everywhere from outdoor gigs to a few thousand people to indoor gigs for a dozen people. Very wide variety of venues.

    Picked up the Remote at the local UPS depot, includes an ethernet cable with a locking ring like a microphone cable on the remote end. The kemper end is pretty much RJ45 all the way. I haven't tried it yet but it looks like a typical computer cable should work for this too as a spare. The Remote powers up from the Kemper and for the most part duplicates the screen on the kemper.

    First thing you'll notice is that it's heavy and built solidly. Seems to be pretty tough, which is good since you're going to be stepping on it. It took about 23 seconds after the kemper was ready to go for the Remote to wake up and be useable. If you're used to a midi pedalboard waiting on the Kemper, this could be a source of a little irritation. All the more reason to buy a small battery backup system for your Kemper - I use one live, this way a power fluctuation won't make your Kemper reset and you get the thrill of everyone watching you as you wait and wait and wait for the Kemper to restart.

    Since I went from a midi board to the Remote and wasn't using performance mode, I had to change how I set up my footswitch. This works great for performance mode. I'm so used to midi and banks, it threw me off for a bit until I just started thinking of a performance as a midi bank. Worked for me anyways. One nice thing about the Remote's setup is that you can also set your Kemper to browser mode and however your Kemper is set up to browse - by gain, or name, etc - the Remote will too. This is nice if you're recording and need something with a certain amount of gain - you can footswitch between rigs until you find the right fit. Of course, if you're not wanting to delve into performance mode, you can always rename your profiles with prefixes like '001' so they show up in order.

    Switching is fast, I never had a complaint with how it did over midi but it does seem a little quicker.

    I couldn't find a global mode, so if you want to turn effects off and on within a performance or rig, it has to be set up for each instance. I had my Ground Control Pro set up as a virtual pedalboard with four rigs available per bank, and if I clicked a certain instant access button it always turned on slot A, for instance. The way the Remote is set up is more versatile but requires a little more setup time in advance. I did find a spot where I can assign stomp slots A to D to I to IIII, respectively. I prefer the manual setup over this though. With only four buttons on the board itself for turning stomps or effects off and on you would likely need more flexibility. Plus you can turn on more than one effect at a time with a button and it does show a light for the first two so you know what's assigned to it.

    There's a contrast control on the remote, which I guess is useful if you're really far away from your Kemper onstage. However, the Kemper has controls for brightness of LEDs and display and yes, contrast for the Remote. I'm curious how well the remote's display is going to be visible on a stage during the day, I used to have to put a stage monitor over the front of my Ground Control Pro to cast a shadow over it. The tuner on the remote also has a on at all times 'three LED' tuning monitor like the Kemper does, so even if the tuner isn't activated you can see at a glance if you're in or not.

    Regarding pedals, you can hook up four to the remote. Unfortunately you're limited to volume, wah, pitch or monitor volume currently. Hopefully this expands soon to allow use of switches, so one could turn on and off stomps or effects here.

    I'm not a big looper guy, but it was easy to figure out and sounded great. Some might want this pedal for the looping capabilities alone. I think the loop features might be available on a midi board, but setting it up to be easily switchable during a gig from looping mode to regular mode would likely require a lot of hassle and may not even be possible with some midi boards.

    The big question is - is it worth the money? There's a lot of tech in this pedal, it's not just a midi board and to expect it to be priced the same as a new Ground Control Pro or a Midi Raider/All Access is nuts. You get a very nice display, bi directional data, ease of use and a well thought out package that is well built and looks to be roadworthy other than the contrast knob which is just begging for someone to shear it off. Overall I dig it, now to see how it does at a gig weekend after next.
     
  2. Bikedude

    Bikedude Gold Supporting Member

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    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Thanks for the review. Still waiting on mine using the FCB1010, uno4Kemper chip.
     

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