Modeling effects are hardly a new idea. Companies have been trying to replicate the nuances of tonal triumphs for decades, a case in point being the swelling market for clones of prized overdrive pedals. For years the use of professional digital imitators carried a stigma of philistinism around with it, largely due to manufacturers’ inability to overcome the indelible effect that digitisation has on fidelity. It seems like players are realising the potential inherent in some of the more top of the line examples and utilising them in live touring rigs. Cue the rise of Axe-FX as one of the most divisive names in today’s riff game, and the engineers at Kemper have certainly come nipping at its binary heels.
With a lot of these units, functionality is the key to success. Often you’re faced with something that’s far from plug-and-play, meaning you spend as much time studying the manual as you do shredding away to your heart’s content. Kemper’s Profiler, however, is only as complicated as you want it to be. You can simply pick a patch from the exhaustive list of factory presets designed by card carrying Kemper alumni and use the buttons that litter the face plate to sculpt to taste, adding stompbox-style effects or switching between faithfully reproduced cab and head emulations.
If you really feel like being fiddly you’re afforded unprecedented detail; choose from a swathe of mics and then position them as you please. You can add tap tempos, notch EQs and take to it with any number of other fine-toothed combs. In browse mode you can scour the landscape for all the tools and tricks you need, then save your own patches in the order that most suits the flow of your set. Not only that, but the first thing the unit asks you to do when you light it up is enter your name and the date and time so that it can apply that information to your patches as a personal signature, helping you recall and copyright all your own unique snowflakes.
It was quickly apparent that there was little to no limit to the possibilities of what I could conjure myself once I really got stuck in. It’s an experience not unlike moving into a new house; you may not like what the previous tenants had done with the place, but once you move all your stuff in it starts to feel like home. The rotary cabinet sound was one of the nicest I’ve heard in this context and some of the low gain, Fender and Soldano reproductions were quite brilliant.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Kemper Profiler is bound to get you where you need to go. The faithful simulations in this stylish, pea and bottle green housing are second to none. If you’re looking for the simplest way to get a Triple Rec on the same stage as a ’56 Bassman without millionaire status then look no further.
Hits and Misses
Easy to use
Faithful reproduction of tones
Presets won’t be to everyone’s taste