In the Kemper community, there are a handful of big names reliable profile creators. Michael Britt. Sinmix. Top Jimi.
However, if you’re a regular of some of the Kemper boards and Facebook groups, there’s another name that pops up all the time – not a Kemper household name, but a regular dude who has a knack for creating some killer profiles – MattFig.
Matt’s Friedman BE100 profile has been my personal go-to for a while now, and any time someone starts a thread looking for a good Soldano profile, it starts and ends with a link to Matt’s BigCartel site.
I caught up with Matt via email to try and get some of the secret sauce that goes into his top class Kemper profiles.
Hey Matt, thanks for taking the time to answer out questions!
Hi Brian! Thank you for the opportunity! I think your site is great and has a ton of useful information.
You’re known pretty well for your kemper profiles, but tell me about your amp life before the kemper?
Before Kemper I was involved in a company that sold tube preamplifiers for the Randall Egnater MTS (Now Synergy MTS) Series. We got to a point of manufacturing our own designs but ran into some snags that stopped the project from moving forward. I also have owned, used, and recorded many other amps.
My personal collection is a Friedman BE100 built by Dave Friedman complete with some amazing modifications. I have a VOX AC30 that I also love. There are many others but those are my personal favorites.
How did you hear about the kemper, and was it love at first riff or did it take some time to warm?
I started hearing about the Kemper right around the time we had started the manufacturing process for our preamps, so cash was not readily available for other projects. Eventually, I ended up buying one and it was kinda love/hate. I liked it enough right away to show it off to everyone around but many of my associates were not as impressed. Tube guys are an odd breed, myself included.
Did you start creating profiles from the off or was it something that came later?
Actually, I did start profiling straight away. I have a lot of top quality equipment from a lot of studio work over the years. I thought it would be easy. I was very mistaken.
How did your first profiles go? Did it click right off, or was it something that took some time to get right?
I thought it would be simple as I know how to properly mic up cabs and dial in amps for the most part from many years of trial and error. My initial results were pretty horrifying. High gain amps sounded like the old Line 6 Insane setting. I remember the Kemper unit telling me all the time that the amp was too noisy or that it heard a noise gate in the chain. I struggled big time.
When I started on the BE100, everything kinda changed. It is the amp I am most familiar with and I started taking note of the oddities and anomalies that happen with Kemper profiling. Of course, constantly trying new mics and positioning was a part of it all too. I just profiled that amp for a couple months straight until it sounded as good on the KPA as it did in the studio. I guess it paid off as I kept with it for years and am now at a point where I can work much faster and accurately. It has been quite a ride and a wonderful learning process.
What would you say are your three best profiles?
I don’t think I could narrow it to 3 specific profiles. I tend to pick a pack and flip between them or use performances. So, if it is OK, I will just say that my favorite packs are BE100 4.0, Dumbell, and Fedner Twin.
Are there any amps that you tried to profile but for whatever reason you just couldn’t make it work?
I have had lots of amps that I have profiled and not released. However, unless there are specific time constraints, I have a tendency to work at it until I can get what I want from the amp into the Kemper.
Any “holy grail” amps that you’d like to profile?
I would like to have a shot at some Wizard Amps, old Vox and Fenders are always nice and unique in each specimen, and probably any rigs used by famous musicians. Those seem to be attention getters.
As far as profiles other people have made, what are some of your favorites? Any hidden jems from the rig exchange people should check out?
I think all the profilers do something different. It is funny how we can all take the same amp, and sometimes even cabs, and sound so different. My personal faves are from Michael Britt. I don’t spend too much time surfing the Rig Exchange these days so I cannot offer more than what most already know.
When you hear other people’s profiles, what are some of the common mistakes in profiling you hear the most often?
I think mic selection and placement is the most difficult part of a good profile. You can take an amazing amp yet put the mics in bad positions resulting in a bad profile sound. Conversely, a skilled profiler can take an average amp and produce workable profiles.
What are some steps in the profiling process that you think separate a great profile from an ok profile?
Good mics, environment, and level of patience.
Any interest in branching out from the Kemper to other modelers?
Yes! I will be rolling out a Quad Cortex line of products on my site in April. I love the Kemper but am also curious about what other technology can do.