I’ve noticed in recent months perhaps the last year - that the amp profilers such as Kemper, Fractal and Helix are becoming more and more prevalent. I’ve been to a couple of theatre shows recently and there were no amps in the pit but the guitar sounds were wonderful. I’ve not yet made the jump from glass, wood and magnets but I think it’s just a matter of time. And, to that end, I was wondering if a) you have any advice on which one is best for live gigs and b) if any of your writers use profilers on the GT audio tracks? I’d be very interested to hear your views. You’re quite right, Alan. I’ve noticed it too - lots of Facebook posts on the subject and long, raging debates between converts and naysayers. First off, I don’t believe many of our guys use actual profilers for their GT audio although Quist is a Fractal AxeFx endorser and Stuart Ryan a recent Kemper purchaser - both love them, too. I’ve been using a Line6 Helix on stage for about nine months (with in-ear monitors) and it’s transformed the gig for me. I use electric and acioustic through it, both on dedicated patches with some wonderful, natural sounds. Jason Sidwell plays both Helix and Kemper, again mainly for the musical theatre shows that he does. He has no real preference, sonically, but for a two-guitar gig he goes Helix as it offers a simpler solution for that. It’s also arguably easier to tweak on the fly. But ask any Kemper, Fractal or Helix user about them and they’ll tell you they’ve transformed their gigs especially theatre shows where stage volume is always the bane of the producer or sound engineer’s life. Jason still has his Boogie and AC15, and I still have a Marshall JTM45 and Blues Junior for lairy pub gigs or little venues (both of us have nicely populated pedalboards too). So amps and pedals certainly haven’t had their day; it’s just that, for certain situations, the profilers are so practical - and sound so darned good - that they are no-brainers.
Profilers are many players’ live solution