Playback sounds terrible

When i play my kemper through my monitors (Distorted metal tones) it sounds great nice thick and warm. When i record the exact same profile directly into my clarett 4pre interface via SPDIF into my Cubase 10 pro the playback sounds nothing at all like what im hearing when playing my kemper through the very same monitors. The life and body have degraded significantly it sounds fizzy and glitchy sounds like i have serious fret buzz which i have not. Ive tried EVERYTHING to solve this all of my cables are correct the sample rates match up and clock source is SYNCED to my kemper. I really cant see why there is a problem. All of my audio interface drivers are up to date im using quite expensive gear but it sounds horrendous. Ive spent the last couple of years on the kemper forum but still haven’t reached a resolve.


Have you ever tried recording through the analog audio outputs of the Kemper and the analog inputs of the audio interface? Does that sound any better?

Yeah sadly still the same result…

4pre should be master and Kemper slave.

I don’t have a Kemper, nor a Clarett, so unfortunately I can’t mirror your setup.

However some of the more general things I might try when hearing what you hear:

  • check if there’s any digital clipping somewhere in the audio chain. Digital clipping is nasty, but may be more difficult to identify as such, when it’s mixed in with heavily distorted guitar tones
  • try to use a different audio interface to check if there’s maybe a hardware problem with it
  • double check that the Kemper is not inadvertently sending audio before the speaker simulation has occurred

Sorry, that’s all I can think of so far.

As far as clipping goes all of my lights that would indicate clipping are a nice safe green going IN to my Kemper and coming OUT of my kemper. Usualy if clipping is accuring on the unit its flashes Orange and if it crazy it flashes red. According to my focusrite Control software we arent clipping either as that too would indicate red lights. I have tried and upgraded 3 different audio interfaces. I started with the Focusrite Solo 2nd gen (problems) then upgraded to the Focusrite 2i4 scarlett (same problems) and now my current Focusrite 4pre Clarett (same problem).Im not quite sure what you mean by inadvertently sending audio before the speaker im quite the noob at all this so apologies.

no change dude.

Since the Kemper simulates an entire guitar pedalboard, amplifier and speaker cabinet audio chain, I assume that there are different points along that long internal audio chain, that you can send to the analog or digital outputs.

So in analogy to a real hardware guitar amp setup, you could for example plug in the amplifier head output into a tape recorder, effectively bypassing the speaker.

That may also be possible in the Kemper’s virtual cabling. And if it’s routed bypassing the builtin virtual speakers, the sound could also kind of suck.

Ah! i get ya yeah! all of my chain is working correctly it sounds great through my monitors and kemper headphones its only when i record that great tone and play it back it sounds like garbage…kinda like it has that great sound but at the same time somewhere in that signal is the bad sound it kinda sounds like when ya turn the cab off in an amp sim that fizz horrendous static noise. but i dont hear it when im playing through my monitors its only on playback it can be heard like something broke when capturing the signal into Cubase…its so weird i cant really describe it.

yes, that’s why I was wondering if that was inadvertently bypassed in your Kemper (I assume you’re using the same Kemper outputs for straight to speaker and into the Clarett, by re-plugging the wires?)

So maybe look inside Cubase some more:

  • maybe check the input volume in the Cubase input channel, (it’s not the same as the track you record on) - you may have to ensure that it shows up in your mixer via the channel visibility settings

  • and also double check that there are no inadvertent fx plugins anywhere in the Cubase signal chain (including the channel strip stuff) and that the Cubase channel EQ’s in the signal chain aren’t doing anything weird.

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What is the buffer size?
Can you record singing or speaking without distortion/buzz?
Can you post 10 seconds of what you hear inside Cubase, compared to an analog recording (phone close to speaker?) of what you hear without?

From the description it sounds like it might be a phase cancellation issue somewhere along the line.

Would there be a phase issue with a kemper profile? Especialy a pro commercial profile. I didnt realise phase issues were a thing with kemper unless its a badly captured profile. I could be wrong though. I dont mic any cab i just go direct with the profile.

I was thinking more of your connections. For example, are you running a stereo output into mono inputs?

Don’t know about Kemper but on my Helix I had it change its sample rate to 48K from 44.1K after a firmware update. Took forever to discover that was the source of some odd distortion I was hearing.


when i run SPDIF out (from kemper) it is set to master mono (on kemper) i only use one SPDIF cable as i dont reamp so there is no need for the second to go from my interface back to my kemper. So that input is SPDIF 2. so in cubase i set that as my INPUT channel and when i open a new audio channel i set it as MONO using SPDIF 2 as the input.

I do the same thing when i run analogue. The kemper output is set to mono and i open up a mono track in cubase selecting INPUT 1 as the source.

i always record in 48k when i select 48k on my kemper it automatically switch’s my audio interface to 48k too… i will look to see if my kemper needs a firmware update but im sure it its up to date.

Sorry I wasn’t more clear. Not really suggesting it is firmware related, rather that I went for a couple of weeks assuming something (in my case the sample rate, but could be anything) was set a certain way when in reality it had changed without my knowledge.

You say you can play it on its own and it sounds good. What is the exact signal path you use for that? Also where does that signal path diverge from the signal path for recording?

My guitar goes direct into the Kemper in the Front Input. I then run a TRS cable direct from the back of the kemper from the MAIN OUT PUT the main output on my kemper is set to MASTER MONO and My focusrite control input is set to analogue 1 to receive that kemper signal. That is then fed through my 4pre to my PC via USB.

My monitors are connected to the back of my interface so i get a direct signal of my kemper so i dont have the worry of monitoring direct in cubase and getting latency trouble.

Cubase then sends its audio back through the USB through the 4pre and out the same monitors…at least thats what my brain thinks is happening lol…sorry im a noob at all of this hahaha but thats how my cables are currently connecting.

OK, that’s pretty analogous to how my Helix is connected

What happens if you don’t monitor the Kemper directly from the Focusrite and instead listen to the guitar from Cubase? Ignoring the latency does the sound quality change?

Analog or digital. I don’t think it should matter but trying to get a clear image of how things are setup.

Are you using any room correction software like Sonarworks?

Bad cable somewhere along the line?

Also is it possible that when you are listening to the Kemper directly via the Focusrite you are also hearing the slightly delayed guitar from Cubase being mixed in with the direct signal?