2020 Review: Resolutions From Last Year

Last year, I did post a bunch of music-related New Year resolutions. How did I get on? Let’s find out.

A Quick Recap

Here are the resolutions I made at the end of 2019.

  • Start creating recordings / audio examples to go with my blog posts about pedals, so that you can hear the things that I’m writing about.
  • Use the looper in the Kemper to practice being musical regularly.
  • Get better at making Kemper profiles.
  • Revisit my old music, and start creating new recordings of it.
  • Record the covers that we’ve been gigging in 2019.
  • Get out and gig even more.

The year turned out quite different, that’s for sure.

The Kemper’s Looper Was A Disappointment

Let’s deal with the one resolution that actually happened.

I did start using the Kemper’s built-in looper for practicing guitar. That definitely happened. It just didn’t happen for long.

Unfortunately, the Kemper’s looper … well, it’s a bit of a toy. It’s got a very limited buffer size, and while you’re in looper mode, I just couldn’t get my Kemper to switch between Kemper profiles from the remote footswitch. I think you’re supposed to be able to; it’s just one of the areas of the Kemper where it’s just really really buggy.

So that came to an end pretty early in the year. I think that was a mistake on my part, because I was enjoying the concept.

There have been several firmware updates since then. While they’re unlikely to address the buffer size problem, if they do make it possible to switch profiles reliably while in looper mode, that might be enough. I’ll have to give it a go at some point.

Kemper Profiling Needs A Different Approach

To do a good job of making a Kemper profile, you need somewhere to mic up your amp and cab. If you want to make Kemper profiles regularly, you either need to get good at setting up mics time and time again, or you need a space where you can leave everything mic’d up all the time.

I’m no good at the first, and I don’t have the space for the second.

What I’d like to do is to run my amp through my Two Notes Torpedo CAB M instead, now that I have one, and profile that. Failing that, I’d like to take a direct profile of the amp on its own, and then use Kemper’s improved impulse response support to merge in an acceptable speaker sound.

So why didn’t that happen in 2020? Mostly because in my own head, I got hung up on the need to make my own impulse responses first. Thing is, I don’t need to do that yet. I can to make some test profiles first using great IRs, and validate the whole approach. If that works, then I need my own impulse responses, so that I can share my Kemper profiles legally.

I think this one needs to go onto the 2021 list.

Everything Else Was Lost To The Pandemic

The year got off to a great start. We were working on new material, starting to talk about what we needed to do to get more regular gigs, and I was busy figuring out what I needed to change to improve my home studio’s vibe and utility.

With the pandemic putting a complete end to gigging and rehearsing, anything to do with creating actual music got put on hold. I just couldn’t face it.

And that’s alright. There’s no shame in simply surviving these historic times.

I would like to do more than just survive 2021 though.

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